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Updated: 1 hour 33 min ago


6 hours 32 min ago
© Luis Gallardo
  • Architects: PRODUCTORA
  • Location: Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico
  • Author Architects: Carlos Bedoya, Wonne Ickx, Abel Perles, Víctor Jaime
  • Collaborators: Gerardo Aguilar, Mateo Agudelo
  • Area: 180.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2016
  • Photographs: Luis Gallardo
© Luis Gallardo

From the architect. The program of this single-family dwelling is resolved in four staggered volumes each with a 5 x 5 meter footprint. The staggering occurs both in plan and cross-section, and responds to different conditions. The staggered plan responds to the integration into the project of an existing large tree on the site, and the positioning of a garage.


The staggered cross-section corresponds to the slope of the site, forming connections between the different spaces that are set off from each other vertically. The double-height dining room functions as the home’s principal space, articulating the program by means of the central staircase that links all of the vertically staggered spaces. To build the house as economically as possible, the chosen construction system is based on hollow brick load-bearing walls and beam/block floor slabs.

© Luis Gallardo Sections © Luis Gallardo

Exposed brick was used for the interior, while the exterior has a cement render, creating a monolithic appearance. This unconventional use of exposed brick inverts the finishes: the brick that we usually find on external wall surfaces is employed here in the interior, creating a warmer feel to the rooms. As a result, the interior spaces present a striking texture that is balanced with the simple terrazzo floors and exposed concrete beam ceilings.The external terraces complete the composition, functioning as immediate extensions of the interior spaces with the beam/block floor slabs continuing outside, while the exposed brick is repeated in the floors.

© Luis Gallardo © Luis Gallardo

OMA/AMO-Designed Exhibition lR100-Rinascente: Stories of Innovation Debuts in Milan

7 hours 17 min ago
lR100-Rinascente: Stories of Innovation. Image © Agostino Osio, Courtesy of OMA

A new exhibition by OMA/AMO,  lR100-Rinascente: Stories of Innovation, has officially opened in Milan’s Palazzo Reale. Marking the 100th anniversary of the classic Italian department store, la Rinascente, the exhibition commemorates the company’s long creative history and experimental spirit that has served as an influential part of Italian design, culture and commerce.

lR100-Rinascente: Stories of Innovation. Image © Agostino Osio, Courtesy of OMA

On view from May 24 to September 24, 2017, the exhibition has been envisioned by the architects as a “living archive” that takes the visitor through a sequence of different visual and physical experiences modeled after the logic of a department store. Located within 12 rooms at the historic Palazzo Reale, the individual environments and scenographies will cover aspects of the company ranging from industrial design to fashion to communication, creating a retrospective look at Italy’s “first and only” department store.

In addition, OMA/AMO has envisioned eight window displays referencing the exhibition that will be located at la Rinascente’s Milan flagship store throughout the first two weeks of the event. Read more about the exhibition below.

lR100-Rinascente: Stories of Innovation. Image © Agostino Osio, Courtesy of OMA

Project text via OMA/AMO

What is a department store? What is its role in different urban contexts? How has the digital revolution affected the practice and particularities of its shopping environment? These questions are at the core of recent debates on the future of retail. They resonate among both fashion and architecture historians, and reverberate also through other disciplines – art, design, cinema, theater – to name few, mirroring larger questions of geo-political history and economy.

lR100-Rinascente: Stories of Innovation. Image © Lorenzo Palmieri, Courtesy of Rinascente Courtesy of OMA

There is no precise answer to such questions as there is no way to reduce the notion of “department store” to a single statement. A department store is rather a diverse collection of values and identities, expressing the history of the city it belongs to. More than a place, a department store is an open and adaptable cultural canvas of its location, whether it be London, Paris, New York, Tokyo or Milan. 

Today, after the first appearance in XIX Paris more than 150 years ago, at a turning point of the digital evolution, department stores are the ideal lab to reimagine our physical relationships to products, cities and our everyday context in general. 

lR100-Rinascente: Stories of Innovation. Image © Agostino Osio, Courtesy of OMA

La Rinascente is no exception to this tradition. Established in 1917 to replace and renew Magazzini Bocconi with the fire-proof baptism of D’Annunzio, its relentless creative history is both a symbol and evidence of the vibrant Milanese culture, one that has constantly seen the relationship with industry and commerce as an opportunity for daring experimentation and research.

Conceiving a historical exhibition on la Rinascente meant diving into the store’s history and archive: discovering its heroes, from Dudovich to Ponti, Huber to Munari; understanding its leaders, from the 50-year long direction by Borletti - Brustio to the current management; and decoding its design language and graphic identity. Unfolding the history of fashion and commerce reveals a new perspective on the history of Italy as a whole.

Courtesy of OMA lR100-Rinascente: Stories of Innovation. Image © Agostino Osio, Courtesy of OMA

To mark the 100th anniversary of la Rinascente we have envisioned the exhibition as a living archive that invites the visitor to discover a sequence of wonders. The exhibition unfolds through a series of different visual and physical experiences. Rather than a coherent journey, it is a collage of identities, echoing the same logic of a department store and presenting the many aspects that made la Rinascente a crucial example in the history of European department stores.

From industrial design to fashion, art to communication, illustrious collaborations to a never fulfilled search for innovation, each of the 12 rooms at Palazzo Reale will display multiple scenographies and outline a different aspect of the production of the first and only department store of Italy.

lR100-Rinascente: Stories of Innovation. Image © Agostino Osio, Courtesy of OMA

The history of la Rinascente is the story of the people who made it (management, creatives and clients), and the story of their ambition to connect art to life.

Learn more about the project here.

News via OMA/AMO.

lR100-Rinascente: Stories of Innovation. Image © Agostino Osio, Courtesy of OMA lR100-Rinascente: Stories of Innovation. Image © Agostino Osio, Courtesy of OMA lR100-Rinascente: Stories of Innovation. Image © Agostino Osio, Courtesy of OMA lR100-Rinascente: Stories of Innovation. Image © Agostino Osio, Courtesy of OMA

OMA/AMO Designs "Back to Basics" Interior for the Prada 2017 Fall/Winter Runway

For their latest fashion show scheme for Prada, AMO has gone "back to basics." Envisioned for the fashion house's 2017 Fall/Winter Collection, "Continuous Interior" borrows from domestic design, taking the form of a series of curving wooden partitions paired with ordinary materials and emblematic furniture pieces to create a stage that speaks to the importance of authenticity in the political climate of today.

OMA & Bengler Present PANDA, An Investigation of the Share Economy at the 2016 Oslo Architecture Triennale

PANDA, an exhibition by OMA & Bengler, opens today at the 2016 Oslo Architecture Triennale - After Belonging. From the architect. PANDA investigates the accelerating influence of digital sharing platforms, their social and political implications, and pervasive impact on the built environment.

Southwark Town Hall & Theatre Peckham / Jestico + Whiles

8 hours 32 min ago
© Matt Clayton
© Matt Clayton

From the architect. Jestico + Whiles was appointed in 2013 to design a new student accommodation-led development of the former Southwark Town Hall on Peckham Road for Alumno Developments.

© Matt Clayton

Southwark Town Hall has played an important role in Camberwell and the wider South London area for several years. Jestico + Whiles’ scheme preserves the character of the building and is aimed at regenerating the site as a creative arts hub and community theatre, serving as a mixed-use arts based building with accommodation for Goldsmiths College students and the new Theatre Peckham.

The student accommodation has 166 rooms, private student gardens and generous common spaces and lounges. It has been designed to support a high level of community usage – including twelve self-contained artists’ studios, an independently managed gallery space and a café, as well as a contemporary sky lounge which provides social space for students and gallery space for artist exhibitions.

© Matt Clayton Floor Plan © Matt Clayton

The proposals included the demolition and re-provision of Theatre Peckham, a community theatre which has operated for more than two decades and whose alumni includes the actor and new star of the Star Wars franchise, John Boyega.

