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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. Jean-Baptiste Greuze

    The Paralytic

    1763

     

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  9. Mieke Meijer - Materialism

     

  10. Untitled, Anish Kapoor, 1996
     

  11. Donald Judd

     

  12. Carlos Rosales-Silva

    Vatos Locos 4 Evr, 2008

     

  13. Christoph Schlingensief, “The Stairlift to Heaven,” 2007 (photo by Matthew Septimus, courtesy MoMA PS1) (via Between Politics and Participation: Christoph Schlingensief)

     

  14. House of Vans skatepark opens beneath London’s Waterloo Station.

    Spread across five tunnels winding their way beneath the city’s waterloo station, ‘house of vans london‘ has opened with a celebration of art, music and skateboarding. the free creative space offers visitors a chance to experience the british capital’s only indoor skatepark, comprised of a pool-style concrete bowl, street section and mini-ramp. helping integrate the project within the community, the initiative is affiliated with three local charities.

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  15. Vista de la estancia, Casa en San Ángel, San Ángel Inn, Alvaro Obregon, Mexico DF c. 1950

    Arq. Enrique Carral Icaza

    Foto. Guillermo Zamora