Gehry Confirms His Return to LA’s Grand Avenue Project

The Los Angeles Times’ Christopher Hawthorne may have hoped for (and indeed hinted at the possibility) of Frank Gehry’s return to the Grand Avenue Project, the long-awaited plan to develop the stretch of land east of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, but now the speculation has finally become fact. Speaking last week at a panel discussion meant to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Disney Hall, Gehry finally put the rumors to rest.

More details, after the break.

The to develop a stretch of hotels, shops and public spaces on Los Angeles’ “Parcel Q” has had a rather complicated history. Gehry was the mastermind behind the original scheme; however, since the plan was “contingent on buy-in from high-end stores like LVMH and Apple,” it was dropped during the Recession. Then, New York developer Related Cos. was brought in – only to find their preliminary plans, designed by Gensler in collaboration with Robert A.M. Stern, rejected by Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, who, according to The Los Angeles Times, found them “uninspired and overly commercial.”

Re-enter Gehry, who, with the support of philanthropist Eli Broad of the Broad Museum (going up next-door to the Disney Hall as we speak), will help adjust the plans in time for Related Cos.’s new deadline of January. In Gehry’s words: “I think with his backing and the power of his presence and persona, and with a few other people, we are going to make it happen and we are going to make Gloria Molina very happy.”

According to Frances Anderton of KCRW, who reported from the panel discussion, Gehry’s priority will be to put Grand Avenue in conversation with the Disney Concert Hall, as well as the Arts District and the newly opened Grand Park, designed by Rios Clementi Hale Studios, in order make the area as a whole a vibrant “cultural and commercial” destination. Panelist Deborah Borda (president and CEO of the LA Philharmonic) agreed, saying that the development must “be ‘aesthetically and intellectually’ compatible with the concert hall [...for the area to] achieve the ‘combustion’ it needs to come alive.”

Story via KCRW

Autofamily House / KWK Promes

Architects: KWK Promes
Location: Poland
Author: Robert Konieczny
Area: 990 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Juliusz Sokołowski

Collaboration: Katarzyna Furgalińska, Magdalena Adamczak, Łukasz Marciniak
Structural Engineering: Kornel Szyndler

From the architect. Autofamily house represents a new way of thinking about the entrance area in a suburban residence. We usually enter the house by a car, using the garage integrated in main solid. The main entrance is rarely used. Nowadays the cars are becoming cleaner and more eco-friendly, hence the idea emerged to include the garage into the representative entrance area. As a result, a new type of a family house emerged. In the Autofamily House the entrance area and the driveway get transformed into an unique multifunctional space and the moment of driving in the house become a pleasant experience.

The terrain is leveled in order to obtain two zones: the driveway space and the private garden. The driveway is left on the ground level and the house with intimate garden is lifted 3 meters above and separated by a retaining wall. As to comfort access to the building, in meaning of parking the car on the level of living room, a route connecting the two levels were designed. However, to avoid dividing the garden, the driveway is covered with a green roof and finished with walls serving as borderlines. The result is a tunnel emerging in the garden, becoming a house. The owner is an art collector so the tunnel is also used as a gallery of his paintings collection.

Autofamily House / Robert Konieczny © Juliusz Sokołowski Autofamily House / Robert Konieczny © Juliusz Sokołowski Autofamily House / Robert Konieczny © Juliusz Sokołowski Autofamily House / Robert Konieczny © Juliusz Sokołowski Autofamily House / Robert Konieczny © Juliusz Sokołowski Autofamily House / Robert Konieczny © Juliusz Sokołowski Autofamily House / Robert Konieczny © Juliusz Sokołowski Autofamily House / Robert Konieczny © Juliusz Sokołowski Autofamily House / Robert Konieczny © Juliusz Sokołowski Autofamily House / Robert Konieczny © Juliusz Sokołowski Autofamily House / Robert Konieczny © Juliusz Sokołowski Autofamily House / Robert Konieczny © Juliusz Sokołowski Autofamily House / Robert Konieczny © Juliusz Sokołowski Autofamily House / Robert Konieczny © Juliusz Sokołowski Autofamily House / Robert Konieczny © Juliusz Sokołowski Autofamily House / Robert Konieczny First Floor Plan Autofamily House / Robert Konieczny Ground Floor Plan Autofamily House / Robert Konieczny Underground Floor Plan Autofamily House / Robert Konieczny Site Plan Autofamily House / Robert Konieczny Section Autofamily House / Robert Konieczny Section Autofamily House / Robert Konieczny Elevation Autofamily House / Robert Konieczny Elevation Autofamily House / Robert Konieczny Diagram Autofamily House / Robert Konieczny Diagram

Reviving Beijing’s Hutongs with Micro Installations

The Guardian’s Oliver Wainwright documents the current trend of micro-scale installations spurring new life into the historic hutongs of Beijing and gaining support from the local communities, eager to reject the economic pressures of destroying/rebuilding. The local government’s endorsement, however, comes as a surprise – especially considering its fervent impetus to raze these areas just a few years ago. Read the full article here: Designers Use ‘Urban Acupuncture’ to Revive Beijing’s Historic Hutongs.

25hours Hotel Vienna / BWM Architekten

Architects: BWM Architekten
Location: , Austria
Area: 12,900 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Rupert Steiner

Client: LF 1-3 Betriebs GmbH
Project Controlling: c-performance Baumanagement
General Planning:
Interior Design: dreimeta
Statics: Aste Weissteiner ZT GmbH
Building Services: PME Technisches Büro
Construction Physics: Raab-Engeneering GmbH
Construction Supervision: BWM, Bubel Eichhorn, Pawlik Consulting GmbH

From the architect. A hotel is a hotel is a hotel just for tourists. Wrong! The new 25hours Hotel, located near Vienna’s MuseumsQuartier, is by no means just a pretentious structure offering accommodation for a well-heeled foreign clientele. Since opening its doors in early 2013, this centrally located hotel has become a popular spot for all – especially for the locals, who appreciate the pizzeria, the Viennese “Schanigarten” with a special burger grill, and a cool rooftop café with a terrace.

The Viennese architecture firm BWM Architekten converted the former student residence in Vienna’s 7th district into a laid-back hotel in several stages for 25hours Hotel Company. Although this six-floor building with its uncompromising functionalist design was constructed as a student residence in 1969, it was initially used as office space by UNIDO until the organization was able to move into the newly built UNO City in Vienna’s 22nd district. In 2009 the new operational concept was born and a modern glass cube designed to rest on top of the rational building.

This roof structure, which draws upon the original building’s compact architecture and modifies it for today’s sensibilities, was opened in 2011. It provides enough room, not only for 35 individually designed apartments on three floors, but also for a café-bar with a terrace and a fabulous view. In the second construction phase the existing building was revitalized and the façade was given a dramatic anthracite-colored look. The building is within walking distance of the popular MuseumsQuartier Wien and is – with its 219 rooms – the largest hotel of the German-owned 25hours Hotel Company to date.

The hotel’s opening marked BWM Architekten and 25hours Hotel Company’s successful completion of a sensitive urban project at a nodal point between the densely built 7th district and the historical 1st district. And it also marks the building’s revival and new lease on life.

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ACME Wins SAB Design Competition in Germany

ACME has won an international competition for the design of the new headquarters of the Sächsische AufbauBank in Leipzig, . Chosen from submissions by 20 architectural practices (including Zaha Hadid and Sauerbruch Hutton), ’s design was referred to by the jury as “an innovative and [...] a visionary solution, which is manifested in a striking, distinctive appearance. Especially noteworthy is the symbiotic unity of building and open space design.”