© Matt Clayton

The original Theatre Peckham was situated within the community hall adjoining the former Southwark Town Hall building. The scheme features a new studio theatre complex comprising a 200- seat auditorium, rehearsal space and dance studios which can be accessed from the new public piazza.

© Matt Clayton Section 2 © Matt Clayton

The new facilities allow Theatre Peckham to bring all of its work together under one roof for the first time, and provides space for an array of new classes, performances and events within the local community, in addition to its existing programme of workshops offering affordable performing arts classes to three to 18-year-olds.

© Matt Clayton

How To Improve Your SketchUp Skills

9 hours 32 min ago
3D Model: Fabian Dejtiar via SketchUp.

For decades, SketchUp has been one of the most well-known 3D modeling programs in the design world, owed to its intuitive working tools and labyrinth of user-generated accessories, from open source libraries to plugins. Quite often, SketchUp is the software of choice for engaging children with architecture, due to its availability, flexibility, and ease of use.

Later in your design career, you could be forgiven for dismissing SketchUp as a 'rookie tool', a beginner's level below the advanced stages of Revit, Rhino, and AutoCAD. However, as SketchUp has evolved throughout the years, it now contains a formidable array of functions, capable of producing complex, exportable results in an organized, efficient manner for students and senior partners alike.

From geo-location to sun-paths, here are 10 very useful tips to make you the model SketchUp user of the office.

01. Use the 3D Warehouse gallery: check and purge models before importing them.

3D Model: Fabian Dejtiar via SketchUp.

There is a universe of downloadable 3D models made by other users that can fast-track the construction of your own models. To avoid adding additional information such as lines, layers, and materials, which will only increase file sizes, purge the model's components before saving them.

02. Position the model correctly in space.

3D Model: Fabian Dejtiar via SketchUp.

Geo-referencing a project allows you to consider it in relation to location, an inherent quality for any successful architectural scheme. If you want to position a 3D model, you can access it from the window> model information> geolocation> add location / define location manually.

Whatever the reason for positioning, you also need to take into account the time zone of each location. 

03. Use plugins and check out the new stuff in Extension Warehouse.

3D Model: Fabian Dejtiar via SketchUp.

SketchUp users develop a variety of plugins that not only solve problems in each version, but also exploit the potential of existing tools, and incorporate new 3D modeling equipment. Extensions range from Solar North, which provides tools to set the orientation for the angle of sunlight and shadows, to Sketchy FFD, a mesh defined by a series of control points in its vertices and edges that allow the manipulation of dimensions of the selected object.

View and download 10 useful Sketchup plugins (explained in GIFs) by clicking here.

04. Organize and save your toolbar settings.

3D Model: Fabian Dejtiar via SketchUp.

Having a work environment customized to your needs and preferences is no small matter. It takes considerable time to organize a toolbar, so ensure that your ideal settings are saved for future use. The result will be an ability to execute tasks more efficiently, allowing you to invest more time in concepts, design, and detailing.

05. Use groups and components to simplify editing and constructing a model.

3D Model: Fabian Dejtiar via SketchUp.

Organizing models into groups of objects, lines or figures are one of the most useful characteristics of SketchUp. Creating a group is quick and simple (secondary button> create group) and allows you to alter a particular section of your model (by double-clicking on it), without affecting other figures near the object. A good tip is to double-click on the newly created surface, thus selecting both faces and edges, and create a group before you start using the push / pull tool or any other modification.

06. Use layers, but not too many.

3D Model: Fabian Dejtiar via SketchUp.

Establish a small number of layers for your 3D model in order to control what elements display on the screen. Hiding the layers you are not using (from Window> Layers) is a useful tip for accessing certain parts of the model, while at the same time allowing your model to respond more smoothly.

When importing elements created in other programs, or by other users, information contained within the layers is usually transferred to the new file/model. Therefore, take time to delete/reduce the surplus data which is currently adding nothing but MBs onto your file size.

07. Reference other points on the model and make guides.

3D Model: Fabian Dejtiar via SketchUp.

When creating or duplicating elements in a SketchUp model, the use of points, objects or reference guides is a good option to increase precision and accuracy.

If you need to copy an object with a reference point, you have to select the item to duplicate, choose a reference point in space and then press the Ctrl key to activate copy mode. If you’re generating another reference element, you can insert a guide by selecting the 'Measure' tool with guide creation activated (Ctrl key), and click on the beginning of an existing edge and its extension.

08. Keyboard shortcuts.

Wikipedia UserYomik70 Under Licensed CC BY-SA 4.0. Image

Like any 3D modeling software, using the keyboard allows quick access to tools and tool variations. While SketchUp already has preset shortcuts, they can be customized and edited (by accessing Window> Preferences> Shortcuts) according to your personal preference.

It is important to read the different actions and variations that allow you to perform the key combinations, usually indicated in the lower left of the screen depending on each tool you select.

09. Use the appropriate visual style each time.

3D Model: Fabian Dejtiar via SketchUp.

SketchUp has built-in visual graphic styles to generate artistic effects, or to alter hidden geometries and back edges. You’ll need to identify specifically what you want to visualize when making your 3D model because each style demands a greater processing of information by your computer, which translates into a reduction in performance.

We recommend using standard styles in the 3D modeling process, as well as disabling the visualization of hidden geometries, shadows and textures/materials.

10. Use scene manager to set and save views.

3D Model: Fabian Dejtiar via SketchUp.

Scene manager options, accessed from Window> Scenes, allow you to add, update and delete viewpoints proposed by the original user; creating different camera angles to communicate, understand, and animate the project.

When choosing views, 'Place Camera' is a useful precision tool, controlling the camera's height in relation to the ground, and freely rotating it to establish the ideal point of view to sell your idea.

10 Awesome Sketchup Plugins That Will Up Your Modeling Game (Explained With GIFs)

After the success of its 6th edition in 2007, Sketchup became one of the world's most widely used 3D modeling software products. This is thanks to its intuitive toolbar, interdisciplinary use within the creative industry (not just architects) and having a free version that doesn't use watermarks.



The Tragic Human Cost of Africa's New Megacities

10 hours 32 min ago
A rendering of Eko-Atlantic City, Lagos, Nigeria. Image <a href=''>via</a>

This article was originally published by Common Edge as "Tale of Two Cities: Unravelling the Brutal Backstory Behind Africa’s Emerging Megacities."

In the last two decades, the African narrative has changed phenomenally. The tired, age-old storyline—largely woven around the stereotypes of poverty, disease, and bloody civil wars—has been replaced with one celebrating the continent’s unprecedented economic growth and relative political stability. This new narrative is also about Africa’s gleaming skyscrapers, massive shopping malls, and ambitious “smart” cities being designed and built from scratch: Ebene Cyber City in Mauritius; Konza Technology City in Kenya; Safari City in TanzaniaLe Cite du Fleuve in DR Congo; Eko Atlantic in NigeriaAppolonia City in Ghana, and others.

There are currently at least twenty of these new cities under construction in Africa and about twice that number in the works. These developments have permanently altered the continent’s urban outlook, and have offered it something different from the bland pastiche of colonial architecture that it was once known for. As a designer, I was initially excited by the quality of some of the architecture. Though I must admit that these new cities are eerie mimicries of similar developments in China, Singapore and even the UAE, and that they’re largely bereft of any cultural connection to Africa.

Tragically, this new narrative depicts just a small piece of a much bigger and more disturbing picture. These developments are available to a small segment of Africa’s vast population. As a result, the euphoria that greeted the birthing of these new cities is gradually being replaced with anger and fear. Most Africans have become disenchanted by the high social cost of these urban makeovers. They’re now seen as the prize or spoils of war, from the ongoing battle between those at the top of the social pyramid and those struggling at the bottom.

