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Infographic Charts Rise of Muzharul Islam, Father of Bengali Modernism

Sun, 29.03.2015 - 12:00

Maruf Raihan, founder of Bangladeshi graphic design firm Studio Biporit has created an infographic tracing the career of , widely recognized as the Master Architect of South Asian Modernism. The timeline begins with Islam’s birth in Murshidabad in 1923, spanning from his first major project— the Central Library at the University of Dhaka, in 1953— to his last, the World Bank Office in Dhaka in 1987. Also documented are his numerous academic and architectural milestones, including extensive international publication and exhibition. Highly legible and amply illustrated, the infographic concludes with an entry noting Islam’s death in 2012, at the age of 88. The full-sized graphic can be viewed here.

Infographic Charts Rise of Muzharul Islam, Father of Bengali Modernism originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 29 Mar 2015.

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Kategorien: Architektur

SG House / José António Lopes da Costa

Sun, 29.03.2015 - 11:00

Architects: José António Lopes da Costa
Location: Rua de Oliveira de Azeméis, 3700 , Portugal
Architect In Charge: , Tiago Meireles
Co Workers: Filipe Ribeiro
Year: 2009
Photographs: Manuel Aguiar

Structures: Eng. Ricardo Costa
Water Network And Drainage: Eng. Ricardo Costa
Electrical: Eng. Vítor Almeida

From the architect. The house consists of two structures, perpendicular to each other, and a third one serving the swimming pool. Due to its volume this house seems to have two floors, but it is, in fact, distributed almost exclusively in one. The structure of the living rooms, with a double height ceiling, which also houses the study and the gallery located on the first floor, grants it another volume dimension.

The volume of the living rooms is marked, to the south, by the horizontalness of the concrete canopies that serve as brise-soleils. The highest structure, composed by ground floor and first floor, is north/south oriented and houses the social area (Living rooms, kitchen and study).

The second structure, perpendicular to the previous one, consists only of the ground floor, and holds all the intimate area of the house, as well as the service area. To the east it opens to a reflecting pool that separates the terrace of the bedrooms from the garden.

There is also a third lower structure (that serves the pool), which appears as a kind of “filter” between the outside and the house, quite closed to the north. With the living area open to the south, the house has a private area to the east, with all the bedrooms facing a small patio and a reflecting pool. The Neighbouring granaries stand out in the south and west facing views.

SG House / José António Lopes da Costa originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 29 Mar 2015.

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Rehabilitation of the National University Library / ANMA

Sun, 29.03.2015 - 08:00

Architects: ANMA
Location: Place de la République, 67000 Strasbourg, France
Area: 18800.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Vincent Fillon

Project Leaders: Brice Chapon (competition), Anne Pestel (studies), Jean-Jacques Chagnaud (work site)
Project Manager: Valérie Dubois
Implementation Manager: Etienne Challet-Hayard
Project Management: ANMA, Agence Nicolas Michelin et Associés Nicolas Michelin, Michel Delplace, Cyril Trétout
Architect Of Monuments De France : 2BDM / Christophe Bottineau
Environmental Profile : Certification HQE standard Label Effinergie
Engineering Firms : Geneal Engineering Office: OTE
Economist: Michel Forgue
Acoustics: Peutz
Perspectives: Artefactory
Cost: 31,500,000 € before tax (value as of May, 2010)

From the architect. The original architecture of the National Strasbourg University Library (BNU) was wilhelmian and reflected the historicism of the late 19th century with its symmetrical design and its very square layout. Rehabilitation work in the 1950s hid part of the strong point of this initial design. The third phase carried out between 2006 and 2014 was a return to basics. The original central design has been restored, and the relationship between interiors and exteriors reactivated. Above all, the dome has been highlighted by a central staircase that is bathed in very carefully studied light. Both a symbolic and structural element, it returns to a form of monumentality shed of the triumphalism of its beginnings.

A revival of the spirit of place

Strasbourg’s National University Library (BNU), located in the city center, is a prestigious of the German-occupation period (1871). For its rehabilitation we wanted to scrupulously adhere to its monumental architecture. The project thus emphasized the ’s characteristic molding and magnified the dome by making it visible from all interior levels.

The new spaces have been clearly differentiated from the existing structure by using a specific architectural vocabulary. The three main spaces (reception, passageways and reading rooms) have been treated with distinct plasticity that creates a dialogue with the monumental architecture. The operation relied on the one hand on removing parasitic elements that interfered with a reading of the original quality of the volumes, and on the other, on building a vertical movement system and creating new functional floors. The objective in removing the parasitic features was to make the volumes under the dome accessible and visible to the public, including the non-reading public. The library’s identity is embodied in this exceptional volume.

The monumental staircase lies at the actual and symbolic heart of the rehabilitation. Its 27 meters give access to each of the library’s floors from GF+1 to GF+5 (at 12.04 m). Composed of 120 12/12 mm stays, the staircase rises in a spiral that unifies the building and simplifies how it is read. Above all, it helps reveal the building’s original dome, thus conferring on it its former glory. More than just the primary function of facilitating human movement, its 78 steps become landings where people can meet.

So as to provide ambient quality that encourages reading, working and conviviality in the cleared space, four platforms have been created in the perimeter around the great atrium. Replacing the former platforms, this arrangement frees up the comfortable heights under the ceiling for spaces accessible to readers. Vertical traffic hubs have been placed in the corners of the new platforms. These corners, corresponding to the four former courtyards, have thus become the nerve centers for the efficient functioning of the new library. They thus liberate the major volumes intended for the public from technical contingencies and safety. This arrangement enables comfortable working conditions for the staff and provides visual comfort for the big public platforms.

A complex and subtle job

The challenge of this major rehabilitation operation was dictated by maintaining the facades with their original joinery elements in the roofs and the dome, the reasons why this late 19th-century building has been classified as an historical monument.

Except for the courtyards located on the dome’s perimeter, filled with new floors, all of the building’s closed and covered parts have been preserved, which called for a methodological approach for the evacuation and supplies required for the job, the only access being the public one on the ground floor.

