Tag Archives: Dezeen

New photographs reveal the feat of engineering behind the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s dome

These photographs by Luc Boegly and Sergio Grazia show the complex engineering of the vast dome that is suspended over the galleries of Jean Nouvel’s Louvre Abu Dhabiin the United Arab Emirates.

Meetings between the French architect and engineers Buro Happold began in 2007, with the architect laying out his vision for an art gallery like nothing the world had seen before.

Nouvel wanted to create a cluster of buildings arranged like a traditional Middle Eastern souk out in the water of the Persian Gulf, under a dome that would appear to float above it.

“He tends to start with words, he writes a paragraph or two about a project before he even sketches something,” Andy Pottinger, Buro Happold‘s associate director and lead structural engineer on the project told Dezeen.

“Often as engineers we chuckle when we’re asked to make things float,” he said. “But in this case we took it very, very seriously, and really tried hard to make it look like something that’s just nestled down on the top of the buildings.”

Another core part of the Nouvel’s vision was a “rain of light” from the sun that would filter through the dome onto the plazas and galleries below.

“The light was like a material for us that we had to facilitate,” explained Pottinger.

To add to the challenge, the architect wanted no visible lines of strength for the dome of the gallery on Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island. For Buro Happold, which typically works on stadium projects such as the Etihad Stadium expansion or the Bristol Arena, this meant putting much of their usual design programming to one side.

Instead the engineering team began exhaustive rounds of digital modelling, trying to devise a dome that could deliver Nouvel’s dream. Unlike a “true” dome, the Louvre Abu Dhabi dome does not push down around its circumference, but rests on just four supports.

“The supports are about 110-metres apart and they form a square below the circle of the dome when you look at it on plan. That was vital because that brought symmetry into the equation,” said Pottinger.

“At first, to be honest, much of what we were doing wasn’t successful. We would create geodesic type approaches, with triangles forming the dome, or orthogonal approaches, where you had a square grid,” he added. “None of that was working, it was clashing with the base pattern that Jean Nouvel had wanted to express.”

The breakthrough came with the 23rd model, where the team started again with a blank slate and drew that base pattern on the dome as a starting point, adding only what was completely necessary.

The result was the layers of steel cladding that tessellate out, with no straight line longer than 10 metres anywhere in the design. Iterations of the pattern could also achieve Nouvel’s lighting vision by altering the layering of the pattern at different points in the dome.

“The architect would talk to us about what sort of light they would like on the plaza or above the galleries and give us maps of luminance,” explained Pottinger. “We would run with those and we’d apply it to our software and adjust the thickness of the cladding or the size of the cladding to create the right porosity.”

The dome design cracked, the engineering team had to contend with the extreme environmental demands of building a gallery on the man-made Saadiyat Island, with a hot desert climate and in an earthquake zone.

To earthquake-proof the dome, each of the four supports have curved surface spherical bearings that allow the structure to shift beneath the dome as the earth shakes whilst the isolated structure remains still.

The sliding bearings also allow the dome’s steelwork to tolerate the shift in temperature from hot days under the desert sun to cooler nights.

“What they also do is they allow the dome to breath in and out, as we call it,” said Pottinger. “Temperature forces are almost impossible to resist, but what these sliding bearings allow it to do is to expand out by about 180 millimetres during the day and then to shrink back in overnight.”

Rather than fight the climate and geography, Pottinger and his team embraced it. “I’ve gone along the lines of it being about the elements, the earth, the sun, and the sea,” he said.

Few structures in the world are built out on to the water on reclaimed land, and even fewer hold priceless collections of art. To incorporate water into the design, Buro Happald looked to places such as Venice for inspiration.

“In an ideal world as engineers we would want to keep the perimeter of the building as simple as possible because it makes things less complicated to design in the case of things like shrinkage and the cracking that that leads to that might lead to a water ingress,” he explained.

“But again, we had to embrace the fact that Jean Nouvel wanted it to be like an Arab souk in the water, and that means the water has to come in.”

