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Skylights and slatted floors bring daylight into 2.5-metre-wide house in Japan
Japanese studio FujiwaraMuro Architects has completed an exceptionally narrow timber house in Kobe, featuring an atrium that allows daylight to reach each of its levels.The site FujiwaraMuro Architects was given to work with was just 22 square metres, and flanked on either side by existing residential buildings.

The studio had experience of dealing with the restricted sites common in many Japanese cities, having previously fitted a three-and-a-half-metre-wide house fronted by metal curtains onto a plot in Osaka.

They initially thought the site would be too small to build on successfully, but they ultimately treated the constraints as a challenge.

The result is a 63-square-metre property measuring less than three metres wide, aptly titled Tiny House in Kobe.

The building is set back from the street, with a large opening on the ground floor forming a garage, and the main entrance set into the rear wall.

The entire street facade is clad in boards of knotted timber, interrupted only by three windows of varying dimensions set at different heights to frame views of the city and surrounding hills.

The entrance leads into a hallway lined with storage on one side, and a bath and shower room on the other. A toilet is also accommodated on this level, with a staircase at the far end ascending to the upper floors.

On the first floor, a kitchen and dining area is connected to a sunken living room by a single step. Each space in the house is linked to the others by openings or windows to create areas with adjustable levels of privacy.

“When many people are in the house, their relationships grow closer,” said FujiwaraMuro Architects. “Even when only one or two people are there, they feel calm rather than lonely in the space.”

Large windows at the rear of the kitchen brighten the interior and open onto a small balcony. Light also streams down into the heart of the home from a pair of rectangular roof lights.

The floor of the dining space features a slatted wooden surface that enables the natural illumination to filter down to the lower level. For the same reason, a dining table with a glass top was specified to sit above the slatted floor.

Shelving that extends across the walls of the living and dining areas also reaches up through the void to the upper level accommodating the bedrooms.

The main bedroom is located at the top of the stairs and can be closed off from the rest of the space using a curtain.

A child’s room that occupies the area on the other side of the void is visually connected to the parents’ room and the living space below by a pair of opposing openings.

House of Music
The House of Music of Pieve di Cento was born out of the desire to create structures and spaces suitable for two programs: concert promotion and musical teaching in the municipality: the Music Society of Pieve and a Middle School with musical emphasis.The architectural language is inspired by the musical tradition rooted in the city, resulting in a building comprising various independent elements, not unlike the “instruments” in an orchestra which collectively enhance the whole. The reference to musical instruments is also achieved through the choice of oak wood paneling, which wraps exterior and interior and permits – as in the bodies of the instruments – the containment and amplification of sound.

The building consists of 9 small circular music laboratories, linked by a “piazza” that acts as a distribution space and becomes a place for sharing and dialogue among young musicians. This central area is also intended for ensemble music and small rehearsals.

The House of Music is located in a portion of the former Lamborghini manufacturing area which, after careful restoration with the help of the municipality, has been renovated and transformed into a leisure park. The site is reached by a bicycle path that connects it to the city center and the new expansion district south of the historic center, while a curvilinear wooden bench runs around the building and creates resting and restorative places facing the park. The House of Music thus becomes a space that can be used at any time of the day: a gathering space for the community, not only those in the music field. Illuminated externally, at night, the House of Music appears to the people as a constant and comforting “lantern” to encourage the resumption of musical and recreational activities in the aftemath of the earthquake.

The buildings have load-bearing masonry structure, useful for its high thermal inertia and a sound insulation. The ventilated facade cladding, formed with curved oak slats, guarantees excellent energy performance and gives the building a striking architectural quality. The design pays particular attention to the acoustics of interior spaces through materials and strategies for reducing reverb. An autonomous system for each classroom guarantees flexible use of spaces at all hours of the day

New rug collection in an underground cave made from recycled materials
American home design retailer ABC Carpet & Home has photographed its latest collection of rugs in upstate New York’s Howe Caverns.The brand’s campaign, titled The Genesis of Design, centres around the exclusive Alchemy rug collection, which is made from recycled materials.Inspired by nature’s “creative cycles”, each Alchemy rug is woven by artisans using excess sheared silk and wool salvaged from previously produced rugs.The unusual location of the shoot saw photographer Jason Madara travel 500 feet (152 metres) underground to create a campaign that imagines the rugs as newly discovered objects, naturally integrated into their surroundings.”We lit all the rocks, nothing was ambient exposure. The beauty of that is then I can match the tones of the rugs, and complement the colour of the rocks,” said Madara.

