From the architect. Canadian based practice Batay Csorba Architects have recently completed the Glebe Residence, a full interior renovation and addition to the 1890’s structure in Ottawa, Canada. The two story existing rectilinear brick massing was retained providing a direct reference to its past, while a new third story and three story rear addition clad in contrasting black metal panels cantilever and pivot around an existing historic sugar maple tree located on the site.
The conflict between the required additional program and the limitations imposed by the existing tree and site setbacks create a massing that uses the tree as a central pivot for the shifting geometry, creating a series of diagonally cantilevered masses. The relationship between the residence and the tree is facilitated through a series of ever changing oblique relationships and views such that each space develops it own unique relationship with the specimen tree.
The lack of sectional continuity of the traditional Victorian typology is challenged by penetrating the volume with a series of interconnected voids, creating light shafts and visual relationships between rooms typically separated. The three story voids, while allowing interaction and views between all three floors, also create a natural chimney effect for passive ventilation which terminates with a series of solar powered operable skylights.
A large void is carved out from the exterior envelope on the third floor creating an introverted private roof garden located off the master suite. The nine foot high walls allow privacy, block wind and provide a shaded refuge throughout the seasons.
Inspired by the idea of the wunderkammer—“wonder-room” or “cabinet of curiosities”—that originated during the Renaissance, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien invited 42 celebrated architects and designers to create their own cabinets filled with objects that inspire them. Wunderkammer (December 2013) showcases the varied, evocative results along with accompanying statements by their creators, including: Shigeru Ban, Toyo Ito, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Peter Eisenman, Steven Holl, Richard Meier, Murray Moss, Diébédo Francis Keré, Juhani Pallasmaa, Elias Torres, and Peter Zumthor.
For a chance to win, all you have to do is answer the following questions in the comment section below: “If one should open your wunderkammer, what would they find and how does it inspire your work?
You have until Monday, December 16th to submit your answers. The winner will be contacted the following day. Good luck!
Win a Copy of Tod Williams and Billie Tsien's Newly Released "Wunderkammer" originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 09 Dec 2013.
Architects: Max Dudler
Location: Wilhelm-Leuschner-Platz, Leipzig, Germany
Architect In Charge: Max Dudler
Developers: Deutsche Bahn AG?together, Free State of Saxony
Area: 5,678 sqm
Photographs: Stefan Müller
Project Managers: Ilko-M. Mauruschat, Christof Berkenhoff, Max Rein
Construction Supervision: Arge BOL/BÜ
Structural Engineers: Pichler Ingenieure GmbH
Gross Construction Costs: EUR 17.5 million
Fire Protection: Brandschutz Consult
From the architect. The station concourse, with a rectangular section and a slight longitudinal curve, is situated 20 metres below ground. Walls and ceilings of the elongated, column-free hall are clad with large, backlit prefabricated glass blocks set into a framework of fair-faced precast concrete. This gives the station concourse a bright and spacious feel. Extreme repetition of one and the same motif makes its actual dimensions almost intangible for passengers. The light-coloured, jointless terrazzo flooring of the insular platform acts as a quiet counterpoint to the seemingly endless pattern of the walls. All necessary station furniture is arranged on the platform in the shape of geometrical concrete sculptures, all functions such as seating, timetables and ticket machines having in a sense been subtracted from or carved out of the concrete cubes.
The station concourse’s supporting structure of precast reinforced concrete is not visible behind the glass block cladding. The wall elements of the glass block envelope are anchored to a steel substructure on the tunnel wall. The ceiling elements are suspended from the building shell. Passengers access the station through the entrances on the north and south ends of the station that are fitted with solid stair- cases, escalators and elevators. The architectural design of the two entrances is in deliberate contrast to the filigree, seemingly transparent station concourse. As soon as they dip beneath the surface of the square, the staircases and their inner casings are made entirely of fair-faced concrete. The minimalist, almost coarse design conveys an impression of descending towards the interior of the earth, as if it was tunnelled directly into the rock.
From the window of an airplane it’s all too plain that apartheid has been deeply written into the South African landscape. Even the smallest town appears as two distinct towns. One features a spacious grid of tree-lined streets and comfortable houses surrounded by lawns. The other, its shriveled twin, some distance away but connected by a well-traveled road, consists of a much tighter grid of dirt roads lined with shacks. Trees are a rarity, lawns non-existent. This doubling pattern appears no matter the size of the population: here, the white town; over there, the black township. — Lisa Findley, “Red & Gold: A Tale of Two Apartheid Museums.”
There are few systems of government that relied so heavily upon the delineations of space than the Apartheid government of South Africa (1948-1994). Aggressively wielding theories of Modernism and racial superiority, South Africa’s urban planners didn’t just enforce Apartheid, they embedded it into every city – making it a daily, degrading experience for South Africa’s marginalized citizens.
When Nelson Mandela and his party, the African National Congress, were democratically elected to power in 1994, they recognized that one of the most important ways of diminishing Apartheid’s legacy would be spatial: to integrate the white towns and the black townships, and revive those “shriveled twin[s].”
As we remember Mandela – undoubtedly the most important man in South Africa’s history – and ponder his legacy, we must also consider his spatial legacy. It is in the physical, spatial dimensions of South Africa’s towns and cities that we can truly see Apartheid’s endurance, and consider: to what extent have Mandela’s words of reconciliation and righteous integration, truly been given form?
Apartheid: A Spatial Overview
Every society produces monumental structures that commemorate and encapsulate its ideals; South Africa under Apartheid is no exception. As Lisa Findley and Liz Ogbu point out in their article “From Township to Town,” the designs of both Pretoria’s elaborate Union Building, the official seat of government, and the Voortrekker Monument, which memorializes the struggle of Afrikaans “pioneers”, for example, both validated and glorified the white minority.
But there is no greater monument to Apartheid than South African cities themselves.