The Sächsische AufbauBank (SAB) is the federal development bank of the state of Saxony, providing grants, subsidies, loans and guarantees to businesses, technology companies, investors, developers and homeowners. The SAB has a major presence in Dresden and is planning to build a new headquarters building in Leipzig to accommodate 600 members of staff, a conference center, canteen and parking space, along with a major new public space. In previous centuries, the site was the location for the city’s stock exchange and tanning district. More recently, it was occupied by offices of the East German computer manufacturer Robotron. The site context provided a rather heterogeneous context, dominated by socialist apartment and hotel towers alongside 19th century grand hotels and late-20th century office blocks.

ACME’s proposal for the SAB develops the traditional typology of a bank as an imposing institution representing stability, permanence and strength into a contemporary design for a bank of the 21st century. The traditional columns, acting as a transition between inside and outside, have been dissolved into a forest of supports carrying an overarching roof that covers the entirety of the site. Beneath this roof, a number of spaces are new public routes, and spaces are created like clearings in a forest, inviting inhabitation and passage. This open, partially green space recalls the site’s past as part of Leipzig’s pleasure gardens: acres of formal gardens with long, sweeping avenues, down which the city’s residents strolled together on balmy summer evenings in the 18th century. Some of the clearings will be occupied by landscaping, some by permanent artworks, while the largest open space provides amphitheater seating and staging grounds for events.

The columns and roof provide a sense of visual and acoustic enclosure towards the adjacent highway and integrate shading and passive cooling functions for the office spaces. This allows the offices to be open and transparent towards the new public space, creating an efficient, yet loose array of stacked and overlapping office floor-plates to accommodate the many differing departments of the SAB.

Efficient shading and insulation in combination with activated exposed concrete surfaces and decentralized ventilation will create a simple, yet highly sustainable bank of the future – and an important new public institution in the centre of Leipzig.

All submitted designs for the Sächsische AufbauBank competition will be on display in Leipzig from October 7-18, 2013.

News via ACME.

ACME Wins SAB Design Competition in Germany © ACME ACME Wins SAB Design Competition in Germany © ACME ACME Wins SAB Design Competition in Germany © ACME ACME Wins SAB Design Competition in Germany © ACME ACME Wins SAB Design Competition in Germany © ACME ACME Wins SAB Design Competition in Germany © ACME

New Landmark in Copenhaguen / schmidt hammer lassen architects

Architects: schmidt hammer lassen architects
Location: Copenhagen,
Contractor: Myhlenberg – Søren Vangsted Vest A/S
Engineer: MOE A/S
Area: 11,500 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Adam Mørk

From the architect. The central location in Buddinge was ideal for a corporate headquarters, and has worked closely together with MOE during development of the project. ”For MOE, it was important that the spirit of the building supported their corporate brand. Already from the first sketches, they talked about dynamics and synergy. From there, came the idea of a long spiral staircase all the way up through the building levels, so the building in itself encourages movement,” states Kristian Lars Ahlmark, partner at .

Instead of designing a classic atrium building, schmidt hammer lassen architects proposed a Yin Yang shape, where two building volumes are staggered and at the same time interlocked. The idea of the building as an atrium with an active staircase was taken to the extreme. The building itself became one long staircase where the working areas are placed on what look like oversized landings.

“The result is an office building with displaced levels linked by two staircases, where you use the staircase to move from one floor to the next without landings. Instead of having four to five levels we end up having nine levels but with a leap of half a storey at a time,” Kristian Ahlmark explains.

The office building is pre-certified as DGNB silver and meets the requirements of the Danish 2015 energy classification. The energy-optimizing measures in the building include high-insolating windows, heat recovery and 300 square metres of solar cell panel on the roof. The DGNB certification also includes measures regarding accessibility and bicycle parking.

Besides the function as an office building, the development also consists of a base in light grey concrete with a shopping area of approximately 4,000 square metres at ground floor level, connecting to parking areas in the two subterranean levels and on the roof. The two-piece office building sits on top of the base with five east-facing and four west-facing floor levels. The facade is clad in a black ceramic brick tile. The dynamic line of the building continues in the interior design and decoration, also designed by schmidt hammer lassen architects.

schmidt hammer lassen architects has extensive experience with the design of sustainable buildings. Denmark’s first zero-energy office building was designed by schmidt hammer lassen architects and inaugurated in June 2013. In September, schmidt hammer lassen architects, as part of a multidisciplinary team, was appointed winner of the Nordic Built Challenge in Norway with a proposal for a refurbishment and extension of a 79,000-square-metre high-rise office building in Oslo. Furthermore, the practice is currently working on several sustainability projects both in Denmark and internationally.

New Landmark in Copenhaguen / schmidt hammer lassen architects © Adam Mørk New Landmark in Copenhaguen / schmidt hammer lassen architects © Adam Mørk New Landmark in Copenhaguen / schmidt hammer lassen architects © Adam Mørk New Landmark in Copenhaguen / schmidt hammer lassen architects © Adam Mørk New Landmark in Copenhaguen / schmidt hammer lassen architects © Adam Mørk New Landmark in Copenhaguen / schmidt hammer lassen architects © Adam Mørk New Landmark in Copenhaguen / schmidt hammer lassen architects © Adam Mørk New Landmark in Copenhaguen / schmidt hammer lassen architects © Adam Mørk

Studio Gang Chosen to Convert Power Plant to Rec Center

Beloit College has chosen Studio Gang Architects to convert a century old power-plant into a campus recreation and activity center. The project was born out of an ongoing partnership with Alliant Energy Wisconsin, the local utility company that currently holds the space, who has been in talks within the college for over a year.

“The team is very excited to partner with Beloit College,” stated Jeanne Gang. “Together we can transform this historic structure into a new hub for wellness, green power, and great architecture. By reflecting Beloit’s core values in the design, values shared by our team, we will create a model that will bring many benefits to the college, city, and region. This is a project that has the potential to inspire other communities around the globe.”

A selection committee made up of Beloit trustees, faculty, staff, and students selected Studio Gang from a shortlist of five nationally recognized firms. Christina Klawitter, the committee co-chair and Dean of Students at Beloit, cited their “creativity, talent, vision, care” and “enthusiasm for approaching this project as both collaborator and partner, learner and leader” as the driving reasons behind the decision.

“This project should be a model—for connecting college to community, campus to river, and our city’s past to its future while honoring the role Alliant Energy and its employees played in powering our state’s growth over a century,” explained Beloit College President Scott Bierman in a press event.

Studio Gang, the Chicago based firm led by Jeanne Gang, has recently gained recognition as one of architecture’s most innovative firms, particularly for their strength in restoring and enhancing natural and urban landscapes; this no doubt aided in their selection for the Beloit project, one that is primarily focused on adaptive reuse.

House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates

Architects: Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates
Location: ,
Area: 359 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Shigeo Ogawa

Structure: Reinforced Concrete
Structural Engineer: S3 Associates Inc.
Construction: Atelier Eight Co., Ltd.

From the architect. The site is located on a corner lot of a fancy residential area on a hill, and faces toward sloped roads on the west and north sides. This residential area was developed about a half century ago. As time has passed, small-scale developments have been undertaken due to dividing and uniting lots.

Just like the other sites, due to an arbitrary assumption of the developer, this site also has a recently built high wall on the west side, as if rejecting an approach to the site. However, construction of an in-ground garage may have been assumed, and there is level land and a slope to connect the 3m height difference on the southwest side. There is also a slope from the road on the north side, and the flat ground is about 1m high. The flat ground was probably set based on the neighboring lot.