“Without a doubt, I’ve never had a more physically and emotionally challenging project just because of where we were and what we were doing, but it’s also the most rewarding campaign I’ve ever done.”

Each rug features modern takes on traditional designs, with a distinct washing process that creates a silk-like sheen on the surface of each rug.

The recycled silk and wool produces unexpected colours and patterns, making every Alchemy rug unique in appearance.

ABC Carpet & Home hopes this production process will promote a new generation of nature-based, sustainable rug making, to an industry that generates 13.1 millions tonnes of annual waste.

“This is the future of design,” said Angela Gruszka, vice president of marketing and creative for ABC Carpet. “We need to start thinking about how we are going to preserve traditional craftsmanship and sustainable design in a world that is evolving at such a rapid pace.”


Effekt’s spiraling observation tower makes Danish forest accessible to all
Danish architect Effekt has designed a tower with a spiral ramp and treetop walk in the forest of Gisselfeld Klosters Skove, one hour south of Copenhagen.

The Treetop Experience is a 600m long trek that brings visitors to the 45m tall tower that, in Effekt’s words, “creates a unique opportunity to take a walk above the treetops and experience the stunning nature of the preserved forest from another perspective”.It adds that the tower’s spiral ramp makes the forest accessible to all, regardless of their physical abilities.The treetop walk is split into a higher and a lower route. The higher will pass through the older parts of the forest whereas the tower and the lower walkway direct the visitor through younger areas.The high walkway also has a series of activities to help users to understand the forest’s qualities.The culmination of the treetop walk is the tower and observation deck. The geometry of the tower avoids the typical cylindrical shape in favour of a curved profile with a slender waist and enlarged base and crown. This increases the stability of the structure and the area of the observation deck.The Treetop Experience will be part of Camp Adventure, an adventure sports facility that offers treetop climbing and aerial zip lines.



World’s First Bicycle Architecture Biennale to Debut in Amsterdam
The world’s first international Bicycle Architecture Biënnale – a showcase of outstanding built environment solutions around cycling – will take place this month in Amsterdam.The event – organized by leading cycling innovation agency CycleSpace – takes place on Wednesday 14 June and will celebrate the cutting edge and high profile building designs that are facilitating bicycle travel, storage and safety around the world.The biënnale is being launched in Amsterdam in recognition of the city’s leading status for prioritizing cycling travel and forms one of the breakout events as part of the global cycling conference Velo-City. The biënnale aims to reflect how cycling can improve urban living and how design solutions can not only meet transit needs but can also inspire and facilitate greater cycling uptake.The designs profiled at the biënnale have been curated by Professor Steven Fleming, whose new book Velotopia about bicycle architecture is out this month. The biënnale will show off the work of 14 international designers, from all corners of the globe. Amongst the designs selected are The West Village Basis Yard apartment complex in Chengdu by Jiakun Architects, where cyclists can ride from their tenth floor apartments all the way down to the ground, SkyCycle, a controversial and largely misunderstood proposal from Foster + Partners to build new buildings for cyclists in the airspace above London’s train lines, and Hassell Architects’ Medibank Building in Melbourne with its spiraling bike ramp inside the main atrium.The biënnale takes place at the Zuiveringshal in Amsterdam’s Westerpark and will be open to delegates attending Velo-City. The show will then go on public display, details of which will be announced on the biënnale website www.bab2017.org. A limited number of public tickets for the biënnale are also available by emailing connect@cyclespace.org. The biënnale is being supported by the building firm BAM, and it is one of a number of international programs organized by CycleSpace, which also initiated the global Bicycle Mayor network. The first Bicycle Mayor summit takes place a few days before the biënnale – also in Amsterdam – on 10 and 11 June.Professor Steven Fleming said: “In recent years we have witnessed a profound change in attitude among architects toward bikes. Bikes used to be lower than horses in architects’ eyes. Facilities for them always seemed built on the cheap, as though they would only be torn down when all the cyclists could afford cars. This exhibition celebrates buildings that roll out a red carpet for bikes. They show bicycle planning doesn’t stop at the curb side. As the built environment grows with this mode—that we now know is the healthiest and fastest for making connections in cities—the desires of cyclists are going to start shaping the design of new buildings.”Lee Feldman, co-founder of CycleSpace, said: “Amsterdam has shown how we can make cities more liveable when we put the bicycle first. It facilitates a change in how we think and move that improves so many aspects of our lives, from physical and mental health to clean air and family friendly neighbourhoods. The bicycle is a vehicle to literally transform the way we live our lives. Architects, urban planners, designers, futurists, system disruptors, and so many others all have great ideas about how the built environment influences greater ridership in cities, and by celebrating that and showcasing it we can encourage and inspire even more powerful ideas for the future.”

