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La Viña Suburban Dwelling / Juan Salassa, Santiago Tissot & Iván Castañeda

Fri, 22.05.2015 - 17:00

Architects: Juan Salassa, Santiago Tissot e Iván Castañeda
Location: Alta Gracia, Cordoba, Argentina
Collaborator: Martin Mikaelian
Project Area: 120.0 m2
Project Year: 2015
Photographs: Gonzalo Viramonte

From the architect. “We are interested in the house as a fundamental instrument to live in our time…”

Charles Eames.

Our scope for architectural production is based in the city of Alta Gracia, located in the Mediterranean province of Argentina. A mountain town with a Jesuit Hispanic origin, and very strong in the nineteenth century by the arrival of the railway and its iron and steel infrastructure.


An atemporal container supported on the semi-urban grid, as an artificial element that only seeks to contemplate the environment, as well as the environment seeks to contemplate it. In a contemporary way, its boundaries evoke the remnants of the industrial era of Alta Gracia, the English style steel sheet houses, the station and the train.


Diaphanous environments, without fanfare. What matters is the interaction of the object with its surroundings. The intermediate spaces pose the eternal tension between the natural and the human impact.

Located in the west of the city of Alta Gracia, in a peripheral area of high environmental quality. On a plot of 12×50 party we design a compact house, prioritizing good natural light and the views to the mountains and creek. The level of support is above 2.5 meters with respect to the sidewalk, this allowed us to generate large openings without prejudice to privacy.

The social areas are linked to the intermediate spaces on the north party wall and the bedrooms are slightly separated from the south party wall. Thus the spatial continuity between the common areas of the house and the site seeks to integrate the program between interior and exterior.

The main materials used are exposed reinforced concrete on the upper level and black metal sheet on the side enclosures, the intention of minimizing maintenance of the dwelling was determinant in the choice of materials.


The structure is designed with continuous walls made of common brick, supported on reinforced concrete bases and metal columns on the corner windows. The flat roof was built of exposed reinforced concrete.

In order to minimize the impact of moisture, as it is an area of lush vegetation and little sunlight, we decided to cover the peripheral walls in black metal. The frames are made of natural aluminum combining mobile and fixed panels. The interiors have granite floors and kitchen and bathroom areas are clad in Venetian tiles. We sought material and structural coherence according to local resources and techniques.


The house has no specific clients, it was constructed for the purpose of the real estate market, where the challenge was to propose a more proactive concept as critical to the perverse ways of real estate production that propose housing as an object of profitable consumption.

La Viña Suburban Dwelling / Juan Salassa, Santiago Tissot & Iván Castañeda originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 22 May 2015.

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Kategorien: Architektur

Spotlight: Marcel Breuer

Fri, 22.05.2015 - 16:00

Known as Lajkó to his friends, Marcel Lajos Breuer (22 May 1902 – 1 July 1981) helped define first the interior contents, then the form, of the modernist house for millions; his influential approach to housing was one of the first to demonstrate on a domestic, practical level. Beginning as a furniture designer at the height of Bauhaus, Breuer was hailed as one of the most innovative designers working in the 1930s, before moving to architecture and helping define the modernist vernacular.

Born in Hungary, as a young student at Walter Gropius’ Bauhaus School Breuer acquired as reputation as a prodigy, rapidly ascending the ranks from head of the carpentry school, to architectural teacher, and by 1925 head of the furniture workshop. Breuer almost immediately made a name for himself in this role; designing a line of lightweight and innovative tubular steel chairs that were profoundly different from preceding designs. Despite having trained as an architect, Breuer lived off this design work during the straightened times in 1930s Germany. Following Gropius to Harvard, the two formed a brief architectural partnership. Although Gropius was frustrated with the modest domestic commissions they were attracting and soon left the practice, Breuer used this as a ramp to begin reforming the American house.

Breuer’s focus on furniture during his Bauhaus years translated well into understanding homes, and he brought a similar, semi-structuralist approach to exposing elements used in construction and defining living areas. While Richard Neutra was at the same time working to develop the airy geometry of the modernist West Coast home, Breuer combined his glass with stone and natural materials, anchoring his designs in prosperous post-war East Coast culture. These ideas reached a height with his ”bi-nuclear” archetype of separate night and day wings divided by an entrance hall, all underneath a centrally drained “butterfly” roof.

Post-war America saw a prolific Breuer, working on projects of increasing size and importance with a gradually evolving concrete style after a MOMA feature brought him to prominence once more, including the UNESCO headquarters (1958) the De Bijenkorf Department Store in Rotterdam (1957) the IBM Research Center (1961) and the Whitney Museum of American Art (1966). Awarded the Gold Medal and the 100th Annual Convention by the American Institute of Architects, Breuer’s influence on the way people live rivals any giant of modernism.

Find out more about ’s projects featured on ArchDaily via the thumbnails below:

Spotlight: Marcel Breuer originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 22 May 2015.

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Kategorien: Architektur

MVRDV’s Winy Maas On Architecture Education And His Early Work In Africa

Fri, 22.05.2015 - 15:30

Winy Maas is one of architecture’s most aggressive researchers. Through his office MVRDV and affiliations with universities in Europe and America, Maas produces a seemingly unstoppable stream of insights into the environments in which architects now operate. As an advisor to the educational program of the Strelka Institute in Moscow, the architect is currently contributing to the production of eleven radical visions of the future, based on extrapolating trends that shape contemporary life, in Russia and around the world. Maas recently sat with writer, curator, and Strelka faculty member Brendan McGetrick to discuss his unusual educational trajectory, learning from the conservationist Richard Leakey, facing death in Sudan, and the beauty of architects experimenting with algae.

Brendan McGetrick: Since we’re here at Strelka, I thought it would be interesting to have a conversation about education. We’ve talked on a few occasions about how to structure the studios here and I think I have a sense of your educational approach. What I’d like to understand better is where it comes from. So let’s start of the beginning: what do you consider the origins of your interest in architecture?

Winy Maas: I’m digging into my memories… A couple of events. I remember that, when I was 8-ish or 9-ish, I was doing homework in the house of my parents and the television was on endlessly in the background. It was about this Club of Rome, and they were on television saying that the world would end, that the planet would rot. They were predicting the end of the world – but not in a religious manner, in a scientific manner. Obviously, I was not a scientist and I didn’t have the intelligence to understand everything, but they were convincing enough to leave a deep trace in my memory.

This pushed me to want to do something. I had three possible responses at that moment. First, I could start to work on landscapes. Secondly, I should work on the deep shit, which is called the city, and so become an architect. And third, I could become a lawyer to protect against bad guys doing even worse things. This was the romantic reaction that came out of it, and I guessed intuitively that education is a part of it. You cannot do everything yourself and, through education, I might find a role to work on these problems. Of course, these thoughts were not complete.

About two years later, my parents restarted their careers; they went to different schools. How old were they?… I guess 34-35 or something like that. They both entered the world of landscape. My father became a gardener and my mom became a florist. They started a company. It was super hard work at that moment, of course, because we were living in a village somewhere in the south of the Netherlands. So that was a second push in a way, because both my brother and I were helping them. I wouldn’t say that it was child labor, but we started to participate and, I must be honest, I started to make flower arrangements and to make and design gardens when I was 13 or something like that. The drawings still exist.

BM: It’s interesting that your parents went back to school in their thirties. What was their approach to education?

WM: Well, they came from an environment that was relatively poor and relatively village-like. My mom came from a huge family: 16 kids, it was a bit of a Madame Curie feeling. This was during and immediately after the Second World War and so they were forced to start working immediately. She was a housekeeper, for years. For nice families, in the end. She worked for the De Winter family, the family of Leon De Winter, who is a great writer in the Netherlands. He was born while my mother was working there, and there is still contact with that family. So that gave her a push somehow: fifteen years later, after giving birth to some kids and living in a village again with my dad, she realized that she wanted to do something with her hands and with her mind. And so making these floral arrangements was it.

