Why NL Architects + BeL's Winning Proposal for Hamburg's St. Pauli Won't Win You Over With Glossy Renders
After the Bolsheviks secured power in Russia in the late 1910s and eventually created the Soviet Union in 1922, one of the first orders of business was a new campaign, Novyi bit (new everyday life), which sought to advance many of the most hallowed causes of their newly minted socialism. The initiative’s great success came from the bold designs of Constructivist artists such as Alexander Rodchenko, Vladimir Mayakovsky, and Lyubov Popova. Using a high-contrast visual language and a combination of words and symbols, the graphics were arresting and comprehensible in a post-tsarist country that was largely illiterate, and became some of the most recognizable examples of twentieth century graphics and political propaganda.
It's hard not to see the connection between the styles of the Constructivists and the unusual graphics created by NL Architects in association with BeL (Bernhardt und Leeser) Sozietät für Architektur BDA for their competition-winning proposal for Hamburg’s St. Pauli neighborhood, consisting of an urban plan of housing and other amenities at the former site of Esso Häuser on the Spielbudenplatz. And, while this stylistic connection may not have been intentionally drawn by the architects - the inspiration for the graphics is not mentioned in the four-page project description - it is oddly appropriate for this particular development.
Fashion, design and architecture collide in Zaha Hadid's recently completed Dongdaemun Design Plaza, one South Korea's most popular tourist destinations. Commissioned by the Design Plaza's Supervisor of Public Space Young Joon Kim of yo2 Architects, the latest development for the plaza is a series of compact kiosks designed to activate the expansive public space surrounding the new building. One of ten teams invited to submit ideas for these new kiosks, Amsterdam-based NL Architects developed a series of impermanent but practical solutions for the plaza. Using new methods for reuse of standard shipping containers, the team proposed a host of kiosks, with two of their designs - an information booth and a miniature exhibition space - being accepted for construction.
See all of NL Architects' Zaha-inspired shipping container kiosks after the break
Amsterdam-based NL Architects has been shortlisted, alongside three other prestigious teams, to design a new “ArtA” museum and film house for the city of Arnhem. Uniting four main programs - a cinema, art square, museum and park - the “wedge-shaped” structure is designed as an “urban moraine” that cascades towards the city and invites residents to experience the Rhine from an elevated parkway. This formation grants pedestrians two options for museum access: up the Baroque-inspired rooftop park or through the ground level “Art Square” which serves as a “public intermediary” between the building and city, as well as the museum and film theatre.
Housing Corporation VANKE recently asked NL Architects to make a proposal for a Super Market as part of a big resort in Sanya, the southernmost city in China. Renowned for its tropical climate and for being a popular tourist destination, the site of the resort will consist of three clusters of large residential slabs of 21 stories high enveloping semi enclosed gardens. The public space plays a crucial role in the atmosphere of the area as a whole so a lot of consideration is going into creating a pleasant environment. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The proposal by NL Architects and WHAT Architecture for the Columnar Towers: Colville Estate competition attempts to mitigate the effects of a large massing of residences by breaking each tower into a 'bundle' of seven smaller towers, or ‘columns’. Each mini-tower is formed by simple 'stacks' of single apartments. This residential development of 199 apartments in Hackney, London is part of a masterplan by Karakusevic Carson Architects for the regeneration of the Colville Estate. More images and architects’ description after the break.