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Updated: 2 hours 32 min ago

Osler House / Studio MK27 – Marcio Kogan + Suzana Glogowski

9 hours 5 min ago
© Pedro Vannucchi
  • Interiors: Diana Radomysler
  • Landscape: Renata Tilli
  • General Contractor : ábaco engenharia - Helder Rossi
© Pedro Vannucchi

From the architect. The site of the Osler House lies at the edge of Brasilia’s pilot plan, at the tip of one of Paranoá Lake estuaries.   The house is a poetic commentary on modern architecture, above all on Brazilian modernism, starting from a contemporary re-reading of the building materials and techniques.  

Cross Section Longitudinal Section Elevation

The plan of the Osler house is structured by a ground floor volume, a suspended volume and a deck with an outdoor pool.  The box of concrete and wood on ground, houses the main suite, a bedroom, bathroom, the utilities area and the garage.  The vertical wooden brises filter the light and can open in their entirety, diluting the relationship between the internal and the external.  The upper volume propped on the ground-floor volume, on one side, and on pilotis on the other; accommodates the living room, the kitchen (done with low-height furniture) and a small office.  This upper box creates a shady area and over the ground-floor prism, an extension of the living room, is the solarium. 

© Pedro Vannucchi

An outdoor staircase connects the deck alongside the pool to the upper solarium. An indoor staircase forms the daily circulation of the house.  Near the main circulation, in the foyer of the house, an Athos Bulcão panel was especially designed and it is, possibly, his last project.  The tiles that are in most famous classic buildings in Brasilia build the space here as well; a work of art designed for the house, designed with the architecture, that the artist could not see completed.   

© Pedro Vannucchi Ground Floor Plan © Pedro Vannucchi Upper Floor Plan © Pedro Vannucchi

The brises, the pilotis, and the plan with two perpendicular volumes are, in this house, a commentary of the modern architecture of Brasilia; the panel by Athos Bulcão, a great privilege for the inhabitant and for the architects.  

© Pedro Vannucchi

Farrells Unveils Design for High-Speed Railway Terminus in Singapore

10 hours 5 min ago
© Farrells

Architecture and urban design firm, Farrells, in collaboration with AECOM, have won the competitive tender to design the Singapore terminus of the new Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail.

Sited in Singapore’s “futuristic second Central Business District” of Jurong Lake, the design was conceived as a new civic landmark and a part of the district’s new master plan currently in development by the Urban Redevelopment Authority and a team of consultants led by KCAP Architects & Planners.

While the railway station’s platforms are located below ground, the design aims to create an above-ground focal point that will mark the station as a new international gateway to Singapore.

The High-Speed Rail terminus is touted as a game-changer for Jurong Lake District, envisaged as Singapore’s second Central Business District and a ‘District of the Future’–the new station will drive international exchange and growth there, said Farrells director Stefan Krummeck. The majority of the station structure is hidden below ground, so we felt it crucial to mark the station’s presence as a focal point and catalyst for the success of the district with a sculpted and elegant station hall.

Inspired by Singapore’s reputation as a Garden City, the station’s roof will feature skylights to create natural lighting and continuity between interior and exterior space.

In addition to the Singapore railway station, Farrells has designed other large high-speed termini, including the Beijing South and Guangzhou South railway stations in China, as well as Singapore’s Punggol MRT Station.

The overall Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail project is expected to open by the end of 2026.

News via: Farrells.

Beijing South Station / TFP Farrells

Guangzhou South Railway Station / TFP Farrells

6 Unique Long Weekend Travel Ideas for Architects

11 hours 5 min ago

The "architectural pilgrimage" is much more than just everyday tourism. Studying and admiring a building through text and images often creates a hunger in architects, thanks to the space between the limitations of 2D representation and the true experience of the building. Seeing a building in person that one has long loved from a distance can become something of a spiritual experience, and architects often plan vacations around favorite or important spaces. But too often, architects become transfixed by a need to visit the same dozen European cities that have come to make up the traveling architect's bucket list.

The list here shares some sites that may not have made your list just yet. Although somewhat less well known than the canonical cities, the architecture of these six cities is sure to hold its ground against the world's best. The locations here make ideal long weekend trips (depending of course on where you are traveling from), although it never hurts to have more than a few days to really become immersed in a city. We have selected a few must-see buildings from each location, but each has even more to offer than what you see here—so don't be afraid to explore!

New Canaan, Connecticut, United States

After the Nazis pushed the Bauhaus out of Germany in 1933, director Walter Gropius was invited to head the Harvard Graduate School of Design, making it the first in the United States to adopt the Bauhaus methodology. In the 1940s, John M. Johansen, Landis Gores, Philip Johnson, Eliot Noyes and their professor Marcel Breuer from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design began building homes for their clients and themselves in the tiny Connecticut town of New Canaan.

They became known as the “Harvard Five,” famous for their post-WWII work in modernist residential architecture that became emblematic of hope and change. Most of the dozens of projects built during this period have survived, and are still used as private homes. Those included on this list are no longer occupied and are open to tourists, but you can find dozens more modernist buildings to check out streetside.

Glass House

© <a href=''>Flickr user Helder Mira</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY 2.0 </a>

One of Philip Johnson’s most famous buildings, the 1949 Glass House demonstrates the influence of Mies van der Rohe on the Harvard Five. This project in particular is inspired by van der Rohe’s stilted Farnsworth House, which also used glass controversially to build a transparent residence. Aside from the fireplace and bathroom, the wall-free house is completely exposed to—or, depending on how you look at it, integrated with—the exterior.

Eliot Noyes House

Eliot Noyes was the first of the Harvard Five to settle in New Canaan, and built his own home there based on Bauhaus teachings from Gropius and Breuer—also drawing inspiration from his time studying the work of Frank Lloyd Wright after graduation. The Noyes House juxtaposes heavy stone with glass to create a public-private dichotomy, and its use of natural materials contributes to a balance with the surrounding nature, which is echoed in the home’s courtyard that places wildlife at the center of the design.

Gores Pavilion

Now maintained by the New Canaan Historical Society, the Gores Pavilion was designed by Landis Gores. His extensive work on Philip Johnson’s Glass House is evident in the Pavilion’s familiar cantilevers and glass walls. It was built as a pool house for its owners but now functions as a showroom and mini-museum as part of the Historical Society’s effort to engage with the town’s modernist architecture.

Baku, Azerbaijan

Despite its surviving Medieval palaces and tombs, Baku has become best known for its lavish construction of late- and postmodern monumental architecture. In a concerted urban planning effort that began somewhere around the country’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, the State Committee for City Building and Architecture of the Republic of Azerbaijan has commissioned high profile, often semi-public urban projects to cultivate an image of Baku as a cosmopolitan and successful destination city. The result is an odd but fascinating mashup of architectural spectacle, and there are likely even more massive, dazzling buildings in the works. Travel to Baku for a critical look at how visionary master planning and tourism can shape a city.

Crystal Hall

© <a href=''>Wikimedia user Arne Müseler</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC-BY-SA-3.0</a>

Gmp Architekten’s faceted Crystal Hall was constructed in just eight months and meant as a temporary stadium for the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest, but was altered to become a more permanent venue for sports and concerts. The arena’s exterior is a perforated metal membrane meant to look like crystal, but the real show happens after dark, when thousands of colored LEDs illuminate its massive waterfront surface. LEDs like these that create free light shows have become almost a necessity in city-making projects of this scale, with buildings throughout Asia donning colorful, attention-grabbing coverings. 

Heydar Aliyev Center

© <a href=''>Flickr user Mandy</a> licensed under <a href=''>Public Domain</a>

The counterpoint to Crystal Hall’s sharp, angular formal rhythm is the curving flow of Heydar Aliyev Center, named after Azerbaijan’s 20th-century Soviet-leader-turned-President. The Center is one of Baku’s earlier postmodern monuments, and was built at a time when Baku seemed an unlikely city for a Zaha Hadid commission. The building’s vast open spaces are a feat of engineering, and its large public plaza makes the Heydar Aliyev Center a part of life even for those who never enter its museum or theater, echoing the use of squares and plazas in Soviet architecture to offset the elitism of inaccessible buildings.

Maiden Tower

© <a href=''>Flickr user Dan Lundberg</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY-SA 2.0</a>

Travelers to Baku would be remiss to overlook its more historic architecture—although the new buildings are creating an equally important narrative of their own. The Maiden Tower dates back to the 12th century and is a major example of the region’s pre-Islamic architecture. It is believed to have been a Zoroastrian fire temple, with fire exits built throughout the masonry. The Maiden Tower is the center of many legends and myths, making it a central part of Azerbaijani cultural history, as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Historical Monument.

