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Catholic Suzuka Church / ALPHAVILLE

Mi, 26.07.2017 - 23:00
© Toshiyuki Yano
  • Architects: ALPHAVILLE
  • Location: Mie Prefecture, Japan
  • Architects In Charge: Kentaro Takeguchi, Asako Yamamoto
  • Area: 1588.85 m2
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Toshiyuki Yano
  • Project Team : Tomohisa Koike
  • Structural Engineer : Takashi Manda
  • Main Contructor : Matsui Contrtaction Co., Ltd.
© Toshiyuki Yano

From the architect. Responding to a dramatic growth in the foreign Catholic community in Suzuka, a new religious space is needed not only for worships but also social interactions. The Catholic Suzuka Church, presented by the Alphaville Architects, is an integration of multiple functions including a chapel, a community hall and residences for priests. Located in Suzuka, where the HONDA motor industry bases, the presented project is sitting on the cross junction of two major streets, with one being a newly built motorway and the remaining one being an ancient road connecting Tokyo and Osaka since Edo period.

© Toshiyuki Yano Axonometric © Toshiyuki Yano

The project features an expressive roof which wraps up all the functional spaces. It is shaped as multiple diagonal arches overlapping each other with gaps. This was inspired by the stunning mountain scape surrounding the city, and reminds citizens of the natural elegance.

© Toshiyuki Yano

To handle crowds on Sundays, the whole volume is lifted to maximize the car parking space underneath without shrinking the other functional areas. The roof is split into pieces every five meters – referring to the parking lot module – for skylights to introduce the southern natural light to the interiors. Connected by two gently inclined staircases, the pilotis and the entrance lobbies on the second floor define a plaza for social events and buffering from the heavily motorized city.

Section

Referring to the “Nori’s figure/ground theory”, the lobby is designed as an extension of the city pathways, manipulating relationships among the “inside-out” spaces converging at the church that allow easy approaches.

© Toshiyuki Yano Structural Diagram © Toshiyuki Yano

With its lively gesture, this project surpasses precedents with enhanced accessibility, translating worships into daily-life philosophy and bridges mankind to the holy with falls of natural light.

© Toshiyuki Yano
Kategorien: Architektur

Toulon / Studio William Hefner

Mi, 26.07.2017 - 22:00
© Roger Davies
  • Architects: Studio William Hefner
  • Location: Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, California, United States
  • Lead Architects: William Hefner, AIA
  • Area: 7745.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Roger Davies
  • Contractor: Horizon General Contractors
© Roger Davies

From the architect. A  couple commissioned a new home with an emphasis on natural light and the surrounding landscape. The contemporary design rises from the site, presenting the street with a dynamic façade in which rugged walls of concrete and metal provide privacy to the first floor while soaring glass at the second floor fills the house with light. Tilted roof planes nod to the traditional sloped roofs of the neighborhood.

© Roger Davies

At the rear, the second floor features a louvered trellis that runs the length of the house and a thick floor system that extends far beyond the first-floor area below. Recalling le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye, this accentuated horizontal volume conveys the sense that it hovers above the site.  At the same time, it integrates the house with its surroundings by creating shaded outdoor rooms to complement interior spaces for seamless indoor-outdoor living.

© Roger Davies Site Plan © Roger Davies

Inside the hard shell of concrete, metal, and glass, the interior is warm and open. Living spaces flow together in an open plan, with cues in the finishes and lighting strategies to subtly differentiate spaces. The palette of materials ranges from striated marble to finely grooved tile and backlit birch-wood ribbons. The textures and muted colors of the materials brings an intimate, human scale to the bright, airy volumes. The art studio, a uniquely serene and private space, is bare but for a window onto a private garden and a skylight system that composes its entire roof.

© Roger Davies
Kategorien: Architektur

Harvey Pediatric Clinic / Marlon Blackwell Architect

Mi, 26.07.2017 - 20:00
© Timothy Hursley
  • Mep: HP Engineering, Inc.
  • Civil: Bates & Associates, Inc.
  • Structural: Tatum Smith Engineers, Inc.
  • Landscape: Stuart Fulbright
  • Contractor: SSI Inc
© Timothy Hursley

From the architect. The Harvey Pediatric Clinic is the new home of a thriving pediatric clinic based in Rogers, Arkansas. Situated in a land formerly dotted by the silhouettes of singular objects such as barns, sheds, silos, RV vehicles and semi-trucks, the building is a biological cousin to these different typologies. It is a silent, yet strong, contrast in figure and color to the excess of materials, weak forms, and beige tones that make up the everyday suburban landscape that surrounds the building.

© Timothy Hursley

The building’s bold profile provides the Clinic’s identifIcation for children and parents alike while establishing a strong presence along South 52nd Street, the main commercial corridor in the area. Cayenne-colored metal panel wraps the south elevation, which is lit from above along the edge with a skylight that stretches the length of the building. A portal at the ground floor creates a drop-off area for patients under the elevated cayenne form. Tenant spaces on either side of the pass-through are wrapped in glass, providing a connection with the surrounding landscape and an establishing visual and material separation from the upper floor.

© Timothy Hursley

Entering the building from the portal, one ascends a stair that is embedded in the “foot” of the structure. Blue glass in the skylight above washes the stair with blue light. The color creates a vertical threshold that suggests a place of healing lies above. Upon ascending the stair, patients arrive in the waiting room at the east end of the building. Fins along the eastern glass wall guard the interior from excessive solar exposure.

© Timothy Hursley Section © Timothy Hursley

Sixteen exam rooms are organized along a looping corridor creating a simple circulation path from the waiting room and check-in, to the exam room, to check-out. Skylights over the two nurses’ stations, which are distributed between the exam rooms, bring ample natural light into the center of the building.

Level 1 Plan Circulation Diagram Level 2 Plan

The west end of the building houses the Clinic’s administrative functions. The Flex Space is the hub for the administrative staff. The double-height space is capped by the pop-up along the south half of the building, which contributes to the bold, figural shape and holds a mezzanine – a private break room for Dr. Harvey – with a wall of glass to the north, allowing light to wash the interior and providing a visual connection to the sky. A break room for the staff at the west end of the ground floor is the point of arrival for the staff and looks out onto a small porch and garden, providing a quiet place of reprieve.

© Timothy Hursley © Timothy Hursley

The Cayenne metal panel is a custom color that was developed specifically for the project. A standard, weathered zinc metal panel is used on the north side of the building, which is formally quieter yet abstract in its detailing. A ribbon window reinforces the horizontality of the form and the darker, cool gray recedes, giving emphasis to the saturated, warm color used on the south figure. A flat metal panel profile is used on the west elevation and soffit, while a box rib metal panel profile lends a subtle texture to the north and south elevations. Custom break metal trims are used throughout, allowing the detailing of the skin to reinforce the abstract quality of the building’s shape.

© Timothy Hursley

The Harvey Pediatric Clinic is a progressive building for a progressive client, one who seeks a holistic approach to medicine and healing. The building compliments the practice and elevates the medical office typology and delivers a high-quality, efficient space enclosed in a bold figure.

© Timothy Hursley
Kategorien: Architektur

CSF House / López Duplan Arquitectos

Mi, 26.07.2017 - 18:00
© Héctor Armando Herrera © Héctor Armando Herrera

From the architect. The lot shape is a basic rectangle and we adjusted the project to its size to get the most benefit from the space. On the facade 2 planes are clearly appreciated as part of the same volume. We decided to use stone as the main material to add strength and enhance the personality of the project. The second plane was softened with vegetation to mark the difference between both and define a gesture of the presence of nature throughout the design.

