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Grupo Precisión Building / Guillermo Acuña Associated Architects

Tue, 29.07.2014 - 19:00

Location: El Salto 4291, Huechuraba, Metropolitan Region, Chile
Architect In Charge: Guillermo Acuña
Associate Architect: Alberto Andrioli
Project Area: 5700 sqm
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Erieta Attali

Structural Engineering: Mauricio Scheleff
Construction: Constructora Pitagora

From the architect. This building is designed to meet the needs of the Grupo Precisión – a company that creates automation and control processes for the oil, copper, gas, agricultural and airport industries – which needed a property that could combine different departments that had previously been scattered around Chile.

It is located in a mixed-use neighborhood containing office buildings, warehouses, industrial workshops and event centers that has taken a long time to establish itself in the city of Santiago.

The strategy for the project consisted of defining the working scales: The first, 1:1000, defined the geometric relationship between the building and its environment as well as its materials, lighting and interior climate.

The second; 1:10, addressed problems with construction, assembly, networks and installations and all the mechanics and engineering needed to ensure that the building would function over time.

Grupo Precisión Building / Guillermo Acuña Associated Architects originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 29 Jul 2014.

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Video: Artist Animates 5 Iconic Modern Homes

Tue, 29.07.2014 - 18:00

Click here to view the embedded video.

Five of history’s most iconic modern houses are re-created as illustrations in this two-minute video created by Matteo Muci. Set to the tune of cleverly timed, light-hearted music, the animation constructs the houses piece-by-piece on playful pastel backgrounds. The five homes featured in the short but sweet video are Le Courbusier’s Villa Savoye, ’s Rietveld Schröder House, ’s Farnsworth House, Philip Johnson’s Glass House and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater.

Video: Artist Animates 5 Iconic Modern Homes originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 29 Jul 2014.

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The Dogtrot House / Dunn & Hillam Architects

Tue, 29.07.2014 - 17:00

Architects: Dunn & Hillam Architects
Location: New South Wales, Australia
Design Team: Ashley Dunn, Lee Hillam, Linden Thorley, Jonathan Temple
Year: 2013
Photographs: Kilian O’Sullivan

Structural Engineer: John Carrick
Builder: Smith and Primmer Builders, Moruya NSW

From the architect. The Dogtrot House is a permanent campsite. The form of this building can be traced back to the early one room cabins that were built by farmers and fishermen. As the family grew another cabin would be built and connected with a common roof. During the evolution of the design for the house I was re-reading To Kill a Mockingbird, which made reference to the vernacular ‘dog trot’ houses of the american south. The name comes from when the “old dog was too hot to trot”, the covered breezeway provided the perfect escape from t!he heat of the day. We realised with some joy that this is what we had.

The house represents an upgrade for the clients, who are a family of long term and committed campers. They asked us to design them a holiday house up the road from one of their favourite campsites on the south coast of NSW. Their brief was; everything they loved about camping, without the pack up at the end of every holiday; a permanent, civilised campsite. The resulting building is a low impact, compact arrangement of three discrete rooms around a kitchen and campfire. Two roofs shelter the pavilions with an open bathroom s!leeved between. Separating the pavilions is the wide, open-ended “dogtrot” corridor.

The rooms are separate but in a strong relationship to one another and the landscape, like a family of tents at a campsite. The space made in the centre is for gathering, eating, reading and is open to the landscape and the breeze. One has no choice but to be outside when moving between rooms, in this way one is always made aware of the landscape and the weather. Architects are rarely presented with an opportunity to site their buildings with the delicacy and deep understanding of place that is evident in the Indigenous Australian camp and subsequently the vernacular structures of the early settlers. This project gave us that opportunity and the detailed design and material choices were all informed by this. Overall we were concerned with making an appropriate response to the place, the clients brief and the budget all of which were modest, simple but not straightforward.

The Dogtrot house is a house that is everything you need and nothing you don’t. It is humble, poetic and without pretence.

The Dogtrot House / Dunn & Hillam Architects originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 29 Jul 2014.

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When Architects Try Their Hand at Industrial Design

Tue, 29.07.2014 - 15:30

From Frank Lloyd Wright to Mies van der Rohe, many architects have dabbled in designing smaller-scale items. While some argue that industrial design is not an architect’s place, many would beg to differ. The following article, originally published on Design Curial, describes various architects involved with industrial design today.

Architects who take a break from the built environment and turn their attention to designing smaller items are most often driven – initially at least – by what they see as necessity. They struggle to find the right , signage or lighting for their interiors, and convince their client that they are the perfect people to design them.

Those architects quickly get a taste for the smaller scale then hunt down opportunities to design other items, in the hope that some may go into mass production. This is further fueled by those ‘big names’ who are approached by manufacturers to use their signature to brand the product. While there is a logic to this sequence of events, it still begs the question: why would anyone who can get commissioned to design a building bother with anything smaller?

The perception is that buildings are long-term and high-profile, commanding fees to match. Products, on the other hand, can also take a while to come to fruition but are unlikely to be similarly remunerated. What’s more, architects are trained to design buildings, so why not leave the smaller stuff to product, industrial and furniture specialists? But despite these apparent drawbacks, some architects are loath to stick to their knitting and are increasingly turning duo-disciplinary.

Of course trained architects have always diversified in this way, from Gio Ponti, via Frank Lloyd Wright, to Mies van der Rohe, with their output entering the ‘classics’ pantheon.

Big-brand manufacturers court big-name architects to add their creativity and their kudos to projects. A visit to any iteration of the Milan furniture fair will reinforce this. Nowadays, it’s a popular pursuit for both established and up-and-coming practices. So while Renzo Piano Building Workshop has done a wind turbine in ItalyLondon firm Burwell Deakins has created some lecture-theatre benching; and while Foster + Partners is behind lights, trays, pens and even airline seating, the young architects at Workshop in London have furnished a study centre in a Philippines slum.

The current trend among the very biggest names is to carve out a product design niche for themselves that has the potential to become stand-alone. Both Fosters and Zaha Hadid Architects are committing considerable resources in this direction, the former with an expanding industrial design unit and the latter with a retail website for its high-end ‘objets’.

The roots of all such ventures are usually planted very early in the practices’ existence. Furniture was ‘part of our repertoire from day one’, according to Maha Kutay, product director at ZHA. Likewise, product design was always part of Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands‘ description, inspired by the fathers of all three founders, who were production engineers.

At Fosters, ‘our first forays into product design in 1978 were really by necessity’, says partner and head of industrial design Mike Holland. ‘At that time, the studio was rapidly expanding, but it was impossible to find any furniture on the market that could respond to its needs, for example tables that could be adjustable for meetings, drafting or display.’ Nick Burwell at Burwell Deakins echoes this: ‘We’re product designers by default because we find a need for a product that we can’t buy.’ Hence the firm’s zig-zagging benching system, Connect, which responds to modern teaching methods.

