Posts Tagged ‘community’

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Wonder Wednesday

March 6, 2019

Our beautiful home

With the new Dragon II spacecraft approaching

A new dawn

In more ways than one

“We can be united by a cause that’s not based on fear, threat or common enemy but rather on a bold endeavor, an insatiable curiosity to go beyond what is known and to do what has never been done. We Humans were built for Exploration.  And we were built to do it together.”

Photo and Quote by Anne McClain

(Who has a glorious and delightful series on her twitter feed giving a tour of the station to the little earth plush that arrived with the Dragon II… very cute!)

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Architecture Monday

February 18, 2019

I posted about the Sagrada Familia quite a few years ago (aside: it’s been four years?  Wow…) and every time I come across a picture of the nave it still floors me.  (Here’s a 360 interior shot that gives some sense of it – the interplay of all the elements in motion while walking would render it more magical still).  Still on my list of places to visit, though more and more I’m planning out in the future for when it is completed, if only because even the ancillary spaces are going to be something amazing.

Case in point:  A neighbor recently visited the cathedral and brought me a book that shows a picture of the “crossing room” – a room just above the main crossing of the nave and the apse, where the main tower is to rise, and it is, in a word, stunning.

The columns are continuation of the ones below, angled and formed to follow the structural forces without requiring exterior buttressing, creating these marvelous concentric rings of interplaying columns leading up to a whole gaggle of hyperboloids vaults that will be skylights… all punctuated by these angled and gem-like windows.  The floor itself is suspended by these columns, hovering over the vaults below, with raked steps perfect for both quiet contemplation or a choir or any number of things.  It is a thing of beauty, both spatially and structurally.

Here’s a 360 degree photo:

Even crazier is that the tower jutting above is going to be equally stunning in an entirely different way.  Where this room has columns enclosing an open centre, the tower will have a sculptural central element (housing a glass lift) sinuously rising to the tower’s full height surrounded by diamond windows and colourful tiling.

 

No photo yet – construction is just underway – but have a rendered video instead:

Just incredible.  The level of intricacy in both the work but also the number of rooms and spaces where you wouldn’t think there would be any, generated by following the conceptual underpinnings of the design to its fullest detail, all with the intent to create beauty over and over and over again.  Absolutely wondrous.

The Sagrada Familia by Antoni Gaudi and countless others who have carried on the work.

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Architecture Monday

January 28, 2019

If you’ve heard the term “glass pavilion” before, well, this certainly fits the bill.  Lots of glass and even mirrored glass makes this diamond-patterned box, along with its dramatic and likewise diamond-patterned roof that appears to float above it all, a striking object nestled into its wooded site.

The purpose of all this pizzazz is for a neighborhood library.  Once inside, the drama of the glazed exterior transitions to something much more sedate.  I love how the deep wood boxes that make up the diamond pattern becomes almost quilt-like as it envelops the stacks and reading areas.  And by pulling back the second floor in various places, these large atriums get created that let that mosaic strut its stuff, further enhanced by the luminous ceiling.

It’s all about the outer wall (and roof) here, and that’s alright.  With its nifty design there’s a lot of fun plays between light and shadow, transparency and solidity, outward views and inward texture.  As a temple for reading and community gathering, it’s suitably exciting without detracting from the quiet and comfy needs of the readers and gatherers.  Cool stuff.

The Francis A Gregory Library by Adjaye Associates.

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Architecture Monday

January 14, 2019

Sometimes, when you do well in school you get a gold star.  This particular school takes that notion in an almost literal way.

Shaped like a star, the layout of the school does a couple of cool things.  Each radiant point houses a grade levels or two, each sporting its own design character as well as age-appropriate sizing.  At the same time, grouping the shared and special functions by the centre creates the school unified and creates a strong communal point.  It at the same time allows for separate environments and scale that allow the students to relate to the building and feel safe within, while still allowing the school to be a unified whole through interactions and gatherings in the communal core.

And what a core!  The piece de resistance, the stair and open-air (and deconstructed) library and gallery seating and stage and who knows what else keeps the area alive and engaged with activity throughout the day while also being a powerful and ownable element in its own right.