Columbus, Indiana, United States

© <a href=''>Flickr user wyplynn</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY-ND 2.0 </a>

Perhaps the most unlikely town to be called the “Midwestern Mecca of Architecture,” the 44,000 person town of Columbus, Indiana has nonetheless earned its unofficial title. After Eero Saarinen built the town’s first modernist building in 1940, a combination of public subsidy, post-WWII revolutionary thinking, and civic engagement prompted some of the world’s most renowned architects, including four Pritzker Laureates, to bring their designs to this unexpected settlement.

Fire Station 4

© <a href=''>Flickr user Mandy</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY 2.0</a>

Each of Columbus’s six fire stations was built by a different architect as the city expanded. Seeing the complete collection forms a lens through which visitors can examine the development of popular architectural styles, namely evolving modernism, from 1941 to 1998. Fire Station 4 was designed by Robert Venturi, another Pritzker Prize winner, in 1967. The architect was instructed to design a building that was easy to maintain and not distracting, hence the station’s planar simplicity. 

Irwin Miller House

© <a href=''>Flickr user Jeff Hart</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY 2.0) </a>

One of Columbus’s most notable projects, the Irwin Miller house was designed by Eero Saarinen in 1957. Mies van der Rohe’s influence is present in the home, which lets steel and glass define its unornamented walls and cantilevered, overhanging roof. The use of glass quiets the separation between interior and exterior, allowing the property’s lush gardens to become a part of the home. Inside, the interior design of Alexander Girard includes pedestal chairs and a sunken living room, both distinctly emblematic of mid-century modern furniture.

Cleo Rogers Memorial Library

Library: © <a href=''>Flickr user Mandy</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY 2.0)</a>

Before winning the Pritzker Prize in 1983, I.M. Pei also left his mark on Columbus with the Cleo Rogers Memorial Library as the town’s first civic building in 1969. He was tasked with creating a focal point for the town center: a defining element to unite the various disparate modern buildings that would start a dialogue between Saarinen’s neighboring Miller house and First Christian Church. The library is built with native brick, and Pei mixed red dust into the mortar to minimize its appearance and imbue the building with a monolithic quality.

São Paulo, Brazil

In the political uncertainty of midcentury Brazil, São Paulo took nervous, rebellious, and nationalist energies and turned them into art. Movements such as Neo-Concretism and Tropicalism in art were also reflected in a modernist architecture that was grappling with exploring a Brazilian identity amid foreign influence that was seen as both constructive and destructive at different times. The legacy of these tensions and the beauty that resulted can be found in many of the city’s buildings.

Copan Building

© <a href=''>Flickr user Rodrigo Solon</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY 2.0 </a>

The iconic Oscar Niemeyer is responsible for much of Brazil’s modern architecture, but residential architecture is rare among his many civic projects. The Copan building is massive: 38 stories of apartment units form a subtle wave shape that, seen from above, seems to cut through the urban fabric like a glacier slowly flattening the terrain. Today, conditions of some parts of the Copan building are unfortunately somewhat precarious, and with a restoration project underway that is expected to last until 2019, a mesh covering has been placed over the facade to protect pedestrians from falling tiles.

Tomie Ohtake Institute

© <a href=''>Flickr user Lucas Lima 91</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY-SA 2.0</a>

Architect Ruy Ohtake designed the Tomie Ohtake Institute in 2001 for his mother, a celebrated Japanese-Brazilian painter and sculptor who settled in São Paulo in the mid-20th century and was one of Brazil’s key abstract artists. The contemporary tower utilizes the colors and swirling, ribbon-like shapes that were common in Tomie Ohtake’s work, and it has become a favorite in the São Paulo skyline. 

Museum of Art São Paulo

© <a href=''>Flickr user Rodrigo Solon</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY 2.0 </a>

The MASP is one of Italian-born architect Lina Bo Bardi’s most significant works in her adopted home of Brazil. The museum is suspended above a pre-existing plaza to preserve the public life that it hosted, and the lower half is buried to prevent the structure from rising high enough to obstruct the city’s views. The bright red piers that support the museum are representative of Bo Bardi’s admiration of Brazilian culture, as they parallel the rebellious color and forms of the Concrete movement that was taking place in Brazilian art at the time.

Porto, Portugal

Porto often slips through the cracks on lists of Europe’s best cities for architecture. Its surviving Baroque churches and cathedrals are beautiful on their own, but several diverse projects from the last century are what makes Porto a true standout today.

São Bento Station

© <a href=''>Flickr user</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY-SA 2.0</a>

José Marques da Silva’s 1916 São Bento Train Station is an example of the Beaux-Arts style that began in Paris and then spread throughout Europe, and later the United States. It is a return to ornamented aesthetics and Baroque and Classical styles after the use of machined cast iron popularized during the Industrial Revolution. The São Bento Station also has an impressive interior, with mosaics of 20,000 tiles that depict scenes from Portugal’s history.

Leça Swimming Pools

Pools: © <a href=''>Flickr user Cecilia</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY-SA 2.0</a>

Just a twenty-minute drive from Porto, the Leça da Palmeira beach of Matosinhos is home to Álvaro Siza’s famous Piscinas de Marés. The saltwater swimming pools nearly enter the sea, but are bordered by dark concrete and rock formations that blend with the surrounding beach, making the pools feel almost magically carved from the earth.

Serralves Villa

© <a href=''>Wikimedia user Bill Rand</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC-BY-SA-2.0</a>

The art deco Serralves Villa from the 1930s occupies a park of the same name. Its flamingo pink exterior displays the verticality and machinic roundness common in art deco, and it looks like a set of the next Wes Anderson movie against the manicured lawn. The interior houses an unbeatable collection of early-20th-century European designers, among them Edgar Brandt and Émile Jacques Ruhlmann. In the same park is another Álvaro Siza project, the Serralves Foundation Museum, which is typical of Siza’s white sculptural style and houses one of Portugal’s most revered collections of contemporary art.

Guadalajara, Mexico

© <a href=''>Flickr user Alan Levine</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY 2.0</a>

Although Luis Barragán is best known for his work in Mexico City, his career really began in his hometown of Guadalajara. The Guadalajara projects of the 1920s are living glimpses into Barragán’s evolution as an architect, and demonstrate his creation of a visual vocabulary of large windows, flat planes, and colorful stucco. His association with the Guadalajara School, which prioritized regional traditions in architecture, began at this time, and this regionalism is evident in his work’s materiality and spatial awareness of its natural surroundings.

Jardines del Bosque

A precursor to the Las Arboledas and El Pedregal neighborhoods built later in Mexico City, the Jardines del Bosque is a housing subdivision planned by Barragán and constructed after the controversial destruction of the area’s woods to make way for the new development. Also located within Jardines del Bosque is the Parroquia el Calvario, making the neighborhood ideal for learning not only about Barragán's early urban planning, but also his conceptions of spirituality in architecture.

Casa Franco

One of few completely white structures in Barragán’s portfolio, Casa Franco is a perfect example of the regionalism espoused by the Guadalajara School, with its geometric wooden fence separating the courtyard from the street and foreshadowing the secluded microenvironments for which Barragán is best known. The building is now home to Travesia Cuatro, a Madrid-based art gallery, meaning it is possible to see the interior, although due to a renovation the interior now follows the conventions of an uncontextualized white cube art space.

Casa Efraín González Luna

Barragán’s commission for the locally prominent intellectual Efraín González Luna is regarded as the stylistic peak of his Guadalajara period. Like the other Guadalajara buildings, Casa Efraín González Luna is in some ways rooted heavily in regional tradition with its clean arches and stucco walls. But Barragán took the time to experiment here, further developing his concept of the garden as a retreat, and developing a play of light that emphasizes the openness of the space.

Bonus City: Songdo, Korea

© <a href=''>Flickr user Weli’mi’nakwan</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY 2.0</a>

Songdo is Korea's experimental smart city, and was planned from the ground up as a speculative, futuristic business hub. It incorporates a slew of models for the "cities of the future," including a smart waste system, green building techniques and energy usage, and integrated parks. It sits on reclaimed land that's just a fifteen-minute drive from Incheon International Airport, making it an ideal quick exploration trip for a long layover.