She always regretted not having the possibility to study in her time. For my dad it was the opposite: he was the one who was able to get a minimal piece of study – again, just after the war – but it was in administration work and he was unsatisfied. He hated it and he wanted to do something with his hands more than with his head. So they found each other, somehow, in that operation. They came from two sides, in the middle of their lives. That’s what we could witness as kids.

For me the reaction was, “Ok, I want to be educated, I want to escape from my village.” The village was like something out of a book by Karl Ove Knausgård, where the majority of the kids started to work when they were 15 and only 4 or 5 percent go on to study. That was the environment. It is completely different these days and different in an urban environment. So I wanted to go away, I wanted to escape and that’s what I did, basically.

BM: Where did you go?

WM: I had the luck or the instinct to go to an elite school, a boarding school. It was an environment a bit like the Dunottar School. It had once been a school where priests were educated, but it was a great school.

It had been a hyper-Catholic, seminary environment, with a Jesuit-like feeling, on a big estate, surrounded by soccer fields, somewhere in the landscape. Then, at a certain moment, all of these Catholic priests started to marry. They were suddenly against these strict religious components. They wanted to open themselves up, and the influence of theologians like [Dietrich] Bonhoeffe was enormous in those days and you could see this whole German influence, which was close-by – Joseph Beuys and all of these thinkers. That was beautiful. It dredged into this environment and created a flood of what were basically young Socialist thinkers in this school. This clash of Socialist and Catholic thinkers was beautiful to witness and was a second observation of what education can mean.

BM: What’s the name of the school?

WM: It’s Beekvliet. There are 3 or 4 of these places. So it was by coincidence that I somehow went there and when I arrived I was like, “My God, what a relief! What a world! What a space!” I use the word space, because we’re talking about architecture and, for me, Strelka is not only a space of architecture, it’s a space of thinking. So that was the case at that moment; it was like a huge universe suddenly opened up.

BM: What was the curriculum?

WM: It was basically classical. Philosophy and rhetoric were important elements that came from old Catholic times. The Socialists, the young 40 percent, maintained these subjects; they didn’t kill them like in other places in the ‘60s and ‘70s, they actually took them further on board. Of course, studying Greek and Latin was connected to that. Funnily, the school also had a great tradition in volleyball. The Dutch are not so bad; we became at a certain moment volleyball world champions and Olympic champions. Some of the people who played on those Dutch teams also came from that school.

BM: You mentioned space: how did the school’s physical qualities influence its education?

WM: There was a culture that allowed every teacher to do what he wanted to do, and there was so much space in these beautiful buildings and in this landscape. The drawing teacher, for example, had a giant hall that he could turn into an space. The teacher for Dutch language was a writer and a philosopher, and he a huge library with three rows of books that we’d dig into. We had a lot of opportunities, maybe because of a mixed budget: there was still a budget coming from the Catholic Church at that moment and there was also a new law about how Dutch public education was funded. They could use this combination to have a huge basis but, secondly, to have certain kinds of investments in this school. That happened in other places in the Netherlands, and in Europe I guess, but it’s of course a fortune to be part of that.

BM: As you were studying there, was this Club of Rome idea still resonating in your mind?

WM: Yes, that continued. There was an analysis of American presidents some years ago. It analyzed the main subjects of their campaigns and found that the subjects were based mainly on what the presidents had witnessed when they were around 16, 18 years old. That was a funny analysis; also with Obama it was clear. There are things that you respond to at that age, and it dictates, maybe not a lifetime but it dictates a lot. I find that a very interesting hypothesis, and so, yes, that Club of Rome thing somehow continued. Of course, the media also continued with it; it evolved.

Then I made another choice. I thought, “I’ll take my time for studying.” So I didn’t go to university. Why? Because if I would have gone to university, once I was done then I would be finished. In the Netherlands, we have a system of diploma schools. It’s four years of education that is oriented toward execution, more than contemplation. So I took a decision to become a landscape architect by studying in this kind of environment, knowing that I would go afterwards to study architecture.

That choice had serious implications, which I discovered years later. First, the school, RHSTL Boskoop, is a place where you learn a lot of stuff. This is not like a university: to be honest, I find universities very poor in providing technical knowledge. They are more about structurization, they are more about the overview, but they rarely give technical knowledge to students. Many architecture schools provide a very bad education on computer systems, for instance, or technology in general. It’s amazing how they let students float.

The world of design in many places is so vague, and what was good about Boskoop is it gave you, for instance, 10,000 plans to study. Beautiful. And I still know them by heart. The technical drawings for all sorts of sewage systems and water systems were given to us. And I loved that. I didn’t want to have an overview yet – to come from above then go down. My decision was, I want to go from down, up.

BM: So your plan was to build up a foundation of technical knowledge at this diploma school and then go to university to add theory?

WM: Yes, it’s a kind of northern European approach to education. I think that it’s quite good that you have a very technical, applicable layer in our society and a thinking component. Of course you have to mix, but this separation is actually not bad because it challenges the two. So that was the choice.

But then two things happened. My father expected that I would come back and take over his business, especially because I was trained so perfectly for that. And I said no. I said I want to study further and I want go abroad. So I went to Denmark and I didn’t come back. He was super angry and we were completely separated for a while. Also financially, so I had to pay for myself at that moment. I came back to the Netherlands and started studying architecture, but I immediately had to find a job beside that.

BM: Where were you working?

WM: With my landscape diploma I could jump into Amsterdam. I found a nice position there for a while, working on Vondelpark and some of the other, bigger problems of Amsterdam. I could work on the problems of whole ecological systems – how to get more fish in the canals and things like that. So I would do some studies and then I would work on a project. Then I would study again – designing a house or something, very classical TU Delft architectural training.

Then there was an earthquake in Nicaragua. It’s sad story, of course, but for me it is a fantastic story, because Amsterdam decided to adopt Managua as a project and to help with food and knowledge and technology. So I was sent because I was one of the fonctionnaire of Amsterdam and I asked to go.

Just after that earthquake, we analyzed the cracks in the earth throughout the city. So I’d go for four months and then go back to school and then another four months and back to school. After this analysis we made a plan, together with lawyers and UNESCO, saying that we should keep some of these tracks free from building activities. I was a landscape architect, so what to do with those liberated zones? I just planted grass and mango trees everywhere. This was really for kilometers.

BM: Why mango trees?

WM: Mango trees, because they were easy to get and they grow fast and they have a good root system that can keep the ground together in case there’s another earthquake. So, as I say, they grow fast and after a year the first mangoes came and they dropped to the ground. People saw that, because around these cracks people had started to rebuild their homes. These people took white sheets from their beds and put them under the trees so that when the mangoes would drop they wouldn’t rot. They land on the sheet, you put them in a van and you take them to the market. It was almost like a mosque – there were all these blankets everywhere with people sitting on them and all these mangoes.

If you think about emotions, which I think is a very important drive for architecture, beside all of the rationale… Like now the Market Hall is constructed in Rotterdam and you see how people are using it, and those mango cracks somehow have the same value and touching element. Anyway, from that moment onward I decided that I wanted to jump around.

BM: So the effect of these mango trees in Managua taught you something about the unintended consequences of design?

WM: Yes. And you start to play with that. I guess that you do it also; you have an instinct and you jump on it, and those decisions mark your life. And you can’t go back afterward. I’m aware that you can make a wrong decision but in this case it was literally fruitful and inspirational.

After that, I came back and went to school again. An architect from India was there doing a course and he pulled me to New Delhi to design the National Theatre with him. Then I went back to the Netherlands to study again, and there was a very nice announcement by UNESCO that they needed someone in Lamu, Kenya - a place that is currently getting attention because of the murders at Garissa University. So I jumped on that. Because you build up a curriculum: for UNESCO my being in Managua, being in Delhi, and having this combination of landscape and architecture was immediately attractive.

