Posts Tagged ‘modern architecture’
Brazilian Designer Guilherme Torres Creates Cool, Sustainable, & Cozy at MostraBlack 2013
June 13th, 2013 – In the 18th century, the word ‘hotel’ was defined, at first, as the official address of the King of France. The term was later extended to describe the aristocrats’ houses and became a synonym for a large private residence which stood out in the neighboring area. A common practice among elite members was to rent its pied-a-terre when they were away for long periods. That experience allowed tenants to enjoy, though for a short time, the exclusive and reserved luxury of the finest addresses in Europe.
From this concept, described by Jaques-François Blondel in several of his treatises of architecture, Brazilian designer Guilherme Torres took advantages of the sensations caused by the characteristics of the space allocated to him at this years MostraBlack.
MostraBlack is a 40-day annual event that brings creative and conceptual content of the top professionals in architecture, décor, and design throughout several areas of Brazil. Guilherme Torres and his team were selected by MostraBlack to showcase an oasis of comfort and style right in the heart of urban chaos, baptized Hotel Black.
Cool, sustainable, and absolutely snug and cozy. The bamboo – with none of its eastern folklore – plays a central role in the project. Bamboo is used on the floor, ceiling and some of the walls, which divide the scene, with an incredible three-dimensional ceramic coating, almost optical – The architect’s interpretation of the legendary fresco paintings and tromp l’oeils of the court in the old continent.
The lighting technique, which illuminates the space with energy efficiency, is brought to life through large tensioned screen panels. The high standard interior architecture travels beyond modern and functional furniture – most of the furniture pieces were designed by the architect’s team, specifically for this dreamy hotel exhibition where contemporary masterpieces interact with the passer-by. It’s an invitation to relaxation. It’s unforgettable, to say the least, revealing the city at your feet.
During the forty days of shows, the last five floors of MostraBlack’s Tower A, located in the complex WTorre Plaza, receive thirty spaces freely acclimated by a mix of new talent with renowned architects, decorators and landscapers coming from various states Brazil.
Brazilian designer Guilherme Torres and his design team at MostraBlack 2013.
Photography By Guilherme Torres Studio
June 12th, 2013 – Ever wonder what it would look like to paint your bedroom door neon green? Dash your walls with black polka-dots? Or hang a huge yellow chandelier over your dining room table? Architects Nick Travers and Justin Northrop, founders of Melbourne-based architecture practice Techne, weren’t shy to add playful splashes of color and quirky design details to their latest residential restoration, South Yarra House.
To celebrate the existing Victorian structure, the architects skillfully preserved the exquisite detailed lacework balcony, interior crown moldings, and arched hallways, then juxtaposed the space with modern design elements. Techne’s design concept for this residential alteration and addition was to pare back the fussiness of the existing Victorian residence and at the same time celebrate its stately proportions.
The family that resides in the South Yarra House are avid art collectors. Because of this, Travers and Northrop conjured up a monochromatic color scheme to showcase the family’s art and furniture which imbues the interior with a frenetic vibrancy.
After passing the zestful stained glass that surrounds the entry door, Techne composed an interior strategy, where each area of the home complements the next.
The living room and dining room are bursting with colorful attributes such as the visually engaging paintings by artist Abbey McCulloch resting on the mantle, bright orange decorative vases, and a contrasting zebra rug over the hardwood floors.
Upstairs, the white washed wood flooring is a stark contrast from the dark wood planks that make up the flooring on the first level. Here, Techne’s clients are able to showcase their art collection in a gallery-like setting; hanging masterpieces by the likes of Australian painter Darren Wardle.
A neon green door creates an imaginative entrance to the children’s room, where polka dot walls, bright yellow bed frames, and a unique red table set collectively tell a jolly story.
This post is curated by KNSTRCT in partnership with Jaguar. Experience F-TYPE.
June 12th, 2013 – Ever wish you could add a little more greenery and light to your life? Nope, that dead, neglected orchid in the corner of your cubicle doesn’t count, nor the flickering fluorescent excuse for a light. We’re talking about stripping down the walls and welcoming the sun with open arms (and SPF 75). We’re talking about ‘living’ greenhouses – a growing design trend.
‘Living’ greenhouses are re-defining the function of the classic greenhouse by utilizing the traditional plant conservatory as homes, offices, and restaurants. The architects behind these brilliantly simple structures have been transparent in their designs. Literally. They’re providing a fresh perspective by breaking down conventional walls and erecting translucent spaces that flood living and working zones with warmth and sunlight.
Besides looking super cool and making your sad, stucco-clad neighbors obscenely jealous, these ethereal structures serve as veritable hot beds for inspiration and fresh ideas. You could say they’re fertile grounds for growth – personal or otherwise. Opaque wall treatments add privacy and sun protection, and proper ventilation systems can control heating and cooling. Not to mention, plants offer positive psychological effects and indoor air purification, removing CO2, which is correlated with lower work performance. One thing’s for sure, when it comes to living greenhouses, the only thing that’ll be in a vegetative state are the Ficus plants. We give them two green thumbs up.
