”Mouthful of meetings” is a moderated conversation taking place at the 2014 Venice Biennale with a focus on socioeconomic sustainability and current projects in developing countries around the world. The event is organized by South of North, a collaboration between Nordic architects working in the non-profit sector in developing environments. Contributors will include contemporary Nordic and African practices with an emphasis on recent works of socially committed architecture. Read on after the break for more details of the event.
The event coincides with the Nordic Pavillion exhibition 2014, ”Forms of Feedom. African Independence and Nordic Models” which explores how modern Nordic architecture was a crucial element in aiding the development of Africa in the 1960s and 1970s. As a continuation of this historical narrative, the seminar will reveal recent architectural progress in the same region.
Collaborations on these recent works have led to the discovery of new challenges and questions, forming the basis of discussion for the event. These discussions will question how to create open communication between all stakeholders in a project and better enable an honest dialogue to evaluate designs. The conversation will tackle several of the issues that will influence the qualities of socially responsible architecture for the foreseeable future.
To learn more about the event, please click here.
Title: Mouthful of Meetings Seminar at Venice Biennale
Organizers: South of North
From: Fri, 19 Sep 2014 17:00
Until: Fri, 19 Sep 2014 20:00
"Mouthful of Meetings": The Collision of North and South at the Venice Biennale originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 06 Sep 2014.
Engineering : Fase – Estudos e Projectos, S.A.
Collaborators: Marta Cigarro, Miguel Silva
Construction : Valentim José Luís & Filhos, S.A.
Client: Ovar Mayor
Project Date: 2008
From the architect. Purpose
The construction project request launched by the city of Ovar aimed to build a public facility to practice volleyball, basketball, roller hockey and soccer.
The available land is part of an area adjacent to the city. Due to its easy access and its proximity to major roads, this area has been reserved, under the City Master Plan, for the construction of municipal buildings.
The building has been drawn and settled in the west side of the campus, near the intersection of routes that serve, and forming with them a small paved pedestrian square. On the top east/south, has been settled a parking area for school buses and cars. The remaining land area (north and east) has been reserved for the future construction of outdoor sport fields/courts.
Functional Organization | Volumetrics
The program of this sports hall is based on the guidelines developed by the Sports Institute of Portugal. The building comprises five functional groups that were integrated in three volumes: the main space houses the nuclear construction (field/court area with 44x25m) and a scaled flat bench for about 300 seated spectators; the two secondary volumes, in the lower level, encompass the areas of services, locker/changing rooms, toilets, targeted to practitioners’ and monitors’ use.
Concept | Technical Options
The preparation of this project came from the idea that the building systems and materials associated materials should reflect the organizational structure of a Multi Sports Facility. Thus, the building takes advantage of two separate construction systems: a more conventional and colder one, reinforced by concrete; and a bolder and warmer one, laying on a structure of pillars and beams, made of laminated timber, that supports the outer panels and the inner wood blinders.
The use of wood, structuring and dressing the central nave (outside and inside), has allowed:
• To demarcate the volume and to value of the central nave (field area and bench) from the remaining and more secondary volumes and spaces that support sport events.
• To create a strong reference that routes the public, without hesitation, to the central nave where the sport events will take place.
• To build a full volume (box) and overpass large spans across a wooden frame.
• To attain a high level of acoustic comfort, even during a sold out event, thanks to a wall system (external envelope) composed of: solid wood + panel + OSB wood frame + absorber / acoustic insulation + strips OSB spaced.
• To provide a warm and welcoming environment in the sport events and bench areas, as opposed to the coldness of the concrete and the grey zones of secondary areas.
Location: 23024 Madesimo Sondrio, Italy
Architect In Charge: Enrico Scaramellini Architetto
Design Team: Luca Trussoni, Francesco Manzoni
Construction: Giancarlo Rigamonti
Photographs: Marcello Mariana
From the architect. Our project is a recovery of the attic of a portion of an apartment building.
The apartment building is made up of two blocks and a connecting body. The two blocks look differently even though they were both built in the 60s. Our block used to be inhabited by the families working on the ground floor grocer’s.
The existing block has a complex plan, due to the building within a narrow area. Folds, bevels and narrowings are a consequence of the narrow distances, indeed they were not designed for creative or architectural reasons.
While the main building is a separate one and is standing on a flat terrain, the renovated block is just before the climbing Bernasconi street (via Bernasconi).
The building has a compound shape. It broadens up northwards and has a straight side while and westwards it has a series of folds and bevelled edges.
The main point of our project was the restructuring of the pitched roof and its slope.
Our solution was the rotation of the hipped roof (north/south). In order to have windows southwards the hipped roof was rotated so that the whole building gains a proportioned and contained shape. Its layout was furtherly refined thanks to the insertion of a chimney
We first proceeded by redefining and regularising the volume, trying to find a balance despite the original irregural shape. Just a tiny intervention and the result is a new balance in shape and volume.
The muddy colours of the wood and of the surrounding context influenced our choice of the materials in order to give the building some compactness. That’s why we chose thin kerlite tiles. The muddy colours and the tile covering strenghten the compactness of the building.