There are two types of job at UNESCO: one is the type where people are always sitting at their desks in offices in Geneva or Rome or Nairobi. But the other type is called missions and I could do a mission in Lamu, which is a very beautiful town on the coast. The mission was initially to protect the town but also to guide the investments. So when refugees come in from Somalia, how to place them within the town’s monuments, but also how to design the new Hilton hotel or how to create a tax system that makes the construction and maintenance of a sewage system possible. So that’s what we did.

BM: What kinds of people were you working with?

WM: I was a part of a group of eight people, that was the core team, but then there were probably fifty more who were constructing and renovating things.

BM: And one was an expert on tax systems?

WM: Yes and there was also a lawyer. And don’t forget that Richard Leakey was there at that moment. He would become president later. He had a house in Lamu and he helped us a lot. He started the national park system, so I was taken on board to develop national parks. I made two: one was in the southern part of Kenya where there was a giant ficus tree forest. Huge trees and, because the trees grow over ruins, under that forest we decided to make tunnels and we chopped a path system out of the ficus.

So that was another fortune – to meet Richard Leakey and his family. I remember he took me to his house, because he wanted to build a new house on the Rift Valley. One of my lessons in architecture came then: because Rift Valley is beautiful. You have a cliff of almost 1000 meters and you can see below, like in The Lion King, all of the antelopes running and the wildebeests running.

He had land there, but you can never buy land in Africa, you can only occupy it. This is a specific approach, which is actually quite beautiful, somehow. So he had a loan to occupy the land and build a house. I, of course, was fascinated to make a house on the cliff. I guess I did it later with the Balancing Barn project. But Richard Leakey said, “No, I want the house to be further away, so that I can walk to the cliff. Then, when I’m at the cliff, there is nothing.” I said, Jeez, man, what wisdom! To not spoil the best places of the world…

BM: This was before his plane crash?

WM: Yes. He was attacked afterwards. The opposition was very strong and, as you know, he lost [the use of] his legs. So you see immediately the danger of those kinds of situations. If you want to work on something that touches these Club of Rome issues, well that’s what he was doing with this beautiful national park project and how he approached the poachers of elephants in Kenya and in Tanzania. But this is dangerous work.

So then I needed to come back to the Netherlands again to make my studies. But soon I was pulled by UNESCO to another mission. I eventually could make a sequence of three months studying and three months of adventure.

BM: That alternation is interesting, especially since, by doing these missions, you put yourself in a group of professionals from other fields, working on legal issues, developmental and infrastructural issues, reforming tax systems, and so on. You were probably compressing years of professional experience in each of those trips.

WM: People were saying, “Why are you going to Africa? Are you crazy? You should go to the US.” Because that was the place to be at that moment. But it was one of those instincts. There were too many people going to the US, and the Harvard situation is… No. Let’s not do that. Let’s do the opposite. And that worked well because that world was very small. In Africa you have to do a lot and so you’re even more quickly connected to decision-makers than I could have been in the US.

So I did mission after mission, going back and forth. And, of course, I became ill. Meningitis. I was 27 at the time, and I got it in Sudan. There was a war, so there were no planes. Then I had to escape the country, and military people helped to bring me from north of Khartoum to Egypt. And I think those were the worst ten days in my life.

BM: I have to say that I would love to hear more of that story, but we don’t have that much time, why don’t we…

WM: Sorry for this monologue.

BM: No, it is extremely interesting, but there’s something I want to ask you about, so let’s flash forward a bit. Having now taught in several places – at MIT, Yale, having started the Why Factory [at TU Delft] – how have you channeled the lessons you collected through this unorthodox education into those more formal environments?

WM: Well, one thing I learned from those experiences is a step-by-step method. You take one thing, finish it, and go to the next one. Finish the job. At some point I decided not to do a PhD, because seven years – with all respect for the people who struggle through this – was too long for me. And this decision not to get a PhD now dictates my academic career, as you can understand. But it also helped me start to teach.

When I came back from one of these UNESCO trips, I started to give lectures because people wanted to hear the stories and to get the details of this sort of work. A little later, after I started working at OMA, I began to give studios at Delft. The format of these studios had been developed in the ‘80s by Herman Hertzberger. Herman created what he called an international design seminar system, where he could invite people like Renzo Piano or the Morphosis guys to come together to teach for two weeks and produce something. So I did two of these with Herman and then I initiated some afterward.

The important thing is that this was a workshop format that led to a production. So this combination of “using” students to make something that is therefore stronger and more appealing and visible was basically born there. So then how does it evolve? The studios eventually turned into a theme that I could combine with the work of the office – I was starting MVRDV at that moment – and this eventually led to [the book] Farmax.

The books that have come out since then form a sequence and in that sequence are mini steps. Because I know that in one studio you cannot do everything. I’ve witnessed that students, especially when they are about to graduate, want to put everything in the final project – with despair. The project is unreadable in the end. So I always say, “Just choose one thing.” That’s also a step-by-step method and it’s taken on board in this sequence of books that we’ve produced – from Farmax to KM3 to Space Fighter and so on…

At that certain point the Berlage opened, and I started to participate as a teacher. Those were post-graduate studios and they became quite successful. I’ve always felt that postgraduate studios, like at Strelka, are more important than politicians think. There’s a big discussion in the Netherlands at the moment about whether we should still subsidize postgraduate institutions – because they don’t have a curriculum or a form of accreditation, as such. But to me institutions like Strelka are the think tanks of the planet – and we are unaware of that.

So from these studios at Berlage we made a sequence – about observations on the globe, our extraterrestrial activities, everything about capacity that we could imagine – and KM3 came out of that.

BM: Did you ever consider doing more at Berlage than just leading studios?

WM: Well, at a certain moment, Wiel Arets left and they were searching for a new dean and they asked me to participate. They chose Alejandro Zaera Polo, which was fine for me. They did that because they were worried that I would treat it too much like a dictator who is obsessed by a certain kind of production. Which is true; it’s fair. I would not be a very generous dean, I guess. I’m more like a researcher that wants to do things. So I’m glad that they didn’t choose me.

Then I started and, for a while, there was a bit of a competition between Berlage and , but I said, “Shit, that’s how it happens…”

BM: What did having the Why Factory allow you to do that you couldn’t at Berlage?

WM: I could apply that studio model in a more profound way. I had a staff; I could simultaneously do two or three studios, each leading to a different project. I began to understand how to give birth to new projects and new subjects. The Why Factory could help an effort to establish three or four paths, to test certain directions. Some of them become successful and others fail – and that’s an important part of the research enterprise too. Up to now I’m very happy with that model. It makes me almost addicted to this interpretation of education.

BM: Yes, because it is a very particular interpretation that leads to a particular experience for the students.

WM: I’m aware of that and I have a lot of respect for other types of education. As we’ve talked about before, I’m aware that there are teacher-teachers who take students by the hand. You need that and I am very sympathetic to that approach. There are many kinds of teachers and I’m more of the producer kind.

At the moment, research is very hot in the western world. The coolest people at the moment are those who find a new solution for cancer or who do an in-depth research into anthrax and can then communicate their work beautifully. Due to that, they get budgets for their next profound research – and we’re talking about millions, if not zillions. So somehow there is a hipness to research these days, with the college tour phenomenon, etc.

Architecture hasn’t participated very well in that. Strelka tries: it is one of the sexiest institutes that exist, but it can do more. I can also learn from that. According to the standard of many academics in the architectural world, I am very successful, maybe too successful. But when I look at the kinds of researchers who I mentioned before, who impress me a lot, I’m fascinated.

So that encourages me to take a next step and ask for a serious amount of money. Because now I can work with biochemists, now I work with modelers of artificial intelligence to model systems, now I work with guys who create artificial photosynthesis. Groundbreaking researchers. I find that super sexy and super good.

BM: I think for architecture it’s extremely important to be more actively connected to work like that, work that has more momentum and cultural power behind it. That’s perhaps the key to architects reclaiming some of the visionary qualities that they once possessed and which have since more or less moved to Silicon Valley.

