Architects: Leaf Architects Studio
Location: Thessaloniki, Greece
Architect In Charge: Theodoros Gazotzis
Collaborators: Pavlos Tsemperlidis
Area: 106.0 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of Leaf Architects Studio
From the architect. The store is located on the ground floor of a 7 storey building. The space is 16.78m long and 6.26m wide and it is notionally divided in half by three vertical structural elements (columns).
The brief’s key points were to design a space that wouldn’t resemble a conventional athletic footwear store but a “contemporary lifestyle boutique” with a tight budget and timetable.
The client insisted on the importance of storage space for the efficiency of the store and requested a dedicated space at the back of the building to serve that purpose.
Although the project initially started as a footwear store only, it was decided later on to include clothes as well. This created the need for an enclosed space that would be used as fitting rooms. Since the space at the back of the building was going to be used as storage, the fitting rooms had to be placed on the store’s main space.
The secondary enclosure “wraps around” columns 2 and 3, creating two identical fitting rooms that are wide enough to be functional but also narrow enough so that they allow unobstructed views towards the back of the store.
The main space was left as “free” as possible without any permanent fixtures, in order to retain a certain amount of flexibility in regards to the positioning of items, display units etc.
The main source of artificial light consists of a series of track spotlights on either side of the store where the main display area is located. The middle part of the space is lit by a series of light fixtures placed in recesses of the ceiling. The combination of these two solutions, create an unevenly lit space, with a more “theatrical” and strong lighting for the display of the items and a more relaxing condition in the middle.
A compilation of all posts in the “Urbanist’s Guide to…” series from Guardian Cities, “The Urbanist’s Guide to the World” takes readers to cities across the globe. Penned by local bloggers in cities from Manila to Sao Paulo, Tehran to New Orleans, the vignettes are supported by The Rockefeller Foundation and cover everything from “best” and “worst buildings” to cleanliness, soundscapes, and “the best place for a conversation.” You can view the interactive guide here.
From the architect. The project is planning a residential unit in a continuing generation neighborhood, planned as an extension to the kibbutz located in the northern part of the Israeli coastal strip adjacent to the Mediterranean Sea. The semi-detached house was the chosen model out of a number of models presented to the customer. The selected model was not designed for a specific customer; it is trying to answer an anonymous architectural program.
The “Henkin Shavit” studio, headed by Irit Henkin and Zohar Shavit, conducted the planning and design of the project, with their vast experience managed in a relatively short period of time, to run this project with an emphasis on key elements in interior design. The project dealt with the issue of a makeover from an anonymous residential unit of 200 sq meters to a personal and specific residential unit that responds to the needs and loves of a young couple in transition for a small family.
The home owner who was born in the city of Nahariya and her husband, who was born and raised in the kibbutz, set a challenging architectural program which contains natural contemporary materials, large spacious spaces, especially stressed the need for a public space that will accommodate their many friends in comfort and fun.
The program chosen by the studio for downstairs is a living room and kitchen, adjacent to a front yard, a guest accommodation unit, office, guest bathroom and utility room. The master bedroom was placed in the second floor and adjacent to it is an open studio space towards the stair hall, which operates as a flexible space that can be altered in accordance with the future family needs.
The foyer is designed to be the largest space in the house and contains the kitchen, which was designed as a system containing a combination of storage element adjacent to a white painted wall, integrated in the surrounding walls. The work isle is stretched along the entire space and combines the dining area. The work triangle is formed by the sink, stove and a free standing oven all located at the working isle and between the built-in Subzero refrigerator in the high storage unit. Natural oak is the material chosen for the work isle and dining area, with drawer fronts designed with three-layered Goshen oak which allowed for some wood to be removed and locating black handles in that space. The wall facing the front garden contains 3 identical openings which combine a Belgian profile made of steel with black oil paint finish. These windows have been designed with minimum distributions in a method of only an external frame profile.
The main entrance door was designed from the same profile only that it was burned with acid, creating a natural look of rust. The home’s floor is cast in smoothed concrete with a light, natural shade, which was slotted in only a few divisions. The toilets and showers were designed in a classic look that combines mosaics, illustrated concrete tiles, glossy white ceramic walls and the sinks’ carpentry was planned from Goshen oak wood with lacquer finish and specially made brass handles were attached to it. The furniture surfaces in the wet areas and the kitchen are Caesar Stone, in a light shade and gray veins. The staircase was covered in 2 inch Goshen oak and the banister was designed from a clear glass unit.
The top floor was designed to preserve the building’s slope tiled roof structure. This slope ceiling was covered from the inside by male-female 33mm oak boards which were painted in shiny white finish. The master bedroom is planned as a spacious loft and contains a sleeping area, wardrobe space, make-up unit, shower and toilet.