Engineering Design: StroyGarant
Client: JSC Professional Media Business Solutions
From the architect. The customer completely rented the building of the former shop “Sittsevy” of the “Danilovsky Manufactory” complex. The third floor is occupied by the management company “ProfMedia Management” itself , the second one is occupied by one of its sub-companies, the producer and the distributor of cinema products “Central Partnership”,there is only small entrance zone on the first floor, and on the socle level a separate block of visitors’ negotiation rooms and a dining room are located.
The unusual stylistics were chosen by the customer being guided by own taste and desire to create the cozy house atmosphere.
But the idea of the non-standard office reminding rather French cafe or a residential loft was actively supported by architects. It is obvious that the esthetics of the old industrial building met the desired goals excellently, and it appeared not so easy to pick up suitable furniture and materials: “house” by the form objects had to possess the certain characteristics meeting the rigid requirements of working space. Herewith the interior had to make impression being existed for decades – the customer simply put “his” furniture, hung up some chandeliers and everything else was already here.
The planning of floors is mixed. On the third floor the small open zone is arranged and more than 70 percent of the spaces are occupied by private offices and a separate zone of the president. On the second floor open space occupy about 50 percent. Special recreation areas or areas for informal meetings are practically absent but for several armchairs “corners” and coffee points on each floor, because of active working activity of the company and also with the purpose to give all free space for necessary meeting rooms which were so needed at the former office.
The building is narrow and extended, besides it is structurally divided into segments and therefore it’s quite dark. A large number of offices demanded careful thinking over lighting system. Custom-made decorative light lamps with the graceful drawing helped to solve a problem. This decision also acted stylistically – stained glass drawing on a ceiling supports drawing on a carpet tile and in addition creates the house atmosphere. Carpet tile meter on meter size also with florid drawing sets a design code to working zones. The chosen carpet tile became base in a color palette of an interior. Colors of the Roman blindes, working chairs, even table-tops (non-standard color) – everything is in harmony with this brightest accent. Full-fledged working chairs with a cozy, soft back became the very important element. The acoustic partitions between tables and smooth curtains at windows and in separation walls are of the same color. Huge photoprints with scenes from classical and modern movies complete the visual decision. This decision appeared not by accident, it is dictated by desire to emphasize a professional orientation of the company.
Special attention was paid to cases. “Central Partnership” needed capacious archive for papers. Massive cases would break harmony of a created image and architects developed open racks with glass doors and even thought up design of folders with drawing in the form of the camera. At the same time these cases are also the partition dividing an open-space and studies and the opening depends on needs of this or that department. Such decision allowed saving precious square meters.
Even the low mobile drawer units opening into the studies are parts of lead out to corridor partitions. Other decision was made for storage systems – the built-in cases stylized under “buffets” also keep the general stylistics.
The office of “Profmedia” company is filled with non-standard author’s decisions. But architects and builders managed to keep within quite modest budget at the same time without having renounced quality. The secret is in careful selection of materials (clinker, the porcelain tile reminding a tree, a film in lamps, processing of glass for doors of cases). Cozy, graceful lamps were looked for and bought separately in shops, on the Internet but the most part was custom – made according to sketches of architects. Unusual schemes of interaction with contractors and readiness of all participants for a compromise and search became one more key to success of the project.
From the architect. This three story wooden house is located in an urban area in Tokyo and the site is at an end of a T-junction. There is a broad view from the site facing parks with greenery on the south and the west. The clients requested the maximum use of the limited site and view of surrounding greenery.
First, the allowable maximum space was enclosed with walls along the pentagonal lot line and the roof being led by building code and balance of surroundings. Then, the volume was largely excavated from the direction of the greenery and inserted cavities. These are developed a balcony and outer void. The cavities in the volume introduce light and wind into the living space. They also give the space expanse and connect inside and outside gently.
Exterior wall is plasterer finish with mud. It harmonizes with the surrounding rich greenery and produces solid mass in volume. Solid volume, look of mud, sharply cut openings, these allows new scene at the junction as node of this area.
Visual Programming: Francisco Freitas
Structure: Pedro Marcão
Electrical, Plumbing, And Hvac: Alex Sandro Correia
Suppliers: Estrutura metálica – Pruden art Metalurgica Ltda; Impermeabilização – Vedacit; Esquadrias e pisos de Madeira – Madereira Portal Kit; Vidros – DS Vidros; Portão Guilhotina – Cobmetal; Portas anti-som – Atenuasom; Elevador – Elevatec; Ar condicionado – Termotec
Site Area: 1600 m²
From the architect. The Plinio Marcos School of Art and Popular Culture houses the activities of the Art Institute in Dike, an NGO active since 2002 in the Town Dyke Gilda Santos in the Northwest Zone, an area with about 22 000 inhabitants living in precarious conditions, with most houses on stilts on the edge of the swamp.
The project is a reference to this area of the city, making it an important cultural center for the promotion of shows, concerts, events, workshops, and technical training, fostering popular culture, creativity, entrepreneurship, and community sustainability.