In contrast to the outer envelope, all of the structural elements and interior partitions have been transformed to meet the functional requirements of a 21st-century library and modern- day regulations. Wisdom dictated that work should start on the three exterior wings housing the book stores. So as to maintain stability, the existing floors composed of cast-iron posts and slab beams were methodically replaced by a new structure composed of mushroom posts and concrete floors poured on site. The whole made it possible to meet the new requirements for compactus storage and the seismic resistance of the walls and preserved facades.

Two-level stores have been preserved as examples of how storage methods have developed over the years. . The existing structure of these two stacked levels hangs from metal rods inserted inside the cast-iron posts and is attached to a new metal, fire-stabilized structure, installed on the last level. The Lipman (1895) and Strafor (1950) shelving has thus been preserved in their original setting.

The project removed the dome’s double, load-bearing structure which was composed of stone walls and very thick bricks. The job therefore began by installing the new metal structure on either side of the exterior wall. At the same time the installation of monumental scaffolding made it possible to completely free the existing structures of their constraints by jacking up the dome a few millimeters.

Big concrete blocks and double metal posts in the atrium’s corners henceforth support the dome and all the concrete floors that extend around the edges on five levels. The four stairwells located in the corners of the former inner courtyards also ensure the bracing and seismic stability of the whole. While the dome was being renovated — with the removal and relaying of each copper sheet — and the installation of the new atrium window with its brass ribbing, a new metal frame was added to the existing one so as to be able to hang the monumental staircase from it.

This major element, coiling around aconic space with an 8.10-m inner radius, was built in segments in the form of box beams in the workshop. Once the landings were attached by sealed inserts to the concrete floors, the flights of stairs were soldered by sections on the spot before being hoisted up to 12 meters. The whole was then hung at 27.5 m from the square base of the dome’s spire by a set of 120 12/12 brushed stainless-steel cables. Its shape was obtained by installing a circular ring at the confluence point of two conical revolutions. Located on the second floor from the Place de la République, the staircase leading to the atrium required that the under-pinning of the straight feet of the arches that characterize the prestigious main reading room had to be shored up. The arches were encased in a metal structure thus freeing up space on the lower levels.

The heat pumps connected to the water-table are located under the rafters of the three storage wings. All fluids are distributed only vertically through the empty space created between the stores and the atrium’s new peripheral floors, thus making it possible not to have any impact on the height under the ceilings of the various spaces limited by the dimensions of the facades’ existing windows.

Rehabilitation of the National University Library / ANMA originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 29 Mar 2015.

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Kategorien: Architektur

PlayHouse / Street Monkey Architects + Bjerking

Sun, 29.03.2015 - 04:00

Architects: Street Monkey Architects, Bjerking
Location: Värmdö,
Architect In Charge: Cage Copher (Street Monkey Architects), Thomas Björk ()
Area: 175.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Robin Hayes Photography

Builder: Ingrid Westman (Friendly Building)
Steel Fabrication: Wieslaw Olowski (Elmot), Jarek Wasielewski (Elmot)
Structural Engineer: Magnus Jönsson (Bjerking)
Ventilation: Wojtek Banda (Exengo)
Electricity: Dan Purra (Exengo)

From the architect. This debut project for SMA is on a forested sloping site on an island suburb just outside of Stockholm. The client’s wish was to create a habitat for social and outdoor living, with enough space for the fluctuating number of children required in many Swedish households today.

The challenges from the client were: 1. Create enough space to accommodate the program while remaining generous to the natural beauty of the site. 2. Make it energy efficient and 3. Build it with prefabricated modules.

The solution was a simple L floor plan and a cantilevered second floor. The L floor plan creates three distinct outdoor areas for socializing: a morning garden, a roof terrace and a sunset deck for dining. The second floor cantilever stretches out to make place for the master bedroom while maintaining a volume that still sits light in the landscape.

Thick, well-insulated walls, an air-tight building envelope and solar power reduce the energy demand of the house significantly compared to conventional Swedish construction and the façade materials are rustic and industrial like a piece of old farm equipment.

The result was 6 prefabricated modules placed on site in two days and a very happy family of 5.

PlayHouse / Street Monkey Architects + Bjerking originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 28 Mar 2015.

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Kategorien: Architektur

Courtyard House / Studio JCI

Sun, 29.03.2015 - 01:00

Architects: Studio JCI
Location: , ON,
Structural Engineering: LMS Engineering
Area: 392.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Scott Norsworthy

From the architect. Set atop a hilly site in an established North Toronto neighborhood and surrounded by traditional homes, the project is the result of a mixed brief from a professional couple keen on building a family home.

While one partner is drawn to contemporary design, the other prefers traditional. This dichotomy surfaces throughout the design and construction process, providing numerous challenges and opportunities for creative solutions.

This same tension is often visible in the market place, especially within the ubiquitous developer home, where modern living, open-concept interiors, and traditional architectural expression are at odds with each other. The Courtyard House sets forth a viable alternative to the standard developer home. It draws from standard construction methods, material palettes and vernacular domestic elements to create a contemporary architectural expression that is architecturally coherent.

The steep front grade of the property proved a challenge in siting the house. In an effort to maintain the height of the building relative to its neighbors, the second floor is merged into the roof form to create a dormer expression. On the interior, bedroom spaces feature sloped and carved ceilings that embrace the exterior form.

Sinking the main level of the house into the ground allows for the main entry to be integrated into the landscape, and the opportunity to build a beautiful front stair out of large, contemporary stone slabs.

Large operable windows and sliding doors encourage natural ventilation, passive cooling and lessen the cooling load of the overall house, while providing ample natural light. The open plan allows the family to spread out, while custom millwork pieces create distinct spaces within the whole. The large windows and courtyard configuration allow the house to be experienced from many different angles, both inside and out.

Set amongst large, traditional homes in an established neighborhood, the Courtyard House creatively integrates and composes traditional materials such as tumbled brick, cedar shingles, and wood siding into a formal language that is reflective of its open and contemporary interiors while respecting the visual cadence (roof lines, address, driveway, etc.) of the neighborhood.