Therefore, this lot has 3 levels due to the relationship between the roads on the west and north sides, and the neighboring lot. We thought that a new development of another level was pointless. No matter what the situation was, the context of this location included the current situation and it was more natural to follow the context. Three floor levels, adjusted to each height, were individually made. By connecting these, the entire space was constituted.

Based on the required volume, the three areas were partly layered and connected with stairs and slopes from the entrance to the roof. Volume studies were conducted in order to create a form to materialize such activities. The activities brought out from the characteristics of this site constitute this building, rather than the building determining people’s movements. As a result, the building was constituted with three crisscrossed monolithic forms, as if they were responding to the road on the west side that slopes up from south to north.

The west-side volume in the lowest part of the site has an entrance and a guestroom, and the southeast volume in the highest part has private spaces such as a bedroom. The third volume connects them and also has a garage that is accessible from the north side, and a living space that is the center of living.

House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates © Shigeo Ogawa House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates © Shigeo Ogawa House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates © Shigeo Ogawa House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates © Shigeo Ogawa House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates © Shigeo Ogawa House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates © Shigeo Ogawa House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates © Shigeo Ogawa House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates © Shigeo Ogawa House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates © Shigeo Ogawa House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates © Shigeo Ogawa House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates © Shigeo Ogawa House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates © Shigeo Ogawa House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates © Shigeo Ogawa House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates © Shigeo Ogawa House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates © Shigeo Ogawa House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates © Shigeo Ogawa House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates © Shigeo Ogawa House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates © Shigeo Ogawa House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates © Shigeo Ogawa House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates © Shigeo Ogawa House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates © Shigeo Ogawa House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates © Shigeo Ogawa House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates © Shigeo Ogawa House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates © Shigeo Ogawa House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates © Shigeo Ogawa House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates © Shigeo Ogawa House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates First Floor Plan House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates Second Floor Plan House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates Third Floor Plan House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates Elevation House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates Elevation House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates Section House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates Section House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates Detail House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates Detail House in Hyogo / Shogo ARATANI Architect & Associates Detail

An Interview with Magda Mostafa: Pioneer in Autism Design

In 2002, Magda Mostafa, a then-PhD student at Cairo University, was given an exciting project: to design Egypt’s first educational centre for . The young architect set herself down to the task of researching into design, certain she’d soon find guidelines and accessibility codes to direct her through the process (after all, about one in every 88 children is estimated to fall into the autism spectrum).

But, as Mostafa told me, “I had a rude awakening; there was virtually nothing.”

So she started setting up studies to gather the evidence she’d need to come up with her own guidelines. And she was breaking ground: a study she completed in 2008 was “among the first autism design studies to be prospective not retrospective, have a control group, and measure quantifiable factors in a systematic way.”

Since those uncertain beginnings, Mostafa has positioned herself as one of the world’s pre-eminent researchers in autism design. Her latest work, summarized in “An Architecture for Autism,” the journal IJAR’s most downloaded article in 2012, outlines Mostafa’s latest accomplishment: the Autism ASPECTSS™ Design Index, both a matrix to help guide design as well as an assessment tool “to score the autism-appropriateness of a built environment” post-occupancy. In the following interview, we discuss the Index, the potential of evidence-based design for architecture, and what it’s like to break ground (and try get funding) in a country where ”black-outs, security threats, water shortages and unbelievable traffic” are everyday occurrences.

ArchDaily: Why do you think architects are so wary of incorporating research, particularly psychological research, into their design process?

Magda Mostafa: On the one hand research to some, occasionally seems overly prescriptive and pre-deterministic- something that may seem restrictive of creativity to some architects. In addition, given the vast inter-disciplinarity of architecture, a large majority of research is limited in its conclusions, being unable to study and control for all variables. I believe however that architectural research can be a source of innovation, a way to bring in user groups previously excluded from the design process in a way that actually enriches rather than hinders creativity. The tools and methods of environmental psychology can be powerful means for this inclusion, without determinism, and within the larger framework of the architectural design process.

AD: Do you believe that evidence-based design is the future for architecture in general? Could this approach make architecture more inclusive of more vulnerable populations? 

MM: I don’t necessarily think evidence-based design is the future of architecture – it has been around for a long time – but i do believe it has a place. I think architects, as the designers of our everyday lives by their control over the built environments we live/work/play/learn/socialize in have a tremendous responsibility to design to the best of their ability, and this means being armed with data and information of which environments work best. This is the role of architectural research.

It is also the vehicle to bring in, not only excluded and vulnerable populations, but emerging modes of everyday life, like the changing way of how we communicate and therefore learn and acquire knowledge for example. Another example, particularly here in Egypt, as we are witnessing the growing pains of democracy and freedom of expression, is the role of public space, which has gone through much scrutiny and investigation since our 2011 January Revolution. Research helps keep design standards and practices responsible, inclusive and up to date.

AD: In your work designing for autistic users, you’ve set up your own studies as well as depended on others’ research, which shows that autistic individuals have difficulty integrating sensory information (such as sight and sound) and tend to do best with consistency and routine. When creating your Autism Design Index, how did you translate these principles into guidelines for design?

MM: The Autism ASPECTSS™ Design Index presents 7 design criteria/issues that have been indicated, through interviews, focus groups, surveys and experimental research, to be facilitative of positive behaviour and skill development in users with autism. These criteria are: Acoustics, Spatial sequencing, Escape spaces, Compartmentalization, Transition spaces, Sensory zoning and Safety. These criteria form the basis for both a design matrix, which can help develop design solutions for specific projects, and as an assessment tool post-occupancy, to score the autism-appropriateness of a built environment.

I am also currently involved with two projects, one in Canada and one in India, to apply the Index in developing design strategies for schools for autism.

AD: Do you think architecture could help autistic people, or other disabled populations, gain independence? How?

MM: You have used an important key word here: independence. This needs to be the objective of all accessibility and inclusion design strategies. It is more comprehensive than access, since it also includes usability. I do believe architecture has tremendous power to help individuals with autism, and other disabilities for that matter, gain independence. In as much as it hinders their independence, appropriate architecture can help regain it.

If you think of the primary problem of autism being understanding, coping with and responding to the sensory environment, you can grasp the power of architecture in their everyday lives. The built environment provides the large majority of sensory input- light, acoustics, textures, colors, spatial configurations, ventilation etc. By manipulating the design of the environment we can manipulate that all-so-important sensory input.

In what I call the “survival” stage of autism, minimizing the sensory environment – through muted colors, natural materials, good acoustics, simple shapes, intimate spaces, natural lighting – a precious window of opportunity is created for the user with autism to be freed from the overwhelming sensory input from the environment and clear the way for communication and the acquisition of skills. When I first began my research I remember asking a group of parents and teachers, “if there is one thing you could ask of me to try and do through our work, the one objective you would like to see achieved – what would it be?” and they all agreed “to take those fleeting moments of calm and connection with our children and make them last longer.”

That is exactly what this design index proposes to do: to free the child’s sensory network of unnecessary traffic and sensory noise from the surrounding environment- and make those fleeting moments where they can communicate, respond, learn and interact, a little bit longer.

This is not the only function of the index, which does not proposes a static universal sensory whiteout, one that would create what I call a “greenhouse” effect. This would be where that child would thrive in the perfect and calm environment, only to fall apart and lose all their skills when they were confronted with the real world. With the index, to combat this greenhouse effect, I propose a gradual weaning-off from the strict application of the fullest manifestation of the criteria, allowing the users with autism to gradually generalize their newly acquired skills in less-controlled environments.