The tradition of “apartness” began far before the system of Apartheid institutionalized and legitimized it; Apartheid just gave government officials the mandate they needed to purposely shape South African cities in a way that would benefit the white minority and mollify the black majority. (Although, of course, they never explicitly put it that way themselves. In 1950, Minister of the Interior, Dr. T. E. Tonges, justified the separation of the races in near medical terms: “Points of contact invariably produce friction and friction generates heat and may lead to a conflagration. It is our duty therefore to reduce these points of contact to the absolute minimum which public opinion is prepared to accept.”)
Thus, the goal, first and foremost, was to put blacks (via forceable removal or through the strict enforcement of “Pass” laws) in their own residential areas, or townships. These townships, often located as far from the town’s central business district (CBD) as possible, were then maintained separate via the use of natural and man-made barriers, such as railroads, roads, or open-space corridors (no-man’s-lands).
However, the “why” of separation still did not prescribe the “how” of its design. For that, Apartheid planners turned to Modernism.
Apartheid: The Modernist Experiment
Inspired by writings like Le Corbusier’s 1922 Ville Contemporaine, which outlined the concept of housing for temporary labor, as well as Ebenezer Howard’s Garden Cities, Apartheid planners relied heavily upon existing Modernist models of suburbia. According to author David Kay, they believed that by using these Modernist principles, they could actually mold the native population in their image:
“…‘all reference to older modes of life, to history, to the sedimented place of memory, and to sociability had been eliminated’. This was the Apartheid state’s attempt to mold and reform the African society into a more modern, orderly underclass in spaces that were sterilized of all remnants of older African cultures and beliefs.”
Of course, this “moral” impetus had very little bearing in the physical result. While the white towns were designed as perfect Garden Cities, reaping the spacious, leafy benefits of suburbia, the black townships bore all its downfalls. Instead of suburban homes with spacious backyards, blacks were given small, identical “matchstick houses.” And, thanks to their physical location and an insufficient public transportation system, black residents were almost always hours away from the city center (where, of course, the only jobs/businesses were).
And this is why Apartheid, “one of the most inefficient and distorted” systems of sprawl ever designed, continues to affect black communities today. Although many middle-class blacks moved to formerly all-white suburbs – in fact this was the biggest population shift post-apartheid – most township residents did not.
To this day, townships, although vibrant communities in and of themselves, lack the commercial diversity of urban centers .Annemarie Loots, in “Soweto Integrated Spatial Framework,” notes that in the township of Soweto, which occupies only 10% of metropolitan Johannesburg but contains about 40% of its population, 70% of employed residents commute outside the township; only 26% of retail purchases are made in the township itself.
Occupying & Unraveling Apartheid
It should come as little surprise then, that as the anti-apartheid movement intensified, black citizens began to claim the space denied them.
In the 1960s, the early days of resistance, the ANC focused on sabotaging potent, built symbols of Afrikaans domination, such as government buildings and civic centers. However, over time, the resistance took the form of occupation as black South Africans began to form huge informal settlements on the empty land surrounding major urban areas. By the mid-1980s, thousands of blacks were in “white-only” areas, and the Apartheid government could not enforce its policy of separation. In 1986 the Pass Laws were abandoned, and, in 1991, the Group Areas Act (making legal the separation of blacks and whites) was as well.
And so, when President Nelson Mandela was democratically elected in 1994, he and the ANC attempted to right the wrongs that Apartheid had wrought.
First on the agenda: providing housing as a human right to every South African. Thus, the Reconstruction and Development Program (RDP), purportedly aimed at promoting social integration and economic growth, was firstly tasked with building houses – lots of houses. About 350,000 a year.
Unfortunately, the need for cheap land on which to build these homes resulted in the construction of neighborhoods far from the city center, without the sufficient business or transportation infrastructures to support them. Although the government claimed that its efforts would turn “land development and land-use into integrated, ‘compact towns and cities’ [...to] correct historical fragmentation and [...] locate disadvantaged citizens closer to social and economic opportunities,” the result only exacerbated pre-existing, unequal sprawl.
Despite its good intentions and sound urban strategy, the post-Apartheid government lacked the cunning, the bravado of its Modernist predecessors, who had wielded design as their all-encompassing enforcer. Indeed, Apartheid remains so deeply gouged into the built fabric of South Africa’s cities that – even today – upturning it has proven no easy task.
Case in point: the 2010 World Cup.
A Tale of Two Stadia
The over-riding, iconic image of the 2010 World Cup, South Africa’s most recent moment in the spotlight, may well be the aerial shot of its brand-new Green Point stadium, with its stunning seaside location and privileged views of Table Mountain. However, few know the story behind its selection, nor the significance of this choice for the country.
Before Green Point was chosen to be South Africa’s iconic stadium, another had been slated for the honor: Athlone, situated in the historically-coloured, working-class neighborhood of the same name. City officials hoped that the World Cup would kick-start some well-needed development in the area, as well as in the abutting, impoverished township of Khayelitsha and the informal settlements along the nearby N2 freeway. In a letter to FIFA, one official wrote:
“The province and the City of Cape Town have always felt that the development of a dedicated football stadium in Athlone will leave a lasting legacy for generations to come. In addition, the building of the stadium will allow us to leverage much needed transport and other socio-economic developments in the surrounding area … We are expressing a strong preference in this regard.”
Gert Bam, the city’s director of sport and recreation, felt similarly: “Why we chose Athlone Stadium [was] not just because of football and that, but it would turn the city around, it [would] impact on this tale of two cities.”
Unfortunately, there was no denying that Athlone lacked tourist-appeal; as one blogger put it: “Athlone is surrounded by open fields, factories and housing projects. And a fair bit of barbed wire. I don’t quite see the tourists flocking there for an 8.30pm kick-off.” As time wore on, FIFA pressured city officials to consider building a stadium in the largely middle-upper class, white neighborhood close to the attractive V&A Waterfront. Green Point Stadium, FIFA suggested, would attract visitors and establish Cape Town as a world-class destination for major events, tourism, and investment.