The architectural expression of the Courtyard House sets forth a viable alternative to the standard developer home. It draws from standard wood-frame construction methods, traditional material palettes and vernacular forms to create a contemporary architectural expression that is coherent.

Unlike its neighboring buildings, also situated on large plots, the shallow floor plate of the house takes advantage of the wide lot. The traditional components and layout of the house are redistributed and reoriented around a central courtyard which capitalizes on the unique lot.

Therefore, a hybrid approach is suggested – instead of a strong modern aesthetic (flat roof, white walls, etc.), one that embraces traditional materials and construction with the demands of modern living is suggested. Instead of alienating its neighbors, the house respects and engages them.

Courtyard House / Studio JCI originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 28 Mar 2015.

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Kategorien: Architektur

How Supercomputers are Shaping the Future of our Cities

Sun, 29.03.2015 - 00:00

What possible use could architects have for a supercomputer? Well, of course it would be nice to produce that ultra-high-quality render in a matter of seconds rather than hours – but this post on the XSEDE blog recounts another use that is (arguably) much more important. XSEDE, an organization that helps researchers by providing them with access to supercomputers, has been working with a group from the University of Utah’s Mechanical Engineering Department to simulate wind flow in , with the ultimate aim of providing architects and engineers with the tools to reduce wind tunneling effects, improve energy efficiency and lower pollution. Find out more about the research project here.

How Supercomputers are Shaping the Future of our Cities originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 28 Mar 2015.

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Kategorien: Architektur

Help Fund Ittyblox’s 3-D Printed Miniature Cities

Sat, 28.03.2015 - 22:00

Ever wanted your very own Flatiron Building to sit on your mantelpiece? What about a Guggenheim for your desk, or a block of London apartments for your side table? Ittyblox, a Dutch company based in Den Bosch, is determined to make this dream a reality, 3D printing 1:1000 models of iconic buildings and city blocks. The models are printed in full color and designed to slot into modular baseplates, which can be arranged into complete cityscape dioramas. Buildings currently in production hail from London, MiamiNew York, and Chicago, with a new added each week. 

Still in its early days, Ittyblox is seeking support on its Kickstarter page, here. Backers will receive limited edition postcards, renders, or building models, with rewards varying depending on donation amount. For more information, head to Ittyblox’s website.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Help Fund Ittyblox's 3-D Printed Miniature Cities originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 28 Mar 2015.

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Kategorien: Architektur

Video: How Clive Wilkinson Architects’ Activity Based Working is Revolutionizing the Office

Sat, 28.03.2015 - 20:25

Click here to view the embedded video.

The latest innovation in workplace design, Clive Wilkinson Architects’ “Activity Based Working” (ABW) has revolutionized the way people go about their daily activities at the GLG Global Headquarters in New York. Broadening the idea of workable area to a number of specialized environments, ABW fosters a new dynamic in office relations, providing spaces for both individualized activity and collaboration. Experience this through the Spirit of Space-produced video above.

“In this film, we hear various viewpoints about how ABW impacts the work environment at GLG,” explains ’s Adam Goss. “How technology enables the user, the psychology behind seating choice, how this new style of working helps achieve the company goals, and how, above all, the architectural design fosters all of this in an efficient and choreographed manner.”

Video: How Clive Wilkinson Architects' Activity Based Working is Revolutionizing the Office originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 28 Mar 2015.

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Kategorien: Architektur

Kalasataman Huvilat Townhouses / PORTAALI architects Ltd + ArkOpen Ltd

Sat, 28.03.2015 - 19:00

Architects: , ArkOpen Ltd
Location: Antareksenkatu 10, 00540 Helsinki,
Architect In Charge: Juha Kämäräinen
Area: 1955.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Photos Tuomas Uusheimo, Studio Halas

Interior, Fixtures And Materials: Piritta Kokkonen, Interior architect SIO, Design Manager SATO Ltd and Juha Kämäräinen, PORTAALI architects Ltd / ArkOpen Ltd
Interior, Furniture: Helena Karihtala, Interior Design Helena Karihtala Oy
Developer: SATO Ltd
Main Constructor: SRV Construction Ltd
Landscape Architect: Suunnittelutoimisto Lounamaa Oy, Maija Lounamaa
Structural Engineering: WISE Group, Esa Järviö
Hepac Engineering: Kartech Ltd, Hannu Kallo
Electrical Engineering: Insinööritoimisto J. Tanskanen Oy, Jaakko Tanskanen
Fire Consulting: L2 Fire Safety Ltd, Tommi Nieminen

From the architect. Kalasatama is a new residential and business district build on a former harbor area adjacent to Helsinki inner city. Kalasatama will be a dense urban district that will offer versatile housing opportunities from high rise buildings to townhouses.

Kalasataman Huvilat was built as a part of a development block in a co-operation between three architecture offices: Gallery Block by ArkOpen Ltd, Townhouses by PORTAALI architects Ltd and Neo-Urban Apartments by TALLI Ltd. The housing block has a common underground garage and courtyard.

The development block on the Helsinki seaside utilizes three different types of user influence and life span solutions. The rented apartments use a communal building type with social emphasis, including the possibility to combine adjacent flats in the future. The family apartments use a building type that is universally usable without structural alterations. For the demanding customer there are the Town Houses, which provide an urban location combined with individuality from layout to facades. With these principles a socially versatile housing block is formed, that can live and develop in harmony with the changing needs of the inhabitants.

Kalasataman Huvilat offers individuality from facades to layout and fixtures. The townhouses are a small scale housing alternative with exclusive outdoor spaces in a dense urban district, located adjacent to the seafront and inner city of Helsinki.

Each townhouse has parking located in the cellar; with living room, kitchen and utility room on the ground floor; bedrooms on the first floor and a roof terrace on the second floor. Every apartment has small yard and a roof terrace. Kitchen and utility room are connected to the yard and the sauna to roof terrace. Located on the street side is the Main entrance, along with a direct entrance to the garage in the cellar.

The architecture is inspired by the neighborhood and consists of brick and plaster facades in earthy colors.Each townhouse’s facade varies in its use of colour, materials and detailing. Entrances, terraces and balconies are designed to a human scale.

