Thursday, January 29, 2009


The primary intention of the programme is to explore the relationship between the building and its surroundings and between the building users and the landscape.
One of the main design concerns was the building’s environmental adaptation and appropriation. The site slopes down three metres towards the west, offering attractive views over the neighboring hills. Our solution was to create two hierarchically related volumes placed perpendicularly to one another along a north-south axis and following the slope of the site. One of the volumes contains flexible work spaces while the other encloses a workshop, exhibition space and storage areas. The offices occupy the upper area of the site and are raised above ground level to provide an impression of lightness. The idea was also to erase
distinctions between the different kinds of work by avoiding the use of corridors. The result is that the transition areas also act as settings where people can meet
one another or as waiting spaces with pleasant viewslooking out over the countryside.
The workshop volume is located at a lower level and gives the appearance of being solidly anchored to the ground. The intersection of the two volumes serves as the entrance, with a sloped ramp rising up into the building. The elevations and roof are completely constructed from black painted concrete. The roof finish allow it be read as the building’s fifth elevation.

It keeps getting better from LAN

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chipperfield Your Breaking My Fuckin Heart...

I have always be a HUGE fan of David Chipperfield's work, but when I came across this it broke my heart. What the fuck was he thinking designing this minimal neo-fascist set of buildings. I mean REALLY COME ON...REALLY.

David Chipperfield Architects has been selected to design the Master Site Plan for the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas.
Dedicated to exhibiting and preserving the art collection of Houston philanthropists John and Dominique de Menil, the Menil Collection is widely recognized for its depth and diversity.

David Chipperfield Architects’ proposals for the future development of the museum campus suggest the placement of additional facilities – including galleries, a drawing institute, an auditorium, a café, bookshop, and archives – and green space within the existing site.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Not Architecture...But a Very Good Question?

Copenhagen Concert Hall by Jean Nouvel

Has Jean Nouvel created the world's greatest concert hall?

Performing venues as a building type are now regularly testing the established adage that form follows function. Coming in all shapes and sizes, contemporary performing spaces have reacted to new demands imposed on them in recent years. Operators, keen to shrug off an elitist image and desperate to attract younger audiences, have been pushing their architects to design more ‘transparent’ venues. Buildings that allow the public to pervade their outer boundaries and even, in some cases, to allow glimpses of rehearsals from the street. Rafael Viñoly ’s recently completed ‘inside out’ Curve theater in Leicester being a classic example of this new imperative.

So complex are the demands on a 21st century performing venue, that it came as a surprise to see Jay Merrick of the UK newspaper The Independent claiming that Jean Nouvel’s new four hall complex in Copenhagen may be the best in the world. The complexity of this building type, establishing a balance between the all important acoustics, visitor experience and the building’s impact on its urban surroundings must make this sweeping statement questionable

Read the entire article here.

via: WorldArchitectureNews

Saturday, January 24, 2009


SBTV_VICTORIA ACEBO from StudioBanana on Vimeo.

StudioBananaTV interviews the young Spanish architect Victoria Acebo from aceboXalonso.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Checking the Pulse of the Architecture Industry by Archinect

Check out this fantastic survey by Archinect dealing with the depleting economy and the state of architecture.

Click the links below to participate in the survey (Part I)
and view the results (Part II).

Part I
Part II

Saturday, January 17, 2009

In a region where in the height of summer temperatures can rise to 111°F, constructing a steel apartment block seems like insanity. But just such a design is to be created in the West Bangor city of Kolkata in India. Building sanction (which incorporates planning permission and building control) for SymHomes Mk1, a design by Piercy Conner Architects, has been applied for and the design has already received several awards for its innovative sustainable properties.

Piercy Conner’s design was the winning entrant of The Living Steel International Architecture competition in 2005 and went on to win the MIPIM AR Future Project Sustainability Award in 2007. Disregarding convention, the design uses steel for cladding and shuttering as well as the internal structure. Perforated steel shades over the deep-set terraces provide a sustainable solution to air conditioning by allowing air to pass into the room and providing shade from the glaring sun thus cooling the building naturally. When needed, an inner skin can be sealed to allow air-conditioning units to be used in extremes of temperature.

