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‘Crawling Assembly’
Minima | Maxima, the latest Structural Stripes ‘Crawling Assembly’ from MARC FORNES / THEVERYMANY, provides a moment of contemplation amid the busy grounds of World Expo 2017.

Why, among visitors of all ages, does it seem instinctive to engage the structure playfully? For instance, to tuck one’s body inside a pleat at the base, assuming a contorted curved form that matches the structure itself. To be inside Minima | Maxima is to be transported to a strange, future, science fiction world, removing us from ourselves and finding within a sense of naive wonder. The project is radically different than the built environments we know. The impulse is to explore, to visually wander. Transformed into a childlike state, visitors can do so without the pretense of reference or concepts, employing instead the potent investigative powers of our senses.

The project extends MARC FORNES / THEVERYMANY’s research and development into achieving structural integrity through ultra-thin, self-supporting structures which find their strength in the double curvature of their form. In the whimsical yet durable universe the studio creates, curves win out over angles; branches, splits and recombinations make columns and beams irrelevant. A ‘networked’ surface rolls in, on and around itself, transforming into a space that obscures our preconceived notions of enclosure, entrance/exit, and threshold, while also providing its own support to stand up. The surface is ultra-thin: 6 mm aluminum. If an egg were scaled up to the same height Minima | Maxima, it would be much thicker.

Towards the base of the structure, the rolling surface begins to softly corrugate, its zig-zag angles gently rising into a full pleat as they meet the ground platform. The visual threshold of this transition — from pleated base to smooth and doubly-curved, continuous surface — is subtle, yet its structural effect is significant in achieving the height of 43′.

The project is a multi-ply composite: three layers of flat stripes — white and white sandwiching pink — are constructed in tandem, supporting one another as they assume curvature and gain height. One layer never exists independently, but contributes to and benefits from the unified whole. The stripes of each layer move perpendicularly from one another, creating an anistropic composite material (structural property of composite depends on direction) from an isotropic material, such as aluminum (properties of material are mostly the same in all directions).

The system warrants comparison to fiber technology — such as carbon or glass fiber — yet is unique in that unlike fibers, each individual component does not need to be in tension (a straight line), and/or their processing does not require any mold or temporary scaffolding. Also such a composite system is mechanically bonded, allowing for recomposition and corrections during construction.

Minima | Maxima was commissioned for World Expo 2017, an event with a history of architectural and engineering innovations. The structure was situated prominently on the grounds in Astana, Kazakhstan, where it will continue to live as a permanent structure. The environment it creates proved to be a successful destination and experience for visitors, inciting curiosity from afar, providing a moment of contemplation within.

www.archdaily.com
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Metal Rainbow-Zhongshu Bookstore in Suzhou
The new bookstore is divided into four main zones and several subdivided zones. Aiming to create a colorful new world by using symbolism, the architect gave a unique character to each zone: The Sanctuary of Crystal for new arrivals; The Cave of Fireflies for recommendations; The Xanadu of Rainbows for reading room; The Castle of Innocence for children books.