Kalasataman Huvilat Townhouses / PORTAALI architects Ltd + ArkOpen Ltd originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 28 Mar 2015.

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Kategorien: Architektur

Colorful Illustrations of Tel Aviv’s Eclectic Facades

Sat, 28.03.2015 - 18:00

Take a virtual walk down the streets of Tel Aviv with these of the city’s facades by graphic designer Avner Gicelter. “My aim is to capture the unique essence of the building’s features in my illustrations, using a minimal set of graphic elements,” he explained. “After the building’s illustration is done I choose a background color out of a palette and a typeface that will reflect what I refer to as a Tel Avivian atmosphere.”

Gicelter first had the idea to capture the unique architecture in Tel Aviv’s city center when apartment hunting in 2013. “I got more interested in the building’s than in the apartments we were looking at,” he said. Since then he has illustrated over 70 different buildings.

Check out some of Gicelter’s illustrations after the break and visit his website to learn more. His illustrations are also available for purchase on Etsy.

Colorful Illustrations of Tel Aviv’s Eclectic Facades originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 28 Mar 2015.

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Chandigarh Under Siege: Le Corbusier’s Capitol Complex Threatened by Housing Development

Sat, 28.03.2015 - 15:30

Dr. Vikram?ditya Prak?sh is a professor at the University of Washington and the founder of the Chandigarh Urban Lab. In the following article he discusses the past, present and future of Le Corbusier’s vision for , explaining the reasons behind the petition he started against a new residential development to the North of the city.

Le Corbusier’s famous Capitol Complex in Chandigarh, India is about to be ruined by the construction of a gaggle of towers to its immediate north. The new project, called ‘TATA Camelot’, is being developed by TATA Housing, the real estate wing of TATA Group, a major multinational and one of India’s largest industrial companies. TATA Camelot’s 27 proposed towers, each between 13 and 36 storys tall, will not only destroy the architectural and urban design integrity of the Capitol, they will also disrupt the fragile Himalayan ecology of the area. In the contest between development and preservation, it is the larger public good and the long term perspective of the ecological that must be prioritized.

PAST: The Chandigarh Vision

The site of Chandigarh was selected by aerial reconnaissance. Late in 1948, soon after India’s Independence from colonial rule, two Indian Civil Services officers named P.N. Thapar and P.L. Varma flew from Delhi on an old WWII airforce transport aircraft, to survey several possible sites for the new capital city. They picked the site where the city is today because it was a gently sloping plain, nestled into very foothills of the Himalayas. The mountains, they reasoned, would assure the city a spectacular backdrop, and also a perfect slope for natural drainage.

Le Corbusier, after he was eventually selected for the project in 1950, immediately responded strongly to the site conditions. “We are in a plain,” he wrote, “the chain of the Himalayas locks the landscape magnificently to the North. The smallest building appears tall and commanding.” [1] He rapidly set to work drafting a layout for the new city, carefully delineating it between two rivers – the Patiala ki Rao and the Sukhna Choe – that drained from the hills into the plain. A third rivulet, the smallest, Le Corbusier designated as the armature of the prime ecological zone of the city – its “green belt” in modernist lingo – that was later re-christened as the “Leisure Valley”. Unsurprisingly, Le Corbusier located the Capitol Complex that would hold the magnificent buildings of state which he was to design personally, at the very northern edge of the site, carefully articulated into an exclusive protected zone with the mountains on one side and the rest of the city on the other. Within this narrow strip of land, Le Corbusier located the temenos of the Capitol – defined by two squares of 800 meters each.

Le Corbusier wanted to protect the remaining land between the Capitol and mountains as an agro-rural landscape. “The Capitol was placed at the top of the town”, Le Corbusier wrote in a special 1961 issue of the Indian journal Marg (which at the time was coincidentally sponsored by the TATA Group):

…so as to take good advantage of the presence of the mountains, the hills and the agricultural life (villages, sugar-cane fields, wheat fields, colza fields, etc., ploughings and pastures peasants at work, cartings, cows, oxen and bulls), this millennial activity touching the Capitol, separated by one single pit of 4 meters width preventing confusion, but connecting modern times to the magistral bucolic symphony. [2]

Modern times, with the bucolic symphony – mountains, hills and agricultural life; this was the modernist vision of the Capitol, a very distant avatar of the Radiant City from Le Corbusier’s past, an incipient manifestation of the principles of ecological urbanism as we are beginning to recognize it today.

And so unsurprisingly, when an army cantonment was proposed in 1960 on the hills, Le Corbusier fought it tooth and nail, eventually moving Jawaharlal Nehru, the Prime Minister of India, to prevent its construction.


Chandigarh today, 50 years after its inception, is not only fully grown, it is one of the fastest growing of India. As a result of its success, real estate values in this erstwhile modernist utopia easily rival those of even a wealthy US metropolis. As a consequence, Chandigarh’s growth is regulated not by a reinterpreted modernist vision but by the exigencies of real-estate investment.

Since ‘old’ Chandigarh has adopted a largely preservationist stance, most of this growth is occurring in the peripheries of the city. Most of these peripheral territories, however, do not come under the jurisdiction of Chandigarh Administration, but that of the State of Punjab, which is understandably focused on maximizing their development potential. GMADA, the state agency responsible for directing this growth, has published extensive development plans (prepared by Jurong Consultants of Singapore) designed to build out all the land that is available around Chandigarh (see here for more information). Actual development in this area is still in its early stages.

GMADA’s plans focus on the South and South-East of Chandigarh, which are the natural directions of growth for the city because that is where all the large parcels of land are currently available. They have published seven master-plans, all of which rely on significant infrastructural investments to catalyze development.

Eschewing these plans, TATA Sons has chosen to develop their mega-project in the precious narrow strip of land between the Capitol Complex and the mountains that is not even earmarked as a major development priority by GMADA. While the real-estate values of this land are obviously very high, it is presumably not a major target of the official development plans because of the difficulty of providing access to it and because it falls within the general protective ambit of the Capitol. However, because of a re-drawing of state boundaries (driven by political exigencies) in 1966, a small portion of the land next to Capitol Complex fell out of the legal jurisdiction of Chandigarh. TATA Sons is using this loophole to drive this project.