WM: It’s happening here and there. You see it in some of the sustainability research that people are doing. For instance, algae research: I find it beautiful if some lunatics are starting to do that. I’m not interested at all at the moment in studios that are designing a house with a roof. You could also say that I’ve lost a certain part of reality, but that’s fine.

MVRDV's Winy Maas On Architecture Education And His Early Work In Africa originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 22 May 2015.

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Kategorien: Architektur

Cultural Centre in Montbui / Pere Puig arquitecte

Fri, 22.05.2015 - 15:00

Architects: Pere Puig arquitecte
Location: Travessia Sant Pere, 20, 08710 , Barcelona, Spain
Year: 2015
Photographs: Courtesy of Pere Puig arquitecte, Rafael Tirado, Òscar Ferrer

Developer: Diputació de Barcelona
Building Company: INBISA, SOGESA
Surveyor: Manel Marín
Collaborating Architects: Rafael Bosch, Daniel Policani, Núria Sabaté, Marta Closa, Maria Garcia Codina
Acoustic: Ivana Rossell
Systems: Raül Cristóbal ( IMOGEP )
Structure: Agustí Obiol ( BAC Engineering Consultancy Group )
Project Managers: Ània Pluma, Àngel Balaguer

From the architect. Santa Margarida de Montbui was a small municipality that the great immigration wave of the nineteen fifties and sixties turned into a dormitory town on the industrial outskirts of Barcelona.

In recent decades it has gradually acquired the basic services that it severely lacked: urbanisation of streets, health care facilities, schools, etc. Still missing though is a cultural centre capable of housing a library, conference room, auditorium and classrooms. In some way, this building represents the end of a trajectory from slum to city.

In 2008, the stipulations for the tender described an “emblematic building” capable of demonstrating that this was the meeting place for the townspeople, while in turn strengthening the self-esteem of a community that needed it.

Morphologically speaking, the surrounding area is disordered, and the architecture is generally poor. This led us to conclude that a construction of special quality was required here.

In terms of its position, the building forms the end of the elongated park that runs through the urban area.

Its northern facade is conceived as a large glass portico that opens generously onto the park and onto good views over this region of central Catalonia.  On the sides facing east, south and west the facades are more closed, with lattices for sun protection in all the windows.

Entry is through a large porch that leads to a double-height lobby from which all the major departments can be accessed.

The library is located longitudinally along the large window that receives constant natural light from the north.

In the interior light colours have preferably been used, while the conference and projection room has maple panelling. The multi-purpose room/auditorium has retractable stands and has been treated as a large dark room in order to ensure good visibility for film screenings.

The facade is ventilated with Omega-Z brand white bi-prestressed concrete panels.  The panels’ finish is textured, with letters of different alphabets arranged in bas relief.

Cultural Centre in Montbui / Pere Puig arquitecte originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 22 May 2015.

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Kategorien: Architektur

NCARB Discards “Intern” Title

Fri, 22.05.2015 - 14:00

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), the governing body for much of the architectural profession in the US, is taking steps to take “intern” out of architectural vocabulary. In a press statement, NCARB president Dale McKinney, FAIA, NCARB, said that in the future, NCARB will only encourage regulatory language for post-licensure individuals

“Architects are those who have met all the requirements to become licensed in states and jurisdictions throughout the ,” McKinney said. “Everyone else is not an architect. But their status also doesn’t need a regulatory title such as ‘intern’ or any similar reference. This has become a term that has been perceived as negative by many in the architecture community and a term that really does not fully value the work that aspiring architects bring to the profession.”

In 2014, McKinney formed the Future Title Task Force to begin a discussion on the importance of titles and guidelines for assigning them as the architecture profession expands to encompass new roles.  This group, made up of architects and interns alike, examined a wide variety of information including the implications of the term, and the potential ramifications of regulating titles for non-licensed individuals.

Based on recommendations from the Future Title Task Force, NCARB has decided to recommend that non-licensed architecture practitioners find descriptive titles that reflect the roles they fill in their jobs. “The new term? There isn’t one. Just don’t use ‘intern,’” states NCARB in a press release. The plan’s impacts on licensure requirements are still unclear, but NCARB acknowledges that the change in title would likely require a change to the name of the Intern Development Program.

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NCARB Discards “Intern” Title originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 22 May 2015.

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From “Silk Road” to “Gas Road”: Students to Document the Turkmenistan-China Gas Pipeline

Fri, 22.05.2015 - 12:00

Three Harvard students have launched a Kickstarter Project to fund a short film and digital exhibition on the Turkmenistan-China gas pipeline, which runs along the historic Silk Road. “From ‘Silk Road’ to ‘Gas Road’” will explore the “cultural, ecological and urban implications” of the 21st century intervention, following the summertime journey of Lu Xiaoxuan, Benny Shaffer, and Justin D. Stern along the pipeline. The project is being carried out through Harvard’s Fairbank Center for Chinese studies, and the trio intends to finish filming and photographing for the project this summer.

Learn more about the project and how to support it after the break.

Conceived in 2003 and operational since June 2014, the pipeline supplies nearly one quarter of China’s natural gas energy, and is more than 1,800km in length. The documentary will examine the practical implications of the landmark piece of energy infrastructure on the landscape of Central Asia, presenting both the subtle and dramatic changes to everyday life that it brings.

In addition to the short film, the group hopes to produce an online exhibition, the beta version of which can be found here. Using the Omeka-Neatline web platform, the trio will document their observations, drawings, and interviews in real-time over the course of the journey, constructing both an exhibition and a platform for broader conversation about the topic between academia, the art world, and the general public.

The project hopes to raise $7,800, and will be accepting pledges until Monday, June 8, 2015 at 8 AM EST. Learn more and help fund the project here.

From “Silk Road” to “Gas Road”: Students to Document the Turkmenistan-China Gas Pipeline originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 22 May 2015.

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House of Four Houses / PROD architecture & design

Fri, 22.05.2015 - 11:00

Architects: PROD architecture & design
Location: , Portugal
Architect In Charge: Paulo Carvalho, Susana Correia
Design Team: Paulo Carvalho, Susana Correia, Fernando Paiva and Paulo Borlido
Area: 501.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Joao Morgado

Engineering: SprenPlan
Design Period: 2009-2010

From the architect. This holiday house for a family of four is located in the north of Portugal. It’s shape is defined by the same number of individual volumes. They have similar dimensions but distinct orientations. Three of the volumes are orthogonally organized around a core, whilst a fourth rotates to match the direction of an existing neighbouring building. The proximity between the two constructions led to a desired dialogue. The modest dimensions of the existing building determined the scale of the house while the vernacular identity influenced its layout. Each volume has a two slope roof. Besides emphasizing its individuality it enabled to increase the plasticity of the composition.

The volumes are separated but disposed at a critical distance. It creates an interstitial space covered by a flat transparent roof and full size windows. It is a special space with a hybrid character. The considerable dematerialization of its limits leads to be felt as both internal and external. This solution meets the clients requirement to design a house with strong links with the surroundings. When moving from one room to another it allows to confortably “walk through the leaves”.

The house is organized in three floors. On the basement there is a garage, wine storage and laundry room. On the main floor the bedrooms are located on the east side, while the kitchen, dining room and living room are placed on the west, close to a terrace with privileged view to a valey. Over the living room there is a mezzanine with a small office.

The global coherence of the house highly depended on the material choice. The combination of local granite for the embasement, patinated pine boards on the walls and zinc on the roof granted a rich silver homogenity combining different tones and textures.

House of Four Houses / PROD architecture & design originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 22 May 2015.

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Hall McKnight To Open A Temporary Pavilion In London’s King’s Cross

Fri, 22.05.2015 - 10:15

Belfast-based Hall McKnight are set to open a pop-up pavilion in London’s King’s Cross as part of the . Located in Cubitt Square, the project forms part of the New Horizon’s initiative, supported by the Irish Architecture Foundation and ID15 (the year of Irish Design 2015). The structure, built from a collection of cut boards, “explores how the phenomenon of the city is assembled from individual pieces.” The interior spaces will feature an installation of bricks reclaimed from a street of row houses in Belfast.

