Design

Polish Architects Connect Two Offices with Grassy Walkway

 

The isolation from nature, sunlight and fresh air that many of us experience in offices can make working in them depressing and tiring. Zalewski Architecture, a Polish architecture firm, has created a quirky concept that aims to solve all of this – a narrow, winding outdoor walkway that connects offices, allowing workers to go for a walk on its green, grassy surface.

 

The design is suspended over a courtyard, supported on all sides. The narrow walkway creates a fun, winding grassy path but also serves another purpose – at only 80cm (31in), it minimizes the amount of sunlight that the walkway blocks from the courtyard below. The reflective underside also helps blur the walkway’s lines for viewers looking up at it from below.

 

 

source: demilked.com

Amazing Modern Maze: Dystopian Steel Labyrinth Installation

 

This steel labyrinth looks like something left behind after the production of a dystopian film, its irregular grid of steel rising and falling onto the concrete surface outside Belgium’s C-mine art center. Designed by Gijs Van Vaerenbergh, the maze is an immersive experience in what the artist sees as architecture in its essential form: “a composition of walls that define spaces.” Made of 186 tons of metal, the installation features vertical surfaces towering over 49 feet in the air to properly disorient visitors.

 

Entering the maze, you pass through a series of geometric doorways cut into the steel, including a sphere, a cylinder and a cone. Depending on where you are in the maze, these cut-outs might offer a tiny glimpse of what’s on the other side of a wall, or open to reveal a succession of similar cut-outs passing all the way through the installation.

 

The steel, and how it is cut and arranged, offers a unique architectural visual that changes according to your perspective, shifting from abstract lines into distinct geometries and sometimes creating optical illusions that make you uncertain whether you’re looking at a two-dimensional or three-dimensional surface.

 

A nearby installation of antique mine shafts offers a different way to experience the maze: from above. You can pass through it as an active participant, and then view it as a whole, taking in its complexities from a more detached bird’s eye view.

 

 

 

 

 

source: weburbanist.com

OPA’s Casa Brutale Lets You Live on the Edge

Casa Brutale gives us wall-to-wall water and concrete set into cliffs above the Aegean Sea in what OPA promises will be a literally ground-breaking development.

 

Unclad and simple, the house is all about modesty, making no impact on the landscape beyond a surface swimming pool and a set of steps. Descending these steps, though, brings you to the entire point of this home; an enormous glass facade set flush into the cliff face, bringing an incredible view of the Aegean Sea to the entire residence. Upping the stakes, the living quarters are topped with a skylight that turns out to be, in fact, the swimming pool – made of reinforced glass, it functions as the only other window in the house, diffusing the sunlight to soften the hard surfaces of the building itself and giving you views that could plausibly claim to be 100% water.

 

With jaw-dropping features like these, OPA chose to keep the rest restrained. Simple, raw concrete surfaces and slabs set off by aged wood and steel form the rest of the project, placing an open living area around the main stairs and a master bedroom on the mezzanine floor, making the incredible water views perfectly visible from the bed, which is also made of cast concrete. The whole thing is cooled by the landscape and the swimming pool, thanks to the design’s clever twist – aside from the big chunk of rock removed from the cliff, there’s very little impact on the landscape.

 

An inverted Casa Malaparte – brutalist, plain concrete mixed with water, light and rock – OPA says that their concept “seeks for an investor or an ambitious owner to finance its construction.”

 

 

 

 

 

Humanoid Columns to Support Modern Skyscrapers for 10,000 years

 

A graduate from the architecture of the Royal College of Art, Alice Theodorou, presented her proposal for the Mount Pleasant Mail Centre where architectural style makes the most important feature of any structure. Theodorou has adopted some of the oldest architectural elements in his building project aiming to provide the highest possible durability of the structure. Incorporated inside the modern lines, atlantes and caryatids- the supportive columns in the form of large male and female figures will replace the traditional architectural framework.

 

According to Theodorou,  her project “The Future Will Just Have To Wait” will be build to outlive all possible challenges that London could face in this century  and remain standing as a testament to our civilisation and of the world that we know.

 

 

 

source: dezeen.com, curbed.com

The New House of Dior in Seoul

 

The new Christian Dior’s Flagship store in Seoul, South Korea, is the work of French architect Christian de Portzamprac and Peter Marino who designed the interior. The boutique is spread inside a six storey building whose shape was inspired by Dior’s haute couture.

 

Christian de Portzamprac explains his vision: “I thought about the movement of the fabrics, the weaving effects, and I created a facade that would explore these elements. This white softness is like the couturier’s toile when he’s at work. It has a sense of movement that plays with light. This sculptural suppleness was my starting point.”

 

The interior decor made of wood, leathers, lacquers, sensual weaves and innovative melanges distinguishes the feminime character and House’s signature style. The highlight of the interior is the curving staircase envisioned as an unfurling ribbon that guides shoppers to the upper level to reveal the newest women’s and men’s departments.

 

Besides the fashion house, the House of Dior includes an exhibition place and a Dior Café  situated on the top floor. The Café is run by a famous pastry Chef Pierre Hermé  who has developed an exclusive menu for the House.

 

 

 

 

 

source: pursuitist.com 

Richard Meiers’s opens a Musem in New Jersey dedicated to his own work

 

A renowned American architect Richard Meier is celebrating 50 years of architectural practice and has opened a New Museum  in New Jersey to share his broad collection of project models with the public. Besides various building models from the 1960’s to the present,  Richard Meier Model Museum also permanently exhibits architect’s paintings, sculptures, and collages.