Casa Mediterráneo has teamed up with Manuel Ocaña Arquitecto to breathe new life into an old railway station in Benalúa, Alicante. The archaic exoskeleton of the former station remains, while new life springs forth under the Klein-blue translucent roof.
Sunlight reverberates off an aluminum lattice, casting a sea of blue shadows onto a range of event spaces, built to host exhibitions, concerts, shows or parties – all supporting Casa Mediterráneo’s pillar of fostering public diplomacy. Photography captured by David Frutos.
To combat short hours of sunlight in the winter, Tato Architects erected the top floor of their residential project inside sheds that sit atop the roof. Designed for a small family in a residential neighborhood in Japan, the project utilized translucent polycarbonate walls to allow for maximum sunlight, a stable indoor climate and ample ventilation for the lower floor.
Brilliantly simple in design, the sunroom collects heat in winter, and exhausts heat in summer via the breeze from five motor-operated windows.
Sitting atop Copenhagen’s rectangular urban landscape like a bubble perfectly poised to pop, The Dome of Visions’ delicately erected skeleton and glass-like façade almost create gravity-defying floating effect. Designed by Danish architects Kristoffer Tejlgaard and Benny Jepsen, The Dome encourages vibrant life in a space clouded by construction cranes and freight containers. Upon entering, guests’ senses are greeted with the warmth of a summer afternoon, the wafting scent of rosemary and the spectacular sight of a 100-year old olive tree.
An angular steel and glass framework comprise the beautifully transparent House Café located in the Kanyon Shopping Mall in Istanbul. The brainchild of Turkish design firm Autoban, the cafe is an adaptation of the mall’s original architecture, revamped with a walnut platform that adds warmth to the space and elevates it to a whole new playing field.
Founded on the structure of a carbon molecule, the dome allows for substantial strength and stability, while the construction optimizes resources, using minimal building materials and boasting reduced energy consumption for heating due to minimal surface area and the aerodynamic form.
The epitome of waterfront property, the Garden Shed by architect Ville Hara and designer Linda Bergroth of Hel Yes! features a unique prefabricated garden shed on a remote Finnish island. Customizing their prototype with a wooden floor, solar panels, steps made from reclaimed brick, safety glass and automatic openers to control the temperature inside, the pre-made greenhouse can be bought in four different variations and is built upon modular parts that can be assembled by simply using an everyday screwdriver.
Mirroring spindly scaffolding, House NA utilizes an open floor plan with minimal walls, ever-ascending levels, and a bright, airy aesthetic. Designed by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, the Tokyo house is divided into three main stories, then subdivided further into staggered platforms. The open interior is comprised of 21 individual floor plates situated at various heights, allowing residents to move freely and unobstructed from one sun-drenched space to another.
Leyk and Wollenberg created an L-shaped layout by securing a collective of wooden dowels from the floor to ceiling. The repetitive dowels create an interesting design feature while defining the spacial perimeters of the space. Central to the restaurant is a large food prepping and buffet station where Total’s employees gather around to load up on daily specials. Both, the dining area and the food counter are crafted from oak wood then stained in black to stand out amongst the neutral-toned color palette of tans and white. Various sized table tops and counters are methodically scattered throughout the lounge to promote a social environment for Total’s employees.
The collaboration between JCA and Les Bébés happened when Chiu and his partner were having a drink outside their office after a long night of diligent work. “Our friend who we have known from our dragon boat team rode their bicycle passed us.” Chui says, “we said hi and realized they were looking for a retail space around the neighborhood. We advise them about a shop that just came on the market by the corner of our office. The next day the shop was rented, and we were commissioned to design their first brand shop.”
“From the first meeting with the client, I was fascinated with the cupcake packaging, how a flat surface cardboard could eventually fold up to create a space that allows for the cupcake to be taken away.” Chiu explained. “After much study, this exact “folding” action became our main concept in creating a space where cupcakes and how we view/walk/rest/taste became a unified experience.”
The shape of the store is simple; rectangular with an a-frame ceiling, playing on the idea of the outside folding into the inside, and vice versa. Breaking the boundaries of interior and exterior, the clean glass facade is acutely cut into the perimeter of the space to abolish the division of exterior and interior. Secured into the glass facade is a black wooden door and a two-toned square shelf to display the daily cupcake special.
Inside, a long marble top counter stretches back to a black painted wall. On the adjacent wall, a long shelf functions as a bar top for the sweet-lovers to enjoy their treat. As the shelf stretches along the wall, it breaks up into tiny shelves to display the cupcake packages in a modern singular manner.
Chiu explained that the success of the first shop has prompted Les Bébés owners to open up their second shop: Les Bebes Cafe and Bar, opening soon.
Photography by Kevin Wu
June 3rd, 2013 - The codfish – “bacalhau” – has always been deeply knitted into Portuguese cuisine. Legend has it that there are at least 1000 thousand ways to cook it, making this fish a local foodie favorite. Architects Nuno Mateus and José Mateus, co-founders of Portugual-based architecture firm ARX, designed the Ílhavo Maritime Museum in the city of Ílhavo back in 2002, the finalized project was even deserving of nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award in 2003.
