Events/News

Hello Everyone!! Design for America is back and ready for action! We are so excited to share everything we have in store with you and the UC Berkeley community.

If you want to join a group of incredibly diverse, passionate, interdisciplinary group of engineers, designers, and entrepreneurs keep reading!!!

Design for America (DFA) at UC Berkeley is a student-driven human-centered design studio. We integrate concepts from design thinking into ideation of solutions ultimately meant for social good. Every year, DFA members work on teams to co-create products, systems, and services for our community partners. Each team is focused on a different social issue that resonates with them and their community partner. We are one of 38 college studios nationwide.

This year our teams are focusing on optimizing free health care services with data and educating youth on food justice in the Bay Area!! Keep your eye out for a more detailed description on the teams and their leaders.

We have information sessions on Tuesday, September 5, 7-8PM and September 6, 5-6PM. Location is TBD but if you are interested in DFA and want some FREE dessert, come join us!!

Some cool things that you might experience while with DFA are:
- Collaboration with the most passionate, creative, and hardworking people
- Working on real social issues that mean something to you
- Being part of an entrepreneurial community that pushes you to do your best in any discipline or background that you come from, whether that be engineering, film, math, business, biology, or art
- Learning from the many awesome workshops that we'll be hosting this semester
- Giving back to the community that we live in

Our application will be open for fall 2017 recruitment 9/1, but in the meantime join us at one of our info sessions and at Calapalooza on 8/31 from 3-7 PM! Looking forward to meeting everyone!
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A family home with large open spaces was the core consideration of the client brief for Bloomfield. Designed by FGR Architects, natural light, simple materials, space, and height have all been cleverly incorporated to allow a family to entertain and grow into. Upon arrival, visitors are welcomed by an understated angular façade of the contemporary home that sits proudly amongst the streetscapes of Ascot Vale. Consisting of striking concrete and large glass panels, the eye is immediately drawn to the raw beauty of these materials, all of which are protected by a strong, black, extended screen placed neatly on the street front.

© Peter Bennetts © Peter Bennetts
  • Contractor: ID Property
  • Interior Design: FGR ARCHITECTS
  • Structural And Civil Engineer: D&A Consulting Group
  • Finishes And Styling: Hayley Coote
  • Staircase Steel Works: Lamb Engineering
  • Staircase Timber Treads: Timber Stair Group
  • Styling: Hunter May Design
© Peter Bennetts © Peter Bennetts

Text description provided by the architects. A family home with large open spaces was the core consideration of the client brief for Bloomfield. Designed by FGR Architects, natural light, simple materials, space, and height have all been cleverly incorporated to allow a family to entertain and grow into. Upon arrival, visitors are welcomed by an understated angular façade of the contemporary home that sits proudly amongst the streetscapes of Ascot Vale. Consisting of striking concrete and large glass panels, the eye is immediately drawn to the raw beauty of these materials, all of which are protected by a strong, black, extended screen placed neatly on the street front.

© Peter Bennetts © Peter Bennetts

The home itself is located on a linear laneway, creating a unique journey to arrive at the entrance. The experience of moving through a sheltered corridor before finally reaching the entry point allows for a complete experience before even stepping foot inside. The simplistic beauty of the two-story home continues into the expansive interior. The feeling of an outdoor garden is expertly brought into the space by cascading greenery combined with soaring heights and a steel staircase, all delicately contrasted against a warm timber ceiling. The heart of the home is clearly evident, with a large living space providing strategic connection to almost everywhere else in the house. It is a mutual place for interaction and entertainment complete with fireplace and creative vertical wood storage.

© Peter Bennetts © Peter Bennetts

FGR Architects Director Feras Raffoul explains that there was a deliberate use of simplistic and solid materials to maximize the home’s true beauty. “We incorporated a palette of earthy tones and colors to showcase a clean, yet warm aesthetic,” says Raffoul. “Our intention was to truly expose the natural beauty of the materials. We introduced warmth to the interiors with American oak as well as blackbutt cladding and joinery.” Moving beyond the home out back, an inverted U-shaped cantilevered canopy hovers above an alfresco area. The canopy itself is made from timber with a 6m double-height void, that creates a blanket of wood that flows from the exterior walls to the ceilings and continuously through the interior of the rest of the home. The language of the exterior façade is articulated with a strong vanishing point.

© Peter Bennetts © Peter Bennetts

“The canopy is the strongest language of the design. It frames the house and north elevations, providing a sense of welcoming to the solar activity throughout the day.” “Creating effective outdoor spaces was just as important as indoor for this home” Feras explains. The minimalist feel is successfully executed from open, west-facing windows that bring in plentiful amounts of sunlight each morning whilst enjoying views over the Maribyrnong Valley and city skyline. Further, the luscious internal garden at the entry evokes a feeling of peace with a stream of morning sunlight and greenery stimulating the atmosphere. The bathrooms elegantly complement the home with signature black tapware, marble benchtops, and round basins. Rendered concrete makes up the walls together with offset glass and custom steel shelves providing a sleek, simple look.

© Peter Bennetts © Peter Bennetts

The kitchen showcases an island bench surrounded by soft, warm timber joinery all flooded with natural light from stunning, large, glass stacking doors that also allow ventilation throughout. “Despite the volume, the home breathes effectively with strong airflow that penetrates from the front to the back.” “Today, the family enjoys living in the space – we’ve seen a physical change in their lifestyle and wellbeing since moving in. A novelty cubby house at the back also provides endless fun for children of the house.” Built by ID Property Group, the home includes four bedrooms, four bathrooms as well as garage space for two cars. 

© Peter Bennetts © Peter Bennetts
Author: Daniel Tapia
Posted: April 23, 2018, 5:00 pm

A 19th-century house has been transformed into a 21st-century powerhouse for ideas for Quinnipiac University’s Brand Strategy Group, which is responsible for the University’s marketing, communications, brand strategy and identity, and digital initiatives.

© Robert Benson Photography © Robert Benson Photography
  • General Contractor: FIP Construction
  • Structural Engineering : Edward Stanley Engineers
  • Marketing Coordinator : Nicole Owens
  • Total Construction Cost: $1.4 million
© Robert Benson Photography © Robert Benson Photography

Text description provided by the architects. A 19th-century house has been transformed into a 21st-century powerhouse for ideas for Quinnipiac University’s Brand Strategy Group, which is responsible for the University’s marketing, communications, brand strategy and identity, and digital initiatives.

© Robert Benson Photography © Robert Benson Photography

The old house was a hard sell to the university’s client, a veteran of the advertising world who imagined a New York City loft environment. To convince the reluctant end-user that the old house could meet his vision, the design team conceived of a radical opening-up of the interior space. The concept provided a drastic departure from the compartmentalized spaces and Victorian character of the existing house.

© Robert Benson Photography © Robert Benson Photography
Axonomtetric Axonomtetric
© Robert Benson Photography © Robert Benson Photography

The design is characterized by the openness of the space and the playful use of finishes and color that evokes the excitement of a start-up business. There is a deliberate tension on display between the rough exposed structure of the original house and the clean new lines of the renovation – a nod to the loft-spaces the University’s client wanted to work in. A skylight-capped vertical atrium unites upper and lower work spaces and floods the building with natural light. The meeting spaces, facing one another across the atrium, promote the cross pollination of ideas between the marketing staff on the first floor and the creative staff on the second.

Section 02 Section 02

The outcome? The space has energized the team. It has allowed more collaboration, more fun and more communication.

© Robert Benson Photography © Robert Benson Photography
Author: Rayen Sagredo
Posted: April 23, 2018, 3:00 pm

BART//BRATKE & Matthijs la Roi Architects have released images of their proposed new concert hall in Nuremberg, Germany. The “Nuremberg Konzerthaus” seeks to extend the historically rich heritage of the Meistersingerhalle municipal center, contributing a unique musical experience to the cultural city. The proposed concert hall establishes a dialogue with the Meistersingerhalle, connected in a symbolic “band” podium made of natural stone, recalling the rock formations of nearby quarries.

Courtesy of BART//BRATKE, Matthijs la Roi Architects Courtesy of BART//BRATKE, Matthijs la Roi Architects

BART//BRATKE & Matthijs la Roi Architects have released images of their proposed new concert hall in Nuremberg, Germany. The “Nuremberg Konzerthaus” seeks to extend the historically rich heritage of the Meistersingerhalle municipal center, contributing a unique musical experience to the cultural city. The proposed concert hall establishes a dialogue with the Meistersingerhalle, connected in a symbolic “band” podium made of natural stone, recalling the rock formations of nearby quarries.

Courtesy of BART//BRATKE, Matthijs la Roi Architects Courtesy of BART//BRATKE, Matthijs la Roi Architects

Seeking to represent a cultural jewel in the Nuremberg area, the Konzerthaus playfully interacts with the modernist elements of the Meistersingerhalle, manifesting them in a contemporary language. While a solid base grounds the structure horizontally, vertical elements such as a foyer, expressive stairway, public bleachers, assembly venues and diagonals break the stringent horizontality of the band, resulting in an open, inviting perimeter.