The architect’s vision met, the engineering team’s final challenge was to consult on the security measures required for a building that houses both permanent art collections and receives highly valuable works from around the world.

The security measures are shrouded in secrecy, but Pottinger revealed that art is brought into the building through a system of tunnels.

Despite so many seemingly conflicting demands on the engineering team, Pottinger retained a clear sight of achieving a finished structure true to Nouvel’s original vision.

“One of the absolutely overriding things we had to do was to find simplicity amongst the complexity. If we didn’t do that it wouldn’t be buildable,” he said. “So many projects in this day and age actually get quite dumbed down in the latter stages.”

A timelapse video shows the eight-year construction process behind the gallery, which opened to the public in November 2017.

Photography is by Luc Boegly and Sergio Grazia.

Source: www.dezeen.com

Moveable wooden screens are set into concrete facades of Mokyeonri Wood Culture Museum

This museum in Incheon, South Korea, is dedicated to teaching visitors about wood and features moving timber screens that create effects similar to dappled sunlight filtering through trees.

Seoul architecture studio Soft Architecture Lab designed the Wood Culture Museum for a site in Incheon Grand Park, where the Korea Forest Service operates a large arboretum.

Soft Architecture Lab’s proposal won a competition organised by the city and the forestry service for a building that provides facilities for the large number of visitors who come to explore the arboretum’s diverse plants and trees.

In its response to the competition brief, the studio sought to move away from the more typical timber museum buildings used to house exhibitions about wood at the organisation’s other sites.

Instead, the Mokyeonri building incorporates wood into its architecture in ways that provide visitors with a multi-sensory experience of the material and where it comes from.

“The project name, Mokyeonri, means a harmony between trees from different roots,” said the architects, “which identifies an architecture of a series of spatial experiences sensing the diverse attributes of wood.”

The building features a striking, angular form, with a pointed corner facing the adjacent car park extending over an entrance incorporated into a glazed surface on the ground floor.

Cylindrical pillars support a pair of concrete slabs that form the floor and roof of the upper level. The interactive wooden screen occupies a void between these two surfaces at the corner of the building.

The screen is formed of six-sided “leaves” made from a hardwood called merbau and attached at a single point to metal frames.

The wooden panels are arranged in pairs fixed together at one end by springs. When the wind blows, they close up slightly before gently regaining their original position.

The effect of the subtle movement combined with the shadows cast when the sun shines is evocative of the dappled light in a forest.

On the opposite side of the upper floor, a similar screen is positioned around the edge of a deck that can be seen from inside the building’s main circulation area.

This screen incorporates a pulley system driven by a motor so the distances between the vertical elements can be manually adjusted.

Drawing the leaves together creates broad gaps that increase light levels and views inside, while opening them out again produces a more even, permeable surface.

This same technique is applied to a screen that forms a gate set into an angular concrete frame protruding from the eastern end of the ground floor.

Drawing the moveable elements of the gate together using the motorised pulleys provides gaps through which visitors can pass to reach a paved courtyard.

The museum is described by the architects as “the first public project of kinetic architecture in South Korea”, and aims to enhance the visitor’s perception of the sun and wind through the actions of the moving surfaces.

A double-height void containing a staircase connecting the two floors is topped with a ceiling featuring Japanese cypress battens that extend downwards in regular rows.

The wooden sticks partially conceal utilities integrated into the ceiling and form another surface that appears to alter in appearance as the viewer moves around within the space.

Alongside a lobby and reception desk, the building’s ground floor contains facilities for teaching and conducting woodwork, including a workshop with an adjoining preparation room, an instructor’s waiting room, storage and a dust-collection space.

The stairs ascend to an upper floor housing a children’s wood museum, playground, seminar room, toilets and outdoor spaces at either end, one of which is designated as a playground and the other as an observation deck.

Photography is by Shin Kyungsub.

Source: www.dezeen.com

Casa Xixim by Specht Architects opens up to Tulum’s jungle and ocean

Bedrooms at this holiday villa in the Mexican resort of Tulum open onto expansive terraces overlooking the tropical forest and beach.