The living conditions in these upscale neighborhoods are starkly different from those found in low-income communities, which all-too-often lack basic infrastructure: roads, a public water supply, even efficient waste management systems. This uneven distribution of public amenities has become distressingly typical of most African cities. And, as if that weren’t bad enough, many poor communities are now being ruthlessly annexed and their residents pushed out, to make way for these new developments.

A few weeks ago the residents of Otodo-Gbame, a fishing settlement in Lagos, awoke at dawn to the sounds of gunfire and the sight of more than sixty policemen, accompanied by bulldozers and a demolition task force, sent in by the Lagos State Government (LASG). The group proceeded to pull down all of the houses standing on land, while those erected on stilts in the water were set ablaze, forcing terrified residents to scurry out of their homes to safety through a thick haze of smoke and tear gas and a hail of bullets. Residents then watched helplessly from afar as thick smoke billowed over the remains of what they once called home.

The forced eviction of Otodo-Gbame by the Legos state government. Image Courtesy of Justice & Empowerment Initiatives via Common Edge

According to Justice & Empowerment Initiatives, a group that advocates on behalf of endangered waterfront communities in Lagos, the forced evacuation resulted in the death of one resident from gunshot wounds to the neck; several others were shot; about 4700 people lost their homes and personal belongings. The demolition—Amnesty International called it “a brazen land grab”—was the ugly climax to long-simmering land disputes between the LASG and the Otodo-Gbame community, who claim to have lived on those lands for close to a century. Although the residents obtained an injunction from a Lagos High Court restraining the LASG from demolishing their settlement pending the final determination of a lawsuit, the government went ahead and destroyed it in absolute disregard of the court.

Otodo-Gbame has become a lightning rod, a symbol for the brutal, settlement-clearing demolitions taking place across Africa on a daily basis. Most residents of low-income communities in Nigeria live in constant fear of eviction. Mpape, a poor neighborhood in Abuja, borders two of the capital city’s more affluent neighborhoods. It is an extremely dense area, with an estimated population of at least 500,000 (although residents insist the correct figure is at least twice this number, given the daily influx of uncounted people into the settlement).

The brutal eviction of Otodo-Gbame in Lagos. Image Courtesy of Justice & Empowerment Initiatives via Common Edge

I first visited Mpape in 2005 as an architecture student intern. I had been asked by my supervisor to accompany a land surveyor and sketch out a proposed site for a telecommunication mast and base station. Even then, the living conditions in Mpape were grim; with the steady influx of still more people into the district in the last decade, they have deteriorated even more since. The sole access into this huge settlement is a narrow two-lane road riddled with potholes. Dense and vibrant, the settlement is very much ad hoc urbanism. The houses typically stand swearing at one another on all sides of the dusty, narrow streets, which are often bordered by open shallow earthen drains. There are no clear delineations of activity. People simply build whatever they want, however they want, wherever they find land.

Because of its proximity to the city center, Mpape occupies prime real estate. The slum has also become a crucial source of affordable housing for Abuja’s large army of blue-collar workers, low-cadre civil servants, taxi drivers and artisans. Today, a court injunction is all that stands between the settlement and the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA)’s bulldozers. The residents of Mpape instituted a lawsuit in 2012 to stop the demolition and since then have been locked in a legal battle. The FCDA, for its part, insists that the residents are squatters; they have neither legal title to the land nor building permits for the houses they constructed. Eventually they plan to proceed with demolition of the settlement.

Despite the legitimacy of FCDA’s legal claims—the residents are squatters—the forced demolition of Mpape, without either compensation or a smart resettlement plan, would be socially catastrophic. It has the potential to set off a chain reaction of destabilizing events. Imagine displacing, in one grand and ugly swoop, the entire populations of cities the size of Kansas City, Omaha, Minneapolis, New Orleans, or even Miami. Given the sheer number of people and families involved, the likelihood of social fragmentation, economic upheaval, and unrest would be extremely high.

And where, ultimately, does this policy lead? Displaced residents will simply set up new slums elsewhere in the same cities, if only for a brief moment before they are sent packing again. They will be unable to afford the new homes being built on the land where their old homes once stood. This insane cycle of demolition and development has resulted in large swaths of empty, upscale real estate scattered all over Abuja. Many houses have never been occupied, because the owners can’t find tenants for them. Of course there is no shortage of people to live in these new homes, just a dearth of people who can afford them.

Winning in court will not absolve city authorities of their responsibilities to the people in settlements such as Mpape. These communities have become vital parts of our city’s social fabric. They work, pay taxes, and contribute in their own way, to the growth of our local economy. They simply can’t be dismissed by the wave of the hand. Besides: these slums are a direct byproduct of official neglect, which is what has fueled their emergence and subsequent growth in the first place.

Sadly, I believe that these demolitions will continue, because Africa’s new urban ideology is built on the singular premise of keeping out of sight the poor, the unsightly, and everything that reminds it of its difficult past. We seem to be in a haste to erase all of the unpalatable epithets to which it was forced to answer for several decades. As a result, we’re deploying massive resources to fund an ephemeral urban vision, regardless of the cost. This approach is not only corrupt and disingenuous, but does little to promote peace and good neighborliness (an attribute Africans are known for). And because it deploys too many communal resources for the advancement of a select few, it negates the first principle of social equity. Ultimately, this strategy attacks the symptoms of Africa’s dysfunctional cities by short-circuiting its natural growth process, while failing to acknowledge the underlying factors that created them.

Every new city we design and build must be a patchwork of compromise and sacrifice from both sides of the social divide. We must learn to build our cities around our people, rather than structures. Cities should be vehicles for social integration, not tools for division. It’s in this light that I would beseech fellow designers and architects and the entire AEC industry globally: in spite of the allure of working in Africa, designers must be wary of the sordid back-stories behind some of these ambitious urban projects, as well as the moral liabilities that comes with them. If the global design community stayed away from these kinds of blood-tainted briefs, it would not only send out the desired message to city authorities across Africa, but would also compel them to act more humanely in dealing with victims of forced demolitions.

Atrocities committed against communities like Otodo-Gbame can never be fully erased by the gleaming waterfront villas, promenades and marinas that will soon rise from the ashes of the demolished slum. It doesn’t matter what new names the communities will be christened with tomorrow; their erstwhile residents will always look across the beautiful “new” skyline, searching for the place where their homes once stood.

Mathias Agbo, Jr. is an interior architect and design researcher; he is an alumni of the Florence Design Academy, in Italy. He runs a small design-build consultancy in Abuja, Nigeria and periodically writes on design and architecture. Find him on Twitter @Mathias_AgboJr

Public Pools or Private Houses - How Should Stockholm Use its Cliffs?

11 hours 32 min ago
Courtesy of UMA / Manofactory. Image Infinity Pool vs Nestinbox

One of architecture’s most delightful anomalies is the diversity of solutions generated by any given site. From hypothetical university projects by architecture students to professional international design competition entries, the differing perspectives, stances, and experiences brought to rest on one site by several design teams can wield a bounty of contrasting ideas. 

Recently, we reported on Nestinbox, a proposal by Swedish architecture firm Manofactory to attach a series of simple, functional houses to a cliff face in Stockholm, addressing the demands of increased populations and land prices in cities across the world. Now, the cliffs of Stockholm have been the subject of an entirely different, though just as evocative concept by Swedish firm UMA. Rather than private housing, UMA proposes the Stockholm Infinity Pool, a public pool 1km along the Sodermalm cliffs of Sweden’s capital.

Courtesy of UMA Courtesy of UMA

The Infinity Pool offers a 1km stretch of public space along the Sodermalm cliffs, hosting sweeping vistas of the magnificent Baltic inlet, where an archipelago slowly blends into the urban landscape of Stockholm. During Spring, Summer, and Autumn, a rooftop swimming pool is heated by waste heat, with water supplied from the Baltic Sea via a treatment facility. During colder winter months, the water freezes to create a surface ideal for ice skating.

