SNØHETTA UNVEILS PLANS FOR “ENERGY-POSITIVE” ARCTIC CIRCLE HOTEL
Snøhetta has revealed plans for a sustainable ring-shaped hotel, that will be nestled at the base of Norway’s Almlifjellet mountain, within the Artic Circle.
The architecture firm claims that Svart Hotel, which takes its name from the nearby Svartisen glacier, will be energy-positive – meaning it will produce more energy than it consumes.
While consumption rates will be 85 per cent lower than contemporary hotels, the building’s solar panels will produce energy, something the architects believe is an “absolute must in the precious arctic environment.”
Working with a handful of other Norwegian companies, Snøhetta began the design process by extensively researching how the hotel could use renewable energy, with the aim of making as little impact on the mountain environment as possible.
“Building in such a precious environment comes with clear obligations in terms of preserving the natural beauty and the fauna and flora of the site,” said Snøhetta’s founding parter, Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, in a statement.
“It was important for us to design a sustainable building that will leave a minimal environmental footprint on this beautiful northern nature.”Mapping the movement of the sun’s rays, the architects decided that a circular structure topped with solar panels would provide optimum levels of light throughout the day and across different seasons.
Recessed terraces have been integrated along the hotel’s facade that shade rooms during the summer, replacing the presence of artificial cooling systems. Fronted by a large window, rooms can also exploit the sun’s thermal energy during the colder weather.
The main body of the hotel is held up by a series of V-shaped wooden poles that extend down into the surrounding Holandsfjorden fjord. Referencing the local vernacular, the poles echo those used to elevate traditional fisherman houses called rorbues.
A boardwalk runs directly underneath the hotel where visitors can stroll in warmer months – in the winter this doubles up as a space to hold boats or kayaks, eliminating the need to erect additional storage facilities that could impact the landscape.
The Svart Hotel has been designed alongside tourism company Arctic Adventure of Norway, engineering and architecture consultants Asplan Vaak, and construction group Skanska. Together with Snøhetta they form a collaborative group called Powerhouse, which build energy-producing buildings they call “plus-houses”.
COMPETITION FINALIST FOR LENINGRAD SIEGE MUSEUM REACHES FOR THE SKY
From the creators of Museum Of The History Of Polish Jews in Warsaw, comes a competition finalist proposal for the new Museum for the Defense and Siege of Leningrad in St. Petersburg. Lahdelma & Mahalmäki Architects, in collaboration with Ralph Appelbaum Associates, designed three main parts: the Thread of Life (museum and exhibitions), the Memorial of Heroes of Leningrad and the Square of Testimony. Thought to have the popular vote, this entry sought to redevelop and reconnect the city of to the park and museum with its Neo-Classical grid.
The designers envision visitors arriving on the north end of the site to a lush riverside hilltop. Raised earth hides not only the parking but also bus stops and road noise as well, giving the memorial a more peaceful atmosphere. Three sunken floors create the cavernous space for the Thread of Life museum and exhibitions. From there, visitors climb up a white staircase to see the rest of the golden museum reaching for the sky above them and panoramic views of St. Petersburg. The floating gold box holds archives, temporary exhibitions, reading rooms, research spaces, lecture halls and more.
A low wall, Memorial of Heroes of Leningrad acts as connector axis for the city and memorial. Set apart from the park is the Square of Testimony. An inverted pyramid, the square is a multi-sensory space for meditation and reflection with gentle sounds and views of the parks natural meadow beyond.
Artist Emmanuelle Moureaux used over 100,000 paper number cut-outs to create this multihued installation designed to visualise the passing of time.
On show at the Toyama Prefectural Museum of Art and Design in Toyama, Japan, the Colour of Time installation is part of a series of exhibitions that aim to explore the different functions of materials.
Having chosen paper as her main material, Moureaux began observing the relationship between the sensory element of colour-change, and the mathematical element of time.
To combine the two, the Tokyo-based artist opted to create an installation that would visualise the process of time passing.
“The installation superimposes these two elements to visualise and make one feel the flow of time,” explained the museum.
To achieve this, she made 120,000 paper numerical figures from zero to nine, as well as a colon symbol, which she then aligned to form a three-dimensional grid composed of 100 layers.
Each row of numbers denotes a time of day, from sunrise at 6.30am to sun fall at 7.49pm.
Different colours were also used to represent the time of day – resulting in a grid of colour that gets gradually darker to illustrate the transition from day to night.
“Through the tunnel, the sky is tinted with a beautiful gradation changing from pale to deep colours, flowing from time to time,” they said.
“The installation makes one feel the subtle changes in [the] atmosphere through the whole body by travelling the colourful flow of time.”
A rectangular tunnel running through the middle of the installation has benches for visitors to sit down and be immersed in the work.
At the end of the tunnel is a chair titled Miss Blanche, designed by twentieth-century Japanese designer Shiro Kuramata.
“Miss Blanche is placed by the deputy director of Toyama Prefectural Museum of Art & Design, who is also curator of the exhibition, to create the axis to express a deep respect and admiration from Emmanuelle to Shiro Kuramata,” explained the museum.
Colour of Time was on show between 16 November 2017 to 8 January 2018.
STAGGERED GLASS WALLS FRONT VISITOR CENTRE AT LOUISIANA PLANTATION HOUSE
New Orleans firm Trahan Architects has completed a visitor centre for an 18th-century plantation in Louisiana, using translucent glazing to blur views of occupants from the outside “like an impressionist painting”.
Trahan Architects’ building provides a gift shop, and exhibition and events space for the Magnolia Mound Plantation House – located in Baton Rouge, near the Mississippi River.
The house was completed in 1791 in the Creole architecture style that dominated the area at the time as a result of French colonisation. It was listed National Register of Historic Places in 1972 due to its significance.
The Creole cottage once sat among 950 acres (384 hectares) of grounds that functioned as plantation for coffee, sugar and tobacco between the late 18th and 19th centuries. Reports claim that up to 79 slaves worked on the site by 1860.
The city of Baton Rouge Since purchased Magnolia Mound Plantation House and its surroundings – at the time down to 16 acres (6.5 hectares) – in 1966, and preserved the site to offer insights into life during this period.
Trahan Architects’ one-storey visitor centre forms the latest addition and was completed in 2013. Embedded into a hill at the base of the site, it is designed to make as little impact on the surroundings as possible.
Translucent glass walls protrude from the slope, while its roof meets the crest and is covered in grass to continue the pathway up the
“The minimal intervention seeks to elevate the existing historic buildings and site by establishing a clear threshold for visitors as they circulate around the base of the mound,” said the studio.
“As one transitions through the new visitor center and ascends to the top of the mound, the building merges with the landscape to become unobtrusive and imperceptible.”
Along the front of the pavilion, the roof extends out to reach five staggered glass panels. These create a buffer between a terrace with stone benches and the entrance.
“Translucent channel glass was selected to subtly obscure occupants within and around the new building like an impressionist painting – blurring the distinction between new and old, building and landscape,” Trahan Architects said.
Behind the clouded screens, a transparent glass partition offers clearer views into the gift shop.
Inside, a central white volume contains administration facilities and toilets. A narrow pathway runs alongside to lead to the multipurpose room for various activities and the exhibition space, which both occupy the rear of the building.
The architects also looked to the work of famous American minimalist artists Donald Judd and Sol Lewitt to design a series of solid white aluminium units, which provide display cabinets and storage units for the shop. The pared-back aesthetic is completed with pale stone flooring.