With 690m2 of built area, the first stage of the project is the Cultural Warehouse, which houses the vital functions of the Institute in the area of administration, services, workshops and production studio, multimedia room, terrace, courtyard and a multipurpose room.
A multipurpose room with capacity for 100 people was designed to house events, cultural shows and movies with adaptive lighting and scenic design for every occasion. Events can be opened to the courtyard for outdoor concerts and performances.
The media space is another attraction of the project, the Gilberto Gil Cyberspace, a memorial to the godfather of the Institute, along with a collection of music and videos from Brazilian popular culture.
In the second stage, the project includes expanding the areas of workshops, reading room, bar-cafeteria, shop and exhibition area with a collection from the writer and playwright Plinio Marcos.
Cultural Warehouse for the Plínio Marcos School of Art and Culture / André Jost Mafra + Natasha Mendes Gabriel + Thaís Polydoro Ribeiro originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 05 Sep 2014.
The final design concepts for the redesign of Arizona’s Mesa City Center have been unveiled by the competition’s three finalist design teams: Colwell Shelor + West 8 + Weddle Gilmore; Woods Bagot + Surface Design; and Otak + Mayer Reed.
The Mesa City Center redesign project aims to develop an 18 acre site in the city’s downtown and enhance the urbanization of the area. When complete, the city center will be transformed into a public space with both programmed and passive space that can be used for informal gatherings as well as events. “The signature public space will be a key element in the activation of the downtown core and will be a catalyst for high intensity redevelopment surrounding City Center with a variety of uses that activate the public space,” the competition website states.
Read on after the break for descriptions and images from the architects of their design proposals…
From Colwell Shelor + West 8 + Weddle Gilmore: The Mesa City Center design combines the City and community’s wishes for a setting for its major events and festivals; a shady, green welcoming setting; and an iconic, world-class space. Conceived as a “town square with a twist,” the design makes City Center an events space that will be the City’s ‘green heart’ and catalyst for the next 100 years of urban growth in downtown Mesa.
The design features a central gathering space, the Events Plaza, which encompasses the centerpiece and icon of the project, a beautiful copper shade structure, called The Wind Dancer. The Mesa City Center design creates a destination that during different seasons, events, and times of day will feel like a lively downtown hub and an inviting public place.
Our design is not development-dependent to make it activated, can be built in one phase, can be built quickly and will cost the public less than a design that has multiple phases. This strategy will leverage City Center project in a way that is similar to the way other great cities have grown around great public spaces.
From Otak + Mayer Reed: After learning from the community what currently defines Mesa and what should define it in the future, the Otak team re-imagined the project site as the heart of a bustling, revitalized downtown, filled with people. Team Otak envisions a “Living Room Plaza” surrounded and enlivened by eight acres of mixed-use development. This vibrant, new Urban District will serve as the catalyst for downtown revitalization. Team Otak’s approach considers the site as the key piece of a larger puzzle, connecting existing downtown destinations to the new light rail station opening in 2016. The Living Room Plaza features a mirror pond and interactive water fountains, a multi-purpose event lawn, an interactive digital light bar, an iconic shade structure, and an elevator to a public observation deck.
The design sets the stage for significant development opportunities that can include housing, retail, office, and possibly a hotel. These uses will attract people—residents, workers, students, and visitors— to Downtown Mesa, not just during special events, but every day.
From Woods Bagot + Surface Design: Inspired by nature and shaped by culture, Mesa Central is a contemporary park that blends civic landscape appropriate for the seat of city government with a variety of experiences and amenities for all ages. Through a program of landscape features, varied pathways, new structures, strategic renovations, and parking options, Mesa Central’s plan offers the city the option of phased implementation to achieve this vision for a new civic public space within the project budget.
Mesa Central features ‘The Wash’ a landscaped pedestrian corridor that connects a number of key institutions to the north with the Mesa Arts Center and Downtown Main Street to the south. A centerpiece of the park is ‘The Hangar,’ a flexible, all-weather space that reinterprets the historic hangar that once drew visitors to the site from around Arizona. Comprised of earthen walls—made, in part, from soil and asphalt removed from the site— and movable shade canopies, the Hangar can accommodate a diverse offering of events and gatherings, from exhibitions to performances. This multipurpose space acts as an extension of downtown and the culmination of Pepper Promenade, a two-block section of Pepper Place, lined with cultural institutions.
Set along the Hangar’s south side is ‘The Cloud,’ an open and airy vertical play space that, at night, will becoming a glowing beacon for the city. The Hangar and the Cloud also will incorporate emerging photovoltaic technologies to drive the site’s energy harvesting strategy.
Dynamic water elements—integrated with the site’s comprehensive reclaimed water system—work to further activate Mesa Central while cooling respite on hot days. Three ‘Hydro Rooms’ draw inspiration from the historic canals of Mesa while playfully reflecting the way water is seen and heard in the Arizona landscape.
Mesa Central will inspire, connect and commemorate the best of Mesa by creating a regional destination that brings people of all generations downtown throughout the year.
Final Design Concepts Unveiled for Arizona’s Mesa City Center originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 05 Sep 2014.