AD: Can you describe some of the challenges you have faced in doing your research? 

MM: The biggest challenge, as with most research is funding. This topic lies – where I believe much of the innovations of our future generations lie – at the intersection of many disciplines: namely built environment research, autism research, environmental research, education, special needs advocacy, accessible design, and inclusion. You would think this would multiply your chance to receive funding. Unfortunately more often than not, it actual divides your chance – at least in a country that has minimal state funds for national research as compared to the US. For example much of the funding for autism today is for medical research, which the project is not. Much of the funding for autism education is for curriculum development and therapy interventions – not for the built environment.

On a more specific front, and as ArchDaily has reported on before, this research is challenged with what most experimental research in the built environment is challenged with, particularly those dealing with behaviour- controlling for all variables and confounding factors. Unlike blind testing, the users and their teachers or parents know they are in an altered environment, and this may colour- positively or negatively- their reporting of results. It is very difficult to eliminate bias completely.

AD: What inspired you to take this approach towards architecture?

MM: Like many things necessity was the mother of invention. In 2002 I was asked to design the first educational centre for autism in Egypt: the Advance School for Developing Skills of Special Needs Children. This was a retrofit project of an existing residential building where the school was to be temporarily housed. I wrote an article in the National Autistic Society’s magazine Communication in 2006 outlining the experience.

At the time I was in the first year of my PhD, weeks away from my final proposal review which I had been preparing for for over 18 months – on a completely different topic. Simultaneously, and as we began the design project, I naively searched mainstream design guidelines and accessibility codes, expecting to find a section on designing for autism. I had a rude awakening; there was virtually nothing. I made what I believe to be one of the best decisions of my career, supported tremendously by my wise and wonderful thesis advisor, Zakia Shafie (herself an architectural pioneer as one of the first female architects in Egypt and the first female chair of an architectural department in the middle east), and asked to change my thesis topic, effectively discarding 18 months of work and starting from scratch. She bravely agreed.

The work that was done for this new dissertation is summarized in several articles, most importantly in this IJAR article An Architecture for Autism which was the journal’s most downloaded article in 2012. Since then I have continued to work on research to broaden and verify these initial findings, and to raise awareness about the subject.

Dr. Magda Mostafa is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Architectural Engineering at the American University in Cairo and serves as Deputy Vice President for Africa in the UNESCO-International Union of Architects’ Education Commission and Validation Council. She received her Ph.D. from Cairo University, where her doctoral dissertation studied architectural design for children with special needs and sensory dysfunctions, with a focus on autism. She is currently working as a special needs design consultant for government and private sector projects in Egypt, the Gulf and Europe, as an associate at the Cairo based architectural firm Progressive Architects.

Planalto House / Flavio Castro

Architects: Flavio Castro
Location: Planalto Paulista, São Paulo,
Design Team: Jennifer Andrade, Claudia Reis
Area: 800 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of Flavio Castro

Structural Engineering: Edatec
Construction Supervision: FCStudio
Plant Engineering: Edatec
Landscape Design: FCStudio

From the architect. The way of appropriation of the 800 square meters available for the establishment of the house (20x40m) is quite clear. Two large perpendiculars volumes mark the territory and categorize the uses and functions of other areas of the land. A rectangular prism, perpendicular to the street, contains the intimate features of the house on the upper floor, occupying only half of the land and releasing the other half for recreation and landscaping.

Serving as a support and focused only on the main floor, another rectangular prism, but in different proportions, contains the service and social functions of the house. The upper volume seems to rest on the main floor, which creates a series of statements that reinforce the architectural propose. Main floor and upper floor are implanted orthogonally. Exactly on this single point of contact, there is the vertical connection between them.

The metal beams on the edge of the volume parallel to the street, reinforce the idea of independence between the volumes and reveal the structural functioning of the house. The residence has a mixed structure of pillars and metal “I” beams and massive slabs of concrete with 20 cm thickness.

The main access platform, located under the front overhang on the main floor, provides access to the corridor 1.80 m wide running through the house, connecting various environments. After passing through the service area, we come to the point of access to two key areas:  the social rooms (like an indoor pavilion) and the barbecue area (recreation). A garden-terrace covers the main floor block of the garage and recreation area. It can be accessed by the stairs at the recreation area.It is a space of multiple functions.

The characteristics of the materials used in this residence as chromaticism, texture and transparency were carefully chosen because of the intentions pursued in each space. While the transparence integrates, the concrete do the oposite. The concrete walls divide the space, while the large sliding doors bring the landscape into the house.

The materials are sincere. The concrete, glass, wood and steel are shown in its essence, without intermediaries.

Planalto House / Flavio Castro Courtesy of Flavio Castro Planalto House / Flavio Castro Courtesy of Flavio Castro Planalto House / Flavio Castro Courtesy of Flavio Castro Planalto House / Flavio Castro Courtesy of Flavio Castro Planalto House / Flavio Castro Courtesy of Flavio Castro Planalto House / Flavio Castro Courtesy of Flavio Castro Planalto House / Flavio Castro Courtesy of Flavio Castro Planalto House / Flavio Castro Courtesy of Flavio Castro Planalto House / Flavio Castro Courtesy of Flavio Castro Planalto House / Flavio Castro Courtesy of Flavio Castro Planalto House / Flavio Castro Courtesy of Flavio Castro Planalto House / Flavio Castro Courtesy of Flavio Castro Planalto House / Flavio Castro Courtesy of Flavio Castro Planalto House / Flavio Castro Courtesy of Flavio Castro Planalto House / Flavio Castro Courtesy of Flavio Castro Planalto House / Flavio Castro Courtesy of Flavio Castro Planalto House / Flavio Castro Courtesy of Flavio Castro Planalto House / Flavio Castro Courtesy of Flavio Castro Planalto House / Flavio Castro Courtesy of Flavio Castro Planalto House / Flavio Castro Courtesy of Flavio Castro Planalto House / Flavio Castro Courtesy of Flavio Castro Planalto House / Flavio Castro Floor Plan Planalto House / Flavio Castro Elevation Planalto House / Flavio Castro Elevation Planalto House / Flavio Castro Elevation Planalto House / Flavio Castro Section Planalto House / Flavio Castro Section

Mountain Moon / Chin Architects

Architects: Chin Architects
Location: City, Taiwan
Design Team: I-Ju Chin, Hung-I Lin, Hung-Nan Chu, Mu-Chen Chan, Shen-Hung Chiang, Hsin-Ping Cho, Chun-Chun Yang, Fei-Chun Ying
Building Contractor: Pacific Construction Co., LTD
Area: 3,053 sqm
Year: 2010
Photographs: Jeffrey Cheng

From the architect. This project, Mountain Moon, attempts to loosen the spatial definition and boundary, allowing the family living private sector and the public social area to mix and sprawl  The often neglected spaces such as lift lobbies, balconies, and terraces, become most imaginative living areas which initiate social activities.  An open stairway and an elevated footbridge are created to give residents a breather where they can dance to the rhythm of natural light and shadow, or enjoy the ever-changing view of the surrounding environment at different levels as they move through the space. The stairway and the buildings on both sides enclose a multiple layered vertical courtyard where wind breeze, raindrops, blue sky and green trees bring different surprises to the space, and bear opportunities for various events to take place.

