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Single-family reisidence with an above ground lap-pool!
The stunning single-family residence located in North Bondi was designed both for easy entertaining and private family time. A narrow site with overlooking issues paired with a commitment to passive solar design and natural daylighting drove much of the resulting form. Due to the nature of the site, planning and time management was crucial in ensuring the project ran smoothly.
Conceptually, the spatial planning of the house separates the social and family spaces. Downstairs, the interconnected kitchen, living, dining and outdoor spaces create a highly interactive and engaged site designed to accommodate large groups. A unique above ground lap-pool that shares a clear wall with the social spaces acts as a visual connection between the interior and exterior spaces, refracting natural light throughout the house.The pool was originally designed as a fully concrete structure and was adjusted to incorporate the striking acrylic wall after construction had commenced. A wide range of trades were involved in delivering the pool, including interstate specialist sub-contractors. The acrylic wall required that waterproofing was discretely integrated with the panels and structural columns to provide a smooth visual effect. This required a high degree of co-ordination and negotiation to bring together, as the tolerances were very tight.Upstairs, the bedrooms overlook private green space in the form of either a yard or vertical garden. The feature screens and custom planter beds ensure privacy from neighbours and pedestrian traffic, and are fully plumbed, self-maintained and LED lit. This project marked the first time the firm had used FRP screens as a facade material, and a certain amount of on-site experimentation was required to determine the best method of assembly and fixing. The panels required a high level of preparation prior to installation, pre-drilling the holes to fix the custom FRP panels from the side with dual threaded screws. Coordination of the plumbing, lighting and landscaping was crucial for delivering this intricate system. In addition to resolving privacy issues, these planter screens enable additional landscaping possibilities on a narrow site.The home automation system incorporates a fully programmable Dali and Cbus system. The client is able to select from a wide range of pre-programmed lighting and audio settings, as well as set up their own custom ‘scenes’ to be operated with a single touch. It is also possible to activate fixtures remotely.The craftsmanship of the build is elegantly revealed in the material palette, which includes unfinished Kobe boards, burnished concrete, expressed timber, Corten facade and steel and timber columns that celebrate the structural systems in the house. The decision to leave the materials exposed significantly increased the complexity of the build, as any flaws or short cuts in construction would be visible in the finished structure. Additionally, the primary timber/steel flitch structure that is expressed both inside and out resulted in extremely limited tolerances for cladding, lining and window installations, further adding to the construction challenge.
Shanghai Natural History Museum
In #donotsettle’s latest escapade, architect Kris Provoost scrutinizes Perkins+Will’s Shanghai Natural History Museum. The boyishly charming and ever-inquisitive vlogger presents a unique POV tour of the unusual building situated in the middle of the Jing’an Sculpture Park.
Over a soundtrack of slick house music, Provoost offers up tidbits that cannot be gleaned from a photo. As he approaches the structure, he points out topographical aspects, the relationship of the structure to its context, and various construction details. The rapid-fire architectural observations are often punctuated by brief cross-sectional sketches that augment the experiential commentary.
Provoost is immediately taken aback by the exteriors’ clever multifaceted facade,  quickly confirming the photogenic museum as highly “instagrammable.” But while the stunning subterranean structure pulls natural light into the gallery through a curving atrium, the building’s interior proves to be comparatively underwhelming and uncomfortably noisy. Provoost recaps the outing by lamenting over the bureaucratic barriers of the space: “The main architectural ideas are this roof and this pit here. And both of them cannot be entered as a visitor. That’s so China. The architecture never comes to its full potential here.”
Atalaya Shelter –  Jaime Inostroza
It was in March of 2016 when I start to talk with my mentor Aaron Betsky about the idea of the shelter. In that meeting Aaron asked me some fundamental questions for the shelter:
-Find a site
-What does this site wants to be?
-How do I want to be in this site?
-How does my design reflect what I have learned as a student at Taliesin?
-What makes this site part of Taliesin?
-What will the site be after I gone?
These questions were crucial for me in understanding the Taliesin territory and to develop a principle in architecture, an architectural observation that could respond to the landscape of the Sonora desert. I was walking through desert when I found my fellow student, Carl Kohut. He told me about a beautiful site and showed it to me. We walked along a path that I never I had never seen. Everything was new for me and then suddenly I saw the place a new. Immediately I knew that this was the right site.
It was like secret place hidden in the wash, covered by the shadows of the trees and looking out at the wash and the desert. The entrance to the site is shaped by the Alameda of Palos Verdes. This creates the aperture to the site and at sunset the site becomes a distiller of the light. The mountains are now with purple in color. The landscape is an opera of colors.
From that observation of the site my principle was to develop an entrance procession that would let me dwell within the horizon of the Alameda of the Palos Verdes. Because of that the name of the project is “Atalaya,” which means crow nest. It is the highest point from the boat where you can see the horizon across the ocean. I used the existing concrete pad like a plinth that holds this structure and continued the procession with a combination wall- stair. The shelter will be covered with fabric panels that will amplify the colors of the desert.As young architect Taliesin is a great laboratory where you can test principles in architecture. To design and build, the logistics, the schedule, the materials, the landscape – all these factors are crucial to understand how the architect can manage the task of architecture. For me it is a privilege to continue the legacy of learning by doing at Taliesin.
“Superbenches” for suburban Stockholm park
A bench with springs for legs and a brutalist concrete structure are among the 10 experimental pieces of public furniture created by international designers to help regenerate a park area just outside of Stockholm, Sweden.