Another larger structure, designed by TAKA, Steve Larkin Architects and Clancy Moore Architects which “explores architecture’s role as a background to the activities it contains and bounds,” will also be sited in Cubitt Square.

Hall McKnight To Open A Temporary Pavilion In London's King's Cross originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 22 May 2015.

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Fraunhofer Research Campus Waischenfeld / Barkow Leibinger

Fri, 22.05.2015 - 09:00

Architects: Barkow Leibinger
Location: , Germany
Architects In Charge: Frank Barkow, Regine Leibinger
Area: 3813.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Stefan Müller

Design Team: Martina Bauer, Michael Bölling, Didier Callot, Clemens Klein, Ina Reinecke, Tanja Salomäki, Ulrich von Türckheim, Jens Wessel (Modell)
Project Architect: Heiko Krech
Construction Team: Nina Cattaneo, Christian Coburger, Sonia Sandberger, Erika Tillberg, Ulrich von Türckheim, Daniela Voss, Annette Wagner
Construction Management : Höhler+Partner Architekten und Ingenieure, Aachen
Structural Engineer: Suess – Staller – Schmitt Ingenieure GmbH, Gräfelfing
Hvac: Ingenieurbüro Karl Müller GmbH, Bayreuth
Electrical Engineer : Haustechnik Projekt GmbH, Nürnberg
Building Physics: Ingenieurbüro für Bauphysik Horstmann + Berger, Altensteig
Fire Protection : HHP West Beratende Ingenieure GmbH, Bielefeld / Peter Stanek, Berlin
Façade Consultant: Kucharzak Fassaden Engineering, Berlin
Landscape Architect : Lösch Landschaftsarchitektur, Amberg

From the architect. The Research Campus Waischenfeld is a retreat/ think-tank for the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS in the medieval village of Waischenfeld in northern Bavaria. In a concentrated and idyllic setting researchers are provided with laboratories, guestrooms, conference rooms, offices, a central event space/ cafeteria and outdoor terraces for research and development of microelectronics, information technologies, and telecommunications.

The village is characterized by a dense concentration of indigenous masonry and post and beam timber houses (fachwerk) distributed up and along the picturesque Wiesent river valley. Adjacent to the village and main road, the site is located on a gently sloped meadow bordered to the east by a forest.

In order to integrate the research campus into the regional scale of the village the program is distributed into four 2 to 3 story pavilions with asymmetrically gabled roofs. The building volumes are offset from each other in a non-parallel fashion mimicking the organic quality of the village planning while enhancing views, orientations, and generating a spatial dynamic between them including a generous stepped/ terraced entrance.

This is a scaling strategy while allowing two future growth modules (pavilions) to be added to the south. The pavilions are connected centrally by a flat-roofed timber truss-work, which encloses the central event space punctuated by triangular skylights while providing an all-weather connection. The roof of this structure provides additional outdoor terraces to further enhance communication and discourse between researchers.

Stepping up the meadow slope the ensemble is further embedded into the village-scape while remaining legible as a place of learning, research, and exchange. Programmatically the lower levels house active uses such as laboratories, offices, and conference rooms while the upper levels house guestrooms.

This programmatic idea is paralleled by a hybrid construction of concrete for the lower levels to improve acoustical separation and energy use (heating and cooling) and wood/ timber construction for the upper levels and roofs, a material that extends as a cladding material (larch board and batten) covering the four pavilions. This technological strategy earns the project a “passive energy” rating.

The wood skin is complimented by a sandblasted concrete base course where it occasionally appears. A series of operable windows punch through the pavilion volumes, overscaled in relation to the programs, while simultaneously recalling the historical window types of the village. The roof and flashing is of standing seam copper – another material, like the wood cladding, which will weather gaining a patina over time.

Fraunhofer Research Campus Waischenfeld / Barkow Leibinger originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 22 May 2015.

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Country House / E2A

Fri, 22.05.2015 - 08:00

Architects: E2A
Location: , Switzerland
Year: 2007
Photographs: Dominique Marc Wehrli, Francesca Giovanelli

Design Team: Wim Eckert, Piet Eckert with Samuel Benz, Stefan Bernoulli
General Contractor: HRS Hauser Rutishauser Suter AG, Zurich
Construction Management: Ruoss & Witzig, Zurich
Structural Engineer: STB Schnyder + Tobler Bauingenieure GmbH, Zurich
Landscape Architect: Müller Illien Landschaftsarchitekten GmbH, Zurich
Façade Engineering: GKP Fassadentechnik AG, Aadorf
Building Physics: Leuthardt + Mäder, Brüttisellen

From the architect. A house with two components of spaces; chambers and voids. The chambers fulfill precisely identified purposes, the voids can anticipate to all the rest yet to come: the chambers are conceived for individual family members, the void to meet and be together.

The house is a free standing volume on a long subtle slope, slightly rotated in plan. Its inclined roof, approx. parallel to the ground, puts the building in relation to the existing types of country houses. The fades underline the volumetric appearance of the void, acting as eyes and observing the beauty of the landscape.

The entry hall, the garden access, the dining area, and the family den form the key activities within the void. A sculptural staircase and a double height space mark the center and receive natural light through a large skylight.

Since the chambers maintain their diverse and personal atmosphere, the voids are kept homogeneously with continuous materials.

Country House / E2A originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 22 May 2015.

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House in Tsudanuma / fuse-atelier

Fri, 22.05.2015 - 04:00

Architects: fuse-atelier
Location: , Chiba Prefecture, Japan
Architect In Charge: Shigeru Fuse
Design Team: fuse-atelier, Musashino Art University?fuse-studio
Area: 63.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Shigeru Fuse

Structure: Reinforced Concrete
Structural Engineers: Ysutaka Konishi
Main Contractor: Three F

From the architect. The house is for a married couple in their forties, located in the city of Narashino. It is situated on the edge of a residential neighborhood and a commercial district that stretches form the station, with large-scale stores nearby. The house faces an eight meter wide street classified as an urban roadway, with busy traffic due to its proximity to the train station. The client wished for a concrete house, where all spaces are stringed together in sequence, while also maintaining the privacy and freedom of a spacious living space.

Since four meters of the adjacent road is specified as part of urban zoning, we built the structure in the back part of the site. The resulting open space in the front of the structure functions as a buffer between the street and the house. Concerned with the privacy and noise from the outside, we incorporated an outdoors space into the structure. Upper parts of the building structure had to be set back due to various legal limitations. As a result, the exterior of the structure was tapered from the second to third floors.

The various spaces of this house are interconnected by producing as many lines of sight and flow as possible.

The vertically inserted outdoors space with a passage that leads from the second floor terrace to the rooftop effectively breaks up the interior space. Combined with the flow planning of the interior, this also amplifies the building’s overall ease of navigation.

In addition to the flow planning on the exterior and interior, we layered a network of sight lines to inspire diverse spatial relationships. An accumulation of associated parts create gaps both horizontally and vertically, leading the eye through surprising escapes that result in a complex layer of various sequences. By fully embracing the minimalist details of concrete, glass, metal and rock, the space is intensified with distinct sharpness, where the skeletons of the spatial structure becomes visibly apparent. The house becomes a dynamically linked, three-dimensional chain of spaces that inspires various scenarios and distances.

Click here to view the embedded video.

House in Tsudanuma / fuse-atelier originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 21 May 2015.