By centralizing the vertical circulation, the housing units are liberated from the row houses typology which has a long and narrow living space.  Shallow and wide multiple story units with spacious gardens, balconies and terraces are arranged vertically into three different dwelling types so to give diverse living experiences. The large balconies and terraces that face the street not only suggest an attitude of the architecture to actively participate in the neighborhood, but also a willingness of the residents to share their daily life with the city.  Finally, the building honestly reflects its unique location at the city’s edge by welcoming the surrounding mountains and greenery into the housing units through architectural designs.

Mountain Moon / Chin Architects © Jeffrey Cheng Mountain Moon / Chin Architects © Jeffrey Cheng Mountain Moon / Chin Architects © Jeffrey Cheng Mountain Moon / Chin Architects © Jeffrey Cheng Mountain Moon / Chin Architects © Jeffrey Cheng Mountain Moon / Chin Architects © Jeffrey Cheng Mountain Moon / Chin Architects © Jeffrey Cheng Mountain Moon / Chin Architects © Jeffrey Cheng Mountain Moon / Chin Architects © Jeffrey Cheng Mountain Moon / Chin Architects © Jeffrey Cheng Mountain Moon / Chin Architects © Jeffrey Cheng Mountain Moon / Chin Architects © Jeffrey Cheng Mountain Moon / Chin Architects © Jeffrey Cheng Mountain Moon / Chin Architects © Jeffrey Cheng Mountain Moon / Chin Architects © Jeffrey Cheng Mountain Moon / Chin Architects © Jeffrey Cheng Mountain Moon / Chin Architects © Jeffrey Cheng Mountain Moon / Chin Architects © Jeffrey Cheng Mountain Moon / Chin Architects © Jeffrey Cheng Mountain Moon / Chin Architects © Jeffrey Cheng Mountain Moon / Chin Architects © Jeffrey Cheng Mountain Moon / Chin Architects © Jeffrey Cheng Mountain Moon / Chin Architects © Jeffrey Cheng Mountain Moon / Chin Architects © Jeffrey Cheng Mountain Moon / Chin Architects © Jeffrey Cheng Mountain Moon / Chin Architects © Jeffrey Cheng Mountain Moon / Chin Architects © Jeffrey Cheng Mountain Moon / Chin Architects © Jeffrey Cheng Mountain Moon / Chin Architects © Jeffrey Cheng Mountain Moon / Chin Architects Render Mountain Moon / Chin Architects Floor Plan Mountain Moon / Chin Architects Floor Plan Mountain Moon / Chin Architects Site Plan Mountain Moon / Chin Architects Elevation Mountain Moon / Chin Architects Section Mountain Moon / Chin Architects Detail Mountain Moon / Chin Architects Detail

Hiroshima Park Restrooms: Absolute Arrows / Bunzo Ogawa

Architects: Bunzo Ogawa
Location: , Prefecture,
Area: 15 sqm
Year: 2009
Photographs: Toshiyuki Yano

Structure System: RC
Structures: Takashi Fujiki, Satoshi Horie

From the architect. Hiroshima City Planning chose the design from a competition to be the standard.It is the unique public project that approximately 5 restrooms are mass-produced in parks per year as regular design of the city

First of all, I considered that what should embed in “city”. I was aware of designing “multitude” strongly, which is not “a ” restroom in a park. And they should be given a meaning as a whole of the infrastructure in the city.I aim to make an absolute axis in the city by being embedded the direction in infrastructure building in the city.The mass-produced urban facilities have a triangular roof pointing north. By building in same direction, each restrooms have same space by sunshine. The same space of restroom is omnipresence all over Hiroshima.

I designed 3 variations of plans in this project. I provide with 2 entrances of east and west side, so that the plan is able to turn the other way around as it functions whichever entrance.Structure of the restroom is box frame type reinforced concrete construction. The roof is also made by concrete. Concrete is poured by the ruler of stainless steel in the edge of the acute angle part of the roof. The roof finishes by a fluoric resin topcoat after FRP waterproofing. Therefore it is possible to put the different color every roof of the restrooms. Each location has a different color roof that matches the playground.

I incline the roof, the north side is high, the south side is low, to be able to look at the roof facing north from eye-level.A slit-shaped top light goes to the south and north in the center of the roof and creates lines toward north inside and outside of space. Acrylic lighting windows and round ventilation holes in eastern and western wall, and acrylic lighting windows in southern wall, are inlayed. They function that controlling the environment of the internal space. For the finish of the outer wall, I adopted the photocatalytic coating paints that the dirt is easy to come off.

22 restrooms in 22 parks are completed in March in 2012.It is built around five places sequentially every year. The public restrooms with absolute arrows are being embedded infinitely in all over Hiroshima-city.

Hiroshima Park Restrooms: Absolute Arrows / Bunzo Ogawa © Toshiyuki Yano Hiroshima Park Restrooms: Absolute Arrows / Bunzo Ogawa © Toshiyuki Yano Hiroshima Park Restrooms: Absolute Arrows / Bunzo Ogawa © Toshiyuki Yano Hiroshima Park Restrooms: Absolute Arrows / Bunzo Ogawa © Toshiyuki Yano Hiroshima Park Restrooms: Absolute Arrows / Bunzo Ogawa © Toshiyuki Yano Hiroshima Park Restrooms: Absolute Arrows / Bunzo Ogawa © Toshiyuki Yano Hiroshima Park Restrooms: Absolute Arrows / Bunzo Ogawa © Toshiyuki Yano Hiroshima Park Restrooms: Absolute Arrows / Bunzo Ogawa © Toshiyuki Yano Hiroshima Park Restrooms: Absolute Arrows / Bunzo Ogawa © Toshiyuki Yano Hiroshima Park Restrooms: Absolute Arrows / Bunzo Ogawa © Toshiyuki Yano Hiroshima Park Restrooms: Absolute Arrows / Bunzo Ogawa © Toshiyuki Yano Hiroshima Park Restrooms: Absolute Arrows / Bunzo Ogawa © Toshiyuki Yano Hiroshima Park Restrooms: Absolute Arrows / Bunzo Ogawa © Toshiyuki Yano Hiroshima Park Restrooms: Absolute Arrows / Bunzo Ogawa © Toshiyuki Yano Hiroshima Park Restrooms: Absolute Arrows / Bunzo Ogawa © Toshiyuki Yano Hiroshima Park Restrooms: Absolute Arrows / Bunzo Ogawa © Toshiyuki Yano Hiroshima Park Restrooms: Absolute Arrows / Bunzo Ogawa © Toshiyuki Yano Hiroshima Park Restrooms: Absolute Arrows / Bunzo Ogawa © Toshiyuki Yano Hiroshima Park Restrooms: Absolute Arrows / Bunzo Ogawa © Toshiyuki Yano Hiroshima Park Restrooms: Absolute Arrows / Bunzo Ogawa © Toshiyuki Yano Hiroshima Park Restrooms: Absolute Arrows / Bunzo Ogawa © Toshiyuki Yano Hiroshima Park Restrooms: Absolute Arrows / Bunzo Ogawa © Toshiyuki Yano Hiroshima Park Restrooms: Absolute Arrows / Bunzo Ogawa © Toshiyuki Yano Hiroshima Park Restrooms: Absolute Arrows / Bunzo Ogawa © Toshiyuki Yano Hiroshima Park Restrooms: Absolute Arrows / Bunzo Ogawa Floor Plan Hiroshima Park Restrooms: Absolute Arrows / Bunzo Ogawa Site Plan Hiroshima Park Restrooms: Absolute Arrows / Bunzo Ogawa Elevation Hiroshima Park Restrooms: Absolute Arrows / Bunzo Ogawa Section Hiroshima Park Restrooms: Absolute Arrows / Bunzo Ogawa Diagram

Annakapelle Schladming / HPSA + Wolfgang Günther

Architects: HPSA + Wolfgang Günther
Location: Schladming,
Year: 2009
Photographs: Dietmar Hammerschmid

From the architect. The revitalization of the cemetery chapel from the 14th century includes the restoration of the ossuary in the lower chapel, and the adaptation of the upper chapel into a cultural space.