Casa Xixim serves as a fully rentable guesthouse for large groups. It was squeezed onto a thin site by New York studio Specht Architects, which created a contemporary architectural aesthetic with white walls, timber panels and local stone.

“This villa hotel, on a narrow lot fronting a protected bay in Tulum, Mexico, is designed to be fully self-sufficient, and to work in concert with its unique site,” said the studio.

With a mangrove marsh to the west and the beach to the east, the property is accessed from the road through a grove of palms.

The path leads directly through the villa’s openable living room, past its swimming pool and a vegetation buffer, onto the sand.

Organised as a T-shape in plan, the building has two double bedrooms in its ground-floor wings and two more above the living space. Pullouts for children bring its maximum occupancy to 12.

The downstairs suites open onto decking, while the upper bedrooms have access to L-shaped terraces facing the landscape. Sections of these large balconies are planted to alleviate stormwater flow, and plenty of spaces to sit are provided.

A further outdoor space is located on the roof, shaded by rows of photovoltaic panels that help to power the home.

“These elevated viewpoints provide another way to experience the surrounding environment,” said Sprecht Architects, which has also designed a desert retreat in New Mexico.

Casa Xixim’s interiors, by Los Angeles-based Matthew Finalson, are kept simple to match the architecture. In the living area, louvered wooden doors slide back on two sides to open the space and provide cross-ventilation.

Lining the end wall are hand-painted tiles, which add a local flavour along with furniture built in the vicinity. “Tulum-based craftsmanship is emphasised, with intricate stonework for selected walls, and site-built furnishings throughout,” said the architects.

Accommodation options are burgeoning in Tulum, which is become an increasingly popular tourist destination. An art-filled boutique hotel in Pablo Escobar’s former mansion and a treehouse suite overlooking the jungle canopy are among other choices for visitors.

Photography is by Taggart Sorensen.

Source: www.dezeen.com

Venice Beach house by Electric Bowery features askew pitched roof and outdoor lounge

An off-centre pitched roof tops this house in Los Angeles‘ Venice Beach, which was designed by local studio Electric Bowery to include outdoor kitchen, living and dining areas.

Architecture studio Electric Bowery designed the Amoroso Residence for a secluded enclave in Venice Beach, a coastal city in the Los Angeles metro area. It is located on one of the historic pedestrian-only streets, known as walk streets.

The residence features a roof with an asymmetric pitch. Its exterior is covered in vertical strips of cedar intended to reference the wooden cladding and gabled porches of the surrounding one-storey bungalows, built during the Arts & Crafts movement of the early 20th century.

“The project is built on one of Venice’s historic walk streets, and we worked closely with the walk-street committee to gain their support of a design that is modern, but comprised of warm, natural materials with a pitched roof that gives reference to the bungalow character of the neighbourhood,” the architects told Dezeen.

The studio designed the house with a series of outdoor spaces to make the most of its peaceful location, including a large roof terrace, which offers views of the nearby marina. It is fitted with kitchen and a long, dark wooden dining table.

At the rear of the residence, floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors opens from the ground-floor lounge to a sunken wooden deck, which features sofas and planting.

Another terrace above the lounge is partially sheltered by the roof frame and accessed by the master bedroom.

Dark wooden decking on the floors of these outdoor spaces offers a contrast to the paler timber cladding and is intended to complement the hues found in the gardens of the walk street.

The architects chose a simple material palette for the inside of the residence, including concrete floors and white-painted walls.

In the open-plan kitchen, living and dining room, the wooden kitchen island is topped with a white counter. It is slightly extended to provide a dining area with wicker stools for seating.

The concrete staircase leads behind the kitchen area up to the top floor, which features pale oak flooring and houses the bedrooms and bathrooms.

On this level, the master bedroom is left open to make the most of the pitched roof height. An abundance of natural light is brought in through windows slotted high up.

Rather than using a wall that would block light, the architects fitted a low partition to separate the bedroom from the en-suite bathroom.

Other recently completed houses in California include a modernist Beverly Hills home designed for an art collector and a country retreat by Turnbull Griffin Haesloop, which features an outdoor living room.