Courtesy of UMA Courtesy of UMA

The structure underneath the pool contains dressing rooms, showers, and saunas, also offering unobstructed views towards the Baltic Sea. Similar to Nestinbox, the load-bearing steel structure of the Infinity Pool is bolted to the bedrock of existing cliff faces, while a modular, concrete secondary structure can be mounted and secured to the steel structure by crane.

Courtesy of UMA Courtesy of UMA

Nestinbox and the Infinity Pool address identical site conditions from entirely different standpoints. Nestinbox sees the cliffs of Stockholm as an untapped resource for addressing a global growing demand for housing, creating a residential community above ground level. By contrast, UMA sees the cliffs as an opportunity to invest in inclusive, attractive public space, enhancing the touristic appeal of Stockholm as a city of creative innovation.

Courtesy of UMA / Manofactory. Image Infinity Pool vs Nestinbox

For such an expansive cliff, perhaps there is room for both. Who wouldn't be excited by the prospect of strolling along a cliff-face from their very own Nestinbox for a morning swim amidst unrivaled views of Stockholm?

Courtesy of UMA

News via: UMA.

Forget Treehouses - Cliffhouses are the Future

In major cities around the world, buildable land is at a premium. At the same time, a continued trend of urban migration has led to a shortage of houses, inspiring a wealth of innovative solutions from architects and designers.

University Library / OFFICE Kersten Geers David Van Severen

12 hours 32 min ago
Courtesy of Office KGDVS Courtesy of Office KGDVS

From the architect. The new library for the faculty of Architecture and Urbanism of the University of Ghent can be considered a large, pavillion-like piece of furniture, inserted under the bacony of the existing Physics hall. The accessible, three-storied cupboard forms a complete perimeter around the central, atrium-like space, enforcing its monumental scale. Both the lendable collection as well as the more precious books which can only be consulted, are presented visibly around it.

Floor Plan Section

The perimeter of cupboards, realised completely as a bolted construction of prefabricated steel elements, contains passages, stairs, desks and corridors, and organises both the library itself as the access to the multiple backof ces and auxiliary functions. A system of vertically sliding, perforated panels allows for the cupboards to be closed off, protecting the collection during lectures and other events, while keeping it visually present.

Courtesy of Office KGDVS Courtesy of Office KGDVS

This Project Explores the Ottoman Miniature as a Form of Architectural Representation

13 hours 32 min ago
Fishmarket. Image © Deniz Basman, Louis Mounis

Over the following weeks we will be sharing a selection of unrealized student projects, alongside realized schemes by practices who explore representational techniques, in collaboration with KooZA/rchThe aim is "to explore the role of the architectural drawing as a tool for communication" and, in the process, provoke a conversation about the contemporary use, format, and role of drawing.

Territory Report. Image © Deniz Basman, Louis Mounis

Mare Nostrum / Deniz Basman and Louis Mounis

This project began with the notion of the memory of inhabiting through the Mediterranean Sea, and ended with the presentation of four architectural projects: a winery, an art storage space, a greenhouse, and a fish market.

Winery. Image © Deniz Basman, Louis Mounis


Besides these four projects, the main drive of this diploma project consisted of making a long trip through the Mediterranean Sea. This trip was documented in the form of 210 drawings, collages, models, photographs, and videos.

Winery. Image © Deniz Basman, Louis Mounis


We focused on the idea of traditional craftsmanship as a vehicle for memory and, more precisely, on the object of the carpet. W conducted research and eventually designed a carpet that was woven by Turkish crafts people. Its design represents these four architectural projects in the form of traditional symbols.

Art Storage. Image © Deniz Basman, Louis Mounis

KooZA/rch: Why do you work with collage?

Deniz Basman and Louis Mounis: We have always worked with collage, but have always adapted this technique to the specificities of the project we were working on. For Mare Nostrum, we wanted to use a more personal technique—that was also linked to the narrative context behind our project—and we immediately thought of Ottoman miniatures. These are a form of representation that was used by nations around the Mediterranean Sea for a long period of time. Here, we aimed to reinterpret this style.

Art Storage. Image © Deniz Basman, Louis Mounis

KA: You explore and acquire depth through flatness. How important is this to the project?

DB & LM: This flatness allowed us to focus on the framing, or the composition, of the visuals. "Flattening" the image allowed us to "cheat" when it came to the elements that we wanted to show; in other words, we were able to present a lot of context as well in tandem with architectural interventions. It was a way for us to visually affirm the imaginary elements that are also present in the narration of our projects. We wanted to detach ourselves from the super-realistic rendered images that we see everywhere, and rather tell tales and stories.

Greenhouse. Image © Deniz Basman, Louis Mounis

KA: What dictated the rectangular, framed format of the drawings?

DB & LM: This format is traditionally used in miniatures. The dimensions of the printed versions were also quite small, as it also is traditionally, which made them appear as postcards – objects that captured memories. 

Greenhouse. Image © Deniz Basman, Louis Mounis

KA: Do you agree with the idea that "the medium is the message"?

DB & LM: We chose to use a lot of different mediums—such as a handwoven carpet, miniatures, three-dimensional printed models, photographs, and publications—because we saw them as narrative elements in a story that we wanted to tell. Using a carpet, for example, was a way for us to question the visual supports that we use in architecture – but also to reflect on the knowledge that needs to be accumulated in order to make a project.

Fishmarket. Image © Deniz Basman, Louis Mounis

Mare Nostrum is the diploma project of Deniz Basman and Louis Mounis at the Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris (2016). The jury included Sébastien Chabbert, Doris Von Drathen, Cédric Libert, Nicolas Dorval-Bory, Reza Azard, Jean-Benoît Vétillard, Samuel Jaubert de Beaujeu, and Charles Aubertin. It has been shared as part of a collaboration with KooZA/rch.

The Best Architecture Drawings of 2016

90 Designing and building a project is a challenge in itself. However, once the project is complete there are also challenges in expressing the project so that it can be understood by a new audience. This is especially true in digital media, where online readers don't necessarily spend the same time reading an article as in print media.

12 Offices that Use Collage to Create Architectural Atmospheres

"An image is a sight which has been recreated or reproduced. It is an appearance, or a set of appearances, which has been detached from the place and time in which it first made its appearance and preserved - for a few moments or a few centuries.

Trends in Architectural Representation: Understanding The Techniques

The representation of architecture is important in the absence of tangible space. Throughout a lifetime, even the most devoted, well-travelled design enthusiast will experience only a small percentage of architectural works with their own eyes. Consider that we exist in only one era of architectural history, and the percentage reduces even further.

Beirut Terraces / Herzog & de Meuron

14 hours 32 min ago
© Iwan Baan
  • Architects: Herzog & de Meuron
  • Location: Beirut, Lebanon
  • Design Consultants: Herzog & de Meuron
  • Executive Architect: Khatib & Alami
  • Project Year: 2009
  • Photographs: Iwan Baan
  • Architects: Herzog & de Meuron
  • Location: Beirut, Lebanon
  • Design Consultants: Herzog & de Meuron
  • Executive Architect: Khatib & Alami
  • Herzog & De Meuron Team: Partners: Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Stefan Marbach (Partner in Charge) Project Team: Tobias Winkelmann (Associate, Project Director), Ursula Hürzeler (Project Manager), Claudia Winkelmann (Project Manager) Alexandria Ålgård, Claire Clément, Dorothee Dietz, Corina Ebeling, Joris Fach, Dara Huang, Julia Jamrozik, Hamit Kaplan, Johannes Kohnle, Yusun Kwon, Christina Liao, Samuel Nelson, Kevin Peter, Yann Petter, Daniel Rabin, Susanna Rahm, Mónica Sedano, Raha Talebi, Antonia Weiss, Léonie Wenz, Thomasine Wolfensberger
  • Client: Benchmark Development SAL, Beirut, Lebanon
  • Project Year: 2009
  • Photographs: Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

From the architect. Site

The city of Beirut lies in the heart of the developing Middle East. Having always been a cosmopolitan city, it is a focal point of the region as a cultural and geographical link between Europe and the Middle East. The history of Beirut could hardly be more diverse; remains of Phoenician, Roman, Mamluk, Ottoman and Colonial rule have shaped the city and its buildings. The design of Beirut Terraces was quite literally influenced by the layers of the city’s rich and tumultuous history.