The project includes an intensive examination of the historical use and the architectural significance of the building.

The church square as the threshold between public space, church and cemetery in the area becomes a major importance.

Annakapelle Schladming / HPSA + Wolfgang Günther © Dietmar Hammerschmid Annakapelle Schladming / HPSA + Wolfgang Günther © Dietmar Hammerschmid Annakapelle Schladming / HPSA + Wolfgang Günther © Dietmar Hammerschmid Annakapelle Schladming / HPSA + Wolfgang Günther © Dietmar Hammerschmid Annakapelle Schladming / HPSA + Wolfgang Günther © Dietmar Hammerschmid Annakapelle Schladming / HPSA + Wolfgang Günther © Dietmar Hammerschmid Annakapelle Schladming / HPSA + Wolfgang Günther © Dietmar Hammerschmid Annakapelle Schladming / HPSA + Wolfgang Günther © Dietmar Hammerschmid Annakapelle Schladming / HPSA + Wolfgang Günther © Dietmar Hammerschmid Annakapelle Schladming / HPSA + Wolfgang Günther © Dietmar Hammerschmid Annakapelle Schladming / HPSA + Wolfgang Günther © Dietmar Hammerschmid Annakapelle Schladming / HPSA + Wolfgang Günther © Dietmar Hammerschmid Annakapelle Schladming / HPSA + Wolfgang Günther © Dietmar Hammerschmid Annakapelle Schladming / HPSA + Wolfgang Günther Ground Floor Plan Annakapelle Schladming / HPSA + Wolfgang Günther Site Plan Annakapelle Schladming / HPSA + Wolfgang Günther Elevation South Annakapelle Schladming / HPSA + Wolfgang Günther Elevation West Annakapelle Schladming / HPSA + Wolfgang Günther Section

Gulf Islands Residence / RUFproject

Architects: RUFproject
Location: British Columbia,
Architect In Charge: Sean Pearson, Alyssa Schwann
Year: 2011
Photographs: Courtesy of Gulf Islands Residence

General Contractor: H.Hazenboom Construction Ltd.
Structural Engineer: Parallel Consulting Structural Engineers Ltd.
Mechanical Engineer: Jade West Engineering Co. Ltd.
Geotechnical Engineer: Braun Geotechnical Ltd.

From the architect. A conscious decision was made to root the design of the house in the regional, west coast vernacular pioneered by architects such as Ron Thom andArthur Erickson, beginning in the 1950s. The stylei s characterized by post-and beam-construction with exposed timber structural members, extensive glazing, open floor plans, interior-exterior links, wood finishes, flat roofs, orientation to views and a delicate balance with the natural setting.

These elements were carefully integrated to define a new and innovative vision of regional architecture. The design of this private residence responds to the clients’ desire for a “modern log cabin” on a precious piece of oceanfront property. They were torn between two ideals: on the one hand the rustic Canadian log cabin and on the other the modernist glass house. Through the use of expressive structure, expanses of glass, and a minimal material palette, the project took this challenge as its fundamental concept, striving to reconcile the rustic with the modern in form, materiality, and organization.

The house has been designed in the form of a bridge, creating a minimal footprint and achieving a high level of environmental performance on the site, while allowing native grasses and flora to grow underneath. Working with the topography, the house is defined in two parts—a solid stone base sunk into the land, referencing the existing rock outcrops on the site, and a light timber “bridge” resting on the stone. With a tranquil internal courtyard protected from the prevailing southeast winds, the strong horizontals of the heavy timbers reference the horizon, and transparency on the ocean side opens the full house to stunning panoramic views of the sea.

Gulf Islands Residence / RUFproject Courtesy of Gulf Islands Residence Gulf Islands Residence / RUFproject Courtesy of Gulf Islands Residence Gulf Islands Residence / RUFproject Courtesy of Gulf Islands Residence Gulf Islands Residence / RUFproject Courtesy of Gulf Islands Residence Gulf Islands Residence / RUFproject Courtesy of Gulf Islands Residence Gulf Islands Residence / RUFproject Courtesy of Gulf Islands Residence Gulf Islands Residence / RUFproject Courtesy of Gulf Islands Residence Gulf Islands Residence / RUFproject Courtesy of Gulf Islands Residence Gulf Islands Residence / RUFproject Courtesy of Gulf Islands Residence Gulf Islands Residence / RUFproject Courtesy of Gulf Islands Residence Gulf Islands Residence / RUFproject Courtesy of Gulf Islands Residence Gulf Islands Residence / RUFproject Courtesy of Gulf Islands Residence Gulf Islands Residence / RUFproject Courtesy of Gulf Islands Residence Gulf Islands Residence / RUFproject Courtesy of Gulf Islands Residence Gulf Islands Residence / RUFproject Courtesy of Gulf Islands Residence Gulf Islands Residence / RUFproject Courtesy of Gulf Islands Residence Gulf Islands Residence / RUFproject Courtesy of Gulf Islands Residence Gulf Islands Residence / RUFproject Floor Plan Gulf Islands Residence / RUFproject Lower Floor Plan Gulf Islands Residence / RUFproject Site Plan Gulf Islands Residence / RUFproject Site Plan Gulf Islands Residence / RUFproject East Elevation Gulf Islands Residence / RUFproject East Elevation Gulf Islands Residence / RUFproject South Elevation Gulf Islands Residence / RUFproject North Elevation Gulf Islands Residence / RUFproject West Elevation Gulf Islands Residence / RUFproject West Elevation Gulf Islands Residence / RUFproject Model Gulf Islands Residence / RUFproject Detail Gulf Islands Residence / RUFproject Sketch

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse / Slade Architecture

Architects: Slade Architecture
Location: John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), NY, USA
Principals: Hayes Slade, James Slade
Design Team: Tian Gao, David Iseri, Magda Stoenescu, Goizeder Arteche, Frances Calosso, Yuko Okuma, Allesandro Perinelli, Will Choi, Marco Juliani, Lauren Lochry, Santi Slade, Garrett Pruter
Area: 1,000 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Anton Stark

Collaborators: Virgin Atlantic In-House Design
Mep Engineers: ADS Engineers Ambrosino, Depinto & Schmieder
Structural Engineers: Gilsanz Murray Steficek LLP
Quantity Surveyor: PT Projects – Peter Turvey
Lighting Design: L’Observatoire International Inc.
Acoustic Engineers: Cerami & Associates, Inc.
Kitchen Consultant: Next Step Design
Contractor: Holt Construction

From the architect. Designed by New York based in collaboration with Virgin Atlantic’s in-house design team, the new Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at JFK is a relaxed luxury space with a rich and distinctly ‘Uptown’ Manhattan feel. The 10,000sf Clubhouse is bounded on two sides by full height expansive views over the jet ways, with Virgin Atlantic aircraft visible immediately below. With a direct view onto the iconic TWA terminal, the lounge picks up on this adjacency with subtle references to the glamour of the 50’s era.

The design builds around a single major sculptural cloud-like element located at the center of the space, for simplicity and impact. The cloud encloses a cocktail bar and several seating areas and is enclosed by a diaphanous, curving “wall” of stainless steel rods and rotating walnut fins. This works to mediate views from and through the space and creates a series of distinct areas. The lounge houses several custom furniture pieces designed Slade Architecture – two grey amorphous pebbles with soft asymmetrical niches cut out for seating, as well as a fire-red ball sofa which provides a light-hearted and bright counterpoint to the rich space.