Does it Pay to Invest in Good Architecture? The Case of 'The Iceberg' in Aarhus, Denmark

12 hours 5 min ago
The Iceberg / CEBRA + JDS + SeARCH + Louis Paillard Architects. Image © José Tomás Franco

It is often said that architecture only makes projects more expensive. That architects only add a series of arbitrary and capricious complexities that could be avoided in order to lower their costs, and that the project could still work exactly the same without them. Is this true in all cases?

Although they are more profitable economically, human beings don't seem to be happy inhabiting cold concrete boxes without receiving sunlight or a breeze everynow and then, or in an unsafe neighborhood where there's no possibility to meet your friends and family outdoors. Quality in architecture is a value that sooner or later will deliver something in return. 

Balance is key, and a good design will never be complete if it's not economically efficient. How do we achieve this ideal? We reviewed the design process for 'The Iceberg' in Aarhus, Denmark. A project that managed to convince the authorities and investors when proposing a high-impact and tight-budget design, which in its form seeks to fully respond to the objective of guaranteeing the quality of life of its users and their neighbors. 

We were invited by The Architecture Project, to visit the city of Aarhus to learn about a series of large-scale developments and projects that are taking care of its rapid population growth. In the last ten years, the city has received 15,000 new residents; a situation that has forced its municipality to expand its housing supply and to promote the construction of new buildings, facilities, and public spaces.

The City of Aarhus. Image © José Tomás Franco

Since 2012, the municipality has developed an ambitious official architectural policy related to the public projects, with the aim of making the city "internationally renowned for its architecture and quality of its urban spaces," in the words of Stephen D. Willacy, City Architect of the City of Aarhus. "The city believes that when planning and architecture are treated holistically, their aesthetic dimensions and livability factors are mutually interdependent and of the highest regard," he adds.

Aarhus Ø / The Aarhus docklands. Image © José Tomás Franco

Despite being forced to follow the procurement processes established by the European Union, where price is a very important parameter when choosing City Council related projects (the highest bid for procuring a site with project design, or the lowest price for a building commission), the municipality of Aarhus has adopted a set of tender procedures for public projects characterized by always incorporating competition between proposals from different architecture offices; mostly pre-qualified teams. In some of these cases direct alliances are made between these offices and developers/contractors, and in others, despite selecting only one of the proposals presented, all of them can be incorporated into the final development plan.  

The Iceberg / CEBRA + JDS + SeARCH + Louis Paillard Architects. Image © José Tomás Franco

"Regardless of the chosen procurement route, design qualities and ambitions for each project are outlined in the competition brief together with other allocation criteria requirement documents. Acclaimed architectural judges including the Chief City Architect are included in the evaluation processes wherever possible and their appraisals are presented to the municipality politicians who make the final decision as to the choice of preferred partner," says Willacy. 

The Iceberg / CEBRA + JDS + SeARCH + Louis Paillard Architects. Image © José Tomás Franco


With 22,000 meters square and 208 departments, the project developed by CEBRAJDSSeARCH and Louis Paillard Architects, presents a relevant design process in the context of the growth of the city of Aarhus, as it exposes a case in which collaboration among all these actors seems to be quite successful.

In this case, the project was built on a publically owned site in the new neighborhood of Aarhus Ø, competing with other proposals submitted by different architecture offices and their associated developers. The difference is that its architects were not content to develop a correct project according to the existing norms, but they dared to defend the best possible project according to all the variables that conditioned it, in order to generate greater benefits for all involved.

Let's review 5 key actions that defined this process.

1. Question the Local Master Plan

'The Iceberg' was originally developed for the Tækker and Brabrand Housing Association through a competition by invitation. Aimed at a diverse group of residents, including students and other low-income groups, it is a project that from its conception questions the rules of the game, in order to carry out the necessary operations to deliver a high-quality result. 

Instead of following the masterplan, which was dominated by closed building blocks, the Iceberg is laid out as four L-shaped wings, where the street spaces inbetween open towards the water. In order to obtain optimal daylight conditions and views over the bay, the building volumes are cut up by jagged lines. [1]

Site Plan Facade

2. 'Play' with the Regulations

To achieve the density established for the project, the team of architects had to negotiate with the regulations imposed by the local development plan, since it only allowed the construction of buildings with a maximum height of 6 and 7 floors in certain areas. The complex increases the maximum height to 12 floors but making sure that the average height meets the restrictions of the plan. 

The desired square meters were in conflict with the specified site height restrictions and the overall intentions of providing ocean views along with good daylight conditions. 'The Iceberg' negotiates this problematic, by remaining far below the maximum heights at points and emerging above the dotted line at other moments. [2] 

3. Variety of Typologies / Variety of Inhabitants

Since its conception, the project has had 3 clients: Jørn Tækker, PensionDenmark and currently NREP. Following the requirement of the original client, the project takes advantage of its unique form to mix different sizes and types of departments, ranging from simple two-bedroom units to townhouses and exclusive penthouses flats. At the moment, NREP is selling the departments one by one, causing 'The Iceberg' to be owned by a large number of people; its owners and neighbors. 

The variety of residences with different balconies, shapes and orientations aim at creating socially diverse urban surroundings that form a lively local community: the building complex becomes a neighbour- hood instead of a mere series of housing blocks. [1] 

4. Dialogue with the Authorities

To achieve all the objectives explained above, the team had to sit down and talk to the authorities involved. The operations proposed, by ensuring a series of concrete benefits for its future residents, convinced the municipality to 'relax' the rules that initially forced a more traditional residential building.

The fact that changing the proposed perimeter block to a bundle of little mountains was an improvement for future inhabitants both in and around our plot made the difference. The second row plot were offered generous views to the bay between the peaks of our jagged scheme. In this way the municipality was convinced that by choosing our design they would secure better housings for the future inhabitants. [1] 

Mikkel Frost, Founding Partner of CEBRA, explaining us 'The Iceberg' during the Press Tour of The Architecture Project. Image © José Tomás Franco

5. Make a Difference, Avoiding an Excessive Cost

Although it may seem like an expensive project and thought exclusively to draw attention, its architects claim that 'The Iceberg' is the result of "a series of pragmatic solutions and was never intended to be an iconic building." However, today the project has become a brand image for Aarhus, and a must-see tourist attraction for people visiting the city. Benefits that are not a direct result of a generous budget.

It wasn’t an extremely expensive project -even though it looks like it. It is based on traditional building techniques and with traditional building elements. Furthermore it was build during the crisis -where the turnkey contractors were 'hungry' for jobs. You could say that the state of the market was an advantage to the project. 

Aarhus Ø / The Aarhus docklands. Image © José Tomás Franco

Check the project in detail in our previous publication.

[1]Official project description available here.
[2] Alternative project description, available on JDS's website.

Lighthouse Interiors: Call for Entries

13 hours 5 min ago

CODE – Competitions for Designers – and Gruppo Romani S.p.A. announce “Lighthouse Interior," a competition for designers and creatives for luxury ceramics. The jury gathers outstanding personalities like Savin Couëlle, Clemente Busiri Vici jr, Martino Gamper, Ken Eastman and Manuel Aires Mateus. A total amount of €10,000 in cash prize will be awarded to the winner proposals and the first prize will be realized.

From Iberian Peninsula, passing through Americas, until Asian shores, designers and businesspeople have recently started to focus their attention on lighthouses. In the era of GPS, sonar and automatic navigation, a number of signal towers have lost their original significance, being abandoned and turning into ruins. They stand as relics of a bygone era, now waiting to be rediscovered and re-used in a more contemporary fashion.

To this end, a number of projects, both private and public, have been put forward, which aim to renovate lighthouses for the opening of new, unparalleled accommodation facilities. The old coastal buildings stand, majestic and isolated, in breathtaking landscapes that are perfect locations for unforgettable holidays and ideal destinations for the most discerning and demanding of tourists.

Following this trend, Gruppo Romani, which has led the industry of top-quality ceramics production for decades, has launched Lighthouse Interior, a competition for the creation of a new collection of furnishing accessories and pottery, drawing inspiration from the myth of lighthouses and coastal towers to create new products of exquisite elegance, conceived for this new network of accommodation facilities, as well as for seaside tourism in general.

The new collection will be an extension of Cerasarda Atelier, a brand established in the 1960s at the dawn of the myth of the Costa Smeralda, and now open to the latest trend of seaside and niche tourism: lighthouses. The competition will create a new line of products which will contribute to memorable holidays enjoyed in unspoiled nature and in the shadow of the old signal towers.