It is a history now also marked by inescapable traces of an eventful present. For generations to come, the people of Beirut will remember the assassination in 2005 of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, when a car bomb detonated in front of St. Georges Hotel. The resultant devastation is still visible as a daily reminder. Despite a scarred history, there is a clear vision to rehabilitate the area, with a master plan well under way that aims to rebuild and revitalize this part of Beirut. The site of Beirut Terraces is in a portion of the master plan dedicated to office and residential high-rise buildings, in the vicinity of a new yacht marina.

© Iwan Baan


The structure and appearance of the proposed building are informed with an awareness and respect for the city’s past, as well as the self-confidence and optimism of contemporary Beirut. Five principles define the project: layers and terraces, inside and outside, vegetation, views and privacy, light and identity. The result is a vertically layered building: slabs of varying sizes allow for interplay between openness and privacy that fosters flexible living between inside and outside. Fine detailing and a focus on the concerted orchestration of quality materials produce a structure that is both efficient and luxurious. Careful environmental engineering and specific use of vegetation further enhance sustainability and the quality of life within the building.

© Iwan Baan

Layers and Terraces

The building is a multilayered 119-metre tall high-rise. The stratified structure is distinguished by projecting or set back living areas that generate terraces and overhangs, light and shadow, places of shelter and exposure. As a result, each unit is unique and variations in the layout of the apartments on each layer thoughtfully shape a new neighbourhood. 

© Iwan Baan

Light and Identity

Extensive overhangs provide shade and reduce solar gain. The slabs of each floor protrude around their entire circumference by a minimum of 60 centimetres, easing construction and maintenance of the extensive double-galzed façades. The floor plates are thick enough to balance the daily temperature cycles by virtue of their thermal mass, storing cold through the night and releasing it during the day. Such passive strategies make the building a truly sustainable place to live in. Where necessary, perforations in the overhangs modulate the lighting and exposure to the sun. Their density, shape, and the shadows they generate form a striking pattern that gives the tower a distinctive identity and sets it off from its surroundings.

© Iwan Baan


To guarantee sufficient differentiation of the building volume and maintain reasonable building ratio, the tower is made of five modular floors, repeated in different combinations. The structure is carried by the core and a regular column-grid that spans up to 14.7 metres. As a result the walls of the apartments are not structural and their arrangement is open to future flexibility. Each quarter of the tower has its own lobby with elevators serving no more than two apartments at a time. For greater efficiency, two lobbies share service elevators, MEP risers, and fire escapes.

© Iwan Baan


The mix of apartments of different sizes and types, including multi-storey duplexes, are distributed throughout the building, offering a variety of conditions to meet each tenant’s needs and provide each level with a unique identity. The apartments generally consist of three areas: a public reception area, a private living space, and a service area. The foyer and grand living room in the reception area include areas for seating and dining with access to a spacious viewing terrace. The private space features a family living room and bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms and walk-in closets and often also includes access to a terrace. The service area comprises a kitchen with storage and laundry room attached and a maid’s bedroom with bathroom. All the main spaces, such as living rooms and bedrooms, provide a clear height of 3.31 metres.

Reynard/Rossi-Udry House / Savioz Fabrizzi Architectes

15 hours 32 min ago
© Thomas Jantscher
  • Collaborator: Lionel Ballmer
  • Civil Engineering: Alpatec SA, Martigny
© Thomas Jantscher

From the architect. Situated in the old village of ormône, this house was built in 1860, and then altered over the years.

It stands in the middle of an area of the village that has tremendous character, and consists of a masonry base of natural stone whose upstream part rises up to form the backbone of the building and whose downstream part is surmounted by a timber structure.

Before © Thomas Jantscher

The timber part is simply raised. The masonry part is altered. This stone spine, which links the whole project together, is extruded in a kind of "chimney" to the east and extends to the north to form an annexe.

© Thomas Jantscher

The rustic simplicity of this building is accentuated by the treatment of the outer walls, which are given unity by a coating of simple render, applied both to stones from which render had been removed so they could be re-pointed in a style similar to traditional "pietra rasa" plasterwork, and also to the new parts constructed in concrete.

© Thomas Jantscher

The large areas of glazing flush with the exterior further accentuate its mineral appearance, emphasising its carefully-smoothed lines, while orienting the spaces towards chosen views: the rhône valley to the east, savièse to the north, the mountains of val d’hérens to the south and the garden to the west.

B-B' Longitudinal Section

In the northern part, the spaces are structured by two partial floor slabs, which open onto circulation and living spaces and allow visual relationships between the occupants of the different levels, the children on the first floor and their parents in the eaves. The character of the house's exterior is echoed in its interior by the use of a mineral coating on the walls, and by the use of exposed concrete slabs for the floor.

© Thomas Jantscher

In the southern part, set behind timber walls, the bedrooms are covered with larch panelling, producing a contrast with the rest of the project.

A-A' Transversal Section

This timeless contrast between mineral and the wooden elements, established when the house was first built, is thus retained and reappropriated, providing consistency with the original structure.

© Thomas Jantscher

JIKKA / Issei Suma

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 23:00
© Takumi Ota
  • Architects: Issei Suma
  • Location: Ito, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan
  • Architect In Charge: Issei Suma
  • Structural Engineer: Nawaken-jm
  • Area: 100.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Takumi Ota
© Takumi Ota

From the architect. The site is located at the top of the mountain ridge, which the top has been cut off and flattened by the previous owner.

© Takumi Ota © Takumi Ota

The newly-built consits of 5 huts varying in size and height which recalls the former ridge top.

© Takumi Ota Plan © Takumi Ota

It is a final abode for the clients – two ladies in their 60’s. A social worker and a cook – where they will give and serve the community until the end of their remaining lives.


Spaces are unembellished as a primitive hut. Concrete walls, floors and table.

© Takumi Ota

Thier kitchen is open to the public, functioning as a luchtime restaurant using local products. Meals are also delivered to elderly living alone in the local community.

© Takumi Ota

J Pavilion in Xiaogan / Total Architecture

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 21:00
© Rjing-Photo © Rjing-Photo


Project is located in Xiaogan, Hubei province. It is the first completed project constructed by Zhuo’er Group in PeachBlossom Town. Taking advantage of the rich natural resources of the Peach Blossom with an area of thousands hectors in Xiaogan, Zhuo’er Group aims to build a comprehensive idyllic town which includes rustic-style resorts and family-friendly leisure parks. The villa, an exhibition of the local cultural and pastoral life, is a tourist attraction to the citizens in Wuhan and its surrounding areas. 

© Rjing-Photo


The J pavilion, as a modeling architecture of the whole scenic spot, is not only a window to display Peach Blossom Town, but also a reception place for a huge number of tourists. The villa is located in the north part of the village, facing a small pond and a boundless peach forest in its south, and a slightly higher terrain in its north. The overall layout of the villa consists of three layers. The north entrance will let you have an access to the scenic spot and see the height of two layers. You will have a view of a broad landscape of the south part when you stand on the terrace located at the third storey of the building. The view of the villa with surrounding villages creates a harmonious atmosphere.

Axonometric Drawing


The tangential dislocation of the three layers creates a variety of balconies, terraces and semi-outdoor gray spaces with different areas. The main part of the first storey is composed mainly by hotel rooms, and the stone elevation facade forms a massive platform; the third storey is an independent cabin consisting of two main bedrooms; and the second storey includes an entrance hall, a dining room, a meeting room and a study room, surrounded by large glasses, in order to create a levitation effect for the cabin in the third-storey. The whole building is modern and yet classical and aesthetic style.