Source: www.dezeen.com

Single-room cabin by JacobsChang is set among trees in upstate New York

Manhattan studio JacobsChang designed this tiny blackened timber cabin on a shoestring budget for clients who built it in a forest in upstate New York with the help of their friends.

The structure called Half-Tree House, is located in the woods in Barryville, roughly 100 kilometres north of New York City.

It encompasses a single 360-square-foot (33 square metres) room built on a budget of $20,000 (£15,500).

“From the outset, the project outlined two formidable directives: to design a structure that can be constructed by two amateur weekend builders and to consider a budget of $20,000 ($50 per square foot),” said the architects.

“The topography presented a difficult challenge. In an effort to minimize sitework – in this case, shovels by hand – and to eliminate the need for large footings, retaining walls and pumped concrete, the architecture is lifted above the ground and relies upon support from the trees,” they added.

“The entire construction was performed by its two owners, and in the true spirit of New England barnraising, with a team of dedicated weekend support.””The entire construction was performed by its two owners, and in the true spirit of New England barnraising, with a team of dedicated weekend support.”

At one end of the structure, simple concrete footings are anchored into the ground, while at the opposite end the cabin is held up by adjoining trees via a specialised anchoring system called a Garnier Limb. This consists of a metal element bolted into a tree, which in turn supports the building’s wooden frame.

“The Garnier Limb is a patented slip-joint connection allowing the tree and the structure to behave independently,” explained the architects.

The diminutive cabin is just large enough to fit a bed, an armchair and a small area for preparing basic meals, with heating provide by a wood-burning stove.

Three floor-to-ceiling pivoting windows provide views to the woods, and let air circulate when they are open. The southern aperture also serves as the entrance.

The materials used were largely sourced from the property’s 60-acre site, including the wooden cladding, which is made from pines felled from the surrounding woods.

Traditional Scandinavian pine-tar was used for the outside, giving it a dark black colour. This contrasts the treatment inside, where the walls were whitewashed and the floors sealed to retain a natural tone.

Studio Padron recently completed a similar project, also in upstate New York. Called Hemmelig Rom, it consists of a one-room library and guest house that was completed with excess lumber from the construction of a nearby property.

Blackened timber cabins are enjoying a moment of popularity, with other recent examples ranging from a small lakeside cabin in Canada to a prefabricated model recently unveiled by Muji that will sell for £21,000.

Source: www.dezeen.com

Apple unveils “breakthrough home speaker” to rival Amazon and Google

Apple has revealed its voice-controlled HomePod speaker, a competitor to smart home devices Amazon Echo and Google Home.
Apple announced the launch of HomePod today at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California.The Siri-enabled speaker links up with the Apple Home app, allowing users to control their connected smart home devices by voice, without touching their iPhone or iPad.

Users say “Hi Siri” followed by their command to trigger Apple’s intelligent personal assistant to change the light setting, pause the TV or close the blinds.

But it is on sound quality that Apple hopes to distinguish HomePod from the dominant smart speakers on the market. The tech giant says the speaker produces a high-quality sound that puts it on par with “un-smart” home music systems like Sonos.

Speaking at the conference earlier today, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing Philip Schiller said that the device will “reinvent home music… just like the iPod reinvented music in our pockets”.

“Apple reinvented portable music with iPod and now HomePod will reinvent how we enjoy music wirelessly throughout our homes,” said Schiller.

Measuring just under seven inches tall and featuring rounded mesh covering, the speaker includes an Apple-designed woofer that allows the volume to be turned up without distortion, as well as seven beam-forming tweeters at the base that offer directional control.

Other features include a room-sensing technology that will automatically adapt the sound to the size of its location.

Siri has will also become a “musicologist”, learning users’ music preferences and answering questions like “who is the drummer?”.

Apple has faced criticism for playing catch-up rather than leading in the smart speaker market, which has been pioneered by Amazon since it launched the Echo in late 2014. Recent versions of the product include the Echo Look, which incorporates a camera so it can judge your appearance, and the Echo Show, which incorporates a touchscreen.