The materials in the house contain a combination of natural oak with gray and black shaded concrete, joined by black and rusty iron and sand sprinkled transparent glass. The colors contain a scale of black, gray, pale blue, white, joined by textures and finish ranging from shiny to mat and from smooth to the raw and rough. The house is scattered with artifacts and photographs, also, design elements and furniture from the best design brands.
Finally … the result in front of you – an “island” of design, beauty and personal taste in the texture of continuing generation in the Israeli kibbutz.
A Modern "Kibbutz" House / Henkin Shavit Architecture & Design originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 30 Jan 2015.
The south west French city of Libourne may soon get its own pop-up Pompidou. Reports indicate that the Libourne satellite outpost would be similar to the one currently underway in Malaga, Spain (soon to open in March 2015). If the deal is passed, the city would host the museum outpost in a former 40,000-square-meter military academy, though renovation costs are excepted run high - nearing €6 million. The city’s mayor Philippe Buisson is reaching out to regional and national authorities requesting financial assistance.
Story via artnet news
Architects: SP Architektu Grupe
Location: Anykš?iai, Lithuania
Design Team: Saulius Pamerneckis, Vytautas Pliadis, Marius Bliujus, Vitalijus Rudokas, Gint? Pamerneckien?
Photographs: Raimondas Urbakavi?ius, Genadij Ignatovi?, Diana Garba?auskien?
Constructor: Vilmantas Aidžiulis
Client: UAB “Anšilas”
Site Area: 44,444 sqm
Hotel Area: 2558,42 sqm
Extension Complex Area: 1442,00 sqm
From the architect. Wellness and recreation center is designed in a remarkable place alongside Anyksciai pinewood, famous for its unique beauty of the natural environment, depicted by notable Lithuanian poets. Great respect for the subtle natural surroundings encouraged to look for non-standart architecture design solutions.
Designed in the area of an old holiday home, project consists of two volumes: reconstructed building, where a luxurious four-star hotel was established and new elliptical irregular cone-shaped extension with a complex of swimming pools and saunas. Pine forest directed to the projects leading concept: architectural form of the building as reminiscent of a pine cone or a hedgehog, blends into the surrounding environment. Dominant gray and orange colors were taken from a glimpse to the trunk of a pine. Project helped to reduce unemployment in a small city by revitalizing tourism and local businesses.
The main focus of the project is the swimming pool and sauna complex. Original steel frame structure with facing materials was produced and assembled at the factory, then separate segments were brought to the constructions site, where they were finally assembled.
Since there are no recurrent details all over the facade, cone is a perfect example of Non-standart Architecture. Triangular shapes were used in order to obtain the unusual volume and to create smooth shift between construction beams. Building information model was used to describe the whole structure and precisely fulfill the construction so that all irregular shapes would connect into single complex three-dimensional form.
The five-storey hotel has a small conference room and a restaurant. Hotel reconstruction project was prepared in a way to maintain the architectural character of the former building. Construction scheme and functional-spacial structure were basically preserved. Floor area increased slightly after the reconstruction by expanding the lobby and the dining room on the ground floor, and by designing one additional storey on top. More space was produced by dismantling the old walls, deepening the basement, where it was fitted with healthcare facilities such as massage, salt rooms and mud baths.
Interior of the building was designed to be as close to the nature as possible. The main intention creating the interior was to make surrounding nature perceptible. Inclined windows of the swimming pool and sauna complex allows visitors to admire the pines and feel like being in an open air. Conventional solutions have been abandoned when selecting colors and materials for the interior spaces. Attempt was to find the unique character of Lithuanian interior.
SUSTAINABLE ASPECTS OF THE WORK
Interiors were created from high quality natural, organic materials such as natural oak plywood. Sustainable energy sources were used for heating: building is equipped with an autonomous geothermal heating system. Natural materials were used in order to minimize the amount of asphalt when creating building environment.
Grimshaw, IDOM, Populous, Feilden Clegg Bradley, White Arkitekter and Wilkinson Eyre are among five international design teams who’ve been recently shortlisted in a RIBA-organized competition to design the £90 million Bristol Arena, a 12,000-seat indoor entertainment venue set to open by 2017. At this point, the proposals remain anonymous and the public is being asked for their opinion. A judging panel, that includes the Mayor of Bristol, will review the public commentary and designs before selecting a team in March. Take a look at the projects and share your thoughts, after the break.
The complete list of shortlisted teams:
“This is a once in a generation opportunity to design a great performance venue for the city region that also boosts the regeneration of the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone. The successful design must above all function well, whilst inspiring audiences and offering a great experience for artists,” stated Bristol Mayor, George Ferguson. “The new arena must also work effectively and flexibly whilst being deliverable and affordable.”
You can share your comments with the City of Bristol by February 11, here.
A First Look at the Shortlisted Bristol Arena Proposals originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 30 Jan 2015.