Now, the museum is one of the most visited museums in the region of Centro de Portugal, telling a story of high sea fishing in the Newfoundland and in Greenland, as well as in the “ria” of Aveiro. The Mateus brothers have recently revisited their celebrated museum to design a new codfish aquarium.
The codfish aquarium connects two other buildings and is a complex built ensemble. At the heart of the building museum visitors will find the fish and the sea. The visitor’s path is a spiraling ramp, a journey that begins in suspension over the tank, to turn into a diving mode of gradual discovery, an experience of immersion in the cod habitat. The informal auditorium, with extensive visibility into the aquarium, marks a pause in the visit for contemplation and information about the life of this species.
The architects use their expertise in creating contrast and movement throughout the space as architectural elements such as ramped hallways, stairs, and exhibition features visually fold into one another, allowing the visitors to learn about the history of codfish fishing in a fantastic way.
The aquarium features a Sea Room that presents an interesting collection of nautical instruments and miniatures of ancient boats. The new extension will be the first in the country, and the ideal place to observe this interesting species with a closer look. The Codfish Aquarium is a must-see spot of the city of Ílhavo, which intensely promotes the preservation of sea traditions.
May 2nd, 2013 – 10 years after the opening of Barcelona’s Hotel Amrey Sant Pau, the Spanish-based hospitality group is opening the doors to it’s second establishment, Room Mate Pau. The hotel, which was designed by renowned architect and interior designer Teresa Sapey, is decked out with vibrant color pallets, charismatic graphics, and cosmopolitan decor.
The 66-suite hotel is located in the center of Barcelona, steps from Plaza Catalunya, and La Rambla; the most famous pedestrian street of the city.
Sapey’s reputation of using bright colors and bold objects in her designs is what made her a perfect choice for the lively Room Mate Pau Hotel. The Italian architect was called upon by the owners to create a hotel that is both friendly and stylish.
The building, which has just undergone a full restoration, now has an atrium full of piercing eye balls, and an elevator shaft outfitted with a huge mural of a ambiguous person wearing a houndstooth patterned dress coat. Spacey transformed large wall patterns into cool backdrops to unique and minimalistic furniture pieces that create a one of a kind experience for hotel guests.
Photography By Room Mate Pau
April 24th, 2013 – In Bangkok’s seaside province of Rayong, a family-style seafood eatery designed by the Architects at Onion is adding a cozy, yet modern, atmosphere to the local dining scene. Modest beaches dotted around the Rayong Province are tranquil paradises for sea lovers who wish for hideaway places near the capital, a fitting place for Laem Charoen Seafood. The designers at Onion devised a hexagon pattern screen that creates partitions, adds architectural interest, and controls the flow of the restaurant.
Warm colors were introduced into the modern space to provide a warm atmosphere that best represents the identity of Laem Charoen’s 30 year old brand. Mint green glass railings, diagonal wood slats, and dining chairs upholstered in an array of emerald colored tones sit underneath custom made ceramic lamps that are coated in a copper color. At the front of the restaurant, the wooden hexagonal screens are open, but at the rear of the restaurant, the screen holes are filled with mirrors that reflect the geometric screens and create visual interest.
Photography By Pruk Dejkhamhaeng
March 27th, 2013 - The Melbourne-based creatives at Lyons Architects are adding some serious life into the local architecture scene. The architects, whom recently completed the lively Student Portals At RMIT in Swanston have turned their attention to a near $100 million dollar molecular science complex for Lims La Trobe University, officially titled the LIMS Complex. Prof John Dewar, vice-chancellor at La Trobe University says “La Trobe is one of Australia’s top research universities in the fields of cell biology and biochemistry, and the labs and facilities our researchers can access at LIMS will help bolster our lead in these important disciplines.”
The six-level state of the art teaching and research building has some stand out architectural characteristics. Lyons created an undulating honeycomb-like facade on the rectangular building, where colorful angular components frame the windows. Towards the center of the building three of these components are outfitted with wood, and shoot out from the building to create an eye-catching effect. Lyons welcomed massive structural columns into the design by covering them with bright colors, then angling the columns to create huge X’s throughout the building, reminiscent of a jungle gym. Inside, researchers are able to conduct work in spaces full of a medley of vibrant colors, with an overflowing amount of natural light that filters in from the over-sized custom windows – making those long hours in the lab more do-able.
Photography by Dianna Snape
March 11th, 2013 – On a hillside rising high above a lagoon that flows into the Atlantic Ocean, the House in Rainha takes claim to two rectangular volumes constructed of concrete and glass. Brussels based architecture firm AABE designed the residence, which functions as the holiday home for a family who enjoys escaping the city for relaxing weekend getaways. Theoretically, the two level home is separated into two sections; the ‘day level’ is constructed of glass and embraces 360 degree views, and the ‘night level’, is built of concrete, houses the sleeping quarters, and allows for more privacy.
The two level home begins with an entirely concrete structure secured into the hillside. Vehap Shehi, project manager of the build explained that here, on the night level, “the family room is placed in the center of the floor. This family room “distributes” all the bedrooms, which are open directly to the garden.” Because the entire first floor is covered in concrete, getting the right shade was integral. Shehi noted that various concrete colors and tones were tested directly on the site to ensure that the color properly suited the environment.
