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Updated: 32 min 58 sec ago

Spotlight: Mies van der Rohe

4 hours 37 min ago
Barcelona Pavilion. Image © Gili Merin

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (27 March 1886 – 17 August 1969) is one of the most influential architects of the 20th century, known for his role in the development of the most enduring architectural style of the era: modernism. Born in Aachen, Germany, Mies' career began in the influential studio of Peter Behrens, where Mies worked alongside other two other titans of modernism, Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier. For almost a century, Mies' minimalist style has proved very popular; his famous aphorism "less is more" is still widely used, even by those who are unaware of its origins.

Mies van der Rohe with smoke, 1957; photographed for Life magazine. Image Courtesy of Frank Scherschel/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Mies began to develop this style through the 1920s, combining the functionalist industrial concerns of his modernist contemporaries and an aesthetic drive toward minimal intersecting planes—rejecting the traditional systems of enclosed of rooms and relying heavily on glass to dissolve the boundary between the building's interior and exterior. The decade was bookended by his proposal for the Friedrichstraße skyscraper, an unrealized all-glass tower designed in 1921 which cemented his fame within the architectural avant-garde, and by his 1929 German Pavilion at the Barcelona Exposition (more commonly known as the Barcelona Pavilion) which remains one of his most well-known and popular works.

Chicago Federal Center. Image © Samuel Ludwig

In 1930, Mies took over from Hannes Meyer as director of the Bauhaus—the school founded by and most commonly associated with its founder Walter Gropius—serving as its leader until it was forced to close in 1933 under pressure from the Nazi government. In 1932, the work of Mies formed a cornerstone of the Museum of Modern Art's exhibition on "The International Style" curated by Philip Johnson and Henry-Russell Hitchcock, an exhibition that not only reinforced Mies' role as a leader of the modernist movement, but also brought the movement itself to a wider, more international audience.

The Farnsworth House. Image © Greg Robbins

After the closure of the Bauhaus and the continued rise of the Nazis in Germany, Mies found work in his home country increasingly difficult. He eventually decided to emigrate to the United States in 1937, where he settled in Chicago and became the head of the Illinois Institute of Technology. During his 20 years at IIT, Mies developed what became known as "the second Chicago school of architecture," a style of simplified, rectilinear high-rise buildings exemplified by projects such as 860-880 Lakeshore Drive and the Seagram Building. Alongside this new skyscraper typology, he also continued to develop his low-slung, pavilion typology that he first tested in projects like the Barcelona Pavilion—with his entirely transparent Farnsworth House, completed in 1951, probably the most enduring example in the United States. At times, Mies was also able to combine both of these typologies into one composition, as he did in the three-building complex of the Chicago Federal Center.

Check out all of Mies van der Rohe's classic designs featured on ArchDaily via the thumbnails below, and more coverage of Mies through the links below those.

A Virtual Look Into Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House

A Virtual Look Into Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona Pavilion

Step Into Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona Pavilion in this Virtual Walkthrough

Infographic: Celebrating Mies van der Rohe

Mies van der Rohe: "Architecture as Language"

From Mad Men to Mies: Why Modernism Holds Sway

Mies, the Modernist Man of Letters

Sex and Real Estate, Reconsidered: What Was the True Story Behind Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House?

Material Masters: Glass is More with Mies van der Rohe

The Story of Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House to Become Hollywood Film

Last Is More: The Miesian Lesson

Thanks for the View, Mr. Mies: Lafayette Park Detroit

International Motorcycling Federation / LOCALARCHITECTURE

5 hours 37 min ago
© Matthieu Gafsou
  • Construction Management: Thinka Architecture studio, Onex
  • Civil Engineering: INGENI, Ingénierie Structurale, Carouge
  • Heating/Ventilation/Plumbing/Electricity Engineers: Amstein Walthert, Geneva
  • Acoustical Engineering: Architecture & Acoustique SA, Geneva
  • Lighting: Etienne Gillabert, Paris
  • Façade Design: BCS SA, Neuchâtel
  • Surveyor: Surveyor Olivier Peitrequin, Nyon
© Matthieu Gafsou

From the architect. Elegant and iconic, the new headquarters of the FIM (International Motorcycling Federation) had to wait ten years before taking shape on a site in the outskirts of Geneva where road and railway meet.  

It was in 2006 that LOCALARCHITECTURE and Bureau d’Architecture Danilo Mondada won the competition (conducted by the MEP – Mandat d’Études Parallèles – parallel development selection process) for the extension of the International Motorcycling Federation’s main headquarters in Mies in the canton of Vaud. Following a change of administration at the FIM the project was abandoned. A new selection procedure with invited architects was launched in 2013, with a modified functional programme. At this point the mandate was awarded to LOCALARCHITECTURE.

© Joel Tettamanti

A pavilion in a park

Set between the railway and the cantonal road connecting Geneva to the canton of Vaud, on a sloping terrain with trees, the new international headquarters of the motorcycling world has the air of a pavilion in a park. The building occupies the lower part of the naturally landscaped plot, an imposing circular presence when seen from the adjacent roundabout.

Site Plan

Acceleration, speed and kinetics

Set on a base which raises it above ground level and protected by a wide flat roof supported by fine columns, the building stands out as the focal point in a diverse architectural context. 

© Matthieu Gafsou

Its circular forms evoke the movement and speed of the motorcycling world, suggested by the dynamic arrangement of the offset oval slabs connected by a forest of pillars. The vertical rhythm of the pillars and the depth of the façade produce a kinetic effect when viewed by passing drivers on the cantonal road or passengers on the railway.

Plan

The building is accessed by a path adjacent to the site. The main entrance connects directly to the access road while a secondary entrance on the north side of the building connects to the staff car park.

© Matthieu Gafsou

Light and transparency

The new FIM building replaces the former headquarters, which was demolished. It comprises two storeys over the existing basement level and is accessed by two entrances, perpendicular to the façade, on the ground floor. They define the regular grid of the floorplan, leading users to a central hall which provides access to the various functions. The ground floor houses the major communal spaces: the auditorium and the training room on the east side, the cafeteria and exhibition space to the south. The spaces are designed to be flexible and modular. 

© Joel Tettamanti

At the heart of the building, with natural lighting from the skylight domes, is a monumental staircase that connects the two levels. Its spiral form extends the upward movement of the entrance hall, leading towards the administration and management facilities on the upper storey. Cast in concrete as a single unit, its triangular underside suggests a vertebrate structure – like a spinal column bearing the transparent framework of the building as a whole.

Plan

User comfort

The building’s technical facilities were developed to ensure maximum flexibility for its users. In the peripheral office areas, the thermally active slab system provides heating and cooling from the ceiling, while the ventilation system and electricity network are fitted below the raised floor. The hall and circulation areas are free of all technical installations except for the floor at ground level, which is heated. Building acoustics are managed via circular baffles arranged on the office ceilings. Seasonal overheating from solar energy is managed at ground level by a system of external blinds and on the upper storey by the oversized roof slab, its contour designed to match the sun’s pathway across the sky.