Cultural acknowledgement was important throughout the design process: “India is on the verge of a building explosion but we wanted to avoid the anonymity of Dubai-style development,” says Stuart Piercy, Director of the project. “Instead we wanted to offer a culturally sympathetic yet environmentally intelligent building which retained an Indian identity and created a role-model for sustainable living.”

Piercy Conner Architects

Students Make a WOODEN Supercar

the all-wooden car’s hand-laid bodywork had been mated with the chassis, which was awaiting installation of the twin-supercharged, 32-valve Cadillac-sourced V8 engine and six-speed rear-mounted transaxle from a modern Chevrolet Corvette. Those 600 ponies will be funneled to the rear wheels, which have center hubs made from pressed and laminated wood, naturally. Even the transverse leaf springs are made from orange osage wood.

via: autoblog & Yanko Design

Best Architecture and Design Schools of 2009

Now available: Design Intelligence's America's Best Architecture & Design Schools 2009, a 110-page book listing the top U.S. Architecture, Industrial Design and Interior Design schools.

via: Core77

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Kunsthaus Zürich Extension by REX

Flexibility in contemporary museum design is typically conceived as the creation of generic white boxes in which any exhibition format can be constructed. In practice, as art production grows more diverse and operational budgets scarce, the promise of a blank slate upon which any curatorial vision can be staged becomes constrictive: museum directors and curators cannot afford to transform these generic spaces. The result is not freedom, but imprisonment within a white box.

In contrast, the Kunsthaus Extension can cultivate a more refined approach to museum flexibility by organizing its galleries into an array of distinct typologies, each with its own proportions, materiality, lighting, and circulation. Tailored flexibility remains possible within each gallery type, but without sacrificing the unique qualities of the others. The array thereby sustains curatorial freedom regardless of budgetary constraint: by enabling a wide range of works to be grouped in dynamic contexts within a single building, it can accommodate a spectrum of curatorial visions with little or no alteration to the gallery spaces themselves.

Seemingly, the most compact, simple volume for the stacked galleries—and therefore the most energy- and cost efficient organization—would be a cube. However, a cube does not accommodate the passive energy solutions required by the Kunsthaus Zürich’s adoption of the 2000-Watt Society, such as optimal use of daylight, ample surfaces for photo-voltaics, and self-shading to reduce solar thermal loads. By asymmetrically stretching the cube’s top in response to the angles of the sun …the resulting shape is an optimal combination of minimized overall surface area, maximized daylight penetration and photo-voltaic surface, and favorable sun response (the shape being self-shading in summer, yet allowing sun access in winter).

The galleries are sorted into an array of three distinct typologies—universal, classical, and lyric—and by daylight requirements, locating rooms that demand the most daylight on the higher floors. Instead of a linear, chronological presentation of art work, the typological array can reveal coherence, affinities, and tensions within a range of epochs and movements.

Contrast between typologies is emphasized by allowing their stairs and floor plans to subtly infiltrate the other floors.

Level 1, with its open plan evoking the universality of the Centre Pompidou and Neue Nationalgalerie, houses the temporary exhibitions and two units of galleries for international art since the 1960’s with the lowest natural light requirements. Similar to these museums, Level 1 is entirely reconfigurable; light is admitted or controlled from the perimeter; and artworks can be hung by direct attachment to the trusswork above

The presence of Level 2’s classical galleries above is revealed by bringing that floor’s Imperial stair down into Level 1 and recording the plan of Level 2’s symmetrical gallery layout in Level 1’s ceiling.

Housing the Foundation E.G. Bührle Collection and the galleries for 19th century/classical modernism, Level 2 recalls the classicism of the original Kunsthaus Zürich with its axial, formal parti.

The classical nature of these galleries is subtly reinterpreted by skylights that provide a filtered visual connection to the spaces for repose on Level 3. The central gallery for the Bührle Collection’s masterworks and the Kunsthaus collection’s Water Lilies Room straddle a formal entrance hall (with a classic Imperial stair), engendering equivalence between the two collections while still enabling them to be displayed on their own.