As an entrance, ‘The Sanctuary of Crystal’ is a space full of books and nothing else. The latest arrivals were arranged on the pre-fabricated transparent acrylic shelves, outstanding the presence of the books. Using glass bricks, mirrors and acrylic, ‘The Sanctuary of Crystal’ is a shining white space, luring customers into the heart of the store.After the whiteness, ‘The Cave of Fireflies’ is a darker tunnel connecting the main hall and the entrance. Customers will pick books here and follow the guide of optic fibers into the main reading area.After a relatively narrow space, ‘The Xanadu of Rainbows’ is a large and open space.
Thanks to the large windows, natural lights can pour inside. Being the most prominent space, ‘The Xanadu of Rainbows’ provides a variety of experience. Taking advantages of different heights of shelves, steps, and tables, the architect creates a hyper architecturized and abstracted landscape of cliffs, valleys, islands, rapids, and oases. There are also thin perforated aluminum sheets in gradient colors simulated as rainbows installed in the bookstore. These 1cm thin panels divides zones of different functions at the same time bringing a mysterious and vague atmosphere to the space. These moves shape a Xanadu from ancient Chinese philosophy.At the very end of ‘the Xanadu of Rainbows’, the space surrounded by white ETFE walls is the children books area. With the help of translucent ETFE, the Castle of Innocence is an inner world inside the bookstore. Many complex installments were added in the space, building a world where children can interact with each other and with the bookstore itself.The perforated aluminum sheets shaped of windows play a huge part in the project. When half of the sheets were perforated, they lost the visual quality of shining metals. When multiple panels of different sizes and colors were fixed together, a sense of veil is created. This ambiguous and vague effects gave qualities to the bookstore. The distance between each set of panels is also of great importance. Some gaps between the panels are larger than others, thus creating spaces of different experiences. Again, with the almost translucent quality of the panels, the boundaries between each individual space is weakened. With the use of lights, the colorful sheets can also be seen from outside, making the bookstore an inviting destination.

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This Innovative Cooling Installation Fights Soaring Temperatures in New Delhi
This installation is a bespoke attempt to simplify and reinterpret the concept of air-conditioning, understanding that standardized solutions may not be universally applicable given the constraints of cost and surrounding environment. Using computational technologies, the team at Ant Studio has reinterpreted traditional evaporative cooling techniques to build a prototype of cylindrical clay cones, each with a custom design and size.Description from the architects. Indian summers are a challenging time and specially at a workplace that has close proximity to a generator system. Not only do sweltering employees lose enthusiasm and productivity, excessive heat can take a toll on the health and wellbeing of employees. Deki Electronics was facing the same issue; however, large and expensive air-conditioning systems were not an option. The brief required an economical, energy efficient and robust solution.The team found the answer to this challenge in a traditional technique and ancient wisdom -Evaporative Cooling– reducing the temperatures using water and some local material- A wisdom that traces back to the Egyptian period.It allows for an ultra low maintenance, sustainable and inexpensive alternative using the porus terracotta as a heat exchange medium tapping on to cooling properties of water, converting the hot air from the gen-sets into a pleasant breeze.Earthen cones were used to create the prototype. The design and size of the conical components were customised through advanced computational analysis and modern calibration techniques. The thickness and the length of the material were modified with CFD analysis.The use of cylindrical cones provided for a larger surface area to maximise the cooling effect. The temperature of the air flow around the installation was recorded. It was noticed that the hot air entering the installation was above 50 degrees Celsius at a velocity of 10m/sec.Water recycled from the factory at room temperature was allowed to run on the surface of the cylinders. This process cooled the hot air passing through the earthen pots. It was observed that after achieving the cooling effect, the temperature around the set up dropped down to 36 degrees Celsius while the temperature outside remained high at 42 degrees Celsius. And the air flow was recorded as 4m/sec.While recycled water might need regular maintenance to clean the pores on the exterior surface, regular water is recommended for long term performance.

Not only does this installation deliver the brief with utmost simplicity, Ant studio sees it both as a scalable technical & functional solution as well as an art installation. “The circular profile can be changed into an artistic interpretation while the falling waters lend a comforting ambience. This, intermingled with the sensuous petrichor from the earthen cylinders allow for it to work in any environment with the slightest of breeze. Having said that, there are many factories throughout the country that face a similar issue and this is a solution that can be easily adopted and a widespread multiplication of this concept may even assist the local potters.”

