20 fevereiro, 2011

House in Minamimachi by Suppose Design Office

Japanese architects Suppose Design Office have completed a residence in Hiroshima, Japan, with offset floors allowing natural light from above to penetrate each level.
The house can can be naturally illuminated while maintaining privacy on a small, crowded plot of land.
The interior comprises a series of terraces, each shaped differently according to its intended purpose.

House in Minamimachi

"During the process of designing for a small plot of land, there are a lot of times in which the form of the building is steered by legal constraints.
If you are thinking of how you can have the most floor space, the outer shape of the building is automatically decided by how the permitted ratio of square footage to property size, so the architectural design comes out of the number of stories built just to increase the floor space.
Here, I’m thinking about the possibility of space that can be made by subtraction.
This building was made to slightly exceed its allotted coverage ratio, so each floor fluctuates in shape.
The sections that slide out function as lighting design elements, bringing in the outside environment.
I’ve changed the shape of each floor freely according to its intended purpose and features, turning them into spaces with a sense of distance and perspective, maintaining privacy even in crowded urban areas where housing units are close together, creating a bright, well-lit living space.
Before you know it, design that starts from the rules, from the legal restrictions, can become stronger restrictions than the rules.
By starting the design away from the legal constraints, by designing the way we start to plan, we can have buildings that possess a degree of freedom. Just by changing the bottom line a little, I want to pinpoint the things we’ve overlooked, the elements of richness, and design richness around that subtraction."

Information from Suppose Design Office

18 fevereiro, 2011

Universitá Luigi Bocconi

A university faculty building in Milan by Irish practice Grafton Architects has been named World Building of the Year at the inaugural World Architecture Festival, held in Barcelona in October 2008.
Here is a description of the building by the project authors.

A Piece of City
We saw this brief as an opportunity for the Luigi Bocconi University to make a space at the scale of the city.
To this end we have built at the scale of the site,50m x150m.
Inside, our building is thought of as a large market hall, directly influenced by Il Broletto.
As with Il Broletto, this hall acts as a filter between the city and the university.

A Window to Milan
The northern edge of the site fronts onto the artery of Viale Bligny, with the clatter of trams, the rush of busses, general traffic, people passing.
It addresses the throbbing urban life of Milan, weaves into the mesh of the city.
This frontage becomes the architectural opportunity to have a ‘window’ to Milan, a memorable image to confirm the important cultural contribution that the Bocconi University plays in the life of this city.
For this reason, the public space of the aula magna occupies this frontage, asserting a symbolic presence and a register of the prestigious status of the University.

Social Lebensraum
This building is set back from the Viale Bligny & Via Rontgen edges to make a public space 18m x 90m inspired by the space forward of Hospital Maggiore.
It’s much larger frontage, of approximately 200m , creates a vibrant socially active edge to a building which inside is a maze of secret cloistered courtyards and walkways.
The widened pavement and new urban space acts as bridge, the ‘Social Lebensraum’ and keeps the city at a respectful distance.
This new deep ‘finger’ of space reaches out to the city and beckons. the visitor into the heart of the interior.
This public space continues into the building, bringing with it it’s stone surface, the floor of the city.

A Place of Exchange
The world of the offices / and research is suspended between the ground and sky – a low- rise labyrinth with an interactive weave of courts, bridges terraces, corridors, all of which encourage overlap, expansion, contraction, new mixes, chance discussions, vertical and horizontal possibilities.

Moving Skyward:
In order to make this grand place of exchange we thought about the research offices as beams of space, suspended to form a grand canopy which filters light to all levels.
The offices form an inhabited roofscape which is generally 3 /4 floors deep.
This floating canopy allows the space of the city to overlap with the life of the university. Allows internal and external public spaces to merge.

The undercroft is cool and shady in the summer, with reflected light and warmth in the winter.
The underground accommodation is treated as an erupting landscape which offers support to the inhabited light filters above.
The point of energy is where the sky world meets the underground world.

Spatially this underground world is solid, dense and carved.
By contrast the large spans allow the offices above to float like bridges slung in space.
We tried to establish a continuity between the ‘landscape’ of the city and the ‘made landscape’ of this undercroft.

