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By chance the client found Xu Xujun two years ago. After a few hours’ communication at the first meeting, the client requested that Xu Xujun provide a brief proposal first. At that night, Xu Xujun drew a rough draft by hand: elements of Oriental Zen were added to the overlapping connected buildings , and Tibetan style of ancient city Shangri-La was taken as a smooth transition, thus a simple hostel which presents the beauty of nature was gradually shown. The client thought highly of the draft, thus a story about the original design of KARESANSUI was unfolded…KARESANSUI is located at No. 46 Cuo Lang, North Gate Street of Dukezong Ancient Town, Shangri-La, Yunnan. It is geographically blessed — only three minutes’ walk from Sifang Street. Buildings of KARESANSUI are built on the slopes; it took nearly two years to complete the construction. During the construction period, Mr. Xu stayed on project site with his assistants for nearly one year to follow up on and instruct the construction. This contributes to the perfect implementation of the design!

KARESANSUI are composed of six small buildings and an old Tibetan house, visually, the two buildings where the restaurant and lobby located are floating in the air. Bridged by corridors, the buildings are undulating and interweaved with each other. There are 15 guest rooms in total , in addition, there is a lobby, a restaurant and a tea room. Unique indoor design could be found in each guests room, while giving guests great sense of privacy , it shows the beauty of new oriental Zen. One of the buildings keep the original Tibetan structure, and local Tibetan elements are added to its architectural and interior design. When designing the window, Xu Xujun made full use of the great view, making it possible for guests to enjoy the painting-like scenery of blue sky, white clouds, sunrise and sunset just by looking out of the window.

The transformation of new styled buildings and the old Tibetan houses is natural and harmonious. The scale of the hostel is not big, but it is exquisite. The space function layout is ingenious and just perfect. While standing out, the buildings blend into the surrounding environment and hostels perfectly. The local committee call it “one of the most beautiful hostel in Shangri-La”.

The name of the hostel comes from poetry Looking for the Reclusive Chan Taoist of South Stream by Liu Changqing, poet of Tang Dynasty.”Enjoy the green pines after the rain, walk by the path of the mountain and find the source of the water, I understand Zen from the reflection of the flowers in the stream , and I stare at them silently.” The poet didn’t find the taoist, instead, he found something else interesting which enabled him to get insight into Zen.

The name KARESANSUI is thus born, it aims at helping guests to gain spiritual pleasure and psychological satisfaction. Being enlighten by the quite stream, enjoying fun of tranquility from appreciating swaying wildflower; What’s deep inside the heart is a kind of peace and joy of self-examination. Such kind of peaceful mood integrated harmoniously with the quiet environment. We hope that all guests could have an agreeable experience here.

Hawaiian cabins by Erin Moore are designed for life outdoors
Oregon-based architect Erin Moore has completed a tropical getaway in Hawaii that consists of two pavilions sited on either edge of a 300-year-old solidified lava formation.Situated at a high altitude on the island of Maui, with a cooler climate than the city below, Outside House is used by the client as a retreat for short periods of time.

“The Outside House is a place to live outside,” said Moore, who runs a design-and-research practice called FLOAT. “Two small pavilions shape the basics of daily life and structure an intentional relationship with the land.”The first pavilion – located to the south – contains a bed, a small desk, and a reading nook. As opposed to the other structure, this cabin is fully enclosed.”This pavilion is a tiny detached bedroom oriented to look up the lava flow and catch the first light of sunrise over cinder cones,” said the architect. “After that brief morning sunlight, the room is in cool shade for daytime reading and napping.”

Clad in wood and polycarbonate, the simple frame construction has built-in vents that allow for ample air circulation. It is raised from the ground on four concrete blocks, minimising its impact on the site.

Further away, a covered platform provides the residents with a small outdoor kitchen, terrace, and shower, all of which are open to views of the Pacific Ocean and the neighbouring island of Kahoolawe.

The structure of the service pavilion is made up galvanised steel, which was carried to the site by hand and assembled on the spot. “In keeping with the client’s stewardship of the land, the pavilions are designed to be minimally connected to the ground and to be demountable,” the architect said.