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Windmill guest house inside derelict Suffolk
UK firm Beech Architects has converted a 125-year-old windmill stump in Suffolk, England, into a guest house topped with an elliptical zinc-clad pod.Once a prominent feature of the landscape, the 60-foot-tall (18-metre) converted windmill now houses two bedrooms, a kitchen-diner, a bathroom, and a viewing pod that offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside from the fourth floor.Originally built in 1891, the structure had remained as a disused stump for decades following the loss of its cap and sails.The mill’s renovation works were carried out as a self-build project managed by the site owner, using specialist sub-contractors and suppliers, and were entirely privately financed.“The design objectives were to reinstate the lost cap structure and restore the redundant and crumbling windmill to its former landmark status via contemporary design interventions,” said the architects.”The biggest design challenge was the reinstatement of the cap or ‘pod’, which was not intended as a faithful historic reconstruction, but rather as contemporary and innovative interpretation that would also serve as the principal living and viewing platform.”Inspired by traditional boat-building techniques used for historical caps, the pod mimics an inverted hull structure with ribbed timbers providing the skeleton.The architects used a Kerto timber rib system, which was precisely machine-cut from sheets of stressed ply that are visible from the inside. The ribs not only provides the strength and stability required to resist the wind loadings, but also made it possible for the architects to create a multi-curving form.On its exterior, 200 zinc panels were applied by skilled craftsman, each one made bespoke to fit its curved form.In the existing stump structure, Beech Architects had to contend with the windmill’s tar-coated, solid-brick conical walls, which provided no straight lines to insert the new accommodation and structural features against. As a result, all furniture and fittings in the windmill are custom-made to fit the curving layout.In order to facilitate circulation, each floor was rotated from the one below to accommodate an access point via landings from the radial staircase, which spirals around the inside of the mill. “This minimised circulation maximised usable space for the occupier,” said the architects.To help fix the existing structure, with its heavily spalled uninsulated brickwork, Beech Architects worked closely with the insulated render manufacturer to find a bespoke solution.”Bespoke tapered insulation panels were applied externally to visually retain the brick within the accommodation, protect the soft brick from further erosion and exploit the thermal mass of the structure for heating and thermal comfort purposes,” said the architects.“Small projecting zinc-covered extensions then slice into the mill at ground level, to provide glazed openings to access gardens and to identify the new entrance providing porch and access.”Despite numerous reports of disgruntled locals, the building is the winner of major categories in the 2016 National Roofing Awards, and the mill also reached the final selection of the Structural Timber Awards’ best commercial project last year.The windmill was also nominated for an RIBA Regional Awards 2017.
www.dezeen.com

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Middle Earth – Primitive Future
From the architect. As the urban dweller tired from the stresses of everyday life, seeking rejuvenation, turns towards nature, his quest is to seek inner joy, unbound his energies to become one with the forces of nature.The chaos of city life drives a man to pursue the tranquility and search for the inner peace, which so alludes him in his mundane life. The Charm of city life and the appeal of nature is the chasm a man seeks to bridge and in that keeps searching for a meaningful existence.It is this search which brings us to gumpha and its environs. Gumpha bridges the chasm between the darkness in the depths of lands and the light which comes calling from the heavens; celebrating the communion of the two. The user is drawn into this play of light and darkness; discovering his part in the drama as he becomes part of the bigger script, making a journey, discovering the meaning of the larger picture, each having his own definition.But more than all that gumpha is A response… to the adventurous nature of explore. An expression… of the innate nature of land and hills to surprise. A journey… to lose the identity and discover self. A poetry… by the earth itself. A dialogue… between man and nature.Gumpha is a search of the designer looking for a language to answer nature’s callings. It is a narration of the most organic response of the architect to the immediate environment.As you move along the path the land opens up to you, taking you along its winding ways slowly revealing the surrounding, drawing you into an atmosphere. You are introduced to gumpha when you least expect it and it comes to meet you, inviting you to delve into it, seek its spaces, travel its depths. It wants you to discover, to explore, to find something new each time you walk along.The form it takes is mostly organic, where the earth itself seems to breathe in tandem with light to create what can be called as an almost living and sensuous organism, arousing the curiosity with its silent light and playful inquisitive spaces. It almost humors you by appealing the child in you in playing with itself, making you wonder, drawing you in the insides, taking you along on the roof.At the same time, it helps you search for your inner self as the deep spaces lit by heavenly light offer you tranquility and peace to meditate. where in the interior are introvert and contemplative, the exteriors offer you vistas of the surroundings, engaging both joyous and peaceful essence of man, initiating an intense experience, in turn making you richer by the time you leave for the city.