Collaborators: Adriana Barberis, Florencia Torresi, Francisco Figueroa Astrain, Juan Manuel Balsa
Advisors: Jose Luis Gomez, Ivan Salgado Estructuras
From the architect. Icon
The house is the second commission by the client after 9 years, suggesting a second chance and new thinking of the profession. The house will be inhabited by Sebastian and his three daughters.
To think today of the necessary, in which people develop their life, where nothing is in excess in relation to spaces, needs, and ways to build. To avoid excesses is an essential part of this project.
The neighborhood is new, with a cluttered landscape and many works to be done. The site, due to its size, allows us to compose a habitable interior, in relation to the proposed courtyard. The courtyard will one day be covered by vines on the walls. The project proposes an interior courtyard, and shares with the neighborhood a square or pergola shading outwards. A place to stay, park, play, chat, outside the space of the house.
The construction involves a group of master masons, not only in the construction of exposed slabs, masonry, stucco floors and bathrooms, but also in the construction and preparation of openings and wooden facades, in the execution of the study and dining tables outside, avoiding precise details and recovering the wood used in concrete slabs. The slabs on the upper floors are made of exposed joists.
The proposal raises a roof for the public area and living room between two voids with different character, where the living room and the transition from the exterior are unified into a whole. Matters of change of use are raised in this small house that tries to be sustainable in the basics, its idea, its construction, its expression and its program, generally avoiding the superfluous.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected 11 exemplary educational projects to receive its 2014 Educational Facility Design Excellence Awards. Representing projects from across the United States, the eleven projects also include a variety of types of educational facility, including a child development center, elementary schools, high schools, college and university buildings and a library.
The AIA awards projects which it believes “further the client’s mission, goals and educational program while demonstrating excellence in architectural design. These projects exemplify innovation through the client’s educational goals through responsive and responsible programming, planning and design. Function and surrounding regional and community context are valued as part of the planning and design process as well as sustainability.”
Check out all the winners after the break
Baltimore Design School / Ziger/Snead Architects
A combined Middle and High School with a focus on fashion, architecture and graphics, Baltimore Design School was created in the shell of an abandoned factory building.
Despite the minimal budget for the project, the school is an excellent example of best practices in adaptive reuse and restoration.
Buckingham County Primary & Elementary Schools at the Carter G. Woodson Education Complex / VMDO Architects
The aim of this design was to promote connectivity, creativity, health, and well-being in response to the national childhood obesity epidemic.
Using evidence-based design principles, the design promotes healthy eating, nutrition education, and physical activity.
Drexel University College of Media Arts and Design (CoMAD) URBN Center / MSR (Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, Ltd.)
This design respectfully re-purposes a building by Venturi Scott Brown Associates, bringing together various departments within the college to promote cross-disciplinary learning.
The designers “embraced the realities of the shed” to create a building that was both a reflection of the building’s original design principles, but also features adaptable, non-prescriptive space to open up a variety of learning possibilities.
University of Chicago Child Development Center – Stony Island / Wheeler Kearns Architects
The brief for the Child Daycare Center effectively needed the architects to answer the question “How do you design a day care for the children of future Nobel laureates?”
Their response was a building which allows the children to learn by engaging with the natural environment and materials, rather than prescriptive and cliched bright colors and soft furnishings.
Wilkes Elementary School / Mahlum
The location of classrooms in this elementary school creates a circulation pattern that prevents the feeling of isolation, and also group the classrooms into four ‘learning clusters’ which support flexible teaching arrangements.
The arrangement of the school thus addresses both the educational and emotional needs of the children.
This college campus represents a significant investment in a town that has recently struggled economically, being labelled “a bedroom community boomtown gone bust.”
Coastline Community College, Newport Beach Campus / LPA, INC
This college campus focuses on sustainability, achieving a LEED Gold rating through features such as storm water management, natural ventilation, green roofs, living walls, and maximized daylight.
The design of this library emphasizes the stairs to create a social environment and opportunities for chance encounters, away from the more focused study areas of the main library floors.
The building meets LEED Silver requirements through external shading, ceiling-mounted active chilled beams and rain gardens and green roofs.
Nathan Hale High School Modernization / Mahlum
This extension to the school’s original 1960s building provides flexible learning spaces while respecting the rhythm of the original structure.
PAVE Academy Charter School / Mitchell | Giurgola Architects, LLP
The goals of the PAVE leadership team were to create a community school that encouraged significant parent involvement, supporting the ‘high needs’ community which it serves in Red Hook.
This required a school which catered for students who would often need to stay long hours, arriving for breakfast and spending much of the day with periods of learning and play that mitigate their difficult home situations.
Raisbeck Aviation High School / Bassetti Architects
Located in an area with a prominent aviation industry, the school aims to give students paths into engineering and other STEM careers.
The design therefore includes multiple labs and state-of-the-art learning facilities. This aim is also reflected symbolically in the design, with the form of the school inspired by a plane’s wing.
AIA Rewards 11 Projects with the 2014 Educational Facility Design Excellence Award originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 05 Sep 2014.