Intended to be developed in two phases, TATA Camelot is a gated residential community consisting of 27 towers, varying in height from 13 storys to 36 storys each. While the design of the towers themselves is itself of limited aesthetic quality, it is of course the siting of the project that is the key contention. The project is not only going to mar the precise visual framing the Capitol buildings, it also runs counter to the larger conceptual vision of the city and its relationship to the mountains. While the Chandigarh plan gently nestled up to the mountains and steered clear of the rivers, TATA Camelot butts right up against the mountains (which is also a national reserved forest), and occupies land that is the former river bed and flood plain of Kansali Rao river, one of the two tributaries of the Sukhna Choe river.

The history of Kansali Rao is important to understand. An important part of the original plan of the Capitol and the Lake, the Kansali Rao was diverted into a deep and narrow man-made canal in1971 to try and mitigate the amount of silt it was carrying into Sukhna Lake. This diversion, which ‘freed’ up this land on which TATA Camelot is proposed, has only succeeded in increasing the silt being carried into the Lake because water flows much faster through the canal than it did along its original meandering path. The silting of the Lake is a major obsession in the city today and appears to be a losing battle.

The diversion of the Kansali Rao vouchsafes the ecological case that it is better to learn to inhabit our earth in a manner that is in sync with the logics of nature rather than try to engineer them away. The original master-plan of Chandigarh recognized this value and whether it was intuitive or self-cognizant, the visual transparency that Le Corbusier insisted on between the Capitol and the mountains stands in witness to this fundamental truth of life. The long term view of ecology insists, I would argue, on the importance of protecting the original path of the Kansali Rao against development, or else it will come to haunt us as other buried waterways in other cities of the world have come to haunt them.

FUTURE: Preservation as Managing Change

In other words, TATA Camelot not only promises to make a mockery of the old modernist vision of Chandigarh, it also sets a destructive ecological precedent for the future. It is the 21st century. Unquestionably, the old modernist values of places like Chandigarh are inevitably going to be, and should be, challenged and rethought. How can a modernist preservation project prepare for the future?

It seems to me that thinking of preservation as the process of managing change, rather than just fossilizing the past, is a more productive framework for rethinking Chandigarh’s modernist heritage. Modernism itself, after all, was a great rethinking of the past, of the value of history to the present and future. Preservation as managing change suggests that long shadow of history must not be a threat to the possibilities of the future, but a guiding light. Built as a modernist, utopian state enterprise, an administrative city with ecological master planning, Chandigarh today is a real-estate mecca. In other words, it is the non-privatized larger civic and ecological values that are inscribed in the Chandigarh vision that have fundamentally generated its real-estate value. Good design works, and ultimately adds value to the life of the average citizen, beyond a privileged set of stakeholders.

By contrast, TATA Camelot is focused singularly on profit maximization, exploiting an unintended loophole in the law. Not only is it destructive to the past, it doesn’t offer or participate in alternative urban or ecological vision. In the backyard of Chandigarh, this is incorrigible. The TATAs, and the master-planners of Chandigarh’s future, must be held to a higher standard.

TATA Camelot is currently being sued by a citizen’s advocacy group in the courts, and a decision is pending.

You can sign Dr. Vikram?ditya Prak?sh’s petition to “SAVE Le Corbusier’s Capitol Complex in Chandigarh” here.


[1] Le Corbusier, The Modulor vol 1 and 2 1958, p.214.

[2] Le Corbusier, “The Master Plan”, Marg December 1961, p.10.1.

Chandigarh Under Siege: Le Corbusier’s Capitol Complex Threatened by Housing Development originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 28 Mar 2015.

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Difficult Run Residence / Robert M. Gurney Architect

Sat, 28.03.2015 - 15:00

Architects: Robert M. Gurney Architect
Location: , VA, USA
Project Architect: John Riordan, LEED AP
Photographs: Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Phase 1 Contractor: Peterson & Collins
Phase 2 Contractor: Commonwealth & Design
Landscape Designer: Lila Fendrick Landscape Architecture and Garden Design
Engineer: D. Anthony Beale LLC

From the architect. Located in Mclean, Virginia, this project is sited on a seven acre, steeply sloping, wooded lot bordering a stream and parkland trail, known as Difficult Run. The scope of work involved a complete renovation of an existing house, a substantial addition to the house, a new detached garage and guest house, and a comprehensive reorganization of the site.

The pre-existing approach to the house involved a narrow, meandering driveway with limited parking space. Adjacent vegetation was overgrown, and in many places, severely reduced the amount of light entering the house. As part of the renovation, extensive on-site parking was required to accommodate large family and corporate gatherings. A limestone wall with a custom designed steel gate creates a threshold to the property. The new parking area and tree-lined approach to the house is delineated with a series of limestone and stacked slate walls arranged on axis to the house and rendered with differing paving materials. A new garage and guesthouse structure is located to further define the parking area and is organized around a large, mature Deodar Cedar tree. A stone wall with a water element is introduced opposite the main entry and extends this principal axis. Stone paths and stairways, corten steel walls, gabion stone walls, a swimming pool with an infinity edge, a reflecting pool, terraces and decks, and structured plantings continue to organize the site and provide an abundance of outdoor living spaces.

The existing main structure, built in 1965, contained a series of interior and exterior spaces below a single, low-pitched roof with a ridgeline spanning diagonally above the orthogonally arranged spaces. An attached hexagonal volume contained the bedrooms. The space was wrapped in a muted palette of materials including dark flagstone flooring, gray stone walls and fireplaces, and dark wood walls and ceilings. This rendered existing interior spaces compartmentalized and dark, despite expanses of glass. In renovating the main house, all interior finishes were stripped, walls were removed, spaces were opened up and windows were enlarged and replaced, in an effort to reflect the light rather than absorb it. A series of small additions were implemented as required and located within the footprint of the existing roof. While the roof structure was retained, the ballast roofing was replaced with standing seam, terne coated stainless steel. In addition, the board and batten siding was supplanted with a combination of dry-stacked slate, stucco and limestone. The new window system is comprised of a custom steel curtain wall and steel windows with thin profiles. Interior finishes include Cambrian Cream stone and dark stained oak flooring, smoked oak, Wenge, Walnut and lacquered millwork, glass, and honed, polished, and hammered absolute black granite. Detailing is crisp and minimal with no trim, casing or baseboards.