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Rehabilitation of a Traditional Housing in Moscoso
Usually, a project involves creating something out of nothing; but sometimes, as in this case, it is about strengthening something that was already there. A long stone building, with a powerful balcony facing the valley, to the north.An elevated shed leaning on a warped and also excessively long wood beam, with three facades made out of stone and one out of wood, to the south. The Cruceiro Grande, where three religious processions become one, is out on the street, to the east. And an impressive Hórreo supported in stone beams under which one enters the garden, to the west.And then, in the center: the “eira”, the work yard, sheltered from the wind, the main focus of everything around it. This time the project is about prolonging the life of these elements in a world that is no longer their own. Hórreo and Cruceiro will remain as traces of the past. The patio will become the entrance to the home, the hub of human activity.The shed is no longer needed as a warehouse, and it transforms into a bedroom. For this purpose a linking piece is born: a bridge that links both bodies in a transparent continuum that snaps into the stone façade of the house, that covers two existing windows, and that continues until absorbing the new supporting facade with a wooden structure that marks off the shed.A single gesture that brings transparency; and with its light, natural heating, and visual connection; while at the same time being integrated with the traditional building and filtering from the outside through fins that continue the Hórreo façade throughout the house and towards the balcony roof and the garage wall, unifying the work.The current staircase sitting in the courtyard is moved to the interior of the house, placed on the opposite face of the same wall, easing the transition between outside and inside, taking form with the gradual transformation of granite into Chestnut wood: from the cold exterior to the warm interior.Once inside, three large sliding panels work as a second privacy filter, closing a dining area and a kitchen that evoke the cellars and stables that originally occupied the lower levels of the house, by using rows of concrete vaults for the ceiling. Ceramic floor tiles are combined in gray tones with items made of wood in doors, windows, and pavements, enhancing the transition to the upper floor, where wood presence grows larger.Above it all, a large corridor in the inside replicates the one located outside, defined by the constant search for spatial continuity: Vertically a double height space is generated towards the office located in the attic, and a cascade of light is eased towards the ground floor with a transparent pavement. Horizontally the patio is inserted into the house thanks to the transparency of the walkway, giving birth to a light continuum that contrasts with the pre-existing small openings in the first floor.
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Richard Woods installs cartoon bungalows around Folkestone as a comment on the housing crisis
Artist Richard Woods has built six tiny holiday houses in a British seaside town, to encourage people to think more carefully about the social implications of multiple-home ownership.The installation, which forms part of the Folkestone Triennial, consists of a series of colourful bungalows installed in unusual locations, including on the beach and on a floating platform in the harbour.

Woods hopes the installation will highlight a big contributor to the housing crisis – that many people in the UK have more than one home, some as many as 10, while others have nowhere to live.He came up with the idea during an earlier visit to the Kent town, when he was handed a flyer that revealed how many residences were being transformed into holiday rental properties.“The paper was a flyer from an estate agent asking me if I wanted to sell my house, as top prices were being paid by people moving into the area that wanted a holiday home,” explained the London-based artist.”The idea of local residents being asked to sell up their houses led me to start thinking about the broader issues of home ownership, about where would be a great place to have a holiday home in Folkestone and where wouldn’t,” he said. “It also led me to think about the ideas of multiple-home ownership.”Woods used his trademark cartoon style – previously seen on projects like his furniture for Established & Sons, as well as in his own home – to create a design for a house that combines neon colours with thick black outlines.Each house has its own colour but all six share the same form, designed to look like traditional British bungalows. However, each one is about the third of the size of a standard house.As well as the houses on the beach and on the harbour, which feature shades of red and pale pink, there is also a blue house raised up on a brick structure and a yellow house built on grass. The set is completed by houses in fuchsia and orange.The Folkestone Triennial 2017 will be open from 2 September to 5 November 2017, and will also feature the work of artists including Antony Gormley, David Shrigley and Michael Craig-Martin.The last edition of the arts event, which took place in 2014, featured a farm disguised as a fish and chip shop by Something & Son, a lighthouse/beach hut hybrid by Pablo Bronstein and a bamboo lattice by Gabriel Lester.
www.dezeen.com