Contractor: GCI General Contractors
Mep Consultant: Glumac
From the architect. Accented by colorful and outdoor inspired materials, the new Silicon Valley outpost for GoDaddy complements the company’s lively culture and mobile workforce.
The free-flowing space is connected by racetrack-themed corridors complete with push-pedal go-karts that circulate energy throughout the interior. The strategy behind the vibrant workplace was to create activity-based spaces tailored to its employees.
Task-driven furnishings — height-adjustable desks, movable seating pods, and a portable bar — provide unlimited opportunities to suit the needs of GoDaddy employees.
Opportunities for recreation and down-time were carefully integrated for a seamless experience between work and play. With this animated and fluid environment, GoDaddy’s new workplace holistically supports their talented engineers in driving new technologies forward.
GoDaddy Silicon Valley Office / DES Architects + Engineers originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 05 Sep 2014.
Just off the highway that leads to the town of Columbus, Indiana, the most slender of spires shoots upward from the tree line. With only a small gold cross at the top suggesting its purpose, the spire seems to belong to another world, an expressive gesture reaching into the sky that extends far beyond its visible tip. As visitors approach, the base of the spire fans out and merges with the ground, subsuming it and metaphysically bridging the distance between the heavens and the Earth. This is the famous North Christian Church, Eero Saarinen’s stunning discourse on God, nature and architecture.
Even in Columbus, a place known for its remarkable assemblage of modern architecture, this church is special. When Saarinen was selected to design the building in February, 1959, he was already a favorite adopted son of the town, having previously designed the private residence of the town’s patron, J. Irwin Miller, and the nearby Irwin Union Bank to great success. Miller, the wealthy owner of a local engine factory, was an avid lover of modern architecture and took it upon himself to bring many of the world’s great talents to work in Columbus, including I.M. Pei, Robert Venturi, Eliel Saarinen, Richard Meier, and Cesar Pelli. Miller personally served on the building committee for the new church, and it was said that Saarinen was selected for the job without even having to show a single slide of his work.  When the architect tragically passed away before the building’s completion, the effort to build the church became a tribute to his memory and his many contributions to the town.
As is often the case with Saarinen’s buildings, the geometry of the church is elegant in its simplicity and ingenious in its structural arrangement. In plan, the church is a simple hexagon, elongated slightly along the East-West axis with entrances on the shorter sides. From each corner of the hexagon, massive piers support the structural ribs of the roof that converge at the top of the roof and angle upward into a spire. The height of the building rises to a soaring 192 feet, just shy of the 200-foot mark that would have required the unwilling architect to place an airplane beacon atop the gold cross.
Inside, the sculpted lines of a cast-in-place concrete ceiling beautifully mirror the angular geometries of the plan and cast a heavy presence over the worshipping space below. Eerie natural lighting is provided by a lone oculus over the central altar and is supplemented by a dance of dim artificial lights over the smooth concrete ceiling. A dark, natural material pallete consisting of gray slate floors and mahogany pews completes the cave-like ambiance.
The church’s famous design was conceived as a response to changes that Saarinen noted in contemporary religious construction. In his view, modern sanctuaries had become afterthoughts to massive complexes of secondary spaces in church buildings, which invariably included gathering spaces, classrooms, and even recreational lounges. While an expanded religious presence was not inherently a bad thing for Saarinen, the shift of focus away from the act of worship seemed to de-center God from religion. His objective was therefore to design a building that could meet contemporary needs without losing focus of the church’s original function as a place for worshipping and coming closer to God.
Programmatically, Saarinen communicates these priorities first by simply discriminating between primary and secondary church functions and placing them on separate floors. The aboveground level is devoted to the large central sanctuary and the ambulatory that surrounds it. The remaining spaces required by the clients – the bathrooms, kitchen, and fellowship hall – are buried into the ground, literally and symbolically placed beneath the worship space.
The layout of the sanctuary furthers elevates the role of worship with an unusual, centrally located altar. Seating for the congregation emanates upward and outward from it in ripple-like rings, directing the parishioners’ attention toward the center and demanding their active participation in the service. A dramatic entry sequence that requires visitors to “climb into” the sanctuary by ascending upward with the landscape before going back down works to the same effect, turning the altar into an object of destination and arrival.  The simplicity of the single gesture of the church – a sweeping move from the ground into the sky – is a further commentary on the simple, singular focus of the ideal church.
From the earthy materials to the dramatic formal geometries, the architecture strives to create a religious atmosphere that is intimate, unique, and transcendent. Stark experiential changes in the journey from the exterior to the building’s interior reflect a deliberate transition intended to magnify the worshipper’s spiritual journey.
Only one month after submitting the final version of his design, Saarinen passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 51, cutting tragically short the career of one of the twentieth century’s most accomplished and still-promising architects. This church, of which he was so proud, was the last building he would ever design. Its otherworldly form has been copied many times since its completion, and it has become perhaps the most recognizable icon of Columbus. In 2000, only thirty-six years after its completion, it was designated a National Historic Landmark as a testament to its value to the town and to postwar American architecture.