For the hallway that leads to the main entrance we selected stone for the floor and the left wall creating a very special dynamic due to the characteristics and porosity of the material that contrasts with the wood on the right wall that gives warmth and joins to welcome with the vegetation that runs than the hall on the floor level.

© Héctor Armando Herrera

The house is formed by public and private areas divided into three main floors and half one for various services. On the ground floor a generous living and dining room is located next to the kitchen that integrates a living area. Family life is very important so we decided to create a harmonious and flexible ambiance to suit all the activities. On the first level we located the children rooms and the master bedroom on the second level.

We designed the back garden and the central courtyard that gives life and privacy to the whole house. In this area of the city there is no space between houses so we decided to make the most of the open space to give this family and oasis that they can enjoy indoors as well as outdoors. This generous garden also helps to provide natural light and lovely views. We consulted with an agronomist that besides orienting us on the selection of the right species helped us with the aesthetic result of the whole design.

© Héctor Armando Herrera

We consulted with an agronomist that besides orienting us on the selection of the right species helped us with the aesthetic result of the whole design.

The courtyard allowed us to achieve a central space that besides joining to the sources of natural light and greenery for the interior, created a transition area that hides a corridor that connects the service areas to the public areas on the ground floor. All areas have large windows and doors that open and hide to convert each area in a single one, open or closed. In this project it was very important to consider the total interaction between the inside and the outside to make the most of the space.

© Héctor Armando Herrera

A very important goal for this residence was complete flexibility as the daily activities of this family can be a normal routine or completely new, so it was very important that each area can be easily adapted to both possibilities. We managed through divisions and a strict architectural program a home where there can be total privacy and where you can also have a wide open space.

For the furniture we selected materials like wood and different stones that resulted in a natural color palette where the natural texture of each element stands out. The goal for the interiors was to achieve a harmonious and very warm ambiance for the family and its visitors. We seek to create an atmosphere where all the details are designed to enjoy quality total life, beyond the challenges that must be overcome every day.

Lower Plan

Lighting design focused on evening activities, as the large windows of all areas of the house flood it with natural light throughout the day giving personality and warmth to all the spaces. A centralized control system was installed to have different environments and it was also used for the audio and other systems that this house has.

The neutral color palette was selected to highlight the nature of the materials and the range of soft and harmonious colors that blend perfectly with the greenery of the garden and courtyard, making a warm balance that allows spaces to grow with the family and adapt to changes over time.

© Héctor Armando Herrera

The hardest thing was to make a home for this family. Each of the spaces was resolved so that a complete coexistence was achieved in public areas and full functionality in private ones. One of our main objectives was to create a warm environment in which both residents and visitors feel at home. We also managed to develop custom details such as special tub for the daughter who has a disability, achieving to integrate functionality with warmth so that her daily routine is a pleasant experience. We are very pleased with this project because all areas are accessible by wheelchair using a central elevator and a ramp at the main entrance.

Kategorien: Architektur

Kew House / McLaren.Excell

Mi, 26.07.2017 - 06:00
© Simone Bossi
  • Architects: McLaren.Excell
  • Location: Kew, Richmond TW9, United Kingdom
  • Lead Architects: Rob Excell
  • Area: 220.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2017
  • Photographs: Simone Bossi
© Simone Bossi

From the architect. Kew House involved the complete re-structuring of a Victorian London house and former stable yard in Richmond, turning a house of many small rooms into a series of orchestrated spaces that allow the house to breathe and flow.

© Simone Bossi

The project principally involved the building of a rear extension, comprising of two chamfered forms nestling together. Externally, the extension sits in sharp contrast to the background of the painted-out rear façade of the original house – standing proud and distinct, with walls of pale and pitted masonry bedded down on lime mortar applied roughly and heavily brushed across the brick face.

Ground Floor Demolition Details Ground Floor Plan

The simplicity of the exterior belies the complexity of concealed structures, interlocking pitched roofs and wedge shaped walls – all neatly resolved so as not to compromise the purity of form. The faceted nature of the exterior is accentuated by tapering window and door reveals – their depth and shadow lend a massive quality which, together with the rough pointed brickwork and grounding concrete plinths, results in a structure possessed with a sense of mass and permanence, as though carved out of a rock.

© Simone Bossi

Internally, the form and structure combine to produce a dramatic folding and interlocking ceiling-scape, stitching together the two external forms and bringing together the old and new elements of the house. The theme of mass and solidity continues, with in-situ concrete elements defining the arrangement of rooms and providing the backbone to the interior scheme.

© Simone Bossi

A concrete floor floods the interior and forms the visual base to the concrete structural elements on which the scheme pivots: a central spine wall forms the core of the building around which circulation space, the staircase, a cloakroom and the kitchen all hang, and a sculptural concrete work island sits at the centre of the main living space. Views of the garden have been framed through monumental openings, positioned to converge on the mature Magnolia tree at the center of the garden, whose depth provides deep sills on which to sit.

© Simone Bossi

The structural gravitas is tempered by the internal wall paneling and joinery. Slender oak fluting and wall panels conceal extensive storage and give a necessary visual lift and softness to the scheme. As with the faceted exterior, relief is used to animate the interior surfaces. Daylight is carefully controlled through a deep window and roof light reveals, and the paneling extends into the period rooms within the house - running across bay windows in the form of a shutter, filtering daylight and providing privacy, sitting in juxtaposition to the restored Victorian detailing.

© Simone Bossi

A simply crafted oak staircase rises up through the house – ascending from the crepuscular entrance hall, light fills and hallways and landings as the stair climbs. Simple bedrooms and bathrooms finish the scheme and complete the transition from the earthy sculptural massing below.

© Simone Bossi
Kategorien: Architektur

House V / Stéphane Nikolas

Mi, 26.07.2017 - 05:00
Courtesy of Stéphane Nikolas
  • Architects: Stéphane Nikolas
  • Location: 34130 Saint-Aunès, France
  • Area: 275.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2016
Courtesy of Stéphane Nikolas

From the architect. Located in the south of France near Montpellier, in the village of Saint Aunès, the house takes place on a land of vines, cultivated since the Romans, bathed by the sun of the Mediterranean Sea, a short 15- minutes drive away. The project includes another building, under construction, whose destination is that of an artist's workshop for the owners.

Ground Floor Plan

A simple parallelepiped, a cocoon of steel and glass set between two horizontal planes which delimit the view, oriented towards the vibrating light of the south, the volume, light, detached from the ground, seems to rest on the green of the original vine. The two white lines of the gangway, slender and taut, draw a minimal intervention, on a vegetable background formed of cypresses, fig trees, laurels and other olive trees. The drawing is meant to be purified, a striking contrast between the hand of man and the work of nature, complementary, balanced, without harming or diminishing the presence of the other.

Courtesy of Stéphane Nikolas

Placed on a concrete base, an expression of durability and solidity, the steel cage of the structure, with optimized spans and stitches, wants to express the lightness and transparency of a habitat completely open on the outside. Bathed in the sun, catching its rays in winter, when it is low, protected from its flames in summer when it rises in the sky, the interior of the house is one with the garden, visually and physically. The bay windows of the south facade open on the entire stay and allow to extend it on the outer passageway, the terrace and the garden below.

Courtesy of Stéphane Nikolas

The surface is not important. What is important is the perception of volume and the relation to nature, outside, which multiply the spatial sensation.

Courtesy of Stéphane Nikolas

Made for a family of three, two adults and a boy, the program responds to a request for two bedrooms, a guest room, an office/library, and a large basement for the cellar and garage.