On top of the concrete structure sits a smaller rectangular glass volume. This space houses the living room, dining room, kitchen, and a fireplace, which looks out onto an infinity pool. The pool descends into the rooftop of the concrete structure below, At night, the mirror formed by the water of the pool reflects an array of twinkling stars for the owners to admire.
Photography by FG + SG, Fernando Guerra – Sergio Guerra
March 7th, 2013 – Less than an hour away from Lisbon, the Areias Do Seixo Charm Hotel is nestled deep into the dunes of Portugal’s shoreline. Algrave-based architect Vasco Vieira dreamed up a magical place where originality, comfort, and sophistication move in perfect synthesis with the land. The eclectic hotel is full of an array of charming decorative accents and maintains an environmental conscience philosophy. When the owners purchased the property to build the Areias Do Seixo, they found that the land was riddled with the ruins of an old aviary. In an eco-minded response, Vieira made sure that the rubble and ruins from the old aviary were recycled into the foundation of the new hotel.
The 14 dreamy rooms are extraordinarily unique, taking the bold colors and designs of exotic destinations like India and Morocco as a starting point, and blending them with modern minimalism and imagination to create beautiful color pallets, earthy aesthetics, and irresistible bathrooms. Beds are framed with driftwood; warm gold Chinese cabinets; pod-like woodburners suspended from the ceilings, and burnished silver lamps. For those wanting privacy, there are 4 self-catering villas, each sleeping up to 7.
The overall experience that the hotel wants to give to its guests is a a trip filled with smells, tastes, and colors – a chance to reconnect with earth. The upmarket eco design doesn’t just come in the form of bed sheets and recycling, the food served at the hotel comes fresh from the hotel’s garden each day. The insulation of the building was conducted using cork on the wall cavity. The heating and cooling of water is done through the use of Geothermia, an ecological system that allows the efficient usage of the temperature existent within the earth. Circuit of compost transforming the organic matter produced in the unit into natural fertilizer for application to agricultural land to explore in the unit. To top it all off, the company is being completely transparent with their consumption data as they have implemented an Eco Clock on their website where anyone can check how much water, gas, and energy the hotel is using at the moment.
March 4th, 2013 – Singapore-based Guz Architects are well known for creating bona fide tropical fortresses’ throughout southeast Asia. The firms latest project comes in the form of Coco Privé, a secluded resort on the Kuda Hithi Island in the Maldives. On the island, Guz Wilkinson, founder and principal architect at Guz Architects, designed on master residence, the Palm Residence, and five other private villas. The architecture reflects the natural charms of its surroundings, an elegant blend of modern and natural materials, where craft and attention to detail combine to achieve a spacious, elegant and intimate haven.
As soon as guests get off the boat they are greeted by a long wood dock that is decorated with oil lanterns, large vases, and crisp white furniture. The dock leads guests straight down a jungle path into a modern oasis that is the lobby. Just like it’s waters, it’s crystal clear that this destination is designed for the discerning few, where privacy and exclusivity extend far beyond the expectations of the ordinary. The Palm residence has an open plan, free-flowing design coupled with a palette of natural earthy hues and sweeping views of the ocean. The first floor of the residence has a fully stocked library, cocktail bar and wine room, and an expansive living room filled with bespoke pieces to the mirrored ceiling of the large dining room that hosts up to eight of your family and friends. Above, on the second floor is the master bedroom, a second living room, and an infinity pool where a king-size sun lounger sits inside the water.
There are five other villas on the Island, the Starfish Villa, Heron Villa, Trurtle Villa, Manta Villa, and the Gecko Villa. Each of the villas are situated in different parts of the island to allow for maximum privacy and relaxation. All of the villas come with a private pool and are very spacious. Among the facilities are a library, cocktail bar, gym, and steam room, as well as a personal chef for those out-of-hours cravings. Activities on the island go from feeding stingrays to exploring the chef’s garden. With unparalleled beauty and wondrous coastal scenery, a tapestry of 1192 pristine islands lay like emeralds amidst the azure blue of a crystal clear sea and an abundance of natural sea life make their home in the vivid turquoise coral reef.
February 22nd, 2013 – Port Hedland is a natural deep anchorage port in Western Australia. Only 14,000 people live in the town, but it is a significant destination for major sports and social gatherings for the local community. The town was in need for a new recreation center. The town commissioned the creative team from ARM Architecture to build the Wanangkura Stadium, which includes an indoor playing court, a gym, squash courts, club rooms for local football teams, short term childcare minding and function rooms. The towns population is forecasted to increase by 2.5 times in the next 23 years, therefore, the need to build a sport and recreation facility which catered to people of all ages and sports of all types was in demand.
After deciding on the architects, the town let the community decide on the name. Hundreds of names for the $35 million building were submitted by the town residents which finally led to Wanangkura, meaning ‘whirlwind’ in the local Kariyarra language. The title pays tribute to the center’s cyclonic pattern design that creating a shimmering, rippling effect on an otherwise flat landscape.