 Merkel, Jayne. Eero Saarinen. London: Phaidon Press, 2005
 Saarinen, Eero and Aline Saarinen, ed. Eero Saarinen on His Work. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1968.
Architects: Eero Saarinen
Location: 850 Tipton Lane
Landscape Architect: Dan Kiley
Textile Designer: Alexander Girard
Photographs: Flickr user Danube66, Flickr user noktulo, Hassan Bagheri
AD Classics: North Christian Church / Eero Saarinen originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 05 Sep 2014.
Architects: Giancarlo Mazzanti
Location: Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia
Project Architects: Juan Manuel Gil, Luz Rocío Lamprea
Project Area: 14000.0 m2
Project Year: 2014
Photographs: Pies Descalzos Foundation
Project Manager: Juan Andrés Lemus
Soil And Geotechnical Studies: AICO
Topography: Topógrafos Contratistas P y P
Structures: CNI Ingeniería
Plumbing: MU y Asociados
Electrical: ICS y Cia.
Budget And Programming: Metrópoli
From the architect. The mega-school designed for the Pies Descalzos Foundation in Peye mount in the city of Cartagena – Colombia, seeks to be an architectural and urban project with great social impact, consolidated as the engine of change for the inhabitants of the area and city. This project must improve the lives of people, generating alternatives for personal and community development, and should start the transformation of its environment and also become a city landmark, a symbol of the city that generates ownership and pride in its inhabitants. The design of this school is founded on using most concepts of sustainability, ensuring the comfort of users, and using the minimum amount of resources. The key concepts of the project are:
Creation of a strong urban image
Implementation of a bioclimatic and environmentally sustainable architecture.
The architectural design of the project is proposed as the sequence and interrelation of five hexagons, each one is defined by a two-level perimeter and a central activities courtyard. In them, the built perimeter is as important as the interior void and the relationship with the other rings. While the hexagonal contours build a perimeter circulation and accommodate the specific program of school classrooms, the courtyards covered by a pergola are planted with various species of trees and tropical and native shrubs, forming a microclimate that characterizes or suggests the activities that are carried out; their vertical vegetal configuration will attract native wildlife and concretely open the possibility of ecological education. The projected image is that of an architecture of appropriation, light and quiet.
The project is implanted at two different topographic levels to best adapt to the sloping topography of the Loma del Peye. At each level the hexagons with two levels are grouped so as to achieve both horizontal interrelationship (forming an intermediate level), or vertical. The program takes advantage of this method of parts in sequence to allow a flexibility of interrelationships and possible separations, and then defines the various program areas of the project:
The preschool area is located independently on a single level with a separate courtyard within a smaller hexagon. Also, the library must have a necessary autonomy to cater to the community outside school hours, therefore we use the advantage of the isolated hexagon on the second level with direct access outside the school.
In a larger hexagon is the elementary school. On the lower topographic level are other larger and smaller hexagons containing the secondary school. Both levels are vertically connected by a central ramp and stairs at key points of some vertices of the hexagons.
The specialized classrooms of the project are distinctive features extruded in cantilever; the arise from pure hexagonal shapes and create large windows that reaffirm a visual connection to the distant city.
The set of hexagons is complemented by an area of multiple classrooms and sports facilities that form on their roof a wide access square related to the three levels of the project.
Relationship with the city
From an urban point of view, the project will have a controlled access in two areas, the first will be an access for citizens and students, the second will be only for students. The project leaves open, public strategic areas in areas of connection with the surrounding neighborhood.
Rather than an isolated school, we aim to develop an urban project that promotes new sector centralities withfacilities in the school, using the library, sports fields and multipurpose room as supports for neighborhood activities.
The building is conceived as a flagship building for the neighborhood. Its geometry and position set it apart from the surrounding context, and place it as a building that is easy to recognize and can bring together the community.
From the architect. Located in a residential area on the outskirts of the city of Mexico, in the colonia Lomas de Chapultepec.
Impeccable to the outside, the house sits on a plane to 2.50 meters above street level at its lowest part, developed at the centre of the ground giving rise to a courtyard in front and a garden behind.
Apparent simplicity and exquisite details this House is resolved with flat roofs between a courtyard and a garden in which ambiguously intersect Interior and exterior facings which stand out clearly the constructive system based on concrete, glass and steel.
This residence was built with the characteristic style of architecture from the years 60´s inspired by modernism.
The program includes two levels on the access platform and a basement which is accessed from the bottom of the street, this leading to the parking lot.
Quality materials, clear colours and fleeting reflections on glass are at the service of comfort and design, to gardening camouflages the borders and builds a landscape and atmosphere of privacy.
MAD Architects‘ “Silhouette Shanshui” – which lies somewhere between an installation and a model – is currently on display at the 14th Venice Biennale. The inspiration for the project is the firm’s Nanjing Zendai Himalayas Center, a master plan with an overall area of 560,000 sqm that challenges how modern development is typically thought of in China. According to Ma Yansong, the founder of MAD Architects, the city-scale urban project is already underway with 13 towers under construction.
