A selection of projects and articles that we featured in the month of April.
The book covers the majority of the work of Tokyo-based architectural firm of Atelier Bow-Wow. Founded by Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Momoyo Kaijima, Atelier Bow-Wow has mostly concentrated its activity around small houses, usually built within dense urban surroundings. With a fresh vision that is well detailed in the book, Atelier Bow-Wow’s have defied the conventional guidelines and created original, volumetrically optimized spaces that respond to the needs of its users despite their constrained dimensions.
While large portions of the book are dedicated the firm’s architecture work, the architects’ work on furniture as well as their research projects are well detailed. Interesting essays by different writers help the reader to learn more about the principles that guide the firm’s design. The book’s introduction written by Kaijima and Tsukamoto themselves sheds the light on the concepts that glue all their work together. They insist on the fact that their projects had a tendency to “contaminate, inform, and mutually develop one another”. While striving to produce livable, viable, and enjoyable spaces, they developed a recurrent theme based on “Behavior”.
Projects showcase excellence in sustainable design principles and reduced energy consumption. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) have selected the top ten examples of sustainable architecture and green design solutions that protect and enhance the environment. The projects will be honored at the AIA 2010 National Convention and Design Exposition in Miami.
The COTE Top Ten Green Projects program, now in its 14th year, is the profession's best known recognition program for sustainable design excellence. The program celebrates projects that are the result of a thoroughly integrated approach to architecture, natural systems and technology. They make a positive contribution to their communities, improve comfort for building occupants and reduce environmental impacts through strategies such as reuse of existing structures, connection to transit systems, low-impact and regenerative site development, energy and water conservation, use of sustainable or renewable construction materials, and design that improves indoor air quality.
Here are three of the awarded projects, that we are featuring this month (more to follow).
Yale University has completed construction of a new ultra-green building—designed to use 50 percent less energy than a comparably sized modern building—for its School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES). Kroon Hall achieves its remarkable energy savings from a host of design elements and technical strategies molded to fit the building’s New England weather and climate. Kroon Hall is named in honor of benefactor Richard Kroon (`64) and Mary Jane Kroon. “Yale’s most sustainable building to date reflects the School’s mission and the intellectual passion of its faculty and students,” said Yale President Richard C. Levin. “It is an extraordinary design, and we hope its energy-saving concepts will be emulated widely and inspire others to advance green building even further.”
Rising 23 stories above Portland, Oregon’s evolving West End neighborhood, Twelve|West is a mixed-use building designed to meet two LEED Platinum Certifications and serve as a laboratory for cutting-edge, sustainable design strategies. It features street level retail space, four floors of office space for ZGF Architects LLP, 17 floors of apartments and five levels of below-grade parking. The building has an eco-roof, rooftop garden and terrace space, complete fitness studio and a theatre. Four wind turbines sit prominently atop the building representing the first U.S. installation of a wind turbine array on an urban, high-rise. Twelve|West serves as not only an anchor in a rapidly transforming urban neighborhood, but also as a demonstration project to inform future sustainable building design.
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia is a new international, graduate-level research university established to drive innovation in science and technology and to support world-class research in areas such as energy and the environment. As Saudi Arabia's first LEED certified project and the world's largest LEED-NC Platinum project, KAUST is a new international, graduate-level research university established to drive innovation in science and technology and to support world-class research in areas such as energy and the environment.
Renovation and Transformation:
The Experimental Ranch House, was originally designed by Cliff May (20th Century California Architect credited with creating the California ranch-style home in 1931) as his personal residence. It is situated in the Sullivan Canyon area of Los Angeles. The historic house was completed in 1952 and is thought to be a unique example of the evolution of Ranch House design.
The project renovates an existing house built in the 1950’s. The original house was well constructed, but, with 7’-6” ceilings and a stair segregating the main living spaces, it lacked spatial hierarchy and volume. In addition, the existing house failed to take advantage of its remarkable site, which offers spectacular views to the north and west across Puget Sound.
BOB361 transformed a former goldsmithery into a pleasant living/working environment. Partial demolition helped in providing a larger permeability and plenty of light and ventilation that is needed by the internal spaces to become suitable for in their new role. The linear organization distributes the spaces along a gradual progression that takes the visitor from the public areas to semipublic courtyards, and finally the more private lofts and gardens.
Many towns in Denmark have centrally located industrial silos; most are no longer in use, but continue to visually dominate the local skyline. This is also the case in the town of Løgten north of Aarhus, where the former silo complex has been transformed into a 'rural high-rise', with 21 high-quality residences composed as individual and unique 'stacked villas'. They are an alternative to standard apartments or to detached suburban sprawl, and are a mix of single storey flats and maisonettes, meaning that even the lower levels fully get to enjoy the views, and that no two flats are the same.
Competition: Two proposals for the expansion to the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec (MNBAQ)
OMA’s expansion of MNBAQ – linked underground with the museum’s three existing buildings – is located on Quebec’s main promenade, Grande-Allée, adjacent to St. Dominique Church. The design aims to integrate the building with the surrounding park and initiate new links with the city.
According to BIG, the proposal is conceived as an open framework for exhibitions. The two main facades are conceived as gigantic windows revealing the changing content inside. In reverse the museum visitors will be able to enjoy the fantastic panorama of the Parc des Champs-de-bataille as well as the rare elevation of the church and convent courtyard on the opposite side. Visitors will enter along Quebec’s Grande Allée into the underside of the tilted volume of the new edition to the generous lobby underneath.
The Abu Dhabi Eco Park master plan represents the framework for a new urban community, and a roadmap for how this land will be transformed into a model of sustainable living. The sustainability plan, closely modeled on the One Planet Living guiding principles, lays out the vision, strategies, and actions necessary to create an environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable development for the enjoyment of residents, visitors, and neighboring communities.
Dramatically perched on the banks of the Elbe River in Hamburg, Germany, the 408,880-square-foot structure is the new corporate headquarters for Unilever’s operations in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Unileverhaus is situated in the HafenCity section of Hamburg, a bustling new urban axis founded on sustainability practices that extends from the city center to the harbor.
Middlefart is a small Danish town on the island of Fyn. Middelfart Savings Bank had high ambitions for its recently inaugurated head office. The building needed to ensure a perfect environment for the employees, while positively stressing demands for high architectural quality in the future development along the neighbouring harbour front. 3XN’s design is characterized by a large roof that covers all functions in the building. The roof is a large elegant wooden structure with 83 prism like skylights.
Standard, a Los Angeles-based multidisciplinary architecture and design practice, has completed this retail project, the flagship store for online couture retailer REVOLVE Clothing (REVOLVE). The new storefront, which is REVOLVE’s first-ever brick-and-mortar retail space, is conceived as a high-fashion gallery that also serves as a flexible space and a destination for art, fashion and creative events.
Houses (and smaller dwellings)
While developing the design of this house, Rockefeller Partners worked very closely with their clients, a couple that had switched eight houses in ten years, moving where it was convenient for work, but never finding the perfect location to create a real home. They now had two small children and needed a property where they could work, play and grow as a family. When they found a 3.14-acre lot in Mandeville Canyon with over 200 mature trees and expansive views of the city and ocean beyond, they knew they had found the ideal environment.
Designed to provide the owners with a quiet retreat amidst the forested Wisconsin landscape, Bluff House rises from the gently sloping terrain of its wooded site along the crown of a 30-mile long bluff range. A former logging road carves through the rhythmic woodland providing access to the house. As the home’s intersecting volumes slowly emerge from the dense forest, visitors are welcomed by the legibility of simple, diagrammatic geometry and the rustic warmth of natural materials.
A-Cero_Vivienda-06A-cero Architecture describes the design of this house as “The maximum expression of minimalism”. The house is situated in the upscale neighbourhood of “La Finca” in Pozuelo de Alarcón (Madrid), within an exclusive housing development, an area with wide green spaces, lakes and spectaculars houses, and most if them actually designed by A-cero.