© Joel Tettamanti

LE RHEU / PETITDIDIERPRIOUX Architects

7 hours 37 min ago
© Sergio Grazia
  • Engineers: BETEREM
  • Client: Archipel Habitat
© Sergio Grazia © Sergio Grazia

Through the strong relationship built up with the surrounding landscape, the future layout of the ZAC de la Trémelière (urban development zone) extends the continuity of the French style of garden-cities built in Le Rheu during the 1960s by the architect Gaston Bardet. Located near the town centre, macro block no. 1 offers intermediate housing on the street side and multi-family buildings giving onto the park. The latter are grouped together around a shared car park that creates an upper level promenade. The project is run in a particularly dynamic manner given that the four architectural agencies and the three clients present on the site have continuously consulted with one another by holding regular design workshops.

© Sergio Grazia Courtesy of PETITDIDIERPRIOUX Architects © Sergio Grazia Courtesy of PETITDIDIERPRIOUX Architects © Sergio Grazia Section © Sergio Grazia

Eight Tenths Garden / Wutopia Lab

8 hours 37 min ago
© CreatAR
  • Architects: Wutopia Lab
  • Location: Shanghai, China
  • Architect In Charge: Wutopia Lab
  • Chief Architect: Yu Ting
  • Project Architect: Ge Jun
  • Design: Dai Xinyang
  • Area: 2000.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2016
  • Photographs: CreatAR
  • Ldi: Shanghai DuJuan Engineering Design and Consultants Limited
  • Interior Design: ShangRuiYuan Building Design Consultants Limited
  • Landscape Design: Atelier VISION
  • Construction Drawings: Zhou Yi Lian, Chen Guohua, Yang Xueting, Ma Xinyu
  • Interior: Fan Riqiao, Zhang Zhe
  • Landscape: Guo Wen, Ni Zhicha, Baoyu
  • Interior & Landscape Design Consultant: Yu Ting
  • Client: Shi Huijuan
© CreatAR

From the architect. Eight tenths Garden is an art museum dedicated to arts and crafts, which can also be used as a venue for the conference in the idle hours. It has a coffee shop, a library, offices, bed and breakfasts, as well as a restaurant, study rooms and chess rooms. It is a micro cultural complex in all. 

© CreatAR Site Plan © CreatAR

Eight tenths garden was originally a sales center. The sales center was one of the two-story buildings on the street’s triangular corner, with a four-story circular hall embedded on the top of it. The entrance is located on the garth of the triangle. The other two sides of the building were the neighborhood committee and shops along the street.

© CreatAR

We hope the building could reveal the spirit of Shanghai. The spirit of Shanghai is life based, which is a richness not only pleasant but also restrained. Thus, the space of this 2000 square meters’ building should be abundant in variation but also has a connection with each other. We do not want the obsessive minimalism, nor do we want an exaggerated scene which lacks of connections. We used antithesis to unfold the space. The garden in the outside represents complexity, inside building, in the other hand, shows simplicity. But these simplicities are somewhat different. The art museum should be contracted and powerful, but the study room and the restaurant next to it should be warm and soft. The joint offices on the third floor would be close to rough, and the bed and breakfast on the fourth floor goes back to a restraint of elegance. People could easily read a spirituality from it. On the top of the roof, we pay tribute to the ancient literati garden by placing a vegetation garden.

Fourth Floor Plan

The bed and breakfasts on the fourth floor is hidden surprise of the whole Eight tenths Garden.  Each BNB has a courtyard in the air. There settles a “four water belongs to the hall” patio in the public area. The courtyards are contemporary Chinese courtyards, originated and refined from the painting of Chou Ying, which is a practice of the vertical city, trying to build a real villa in the air.

© CreatAR

Our design is adhering to the neighborhood committee and the street shops. Inside the courtyard, we have two back walls in addition to the garden hall, which hangs plenty of air conditioning and a variety of pipes. We used a curtain as a fencing wall to insulate this cluttered environment from the Eight tenths Garden.

© CreatAR

For the fencing wall, we tried corrugated board, glazed tile, perforated aluminum (pattern is the pixel style of the “thousands of miles mountains and rivers”), aluminum grille with vertical green. We refused to use the vine green wall, cause the style of the wall is not important but must be black and must not be completely sealed. Only this kind of fencing wall could give a contrast from the surroundings to the Eight tenths Garden, making it a rebirth place raised from the old place. The galvanized frame is also part of the old thing, while the black grille is new. The pattern is not important, but the final size of the pattern should be study case it determines the aesthetic details. Only black can split the fencing walls and old things and become the background of the central gorgeous round curtain modestly.

© CreatAR

We use perforated aluminum plates in the folding fan style to create a veil on the facade. This veil is not the climate border, it has a glass curtain wall, a yard as well as a balcony behind. We created a blur between the facade and the climate border.

© CreatAR

We hope to build a garden which pays tribute to the Shanghai street park in its 70s, as well as to the local garden history. Let the garden and the building fuse together into one. The entirety of building and garden is architecture.

© CreatAR

We designed the bamboo entrance in the front yard, makes the Eight tenths Garden independent. But the Eight tenths garden is not a private garden, it is freely open to the surrounding residents, which makes the garden approved by the surrounding residents. They cherish the garden, feeling satisfied to walk quietly in the garden a few steps to meet. We are rebuilding the space in a complex neighborhood, this is the only time which won the neighborhood a letter of praise of the project. This is why we put the front yard design into the urban micro-space revival plan. The street was once a simple aisle, the original landscape was worn-out, but our front yard changed the corner, making it lively again. The sociological meaning of architecture is revealed.

Section

The client was a Shanghai famous enamel factory’s last manager. Enamel was once the most important daily necessities dominated China, but now almost unstable. Over the years he has collected a mass of enamels, the quality and quantity of these enamels can become the eye of this micro cultural complex. With the construction of the Eight tenths garden. The client son comes back from Milan, founded a fashionable enamel brand and settled in the Eight tenths garden. This is a rebirth of old technology and family traditions

© CreatAR © CreatAR

Because the garden covers an area of ​​less than about four hundred square meters, just eighty percent of the whole area. The Chinese name “Bafen” derived from this, which could also remind people to live a life medium well but not too full. That’s why the garden called  'Eight tenths Garden'.

© CreatAR

Cantilever House / Design Unit Sdn Bhd

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 21:00
© Lin Ho Photography
  • Architects: Design Unit Sdn Bhd
  • Location: Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Architect In Charge: John G N Bulcock
  • Area: 7000.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Lin Ho Photography
© Lin Ho Photography

From the architect. The steeply sloping site for this 7000sf house, orientated approximately east-west, falls by 11.5m from the road to the rear with rainforest views to the east of this 7000sf house. The house is designed to ‘float’ over the site – touching it lightly, and allowing the natural slope to remain, heightening our awareness to & informing us about the natural site contours.

© Lin Ho Photography

Consisting 2 independent structures – a 2 storey living & bedroom block constructed of exposed structural steel supported on a ‘forest’ of irregular spaced columns that enhance the feeling of ‘floating’. This steel structure is cantilevered over a lower independent structure housing an art gallery & cinema and is constructed of off-form concrete and includes a green roof garden and swimming pool. 

© Lin Ho Photography Sections © Lin Ho Photography

The house is supported by a number of seemingly random steel columns irregularly spaced with the intention to enhance this feeling of ‘floating’ – of not being anchored to the ground – only the steel entrance ramps connect the steel box to the ground.