We know which face South Africa chose to show the world.
So, to return to my original question: to what extent have Mandela’s words of reconciliation and righteous integration truly been given form?
Rising from the Ashes
In 1997, South Africa’s Department of Public Works held a competition to design the first major post-apartheid government structure – the new Constitutional Court Building. When the winner was announced, Mandela spoke these words:
“The Constitutional Court building will stand as a beacon of light, a symbol of hope and celebration. Transforming a notorious icon of repression into its opposite, it will ease the memories of suffering inflicted in the dark corners, cells and corridors of the Old Fort Prison. Rising from the ashes of that ghastly era, it will shine forth as a pledge for all time that South Africa will never return to that abyss. It will stand as an affirmation that South Africa is indeed a better place for all.”
The World Cup, which Mandela enthusiastically supported, was supposed to be an instance in which the city’s time, attention, and resources went towards re-designing the city to right Apartheid’s wrongs. Like the Constitutional Court building, the main stadium could have been a potent symbol, emerging from the remnants of Apartheid, rising from the ashes. But rather than a monument celebrating a nation overcoming its past, South Africa received a monument to the status quo.
Until Mandela’s words, floating in the ether, find themselves touching ground, coaxing a new shape out of South Africa’s cities and urging new, meaningful icons to grow, the reality will never live up to the rhetoric. Only then, when South Africa truly is “a better place for all,” will Mandela’s legacy be fulfilled.
Vanessa Quirk is the manager of editorial content at ArchDaily, where she writes about architecture, design, and urban planning. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or follow her on twitter @vmquirk.
Brümmer, Stefaans and Karen Schoonbee. “Public loss, FIFA’s gain: How Cape Town got its ‘white elephant’”
Findley, Lisa. “Red & Gold: A Tale of Two Apartheid Museums”
Findley, Lisa and Liz Ogbu. “South Africa: From Township to Town”
Kay, David. “South African City Planning in a Post Apartheid Era“
Architects: Izquierdo Lehmann, Elton + Léniz
Location: Vitacura, Santiago, Chile
Project Architect: Luis Izquierdo, Antonia Lehmann, Mauricio Leniz y Mirene Elton
Project Area: 2,016 sqm
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: Courtesy of Carlos Eguiguren
Client: Inmobiliaria de Inversiones Cerro Sombrero
Construction: Constructora Marchetti Ltda.
Structures: Luis Soler P. y asociados
Landscape: Savannah Diseño & Paisajismo
Lighting: Maria Ignacia Risopatrón
Electrical: Concha y Gana
Hvac: Cintec Ltda. (Joaquín Reyes)
Plumbing: PVT (Kenneth Page)
Acoustical: Acustika Ltda. (Julio Figueroa)
Acknowledgments: Alejandra Cruz de Galería Patricia Ready, Luis Izquierdo y Felipe Correa, de Izquierdo Lehmann Arquitectos
Model: German Timm
From the architect. Project Description
The building is located on a plot of 2.240m2, on the north-west corner of the intersection at Espoz and Narciso Goycolea streets. It has a large access courtyard on the corner to exhibit sculptures, and a reception, a café, a main showroom, plus a small room dedicated to exhibit art of a smaller format. All of these areas are laid out around the main courtyard, bound at its north and east sides with a sliding window, to form a continuous, open public space. The building also contains an auditorium with capacity for 99 seats, with a screening room and translation area, located in the basement under the smaller exhibition room, which is raised above the main floor, the kitchen is behind the cafe; and further to the interior of the plot, a sales room and archive, secretary and offices, open to a longitudinal courtyard generated by the required setback from the eastern boundary of the site. There is also a basement floor for storage rooms and parking for 26 cars.
In the exhibition rooms, we designed a translucent glass ceiling and a technical level for lighting equipment according to the different criteria of exhibitions. This ceiling, a light diffuser, is suspended from a metal roof structure without intermediate support pillars, with beams forming crosslinked “sheds” open to the south, to allow the passage of natural light but not sunlight. The assemblage of ceiling and roof form a large lamp that lights the exhibition rooms combining natural light with a variety of artificial light sources (dimmable fluorescent lamps with different color temperature tubes for a diffuse light base, and halogen adjustable spotlights for concentrated light on the works). This assemblage of ceiling and roof also features hidden facilities and HVAC ducts, smoke detectors, surveillance cameras, etc. The HVAC system is through continuous floor grates at the base of the windows. In general, we sought to remove from view all the items that could interfere with the view of the works displayed. The building has reinforced concrete walls and post-tensioned concrete slabs.
The concrete was left exposed, with a smooth finish resulting from plywood formwork with a phenolic coating, except the walls of the galleries, which were clad inside with a double layer of painted plywood, to be able to hang paintings freely. This cladding supporting the hanging works can be drilled, covered, and repainted at will for mounting exhibitions. Plywood boards cover the thermal insulation layer required in all enclosing concrete walls, and also the HVAC ducts on the west facade of the building, communicating the ducts in the ceiling with mechanical ventilators in the basement.
The main room is 12.1 m wide by 24.8 m long and 5.1 m high. Its proportion and size allow for the exhibition of large format paintings and sculptures, with suitable distances for contemplation and spacing of a set of independent works. The elongated rectangular proportion of its plan allows a maximum perimeter to display paintings in relation to its area, within the range of a minimum width and a maximum length such that the room is perceived as a spatial unit graspable from any viewpoint. One of the long sides of this parallelepiped space faces the courtyard, with floor to ceiling windows with laminated glass panes, their maximum size of 510 cms matches the full height of the room.