Evoking the spatial heterogeneity and informality of the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Level 3 provides a playful field of boxes of various proportions (and occasionally unique shapes) with which—and against which—curators can operate. Housing four, seemingly unorganized units of galleries for international art since the 1960’s, Level 3 is actually arranged into clearly defined quadrants. Each quadrant can be used separately or as part of a larger curatorial sequence. A variety of differently configurable room sequences can be achieved by combining units, or using only one or two units at a time.

And like the Louisiana and Kanazawa Museums, Level 3 enjoys lyrical circulation designed to provide spaces for repose and contemplation between galleries, and lively, natural light, most notably through skylights with a gradient pattern that allows sky views at the center of the room during the day and night while preventing direct sunlight on or near the gallery walls.

The moments of repose between the Level 3 boxes are sheltered by photo-voltaic glass that allows light to filter down to levels below.

The clarity of the three gallery floors is emphasized by the building’s structural system. Level 2 is not only the Kunsthaus extension’s artistic bridge between the older artistic movements and modern painting, but also its structural bridge spanning the Ground Floor. A series of story-high, steel mega-trusses are concealed within the matrix of Level 2’s gallery walls to form a table top. The mega-trusses span between four concrete cores, cantilevering past them to form the table top’s perimeter. The concrete cores house the vertical circulation and mechanical distribution, and serve as the table’s primary gravity and lateral support.

Level 2’s mega-trusses in turn support Level 1 with hanger columns, and provide a base upon which Level 3’s gallery boxes rest. By hanging Level 1 from above, the Ground Level enjoys a column free space interrupted only by the four concrete cores, allowing circulation and activity from the Heimplatz to flow virtually uninterrupted through the Kunsthaus extension.

The resultant building shape responds equally to urban concerns as it does programmatic requirements. Along its most public frontage, the canted form—wider at the top, narrower at the bottom—simultaneously holds the edge of the site and increases the Heimplatz’s dimension to echo its true significance within the City. The public, spatial quality of the Heimplatz is enlarged and enhanced by the Kunsthaus extension even if transformation of the square itself does not begin for many years. Further, as one enters the extension, the existing Kunsthaus Zürich is reflected by the extension’s façade, creating a dialogue with the rest of the Kunsthaus’ building ensemble; yet, the sloped facades prevent light from reflecting into the extension’s neighbors. In contrast, along Kantonsschulstrasse—a smaller-scale street in close proximity to the Schulhaus Wolfbach—the façade becomes stone and vertical, responding to the site conditions in a more austere and intimate manner.

During daytime, a slumped, mirrored façade creates a jewel-like object in the heart of Zürich that reflects and magnifies the activity of the Heimplatz and the entrance to the Cultural Mile along Rämistrasse.

By night, the facade dematerializes like a jellyfish, revealing the stack of gallery typologies within and contributing to an active evening scene on the Heimplatz.

Rather than viewing the building as an object set within residual landscape spaces, the entire ground plane is conceived as an extensive, open, public surface: a landscape of activity. This sloping, rectangular “floor” encompasses the Heimplatz, the extension’s frontage and Central Hall, and the Art Garden.

A “Thoroughfare” is created from the steps of the original Kunsthaus through the Central Hall and Art Garden up to the steps of the Rämibühl Cantonal School, reinforcing the axial orientation of the existing, historic buildings and drawing people from the Heimplatz into the extension. Like a river, the Thoroughfare winds around activities along its course: ticketing, orientation, coatcheck, café/bar, shop, entrance to the education/event spaces, entrance to the galleries, and the exterior performance area.

