Archive for the ‘Architecture’ Category

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Architecture Monday

September 18, 2017

There’s something hiding at the heart of this Kindergarten in Japan:  the wood.  It doesn’t look like it’s hiding, because the buildings are nothing if all wood, detailed together with joinery finery.  What’s more hidden is that all the wood comes from trees that were killed in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and, even more at their heart, is that each of these trees were also planted after a tsunami in 1611, a round 400 years prior.  From one tsunami to the next, the trees remain to provide shelter in the community.

Even beyond this remarkable history, there’s much to like about the building.  Built onto the side of a hill, it manages to evoke both traditional Japanese woodwork while also channeling Smokey the Bear-type North American national forest pavilions.  And, not unintended I’m sure, a treehouse, all the more perfect for its young inhabitants.

Inside the wood continues to take centre stage, from floor to furniture to wall to ceiling, the latter of which is cast aglow by windows that reach up deep between the roof beams.  Odd as it may seem, the bare bulbs that hang to provide artificial light feels nice, the pinpoints of light creating another plane overhead.  (I do hope those are LEDs…)

Nice and solid work.  The Asahi Kindergarten by Tezuka Architects.

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Architecture Monday

September 11, 2017

Looking more than a little like a giant plane about to take flight, there’s a lot I like about this cancer center in Manchester.

Starting with the continuous, repetitious, and very nifty wood truss system that forms the building’s long spine.  Carefully crafted from wood, they are playful and expressive, and provide a flexibility that allows the outer walls to jut in, and out, then back in again to meet the needs of the rooms as they unfold down the length of the building.  It also creates a continuous covered porch that encircles the whole affair.

There’s also this great mezzanine, a quiet refuge to read, to talk, to work, and even just to watch the sky, or the stars, go by.

The pièce de résistance is, no doubt, the greenhouse.  Located prominently in the building’s prow, the geodesic-like structure feels at once both comforting and playful, a space full of life – literally, with the plants, but also the experience of the spatial qualities itself.  Perfect vibrancy for recovery.

And how the table that can roll itself outdoors… lovely detail.

Maggie’s Centre, by Foster + Partners.

 

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Architecture Monday

September 4, 2017

This one’s not completed or open for “business” yet (I say that in quotes as it’s a library and so not really a business) so we can’t see inside, but I do like what I see with the exterior!  Take the corners, pull them up, and insert glass.  Nice.  A straightforward move that, pardon the pun, reads well and really projects the public space within outward to the community it serves.

Not every corner need be pulled up to the same height;  I’m guessing this corner is the children’s wing, and they get their own right-sized windows.

I really dig the black panels that ring the structure.  Ribbed and folded, from a distance they read (again, sorry) like the pages in a book.  It also really contrasts nicely with both the vibrant green of the entry and, even better, the planted roof that’ll help keep the building cool in several senses of the word.

Best of all, check out how the leafy shadows from nearby trees plays across those irregular folds.  Two sets of textures that combine for double richness.

Great stuff.  Kew Gardens Hills Library by WORKac.  Photos by Field Condition.

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Architecture Monday

August 28, 2017

There’s something nicely rhythmic about this apartment conversion in Budapest.  Check out how the way the kitchen and bathroom niches are framed individually in muscular wood (in a pleasing ratio to each other), while at the same time they also continue upward to encompass a continuous loft overhead.  The same frames, at the same time, contain individual slices and something that spans the both of them, while relating in rhythm to each other and also relating to the existing doorway.  That’s some nice interplay there, not to mention a great way to create some very usable and pleasing “rooms” in an otherwise small apartment.  The netting is a nice final touch – safety while preventing the loft from becoming cut off from the rest of the space (not to mention I find it works with the rough frame aesthetic).

The rest of the place is a plethora of custom furniture all also made from the same raw wood detailing, all pairing nicely with the wood flooring (that I’m guessing came with the turn-of-the-century tenement building).  The table hides a fridge and doubles as a cutting board and kitchen work surface, the desk and cubbies are reconfigurable to house much more storage than might be expected.   Light, airy, compact yet active and uncluttered, this is nicely done work.

Bence Home by Studio Bunyik

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Architecture Monday

August 14, 2017

There’s something quite arresting about this house, in even this one photo.  The sun is certainly one reason why, gleaming off the smooth white polished and plastered walls (from locally sourced lime and salt) to bathe the interior in a sensuous glow… but for me it’s the way that smooth and polished plaster plays off the rough block construction that form the walls and columns, and even more so along the rough groin vaulting of the roof.  Against the strong uniform background the shadows and textures really pop, and the different patterns and surfaces make for a tableau of visual delights.  Even the stairs and floor are finely honed, adding their contrast between the silky and the coarse.

Even better is this is an adaptive reuse, made from a former lamp-oil mill built in the 17th century.  It does what adaptive reuse does best, letting the rugged form speak of its time and place while carrying it forward with a new use and new insertions.

Nicely done.  Ludovica + Roberto PalombaSerafini House by Palomba Serafini Associati

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Architecture Monday

August 7, 2017

I just find this one really nifty.  An auditorium/stadium/community centre made pretty much entirely out of bamboo and a thatched roof.  And it’s gorgeous.  Arches upon arches upon truss-like-arches, going back as far as the eye can see.  Openings in the roof plane like an unfolding lotus flower casts light inward, highlighting the evocative structure even as it provides illumination.  Walls, balconies, stage, also all made of bamboo, held together by woven ropes.

Lovely.  Locally sourced, naturally harvested, nothing but borax salt for treatment, full of natural light and ventilation, and a delight to experience both inside and out.  Great stuff.

Bamboo Sports Hall at the Panyaden International School by Chiangmai Life Construction

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Another day at work…

August 6, 2017

… architecting it up!

(I dunno why, but I find this photo very amusing…)