The Chinese term “shan shui” literally translates to mountains and water, but traditionally, it refers to a style of painting that depicts natural but imagined landscapes. These paintings reflect what the artist sees in their mind, not with their eyes, an idea Yansong believes translates to the development of cities. Just as these paintings reflect an inner dialogue, developing cities should be more cognizant of how the built environment makes its inhabitants feel. “Silhouette Shanshui” examines this concept.
Yansong and his firm is continuously trying to improve the human experience by examining our relationship with nature in the city. Since this relationship is absolutely essential to the architectural practice, Yansong believes the project is well-suited to the Venice Biennale’s theme of “Fundamentals.” In the interview, Yansong elaborates on this belief as well as the project itself. If you want to learn more about Ma Yansong and MAD Architects, check out our earlier interview below.
Interview: Ma Yansong on "Silhouette Shanshui" at the Venice Biennale originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 05 Sep 2014.
From the architect. Most of our clients wants to live in their own house. Everyone of them wants to have a home in a beautiful place, most of them near to the center or very near to its developed infrastructure. At today´s prices to such an ideal place can realistically afford only a fraction of them and only part is willing to pay for the land, which cost is equivalent to several times the price of the average plot.
Our clients search their own way how to achieve the best value ratio. But the best value means different things for different people. If your claims are flexible enough and you can bear a few compromises you can get a reasonable things for good money. Sometimes we are asked to work on a plot which is on a steep hill that only a fool would buy, the other time we design a house so narrow that it remains of noodle where you can barely turn around. Each client sees the value elsewhere. When selecting the plot, the basis is to think and see the future. ‘How I live today, how will I live in two years or in ten years? Maybe I will need a stroller for triplets or I will become fond of cycling.’ Things are changing and a small analysis of our own lives wouldn´t hurt anybody.
The quality houses raises from extreme places. Limits and problems don´t necessarily mean a tragedy. The great amount of fantastic houses are built in very improbable conditions.
The size of the house wasn´t the criteria for one of our clients. He wanted to reconstruct an old houseboat anchored in area of Sailing club in Smichov. His requirement was easy: to live in the centre of Prague with a little bit of navy romance, to be able to go for a bear with his boat or to get to sunday´s Farmers market in city centre on the quay. Today our adventurer and traveler can tell the stories how he slew shark with a tripod camera. So the conclusion is: live in te city, buy houseboats!
The saga of the long-awaited housing component in SHoP Architects‘ Atlantic Yards masterplan in Brooklyn took a dramatic turn this week, as contractor Skanska USA decided to halt all construction on the B2 BKLYN project, the first of 14 planned apartment buildings at the site. The decision is the result of a long-running dispute between Skanska and the developer Forest City Ratner (FCR) over the slow pace of construction, with only 10 of the building’s 32 stories constructed so far – despite the project’s initial deadline having passed three months ago.
The project was lauded before construction began in 2012 for its plan to use a system of fast and cheap modular construction. However Skanska claims that the design of this system, which was developed by SHoP Architects in collaboration with Arup, was flawed. With both the contractor and developer claiming that the other is to blame for cost overruns into the tens of millions of dollars, Richard Kennedy of Skanska told the New York Times that they “came to the decision to stop work on the project until our significant commercial issues are resolved.”
More on the dispute after the break
Kennedy said that B2 BKLYN was “represented to be a complete and buildable modular design,” but confirmed that “it just doesn’t work the way it was sold to work. We’ve had real challenges with it that’ve delayed the project and led to cost increases.”
But MaryAnne Gilmartin, Chief Executive of FCR, insisted that the design was viable, saying “This is not a referendum on modular, it’s a monetary dispute. We are confident we’ll get the building built… They owe us the building, based on a fixed price. They’re responsible for overruns.” Throughout the dispute, FCR has insisted that Skanska’s difficulty with the modular design comes down to a failure to correctly train their workers.
The day after Skanska announced the closure of the site, FCR made moves to restart operation. In a letter obtained by Architect Magazine, Gilmartin states that FCR “recognizes and fully expects the current financial dispute… to be resolved in the courts,” but goes on to say “our immediate concern is to return the Brooklyn Navy Yards Factory to a state of operation.” The letter goes on to cite the two companies’ responsibility to both the Brooklyn community and to the 157 workers on the site.
In the letter, Gilmartin offers for FCR to take over operation of the on-site factory, constructed and used by Skanska, which they had previously been denied access to, in order to take more responsibility for the construction of the building modules.
Construction Halted on SHoP Architects' Atlantic Yards Housing Project originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 05 Sep 2014.
Competitions results for the first stage of the Moscow Metro Station for Solntsevo and Novoperedelkino have been announced. Aiming to revive the tradition of unique designs for Moscow metro stations since the 1930s-50s, this is the first time in the recent expansion of Moscow’s Metro system that a competition has been used to find an architect.
The jury at the Committee for Architecture and Urban Planning of Moscow has chosen 10 finalists out of approximately 100 entries who will continue to work on the architectural design concepts of the stations until November. See images of all ten proposals after the break.