Preserving the land between the two pavilions was critical to the design, as the client has a long relationship with the site. Therefore, the space was left in its natural state.

MVRDV in collaboration with local architects TUPDI has completed the Tianjin Binhai Library, a 33,700m2 cultural centre featuring a luminous spherical auditorium around which floor-to-ceiling bookcases cascade. The undulating bookshelf is the building’s main spatial device, and is used both to frame the space and to create stairs, seating, the layered ceiling and even louvres on the façade. Tianjin Binhai Library was designed and built in a record-breaking time of only three years due to a tight schedule imposed by the local municipality. Next to many media rooms it offers space for 1,2 million books.The library was commissioned by Tianjin Binhai Municipality and is located in the cultural centre of Binhai district in Tianjin, a coastal metropolis outside Beijing, China. The library, located adjacent to a park, is one of a cluster of five cultural buildings designed by an international cadre of architects including Bernard Tschumi Architects, Bing Thom Architects, HH Design and MVRDV. All buildings are connected by a public corridor underneath a glass canopy designed by GMP. Within the GMP masterplan MVRDV was given a strict volume within which all design was concentrated.The building’s mass extrudes upwards from the site and is ‘punctured’ by a spherical auditorium in the centre. Bookshelves are arrayed on either side of the sphere and act as everything from stairs to seating, even continuing along the ceiling to create an illuminated topography. These contours also continue along the two full glass facades that connect the library to the park outside and the public corridor inside, serving as louvres to protect the interior against excessive sunlight whilst also creating a bright and evenly lit interior.“The Tianjin Binhai Library interior is almost cave-like, a continuous bookshelf. Not being able to touch the building’s volume we ‘rolled’ the ball shaped auditorium demanded by the brief into the building and the building simply made space for it, as a ‘hug’ between media and knowledge” says Winy Maas, co-founder of MVRDV. “We opened the building by creating a beautiful public space inside; a new urban living room is its centre. The bookshelves are great spaces to sit and at the same time allow for access to the upper floors. The angles and curves are meant to stimulate different uses of the space, such as reading, walking, meeting and discussing. Together they form the ‘eye’ of the building: to see and be seen.”

The five level building also contains extensive educational facilities, arrayed along the edges of the interior and accessible through the main atrium space. Public program is supported by subterranean service spaces, book storage, and a large archive. From the ground floor visitors can easily access reading areas for children and the elderly, the auditorium, the main entrance, terraced access to the floors above and connection to the cultural complex. The first and second floors consist primarily of reading rooms, books and lounge areas whilst the upper floors also include meeting rooms, offices, computer and audio rooms and two roof top patios.

The library is MVRDV’s most rapid fast track project to date. It took just three years from the first sketch to the opening. Due to the given completion date site excavation immediately followed the design phase. The tight construction schedule forced one essential part of the concept to be dropped: access to the upper bookshelves from rooms placed behind the atrium. This change was made locally and against MVRDV’s advice and rendered access to the upper shelves currently impossible. The full vision for the library may be realised in the future, but until then perforated aluminium plates printed to represent books on the upper shelves. Cleaning is done via ropes and movable scaffolding.

Since its opening on 1 October, 2017 the building has been a great hit in Chinese media and social media; reviews describe it as an ‘Ocean of Books’ (CCTV) and the ‘Most beautiful library of China’ (The Bund). Comments on social media call the building a ‘sea of knowledge’, ‘Super Sci-Fi’ or simply ‘The Eye.’ Most importantly, it is clear that the people of Tianjin have embraced the new space – and that it has become the urban living room it was intended to be.