The collection that Gruppo Romani aims to create for Cerasarda Atelier will have to be evocative of relax, of holidays at the end of the world, lulled by the roar of the waves and the cries of the seagulls. It will have to tell a story of holidays in a timeless dimension, blue skies and windy shores, deep silence and solitary towers. Gruppo Romani has launched an exciting challenge that emphasizes the charm of remote places and wild nature, so as to create objects that will be symbols of style and elegance and will become an ideal line of products for the suites of any luxury hotel with a view of the sea.


  • Savin Couëlle, Porto Cervo
  • Clemente Busiri Vici jr, Rome
  • Manuel Aires Mateus, Lisboa
  • Martino Gamper, London
  • Ken Eastman, London
  • Alberto Bassi, IUAV, Venice
  • Paolo Romani, Gruppo Romani S.p.A., Casalgrande


  • 1st PRIZE: 5.000 € + REALIZATION
  • 2nd PRIZE: 2.000 €
  • 3rd PRIZE: 1.000 €
  • 4 GOLD MENTIONS: 500 € each

20/02/2017 “early bird” registration – start
27/03/2017 (h 11.59 p.m. GMT) “early bird” registration – end
28/03/2017 “standard” registration – start
25/04/2017 (h 11.59 p.m. GMT) “standard” registration – end
26/04/2017 “late” registration – start
24/05/2017 (h. 11.59 p.m. GMT) “late” registration – end
31/05/2017 (h. 12.00 p.m. – midday - GMT) material submission deadline
01/06/2017 jury summoning
03/07/2017 results announcement

More information on:
Contact us on:
Download the information related to this competition here.

  • Title: Lighthouse Interiors: Call for Entries
  • Type: Call for Submissions
  • Organizers: CODE - Competitions for Designers
  • Registration Deadline: 24/05/2017 23:59
  • Submission Deadline: 31/05/2017 12:00
  • Price: €50

The Green House / URBAstudios

13 hours 5 min ago
© João Morgado
  • Architects: URBAstudios
  • Location: Porto, Portugal
  • Architect In Charge: Nuno Alves de Carvalho
  • Area: 49.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2016
  • Photographs: João Morgado
  • Constructor: Coperage Engenharia
© João Morgado

The room that aimed to be an apartment and turned into a “House”

The project is located in a XIXth century building in the historical centre of the city of Porto. The object of the intervention was a room of 36m2 in a damaged state, facing towards the front of the third floor of the building. The vertical communication of this kind of building is typically situated in the centre, so that there is a room facing the front and one facing the back of the building.


The programme was ambitious for a 36m2 space. The client wanted to build, with a limited budget, a complete apartment for short term renting, able to allocate 4 to 5 people with the best possible privacy. 

© João Morgado

The approach aimed to take away the temporary and impersonal character typical of short term renting apartments by using a familiar and universally recognizable concept/image.


Given that the project is in the top floor of the building, it was possible to expand the space towards the attic gaining more than 13 m2 of usable area. Moreover, it enhanced the strong, universal and simple image that defined the concept and the whole strategy of areas organization that visually transformed the apartment into a “House”.

© João Morgado

With a contemporary and willingly bold language, the space was divided in two halves. One green and one white.

© João Morgado

The green side, covered with the same material on all of its surfaces (floor, walls, ceiling) and painted in the same colour, is organized on two levels and mirrors the image of a “House”. Inside this half we find a first level with the entrance, the kitchen, the bathroom and the sleeping area, while in the second level, a mezzanine, there is one more sleeping area accessible through a vertical ladder.


The white side has a double height ceiling, where the living room is located and from which you can access a small balcony with a panoramic view over the city. Because of the communal purpose of the area and of the language used in this half of the apartment, we can metaphorically think of this part as the patio. In a sense it brings you outside of the “House” and lets you perceive its volumetry.

Although small, this design responds to the functional needs of the programme and aims at creating a spatial experience based on the feeling of surprise and contradiction by having the image/ concept of a House in the 3rd floor of a building. 

© João Morgado

Despite being a completely opened loft, the green colour plainly identifies the space organization. Moreover, natural pine slats are used to create partitions without breaking with the existing visual relation.

© João Morgado

The House was completely covered in MDF panels that maintain a wood-like texture also after being painted, conveying a feeling of coziness.

© João Morgado

In the living room, the pre-existing “Riga” wood floor was recovered and the walls and ceiling were painted white to maximize brightness. In the kitchen, the white “Estremoz” marble of the counter and of a part of the wall stands out, adding personality to this area.

© João Morgado

Na zona social o soalho em Riga pré-existente foi recuperado e as paredes e tecto foram pintados de branco maximizando a luminosidade. Na cozinha, a aplicação de pedra Mármore “Estremoz” branca no balcão e em parte da parede destaca-se conferindo-lhe personalidade.

© João Morgado

Confórmi: How Visual References Echo Through the Ages

14 hours 5 min ago
Alvaro Siza Vieira, Wohnhaus Schlesisches Tor (Bonjour Tristesse), Berlin, 1980-1984 — Alvar Aalto, MIT Baker House Dormitory, Cambridge, MA, USA, 1947-1948. Image © Davide Trabucco

Confórmi (also on Instagram) is a project which began two years ago as a way to manage its curator's visual references. Bologna-based Davide Trabucco, the curator in question, describes the archive as "a personal work-instrument" that positions apparently dichotic elements into a visual relationship with each other. All of these images, Trabucco believes, "are already present in our collective imagery and in visual culture." Their visual impact is clear: formally and aesthetically, each visual pairing "is immediately understandable – even to the uninitiated."

What we produce doesn’t belong to us anymore, once we deliver it to the world. Forms are already in nature: we must only give them new meaning.

"The working method on which the research project is based is comparable to the birth of a new image," Trabucco argues: the moment in which "a drawing, a sculpture or a painting reminds you of something else." Conforming to (confórmi translates to "compliance" in English) rigorous archival parameters—namely that each image is simultaneously square and diagonal—each product of the project reveals something new in its similarities to those which have come before it. According to its creator, the project "will stop growing at the same moment that the tool is no longer useful." It remains, for now, "an open archive that anyone can consult anywhere online."

Hover over the images to see their sources.

Alvar Aalto, Padiglione Finlandese, New York World Fair, 1938-1939 — David Chipperfield, MUDEC, Milano, 2015. Image © Davide Trabucco Alvar Aalto, Silo, Toppila | Oulu, Finland, 1931 — Herzog & De Meuron, Feltrinelli Porta Volta, Milano, Italy, 2008-2016. Image © Davide Trabucco Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe, Bürohaus Friedrichstraße, Berlin, 1929 — Herzog & De Meuron, Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg, 2003-2016. Image © Davide Trabucco Pezo Von Ellrichshausen, Blue Pavilion, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK, 2014 — Louis Kahn, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut, USA, 1974. Image © Davide Trabucco Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe, Memorial to Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, Berlin, 1926 (destroyed by the Nazis) — Altar of the Chians, 3d century B.C, Delphi. Image © Davide Trabucco Snake — Le Corbusier, Musée à croissance illimitée, Sans lieu, 1939. Image © Davide Trabucco Le Corbusier, Villa “Le Lac”, Corseaux/Lac Léman, 1923 — Luigi Ghirri, Marina di Ravenna, 1986. Image © Davide Trabucco Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Model of S.R. Crown Hall, Photography © Chicago History Museum — Edouard Manet, Un bar aux Folies-Bergères, Courtauld Gallery, London, 1881-1882. Image © Davide Trabucco Frank Lloyd Wright, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City, USA, 1956–1959 — Sandro Botticelli, Chart of Hell (La mappa dell’inferno), Drawings for Dante’s Divina Commedia, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Roma, 1480-1495. Image © Davide Trabucco OMA, Maison à Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France, 1994-1998 — Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe, Riehl House, Potsdam, Germany, 1907. Image © Davide Trabucco Frank Lloyd Wright, Johnson Wax Headquarters, Racine, Wisconsin, USA, 1936-1939 — Cristofani & Lelli Architetti, TOP CODE, Imola (Bo), Italy, 2005-2010. Image © Davide Trabucco Herzog & De Meuron, Cottbus Library, Brandenburg University of Technology,  Cottbus, Germany, 1993-2004 — Alvar Aalto, Vase, iittala, 1936. Image © Davide Trabucco Anne e Patrick Poirier, Exegi monumentum aere perennius, Centro per l'arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato, 1988 — Le Corbusier, Acropolis of Athens, 1911. Image © Davide Trabucco Louis Kahn, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California, USA, 1959-1965 — Bas Princen, Ringroad (Ceuta-Fnideq), 2007. Image © Davide Trabucco Francesco Borromini, Chiesa di Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza, Roma, 1642-1660 — Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe, Bürohaus Friedrichstraße, Berlin, 1929. Image © Davide Trabucco Column, Temple of Apollo, Corinth, 540 BC — Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe, Bürohaus Friedrichstraße, Berlin, 1929. Image © Davide Trabucco Louis Kahn, Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, New York City, 1972 — Superstudio, Il Monumento Continuo/Piazza Navona, 1970. Image © Davide Trabucco Le Corbusier, Tower of Shadows, Chandigarh, India, 1957 — “Ecomostro” | Blot on the Landscape, Ostuni, Italy, 1980. Image © Davide Trabucco

You can see more images from the Confórmi project, here.

