Chinese Studio Pei-Zhu has designed the Xixi Wetland Art Museum located in a rural nature preserved near Hangzhou, China. The concept stems from the interaction between building and nature. As leaves fall from trees they arrive naturally on the ground. The resulting form creates shelter against the earth.
This design creates the genuine qualities of scattered, fallen leaves and shelter through five buildings. Some leaves overlap and attach with other leaves. One leaf remains separate, yet still unites in visual language with the linked leaves. The four linked structures house functions for business, recreation, a hotel, restaurant, and reception. The single standing leaf is the art museum.
The buildings are covered by light colored, reflective zinc panels that have a brushed finish, resulting in a diffused and soft reflection of their interactions with people and nature. this blending influences a person as they experience the museum. All colors, light, and details merge into a continuous representation that is not recognizable as individual objects, but are distinguished as a uniform and natural image.
GRAFT was one of the first practices that started working with Make It Right to redevelop the Lower 9th Ward area in New Orleans. Their single family home design has been picked by 3 homeowners so far, with 2 already finished and 1 in construction phase.
Gerd Priebe, a German based architecture firm, has completed a new curved office building to expand Saegeling Medizintechnik’s medical equipment complex in Heidenau, Germany. The new building is “organically formed….and sets a striking architectural highlight directly adjacent to the existing company headquarters,” explained the architects.
More about the new office building after the break.
Designliga, a design agency from Munich, Germany, has just created the perfect room for a child. Here, the children can play, hide, built or just relax.
“Playground for Leif” marks a clear end to tradition in children’s room design and offers a new look and a brand new world of experiences for children and family members alike. The room is designed using a unique piece of furniture that meets the practical needs of a children’s room while at the same time provides excitement, inspiration, and a feeling of independence.
More images and architect’s description, after the break.
Atelier Hitoshi Abe shared with us their duplex house for the new phase of the Make It Rightproject we presented earlier. A renovated version of a shotgun house, the Hotlinks project offers several configurations depending on the client´s needs as described on the architect´s description and diagrams after the break:
Brad Pitt´s Make It Right Foundation has been working with a group of international architects to redevelop the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans, after hurricane Katrina. The name of the foundation addresses the desire of Pitt, architecture enthusiast, to design these houses the best way and not just as a temporary solution, in a process that also included working not only with these renowned firms, but also very close with the community, with a focus on sustainable development.
The designs are referential, and each client (as the houses aren´t “free”, yet they use existing finance ways and low interest loans) can pick a design, which is then adjusted by local firm John C. Williams Architects to suite the client´s needs.
A first phase included single family homes, designed by practices such as Kieran Timberlake, Shigeru Ban, Morphosis, MVRDV and Trahan Architects. As of now 8 houses have been built, and more than 10 houses are already on construction or in the permit process.
Make It Right has recently unveiled a second phase with 14 duplex homes to accommodate up to 2 families, which include a site-specific sustainable strategy and flexible plans for future family growth. But also, the practices were required to meet integration with the street and the use of landscaping as a design and energy element.
Nestled among the Forest Hill neighborhood in Toronto, Paul Raff Studio‘s latest sustainable residence is “a marriage of environmentally responsible building strategies and elegant architectural composition.” The 353m2 residence, entitled the Cascade House, is designed in an I-formation around an outdoor swimming pool and offers a high quality of aesthetics in addition to environmentally friendly strategies.
C. F. Møller Architects, in collaboration with Kristin Jarmund Arkitekter, have won a major competition to design a new landmark for Oslo. Their project, entitled Crystal Clear, consists of three towers, which are composed of stacked, prismatic volumes that will provide a dynamic new addition to the city’s skyline.
The walking houses are man-sized models of their latest architectural project: a tourist destination located on the northern west coast of Norway. As the project depends on the idea of travelling, they decided it was only fair that the houses got to do some travelling too!
The project consists of a group of narrow high-rise modules welcoming the guests of the Norwegian west coast. The systematic and flexible module-system allows the outdoor spaces, the miniature high-rise modules and the interiors to be designed in collaboration with the future inhabitants and selected artists.
More images after the break.