Courtesy of BART//BRATKE, Matthijs la Roi Architects Courtesy of BART//BRATKE, Matthijs la Roi Architects

The Konzerthaus seeks to seamlessly integrate with the surrounding urban park landscape of the Luitpoldhain, running through the open foyer and elevated corridors of the building. The concert hall volume, combined with the Meistersingerhalle, define an articulated forecourt and main entrance, activated through the public foyer functions along its perimeter. The concert hall, perceived as a freestanding object from the outside, is clad in wooden strips on the interior and exterior. In order to maintain a human scale in the 1600-seat space, the monolithic form the hall is broken into balconies, information desks, and break-out zones.

Courtesy of BART//BRATKE, Matthijs la Roi Architects Courtesy of BART//BRATKE, Matthijs la Roi Architects

A separation of public and private functions defines the interior program. The main entrance for visitors leads directly into the vertical atrium, with all public functions arranged along the foyer. Meanwhile, a rear building caters for artists and employees, with a centrally-located artists lounge directly connecting to the stage and catering area. To improve circulation efficiency, the delivery, instrument room, and artists’ dressing rooms are all connected at the same level.

News via: BART//BRATKEMatthijs la Roi Architects

Author: Niall Patrick Walsh
Posted: April 23, 2018, 2:00 pm

Open plan living and the ability to live in and through your home has inspired this transparent and easy-living family home.  Set between the Indian Creek Canal and Pine Tree Drive in Miami’s historic Collin’s Waterfront district, the SAOTA-designed space is expansive and fluid – opening up to the activity of the canal when desired, or contained when privacy is needed.

© Dan Forer © Dan Forer
  • Architects: SAOTA
  • Location: Miami, United States
  • Lead Architects: Philip Olmesdahl, Mark Bullivant & Andrew Moerdyk
  • Area: 400.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2016
  • Photographs: Dan Forer
  • Architect Of Record: DVICE Inc. - Dan Ritchie
  • Contractor : Brodson Construction
  • Interiors: Nils Sanderson
  • Lighting Consultant : Lux Populi
  • Landscaping: Raymond Jungles
© Dan Forer © Dan Forer

Text description provided by the architects. Open plan living and the ability to live in and through your home has inspired this transparent and easy-living family home.  Set between the Indian Creek Canal and Pine Tree Drive in Miami’s historic Collin’s Waterfront district, the SAOTA-designed space is expansive and fluid – opening up to the activity of the canal when desired, or contained when privacy is needed.

© Dan Forer © Dan Forer

Set on a strongly linear proportioned site, the building is porous, bringing the landscape and water bodies into the interior of the house to create a greater sense of space.

© Dan Forer © Dan Forer

Through the introduction of a number of introverted and extroverted courtyards, the house boasts views to the outside in two directions. These views are visible from almost any point in the house, creating a tangible and immediate relationship to the outdoors.  

© Dan Forer © Dan Forer

“The design is as much about containment as it is about the views through the many living spaces, towards the Atlantic Ocean and world-renowned Miami Beach,” says SAOTA director, Philip Olmesdahl.  “While the overall contemporary architectural design is a key focus of the SAOTA design team, the use and connectivity of the spaces is the primary driver - how the house lives.”

First Floor First Floor
Second Floor Second Floor

The approach to living on the water is a unique Miami experience and something SAOTA sought to reinforce, in keeping with the continuous summers in Miami.  In total, the size of the overall body of water on the site, is about half the space of the six-bedroom house.

© Dan Forer © Dan Forer

On arrival, a multi-purpose basketball court creates a buffer to Pine Tree Drive, offering a suspensive arrival experience as one enters into the grand, serene forecourt. On the opposite side of the property, to the back of the house, a pool pavilion provides a space for people to enjoy the immediacy of the water - both at the pool and at the waterway; an enclosed space offering an outdoor experience, while also allowing for privacy.

© Dan Forer © Dan Forer

A great deal of time and effort went into the design of the pool courtyard,” says Mark Bullivant, SAOTA director. “Time was spent understanding the use of the spaces, including how and when the pool will be used. The outdoor area is animated by a series of events; whether that be the hot tub, BBQ, bar, or a two-storey waterslide. The waterslide forms a focal point at the pool pavilion and makes the space appealing for entertaining.”

© Dan Forer © Dan Forer

Natural lighting plays a strong role in informing the design, with glazed openings to the side of the house flooding the interiors with natural light. The outdoor terrace is also designed to take full advantage of the Western sun, late into the afternoon.
“Raymond Jungles’ relaxed, confident and freehand approach to landscaping resulted in a natural environment that truly reflects Miami. The integration between interior and exterior spaces allows lush greenery to invade the home in a structured way.”

© Dan Forer © Dan Forer

The concept of containment of the various living spaces is best embodied in the screens that cloak the building. Primarily born out of the functional need for privacy and solar control, their application evolved to something far more significant as punched anodised aluminium becomes architectural jewellery. The screens play with the character of light, heightening the experience of enclosure and transparency.

© Dan Forer © Dan Forer

The screens have multiple functions; in some instances they define spaces, as seen with the double volume nature of the entrance, and in others they facilitate the creation of private protected sanctuaries, as seen in the bedroom where the terraces can be screened in to become part of the room. Where the screens are iconic and loud, the finishes are assertive, but restrained. A key intent has been to implement a palette that is controlled and continuous - limiting the materials to a core few wherever possible. This ensured a cohesion between various spaces, creating a home that is refined and comfortable to live in.

© Dan Forer © Dan Forer

The interiors are designed in collaboration with Nils Sanderson. There is a refinement to the interior design of the home that subtly rouses all senses but leaves room for discovery. Serene and harmonious, the fluid finishes creates a sense of respite from the pace of city life. Warm tones are explored throughout the sun-filled spaces by using delicate manipulations of patterns and textures. This is complemented by unique lighting designed by Lux Populi. The designers approach keeps things calm and subdued, creating an effortless design. Singularity and warmth is achieved through various materials including the callacutta and limestone, the wood’s richness, texture and movement.

Working with DVice as the architect of record and Brodson as the construction company, Pine Tree is SAOTA’s first project to be completed in Miami.

© Dan Forer © Dan Forer
Author: Pilar Caballero
Posted: April 23, 2018, 1:00 pm

3XN and GERNER GERNER PLUS have released details of their competition entry for the design of a new aquarium in Schönbrunn Zoo, Vienna. Developed in collaboration with aquarium specialists ATT, “Poseidon’s Realm” was designed to be “elegant, simple and mysterious, lying across the landscape like a great veil.” The scheme was awarded second place in an international competition for the aquarium’s design, with the winner yet to be announced.

Courtesy of 3XN Courtesy of 3XN

3XN and GERNER GERNER PLUS have released details of their competition entry for the design of a new aquarium in Schönbrunn Zoo, Vienna. Developed in collaboration with aquarium specialists ATT, “Poseidon’s Realm” was designed to be “elegant, simple and mysterious, lying across the landscape like a great veil.” The scheme was awarded second place in an international competition for the aquarium’s design, with the winner yet to be announced.

The “Poseidon’s Realm” scheme is defined by a spacious green roof landscape embedded in the zoo’s path network. The aquarium covers a total area of 65,000 square feet (6,000 square meters), divided across four levels, with a large, glazed, wave-shaped entrance enticing visitors to transition between outdoor greenery and a “softly undulating waterworld.”

Courtesy of 3XN Courtesy of 3XN
Courtesy of 3XN Courtesy of 3XN

As visitors journey through the aquarium, varying temperatures, background sounds, lights and ceiling heights create ever-changing atmospheres. Approaching individual tanks, the path widens into small bays to create a sense of intimacy between the observer and aquatic life. At the journey’s end, a café and shop lead visitors to an outside terrace. The café and shop also provide direct access to the shark tank and event room; spaces which can be used outside of opening hours for official functions.

Courtesy of 3XN Courtesy of 3XN
Courtesy of 3XN Courtesy of 3XN

Both structurally and schematically, the scheme revolves around the shark tank, which through its size and technical requirements, acts as a central space-shaping element. In order to cope with the enormous loads generated by the tank, extra floor reinforcement was required, as was a glass display panel measuring 21 inches (55 centimeters) thick.

Courtesy of 3XN Courtesy of 3XN

The construction material for the aquarium is predominantly concrete, necessary to withstand the aggressive atmosphere created by salt water. To further simplify the construction process, the undulating curved roof form consists of divisible sectors, constructed using standard formwork. Above the “great veil” of the aquarium, the green landscape plays host to a bearded vulture aviary, and a moment of pause in the world's oldest continuously-operating zoo.