The angled nature of each of the wings means that there’s no hallways per se; things are wide enough that the circulation can serve double duty as seminar and collaboration space.  And if that wasn’t enough, the place is littered with smaller rooms and nooks and all sorts of great spaces for students to gather and do work or just socialize.

Wait… is that… a nook with a literal PIT of LEGO?  (Well, I guess it is in Denmark)  Man… I love this school even more now.

As a bonus, check out those wicked and very fun conceptual drawings of the building!

Compared to many of the institutional and staid schools that abound, this is a design that aims to make an engaging and delightful place for the students and teachers who spend so many hours there.  Plus its design is geared towards natural ventilation, full of light, covered in solar panels, and aims outward towards playgrounds and parks and trails leading into the surrounding neighborhood.  Splendidly done.

Nordstjerneskolen (New City School) by Arkitema Architects

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Architecture Monday

December 10, 2018

This is an interesting one to me.  Firstly, no doubt, for its unabashed wedge shape of blackness, as though a geological form or some ancient monument emerging from the ground (made all the more striking in winter in stark contrast with the snow).  Secondly, for the fact that this striking form has been crafted with some of the humblest, and inexpensive, of materials.  Lastly, for it’s multifunctional use, intended to be a craft and studio space for audiovisual design and exhibitions.

To that purpose, the inside was purposefully left raw and unfussy, with plenty of open space to be used as a studio.  But it still possesses a few nice touches that keep it from being a drab bunker of nondescript offices.  That concrete stair core, with its careful assemblage of cut-away concrete walls, is certainly a worthy entry and centerpiece.

Multi-purpose, made for the community, and an expressive design that demonstrates that big budgets aren’t always needed for good buildings.  Nicely done.

The Cathedral by Petra Gipp Arkitektur

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Architecture Monday

November 5, 2018

I posted about the new Calgary Central Library earlier this year while it was still under construction… and now it’s done and open!

And it still looks great.  I waxed poetic a bunch about the lovely spaces that the renderings were beginning to develop, and the photos of the real deal show that it shines through in its final built form.  I still especially dig how it straddles the new light rail line, and the way they use the twin curves to inform the layout, creating the sensual atrium surrounded by a mix of spaces, all culminating in the communal “living room” at the building’s prominent prow.

This was one of my favourite renderings, and I like it even more in actuality, the way it frames the end of the street, and how the contrast heightens the features and beauty of both the old and the new.

Always fun to see the design/renderings and the final product, and it’s doubly great when the final form equals (or even, in some instances, surpasses) the pristine control of a computerized view.  Good stuff.  Now I’m even more keen to sometime.

The Central Calgary Library by Snøhetta

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Architecture Monday

October 8, 2018

I don’t normally post renders of “might be built” buildings, but this one caught my eye.  For one, it is in Toronto, near a district I used to walk through all the time.  For two, there’s something compelling to me about the design.

The old building on-site, listed on the city’s historic register, originally housed (I think) a library.  The lower level, which admittedly has likely been renovated into blandville over the years, is nothing to write home about, but the second story has these pronounced decorative pilasters, windows, and a gaggle of other accoutrements.

What makes the new building nifty to me is how it uses those elements in its design.  It’s not a copy, not by a long shot (nor should it be), but that same language of those windows is carried forth along on the second story.  I especially like how then it is reinvented on the first floor, with large arched storefront windows and, even more wickedly, with the two half-arches that meet at each corner.  These corner arches open and ultimately dissolve the corners at the first floor, giving the building a very interesting profile and creating naturally inviting entry points.

The building then continues by being a great example of how to design with an eye to context.  The brick lends texture and a call back to the history of the buildings that surround it.  The reveal between the first and second story, as well as the cornice at the second story, tie into the horizontal lines of the store next door.  The cornice itself recalls the original building while also speaking to the adjacent old fire hall.  And the two new levels, delicate glass boxes, step back from the street, creating not only green garden/patio spaces but also reducing the building’s bulk.

I’m sold.  A great example of how our everyday buildings in the middle of a city done by completely commercial interests can still be, and should be, nicely designed.

12 Ossington by Hariri Pontarini Architects.