Along the entire side of the windows, we placed a partition wall 3.1 m away from them, raised above the floor, with two steel supports, which controls glare and softens the lighting contrast produced in the room by the big opening to the courtyard. It also defines the spatial boundary of the courtyard inside rather than on the plane of the glass facade, so the perception of the exterior courtyard overlaps with the interior space of the room. The suspension of this partition allows airflow near the ground, from the base of the windows towards the central area of the room.
The exposed concrete slab on the cafeteria was perforated in a grid matching the distribution of the structural reinforcement mesh, in order to allow the transfer of sound waves absorbed by mats placed on top, so as to mitigate the reverberation and noise in the room. All public reception areas, indoor as well as outdoor, are paved with travertine marble cut against the grain, placed on plates in a grid 80 x 80 cms, which is the regulatory module of the plan.
The ground level is the same in the largest courtyard and adjacent indoor enclosures. To design the rainwater runoff in the courtyard keeping a single horizontal ground level, we left 8 mm openings at the junctures of the marble plates, through which water drains into a network of channels under the floor. Since this courtyard, which is above the underground floor, must support large point loads from the weight of the sculptures, a reinforced post-tensioned slab 4 cm thick was required for the marble pavement plates.
The auditorium, partially underground, is for conferences, film viewings, video or chamber music, acoustically fitted with absorbent and reflective surfaces distributed under wooden lattices that cover the ceiling and side walls homogeneously, hiding sound equipment, smoke detectors, sprinklers, security sensors, etc. The air conditioning system was designed with a chamber under the floor slab, with ventilation ducts distributed under the seats.
The back wall was painted white to serve as a projection screen. To the side of the stage there is a window communicating with an interior courtyard, which provides natural light laterally on the faces of exhibitors, actors or musicians, and also serves as an emergency exit. A generic requirement for this project was to remove all attached devices that could be distracting or interfere with the exhibits from the bearing surfaces (walls and floors), which in a case like this, that needs much lighting equipment, air conditioning, security, sound, etc, is a particularly difficult requirement.
Another generic requirement for the surfaces bearing paintings and sculptures was the orthogonal layout of walls and the horizontality of floors, implicit spatial conditions in the composition of these projects. Consequently, the plan and elevations of the exhibition rooms in this project are orthogonal. The selective cutting that the frame of the painting and the pedestal of the sculpture produces in the visual plane, separating the work from the space it inhabits to compose its own order with a heightened sense, has been the fundamental resource to establish it as an object of art. From the critical questioning of this consecrating resource operated by modernism in art history in the early twentieth century, with the abandonment of perspective representation in painting and the integration of the pedestal into the sculptural object, the exhibition space, ie the architectural enclosure, takes the role of enhancing and insulating the artwork, roles which were previously reserved for the frame and pedestal.
From this emerged an art gallery typology that can be characterized under the name of White Cube: a closed, neutral, interior void, where the work is suspended in another metaphysical plane, beyond the prosaic reality of the external world, and everything exhibited inside gains a re-empowered sense. Thus, the new artistic genre of art installations, culminating this conventional reformulation of the relationship between an artwork and the place where it is exhibited, it is a tributary of this architectural typology. In this project we have taken a step further by opening the White Cube: the rooms open onto a courtyard, and the courtyard opens onto the city, integrated as a haven of tranquility. This is based on the hope that the works of art hold their meaning not only in the artifice that highlights and encapsulates them. We wanted to give art the space of silence suitable for its contemplation, but open to the city . Finding the right balance between this silence and this opening has been the architectural challenge that has shaped this project.
Luis Izquierdo W.
Exposed concrete in walls and ceilings, painted board siding in main exhibition room and graphics and photography room, travertine marble flooring in main exhibition room, graphics and photography room, sculpture courtyard, reception, and shop, hardwood flooring in offices and showroom, metal structure for technical floor on ceiling above main exhibition room and graphics and photography room, wooden slats acoustic cladding on auditorium walls and ceiling.
Patricia Ready Art Gallery / Izquierdo y Lehmann, Elton + Léniz originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 09 Dec 2013.
The progressive digitalization of social and economical relationships is transforming lots of huge factories into useless empty boxes waiting for re-functionalization and new purpose. Nute Partecipazioni ltd deals with revamping and enhancing valuable but disused industrial buildings. Such firm owns a disused factory in Quarto Inferiore (Granarolo, Bologna). Nute’s CEO is currently aiming to transform the disused 15.000 m2 industrial park into a space for leisure time, culture and arts.
What kind of architecture could be proposed in order to host cultural and entertainment activities?
This is a chance to rethink a disused industrial place and transform it in a lively space for culture, art and public relationships. Wide and versatile open spaces are meant to provide local citizens and tourists a modern cultural / leisure time activities centre.
This call focuses on temporality and spatial custom-tailoring. Nowadays modern technology is capable of boosting communication and information. This feature shall lead designers to propose flexible system made of dynamic / modular / equipped spaces. More information after the break.
The prize money total is 15.000€. Honorable mentions, “gold” honorable mentions. All awarded proposals will be published on architectural magazines and websites and will be hosted in international exhibitions. All finalist proposals will be published on www.youngarchitectscompetitions.com.
