Posts Tagged ‘design’


Architecture Monday

October 2, 2017

Coffee anyone?  (Or tea?)  If we’re stopping here, yes please.

There’s something really cool going on in the main coffee pavilion.  It’s an open space, but yet, at the same time, not really.  Though the sides of the seating area lacks walls, the walls of the courtyard in which it sit are really close by, with the height of the wall nearly the same as the height  of the open part of the seating area.  And so while the lofty pavilion walls themselves do not reach the ground, there is still the feeling of enclosure.  This further helped by the continuity in colour.  That is one great space to be in.

The window at the end is another finely crafted experience.  It looks almost otherworldly, a vibrance of colour and twisty forms against the blacks and greys and strong lines of the pavilion itself.  Playing with perspective, the walls end to hide behind the window supports, as though this is a picture or portal into another realm.  That the table continues beyond the window, to tweak the experience even further,  just makes it even sweeter.

At the opposite end of the mini coffee complex, a small garden of trees borders an indoor coffee area that is a wonderful contrast to the main pavilion, with compressed headspace.  The whole area is filled with stones much like a rock garden, and bordered throughout by the inky black walls.

I really like what’s going on here.  There’s much keen awareness of how to use the interplay between all the parts to create a composition of delightful experiences.  Even the “your order is ready” notification is seamlessly woven in.  It’s not a coffee house because it’s just a place that serves coffee, but it’s a place that starts with what a coffee break is all about, and builds out from there:  to pause, to reflect, to see, to socialize, and to delight.

The Yellow Submarine Coffee Tank, by Secondfloor Architects.

Bonus!  Have a rooster:


Architecture Monday

September 25, 2017

Some eye candy tonight of a very nice adaptive reuse from Montreal!  This one’s filled with delicious contrasts and intersections:  rugged brickwork with slick and smooth walls, deep tones with vibrant colours, old materials kissing new ones, deep windows with flush lighting, and some great shadow play.  As a bonus, this is an old railway station….

Lightspeed Offices by ACDF Architecture


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.



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.


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


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


Architecture Monday

July 31, 2017

Now this is a pair of small houses/cabins that I totally adore.  Designed by the same school that designed the micro-dormitories I spoke about before, the different site and different intent here led to something equally quite different, yet just as enticing.

Slung low and with both weathering metal and reclaimed wood as an exterior, they slide nicely into the red desert landscape that surrounds them.  One hovers, while one embeds itself into the ground.  “Sibling” cubes, they are carved and articulated in ways that render them unique, most prominently by their shaded and protected outdoor porches that provide perfect vantage points to watch the sunsets and the beauty of the landscape.

But to me even more magic happens within.  The placement of windows and the tight integration of (built-in) furniture with the forms is exquisite.  These are not large cabins by size, but they most certainly don’t feel cramped.  The bathroom is cool enough, but the beds are amazing.  In the one cabin, lying with both a huge picture window by your feet, but also the low-slung window perfectly at bed level to let your eyes dance along the horizon as you fall asleep… And in the other cabin, the bunk bed arrangement creating two wonderful sleeping “pods”, the lower like a whole wood cabin to yourself, the upper with a skylight placed just so to let your eyes dance along the glory of the celestial sphere as you fall asleep…

Great stuff.  Carefully thought out and rigorously done, these are buildings that fit their location and create a space and a feeling within that is delightfully uplifting.  On my list to visit and experience one day.

Red Sands Cabins by the Colorado Building Workshop