This sense of necessity takes on a new urgency at fledgling practice Workshop, because the non-profit schemes its works on are each a joint effort with an underprivileged community. So when its study center for an orphanage and school called Streetlight in the city of Tacloban needed desks and seating, it ran workshops with locals to design and then make the products. The local men and women were paid for their efforts, but as well as being a good source of labor such a collaborative approach has loftier intentions. ‘The main purpose of our product design is to build a sense of ownership and responsibility among the people who will use, maintain and transform the building after we leave the building site,’ says architect Alex Furunes.

He and his colleagues hope to be able to rebuild the study center, which was destroyed in last year’s typhoon, but in the meantime they are using a similar collaborative approach in India. ‘During the workshops, we discovered that one of the old farmers, Nathai Kaka, knew how to weave with jute rope,’ says Furunes. ‘He taught the rest of the villagers so that all the parents wove a chair for their own child to use in the classroom.’

This non-commercial, joint-effort method is a million miles away from most conventional firms’ experience. The usual way is for architects to suggest that they also take on responsibility for elements of their building’s interiors. ‘A door handle is the handshake of a building,’ says Adriana Natcheva, whose firm Groves Natcheva Architects designed ‘a bronze handle that was made to measure to a client’s hand’. Her latest piece of furniture was ‘a simple desk made from a single piece of bent steel, with a leather mat on top held by magnets’.

But the economics of such bespoke design are not always straightforward, and many architects find themselves pouring a disproportionate amount of time into pieces, even if they are ‘just’ door furniture. ‘If you looked at it from a hard-nosed financial position you wouldn’t do it. It would be taking me away from designing buildings,’ says Nick Burwell. ‘It’s a question of how much love you’re prepared to put into something, and love is free.’

One way of recuperating this output is to get these beloved creations to market, an approach that Foster + Partners took in its early days. So a height-adjustable table designed for Renault was subsequently manufactured by Tecno as Nomos. Likewise, Burwell Deakins’ very successful Connect lecture theater seating, which was originally created for Loughborough Design School, has gone into production through Race Furniture.

And while Connect ‘might be a loss leader’, it will act ‘as an introduction to people we don’t know’, says Burwell. ‘We’ll continue to develop Connect, because there’ll be an awful of refurbishment work in the future. So it’s an opportunity for us to demonstrate an understanding of our field, because people buy furniture more often than they buy new buildings.’

The next step on the product design journey is to design items independent of an architect’s architecture. This is how Foster + Partners’ industrial design unit spends much of its time these days, says Holland. ‘Our industrial designers also work independently, whether commissioned directly by manufacturers or developing self-initiated products that emerge from internal research and development.’

Likewise, Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands has recently produced the Coda range of street furniture for Woodhouse, and is now putting the finishing touches to a carbon-fibre and leather rostrum for Bonham’s auction houses around the world. The rostrum has ‘an incredible cantilevered structure that allows the auctioneer to hover above the ground’, says director Alex Lifschutz. Explaining the economics behind such commissions he says: ‘We typically work on a royalty basis, with both us and the manufacturer putting the initial development work and tooling into the project without charge.’

The very big cheeses of the architecture world are courted by manufacturers for their halo effect, of course. But Lifschutz warns that there could be a downside to this. Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands doesn’t always badge its name on its products, ‘especially where we feel it would put other designers off specifying them!’.

While product designers train in their specialism, most architecture practices take the view that their existing staff are capable of taking on product commissions. ‘Whether in large-scale such as buildings or small-scale such as jewellery, architects are designing for the end-user,’ says Kutay at ZHA. ‘Many of the same ideas and principles used in our architecture can be applied to our design for products.’

However, Foster + Partners is bucking this trend and is consciously building up its 10-strong industrial design team. On its books are an office furniture system, lounge seating, commercial and domestic lighting and aircraft interiors, as well as bespoke pieces for the practice’s own building.

Despite the potential pitfalls of making product design profitable and productive within an architectural set-up, practitioners get something else out of it. ‘We are very happy moving between the scale of architectural projects and product design,’ says Natcheva.

And Burwell adds: ‘It’s a pleasure to do something different; it gives you a different perception of what design is about.’ Which perhaps goes to show that, even for hard-pushed or hard-nosed architects, it’s not all about the money.

From Milan 2014 Doriana and Massimiliano Fuksas

Doriana Fuksas describes her working relationship with her husband and two of their latest products just launched in Milan in April: ‘It’s very difficult to describe how we work and define us. Massimiliano and I are quite different, but we are very complimentary in the way we work.

‘At the moment I’m working on smaller projects because we have just finished Shenzen airport where we did exteriors and interiors together. We started doing products because in the early days we found it very difficult to find a table that suited our work.

‘Also in the Nineties, clients started to ask us for pieces to put inside our buildings. So we started to propose pieces as well.

‘It’s really a labour of love, a tribute to the building, because there is no money for the interiors, the building absorbs everything. But if you love the building you do something for it.

‘With industrial design it is different and that first started with us with the Biennale in 2000 with Alessi. We have a book about our product design called Fuksas: Object, that was published at the end of last year.’

Archivio for Venini

‘Every time you start using a different material you have to start thinking in a different way. We went to Venini in Murano and seeing how they worked and the beautiful colours of the material was the starting point. We also understood they needed something very easy to make. They have masters who can do anything you want but it can be very expensive: they can take two days to make just one lamp.

So part of this is cast and part is handmade. The red is taken from Marco Polo and Chinese lanterns.’

Roy for Fiam

‘Fiam is a father and son company who absolutely love their work and they transmit that. It’s not like architecture. With architecture you can have a client in front of you who knows what they don’t want, but doesn’t know what they want.

But working with the people from Fiam is incredible. It’s like it was with Giorgio Armani – it becomes a friendship and a pleasure. We have done a few pieces including a glass-top table that has a magic mirror inside – you have to see it for yourself!’

From Milan 2014 Grimshaw Elements

During Milan, Grimshaw Architects turned the focus onto its Industrial Design Unit, with a retrospective exhibition, that also saw three new products launched in conjunction with Italian manufacturer Poltrana Frau. And all were displayed in elegant traveling cabinets also designed by Grimshaw.

The three design prototypes on show were planetarium seating designed for Grimshaw’s latest project, the Patricia and Philip Frost Museum of Science in Miami, highly configurable Spine transit concourse seating and Elements — an executive table that pushes the efficiencies of manufacturing and takes its aesthetic cues from ‘the lean tailwings of various aerospace craft’ and ‘the mantidae insect family’.

This latter project also had the designers particularly excited as the prototype, turned around in barely three days by Poltrana Frau, had just arrived at the venue.

The exhibition itself is all about showcasing the degree of integration of design and architecture at Grimshaw’s. Head of industrial design, Casimir Zdanius, says the unit’s ouput now divides fairly evenly into what he calls product design and applied design – as in applied architectural elements.

‘It began with industrial design for architectural details for buildings such as Waterloo (International Terminal, 1993) and Paddington Station (1998),’ he says. ‘It was about shape-making and performance, not using more steel in a casting than was needed.’

As far as product design is concerned, like many architects, there was an element of wanting to populate the interior of buildings: ‘It’s about taking a little bit more control of your architectural environment. The more we can be involved with furniture design, signage and all the architectural elements, the more we feel the overall architecture of the building has a cohesive identity.’

It has also now moved on to the point where they will look at the market to identify areas where they think there is a need for specific products, such as Elements.