Courtesy of 3XN Courtesy of 3XN

News via: 3XN and GERNER GERNER PLUS

Author: Niall Patrick Walsh
Posted: April 23, 2018, 12:00 pm

With over 300 apparel companies, BC’s lower mainland is a center of excellence for technical fashion design, and the new Wilson School of Design at Kwantlen Polytechnic University is set to be the preeminent school for this industry on the West Coast. The broader purpose of the University is to fuel the local economy by generating a steady pool of talent and expertise in the fields of graphic design, interior design, fashion marketing, and fashion technology. The design of the new school fosters interdisciplinary collaboration by positioning flexible design studios, labs, open offices and shared spaces across all five floors.

© Andrew Latreille © Andrew Latreille
  • Architects: KPMB Architects + Public: Architecture + Communication
  • Location: 5600 Kwantlen St, Richmond, BC V6X 2X9, Canada
  • Lead Architect: Bruce Kuwabara (KPMB)
  • Project Architects: Glenn MacMullin; Associate in Charge (KPMB) , Geoffrey Turnbull (KPMB), Chris Forrest (Public Project)
  • Interiors: Carolyn Lee (KPMB)
  • Principal: Luigi LaRocca (KPMB)
  • Area: 60000.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2018
  • Photographs: Andrew Latreille
  • Kpmb Team: Bruce Kuwabara (design partner), Glenn MacMullin (associate-in- charge/project architect), Geoffrey Turnbull (project architect), Carolyn Lee (associate-in- charge of interiors), Luigi LaRocca (principal), Lukas Bergmark, Rob McKaye, Lucy Timbers, Danielle Whitely, Marcus Colonna, Dina Sarhane
  • Design Partner: John Wall (Public Project)
  • Partner: Brian Wakelin (Public Project)
  • Public Project Team: John Wall (design partner), Brian Wakelin (partner), Chris Forrest (project architect), Laura Killam, Christopher Sklar, Michael Thicke, Sabrina Hoeck, Susan Mavor, Scot Geib
  • Structural Engineering: Fast + Epp
  • Mechanical Engineering: AME Group
  • Electrical, Security And Lighting Engineering: AES
  • Civil Engineering: Core Group
  • Energy Engineering: Transsolar
  • Envelope Engineering: Morrison Hershfield
  • Landscaping: PFS Studio
  • Acoustic Engineering: Daniel Lyzun & Associates (DL&A)
  • Av/Tech Engineering: MC2
  • Project Manager: Kwantlen Polytechnic University
© Andrew Latreille © Andrew Latreille

Text description provided by the architects. With over 300 apparel companies, BC’s lower mainland is a center of excellence for technical fashion design, and the new Wilson School of Design at Kwantlen Polytechnic University is set to be the preeminent school for this industry on the West Coast. The broader purpose of the University is to fuel the local economy by generating a steady pool of talent and expertise in the fields of graphic design, interior design, fashion marketing, and fashion technology. The design of the new school fosters interdisciplinary collaboration by positioning flexible design studios, labs, open offices and shared spaces across all five floors.

© Andrew Latreille © Andrew Latreille
Floor Plans Floor Plans
© Andrew Latreille © Andrew Latreille

In a neighborhood dominated by cars and parking lots, the new Wilson School of Design represents a major step towards a healthier urban fabric. Responding to the new Lansdowne SkyTrain rapid transit station, the building’s highly visible entry, framed by a covered porch, draws students and visitors into the campus and creates a new front door for KPU on Kwantlen Street. This new gateway dresses the stage for the future transformation of Richmond’s Lansdowne Mall into a vibrant mixed-use community, and, given time, the world center for technical fashion design education.

© Andrew Latreille © Andrew Latreille

Architecture and urban planning are rife with descriptions drawn from the soft arts, for example ‘creating a healthy urban fabric.’ Buildings – and cities – are simply extra layers of protection that we wear and should therefore be just as breathable and comfortable. Our primary line of containment – our skin –performs a complex array of functions that are critical to human life. Clothes establish a second skin that shields, represents, and performs. Similarly, the exterior skin of the Wilson School of Design serves multiple functions, providing protection from weather; regulating levels of air, light, and temperature; and reflecting Richmond’s dramatic sky, symbolic of the creativity and optimistic futures held within.

© Andrew Latreille © Andrew Latreille

Jane Jacobs observed that “new ideas need old buildings". When an existing stock of historic warehouses are not available to repurpose, we can still employ the attributes that make this building typology so attractive for housing design activities.The CNC-milled post-and-beam timber frame of the Wilson School adheres to the same robust, rational plan grid that affords traditional warehouses their exceptional versatility. This flexibility allows many different forms of occupation of the building, over a semester or across generations. A taut, glass curtain wall wraps the advanced wood structure. Varying degrees of reflectivity and transparency allow for natural light while providing a responsible level of thermal resistance and mitigating glare and solar heat gain. Operable windows bring fresh air in while the central atrium acts as an exhaust plenum. Concrete floors provide radiant heating and cooling. High ceilings, ample natural light, and fresh air provide student designers the headspace to dream, explore, test, and create. The project is on target to achieve LEED Gold certification.

© Andrew Latreille © Andrew Latreille

As a signature gateway to KPU’s Richmond campus and producer of a sophisticated industrial workforce, the new Wilson School of Design represents a significant contribution to the vision and development of the MetroVancouver region.

Author: Rayen Sagredo
Posted: April 23, 2018, 11:00 am

In March 1972, an article in The Architectural Review proclaimed that this structure was “probably the best building in Paris since Le Corbusier’s Cité de Refuge for the Salvation Army.”[1] The article was, of course, referring to Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer’s first project in Europe: the French Communist Party Headquarters in Paris, France, built between 1967 and 1980. Having worked with Le Corbusier on the 1952 United Nations Building in New York and recently finished the National Congress as well as additional iconic government buildings in Brasilia, Niemeyer was no stranger to the intimate relationship between architecture and political power.[2]

In March 1972, an article in The Architectural Review proclaimed that this structure was “probably the best building in Paris since Le Corbusier’s Cité de Refuge for the Salvation Army.”[1] The article was, of course, referring to Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer’s first project in Europe: the French Communist Party Headquarters in Paris, France, built between 1967 and 1980. Having worked with Le Corbusier on the 1952 United Nations Building in New York and recently finished the National Congress as well as additional iconic government buildings in Brasilia, Niemeyer was no stranger to the intimate relationship between architecture and political power.[2]

© Denis Esakov © Denis Esakov

During the summer of 1965, an exhibition centered on Niemeyer’s projects in Brasilia at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris drew record breaking crowds as well as attention from French architects and politicians alike. The exhibition came at an opportune time as, only a year prior, the Brazilian government had been overthrown by a right-wing military dictatorship. As a noted communist and outspoken political leftist, Niemeyer fled to France and established an office on the Champs-Elysées in Paris.[3] He began work on a series of projects across Europe during this self-imposed exile as well as unrealized proposals for a tourist resort in Israel and a master plan for Pena Furada, Algarve in Portugal.

© Denis Esakov © Denis Esakov
© Denis Esakov © Denis Esakov

Soon after, the French Communist Party (CPF) commissioned Niemeyer to design the party’s new headquarters. “Our shared views and political struggle were far more important than architecture,” Niemeyer wrote. “And we became good friends.”[4] Yet, his structure came at a critical time for the party and functioned largely as a material gesture of consolidation as the party faced significant losses in seats during the 1968 election.

© Denis Esakov © Denis Esakov
© Denis Esakov © Denis Esakov

Facing Place du Colonel Fabien and flanked by Avenue Mathurin Moreau and Boulevard de la Villette on either side, the sloping corner site chosen for the headquarters had been previously owned by a trade union. And, prior to the second World War, the union had allowed the Russian Pavilion from the 1925 “Exposition des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes” by Konstantin Melnikov to be reconstructed there.[5] Niemeyer’s guiding principle for the project was carefully considered balance between open space and architectural volume. Thus, through opening the ground plane, Niemeyer intended to avoid excessive occupation of the site and maximize green space for both the client and the city’s residents.[6]

Concept Sketches Concept Sketches

“During this phase, my fourth, the prevailing idea was to manifest not only the plastic freedom of my architecture but also the advancements in engineering in Brazil,” said Niemeyer. “In the French Communist Party Headquarters, I demonstrated the importance of maintaining harmony between volumes and spaces on the exterior, which explains why the great workers’ hall is located underground.”[7]

Niemeyer’s final design encompassed a vertical serpentine block of offices coupled with vertical service cores in two separate towers alongside a series of subterranean public spaces below grade to preserve the openness of the site Rising above the ground plane, the curving six-story structure is carefully supported on five pairs of columns that not only bear the weight of the cantilevered plates but incorporate crucial service ducts as well.[8] Inside, the architect positioned a series of offices separated by demountable partitions with rich dark blue doors and olive green PVC tiles to conceal service ducts. A spiral staircase leads to the expansive main dining room on the sixth floor with views overlooking the city.

