In the heyday of high modernism, architects such as Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe extolled the aesthetic value of whiteness, which they viewed as connoting purity and simplicity. Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House, for example, paired the stripped-down whiteness of its structural skeleton with expansive floor-to-ceiling windows, using the enveloping natural light to further elevate the already heavenly aspirations of the space. Today, some contemporary architects and designers have evolved the sublime aesthetics of white high modern architecture by using translucent fabric partitions, complementing the purity of the white walls with the fabrics’ ethereal play of light and shadow. Below, we discuss different design strategies for working with white fabrics in this way, and include two examples of projects that have used translucent fabrics in soothing but innovative ways.
White: The Latest Architecture and News
Nearly 100 architects, designers, and consultants have been developing designs for a competition for the new government quarter in Oslo. Drawing an initial 24 entries, the intent of the competition was to generate viable solutions for the future relocation of all government ministries (excluding the defense ministry), emphasizing an urban atmosphere and public elements. In the six shortlisted proposals from both local and international firms, including BIG, Snøhetta, and MVRDV, the themes of building tall and introducing green space emerged.
Now a ten-member committee of industry professionals will assist Statsbygg, the public construction advisers collaborating on the government's behalf, with the evaluation of each design. Take a look at the six proposals after the break.