Google launched its own take on the smart speaker, Google Home, in 2016. Both devices can act as hubs for the smart home, controlling other smart home products, from lighting and heating to doorbells and electronics.

Recently launched connected home devices include Philippe Starck’s smart radiator valves, which allow users to remotely control the temperature of each room using their voice, and Yves Behar’s home security system that can let visitors into a home even when no one is there.

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference continues until Friday 9 June

Source: www.dezeen.com

Cereal magazine unveils alternative show flat on London’s Greenwich Peninsula

Design magazine Cereal has teamed up with ‘design-literate’ estate agents Aucoot to create a temporary three-bedroom penthouse apartment on the Greenwich Peninsula in southeast London.

Functioning as a show apartment, the choice of finishes and furnishings are intended as a physical representation of the Cereal brand.

Contemporary and vintage furnishings are placed against a backdrop of moody greys and dark woods with granite, marbled tiling and poured concrete floors.

Located on the Allies and Morrison-masterplanned Greenwich Peninsula development – a finger of land that extends into the River Thames in southeast London – the penthouse is one of four new apartments for sale in the Waterman building.

Architects, Pilbrow and Partners designed the layout and exterior while interior designer, Tina Norden of Conran and Partners completed the development’s interiors.

The Cereal-designed apartment, named Abode, functions as a creative alternative to the traditional show flat.

“For us, the perfect solution was a partnership with our friends at Cereal Magazine,” said John McDavid, owner and director of Aucoot, which is selling the apartments. “When we approached Rich (Cereal’s creative director) and Rosa (its editor) they jumped at the opportunity.”

Spread over two floors, the apartment includes three bedrooms – one of which is set up as a study – two bathrooms and a large open-plan kitchen, living and dining area. Floor-to-ceiling windows and a waterside terrace offer up views of the city’s skyline and boats on the River Thames.

The Abode interiors were styled by longtime Cereal collaborator and stylist Natalie Schwer, who sourced luxury furniture pieces such as a Fritz Hansen dining table in unpolished white marble, a fluffy sheepskin daybed by Bruno Mathsson and a coral-red McCollin Bryan Coffee Bean table.

“We wanted our guests and readers to visit the apartment and recognise that they were in a Cereal space,” said Cereal editor Rosa Park.

“Having said that, we also wanted to have an element of surprise – even if it means having just a paint colour that maybe you wouldn’t expect us to go for, or a piece of furniture that is slightly more eccentric and has a bit more character than the pared-back, elegant stuff we usually opt for.”

The apartment, which is on the market for £1,550,000 is open until June 8.

Earlier this year, Santiago Calatrava unveiled plans for a crown-shaped skyscraper complex for a nearby plot on the Greenwich Peninsula.

Last year, lifestyle magazine Kinfolk adopted a similar aesthetic for its own offices and gallery space in Copenhagen, where the magazine is now based. Opened with an exhibition on European design, the gallery builds on the magazine’s increasing presence as an influential force in the world of design.

Source: www.dezeen.com

White Arkitekter’s pared-back bathhouse reinterprets Sweden’s traditional “gingerbread” architecture

White Arkitekter has completed a bathhouse on the southern coast of Sweden, featuring a timber-clad structure perched on slender legs that extend outwards towards the rear to optimise sea views.

The Scandinavian studio designed the bathhouse for a group of local sea-bathing enthusiasts from the coastal town of Karlshamn, who raised funds to commission the project.

The Kallbadshus, or cold bathhouse, is a building typology commonly associated with Sweden, which provides users with convenient access to the sea for swimming or cooling off after a sauna.

Local organisation Kallbadhusets Vänner, or Friends of the Bathhouse, was helped by local sponsors and the municipality to realise its vision for a year-round bathing location close to the existing public swimming pool.

The bathhouse rises three metres above sea level. It is reached from the adjacent beach promenade by a bridge supported by two beams made from glulam timber – a type of engineered wood.

White Arkitekter wanted to give the building a modern aesthetic to differentiate it from some of its more traditional predecessors in other Swedish towns.