Zaha Hadid Architects reveals honeycomb-like oil research centre in Riyadh
Hexagonal pods interlock like honeycomb to form the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre, built by Zaha Hadid Architects in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh.The huge building was designed by London-based Zaha Hadid Architects to provide facilities for researchers investigating the transition towards more sustainable power sources in one of the most oil-rich countries in the world.With a mission to research the most effective use of energy, the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre (KAPSARC) has been designed to achieve a LEED Platinum sustainability certification.The modular honeycomb formation of the building allows for future adaption and expansion of the research campus. The faceted form of the cells is highlighted by angular cut outs in their flanks and latticed skylights.This layout is one of several passive and active systems that aim to minimise energy consumption in the hot desert climate of Riyadh.”Hexagonal prismatic honeycomb structures use the least material to create a lattice of cells within a given volume,” explained the studio.”This structural and organisational principle determined KAPSARC’s composition as an amalgamation of crystalline forms that emerges from the desert landscape, evolving to best respond to the environmental conditions and internal programme requirements.”

Similarly, rooftop solar panels have a capacity to store up to a huge 5,000 megawatts per year, and potable water is recycled and reused across the site.

The 70,000-square-metre facility comprises five interconnected buildings: the Energy Knowledge Centre, the Energy Computer Centre, the Conference Centre, the Research Library and the Musalla prayer space.

The pods are oriented to lessen the impact of the harsh light and heat of the Riyadh Plateau, and a public courtyard at the centre of the campus is shaded by canopies on branching columns.

The building lifts from the ground to the north and west of the site to allow any breeze to permeate to the courtyard.

Tetris Hotel for Dutch Design Week 2017
Hoping to answer the question “what does the future city look like?” at Dutch Design Week, MVRDV has fabricated a multicolored, tetris-like hotel in Eindhoven. The future brings decreasing resources, increasing population, and climate change, reasons MVRDV, and with these limitations in mind, they believe futuristic architecture needs one important quality: flexibility.Dutch Design Week challenged designers to shift their mindset to create futuristic hypotheses where architecture and science intersect. Designers were asked, how can architecture facilitate a quickly changing, and at times deteriorating, world?“Through gaming and other tools, (W)ego explores participatory design processes to model the competing desires and egos of each resident in the fairest possible way,” said co-founder of MVRDV and Dutch Design Week ambassador Winy Maas.The physical manifestation of (W)ego at Dutch Design Week shows nine urban dwellings in one possible configuration. Each unit has its own personality for the user that occupies it: an orange door to ascension, a lime green space with hammock and ladders, tropical pink that extends up a few floors, a lemon yellow privatized penthouse, and a blue cave—but the possibilities posed by the concept are endless. During its time on display, (W)ego plays a film in one of its nine rooms which details the extent of its potential configurations.As one enters (W)ego they have to come to terms with others’ spatial needs while deciding their own spatial desires. Ultimately, (W)ego begs the question: what is going on next door?

Inflatable castle decorated with trademark patterns installed in London
For this year’s London Design Festival, artist Camille Walala has erected a brightly coloured, inflatable castle behind Liverpool Street Station to help city workers de-stress.The French artist designed the installation for Broadgate’s Exchange Square, which is located behind the station in the City. Her aim was to add fun to the daily routine of commuters who pass the square each day, or those who relax on the steps facing at lunch time.”I just imagined people working in the city maybe they are a bit stressed so the idea was to do something where they can just come and hang out,” Walala told Dezeen.“Originally I wanted to do like a big, giant stress ball because I just thought that if people want to come and they just wanted to have a relaxing time and just squeeze something,” she added. “I wanted to do something quite soft.”Villa Walala is reminiscent of childhood bouncy castles, although it doesn’t feature an inflated base.Instead, the passersbys are invited to walk through one of its four archways and touch its giant soft shapes. Four inflatable totem-like structures mark the corners of the grassed square.Typical to Walala’s style, the vinyl material is patterned with a mix stripes, circles and blocks, in a total of seven different colours. It took 1,200 square metres of vinyl to create the installation.Prints are also extended to cover the surrounding paving and adjacent steps in a mix of monochrome stripes, and colourful diagonals.Walala graduated with a degree in textile design from the University of Brighton in 2009 before setting up her eponymous studio in east London.

Earlier this year, she used her signature colourful style to create a labyrinth inside London’s Now Gallery. Her other projects include covering a building in Shoreditch with prints and designing a collection of Memphis-inspired homeware.