Inside Out:
Because we have blurred the division between indoor and outdoor spaces, and because the scheme is a weave of courts, gardens and ‘halls’, this allows the building to expand and contract be it on a seasonal basis.
The external public spaces are microclimates protected from extremes of heat, cold and rain.
The internal public spaces are capable of being opened up to merge with the protected external spaces.
There is the potential for a surreal interchange to occur between inside and outside, between informal semi -internal landscapes and formal semi-external halls.

Inhabited Roof:
The beehive world of the research offices hovers over the city below, over the public spaces below, over the campus below.
It is physically separate but always visually connected to the life of the lower levels.
It is an adaptable and interactive labyrinth.

In search of gravity:
With regard to the structure and the assembly of this interactive labyrinth we thought we could perhaps establish a real sense of gravity or defiance of gravity. Our concrete piers are anchored in the ground and reach up to support the heavy roof from which the office levels are hung.
By banishing to roof level, this point of transfer from one scale of structure to another, we perform a number of tasks; the boundaries between lower and upper levels are blurred; the thinness of the division between lower and upper levels adds a sense of weightlessness to the suspended offices; thermal mass is located where it is needed….at roof level.

And what will this ‘construct’ look like?
The two components of the brief which are given expression on the street edge are the Aula Magna and the Library. For both architectural and environmental reasons these volumes are expressed as solids, either embedded and rising out of the ground as is the case with the Aula, or cantilevered and floating over the street as is the case with the Library.
Responding to the character of Milan as described by our Milanese colleagues…”hard on the outside, friendly on the inside” ,we have made an edge which is like a crusty ‘shield’, constructed in a robust material i.e., stone,render or concrete.
We have worked this material in order to give a sense of depth, density and mass as is the quality of so many buildings in Milan.
Our quest is to make something resolutely robust but beautifully bold.

The external wall to the sunken Aula Magna reaches the full height of the building with the upper level offices inhabiting it’s roofscape /attic.
The volume of the aula invades this roofscape for air and light and this ‘invasion’ which happens in the section becomes evident on the external wall.
The wall is deformed and fractured in order to provide a more generous pavement and to turn the corner.
Our priority was that the presence of this space be given expression on the street.
The full bulk and scale of this great room ‘the embedded boulder’ sits directly on the street edge and is the anchor for the totality of the building.
The acoustic intimacy of the Aula Magna and the conference rooms is achieved by lining and folding the inner walls and ceilings.
The acoustic intimacy of the Aula Magna and the conference rooms is achieved by lining and folding the inner walls and ceilings.
The two interlocking volumes of this space are designed to accommodate 600 people at the lower level and 400 at the upper level.
The volume of the light scoops act as mini fly towers.
The 400 person space is separated from the larger volume by means of a twin walled acoustic screen which is lowered from this roof recess above.
A podium for the speaker in this smaller space, slides out from under the lower seating rows.
A backstage area is provided behind the main aula with a larger roof recess to accommodate backdrops etc.
This is the most dramatic light shaft in the space.
Blackout is via automatic blinds.

Information from Grafton Architects

see more information about the project here.

Boscolo Hotels Milano

Studio Italo Rota have designed luxury, modern and colorful interior of Boscolo Exedra Hotel in Milan, Italy. The goal ideas for this design is make the hotel become places that identify the city. The hotel is a place where cultures come together and meet so this is must be open to everyone and not only the resident guests.

Boscolo Exedra Hotel is the seventh five star hotel located in a building which dates back to the 1920’s in premises which were formerly occupied by a bank and after one year of hard work and 150 million Euro on renovations the brand new Boscolo Exedra Hotel // Milano runs over a surface area of 15,000 square meters. All of the Boscolo Hotels respect for architecture as each one has been established following renovation work on historical buildings, a distinctive trait, that has made it a true mission for the company to restore the heritage of architecture and buildings.

The striking scenography of the hall, with its harlequin sculptures, creates the ideal environment for a warm and unforgettable welcome. The hall, the reception and the elegant restaurant are designed as a single large space, ensuring visual continuity of their various functions. The property also provides guests with a glamorous bar/ lounge and an original Champagnerie, the perfect location in which to enjoy delicious cocktails and excellent light meals. The hotel was built in 2009 and is spread over 9 floors. It has a total of 154 guest rooms and luxury suites.