© Rjing-Photo 1F Plan © Rjing-Photo 2F Plan


The interior and furniture design is composed of natural elements in order to harmonize the peach forest, with furniture lavishly decorated with wooden ensemble; decorative textiles made of comfortable cotton and fabric; and ornaments accessorized in ceramic stoneware and preserved materials. The spacious design breaks the stereotype display and leaves more unique feelings and imaginations to each visitor. There is a hundred Peach Blossom in a hundred people’s eyes.

© Rjing-Photo © Rjing-Photo

WeWork Tower 535 / NCDA

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 20:00
© Dennis Lo Designs
  • Architects: NCDA
  • Location: 535 Jaffe Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
  • Architect In Charge: Nelson Chow
  • Area: 60000.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2017
  • Photographs: Dennis Lo Designs
  • Design Team: Julian Wong, Xavier Chow, Adi Ticho, Rafael Pardo, Nelson Koe, Michal Niedospial, William Odour, Tony Lai, Norman Ung, Peter Lampard, Phyllis Leung, Jonathan Ng, Maeve Larkin
  • Interior Design: NC Design & Architecture Ltd (NCDA), (NCDA worked in collaboration with WeWork)
  • Graphic Design: A107
  • Artwork: Cplusc,Kristpher Ho, Bao Ho, Alana Tsui, Fabrick Lab, Vivian Liu, Adrian Wong, Production Q, Karina Illovska
  • Writing: Catherine Shaw
© Dennis Lo Designs

From the architect. The new model of communal workspaces with hot desking and flexible new ways of working paradoxically means the modern workplace plays an even more important role in social interaction and creative culture.

© Dennis Lo Designs

Tasked with designing unique communal spaces for global brand WeWork’s new 60,000 sqft co-working concept, which spread over eight floors in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, NCDA started with careful consideration of these new points of interaction and understanding human dynamics in order to implement WeWork’s unique approach for creating a series of spaces that would allow people to gather brainstorm, and just relax.

© Dennis Lo Designs

Taking inspiration from Hong Kong’s iconic transportation and cues from WeWork’s in-house design team, NCDA has defined each floor as an individual ‘neighbourhood’, creating a distinctive sense of place for each floor through different colour and material palettes, eclectic custom-design furnishings, and a collection of local-inspired wallpapers alongside inspirational bespoke artworks by Hong Kong-based creatives that include photographers, lighting artists and various illustrators. The purpose is to encourage members to explore the various thematic floors and discover collaboration opportunities.

© Dennis Lo Designs © Dennis Lo Designs

Each of the communal spaces offers a forward-thinking yet nostalgic take on a local cultural theme, drawing typology from the iconic transportation to the city’s quintessential streetscape. For example, a pantry inspired by the traditional street kiosks, curved bar counter with wooden overhang inspired by the Ferry terminal, custom-designed sofas are a nod to the Star Ferry’s signature seating, Bespoke lighting further evokes Hong Kong’s familiar street signage, trams and florescent lights. This decorative ‘hardware’ and its arrangement in the space is designed to encourage interpersonal connectivity through impromptu conversations, while also fostering a sense of community and collaborative culture that is unique to both WeWork and Hong Kong.

© Dennis Lo Designs © Dennis Lo Designs

The new coworking space embraces Hong Kong unique characters and local creativities, while the design sets a new standard for office culture, raising quality of life during and after work for a diverse workforce through creating opportunities for communication, collaboration, and personal connections.

© Dennis Lo Designs

OMA and Mia Lehrer Associates' FAB Park Redesigned for More Green Space

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 18:05
via Curbed

The design of OMA and Mia Lehrer+Associates’ park at First and Broadway (FAB) in Los Angeles has received a green update, reports LA Downtown News, following a community feedback session in which residents voiced their desire to add additional plantings to the scheme.

via Curbed

Selected last June as the winner of a competition for the park’s design, the scheme will retain its signature elements, including the OMA-designed sculptural shade canopies and restaurant structures, albeit with a few additions, including a rooftop deck on the FAB Food building.

 But the most significant changes are seen in the center of the park plan, where nearly 10,000 square feet of planned hardscape has been switched out for grassy meadows. 

via Curbed

“One of the things we heard most with the original design was ‘more trees,’ so we added more, and wanted to make sure they’re big enough to provide deep shade,” said Ben Feldmann, a principal at Mia Lehrer + Associates, in the News’ report. 

Additional changes concern accessibility to the park: park entrances have been moved to the corners of the site, and a new ramp has been added near the restaurant.

The $28 million project will now move forward towards planned groundbreaking in 2018, with an opening date slated for early 2020.

Learn more about the competition here.

News via LA Downtown News. H/T Curbed.

OMA, MLA, and IDEO Selected to Design New Park for Downtown Los Angeles

The City of Los Angeles has selected landscape architects Mia Lehrer + Associates (MLA) with partners OMA and IDEO to design a new public park at First and Broadway in downtown LA. Located across from Los Angeles City Hall, the new development, to be known as "FAB Park," will connect into the existing Grand Park, turning the area into one of the city's most important civic spaces.

International House / TZANNES

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 18:00
© Ben Guthrie
  • Architects: TZANNES
  • Location: Barangaroo NSW 2000, Australia
  • Architects In Charge: Alec Tzannes, Jonathan Evans
  • Area: 7920.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2017
  • Photographs: Ben Guthrie, John Gollings
  • Retail: 635 m2
  • Commercial: 7285 m2
© Ben Guthrie

From the architect. Designed by Tzannes architects for Lendlease, International House Sydney is a distinctive new element in the city, establishing a warm and welcoming connection between the new precinct of Barangaroo and the historic heart of the city.

© Ben Guthrie

The most striking aspect of International House Sydney is that six above ground levels are constructed entirely from engineered or cross laminated timber, including floors, columns, walls, roof, lift shafts, egress stairs and bracing bays, supported by a single ground retail level of conventional concrete structure.

© Ben Guthrie

The building explores a new form of beauty, one of unique and integral character, with outstanding green credentials. It expresses with aesthetic potency the fully exposed timber structure, stripped of additional layers of finishing materials.

© Ben Guthrie © Ben Guthrie

This is architecture that is detailed with rigour, made to last and not simply for ‘aesthetic effect’. Its intention is to become a long-term appreciating commercial asset, understood for its intrinsic, enduring beauty.

© John Gollings

Around 3,500 cubic metres of sustainably grown and recycled timber were used in construction. By not using concrete, thousands of tonnes of greenhouse gases were avoided.

© Ben Guthrie

Importantly, International House Sydney demonstrates that the commercial real estate market will accept mass timber construction as a viable and exciting alternative to conventional concrete construction, increasing opportunity for architecture to contribute more effectively to a lower carbon and more sustainable future for urban development around the world.

Sketch Elevation

International House Sydney was conceived to add amenity and delight to the experience of the public realm, to demonstrate leadership in environmentally sustainable design and foster wellbeing. The entirely natural and renewable timber material used structurally is innovative technology for projects with demonstrated prospects for its adoption across an increasing number of commercial applications around the world.

© Ben Guthrie

Located on the boundary of the Barangaroo South precinct along Hickson Road and flanked to the north and south by pedestrian bridges that connect back to the city, International House Sydney defines the street edge of the Barangaroo South commercial and retail precinct with a spectacular 2-storey colonnade designed from recycled iron bark solid timber. The colonnade leads to the southern façade forming the covered public plaza and connects to Mercantile Walk with another significant covered public space providing additional opportunities for activities within a protected environment.


The architecture is underpinned underpinned by placemaking concepts: including establishing pedestrian oriented scale; reinforcing the urban form of the street and pedestrian networks, creating special conditions at corners to improve pedestrian amenity and experience; establishing a simple, understated aesthetic character as a counterpoint to other architecture in the precinct to enhance legibility; am interiors that create a fresh and healthy working environment for occupants.