Practice founder Nicholas Grimshaw takes the germination of the design unit back even further: ‘I think you can look at the Herman Miller project in Chippenham in the early Eighties, where, for the first time, the relative size of a nut and a bolt and a washer actually really started to matter and was integral to the whole flexibility of the building.

‘There’s also the idea of industrial democracy, where panels and the like can be swapped. With the Igus headquarters (1992, Cologne) they have expanded it four times. It was industrial design for the outside of the building. Whereas cladding systems have panels that go on and stay there, this was all about putting it in the hands of the people. They could take it off and move it. And this all starts to permeate down into how you deal with the interior of the building as well. So it hasn’t been a sudden shift for us.’

When Architects Try Their Hand at Industrial Design originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 29 Jul 2014.

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House in Gokurakuji / Kawabe Naoya Architects

Tue, 29.07.2014 - 15:00

Architects: Kawabe Naoya Architects
Location: , Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan
Area: 70 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Shinkenchiku-sha

From the architect. I move from Kamakura Station to the residential area by a train. I pass through the small tunnel covered by trees. Then I appear in many places of green preserved in the mountain. I go down the station, and a flat way spreads out. A site looks like the valley along the slant when I go up the slope of the immediate slant. Because the frontal road is a dead end, there is little traffic. The sound of the wave to hear stimulates the five senses subtly by a fragrance and the direction of the wind of the tide. When I came for the first time, I thought of a slope and green and the sea connected continually from the ground. I wanted to make a building which was connected to the remote sea while having these topography and scenery and relation.

House in Gokurakuji / Kawabe Naoya Architects originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 29 Jul 2014.

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Ábalos + Sentkiewicz Arquitectos Design Museum with Climate-Controlling Trees

Tue, 29.07.2014 - 14:00

Sited in the city of Zhuhai, China, this museum by Ábalos + Sentkiewicz Arquitectos seeks to combine the opposing ideas of a festive, airy aesthetic with the need for a protected and enclosed space to showcase artwork. To that end, they have created a structure that resembles a landscape with sculptural tree-like forms emerging from publicly accessible courtyards. These “trees”, while an important aspect of the building’s visual identity, also play a major role in the climate control of the museum.

The hollow branches and trunk of the tree collect the rainwater and direct it to underground storage tanks, later using the water to power the museum’s courtyard fountains during the summertime. During the day, the canopies stretched across the tree branches also provide shade to the courtyards, and absorb heat to lower the pressure above the building and prompt an updraft. In the evening they direct breezes downward into the building, cooling its thermal mass, and at night they collect the dew that precipitates in order to providing evaporative cooling during the day.

A completion date has not yet been announced as the project is currently still in development.

Architects: Ábalos + Sentkiewicz arquitectos
Location: Zhuhai, Guangdong,
Architects In Charge: Iñaki Ábalos, Renata Sentkiewicz
Local Architects: Atelier L+ (Linxue Li)
Design Team (Ábalos+Sentkiewicz Arquitectos): Timothy Brennan, Chenchen Hu, Weilun Tsui (Cambridge), María Auxiliadora Gálvez, Juan Enríquez, Ana Fernández, Elena Vallejo, Alvaro Maján, Marina Bicca (Madrid)
Design Team (Atelier L+): Yin Hongde, Li Huanhuan, Ni Runer, Liu Jieling, Wangyiqing
Energy And Sustainability: Bing Wang/ Salmaan Craig
Structure: Hanif Kara
Schematic Design Consultants: TJAD (Tongji University Architectural Design and Research Institute)
Area: 24992.0 sqm
Photographs: ABALOS+SENTKIEWICZ arquitectos

Ábalos + Sentkiewicz Arquitectos Design Museum with Climate-Controlling Trees originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 29 Jul 2014.

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Assemble Selected to Design Goldsmiths College Art Gallery

Tue, 29.07.2014 - 12:00

London-based firm Assemble has been selected to design a new art gallery for Goldsmiths College at the University of London. Assemble was chosen over five other shortlisted firms for the project, which consists of constructing a new 400 square meter gallery in the back of what was formerly a Victorian bath-house, and is now the college’s Grade-II listed art studios.

Assemble is a young practice that gained attention for its pop-up cinema in a gas station during 2010. The firm’s most recent project is their Yardhouse workspace in Stratford.  Assemble’s Goldsmiths gallery design integrates new and modern elements – such as steel frame lanterns – into the building’s unique character and existing structures, which includes old water tanks. “The Victorian bathhouse at Laurie Grove offers a series of extraordinary found spaces. The cast iron water tanks have a powerful materiality which will be preserved and amplified, whilst new top-lit galleries will provide a rich spatial counter-point in an ensemble offering unique opportunities for the display of art,” Paloma Strelitz and Adam Willis, from Assemble, said in a statement.

More details on Assemble’s winning design after the break…

For the Goldsmiths College project, Assemble will use the former loading bay as the main entrance to the gallery, constructing new full-width steps for the entrance. This corner of the gallery will be left open at ground-level, serving as an external display space and “blurring the boundary between being inside and outside.”

A key element of Assemble’s design is the use of the building’s old cast iron water tanks as gallery space. The galleries within the tanks will make use of the iron ‘as found’, creating a contrast with the more typical ‘white box’ galleries in the new additions.

The new additions include installing steel frame lanterns into the space, creating “a provocative and stimulating dialogue between new and old.” The lantern gallery space will be naturally top lit and can be used to display larger works of art.

Assemble Selected to Design Goldsmiths College Art Gallery originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 29 Jul 2014.

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Bethanga House / tUG workshop

Tue, 29.07.2014 - 11:00

Architects: tUG workshop
Location: ,
Area: 386 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Trevor Mein

Design/Project Architect: Michael Markham
Architectural Assistant: James Jamison
Environmental/Glazing Engineer: Peter Steudle
Structural Engineering: Tim Hall & Associates
Landscape Artist: Kevin O’Brien Architects
Quantity Surveyor: Anthony Prowse & Associates
Lighting Consultant: Richmond Lighting
Geotechnical: AS James Pty Ltd / Coffey Geotechnics
Land Surveyor: Walpole Surveying
Principal Contractor: Scott James Builder Pty Ltd
Cost: AUD$2,640/sqm

From the architect. Encampment

The site is located on the shore of Lake Hume, an artificial agricultural water body created in 1936 at the base of the Australian Alps.

The new house is the owner’s primary dwelling. The owner announced his idea in 2004. “A low energy house, before the end of the decade,,,and the other things.” tUG developed a first principle solution to the problem of the idea – a concrete interior to act as a moderating radiator.

The House has an attic bedroom over a basement wine cellar with a ground floor, not between, but beside. Eating, Cooking and Drinking occur in a single triangular space.

In the centre is a courtyard (Kopor) designed by the Indigenous Artist Kevin O’Brien. The house U-turns around Kopor (trans. Belly Button – Language of Meriam Mir, Torres Strait) in acceptance that dwelling in Australia occurs in de-ritualised Country.

Kopor is made of rock (Beechworth Granite) cut from Country – weathering iron-oxide amber. Kopor momentarily touches reflectively the panorama in a triangle window eliminating in-between land (farm) to make a place only near and far.