The architects explained that their “approach to the design considered this building as a mirage – a shimmering, rippling effect on an otherwise flat landscape. Using a ‘halftone’ pixelated technique, the building’s entry facade acts as a clear visual image from long distances, whilst being highly aggregated on closer inspection.”
The 48,000 square foot building is covered in black and blue vitrified facade panels, which on close inspection appear to have been installed at random but from a distance represents a cyclone pattern. LED lights are installed on the front facade and enhance the unique pattern and shape of the building at night. Externally, the building is covered in approximately 3955 vitrified enamel panels, which were manufactured and delivered from China. The panels have been created to withstand the extreme Pilbara heat and also severe winds caused by tropical cyclones.
Inside the stadium, the club changing rooms have been painted black and white in honor of the home football team, South Hedland Swans. Upstairs is the function room, which spans the length of the indoor stadium with large windows facing the sports oval. The function room has a bar and will be installed with large flatscreen TV’s to provide the ultimate sports experience. Offices and conference rooms are also located on the upper level, with floor to ceiling windows giving people inside a birds’ eye view of everything that is happening below.
The town has become excited about the new building, describing the creative boxy structure as the most unique building in Port Hedland.
Peter Bennetts photography
February 14th, 2013 – Lisbon based Aspa Arquitectos explores the use of void spaces when they re-worked the Junqueira Apartment, and transformed the single level space into a contrasting two level dwelling. The juxtaposing second level expansion comes as a new addition to the existing structure, thought of not as a restoration, but as an extension, putting to good use the “empty” space of the building in relation to its original characteristics. The architects constructed the sleek black unit to fit snug into the 18 foot high ceiling, creating a mezzanine for the residents. Black steps reach down from the mezzanine and meet new steps cut out of a high-gloss white custom unit where they continue to the floor. It was important for Aspa’s Co-founders José Maria Cumbre and Nuno Sousa Caetano to maintain the original decorative and constructional characteristics of the building intact, while revitalizing the space with a unique new addition.
(Photography By Fernando Guerra FG+SG Fotografia De Arquitectura)
February 11th 2013 – Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld and his creative team have been building the Fazenda Boa Vista, a massive 1,800 acre residential and hospitality complex in Porto Feliz, piece by piece. Last year we checked in with the architect for a brief update on the progress of the estate, when KNSTRCT featured the Fasano hotel at Fazenda Boa Vista and the Clubhouse, both elements of the complex. Now, Weinfeld has unveiled the stunning 7,000 square foot Equestrian Center Clubhouse, his most recent edition to the property.
Large amoeba-shapes are cut out of the large fair-faced rectangular concrete top, which is being supported by a series of stilts. Under the concrete slab, three closed cubic volumes of space make up the locker rooms, kitchen, and lounge. The locker rooms and kitchen are housed in a wood cladded spaces for privacy, but the bar/lounge is enclosed by glass walls, which allow guests to enjoy a cocktail or snack while overlooking the equestrian competition track.
The architecture of Equestrian Clubhouse celebrates a closeness with nature as it is open and inviting. The openness of the space makes it possible for riders to interact with the clubhouse, even on their horse. A series of curvy walkways make their way around the three spaces with open planters that are similarly amoeba shaped as the cut-outs in the concrete roof. Above the polished cement floors in the lounge are plush tan sofas and white tulip end tables, welcoming game spectators to sit, relax, and enjoy the performances.
(Photography By Fernando Guerra)
February 6th, 2013 – As you’re munching on your blueberry scone and sipping your warm latte this morning, there is a series of train-like structures crawling on a floating ice shelf 900 miles from the South Pole. The Halley VI Research Station officially opened yesterday with 25 years of research leading up to this moment. Previous attempts to build antarctic research stations have resulted in them becoming snowed in, therefore immobile. Halley V continues to operate effectively, but a significant calving of the ice shelf is predicted within the next decade, which would see it floating out to sea as a giant iceberg! This prediction led to an international design competition in 2004 for of a new, fully relocatable base for 16 people in the winter and 52 in the summer. The British Antarctic Survey selected Hugh Broughton Architects, and engineering giants AECOM, as the winners.
The structures are hydraulically elevated ski based modules that respond to annually rising snow levels and determines when and if there is a need to relocate the base if the site calves off as an iceberg.Here, the snow levels rise by over 3 feet each year and the sun does not rise above the horizon for 105 days during winter – the magical stars provide earthly entertainment for the team of engineers, researchers, and architects.
The nature of the project is unusual and extreme. It’s clear that Karl Tuplin, Halley VI’s Project Manager, has a big passion for the chilly Antarctic. Tuplin’s entire life has been taken over by the project as leads the structures on site and has blogged about Halley VI’s struggles, concerns, and triumphs for the curious minds. Along with Tuplin, Architect Hugh Broughton made frequent trips to the site also keeping a detailed diary.
Temperatures drop to -56C and the site can be buffeted by winds in excess of 100 mph, because of the harsh weather conditions, access by ship and plane is limited to a 3-months window. Materials and components required to construct the new base have to be delivered across fragile sea ice, which can fracture at any time. The design of the structures have been developed in response to the demands of the science, the comfort of the residents, build-ability and the operations inherent in the life of a research station.