Courtesy of Stéphane Nikolas

The metal frame was constructed as a Mecano, assembled and bolted on site, with cold bent sections. Fixed on the base of the cellar it has been dressed externally of an aluminum corrugated siding that corresponds to the industrial character of the structure, visible on the posts or the gangway. The large thermal insulation that fills the interstices of the framework allows a very small loss, compensated in winter by the solar contributions and an air/water heat pump that feed the heating by the ground. A thermodynamic hot water balloon coupled with a single flow ventilation produces the necessary hot water. The house meets the French BBC standards (building low consumption) with a consumption less than 29kwhPE / m2year.

Structure Axonometric
Kategorien: Architektur

Congo Kintele Congress Centre / AVCIARCHITECTS

Mi, 26.07.2017 - 03:00
© Emre Dörter
  • Interior Design: AVCI ARCHITECTS
  • Landscape Architects: Sahara Peyzaj
  • Employer: Congo Republic
© Emre Dörter

From the architect. The new Kintele Congress Centre and Resort Hotel (KCC) is in a newly developing area of  Brazzaville, to the north of the new Olympic Centre. The site has panaromic views of the Congo River to the south and a forested unbuilt landscape to the north. The topography of the site is a valley carved out by the great Congo River which creates an island M’Bamaou in the foreground and the buildings sit parallel to the contours of this valley falling towards the river.

Floor Plan © Emre Dörter Floor Plan

The positioning of the buildings on the site is largely dictated by this topography where we  were concerned to minimise excessive excavation and shifting of earth away from the site. The larger objects of the programme: the 1500 seat Congress Hall, the 300 person Presidential Hall, the 1000 seat Banquet Hall and the 1000 person Public Piazza were placed in a line sequence interrupted by courtyards, and all reached by a public sheltered collonade that links these elements. The Hotel on the other hand is positioned 5 meters above this general public promenade, largely to give it better views to the river, while making a public / private segragation of functions on the site. All but two courtyards linking the enclosed volumes are accessible to the public, and allow us to form landscaped intermissions amongst the large masses of these functions. Thus the form of the KCC settles in to the landscape, avoiding the appearance of an out of scale overbearing large mass of buildings while providing views of the Congo River from all hotel rooms.

© Emre Dörter

The 350 meter long collonade also acts as a linear public space in itself sheltering people from the ever present rain that prevails most of the year around in this part of the world. The two ends of the Collonade also act as public gates to the whole complex. Attached to this public collonade are the Press Hall to the Western gate and Museum to the Eastern gate. At this end the Museum forms the southern edge of the Piazza, while the shops and the Public Restaurant form the Northern and Eastern edges of the Piazza. This open space is also sheltered from the rain with a square occulus that allows the rain to fall in to a shallow pool at its centre.

© Emre Dörter

For at least 6 months of the year rain is an everpresent climate phenomenon in Congo and defines the way people interact in public and with public space. Therefore great effort was made in this sense to shelter people while out in the open but to not distance from nature, and the presence of rain because while it is raining it is still very warm and ofcourse humid. There fore while it is important to shelter from rain it is also important to allow air to flow and cool such sheltered spaces. The presence of water is celebrated by making its fall from roofs visible and audible as it reaches the earth and fills open pools which take overflow from large roof areas using gargoyles and water falls.

© Emre Dörter

Another aspect of the local tropical climate is the constant presence of a high level of humidity which makes use of natural ventilation as a way of minimising energy consumption difficult and the use of  airconditioning of public spaces essential for comfort conditions to be achieved to acceptable comfort standards. Our main objective in this case is to minimise the cooling loads by reducing the incidence of sunlight on exposed glass facades. Thus glazing is always deeply set in to the façade on the north (in this case it is actually the true north façade which receives the midday sun due to the location of the site below the equator) and low sunlight from the east and west is minimised by vertical shading elements and perforated metal screens.

© Emre Dörter

The use of materials in the KCC were to a large extent dictated by the requirement of speed of construction, and availability of modern construction and cladding materials, of which none exist in The Congo Republic. Thus although it would be more cost effective, concrete frame was ruled out in favour of steel and more easily transportable lighter cladding materials such as aluminium panelling for massive cladding elements such as block or brick work. Beyond that efforts were made to use natural materials at all times such as timber, and stone.

© Emre Dörter

The larger elements are signified by a series of perforated cladding elements which are laser cut in geometric Congolese patterns derived from the traditions of the larger region, connecting the buildings to their place. At times these patterns find themselves recalled in interior elements such as floor patterns and screens which divide interior spaces, and at times on external wall elements creating shading or privacy between inside and outside. Vertical shading elements are a lighter coloured bronz/brass finish, set against a background of larger darker coloured panels and of course glass. The overall colour palatte of the project is infact derived from a series of lighter and darker shades of bronz and brass.

Section A Section B

The 200 bedroom resort hotel also acts as an adjunct to the Congress Centre, providing both facilities for some of the presidential guests, with 6 presidential suites and their entourage, with a series of suites and standard rooms. On the ground floor are the spa, restaurant, bars and the pool all of which stand 5 metres above the level of the Congress Centre, providing panoramic views across the Congo Valley.

© Emre Dörter

Pedestrian links lead from the hotel pool side down to the major event courtyard below which also serves as an extension of the Public Piazza, which links again to the collonade running East West. 

Kategorien: Architektur

Wind Tower / AGi Architects

Mi, 26.07.2017 - 01:00
Courtesy of AGi architects
  • Architects: AGi Architects
  • Location: Salmiya, Kuwait
  • Architects In Charge: Nasser B. Abulhasan, Joaquín Pérez-Goicoechea
  • Area: 6500.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2017
  • Project Managers: Stefania Rendinelli, Lulu Alawadhi
  • Project Team: Georg Thesing, Juan Carlos Jimenez, Cristina Ruiz, Alfredo Carrato, Ehsan Abdulrasoul Rahimi, Ibrahim Abu Fayyad
  • Engineers: Arturo Macusi, Joseph Thomas
  • Client: Wafra Real Estate Co
Courtesy of AGi architects

Wafra Vertical Housing introduces a new concept to urban living that adapts to the evolving lifestyle of 21st Century contemporary Kuwait. Considering the increasing demand for land in the city, the transformation of single family dwelling typologies becomes a must, where tenants should be able to enjoy privacy as well as benefit from vertical solution amenities and prime location.

Courtesy of AGi architects

Understanding and reinterpreting local environmental techniques is one of the main targets of this design. The services core of the building is thus located on the southern wing, in order to minimize sun exposure and consequently reduce energy consumption – acting as a thermal barrier to the rest of the building. Hence, minimum openings are placed on the aforementioned façade, while on the other hand the building opens to the North, facing the sea and enjoying its privileged views. Optimal opportunities for natural lighting and cross ventilation also become an essential driving force for the design, which give the tower its character and determine its final orientation. Taking the idea of the traditional middle-eastern courtyard typology and developing it volumetrically, the initial concept flourishes in the form of the tower. The courtyard is no longer constrained to the core of the building; instead, it borrows light and ventilation from the facade, funnels it through the pool area and flows through all levels finding its way out through the opposite façade.

Courtesy of AGi architects Floor plans Courtesy of AGi architects

Granite stone is chosen for the façade, in order to give the tower an aspect of a monolithic sculpture that is carved by the wind, in contrast with the smooth surfaces of the interior courtyard that are rendered in white plaster.

Courtesy of AGi architects

Functionally and geometrically, the tower is raised on a plinth that comprises 2 levels, where public spaces – including swimming pool and gym area – are located. The apartments rise up organically and allow for light and ventilation to penetrate through. Full tower height is 13 levels, where 12 duplex apartments are piled in order to preserve privacy. An extra penthouse crowns the building, including rooftop gardens and terraces that are advantageously profited.