Environmental Statement

The building was designed to be energy efficient by avoiding orthodox Australian construction techniques (massive thermal bridges) – instead it Aggregates Masonry as a Platform dressed with an Isothermic Shell forming a tent and with Infiltration Sealing toward Passivehaus Standards.

Bethanga House / tUG workshop originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 29 Jul 2014.

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Review: MacMag39, Mackintosh School of Architecture

Tue, 29.07.2014 - 10:00

MagMag, a student-edited compendium of essays, projects and ideas from Glasgow’s Mackintosh School of Architecture, is now in its 39th edition. Following on from what has so far been a momentous year for the Mac, in which they’ve seen Steven Holl Architects’ new Seona Reid Building formally open and parts of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s art school (along with a great deal of student work) devastated in a fire, MacMag39 is a celebration of the spirit of a school which is faced with a challenging question: how do they introduce and then reconcile the new alongside the existing against the backdrop of an academically rich, diverse and successful learning environment?

Opening with a photograph of the entire school on the steps of the “old” Mac and following on from an introduction penned by Christopher Platt, the current Head of School, the journal is separated into seven episodic collections. Six chapters, covering each of the five educational stages (plus the Masters), are punctuated by a pool of writings entitled A Century Apart.

The chapter opens with two bold, unmistakable profiles. The photographs conjure thoughts about whether or not Holl and Mackintosh would have got on had they ever had the chance to collaborate – a question which is (semi)answered in an interview with Holl on pp.103. The collection of ensuing essays, photographs and interviews offer unique insights into how the two buildings – built Centuries Apart – operate and mesh both as “objects” as well as places of work. Alan Hooper, leader of the school’s BArch programme, has penned an essay in which he eloquently examines the Specific Richness (a phrase coined by Zumthor) of the Reid Building. Discussing wider issues surrounding the immediate, often lasting, perception of contemporary architecture, Hooper notes that “the rush to judge recently completed buildings, with which the Architectural community is wholly complicit, denies the profound social role of Architecture.”

An interview with the Reid Building’s co-designer, Chris McVoy, saves the chapter from sychophantia by making clear the challenge Steven Holl Architects faced in designing opposite a building which is not only in the primary canon of British architectural discourse but also embedded in the grain of Glasgow itself. Stating that “it was both incredibly intimidating and inspiring” to Face the Mac, the interview is grounded in design dilemmas, client relationships and interesting details of design. A wonderful photographic essay by Kathy Li documents The Men Who Built The Reid Building, featuring construction images and quotations from the builders. One wisely comments that, “when designing things, keep it simple!”

Images of the Reid Building’s extravagant opening celebrations (the fireworks looked spectacular) are complemented by a fascinating interview with Holl himself titled Analogue meets Digital. Reading how Holl has managed to successfully incorporate Siri into his workflow is interesting; hearing his thoughts on parametricism, digital communication and rapid prototyping, fascinating.

Other notable editorial elements of the journal include but are not limited to: an interview with Spirit of Space, a small creative agency who explore architecture though film (including the Reid Building); students’ year-out experiences, from those in practice to those who worked on the city’s Commonwealth Games, and ‘letters home’ from those studying abroad; and Brian Evan’s short piece on Moscow entitled Edge City.

One of the key reason for MacMag’s existence is as a student showcase and, in that grand tradition, MacMag39 does not disappoint. The first in a great deal of projects thematically focusing on human therapy and meditation, Martin Glen’s Stage One project (Therapy Pool) explores a coastal site in which sits a small, poetic solution to his own brief. In a similar vein, Bruce Doran’s Stage Three project entitled Parallel Thresholds investigates the medicinal qualities of water accompanied by a rich collection of visualisations.

Saskia Blake’s Paediatric Hydrotherapy Retreat, “designed to cater for families who have children with cerebral palsy”, demonstrates an organic design approach which has led to a seductive representational quality to both her sketches and drawings. With just enough images to visually explain the Stage Three project, I can’t help but want to see more. Kugathas Kugarajah’s Stage Five Music Therapy and Meditation Centre demonstrates a skilful use of watercolour to develop a project which is extremely well communicated.

With a such a high level of craft, design and content, it is difficult to appreciate that the journal is edited by a body of students. Lawrence Khoshdel, Natalie Pollock, Sofi Campbell, and Arseni Timofejev have created something which, in their own words, “is one of the principle voices in the chorus of the Mackintosh School of Architecture and the vehicle through which we students make our stamp.” Following a dramatic series of events which has seen the fabric of the Mac thrust into the 21st century with Holl’s new addition, and then devastatingly dragged backwards with the partial loss of their world-class library and archive, this publication defiantly demonstrates that the soul of the school lies not in its walls or, ironically, between the printed page, but more in its students and educators and the work that they produce.

If you buy only one journal this month, let it be this one.

A number of archived MacMags (plus many more books) were lost in the fire on the 23rd May of this year. As a result, the school has opened up an appeal to rebuild their collection. Click here to see if you can help.

Purchase Journal Online
- Purchase Journal + Tote Bag


Review: MacMag39, Mackintosh School of Architecture originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 29 Jul 2014.

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Family House Dlhé Diely I / Plusminusarchitects

Tue, 29.07.2014 - 09:00

Architects: Plusminusarchitects
Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
Architect In Charge: Maroš Fe?ík
Area: 556 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Maroš Fe?ík

From the architect.

Dlhé Diely is a hilly residential area in the western part of Bratislava. It origins at the foothills of the Little Carpathians. By the end of the seventies it was a place of gardens and vineyards of varieties sought throughout the whole Austro-Hungarian Empire. In the early eighties, a construction of housing estates started and subsequently degraded the original character of the environment. The original authenticity of the place was retained only in peripheral positions, which now form a transition zone between the purely natural environment of Devínská Kobyla and prefabricated housing estates.

These streets carry fairly universal (rather by surface) names: Dlhé Diely I, II, and III. Thanks to their location in direct contact with the Little Carpathians and the Karloveské embankment of the Danube river, they have become a popular location for the construction of individual family houses and small urban villas. Original garden cottages and old houses gradually subside to this typology.

Plot and a house

The house has been implemented on a steep, eastward sloping hillside. It stands adjacent to single-family houses from different time periods, which together form the street line. It is reflected with an extrusion of a floor to the street. The bulk of the volume then departs from the street frontage to the south with the aim of creating a more intimate space (western terrace cut into slope) with no visual contact with the housing estate at the top of a hill.

Ground shape follows the maximum compactness and a minimum ground plan track. Due the sloping terrain, the house is divided into four floors, so that living rooms can be oriented to the east, south and west side. Three floors have direct contact with garden and hence extend the intensive residential use of gardens. Placement of the house eliminates the view of prefabricated housing estates on the northeast side of the slope and strengthens the attractive views of the southwestern part of Bratislava and the Austrian Hainburg.