From the architect. The project is located within the Northeast limit of Perpignan, giving it the image of a Southern door opening onto the city. The proximity of wide wooded areas and the unobstructed view on the Pyreneans and historic town make this location quite remarkable.
The project is developed on 4 levels thus enabling its inhabitants to enjoy the view on this great environment. It is comprised of 141 housings spread over 4 levels maximum distributed over 5 different buildings.
These buildings focus on optimizing the natural openings on the landscape. The first noticeable breach is quite important: it consists of a path diving a linear building of 145 meters.
This path is the only one to offer a perspective on the Serrat d’en Vaquer roundabout from the accessible roads. This western frontage is the first vision we have of the project coming from the highways and it makes up “the entryway” to the housing complex.
Its objective is to preserve the core island dedicated to individual housing; the protective nature of the project thanks to the R+3 height of this fringe and the frontal aspect of its implantation are nevertheless toned down by the creation of regular splits in the built ensemble. These splits give pleasant proportions to the buildings, giving a progressive visual scale between individual and collective housings and, in keeping with the landscaper’s wishes, offer stretching views through the site, onto the central landscaped areas.
On the Eastern side, in front of the city’s southern freeway, representing a major connecting axis, the build frontage answers to the same objectives but also benefits from its situation on the public landscaped space.
These splits in the buildings constitute a filter between these quality landscaped areas and a green heart implanted on the second line, at the center of the apartment buildings and thus ensuring quality sightings for the freeway users as well as the housing residents.
Most apartments have front and rear views in order to allow the best comfort in terms of ventilation, sun exposure and views on the great landscape.
Attached to the presence of individual housings at the heart of the site, the collective buildings are well proportioned to create a progressive visual scale. This objective is achieved by creating vertical splits used for the vertical distributions of the different floors, it is also completed by a system of “lateral sliding” of the volumes, this chessboard pattern which also underlines the different stratas, creates visual effects of filled and empty volumes as well as front and rear patterns that punctuate the facades and avoid the boring and repetitive aspect that one might find on such long built frontage.
Along this line, the top attic volumes enable to vary the heights and projected shadows of the buildings and roofs. To avoid a negative impact on the heights of the roofs, terrace roofs were created to welcome, hidden by vertical slants, the technical spaces necessary for this project: ventilation chambers and sheaths, solar panels for producing hot water.
The general principle of volumes and frontage management is applied to all buildings, giving the ensemble an identifiable and marked architectural characteristic, a precious architectural unit even though each group of buildings is different, recognizable and thus permits an easy appropriation by the residents which is essential and distinguishes this project from the negative aspect of the “large building complexes”.
In an esthetic and environmental perspective, the frontages most exposed to the sun will be protected by protruding deep loggias and equipped with sun slates integrated into the facades.
On the night parts of the apartments and when there is a need for more protection from the sun, cold, view and noise, the facades have more limited vertical openings. The night/day distinction on the apartments can be deduced from this difference. These rooms are occulted by accordion-like folding metallic shutters which, once deployed, complete the animation of the frontage and when closed give the sensation of a full volume without any irregularities.
“Your interaction with architecture can either uplift you or depress you.” In this latest Archiculture interview from Arbuckle Industries, Maurice Cox discusses the potential of architecture’s atmospheric qualities to influence our daily lives. The professor, designer, dean, and former politician expresses his opinions on the intersection of politics and design in both the United States and abroad, arguing the importance of public input on creating inspirational architecture. Additionally, Cox reflects on how the process of transitioning from education to professional practice has changed for today’s emerging designers.
From the architect. Specific features of this location originate from the fact that primordial modernist setting of the New Belgrade, extremely modernized throughout the principles of Le Corbusier’s Ville Radieuse was interrupted by so called investor’s (speculators) architecture during the past few decades. One of the outcomes of such conflict is the fact that new-formed, fragmentized sites are in huge disproportion compared to existing structures and primarily, sites marked for the complementary functions such as educational facilities are in large scale undersized. So it is the case with this site for the kindergarten. That fact as well as the nearness of heavy traffic corridor were predominant in the process of designing. Circular form was the most appropriate as a response to the built environment as well as to the very intensive traffic which backside of the building faces.
The element of contrast – duality and synthesis is part of the concept. From the perspective of the busy traffic corridor the building appears as rounded, wrapped and neutral while from the entrance perspective large rectangular parts of the circle’s body were cut off and architecture is structured and open. By introducing the outer circular ramp there was an extra-quality brought back into experience of the space, thus the children are enabled to experience correlation between built and non-built space and to experience space throughout emphasized motion through the building.
The building was designed as a energy efficient one, therefore it is equipped with geothermal pump which provides for the whole building the full range of heating capacity. All openings and materials applied have features complying with highest standards for energy-efficient buildings. The building is oriented toward south-east in order to collect as much as possible sun energy and its curved back shape as well as its second facade made of corrugated tin lessen the flaws.