Thirty-pine Villa / Aleshtar Architectural Office

15 hours 5 min ago
© Farshid Nasrabadi © Farshid Nasrabadi

From the architect. The project of Thirty-pine Villa was redesigned and reconstructed through anastylosis in the countryside of the city of Esfahan, Iran. This project consisted of an open landscape and a small construction within. 

© Farshid Nasrabadi

The garden therein has thirty 30-year-old pine trees. The path to the building was formed as bad as possible as it started from the garden door, continued under these pine trees, and ended by the building entrance. It had jeopardized the life of these pine trees.    

© Farshid Nasrabadi Diagram © Farshid Nasrabadi

The building was not in concordance with the landscape of the garden in terms of dimensions and visual aspects and, therefore, did not meet the employer's demands for an appropriate hospitality for the parties and symposiums.

© Farshid Nasrabadi

The design strategy of the landscape of the garden building was to pay full attention to the nature and, more importantly, to preserve the life and privacy of the pine trees.  The project was thence named Thirty-pine Villa. 


The number "30" is a significant number in Persian mythological literature. Hence, famous Iranian mystics and poets have written legends on the basis of number 30, the most famous of which is the story of Simurgh by famous Persian poet, Attar of Nishapur, where the moral of the story is the rule of trust among 30 creatures of the story that ensures their survival.         

© Farshid Nasrabadi

As of the story of Simurgh, we also considered each of the pine trees as an entity living in the garden; hence, we did our best to modify certain conditions for the trees to let them relieve from the overwhelm of the building materials and to make a circulation path for the garden and, at the same time, connect the garden and the building to form a fluid circulation in the landscape architecture. This way, we could make suitable and harmonious paths along the garden from the garden gate to the building. Therefore, the myth of Simurgh and the story of thirty birds were adapted not only for the number of 30, but also in the application philosophy of the atmosphere and life space in the architecture of 30-pine villa. The outcome was a pleasing combination of the trees, the interior design, and the myth of Simurgh, which, as a whole, became an influential totality.    

© Farshid Nasrabadi

The designing process was initiated by spatial design of the environment where the 30 pine trees were living. The pine trees were prioritized and were fully considered. All the paths and traffics were directed towards the trees. The paths, intertwined among the pine trees, made the spatial structure and traffic in the garden. The inappropriate primary lines were subverted and new appropriate environmental spaces were thus obtained; cozy spaces for solitude, personal contemplations, twosome dialogues, children playgrounds, spaces for family parties in the center of the site, etc.

© Farshid Nasrabadi

The environmental design lines for flooring were of two types. First, the lines adjacent to old walls that continued among the columns there. These coarse lines with 90 degrees formed one side of flooring. Second, those lines that reduced the width of the paths as they continued along the connection of the pine trees and reacted towards the trees and also reduced by a fracture which was based on the dimensions and sizes of the bricks and this way the pine trees were separated from farming areas. Such a composition let the beholders experience unique and appropriate perspectives.              

The Warehouse Hotel / Zarch Collaboratives

16 hours 5 min ago
© Darren Soh
  • Structural Engineer: JS Tan Consultants Pte Ltd
  • M&E Engineer: Icon Engineers LLP
  • Contractor: Towner Construction Pte Ltd
  • Interior/Branding: Asylum Creative Pte Ltd
  • Lighting Consultant: SWITCH
  • Acoustic Consultant: CCW Associates Pte Ltd
  • Quantity Surveyor: QS Consultants Pte Ltd
© Darren Soh

From the architect. Sited in a conserved building off Robertson Quay, the Warehouse Hotel’s roots extend far back to Singapore’s trading history as early as the late 19th century. Three warehouses have been combined and outfitted, starting a new lease of life as a 37-room boutique hotel. The Hotel fronts the Singapore River with a distinctive, symmetrical façade and jacked roofs while original design elements like louvre windows, doors, cornices, mouldings and the Chinese characters on the leftmost gable are sensitively retained and restored. These elements have been complemented with restrained touches, including a metallic black canopy on the main entrance. 

© Darren Soh © Darren Soh

The white façade stands apart from the high glass and steel constructs of the urban context, maintaining its presence and historic importance along the Singapore River. A double-volume space greets visitors at the Hotel lobby, with the original warehouse trusses, now re-finished in black spanning the lobby. Natural light filters in through the jack roofs in the daytime, while new portal frames serving as discreet structural interventions fringe the lobby space, providing a clear access and line of sight to the waterfront.

© Darren Soh

The spatial configuration of the Hotel sets the entryway in the middle of the volumes, while the rooms are split into two wings, with high-ceilinged corridors leading to the double-volume rooms on the second storey. The rooms are suffused with natural light through a combination of the existing fenestration, skylights and the use of glass blocks; the trusses and portal frames are kept in sight throughout the circulation spaces as well as the rooms, puncturing walls and lines of sight, creating a curious spatial dialogue while accentuating the character of the warehouse’s former life. 


A new extension complements the strong silhouette of the main wing, housing an elevated infinity pool as if hovering just above the Singapore River, provoking visual interest at the corner of the street. Extending the visual (and tactile) connection to the waterfront, consideration was also given to the selection of finishes surrounding the development including the pavers at street level – selected to match those along the promenade of the Singapore River, and the salmon pink tiles used in the pool – serving as a visual metaphor for the relationship between the pavement and the River.

© Darren Soh

Vanvaaso / Design Work Group

Sun, 02/26/2017 - 20:00
© Ishita Sitawala
  • Architects: Design Work Group
  • Location: Vav Sheri, Machhiwad, Sayedpura, Surat, Gujarat 395003, India
  • Architect In Charge: Jitendra Sabalpara
  • Design Team: Bharat Patel, Dinesh Suthar, Manish Vaghasiya, Ankit Sojitra
  • Area: 710.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Ishita Sitawala
  • Contractor: Ishawar Patel
  • Carpenter: Chatur Mistry
  • Electrician: Kamlesh Patel
  • Horticulturist: Yogesh Avaiya
  • Stone Work: Tansukh Tank
  • Ips Flooring: Kaushal Parekh
  • Paint Work: Ramprashad
© Ishita Sitawala

"Vanvaso means to dwell within nature and the design bullseye's the name. Situated in Vav village of district Surat, Vanvaso is a place of refreshment away from the city, and into the countryside surrounded by lush green patches of woods and farmlands. Vanvaso provides a peaceful environment, unlike that offered by a thriving city like Surat. It is a retreat from the routine hustle, a second home, yet one that makes the liver feel more relaxed and 'at home'. 

© Ishita Sitawala

The house has an urban touch to its exterior, with contemporary luxuries of the the modern day, yet it beautifully amalgamates the traditional spaces within. It comprises of typical Indian features like chowk, wall arts and murals, courtyards and connection to nature, an inseparable part of Indian architecture. 

© Ishita Sitawala

On site, a path is developed that divided the dwelling from the farmland. The structure is placed at the south west corner of the plot, allowing for party lawn and landscaping at the front yard. This gives privacy and calm environment to the house. Mounds and trees along the entrance avenue veils the structure and adds curiosity and element of surprise as one moves ahead on the path. 

© Ishita Sitawala

At the entrance a chowk welcomes the visitor, with large walls painted in worli art style and landscaped central region that defines the character of the space.

© Ishita Sitawala

The house is designed by dividing the regions based on nature of spaces, giving a gathering space in between for interaction along with public and private zones on either sides. This forms Indian massing as that of village structures surrounding a courtyard; thus attaining the crux of the design. 

© Ishita Sitawala

The northern block is single storied with large openings, connecting to the landscape on both the sides. It comprises of public spaces - living and dining areas with a beautiful internal courtyard landscaped with a central bonsai tree. The large openings are shaded using overhangs and awnings that form the semi covered ottlas on both sides. 