OMA, Rotterdam: Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli
Studio Dogma, Bruxelles: Martino Tattara
Enrico Iascone Architects, Bologna: Enrico Iascone
Claudio Nardi Architects, Firenze: Claudio Nardi
Nute Partecipazioni, Bologna: Michele Traietto
La Sapienza University, Roma: Edoardo Currà
Alma Mater University, Bologna: Annalisa Trentin
The Plan Magazine, Bologna: Nicola Leonardi
Early Bird Registrations: November 18, 2013 – December 16, 2013
Standard Registrations: December 17, 2013 – January 27, 2014
Late Registration: January 28, 2014 – February 24, 2014
Material Submission Deadline: January 10, 2014 (12:00 GMT)
In a brilliant article for Der Spiegel, “The New Monuments to Digital Domination,” writer Thomas Schulz not only rounds up our reigning tech giants’ oddly-shaped offices – from Apple’s “spaceship” to Amazon’s “biodomes” - but also pinpoints what they have in common: horizontality. And why? Because an “open creative playground” without boundaries (like floors or walls) is “the perfect ideas factory: the ideal spatial environment for optimally productive digital workers who continuously churn out world-changing innovations.” And while this means that privacy has gone out these workspaces’ proverbial windows, Schulz isn’t too surprised – after all, “people have no right to a private life in the digital age.” Check out this must-read article here.
Architects: Daniel Corsi + Dani Hirano
Location: Avaré – São Paulo, Brasil
Collaborators: Henrique Te Winkel, Elis Cristina Morales, Marina Nunes, André Ko, Anna Juni, Caroline Jun
Area: 612.0 sqm
Photography: Leonardo Finotti
Model: Anna Juni
Construction: Janela Incorp
Site Area: 640 m²
Unit Area: 74 m² (8 units)
From the architect.
The void originated by the built elements provides the appearance of a new place, opposed to main preconceived occupations of independent parallel properties that establish no relations in itself or with public space. Its strategy groups eight housing units in two blocks by which remaining areas delimit an intermediate space that becomes its main premise.
Contemplating the necessity for the largest site occupation ratio and preserving the internal areas demanded for each unity, the articulation of constructed and non-constructed limits configures the collective central patio of great proportions considering the site dimensions.
. A modest architectonical complex but representative of an essence of space that consists in a social opportunity: architecture as a city generator and venue for its inhabitants.
Formlessfinder, the New York-based architects, designers and outside-the-box thinkers won this year’s commission to build the entrance to Design Miami/. Tent Pile is a balancing act of aluminium and sand, the latter is often seen as an obstacle to overcome in architecture rather than the solution. But that’s the way these guys roll.
Landscape: Méristème, Régis Guignard
Site Manager: Olivier Chadebost,
Acoustics: Point d’Orgue
Light: Captain Spot, Jean-Bernard Favero-Longo, Aartill
Economist: G.V. Ingénierie
From the architect. With a view to improving wine production at Château Cheval Blanc, owners Bernard Arnault and Baron Albert Frère asked Christian de Portzamparc to design a new winery. In this vineyard shaped by man over the centuries, the architect envisioned a winery shaped like a belvedere projecting out from the château and opening onto the beautiful landscape.?Based on discussions with the director of the Château, Pierre Lurton, who has extensive experience of wine-making in concrete vats, much appreciated at Cheval Blanc, the architect designed a curved vat shaped like a tasting glass to optimize oxygenation.
Divided into 52 units with dimensions varying according to the vineyard plots, they provide a showcase for each vine, as requested by Pierre Lurton. No line here is superfluous: everything contributes to perfecting the wine-making process and the movements carried out in the winery: the geometry of the curved surfaces in molded concrete, the unique atmosphere created by the natural light descending earthwards, caressing the load-bearing shear wall surrounding the large concrete sculptures of the vat house.
The barrel winery below is like a crypt and has a totally different atmosphere, bordered by a brick moucharaby wall to facilitate natural ventilation.?Halfway between the interior and exterior, the winery is a place of transmutation and interaction with nature. This is where exceptional wine is made and where, through architecture, modernity meets centuries-old experience.
Chateau Cheval Blanc Winer / Christian de Portzamparc originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 09 Dec 2013.
Since the initiation of its architectural curriculum in 1867, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has consistently broken new ground in the education of architects. Like the School’s founder Nathan Ricker, we look beyond current fashion, striving to leverage technical virtuosity in the service of performative design, aesthetic expression, and service to society.
More after the break.
Our diverse and accomplished faculty offer students a strong intellectual foundation informed by our position within a top-tier research university. Students explore theoretical and conceptual positions informed by history and technology, and envision creative design solutions for real-world settings. The School’s degree programs include the NAAB-accredited professional Master of Architecture degree, as well as Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies, Master of Science in Architectural Studies, PhD, and joint degree programs such as M.Arch + MUP, M.Arch + MBA, and M.Arch + M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering.
The Illinois School of Architecture develops graduates who are highly sought after in architecture and allied professions for their expertise in design + technical integration. We invite you to learn more at www.arch.illinois.edu/.
The Illinois School of Architecture Announces New Website originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 09 Dec 2013.
Hvac: JMT Projetos
Automatization: Cynthron Automação de Ambientes
Construction: Planejamento Imobiliário e Construções
Structures: SVS Projetos Estruturais
Electrical: Rewald Engenharia
Foundations: MG&A Consultores de Solos
Hydraulics: Rewald Engenharia
Interiors: RAP Arquitetura
Lighting: Mingrone Iluminação
Landscape: Martha Gavião Arquitetura Paisagística
Surface Area: 1,029 m²
From the architect. This residence, located in a noble and leafy suburb in western Sao Paulo, is on a flat and deep site, with the main premise of taking the most advantage of the existing green area at the back of the site.
The spaces are distributed across four floors, including the basement, so the extended program could be concentrated in a very compact area. The ground floor contains the living and balcony overlooking the pool, with the comfort of the shade of old trees that have been preserved.
Social spaces overlook the great garden at the back, as a measure of security and privacy. A 25-meter pool responds to a request from the family that practices swimming as a sport.
Downstairs in the basement, parking for 10 cars supplies the lack of parking area in the surrounding streets. It also contains the service units and other facilities, facing a sunken courtyard.