Gross area is 1,890 square meters on a plot of 3,600 square meters. There are 14 units for children, each one 55m2 in surface, a common central area, two-storey high, which occupies 150m2 in surface and subsidiary functions such as kitchen, offices for teachers and nurses, toilets, showers and wardroom for employees that occupie 200m2.
The main entrance is placed tangentially to the central hall area. The common hall area serves as multifunctional space and it is planed as junction space of the playrooms on the one side and offices and kitchen on the other side. At first floor, playrooms placed on the left and right side are connected by small curved bridge which is, at the same time, designed to articulate interior organization of the hall.
Neutral structure of the interior is designed as a simple background for the future setting with intention to let the children to “conquer” the environment by their own intervention.
Kindergarten “Tesla - Science for life” / DVA STUDIO originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 30 Jan 2015.
As one of the most ubiquitous forms of construction, it can sometimes be easy to overlook the humble brick. However, this prosaic building method can also be one of the most versatile materials available to architects, thanks to the experimentation of countless architects who, for centuries, have worked to create new forms of expression with the simple material. In this round up, we celebrate architects who, with their architectural classics, have expanded the possibilities of brick craft: Antoni Gaudí‘s fantastical vaulting at Colònia Güell and Alvar Aalto‘s experimental brick patterning at his house in Muuratsalo; the powerful brick piers of Kevin Roche and John Dinkeloo‘s Knights of Columbus Building and the Catalan vaults of Porro, Garatti and Gattardi’s National Arts School of Cuba; and finally, what brick round up would be complete without the brick-whisperer himself - Louis Kahn and his all-brick fortress for the Indian Institute of Management.
More than ever, the media shapes architecture. The controversial Helsinki Guggenheim competition is as much about the use and exploitation of contemporary media as it is about design. The competition organisers are hugely proud to have over 1,700 entries to tweet about, but informed critics are less impressed. Has quantity ever guaranteed quality?
The competition has certainly created an impact. Some celebrate this, while others feel it has been detrimental to the profession, with so much unpaid time invested resulting in a low-level contribution to museum design.
Meanwhile, the spectre of Frank Gehry’s Bilbao Guggenheim, an “iconic” building that gave the American foundation so much positive publicity when it opened in 1997, haunts the Helsinki project. Finnish politicians hope for a similar success, a Sydney Opera postcard effect in this remote corner of the earth.
The pressures on the competition organisers themselves have been real enough: how do they please politicians who sit on the money but, culturally speaking, are still living in the Nineties? How can they be credible in an ever-evolving art world? How do they come out of this looking good? If, for example, the Guggenheim commissioned another building by Gehry (in addition to the Guggenheim museum he has designed for Abu Dhabi), it could be slammed for being old-fashioned and predictable.
We do not know the identities of all those who have taken part in the Helsinki competition, yet the word in PR circles is that many well established architects did not bother with this highly speculative exercise. As a result, the six shortlisted practices are, in design terms, a remarkably cohesive group – so cohesive in fact, that eyebrows have been raised, with five of the six practices being under eight years old. Just how anonymous have these studios been in the eyes of the jury? This is not to call foul play: experienced juries do not find it hard to identify the work of individual practices (a friend of mine even put in a “star” architect lookalike submission in the hope of being mistaken for a sure hit). At the very least, it is not difficult to identify practices which fit a certain mold in terms of background, experience and ideals.
Perhaps in the absence of “star” architects, there was an appetite for a shortlist that might yet surprise us. Or, perhaps there had been a genuine desire to do something different, to be a bit daring and thereby gain media favour with the Guggenheim “discovering or supporting young and upcoming practices.” It would be churlish to run such intentions down. And surely no one wants to have a go at a fresh-faced architect hoping to make their mark on the world.
The six-shortlisted studios are essentially groovy, go-getting practices with relatively little experience of building and no major projects in their portfolios. Together, they come across as new kids on the block who have worked on fashionable events, pavilions, exhibitions and other ephemera, and are proud of their conceptualising, even describing themselves as not “just architects” but “thinkers with scenarios.”
Reading the single-page descriptions of the shortlisted practices’ proposals, one also recognises a particular type of studio through language alone. Quite possibly, these are the very voices the jury has wanted to associate with the project. The language is that of the hip and pseudo-intellectual artsy jargon architects have learned to employ with curators keen on “accessibility”, fearful of accusations of elitism and concerned that theirs might be mistaken for the kind of “boring” institution associated with dusty scholars.
This architectural language typically employs a repetition of essentially meaningless terms: “cultural core”, “cultural destination for community”, “outreach”, “refuge”, “’other’ space”, “accommodate flux of daily life”, “accommodate conditions and situations”, and that clichéd favourite, “beacon”. The Helsinki competition’s short-listed studios have used all these terms, as if to tick the right boxes.