Courtesy of AGi architects Sections Courtesy of AGi architects
Kategorien: Architektur

Mountain Lake Park Playground / Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Di, 25.07.2017 - 23:00
© Nic Lehoux
  • Architects: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
  • Location: San Francisco, California, United States
  • Principal: Gregory Mottola, FAIA
  • Project Manager: Aaron Gomez, AIA
  • Area: 22000.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2017
  • Photographs: Nic Lehoux
  • Team: Laing Chung, Lauren Ross, Daniel Yoder
  • Landscape: Lutsko Associates
  • Structural Engineer: Holmes Structures
  • Civil Engineer : Lea & Braze Engineering
© Nic Lehoux

From the architect. Tucked behind a row of Edwardian homes in San Francisco’s Richmond District, Mountain Lake Park Playground is nestled amidst mature evergreen trees and gently slopes down to the shore of Mountain Lake on the southern edge of Presidio National Park. The new design works seamlessly within this context, creating a feeling that the playground has always been there—specific to this place and this part of San Francisco.

Playground Plan

The renovated playground takes advantage of the site’s topography, with separate play areas on terraces, organized according to age and play ability, threaded together by a series of meandering pathways that provide an accessible route throughout the playground, including to the top of the slide. The centerpiece of the playground—a treasured concrete slide that cascades down the side of a large earthen mound—has been preserved, anchoring the updated playground to the cherished memories of the community’s past. Midway on the journey to the top of the slide, an observation platform sits perched on a forest of steel columns, evocative of the trees in the surrounding park. The platform overlooks the pre school area below while facilitating expansive views of Mountain Lake. Apertures in the platform provide framed moments of intrigue for the users both above and below.

© Nic Lehoux © Nic Lehoux

Additional design elements draw on the rich natural history of the site. The ‘sand dunes’ of the preschool area represent the rolling sand dunes that once spread across the region; the ribbed pattern of the concrete walls is an abstraction of tulle reeds that line the shores of Mountain Lake; tracks of birds and animals native to the area imprint the surface of the wall that borders the school age area; while large sculptures, including a frog and turtle, acknowledge the native aquatic life in the lake. These site-specific references are enriched by large timber play structures, giving the impression that they were fashioned from logs of the surrounding forests.

© Nic Lehoux Section C © Nic Lehoux

The effort to renovate the playground was spearheaded by a group of three local mothers, in partnership with the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department. The three women formed the “Friends of Mountain Lake Park Playground” (FMLPP) in 2010 after they learned a renovation could only happen with the support of community advocates. The project was earmarked to receive funding through the Clean & Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond because of FMLPP’s initial efforts, which also included a substantial donation from the group itself. Remaining funds were raised mainly through small- and medium-sized donations from the community, as well as donated services from Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Lutsko Associates, and Holmes Structures.

© Nic Lehoux
Kategorien: Architektur

Flagship Building / Geodesic Design

Di, 25.07.2017 - 22:00
© Beer Singnoi
  • Architects: Geodesic Design
  • Location: Nonthaburi, Mueang Nonthaburi District, Nonthaburi, Thailand
  • Lead Architects: Somboon Sudmaksri, Karp Boonthavi, Prapakorn Kimiphan
  • Area: 4000.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2017
  • Photographs: Beer Singnoi
  • Owner: Silpakorn University
  • Contractor: Pathom Furniture (1994)
© Beer Singnoi

From the architect. Silpakorn University had acquired a plot of land in Muang Thong Thani, a growing urban development in the northern part of grater Bangkok to build a new campus. After the master plan was laid out, it was decided that a small building would be built to pioneer the presence of the university at the new location. The building must be designed and built within a year to be ready for the academic year of 2017. Geodesic Design proposed a 4,000 sqm. multipurpose building that would be easily adapted to various requirements and changes. The design also aimed for the building to be rapidly construct and could be dismantled in the future if a larger building is required.

© Beer Singnoi

The design direction came from the architect's evolving idea of Thai modernism. Modern building that interacts with tropical monsoon climate. Building skin that let fresh air into built space. Natural daylight that is used in a way that interior environment still stays comfortable. Power consumption is to be considered. Construction waste is to be minimized.

© Beer Singnoi

The building's lightness in appearance is rooted in Thai traditional architecture. The ground floor is raised. The skin is variation of traditional Thai high pitch roof. Overlap walls create openings that let air flow in and out. These walls of translucent polycarbonate panel filter sunlight toward proper degree of illumination. The changing of time and season can be felt from the inside. At night, the building glows.

© Beer Singnoi

The plans are composed of three parts. First, the main circulation space that is put on the rim as building parameter. This circulation space act as barrier to keep out solar radiation. Surroundings are vaguely experienced through translucent skin. This is intended to create concentration in the classroom. Second, the center of floor plan is an open well that visually connects various ongoing activities together. Floor height varies with various usage that can be observed and give meanings to each floor. Third, relation to landscape ; the building was built over an existing pond to take advantage of the cooling condition of the body of water

© Beer Singnoi Interior Space © Beer Singnoi

Prefabricated building parts and construction technics were used to speed up the build period. Main structure such as column, beam, stair are steel. Flooring are concrete hollowed core floor slabs. Polycarbonate panel system can be quickly installed on steel skeleton on all four sides of the building. The top floor outer wall is of lightweight concrete panel. Roof is polyexterene waterproof sheet covered fiber cement board. 

© Beer Singnoi Exploded Structure © Beer Singnoi

As the campus first building the design pioneers the architecture that is transparent , direct, sharp and simple. Shape and form that work together with engineering. The story and logic in an architecture that will inspirit into the building's habitant.

© Beer Singnoi
Kategorien: Architektur

Supplyframe DesignLab / Cory Grosser + Associates

Di, 25.07.2017 - 20:00
© Benny Chan Fotoworks
  • Clients: Supplyframe
  • Team: Cora Neil, Christy Wulfson, Susyn Herridge
© Benny Chan Fotoworks

From the architect. The idea for the Design Lab began when Supplyframe, a premier tech company in Pasadena, acquired Hackaday, an incredibly popular website with an online community of over six million engineers sharing innovative ideas on a daily basis. This creative community inspired the concept for Design Lab, a place where hackers and creatives could come together and, through collaboration and access to the right tools, take their ideas from hypothetical or digital into real physical place.

© Benny Chan Fotoworks

The Supplyframe DesignLab was conceived with a mission to be a workspace and collaboration hub bringing together inventors and entrepreneurs to explore the future of how hardware projects are built and brought to the market. The 4,900 square foot studio space was to be a hothouse of hardware innovation, entrepreneurial thinking, education and thought leadership – a hacker space at the next level.

Floor Plan

The completed space combines areas for brainstorming, rapid prototyping, model making and fabrication as well as a gallery and assembly space for community events.

© Benny Chan Fotoworks

The historic building housing DesignLab is typically Old Town Pasadena, with bow-arched ceilings, exposed wood beams, and brick walls. These qualities were preserved and consciously juxtaposed against the new construction of clean white ceiling clouds, polished concrete floors and industrial steel-clad walls, all of which speak of the Supplyframe brand and Hackaday vibe.

© Benny Chan Fotoworks

In contrast to the current creative workplace design focus on spaces that are light, airy and warm, DesignLab is deliberately stark, industrial and elegant – a space designed to encourage the raw energy and passion needed to create something entirely new. The lab isn’t a warm-loft concept, but a design inspired by caffeine-fuelled all-nighters, late night coding sessions and underground skunk works.