To meet these demands it is crucial to create a design, which maximizes flexibility. This is achieved with a modular approach. Modules can be used for a wide variety of activities ranging from laboratories and bedrooms to recreation areas and energy centers. Connected together, the modules form the new station. Modularity brings significant benefits in terms of flexibility, ease of construction, maintenance, relocation, fire safety, acoustics and robustness. The station is centered on two modular platforms. The northern platform provides the principal habitat. The southern platform contains science modules.
The majority of activities that take place at Halley can be provided for using the standard blue module, there are some activities, which are constant, and require a distinct approach. These activities are housed in a special red central module. This is the principal space for eating, drinking and recreation and is the major destination at the new base. The central module provides a dramatic open plan social area at the heart of the station. The project demonstrates the ability to create world-class sustainable design to awesome technical criteria.
Halley VI is the most environmentally friendly facility that BAS has built. Low on environmental impact during construction, with an extremely efficient, environmentally aware performance life cycle, it can be easily moved and eventually taken apart when the time comes. Halley VI will be a visitor to Antarctica, not a resident. The buildings rest entirely on the surface of the ice shelf. This mobility and flexibility means that the new station will survive and perform on the ice for far longer than any of its distinguished predecessors.
(Photography by British Antarctic Survey)
January 23rd, 2013 – Now this is how you keep it in the family! Victoria-based interior designer Andrea Moore designed the new Courtyard House, her father Lindsay build it, and with so much creative blood pumping through their veins, Andrea commissioned her sister Lachlan to Photographed the house. To top it all off, Andrea’s parents now live in the home, which sits in Gippsland, a picturesque farmland east of Melbourne’s bustling city.
The initial plan was to demolish the existing house and build a more modern structure, but as the planning continued, Moore discovered that the old house was structurally stable and too much of a gem to tear apart.
Adding new architecture to old architecture is sometimes sort of gamble, but Moore took six years of methodical planning and building to achieve the contrasting look. The house is visually and functionally separated into two parts. The bedrooms, study, and den are sectioned into the existing house, while the living room, kitchen, and garage occupies the newly constructed pavilion.
The old house has a symmetrical Foursquare layout, with rooms arranged on each side of a central hallway. Moore preserved the interior architectural details of the old house, but she updated it’s look by adding simple, minimalistic furniture pieces – most of the pieces were built by her father Lindsay, who is the owner and builder. Sometimes, achieving simplicity is hard, but Mr. Moore together with Andrea, discovered a visual balance amongst old and new.
A custom concrete bath, stone floors, and wooden accent pieces cultivate a soothing and earthy aesthetic in the Zen-like bathroom.
The common spaces of the new pavilion are lofty and flooded with natural light. In the living room, instead of accommodating a flat screen TV in front of the sofa, Moore opted for a large sitting window for her parents to admire the stunning landscape.
(Photography: Lachlan Moore)
January 9th 2012 – Would you ever guess that a tiny little Slovenia mountain village is the home to a ground breaking rocket engineer who pioneered theories on long-term human habitation of space? That’s right! Herman Potocnik Noordung, the first theoretician of space, was raised on the hillside of Vitanje, where 18th-century chapels pierce through the tree tops and 13th century frescoes are delicately preserved. It is Poto?nik’s theoretical work that brings the new Cultural Center of European Space Technologies (KSEVT) to the small town today.
It was only a few years back when leading architects Rok Oman and Spela Videcnik presented their proposal for the competition to win the bid, on behalf of their Ljubljana-based architecture firm OFIS. “The concept design for the building of the KSEVT derives from the habitation wheel of the first geostationary space station described in Noordung’s 1929 book,” the architects explained. “It will have a public significance and generate social, cultural, and scientific activities, with fixed and temporary exhibitions, conferences and club/study activities.”
Noordnung’s space station was designed as a geostationary satellite out of three parts: a solar power station, an observatory and a habitable wheel. After several decades of pondering on the habitation of space, this idea remains to be the most revolutionary, yet not realized. The rotating habitable wheel, a circular construction setting up artificial gravity with the centrifugal force, is the best and at the same time a simple solution for long-term human habitation of weightlessness. Since we are not accustomed to that kind of condition, it exerts negative influence upon our body in the long run. A station in this orbit could also represent a perfect point of departure for longer spaceflights, considering that the Earth’s force of attraction is still the greatest obstacle for that.
The building is a monolithic concrete structure, positioned freely between a main road on one side and a stream with a green hinterland on the other. The exterior and interior of the building are made of two low cylinders. The bottom one is larger and rises from the North to the South, while the upper cylinder is smaller and joins the larger one on the south while rising to the North. The bottom cylinder is supported by the transparent surface of the entrance glazing.
From the exterior, there is a dynamic effect between the cylinders, accentuated by the full glass rings around the building. The building appears to float and rotate on its southern and western sides towards the road. The entrenchment of the building into the surface on the other side gives a connection to its immediate surroundings. The spatial effects give the building the effect of artificial gravity from floatation and rotation. The building has two entrances- a main one to the central space from the square in front of the building on the south-eastern side and the northern entrance from the gravel surface above the stream.