It seems fitting that since the Guggenheim is currently featuring the works of its designer, Frank Lloyd Wright, we should feature some of the process work of the iconic museum. Well known for its white curving form, it is important to note that the current rendition of the museum is vastly different from Wright’s original ideas. The struggle between the architect and the client (in this case Solomon R. Guggenheim, a wealthy mining entrepreneur) to see eye-to-eye is not something new, however it is interesting to consider whether the renowned museum would still have its status if it were as Wright had originally envisioned: a polygonal structure, partly in blue or perhaps a red-marble structure with long-slim pottery red bricks.
SPF Architects, based in Culver City, California, have created an design for the Zhuhai Opera House in Guangdong Province, China. Learning from the traditional principles of the region, the opera house’s form gives the appearance of stacked pebbles. Such an idea was conceived as a way to create a visual balance based on the Chinese principle from the five element theory. The opera house has three stacked levels that provide varying programmatic activities, such as a 1500 seat auditorium, large plaza gathering space, rehearsal hall, restaurants and other public amenities. A forest behind the structure gives the impression of growth and sustainability.
In times of crisis, hope is what we need. And hope is what the latest issue of Volume magazine explores under the title “Architecture of Hope”.
Once again, Arjen Oosterman writes a short yet provocative editorial, starting by why they choose to only use black&white images on this issue. He brings back the subject of the welfare society during post-War, and compares the european and american models of sprawl/density which are key aspects of current crisis.
And since hope is the word of the day, “Yes we can” is also mentioned on the editorial and other articles related to Obama.
Visiondivision shared with us their design for the Royal Elephant Pavilion which was rewarded an honorable mention in a not so ordinary competition. Recently, the Swedish King Carl XVI Gustav received two female elephants from the King and Queen of Thailand as a way to express their gratitude for the creation of a Buddhist pavilion in the north of Sweden. Stemming from this event, a competition was created to design the facilities for the two elephants.
With the city of Almere’s growth expected to require thousands of new residences, work places and related facilities, MVRDV was commissioned to collaborate with the city to design a concept structure vision to accommodate such drastic expansion. MVRDV’s Vision 2030 will create a framework to satisfy the growth for about 20 years. ”The structure vision for Almere is more than an urban master plan…” said Adri Duivesteijn, city councilor of Almere, “…it describes how the city can develop in economic, cultural and social terms. The expansion is not a quantitative effort. Even though the number of 60,000 new homes is impressive, the main objective is the addition of new qualities. Almere wants to serve the demand of the Randstad and at the same time needs the chance to develop into an ecologic, social and economically sustainable city”.
With the completion of a first cycle of ten years, the graduate architecture program of DIA (Dessau Institute of Architecture) is hosting an international colloquium on the potential and implications of graduate architectural education viewed as a laboratory for design research.
DIA views this colloquium as a medium for reviewing a decade of its own achievements as well a critical vehicle for an exchange of perspectives on advanced architectural and design education in general and upon graduate design education in particular.
The colloquium will focus upon pedagogical models which emphasize experimental design and approaches to research-oriented activity as new foundations for design education. Diverse interpretations of the idea of the design laboratory as an alternative to the design studio will be critically presented and the components of such models will be introduced.
Location is Bauhaus Lecture Hall (Arch. Walter Gropius 1926), Dessau, Germany. You can register at this email: email@example.com. Full program after the break.
Our friends from Design Crave shared with us these amazing photos of the recently opened public glass balconies for public viewing. The 1.5″ thick glass floor (which resists up to 5 tons) offers amazing views over Chicago, from 1,353 feet in the air.
As you can see on a picture after the break, the balcony cantilevers from the main structure.
Architectural Design Competition d3 is pleased to announce the winners of the Natural Systems competition for 2009. The program promotes investigation of natural systems from microscopic to universal toward determining new architectonic strategies.
The competition invited architects, designers, engineers, and students to collectively explore the potential for analyzing, documenting, and deploying nature-based, sustainable influences in urbanism, architecture, interiors, and designed objects.
The competition awarded seven prizes, with first place captured by London-based Kenny Kinugasa-Tsui and Lorene Faure for their project: “Urban Agriculture: Hybridized Farm Bridge as City Garden”. Some of the awards, after the break.
A few days ago I received the latest issue of Mark Magazine (nº20, jun-jul). Once again it´s a white cover issue, featuring this time a house in Argentina by LA-based Johnston & Mark Lee, and the quote “All these French philosophers just send me to sleep” by Yung Ho Chang.
This issue includes a very good set of interviews with Keiichiro Sako and Pezo von Ellrichshausen, but lets start by the begining: