OMA’s winning Santa Monica design is rejected by city council members

The design called for a series of rectangular buildings skewed on an axis comprised of ground-floor retail, office development and proposed residential and flex office space and the upper section would be a hotel, according to city officials. “I have to say that the Metro Pacific is a beautiful project and you look at it and it’s stunning architecturally,” Davis said. “The affordable housing is kind of an afterthought … . It’s a little unclear of how many units we are going to get.”



OMA’s winning Santa Monica designs are rejected by city council members

The design called for a series of rectangular buildings skewed on an axis comprised of ground-floor retail, office development and proposed residential and flex office space and the upper section would be a hotel, according to city officials. “I have to say that the Metro Pacific is a beautiful project and you look at it and it’s stunning architecturally,” Davis said. “The affordable housing is kind of an afterthought … . It’s a little unclear of how many units we are going to get.”



AECOM Selected To Design New Arena for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings

AECOM, already busy working with Snøhetta on a basketball arena in San Francisco, has been chosen to design the new downtown basketball facility for the Sacramento Kings. Renderings for the  project, set to open by 2016, will not be released until the fall, but earlier images, released when the ownership team was still competing for the […]

House in Itami / Tato Architects

Architects: Tato Architects
Location: , Hyogo Prefecture,
Architect In Charge: Yo shimada
Area: 95 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Koichi Torimura

From the architect. Widening interspace to utilize

Many of the requests to us for designing a house are accompanied with a prerequisite of ensuring a house for a nuclear family at an extremely subdivided lot, to which we cannot easily apply the manners of architecture having been accumulated for long time in Japan. We repeated trials and errors while designing as we think we are in the formative period for a new manner.

This time was not the exception as well. For this level of density of urban houses, where outer walls of the adjoining houses do not touch each other, the civil law demands 500 mm setbacks of outer walls to form interspace of 1,000 mm in width in-between those.

We have kept thinking if it is used more effectively. In this project, we gave 400mm more setbacks from the boundary line of the north eastern adjacent land. As a result, there was 1,400mm wide interspace as a passage, which was 900mm in width from the border of the adjacent plot, utilized by placed an entrance in the middle of the side wall faced to the interspace, which realized to minimize space for routing in the house.

The setback ensured the eave as high as about 9 m avoiding the north side slant line. Non-structural walls were pushed out outward providing space for closets,etc. Accordingly, it provided bigger space containing facilities such as a toilet than as it looked from interior space like furniture, which brought ambiguity in perception of space.

Architecture and furniture

When I have the honor of seeing an architect-designed house, I sometimes feel as if design furniture is telling messages. I wonder if it is right to summarize by saying “respect the original space and don’t bring any unnecessary things”, but it seems almost like a strong desire as much as to say not to fill the space with anything does not deserve it. Although I cannot say I don’t have such desire at all, I still aim to create space where a variety of things can be brought in and used in everyday life much more freely.

In this house, architectural elements such as stairs, a laundry space, closets, hand rails and toilets are made as if those are furniture. Except for those, there are only floors. As such, architecture and furniture are mingled and those meanings become relative each other, in which way I keep trying to create freedom in rooms as if all of those are just randomly placed and used by chance.

Like choreography notes

I always think the way of dealing with stairs is important in houses, especially in small ones. One of the general methods is to place a stair at the middle of one room allocating functions on both sides. Although it maximizes usable area, it leaves the question if it brings rich spatial experience to live seeing every inch of the house and a stair all the time.

The ceiling of the dining room in this house is 3,776 mm in height, which is determined to make the space under the staircase landing usable as routing. By making it extremely thin, the rest of the height was divided into 1880mm downward and 1850mm upward. Although those are tight dimensions, you can go through between two layers minding your head.

I think it is favorable for a house to have such a scale of physical bodies. Therefore, the dining table was placed over the stair between the ground floor and the first floor leaving space for residents to pass under it. Bodies appear and disappear under the table as residents go up and down the stair.

Once you slide the entrance door and slip into inside of furniture, you reach under the dining table, where faced to a big wall receiving sun light coming through the south window. You see the white wall softly lit from the north as you step on the small stool. To the second floor, you step on the sofa, furniture like a drawer, and the thin stair. At every steps toward upstairs, light conditions change as the direction and the size of space change. Stairs as choreography for spatial experience of this small, thin space.

Structure

As the site is located in the back of a narrow cul-de-sac and carrying-in by vehicle was limited, the structure with light materials such as 100mm×100m H steel sections for columns and beams, braces with round bars,75mm deck plates for the floor construction was applied. Those resulted in reducing the amount of steel materials, and the total construction cost to about as same as that of a wooden house.

The horizontal stiffness of floors was acquired with horizontal bracings of 6mm flat bars and 50mm squared tie beams beneath concave parts of the deck plates. Floors on different levels were fixed to the columns at both ends so that the continuity of stiffness between those was still kept.