Shortlisted for the second stage of the competition were 5 teams with projects for the station Solntsevo:
This competition is being held by the Mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobyanin, and by the Department of Urban Development and Construction together with KB Strelka. From over 600 applications received by the official website competition, 96 projects were admitted for consideration by the jury. Of these projects, 22 projects were executed by foreign architects from the Netherlands, Germany, India, France, Spain, Great Britain, Canada, Italy, and others.
The chief architect of Moscow, Sergey Kuznetsov, stated ”I believe that very interesting teams have entered into the final and I want to highlight that in an open international competition the projects of young architects have made it into the shortlist. This suggests that contests are performing their function of serving as professional boosts. This is very positive for the formation of a young and talented generation of architects.”
See the gallery below for more images of all the shortlisted proposals. More info about the projects can be found here.
Shortlist Announced for the Moscow Metro Station Competition originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 05 Sep 2014.
Architects: LoebCapote Arquitetura e Urbanismo
Location: Limeira – São Paulo, Brasil
Authors: Roberto Loeb, Luis Capote
Associate Architects: Damiano Leite, Chantal Longo
Project Area: 35000.0 m2
Project Year: 2013
Photographs: Leonardo Finotti
Collaborators: Nicola Pugliese, Francisco Cassimiro, Maria Carolina Simões, Mariana Gomes, Mariana Zazulla, Carolina Vicentini, Ludovica Leone, Cecília Mesquita, Jenniffer Reis, Marcos Fonseca, Gabriela Torrers, Maria Pia Laloni, Camila Pauluk, Marina Santos, Ricardo Duarte
Management: Azzoni Engenharia – Rodrigo Azzoni, Fábio Teruo, Luara Sacchi
Construction: Construcione Engenharia e Construções
Earthmoving: Neopav Engenharia
Concrete Structure: Marth Projeto Estrutura
Hvac: Evoluir Sistemas de Refrigeração e Ar-Condicionado
Foundations / Pavements: Engefire Sistema de Segurança Ltda
Lighting: Planitel Comércio e Instalações Elétricas Ltda
Landscape: Allamanda Paisagismo
Industrial Floor: Fernandes Engenharia
Suppliers: Estrutura Metálica – Medabil; Ar Condicionado – Marctherm; Piso Vínilico – Fademac; Piso Refeitório – Hunter Douglas; Divisória – Abatex; Luminárias – Planitel Comércio E Instalações Elétricas Ltda; Persiana – Uniflex
Site Area: 150000 m²
From the architect. Built in the city of Limeira, this is the largest distribution center of Mahle automotive products in Brazil.
With an area of 35 thousand square meters, the center houses offices, auditoriums and facilities for the development of its program.
An internal garden, set between the office block and the warehouse offers a space for rest and contemplation next to the restaurant complex.
New Mahle Distribution Center / LoebCapote Arquitetura e Urbanismo originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 05 Sep 2014.
In an article for the New York Times, Alexandra Lange discusses a number of US projects which are “transforming, but not disrupting,” their respective communities. In this vein, she cites Mecanoo and Sasaki Associates’ new Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building in Roxbury, Boston, as a prime example of a new kind of architecture which “comes from understanding of past civic hopes, redesigning them to meet the future.” Examining some of the key concepts that make for successfully integrated community buildings, such as the creation of spaces that actively forge personal connections, Lange concludes that perhaps it is now “time for strategic architecture.”
The idea that urban planning could build upon citizen action, rather than consisting of imposed boulevards or housing blocks (as with the urban renewal that originally gutted Roxbury) is gaining traction.
Read the article in full here.
Architects: Atelier du Pont
Location: 25 Rue Michel le Comte, 75003 Paris, France
Architect In Charge: Anne-Ce?cile Comar, Philippe Croisier, Ste?phane Pertusier
Design Team: Alice Berthelon, Aline Defert, Ariane Rouveyrol
Area: 4500.0 sqm
Photographs: Fre?de?ric Delangle
General Contractor: SRC
From the architect. At just a stone’s throw from the Centre Pompidou, 25 rue Michel le Comte is a building complex located within the perimeter of the Plan to Protect and Restore the Marais (PSMV). It dates from the 17th to the 20th centuries, and mixed private residences, workshops, and artist studios. It is a beautiful illustration of how the city has been built across the centuries through such subsequent additions.
In addition to the rehabilitation prescribed by the program, Atelier du Pont has proposed to go on this «adventure» by reconstructing a new building within the block that reflects the current context. Having a worksite on an occupied site demands considerable dexterity, strong coordination, and the most heartfelt sense of commitment.
The project illustrates the desire to go past the Marais’ “museum” image and to promote mixed usage with ambitions that live up to the site’s expectations. Energy performance will be improved to respect the City of Paris’ Climate Plan, the number of social-housing units will be increased, and actual businesses will be preserved in the Marais area. Intervening at a heritage site is an extraordinary adventure and singular exercise that plays with the apparent contradictions invoked through this process: audacity and humility, as well as respect and imagination. What is at stake is not simply a rehabilitation, rather a reactivation that continues to write history and anticipate the future.
Le Marais Social Housing and Offices / Atelier du Pont originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 05 Sep 2014.