It is surprising that not more has been made of how the short-listed practices’ submissions engage with where museology as a discipline is heading. One would like to have thought that depth of thinking on that front would be important to how this project is communicated to the world. Instead, we are faced with highly affected rhetoric aimed at curators more interested in branding and marketing (of both the museum and themselves), and perhaps pure survival than rewarding ideas about art, architecture and the museum as a cultural institution.
With the right brand and marketing strategy most organisations can attract good coverage in attempts to prove how successful they are, especially around a museum’s opening day – which is all that really matters to careerist journalists who need to survive, too, in a world of “scoops” and “me first” media. There are always enough soft-touch journalists keen to hop on a plane, enjoy a press trip and write up glowing pieces in return on whatever is new and, preferably, sensational. Many have little more than a press pack to go by.
There are of course journalists with the necessary general culture and resources to act as proper critics. If I were promoting this project, I would certainly stay well clear of them!
The sad truth is that Helsinki may find itself with a headline winner that might also be a turkey. In an interview for the London Evening Standard with one of the shortlisted architects, Rob Bevan made an excellent observation about Asif Khan as being a “branding and social media friendly” kind of guy. This of course has little to do with the skill needed to create something worthy of Helsinki’s South Harbour, yet with the right imagery someone with these modish credentials might well create a lot of media buzz.
The media reception the project craves is thus having a real effect on the outcome of the competition despite criticism by writers, internationally, who are able to see through this marketing exercise, and speak against it.
This is no longer about the artistic legacy of Frank Gehry and the Bilbao Guggenheim. It is about the hype it generated. This hype has rather tainted the project with the highly problematic and much discussed “Bilbao effect”. Looking back what Gehry achieved, not altogether unlike the Centre Pompidou by Piano and Rogers, was truly radical, transforming and even sublime. City mayors like those of Bilbao however are rare, as are cultural leaders like Andre Malraux (France’s Minister of Cultural Affairs from 1958 to 1969) whose vision for Paris was realised thanks to a major international design competition and its pair of Anglo-Italian High-Tech winners.
If it happens, the Helsinki project may well be a media success and help embellish the CVs of all those involved, yet it is unlikely that an architectural strategy thus motivated will accomplish anything much more.
Laura Iloniemi, a Helsinki native, has been working in architectural PR for over fifteen years. She wrote a book on the subject “Is It All About Image“, published by Academy & Wiley. Iloniemi studied architectural philosophy at The University Cambridge and arts promotion at The Ecole du Louvre. Follow her on Twitter @BiennaleBooks.
Architecture vs. PR: The Media Motivations of the Guggenheim Helsinki originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 30 Jan 2015.
From the architect. Over 40 years ago, a couple purchased a quarter acre of land located 500 feet from the Atlantic Ocean. The state, county, and town codes evolved and what was purchased as a buildable lot had to undergo extensive negotiations to permit even the smallest house allowed. With a footprint of 15’ x 20’ and a height of two stories, 600 square feet was the largest house that could be built. The governing agencies determined the footprint, but there were conflicting regulations restricting the height. FEMA required the first floor to be elevated 6’ above natural grade, while the town restricted the height of the building to be 25’ above natural grade. With these limited parameters, the strategy was to explore the geometry of the building in section and how it can expand our perception of space.
Subtle shifts in the geometry of the building section maximize natural light and views to the sky, expanding the perception of space and openness while maintaining the 15’ x 20’ footprint. As the walls splay out from the base of the building toward the roof, the resultant void is a central light well. The bedroom and study are separated by clear glass walls on either side of the light well, but appear to be one large space. The acoustically divided rooms can be made more private by lowering the privacy shades.
To address the restricted height requirements, the floor and roof plates are engineered to be as thin as possible. Traditional ductwork is eliminated from the floors and roof and each space employs a separate, individually controlled, mechanical unit yielding higher energy efficiency. This unique way of addressing each space is a study in sustainability relating to building smaller and living with less.
Part of the approval process included a required raised portion of the site dedicated to storm water control and sanitary system. This portion of the engineering requirement was utilized by treating the raised area as the foreground to the architecture. The plinth is landscaped with a native grass that captures the patterns of the wind and references the nearby ocean waves. At the end of the path through the grass, the house is an object in the landscape perched on the edge of the plinth.
This 600 square foot house explores a geometric solution to create luxury with a minimum footprint. The experience and function of this small house is similar to the much larger neighboring homes, despite it’s limited size.
This week, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) released the results of its first Consensus Construction Forecast of the year. The forecast is compiled based on predictions of the industry’s leading forecasters and is conducted bi-annually to anticipate shifting business conditions in the construction industry. The dominant trend in this forecast (projected for 2015 and 2016) is an overall increase in spending in the construction sector.