© Denis Esakov © Denis Esakov
© Denis Esakov © Denis Esakov

The entire secretariat block is wrapped in a tinted glass curtain wall designed by French industrial designer, engineer, and architect Jean Prouvé. The stainless steel and glass facade with anti-solar external leafing, according to Prouvé, “devised it’s rhythm primarily from the vertical stiffeners.”[9] This emphasis on verticality ultimately enhanced Niemeyer’s gestural forms. To minimize the need for additional air conditioning systems, Prouvé integrated operable tinted glass panels within the grid of the facade.[10]

© Denis Esakov © Denis Esakov
© Denis Esakov © Denis Esakov

As the site slopes up to meet the tower, the street pavement becomes a flowing ramp that guides visitors to the sunken entrance—deliberately emphasizing the moment the terrain and tower fall short of meeting. A white floating canopy projects from the sweeping block to frame this subterranean entrance.

© Denis Esakov © Denis Esakov

Beneath the vertical block are exhibition spaces, a reception hall, lounge, bookshop, multiple conference rooms, and a 450-set auditorium carved into the site to prevent its extension into the open public space. Only a portion of the irregularly shape dome extends above ground providing the iconic white mound set off against the glass facade beyond. While a majority of the project was completed by 1971, it took nine additional years to complete the excavated spaces.[11]

© Denis Esakov © Denis Esakov
© Denis Esakov © Denis Esakov
© Denis Esakov © Denis Esakov

The rolling surface of the subterranean spaces are clad in vibrant green carpeting recalling the natural conditions of the site above and office interior. Niemeyer’s iconic Alta chairs are set off from the curving concrete formwork walls creating break-out and meeting spaces surrounding the auditorium while a glazed strip surrounding the conical walls of the auditorium provides the only natural light within the space.

© Denis Esakov © Denis Esakov
© <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/o_0/29118795843/'>Flickr user Guilhem Vellut</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a> © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/o_0/29118795843/'>Flickr user Guilhem Vellut</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>

The futuristic airlock-esque doors along the perimeter of the auditorium open to reveal an 11 meter-high dome clad in thousands of light-diffusing anodized aluminum blades.[12] The rich carpeting continues into the space and gradually transforms into the stage at the northernmost point. A large white concrete canopy—a sibling to the plane above the main entrance—folds up from the dome’s wall to frame and enclose the stage.

© <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/o_0/29631905702'>Flickr user Guilhem Vellut</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a> © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/o_0/29631905702'>Flickr user Guilhem Vellut</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>

While architecture and decor have long been a symbol of state power in French history—from the Palace of Versailles to Pierre Paulin’s 1971 Presidential office interior— Niemeyer and his collaborators’ preoccupation with formal unity resulted in a work that seemingly transcended political divides. In the end, even the right-wing politician and former President Georges Pompidou had to admit that the building “was the only good thing those Commies had ever done.”[13]

  • Architects: Oscar Niemeyer
  • Location: 2 Place du Colonel Fabien, 75019 Paris, France
  • Associate Architects: Paul Chemetov and Jean Deroche
  • Design Team: Jean Prouvé, Hans Muller, José Luis Pinho, A. Gattos and Jean-Maur Lyonnet
  • Structural Engineer: Jean Tricot
  • Structure And Services: BERIM
  • Client: Central Committee of French Communist Party
  • Project Year: 1980

[1] “Within Party Walls,” The Architectural Review no.901 (1972), 134.
[2] Kenneth Frampton, “Construct and Construction: Brasília’s Development,” in Building Brasilia (New York: Thames & Hudson, 2010), 30.
[3] William JR Curtis, “OBITUARY: Oscar Niemeyer 1907-2012,” The Architectural Review 223, no. 1391 (2014): 11; Styliane Philippou, “Oscar Niemeyer: 1907-2012,” Arc 17, no.1 (2013) 9-14.
[4] Oscar Niemeyer, The Curves of Time: The Memoirs of Oscar Niemeyer (London: Phaidon, 200), 97.
[5] Sherban Cantacuzino, “Criticism,” The Architectural Review no.901 (1972), 143.
[6] Styliane Philippou, Oscar Niemeyer: Curves of Irreverence (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008), 327.
[7] Niemeyer, The Curves of Time, 174.
[8] Philippou, Oscar Niemeyer, 327-328.
[9] Laurence Allegrét, “Prouvé as an Engineering Consultant and the Blanc-Manteaux Workshop,” in Alexander von Vegesack, ed. Jean Prouvé: The Poetics of the Technical Object (Weil am Rhein: Vitra Design Museum, 2006), 168-173.
[10] Philippou, Oscar Niemeyer, 328.
[11] Ibid., 329.
[12] Ibid., 329.
[13] Niemeyer, The Curves of Time, 96.

Author: Evan Pavka
Posted: April 23, 2018, 9:30 am

Located at a green residential area in São Paulo, the program was split in three blocks (service, private and leisure spaces), stacked in a way as to create a wall-less social zone that is completely integrated with the garden, where the whole extension of the site can be discerned.

© Maira Acayaba © Maira Acayaba
  • Architects: AMZ Arquitetos
  • Location: Brazil
  • Lead Architects : Pablo Alvarenga, Manoel Maia, Adriana Zampieri
  • Team: Gabriel Rocchetti, Paula Saito, Paula Ferreira Leite
  • Area: 1075.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2016
  • Photographs: Maira Acayaba
  • Structural Engineering: Leão & Associados
  • Constructors: All’e Engenharia
  • Structural Engineering Company: Leão & Associados
  • Construction Company: All’e Engenharia
© Maira Acayaba © Maira Acayaba

Text description provided by the architects. Located at a green residential area in São Paulo, the program was split in three blocks (service, private and leisure spaces), stacked in a way as to create a wall-less social zone that is completely integrated with the garden, where the whole extension of the site can be discerned.

© Maira Acayaba © Maira Acayaba

The service block is secluded from the living and pool blocks by translucent sliding doors, so that its rooms (pantry, kitchen and barbecue area) are integrated to the social zone as desired.

© Maira Acayaba © Maira Acayaba

The private block is stacked on top of the service block, limited by hinged and sliding pine wood panels, which also enable the integration of the block with the green roof of the service block below.

Ground Floor Ground Floor
© Maira Acayaba © Maira Acayaba
First Floor First Floor

At the terrace, the leisure block invades the garden to take advantage of the sunlight and the view to the green neighborhood.

© Maira Acayaba © Maira Acayaba

At night, the translucent character of the panels produces the reverse effect, allowing the internal light to leak onto the garden.

© Maira Acayaba © Maira Acayaba
Author: Pilar Caballero
Posted: April 23, 2018, 9:00 am

This question can be basic and you may know the answer, but it's always good to remember some elementary calculations that help us to streamline the design process.

© José Tomás Franco © José Tomás Franco

This question can be basic and you may know the answer, but it's always good to remember some elementary calculations that help us to streamline the design process.

As we know, a staircase consists basically of a series of steps, which in turn consist of a tread (the horizontal part, where the foot will rest) and a riser (the vertical part). Although it can vary in its design, each step must also have one or more landings, handrails, and a small nosing. The latter protrudes from the tread over the lower step, allowing to increase its size without adding centimeters to the overall dimensions of the staircase.

Check the effective formula developed by French architect François Blondel, which allows you to determine the correct dimensions of a comfortable and efficient staircase according to its use.

© José Tomás Franco © José Tomás Franco

2 Risers + 1 Tread = 63-65 cm 

The necessary space to reach these optimal dimensions is not always available, but it's recommended to approach them as much as possible.

A schematic example of a steep and low-transit staircase

(2 x 21) + (1 x 21) = 63 cm  

21x21 cm / Schematic example. Image © José Tomás Franco 21x21 cm / Schematic example. Image © José Tomás Franco

A schematic example of an optimal staircase

(2 x 18) + (1 x 28) = 64 cm

28x18 cm / Schematic example. Image © José Tomás Franco 28x18 cm / Schematic example. Image © José Tomás Franco

A schematic example of a loose staircase, preferably for outdoor use

(2 x 13) + (1 x 39) = 65 cm

39x13 cm / Schematic example. Image © José Tomás Franco 39x13 cm / Schematic example. Image © José Tomás Franco

Sample calculation of a staircase that should be 2.60 meters high 

1. Calculate the number of steps that will be needed

Considering an ideal riser of 18 cm, the height of the space is divided by the height of each step. The result should always be rounded up:

260/18 = 14.44 = 15 steps

2. Calculate the height of each riser

The height of the space is divided by the number of steps that we have just obtained:

260/15 = 17.33 cm height for each riser

3. Calculate the width of the tread

Apply the Blondel formula:

(2 x 17.33 cm) + (1 x tread) = 64 

Each tread will measure 29.34 cm

* The resulting staircase will have 15 steps of 29.34 cm of tread and 17.33 cm of riser

Schematic example. Image © José Tomás Franco Schematic example. Image © José Tomás Franco

FAQ

How to determine the width of the stairs?