© Benny Chan Fotoworks

Referencing traditional factories and workshops, the design team employed a material palette of blackened cold-rolled steel, raw concrete and rough-sawn timber, while the use of glass, glossy black and white surfaces and premium furnishings reflect the elegance of workspaces in high-end creative agencies.

© Benny Chan Fotoworks

Circulation is organized around a 40ft long free-standing box housing an ideation space and rapid-prototyping lab. Clad in blackened steel and glass, this volume protrudes into the street-facing gallery to hint at the innovation areas behind. In a theatrical gesture, glass walls punctuate both volumes, inviting passers-by to peer inside.

© Benny Chan Fotoworks

An open-benching area includes custom-made furniture that can be reconfigured to accommodate either individual or group work. There is also a kitchen, designed as a place to refuel and meet at custom high-top tables, and a large shop area filled with the latest in cutting-edge prototyping equipment, flanked by a garage area with a roll-up door to facilitate the creation of large-scale works. 

© Benny Chan Fotoworks

With a wood shop and other machinery to be incorporated in the space and regularly in use alongside areas intended for concentrated work and meetings, acoustic challenges were resolved by working with the construction team to build extra-thick, sound-stage level insulated walls, as well as by carefully organizing the layout of the space so that “noisy” spaces and  “quiet” spaces are located with as much distance between them as possible.

Kategorien: Architektur

Sydney’s Brutalist Sirius Building Saved from Demolition after Court Ruling

Di, 25.07.2017 - 19:30
© <a href='http://https://www.flickr.com/photos/andreas/2951113717'>Flickr user andreas</a>. Licensed under CC BY 2.0

In a major victory for preservationists, one of Sydney’s few examples of brutalist architecture, the Sirius Apartment Building, has been saved from the wrecking ball after court ruled against the government’s attempt to deny it a place on the State Heritage Register.

The government of North South Wales had been attempting to sell the building in order to fund the development of new public housing, arguing that putting the Sirius building on the heritage list would reduce its value by as much as $70 million, causing “undue financial hardship.”

However, the court ruled that the government had ignored a recommendation by the heritage council to list it on the register, rejecting their argument as grounds for refusing an application for listing.

It also ordered the government to pay costs to the Millers Point Community Association, who have fought the building’s demolition through crowdsourced means – nearly $50,000 was donated through fundraising efforts for the legal battle.

The ruling does not automatically grant the Sirius building heritage listing, but requires the government to provide it the opportunity to apply.

Read more about the story at the Sydney Morning Herald.

Kategorien: Architektur

El Palmar / David Cervera

Di, 25.07.2017 - 18:00
© David Cervera
  • Architects: David Cervera
  • Location: Chuburna Puerto, Chuburná, Yucatán, Mexico
  • Area: 90.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2017
  • Photographs: David Cervera
  • Lighting: Daniel Cervera
  • Aluminum Windows And Kitchens: Betzabe Mena y Fernando Herrera
© David Cervera

From the architect. The palmar is a project of a summer house, located in the Port of Chuburna Yucatan Mexico.

© David Cervera

With a very small program since it only has a room kitchen living area and swimming pool.

© David Cervera

As a first objective, we thought to locate the house at the bottom of the land to the south side as in the adjacent houses (in the whole context) the houses are crisscrossed to the front and leave the backyard unused.

© David Cervera

In this case, it was invested to leave to the front of the house the palm trees that were in the place.

© David Cervera © David Cervera

Also, they are in the north air, better lighting ventilation and visuals. It is a simple scheme of 3 spaces looking to the north a semi-open terrace, a living area with kitchen that extends the space with an outside terrace that approximates to the palm trees and integrates with the swimming pool and the bedroom a little more private to the east.

© David Cervera

Materials used in the region, the finish on the walls is Chukum (a finish made with the roots of a tree called Chukum) is A waterproof material that does not wear paint. The floors are white polished concrete apprehended with compacted mosaics

© David Cervera
Kategorien: Architektur

7 Top Teams Shortlisted in Competition to Design Centre Pompidou Brussels

Di, 25.07.2017 - 17:00
Courtesy of SAU-MSI

The Urban Development Corporation (SAU-MSI) has announced the seven shortlisted teams competing for the design of the latest Centre Pompidou outpost in Brussels, Belgium. The finalist teams were selected from 92 entries to the competition, which sought proposals to transform the existing Art Deco Citroën Yser garage in the heart of the city into a mixed-use museum complex focusing on contemporary art and architecture.

To be known as the Citroën Cultural Centre, the $135 Million project will consist of 375,000 square feet (35,000 square meters) of public cultural, education and recreation space, including 160,000 square feet (15,000 square meters) designated for the new Centre Pompidou Brussels. An additional 108,000 square feet (10,000 square meters) will host a museum run by Brussels’ International Centre for Urbanism, Architecture & Landscape.

The shortlist includes for the project includes:

  • 51N4E / Caruso St John Architects
  • ADVVT / AGWA / 6a architects
  • Diller Scofidio + Renfro / JDS Architects
  • Lhoas & Lhoas / Ortner & Ortner
  • NOA / EM2N / Sergison Bates
  • Office / Christ & Gantenbein
  • OMA

Many top firms were left out of the shortlist, including Richard Rogers, designer alongside Renzo Piano of the original Pompidou Centre in Paris, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

The full longlist featured:

  • 5+1AA / LINA GHOTMEH
  • 51N4E / CARUSO ST JOHN ARCHITECTS
  • ADVVT / AGWA / 6A
  • AL_A
  • ARCHI 2000 / MOATTI-RIVIERE / PERROT & RICHARD
  • ARCHITECTURE STUDIO / CONIX ARCHITECTS
  • ART & BUILD / 3XN / AREP VILLE
  • ARTER / OAB / PENIN
  • ASSAR / MORPHOSIS
  • ATELIERS 2/3/4
  • AUER WEBER / DELICES ARCHITECTES
  • BAEB / JASPERS & EYERS / KENGO KUMA AND ASSOCIATES
  • BAEV ARCHIPELAGO AR-TE / JUNYA ISHIGAMI
  • BARKOW LEIBINGER
  • BAROZZI VEIGA / RGPA
  • BAUMSCHLAGER EBERLE ARCHITEKTEN
  • BC/X (KAAN ARCHITECTEN)
  • BIG / SYNERGY-INTERNATIONAL
  • BOUDRY & BOUDRY / HATEM ARCHITECTURE
  • CENTRAL / CARACTERE SPECIAL / NP2F
  • CENTRE CITROHAN (ATELIER KEMPE THILL)
  • CEPEZED
  • CINCO LATINOS (ATELIER D'ARCHIECTURE CAZ)
  • COLDEFY & ASSOCIES
  • COOP HIMMELB(L)AU
  • CRUZ Y ORTIZ ARQUITECTOS / STRAMIEN
  • DAVID CHIPPERFIELD ARCHITECTS
  • DDS & PARTNERS / RUDY RICCIOTTI ARCHITECTE
  • DGLA / MAD
  • DILLER SCOFIDIO + RENFRO / JDS ARCHITECTS
  • DPA (DOMINIQUE PERRAULT)
  • EISENMAN & PEREA
  • ELD / SCHMIDT HAMMER LASSEN / STUDIO FARRIS
  • ESTUDIO HERREROS / BEVK PEROVIC ARHITEKTI / B-ARCHITECTEN
  • FOSTER + PARTNERS / SYNTAXE
  • FRANCIS SOLER
  • FRANCISCO AIRES MATEUS ARQUITECTOS
  • HENEGHAN PENG ARCHITECTS / MIKOU DESIGN
  • HENNING LARSEN ARCHITECTS / A2RC ARCHITECTS
  • HHF / ENSAMBLE STUDIO
  • HUSKINSPACE ARCHITECTES STEPHANE BARA
  • JAKOB+MACFARLANE / LD2 ARCHITECTURE / ADE ARCHITECTS
  • JAMIE FOBERT ARCHITECTS / PURCELL
  • JEAN MARC IBOS MYRTO VITART
  • JOE COENEN
  • LABEL ARCHITECTURE / FRANKLIN AZZI ARCHITECTURE / CEBRA
  • LACATON & VASSAL / CRIT. ARCHITECTURE / FREDERIC DRUOT
  • LAN / V+
  • LHOAS & LHOAS / ORTNER & ORTNER
  • MANGADO Y ASOCIADOS / A+
  • MIRALLES TAGLIABUE EMBT
  • MOA / NFA
  • MOREAU KUSUNOKI / DETHIER ARCHITECTURE
  • MVRDV / URA
  • NEUTELINGS RIEDIJK ARCHITECTEN
  • NOA / EM2N / SERGISON BATES
  • NOAHH / HANS VAN HEESWIJK / DIEDERENDIRRIX
  • OFFICE / CHRIST & GANTENBEIN
  • OMA / WESSEL DE JONGHE
  • OPEN BUILDING RESEARCH
  • PHILIPPE RAHM / STUDIOS ARCHITECTURE
  • PICA CIAMARRA ASSOCIATI / ORTS & BALLERIAUX
  • PIERRE HEBBELINCK - PIERRE DE WIT / HART BERTELOOT / TANK ARCHITECTES
  • RCR / COUSSEE & GORIS
  • REICHEN ET ROBERT & ASSOCIES
  • ROBBRECHT EN DAEM ARCHITECTEN
  • ROGERS STIRK HARBOUR + PARTNERS / ATELIER 229
  • SAMYN AND PARTNERS
  • SANAA
  • SAUERBRUCH HUTTON / DE BOUWERIJ / AAC
  • SELLDORF ARCHITECTS
  • SHIGERU BAN ARCHITECTS EUROPE
  • SNOHETTA / B2AI
  • SOU FUJIMOTO / AWAA ARCHITECTS
  • STANTON WILLIAMS / BOGDAN & VAN BROECK
  • STEPHANE BEEL ARCHITECTS
  • STEVEN HOLL ARCHITECTS / B612 ASSOCIATES
  • STUDIO MILOU / MAES ET ASSOCIES / CARL FREDERIK SVENSTED
  • STUDIO ODILE DECQ / MA2
  • SUD ARCHITECTES / ALEP ARCHITECTES / ATELIER LAME / CADMEE
  • TEA / BURGOS & GARRIDO
  • THOMAS PHIFER AND PARTNERS / OYO
  • TONY FRETTON ARCHITECTS
  • TRIPLE CHEVRON (SO-IL)
  • VAN BELLE & MEDINA / TUNON ARQUITECTOS
  • VAN DONGEN - KOSCHUCH ARCHITECTS
  • WHY / WHY
  • WILKINSON EYRE ARCHITECTS
  • WILMOTTE & ASSOCIES / CERAU
  • XAVEER DE GEYTER ARCHITECTS
  • XTU / RAZZLE DAZZLE
  • ZAHA HADID ARCHITECTS

The seven shortlisted teams will submit detailed proposals for the site later this year, with the winner to be announced in March 2018.

Learn more about the project, here.

Kategorien: Architektur

Yoox Net-A-Porter Tech Hub / Grimshaw

Di, 25.07.2017 - 16:00
© Philip Vile © Gabriel de la Chapelle

From the architect. Grimshaw has designed the fit-out for Yoox Net-A –Porter’s new Tech Hub, where the 70,000 sq ft office environment is now home to 500 staff. The design team worked to translate the architectural values of adaptability, flexibility, and sustainability into the interior design which comprises natural materials and innovative furniture with various pods and seating configurations enabling staff to work freely around the space.

Floor Plan

The reception area creates a distinguished initial impression, welcoming visitors with a desk encased in bronze, and a sculptural ‘arbour walk’ comprising softly-lit timber baffles. An Innovation Lab is nestled at the end of the arbor walk and provides a key collaboration space. It is home to a digital ‘ideas wall’, where up to seven people can work together using mobile technology to manipulate each other’s data.

© Gabriel de la Chapelle

The Tech Hub encompasses a variety of informal and formal spaces, with five ‘tea houses’ throughout the office designed to promote conversation. Product launches and events can be held in a multifunctional area, which holds up to 175 people, and contains flexible furniture options including stools which are stacked within the walls. A cinema-like presentation room offers plush seating for client presentations.

© Philip Vile

Combining contrasting concepts is a design detail that runs throughout the work environment, with two core themes of the ‘code behind the catwalk’ and ‘London meets Milan’, with the latter embodied through visual references to both locations. The idea of contrasts is translated into a ‘warp and weft’ aesthetic with complementary materials and colors providing a sense of movement and texture.

© Philip Vile

A calm and refined atmosphere is created through material choice which includes timber, concrete, velvet, leather, felt, bronze and ceramics. The centerpiece of the boardroom is a handcrafted table made from solid olive ash with blackened steel legs, accentuated by caramel-toned Italian leather chairs.

© Gabriel de la Chapelle

Chairman of Grimshaw, Sir Nicholas Grimshaw has said, “This project emerged out of deep discussions with Federico, and it has been a rewarding process to work with a client who champions quality design. The resulting project delivers an inspiring environment for an agile and global workforce, maximizing technology and providing a flexible space for the future.”

Kategorien: Architektur

Norman Foster Discusses the Dawn of High-Tech Architecture in This 1971 Interview

Di, 25.07.2017 - 15:00

"It's quite evident that you're prepared to abandon traditional ways of sitting," Bernard Keeffe exclaims as he collapses into a bright yellow beanbag in Norman Foster's home. "For years," he continues, "people have thought that if they sat down they would have to sit on a chair, but now you have demonstrated that this is not necessary!" In this lengthy 1971 interview with Lord Foster, drawn from the archives of Thames TV, Keeffe questions the practice's early hi-tech approach to architecture in the context of a landscape in which buildings were becoming "ever more complicated."

Bernard Keeffe and Norman Foster (1971). Image Courtesy of Thames TV

Visiting the Fred Olsen Boat terminal (1969) at Millwall Docks, London—often considered to be the breakout project of Foster + Partners—Keeffe questions the architect on the complexities of designing contemporary spaces for people that deal with an increasingly mechanised urban landscape: "There seems a danger that the human element, the people using it, come to be regarded as elements in the whole machinery." Lord Foster's response (08:05):

We're aware of change, and we are aware of the way [the architect's] role is changing. [...] A building is about people, about upgrading a situation. [...] Value for money is negated if, at the end of the day, you create a slum or something which is dull.

Bernard Keeffe and Norman Foster (1971). Image Courtesy of Thames TV
Kategorien: Architektur

COR Shop / BLOCO Arquitetos

Di, 25.07.2017 - 14:00
  • Architects: BLOCO Arquitetos
  • Location: Brasilia, Brazil
  • Architects In Charge: Daniel Mangabeira, Henrique Coutinho e Matheus Seco
  • Area: 180.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2017
  • Photographs: Haruo Mikami
  • Team: Giovanni Cristofaro

From the architect. The COR shop is located in the underground parking of a shopping mall in Brasília, Brazil.