Captured within the central cloud are two diaphanous light features – a field of over 2,000 gold powder-coated spun cylinders that hang from the ceiling at different levels, creating an ethereal sculptural topography that dips down into the space and glows from within. This central area is the heart of the lounge around and through which guests move in a rhythmic syncopated flow to the many unique amenities that are provided on the periphery.

Smaller scale design elements tie back to the “Uptown” theme of the lounge. Two custom wallpapers designed by Slade Architecture establish a textured graphic pattern from a distance, but upon closer examination are discovered to be a composition of iconic elements, such as the Empire State Building, Apples, and the ever-pervasive hot dog cart. In the bathrooms, white subway tiles make a connection back to an integral element of the city’s urban fabric, and large-scaled black and white Sanborn maps of NYC Uptown landmarks printed on aluminum panels complete the picture.

The Clubhouse functions as a hybrid of private members club, boutique hotel lobby, restaurant service and chic bar plus a few surprises. The new lounge also introduces Virgin Atlantic’s first overseas spa and the first ever hair salon in any US business class lounge, with services provided by renowned New York City based salon and product company Bumble and bumble. Unlike the previous Clubhouse lounge at JFK, the new lounge sits airside, allowing passengers to sit and fully relax until they are ready to board their flight.

Luke Miles, Virgin Atlantic Head of Design commented: “Our vision was to create an experience that unravels and gets richer each time our guests stay with us. This chic yet relaxed space has real depth. As our passengers walk through the lounge they will be tantalized with the changing views of this beautiful environment.”. “Our Clubhouse at JFK has always been one of our Upper Class passengers’ favorites. Married with a fantastic service culture, JFK promises to be a very special and memorable experience.”

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse / Slade Architecture © Anton Stark Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse / Slade Architecture © Anton Stark Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse / Slade Architecture © Anton Stark Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse / Slade Architecture © Anton Stark Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse / Slade Architecture © Anton Stark Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse / Slade Architecture © Anton Stark Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse / Slade Architecture © Anton Stark Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse / Slade Architecture © Anton Stark Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse / Slade Architecture © Anton Stark Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse / Slade Architecture © Anton Stark Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse / Slade Architecture © Anton Stark Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse / Slade Architecture © Anton Stark Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse / Slade Architecture © Anton Stark Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse / Slade Architecture © Anton Stark Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse / Slade Architecture © Anton Stark Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse / Slade Architecture Floor Plan

Padarie / CRIO arquiteturas

Architects: CRIO arquiteturas
Location: Porto Alegre, Brasil
Project Architects: Bernardo de Magalhães, Lívia Fonseca
Area: 250 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Marcelo Donadussi

From the architect. Established in a two stories building, this project started with three main guidelines: order, zoning and intelligent flows. The ground floor houses the costumer’s area and some support facilities: the tearoom, the store, the cashier, the counter, the restrooms, a small backyard, the storage room, a small kitchen and the locker rooms and bathrooms for the staff. At the top floor we find the administration office, another storage room, the bakery, the patisserie and the cold chamber.

The original staircase was relocated to make circulation more efficient and dynamic. The service areas are all connected. The counter and the display for the breads were designed to make good use of the room below the stairs.

The tables, chairs and benches at the costumer’s area were all painted in different bright colors, bringing a sense of lightness to the room. At the back, the little store and the cashier are located near de stylized saloon door that leads to the restrooms. It´s all very clean, but yet full of inspired details. At some parts of the walls the painting is a little worn, revealing the solid brick layer that lies underneath. The pillars are covered with pinus elliotti. The lighting completes the ambience, with articulated luminaries and rail spotlights. To add character and personality, the cashier and the counter were coated with rectangular white tiles.

A special mask was applied to the existing facade to provide privacy to the storage room and the office without blocking the sunlight. This solution was accomplished with a set of colored metal brises shaped like the wheat spike, the main ingredient of the bread. A wooden pergola completes the facade, limiting the outdoor sitting area. The elements to this project were designed to grant personality and a strong identity to the first Padarie in town.

Padarie / CRIO arquiteturas © Marcelo Donadussi Padarie / CRIO arquiteturas © Marcelo Donadussi Padarie / CRIO arquiteturas © Marcelo Donadussi Padarie / CRIO arquiteturas © Marcelo Donadussi Padarie / CRIO arquiteturas © Marcelo Donadussi Padarie / CRIO arquiteturas © Marcelo Donadussi Padarie / CRIO arquiteturas © Marcelo Donadussi Padarie / CRIO arquiteturas © Marcelo Donadussi Padarie / CRIO arquiteturas © Marcelo Donadussi Padarie / CRIO arquiteturas © Marcelo Donadussi Padarie / CRIO arquiteturas © Marcelo Donadussi Padarie / CRIO arquiteturas © Marcelo Donadussi Padarie / CRIO arquiteturas © Marcelo Donadussi Padarie / CRIO arquiteturas © Marcelo Donadussi Padarie / CRIO arquiteturas © Marcelo Donadussi Padarie / CRIO arquiteturas © Marcelo Donadussi Padarie / CRIO arquiteturas © Marcelo Donadussi Padarie / CRIO arquiteturas © Marcelo Donadussi Padarie / CRIO arquiteturas © Marcelo Donadussi Padarie / CRIO arquiteturas © Marcelo Donadussi Padarie / CRIO arquiteturas Plan Padarie / CRIO arquiteturas Facade Padarie / CRIO arquiteturas Section

Ecole Normale House / FABRE/deMARIEN Architects

Architects: FABRE/deMARIEN Architects
Location: Bordeaux,
Area: 210 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Stéphane Chalmeau

From the architect. A house as a filter between a busy street and a quiet garden.

From the street, some steps and a brick façade as a protection. Light is coming from the slits. From the garden, an open façade with two generous windows of 10 meters wide. Inside, a large patio as a lantern and green lung brings light and natural ventilation to all rooms. Facing the house the long swimming pool cross the garden coming from the renovated annex.

The construction is simple using concrete and glass as main materials. Beam-column system, floor slab, steps, seat, and concrete shelves are sheltered by large window frames in aluminum giving all spaces an inside-out feeling.