The new addition encompasses a large library, five bedrooms and bathrooms, an exercise room, media room, laundry room, and other support spaces. These new spaces are stacked vertically but descend, rather than ascend, minimizing the apparent size of the new structure as perceived upon entering the property, and to work within the steeply sloping topography. The rooftop of the addition extends the slightly sloping roofline of the existing house and folds up at the southern corner to capture light and to provide expansive views into the wooded landscape and stream below. Finishes and detailing continue the palette prescribed in the main house.

The new garage accommodates three cars and the guesthouse includes two bedrooms. The massing and materials employed continue the language introduced at the main house.

This is a large and comprehensive project that entails a total integration of site specific requirements, landscape components, a complete renovation of a substantial structure, a significant addition and a separate garage and guesthouse. The goal of this project was to incorporate all of these requirements in a cohesive, site responsive manner that provides integrated interior and exterior spaces sensitive to the land the project occupies.

Difficult Run Residence / Robert M. Gurney Architect originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 28 Mar 2015.

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Building Trust to Host Live Build Workshop in Laos

Sat, 28.03.2015 - 14:00

This April, non-profit organization Building Trust will host a Live Build Workshop in Laos, in partnership with the local Free the Bears Fund rescue centre. Participants are invited to work with the Laotian local community and Free the Bears staff to construct a design a sustainable merchandise store. It is envisioned that the store will allow Free the Bears to sell merchandise that will in turn fund their ongoing bear conservation projects in Laos and beyond.

The workshop will take place between April 18 and May 2 in Tat Kuang Si Park, approximately 30-kilometers from the UNESCO World Heritage listed city of Luang Prabang. It is the latest in a series of humanitarian projects organized and executed by . Learn more about the project and learn how you can get involved, here. You can view our previous coverage of Trust’s Live Build Workshops here.

Building Trust to Host Live Build Workshop in Laos originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 28 Mar 2015.

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AD Classics: Fagus Factory / Walter Gropius + Adolf Meyer

Sat, 28.03.2015 - 12:00

The Fagus Factory is one of the earliest built works of modern architecture, and the first project of . The commission provided Gropius with the opportunity to put his revolutionary ideas into practice, and the stunning rectilinear volume with its primarily glazed façade would guide the course of Modernism through the coming decades.

Before working on the Fagus Factory, Gropius was working under Peter Behrens, the architect who designed the AEG turbine building. Although both of the German architects were very interested in industrial architecture, their design philosophy differed. While Behrens introduced a sense of nobility to industrial architecture with the AEG building, Gropius was critical of the project and felt that it lacked authenticity with regards to the exterior design masking its construction elements. Instead, Gropius felt that exterior design should reveal the construction logic of a building. It would become his mandate to discover artistic solutions of constructing industrial buildings in a variety of contexts.

Gropius formally expressed his design ideals during a lecture at the Folkwang Museum in April 1911. In his lecture, ‘Monumental Art and Industrial Construction’, he explained that train stations, departments stores, and factories should no longer be built like those from previous decades and needed to evolve to suit changing societal and cultural dynamics. Gropius emphasized the social aspect to architectural design, suggesting that improving working conditions through increased daylight, fresh air, and hygiene would lead to a greater satisfaction of workers, and therefore, increase overall production. These are the theories that would guide his design of the Fagus Factory.

Shortly after his lecture, Gropius met with Carl Benscheidt, the owner of the Fagus Factory. Located in , Germany, Benscheidt’s factory, which produced wooden ‘lasts’ for the manufacturing of boots, was in the process of an ambitious expansion project. Industrial architect Eduard Werner was already designing a series of buildings, renovations, and additions for the Fagus Factory. Gropius explained to Benscheidt that Werner’s design would not provide his factory with the progressive image that Benscheidt had wanted. After successfully convincing Benscheidt of the value of his approach and that the factory should be planned as an artistic project, he was commissioned in May 1911 to assist with the project. As the design was already well underway, Gropius and his collaborator Adolf Meyer adhered to Werner’s floor plans and focused on the exterior and interior design of the project.

The Fagus Factory is a complex with many buildings, which contain various functions such as manufacturing, storage, and offices, and Gropius felt it was important to design an exterior design aesthetic that could be applied to various structures. The use of brick — more specifically, a 40-centimeter high, dark brick base which projects 4-centimeters from the facade — can be seen repeatedly throughout the complex. The most architecturally-significant aspect of Gropius’ contribution to the project is the office building. Unlike the other buildings, this flat-roof, three-story building features a façade that is comprised of more glass than brick. Instead of conventional load-bearing exterior walls, Gropius had made the bold and innovative decision to place reinforced concrete columns inside the building to free the façade. A series of brick piers suspend iron frames between that supports glass inserts. Metal panels were placed within the iron frame to conceal the floor slabs behind. The most innovative feature of the building is the fully glazed exterior corners, which are free of structural elements. The exterior design of the office building effectively demonstrated Gropius’ ambition to improve interior conditions while exposing contemporary construction techniques as an architectural image.

The Fagus Factory was architecturally completed in 1911, though the interiors were not completed until 1925. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011 for its early influence on the development of modern architecture. Design elements of the factory, such as its simple geometric forms, generous use of glazing, and perceived weightlessness, became inseparable from the vocabulary of Modernism and remain common principles in contemporary construction.

Following his work on the Fagus Factory, Walter Gropius continued designing progressive industrial buildings, and in 1919 established the Bauhaus. The Bauhaus Building was designed by Gropius himself and remains his best known work of architecture. As a result of his prolific career devoted to the Modern Movement, Walter Gropius is considered to be one of the most important pioneers of Modernism.

Reference: Lupfer, G., and Sigel, P. Gropius (Cologne: Taschen, 2005).

