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  2. Casa dos Cubos / EMBAIXADA arquitectura

    Since the last decade of the xx century, it has been usual, especially in the old Europe, the commission of projects demanding the conservation, renovation and conversion of constructions from a recent and distant past and from the most diverse typologies, and cultural matrices – This Interior architecture often becomes a field of experimentation for architectural ideas and one of the most challenging themes of the contemporary city. Not only because of urban conditions but also because of historical, social and political demands.

    This preservation syndrome, sometimes leads to a overvaluation of the building structures. Age is not a warranty of architectural quality; on the contrary it is a natural process of selection. The adequacy to new and contemporary programs can be extremely liable to error. If in certain cases the possibility of adequacy is enrolled in the spatial identity of the building, in others the change of uses reveals itself inadequate, leading to an inconsistent meaning in the character of the building. Sometimes the preservation of the architecture we possess, can be, the worst manner of Destruction

    The project is part of a nationwide and governmental program – the Polis programme. The strategy was to revive cities by introducing new equipments such as the Environmental Monitoring and Interpretation Offices (EMIO) buildings. The aim was for this project to energize the rehabilitation of the city. The EMIO are public infrastructure for exhibition and other cultural events, concerning environmental and regional subjects.

    The Project is a reconversion of a former rundown infrastructure that plays a relevant role in the social and urban context of the city of Tomar, although without any particular architectural interest. Located at the beginning of the city historical centre, the building has been subjected to several attachments and changes over the years, finding itself threatened by some decadence and inadequate for the intended use. Even though the building it’s protected under historic-preservation ordinances.

    The new program comprises two distinct areas: a public area for exhibitions, meetings and cafeteria and a private area consisting of Lecture rooms and accommodation for invited artists. Confronted with the regulation plans, the design maintains the entire external perimeter construction, while its rundown interior is totally scooped out. Therefore and due to the functional program, the new construction establishes itself as the anatomy of the existing building. A new architectural body that runs throughout the available space, de-multiplying tectonically the finite interior into a new series of places and programmatic situations. The private areas are volumetrically defined within the structure and optimized for inhabitability. Each with its own access, atmosphere, identity, shape, use and dimension. The Social life, exhibitions and meetings take place in the interstitial space around the new structure, and are characterized and organized by the programmatic events defined by the enclosed spaces.

    The spaces “born” from a visceral symbiosis and from the tension between this architectonic organism and the physical limits that keep him in captivity. The existing building acquires a new interior reading, being reconfigured and transformed in a unitarian and hermetic space with the use of white mate paint and mate epoxy resin coating. For the organism that contaminates the interior it was created and developed a kind of skin. A materiality intended to be abstract and simultaneously expressionistic. Through some kind of alchemy a substance was developed, a recipe, by conjoining some “ingredients”: Dark pigment, Acrylic resin and reflective glass spheres. The entrails of this animal were painted with glossy white paint and with glossy epoxy resin coating. A new interior within an interior interior. A machine capable of producing space, installed in a shell that was progressively deflated and then insufflated with a new and strange form of life.

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  6. Torquay House / Wolveridge Architects

    This project attempts to challenge our traditional notions of how buildings can exist both in a coastal environment and in this case also the context of an emerging built form and character.

    In coastal conditions, buildings must be robust and defy the elements, yet create protective spaces, both internal and external which for us allow the occupants to feel safe, comfortable, privacy and enjoyment of good times.  Whether the occupants are fulltime residents or weekenders, the beach house is a place to look forward to arriving, whether in the heat of the summer or the winter’s cold.

    With excellent views to the north and south and a conscious motivation to avoid the east/west outlooks, this project evolved as a series of interconnected and robustly finished containers.  Each prescribed to a rigid set of rules and the relationship and spaces between containers becoming essential to the program and to the life of the building.

    The robust mass of the buildings is intended to be offset by the expression of finely considered detail and proportion.

    It is the private spaces created in between that allow natural ventilation and light, intimate outlooks, and privacy for the occupants, a place to call home.

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  7. Architects: Jun Igarashi Architects
    Location: Tokoro District, Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan
    Area: 112 sqm
    Year: 2009

    From the architect. About the Site

    The site sits in Northern Japan, in a small city of Eastern Hokkaido with a mere population of 7000. The forestry industry has been lasting since long ago, however depopulation advances while the factory industry declines. The house sits on a large site of about 2000 square meter in such a city. Building density in the area is very low, a unique cityscape in Japan. To the East, across the street, there is a wood factory, to the West, a hospital. The house has quite a distance from the nearest neighbors sitting to the South and North making it difficult to draw from the context.

    The Program

    For the couple who will be residing here, the basic program is placed in; entry foyer, entry storage, family room, kitchen, guest room, bedroom, side room, wash closet, wash room, and bath. The residents do not want to feel the eyes of the passer-bys and that there is no difference in floor level.