 

The museum space is spread over 15000 square feet and includes a distinguished area that stores 1000 exhibits of books and magazines from Meier’s personal library. One of the most engaging exhibits in the museum is the large scale model of Getty  Center in Los Angeles, which was Meier’s most ambitious project , whose construction lasted for fifteen years. Other displays include Ara Pacis Museum in Rome, the High Museum in Atlanta, the Perry Street Towers in New York, as well as unbuilt competition proposals for the World Trade Center Memorial, the New York Avery Fisher Fall, and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

 

When designing the Museum setting, Meier’s aim was to convey his obsession with natural light, which he always considered to be as equally important as any building material. Meier is famous for being the youngest architect to receive Pritzker Prize award in 1984 at the age of 49.

 

 

 

 

 

 

source: archdaily.com, richardmeier.com

Barack Obama has chosen the University of Chicago for his Presidential library

 

The presidential library system in the United States is a nationwide network of libraries that preserve and make public president’s statements, papers, records, and other historic materials. President Obama’s presidential library is to be built in his hometown of Chicago, at the University of Chicago where he was a law professor before becoming a senator. The University of Chicago has been chosen over Columbia University in New York, the University of Hawaii and the University of Illinois at Chicago. The final site of the building has not yet been decided.

 

Two winners of Chicago Architectural Club 2014- Chicago Prize Competition for Barack Obama’s   Presidential Library are the Design team of Zhu Wei, Fu Junsheng and Liang Yinka and Aras Burak Sen.

 

The first project includes six divided sections each showcasing different aspects of President Obama’s   life; early life and career, legislative career, presidential campaigns, presidency, public image, family and personal life. The library is imagined to reflect President’s charisma but also the urban grid of the city. The building’s roof would also be fully utilized and visible from surrounding skyscrapers.

 

The second project’s primary function would be to serve as a public forum with a focus on President’s years in office.  The library would be divided into eight levels, where each one will archive a single year of Obama’s presidency. As levels would be of different heights, each of them would provide different views of Chicago. The ground floor is designed in a shape of a peace sign that represents the hope that Obama’s selection brought, and the peace sign would change on every level symbolizing the deviation of that hope over years. The peace sign construction would also serve as a bridge connecting three riverbanks.

 

 

sources: thehayride.com, archinet.com, marinacityonline.com

Kengo Kuma replaces walls of beijing tea house with grids of translucent blocks

 

 

A leading Japanese architect Kengo Kuma renovated a typical tea house in Beijing  in a contemporary  fashion, but keeping its historical charateritics and a strong relation to Asian heritage.  Kengo Kuma and Asssociates have created a translucent plastic blocks in the form of bricks to make new walls for a Beijing Tea house overlooking the Forbidden City, the biggest tourist attraction in the city. Historic tea house got the modern twist with four different hollow polyethylene block types interlaced with blue translucent polycarbonate panels that allow light to enter softly into the space from all sides replacing traditional wood panelling and paper screens. “Bricks” were made trough the rotational molding and arranged to reflect city’s traditional brick architecture that dates back from  15th century. Beijing Tea house is a private member’s club situated pposite the eastern gate of beijing’s forbidden palace.

 

“The main structure for the city of Beijing is masonry bricks. Blocks made of polyethylene are in this sense a modern version of masonry. It proves high performance in insulation and passes through light to create a gentle space of Zen, just as the paper used for Siheyuan [courtyard residences] did in the past,” stated Kengo Kuma and Associates.

 

 

source: dezeen.com

Annabel Karim Kassar’s Telescopic Pavilions

 

French architect Annabel Karim Kassar’s Camera Chiara installation recreates the atmosphere of a Lebanese house in a Milanese courtyard.

 

Kassar’s Camera Chiara consists of two telescopic pavilions made from steel and burnt wood situated within one of the University of Milan’s eighteenth-century courtyards.

 

One of the structures contains a cinema showing movies about Lebanon, while the second houses the recreation of a Liwan — the central room in a traditional Lebanese house.

 

The pavilion housing the Liwan features tiles and textiles by Lebanese artisans, as well as vintage furniture from Europe and a decorative toilet that Kassar designed for her own house.

 

An old TV plays classic movies, while a gramophone emitts street sounds, recorded by Kassar in Beirut.

 

The stepped floor of the cinema pavilion, which shows films produced by Kassar documenting a range of traditional Lebanese crafts, is lined with mattresses made in Tripoli, Lebanon.

 

Kassar says she is very pleased with how popular the cinema is proving to be with visitors.

 


source: dezeen.com

 

LED Artist Bill FitzGibbons Illuminates Old Railroad

 

LED light sculpturist Bill FitzGibbons has turned Birmingham’s 18th Street railway underpass into LightRails, a dynamic interconnect between the revitalized south side, and city center to the north.

 

FitzGibbons programmed the light piece to play a 17-minute program that loops each night from dusk to dawn. The installation provides the requisite level of white light during the day, while by night the light becomes a colorful garden. Some of the effects used are colors with dazzling white sparkles, color as columns to explore the architectural space. In the smaller pedestrian tunnel, a single fixture can generate a reflection 360° around the tunnel using the beams and arches to provide additional opportunities to show the spectrum.

 

The installation also provides the opportunity for special shows. FitzGibbons already has the installation programmed to switch automatically to a holiday presentation in December with an emphasis on red and green colors. The controller can even store more programs that can be triggered by an astronomical clock. New programs can be downloaded via an SD card.