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Ballarat Community Health Primary Care Centre / DesignInc

Fri, 22.05.2015 - 02:00

Architects: DesignInc
Location: VIC, Australia
Design Team: Michelle Harris, Heidi Lee
Project Director: Stephen Webb
Project Leader (Associate): Jane Sayers
Architect (Associate): Ian Khoo
Senior Technician: Emer Denneny
Interior Designer: DesignInc
Builder: Nicholson Constructions
Area: 2850.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Dianna Snape

Associate: David Cox
Landscape Consultant: Outlines Landscape Architecture
Structural Consultant, Civil Consultant: Bonacci Group
Building Surveyor: Gardner Group
Acoustic Consultant: Marshall Day
Electrical Consultant, Hydraulic Consultant, Mechanical Consultant, Vertical Transportation Consultant: Lehr Consultants International

From the architect. Funded jointly with the Commonwealth Government of Australia, through the Health and Hospitals Fund, the Ballarat Community Health Primary Care Centre creates a new approach to delivering quality and affordable healthcare to the broader Ballarat and district community.

The conceptual design approach was to provide a healthy, stimulating environment based on a whole-of-life philosophy inspired by the benefits of contact with nature and community. Both passive and active strategies have been integrated to engage on a mental and physical level with the underlying message of health promotion and sustainable design.

The fundamental organising idea for the site and building aimed to maximise the potential for the building to engage with the community. A central double-height atrium spine runs through the centre of the building, becoming a continuous experience of air, light and landscape. This landscaped spine provides a clear way through the building and defines a series of spaces for passive and active use.

A dramatic performance stair rises up at the end of the spine and supports a program of diverse and rich community events. The ability to open up adjacent multipurpose spaces allows the spine to expand or contract as required.

Externally a silhouette of roof-meeting-landscape was designed to integrate place and community, echoing both contextual and regional forms and providing a unique identity for Ballarat Community Health. Local materials including brick, recycled timber, metal deck cladding and polycarbonate are integrated in a contemporary way. Internal spaces include opportunities for interactive displays, visual connection into activity-based spaces and elements that encourage physical engagement.

A spectrum of users from different generational and cultural backgrounds access the services provided, so it was important the building be welcoming and engaging. Nature was recognised as the common link between these diverse groups. Internal gardens, an enfolding timber pergola, paving and streetlights have been integrated throughout. Recycled timber and brick has been incorporated for its warmth and texture, to contrast with the clinical feel normally associated with healthcare facilities.

A highly collaborative, open client and project team was fundamental in achieving the quality of internal amenity. The design team challenged the initial briefed spaces and areas, resulting in a generous atrium and garden voids that have become the primary identity for the project. This was achieved within the original project budget. The centre is home to a full suite of services including general practice, sexual health, podiatry clinics, multifunctional consultation rooms accommodating a range of health and wellbeing services, as well as a gymnasium, conference and meeting rooms, an independent café, and office facilities for over 100 staff.

Sustainable Design Approach

The sustainable design approach for the project was one that places people at the centre of the design. It is a design based on whole-of-life health – inspired by the benefits of contact with nature. Passive and active strategies have been integrated to engage both on a mental and physical level with the underlying social message of health promotion and sustainable design.

The building has been designed to blur the boundaries between indoors and outdoors. Internal gardens have been provided to maximise contact with nature and the environmental benefits that it brings. A highly efficient and compact rectangular plan houses the two main levels. Standard building construction techniques of stud frames and timber roof trusses, brickwork and high levels of insulation combine to ensure an affordable approach to creating people focussed architecture.

The project includes the following initiatives:

Optimised Indoor Environment Quality – High daylight penetration; operable windows for natural ventilation and night purging; and a highly landscaped interior.

Energy efficiency – high efficiency lighting; sensor lighting to utility zones; high efficiency double glazing; and louvre windows controlled through a roof mounted weather station to purge warm/cold air and integrated through the heating and cooling system to isolate areas when windows are open.

Water efficiency – rainwater harvesting, 80,000 litre water storage tanks and re-use for toilet flushing and irrigation. Sustainable transport solutions – cycling facilities for staff and building users including secure bike parking, and showers and lockers. Renewable Energy Technologies – solar hot water heating; and a 25kw photovoltaic solar energy system.

Waste Recycling – on site building waste recycling; informative building waste recycling station within public zone; and an on site organic matter composting system. Sustainable Materials – no or low VOC materials (carpets, paints and adhesives) specified; use of local materials, recyclable materials and materials containing recycled content.

Ballarat Community Health Primary Care Centre / DesignInc originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 21 May 2015.

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HOUSE #01 | Boundary House / Niji Architects

Fri, 22.05.2015 - 01:00

Architects: Niji Architects
Location: , Japan
Area: 52.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Masafumi Harada

Principal Designer: Masafumi Harada, Maiko Taniguchi
Construction: Nichinan Iron Construction Co.,Ltd

From the architect. LGS(light gauged section) lip channel is light in weight, easily transported and processed.  Using its distinct quality, this house is built and fabricated with lip channels almost like a wooden construction.  In the factory, channels are cut, holes are made, joint hardware is built for each connection, and the strategy to save constructing space at the site was planned.  Once the foundation is completed, delivered from the factory, the prefabricated channels and joint hardware were put together with bolts and nuts exclusively.

The steel frame was assembled quickly due to the light weight of the LGS lip channel enabling one builder to carry it.  Due to the load of the house being light, the foundation didn’t require any pile and the simplified foundation construction contributed to reducing the cost.  The floor, wall and roof consist of panels with enough strength and rigidity to allow fastening directly to the frame without the need for backing, greatly reducing cost and time of construction.  The steel frame was left exposed and the details were designed to be seen.  Finally an eave and a balcony were provided according to the client’s need as an option and they were fastened directly to the structure with bolts and nails. These options made the house unique and its style expresses the client’s personality and flair as a result.

As a residential project, both the residential environment and the expression of building and design methods were given careful consideration.  The flag shaped site is surrounded by other buildings.  With parking lots in both front and back, the nature of any future built projects near the site is unknown.  With that condition in mind, the house is built to protect privacy under all circumstances, and acts as a border between the surrounds and indoor living environment.  Windows wrapping the house above and below were carefully balanced in order to create a comfortable, rhythmical living area while maintaining abundant light and a tranquil, private bedroom.  The project began as a request from an experienced steel fabricator wishing to commence a new housing projects, and this LGS HOUSE can be considered as a first prototype in that series.

HOUSE #01 | Boundary House / Niji Architects originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 21 May 2015.

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Hydronaut / Studiobird + Mark Richardson

Thu, 21.05.2015 - 23:00

Architects: Studiobird, Mark Richardson
Location: VIC, Australia
Collaborators: Matthew Bird, Mark Richardson
Area: 50.0 sqm
Year: 2015
Photographs: Peter Bennetts

From the architect. Hydronaut is a semi-permanent, demountable structure housing an armament of security staff at the northwest edge of Monash University’s Caulfield campus. Occupying just five parking bays on the ground floor of an existing multi-deck car park, its sight lines include a local shopping plaza, Caulfield train station and Monash University’s Campus Green, each window portal taking in a different aspect of the surrounding panorama. The new building provides a panopticonic point-of-presence in a location known for its security challenges.

Marked by prominent portals, the façade’s mirrored circular windows accentuate a camera monocle motif. Inside, black-rimmed peephole portholes punctuate walls lined with reject perforated-ply acoustic ceiling panels. Separate interior spaces are visually connected by bespoke joinery that float and truncate towards an armour-screened control counter at the bow.

A core aim of the project was to integrate product/infrastructure longevity strategies into work practices; however, rather than designing discrete long-life objects, the notion of longevity was considered from a multi-lifecycle perspective – where waste from one lifecycle generates raw material for another, and so on. The aim being to reduce material consumption while maintaining flexibly designed artefacts and spatial environments.

To this end, and true to the project imperatives, the building’s nine tensegrity exterior modules are reminiscent of lightweight, tent-like structures. They were constructed reusing a disparate range of domestic, commercial, industrial and construction waste – the adhoc nature of which required novel construction methods and material combinations. Each module was hand crafted from waste PVC truck side curtains stretched over tensioning frames made from unwanted exercise trampolines, discarded steel storage racks and reused stud framing. These assemblies were designed upfront for disassembly and further reuse.