Architects: Walter Gropius, Adolf Meyer
Location: GreCon, Hannoversche Straße 58, 31061 Alfeld, Germany
Architect In Charge: Walter Gropius
Design Team: Walter Gropius, Adolf Meyer, Eduard Werner
Year: 1925
Photographs: Flickr user martin

AD Classics: Fagus Factory / Walter Gropius + Adolf Meyer originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 28 Mar 2015.

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Mesh Temporary Bar / fala atelier

Sat, 28.03.2015 - 11:00

Architects: fala atelier
Location: , Portugal
Year: 2014
Photographs: Ana Luisa Soares, António Lopes

Client: aefaup
Budget: 500€

From the architect. The 3x3x5m metal structure was given; the skin is defined by an overlay of metal meshes and plastic screens.

Light and color flow freely through the translucent materials, becoming a smooth cloud over the imposing geometry of the structure.

From far, only the light is visible; while approaching the object, the thin silhouette and its texture reveal their rationality.

The lightness of the construction allows the pavilion to be only a frame for the light it contains.

Mesh Temporary Bar / fala atelier originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 28 Mar 2015.

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Vlassides Winery / Eraclis Papachristou Architects

Sat, 28.03.2015 - 08:00

Architects: Eraclis Papachristou Architects
Location: , Cyprus
Design Team: Eraclis Papachristou, Yiannos Tsiolis
Area: 900.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Nikos Louka, Erieta Attali

Structural Engineers: Earthquake Protected Structures- George Demetriades, Nikos Kalathas
Mechanical Engineer: Michalis Gregoriou
Electrical Engineer: Christos Christofi

From the architect. The Vlassides Winery, located on a sloping site amongst vine fields outside the Koilani village in Limassol,  smoothly becomes part of the landscape with most of its volume buried in the hill while the visible part is gradually revealed, benefiting the visitor with the magnificent view of the Cypriot countryside.

The for Vlassides Winery is organized within a system of parallel walls aligned with the sloping contours of the site. The entrance and the location of the interior spaces create panoramic views to the vine fields, to the winemaking and storage rooms equally, benefiting the visitor with a general experience of the winemaking process.

The building is longitudinal, organized in two functional zones located vertically, including spaces for wine production, wine cellars as well as spaces for wine tasting ceremonies.

The Vlassides Winery is enclosed by parallel walls creating volumes that either emerge or penetrate the landscape. The building makes a distinctive statement in the Cypriot vine fields while the openings on the building shell infiltrate the light into the interior. The conical shaped volumes on the roof, with the stainless steel – mirror finished cladding, act a signal to the visitor, they reflect the Cypriot sunshine and at the same time direct the sunlight inside. The veranda which is the intermediate space between the open-air courtyard (“the plateia”) and the entrance lobby reveals views to the fields as well as to the sky through the conical skylights on its roof.

The spaces are organized in two functional zones located vertically. On the ground floor, the space for wine production is attached to the interior courtyard where the grapes are delivered for the winemaking and the storage in bottles and barrels. The courtyard is enclosed by two walls constructed with the local stone, hiding the view to the automobile traffic. In front of the stone wall an open-air courtyard (the “plateia”) naked from any structural elements, becomes a scene for local festivals under the Cypriot sky.

On the upper level, the space for the wine tasting ceremonies is accessed through the external staircase. The corridor along the wine tasting space gives views to the winemaking spaces and to the cellars.

The building for Vlassides Winery has most of its volume buried in the ground with the wine cellars are fully buried so as to keep an ideal and stable temperature for the wine.

Vlassides Winery / Eraclis Papachristou Architects originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 28 Mar 2015.

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Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates

Sat, 28.03.2015 - 04:00

Architects: Nath Rankothge & Associates
Location: , Sri Lanka
Area: 282.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Ajantha Ranaweera

Construction Management: Lal Rankothge & Nath Rankothge
Structural Engineer: Sam Samarasinghe

From the architect. Nisala Villa is a fusion of vernacular and contemporary, Sri Lankan and Western sensibilities. Located along the village high road in the countryside of Kandy, a UNESCO world heritage city, the villa aims to respond to the rich architectural and cultural heritage, tropical mountain landscape and climate.

The design is an exercise in abstraction and simplicity, inspired by Sri Lankan ‘up-country’ living and ancient kingdoms, utilising locally sourced vernacular materials and traditions.

Moving up the hillside and through the villa, a linear sequence of spaces and platforms unfold. There is a transition from the communal front living, dining and entertainment terrace under one generous cantilevering roof to smaller private spaces and intimate gardens connected by the central hallway.

Platforms slide underneath unifying floating timber roofs that hug and soar dramatically. The ‘platforms’ reinterpret Jorn Utzon’s essay, “Platforms and Plateaus” (Zodiac, No.10(1962):113-140). Dramatic spatial variations, environmental lighting effects, and inside-outside conditions are created by the soaring roofs, skylights, platforms and gardens. The building is fragmented, tectonic, yet a unified whole object.

Furniture is manufactured or sourced from Sri Lanka, a combination of hand-crafted colonial and Sri Lankan antiques, and complementary contemporary pieces custom designed by Nath Rankothge.

The project employs socially, economically and environmentally sustainable approaches through design, construction and operations.

Passive design features were critical to reducing the carbon and energy footprint. The effectiveness of natural ventilation, capturing breezes, cooling perimeter gardens, high ceilings, ground level living, and thermal mass have meant that air conditioning is avoided. Natural cross ventilation is promoted through a highly ‘openable’ skin of doors and windows facing perimeter gardens, and capturing a natural cooling breeze coming down the mountain on the Northern elevation. Spaces stepping up the hill are connected by the linear hallway with high level windows and louvers promoting stack ventilation. The transparent glass elevations, high windows, and skylights permit generous natural daylight, while deep, low eaves reduce direct sun penetration. Electricity consumption is minimised using solar hot water and electricity.