Kermit Baker, the Chief Economist for the AIA, commented, “This is the first time since the Great Recession that every major building category is projected to see increases in spending.” This is due in large to a rising demand within the commercial construction sector for hotels and office buildings. Other bumps in spending will likely be driven by strides in the institutional sector, as demands for improved schools and healthcare facilities are on the rise. These improvements are facilitated by significant job growth and payroll increases in 2014, which helped foster a more healthy economic status and increase consumer confidence, encouraging more spending.
Across the board, all categories of the construction industry are expected to see increased spending in the next two years, but the percentages span a wide margin. The lowest projected increase is just 1.2% in 2015 for religious institutions, while the highest jump is an astounding 15.3% in 2015 for hotels. This is a shift from the past few years when residential architecture has dominated the market, although its growth is expected to continue at a slower rate.
In anticipation of the trends we can expect in the next forecast, Baker states, “Uncertainties in international economies, potential labor shortages, lower energy costs, rising interest rates and construction costs all are factors that we will be watching closely to see how they may adversely impact the marketplace.”
To learn more about the forecast, watch the 2015 Economic Forecast video.
AIA Construction Forecast Predicts Increased Spending originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 30 Jan 2015.
Rethinking the Urban Landscape, a (free!) exhibition curated by The Building Centre and Landscape Institute, presents a case for a landscape-first approach to city design and regeneration. The show, which is on view at The Building Centre in London until end of February and then tours, focuses on six problematic areas – from environmental issues to financial planning – and shows international projects that, due to the early procurement of landscape architects, deliver unique solutions.
Small-scale urban parks and community initiatives such as Growing Spaces in Glasgow sit alongside high profile landscape-led developments, such as London’s Olympic Park and the unbuilt Garden Bridge project. Post-earthquake regeneration in Christchurch, New Zealand, adjoins the new central park for Valencia, Spain. Several projects to restore environments in China are also included. The overall message is that all the projects featured have greater environmental and economic benefits because of integrating broad ‘landscape-first’ ideas ahead of imposing piecemeal architectural solutions.
Water management and designing with water is one of the six topics explored in depth. Exemplar projects show how the creation of ponds, wetlands, swales and basins support the environment by mimicking natural water flow, and how sustainable drainage is needed to improve environments and decrease flooding risks. The exhibition presents a calculation that if the rainwater storage capacity for Derbyshire Street Pocket Park was applied to all of built-up London this would achieve ten times the capacity of the Thames Tideway Tunnel, the highly controversial multibillion pound infrastructure development that is about to be built to deal with floodwater.
Highlighting the importance of green infrastructure, the exhibition argues that the value should be realised at the concept stage of urban planning if our cities are to become more liveable, healthy and safe. Lewis Blackwell, Executive Director of The Building Centre and co-curator of the exhibition says:
“The development, maintenance and restoration of landscapes that are sustainable and also enjoyable are not ‘nice to have’ things: they are essential – and they are also actually rather good investments. It’s an investment in health but if that seems too long-term – and it shouldn’t -then it’s easy to note that gardens, parks and roadside trees get an almost immediate payback in improving the value of the property around them.”
Noel Farrer, President of the Landscape Institute, says: “This exhibition is about highlighting the urgent need for a landscape-led approach to our towns and cities. Landscape architects are able to find solutions from within the natural landscape, avoiding highly engineered responses and ultimately creating schemes that are more sustainable, better designed and nicer to live in.”
Title: Rethinking the Urban Landscape
Organizers: Landscape Institute, The Building Centre
From: Tue, 13 Jan 2015 09:00
Until: Thu, 26 Feb 2015 19:00
Venue: The Building Centre
Address: The Building Centre, 26 Store Street, Fitzrovia, London WC1E 7BT, UK
Press release via The Building Centre
The Building Centre Presents "Rethinking the Urban Landscape" originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 30 Jan 2015.
Landscape Architect: Arkitekt Kristine Jensens Tegnestue
Client: The Danish Building & Property Agency
From the architect. With its triangular shape, Kolding Campus will create a significant new landmark in Kolding. The building is located on the Grønborg grounds in the centre of Kolding close to the harbour, station and scenic attraction of the river. Kolding Campus will create a new central plaza by Kolding River and will thereby form a close interaction with the other educational institutions of the town, Kolding Design School and International Business College Kolding.
The facade is an integrated part of the building and together, they create a unique and varying expression. Inside in the five floor high atrium, the displaced position of the staircases and access balconies creates a special dynamics where the triangular shape repeats its pattern in a continuous variety of positions up through the different floors. The activities open up towards the town so that the campus plaza and the interior study universe become one interconnected urban space with a green park at the back and a common recreational town plaza at the front.
The daylight changes and varies during the course of the day and year. Thus, Kolding Campus is fitted with dynamic solar shading, which adjusts to the specific climate conditions and user patterns and provides optimal daylight and a comfortable indoor climate spaces along the façade.