© Lin Ho Photography

The house is entered by a ramp - heightening our awareness to the valley, the floating block and also the separation from the ordinary. A courtyard is created by the 2 independent structures that are orientated on different axis creating a tension between them and strengthening the identity of each as separate functions.

© Lin Ho Photography

The house façade is designed to be flexible in terms of view/ventilation/shade: an internal skin of double glazed full height sliding glass screens, then full height adjustable glass louvers over half the opening width followed by external sunscreens of perforated stainless steel that cover/shade the entire opening when closed & bi-folds to the open position electronically to allow views while still shading the opening. The ‘industrial’ expression of the house completely changes from an enclosed metal ‘box’ to an open and transparent light element depending on the position of the SS sunshades. The industrial expression is further enhanced internally with all services expressed. 

© Lin Ho Photography

Designed as a 'passive' house to save energy by encouraging minimal or no air-con use & flooding the interior with diffused natural light, that allows natural breezes & diffused natural light to penetrate all spaces.

© Lin Ho Photography

As well cooling the micro climate, the grass covered roofs at LG1 & roof top levels create gardens for relaxation and entertaining in contrast to the ‘wilder’ natural steeply sloping landscape surrounding the house - encouraging outdoor living in this tropical climate, its open concept maximises contact with nature and rainforest views.

© Lin Ho Photography

Each project is a development of thought & experience & although the language of this project is in some sense differs from our other buildings, in essence it is still about creating meaning stimulating space, natural light & ventilation, maximizing contact with nature, expressing materials & structure, minimal disturbance to the site/using the site for the benefit of the project.

© Lin Ho Photography

Calligraphy-Inspired Lakeside Hotel Proposed as the Centerpiece of Shanghai's Fengxian District

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 17:00
Courtesy of GroupGSA

With their design approach treating the site as a work of art, GroupGSA’s proposal for a new hotel in Shanghai’s Fengxian District has been awarded 2nd prize in a recent competition. Located in the predominantly undeveloped Nangiao New City and part of the Yangtze River delta in south Shanghai, the Wanda Jinhai Lake Hotel aims to garner new interest in the region through the creation of a new social, cultural, and economic landmark. 

At the center of the Jinhai Lake, the new hotel integrates into the site and provides scenic vistas of the surrounding waterscape. “Inspiration stemmed from the concept of Chinese Calligraphy, the stroke of a brush with its ink dripping in the water,” say the architects. “Our site is merely a piece of art and we plan to leave our mark via our architecture which is painted on the site following the lines and the movement of the surrounding context.”

Courtesy of GroupGSA

For efficient circulation, the fish-shaped building accommodates a ballroom and lobby with individual entrances, allowing for smooth guest movement in areas of high traffic. These also have independent parking entrances within close proximity, providing easy access to the basement.

Courtesy of GroupGSA

Views of various scales are captured at different points throughout the hotel, capitalizing on the attractive landscape that surrounds the site with panoramas and more individual experiences. “The building provides a sensitive exploration of the site and an exotic interaction with the surrounding nature,” added GroupGSA.

Courtesy of GroupGSA

Additional green roofs also serve as vantage points from a number of levels, further exhibiting the architecture’s ambition as an extension of the landscape.

Courtesy of GroupGSA

News via GroupGSA.

Morris Adjmi to Transform High Line-Adjacent Warehouse Into Office Building in New York

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 15:00
© Morris Adjmi Architects

Elijah Equities, LLC has unveiled plans for the redevelopment of The Warehouse in New York City, a property currently occupied by car parking and art galleries, which will be transformed into 100,000 square feet of rentable office and retail space designed by Morris Adjmi.

Situated next to the High Line, the building currently at the site is a four-story, 65,000-square-foot former apparel-manufacturing warehouse. The redevelopment will add a three-story, steel-framed, cantilevered addition, resulting in a seven-story building with over 18,000 square feet of rooftop and outdoor amenity space.

© Morris Adjmi Architects

Elijah Equities Principal James Haddad has personal ties to the existing building, as his grandfather founded the clothing firm that occupied the original space. “We have owned this property for decades, and it was once the hub of our apparel company,” explained Haddad. “Permissible zoning allowed us the freedom to do many things on the site, including demolish it completely and convert it to residential condominiums for sale, which is a route many others in the neighborhood have chosen. However, that would mean ultimately destroying and divesting the building, and our own personal histories are too intertwined with these bricks; we just couldn’t let that happen. Instead, we collectively opted to stay true to The Warehouse’s heritage and commercial roots, keeping the bones of the property and adding a modern expansion that complements the original brick-and-mortar base.”

© Morris Adjmi Architects

Additionally, the rear of the building will be reconfigured, allowing for the elimination of columns, and the addition of larger windows, open floor plans, and ample outdoor space. Part of the restructured base of the building will also include a new dual-core system to house the stairwells, elevators, and bathrooms, opening up even more space.

© Morris Adjmi Architects © Morris Adjmi Architects

"My intent was to capture the spirit of the original warehouse and develop a creative tension between the powerful brick-and-mortar base and the elegant new steel-and-glass addition,” noted Morris Adjmi. “I wanted to connect these two beautiful structures without simply fusing them together. The new steel-and-glass element bridges between the structural elevator and stairway cores creating the sense that it floats above the original building. The upshot of this design is the abundant outdoor spaces that draw parallels directly from the adjacent High Line Park."

© Morris Adjmi Architects © Morris Adjmi Architects

Construction is expected to begin in Spring 2017, with occupancy slated for the first quarter of 2019.

The design has also been presented via a virtual reality tour created by VR Global. To see the tour, click here, or learn more about the project here.

News via Elijah Equities, LLC.

Call for Entries: The Best Architecture Portfolios

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 14:05

Given the hearty success of our architecture resume/CV post, we understand that there's a demand for inspirational information that will help you land the job, grant or school admission you've always wanted. But portfolios, though a basic requirement in many creative fields, can be very tricky to master. How do you select the work you want to feature? How will you present it visually? Most importantly—how will you make it memorable enough that it won't be cast aside after a three-second glance? In an age where more and more portfolios and CVs will be viewed exclusively on a screen, how have you, our readers, developed portfolios that you are proud of? We would be honored to share the most innovative, inspirational, well-designed portfolios, so submit your designs!

If you think your portfolio has what it takes to be featured in a top-10 list, then send it over. (But please read the rules and guidelines!)

Rules & Guidelines:

  • Only send your portfolio if you are comfortable with it being shared online. 
  • SUPER IMPORTANT: Submit a maximum of 3 portfolio spreads (six pages). The document should not contain more than six pages. 
  • ALSO SUPER IMPORTANT: The file size of the submitted document should not exceed 10MB.
  • You may submit either in either .pdf, .jpg or web format (a link to an online portfolio)
  • Design must be original and suitable for publication on ArchDaily. By submitting your work to ArchDaily you are affirming that you are the sole author of the design.
  • All entries must be received by April 16th, 12:00pm EST.
  • You may submit ONLY one entry.
  • We will publish a selection of our favorite submissions.
  • Any entry that does not follow the guidelines will not be considered.