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Escape One XL is a two-storey micro home on wheels
This recreational vehicle masquerading as a tiny cottage is clad in charred wood and sleeps up to eight people.The Escape One XL was launched this month by Escape Homes. “Measuring just under 400 square feet, the tiny home on wheels can sleep up to eight and expands on the organic design of its slightly smaller sibling,” said the company.With a boxy exterior clad in timber, and large windows over two levels connected by a staircase, it looks more like a micro dwelling than a recreational vehicle (RV). But it is classed such, so does not require foundations or incur property tax.If offers 388 square feet (36 square metres) of internal space, with an 11-foot-high (3.4-metre) ceiling in the central kitchen area. Two sleeping lofts at either end have five-foot (1.5-metre) ceiling heights and are linked by a thin shelf above the front door.One side – above a private bedroom – is accessed by a full-size staircase, while the other over the enclosed bathroom can be reached via a ladder. Closet space and drawers are built into the staircase to maximise the useable area. The bathroom has a 60-inch bath/shower, a vanity unit and a toilet.The micro home’s wood siding is charred using the Japanese technique of Shou Sugi Ban, which also covers a tiny guest house at the base of the world’s most active volcano.Large windows allow plenty of daylight into the wood-lined interior. Optional features include French doors, built-in beds, flatscreen TVs, stone countertops, USB outlets and external showers.Demand for tiny homes has exploded in the US, with potential homeowners looking for ways to save money and live simply. Some of the options available include a high-tech micro dwelling equipped with smartphone-controlled systems, a tiny cabin with a climbing wall up its side, and prefabricated cottages designed with computer algorithms.Japanese brand Muji is also capitalising on this popularity, and is set to sell tiny blackened timber huts for £21,000 from late 2017.www.dezeen.com

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Huge porthole windows bathe Melbourne apartments with natural light
Circular windows dominate the staggered brick facades of this apartment block designed by Australian practice BKK Architects for the Melbourne suburb of Ivanhoe East.Local studio BKK Architects designed the 44-apartment block for a steeply sloping site in a residential neighbourhood located around 10 kilometres northeast of the city’s central business district.Six porthole windows provide the focal point for the Cirqua Apartments, which are made up from staggered grey brick boxes that break up the bulk of the development.The windows span almost the full height of six cubes that project towards the street, flooding the interior living spaces with natural light.”The building facades are highly articulated to reduce the overall building’s mass and present a smaller scale,” explained the architects. “The design draws on the materiality and expression of local, historical housing types that are reinterpreted in a contemporary“The design has been carried out to provide a strong sense of address for tenants whilst maintaining a street rhythm and scale that stitches the project into its context,” they added.”Generous glazing maximises connections to the surrounding garden, with significant landscaping integrated into the design, capturing the ‘garden city’ essence of Ivanhoe.”The interiors are neutrally finished, with ribbed timber and grey carpeting lining the communal spaces, and circular light fittings echoing the facade.Inside the apartments, white walls, marble splashbacks and wooden floors give the open-plan living spaces an uncluttered appearance, and the bathrooms are finished with monochrome tiling.The apartments, which are located in a still largely undeveloped suburb, are designed to appeal to owner-occupiers rather than buy-to-let investors.”The Cirqua project represents a shift in the multi-residential market that has been evolving over the past two-to-four years,” explained the architects. “Prospective owners are increasingly buying into the apartment market over detached housing as a matter of choice rather than necessity.”