The main entrance covers the overhanging part of the bottom cylinder: one passes through a tight space past a circular vestibule and into the interior of the hall. The vestibule can be separated from the activities in the hall by a curtain. The entrance glazing can be completely opened and can connect the activities in the hall with the square. The circular hall for 300 people is surrounded on both sides by a semicircular ramp. This denotes the beginning of the exhibition area, continuing from here to the overhanging part of the larger cylinder.
On the west, there are smaller office areas along the ramp. Ascending this ramp also represents a transition from the bright space of the hall to the dark exhibition area. The vertical connection with a staircase and large elevator connects the exhibition area directly to the vestibule of the hall. The exhibition space continues through the landing between the elevator and the staircase to the smaller cylinder, the multipurpose hall, and a raised auditorium above the hall. From here, one can observe the activity below. The smaller cylinder is concluded at the highest, northernmost portion with a club area devoted to researchers of the history of space technology, where they can focus on their work aside from the activities below.
Besides special program and location also collaboration of four architectural offices in developing the project is unique. The idea of collaboration raised on the first meeting where investor invited the four offices to collaborate on internal competition – and office principals decided to actually rather do the project together. The idea concepts came out on serious of workshops, later project was shared in different stages of development between all offices.
January 3rd, 2012 – We recently did a full spread on Farmhouses Al Fresco, where KNSTRCT examined the way farmhouses are evolving with modern architecture. Today’s architects are pushing the boundaries on these countryside homes by transforming them from a simple hay-holding barn, to full blown residences. The most recent to catch our eye is The Fingal Residence by Australian-based JAM Architecture. The dark wood homes is located on the stunning Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia, where rolling hills, meet rugged cliffs, all the way to the crashing waves on the shoreline.
The architecture of the home gives a humble nod to the design of old farmhouses with rich color wood slats, and open garage to pull up trucks and tractors, and a large sliding barn door. The architects took these throw-back elements and added a contemporary twist by introducing clean linear lines in the architecture and a minimalistic aesthetic.
Long reclaimed wood steps with flowers, hand-planted in metal baskets, lead the way to the homes entrance.
Above the steps, a white canopy ceiling trails from the outside garage all the way into the interiors making the design cohesive as visitors pass through the frameless, floor-to-ceiling, wood slatted door.
Furniture designer, Ocho’s Acapulco String Chair provides a place to relax while admiring the picturesque view of the rolling hills that lead to the bluffs in the background of the symmetrical pool.
Typical barn house interiors? Not so much, but not that far away! Stark white walls create a canvas for washed wood accent pieces, thick shelving, mid-century dining room chairs, and dark meal birdcages for lanterns.
A long skylight allows for natural light to pour into the kitchen, while the birdcages illuminate the dining room. The public areas of the home are open to one another as the private areas and bedrooms are tucked away to the second level of the house.
Each room is elevated to the second floor and has a magnificent view. The bedrooms continue the minimalistic concept of the home with sparse furniture, wood walls, and a low bed frame.
Because the Fingal Residence does not have very many neighbors, JAM decided to take advantage of the quiet property by allowing the master bathroom to fully open up to nature.
December 27th 2012 – The skilled team of architects at Melbourne-based firm Hayball, have spent the past thirty years decorating the town with one-of-a-kind pieces of architecture. The Neo 200 Residential Tower, on the western edge of Melbourne’s central business district, marks yet another celebrated project for Hayball.
Forget that the Neo 200 is one of the largest residential building on the western edge of Melbourne’s central business district, that it has 360 degree views of the city, an indoor swimming pool, a six-story parking garage, and it is at the epicenter of a bustling neighborhood – this building has one of the most stand-out, attention grabbing lobby designs we’ve seen.
Hayball outfitted the curvy lobby walls in gold finished Aluminum planks that rise from the floor to the ceiling.
The minimal colour palette of the entry area continues into the robust mail room. Recessed lighting is tucked underneath the bottom of the aluminum to create a warm glowing and clever floating effect, which reflects onto the polished stone floor.
On the ground floor is the location of a hand full of retail spaces giving this golden lobby a little extra foot traffic. Hayball built in an over sized dark leather “poof” seat into a central architectural element in the middle of the lobby for visitors to have a seat and rest for a moment in between their moment s of retail therapy.
(Photography: Peter Clarke)
December 19th, 2012 – We are inches away from seeing the completion of the new Isbjerget Apartment Complex, located on the waterfront of Aarhus, in Denmark. Here are the first images of the nearly competed buildings by SeARCH Architects, who spearheaded the project in collaboration with JDS, Louis Paillard and CEBRA after winning a limited design competition a few years back. Isbjerget, which literally translates to Iceberg in Danish, is a suitable name for the sparkly white building with jolting peaks that sits directly on the water.
The waterfront development is happening because of a new initiative being funded by the local community to transform the old port into a cultural and educational center. Along with the new educational and cultural centers, there will be stores, entertainment, and residential units, such as the Isbjerget.