© Haruo Mikami

The client´s briefing for the shop “COR” (color in portuguese) asked us to create a space that could work both as a showroom for a brazilian brand of paintings and architectural coatings and as the backdrop for the display of the work of the furniture designer Paulo Alves, from São Paulo. At the same time the space should be flexible enough to host parties and events. How to connect such different uses in a small space?

© Haruo Mikami

We looked at the work of Paulo Alves as a starting point. We saw his love for the concrete art as an element that could connect all the proposed uses: color. According to Theo Van Doesburg in his Concrete Art manifesto from 1930, “Concretism is not abstract because nothing is more concrete and real than the line, the color and the surface”. In this case we were interested in transforming the abstract notion of color into something palpable in space. Therefore we looked at the work of artists such as Felix varini and George Rousse and their aim of creating certain forms that only exist when observed from a specific point of view.

© Haruo Mikami Isometric © Haruo Mikami

We created a series of white walls that serve mainly as a backround for the furniture. These walls were positioned in space according to a single point of perspective at the main entrance of the shop. Therefore, from that specific point of view, the showroom looks like a sequence of white walls, floosr and ceiling. This specific point of observation is marked by a white circle on the floor inside the black room that precedes the entrance. However, small “pockets” of colorful walls, floors and ceilings are revealed as one enters the shop. This was achieved following the lines of perspective from the defined point of view to define the limits of the color surfaces. The internal colors are only revealed through the movement of the visitor.

© Haruo Mikami Floor Plan © Haruo Mikami

A secondary display window faces small group of parking spaces. Only from this point of view it is possible to see the whole internal space at once.

© Haruo Mikami
Kategorien: Architektur

How Architecture Affects Your Brain: The Link Between Neuroscience and the Built Environment

Di, 25.07.2017 - 12:30
<a href='http://www.archdaily.com/533664/ad-classics-thorncrown-chapel-e-fay-jones'>Thorncrown Chapel / E. Fay Jones</a>. Image © Randall Connaughton

This article was originally published by Common Edge as "Sarah Williams Goldhagen on How the Brain Works and What It Means for Architecture."

Sarah Williams Goldhagen has taken a big swing. Her new book, Welcome to Your World: How the Built Environment Shapes Our Lives, is nothing less than a meticulously constructed argument for completely rethinking our way of looking at architecture. A longtime critic for The New Republic and a former lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Goldhagen has taken a deep dive into the rapidly advancing field of cognitive science, in an attempt to link it to a new human-centered approach to the built world. The book is both an examination of the science behind cognition (and its relevance to architecture), and a polemic against the stultifying status quo. Recently I talked to the author, who was busy preparing for a year-long trip around the world, about the book, the science, and the state of architectural education.

Martin C Pedersen: Your book argues that the built environment has a profound impact on people’s lives. I agree. And, yet, given the state of architecture today, you wouldn’t know it. Not just with what’s on the ground, which you write about very eloquently, but also the greater perception. We’re surrounded with architecture, and yet it’s stunning the extent to which we’re oblivious. What’s that disconnect about?

Sarah Williams Goldhagen: I’ve thought a lot about this. When I started writing criticism for a general audience, one of my earliest articles was on why most of the built environment, particularly in the US, was so bad. Economics is only part of it. More important is that people don’t value the built environment and fail to appreciate how it’s affecting them. People can gravitate to spaces, for example, that may not be psychologically good for them. Research shows that when we habituate to something, whether it’s an environment or a pattern of buying, we tend to prefer that pattern, even if we’d be better off with something else. This gets at one of the book’s main arguments, which is that most of our experiences in the built environment are nonconscious. I use that word quite specifically. It’s not unconscious, because that suggests something that we’d be unable to access. Nonconscious refers to cognitions that we could access consciously, but mostly don’t.

Most of our cognitions fall below the radar of conscious cognition. If we stopped to focus on them, we could become more aware of them. A good deal of cognition—some experts put it as high as 90 percent—is nonconscious. So, if you’re not aware that something is affecting you, then society’s failure to accord built environmental design the immense value that it deserves makes some sort of perverse sense. As it is now, there’s this mass of buildings of which we’re only dimly aware, and then there’s the occasional piece of architecture, which is essentially a luxury good purchased by elite clients. But what we now know about cognition and human experience demonstrates that this cannot stand as a paradigm. There’s no such thing as a “neutral” environment: your built environment is either helping you, or it’s hurting you.

MCP: You cite a lot of studies in the book. But the science and research around the built environment that I’ve come across is pretty thin. Where did you find, what I’m guessing, is better science?

SWG: It’s an excellent question. Most of the research that directly pertains to architecture and landscape happens in environmental psychology. But that’s not a field that so-called hard scientists take very seriously. It’s difficult to conduct verifiable, reproducible studies on the built environment because you can’t sufficiently control for all the factors. There is good work out there, but this is the challenge that researchers of the built environment face.

When I started working on Welcome to Your World I knew that from new imaging technologies we were learning a lot more about how the brain works than we’d known even one generation before. Our understanding of how memory works has radically changed in last 20 years; our understanding of spatial navigation has been revolutionized. I could go through the list. Brain mapping is reliable, albeit rapidly developing, science. Most of the studies that I clawed through didn’t have much to do with the built environment, per se. They focused on human cognition and perception. In many cases, I was the one making the links: these scientists weren’t specifically researching the built environment. I was the one who was sitting there, knocking my head against these studies, thinking: OK, what does that mean for how we understand the built environment?

MCP: Where’s the specific link between cognition and the built environment?

SGW: The easiest example relates to long term memory. There was a famous experiment published in 2009 called the London Taxi Drivers study. To be a cabbie in London, you basically have to memorize the layout and street names of the entire city. Acquiring what’s known as “The Knowledge” takes between two and four years. So the researchers did FMRI scans of the cabbies in training before they started building these detailed cognitive maps of the city, then scanned their brains again, once the cabbies had passed the test. They discovered that an area of the brain called the hippocampus had grown enormously. That was a significant finding, in and of itself, because it meant that even in adulthood, the brain changes. We used to think that people’s brains develop and change until they reach maturity, around age 21; then, you more or less had what you had. This and subsequent studies provide concrete evidence that our brains change as we learn, and that one of the properties of the human brain is neural plasticity. And that brain is changing in part in response to your environment.

Now, the other fascinating part of this is that the hippocampus is the area of the brain in which we consolidate long term memories: It controls spatial navigation, and contains what we now know to be place recognition neurons and even building recognition neurons. What this means is, you can’t develop a long term memory that doesn’t contain something of the place that you were in, when you had that experience. We navigate space using some of the same neural pathways that we use to develop autobiographical memories. So what does that mean? It means nothing less than that architecture and the built environment is central to the formation of our identities. That finding alone gives the built environment a kind of importance and weight that nobody would have thought.

<a href='http://www.archdaily.com/533664/ad-classics-thorncrown-chapel-e-fay-jones'>Thorncrown Chapel / E. Fay Jones</a>. Image © Randall Connaughton

MCP: All of the science is going to continue to progress, so that we’ll know even more about how the brains works in the coming years. How do you see all that work helping us to build a better built environment?

SWG: I’ll give you an example. Thomas Albright is a scientist at the Salk Institute, who works on vision. He’s part of an organization called the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture. He is interested in what he calls the phenomenon of co-linearity, which is the arrangement of one sequence in the same linear order as another sequence. The example that he gives is Thorncrown Chapel by Fay Jones. Of course that is parallel, but because you’re looking at it from below, they don’t look parallel, and they change as you walk through the space. The reason that people respond so well to co-linear patterns, Albright posits, is because those patterns resonate with the way that our visual system works and appropriates information. Just as we know, for example, that when we listen to music the neurons in our brain actually fire in the exact same pattern that we’re listening to as we hear it. Albright’s hypothesis is that something analogous is happening when we experience co-linear designs.