Engaging local labour, materials, and fabricators were integral to the design and construction process. Most construction materials and labour were sourced in Kandy or other parts of the island based on availability, sustainability, technical capability, and cost considerations. The limited selection of cost-effective, quality imported materials and advanced construction technologies in Sri Lanka is a consequence of a 3 decade long internal war that ended in 2009. As an adaptive response by architects practicing in Sri Lanka, the detail refinement of vernacular materials and use of available skills such as stonemasonry is defining a contemporary Sri Lankan architectural aesthetic. The Sri Lankan preference for the detached garden home typology has shaped an island-wide, dense, ‘tropical-suburban’ condition. Within this context, Nisala Villa demonstrates possibilities for accessible, appropriate, quality residential construction, during a period of rapid development generally characterised by low cost, substandard construction.

The boutique villa operation supports building maintenance and engages the village community. Villagers enthusiastically work with hospitality experts, develop skills, make a livelihood, engage with foreigners, and share ideas. Sensitivity to village identity and culture is paramount and the villagers are involved in decision making and implementation. Nisala Villa has become a symbol of inclusive development and culture.

Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 27 Mar 2015.

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The Oeko-Center Administrative Building / Steinmetz De Meyer

Sat, 28.03.2015 - 03:00

Architects: Steinmetz De Meyer
Location: Montée de Pfaffenthal, 2328 Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Area: 1347.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Catherine Thiry

Civil Engineer: T6-Ney & Partners s.à.r.l.
Technical Engineer: Jean Schmit Engineering s.à.r.l.
Landscape Architect : Areal Landscape architects
Coordinator Pilot: HBH S.A.
Coordination Security Health : Fernand Greisen
Blower Door Test: Hubert Schmitz
Energy Consultant : Eböck
Commodo Incommodo: Jean Schmit Engineering s.à.r.l.
Soil Investigation: Geotec s.à.r.l.
Analysis Asbestos Presence: Ingenieurgruppe RUK
Client: City of Luxembourg

From the architect. Next to the elementary school in the Pfaffenthal neighborhood, rue Vauban, the “Centre du Mouvement Écologique” (Ecological Center), known as the “MECO”, was in dilapidated structures, worth of no interest, neither as built heritage, nor as architectural component of urban fabric.

That old structure, having serious problems with stability, moisture and useful surface capacity, has been replaced by a new construction, exemplary for its answers to concerns and questions raised by sustainable development.

Therefore, the decision was made to erect a structure, abiding by environmental and energy values required for the environment.?The new of the “Centre du Mouvement Écologique” meets the energy criteria of a mixed-use known as “passive”.

The selection of building materials, the construction itself, the techniques and facilities set up take into account a series of parameters developed in paragraphs relating to environmentalism, energy, stability and outdoor design. This new construction, almost entirely made of solid wood, which only resorts to armored concrete techniques where strictly necessary (escape stairwells and subsurface premises) or to steel construction for long spans, is a pilot project for administrative buildings.

Varied from one floor to the other, the complex organization of the “Centre du Mouvement écologique” gets collected into a sober construction of free and flexible platforms (open space). Each space is partitioned and fitted according to the specific needs of the various departments and positions to be hosted.

The Oeko-Center Administrative Building / Steinmetz De Meyer originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 27 Mar 2015.

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OVO / Camilo Rebelo

Sat, 28.03.2015 - 02:00

Architects: Camilo Rebelo
Location: , Switzerland
Current Room Area: 20,8 sq.meters
Previous Room Area: 39,1 sq.meters
Year: 2014
Photographs: Office archive

Collaborators: Patricio Guedes
Project Partner : sculptor: Rui Chafes
Engineering Coordination: GOP – Gabinete de Organização e Projectos Lda.
Foundations And Structure: Jorge Nunes da Silva, Edgar Lima, Raquel Dias
Electrical Installations: Alexandre Martins
Mechanical Installations: João Sousa
Construction Manager: Fernando Dias
Construction: Matriz
Construction – Wood: José Simões, Pedro Simões
Construction – Marble: Augusto Sousa
Construction – Electrical Systems: Alfredo Aguiar, João Aguiar
Client: O. J.

From the architect. EGG project was an order from a client full of restlessness – OJ.
OJ acquired a sculpture, called ‘Seed’, of the contemporary Portuguese artist Rui Chafes. The piece built in iron finds its purpose in the universality of OJ’s mind that seeks values such as origin, purity and universal mystery.
In a second stage, OJ threw us the challenge to design and build a space to receive and expose the ‘Seed’, promoting a deep reflection between Art and Architecture. The designed space is in the basement of his home in Fideris, located in the Swiss Alps.

The ‘Trojan Egg’ was the first stage of the project. The objective of this wooden egg was to create a void, revealing a new dimension and through it enhance mystery. The mystery is a condition that is very close to disappear from our civilization. This value is for us one of the main reasons for life and the egg is the dimension we choose to express it.

As architects, from the beginning, we wanted to design a space that was in fully consonance with Rui Chafes’s sculpture. The ‘Seed’ brought us immediately issues related to the purity and the origin of our existence and in this sense our proposal was to build a cocoon, avoiding the usual edges.

The project seeks to establish a direct relationship between three components: sculpture, void and the observer. Weight and thickness were key aspects to this construction. This space was almost entirely constructed with white concrete which has been poured at once from the upper floor, between the ancient masonry stone walls and the wooden mold.

The lighting, indirect and mysterious, arises through the floor where a very thin marble layer allows to emphasize its translucent nature, omitting the source. The intensity and the light colour can be changed allowing different perceptions of the space and the sculpture, in real time. The experience is always unique, unrepeatable and personal. The ‘Seed’ is suspended in the air.

OVO / Camilo Rebelo originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 27 Mar 2015.

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Renovation in Durbuy / PIQUE

Sat, 28.03.2015 - 01:00

Architects: PIQUE
Location: , Belgium
Area: 100.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Peter Jahnke

From the architect. The building owners have been slowly renovating an old barn built in the late 1800′s.  This, their last bit of unfinished space is decidedly more contemporary than the rest of the house.

The clean lines and detailing of a modern space highlights the dynamic volume.  The primary goal in the renovation was to preserve as much of the openness and height as possible that existed in the raw space, but were required to add a few walls for program privacy.

The new interior walls are shaped to echo the existing roof lines and a new light scoop funnels light into the vaulted space.

Renovation in Durbuy / PIQUE originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 27 Mar 2015.

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