Working with a tight budget and short design-construction program Hydronaut occupies a small floor area of fifty square meters housing two offices, lunchroom/ kitchenette and an open plan monitoring space/ counter apex. Conceptually the project draws reference from social theories of Jeremy Bentham’s late eighteenth century panopticon penitentiary; the privileged watchman conceivably surveying all with wood-be hoodlums questioning who is watching. The voyeur’s peephole, marine binoculars, the telescopic camera lens, Checkpoint Charlie, submersible vehicles were further concepts explored.

Supported by an enthusiastic design-research focused client this collaboration between designer/maker Mark Richardson and Studiobird explores positive interconnections and tolerances between exacting Industrial Design and round the millimetre Architecture by exploiting the artisanal qualities of both practices. The collaborators share principles of experimental materials and processes, design-by-making and an artisanal approach to using adhoc materials. Given the project was undertaken in an academic environment, knowledge transfer was also a key concern; four students assisted in the research throughout the construction phase. Hydronaut surfaces as an investigation into interdisciplinary practice with a vigilant and playful built result.

A core aim of the project was to integrate product/infrastructure longevity strategies into work practices; however, rather than designing discrete long-life objects, the notion of longevity was considered from a multi-lifecycle perspective where waste from one lifecycle generates raw material for another, and so on. The successful outcome of Hydronaut was being able to reduce material consumption while maintaining a flexibly to design thoughtful artefacts and spatial environments.

This value proposition was important, as it not only ensures the responsible use of finite resources, it reduces waste to landfill, minimises carbon emissions, value-adds products and infrastructure and increases material efficiency in manufacturing and construction. Ultimately this practice shifts the cost emphasis from a materials to human labour (that is, reduced investment in new materials and increased investment in human labour to refurbish existing materials), can deliver projects with a genuine edge over those made within traditional cradle-to-grave material flows.

Throughout all phases of the project the designers scavenged materials from various sources including offcut or rejected materials from other Monash University construction sites, local waste transfer centres and nature strips of suburban Caulfield. Roughly seventy precent of the final project incorporates up-cycled materials that were physically refabricated by the designers and team.

Hydronaut / Studiobird + Mark Richardson originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 21 May 2015.

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Open Call: US Launches Competition for National World War I Memorial

Thu, 21.05.2015 - 22:00

The US World War I Centennial Commission has launched a design competition for the National World War I Memorial in Washington DC. The competition will be a two-stage design competition, and is open internationally to any professionals, university-level students, and all other interested participants. “The objective is to transform Pershing Park from a park that happens to contain a memorial to a site that is primarily a national World War I memorial, within a revitalized urban park setting with a distinct sense of place that complements the memorial purpose while attracting visitors, workers, and residents of the District of Columbia,” says the Commission.

The deadline for Stage I submissions is July 21, 2015, and Stage II finalists will be announced August 4, 2015. The Commission expects to announce its selected design in January 2016. Learn more about the competition, here.

Open Call: US Launches Competition for National World War I Memorial originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 21 May 2015.

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PSD Bank Office Building / Bayer & Strobel Architekten

Thu, 21.05.2015 - 21:00

Architects: Bayer & Strobel Architekten
Location: Bahnhofstraße 68, 66125 Saarbrücken, Germany
Architects In Charge: Gunther Bayer, Peter Strobel
Area: 1610.0 sqm
Year: 2015
Photographs: Peter Strobel

Structural Engineer: Lederer Ingenieure
Building Services Engineering: IPTG EGGERICHS Sankt Wendel
Energy Strategy: Müller-BBM GmbH
Illumination: Henn-PlanungsWerkstatt
Art: Volker W. Hamann, Stuttgart

From the architect. PSD Bank RheinNeckarSaar eG has built a novel Banking and Administration facility at a central position (Bahnhofstraße/ corner Sulzbachstraße) in Saarbrücken. Within the scope of a design competition , that 12 renowned architectural firms were invited to enter, have been evaluated by an independent jury of experts. The winning architecture office was Bayer & Strobel Architekten from Kaiserslautern.

The requirements were highly complex, as on the one hand the building needed to meet certain urbanistic criteria as a corner building and on the other hand the demands in terms of functionality of a contemporary Banking and Administration facility had to be realized in a cost-effective fashion. Moreover, the facility should represent the self-image of the bank in public while creating a striking impression in the center of Saarbrücken.


A building consisting of only two storey constructed in the post war period gave way to the new construction. As regards urban development the eaves height of the neighbouring building was carried over around the corner. Similarly, the colonnade as a central element of design of the Bahnhofsstraße was adopted, hence the main entrance is located there.

The indented pillar builds a smart transition to the Sulzbachstraße. 105 bored piles were needed in order to ground the new construction respectively to secure the neighbouring buildings as well as numerous pipes that proceed along the colonnades of the Bahnhofsstraße. In addition, the canalization construction of the subterranean transferred Sulzbach adjoins the PSD-Bank property that needed to be addressed.


The uniform facades are reduced to a structured grid of natural stone, filled with evenly spaced rows of windows with grey surrounds which represents the constructive pattern outwards. All two facades are punctuated by an regular grid of openings that occupy the full height of each storey.

The therefore utilized material (Gauinger Travertin) stem from the catchment area of the bank and build a lively contrast to the smooth facade-aligned fixed glazing. These alternate within a single window element with opening wings and inclined adjusted fixed glazing. Hence the facade receives depth and plasticity which is also clearly noticeable in the interior, especially in the offices. Thus the visitor can enter the window and the inclined glazing enables an unusual outlook.

The large glazing serves the optimal use of daylight and guarantees generous in/-outside views. The application of steel-made window profiles allows narrow elevation widths. The summery heat protection is ensured by triple solar control glazing combined with an internally located sun protection having a high degree of reflection immediately behind.


A central element of the interior consists of a spatially stretched foyer which covers a height of four floor. The adjoining corridors and galleries not only represent means of accessibility but rather places of encounter and communication. Diverse usage for the sake of events and activity are conceivable and receive an suitable limits. Alternating exhibitions transform the atrium to an art gallery. Currently, the atrium benefits from the installation of a video artist named Volker W. Hamann from Stuttgart. The reception furniture possess a mobile design in order to ensure highest flexibility within this area. The offices for customer consulting can be accessed directly from the foyer which create a bright and open atmosphere in the interior of the building – by means of corridor walls made of glass. The actual waiting

PSD Bank RheinNeckarSaar eG / New Office Building Saarbrücken/Germany area for customers are located in the second floor above the colonnade. From the exterior the foyer appeals as a (walkable) two-storied city-balcony in the facade. The open atmosphere in the interior is supported by the choice of material (bright walls, Jura limestone-stone floor), however contrasted by a few dark fittings as rear wall or stairways in significant black stained black furnier (oak noir). The 24 hours area with cash machine can be detached by a glass lifting wall (retractable in ground). The 5th and 6th storeys are pure office storeys, a conference room is located in the staggered floor with access to the roof-terrace and an impressive view of the city center of Saarbrücken.

In total the building reflects the self-image of the bank which on the one hand is coined by openness and transparency and on the other hand by solidity and bindingness.

PSD Bank Office Building / Bayer & Strobel Architekten originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 21 May 2015.

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5 Projects Honored with ECOLA Award for Use of Plaster

Thu, 21.05.2015 - 20:28

The has announced the winners of the 2015 . The biennial prize, now in its eighth year, honors projects for their use of plaster. This year, two projects won first prize, including Portuguese architect Álvaro Fernandes Andrade for his Pocinho Center for High Performance Rowing in Vila Nova de Foz Côa, and three projects received honorable mention. Each project was selected from 149 shortlisted projects by a five-person jury, chaired by Peter Cook.

View all five winning projects, after the break. 