Heatherwick Studio and Foster+Partners’ Bund Finance Centre in Shanghai Located in central Shanghai, this multifunctional arts and culture complex is part of the Bund Finance Centre – a joint project between London-based practices Heatherwick Studio and Foster+Partners. Sitting between the old town and the new financial district, this new space combines exhibition and events spaces with a performance venue inspired, according to the architects, “by the open stages of traditional Chinese theatres.” Of most visual interest is the building’s mechanical “moving veil,” captured here by photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu.
Parallax Gap – American Architecture Celebrated on Smithsonian Gallery Ceilings
Art is not confined to gallery walls. The concept of art displayed on ceilings stretches back to the Renaissance, perhaps most notably the Sistine Chapel ceiling by Michelangelo. The Renaissance tradition of Trompel’oeil ceilings went further, using an illusionary depth of perspective to depict a volume which doesn’t exist; be it a dome that was never built or an attic filled with angels.Four hundred years later, New York and Los Angeles-based architecture firm FreelandBuck has elevated the concept with its upcoming installation ‘Parallax Gap’, which has been selected by the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum as the winning entry in a competition entitled ‘ABOVE the Renwick’. From July 2017 to February 2018, the 2,500sqft canopy will be suspended from the ceiling of the Renwick’s largest room, the Bettie Rubenstein Grand Salon, depicting an abstract catalog of American architectural icons.Whilst most ceilings imply shelter by defining the limits of a room, Parallax Gap achieves the opposite, extending the spatial experience beyond its limits. The installation draws out a series of ceilings to project beyond the limits of the gallery, depicting a catalog of notable 19th-century American interiors which date from the same period as the Renwick’s construction. The suspended canopy extends FreelandBuck’s longstanding interest in applying three-dimensional drawings at building scale, using 21st-century technology and visual culture.

This restaurant designed by Mosaic Design is a new type of Italian based restaurant mainly using fire grill in Daikanyama, Tokyo, Japan. The restaurant has only one big counter table surround the fire in the center of the dining space. The counter was deformed to let every seat face toward the fire and they could see the chef cooking the meat there. It creates a sense of unity in the restaurant and also provides diversity of conditions. Some seats are near the fire, some are close to the chef, corners are for the group and deformed counter creates also table space for 5-6 persons. Deforming the counter is not only for the guest but also for the kitchen, it provide appropriate distance from the guest to the cooking space, avoid having dead space inside the kitchen and create display space on the table as well.

