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Open Plan: The Latest Architecture and News

16 Projects that Push the Free Plan to its Limits

Miniso Mexico Office / Grupo Lateral Arquitectura y Construcción. Imagem: © Camila Cossio
Miniso Mexico Office / Grupo Lateral Arquitectura y Construcción. Imagem: © Camila Cossio

Modern architecture, visible in contemporary production, is usually related to the use of guidelines established by Le Corbusier's five points of architecture. Despite being widely known and debated for years, these points continue to be revisited and rethought in projects from various places and contribute to the creation of interesting buildings in various programs.

AD Classics: Amsterdam Orphanage / Aldo van Eyck

© CCA Mellon Lectures © CCA Mellon Lectures © CCA Mellon Lectures © CCA Mellon Lectures + 14

Dutch Architect Aldo van Eyck built the Amsterdam Orphanage in 1960. His design focused on a balance of forces to create both a home and small city on the outskirts of Amsterdam.

Hybrid Homes: Living and Working Collide in These 26 Projects

© Tsukui Teruaki © Toshiyuki Yano © Vincent Hecht © Charles Davis Smith + 27

Normally, houses are divided into common areas, rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms. However, sometimes the client demands to add other programs related to their work or hobbies, making efficient design and daily spatial distribution more complex. As architects, we are faced with an interesting challenge: to merge the private life of its inhabitants with more public and open programs, generating exciting mixed-use spaces.

If you are interested in designing hybrid homes, we have selected 26 houses with additions including shops, soccer fields, barns, greenhouses, and even skateparks.

Learn About Open Floor Plans Via These 6 Iconic Residences

Le Corbusier's "Five Points of Architecture" functioned in the twentieth century as the go-to guide for architectural production; it is also a significant work in understanding the legacy of modern architecture. Horizontal windows, free design of the facade, pilotis, roof gardens, and perhaps the most significant point, free design of the ground plan form the Franco-Swiss architect's manifesto. In terms of design practice, this last point means distinguishing structure and wrapper, which allows the free disposal of dividing walls that no longer fulfill a structural function.

Residential projects were once characterized by a clear division of environments linked to domestic dynamics, now filtered by modern discourse, the house became flexible and capable of new spatial articulations.

To better understand the modern domestic space, we gathered some of the most emblematic examples of residences and their floor plans.

Mecanoo Reveals Images (And a LEGO Model) of Competition-Winning Social Housing Proposal in Taiwan

Mecanoo has released images of their competition-winning social housing proposal for the city of Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The 234-unit-scheme embodies Mecanoo’s philosophy towards social housing, “defined by flexibility, the right balance of private and communal spaces, mixing housing types, connection with the environment and identity.” Comprised of two buildings linked by a green canopy, the scheme is designed for a variety of users, including students, young families, the elderly, or people with special needs.

Masterplan. Image Courtesy of Mecanoo Lego model. Image Courtesy of Mecanoo Design concept. Image Courtesy of Mecanoo Lego model. Image Courtesy of Mecanoo + 13

Street Canvas II / TA architect

1F service point with pool. Image © Tung Yuh Kuan view. Image © Tung Yuh Kuan view. Image © Tung Yuh Kuan 1F cafe. Image © Tung Yuh Kuan + 34

  • Architects: TA architect
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 192.81
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2017

Why Open-Plan Offices Don't Work (And Some Alternatives That Do)

This article was originally published by Amar Singh on Medium titled "You're working in the wrong place."

At my most recent job, I did all of my best work at home. I would actively try to avoid the office for as long as possible. At home, I had two desks and complete control over my environment. Distractions and breaks were choices.

Once I went into the office, the environment changed. There were constant distractions, from other employees, dogs barking (for the record: puppers were a net positive), impromptu meetings and birthday celebrations. It was very difficult to get into flow states and incredibly easy to be broken from them. Of all the places I could work, my desk at the office was often the worst option.

UNStudio Designs Dubai Supertall with One of the World's Tallest Ceramic Facades

UNStudio, working in collaboration with Werner Sobek, have unveiled their designs for the Wasl Tower, a 300-meter tall skyscraper in Dubai. Centrally located along the main thoroughfare that connects the Emirates north to south, the Wasl Tower sits directly opposite the Burj Khalifa and, once completed, will feature one of the world’s tallest ceramic facades. Inspired by the movement of the city, the 300-meter supertall building takes on a "contrapposto" form, responding to the Sheikh Zayed Road along which it is sited.

From Cubicles to Hot-Desks, Here Are the Origins of the Open-Plan Office

Some love them, some loath them: open-plan office spaces are either conducive to conversation and collaboration or nothing more than noisy environments defined by distractions. Much, for instance, has been questioned recently about the "innovative" open working environments in Apple's new Cupertino campus. In a new series by Vox, overlooked, misrepresented, and overrated phenomena are put under the microscope. By exploring the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, Herman Miller, and others, this episode posits that open office spaces are, contrary to popular assumption, "misunderstood for their role in workplace culture."