Spatial resolution of the house

On the lowest floor, directly accessible from the street, is a garage and technical / house storage facilities. The layout of the next floors is a combination of embedded communication and hygiene core along the northern facade and an “open living space” with variable breakdown by closet-walls. The second floor, which is also the entrance floor, varies such concept with an extruded volume of an office serving as an office with direct access for customers. Layout solution and its breakdown by closet-walls allows different proportions of floors.

Separate entrance from the garden on the north side and a communication core ready for implementation of the lift directly counts with multi-generational use in the near future. The house is built as a combination of reinforced concrete and masonry brick parts. All ceilings and some interior walls are left as a visual concrete. Floors throughout the house are cast of resin in yellow colour. Part of the and equipment is custom made, other part comes from owners’ previous flat and will be replaced in the future.

Family House Dlhé Diely I / Plusminusarchitects originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 29 Jul 2014.

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C+G House / Plastik Arquitectos

Tue, 29.07.2014 - 08:00

Architects: Plastik Arquitectos
Location: ,
Architect In Charge: Gerardo Carrera Escobar, Eduardo Arellano Garcia
Year: 2014
Photographs: Oscar Hernández

From the architect. This project consists in remodeling and extension of a house that we designed a few years ago, we developed the original program for a single man who needed only one room. our intervention in this phase has the purpose to complete the program for a couple how plans to have children in a near future. according to that, the program was completed considering 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a tv room. the new program was resolved considering only the second floor.

Analyzing the original diagram of the house we look for the voids that permit us to do the extension with the minor affectation over the original structure, according to that we proposed a new volume that has an strong contrast with the original and immediate context, as an object that doesn’t belong to this place, the new volumes in where the program was completed, become in the new protagonists of the house

The new geometry was designed in favor of the diagonal that the ground drawn, accenting the irregularity of the poligonal we played with the subtraction of elements in base to the lines that drawn the facade, generating windows and dividing the facade in several surfaces with distinct orientations that create a game of reflections in the enamelled sheet that cover the facade

In some parts we diluted the frontier between the extension and the original state of the house, allowing a soft transition from one phase to the other and in others parts we marked strongly this contrast doing the intervention very obvious.

C+G House / Plastik Arquitectos originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 29 Jul 2014.

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Mothersill / Bates Masi Architects

Tue, 29.07.2014 - 04:00

Architects: Bates Masi Architects
Location: , NY, USA
Area: 6,027 sqft
Year: 2013
Photographs: Courtesy of Bates Masi Architects

From the architect. Elevated, wooden boardwalks extending into the beachscape are a common occurrence in the dunes of Eastern Long Island. Hovering slightly over the ground, this simple device is a pathway to the beach that carefully negotiates a constantly changing terrain. Their simple construction challenges the extreme natural elements found at the intersection of land and sea.

In beachfront construction, the boardwalk provides a unifying accessibility that connects disparate elements of building and landscape; it is an extension of building that is knit within the landscape. This design for a vacation home in Water Mill, New York, utilizes a boardwalk as an architectural device for weaving together multiple portions of a historic site with new building and landscape elements.

Located on a creek-front property, the site contains two culturally significant structures designed by architect Andrew Geller and a diversity of landscape plantings. The two Geller structures, a small house and studio, were built in 1962. Common to Geller’s architecture, a boardwalk extends from the two structures to provide a connection between the two. A varied collection of botanically significant plantings populates the property, including a rare specimen Yew garden, serpentine Yew, and more than 400,000 Siberian Iris.

The western edge of the property slopes downward to a low-lying wetland bordering the creek. A conservation easement on the property protects the two Geller structures, Yew garden and iris, while allowing for the addition of a new main house. The owners of the property requested a design that seamlessly incorporated the protected Geller structures, Yew garden, and new residence. To achieve this objective, a constructed path traverses the site to link visual and spatial relationships between these elements. The path takes the form of a raised, wooden surface that recalls the boardwalks of Geller’s architecture.

Similar to the way the boardwalks in nearby dunes engage an undulating landscape, this low, horizontal path engages distinct site features with the historic Geller structures and new house. Building and wetland setbacks, existing landscape features, site access, and conservation easement restrictions overlap to create the parameters of a meandering path across the site. The path originates from the relocated Geller House in the Yew garden and winds around the serpentine hedge to a new swimming pool. Like the historic arrangement of the Geller House and Studio, the new boardwalk physically connects the two historic structures. As the path continues it passes the Geller Studio, now reprogrammed as a pool house, and connects to shaded outdoor living spaces.

A new central lawn is defined as the boardwalk wraps to extend through the main house. A cantilevered deck wraps the end of the main house at the termination of the path, providing views of the sloping wetland and creek. The surface of the path folds up and over to become the enclosure of the main house, simultaneously functioning as floor, wall, and roof. All surfaces of this enclosure are constructed with the same wood decking as the boardwalk. Their uniformity gives the effect of a single envelope containing a variety of parts and reflects the influence of design in Geller’s work. In these ways the physical, material, and spatial qualities of the path facilitate an architectural dialogue between the Geller structures and new house that is interwoven with the existing landscape, collecting the once individual elements into a unified whole.

Mothersill / Bates Masi Architects originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 28 Jul 2014.

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ESO Headquarters Extension / Auer Weber

Tue, 29.07.2014 - 03:00

Architects: Auer Weber
Location: ,
Design Team: Philipp Auer, Martin Klemp, Christian Richardt, Heinz Wendl, Dominic Horn, Birte Böttger, Sascha Dehnst, Joachim Esser, Stefanie Kahle, Jakob Plötz, Ingo Pucci, Martin Janik, Kang-Min Lee
Area: 18,736 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Roland Halbe

General Contractor: BAM-Germany
Structure: Mayr | Ludescher | Partner, Munich, Germany
Landscape Architect: Gesswein Landschaftsarchitekten, Ostfildern
Lighting Design: Schmidt König, Munich, Germany
Acoustics: Mu?ller-BBM GmbH, Planegg, Germany

From the architect. ESO, the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere, is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world’s most productive astronomical observatory. ESO operates three sites in Chile — La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor — on behalf of its fifteen member states. Together with its international partners, ESO built ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) and is presently designing the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT).

The new annex marks an important moment in ESO’s history, as it brings the complete ESO staff in Garching together on one site, facilitating valuable collaboration, as well as providing a technical building for ESO’s most advanced instruments to be assembled, tested and upgraded. These two buildings — an office and conference building of 10.300 square metres and a technical building of 2.900 square meters — and their surroundings cover more than double the current area of the ESO Garching Headquarters.

The extension was designed to complement the original building (Architects: Fehling+Gogel). The office building, implementing a similar curved shape, boasting two inner courtyards, makes extensive use of natural light sources. The technical building is a cylinder construction with a diameter the size of the 39-metre primary mirror of the E-ELT.

Both new buildings have been labelled green buildings due to the significantly lower energy consumption typical for buildings of this size. This is achieved with the well-insulated facade and intense wall and slab insulation. The office building is heated and cooled through concrete core activation — using ground water, which is fed into with a heat pump. Additional heat energy is supplied with district heating utilizing geothermally heated water.

Architectural Concept

Existing situation and design objective: The existing ESO Headquarters building with its outstanding location on the southern fringe of the Garching Research Campus, lies at the starting point of the axis of the “Campusband”.