Ecole Normale House  / FABRE/deMARIEN Architects © Stéphane Chalmeau Ecole Normale House  / FABRE/deMARIEN Architects © Stéphane Chalmeau Ecole Normale House  / FABRE/deMARIEN Architects © Stéphane Chalmeau Ecole Normale House  / FABRE/deMARIEN Architects © Stéphane Chalmeau Ecole Normale House  / FABRE/deMARIEN Architects © Stéphane Chalmeau Ecole Normale House  / FABRE/deMARIEN Architects © Stéphane Chalmeau Ecole Normale House  / FABRE/deMARIEN Architects © Stéphane Chalmeau Ecole Normale House  / FABRE/deMARIEN Architects © Stéphane Chalmeau Ecole Normale House  / FABRE/deMARIEN Architects © Stéphane Chalmeau Ecole Normale House  / FABRE/deMARIEN Architects © Stéphane Chalmeau Ecole Normale House  / FABRE/deMARIEN Architects © Stéphane Chalmeau Ecole Normale House  / FABRE/deMARIEN Architects © Stéphane Chalmeau Ecole Normale House  / FABRE/deMARIEN Architects © Stéphane Chalmeau Ecole Normale House  / FABRE/deMARIEN Architects © Stéphane Chalmeau Ecole Normale House  / FABRE/deMARIEN Architects © Stéphane Chalmeau Ecole Normale House  / FABRE/deMARIEN Architects © Stéphane Chalmeau Ecole Normale House  / FABRE/deMARIEN Architects © Stéphane Chalmeau Ecole Normale House  / FABRE/deMARIEN Architects © Stéphane Chalmeau Ecole Normale House  / FABRE/deMARIEN Architects © Stéphane Chalmeau Ecole Normale House  / FABRE/deMARIEN Architects © Stéphane Chalmeau Ecole Normale House  / FABRE/deMARIEN Architects © Stéphane Chalmeau Ecole Normale House  / FABRE/deMARIEN Architects First Floor Plan Ecole Normale House  / FABRE/deMARIEN Architects Ground Floor Plan Ecole Normale House  / FABRE/deMARIEN Architects Situation Ecole Normale House  / FABRE/deMARIEN Architects Section Ecole Normale House  / FABRE/deMARIEN Architects Section Ecole Normale House  / FABRE/deMARIEN Architects Section Ecole Normale House  / FABRE/deMARIEN Architects Front Elevation Ecole Normale House  / FABRE/deMARIEN Architects Elevation Ecole Normale House  / FABRE/deMARIEN Architects Exploded Axon Ecole Normale House  / FABRE/deMARIEN Architects Axon

Plans Unveiled For Crystal Palace Rebuild

UPDATE: Following ongoing discussions, the city of and the Chinese ZhongRong Group have finally unveiled plans for the Crystal Palace replica, announcing a competition to find the “the best not the biggest” architects to take on the project.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “Paxton’s stunning Crystal Palace was a beacon of innovation in the 19th century, encapsulating a spirit of invention which was to shape London and the world for generations to come. Since the iconic building was destroyed, the conundrum of what to do with the crumbling site has not been successfully resolved.” Until now.

Check out renderings and more information, after the break…

ZhongRong Group’s design proposal includes an exact rebuilding of the Crystal Palace, to contain international exhibitions spaces, hotel facilities, and art galleries, as well as the conservation of the park’s unique Victorian heritage. Johnson is convinced that the development “could not only see a world-class landmark building reinstated, [...] but the restoration of the entire surrounding park, bringing jobs and growth.”

Chairman of the ZhongRong Group, Ni Zhaoxing, agrees: “London is renowned across the world for its history and culture and the former Crystal Palace is celebrated in as a magnificent achievement. This project is a once in a lifetime opportunity to bring its spirit back to life by recreating The Crystal Palace and restoring the park to its former glory to create a new and exciting destination for local people and international visitors.” 

Plans Unveiled For Crystal Palace Rebuild Terrace view . Image © ZhongRong Group Plans Unveiled For Crystal Palace Rebuild Cafe view . Image © ZhongRong Group Plans Unveiled For Crystal Palace Rebuild Aerial view . Image © ZhongRong Group Plans Unveiled For Crystal Palace Rebuild Interior view. Image © ZhongRong Group Plans Unveiled For Crystal Palace Rebuild The Crystal Palace, 1851. Image © wikiarquitectura

Although details of the architectural competition have not yet been revealed, Jerome Frost, a director at Arup, the engineering firm working with ZhongRong, told BD Online that the appointment of an architect is priority for the project. Frost also took pains to note that the designing architect (preferably British) will be chosen based on merit: “A project of this scale, opportunity and ambition merits the very best British architecture can offer [...] Our determination is to get the best not the biggest.” Construction is scheduled to begin in winter 2015. 

The glass and cast iron structure of the Crystal Palace was built in 1851; it was the largest glass structure in the world until its destruction in a fire in 1936. The prefabricated modular design by Sir Joseph Paxton, an architect and a gardner, was completed in Hyde Park by 5,000 workers in a mere five months. Paxton’s simple and brilliant design paved the way for more sophisticated pre-fabricated design, while creating an unprecedented exhibition facility, maximizing interior space and natural daylight. 

“Designing Recovery” Winners: Resilient, Livable Homes for Vulnerable Cities

“Designing Recovery,” a competition focused on the planning and rebuilding of resilient and sustainable communities, has announced its three winning entries, by sustainable.to Architecture + Building, GOATstudio LLP, and Q4 Architects.

The competition, which was a collaboration between the American Institute of Architects (AIA),  Make It Right,  Architecture for Humanity, the St. Bernard Project, and Dow Building Solutions, was envisioned to aid communities affected by devastating natural disasters – in this case, , New Orleans, and Joplin, MO.

“When examining all of the designs submitted we continually asked ourselves if this would be a house we would want to live in regardless of safety considerations,” explained Jury Chair, Michael Willis, FAIA, NOMA.  “The three designs that we chose all had the ideal combination of addressing disaster mitigation and actual livability.”

Even though only three winners could be chosen, all entries that can be feasibly built will be constructed in their corresponding communities.

Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building’s Resilient House was chosen as the winner, and focuses on energy efficiency and passivity. The project is oriented to maximize daylighting, cuts back on interior partitions and is both tightly sealed and highly insulated to ensure maximum efficiency. It is raised above the floodplain to avoid disaster related damage, utilizes traditional construction methods and equipment, and can be built for less than $50,000.

GOATstudio’s Shotgun [remix] takes a fresh look at the New Orleans shotgun house, a major part of the local architectural vernacular. The design boasts an open floor plan, sliding polycarbonate privacy panels, vaulted interiors, minimalist modern detailing, and a steel roof that wraps along the southern exterior wall for increased sun protection. The house is raised seven feet above the ground to address the threat from increased rainfall and rising sea levels. Rainwater runoff is filtered through a rain garden, reducing on-site pooling and lessening the load on local infrastructure.

Q4 Architect’s CORE House for Joplin, MO combines two single-cell homes: an external “Perimeter House” is divided by a central “Safe House,” which houses all the necessary functions for a family to recover post-disaster, and can be lived in exclusively until rebuilding is possible. The “Safe House” walls are constructed of filled and anchored carbon-neutral masonry units and rainwater is collected, stored and filtered within the core for reuse. The design incorporates locally-sourced materials, lessening the impact on the environment and supporting local economies.

A House Forever / Longhi Architects

Architects: Longhi Architects
Location: La Planicie, ,
Principal In Charge: Arch. Luis Longhi
Project Team: Arch. Carla Tamariz, Arch. Christian Bottger
Area: 550 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Juan Solano

Construction: Arch. Hector Suasnabar
Supervision: Longhi Architects

From the architect. When a young couple came to my office to commission the design and construction of a house where they would live forever, I knew I had in my hands a great opportunity to continue in my search of ancestral contemporary architecture. In that moment, I was ready to dedicate exclusive time to interpret their dreams in order to create a “container of life”.

My vision for a special house was confirmed when I went to the site for the first time and realized that it was already occupied by an old house where the couple was living with their two children. Then, the task was to demolish the material but keeping the spirit, in order to replace the old construction for a “House for Ever”

The metaphor for the design was to imagine that a big ancestral rock was foundin the site andneeded to be carved in order to accommodate the living spaces.

This “black carved stone”would be occupied by a 4 car garage, service patio, maid’s quarters and pool baths in the basement; kitchen, dining and living spaces in the first floor. The carving of the spaces would generate interesting “built in” furniture with strong texture to be assorted with other natural and artificial materials in order fortheallegorystone to remain as natural as possible to eventually be perceived as part of the owner’s desired garden.

To complete the composition, the blackstone base supports four cantilever volumescontaining the intimate rooms,as the“white floating stones “once ambitioned by the client.

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