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Frank Gehry’s mountain-like tower underway at LUMA arles in the south of France
In the southern French city of Arles, a frank gehry-designed tower is rising above an experimental contemporary art center. led by swiss collector maja hoffmann, LUMA arles will occupy a former rail depot with a campus designed to showcase some of the art world’s biggest names. gehry’s tower, which evokes the form of the region’s rugged mountain ranges, was first unveiled in 2010 and will join two former rail structures that have been converted into exhibition facilities by US firm selldorf architects.Rising to a height of 56 meters, gehry’s design will house a variety of different programs, including research facilities, workshop and seminar rooms, and artist studios. the structure will open in stages, with LUMA’s first guests to be welcomed in late 2018. in total, the complex comprises six existing industrial buildings, five of which have been restored by selldorf architects, while the entire site will be set within a public park designed by landscape architect bas smets.Throughout the restoration and expansion of the parc des ateliers, maja hoffmann, the executive director of LUMA arles and president of the LUMA foundation, has worked closely with a core group of established names — including tom eccles, Liam Gillick, and hans ulrich obrist — to present a program that fills the site’s completed venues. LUMA arles remains open throughout the construction period, with a variety of exhibitions currently on view. 
www.designboom.com
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Hidden Studio Beneath a Busy Bridge Provides Creative Solitude for Its Designer
As urban environments become denser, more expensive and, on occasion, less desirable, creative minds are creating novel ways to escape the hustle, bustle, and tumult of the city. Fernando Abellanas, a designer based in Valencia, has gone to new extremes in his search for solitude. Positioned beneath a traffic bridge somewhere in the Spanish city, a hidden studio comprises a shelf, a chair, and a small desk – all anchored to the concrete undercarriage of the bridge by means of rails and rollers. Movable, the “room” becomes both impenetrable and isolated by the turn of a hand crank. According to The Spaces, Abellanas has described the project as “an ephemeral intervention,” which will remain in situ “until someone finds it and decides to steal the materials, or the authorities remove it.” But they’ll have to find it first.
www.archdaily.com
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BuzziJungle / BuzziSpace
From the architect. Inspired by nature, BuzziJungle offers a solution to the conventional meeting space. The launch of the BuzziJungle will introduce the design world to young Belgian talent Jonas Van Put. This is Van Put’s first project with a major international manufacturer. BuzziJungle is BuzziSpace’s reflection of their vision for the social office and further pushing the traditional boundaries of the workplace.Various elements within the structure provide an opportunity for different interactions within the “jungle”. You can climb, lounge and meet in the elevated work-lounge space made from lacquered steel. The BuzziJungle creates an urban footprint in large and small spaces.www.archdaily.com
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Would you live in a house that sits at the base of the world’s most active volcano?
This tiny guest house by designer Will Beilharz stands on a lava field on Hawaii’s Big Island, and has views of the steam produced where molten rock flows into the sea.The 450-square-foot home is named Phoenix House as it is “literally rising from the ashes” of volcanic activity in the area. It is located in an off-grid community in Kalapana, at the base of the Kīlauea volcano – which has been continuously erupting since 1983.Designed by Will Beilharz, founder of sustainable tourism company ArtisTree, the house is available for guests to book. Visitors only need to cycle four miles (6.4 kilometres) to watch molten lava fall 100 feet (30 metres) into the sea, and the resulting steam created where the hot liquid hits the cold water is visible from the house.The building is clad in wood blackened using the ancient Japanese charring technique of Shou Sugi Ban, to blend with the dark surrounding landscape. Recycled, rusted corrugated metal covers the roof to mimic the colour of the hot lava.”We built this house with deep respect for Mother Earth,” said Beilharz. “For that reason, you will find the design minimalist, the development footprint light, and the result is one with its surroundings.”Split into three tiered sections, the home reaches two storeys at its highest point – where a double bed can be accessed from a ladder. Large windows provide views across the desolate expanse, while patio doors open from the ground-floor living space onto a small balcony.Beilharz decided to add a property in Hawaii to his portfolio of treetop vacation rentals worldwide after visiting the island in 2006.Without tall trees to anchor the building to, he took a different approach and simply constructed it at ground level. The home is raised off the bumpy surface on short stilts to minimise its impact on plants beginning to seed the area.“Phoenix House, named after the mythical bird whose story is about rising from the ashes and the cycle of death and rebirth, is a place where people can stir their own next transitions or come to peace with the ones they are currently experiencing,” he said.Phoenix House costs between $100 and $150 per night, and can be rented through Airbnb. Nearby, Californian architect Craig Steely completed a concrete home divided into two halves.Photography is by Smiling Forest, unless otherwise stated.