Depending on the use and local regulations, a minimum width of 80 cm is recommended for stairs in single-family homes, and greater than 1.00 meters in public buildings, taking into consideration the tentative number of people who will use it. As a reference, according to the traditional book 'Architects' Data' by Ernst Neufert, in a staircase of 1.25 meters two people can go up and down at once, and in one of 1.85 meters 3 people can do it at the same time, with one appropriate distance of 55 cm between the person and the handrail.

After how many steps should a landing be included?

Ideally, a stairway shouldn't have more than 15 steps in a row. After 15 steps, a landing should be provided. It's recommended that a landing measure at least the same as 3 treads.

What is the ideal height between the staircase and the ceiling?

The height between the steps and the ceiling must be 2.15 meters at minimum. According to Ernst Neufert, you can reach a minimum of 2.00 meters. The height of the handrail can vary between 80 and 90 cm from each step.

How do I vary the proportions between the tread and the riser?

Stairs can take a variety of shapes and configurations, but the relationship between the tread and the riser must remain the same throughout its route to avoid causing imbalance to the user, who is already used to climbing or descending stairs in a certain way.

Author: José Tomás Franco
Posted: April 23, 2018, 8:00 am

At first, books were kept in chests but as they became published in bulk they moved into the cupboard. The doors came off and the bookcase began to evolve. Today, bookcases can be integral architectural elements that shape space and, in some cases, even light. In celebration of International Day of the Book on April 23rd, ArchDaily compiled this round-up of architecturally, innovative bookcases.

Scroll down to see inventive architectural book storage from Alberto KalachARCHSTUDIOToyo Ito, and more. 

© Ossip van Duivenbode © Ossip van Duivenbode

At first, books were kept in chests but as they became published in bulk they moved into the cupboard. The doors came off and the bookcase began to evolve. Today, bookcases can be integral architectural elements that shape space and, in some cases, even light. In celebration of International Day of the Book on April 23rd, ArchDaily compiled this round-up of architecturally, innovative bookcases.

Scroll down to see inventive architectural book storage from Alberto KalachARCHSTUDIOToyo Ito, and more. 

Jose Vasconcelos  Library / Alberto Kalach

Courtesy of Alberto Kalach Courtesy of Alberto Kalach

Tianjin Binhai Library / MVRDV + Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute

© Ossip van Duivenbode © Ossip van Duivenbode

Underground Forest in Onepark Gubei / Wutopia Lab

© CreatAR - AI Qing & SHI Kaicheng © CreatAR - AI Qing & SHI Kaicheng

Beyazıt State Library / Tabanlioglu Architects

© Emre Dörter © Emre Dörter

Tama Art University Library / Toyo Ito & Associates

© Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan

Bookshelf House / Shinsuke Fujii Architects

© Tsukui Teruaki © Tsukui Teruaki

Altlife Bookstore in Ningbo / Kokaistudios

© Dirk Weiblen © Dirk Weiblen

Tongling New Library / yue-design

Courtesy of yue-design Courtesy of yue-design

Rong Bao Zhai Coffee Bookstore / ARCHSTUDIO

© WANG Ning archstudio coffee © WANG Ning archstudio coffee

CREC Sales Pavilion & Library / Van Wang Architects

Courtesy of Van Wang Architects Courtesy of Van Wang Architects

Conarte Bookstore / Anagrama

© Estudio Tampiquito © Estudio Tampiquito

Haitang Villa / ARCHSTUDIO

© Magic Penny archstudio © Magic Penny archstudio

The City of the Books and the Images / Taller 6A

© Jaime Navarro © Jaime Navarro

Story Pod / Atelier Kastelic Buffey

© Shai Gil © Shai Gil

Eaves House / mA-style architects

© Kai Nakamura © Kai Nakamura

Enclave Book Pavilion / Aether Architects

© Zhang Chao © Zhang Chao

Author: Fernanda Castro
Posted: April 23, 2018, 6:00 am

The owner of this ‘tiny house’, dating back from the 17th century, close to the Museum MAS in Antwerp, decided to convert it into the smallest hotel from Antwerp, the One Room Hotel.

© Bart Gosselin © Bart Gosselin
  • Architects: dmvA-architects
  • Location: Antwerp, Belgium
  • Lead Architects: Tom Verschueren, David Driesen, Jolien Debaets
  • Area: 103.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Bart Gosselin
  • Principal: Weiss-Vanderhoeven
  • General Contractor: Colmat
  • Structural Engineer: ASB
© Bart Gosselin © Bart Gosselin

Text description provided by the architects. The owner of this ‘tiny house’, dating back from the 17th century, close to the Museum MAS in Antwerp, decided to convert it into the smallest hotel from Antwerp, the One Room Hotel.

© Bart Gosselin © Bart Gosselin

‘Promenade architectural’
From outside the white plastered house looks to have a rectangular floor plan, but in reality, it is L-shaped. The space behind the 17th-century corner house was added later and is now used for service functions. The historical part is dedicated to pure residential/hotel. The open staircases wind through the house like an ‘architectural promenade’ ending up in the white patio where an infinity staircase looks over the city. Replacing parts of the wooden floors by glass tiles create diagonal views, enlarging the ‘one-room’ effect and the sense of one open space.

© Bart Gosselin © Bart Gosselin

Historic versus new: wood versus white
Based on a design attitude of honesty and reversibility, all existing historical construction parts are painted white. Recently added elements like entrance door, stairs and terrace are executed in wood and are therefore clearly recognizable. The difference in color and materiality emphasizes the synergy between old and new and creates a calm, warm and timeless atmosphere.

© Bart Gosselin © Bart Gosselin
Axonometric Axonometric
© Bart Gosselin © Bart Gosselin
Author: Daniel Tapia
Posted: April 23, 2018, 5:00 am

The premises are located in a building’s ground floor, in the Gracia neighbourhood in Barcelona. It has been catalogued with a level C of protection (Well of Urban Interest). As from the 90s, it has worked as a bar with a mixed licence. The interior, as it happens with the vast majority of ground floors from the 1900s in Barcelona, has the shape of an elongated tube, with a small patio at the back.

© José Hevia © José Hevia
  • Architects: AMOO
  • Location: Carrer de Martínez de la Rosa, 27, 08012 Barcelona, Spain
  • Author Architects: Aureli Mora + Omar Ornaque
  • Client: ‘El Villa’ Vermuteria del mar
  • Area: 87.2 m2
  • Project Year: 2018
  • Photographs: José Hevia
© José Hevia © José Hevia

Text description provided by the architects. The premises are located in a building’s ground floor, in the Gracia neighbourhood in Barcelona. It has been catalogued with a level C of protection (Well of Urban Interest). As from the 90s, it has worked as a bar with a mixed licence. The interior, as it happens with the vast majority of ground floors from the 1900s in Barcelona, has the shape of an elongated tube, with a small patio at the back.

Section and Plan Sketches Section and Plan Sketches

In order to reform the old establishment, the following criteria have been taken into account:

Restitution of the façade: in the original state, the entrance hole, with a height of 4.50m, was only covered halfway, with grates which belonged to an old smoke extraction, and a large opaque sign. The proposal eliminates these elements, going back to the original composition and dignifying the building.

© José Hevia © José Hevia

Accessibility: the interior slopes are eliminated at the access, replacing them with a smooth slope, which is less than 4% and imperceptible. It goes from the entrance till the beginning of the bar.

Axonometric view Axonometric view

Natural lighting: the restitution of the patrimonial façade, cutting out the original ceiling, duplicates the entrance of light from the access. At the back of the establishment, the closings of the old office are demolished and the distribution of the restrooms is modified to make two large openings which generate a new entrance of very necessary natural light.

© José Hevia © José Hevia

Acoustic comfort: given the acoustic requirements of a public venue, the false ceiling and part of the sides have been covered with cork panels, a sound-absorbent material, so reverberation can be avoided and also to reduce transmission to the neighbours. The plastic qualities of the cork finish are used as the main decorative motif of the establishment.

© José Hevia © José Hevia

Having completed these essential criteria, the project’s strategy consists of differentiating two sectors in one space. In the first place, the perimeter is projected, formed by the cork and tile coverings, and pavements and walls with a continuous covering. In the second place, a series of construction objects are built, with envelopes lined with marble tiles, scattered throughout the premises. Through its geometries, the uses are arranged:

© José Hevia © José Hevia

Surrounding: as we have said beforehand, the false ceiling and the walls are lined with cork, an element which evokes fishing materials, making use of its cutting to generate stripes which will generate a rhythm throughout the local and where the light bulbs will be placed, as if they were floating. In this existent false ceiling, a series of holes are made to decongest the premises and to accentuate the rhythm towards the interior, looking for a sensation of natural zenithal lighting. Most of the walls have auxiliary work bars, lined with white/blue bevel tile and white tile; the different combinatory motifs end up generating abstract murals that are distributed throughout the establishment, and at the same time they evoke Andalusian arabesques. Finally, a continuous self-levelling pavement is related to the walls, giving a sense of abstraction to the whole.