© Ben Guthrie

The design turns the structural limitations of structural engineered mass timber and recycled hardwood to advantage, establishing a strong visual presence and legible load path through the building column and beam construction. The double height colonnade bracing columns made from recycled ironbark evoke memories of the forest origins of timber, these ancient trees respected in their new industrial use to further distinguish the architecture and its contribution to the design of the public domain.


Planet Ark and others indicate positive physiological and psychological benefits for occupants of timber interiors. The smell, tactile and visual stimuli of timber deliver a more natural and healthy indoor environment. Its feeling and natural warmth has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, particularly when coupled with improved indoor air quality and beautiful aesthetics.

Prefabrication of the structure provided significant reduction in construction time and additional quality control achieved by off site factory manufacture. The full prefabrication of the timber components was delivered through a comprehensive 3D digital documentation process, co-ordinating every penetration, connection and interface prior to procurement 

© Ben Guthrie

International House Sydney is an exemplar of place making architecture that reduces negative environmental impacts in the built environment. It provides an ongoing store for carbon pointing towards the future of  commercial building construction globally.

Watch Adriaan Geuze of West 8 Explain the Design Behind New York's Largest Private Outdoor Gardens

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 16:05

In this video, West 8 co-founder Adriaan Geuze discusses the design process behind New York City’s largest private outdoor gardens, which will be located at One Manhattan Square in the Lower East Side. Currently under construction, the 800-foot-tall glass residential tower will feature more than an acre of exterior garden space designed by West 8 Urban Design and Landscape Architecture.

© wordsearch

Inspired by parks and urban spaces from around the world, the dynamic landscape scheme will feature a range of programmatic spaces, including a tea pavilion, a putting green, a treehouse and children’s area, and a fire pit seating area offering romantic views of the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.

© wordsearch

In total, the building will contain over 100,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor amenities. Amenities featured within the structure, designed by Adamson Associates and Dattner Architects, include a spa and tranquility garden, theater and performance spaces, a full basketball court and a private 2-lane bowling alley, among many others.

Learn more about the project here.

 News via E​xtell ​Development Company

High Kitchen / A-Zero Architects

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 16:00
© Adam Scott © Adam Scott

From the architect. The brief of the project was to convert the basement of an existing house in Catford to a new kitchen and bicycle workshop with new access to the garden.

© Adam Scott

The architects persuaded the clients to improve diagonal connections in the house by opening up a double height space from basement to the ground floor.

Existing and Proposed Section

This double height space allows both verbal and visual connections through the house and frames a west-facing view to the garden from the ground floor sitting room.

© Adam Scott

The materials were considered with respect to the relationship of new to old, with the original pine flooring exposed steels painted turquoise, and exposed brick used throughout.

Floor Plans

The stair forms the interface between old and new, with a Victorian string carrying the flooring from above to below, and a rhythm of stainless steel rods top and bottom bolted providing the balustrade.

© Adam Scott

Skyline House / Terry & Terry Architecture

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 14:00
© Bruce Damonte
  • Architects: Terry & Terry Architecture
  • Location: Oakland, CA, United States
  • Lead Architects: Ivan Terry, Naomi Hansen
  • Structural Engineers: Santos Urrutia Structural Engineers Inc.
  • Area: 2700.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2016
  • Photographs: Bruce Damonte
© Bruce Damonte

From the architect. This project is a rebuild of an existing post 1991 fire-storm house. Situated high on top of the Eastbay mountain range overlooking the city of Oakland, the site has unobstructed view’s toward the southwest Bay and Golden Gate. It was designed for a young family, who desired an open plan home that embraced the views of the bay and a connection to the existing garden.

© Bruce Damonte Section © Bruce Damonte

The property has large redwood trees at the two longitudinal sides of the property, thus channeling ones focus from the front garden area to the to back views. The design consists of shrouding the open common space in a wood tube that connects the garden in the front to the viewing deck off the living space at the rear. Situated near the top of the mountain range, about 1800 feet above sea level the site is confronted with extreme weather and wide temperature swings. The roof of the tube form is warped out creating a large ventilation volume for the living space echoing the wisps of the coastal fog flowing inward, thus cooling the interior with the afternoon breezes. The main living space becomes the connector of the two contrasting outdoor spaces.

© Bruce Damonte

Working with the existing floor plan the design transformed the kitchen area to open out and connect to the front yard garden and forming an outdoor dining area. A concrete planter/bench was placed to further define the outdoor garden space. Opposite of the remodeled kitchen the interior dining space seamlessly opens out to the viewing deck creating one large open space and extending the roof structure as a trellis to shelter the space from the direct sun. A new stair connects the main floor with the lower ground floor continuing the wood tube down through a crevasse to a media/projection room, bedroom and office area.

© Bruce Damonte

RIBA Announces 2017 London Regional Award Winners

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 13:00
© Luc Boegly + Sergio Grazia. ImageThe Design Museum and Holland Green / Allies and Morrison with OMA and John Pawson.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has named 50 projects as winners of 2017 RIBA London Regional Awards, including the London Building of the Year, “Photography Studio for Juergen Teller” by 6a architects.

“The year has demonstrated once again the breadth of the capital’s architectural output at the very high level that the RIBA programme requires, and the juries took enormous pleasure in selecting a most exemplary set of schemes,” said Jury chair Matthew Lloyd.

Selected from a 85-strong shortlist, these 50 projects will now go on to compete in RIBA's National Awards program, the winners of which will create the shortlist for the RIBA Stirling Prize – the highest award for architecture in the UK.

1 King William Street / AHMM

© Timothy Soar. Image1 King William Street / AHMM

40 Chancery Lane / Bennetts Associates

© Allan Crow. Image40 Chancery Lane / Bennetts Associates

5-7 St Helen’s Place with The Leathersellers’ Hall / Eric Parry Architects

© Courtesy Szerelmey. Image5-7 St Helen’s Place with The Leathersellers’ Hall / Eric Parry Architects

55 Victoria Street / Stiff + Trevillion with Pozzoni

© Kilian O'Sullivan. Image55 Victoria Street / Stiff + Trevillion with Pozzoni

6 Wood Lane / Birds Portchmouth Russum Architects

© Magdalena Pietrzyk. Image6 Wood Lane / Birds Portchmouth Russum Architects

8 Finsbury Circus / WilkinsonEyre

© Dirk Lidner. Image8 Finsbury Circus / WilkinsonEyre

Barretts Grove / Amin Taha + Groupwork

© Tim Soar. ImageBarretts Grove / Amin Taha + Groupwork

Belarusian Memorial Chapel / Spheron Architects

© Joakim Boren. ImageBelarusian Memorial Chapel / Spheron Architects

Boxpark Croydon / BDP

© Nick Caville. ImageBoxpark Croydon / BDP

Brentford Lock West / Mikhail Riches Ltd

© Mark Hadden. ImageBrentford Lock West / Mikhail Riches Ltd

Dujardin Mews / Karakusevic Carson with Maccreanor Lavington

© Mark Hadden. ImageDujardin Mews / Karakusevic Carson with Maccreanor Lavington

Feilden Fowles’ Studio / Feilden Fowles Architects

© David Grandorge. ImageFeilden Fowles’ Studio / Feilden Fowles Architects

Grand Union Studios – The Ladbroke Grove / AHMM

© Timothy Soar. ImageGrand Union Studios – The Ladbroke Grove / AHMM

Hidden House / Coffey Architects

© Timothy Soar. ImageHidden House / Coffey Architects

Highgate House / Carmody Groarke

© Hélène Binet. ImageHighgate House / Carmody Groarke

Highgate Junior School / Architype

© Dennis Gilbert. ImageHighgate Junior School / Architype

Home Studio, Kilburn Lane / Studio McLeod

© Lawrence Carlos. ImageHome Studio, Kilburn Lane / Studio McLeod

King's College School / Allies and Morrison

© Nick Guttridge. ImageKing's College School / Allies and Morrison

Marie’s Wardrobe / Tsuruta Architects

© Tim Crocker. ImageMarie’s Wardrobe / Tsuruta Architects

Mathematics – The Winton Gallery / Zaha Hadid Architects

© Luke Hayes. ImageMathematics – The Winton Gallery / Zaha Hadid Architects

New Cancer Centre at Guy’s Hospital / Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