Participating designers were asked to reconsider the concept of the traditional park bench while retaining its sole function of providing an urban meeting place to sit or relax.

While some are upgrades of existing benches in the Kvarnbacken park, others are entirely new designs. Every Superbench has the potential to become a permanent fixture in the park, but only if it is appreciated and used by locals in the area.The Superbenches have been installed as part of the Kalejdohill project – a two year initiative that aims to regenerate Kvarnbacken, a park in the suburb in Järfälla that is at the heart of a new housing development.

With the aim of creating a meeting place in the period before the new houses are built, the project has been developed in a public-private partnership with Swedish developers HSB, Norra, and Stor-Stockholm.”Kalejdohill is a unique project that uses the park as a community incubator for a new, diverse neighbourhood,” explains curator Felix Burrichter. “The Superbenches are an important part of this process. Realised by a group of designers with very diverse backgrounds, each one proposes a distinct bench typology.”

A YouTube video of an overweight man in a tie-dyed t-shirt bobbing back and forth on a kid’s playground springer inspired London-based practice Soft Baroque to create a playful two-seater bench mounted on springs.Drawing inspiration from the local topography, Canadian-born London-based designer Philippe Malouin used natural aggregates to create a towering pavilion that functions as an outdoor meeting place.The monolithic, cylindrical structure features three elliptical openings where locals can sit and relax.Designers Märta Hägglund & Sanna Gripner created Cushy, a two-seater sofa and matching armchair made from purple metal mesh.Conceived as an “exterior living room”, the duo wanted to translate the aesthetic and comfort of traditional upholstered sofas and armchairs into public outdoor seating.

Meanwhile, Dutch design studio Scholten & Baijings applied its distinctive use of colour and pattern to five existing benches on the site.”Opaque and translucent layers of colour are applied to the benches to create a dialogue with the colours of the surrounding area,” explain the designers. “The gradient effect created by placing colours side by side not only creates a unique pattern in itself, but ties in with the following bench to create a continuous flow of colour throughout the area.”
Towering translucent curtains for hirakata T-SITE bookstore – Now Where are the ladders to get to the books?
Located in a commercial complex near osaka, japan, the hirakata T-SITE bookstore has recently been adorned with three eight-meter high curtains by textile designer akane moriyama. the building stands in front of a railway station toward the west, in the middle of a busy hub.
In the hirakata T-SITE bookstore, akane moriyama‘s curtains work as a shield from late-afternoon sun as well as create movement on the façade. they elegantly cover three large windows when sunlight is intense, and are rolled up into a spiral rail track at evening time.
During fabrication, three different layers of semi-transparent textile have been used: a grey organza with silver prints reflects light on the façade, a plain weave beige in the middle layer blocks sunlight, and a yellow organza on the interior side shows shadow casted from outer layers. these successive fabrics offer different expressions between inside and out — bringing a feeling of depth and fluctuation.
During the day, curtains are fully closed to prevent the striking sunlight from penetrating
Rustic Austin boathouse assembled from new and salvaged materials
US firm Andersson-Wise Architects has created a modest boathouse in Texas, designed to blend with its site as if it were “in a state of natural decomposition”.The Bunny Run Boat Dock is located on the shore of Lake Austin, in the city of Austin. Encompassing 2,563 square feet (238 square metres), the enclosure contains two boat slips on the ground level, and an open-air bar and lounge area on the upper storey.
Situated at the base of a slope, the boathouse is accessed via a stone stairway or a wooden bridge. Wrapped in textured, wooden screens, the rectilinear structure is intended to have a weathered appearance.”The Bunny Run Boat Dock is an exploration of material and massing intended to look so blended into the site that it appears softly in a state of natural decomposition,” said Andersson-Wise Architects, which is based locally.

The team used several species of wood for the project – an amalgamation that is meant to “form an environment that is consistent with the natural wooded shoreline of the lake”.For exterior walls, the team assembled cedar slats of varying lengths in a patchwork formation. Interior walls are sheathed in horizontal cedar boards.The ceiling is made of Douglas fir, while the flooring is made of sinker cypress – a type of lumber created from old sunken logs that are extracted from lakes and rivers.

