Posts Tagged ‘design’

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Architecture Monday

April 8, 2019

Looking nothing less than like a very big bug (with a canted chimney as antennae!), this is an intriguing house for several reasons.  For one, well, it’s a bug!  For two, the amazing shingle work on all those sinuous surfaces is a work of art.  For three, the house is an accordion.

Built as an extension to an existing cabin, the new addition contracts in the winter for heat conservation, while in summer it stretches its head, increasing the interior space, revealing many windows, and, just as amazingly, to cantilever and suspend itself (and those windows) over the adjacent stream.  Whether extended or retracted, the bulbous wood shape lets it blend in with the surrounding forest, embracing its site through details such as the sod roof at the entry.

The inside is as equally unique as the shingled exterior, lined with furs for that perfect “yep, now I’m in the belly of the bug” feel.  Also cozy, surrounded by fuzziness and warmed by the fire, a nice winter hideaway.  The existing cabin becomes the bedroom, with its own unique cave-like feel through the black fabric walls.

Very cool.  Creative and very much of its geographic place.

Dragspelhuset by 24H Architecture.

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Architecture Monday

April 1, 2019

This is pretty much as it says on the tin!  The “Birch Moss Chapel” is indeed a chapel, made with birch and resting upon a bed of moss.  All ensconced within a copse of birch trees in a clearing of moss.

A fun little folly by Kengo Kuma and Associates.

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Architecture Monday

March 25, 2019

Ah, I love this!  A new school in a remote village in Senegal, the Fass School uses local materials and know-how to beautiful effect, creating something unique and beautiful for the community.

Befitting the region, the design features lots of natural ventilation, white reflective walls, and a high ceiling to keep the space comfortable during the hot and bright days.  The tall roof also serves double duty to help channel rain to an existing underground aquafer when the driving rains arrive.  Add to all that that a generous courtyard and large porches.  It’s a wonderful example of form and function singing together, creating delightful spaces that enhance the learning within.

If this project looks a bit familiar, it is because it is by Toshiko Mori, who designed the Thread Cultural Center I posted about a few years ago.  Just like there, I love her continued exploration and use of the local forms and materials, the curving surfaces flowing together to create a unified whole, both in the school and the adjacent teacher’s house (and toilets!).

Really great work, providing a new hub and opportunity for a community, celebrating the culture, history, and creating something lovely well within the budget of a nonprofit.  Great design comes from the heart, not necessarily the wallet.

The Fass School by Toshiko Mori.

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Architecture Monday

March 18, 2019

I like it when a design finds a way to use building material in new and even mind-bending ways.  That double-take my mind makes as it tries to marry what it knows about a material (and how it’s used) and the different form that is arrayed before it is exciting.  Which is all preamble to say, “woah, check out the sinuous and curvy brick on this one!”

Used to screen a semi-private courtyard, the brickwork is definitively out of the ordinary.  With twists and turns it lets light and air through while maintaining a mediated visual connection.  There’s something fun about the peeks of greenery (and warm light at night) that pokes through what we’d usually register as solid brick.  There’s also a feeling of movement, like a sheet of rippling water.

I’m much less sanguine about the remainder of the house and find the nearly blank walls on either side of that sensual front especially unfortunate.  Except for the tie to the courtyard, the rest of the house doesn’t appear to pull much inspiration from the unique front either, alas.

But what a front!  A fancy façade though that is a treat to see and see through.

The Lipton Thayer House by Brooks + Scarpa

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Architecture Monday

March 11, 2019

Alright, I gotta admit I’m very amused by this one.  Having designed a small bit of farming-type work (a honey extraction hut), it’s fun to see well designed agrarian structures.  And by well designed I mean not only in the aesthetic sense for the landscape and for the inhabitants but also in a way that makes the farming easier and is better all-around for the animals clucking around.

Simple materials with a simple, but thoughtful, design… once again showing you don’t need to break the bank to make something elegant and a joy to be around, and that good design is for everyone.  Even us chickens.

The oh so aptly and humorously named House of chickens by SO? Architecture and Ideas (which is also a fun name!)

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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!