Posts Tagged ‘creating space’

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#Architecture Monday

March 4, 2019

The Spanish Pavillion at Expo Zaragoza in 2008.  It’s pretty striking.  I love the interplay between the bamboo-like pillars and the extra-thin roof plane.  Sitting in a pool of water, the pathways through the various enclosed areas — glass boxes screened by the multitude of columns — of the building become a boardwalk romp though a lovely interplay of light, reflection, and shadow.  Inside, multi-story spaces heighten the drama, your eye drawn upward to the underside of the roof lined with richly textured dark cork.

Designed by Francisco Mangado.

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Architecture Monday

February 25, 2019

Here’s a take on the idea of a shipping container home that I quite like.  Rather than mush all the containers together to create a single mass (much like a “regular” house), it uses the self-contained and nature of each container as a design starting point, creating a design that is both fun on the outside and works great to automatically create individualized spaces/rooms on the inside.

By laying out the three containers in a staggered formation and joining them with site-built connecting bits, each the interior gets to receive light from all four sides and the interstitial spaces can be used for a deck or a garden.  And since the containers have all their structure along the outer edge, it was easy to punch in a whole bunch of nicely appointed windows to take full advantage of the configuration.

Inside, those connective bits serve double duty, both as hallways and as either a home office or as the laundry/utility area (all of which can be closed off behind sliding doors).   It’s a very airy home, with the wood paneling letting the ample light diffuse all over, and the various bits of built-in furniture keeping things from getting too crowded.

The paneling both inside and out lets the home be well insulated, and it goes even one better, creating a floating roof that effectively creates a parasol to keep away the summer heat (just like this desert home I posted about a few years ago here).  Solar panels, water capture, gardens… this house goes all out.

I quite like it.  And while the shipping container bit is/was a great starting point (and an extra touch of sustainability) there’s plenty here that could be recreated with any style of construction (or pre-fab), creating something sculptural that perfectly shapes some fine living spaces inside.

Shipping Container Home By Modhouse.

Check out this bonus video by Living Big In A Tiny House!

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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

February 11, 2019

This one is a bit aspirational, but I’m liking the gusto and what I see.  A 70 story tall high rise building in Japan made almost entirely out of wood.

 

While there’s plenty to talk about on a technical level (I’ll keep it brief and really only cover the one most likely sticking out in your mind, that of, of course, fire:  Thick members of wood are surprisingly fire resistant, which is why you can’t just use a match or even a torch to directly light up a big log), it’s the expressive design that I’m loving the most.  It’s wood as far as the eye can see with that lattice-like design that wraps around the building.  Very fun to look at, and as a bonus the lattice work creates a sort of double skin, shading the building and providing plenty of space for walkways, balconies, circulation, and a whole bunch of gardens.

I’m excited to see this come to fruition.  Built right with the materials properly sourced (from FSC forestry) this is great in all sorts of ways, and it’d be a lovely addition to any city skyline.

Designed by Nikken Sekkei for Sumitomo Forestry.

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Architecture Monday

February 4, 2019

Another building tonight by one of my favs, BIG Architects… but something decidedly different in scale, scope, and form from much of their other work.  It is a restaurant that becomes a village.

The starting point for the project is itself quite nifty, the adaptive reuse of a protected warehouse that once stored mines (explosives!) for the Royal Danish Army (that is also, humorously, across the river from and affords a great view of BIG’s power plant and ski slope (I am not making that up… this is an actual thing!)).  Due to the landmarked status of the building, the buildable area was very limited, only being allowed in the small areas where small extensions had been erected in times past.  The client was an avant-garde restaurant serving reinvention of Nordic cuisine.  Oh, and they wanted greenhouses to supply their kitchen.  Ready?  Go!

The result is quite glorious.  BIG settled on three main starting points:  filling the existing landmarked structure with the “back of house” functions, off of which hangs a kitchen that in turn off of which radiates a number of small pavilions to form a village of architectural forms.  Each one of these pavilions has its own character both inside and out, and each have their privileged views both outwards towards the nature preserve, water, or the city, while each also have a view to the central and open service kitchen.

There’s a lot of beauty to be found here in the meticulous detailing of all the seemingly disparate buildings.  Brick roofs!  Highly articulated ceilings with glowing skylights!  Striated stone walls!  Rough brick and sensual wood!  A feeling of old and new dancing together!  Cozy enclosure and expansive windows!  And to literally top it all off, an amazing glass roof that connects everything together.

And while it might be considered “dead simple”, the entry way is what entices me the most for the way it serenely presents itself, a lovely mass of steel and wood, seemingly-symmetrical-but-in-actuality nestled between two differently crafted pavilions.  The proportions, the combination of materials, the way the overhang invites and calls forward, it’s all so very well done.

Yeah, gotta add this one to my list of places to visit (even if I can’t get a reservation within).  There’s something magical in this assemblage, and I want to experience it in person.

NOMA 2.0 by BIG Architects

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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