The ceiling is also designed and deformed towards the fire to lead the guest’s attention naturally into the fire and it covers exhaust duct and machine inside the ceiling. Since the limitation of the building structure, it was not possible to create high ceiling height space for this restaurant but controlling the ceiling shape and floor height carefully makes the space comfortable.
However only in the restroom, it was possible to make high ceiling space and the art piece was inserted above the restroom to create contrast of the space and small surprise for the guest.
Using wood fiberboard for deformed low ceiling and the wall, it creates unique interior space like “wooden cave” as a specific character of the restaurant to represent this restaurant’s original concept “Italian BBQ with the fire”.
Domed summer house by LASSA offers an elevated view over a Greek
Fingers of earth branch over this mound-shaped holiday home by architecture studio LASSA, allowing its owners to climb up onto the roof to admire Greece’s Peloponnese peninsula.
The 150-square-metre Villa Ypsilon was designed by London- and Brussels-based firm LASSA, which is headed up by architects Theo Sarantoglou Lalis and Dora Sweijd.The domed form of the summer house responds to the client’s desires for a vantage point from which to survey the agricultural land, as well as the nearby mountains and coastline.“The axis of the vaulting roofs are specifically aligned with the island of Schitza towards the south and a bucolic village on the mountain towards the east,” Lalis told Dezeen.”Another requirement was to design a layout that activated all the periphery of the building, instead of only favouring panoramic sea views.”The three-pronged concrete shell that forms the roof also frames three courtyards at ground level, which all catch the sun at different times of day.The facades scoop inwards to give these terraces the benefit of the shade provided by a concrete lip that defines the grassy roof. One hosts an eye-shaped swimming pool and sun deck, while another forms a gravelled patio. The final segment hosts a sunken seating area.
“The design of the concrete shell and the courtyards’ orientation is such that it produces shadows at specific times of the day,” said the architects.They explained that that the western courtyard is designed for between breakfast and noon, the east is best to sit in at lunchtime, and the south is for use from late afternoon onwards.”We are interested in the idea of form integration,” they continued. “That is, that form can be the result of overlapping and precise design decisions, in this case the vaulting concrete shell is structural, it’s bisecting axes frames specific views, its sloping [form] makes it walkable and its extent is a result of environmental optimisation.”Inside, three bedrooms and a pair of bathrooms are set towards the east, while the open-planning living space occupies the south and has access to all three courtyards.

Due to the site’s remote location, the architects needed to prefabricate much of the structure offsite. This helped to keep both assembly costs down and the construction time to seven months.The architects bought a CNC machine to allow them to test out the non-standard forms found in the project. They prototyped the production of the concrete shell, the acoustic ceiling of the living room, custom window frames and furniture, and the pool lining using this technique.
“This ‘hands-on’ approach allowed for a minimal use of commercial ‘off-the-shelf’ products while instead favouring locally sourced materials such as concrete, terrazzo and marble,” they explained.
RIBA Announces 2017 London Regional Award Winners
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has named 50 projects as winners of 2017 RIBA London Regional Awards, including the London Building of the Year, “Photography Studio for Juergen Teller” by 6a architects.

“The year has demonstrated once again the breadth of the capital’s architectural output at the very high level that the RIBA programme requires, and the juries took enormous pleasure in selecting a most exemplary set of schemes,” said Jury chair Matthew Lloyd.Selected from a 85-strong shortlist, these 50 projects will now go on to compete in RIBA’s National Awards program, the winners of which will create the shortlist for the RIBA Stirling Prize – the highest award for architecture in the UK.

1 King William Street / AHMM

Belarusian Memorial Chapel / Spheron Architects

Dujardin Mews / Karakusevic Carson with Maccreanor Lavington

Marie’s Wardrobe / Tsuruta Architects

Mathematics – The Winton Gallery / Zaha Hadid Architects
Primitive Huts in Japan
The site is located at the top of the mountain ridge, which the top has been cut off and flattened by the previous owner.
The newly-built consits of 5 huts varying in size and height which recalls the former ridge top.
It is a final abode for the clients – two ladies in their 60’s. A social worker and a cook – where they will give and serve the community until the end of their remaining lives.
Spaces are unembellished as a primitive hut. Concrete walls, floors and table.
Their kitchen is open to the public, functioning as a luchtime restaurant using local products. Meals are also delivered to elderly living alone in the local community.
Wire Mesh Installation

Commissioned for a large-scale event in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, Edoardo Tresoldi in collaboration with Design Lab Experience have constructed a vast indoor “piazza” of architectural fragments. Accommodating a 7000sqm event space, each “Classical” element is built entirely from wire mesh and comprises domes, arches, colonnades, columns, and imitations of sacred spaces (namely Italian basilicas). Together they create a translucent and ephemeral sequence of indoor rooms – all layered by a strikingly contemporary aesthetic.
Based in Rome, Edoardo Tresoldi is an artist whose practice focuses on spatial interventions, scenography, and sculpture. A large proportion of his works are built using wire mesh – from figurative shapes to architectural space.