Architects: Menkès Shooner Dagenais Le Tourneux Architectes
Location: Kirkland (Québec), Canada
Client: Pfizer Canada inc.
Project Architect: Anik Shooner
Team: Jean-Pierre Le Tourneux, Paolo Zasso, Julie Morin, Kristi Ante, Marlène Bourque, Marc-Antoine Chartier-Primeau, Mylène Deschênes, Shahinda Eldessouki, Pierre Gervais, Jean-François Jodoin, Vincent Lauzon, Josiane Mac, Isabel Noël, Annie Paradis, Harvens Piou, Gaétan Roy, Isabel Roy , Michel Tessier
Engineers: Bouthillette Parizeau et Associés, Marchand Houle et associés, SDK et Associés
Photographs: Courtesy of Menkès Shooner Dagenais Le Tourneux Architectes
Our favorite sketchbook has gone digital! Moleskine presents The Hand of the Architect – an iPad app featuring 378 sketches and drawings from 110 internationally renowned architects, such as Assadi, Botta, Fuksas, Graves, Gregotti, Hadid, Foster and Piano, “showing that every project always begins by hand”. All the works were collected by FAI (Italian National Trust) with the aim of raising funds to restore Piero Portaluppi’s Villa Necchi, known as a 1930s masterpiece of Italian rationalism in Milan. Sketches and drawings are accompanied by essays, captions and the biographies of the architects. You can purchase the app for $18.99 here on iTunes.
Together, Skylar Tibbits and Arthur Olson presented a large-scale installation at the 2012 TED Conference in Long Beach, CA entitled The Self-Assembly Line – a large-scale version of a self-assembly virus module, demonstrated as an interactive and performative structure. A discrete set of modules are activated by stochastic rotation from a larger container/structure that forces the interaction between units. The unit geometry and attraction mechanisms (magnetics) ensure the units will come into contact with one another and auto-align into locally-correct configurations. Overtime, as more units come into contact, break away, and reconnect, larger, furniture scale elements emerge. Given different sets of unit geometries and attraction polarities various structures could be achieved. By changing the external conditions, the geometry of the unit, the attraction of the units and the number of units supplied, the desired global configuration can be programmed. Continue reading for more.
The MIT Media Lab’s Mediated Matter group is perhaps not the first choice of exploration for architects and architecture students. What does “mediated matter” have to do with the design of urban and suburban space and structures? Quite a lot, as it turns out. Because the goal of this group is to develop “novel processes that enable and support the design of physical matter,” using computer design combined with “biologically inspired fabrication.”
Below, I look at three projects developed and directed by Neri Oxman, an assistant professor of media arts and sciences at the MIT Media Lab. Professor Oxman also received her PhD in design computation from MIT.
We begin with a project that combines local and global-based knowledge as they relate to construction. The Rapid Craft project basically mines local construction designs and techniques and combines them with the latest design technologies.
Architects: Syntax Architecture + Illichmann Architecture
Location: Vienna, Austria
Client: Flughafen Wien AG
Collaborators: Michael Barth, Martina Barth-Sedelmayer, Alexander Spauwen, Sebastian Illichmann, Sebastian Hirschfeld
Construction Area: 280 sqm
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Roman Boensch
Burnt down in 2009, the beautiful Vaaler church from 1805 has been designed as a new church by WE Architecture. Meant to provide symbolic landmark to succeed the old building, the new Vaaler church is placed further east from the placement of the old church, marking the historic axis with its tower. The new building is designed as a simple box where one corner is lifted up in order to point out the church room and the tower. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Denmark’s third largest city, Odense, has a major transformative plan for their city center by 2020. In the 1960s, the Thomas B Thriges Gade allowed Odense to accomodate the demands of growing vehicular traffic, but since then, the city has been hard pressed to break from this defining infrastructure. Utopian City Scape and Entasis have teamed to create a multi-stage development plan for the city center as a way to restore the cohesiveness of a city that has been fragmented by the Thomas B Thriges. The plan sees the introduction of a massive amount of building (more than 55,000 sqm!) that will provide over 300 housing opportunities and 1000 work places. By filling in the street, the smaller networks of secondary streets will be strengthened to create pedestrian passageways and prominades, creating intimate moments that become defined by the edges of the buildings. While we enjoy the light rail system that works its way around the city center, the idea of including a parking lot that accommodates nearly 1000 vehicles seems a bit contradictory. Perhaps, without it, citizens would rely move heavily upon the public infrastructure and the new “connected” feeling of the city to circulate. The absence of cars would further strengthen Odense’s move away from a city defined by the vehicle and would allow the master plan to implement its sustainability theme on a macro level.
Seeking to improve their outdated and overcrowded department library, the intention for the design of the Law school library aims at housing their growing book collection and creating a central focus for the school. After numerous studies and surveys indicated that students and faculties in Tsinghua hunger for open and easy-communication space, Zhubo based their concept on a people-oriented idea instead of a formalistic one. At the same time, they hoped for an eye-catching library that enlivens the campus, creating a destination that attracts both students and teachers. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The Hong Kong Alternative Car Park Tower, designed by Chris Y. H. Chan + Stephanie M. L. Tan…, is an alternative building typology that could fit for a city with very limited land resources. At the same time, they
Mjölk Architects shared with us their winning entry, titled ‘Polar Hen’, to an international arts and architecture competition in Winnipeg, MB, Canada. Their design consists of a pump with a sprinkler connected to a compressor and a generator creating a very fearsome creature which lays ‘ice eggs’. The Warming Huts v.2012 was an open competition endorsed by the Manitoba Association of Architects. More images and brief architects’ description after the break.