MCP: In the book, you were fairly critical about architectural education. You spent many years at the GSD. Tell me how your thinking evolved concerning the education of young architects.

SWG: One thing I was struck by when I was teaching history and theory is how off limits, not just at the GSD but everywhere I taught, the topic of built environmental experience was. If you brought it up, it often wasn’t long before someone would say—this was in the 1990s and the 2000s, when I was there—“Oh, that’s too subjective, we can’t talk about this.”

MCP: It was like talking about “beauty.”

SWG: “Beauty,” you never discussed! This is because, throughout the academy, post-structuralism had such a profound influence. The cultural relativism that came out of post-structuralism, identity politics, and so forth, there was nothing wrong with it, but it became a sort of inviolable belief system. Even so, it wasn’t really until I was invited to be the architecture critic for the New Republic that I began to think seriously about what experiential design might mean. I didn’t want to be one of these, “It’s great!/It’s terrible!” critics. I had to develop a set of clear, critical criteria for how I was judging, and the reader had to understand what those were. That threw me back into the realm of “experience.” Because I started thinking, who am I writing for? What’s important? And the answer to me was obvious. What’s important is what’s on the ground, and how people respond to it. Ultimately, the architect’s intentions are of secondary importance.  

Back to architectural education: I found that the paradigms that I saw students being taught, so-called “critical architecture,” left the user experience out of the equation. Because the fact of the matter is, whether a building’s structure is expressed, doesn’t matter at all to the user. What does matter is if they see and understand how the principles of gravity are working, or the methods of construction. Whether there’s an internal structure that has cross beams that you can’t see—nobody, except other architects, cares about that. If you can do something with that architectural idea that accords with the cognitive principles that people need, want, and seek in buildings, then great. But it’s is not an ideology of design, in and of itself.

MCP: And it’s often taught as that.

SWG: Yes, it’s often taught as that. The methods of construction are important, materials, details. All of that stuff is important. But structure itself, per se, as a guiding principle? I find a lot of these ideologies get at some of the cognitive things that are important, but it’s almost like they get there by happenstance, rather than through knowledge. In school, there were the tectonic people, on the one hand, and the “critical” people on the other hand, and the parametric guys, on the third hand. What was absent from a lot of these discussions was how the users would actually experience these spaces.

Martin C. Pedersen is executive director of the Common Edge Collaborative. A writer, editor and critic, he served as executive editor at Metropolis magazine for nearly fifteen years.

Kategorien: Architektur

'ARQ RIFA G’2010' House / Emilio Garateguy + Ignacio Trecca

Di, 25.07.2017 - 12:00
Courtesy of SMA
  • Architects: Emilio Garateguy, Ignacio Trecca
  • Location: Rambla Costanera, Ciudad de la Costa, Departamento de Canelones, Uruguay
  • Architect In Charge: Emilio Garateguy, Ignacio Trecca
  • Architects Advisors: MBAD Arquitectos; Mario Baez, Adrián Duran
  • Area: 127.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2017
  • Photographs: Ignacio Trecca
  • Structure: Magnone-Pollio Ingenieros Civiles
  • Sanitary Conditioning: Oficina de Arquitectura
  • Landscape And Gardening: Julian Gago
  • Construction: Estudio Oliver SRL
  • Jury Of The Competition: Marcelo Gualano, Marcelo Danza, Marcelo Bednarik, Federico Mesa
  • Organization: ARQ RIFA G’2010 /CEDA/FADU (Facultad de Arquitectura, Diseño y Urbanismo, UDELAR)

From the architect. The house is the first prize of the characteristic architectural Housing Contest  “Arquitectura RIFA G’2010” from Facultad de Arquitectura, Diseño y Urbanismo, FADU - UDELAR. This is a Student Contest, once they select the winning proposal begins a process advised of development that culminates with the construction of the winning project. The property is located in a corner in front of the sea in Ciudad de la Costa, a suburban area adjacent to Montevideo. The low vegetation on the side of the beach and the wide avenue, make it difficult to see toward the sea on the ground floor. Here is the “Key” of the project. The main spaces in relation to the ground or with the view on an upper floor?

Courtesy of SMA

The short facade facing the Rambla and account with a non-buildable area of 15m, which conditions its implementation toward the bottom. The choose, to maximize the use of the venue, solving the housing in a massive volume on the ground floor, appropriating the extensions to the outdoor spaces, looking for care privacy with respect to the nearest street and communicate fluently interior and exterior spaces in the longitudinal direction. The access is given by a patio, generating a controlled outer space also works, next to the kitchen, separator of the social areas and the most deprived of housing. It is the spiral staircase of access to the barbecue and upper terrace, generating a functional circuitry. The living-dining area is located toward the Rambla, using the entire width of the constructible space. It is conceived as an open space and fluid, with both the more intimate patio access as the front garden. In the farthest part of the visual and sound pollution of the Rambla are the bedrooms and services. The services are conceived as a nucleus, also playing with the logic of the massive volume. In contrast the divisions of the rest of the interior spaces are lightweight enclosures, it is the furniture that generate the separations. The two main bedrooms facing the street perpendicular to the coast, and the area next to it, it is proposed a semi-outdoor gallery permeable, which allows a visual filter to the outside, in addition to providing an extension to the same, creating a pleasant microclimate in the summer months, and allowing the entry of the sun in the coldest months.

Courtesy of SMA Floor Plan Courtesy of SMA

With regard to the speech raised, we look to the ground floor is a massive volume, while the barbecue is a lightweight and transparent. We found on the brick as a material capable of achieving a volume hard and in turn with the sufficient versatility for different types of permeability thus regulating privacy and light keeping the reading of rustic and heavy volume. At the same time, allows a continuous surround on all sides of the prism, including the deck, where is implemented a system of on high ceiling to achieve this continuity material only. We studied carefully the rigging of brick, allowing the permeability when needed without interrupting the pace of the carcass dissection.

Courtesy of SMA Cross Section Courtesy of SMA

The treatment is quite simple since you are looking for the protagonist of the massif of brick. Toward the Rambla is raised against the denser vegetation limit to generate sound and visual privacy and leaving a large esplanade green as an extension of the dwelling. The courtyard of the fund has a different character, more private and service

Courtesy of SMA
Kategorien: Architektur

Yoga Poses For Architects

Di, 25.07.2017 - 11:00
Courtesy of The Leewardists

Learning to adapt and be flexible; it’s something that comes in handy both in an architecture firm and yoga studio. The everyday motions you go through as an architect can sometimes feel like a strenuous physical routine. Whether it be performing tasks for work or sneaking ways to get some precious shut-eye, architects need to learn how to be nimble to get through the long days and nights (coffee doesn’t hurt either). Take some deep inhalations and exhalations as you check out, in four easy to follow steps, some common positions architects find themselves in. 

Courtesy of The Leewardists Courtesy of The Leewardists Courtesy of The Leewardists Courtesy of The Leewardists Courtesy of The Leewardists Courtesy of The Leewardists Courtesy of The Leewardists

Centuries of civilizations built on structures designed by architects and yet, their voice is lost among the countless stories of rulers and armies and sometimes wondrous monsters.

The Leewardists are rewriting the contemporary history of our civilization through the voice of this elusive being, The Architect.

For more of The Architect Comic Series follow them on FacebookInstagram, or visit their website.

Kategorien: Architektur
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