    The Project

    As we begin our studies with the given condition, a rational square plan is constructed with the rooms fitted into the plan. However, we realize that this method creates extra circulation corridors and orients rooms and views in an irrational manner. The smallest plan of each program is cut out to be placed in a location and orientation that is favorable. For example, the kitchen is placed in a “selfish” way to look out to the tree garden on the site, and then connected the dinning to the kitchen. With this method, the extra circulation corridors to connect the spaces and hierarchy due to its location and orientation are omitted.

    Volumetric study follows by setting all volume to 10 m high. From this point, according to the room function and area, the appropriate ceiling height is applied to each volume. Each volume becomes shorter as it sprawls from the tallest central living room. From certain points of the site, the house may look symmetrical but one step over, the form changes; similar phenomenon to construct in nature.

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  12. Bruder Klaus Field Chapel / Peter Zumthor

    “In order to design buildings with a sensuous connection to life, one must think in a way that goes far beyond form and construction.” This quote from  rings true in his design of , where a mystical and thought-proving interior is masked by a very rigid rectangular exterior.

    Bruder Klaus Field Chapel all began as a sketch, eventually evolving to become a very elegant yet basic landmark in Germany’s natural landscape. The design was constructed by local farmers who wanted to honor their patron saint, Bruder Klaus of the 15th century.

    Arguably the most interesting aspects of the church are found in the methods of construction, beginning with a wigwam made of 112 tree trunks. Upon completion of the frame, layers of concrete were poured and rammed atop the existing surface, each around 50cm thick. When the concrete of all 24 layers had set, the wooden frame was set on fire, leaving behind a hollowed blackened cavity and charred walls.

    The unique roofing surface of the interior is balanced by a floor of frozen molten lead. Gaze is pulled up by way of obvious directionality, to the point where the roof is open to the sky and night stars. This controls the weather of the chapel, as ran and sunlight both penetrate the opening and create an ambience or experience very specific to the time of day and year.

    On a sunny day, this oculus resembles the flare of a star that can be attributed to a refereence of Brother Klaus’s vision in the womb. The very somber and reflective feelings that become inevitable in one’s encounter with the chapel make it one of the most striking pieces of religious architecture to date. With no plumbing, bathrooms, running water, electricity, and with it’s charred concrete and lead floors, the seemingly uninviting chapel remains an anticipated destination for many.

    “To me, buildings can have a beautiful silence that I associate with attributes such as composure, self-evidence, durability, presence, and integrity, and with warmth and sensuousness as well; a building that is being itself, being a building, not representing anything, just being.”

    Recognized around the world for his stunning architecture designs, Peter Zumthor was awarded the Pritzker Prize in 2009.

    Architect: Peter Zumthor
    Location: Mechernich, Germany
    Project Year: 2007

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  13. Allandale House: A Cabin of Curiosities
    Architect: William O’Brien Jr. 

    Mountain West, 2009-2010

    Allandale House is an A-frame(s) house for an idiosyncratic connoisseur and her family. Along with its occupants, the Allandale House also provides space for an eccentric collection of artifacts that resist straightforward classification. Wines, rare books, stuffed birds and an elk mount are among the relics on display in this small vacation house.

    The house links three horizontal extrusions of “leaning,” or asymmetrical A-frames. The skinny A-frame on the western side contains the library, wine cellar and garage. The wide A-frame in the center of the house is dedicated to two floors of bedrooms and bathrooms. The medium A-frame on the eastern side consists of living, kitchen and dining areas. The house aims to undermine the seeming limitations of a triangular section by augmenting and revealing the extreme proportion in the vertical direction, and utilizing the acutely angled corners meeting the floor as moments for thickened walls, telescopic apertures and built-in storage.

    The relationship between the need for exposed storage and the interior liner of the house is a reciprocal one. Ostensibly problematic head-height limitations posed by the angled ceiling/wall planes are resolved by allowing the interior surface of the ceiling/wall to deviate from the roof surface as it nears the floor plane to become plumb. The thickness created between the outer roof surface and the inner wall surface is then reclaimed as poche from which to carve, creating bookshelves and showcases. Perceptually, the ambition is to tuck the pieces on display within the implied surface of the interior liner, enabling the items to be seen, while providing the possible conception of the space as a simple volume.

    A range of possible configurations were tested. Variables included: (1) the relative orientation of adjacent tube segments, (2) the severity of rotation between segments, (3) the sequence of the three different bay-widths, and (4) the location of the apex of the triangle relative to its base. Given the site features—steeply sloped with a clearing in the north easterly direction—the tube establishes a parallel relationship to the contours of the site and orients the living area toward the clearing. The inclusion of a second floor is only possible in the widest A-frame extrusion. Therefore, the desire to centralize the location of the bedrooms positions the wide A-frame extrusion second in the sequence. Lastly, in tandem with the geometric principles associated with the severity of rotation, the variable location of the apex acts as the formal smoothing agent between tube segments allowing the roof planes to fold along single seams.

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  14. Jean-Baptiste Greuze

    The Paralytic

    1763

     

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