The building is renowned for its unique architectural design, which symbolizes the scientific study of the cosmos carried out at ESO. The building stands alone at the edge of Garching’s green belt, and its elegant curves express a successful symbiosis between landscape and architecture, embracing the natural surroundings and forming individual courtyard spaces. Keeping the character of the site and emphasising the communicative atmosphere in close touch with the surrounding countryside form the key features for this design concept.

Design concept

The architectural concept for the extension buildings takes into account both the established green belt beyond the southern border of the research campus and the extrovert character of the existing headquarters building. The result is open and individual buildings that blend both functionally and formally with the existing headquarters, while still respecting its prime position with the main entrance, reception and public areas. Since the new office and conference building is located south of the existing headquarters and therefore reaches even further into the green belt, it was conceived as a structure embedded in its natural surroundings. In keeping with the majority of the existing building, the height of the new buildings does not exceed three storeys other than the two five-storey office rings towards the southeast.

The circle form is the dominating architectural component in the existing headquarters building. In this context it refers to scientific communication and this design element is overtaken and transformed into the extension building. While the existing building is composed of a series of open arcs opening out into the surrounding countryside, the new building forms a continuous band of convex and concave circles that enclose inner circulation zones, communication zones and public facilities such as the auditorium, council room and cafeteria.

The main entrance to the existing headquarters is via a ramp from the northwest at a height of about 4 metres above ground, meaning one enters the building through the first floor. The ground floor is mainly used for internal access and delivery. Therefore, the new building is conceived with its two main floors floating above ground level. These two main floors rest on structural and functional building elements, which contain the auditorium, delivery areas, covered bicycle and car parks. The basement is located below the auditorium complex. In order to avoid breaching the ground water level, the basement areas are reduced to the required minimum in order to avoid the risk of flooding and reduce waterproof concrete structures building costs.

Access and circulation

The main entrance was retained in the existing headquarters building. The internal bridge connects the three buildings – the existing building with the office and technical extension buildings. Car access and the direct entrance to the extension building are provided via the access road to the parking spaces, northeast of the existing building. These are arranged in a ring form around the functional and structural parts of the building on the ground floor of the new office and conference building, covered by the first floor’s slab of the building. This entrance includes a taxi drop-off zone and a separate reception, which can also be used for major events such as congresses or seminars.

Internal organisation

The auditorium, cafeteria and council room of the new building are situated in the area next to the existing building and thereby form the balance point of the new ESO site layout. Additional communication zones with reading areas are arranged on both upper floors around the two circular cutouts with views to the outside. One of these cutouts, with a diameter of 8.20 metres, has exactly the same dimensions as the large VLT mirrors at the Paranal Observatory in Chile (Auer Weber designed the Residencia at ESO’s Paranal Observatory, which was awarded the 2004 LEAF Award and the 2005 Cityscape Architectural Review Award).  Similar reference dimensions to other telescopes of the ESO fleet can be found throughout the buildings.  Offices (12 m2 standard size) are placed in the outer ring of the office building and have views to the countryside.  Larger 18 m2 offices, as well as the meeting rooms, are located in the two inner rings with views to the courtyards.

Landscape design

The planted areas between the existing building and the new office building are developed in accordance with the overall ESO site-landscaping concept. The new office building appears as a structure floating above the existing landscape, paved surfaces were kept to a minimum and green surfaces — lawn or grassland, were brought as close as possible to the new building. Paved paths for pedestrians and car access roads were made from asphalt with a ground surface. The planting of additional trees respects the character of the site where open fields meet densely wooded areas. Trees were planted in a few selected areas (e.g., in the entrance area) to determine visual sight lines rather than to obstruct the view of the surrounding countryside.

Structural concept

The first and second floors rest on a concrete base construction. Circularly arranged inclined concrete columns on the ground floor support the first floor slab. The base of the building is clad with plasterboard that forms sculpted spaces on the ground floor level following the lines of the layout of the building. A column based support structure on the first floor level and the circular floor slab combined with a shear wall construction used on the second floor, allow a wide column-free cantilever for the ground floor slab, thus enhancing the perception of a structure floating above ground level.

This structural system is balanced through a specifically developed tie-beam system on top of the roof slab which enables the cantilever of the lower slabs to, metaphorically, hang from the building’s roof slab.


The curved shape of the extension building with its fully glazed façade provides the illusion of a structure floating above ground on its inclined clad supports. During daylight the existing headquarters and the surrounding countryside are reflected as fractured images through the shingled-folded facade. In the evening when the building is lit from inside, the complete structure in its full height and width, it optically provides a band of light floating aboveground reaching towards the stars. This is enhanced with the dim illumination from the embedded down lights in the suspended ceiling of the ground floor. Then, for a brief moment, the building appears as a flying saucer ready to lift off.

ESO Headquarters Extension / Auer Weber originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 28 Jul 2014.

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Les Quinconces Cultural Center / Babin+Renaud

Tue, 29.07.2014 - 02:00

Architects: Babin+Renaud
Location: , France
Area: 28,198 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Cécile Septet

Associate Architects: Oab
Technical Research For Fluides And Structure: Grontmij Sechaud Bossuyt
Technical Research For Walls: Vs-A
Economics: Tohier
Acoustics: Ase International
Staging: Daniel Darbois
Staging Workshop: Pascal Payeur
Landscape Architect: Michel Desvigne
Lighting Design: Light Cibles
Multiplex Arrangement And Signing: Ora Ïto
Client: Le Mans
Cost: €75.40m

From the architect. Keenly awaited by the town’s people, the Quinconces cultural complex, designed by Éric Babin and Jean-François Renaud has occupied an important place in the cultural and social life of Le Mans ever since its opening.

It stands as an interface between the tree-lined Esplanade des Quinconces that is the venue every year for several flagship events (weigh-in for the Le Mans 24-hour race, the 25e Heures du Livre and a fun fair) and Place des Jacobins which is the site three times a week of a very busy outdoor market. Located below the apse of Saint-Julien Cathedral, it stands across from the law courts that were built in the 1980s and a group of residential buildings with ground-floor businesses and the Palais des Comtes du Maine, now used as the city hall.


In this already rich location of architectural heritage, the new building asserts its modernity without being overly monumental or ostentatious. Incorporated into the geometrics of the city center and the existing dimensions, it presents two spare, well-defined volumes under a single roof which is defined horizontality like a sharp knife.

The municipal theater, a blue-ribbon building if ever there was one, stands on the right, encased in a vertically striated glass curtain.

On the left, clad in handsome white stone, stands the visible part of the cinema multiplex.

A little withdrawn, the multiplex is fronted by a stone plaza looking towards the cathedral, which is framed perpendicularly between the two facilities. Before and after each live performance or movie, this sheltered space is filled with spectators and pedestrians, milling about in a constant ballet.

This new and very busy public space gives onto a wide wooden terrace that hovers above the Esplanade des Quinconces on a level with the foliage of the linden trees.