Walala’s Villa Walala is one of the Landmark Projects of this year’s London Design Festival, which runs from 16 to 24 September 2017. Sam Jacob and MINI have teamed up to create the other – a micro home with attached library.


21-metre-long fabric snake installed in V&A tapestry room
British designer Ross Lovegrove has used suede-like fabric to create a huge serpentine sculpture in one of the V&A’s tapestry galleries, as part of this year’s London Design Festival.Lovegrove drew inspiration from the Devonshire Hunting Tapestries, a series of four huge artworks created in the 15th century, to create his 21.3-metre-long installation, called Transmission.
The winding sculpture, which could also be likened to an intestine, was designed to exactly match the colours of the medieval tapestries.”These tapestries were begun in 1425, the time of the Renaissance in Europe, when incredible things were made, and all through mainly craft-based skills,” Lovegrove told Dezeen.“I think this is a forgotten art form,” he continued. “So, in respect to these tapestries that I really love, I haven’t come in here with all guns blazing, to do something modern or alien. I’ve tried to do something that fits not only the room but the tapestries.”Lovegrove worked with Alcantara, a suede-like fabric produced from a combination of polyester and polyurethane, to create the form.Using digital scanning software, his team were able to exactly match the colours of the fabric to those of the tapestries. They also used gold and silver threads to add over two million points of embroidery, so the sculpture glistens as it catches the light.”These tapestries have been reduced to just two main colours through the pigmentation that they used in their day – they are not the authentic colours,” said Lovegrove. “But I love the colours you get when things age.”“We scanned and captured these exact colours, then used different technologies to add them to this installation. So the colours you see here are not guesswork, they are exact identical facsimiles of the colour palette. That’s an amazing thing.”Lovegrove often creates large-scale designs and installations, from a solar-powered street light to an aluminium spaceship. And although Transmission appears to be more delicate than these projects, the designer says he doesn’t mind if people touch it.”I don’t want to stop things that happen naturally,” he added.Transmission will be on show at the V&A throughout London Design Festival 2017, which starts today and continues until 24 September 2017. Other installations at the museum this week include a colourful hall of light by Australian designer Flynn Talbot.
Moveable Housing – ‘Ship shaped’
Mr. Plocq’s Caballon gives the opportunity to rediscover an almost-forgotten side of the Loire river estuary: that of the naturalists, those adventurous explorers from another time whose rich and unbelievable stories blend the taste of faraway travels to the land’s memory. The project is inspired by real-life Émile Plocq, aka the bird charmer, a local from the Vendée region who supposedly built a ship meant to perform expeditions to the shores of Africa with the help of migrating birds.It was invented for the “Imaginary Nights” event, a short-time out-of-the-ordinary movable housing concept created by Loirestua. Ever since 2013, this idea allows unique nightly sojourns in an amazing place — different every year — along with the Loire estuary in the west of France.Each summer season, from May to October, guests can immerse themselves in the bird charmer’s universe while enjoying his expedition vessel for a night. They will find a structure birthed from the alliance of naval carpentry and airship craft — the first one providing the ship with a wooden hull and the optimization of space, the second one offering a light textile envelop and generous space.One 15m² room — measuring 6.5m long, 3.8m large, and 3.3m high — possessing various subspaces is given for use. Access is made through a horizontal double-swing door whose lower part possesses steps and leads to the entrance deck. The cockpit, separated from the rest of the ship through a wood clad dashboard, makes it possible for the temporary tenants to both sleep under a starry sky and wake up observing the sunrise.On the opposite part, a hollow barrel-shaped 360° rotating door opens on a hidden bathroom in which are located a sink and a dry toilet. This door is named the “shower airlock” allowing the residents to wash intimately if turned towards the bathroom or more openly if turned towards the cockpit facing the surrounding landscape.Storage spaces are sheltered inside the double-wall separating the cockpit from the bathroom, while the dashboard — which also serves as the head for the bed — encloses the ship’s commands. When night falls, a gentle low angle light brushes the curved sides of the Caballon in order to enhance the existing architectural features.In reality, once the season is over, the structure will be stored until next year. However in fiction, our story will run its course: when the sunny days make way for winter, the Caballon inevitably returns abroad along with the birds performing their annual migration. It’ll land back in the estuary the following summer, presenting not just a new settlement configuration but first and foremost a whole new fantasy to tell.
Spiraling Observation Tower Will Take Visitors 45 Meters Above the Treetops
EFFEKT’s 45 meters above the trees spiraling observation tower, which is being built one hour south of Copenhagen, will offer 360-degree panoramic views across the surrounding forest of Gisselfeld Kloster, Haslev. The preserved forest distinguishes itself by its hilly landscape with lakes, wetlands, and creeks.EFFEKT’s spiraling observation tower, which is being built one hour south of CopenhagenFeaturing at the end of the 600-metre forest walkway for Camp Adventure, the 13-tiered tower will provide a new perspective and immersive experience from within and above the trees. The observation tower will be inclusive for all its users as the path and tower are a continuous ramp.The walkway will integrate dynamic elements into the route for visitors to learn and interact with the forest. Beginning with an aviary that houses a range of birds, the path will loop and rise to bring you closer to the trees, concluding with the observation deck.To be developed as an hourglass shape, it will allow the tower more stability from the enlarged base and a larger area for viewing at the crown; a slimmer center will also provide space for the trees around to interplay with it.The lattice structure formed of straight, structural elements further cultivates the sculptural quality of the tower by creating an ambiguity between the tree trunks and the structure. Sensitive to the natural tones of the forest, the structural elements will be built out of Corten to succinctly blend in whilst the decks will be built from timber felled from the local trees themselves.Camp Adventure, where the walkway and tower are being built, is an already existing sports facility with treetop climbing paths and aerial zip lines up to 25 meters in the sky.Other projects by the local firm, EFFEKT, have included the 2015 Building of the Year Award-winning Livsrum and their innovative self-sustaining village model that reimagines infrastructure, food production, and green space.