“The enticement lies in the fact that it isn’t a traditional bathhouse with romantic gingerbread work,” explained project architect Sven Gustafson, referring to the country’s vernacular architectural style.

“It has a different expression,” he said. “The building is almost like a flying saucer that has landed on its long legs – carefully, leaving a minimal impression.”

The wooden structure features an angular plan that expands to accommodate the main public areas towards the rear, where they enjoy the best views of the archipelago.

A common room at the back of the building is lined with a full-height glass surface, incorporating sliding doors that lead out onto a sheltered terrace.

The common room is flanked on either side by the men’s and women’s saunas, which are located close to stairs to provide easy access to the water.

“Whether you’re on the sun deck, in the sauna or in the common room, you have an optimised view of the archipelago, thanks to the viewing angle which is the point of departure for this project,” said Gustafson.

The stairs descend into the water from terraces designed to receive as much sunlight as possible, while providing shelter from the wind.

A pair of large gates at the bathhouse’s entrance are intended to recall traditional Swedish archetypes such as barns or old wooden houses.

The bathhouse’s distinctive geometric surfaces are clad externally in wooden panels treated with a grey-pigmented oil that will gradually give way to the wood’s natural grey patina.

The dark hue of the exterior matches the tones of the rocks lining the shore, while untreated wood used throughout the interior lends these spaces a warmer and more tactile feel.

White Arkitekter is one of the biggest firms in Scandinavia, with offices in Sweden, Denmark and Norway.

It recently completed a cylindrical wooden house for Tasmanian kangaroos at Copenhagen Zoo and was selected to build a timber-framed high-rise hotel and cultural centre in Skellefteå, Sweden.

Source: www.dezeen.com

Floating steel staircase takes centre stage in granite house by Marcos Miguélez

A staircase featuring cantilevered treads connects the library and living room at the centre of this rough granite-clad house in the Spanish town of Magaz de Abajo.

Local architect Marcos Miguélez was asked to create the first home for a young couple with an interest in contemporary architecture.

Casa VMS occupies a triangular plot on the edge of the town, which is bordered by an orchard of fruit trees, a small dirt road and a larger street.

Huge blocks of pale granite used to clad the exterior of the ground floor lend the building a robust and rustic aesthetic. The beams that form part of the structural steel framework protrude out through the facades.

“The building reinterprets the essence of traditional masonry with great thick stone walls, which solidly protect the domestic space,” said Miguélez.

The house’s plan features two distinct axes that follow the boundaries of the site. Punctuated by large windows, sections of the facades have been staggered to break up the house’s monolithic composition.

A pair of bedrooms and a garage are positioned along one edge, with the open-plan living, kitchen and dining area branching off at an angle.

The internal arrangement was informed by a desire to track the movement of the sun throughout the day. Bedrooms receive morning sunlight and a vertical opening in the western facade allows the dusk light to illuminate the living area.

The cooler north facade contains the entrance and functional spaces including the garage, laundry and storage.

The south facade incorporates windows that frame views of the landscape from the kitchen, living room, dining area and a library accommodated on a mezzanine.

The library occupies an additional volume perched on top of the main living area. Its rendered exterior distinguishes it from the stone-clad lower level.

The mezzanine is reached by ascending a staircase featuring cantilevered treads that appear to hover above the concrete-floored living space.

“Since we started the models of the project, we loved the concept of creating a clean group of steel platforms to access the attic,” Miguélez told Dezeen. “The steps are linked to the structure using rusted steel.”

The mezzanine is lined with a glass balustrade that retains a visual connection with the rest of the interior. A door integrated in the library’s glazed southeast corner opens onto a green roof that offers thermal protection to the ground floor.

Source: www.dezeen.com

Architecture students build latticed-wood community centre in German refugee camp

Architecture students from Germany’s University of Kaiserslautern have built this wooden community centre for a refugee camp in Mannheim, which is fronted by a latticed screen.
The pavilion, designed by students Sandra Gressung, Sascha Ritschel and Tobias Vogel, provides a sheltered communal area for refugees arriving in the camp located on the former US Army’s Spinelli Barracks in Mannheim.Eighteen students from the University of Kaiserslautern‘s architecture department worked with 25 refugees and local building companies to build the centre in three months.