© Ishita Sitawala

The spaces between the blocks are shaded by the southern block, that is higher than its northern counterpart. It allows the flow of cool south-west wind filtered through trees and a pool that leads the public area and activity space. It hosts a semi open deck with columns within the pool, connecting the spaces while hammocks and relaxing lounge flourish the deck. 

© Ishita Sitawala

A water body extension is added beyond the pool and into the gravels, giving the building and the landscape surrounding it a floating effect. Stone chips surround the water body and gives the effect of a dessert, thus the water body seems like an oasis. A meditation deck rests in this peaceful atmosphere.

© Ishita Sitawala

The central courtyard contains an open staircase going to the upper floor of the southern block, where a semi open space develops the frame of lush green farm.


The front party lawn space is left open with few features like gazebo, sliding swings along with others. Landscape elements like bamboos, textured cladding, wall colours, lights and sound all add to the ambience and form of an Indian village space. The house thus turns into a home, with the little details creating a bigger picture, making the whole atmosphere much larger than the sum of its constituents."

© Ishita Sitawala

National Flower, Global Ambition - DeciBel Unveils the Hanoi Lotus Centre

Sun, 02/26/2017 - 16:00
The Hanoi Lotus draws inspiration from Vietnam's national flower. Image Courtesy of Mike Durek / Shadowlab

Australian firm deciBel(Architecture))) has released images of their proposed multi-purpose theater and cultural center in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi. The Hanoi Lotus draws inspiration from Vietnam’s national flower, creating a city-defining piece of public architecture to place Hanoi and Vietnam on the global stage

The scheme acts as an urban gateway to the city of Hanoi. Image Courtesy of Mike Durek / Shadowlab

Situated along an arterial road connecting the city center with Noi Bai Airport, the Hanoi Lotus will act as an urban gateway for locals and tourists. Emerging from a 19ha stormwater mitigation lake, the Lotus will respond to Hanoi’s increasing artistic, cultural and economic demands. The center will include a 2000-seat multifunctional theater, high technology business incubator center, ice-skating rink, cinemas, offices, and restaurants, creating a mixed-use public venue for thousands of residents and visitors to the Vietnamese capital.

The Hanoi Lotus draws inspiration from Vietnam's national flower. Image Courtesy of Mike Durek / Shadowlab The center emerges from a 19Ha stormwater lake. Image Courtesy of Mike Durek / Shadowlab

The lotus flower exerts a heavy influence on the aesthetic and structural performance of the Hanoi Lotus. The center’s pentagonal grid reflects a ratio commonly found in the natural world, including the structural organization of the lotus flower. Iconic 'structural petals’ draw inspiration from the natural flower, with a layered culmination of fins, shells, glazed panels, and grid supports. Inside, the ceiling of the main atrium responds to the colors and patterns of the natural lotus leaf, guiding users from the main foyer to the auditorium entrance.

The ceiling draws inspiration from the underside of a lotus leaf. Image Courtesy of Mike Durek / Shadowlab The ceiling draws inspiration from the underside of a lotus leaf. Image Courtesy of Mike Durek / Shadowlab

The young tightly-wrapped lotus flower is a poignant symbol of growth and potential before it bursts open into an elegantly-colored bloom. Bouquets of tightly clustered lotus flower are a common sight on the streets of Hanoi and form the inspiration for the composition of our building – deciBel(Architecture)))

The Hanoi Lotus draws inspiration from Vietnam's national flower. Image Courtesy of Mike Durek / Shadowlab The mixed-use center contains a 2000-seat auditorium. Image Courtesy of Mike Durek / Shadowlab

News via: deciBel(Architecture))).

Archhive: Architecture in Virtual Reality Competition Winners Announced

Sun, 02/26/2017 - 14:00
First Prize: Archhive: Architecture in Virtual Reality / Boris Hilderal; France. Image Courtesy of Bee Breeders

Bee Breeders has announced the winners of its Archhive: Architecture in Virtual Reality competition, which asked participants to design a virtual exhibition gallery to showcase future Bee Breeders competition winners. In this virtual gallery, visitors would be able to “walk” around and explore the work of selected winners and guest contributors.

The three winners of Archhive: Architecture in Virtual Reality are:

First Prize:
Archhive: Architecture in Virtual Reality / Boris Hilderal; France

First Prize: Archhive: Architecture in Virtual Reality / Boris Hilderal; France. Image Courtesy of Bee Breeders

Second Prize:
On the Bottom of the Top / Alžbeta Krbylová and Juraj Horňák; Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava

Second Prize: On the Bottom of the Top / Alžbeta Krbylová and Juraj Horňák; Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava. Image Courtesy of Bee Breeders

Third Prize:
The Infinite Gallery / Paolo Antonio Zurk Castillo; Universidad de los Andes

Third Prize: The Infinite Gallery / Paolo Antonio Zurk Castillo; Universidad de los Andes. Image Courtesy of Bee Breeders

News via: Bee Breeders.

Gála House / Apaloosa

Sun, 02/26/2017 - 13:00
© Carlos Berdejo Mandujano
  • Architects: Luis Armando Gómez Solorzano
  • Location: Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, Mexico
  • Area: 75.43 m2
  • Project Year: 2017
  • Photographs: Carlos Berdejo Mandujano
  • Company Responsible For The Architectural Project And Structural Design: Apaloosa Estudio de Arquitectura y Diseño.
  • Proyect Architect: Carlos Berdejo Mandujano
  • Drawing Architect: Ana Magdalena Escobar Rodríguez
  • Structure: Alexander Coutiño de los Santos
  • Renderist Architect: Carlos Mario Pereyra Zenteno
© Carlos Berdejo Mandujano

A house of rest and recreation for a couple who want to take advantage of the weekends in the company of their children and grandchildren. A risky proposal to the uses and Customs of the users, but with a good accepted when understanding the relation exterior-interior with the micro environment that was generated. 

© Carlos Berdejo Mandujano

Located in a fraction of everage interest, with a view Impressive towards Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas; A facade was sent to consequence of the área of multiple uses uses that also Works as garaje, and the pool with its engine room that are placed before the Street. Having a facade to the south, with the constant solar caloric incidence, was proposed as a “buffer chamber” to the stairs cube that moderate and sifting the natural light by a latticework of brick. 

© Carlos Berdejo Mandujano Floor Plan © Carlos Berdejo Mandujano

A study, dining room and bedroom were the necessary elements to achieve a more sober and relaxed composition in your program. The pool is appreciated from every área of the dwelling and the undulating reflection of the wáter with the sunlight is perceived in the plafones of Exposed concrete. Brick walls in twisted or better known as “Wall 21” and exposed, reflecta n identity and character in the house.

Denmark’s Largest Exhibition Centre To Be Further Expanded by Urban Agency

Sun, 02/26/2017 - 12:00
© Urban Agency

Dublin and Copenhagen-based practice Urban Agency has been commissioned to design the expansion of the MCH Messecenter in Herning, Denmark’s largest exhibition center. According to the architects, the intent was “to create a strategy that will make the complex a more attractive and coherent structure with a new focal point.”

To achieve this, the design converges two circulation routes at the building’s new point of entry, further complimented by usable art displays and foliage, including green walls. The circular form of the roof defines the event square, with ramps serving as outdoor seating and shelter from inclement weather.

© Urban Agency © Urban Agency

With a particular focus on landscaping, the central multi-purpose outdoor square allows for a flexibility of uses, such as a skating rink, an exhibition space, or simply a resting area for visitors.

Issues of circulation and public flow are addressed by the varying ceiling heights, working in conjunction with the open floor plate. From the easily accessible entrance, visitors are directed through security and to their intended destination, such as the concert hall or central exhibition area.

© Urban Agency Ideology Diagram. Image © Urban Agency

On the ground floor, programs include a leisure zone, waiting area, ticket offices, and washrooms, while the first floor features an externally accessible restaurant; a vantage point for views of the event square and exhibition hall.

In addition to the new building, a public promenade is intended to connect the building to the Museum of Time at the northern side of the MCH, which is yet to be realized. 

Exhibition Square Diagram. Image © Urban Agency Ice Skating Diagram. Image © Urban Agency

It is a backbone of the whole complex, which with its membrane roof and green landscape elements, creates 
a friendly public area where tired guests can purchase a snack, rest for a bit and then continue their visit, explained Urban Agency.