The form and placement of these activities can evolve over time without impacting the clarity of the original gesture, and their hours of operation can be independent of one another. Taking advantage of the site’s gradual slope, the Thoroughfare (level with the Heimplatz) creates a protected zone for important art works and a proscenium for art performances as it extends into the Art Garden. Parallel to the Thoroughfare and protected by the extension’s canted façade is a revitalized “Gate to the Arts” along Rämistrasse.

via: Europaconcorsi

T-Project by Y.Tohme Architects

Within a huge existing pine forest environment, T-project is a villa situated on a considerably sloping rocky site naturally leveled framing a superb perspective of green mountains and Beirut city scape. The Villa communicates explicitly with this described natural context kept intact. Our intervention took into consideration the immediate context and the client as primordial elements contributing in the creation of diverse spatial agendas concerning the identity of the overall project image. It is simple and monumental externally complex and organic internally creating quite an interesting contrast. As a result, the intervention produces a duality between the external & the internal discovery of the created moments. A minimal architectural Impact is experienced on the terraced roof structure highlighting mostly the power of inhabiting nature and overlooking Beirut’s horizons. On the other side an internal organic flow of planes valorize exposed main functions through several instances of nature appropriation: a pool, a patio perforate the habitable roof towards its interiors .The villa is an ongoing promenade of space discovery due to the multiple functionality of its planes: The roof and the slab planes are commonly a terrace, a pool, a patio, a garden, a room, a lived moment …This multi sided functional aspect led us to a simple intervention by using only two planes sometimes freestanding clearly triggering a conscious spatial empowerment where we become aware of the villa’s presence on site and some other times leaving the space free to disappear between the rocky site levels and its trees.
As a result the villa has only one glass façade expanding on 50m length reminding us of natural caves where the inhabitant lives a cycle of safety and threat . The abundant southern sunlight allows the planes to float highlighting at a time the power of the built through the power of nature. Actually the villa is in a state of chronic marriage renewal within its context.

T-Project execution will start in May 2009.”
Y.Tohme Architects

Monday, January 12, 2009

Your House by Olafur Eliasson

I saw this book at the MOMA this summer and was amazed at the spatial qualities that Eliasson archived in a two-dimensional medium. check it out the next time your in New York.

Olafur Eliasson's Your House, is a hand-bound, laser cut book that renders the negative space of the artist's house at a scale of 85:1. The book features an exclusive production including a three month production set up and support of computer expert Georg Maria Sagurna to slice up a house in 454 detailed profiles.

Your House demonstrates how new technologies make it possible to rethink our daily products and breaks boundaries by bringing papermaking, paper cutting, laser technology and architecture together in a single book. The piece of paper art is manufactured by the Kremo laser cutting specialists and is commissioned by the The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Monday, January 5, 2009

Movie of Loblolly House by Kieran Timberlake

Named for the tall pines that characterize its site on the Chesapeake Bay, this 2,200 square-foot single family residence seeks to deeply fuse the natural elements of this barrier island to architectural form.
Positioned between a dense grove of loblolly pines and a lush foreground of saltmeadow cordgrass and the bay, the architecture is formed about and within the elements of trees, tall grasses, the sea, the horizon, the sky and the western sun that define the place of the house. This is a design that takes the modular approach to its absolute limit defying the notion that prefabricated houses are all cheap, cheerful and boring. But here it is demonstrated that they need only be a tool in creating architecture that is unique and accessible.

Architects: Kieran Timberlake

via: ultimatehouse

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Architects are Sexiest Male Profession

Architects have been voted the sexiest male professionals, in a survey of women's ideal partners.

My Book of Choice: DataFlow

Visualising Information in Graphic Design

Editors: R. Klanten, N. Bourquin, S. Ehmann, F. van Heerden, T. Tissot
Language: English

Release: September 2008
Price: € 49,90 / $ 78,00 / £ 40,00
Format: 24 x 30 cm
Features: 256 pages, full color, hardcover
ISBN: 978-3-89955-217-1

The application of diagrams extends beyond its classical field of use today. Data Flow charts this development, introduces the expansive scope of innovatively designed diagrams and presents an abundant range of possibilities in visualising data and information. These range from chart-like diagrams such as bar, plot, line diagrams and spider charts, graph-based diagrams including line, matrix, process flow, and molecular diagrams to extremely complex three-dimensional diagrams. Data Flow is an up-to-date survey providing cutting-edge aesthetics and inspirational solutions for designers, and at the same time unlocks a new field of visual codes...