“Due to bureaucratic procedures, refugees arriving in Germany are condemned to sustain a long period of passiveness,” said the team. “They are well provided with the bare essentials but the immediate area is quite desolate and lacking of quality common spaces.”

“The residents at the preliminary reception centre had the opportunity to actively shape their environment and create a quality place for common or individual use,” they continued.

Aside from creating the pavilion, the Spinelli project also aimed to provided refugee volunteers with basic building skills.

“The refugees improved their knowledge of the German language, experienced conditions and working standards in Germany and acquired new skills which will be useful even if they can’t stay in Germany on a permanent basis,” said the team.

The centre is made up of a series of courtyards and covered spaces, which are oriented towards the tree-lined road and open fields west of the camp.

Cross-laminated timber walls, which are clad in Douglas fir, make up the main walls of the centre, while the latticework walls provide structural support. They also create a dappled lighting effect against the spaces behind.

“Structural elements, wall and ceiling surfaces, flooring and furnishings are made of untreated timber,” said the team. “Its intimate warmth, aesthetics and haptics acts as invitation.”

“The ornamental structure with its varied play of light is recognised by the refugees as a reminder of oriental ornaments, and as an inviting gesture of identification in a foreign place.”

The large outdoor events space has south-facing seating niches built into the wall on side. The seats are protected from the rain by a two-meter-wide canopy and partitions between the niches.

A latticed screen overhangs on the front of the sheltered common room, which features a raised platform and can be used as either a stage or auditorium.

A 14.5-metre-long gridded screen backs this space. Another screen overlaps the wall, to disguise the entrance to the garden courtyard for retreat and silence.

The area is completely enclosed by four walls apart from the 7-metre-wide latticework opening that brings light into the space.

The centre also features two storerooms that will be used as a kiosk and workshop in the future.

In order to build structural elements like walls and roofs in the short period of time, large-format components were prefabricated in an unoccupied hangar at the former military facility.

This protected the structure from moisture during processing and enabled the elements to be assembled on site quickly and precisely.

The refugee crisis has become an increasingly important topic for architects and designers, who have unveiled a multitude of proposals for shelters including rapidly deployable hexagonal dwellings and adaptable shelter systems.

Photography is by Yannick Wegner.

Source: www.dezeen.com

Taiwan apartment by HAO Design caters to both kids’ and parents’ tastes

HAO Design navigated the chasm between classic and contemporary design to complete this apartment in Pingtung City, Taiwan, for a conflicted family of four.

The Taiwanese studio was brought on board while the new-build apartment was in the pre-sale stage to design interiors that would satisfy both the Hsu parents and their older children.

The parents wanted a “classic” style for the 165-square-metre, three-bedroom home. The children’s tastes veered towards the contemporary and eclectic.

To cater to their desires, HAO Design went for white walls with decorative panelling and cornices. The team also added an arch across a wide living-room window overlooking parkland.

“Even though the ‘classic style’ is typically associated with the complex and resplendent, we selected the spectacular view outside the window as our point of departure and gradually veered toward the decision to leave the entire interior space ‘blank’,” said HAO Design.

“We proposed to create an environment of serenity and comfort by employing pure white as the primary backdrop,” the studio continued.

“To elegantly exhibit aspects of classical design, we utilised symbolic elements and simplified the complex lines by interpreting classical beauty with a modern approach.”

The apartment is filled with touches that cater to each member of the family’s personal tastes.

The boy’s room is finished with leather and metal details, like belts holding up the bedhead. The girl’s, meanwhile, focuses on “cosiness” with cement-textured walls and furniture designed to resemble stacked suitcases.

The parents’ bedroom, which includes a dressing room separated by sliding doors, continues the bright white walls of the living space. However, it has darker wooden floors and lighter wood panelling in a “leaf-vein” pattern that extends across the ceiling.