The architectural proposal of keeping people together and in harmony, determines the interconnected spaces, including the pool area. A stripe partially invades the ceiling with a double height balcony, built to house the central atrium. The abundant presence of glass allows the visitor or resident to see who is in the children’s room, living room and dining, while overlooking the garden, talking to everyone. The atrium brings together all the environments, eliminating corridors and hallways. Abundant light coming from the sides and the roof softens the program. The third floor, entirely glazed, emanates light for the rest of the house.
The glazed walls and double height ceilings allow a connection with the exterior and a contact with the trees, both for the interior as well as to see the movement of people through the house, turning circulations into open and comfortable places. The large spans, the void inside, high ceilings, and balconies contribute to air circulation, favoring cross ventilation and the elimination of air conditioning during most of the time.
A mixed structure of concrete and steel is part of the main house, a rectangular volume of exposed concrete interspersed with metal beams. When the structure alternates with a lighter material, the structural system is relieved, with larger openings. On the third floor, which is more open and glazed, the entire structure is steel.
MG Residence / Reinach Mendonça Arquitetos Associados originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 09 Dec 2013.
Architects: Wiel Arets Architects
Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Design Team: Wiel Arets, Bettina Kraus, Carsten Hilgendorf, Joris van den Hoogen
Area: 15,000 sqm
Photographs: Jan Bitter
Collaborators: Kam Bava, David Luque, Marie Morin, Deniza Radulova, Sash Reading, Jasper Stevens, Michal Switalski, Cindy Wouters, Aynav Ziv
Consultants: Ingenieursbureau Zonneveld BV, Valstar Simonis Raadgevende Ingenieurs BV, Cauberg Huygen Raadgevende Ingenieurs BV
Date Of Design: 2000-2006
Client: MAB Bouwfonds
From the architect. The B’ Tower, located in the center of Rotterdam, is composed of three distinct volumes of retail and residential program, and is a contiguous extension of Marcel Breuer’s 1955 ‘Bijkenkorf’ department store. Standing at a height of 70 m, its plinth encompasses retail while its subsequent volumes are composed of 54 studios and 24 apartments, respectively. The city of Rotterdam mandated in the mid-1990s that a portion of newly built structures in its center incorporate housing; intrinsically, the B’ Tower is one of the first of these buildings, seeking to impart and sustain an urban vibrancy within this rapidly restructuring district.
Adjacently sited to a pedestrian promenade, the tower’s retail and lobby are accessed by foot, while its residential program provides additional entry options for automobiles and bicyclists. Specially designated elevators enable this automobile entry, which rise four stories to an elevated park that offers direct access to the building’s core. This two-story and 64 space car park allows for views onto the city’s surroundings beyond a ribbon of transparent glazing, disclosing the first of many cinematographic experiential sequences within this hybrid tower.
Foreseeing a possible future conversion of use, the tower was developed so as to allow for the transformation of its residential units, which currently function as short stay apartments, into cooperative housing. The ground floor retail space is multi-storied in height, exposing itself to the adjacent pedestrian promenade, and columns within each corner of the tower allow for completely flush glazing. The upper storied residential volumes feature generously sized balconies, each ad measuring 2.4 x 2.1 m, providing the tower’s residents with outdoor entertainment space able to accommodate a six-person dinner party table.
A collectively balanced heating and cooling system is embedded within each floor slab, together with electrical and IT solutions, regulating the flow of ventilation to and from the tower at all times. Energy for heating is circulated throughout each slab by way of the area’s central ‘district heating’ system, while cooling is collectively created within a central device before its distribution. This holistic approach to the interior climate allowed for the seamless integration of the heating, cooling, electrical, and IT components, which service the tower’s environmental needs without dictating its design. Capping both the roof of the elongated retail space and the top of the tower are areas of green vegetation.
Interior living spaces are outfitted with kitchens designed by WAA in collaboration with Alessi and Valcucine, with most remaining residential furnishings designed by WAA in collaboration with Lensvelt. All bathrooms are equipped with the WAA Il Bagno dOt bathroom series fixtures, which are produced by Alessi, Laufen, and Oras. Unique to the uppermost and cantilevered volume’s residences are façade facing bathrooms, allowing one to soak in an oversized bathtub while overlooking the skyline of Rotterdam below and beyond.
In this article for Fast Company, Boyd Cohen counts down the top 8 smart cities in Latin America. Using publicly available data and his own comprehensive framework to evaluate how smart a city is, he has generated a list which even he admits features a couple of surprises in the top spots. To see the list and discover what each city has achieved to deserve its ranking, you can read the full article here.
In this article, which originally appeared on Australian Design Review as “Reframing Concrete in Nepal,“ Aleksandr Bierig describes how New York-based MOS Architects, a firm better known for its experimental work, is designing an orphanage for a small community in Nepal.
Strangely enough it has become almost unremarkable that an office such as New York-based MOS Architects would find itself designing an orphanage for a small community in Nepal. Now under construction in Jorpati, eight kilometres north-east of the capital, Kathmandu, is the Lali Gurans Orphanage and Learning Centre, which finds itself at the intersection of any number of tangential trends: the rise of international aid and non-governmental organisations, the seeming annihilation of space by global communications networks and the latent desire of architects to use their designs to effect appreciable social change. Emphasizing simple construction techniques and sustainable design features, the building hopes to serve as a model for the surrounding communities, as an educational and environmental hub, the provider of social services for Nepalese women and as a home for some 50 children.
MOS Architects, founded in 2003 by US architects Michael Meredith and Hilary Sample, is not a practice known for its involvement in humanitarian projects. Its work is often experimental and, at times, willfully strange. Alongside its architecture, MOS makes films, teaches studios, designs furniture and gives lectures on its work. It was after one lecture in Denver, Colorado in 2009 that Christopher Gish approached Meredith and Sample to ask if they would be interested in designing an orphanage.
At the time, Gish was recovering from a severe car accident, which had compelled him to re-evaluate his life in the US. The result – after much travelling and introspection – was the founding of the Seeds of Change Foundation, which focuses on educational and environmental work in Nepal.