First Prize for New Buildings: Pocinho Center for High Performance Rowing; Vila Nova de Foz Côa, Portugal / Álvaro Fernandes Andrade | spacialAR-TE

First Prize for Refurbishment/Renovation/Conversion: Umbau Steinhaus im Dorfkern von Scaiano; Scaiano, Switzerland / Wespi de Meuron Romeo Architekten

Special Mention for Refurbishment/Renovation/Conversion: OostCampus; Oostkamp, Belgium / Carlos Arroyo Architects

Special Mention for New Buildings: Housing at the old city wall; Berlin, Germany / Atelier Zafari

Special Mention for New Buildings: 86 Apartments; Lyon, Frankreich / Eric Lapierre Architecture

For more on each project and the award, visit the ECOLA website.

5 Projects Honored with ECOLA Award for Use of Plaster originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 21 May 2015.

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Kategorien: Architektur

White Stone Studios / Benjamin Hall Design

Thu, 21.05.2015 - 19:00

Architects: Benjamin Hall Design
Location: , AZ, USA
Design Team: Benjamin Hall, Matt O’Bright
Unit Area: 450 ft2
Area: 3000.0 ft2
Year: 2015
Photographs: Matt Winquist

General Contractor: 180 degrees inc
Contractor: Benjamin Hall design + build
Structural Engineering: Struktur Studio
Plumbing/Mechanical Engineering: Otterbein Engineering

From the architect. Architecturally trained and with a tooth-and-nail approach to construction, master builder Benjamin Hall converted an empty lot into an elegant urban infill project in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. Offering six studio apartments, White Stone Studios is the epitome of micro-dwelling made easy. Located in downtown Phoenix, in a neighborhood that locals call the Triangle, White Stone Studios furnishes a modern, clean aesthetic amidst what is likely to become the city’s new urban hub. 

These 450-square-foot rentals are flanked with additional 200 square feet of private interior and exterior greenspaces. The atriums and patios are carved out of the solid exterior shell to provide an abundance of natural light, while maintaining a private and protective mass. The walls are built of polished double-sided white concrete masonry units that double as both the interior and exterior finish and are foam-filled for maximum insulation value. The roof also makes use of foam insulation, rendering the building super insulated. The residential complex is optimally positioned for natural daylight while still mitigating direct solar exposure.

These two approaches help reduce heating and cooling costs in the Sonoran desert climate. Custom oversized white oak doors welcome renters to their units, while aging raw steel awnings protect residents from the elements. Hall designed and fabricated all steel components – some of which were built years prior to breaking ground, like this custom door jam, deadbolt and mail-slot piece. The rough wood fencing that wraps the perimeter of the complex is constructed of pallet wood that Hall reclaimed from existing job sites around Phoenix.

The architecture was designed with affordable commodity items in mind, including Ikea cabinetry, Ace Hardware gas pipes and Home Depot appliances. Laundry, storage and entertainment were integrated into a monolithic pod that can be screened by the translucent curtains to create layers of privacy and separation.

Perceptually, the cozy bathroom increases in dimension due to the full-height window that looks into the private atrium, ideal for a long soak in the bath tub. Hall customized countertops from Ikea into luxury barn door sliders. In addition, he recessing mirrored Ikea medicine cabinets into the block to create a full-height mirrored panel. Parking is accommodated from the alley to ease street congestion. Additionally, the community’s common spaces are secured by fencing and custom steel gates.

White Stone Studios / Benjamin Hall Design originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 21 May 2015.

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Kategorien: Architektur

Assemble to Construct a Brutalist Playground at RIBA

Thu, 21.05.2015 - 18:30

Starting June 10, the RIBA will present The Brutalist  - an exhibition that is part sculpture, part architectural installation, which invites people of all ages to come and play, the Brutalist way. Occupying the entire Architecture Gallery, the immersive landscape is a new commission by Turner Prize nominated design and architecture collective Assemble and artist Simon Terrill. It explores the abstract concrete playgrounds that were designed as part of Brutalist housing estates in the mid-twentieth century, but which no longer exist. They became playgrounds unsuitable for play.

The exhibition draws on features from a number of London estates including Churchill Gardens, Pimlico; the Brunel Estate, Paddington and the Brownfield Estate in Poplar. The playgrounds were often made from concrete, cast into sculptural forms, which presented a distinct move away from previous playground design. They were envisaged as a key aspect of the estate layout and design and as such reflect the preoccupations and social theories of society at that time.

Assemble and Simon Terrill have drawn inspiration from photographs and visual material in the RIBA’s collections, documenting the playgrounds when they were newly built and in use.  The exhibition installation will recreate visual elements from the playgrounds in reconstituted foam, creating an interactive, contemporary space where the viewer becomes participant and in this way completes the work.  Archive images of the original playgrounds will be projected on the walls.

“The challenge of reconstructing elements of now forgotten Brutalist play structures within the gallery is an exciting opportunity for us to explore contemporary issues surrounding play, by looking at the often surreal objects from the past,” says Assemble on the creation of the installation. “Working closely with the collections and the artist Simon Terrill, the interpretation of these spaces has allowed us to ask questions around materiality and the nature of risk in play, while also giving greater visibility to the incredible original images of the playgrounds that can be found in the collections.”

The Brutalist Playground will be accompanied by a public program of talks, debates and film screenings as well as workshops and events for families. It is being held as part of the London Festival of Architecture.

Press release courtesy of RIBA. 

Title: The Brutalist Playground
Organizers: RIBA
From: Wed, 10 Jun 2015 00:00
Until: Sun, 16 Aug 2015 00:00
Venue: Architecture Gallery at RIBA
Address: 66 Portland Place, Marylebone, London W1B 1NR, UK

Assemble to Construct a Brutalist Playground at RIBA originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 21 May 2015.

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Kategorien: Architektur

Alto El Golf / Handel Architects

Thu, 21.05.2015 - 17:00

Architects: Handel Architects
Location: , Metropolitan Region, Chile
Architect In Charge: Glenn Rescalvo, AIA
Project Architect: Maximiliano Noguera
Project Manager: Jim Hakes
Project Designer: Michael Lin
Area: 29000.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Nico Saieh

Local Architect: UNO Arquitectos
Structural Engineer: Santolaya Ingenieros Consultores S.A.
Mep/Fp Engineer: Gormaz y Zenteno Ltda.
Landscape Architect: Carlos Titze
Lighting Designer: Myriam Loy
Contractor: Empresa Constructora SIGRO S.A.
Constr. Manager:: Exequiel Glisser
Client: Inmobiliaria Atacama
Site Area: 2.387m2 (25.700 sq. ft.)

From the architect. This 312,000 sq. ft. (29,000 m²) office building recently completed construction in the El Golf section of Santiago.

Santiago has a mild climate and the Chileans embrace nature and the outdoors. This led us to rethink the standard office typology. A series of irregularly scaled, shifted volumes replaces the static hierarchies of the hermetic box, creating a variety of outdoor terraces that allow for greenery and social interaction. The building also represents our thinking on the changing nature of the workplace environment, where utilizing these types of spaces is an integral part of daily life.

The site is surrounded by streets on three of its sides, generating an isle condition with ideal sun and visual exposures. The tower’s volumes are individually offset to respond to local climate and mitigate solar heat gain.

Santiago is an incredibly vibrant metropolitan city with a great appreciation for culture, arts and nature. Surrounded by the mountains of the Andes, the city has slowly grown its commercial and residential projects vertically, taking advantage of the unprecedented views. Most of this growth has occurred over the past 20 years and the architecture has been contemporary in style. Alto El Golf is in an area that has realized this growth and the project is very much in keeping with the modern style and scale that the area is known for.

The exterior skin of the project is constructed as a floor-to-ceiling curtainwall system which allows for maximizing the infiltration of natural light and capturing as many unobstructed views as possible. The fenestration on the glass wall is delineated in a very contemporary expression of vertical fins on two varying rhythmic patterns, creating visual interest across the pattern.

Alto El Golf / Handel Architects originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 21 May 2015.

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Kategorien: Architektur