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Ana House
Overcrowded spatiality It is a small house for a family of four who is built on the flagpole site surrounded by houses in Tokyo.After the war the field spread in this area became population and land price increased, became the current high density residential area. The flagpole site is the smallest unit of land division. And the house will be divided into even smaller rooms. I started designing with a desire to discover overcrowding spatiality by drilling holes in the grid.In the case of Apartment house (2014), I painted 4 colors to emphasize difference between each groop of rooms. Ana house has 7 colors to emphasize difference between each rooms. To give space density, this is the operation to increase the number of space which is a molecule.The shape of the hole appears as the set of the opening in a wall and a floor. I show you figures below ( fig. Shape of hole ). The holes in Kame house and Apartment – house were polyhedron as a volume, but the hole in Ana house changes to an overlapping of the plane opening such as a square or a triangle on the wall or the floor, making it difficult to recognize it as a volume.Those which were 3D holes subordinate to the 3D grit so far changed to 2D holes which exist autonomously in 3D grit here. This appears in the interior of the Ana house at the intersection points of straight lines at the walls and floor openings.( fig. interior of hole ) This point is a place where the cut surfaces of the four rooms can be seen, three depths in front – middle – back are adjacent to one point, and a high – density scenery compressed volume which is the former denominator of the former is made I can say that.
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Woven metal-mesh curtain wraps Melbourne house extension designed by Matt Gibson
Australian architect Matt Gibson and his studio have renovated and extended a traditional villa in Melbourne, adding deep verandahs that can be protected from harsh sunlight using woven steel-mesh curtains.Matt Gibson Architecture + Design was tasked with upgrading the property in the Australian city’s Barrington heritage area, in order to create more liveable spaces with a better connection to the large garden for a family of five.An earlier extension was removed to enable the alterations to the building, which did not seek to increase the overall floor area but rather focused on reorganising the existing rooms to generate an optimised, flexible layout.“The contemporary addition challenges the concept of building low quality, replica additions that attach themselves to the heritage fabric and in effect compromise, confuse and diminish the integrity of the original,” the studio claimed.”The intervention here is instead contemporary and interactive,” they added, “activating and opening up the compartmentalised interior to previously under-utilised green space, and at the same time preserving and augmenting the cultural significance of the original building.”The need to create a new sheltered outdoor space for year-round dining prompted the project team, led by Japanese architect Erica Tsuda, to seek out a solution that would limit glare resulting from the west-facing orientation.The architects chose to adapt a traditional Japanese concept known as “Hiro-En”, where deep verandahs are added to rooms to create a usable threshold between indoor and outdoor spaces.Computer modelling of sunlight and shadow helped to establish how a similar process, involving the accurate placement of canopies at different heights, could shelter the living spaces from summer sun while admitting it during winter.The extensions project from the building’s western elevation towards the garden, and incorporate sliding walls that can be opened up to create a seamless connection with the garden.These canopies are also fitted with curtains made from a woven stainless-steel mesh that functions as a rain screen or, on warmer days, as a protective layer to limit unwanted heat and glare.