How to share a link to your submission:
In the form below, please submit a link to the .jpg/.png/.pdf version of your resume. We will not accept submissions as zip files, nor do we accept submissions sent via WeTransfer, MegaUpload, or a similar service. Any entry submitted as a zip file or using a file transfer service will not be considered. If you are sharing a file that has been uploaded to Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, Imgur or Google Drive, please ensure that you are sharing a public link that can be accessed by ArchDaily editors. 
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JP+C House / Zargos Arquitetos

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 14:00
© Gabriel Castro
  • Architects: Zargos Arquitetos
  • Location: Av. Eng. Carlos Goulart, Belo Horizonte - MG, Brazil
  • Architect In Charge: Zargos Rodrigues
  • Team: Caroline Wajdowicz, Débora Camargos, Frederico Rodrigues, Rodrigo Pereira, Thiago Álvares, Viviane Roza
  • Area: 500.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Gabriel Castro
  • Construction: Laso Engenharia
© Gabriel Castro

From the architect. Located at the foot of the Serra do Curral, the residence has a privileged view, since it is inserted in an urban context without major visual obstructions.

Its surroundings, being already anthropomorphized, called for an extensive study of the implementation and use of the building. The solution found for the facade was to adopt a diagonal that did not obstruct the vision of the other existing houses nearby. The effect obtained was highlighted by the balance of the third floor, plus the slope of the roof.

© Gabriel Castro

Still in analysis to the nearbysites, the building looked for a core concentration that was harmonized with the neighboring houses. The plant conformation resulted in the intimate area to the right of the site and social area to the left, thus coinciding with the uses of both neighbors.

Model

The columns that support the third floor come as perhaps themost inquiring element of this project. In vibrant color and eccentric shape, they spring up as a featured icon in the overall composition. It plays with itself in a constant state of motion, frozen at some point in the staticity of the concrete. It questions the coldness and solidity of the austere colors of the whole, provokes the pallor of the white, and brings the eyes to what might have been conventional.

© Gabriel Castro

Developed in three floors, the project seeks better adaptation to the site. Using its natural slope, the building occupies the spaces according to the topography. At the access level are located the garage and social hall. The office and private leisure areas, consisting of a gym, TV room and balcony are located on the second floor.

First Floor Plan Second Floor Plan Third Floor Plan

The intimate and social leisure areas are on the third floor. A large living room area is connected to the rest of the residence by a grassy courtyard. Referring to ancient Greece, this large central courtyard is flanked by the dorms and connects at both ends the space intended for the family and friends gatherings and the rest of the residence. This configuration makes up an intimate and cozy living space while being evident in the open air. In general, the whole functional part of the house was developed on a single floor.

© Gabriel Castro

The large openings of the residence aim at the optimization of the lighting and ventilation in the building and also enhancing the sights. In analogy to these spans, the project has eliminated the physical barriers in the social area by producing an open and fluid environment.

Section

The JP+C Residence is against formal clichés and protocols. The everyday routine mixes with the sporadic in the same environment designed for both purposes. The geometrical formality of the straight line, the audacity of the acute angles, the antithesis between full and empty, the composition of the facade reflects the simplistic interior and, at the same time, the complexity of the work.

© Gabriel Castro

Bee Breeders Announces Winners of the Blue Clay Country Spa Competition

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 13:00
First Prize: Blue Clay Country Spa / João Varela, Ana Isabel Santos, João Tavares, and Paulo Dias. Image Courtesy of Bee Breeders

Bee Breeders has released the results of their Blue Clay Country Spa competition, which asked participants to design a non-urban ecotourism facility in Latvia. The competition invited students and professionals to “interrogate the inherent tensions between subject and object, [and] building and site,” as well as to “engage the agency of typological form—including, for instance, the courtyard, shed, garden, and pavilion.”

The winners of the Blue Clay Country Spa competition are:

First Prize: Blue Clay Country Spa / João Varela, Ana Isabel Santos, João Tavares, and Paulo Dias

First Prize: Blue Clay Country Spa / João Varela, Ana Isabel Santos, João Tavares, and Paulo Dias. Image Courtesy of Bee Breeders

Jury Commentary: The first place entry for the Blue Clay Country Spa is successful in its reprogramming of a spatial archetype, the hortus conclusus, or walled garden. The primary gesture of the project is a circular promenade that unites each functional space of the spa. The wall circumscribes an interior garden and orchard, enclosing the spa with a colonnade that functions both as wall and social space. This formal armature of the circle allows each room of the spa - sauna, public bath, and guest house - to individually reflect its unique programmatic demands without detracting from the unifying identity of the project. Each space, simply detailed with native woods and exposed structure, fulfills the particular programmatic requirements of water, heat, light, privacy, and views. This circular space of ambulation marks the territory of the spa while still retaining the trace of the clearing in the forest, perpetuating the memory of Baltic vernacular architecture. With an ethos of minimal interference and simplicity, this hortus conclusus pursues a new type of ecotourism, one in which the spatial diagram of the spa enables a new environmental, cultural, and social agency.

Second Prize: A House for Jānis / Graham Burn, Alex Turner, and Will Fisher of PUG

Second Prize: A House for Jānis / Graham Burn, Alex Turner, and Will Fisher of PUG . Image Courtesy of Bee Breeders

Jury Commentary: The success of the second place proposal for the Blue Clay Country Spa competition lies in its strong response to the site and its playful reinterpretation of vernacular form. The project consists of a primary linear structure: a thatched roof longhouse spanning from the forest edge to the lake and rooted in the traditional Kurzeme typology typical of the region. A second linear element—a strip of productive landscape containing gardens, outdoor dining, a pool, and other ecological services—intersects the longhouse at an angle and divides the site into disparate quadrants. Within the structure, a series of whimsical follies contain the program and the remaining space is effectively open to the outdoors, creating a blurred threshold between landscape and interior. This linear parti, combined with the calculated rhythm of enclosed elements, define an interior procession from the forest to the lake, while the porosity of the structure allows for visitors to filter into the landscape. The strength of the linear strategy is further emphasized by the scale of the traditional thatched roof, forming a long opaque bar against the backdrop of trees, isolating the separated landscape spaces and creating peaceful, intimate realms while allowing permeation through the building and its inner world.

Third Prize: Reflection in the Garden / Miroslava Brooks and Amy DeDonato

Third Prize: Reflection in the Garden / Miroslava Brooks and Amy DeDonato. Image Courtesy of Bee Breeders

Jury Commentary: The strength of the third place entry lies in its combination of three architecture typologies, the courtyard, pavilion, and promenade, to generate a spa experience that is simultaneously containing and exposing. The project employs a circular promenade to create a defined perimeter within an expansive, rural site. The rigid perimeter is strategically broken down by the program contained within, creating a surprisingly outwardly engaging experience. The interior program of the spa is organized around a central gathering courtyard. The courtyard extends and crosses the perimeter promenade to create and define the building entry. The major circulation corridors pinwheel off from the central courtyard extending past the promenade to the landscape breaking down the program into isolated structures. Each structure contains a key programmatic element that is separated as a pavilion within a carved out courtyard. The pavilions take on distinct architectural forms defining unique spatial experiences for the programs they house. The small pavilion courts directly engage the perimeter promenade focusing the user to the exterior of the site while inviting the wanderer to simultaneously look in. The project creates a closed loop of retrospection allowing the visitor to reflect outwardly to the landscape while inhabiting each individual spa space, simultaneously reflecting back inwardly while wandering the exterior promenade.

