Wow, here’s another project that exudes an amazingly beautiful simplicity, sitting lightly on the land and calling outwards while not overbearing the beauty in which it sits and gazes upon.
A frame of pristine and shockingly white smoothness, this building basically speaks for itself. And it’s the articulations of its otherwise-perfect form that really make the project, most noticeably the delicious inset stained-glass windows (and I do so much love stained-glass) with one (but not the same one, adding a touch of dynamism) on each side rising upwards to the steeply sloped roof. On the outside, the window recesses are articulated further with angular cuts that carve out the insets, while on the inside, small niches and built-in benches (that pull down from the wall) give rhythm as your eye draws out to the completely windowed end, peering out towards the sculpturally-cast cross that sits surrounded by the immensity of nature beyond.
How the building changes in each season seems especially magical, the white forms contrasting in the summer and blending into the snowy landscape (yet still an object that draws the eye) in the winter. There’s some magic in that.
Beautiful work. It may be of small proportions but it is of immense effect (but not in an ostentatious way), a place of quiet contemplation never separating itself from the world. Great stuff.
Chapel Maria Magdalena by Sacher.Locicero.Architectes
(Complement this one with the Nossa Senhora de Fatima Chapel as well as Ando’s Church on the Water)
Nowadays, the word factory conjures up images of big and dark voids full of machinery that is, and the workers within are, much removed from delight and the world around it. Not that it needs to be that way! Not in the least. Here’s one that accomplishes everything needed within (ie, making stuff) while being mighty fine for both the workers within and its neighbors and passers-by.
While in plan the building is in a very typical (and straight-edged) L-shaped configuration, with its vertically zig-zagging walls you’d never guess it, helped even further along by the great texture striations that embellish the protruding concrete wedges. All around, the ground rises up to follow and meet these chiseled shapes. Similarly, up top, the roof tips down to reveal a planted surface, studded with skylights. Besides the great energy and maintenance benefits of the roof (coupled with the insulated thermal mass of the concrete walls), it helps the building blend into the nearby pine forest, especially for those peering out of the window as their plane departs from the nearby airport.
Inside the spaces are large and continuous, befitting its manufacturing purpose, broken up by inviting atriums that work double time to bring light deep into the interior. Multiple paths, gardens, and more let the atriums be amazing spaces to view and use for the surrounding offices. (Also… let us simply marvel at the horse-lamp and the pig-table…)
Great stuff and a sweet reminder that good design that honours us as people is possible no matter what type of building.
Coffee Production Plant by Khmaladze Architects
Like petals unfurling, this cancer support centre pinwheels and juts outwards from its central core to create an assembly of sculptural forms. Nestled between old and new, it creates its own rhythm that befits its special role in the caregiving continuum.
Besides the curvy shapes, it is the manipulation of brick that first catches the eye, with its plays of protrusion, triangular inlays, and segments of strikingly white brick. The brick also speaks to the original art nouveau-style buildings bordering the site, tying the two together in its playful manner. The building also sports a couple of leaf-shaped gardens, festooned with equally-leaf-like metal trellises.
Inside, the complex and interlocking geometries continue in the vertical direction as well. Light filled and with views out towards the surrounding gardens, the vibrant rooms are abuzz. Rooms and levels interconnect, heightening the sense of support and community. Grounded with plenty of wood and soft materials, it’s exciting while remaining affirming and without going too far to become flippant.
Splendid work. A lovely space during difficult times, it sets aside any gloom to provide respite and verve.
The Kálida Sant Pau Centre by Miralles Tagliabue EMBT
Here’s something neat! A flyover video of Disneyland in a helicopter, something rarely allowed but with the current shutdown things are a bit more flexible. Also, due to the same shutdown, it’s a bit eerie with nary a person in the park… but it’s still cool.
Flyover starts about 2/3 of the way through the video below, with a nice slow-motion replay:
Something a little different tonight… a nice little canopy over an EV charging centre.
There’s a lot to like here, not the least of which is the repeating star shaped columns that lend a rather elegant flair. Intended to be modular, these tree-like columns can be arranged and attached in continuing sequences to make larger or smaller shelters. From there, the canopy itself (continuing with the tree motif) is a playground to create patterns of open areas, letting in light and views and spaces for additional trees to grow, while also supporting a planted roof for additional greenery and green-ness. Best of all, it’s made of wood and grass and besides being tactile and inviting it is crafted from certified forests and can easily be disassembled for re-purposing or even re-use someplace else in another guise.
Neat and nimble, a utilitarian structure given attention to become a boon and a welcome place, quiet, restful, and clean, to spend a few moments for one’s car to sup on sweet sweet electrons. Awesome stuff, I’d totally welcome stopping there for a charge on a road trip. And it has a swing! A definite in the plus column, and just what we might expect from the firm who was also responsible for this amazing kindergarten…
Ultra Fast Charging Stations by COBE
Can you see it?
To say this building nestles into the landscape is pretty much an understatement. Built on a farm and overlooking a conservation park, this lodge hotel of only five rooms presses itself into the adjacent landscape, using its undulating wood roof and low profile to blend into the glacial plains.
Come around to the front side and the building and the wood roof slats pull apart to become a screen, sheltering the generous windows that let the views soar. Equally graceful lattice arcs down from the roof to shelter and delineate a patio of sorts.
Wonderfully whimsical and enticing. Best of all, despite being a luxury “destination hotel” it never attempts to call attention to itself and dominate the area. It knows where it sits and celebrates it. Nicely done.
The Lindis by Architecture Workshop
Take a little dash of ruins (an old parchment factory, in this case) and dab of an old cow shed, apply some adaptive reuse and a bit of careful addition inside of the old walls, and you have one nice addition for a historic Victorian house.
Rather than demolish the rough and rich ruin walls, the new additions slips between them to make their aged texture a part of the composition, further heightened by the mismatch of stone and brick between the various structures. Even better, while the new addition is, well, new, much of it was built using material found on site.
Throughout old and new material are juxtaposed artfully, as are their crisp lines and jagged edges. Looking out, whether from the living space or the new rooftop deck above the addition, the walls of the factory ruin – and its lovely pointed window! – frames everything while forming a little courtyard.
Some sweet adaptive reuse going on here and a great use of the existing conditions. While the temptation is often to scrape clean and start fresh, this is a good example of where embracing the rough and tumble leads to something far more exciting to live in.
The Parchment Works House by Will Gamble Architects
Huh, now this is something different! Once a parking lot now a co-working space… where each office is its own curvy pod, a bright yellow lily pads floating in a sea of 6000 plants, looking all like some futuristic botanical garden.
That’s pretty darn cool. Funky little offices with 360 degree windows looking out to the jungle, intertwined and connected with pathways and bench areas should the desire to work among the trees really take you.
Bonus feature: Adaptive reuse of the existing onsite building by Paul Williams, turned into conferencing, gathering, and eating spaces to support the coworking pods.
What a nifty project and a nice twist on what might otherwise be a sea of boxes crammed together behind nondescript walls.
Second Home Hollywood Office by Selgascano
Oh I do so like it when a building makes us do a double take and go, “wait, what?” Like making brick into a sinuous wave that melts away from a heavy volume that now perches precariously…
And that’s just what this building does. Even better is that the curvy bricks become a staircase, giving access to the office that sits within the more traditional boxy form balanced above, which in turn opens to the sky with a concealed rooftop garden. Below, a retail space slips under the artificial hill, the articulated brick expressing itself as the ceiling cascades down through a series of carefully plastered waves.
Very neat. While the brief was something so commonplace (and time tested as being a good urban model): multi-use building of office atop retail, the result is anything but commonplace. It is a playful addition to the city’s fabric, a building that is both a delight to the eye and, especially for the tenants of the office, a delight to access every morning.
The Termeh Office Commercial Building by Farshad Mehdizadeh Architects