© José Hevia © José Hevia

Objects: two auxiliary tables, the folding screen, the bar-counter and the table. Each element, with its singularities, gives a different nature to each part of the bar, generating diverse atmospheres for customers who look for alternative ways of locating themselves. Tall stools are designed, and they relate the cork of the false ceiling to the rest of the establishment. Lastly, we opted for an exempt washbasin in the toilet hall, which contrasts with the green in the patio. As a whole, a series of elements that are part of the remains of the fictitious shipwreck of a large marble fishing boat.

© José Hevia © José Hevia
Author: Rayen Sagredo
Posted: April 23, 2018, 3:00 am

It’s fun to go to the dentist.
Mostly you don’t expect a dental practice to be warm and cozy.  But that’s exactly what Declerck-Daels, Architecten conceived for this small building in Bruges.  Clearly this client didn’t want a clean medical room. 

© Tim Van de Velde © Tim Van de Velde
© Tim Van de Velde © Tim Van de Velde

Text description provided by the architects. It’s fun to go to the dentist.
Mostly you don’t expect a dental practice to be warm and cozy.  But that’s exactly what Declerck-Daels, Architecten conceived for this small building in Bruges.  Clearly this client didn’t want a clean medical room. 

© Tim Van de Velde © Tim Van de Velde

The former practice was located in the garage, next to the house.  The front yard of the premises seemed the ideal place to build an extension.  A small infill, rather than building on a new parcel.

© Tim Van de Velde © Tim Van de Velde

The new construction highlights the house behind. The right neighbor’s volume has been stretch to design a part of the front façade of the new practice. This façade declines to ensures sun and light in the current house. Declerck-Daels chose a compact and contrasting volume, using other materials, creating another atmosphere with another approach of light.

© Tim Van de Velde © Tim Van de Velde

On a rectangular concrete slab, separated from the house, they constructed a wooden sculpture. The façade and the sloping roof are cladded with padauk timber. The same wood was used for the windows.

Level 0 Level 0

To expose the structure and the bare and authentic materials, both in- and outside the practice, the architect payed a lot of attention to the numerous details and counted on the craftsmanship of all the builders.

© Tim Van de Velde © Tim Van de Velde

Wood is a warm, soft and tactile element and is found in all shades: wooden beams, cladding, windows, stairs, ceiling and fixed furniture. It is combined in relation with exposed concrete, calcium silicate units and frivolous colors. There's nothing to hide. All materials play a key role and they form one strong unity.

© Tim Van de Velde © Tim Van de Velde

The architects focused on the atmosphere and comfort of both patient and dentist through different entities. There’s an abundance of light throughout the whole practice. 

© Tim Van de Velde © Tim Van de Velde

The entrance, waiting area, reception and dentist lab inhabit the core of the project and through the oversized skylight you can experience the wooden facade.

Section Section

Patients are distracted by the clouds and the birds that can be seen through the skylights above the dental chairs.

© Tim Van de Velde © Tim Van de Velde

The playful print on the windows from the front façade generates a fine filter. This space opens itself to the street. The play and connection of volumes can be captured here. 

© Tim Van de Velde © Tim Van de Velde

The small plot of green is essential. This is the semi-private space that organizes living from working.

There is a strong relation between old and new, with nice views and perspectives on the current façade, the wooden sloping roof, the green roof, etc …

© Tim Van de Velde © Tim Van de Velde

The use of the green roof, the big amount of insulation and the low energy consumption contributes to the sustainability of this ecological building.

© Tim Van de Velde © Tim Van de Velde

The project is the result of a strong symbiosis between architecture, interior design, structural engineering, technical engineering (quite complex in a dental office), landscaping and decoration.  This symbiosis of all entities is padded out with playful accents.

It is gracious, warm and welcoming.  An original approach of a dental practice. 

It’s fun indeed to go to the dentist.

© Tim Van de Velde © Tim Van de Velde
Author: Pilar Caballero
Posted: April 23, 2018, 2:00 am

The ‘Bonjour India Experience’ was the flagship initiative of the Bonjour India 2017-2018, a festival which celebrated Indo-French collaborations through more than 300 events spread over four months across 33 Indian cities. At the heart of the festival, The Bonjour India Experience pavilion was a one-of-its-kind travelling exhibition at the intersection of art, architecture, design and urbanism. The 9 meter high, 800 square metre and 40 tonne installation travelled approx. 3500 kilometres from the iconic India Gate in Delhi to Cross Maidan Garden behind the historic Churchgate Station Mumbai to become the star attraction of the world’s largest book fair in Kolkata over a period three months. It welcomed more than 180,000 visitors over a period of 30 odd days spread over the three cities.

© Hermant Chawla © Hermant Chawla
  • Architects: SpaceMatters
  • Location: Rajpath Marg, India Gate, New Delhi, Delhi, India
  • Principal Architects: Amritha Ballal, Suditya Sinha
  • Project Architects: Divya Manaktola, Nishita Mohta
  • Team Architects: Gaurav Gupta, Sony Joshua, Pulkit Mogha, Devansh Mahajan, Sandeep Singh Rathore, Girisha Sethi, Akhilesh Yadav
  • Area: 8000.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2018
  • Photographs: Hermant Chawla, Nishita Mohta, Achint Jain
  • Execuring Agency (External Pavillion): RK Engineering
  • Executing Agency (Exhibition): Paras Art Studio
  • Audiovisual Equipment: Shivam Video
  • Partners: Institut Francais en Inde, The French Embassy in Delhi, Institut Francaise de Bombay, Institut Francaise de Delhi , Institut Franciase du Bengale
  • Content Creation Collaborators: Rajat Nanda, Achint Jain, Vivan Kamath, Moulshri Joshi
  • Installation Collaborators: Ant Studio – Dynamic Signage Installation, Scenocosme – Rencontres Imaginaires Installation Art, Mosquito Massala –- MandLiterature, Tryptich Tales Video Installation Art, TaggLabs.
  • Content Partners: Agence Française de Développement, Air France, ATA Architects, Archives SONUMA, Arianespace, Association des Amis de Lanza del Vasto, Atout France, Campus France, Chanakya International, Château de Versailles, Consulat Général de France à Pondichéry, Core Econ, DC Books, Diane de Selliers, Fata Morgana Editions, FIND Foundation, Fondation Le Corbusier, Fondation Pierre Bergé - Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris, Full Circle Publishing, Green Books, La Fondation Louis Vicat, Lesage Interieurs, Malraux.org, Mapin Publishing, Musée Goupil – Bordeaux, Neemrana Music Foundation, Om Books, SNCF Group, the Raza Foundation, Institut Lumière, Gallimard, Institut français de Pondichéry, Niyogi Books, Rajpal & Sons, Seagull Books, Tata Central Archives, Thadagam Publishers, Vani Prakashan, Veolia, Warum Publishers, Young Zubaan,Dualist Inquiry, Chinese Man, Nirmal Sapera, Talab Khan Barna, Lucid Raaga, Talab Khan Barna , Ahmad Zahir, Viveick Rajagopalan & Naviin Gandharv .
  • Client: Institut Français en Inde, The Embassy of France , India
© Hermant Chawla © Hermant Chawla

Text description provided by the architects. The ‘Bonjour India Experience’ was the flagship initiative of the Bonjour India 2017-2018, a festival which celebrated Indo-French collaborations through more than 300 events spread over four months across 33 Indian cities. At the heart of the festival, The Bonjour India Experience pavilion was a one-of-its-kind travelling exhibition at the intersection of art, architecture, design and urbanism. The 9 meter high, 800 square metre and 40 tonne installation travelled approx. 3500 kilometres from the iconic India Gate in Delhi to Cross Maidan Garden behind the historic Churchgate Station Mumbai to become the star attraction of the world’s largest book fair in Kolkata over a period three months. It welcomed more than 180,000 visitors over a period of 30 odd days spread over the three cities.

© Hermant Chawla © Hermant Chawla

One of the first decisions jointly taken by the clients and the design team lead by SpaceMatters was to locate the pavilion in public urban spaces. While this may seem like an obvious choice, similar cultural events in India have been largely confined to institutional spaces such as museums and cultural centres. Often perceived as elitist, these spaces cater to a small segment of the population and their ambience is in stark contrast to the diverse energy of the urban public space in Indian cities. As cultural events retreat into gated zones the access to public space in Indian cities is also shrinking, increasingly being policed and monetised. Thus, when asked to suggest an appropriate public space in their city, associates initially suggested commercial malls! The call to locate the pavilion in truly public urban spaces presented countless challenges and it was a complex undertaking to navigate the maze of permissions needed to mount an installation of this scale in a public location. However, its interaction with the urban context became the defining characteristic of the pavilion and was instrumental to its success.