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An Unusual Tree House: Striking Blackpool Project in New Zealand

architecture project Blackpool An Unusual Tree House: Striking Blackpool Project in New Zealand Glamuzina Paterson Architects completed the design of a highly welcoming residence located in a lush green environment in New Zealand.  The Blackpool House has a total surface of 81 square meters and its “vertical” architecture approach responds to the topography of the site: “The southern wall is conceived as a defensive wall anchoring the building into the site, and setting up a layering of the space within. The entry compresses you on arrival, followed by a sense of expansion offered by the interior double height space beyond.”
design project Blackpool An Unusual Tree House: Striking Blackpool Project in New Zealand The tower accommodates a couple’s bedroom, and was completed on a very modest budget. According to the architects, “the house consists of four interior split levels and two decks that allow for varying connections to the landscape, with kitchen and dining on one level and living below. The second floor has a bedroom and bathroom with a mezzanine library on the stair landing“. Interior design combines modern minimalism with traditional decors, resulting in practical, yet very warm living spaces.
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String It Along: Lys Candelabra by Matte Berit Nyberg

String It Along: Lys Candelabra by Matte Berit Nyberg

Matte Berit Nyberg recently completed thesis work at Pratt Institute and one of my favorite pieces that she designed is this candelabra on a string. Basically, it’s a series of votive candle holders but they’re connected with a simple string so that they’re easily wrangled, displayed, and managed on your table top.

String It Along: Lys Candelabra by Matte Berit Nyberg in home furnishings Category

String It Along: Lys Candelabra by Matte Berit Nyberg in home furnishings Category

She was inspired by Danish culture and how candles are essential to their lifestyle during the long, dark winters. And while this may look like a very simple design, there is a lot behind it. Below, Matte explains more about the thought behind this design:

Danish social culture is still also heavily influenced by the Jante Law that list 10 rules about how a person should conduct themselves. Many of these statements surround the thought of equality, stating that no one is better or more important than anyone else. I started with drawing circular forms as a 2d representation of equality. A circle has no top or bottom; it is interconnected, equal around its circumference and works perfectly as a symbol for a society that believes so deeply in the Jante Law. The wooden cups are strung on to a rope like beads and then the rope is knotted under each cup inside a small hole. The knot references the joining together and the strong hold within a community. Each of these cups in themselves were symbols of equality but I choose to link them together in a flexible way to emphasize that each individual although equal to everyone else still moves flexibly in their tight-knit society.

String It Along: Lys Candelabra by Matte Berit Nyberg in home furnishings Category

String It Along: Lys Candelabra by Matte Berit Nyberg in home furnishings Category








UNStudio Envisions Giant Observation Wheel in Japan

Consider a social-networking experience that combines real-time amusement with an awareness of your surroundings. Dutch architecture firm, UNStudio, together with Investment of Japan, have laid out a colossal vision that expects to attract millions of visitors to a mixed-use retail, food and beverage center anchored by an architecturally-iconic observation wheel, Nippon Moon. The concept utilizes a user’s smart phone or tablet, extending the rider’s experience far beyond the moment they physically enter one of the 32 single or double-decker capsules.

A user’s device becomes a portal to a network that notifies them of waiting times – essentially doing away with long, exhaustive lines – and enables users, who are otherwise visually or physically separate, to communicate from one capsule to another. The intent is to encourage active participation in one’s own experience of culture, the environment and self.

The pill-shaped capsules completely enclose the users, displaying digitally altered views upon its transparent glass shell thereby mediating between the real and the virtual. To fully understand behavioral trends and user-experiences, UNStudio has teamed up with Experientia, an Italian-based design company, to develop a coherent strategy for the proposed augmented visuals. Considerably evolved from traditional ferris wheel carts, the capsules are large enough to accommodate roughly a dozen people meandering on its floors for the duration of the ride. Arup and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, specialized wheel engineers, have joined the design team to consult on structural constraints.

This romanticism, claims UNStudio, is an integral part of the vision to ensure that the design and engineering of the wheel represents the ambitions of modern Japan. “The concept of the observation wheel itself is not new,” they admit. However, by exploring the relationship between robust engineering and emerging technologies, we can develop a uniquely-Japanese cultural attraction.

Architects: UNStudio
Architect In Charge:
Design Team: Gerard Loozekoot, Frans van Vuure, Filippo Lodi, Harlen Miller, Jan Kokol, Wendy van der Knijff, Todd Ebeltoft, Tina Kortmann, Patrik Noome, Jeroen den Hertog, Iain Jamieson
Client: Ferris wheel Investment Co.,Ltd
Structural Engineer: Arup Tokyo + Melbourne, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Interactive Design: Experientia
Animation: Submarine
Visualization: MIR
Building Surface: Terminal and platform 7.200 m2
Building Volume: Terminal and platform 90.000m3
Capsules: 32
Building Site: 18.000m2
Area: 0.0 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Courtesy of UNStudio

UNStudio Envisions Giant Observation Wheel in Japan Courtesy of UNStudio UNStudio Envisions Giant Observation Wheel in Japan Courtesy of UNStudio UNStudio Envisions Giant Observation Wheel in Japan By downloading the Nippon Moon app, users will be able receive notifications and share content with other users. Image Courtesy of UNStudio UNStudio Envisions Giant Observation Wheel in Japan The Nippon Moon app will utilize 'active queuing,' allowing users to shop and eat while they wait for their scheduled ride time. Image Courtesy of UNStudio UNStudio Envisions Giant Observation Wheel in Japan Courtesy of UNStudio UNStudio Envisions Giant Observation Wheel in Japan Courtesy of UNStudio UNStudio Envisions Giant Observation Wheel in Japan Courtesy of UNStudio UNStudio Envisions Giant Observation Wheel in Japan Courtesy of UNStudio

Slow Weather of Architecture

Larry Totah died few years ago. All his close friends, including me, have seen him wither away, but he managed to keep an encompassing fog around his demise as if his architecture was going to survive in it, and it did.
Only then but not now. It remained there not frozen but still, not void nor empty and not sad.