© Mark Gorton. ImageNew Cancer Centre at Guy’s Hospital / Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

New Scotland Yard / AHMM

© Timothy Soar. ImageNew Scotland Yard / AHMM

New Studios, Wimbledon College of Arts / Penoyre and Prasad

© Tim Crocker. ImageNew Studios, Wimbledon College of Arts / Penoyre and Prasad

No. 49 / 31/44 Architects

© Anna Stathaki. ImageNo. 49 / 31/44 Architects

Paradise Gardens / Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands

© Paul Riddle. ImageParadise Gardens / Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands

Park Heights / PRP

© Richard Chivers. ImagePark Heights / PRP

Photography Studio for Juergen Teller / 6a architects

© Johan Dehlin. ImagePhotography Studio for Juergen Teller / 6a architects

Redchurch Street / vPPR Architects

© Ioana Marinescu. ImageRedchurch Street / vPPR Architects

Science Museum Research Centre / Coffey Architects

© Timothy Soar. ImageScience Museum Research Centre / Coffey Architects

Silchester / Haworth Tompkins

© Philip Vile. ImageSilchester / Haworth Tompkins

St John’s Hill, Burridge Gardens, Phase 01 / Hawkins\Brown

© Jack Hobhouse. ImageSt John’s Hill, Burridge Gardens, Phase 01 / Hawkins\Brown

Sun Rain Room / Tonkin Liu

© Alex Peacock. ImageSun Rain Room / Tonkin Liu

Tapestry Building / Niall McLaughlin Architects with Weedon Partnership

© Nick Kane. ImageTapestry Building / Niall McLaughlin Architects with Weedon Partnership

Tate Modern Switch House / Herzog & de Meuron

© Iwan Baan. ImageTate Modern Switch House / Herzog & de Meuron

The Bartlett School of Architecture / Hawkins\Brown

© Jack Hobhouse. ImageThe Bartlett School of Architecture / Hawkins\Brown

The British Museum World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre / Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

© Joas Souza. ImageThe British Museum World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre / Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

The Cooperage / Chris Dyson Architects

© Peter Landers. ImageThe Cooperage / Chris Dyson Architects

The Design Museum and Holland Green / Allies and Morrison with OMA and John Pawson

© Sebastian van Damme. ImageThe Design Museum and Holland Green / Allies and Morrison with OMA and John Pawson.

The Fetal Medicine Center (Windsor Walk) / A21 Architects 

© Adam Scott. ImageThe Fetal Medicine Center (Windsor Walk) / A21 Architects

The Green, Nunhead / AOC Architecture Ltd

© Tim Soar. ImageThe Green Nunhead / AOC Architecture Ltd

The Laboratory, Dulwich College / Grimshaw

© Daniel Shearing. ImageThe Laboratory, Dulwich College / Grimshaw

The Layered Gallery / Gianni Botsford Architects Ltd

© Luigi Parise. ImageThe Layered Gallery / Gianni Botsford Architects Ltd

The Library at Willesden Green / AHMM

© Timothy Soar. ImageThe Library at Willesden Green / AHMM

The Loom / Duggan Morris Architects

© Jack Hobhouse. ImageThe Loom / Duggan Morris Architects

Tyers Street, Cabinet Gallery / Trevor Horne Architects

© Tim Crocker. ImageTyers Street, Cabinet Gallery / Trevor Horne Architects

Valentino London / David Chipperfield

© Santi Caleca. ImageValentino London / David Chipperfield

Vantage Point / GRID architects

© Morley von Sternberg. ImageVantage Point / GRID architects

Walmer Yard / Peter Salter and Associates with Mole Architects and John Comparelli Architects

© Hélène Binet. ImageWalmer Yard / Peter Salter and Associates with Mole Architects and John Comparelli Architects

West Croydon Bus Station / Transport for London

© Alex Upton. ImageWest Croydon Bus Station / Transport for London

Whole House / Hayhurst and Co.

© Marcus Peel. ImageWhole House / Hayhurst and Co.

In addition, special recognition was given to:

  • Regional Building of the Year: Photography Studio for Juergen Teller / 6a architects
  • Sustainability: New Studios, Wimbledon College of Arts / Penoyre & Prasad
  • Regional Project Architect of the Year: Martin Eriksson from Transport for London (West Croydon Bus Station)
  • Regional Client of the Year: London Borough of Enfield – Dujardin Mews / Karakusevic Carson Architects
  • Regional Small Project of the Year: No 49 / 31/44 Architects

News via RIBA.

Shortlist Announced for 2017 RIBA London Awards

A total of 85 buildings from the British capital have been shortlisted for the 2017 RIBA London Awards, including projects from Wilkinson Eyre, AHMM, Allies and Morrison, Herzog & de Meuron, and Rogers Stirk Harbour. All 85 buildings will now be visited and carefully assessed by one of four regional juries, before the regional winners are selected in June of this year.

Alcântara Flat / M2.senos

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 12:00
© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG
  • Architects: M2.senos
  • Location: Alcântara, 1300, Portugal
  • Architects In Charge: Ricardo Senos, Sofia Senos
  • Area: 140.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2016
  • Photographs: Fernando Guerra | FG+SG
© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

From the architect. On a street in Alcântara, with a magnificent view of the Tagus River and of the Ajuda National Palace, the client bought two small two bedrooms apartments in an old building built in the 70's, with the intention of convert them into a single apartment.

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

In the back of the building, there are reminiscences of the large industrial constructions that characterize the neighborhood.

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

One particularity about these apartments was the stairs and the elevator box of the building between them, which bring out their absolute symmetry but also shows an image of two different spaces. The initial design theme for the project was precisely the deconstruction of this image.


In this sense, we have tried to distorter this perception, using the large common spaces like the kitchen and the living room as the transversal communication axes between the two poles, and removing the connections by creating corridors. The two distribution halls were kept. And we use slatted wood in these spaces, first to qualify these transitions and secondly to hide the entrance doors (removing one of them) and the existing electrical boards.

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

The relation between the spaces with different spans and exterior light is very particular, which was optimized by the withdrawal of the entrance doors in the room.

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

In order to reinforce the symmetrical composition, the pre-existent structure of the bedrooms was evidenced, even when it was no longer necessary, as in the living room, where the partition is showed, organizing the entrance area and the dining space.


Facing the street, the narrow but long balcony goes along with the entire facade, serving the living room and the suite. At the back of the building (tardoz), the option was to transform the marquee area and give it a livable character, winning some space for the bedrooms.

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

The kitchen, also in the back (tardoz), takes advantage of the large span throughout the façade. A small wall was built, which hides the laundry and service area, and at the same time creates a balcony, almost like an island, which works like a table for quick meals.

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

Whenever possible, existing materials, such as flooring, or stone used in the kitchen counter were reused. The doors and wood were repaired and painted. For creating a neutral atmosphere we use light colors with the exception of the dark furnishings at the top of the central volume, both in the kitchen and in the living room.

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

During the construction work we had all kind of the surprises, some predictable others not so much, about the structure, plumbing, or electricity. What appeared to be a struggle, revealed the great character of the apartment. In all spaces we had to design crown molding, which allowed regularize all the visible beams and at the same time to remove the infrastructures from the ground, being a less intrusive option and allowed to reuse the floor. In some spaces, like in the living room or in the bedrooms, this molding gets bigger and becomes a storage space.

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

This process was very interesting, because it demanded a balance between the pre- existences, with the design concept that had to be constantly adapted to the construction work and to the character of the apartment.abstraction in volumetric addition, balancing the composition.