The Barns They Are A Changin
50 years ago the barn was sheltering cows, now a new era has come and people are moving in.In the valley Myrkdalen on the west-coast of Norway you find old farming land, but also new land for the recent developed grand scale skiing-resort Myrkdalen. The small barn is situated right in the middle, on the high end of the old farming-land, right below the modern ski-lift, facing the spectacular view of the valley. The old agriculture building has been empty for a long time, it has lost its original use and function and for a while now it has been neglected. But the times they are a changin´, soon it will be hosting tourist from all around the world. A family of four, a couple on their honeymoon, or skibums, can spend a memorable night here since a modern sleeping module has been installed inside the old barn.OPA FORM architects has infused new life into the old characteristic barn by adding a module that provides all the comfort you might need for a good nights sleep. Seen from the outside there are only small signs of the barns transformation. A sculpturesque window stretches out of the old cladding, towards the great view, witnessing a modern structure. Entering the barn you´ll find yourself in the authentic stable, with rough surfaces, an un-insulated room that used to shelter cows. Here nothing is changed, but across the room you´ll see the addition, a module clad in bright aspen with a circular entrance. Hence the small scale of the host, the module is built with the uttermost precision and at the same time great respect for the barn-structure. The addition is self-sufficient, carefully fitted around the existing structure. Part of the module stretches up in-between the low beams, resulting in a spacious vertical room where visitors are able to stand upright. Rest of the interior is carefully designed to offer comfortable sitting and sleeping space during the stay, organized around the central fire-place and the adjacent spacious window.Travelling the norwegian west-coast one can easily spot worn-down buildings scattered across the scenery fjord-landscape. Old barns clinging on the steep landscape don´t make any useful agricultural buildings anymore since the farming industry changed. But these barns make an excellent tourist destination. Transforming the old buildings function rather than transforming the building-structure is the concept of the strategy called “the barns they are a-changing”.To ensure the envisioned product, OPA FORM arkitekter personally followed the project every step on the way, from the early 1:1 sketches, the building of the module in the offices workstead and to the installation in the old barn, it was all done in-house and hands-on.