Soon after their encounter, Meredith travelled to Nepal with Gish, touring possible sites, visiting an architecture school and meeting with structural engineers. The paramount design concern, from the very earliest stages, has been seismic, with Nepal situated in a region of rapid geological shifts. MOS consulted with London-based Adams Kara Taylor (AKT II) before beginning work with MRB and Associates, Kathmandu, the director of which initiated the seismic code for Nepal. Meredith and Sample describe the robustness of the structure as, alternately, “one step down from a nuclear reactor” or “an area of refuge in a natural disaster”. The building’s 30-centimetre, in-situ reinforced concrete frame and large service core provides structural strength. Drawing upon local building techniques – the construction of houses is largely informal reinforced concrete infill construction – MOS’ design builds upon this by emptying the concrete frame and then doubling it, creating a zone of circulation, shade and plant life that wraps around the entire structure. In contrast to local concrete buildings, often finished in stucco, the orphanage has uncoated, exposed concrete: a monumentalisation of local construction techniques, embracing and reconfiguring an available architectural language.
Internally, the 2325-square metre building houses a range of programs and services. There is a library at ground level – an uncommon civic amenity in Nepal – together with a women’s clinic. Above that are a kitchen and meeting rooms, followed by a children’s dormitory. Nepal has a large impoverished youth population, a situation that is exacerbated by punitive customs against women – a woman is often not allowed to work following divorce and is therefore unable to support her children. Gish’s main goal for the institution is to enfranchise these populations and to provide a model institution for other educational centres and children’s homes. The spatial planning of the building reflects this desire: privacy and security increase as one ascends.
The building systems also reflect this desire for security. Nepal’s infrastructure is not advanced by Western standards; Meredith describes his surprise upon visiting the country for the first time and seeing rudimentary waste management systems, dirty water used for bathing and then drinking, widespread lack of electricity and other recurring infrastructural deficiencies. Gish, however, interpreted this challenging environment as an opportunity to explore a variety of sustainable design techniques. MOS, in response, searched for simple, ‘common sense’ solutions to building services. Rainwater will be collected in three large cisterns and biogas from landscape waste will be recycled to generate power in the building.
Time is needed to determine whether the building’s design objectives will be met – whether the mechanical systems will work, vegetation will begin climbing on the concrete frame or local populations will be drawn to a site on Kathmandu’s urban fringe. But, the building’s eventual after-lives will extend further. Beyond its immediate community, the orphanage will most likely find its way to architecture schools and design blogs throughout the world (MOS’ natural habitat). While ‘humanitarian design’ advocates often portray themselves as crusaders against the architectural ‘star system’, Meredith insists that the decision between a striking design and social value is a ‘false choice’. MOS’ intelligent approach serves its own interests, as well as the client’s and the community’s. In the process, the design can be placed within a long architectural tradition: it distinguishes and dignifies the institution it serves.
MOS engage architecture as an open system of interrelated issues ranging from architectural typology, digital methodologies, building performance, structure, fabrication, materiality, tactility, and use, as well as larger networks of the social, cultural, and environmental. Their inclusive process allows MOS to operate at a multiplicity of scales. MOS was founded in 2003 by Michael Meredith and Hilary Sample, both of whom teach at Harvard University and Yale University.
The Australian Design Review is an online design magazine representing two print magazines: Architectural Review Asia Pacific, and the interior design magazine Inside.
MOS Architects Take on Humanitarian Design in Nepal originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 08 Dec 2013.
For Peter Aspden’s first encounter with the architect of the Guggenheim in Bilbao and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA, Frank Gehry did not “exude sweetness.” “You are not going to call me a [...] ‘star-chitect’? I hate that.” In a candid interview with the Financial Times, Gehry discusses the problem of being branded for beginning the Bilbao Effect in spite of the fact that he insists that “you can’t escape your signature.” Gehry talks at length about Facebook’s latest headquarters and, in particular, his relationship with his client, Mark Zuckerberg. Read the full interview here.
Poland-based Gowinsiuta Studio has won “Changing the Face 2013 Rotunda Warsaw,” an annual design competition (now in its 13th year) to revamp the “sawtooth-topped Rotunda, a favorite landmark and meeting spot in central Warsaw.” Alongside being awarded the $15,500 prize money, the practice also plans to see their proposal realized by 2015. The studio’s proposal, entitled Modern Urban Oasis / Warsaw City Lounge, transforms the Rotunda into an integral part of a public square.
According to the architects, “the public square is utilized in a multifaceted way – meeting the key needs of the people that are present there at any given time, depending on the purpose and duration of their visit to the Warsaw City Lounge. All zones are designed so as to form a coherent and efficiently-utilized space while remaining in mutually non-invasive relations. The transformation of the Rotunda’s appearance consists primarily in the mode of its perception. A facility heretofore viewed mostly from the outside, or from the ground floor level, is now becoming an interactive transfer hub for people and information – so that it will become possible to perceive the surroundings of the building and its internal geometry from the mezzanine space which has not been freely accessible before.”
“The pedestrian traffic, until now for the most part organized underground, could – through the proposed changes to the traffic organization at the crossroads – be streamed predominantly on the ground level. The proposed system of cycle tracks and bicycle parking facilities, including battery charging devices among other features, could create an impulse for changing the whole way of thinking about personal transport in the city.”
Water plays a key part in the design. “It’s social function is to produce a refreshing ambience through a system of fountains integrated into the surface pavement, designed to direct the eye towards the plaque commemorating the gas explosion which destroyed the Rotunda several decades ago. The accentuation of the axial quality of the overall plan and its aesthetic properties are coupled with adequate grey water management.”