One enters the theater’s foyer directly from the plaza, then climbs a floor to the vast hall that enjoys an exceptional, unhindered view of the Place des Jacobins and the cathedral. The theater itself is covered by a lathing of light-colored wood on the outside and lined on the inside by darker over-lapping wood. It is scalable and contains a balcony and can seat 830 people in excellent viewing and listening conditions. It is multi-purpose and can be used for plays, dance performances, lyrical art and opera. The dressing rooms are located behind the stage on several levels while under the plaza are located a performers’ foyer that opens onto a landscaped patio.

A rehearsal room is opposite under the terrace overlooking the Esplanade des Quinconces. It can be opened to the public as well as stage performances. An exhibition gallery and meeting room are also included in the same volume, the latter of which opens onto a second tree-lined patio. These three spaces open onto the Esplanade des Quinconces through big pivoting shutters and can be operated individually or in unison.


Opposite the municipal theater is a complex housing 11 movie theaters. From afar it looks like an opaque block levitating three meters over the ground. The entrance is on the plaza where there is also an entirely glassed-in café-restaurant.

Audiences go down to the ticket windows and movie theaters on the lower level. Three of them are hanging and are accessed by escalators; the eight others are underground and connected by an inner corridor.

In many ways the new architectural and urban complex designed by Eric Babin and Jean-François Renaud – l’Espace Culturel des Quinconces – Is as intricate in its functions as it is limpid in its expression. It is both a precision tool serving an ambitious cultural policy and a much heralded venue by the people of Le Mans for their festivities and civic life.

Eric Babin and Jean-François Renaud are calmly, and to date unobtrusively, following a singular pathway, delivering rigorous and engaged products freed from the tyranny of fashion.

They founded their agency nearly twenty years ago after winning a European-wide competition that enabled them to deliver a hundred-unit housing project in Rheims.

Since then they have developed an architectural style that is as grounded in context as it is abstract and theoretical. Holding dear to the concept that a building should occupy a proper place in its setting and perfecting new architectural types derived from analyzing each program, Babin + Renaud carry out projects of scale with highly varied remits, e.g. housing, of course, in complex social fabrics on the edges of Paris (Saint-Denis, Saint-Ouen), on symbolically significant sites such as Paris’ Les Batignolles or up-and-coming sites like at the Porte de Montmartre. They also tackle mixed projects, office buildings or extensive public facilities like the Quinconces cultural center that the agency has just delivered in Le Mans.

Now ensconced in the heart of Paris’ 11th arrondissement, the agency employs some twenty collaborators and has projects throughout France. For the past several years Éric Babin and Jean-François Renaud have also been teaching, initially in Lille, Marseilles and Nantes, now in Rouen and Paris’ Belleville respectively.

Les Quinconces Cultural Center / Babin+Renaud originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 28 Jul 2014.

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Hangar XS / Ecker Architekten

Tue, 29.07.2014 - 01:00

Architects: Ecker Architekten
Location: , Germany
Area: 160 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Brigida González

Structural Engineer: Ingenieurbüro Kist und Theilig, Mosbach
Client: Wohnen und Pflege im Sonnengarten, Haus Buchen – Sun Garden Foundation

From the architect. The setting of the building is a sloped site, bordered on one side by a road leading to a barn and a garden waste depository. The opposite side fronts the cutting and kitchen gardens, a much-loved feature of the ‘Sun Garden’ retirement home. The maintenance garage and storage building forms a barrier and a backdrop – the placement and size of the structure separates quiet environs of the gardens from the noisy agricultural traffic in the direct proximity of the site.

The salient architectonic feature of the ‘Hangar XS` is its folded roof, the geometry of which is defined by the triangular framing of the gables on all four sides of the building. The proportion of the gables are similar, and the ratio of the short to the long elevations is 2:7. A triangulated frame creates a ridge running perpendicular to the long façades of the construction, and due to the effects of perspective, 75% of the sloped roof is not visible from ground level. The net result of this geometry is that it is nearly impossible to gauge the volume of the building from any single vantage point, and the sloping ridges of the long elevations collapse the visually ‘deep’ construction at the building ends into a planar condition at the center of the structure.

Another ambiguity of the building form stems from the logistic complexity of a simple program distorted by a sloping site and varying requirements of access. Openings are located according to necessity, and there are multiple doors to single rooms due to functional dictates. They are sized by function because differing methods are used to bring material to and from the building. The differentiated positioning of the doors counteracts the simplicity of the box. Their placements are not random, but rather reflect a rhythm dictated by interior circumstances. The area of the symmetrical doors opening to the garage is the maximum possible opening width, and the dimensions of this pair are equal to that of the single sliding door that opens to the rubbish and recycling room.

The main façade stretches the entire length of the building without interruption. Fenestrations are large and few, with the ribbon window facing the garden stretching 12 meters in length to allow visitors a glimpse into the workshop and garage. The vertical divisions of the panes occur at three-meter intervals.Two windows of the same dimension in the east elevation provide daylight and ventilation into the upper-storey loft. With symmetrical gables on all four elevations, the simplicity of the silhouette, and the consistency of the whole, the construction creates a monumentality that creates a soothing, crystalline counterpoint to the activity and coarse appearance of the large barns and sheds directly across the street.

The character of the building, simultaneously alien and familiar, is reinforced by the use of a single cladding material for the entire construction. The walls and roof are timber framed and rest on a base of in situ concrete. The entire exterior surface is clad in green pre-weathered standing-seam titanium zinc. To ensure proper ventilation of the substructure, this metallic skin never touches the earth. It is suspended above the concrete foundation and hovers just a few centimeters above the ground. The resulting shadow reveal around the base of the building enforces the visual impression of a large, thin, taut surface, and contradicts the heavy structural members located directly beneath this cladding.

To contrast and balance the monolithic simplicity of the barn, doors and windows were detailed in the simplest imaginable manner. Swing doors are recessed to protect the edges of the door leaf from weather, and sliding doors were mounted atop the cladding to allow simple mounting and maintenance of tracks and rolling door hardware. Windows were set according to construction norms. The differing placement and depth of these openings lend a plasticity to an otherwise intentionally flat façade. Window sills, doorframes, and triangular vent hoods are made from the same standing seam metal. Square downspouts drain rainwater from a hidden gutter along the continuous perimeter of the roof surface.

The ‘Hangar XS’ is a study in duality. Inside, the plan contradicts the symmetrical consistency of the exterior form; outside, the fenestration of the elevations reflect the circumstantial distortions of the program within.

Hangar XS / Ecker Architekten originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 28 Jul 2014.

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Modernism in the Arab World: Bahrain’s Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Tue, 29.07.2014 - 00:00

In Bahrain‘s pavilion for the 2014 Venice Biennale, the country uses its position on the eastern edge of the pan-Arabic region to investigate modernity’s impact on the Arab world: first as a colonial imposition, then as a local attempt to reconcile global and Arabic culture, then finally as an acceptance of neoliberal ideals.

The exhibition collects 100 projects from across the Arabic states, with the intention of consolidating and preserving knowledge of this critical period. The installation itself, a giant bookcase, is the manifestation of this research, and will later be made available at the Arab Center for Architecture.