© Hermant Chawla © Hermant Chawla
Plan Plan
© Hermant Chawla © Hermant Chawla

The design had to balance the functional demands of a travelling pavilion with the stringent requirements of a sealed exhibition space required to safely house expensive audio visual equipment while creating create a comfortable environment for the visitors. The pavilion had to be designed to be installed in a week and dismantled in three days in crowded public spaces without the use of heavy machinery (prohibited at the high security sites); with the ease of travelling halfway across the country and adapting to new sites. To reconcile the mobile and temporal nature of the pavilion alongside the ambition to leave a memorable mark on the cities it travelled to, the pavilion had to create an iconic visual presence combined with a lightness of being.

© Hermant Chawla © Hermant Chawla
Elevation Elevation
© Hermant Chawla © Hermant Chawla

The thematic focus of the Bonjour India festival was ‘Creativity, Innovation and Partnership’ between India and France. Embodying these themes, the form of the pavilion evolved from the idea of confluence, with 6 curves rising together to embrace three pavilions that highlight various aspects of Indo-French creativity, innovation & partnership. The metal curves, arranged in a modular symmetry spiralling out from a central core, consisted of a rhythmic arrangement of staggered, self-supporting steel members draped with 20,000 square feet of hand woven steel mesh. The massive self-supporting structure is designed down to the last joint to be flat packed and largely hand installed in the shortest possible time. Combining the precision of cutting edge engineering and unique expression of craft, the design pays homage to the ingenuity and abstraction that is the hallmark of both French and Indian architecture.

© Hermant Chawla © Hermant Chawla

As an intervention in public space the pavilion is designed to integrate itself with the site conditions at each location. The metal members and mesh provide for varying gradations visual permeability, allowing the structure to weave into the urban surroundings, both emerging from and merging into the context. Views of iconic monuments at each site, such as the India Gate in Delhi and the Churchgate Railway Terminus in Mumbai are framed within the layered silhouette of the structural contours and wire mesh.As the pavilion transforms with the play of light through day and night, its spiralling form becomes the pivot which reorganises the nature of the urban open area while heightening curiosity amongst those outside to explore within. Twisting and turning, rising and falling from a height of 4 metres to 9 metres across its perimeter, the sculptural form of the pavilion transforms with motion as the visitors walk around it and into it.

© Hermant Chawla © Hermant Chawla
Author: Rayen Sagredo
Posted: April 23, 2018, 12:00 am

Lvdu Living Art Museum  is an experimental building with Hui Zhou regional characteristics and innovative living experience. JHD architects was trying to refine and improve the beauty of "Huizhou impression" which exists in people's mind long time ago, it will be presented in a new way as a new demonstration area that can be accepted by the local people and also can fully reflect the innovative life concept of modern society lifestyle.

© Jianghe Zeng © Jianghe Zeng
  • Architects: JHD Architects
  • Location: Hefei, Anhui, China
  • Architect In Charge: Ning Jiang
  • Design Team: Hui Ding, Meng Jiang, Baoqi Xu, Wenyan Chen, Xiaokun Zhu
  • Area: 800.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2017
  • Photographs: Jianghe Zeng
  • Landscape Design : Shanghai Ego Landscape Design Ltd.,
  • Interior Design: Shanghai MU DI Interior Design
© Jianghe Zeng © Jianghe Zeng

Text description provided by the architects. Lvdu Living Art Museum  is an experimental building with Hui Zhou regional characteristics and innovative living experience. JHD architects was trying to refine and improve the beauty of "Huizhou impression" which exists in people's mind long time ago, it will be presented in a new way as a new demonstration area that can be accepted by the local people and also can fully reflect the innovative life concept of modern society lifestyle.

© Jianghe Zeng © Jianghe Zeng

In order to create an atmosphere of Hui Zhou cultural, the main building is designed as the rectangular layout form, cutting the exterior of the building into several blocks, properly separating the shape and increase the height of building in the corner accordingly, and use the unique Matou wall element of the Hui Zhou architecture style to combine with the simple slope roof form of the building, thus make the structure more strong.

© Jianghe Zeng © Jianghe Zeng
Ground floor plan Ground floor plan
© Jianghe Zeng © Jianghe Zeng

For the entrance design, the aim of using encircling technique is to break the traditional Chinese architecture symmetry by using white wall and wooden grid as a shield to arrange the front space of site into an asymmetric form and forming a circulation space naturally.

© Jianghe Zeng © Jianghe Zeng

The layout of the building is based on traditional Chinese courtyard design, combined with the sense of order in Chinese architecture and various landscaping techniques in Chinese landscape to create a quiet and comfortable interior courtyard space. The change of the height of the wall has a good connection with the exterior facade of the building, it also integrated with the surrounding natural environment. When people pass through the main entrance space, the architectural space become clear suddenly, as if on the water side.

Site plan Site plan

The surrounding landscape of the building is composed of different height sculptures, landscape stones, and long and narrow landscape pools. The cloud like building depict a "Hui Zhou impression" with the oriental charm when the building shows the reflection of the center courtyard pool.

© Jianghe Zeng © Jianghe Zeng

Dark grey aluminum plate and white stone as the main materials of the building, silver gray metal grid, with imitation wood grain aluminum plate and copper plate as ornament, the combination of different materials would strengthen the nature of space. The building using metal tension net and the ultra white glass as materials of the main façade to form a strong contrast with the stone material, and it shows different style when the lights up.

© Jianghe Zeng © Jianghe Zeng
Author: 罗靖琳
Posted: April 22, 2018, 8:00 pm

Mountain shelters serve as protection for climbers during severe weather conditions. However, a Bulgarian design team discovered that many shelters have been destroyed, putting mountaineers at risk. As the winning proposal for the competition "Architecture of 2050," this innovative building addresses this critical problem through a combination of sustainability, materiality and technology.

Courtesy of Lusio Architects Courtesy of Lusio Architects

Mountain shelters serve as protection for climbers during severe weather conditions. However, a Bulgarian design team discovered that many shelters have been destroyed, putting mountaineers at risk. As the winning proposal for the competition "Architecture of 2050," this innovative building addresses this critical problem through a combination of sustainability, materiality and technology.

Courtesy of Lusio Architects Courtesy of Lusio Architects
Courtesy of Lusio Architects Courtesy of Lusio Architects

If the shelter is to last in time, it has to protect itself first.

Designed by Lusio Architects, this modular shelter is made up of four separate aluminum-clad modules. The modules can be delivered by helicopter and then assembled on site. When assembled, the shelter appears "hidden" on the mountainside so as "not to attract unwanted visitors." In case of bad weather, the shelter becomes a beacon, "with lights and sound that make it extremely easy to find even in the thickest of fog." 

Courtesy of Lusio Architects Courtesy of Lusio Architects
Courtesy of Lusio Architects Courtesy of Lusio Architects

There are various elements integrated into the design to assist in the safety and rescue of mountaineers. A direct video connection with the mountain rescue team is automatically activated when someone enters the shelter, and a floor heating system is powered by the solar and wind energy captured and stored by the shelter. A system of hammocks is also included in the walls of the shelter to provide multiple resting spaces while also saving space.

Courtesy of Lusio Architects Courtesy of Lusio Architects
Courtesy of Lusio Architects Courtesy of Lusio Architects

Based on the weather conditions, the shelter changes modes to ensure the safety of the people inside. The modes include "FIND ME Mode," "RESCUE ME Mode" and in times of better weather, "RELAX Mode."

Courtesy of Lusio Architects Courtesy of Lusio Architects

If the design prototype (set to be delivered and installed in Vitosha, Bulgaria, in the fall of 2018) is successful, another shelter will be commissioned by the Bulgarian Antarctic Institute for their base in Antarctica.

Courtesy of Lusio Architects Courtesy of Lusio Architects

News via: Lusio Architects

Author: Collin Abdallah
Posted: April 22, 2018, 4:00 pm

A pure volume, slightly lit, sits in the middle of a garden. It is a private chapel in Quinta de St. Ovídio in Lousada, built between 1989 and 2001 and designed by Álvaro Siza Vieira. The project starts from a path, where you can see the prismatic white volume from afar. As you pass through the building and some steps, you arrive at the entrance square. Here you will notice that Siza differentiated the main facade, in stone, from the other three, in white painted concrete, giving it importance.

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

A pure volume, slightly lit, sits in the middle of a garden. It is a private chapel in Quinta de St. Ovídio in Lousada, built between 1989 and 2001 and designed by Álvaro Siza Vieira. The project starts from a path, where you can see the prismatic white volume from afar. As you pass through the building and some steps, you arrive at the entrance square. Here you will notice that Siza differentiated the main facade, in stone, from the other three, in white painted concrete, giving it importance.