Each room has an en suite, and a fourth bathroom is located off the main living areas.

The personalisation of space continues into the open-plan living area, where a dividing partition – holding a TV on one side and music paraphernalia on the other — can be swivelled 360 degrees.

This allows members of the family to use the equipment either in the main living area, or in a smaller nook with a single lounge chair.

The personal details extend to the bench on the balcony, which has a built-in footbath so “Mr Hsu will be able to fulfil his dreams of enjoying the scenery, without suffering from the winter cold.”

Marble tiles feature amply throughout the home, including vintage Serpeggiante marble on the dining tabletop.

“All of this ultimately culminates in a home in which each individual is able to locate their preferred space and place for comfort and contemplation,” said HAO Design.

HAO Design was founded in 2013. Its past projects have seen it install swings and a slide in the kitchen of a family home, and rearrange another to give its residents the experience of “walking from the city into a country cottage”.

Source: www.dezeen.com

Glasshouse on stilts by Austin Maynard Architects extends Australian beach shack

Fed up with all the “McMansions” springing up along Australia’s Great Ocean Road, Austin Maynard Architects has restored an old beach shack and built a second, elevated building alongside it.

The brief was to give the clients – a young couple – a bigger home, with views of the the ocean. But the couple also wanted to protect some of the area’s architectural heritage, by preserving their historic beach shack.

The solution developed by Melbourne-based architects Andrew Maynard and Mark Austin was to completely restore the old cabin, and then construct a new building that hovers over its roof.

“Our challenge was to avoid doing what some neighbours, and many other people along the coast, have done,” they explained.

“We refused to have yet another Great Ocean Road shack sacrificed and replaced with a McMansion.”

“We do our best to avoid the simple temptation of demolishing and replacing,” they said.

“Where extensions are required/desired, we aim to retain and respect the existing shack and its scale.”

The Dorman House extension has a similar footprint to the original property, but it comprises two storeys to ensure it offers the best view available.

Unlike the modest cabin, with its monochrome-painted weatherboard exterior, the new building is made up of an assortment of contemporary materials, including large glazing panels, translucent polycarbonate plastic and richly toned ash wood.

A criss-crossing cypress timber framework provides enough support to allow the upper part of the structure to cantilever over the shack’s roof.

It is this framework that makes the building look like a glasshouse on stilts.

“The new living space does not protrude forward over the ridge-line of the old house and avoids dominating the original shack unnecessarily,” said the architects.

Inside, the shack is much as it was, with a lounge, bedroom and generous hallway at the front, although the old kitchen has now been replaced with an en-suite bedroom and a laundry room.

A large open-plan kitchen, dining room and living space occupies the new elevated part of the property. The owners have also slotted in an extra bedroom in the polycarbonate-framed space underneath – an area originally designed as for utilities.

“[The clients] loved it so much that they wanted it as their bedroom,” said the architects. “We added heavy curtains and huge sliding doors so that the space could have as much light and openness as they wanted.”

“They could leave it open on a moonlit night and sleep with the sea breeze rolling over them, or close it up and curtain it into darkness for a cool summer afternoon nap,” they added.

An assortment of materials also features inside the building. Ash lines the inside of the new living space, while the flooring in the bedroom underneath comprises raw concrete bricks.

There is also a spiralling metal staircase that connects the two floors.

“What could easily have been a white plasterboard box full of downlights is, instead, detailed and well considered,” said the architects. “It’s a space that exudes character and responds to the seasonal changes and hours of the day.”

“The lighting inside is very evocative, controlled so you can work or prepare a meal without flooding the space with light and compromising the view. Full-height windows on the northern side of the living space slide open to allow in the sea breezes.”

Andrew Maynard founded the architecture studio in the 1990s, and has completed projects including a periscope-shaped extension. He changed the name of the firm in 2015 to reflect the role of Mark Austin, who has been a key member of the team since 2007.

Other projects the pair have completed in Victoria – the Australian state that the Great Ocean Road runs across – include a house that hides a giant toy box under its floors and another comprising a trio of glass-ended boxes.

Source: www.dezeen.com