The guest rooms and luxury suites are decorated in contemporary style and embellished by a number of dynamic design features. The designer has appointed them using soft colours, choice materials and design pieces. Spacious and welcoming, the suites are specially designed to cater for guests’ complete physical and spiritual wellbeing. Each suite is different, with its own unique layout. Each one comes with an en-suite bathroom with shower and bathtub, a hairdryer, a double or king-size bed, a direct dial telephone, a satellite/ cable television and Internet access. A safe, a minibar, individually adjustable heating/ air conditioning and a terrace also come as standard features.

See more information about this project here.

Luzern University

Project: UNI-PHZ Luzern
Author: Enzmann + Fischer
Conclusion date: 2011
Location: Frohburgstrasse 3, Luzern, Switzerland

Swiss Transport Museum

The current project is based on the 1999 competition. At that point the brief represented an urban design vision for the gradual renovation of the museum complex with its various buildings exhibiting the different means of transport, as well as a new building for the Road Transport Hall.

At the beginning of 2005 the project was resumed. In the first construction phase a new entrance building (Futurcom) was also to be provided in addition to the replacement building for the Road Transport Hall. This urban design strategy enables the generation of a central open courtyard (Arena), which in the new scheme should remain undeveloped and creates space for temporary, themed exhibitions.

The new entrance building forms a bridge-like link between the existing buildings on Lidostrasse (the IMAX, the Rail Transport Hall and the high-rise building). It contains on the ground floor the ticket office, shop area and both restaurants – one offers table service and opens towards the lake, the other is conceived as a self-service restaurant that stretches out like fingers into the arena. On the first floor are accommodated the exhibition areas for communications, the new entrance to the Planetarium and also the services area. On the second floor is the conference area with a conference hall that seats 500 guests and three smaller meeting rooms.

The façades form roughly transparent ‘vitrines’ for all kinds of wheels, propellers, wheel rims, turbines, cogs, steering wheels, etc. The mechanical parts hang densely in front of the building insulation and are behind the façade panes, forming a shimmering, shiny and in parts revolving façade ‘undergarment’. The omnium-gatherum of the various manifestations of the wheel pays homage to this basic element of mechanical movement.

The concept for the new Road Transport Hall differs considerably from the first design during the 1999 competition. Where originally a three-storey building was conceived with concrete shear walls, a load-bearing, glazed façade construction and bridge-like ramps on the exterior, the new building should be two-storied, like a black box, more flexible and in particular more economical. It should be a structure that is reminiscent of those buildings countrywide that are designed for the storage and housing of cars, i.e. multi-storey car parks. Instead of negotiating the floors via ramps, an automated parking system is employed; a shelf-like structure operated by a mechanical lift displays the collection of classic cars (or even new models) densely positioned one above the other and out of reach. At the touch of a button visitors can bring one of the cars closer to them and look at it up close. The connection to the open areas on the ground and first floors enables the possibility of running different themed exhibitions parallel to this. A workshop shows the visitors how the vehicles are maintained and repaired.

The facade cladding of the mainly closed building volume is composed of sheet metal in differing formats and colours. However, standard facade sheeting will not be employed, nor metal from car bodies (as envisaged during the preliminary project), but rather they will be clad from the sheet metal boards that direct traffic – we are referring to traffic signboards: destination and orientation boards, instruction signs, manditory signs, prohibition signs, placename signs. The signboard walls, which spatially delimit the Road Transport Hall, indirectly refer to the great latitude of private transport, which is directed and regulated with the help of such boards. The signs also refer to numerous localities that are connected via different road networks. Amongst them might be the home towns and cities of the visitors, who arrived at the Swiss Museum of Transport via diverse traffic routes and with different means of transport and here can discover more about (their) mobility.

On the rear facade, towards the neighbouring buildings, the signs are reverse mounted, meaning that the printed side faces into the building while the untreated, metal side faces outwards. Thus the neighbours see these boards just as road users would see those signs meant for the oncoming traffic - from the rear side.

information from Gigon/Guyer Architekten