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

At the entrance, next to the stone gable, a linear concrete bench is laid out perpendicularly. 

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

Entering through a wooden door, the walls are concrete, the openings are few and in simple form. The rips in the cross and semicircle shapes are strategically arranged in the gables, to bring the user closer to the idea of holiness.

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG
© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

Inside: An altar designed in stone, wooden furniture designed by the architect, and small spots of artificial light.

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

The photographer Fernando Guerra transports us to the building, through a walk inside, in which one can perceive the passage of the day and the peace that the place transmits. See the photo gallery below:

Author: Eduardo Souza
Posted: April 22, 2018, 2:00 pm

Casa Zapallar is located in a coastal town, formed by a harmonious network of streets, an eclectic architecture with impressive gardens rich in flora. Zapallar is a place where tradition and modernity are joining. The people of the town are migrating, selling at good prices and yielding to new constructions.

© Paula Monroy © Paula Monroy
  • Architects: PAARQ Arquitectos
  • Location: Zapallar, Chile
  • Architect In Charge: Patricio Araya Rodriguez
  • Design Team: PAARQ Arquitectos
  • Area: 150.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2017
  • Photographs: Paula Monroy
  • Construction: PAARQ Arquitectos
  • Structural Calculation: Pablo Romero
  • Site Area: 300 m2
  • Owner: Francisca Contador, Miguel Galdos
© Paula Monroy © Paula Monroy

Text description provided by the architects. Casa Zapallar is located in a coastal town, formed by a harmonious network of streets, an eclectic architecture with impressive gardens rich in flora. Zapallar is a place where tradition and modernity are joining. The people of the town are migrating, selling at good prices and yielding to new constructions.

© Paula Monroy © Paula Monroy
1st Floor Plan 1st Floor Plan
© Paula Monroy © Paula Monroy

This house reflects austerity of the day-to-day, without pretensions; with the looseness of a beach house. In the middle of the town, a clear volume emerges that tends to be hermetic towards the South, opening to the light of the north towards the landscape.

© Paula Monroy © Paula Monroy

 With interiors completely white and framed spaces by a double height that allows a generous space of natural light and the encounter with the open interior spaces. The program is organized in a simple way; longitudinally for the living room,   dining room,   kitchen and the stairs to the second floor. This private volume, receives the bedrooms with their respective bathrooms.

2nd Floor Plan 2nd Floor Plan

The materiality of the house is built with wooden skeleton and ventilated frontage. The shaded grayish color is the result of a contribution to highlight the texture, which is conditioned by the different lights throughout the day.

© Paula Monroy © Paula Monroy
Author: Pilar Caballero
Posted: April 22, 2018, 1:00 pm

There has been increasing awareness in recent years of the importance of infrastructure for pedestrians. These additions to the urban environment improve the quality of cities by connecting spaces and shortening travel distances, and their introduction can be beneficial not only to pedestrians but also to cyclists seeking a more environmentally friendly method of transport. In order to encourage the use of pedestrian infrastructure, here we present 15 footbridges, alongside their construction details, to showcase innovative solutions in terms of materials, forms, and structures.

Cortesía de RO&AD Architecten Cortesía de RO&AD Architecten

There has been increasing awareness in recent years of the importance of infrastructure for pedestrians. These additions to the urban environment improve the quality of cities by connecting spaces and shortening travel distances, and their introduction can be beneficial not only to pedestrians but also to cyclists seeking a more environmentally friendly method of transport. In order to encourage the use of pedestrian infrastructure, here we present 15 footbridges, alongside their construction details, to showcase innovative solutions in terms of materials, forms, and structures.

LightPathAKL / Monk Mackenzie Architects + Landlab

© Russ Flatt © Russ Flatt
Cortesía de Monk Mackenzie Architects Landlab Cortesía de Monk Mackenzie Architects Landlab

Pedestrian Bridge / JLCG Arquitectos

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG
Cortesía de JLCG Arquitectos Cortesía de JLCG Arquitectos

Pedestrian Bridge in Zapallar / Enrique Browne

Cortesía de Enrique Browne Cortesía de Enrique Browne
Cortesía de Enrique Browne Cortesía de Enrique Browne

The Rainbow Bridge / SPF: architects

© John Linden © John Linden
Cortesía de SPF: architects Cortesía de SPF: architects

The Paleisbrug / Benthem Crouwel Architects

© Jannes Linders © Jannes Linders
Cortesía de Benthem Crouwel Architects Cortesía de Benthem Crouwel Architects

The way through the Forest / VAUMM

© Aitor Ortiz / Aitor Estévez © Aitor Ortiz / Aitor Estévez
Cortesía de VAUMM Cortesía de VAUMM

Moreelse Bridge / cepezed

© Leon van Woerkom © Leon van Woerkom
Cortesía de cepezed Cortesía de cepezed

Bicycle Bridge Across the Sava River / dans arhitekti

© Miran Kambič © Miran Kambič
Cortesía de dans arhitekti Cortesía de dans arhitekti

Railway Footbridge at Roche-sur-Yon / Bernard Tschumi Architects + HDA

© Christian Richters © Christian Richters
Cortesía de Bernard Tschumi Architects + HDA Cortesía de Bernard Tschumi Architects + HDA

Wupper-Bridge Opladen / Agirbas & Wienstroer

© Thomas Mayer © Thomas Mayer
Cortesía de Agirbas & Wienstroer Cortesía de Agirbas & Wienstroer

Kirstenbosch Centenary tree canopy walkway / Mark Thomas Architects

© Adam Harrower © Adam Harrower
Cortesía de Mark Thomas Architects Cortesía de Mark Thomas Architects

Bridge Over the Rhone / Meier + Associés Architectes

© Yves André © Yves André
Cortesía de Meier + Associés Architectes Cortesía de Meier + Associés Architectes

Pennington Road Footbridge / Softroom

© Joseph Burns © Joseph Burns
Cortesía de Softroom Cortesía de Softroom

The Claude Bernard Overpass / DVVD Engineers Architects Designers

© Luc Boegly © Luc Boegly

Cortesía de DVVD Engineers Architects Designers Cortesía de DVVD Engineers Architects Designers

Moses Bridge / RO&AD Architecten

Cortesía de RO&AD Architecten Cortesía de RO&AD Architecten

Cortesía de RO&AD Architecten Cortesía de RO&AD Architecten

Author: María Francisca González
Posted: April 22, 2018, 12:00 pm

In his latest photo series, "Viennametry," Hungarian photographer and printmaker Zsolt Hlinka captures the unexplored voids in Vienna’s patchwork of historical and contemporary architecture. After previously studying the symmetrical corner buildings of grandiose Budapest, Hlinka has moved north to Austria on his quest to find geometry and symmetry within the urban landscape.

© Zsolt Hlinka © Zsolt Hlinka

In his latest photo series, "Viennametry," Hungarian photographer and printmaker Zsolt Hlinka captures the unexplored voids in Vienna’s patchwork of historical and contemporary architecture. After previously studying the symmetrical corner buildings of grandiose Budapest, Hlinka has moved north to Austria on his quest to find geometry and symmetry within the urban landscape.

© Zsolt Hlinka © Zsolt Hlinka

Unlike Hlinkas past projects, "Viennametry," follows the evolution of architecture within the city. By placing the contemporary against its traditional counterpart, the similarities or obvious differences display the development of Vienna’s architecture over the eras. "These forms are developed by building on their predecessors, respecting or even breaking traditions, which means they cannot be separated from each other," he explains.

© Zsolt Hlinka © Zsolt Hlinka
© Zsolt Hlinka © Zsolt Hlinka
© Zsolt Hlinka © Zsolt Hlinka
© Zsolt Hlinka © Zsolt Hlinka
© Zsolt Hlinka © Zsolt Hlinka
© Zsolt Hlinka © Zsolt Hlinka
© Zsolt Hlinka © Zsolt Hlinka

To keep up to date with Zsolt Hlinka’s portfolio of work, find his most recent photographs on his Instagram account.

A post shared by Zsolt Hlinka (@zsolt_hlinka) on

Zsolt Hlinka's Photo Collages Portray the Buildings of Budapest in Perfect Symmetry

In his new series, "Corner Symmetry," Hungarian photographer and printmaker Zsolt Hlinka captures some of his home city of Budapest 's most stunning buildings, manipulating them to make them appear as if they are perfectly symmetrical when viewed from the corner.

Zsolt Hlinka's Urban Symmetry Photographs Reimagine Danube River Architecture

Budapest-born printmaker and photographer Zsolt Hlinka has created Urban Symmetry, a Wes Anderson reminiscent photo series depicting perfectly-symmetrical buildings on the banks of the Danube River. Using partial photos of the buildings, Hlinka creates fictitious compositions through reflections, resulting in new personalities and character in the portraits.

Author: Ella Thorns
Posted: April 22, 2018, 9:30 am