The solar shading system consists of approx. 1,600 triangular shutters of perforated steel. They are mounted on the façade in a way which allows them to adjust to the changing daylight and desired inflow of light.
When the shutters are closed, they lie flat along the façade, while they protrude from the façade when half-open or entirely open and provide the building with a very expressive appearance. The solar shading system is fitted with sensors which continuously measure light and heat levels and regulate the shutters mechanically by means of a small motor.
German artist Tobias Rehberger has created the decorations for the SDU Campus Kolding. The decorations are centered on ‘time’ as a theme. They appear as building integrated clocks on the façade, by the auditorium and more classrooms.
Combo Competitions’ latest ideas challenge asks participants to “rethink refueling” in a competition which seeks to re-imagine the ubiquitous filling station. The historical rise of this 20th century typology, from simple fuel dispensers to palatial rest-stops on the highway, grew with the proliferation of the car and became symbols for societal progression, personal status, and “a bright future.” Although the number of vehicles worldwide ”surpassed one billion in 2010, there has been a steady decline in filling stations since the end of the last century.” As such, perhaps this is the time to start to rethink how these fragments of the international mobility infrastructure operate?
This competition asks designers to generate a universal filling station design that is easily recognised regardless of its location, while maintaining visibility. The proposal must be visualised on two sites – one in rural Colombia, and the second of the participants’ choosing (either rural or urban). Furthermore, “concepts should address different types of fuel (gasoline, electricity, hydrogen etc.) and their status around the world, as well as potential additional services and facilities.”
You can download the brief here. The competition opened on January 19th 2015. The registration fee is £50 until April 19th, when standard registration ends and late registration begins (fee £70). Last day of registration is May 10th, one week before the submission deadline, which is on May 17th 2015.
Read more about Combo Competitions’ “emphasis on the idea”:
From the architect. Where in the past a small square marked the medieval gateway to the old town district of Ennsdorf, the garden house stands today. Arisen from an old farmhouse which was entirely ruinous it shapes the counterpart of the historical tollhouse. The traces of the past have slightly vanished, the wayside shrine, that once stood impressive in front of the tollhouse’s gable wall, has been moved to the right. The hedges have become too close to the free area.
The newbuilt garden wall follows the narrow contours of the Haratzmüllerstraße and recesses in alignment with the tollhouse’s gable. Thereby the suggestion of a larger square appears and the entrance to the garden house, which one can feel from outside as lush greens only, becomes clearly visible as a simple corner of the square.
With its barriers the site ensures calmness but at the same time is open for guests who’d like to immerse into a place of being. We call it garden house because this describes the atmosphere of fusing intense green and space. The content is discribed by Refugium for retreating, Laboratorium for creative workshops, lectures and discussions, and Klausur for private viewings and small cultural events such as vernissages and concerts.
The old farmhouse is a ruin. The remaining outer walls create a large courtyard in which the new concrete volume is inserted. It’s a house-in-house concept. Two patios that are linked together beneath the small house into one space.
Upstairs there a guest rooms and the main entry. A staircase down to the level of the gallery courtyard is hidden behind a porose new wall which doubles the outer wall. As a reference light comes through small holes in the format of bricks. The new house cantilevers in the direction of the river Enns and creates an interior space outside the old walls. From here you can let your eyes wander across the water, where in the past the bank was used as a harbour for the rafts.
In terms of energy saving, resource optimisation and nature conservation issues the sustainability of the building is a land-use-planning one, it’s based on using existing structures in the city. This should become the most important ecological answer for whole Europe in future. To avoid constructing new buildings saves much more of everything than any other scheme.
Garden House Refugium Laboratorium Klausur / Hertl Architekten originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 30 Jan 2015.
Energy And Lighting Design: Ingenieurbüro I. Acker
From the architect. In the heart of Kreuzberg, Berlin’s new, big inner-city park is opening this summer: The “Park am Gleisdreieck”, a former triangular junction. The first half of an altogether 36 hectares area spanning in the Western part of Berlin was already opened in September 2011 („Gleisdreieck – Eastpark“).
Named after the turn-of-the-20th-century viaducts of the overhead railway, which form a triangle here, since 1945 the Gleisdreieck has been waste land. Before, the area of the Anhalter and Potsdamer railway yards had been an enclave of the German state railway “Reichsbahn” for decades. Now, for the first time, this tract of land has been reintegrated into urban structure.
The town building basic agreement provides, besides the realisation of the park, for the development of about 16 hectares of urban quarters to round off the park on diverse areas. For the purpose of a sustainable town planning with direct access to the Park am Gleisdreieck new urban quarters with qualitatively valuable housing spaces, cross-generational and eco-friendly living areas with a zero carbon environmental impact together with integrated workshops will be developed.