The team also incorporated salvaged materials into the building.”The architectural palette is complemented by several reclaimed items: antique doors from India, a timeworn butcher block from England and a steel structure that weathers naturally,” the architects said.Designed to be an “all-exterior experience”, the boathouse is a place where visitors can feel immersed in the natural context.
“The experience is intended to be an inviting homage to the beautiful climate and setting – a place to become connected to and surrounded by nature,” the firm said.Other projects by Andersson-Wise Architects include a remote cabin in Montana with cordwood walls, a green roof and a series of interlocking courtyards.
A House
‘A House’ is located in a typical urban area named ‘Yong-In’ in Korea where recently developing rapidly. The site surrounded by low mountains that facing to the South and sitting on a sloping plot which is adjacent to neighbors. In this village, ‘Treefull Hills’, each house unit has two level of boundaries: public boundary at the street level and individual boundary at the living level.

The ‘A House’ celebrates interaction between families and neighbors while maintaining a strong sense of privacy and of ownership. Therefore the ‘A House’ is a place where degree of privacy is maintained with openings and spaces are merged in continuous spaces redefined by ‘A-shaped’ natural light which starts from one light at the top then spread out as it goes through two bottom openings under the ‘A-shaped’ roof also.
The adjacency of the houses surrounding boundary and facing south lead to development of opening and massing that communicates maximum size and location of openings in the consideration of the light exposure and privacy from the public. The simple volume and a gable roof came from the strict application of local urban regulations and result reflected the client request: 1. Complying with prevailing site regulations; project should have sloping roof at least 70% of the floor area. Therefore, client want to have a typical ‘gable’ roof shape rather than having a portion of angled roof. 2. Client desire that all rooms able to meet the maximized light exposure orient to South. 3. While project has three separate floors, client asked to keep the connectivity between family members in terms of visual, sound and light.
The main space in ‘A House’ is an triple height openings which connecting the diverse spaces by light and sensual connection. When light comes in, some spaces gets directly and other spaces get light through filtering which is light that comes into one space spread into another space. Also, other architectural components such as walls, doors, stairs and window frames are customized on site and designed to be harmonized with color white.
Simple south facing volume layout not only maximizes surface area touching the given natural environment, but also reflects and communicates with surrounding urban settings and site regulations while having different architectural languages and maintaining a degree of privacy from the public.

KOSMOS Architects Wins Competition for Landmark Nike Sports Park in Moscow

Global sportswear brand Nike, in collaboration with urban planning consultants Strelka KB, has announced the winners of the competition to design a new Nike sports facility in Gorky Park, located at the heart of Moscow. The competition asked five of Russia’s leading young architecture studios – KOSMOS Architects, Rhizome, Novoe, Crosby Studios and Xора – to envision a “unique architectural object” that seamless integrates into the surrounding park environment, creating a landmark hub for sport and physical activity for Russia.
A key goal for the project was to create an environmentally-friendly structure where athletes from different sports could meet and interact. Core project principles included functionality, sustainability, local identity and flexibility, and integration of main program pieces, including a football korobka (street football court), basketball court, running club hub, indoor training facility and supplemental facilities. Intended to be operational year-round, the design needed also to be adaptable for each of the seasons. The project will be built in 2017.
Project proposals were evaluated by an acclaimed international panel including Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli (partner, OMA), Andy Walker (VP creative direction, Nike), Varvara Melnikova (CEO, Strelka Institute; Partner, KB Strelka; CEO, Afisha), Denis Leontiev (CEO, Strelka KB), Marina Lyulchuk (Gorky park director), Anton Belov (director of Garage museum of contemporary art), Kristjan Luha (Nike Russia GM) and Giovanna Carnevali (architects and urbanist, director of competition department at Strelka KB).
“In this competition, I was looking for a daring reinterpretation of the relationship between architecture, movement and athleticism, which I believe is at the core of the brand; projects that will inspire people to challenge their built environment and bodies through physical activity,”  said Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli, OMA partner.
“This competition has been interesting as it shows the thinking of the city’s emerging architecture studios and at the same time tries to develop new directions on the idea of an urban playground.”

See all of the finalist projects below, with descriptions from the architects and comments from Pestellini Laparelli.The project of Nike sports center in Gorky Park, proposed by “Cosmos” bureau, is based on the idea of Nike Air Box. Project is presented as a universal sports “installation” out in the open.General plot plan is divided by a few functional zones, which are football, workout and basketball zones with pavilion being in the very center. Existing retaining walls and the terrain itself are united in a single landscape installation that serves both as grandstands for spectators and a stretch zone.