Named the “River of Time”, the space will function as the primary axis of the complex, linking the exhibition halls together.

  • Architects: URBAN AGENCY
  • Design Team: Urban Agency, Aarhus Arkitektern, Max Bögl, Norconsukt
  • Clients: MCH, Herning Kommune, Real Dania
  • Area: 5400.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2017
  • Photographs: Urban Agency

News via: Urban Agency.

Urban Agency and OUALALOU+CHOI Collaborate to Create an Adult Educational Desert Oasis

Bibliothèque Nationale de France Refurbishment / Atelier Bruno Gaudin + Virginie Bréga

Sun, 02/26/2017 - 09:00
© Takuji Shimmura
  • Chief Project Architect: Raphaële Le Petit with Guillaume Céleste, Céline Becker and Nicolas Reculeau
  • Lighting Engineer/Designer: L’Observatoire 1 (Georges Berne with Emmanuelle Sebie)
  • Technical Engineering Rm: EGIS bâtiments
  • Construction Economist Monument Historique Specialist: Thierry Hellec sub-contractor

  • Acoustical Engineering Rm: ACV Acoustique
  • Coordination With Fire Department And Prevention Specialists: Casso & Associés
  • Client: Ministry of Culture and Communication, Ministry of National Education
© Takuji Shimmura

From the architect. In order to undertake this intervention and to elaborate the project, Bruno Gaudin’s offie first had to understand, interpret, and classify the issues specific to this ensemble. They had to literally “break it down into its constituent parts” to be able to better rebuild it and to highlight its intrinsic qualities

© Takuji Shimmura

The historical and structural studies, obviously indissociable, brought to light an extraordinary juxtaposition of spaces of every kind, from reserve areas and galleries to staircases and rotundas and much more. Thus, the fact that some of the spaces were listed, such as the Salle Labrouste for example, or that others parts were inventoried, was insufficient data to be able to describe the rich nature and complexity of this site. The assessment revealed the necessity of taking into account a multitude of places, which this project had to restore to their original life and splendor. Thus, the architect’s insistence on relying on these sometimes modest yet magnificent witnesses to the stratified history of the Quadrangle. To launch the project for the rehabilitation of the Richelieu Quadrangle was, therefore, to accept the challenges of a polymorphic building whose architectural strata required the elaboration of not one but several different projects: one aimed at the great scale of the site, the one concerning distribution and reception; and other projects targeting the renovation of individual rooms, each having its specific issues and requirements.

© Takuji Shimmura

The architectural project for the Quadrangle relies on both the very powerful historical nature of the site and on the campaign to upgrade it in compliance with codes – technical, safety, accessibility, and functionality.


To implement this project, Bruno Gaudin’s of ce developed different typologies of “weaves”, which set up, depending on the type of space, a variety of dialogs between Architecture, History and Techniques. It was this “three-way conversation” that guided and accompanied the necessary and profound changes the Bibliothèque was to undergo.

© Takuji Shimmura

Although the inherent constraints of the technical project sometimes occasioned immense difficulty because the building was so complex, the architect strove to take advantage of these same constraints and to use them as project tools. In fact, technical elements are not necessarily hidden: they are also revealed, and even staged. Underpinning the project, they determine the envelopes, justify the spatial and structural decisions taken, and even become integral architectural objects. Depending on the type of spaces to be treated, a whole range of solutions was developed, from the Lobby / Vestibule, all the way to the reading rooms, by way of the stacks and other storage areas of every kind.

© Takuji Shimmura © Takuji Shimmura © Takuji Shimmura

The extreme diversity of the spaces to be treated, the variations in typologies of interventions, even within these different rooms, typologies themselves characterized by multiple interfaces, all required an adapted working methodology as well as specific graphic tools of representation. These necessary resources had to be made available to the various actors involved in the operation so they could describe, calculate and finally implement the project. 

© Takuji Shimmura

This Rope Reinforcement System is an Innovation in the Structure of Adobe Buildings

Sun, 02/26/2017 - 08:00
© Camilo Giribas

In the city of Belén, Chile, as a part of the second phase of a Training Program for the Restoration of Facades in Belén, two historically important structures were recently completely restored. The project was financed by the Regional Government of Arica and Parinacota and SUBDERE (Undersecretariat of Regional and Administrative Development), in partnership with the Altiplano Foundation. 

In both houses, the foundations and, where necessary, the walls were reinforced, and the traditional Andean roof and existing carpentry was restored. Notably, the structural reinforcement of the adobe walls used a rope mesh system, which was first seen in Chile in 2014 as part of the restoration of a church in San Pedro de Atacama. 

The rope reinforcement emerged in 2013 thanks to research carried out by a team of engineers from the Catholic University of Peru, led by Engineer Julio Vargas Neumann. Despite evidence of pre-Colombian examples in which ropes were used to reinforce earth structures, the technique wasn’t used until the year 1970, after the tragic earthquake of Huaraz in Peru. A team of professionals began to research a method to reinforce adobe structures and, above all, guarantee the lives of the inhabitants of adobe homes—a construction technique which is very common in that part of Peru, as well as in several areas of Central and South America.

© Camilo Giribas

The system comprises a system of ropes that envelop the walls vertically and horizontally, at distances that are related to the size of the adobe bricks, forming a mesh that prevents the walls of the building from collapsing in the event of a large earthquake. Both the vertical and horizontal ropes are lashed and tightened, improving the wall’s ability to resist an earthquake. While there are already several examples of reinforced adobe constructions in Chile—for example with welded steel mesh—the use of rope has certain advantages over that type of reinforcement, including its cheap and readily-available material and the fact that they not only prevent collapse, but also improve the behavior of the structure during an earthquake.

Courtesy of Tabs for the repair of adobe dwellings ", Ministry of Housing, Construction and Sanitation of Peru, 2014 Courtesy of Tabs for the repair of adobe dwellings ", Ministry of Housing, Construction and Sanitation of Peru, 2014

One of the houses in the village of Belén being restored is a 125-square-meter adobe dwelling with walls 50 centimeters thick, with a stone foundation and a collar beam roof. The building is estimated to have been built 300 years ago and it functioned as the office of the village's judge.

© Camilo Giribas

This innovation in the structural reinforcement of adobe buildings was made possible thanks to the experience gained by the Altiplano Foundation in the restoration of the church of San Pedro de Atacama, and to the advice offered by Engineer Julio Vargas Neumann.

© Camilo Giribas

In Chile, there are adobe constructions throughout the country, including in Patagonia. The cities and towns in the center of the country were mainly built with this system of construction. In the north of Chile, especially the towns that are located in the pre-mountain range and high plateau, this technique was also common. Today, many families live in adobe houses. That, combined with Chile's seismic activity, makes reinforcement using rope an innovative and feasible alternative not only to protect the lives of those living in such structures but also to preserve the heritage of different construction cultures present in the country, as well as cultivating traditional crafts that are often said to be forgotten. 

Text by Camilo Giribas, Architect at the Altiplano Foundation.

Designing the Year's Best Motion Pictures: 5 Floor Plans from Oscar-Nominated Films

Sun, 02/26/2017 - 07:00
© Boryana Ilieva

You’ve seen the floor plans from Hit TV Shows brought to you by Iñaki Aliste Lizarralde,, and Drawbotics. Now, with the Academy Awards just around the corner, we're bringing you a series of floor plans from Oscar-nominated films, all painted in watercolor by Boryana Ilieva (who previously brought us the floor plans of Stranger Things). With movies such as La La Land, Fences, Elle, 20th Century Women and Toni Erdmann depicted in meticulous details, Ilieva’s watercolors not only provide us with a new perspective of the familiar spaces, but also highlight the important architectural features that help construct these captivating storylines.

1. La La Land

© Boryana Ilieva

From a film that has been nominated for 14 Oscars after already winning 7 Golden Globes, an overview of Mia’s apartment gives us an understanding for the timelessness in La La Land’s set design. Writer/director Damien Chazelle took inspiration from the bright prime colors in movies such as The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and The Young Girls of Rochefort, clearly seen from the wall colours in Mia’s apartment, and also reflected in the colours of the dresses that the group of girls wore on their night out: blue, red, green and yellow.

2. Fences

© Boryana Ilieva

As a movie adaptation of a play, Fences takes place for the most part in the Maxons’ backyard. Nominated for 4 Oscars, including Best Motion Picture, the film’s most emotionally taxing, heartfelt and vulnerable scenes take place in the muddy yard, the only set backdrop in the original theatre performance. It is, as Ilieva describes, “a whole complete world — sacred intimate space where most private conversions and events take place.”