With the Park am Gleisdreieck a modern urban location has been created focusing on the basic essentials of landscape architecture. Without any decoration, a location is formed, which keeps it as simple as possible but uses fine details, sensual materials and vegetation, which together unfold a strong, poetical effect.
The contrast between „grown“ nature and artificially built elements, vegetative elements has been purposely put in scene. Poetical landscapes unify to one big beautiful scenery. As a „green break“ in the city, the Park am Gleisdreieck stands at the same time for contemplative and stimulative experience of free space, targeting at a refined, sensual perception of the city.
The impressive expanse and the other-worldliness of the plateau-like grounds, which lie four meters above city level as well as the relicts of the former railway junction, make the park unique in Berlin. By means of an exceptionally large-scale and clear configuration many poetical types of scenery are created, together forming one big landscape: the freedom of the meadows, the backdrops of trees, the forest, the nursery, the large terraces, the small woods, the sport tracks, and the central plaza.
Robust and long-living materials are essential criteria for a successful landscape architectonic concept and the later use of a park. With four 80 meters long bench sculptures on the terraces and the luminaires, crossing the park as differently folded masts, an own large sculpture is formed, which characterizes the entire site.
Summing up our concept, we have put more focus on the future development and the new image of the site than on railway history or the nature myth created by the very special absence of man which will change in any case due to his future presence. The history of the area is the starting point for a new voyage and not to be considered conservational. The new park will put something into motion in this location, change the site itself, let something old appear new and will above all be a place where neighbours and visitors will like to spend their time. As a change from the surrounding city, people will experience here relaxation and leisure.
Ideally, the Park am Gleisdreieck can show how Berlin really is: multi-cultural, sophisticated without showing off, modern, flexible, fun-loving, and above all sensual. Finally, we hope that the park will build a bridge between the old quarters and the new life at the Potsdamer Platz.
Since the Park am Gleisdreieck was opened only recently (the 2nd September of 2011), as landscape architects and citizens of Berlin, we strongly believe that our vision of a decent, contemporary urban park will be adopted positively by Berlin‘s inhabitants.
Client: City of Montreuil
Cost: 470 K€ excl. VAT
From the architect. Located within a social housing project, the community centre exists since the mid 60s. Even if the building was severely dilapidated it was respected and seen as a milestone by the inhabitants.
The renovation of the building honours its faceted outline and its yellow color, both making its identity. The proportions of the building are respected and the yellow color is glorified by the use of golden anodized perforated aluminum offering a second skin wrapping the building in a precious cocoon.
It gives intimacy to the dance room and the social workers offices and yet gives light and views towrd the outside. The base of the building is black painted to respect the proportions of the former building with the golden skin which integrates the planted roof lifeline.
Community Centre CLEC Montreuil / CUT architectures originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 29 Jan 2015.
Collaborators: Hidenari Arai, Taku Minagawa, Yohei Yamagata, Stefano Tozzi, Elisabetta Giusti , Shoko Nakamura, Derek Naughton, Ami Motohashi, Daikichi Homma, Mach Engineering, Yasutaka Konishi, Takeshi Suzuki
From the architect. This design project is situated in Annupuri, the highest summit in the Niseko mountain range. Our aim was to build a condominium hotel in Niseko Hirafu a world leading ski resort at the foot of this mountain. The site is quite desirably located on the lower south east plains at the base of Annupuri and is blessed with a full panorama of the astounding yet elegant silhouette of Mt. Yotei which is called Ezo-Fuji( the Mt. Fuji of the Ezo area.) It isn’t at all far-fetched to think that the very existence of the Niseko Hirafu Ski Resort is directly connected to the extraordinary beauty attributed to the presence of Mt. Yotei and naturally, this also had a large influence on the architectural form of this project.
The building itself is composed of 4 above ground floors containing 6 residential units with its floor plan being organized around two axes. The first axis is to the north west of the site and aligns itself with the street. As we don’t have a particularly beautiful street view, the most private areas, such as bedrooms and bathrooms, have been located along this axis. Besides this, the street-side axis of the floor plan still respects the existing local streetscape. The second axis is shifted from that of the site and orients itself towards Mt. Yotei. The Living, Dining and Kitchen areas of the units are arranged along this axis to take full advantage of the view of this majestic mountain. The interaction of these two different axes structures the composition of the whole building with all 6 units boasting impressive views of Mt. Yotei.
Moreover, the facade facing Mt. Yotei is composed of full height curtain wall windows with the aim being to bring expansive panoramic views of Mt. Yotei into the interior spaces of the units. The entire exterior is made of a series of gate shaped arched concrete frames, creating cohesion and continuity between the street side and the Mt. Yotei side of the building. This same feature also breaks up the volume of the building reducing its impact on the surroundings making it a dignified part of the landscape. Furthermore, a metal mesh is utilized in the façade on the street side of the building, to introduce natural light and preserve the privacy of the residents of the building while adding charm and interest to this sizeable building.