BB Student Award: Boxes! / Federico Rodriguez and Alejandro Lobo, of Facultad de Arquitectura Diseño y Urbanismo – UdelaR

BB Green Award: Blue Clay Country Spa – Garden Spa / Ashley Clayton and Mangyuan Wang . Image Courtesy of Bee Breeders

BB Green Award: Blue Clay Country Spa – Garden Spa / Ashley Clayton and Mangyuan Wang

BB Student Award: Boxes! / Federico Rodriguez and Alejandro Lobo, of Facultad de Arquitectura Diseño y Urbanismo – UdelaR. Image Courtesy of Bee Breeders

News and jury commentary via Bee Breeders.

Why Herzog & de Meuron's Hamburg Elbphilharmonie Is Worth Its $900 Million Price Tag

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 10:30
Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the Elbphilharmonie is a unique presence in Hamburg’s cityscape. Image © Maxim Schulz

This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Will Elbphilharmonie Be Hamburg’s Guggenheim?"

So much has already been written about Hamburg’s undeniably excellent Elbphilharmonie, which formally opened in January but has been publicly accessible, in part, since November. The chatter has mostly revolved around the same two talking points—the building’s on-the-tip-of-your-tongue shape and its fantastic price tag. In addressing the former, critics have called attention to the hall’s resemblance to an iceberg, an outcrop, a ship, circus tents, or the Sydney Opera House. And as for the costs, totaling $900 million, they point out how the project hemorrhaged cash, even if they have inadvertently exaggerated the figures. Having momentarily lost control of the narrative, the city felt compelled to set the record straight in time for the inaugural performance: The building cost just three—not ten!—times the initial budget.

The impulse to endlessly perpetuate these hooks, to not bury the lede, is as understandable as it is time-tested. The Elbphilharmonie will never escape comparisons with Sydney or the Guggenheim Bilbao, but that is quite good company to be in. As others have pointed out, all the right ingredients were there from the start: an inimitable port site with the tasteful trappings of industry past and present (Hamburg still processes nine million shipping containers yearly); world-renowned architects, in this case Herzog & de Meuron, the Swiss firm with a high batting average; the promise of world-class cultural programming; and an underdog second city with a glint in its eye.

The mid-level public plaza is free but requires tickets. Image © Iwan Baan

But stars rarely align, nor do ingredients alone make for a great meal. Bilbao became a household name and something of a late-capitalist miracle inspiring dozens of flops the world over that dared try to replicate its gargantuan success. (In any case, miracles, so far as they exist, cannot have blueprints stamped on them.) It’s too soon to pass judgment on Hamburg’s experiment, but it certainly looks the part of a winner.

Which brings us promptly back to form. More than a decade of architectural discourse has prevailed upon the profession to reconsider its social value and commitments. Architecture, the new wisdom (reasonably) goes, is not merely the end product—or shape—resulting from philosophical inquiry, construction, and spreadsheet accounting; it can also be a tool used to better the world, even to tip the scales in favor of social justice. Then here comes this great frosty mass, or something else like it, and all that just doesn’t stand a chance.

The walls of the main auditorium are covered in what the architects call a “white skin” made up of 10,000 gypsum fiberglass panels. Image © Iwan Baan

It’s neither all duck nor all shed, but something in between. Poised atop a 19th-century warehouse, the new structure is impressively buoyant, but also a little blank, an icy billboard to train the eye on but one that reveals very little about its interior goings-on. Like an iceberg, or even a baked Alaska, the building’s exposed parts conceal a great deal—a hotel, luxury apartments, performance halls, and a public plaza. Herzog & de Meuron respected the envelope of the older building, a wedge of red brick that once housed shipments of cocoa, tea, and tobacco, and simply extruded its edge lines upward. (Its deference had limits: The warehouse was gutted and refurbished with a garage, administrative offices, and a music education center, among other amenities.) A narrow midriff—a free public walkway—separates the two volumes, while a few optimistic arcs conclude the bipartite composition. More cheer: The expansive spans of mirrored glass—all 2,200 curved and flat panes of it—are enlivened with dimpled openings and a kind of building-grade glitter that reduces solar gain.

The building’s facade incorporates 2,200 flat and curved panes, which contain millions of chrome-coated dots that reduce solar gain. Image © Iwan Baan

Distance is needed to really appreciate the ensemble, and there is no better vantage point than on the water, among the clamorous cargo ships moving up and down the Elbe River, in and out of the city’s busy port. Here, the glass becomes slightly more ethereal—just as it should—blurring into the forever-gray northern sky and forming a Turneresque seascape, only gloomier and less sun-drenched, with container ships swapped for the frigates.

The red-brick base, which was previously a warehouse for cocoa, contains various facilities, including a garage and a music education center, while the upper glass volume comprises luxury apartments and a hotel and spa, in addition to the new music venues. Image Courtesy of Herzog & de Meuron

Back on land, as you stand beneath it, the 26-floor, 700,000-square-foot complex is slightly intimidating in its seeming impenetrability—more cliff face than building. Visitors looking for the front door won’t find one. Instead, a void cut into the brick leads to ticket windows (the cheapest seats in the main hall go for just $16) and a suite of elevators (there are 29 in the complex). But the intended means of passage is the adjacent 269-foot-long escalator, which scoops you up in a ghost-white tunnel and bores through the building at a sedate pace, taking four minutes in total. One grows a little bored with the surroundings—the eye line is blocked by the hump of the escalator, and all that white is just that—but anticipation builds all the same, like waiting in line before an amusement ride. Finally a room appears, and as your eyes adjust to the change of light, so does a sweeping view of the harbor.

© Iwan Baan

Turning away from the window and moving up a second, shorter escalator deposits you at the foot of a gentle brick mound that tapers off into the public plaza. All the architects’ ingenious knack for mystery and flair is on show here. The floor is hard and pleasingly resonant—a strange, unexpected continuity of European public squares, only you are 121 feet in the air. The effect is surreal, and enhanced by the shallowly arched, cryptlike ceiling studded with clusters of bare light orbs. The first of several chunky angled columns (canted to support the two music halls above) frames the space, while a pair of wide, languidly curved staircases, each leading to a different auditorium, center it. At the plaza’s northern and southern extremities are ruffled walls of glass, through which you pass to reach the wraparound terrace. All the elements of new and old Hamburg unfold in every direction. There is the Elbe and the working port, and on the other end of the harbor, the UNESCO-protected warehouse district, with its network of canals, picturesque and undisturbed in disuse. Directly below on the east side are the outposts of HafenCity, an $11.6 billion urban redevelopment being built on former brownfields and the most ambitious project of its kind in Europe. Better urban scenes cannot be found even from the top of the city’s too-high television tower (itself an inspired take on the preening ’60s typology).