3. Elle

© Boryana Ilieva

Michèle’s home, a house in the Parisian suburbs, hosts the opening scene of Elle, an Oscar nominee for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role having already won a Golden Globe in the same category. The kitchen where Michèle is raped by a masked intruder, setting up the plot for the rest of the movie, is seen in the corner of the plan with the dark glass door through which he enters.

4. 20th Century Women

© Boryana Ilieva

Set in a building that is constantly under renovation, Dorothea’s house is not only home to herself and her son Jamie, but also to two boarders, one of which almost becomes part of the family. Occasionally, their 17 year old neighbour sleeps over, adding to the dynamic lifestyle within the walls of the shabby late-‘70s house. The film is nominated for Best Original Screenplay.

5. Toni Erdmann

© Boryana Ilieva

Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year is this film about a father who brings some absurdity back into his daughter's otherwise ordinary life. At the end of the orderly and tidy apartment stands a woolly costume worn by Ines’ father during one of his many attempts at amusing his daughter.

To see more from Boryana Ilieva, check out her Instagram Account.

Transformation of a Bungalow in Amsterdam / Workshop Architecten

Sun, 02/26/2017 - 05:00
© Workshop Architecten
  • Contractor: Joseph van Dullemen, Amsterdam
© Workshop Architecten

From the architect. A bungalow, located on the banks of the Zuider Amstelkanaal in the south of Amsterdam, was originally built with a closed facade facing the waterfront. 


Since the renovation it has generous views over the canal. The former garage is transformed into 2 bedrooms and a bathroom, and is connected to the bungalow in such a way that one can see through the whole building. This sightline extends from the south west facade to a new bay window, that is situated where there used to be a garage door.

© Workshop Architecten First Floor Plan © Workshop Architecten

By a number of precise interventions, an incoherent bungalow from 1955, has been transformed into a unique Amsterdam family home. A house that has been stripped down to its essence: the brickwork has been reduced to 3 walls that carry the wooden roof. The walls stand on a new concrete base that forms a ramp to the entrance and terraces on the west and south side.

© Workshop Architecten

Podgorje TimeShare Kindergarten and School / Arhitektura Jure Kotnik

Sun, 02/26/2017 - 02:00
© Janez Marolt
  • Architects: Arhitektura Jure Kotnik
  • Location: 2381 Podgorje, Slovenia
  • Architect In Charge: Jure Kotnik, Andrej Kotnik
  • Area: 696.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2016
  • Photographs: Janez Marolt
  • Client: Municipality of Slovenj Gradec
  • Constructions: CBD, d.o.o
  • Hvac: FIMA, d.o.o
  • Electrical Installations: EPNS d.o.o
  • Landscape Design: Jure Kotnik, Robert Lenart
  • Surveillance: Manja Podpečan, Saša Šuhel
  • Client Coordination: Natalija Knez, Ivica Vaukan
  • Energy Efficiency: EUTRIP d.o.o.
  • Timber Construction: Lesoteka Hiše d.o.o.
© Janez Marolt

New TimeShare Kindergarten and School is located in the central area of small Slovenian village settlement Podgorje as an extension of the existing primary school. The kindergarten’s special feature is its open plan approach with unified play space, which covers as much as 85% of the entire surface. Children here are encouraged to be physically and socially active with a series of inviting design elements. One of such is meandering road between playrooms, which visually connects different spaces and invites children to follow it (walk, run, ride their kick scooter or bike). Special road signs have been designed, encouraging children to mimic movements of a particular animal (butterfly, crab, lizard, etc.), and go either fast (cheetah) or slow (snail). Various thematic play nooks (there are as many as 42), numerous blackboards, sports equipment of all kinds, and the accessibility of equipment encourage children to be active, discovering and pursuing their passions. Research showed that the this open principle in kindergartens boosts social contacts by more than twice, children’s access to equipment increases threefold and their physical activity is seven times that of their peers in traditional kindergartens in the region. 

© Janez Marolt Floor Plan © Janez Marolt

Playrooms, intentionally designed differently to accommodate different interests, are only closed for naps and activities demanding a high level of concentration, the open design fostering excellent cooperation among teachers and allowing children to play with peers with shared interests regardless of age. 

© Janez Marolt

The exterior of the kindergarten is also tailored to its inhabitants, with a series of façade elements functioning as play elements. The west-facing wall has a growth chart with typical heights of selected animals indicated in it. The segments of wall interrupting the glazed south side of the kindergarten are covered in blackboards so children can scribble and draw on it, and it also features a climbing wall in the corner. 

© Janez Marolt

A component part of this project is a classroom for primary school first graders. Its signature feature is design elements that effectively help children gain different types of knowledge. An example is the floor angle meter next to the door, which indicates various angles as the door swings back and forth, or ceiling paintings with geometry elements. Each chair in the classroom has white letters attached to its back, helping children passively learn small and capital letters.

Diagram Diagram

The building has been designed as an energy efficient building of the B2 class, with an average energy consumption of 33 kWh/m2 a year. Low energy consumption is mainly due to good orientation with south-facing openings, energy-efficient windows, and good façade insulating coating. The full-wall timber construction from local wood ensures the highest standard in sustainable construction. Prefabricated timber elements were assembled and all the work, including the playground, was completed in only 21 weeks.

© Janez Marolt

Product Description. Lesoteka Hiše provided CLT construction that enabled very quick assembly - the whole building was built in 21 weeks only. Lots of visible timber in the interior gives not only a cozy natural atmosphere, but also brings kids in direct contact with this most optimal construction material in the Alpine area.

© Janez Marolt

Studio for Two / Studio Wood

Sat, 02/25/2017 - 20:00
© Rohan Dayal
  • Architects: Studio Wood
  • Location: New Delhi, Delhi, India
  • Architects In Charge: Sahej Bhatia, Navya Aggarwal, Vrinda Mathur
  • Project Year: 2016
  • Photographs: Rohan Dayal
  • Other Participants: ASAP Prefab Consultants, Hydrobaths for concrete skim coat
© Rohan Dayal

From the architect. In the year 2016 Studio Wood was entitled with a unique brief to design a light weight temporary structure atop a roughly 1200sq.ft apartment. The construction needed to be limited to a certain weight and was constrained by a tight timeline. After a few days of brainstorming the team proposed using metal girders and trusses to form the exoskeleton and mild steel panels refurbished from used shipping containers wrapped around the envelope. 

© Rohan Dayal

To begin with a grid of 150mmx150mm vertical and horizontal I beams were laid on the existing terrace floor to raise the floor height. This was done with the intention of giving the room a floating effect and to avoid rainwater percolation into the structure. The outer walls took support from the floor grid and a sloping roof grid clad with Trafford sheets was put in place. Since the structure was built on the terrace the ceiling plane was exploited as much as possible for daylight and natural ventilation with a provision for two skylights varying in width.

Floor Plan A

Having young entrepreneurs as our client’s the aim was to bridge the dichotomy of a work space and a place for rejuvenation by designing a multi-purpose work studio by day and entertainment hub by night.

The space was divided in 3 zones, Open outdoor area, the semi-open portico characterized by the wooden decking and the closed cabin. 

© Rohan Dayal

Entry to the cabin was marked by a 3 part sliding UPVC glass door allowing for a seamless integration of the interior space with the exterior. The semi open cantilevered deck clad with wood gives the space a  cabin like feel and is the perfect place to enjoy a cup of tea in the morning.  

The landscape was riddled with several playful features including a swing and multipurpose cubic blocks installed at varying heights. These structures could be moved around in linear fashion to create a new identity each time. 

© Rohan Dayal

Perhaps one of the most challenging features of this project was to design the sliding door for the outdoor bathroom. The 10ft high door had to be designed to slide smoothly despite its heavy weight. This feat however was achieved by using ball bearing mechanisms predominantly used by automobile manufacturers to ensure a smooth transition from open to closed state. 

Another prominent feature of the landscape was the multi-level feature wall.  We constructed ladder like elements in mild steel and placed custom-made fibreboard planters at different levels. With this technique, the greenery was not only the part of the floor scape but also an entire wall.

© Rohan Dayal

The interiors were designed to echo the concept of modularity. With a simple push the sofa could transform into a bed or continue as a comfy 5 seater. 

The design was born keeping in mind orientation, climate and comfort. Apart from the built up area the terrace landscaping was also undertaken which involved designing a controlled microclimate using plants, water bodies and sunshades. 

© Rohan Dayal