From the Official Catalog of the 14th International Architecture Exhibition. At a moment when the Arab world is in turmoil, it seems relevant, from , the eastern edge of this region, to assess what remains of the pan-Arab project, a transnational political and cultural project born in the early twentieth century and coinciding with the birth of in the region. Under the Ottoman rule that spread from Baghdad to Tiemcen in western Algeria, European colonial forces inscribed the beginning of a modernist project, first through an infrastructure of rail lines and then progressively, with the demise of the Ottoman Empire at the end of the first World War, with more pronounced colonial ambitions that were translated through a territorial project of modernization at both the urban and architectural level.

From the modernist master plans for Algiers to the Soviet influenced imports that were built in Damascus and the mud brick Art Deco architecture of Baghdad, the seeds of the modernist project arrived mostly from an outsider’s perspective, and were commonly perceived as such. They were delayed for a brief period from the 1950s to the ’70s by local attempts at a modernist architecture that attempted to reconcile local specificities of customs and materials with the the colonial innovations of the time. Arab architects were experimenting with a local modernist architecture that had the ambition of belonging to an international movement, yet was responding to context.

From the late 1980s onwards, the seeds of the modernist project were aborted as the political context evolved and the structural changes of the modernist project became difficult to come by. The colonial map was gradually replaced by the real estate developer’s model as neoliberal ideals were loosely adopted and generally accepted as the new modus operandi, ushering a shift of the political and economic gravitas of the region from the Mashreq towards the Gulf Region.

The exhibition is conceived as a subjective, non exhaustive and sometimes fictional reading of the architectural legacy of the last hundred years across the Arab World, initiated as a first attempt to safeguard the archival architectural heritage of this region. It includes a selection of a hundred buildings, laid out flat without any prevention of qualitative architectural judgement that will join the archives of the Arab Center for Architecture.

Modernism in the Arab World: Bahrain's Pavilion at the Venice Biennale originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 28 Jul 2014.

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Escribenta House / Emilio Rodríguez Blanco

Mon, 28.07.2014 - 23:00

Architects: Emilio Rodríguez Blanco
Location: , Spain
Area: 330 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Santos-Di?ez | BISimages

Quantity Surveyor: Jose Manuel Mirás
Collaborators: Julio Ordax Rodríguez, Anton Pena Auge
Client: Celsa Ferreiro Farto
Cost: 208,000 euros (p.e.m.)

From the architect. A site, a place without clear references, a gently sloping meadow leading down to the river, a relatively distant rural town, without orientation to spectacular views.

The property finds accommodation and scale across 5 yards being one of those gently places between the domestic and the meadow, between human and nature.

Time in its ancestral dimension of changing seasons and climatic variations, the grey sky, clean blue, sometimes menacing, it enters the house through large skylights to make it an authentic reference site.

A perimeter wall of concrete block clothes together as a small settlement, with a certain defensive character, introverted character while the large skylights move togards the distant landscape to take to the nonexistent to conquer the celestial vault view.

The materials used to build the house are the same that were used for the rural popular architecture, its sheds, its storehouses and its farm fences. Consumables, with deep textures, changing over the time, with a certain age waiting for the moss to be colonized, lichen, the burning sun or the darkened rain.

Escribenta House / Emilio Rodríguez Blanco originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 28 Jul 2014.

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MAD Architects + Studio Gang Selected for Chicago’s George Lucas Museum

Mon, 28.07.2014 - 22:00

After the controversy surrounding their rejection by San Francisco and subsequent relocation to Chicago, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts has today announced a team of MAD Architects and Studio Gang as the designers of their new building in Chicago‘s museum district near Northerly Island.

The building itself will be designed by MAD Architects, chosen “because of its innovative approach to design and the firm’s philosophy of connecting urban spaces to natural landscapes.” In this case, that landscape will be designed by Studio Gang, who will also add a bridge to Northerly Island, an area which they have worked on turning into an ecologically diverse urban park.

“It is a gift to be able to design the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in a city so rich with architectural history,” said founder of MAD Architects Ma Yansong. ”I am humbled and honored to be given this opportunity to create a timeless design that moves and inspires people just like Mr. Lucas’ collection.”

Commenting on the proposed plan to link the museum site to Northerly Island, Jeanne Gang said: “We are excited to build upon our current work and collaborate to create a seamless transition between the Museum Campus and Northerly Island. In keeping with the Northerly Island ethos, our design goal will be to create a combined ecological and urban habitat.” The museum is funding this urban link at no cost to the City of .

George Lucas has previously commented on the decision to move the museum to Chicago, saying: “Choosing Chicago is the right decision for the Museum, but a difficult decision for me personally because of my strong personal and professional roots in the Bay Area. I thank all Californians who reached out to me in support of the Museum.”

He said of the new proposals: “I am thrilled with the architectural team’s vision for the building and the surrounding green space. I look forward to presenting our design to the Chicago community.” The designs for the new museum are scheduled to be released in late 2014.

VOA Associates will serve as the executive architects. 

MAD Architects + Studio Gang Selected for Chicago's George Lucas Museum originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 28 Jul 2014.

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AS67 Student Housing / LoT

Mon, 28.07.2014 - 21:00

Architects: LoT
Location: Thessaloniki, Greece
Architects In Charge: Leonidas Trampoukis, Eleni Petaloti
Area: 2,200 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: George Messaritakis

Project Team: Leonidas Trampoukis (partner in charge), Eleni Petaloti, Eleni Kourkouli, Brandon Maldonado
Interior Design:

From the architect. 67 Agias Sofias st. is an eight-storey building, built in the 1950′s that has been abandoned for many years.

LoT was selected to transform it into a student housing residence to accommodate 62 single bed units, entrance lobby, gym and laundry facilities, and a communal roof terrace area.

The renovation completed in August 2011 makes use of two materials, painted steel plates and translucent reinforced glass, combined with the harmony to contrast the fussiness and complexity of the surrounding build environment. In the interior extensive use of color and graphics create joyful living conditions for the students.

The game of light and shadow is gradually revealing parts of the interior program along the pass of the day. By opening and closing the flexible translucent or solid shutter panels one can control the levels of privacy and light and at the same time transform the way of experiencing the building from the lower street level.

AS67 Student Housing / LoT originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 28 Jul 2014.

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AD Interviews: Pedro Alonso, Curator of the Chilean Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale

Mon, 28.07.2014 - 20:00

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We had the chance to sit down with , one of the curators of the Chilean pavilion “Monolith Controversies,” at the 2014 Venice Biennale, to learn more about the concept and inspiration behind the Silver Lion-winning pavilion. “We were interested in demonstrating that architects didn’t absorb modernity, but rather, they supplied it. The ones who absorbed it were the workers and the people,” Alonso told us, outside of a replica of a Chilean apartment – the entrance to the Pavilion. “The absorption of modernity has to do with the pieces we are exhibiting. For example, this apartment, the apartment of Mrs. Silvia Gutiérrez in Viña del Mar, which is an exact replica – object by object- of the 518 things that make up her living room.”

Enter Gutiérrez’s apartment and the rest of the Chilean pavilion in the full interview with Alonso. And don’t forget to check out additional pictures and text from the curators in our coverage of the pavilion here.

AD Interviews: Pedro Alonso, Curator of the Chilean Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 28 Jul 2014.

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Kategorien: Architektur