The master plan of the buildings consist of four L-shaped wings, the high and low angles of the structures elicit the project’s iconic strength while ensuring that all apartments take in an abundant amount of natural light and showcase the stunning waterfront views.
Isbjerget houses 155 one or two story apartments with commercial spaces that will operate on the ground floor. Some of the buildings reach 7 stories high, while others max out at 8. Each interior apartment forms to the dynamic angles of the exterior architecture, causing every unit to be different.
On the ground level of the building, along with the commercial spaces, are a number of 2 story townhouses that are integrated into the volume. Then, all the way at the top are the penthouse apartments, which are situated within the stunning peaks of the building.
Balconies feature glass changes in gradations of deep blue at the base to transparent at the top in keeping with the color of an iceberg. A cool mixture of apartments with different balconies, shapes and orientations ensure an urban living environment with social diversity.
(Photography: SeARCH Architects)
December 17th, 2012 – On a daily basis we are working hard at KNSTRCT to showcase architects and designers that express a new wave of energy into their work. We appreciate, and want to celebrate these creatives who continue to push boundaries and explore unpaved routes. Elk Delugan Meissl, Roman Delugan, and Sebastian Brunke of Vienna-based firm Delugan Meissl Associated Architects, are exactly the kind of folks we’re referring to. The team at Delugan Meiss have unveiled their latest project, The Festival Hall of The Tiroler Festspiele Erl, a dark angular structure that spawns outwards from a grassy knoll and reaches up towards the sky.
The new structure is built adjacent to the existing festival hall, a curved white building. “The festival hall’s geometry develops from the surrounding topography and places the building and the already existing festival hall in juxtaposition,” the architects explained.
The concept of the new build was derived from the idea that spaces of different zoning and configurations implement the focus on communication and peace, dynamics and concentration. The origami-like building is meant to complement the nearby organically shaped structure with a new sense of expression.
The sharp angles of the architecture continue onto it’s surface with a geometric pattern engraved into the building, which consumes the entire exterior. Architectural conditions in the building’s interior are devolved into a subtle control of the motion sequences through their sensual perception.
The access staircase is integrated into the terrain’s topography and leads visitors into the building’s interior. The foyer allows a wide range of impressions of the surrounding natural environment as well as to the existing summer festival hall.
Coherently, the approach to the concert hall is effectively emphasized by the gentle rise of the entry level. The concert hall, which is situated at the center of the building like a shell. This area is anchored to an existing large rock at the back, and is connected to the foyer via two accesses on each level.
The dynamic aesthetic of the structure flows into the concert hall with angular, acoustic bearing walls surrounding a plethora of seats. The walls are covered with dark wood panels with lighting discreetly secured underneath to light the 800 seat auditorium and 4,800 square foot stage.
Learn more about the Festical Hall, Delugan Meissl Associated Architects, and their work here.
(Photography: Brigida Gonzalez)
November 27th 2012 - In 1991, Coca-Cola called this shed home to one of its celebrated soda making factories in Belgium. Today, the 20 year old factory has been re-invented into a luminous landscape of clouds by Carlos Orroyo Arquitectos. A few years back, the Civic Center in Oostkamp acquired the building and funded an architectural competition to turn the space into a public administrative center for a network of towns nearby. “We decided to reuse the spacious industrial shed; not just to recycle materials like the steel, but to reuse the space itself, it’s foundations, enclosure, services, access, and all the “invisible” parts; and to turn it into a series of abstract clouds; a sheltered public space within a controlled weather environment,” The architects explained.
This functional, sustainable, and creative approach to the project is what led to Carlos Orroyo Arquitecto’s winning of the competition, and the eventual realization of Oostcampus. The outside of the boxy blue warehouse is cleverly juxtaposed with large circular windows, which stem from the ground and circle upward to mimic the abstract white cloud design on the interiors ceilings.
To follow suite with the sustainable ideology behind the projects concept, a covered bicycle parking lot was created that resembles the likes of trees and promotes visitors and employees to ride their bikes.
The architects noted that they “decided to reuse the spacious industrial shed; not just to recycle materials like the steel, but to reuse the space itself, it’s foundations, enclosure, services, access, and all the “invisible” parts; and to turn it into a luminous landscape of clouds; a sheltered public space within a controlled weather environment.”
“It is not uncommon to underestimate the value of all these “invisible” parts of a building,” the team explained, “this is combined with a far-reaching transformation of the interior.”
Shell structures have been used for almost one hundred years now, making it very easy to build them as a very thin layer; in the case of Oostcampus, they will be in GRG, only a few millimeters thick in the highest points, weighing a mere 7 kg/m2.
Building the cloud shell within the weatherproof industrial shed simplifies the demands – inflatable form work simplifies the building process. It creates a fascinating landscape for very little energy.
The openings among the clouds are equipped with simple devices that transform all kinds of weather conditions into wonderful events. The strong winds of the outside are transformed into electricity that feeds a disc of LED’s, an artificial sun that will bring joy to, for instance, wedding days!
(Photography: Miguel de Guzmán)