Competition: Warsaw Rotunda 2013
Award: First Place
Project Name: Changing the Face
Architects: Gowinsiuta Studio
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Architects: Bartlomiej Gowin, Christopher Siuta
Visualization: Ewa Gawron-Szpener
Structural Consultant : Wies?aw Bereze, KB-Projekty Konstrukcyjne
Photographs: Courtesy of Gowin-Siuta
References: Rotunda 2013
Gowinsiuta Studio Wins 2013 "Changing the Face" Competition in Warsaw originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 08 Dec 2013.
Architects: UNIA Arquitectos
Location: Huelva, Spain
Architect In Charge: César del Pino González de la Higuera, Moisés Jiménez Jaime, Enrique Revuelta Romo, Manuel Reyes Barraza, José Eduardo Romero Martínez
Photographs: Fernando Alda
From the architect. The new headquarters of the provincial management for the Public Service of State Employment in Huelva is located in the brand-new neighbourhood of “Pescadería”. The new building is within a triangular block in the southwest extreme of the city, next to the river Odiel’s salt marsh. The proposed programme develops an administrative area of 4.360 m², spread over five floors. Each floor has an opened office space and other smaller pieces as individual offices for directors or phone service cabins.
The basement, which occupies the whole plot, hosts the file, the store, and other technical areas. It is precisely, the construction of the underground floor which has meant the greatest difficulty during the construction works, since the subsoil has a scanty cohesion and the phreatic level is almost superficial next to the river. That’s why the foundation is made of prefabricated piles, and the containment system consist on large steel sheet piles stuck into the ground.
Once the structure was finished, the rest of the building has been eminently constructed with prefabricated elements which have enabled to minimize the construction wastes and to shorten the construction times. Most of the facade is wrapped by prefabricated panels of GRC, a type of concrete internally reinforced with fiberglass, instead of the usual steel. This makes them much lighter and easier to handle, and although they are only 2 cm thick they have a great thermal inertia. Its white colour gives them also a great capacity for reflection of sunlight, as a heritage of Mediterranean architecture.
The sustainability of the building has been very much in mind during its conception. The isolation is provided by the façade and the design of different kind of windows adapted to each orientation. Thus, the south façade possesses longitudinal windows protected by an aluminium lattice of slats. This fact allows to control the incidence of sunlight into the working areas, and even gets total lightless where it’s necessary.
On the other hand, a large glass facade provides panoramic views over the port landscape and the marsh to the North, form where we have indirect lighting and the solar incidence is almost zero. The great glass wall provides the transparency which is necessary in all public organisation.
Thanks to a skin with a texture of irregular fretwork, the building becomes visually dynamic to the passage of pedestrians and vehicles. These fretwork projects thin shadows over the facade itself, emphasizing the verticality of the volume and giving it a light and changing appearance throughout the day and the different seasons. These reliefs generate a kind of code around the building, which also covers the glass curtain wall by a silk-screened draw.
New SPEE Headquarters In Huelva / UNIA Arquitectos originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 08 Dec 2013.
Had Hansel and Gretel stumbled across one of these sugary structures, they may have taken off in the opposite direction. Dark, gloomy, and foreboding, the confectionary architecture would have made quite the impression on Jack Skellington, however. The project, by food artist Caitlin Levin and photographer Henry Hargreaves, is clearly indebted to the gothic mise-en-scène of the latter’s expressionistic underworld, a dreary, but whimsical land where one might half expect to find a twisted (gumball) doppelganger of the Tate Modern or Zaha Hadid’s MAXXI.
Find out more about the process behind this sweet project after the break
Levin and Hargreaves conceived of the gingerbread creations for this year’s Art Basel. With the help of Dylan’s Candy Bar, the pair fashioned a line of not-so-cookie-cutter facsimiles of iconic museums. In addition to the aforementioned structures, there is a pasty rendition of Wright’s Guggenheim, with licorice pinwheels standing in for the porthole windows; a tribute to FR-EE’s Museo Soumaya in candy balls and taffy; and sugar-glazed clones of I.M. Pei’s Louvre pyramids. The scariest of the bunch is modeled on the Karuizawa Museum in Nagano, whose pointed, origami-like form is rendered in slanted rectangles of chocolate, hard candy, and sour flush.
Filtered through Hargreaves’s lens, the various candies are transformed into veritable building materials. These are combined with unorthodox shapes that don’t seem particularly suited to the gingerbread medium, i.e., four walls and a roof, all held together rather precariously by thick lines of frosting. Therein, of course, lay the artistic challenge: how to, say, translate crystalline panes of glass using thick wedges of gingerbread, or how to keep a hyperbolic curve of gumballs from falling in on itself. “We had no idea if we were going to be able to pull this off,” Hargreaves admits. “[I]t was learning as we went.”
Having eventually figured out the mathematics of the ideal gingerbread villa, there was still the question of how to photograph it. Levin and Hargreaves opted for a more atmospheric approach, which privileged frog’s-eye perspectives of the buildings. In doing so, the building unit—whether a lollipop stick or sour roll—takes on the scale and visual gravity of their real-life steel and concrete analogues. The “deliberate” monochrome palette of the photographs, meanwhile, functions as the “antidote” to the impossible hues and lurid colors of the sugarstuffs that comprise the would-be architecture.
The result may look serious, but, as Hargreaves points out, it’s still just candy. “So much of what goes on during Art Basel is elitist, and we wanted to do something everyone was able to enjoy.”
Still rebuilding after the catastrophic tsunami of 2011, Toyo Ito, Kazuyo Sejima, and other notable Japanese architects, have teamed up on the “Home for All” project to provide community-focused housing to disaster-stricken communities. While the architect-driven initiative seems to be a success, Edwin Heathcote of the Financial Times asks in this exquisitely well-written article: are a set of “starchitects” the right team for the job? (Spoiler: Yes)
Reconstructing Space, Reconstructing Community in Japan originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 08 Dec 2013.