“The sculptural nature of the curtain provides a free flowing and kinetic foil to the permanence and solidity of the heritage structure,” the studio suggested.The curtain’s translucency, which alters depending on the viewing angle, enhances the sense of spatial ambiguity between building’s indoor and outdoor spaces.A new bedroom added to the upper floor on the northwest corner of the building is also sheltered by the projecting canopy and the double-height section of the curtain.Interventions to the existing building involved opening up the ground floor to create interconnected living spaces. A dining area and kitchen in the old part of the house flows into a lounge in the extension, and straight out onto the external deck.Original materials and features are retained wherever possible throughout the interior, with external brick walls now forming internal partitions that are pierced by metal-framed openings linking the rooms.Gaps between the old building and the extension are infilled with glazing to accentuate the transition and allow daylight to filter down into the space. The white ceilings of the extension appear to float unsupported above the new rooms.”Spaces and eras are distinguishable, yet able to bleed into each other, allowing subtle connectivity,” the architects concluded. “Each space, whilst unique, continues a dialogue that is integral to the story of the whole.”
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The Glass Centre
The Glass Centre, Flemish Centre for Modern Art, has been constructed along the length of the “De Vryheyt” passage, right in the heart of the town of Lommel. On “Dorp” square it completes the cultural ensemble for- med by the Aerts house and the regional tourist cent- re. In the “De Vryheyt” passage, a new glass gallery links “Dorp” square with the “De Adelberg” cultural centre and its future theatre.The nature of the project required us to design a glass building, and it has been designed in such a way that the space it provides blends in seamlessly with the art it displays and produces, forming a unified whole. Furthermore, the structure emphasises the Glass Centre’s multifunctionality (education, information, ser- vices, exhibitions and glass production). The building’s architecture adapts to this multifunctionality, using glass in varied and innovative ways. The Glass Centre is composed of two interconnected glass areas that interact with each other: first, there is a parallelepiped composed of a stainless steel frame covered with an ultra-clear glass curtain wall; second, there is a glass cone made up of triangles, which clearly identifies the building as the Glass Centre. The roof is considered to be the fifth facade and will receive a special treatment in the future.The range of colours used for the finished interior decor includes only white, black and a range of pure greys, composed exclusively of white and black pigments. The result is a neutral canvass that maximises the impact of the art works and their colours. In practice, we have retained white and two shades of grey with 35 and 45 percent black.From the outset, the building’s sustainability was consi- dered to be an essential element of the project, both by the owner and by the architect. Heat from the kilns is therefore collected and used to heat the building and rainwater is used for the glass production work.The 6 m high parallelepiped houses the exhibition areas, which are laid out on three levels around the cone (the lower level, street level and the first floor). The luminous street level floor attracts visitors’ attention and entices them into the Glass Centre. This area overlooks the exhibition hall situated in the lower level, the access to the cone and the two-storey glass kiln. As a result, visitors are naturally drawn to the lower level.The lower level, which benefits from little natural light, is particularly well adapted to exhibiting art works made from glass. The exhibition area has a direct link to the workshop: it is separated only by large glass panels, enabling visitors to follow the manufacturing process whilst remaining at a safe distance.A semi-closed mezzanine offers an enticing view of the cone and the exhibition area on street level.The glass cone, which is 8 m in diameter, reaches a height of 30 m, dominating the other buildings in the town centre. It is clearly visible from all directions, but it is not an imposing presence in the urban landscape thanks to its filigree structure and the ultra-clear cove- ring that makes it almost transparent. At night, however the cone stands out as a real landmark thanks to a sea of electroluminescent diodes, as well as its illuminated point. Its point, which is made of perforated steel plate, is lit from the inside by a projector that shines upwards. The electroluminescent diodes that light up the structu- re in varying patterns are attached to the joints of the frames. They snake around the walls and come to a point at the top, constantly changing the building’s visual impact.
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