Where did open offices and cubicles come from, and are they really what we want?

MVRDV Breaks Ground on Riverfront Housing Complex in Bordeaux

MVRDV and local architects Flint have revealed designs for a new riverfront mixed-use housing complex in Bordeaux, Ilot Queyries, as the project breaks ground. Located on the east bank of Garonne River, the site will house over 300 apartments, retail spaces, a rooftop restaurant, and a communal park in a densely mixed environment. The complex will integrate into the neighboring ZAC Bastide-Niel masterplan by MVRDV to create a lively urban neighborhood aimed at “combining the virtues of the historic city–intimacy, surprise and liveliness– with the density, ecology, light and comfort of the modern city.”

Courtesy of MVRDV Courtesy of MVRDV Courtesy of MVRDV Courtesy of MVRDV + 6

Farmers Park / Hufft Projects

© Mike Sinclair  © Mike Sinclair  © Mike Sinclair  © Mike Sinclair  + 16

Springfield, United States
  • Architects: Hufft Projects
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 156400.0
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2014

2 Girls Building / Kavellaris Urban Design

© Peter Clarke © Peter Clarke © Peter Clarke © Peter Clarke + 27

Melbourne, Australia

Quai Ouest - Riverbanks Of The Meurthe / Anne Démians

© Jean-Pierre Porcher et AAD © Jean-Pierre Porcher et AAD © Jean-Pierre Porcher et AAD © Jean-Pierre Porcher et AAD + 14

Why Students Need a Space of Their Own

Public/Private, the Spring 2015 issue of ArchitectureBoston (out now) examines current trends in how we view public and private space and the effect these have on architecture. Tackling spaces as diverse as social space, the workplace, residential life, transportation, or civic territory, the issue examines what happens when notions of public an private space intersect. In the following article, originally published under the title "Quiet, please," Laura Wernick FAIA explores the need for enclosed, private spaces within educational facilities.

I walk by William Rawn’s Cambridge Public Library extension twice a day on my way to and from work. I love the transparency of the south façade. It is sharp and crisp, and I can see right through to all of the exploring, socializing, reading, and working taking place within. When I go into the library for research or study, however, I tend to move quickly away from the openness of the new building into the old one. I find a semi-enclosed quiet spot away from the crowds, turn off social media, and get to work.

When One Size Does Not Fit All: Rethinking the Open Office

Workplace design has undergone a radical transformation in the last several decades, with approximately seventy percent of today’s modern offices now converted to open plans. However, despite growing concerns over decreases in worker productivity and employee satisfaction, the open office revolution shows no sign of slowing down. The open office model has proliferated without regard for natural differences in workplace culture, leading to disastrous results when employees are forced into an office that works against their own interests. If we are to make offices more effective, we must acknowledge that ultimately, design comes out of adapting individual needs for a specific purpose and at best, can create inviting spaces that reflect a company’s own ethos.

Workplaces of the Future to Abandon the Open Plan and Feed Employees with Sky Gardens

The winners of Metropolis Magazine's Workplace of the Future 2.0 Design Competition have been announced. This year's competition challenged participants to redefine the idea of the office, illustrating their interpretation of the evolution of workplaces within the next 15 years.

Although their approaches are different, each of the winning designs, selected from 153 entries, shows innovation in how they develop new office prototypes by employing technological ingenuity, maintaining much of the same construction while providing different experiences to suit the employees' unique needs. The winning entry (Organic Grid +) and the runner-up (the Hybrid Office) both reflect architecture which is highly receptive to its inhabitants.

Learn more about the winners after the break.

Nine Bridges "The Forum" / D·Lim Architects

© Joonhwan Yoon
© Joonhwan Yoon

© Joonhwan Yoon © Joonhwan Yoon © Joonhwan Yoon © Joonhwan Yoon + 30

AD Classics: Peabody Terrace / Sert, Jackson & Gourley

Built in 1964 during his tenure as Dean at the Graduate School of Design, Josep Lluís Sert’s Peabody Terrace provides housing for almost 1500 Harvard graduate students and their families. One of several projects Sert designed for Harvard’s campus, it is a manifestation of his vision for the ideal neighborhood. Many elements such as the negotiation of scale, mixed use program, shared open space and design aesthetic were influenced by but represent a departure from earlier modern housing projects.

Peabody Terrace is a prototypical example of a twentieth-century project heralded by the architectural community as an exemplar of progressive modern ideals, but lambasted by neighbors and members of the general public for being unattractive, cold and imposing. This project and others like it highlight the disconnect that can occur between the architectural intelligentsia and the communities in which they build.  

Via Wikiarquitectura © Alexandru Culiuc Via Wikiarquitectura via Wikipedia Commons + 26