© Iwan Baan

From morning to midnight, Hamburgers can roam around all they like—600,000 of them have already made the climb—but only ticket holders can gain access to the performance halls and the often-vertiginous spillover spaces between them. The smaller hall is the more intimate and, being a simple shoebox, normative. Still, here too, there is a marker of quality and a spark of imagination: The hall’s walls are textured to a reptilian degree, with every surface covered in thousands of sound-deflecting bumps. The larger hall, which seats 2,150, is much more engrossing, possessing all the verve of and a good deal more moody drama than Hans Scharoun’s 1963 Berlin Philharmonic, whose famed “vineyard” layout Herzog & de Meuron replicated with considerable tweaks. Primarily the two halls (the third being buried in the brick volume below) rest within their own cocoons, nestled in a soundproof enclosure whose form doesn’t “bleed” and contaminate auxiliary spaces, as Scharoun’s does. The seating is more steeply arrayed, resulting in what might appear to be more than a few nosebleed aisles. Not so, say the architects, who claim that each seat is no more than a hundred feet away from the conductor. Balconies slink languorously up and down the sides of the cavernlike bowl, the idea being that concertgoers can reach their perch from anywhere within the hall. Maybe for mountain goats, but for those in the cheap seats, the route is easier diagrammed than scaled.

© Sophie Wolter

Then there is the grayish substance that adheres to just about every surface, extending even to the upturned mushroom cap of the sound reflector hovering above the orchestra. This endlessly variegated epidermis, elephantine in hue but not texture, was fashioned using recursive software based on a sound map developed by master acoustician and ear-for-hire Yasuhisa Toyota. A consultant on every major philharmonic building of the past quarter century, Toyota provided the broad strokes, while the architects, in their pursuit of a solution both artful and performatively complex, left the nitty-gritty business to the algorithms. Lining the auditorium are 10,000 gypsum fiberglass panels, each one notched with thousands of concavities—and each one of those uniquely carved, varying in shape and depth. Calling it overwrought doesn’t begin to cover it, but it’s all deeply impressive. More important, the scheme performed beautifully during the opening concert, whose eclectic program certainly put it through the paces.

© Michael Zapf

Everywhere, in the most random or mundane moments—the way the svelte railing moves in step with the treads of the lobby staircases, the pair of Niemeyeresque slashes in the ceiling of the main auditorium, that building-grade glitter—there is more character, more exemplary touches, than in entire other buildings. But perhaps not quite feeling. For all the public investment hurled at it, the place could feel a bit more, well, public. You spend a long time passing through the guts of the complex to really get anywhere. The lofty plaza is a kind of reward—the terrace stroll certainly is—but for those without a press badge or concert tickets, it can be an experience tinged with missed opportunity, what with this hulking, mute iconic thing looming over you.

© Iwan Baan

Luckily, there are attempts to ameliorate that. The current Social Democratic municipal government, which took over the reins of the unwieldy project after coming to power in 2011, sees in the Elbphilharmonie not just a tourist magnet but also a symbol of public entitlement and an educational opportunity. It has launched an outreach campaign, selling tickets at libraries and other points all over the city and setting prices remarkably low (special fares can sink to just $6). The goal is for every young Hamburger to experience one performance at the Elbphilharmonie over the next five years. In this and other ways, the building seems less of a willful imposition on the scenic waterfront and state coffers alike, as the more antagonistic observers have chalked it up to be. Instead, it feels as though it belongs.

CAP / AAVP Architecture

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 10:00
© Luc Boegly
  • Architects: AAVP Architecture
  • Location: 2nd arrondissement, 75002 Paris, France
  • Architect In Charge: Vincent Parreira
  • Area: 160.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2016
  • Photographs: Luc Boegly
© Luc Boegly

From the architect. The renovation of an old 19th century photography studio in the heart of the Opera Madeleine haussmannian district, into two prestigious private apartments disrupted the uses of its distribution of the Second Empire.

Access to it is via the service staircase and the narrow corridor leading to the rooms once reserved for the servants.

© Luc Boegly

Each of the apartments is a duplex with the bedrooms and bathrooms on the lower level, reception areas, as the living room and kitchen, being found at the upper level under a contemporary glazing, re-designed meticulously for the occasion.

It also offers a breathtaking view of the roofs of Paris.

© Luc Boegly

The superior levels are both crossing with two distinct panoramas:

The prestigious ornementation of the Opera Garnier situated on both side of the living room and the kitchen.

Section - Detail. Image © Luc Boegly

The other side of the decor concerns an urban scenery of accessories such as fire escape, air conditioning units, and ventilation systems hidden in the rear facade of the haussmannian buildings. Haussmannian, by nature, support repetitive changes.

© Luc Boegly

Few superfluous elements are contained within it but a setting of exceptional interventions is included : transparent glass walls and curtains for a room, mirror blocks masking or unveiling a generous shower, curtains of leather mystifying a kitchen, concrete benches, whose usage is for seating and “to be carried by the sky”.The most remarkable work remains within the glass that places the inhabitant in a form of showcase, dominating both the urban area and the atmosphere.

It's definitely an experience.

Elevations. Image © Luc Boegly

This 6-Axis Robot Arm Can 3D Print Fiberglass Composites

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 09:00
Atropos was developed by architects and engineers at the Politecnico di Milano's +Lab. Image Courtesy of Politecnico di Milano

A team of architects and engineers at the Politecnico di Milano in Italy have unveiled Atropos, a six-axis robotic arm capable of printing continuous fiber composites. The one of a kind robot was developed by +Lab, the 3D printing laboratory at the Politecnico, who have taken inspiration from fibres found in the natural world. Through a technology known as Continuous Fiber Composites Smart Manufacturing, Atropos has the potential to create large, complex structures to aid the design and construction process.

While developing Atropos, the Politecnico team drew inspiration from the natural world, studying the fiber-based behavior of spiders and silkworms. Consideration was also given to the fibrous workings of human muscles and tendons, resulting in a six-axis robotic arm with versatile movement, free from excessive mechanisms.

A UV source allows the fiber resin to dry quickly. Image Courtesy of Politecnico di Milano The six-axis robotic arm uses technology known as Continuous Fiber Composites Smart Manufacturing. Image Courtesy of Politecnico di Milano

The journey towards an Atropos-made object begins with a computer model generated through the 3D modeling software Rhinoceros. Using the algorithms editor Grasshopper, the path and motion of Atropos are calculated, allowing the robotic arm to begin the 3D printing process. The material itself uses thermosetting plastic - not the thermoplastic more commonly found in 3D printing operations - with fiber embedded into th print. Currently, the process uses fiberglass, however the team is working on introducing other fibers such as carbon fiber.

The process can produce elements ranging from centimeters to meters. Image Courtesy of Politecnico di Milano Quick-setting fiber resin negates the need for additional supports. Image Courtesy of Politecnico di Milano

As Atropos dispenses the print, the resin is hardened by a UV light source near the print head, in many cases removing the need for temporary supports. The Politecnico di Milano team have also envisaged ways to make the process scalable, enabling the production of everything from extremely small and precise structures, to large complex products for use by architects and engineers.

The design team studied the behaviour of silkworms and spiders when developing the fiber-printing robot. Image Courtesy of Politecnico di Milano

"Based on the results obtained and optimum implementation, we are confident of the possibility to effectively use this technology for additive manufacturing of high performance, lightweight products for markets where those characteristics are essential," explain the +Lab team in a press release. "These characteristics, combined with the ease of scaling, makes this technology unique and enables opening up new, unimaginable productive scenarios to the implementation of composites in the world of building construction."

The process can produce elements ranging from centimeters to meters. Image Courtesy of Politecnico di Milano

The team behind Atropos are confident in its potential for use in architecture and construction. Continuous Fiber Composites Smart Manufacturing can create 3D objects from a CAD file without the need for a mold, enabling the quick, cost-efficient creation of complex shapes. If upscaled, the technology could generate components covering several meters, such as façade systems complete with internal trusses and cores.

News via: Politecnico di Milano

5 Robots Revolutionizing Architecture's Future

Robots fascinate us. Their ability to move and act autonomously is visually and intellectually seductive. We write about them, put them in movies, and watch them elevate menial tasks like turning a doorknob into an act of technological genius. For years, they have been employed by industrial manufacturers, but until recently, never quite considered seriously by architects.

Neve Monoson House 2 / Daniel Arev Architecture

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 06:00
© Daniel Arev
  • Construction Design: Akiva Auzon
  • Furnishing: Omer Danan
  • Carpenters: Arkady Baskin - “Global Carpentry”, Moty Yair carpentry
  • Steel Work: Itay Shamban -“A different angle metal shop”
  • Landscape Design: Larry Gordon
© Daniel Arev

From the architect. According to the request of the clients, the house was planned with “Provence” characteristics. Since the time and age of these characteristics has long passed by, a few traditional details were adopted in the design but were given a modern twist. The main characters were the roof design and the simple geometry of the façades. 

© Daniel Arev Ground Floor Plan © Daniel Arev

The house was built on a 450 sqm rectangular plot, with one of it’s long facades facing the street, and the other facing the rear, and private, back garden. The ground floor layout, which includes the parent’s bedroom and the main living area, has been opened up to the back garden, and kept relatively enclosed to the street. The dividing wall between the living area and the parent’s bedroom, is comprised of a wooden bookcase with a “hidden” door, allowing total privacy. 

© Daniel Arev

The upper floor’s layout includes two main sections of the children’s bedrooms, that are joined together by an open double space gallery, containing a family room. This arrangement of the space provides open views from the ground floor onto the open gallery above and vice versa, thus allowing a cosy atmosphere, with a strong presence of the wooden ceiling. 

First Floor Plan © Daniel Arev Sections

The building materials pallet was kept a simple one, made out mainly of stone, wood, steel and plaster at their basic raw appearance. The compact garden surrounding the house, is a Mediterranean garden with local citrus trees and herbs.

© Daniel Arev

Werdenberg Castle Renovation and Extension / BBK Architekten

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 03:00
© Walter Mair
  • Statics Project Pavillon: wooden-statics – Rolf Bachofner, Frümsen
  • Statics Project Castle: Bänziger & Partner, Buchs
  • Historical Research: Helen & Peter Albertin
  • Electrical Engineering: Inelplan
  • Fire Protection Engineering: proteq
  • Light Engineering: Uwe Belzner - LDE Light-engineering
© Walter Mair

From the architect. Located in the municipality of Grabs, Castle Werdenberg is a Swiss heritage site of national significance. In 2013-2015, the castle went through substantial renovations, including the reinforcement of the timber-framed ceiling to the replacement of electrical network as well as upgrading the fire-protection systems to meet the levels required by present codes. Various built-in fixtures inside the existing museum were demolished to allow for a complete redesign of the exhibition spaces. 

© Daniel Ammann und Thomas Siebrecht Section © Walter Mair Section © Walter Mair

In the courtyard, which surrounds Castle Werdenberg, stands a 58 m2 pavillon-esque reception building which functions not only as a reception area but a shop and bistro as well. Built into a niche of the stone courtyard walls the new structure is distinctive but discreet. Using traditional wood construction, known as ‘Strickbau’, the massive timber walls open up to the ceiling’s exposed timber beams and trusses.

© Walter Mair

The facades and the sloped roof are clad in untreated larch shingles. A second auxiliary building, known as ‘The old horse stall', was renovated to accompany the new reception building. The building accommodates rooms for staff and technical facilities.  

© Walter Mair

Office & Maket Hub / SOESTHETIC GROUP

Sat, 03/25/2017 - 20:00
© Andrey Avdeenko
  • Architects: SOESTHETIC GROUP
  • Location: Kiev, Ukraine
  • Architects In Charge: Victoria Oskilko, Natalia Shchyra, Maksym Parokonnyi
  • Area: 300.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2016
  • Photographs: Andrey Avdeenko
© Andrey Avdeenko

From the architect. Concept of blank sheet is the main idea of the interior. Basically, it could be transformed to everything: picture, page of a great book or became something totally new.

© Andrey Avdeenko

Our blank sheet transformed into multifunctional auditorium and design studio office. The heart of the office is the white cubical meeting room - the gateway between two zones. It has a closed shell to provide soundproofness. Working places are presented as two big white island tables. All computer wires and equipment are hidden in cabinet and special cable-channels, computers can be switched directly from the workplace. The material's room is a storage of materials which we used in our projects.

© Andrey Avdeenko

We used indirect light and non-standard location of lamps - light comes out of walls or under the mirrors. All furniture in the office is made in Ukraine on sketches of SOESTHETIC GROUP.

© Andrey Avdeenko Floor Plan © Andrey Avdeenko

Auditorium called MAKET HUB can be easily transformed for any event from lecture to presentation followed by reception due to mobile solutions such as folding flux chairs and movable reception desk. Two big screens, light scenarios by Gira, sound engineer’s controller, separate wardrobe and toilets, light-proof curtains - all these are made for the comforts of our guests. 

© Andrey Avdeenko

Post-Fossil City Contest's 10 Finalists Share Visions of A Sustainable Future

Sat, 03/25/2017 - 16:00
Courtesy of Urban Futures Studio

Utrecht University’s Urban Futures Studio have announced the 10 finalists for their Post-Fossil City Contest, judged by a jury which included MVRDV co-founder Winy Maas. Each of the successful submissions responded to the contest’s call for the design of a sustainable city no longer reliant on non-renewable energy sources. Designers and makers were invited to envision this new future, which “will reshape our cities and everyday lives so radically that it is hard to imagine what it might feel, taste, smell, and look like.”

Out of the 250 total entries, below are the 10 selected finalists along with a snippet of their proposed futures as described by the competition website.

Cow on Tour / Anastasia Eggers and Ottonie von Roeder

Cow on Tour. Image Courtesy of Urban Futures Studio

"Designers Anastasia Eggers and Ottonie von Roeder invented a concept which makes it possible to tap your own milk from a cow around the corner."

Sensorial Time Travel / Jamillah Sungkar

Sensorial Time Travel. Image Courtesy of Urban Futures Studio

"Gasoline. Remember what that smelled like? Artist Jamillah Sungkar makes it imaginable what it is like to live in a city without fossil smells."

City of Sounds and Silence / Sun City

City of Sounds and Silence. Image Courtesy of Urban Futures Studio

"Theatre collective Sun City created an engaging soundscape of the green city. Is electric mobility going to make the city silent so we can hear birds singing again?"

Symbolic City / Walter Breukers and Jaap Godrie

Symbolic City. Image Courtesy of Urban Futures Studio

"How does one clean up a dirty city? By envisioning the urban layout as clear-cut pieces of a puzzle, according to Walter Breukers and Jaap Godrie."

People of Petropia

People of Petropia . Image Courtesy of Urban Futures Studio

"A true dystopia. The damage has already been done in this post-fossil city: Utrecht’s streets are filled up with water."

90 Letters from 2050 / Onur Can Tepe and Esther Estevez

90 Letters from 2050. Image Courtesy of Urban Futures Studio

"Onur Can Tepe and Esther Estevez create an interactive machine that spits out personal letters from 2050. Whoever reads them will dare to dream big for the future."

Post-Fossil African City / Blake Robinson and Karl Schulschenk

Post-Fossil African City. Image Courtesy of Urban Futures Studio

"South-African urban designer Blake Robinson focuses on the sustainable opportunities for fast developing cities in Africa. Together with graphic designer Karl Schulschenk he brings his ideas on the African future to life."

Solar Energy in Public Space / Tom van Heeswijk and Sabrina Lindemann

Solar Energy in Public Space. Image Courtesy of Urban Futures Studio

"According to Wageningen University researcher Tom van Heeswijk and designer Sabrina Lindemann, the city of 2050 will be marked by solar energy production in all public spaces."

Platform Cities & City Platforms / Michel Erler

Platform Cities and City Platforms. Image Courtesy of Urban Futures Studio

"Ordering rides using Uber, or renting a room through Airbnb: in 2050 this will all be peanuts. Cities will be completely packed with smart services, says Michel Erler."

Het Devies 2039

"This submission brings a green Amsterdam to life through a newspaper from the future—Het Devies 2039, made by a team of architects, designers, and urbanists."

Het Davies 2039. Image Courtesy of Urban Futures Studio

The jury consisted of the following seven individuals:

  • Winy Maas (MVRDV)
  • Jurgen Bey (Studio Makkink & Bey)
  • Anita van den Ende (Ministry of Infrastructure & Environment)
  • Willem Schinkel (Erasmus University, Center for Public Imagination)
  • Lot van Hooijdonk (City of Utrecht)
  • Michiel van Iersel (Non-fiction)
  • Maarten Hajer (Urban Futures Studio, Utrecht University)

Over the next few months, the finalists will have the opportunity to further develop their proposals with a €1,000 grant, in collaboration with Michiel van Iersel, René Boer, Peter Pelzer, and Wytske Versteeg. Come June, the refined designs will be showcased at Utrecht’s Post-Fossil City Exhibition, where a winner will be selected and awarded €10,000.

More details on the competition brief, finalists, and honorable mentions can be found here.

News via Urban Futures Studio. Project descriptions via the Post-Fossil City website.

Toronto’s Urban Farming Residence Will Bridge the Gap Between Housing and Agriculture

Sat, 03/25/2017 - 14:00
Courtesy of Curated Properties

With the ever-expanding global population, cities around the world today are caught in the midst of mass urbanization; the resultant problems are the topic of much of the current architectural discourse. From these trends stems the challenges of providing adequate amounts of both housing and urban green space, and by extension, providing adequate food production. In order to address this divide, Toronto will soon be home to The Plant – a mixed-use community revolving around sustainable residential urban farming and social responsibility in the Queen Street West neighborhood.

“It might seem extreme, but we orientated this entire project around our connection to food,” says Curated Properties partner Gary Eisen, one of the developers involved in the project. “It’s our guiding principle and the result is a building that lives and breathes and offers a better quality of life to the people who will live and work here. The Plant is a community that fits with the foodie culture that has come to define Queen West.”

Courtesy of Curated Properties

Developed by Curated Properties and Windmill Developments, both of which have ample experience with prior sustainable projects in the area, The Plant is to be a beacon for sustainability and “agri-tecture,” located at the former site of Dufflet Bakery, one of Toronto’s most innovative food production companies.

With retail outlets at street level and offices on the second floor, the intention is to appeal to businesses and tenants that share the project's ideals. Additionally, single- and two-story residences are available on upper floors, each with its own custom micro-garden beds to supply the residents with fresh herbs.

Courtesy of Curated Properties

The shallow floor plates allow ample sunlight into the units, while spacious latticed terraces and balconies can accommodate furniture, plants, and a barbecue. Communal food-focused programs include an internal greenhouse as a nursery for plants and seeds, as well as an industrial kitchen for shared food production and hosting events.

“The choices we make as developers dictate the lifestyle available to the people that live in our buildings. Urban living used to mean choosing between being a cool neighborhood full of amenities or having enough land to cultivate a robust garden,” states Adam Ochshorn, also a partner at Curated Properties. “When you consider two-thirds of all humans will soon be city-dwellers, having to choose between an urban residence or the ability to comfortably grow your herbs and vegetables no longer makes sense.”

Courtesy of Curated Properties

The 10-story building, which was designed by an in-house team at Curated Properties alongside interior designers +tongtong, is currently under construction. Its developers hope it will serve as an example of how Toronto’s local expertise and promotion of sustainable ideals can help push the city in the right direction, and address the key concerns of food production and urban living that architecture faces today.

News via The Plant

Living House / Chetecortes Architects

Sat, 03/25/2017 - 13:00
© Nadia Riva
  • Architects: Chetecortes Architects
  • Location: Asia District, Peru
  • Architects In Charge: Daniel Cortés, Lorena Alfaro
  • Area: 530.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2016
  • Photographs: Nadia Riva
  • Project Team: Larry Zlatar, Daniel Lama, Carlos Carrasco, Katherine Tocto, Walter Flores, Freddy Bellido
  • Builder: Chetecortes Arquitectos
© Nadia Riva

From the architect. Designed for a business family who spends a lot of time traveling, with a culture of fluidity and continuity of energy in their lives.

© Nadia Riva

We begin by understanding the movement of people through body expression, using photography as tools.

A picture of a sleeping person describes her as static, resting and distributing all her weight on the bed, placing most of the surface of her body on it.

© Nadia Riva © Nadia Riva Section

A photo of a person walking, is fixed, but describes a movement. The person distributes his weight through the legs, reaching the feet that touch the ground with very little surface.

© Nadia Riva First Floor Plan © Nadia Riva Second Floor Plan © Nadia Riva

That is why the house is an object that is on the floor, which is supported by 2 static cubes. This object seems to be still for the moment, but it is actually in motion, ready to go and continue on its way.

These Statuettes of Architectural Landmarks Offer a Stylish Alternative to Typical Souvenirs

Sat, 03/25/2017 - 12:00
Courtesy of Konstantin Kolesov

Russian designer Konstantin Kolesov has created a collection of finely-crafted souvenirs celebrating iconic architectural landmarks from around the globe. The Jsouv Collection consists of 15 pieces, depicting landmarks from New York, London, Tokyo, Dubai and more. Crafted from solid aluminum, the souvenirs are accompanied by a natural walnut base engraved with a 2D emblem of the city in question. With the souvenirs currently being crowdfunded on Indiegogo, Jsouv is also offering a t-shirt collection with unique prints of each city and landmark.

"My passion for travel and background in civil engineering inspired me to create architectural souvenirs with clean lines, durable materials, and a style that could complement the décor of a modern home or office space," says Kolesov.

Courtesy of Konstantin Kolesov Courtesy of Konstantin Kolesov

"When traveling, for every place I visit, I want to bring home a small, elegant piece to cherish and share the memory of these remarkable structures."

You can learn more about the Jsouv Collection from their website here.

News via: Konstantin Kolesov

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