AD Classics: Fagus Factory / Walter Gropius + Adolf Meyer

The Fagus Factory is one of the earliest built works of modern architecture, and the first project of Walter Gropius. The commission provided Gropius with the opportunity to put his revolutionary ideas into practice, and the stunning rectilinear volume with its primarily glazed façade would guide the course of Modernism through the coming decades.

Before working on the Fagus Factory, Gropius was working under Peter Behrens, the architect who designed the AEG turbine building. Although both of the German architects were very interested in industrial architecture, their design philosophy differed. While Behrens introduced a sense of nobility to industrial architecture with the AEG building, Gropius was critical of the project and felt that it lacked authenticity with regards to the exterior design masking its construction elements. Instead, Gropius felt that exterior design should reveal the construction logic of a building. It would become his mandate to discover artistic solutions of constructing industrial buildings in a variety of contexts.

Gropius formally expressed his design ideals during a lecture at the Folkwang Museum in April 1911. In his lecture, ‘Monumental Art and Industrial Construction’, he explained that train stations, departments stores, and factories should no longer be built like those from previous decades and needed to evolve to suit changing societal and cultural dynamics. Gropius emphasized the social aspect to architectural design, suggesting that improving working conditions through increased daylight, fresh air, and hygiene would lead to a greater satisfaction of workers, and therefore, increase overall production. These are the theories that would guide his design of the Fagus Factory.

Shortly after his lecture, Gropius met with Carl Benscheidt, the owner of the Fagus Factory. Located in Alfeld, Germany, Benscheidt’s factory, which produced wooden ‘lasts’ for the manufacturing of boots, was in the process of an ambitious expansion project. Industrial architect Eduard Werner was already designing a series of buildings, renovations, and additions for the Fagus Factory. Gropius explained to Benscheidt that Werner’s design would not provide his factory with the progressive image that Benscheidt had wanted. After successfully convincing Benscheidt of the value of his approach and that the factory should be planned as an artistic project, he was commissioned in May 1911 to assist with the project. As the design was already well underway, Gropius and his collaborator Adolf Meyer adhered to Werner’s floor plans and focused on the exterior and interior design of the project.

The Fagus Factory is a complex with many buildings, which contain various functions such as manufacturing, storage, and offices, and Gropius felt it was important to design an exterior design aesthetic that could be applied to various structures. The use of brick — more specifically, a 40-centimeter high, dark brick base which projects 4-centimeters from the facade — can be seen repeatedly throughout the complex. The most architecturally-significant aspect of Gropius’ contribution to the project is the office building. Unlike the other buildings, this flat-roof, three-story building features a façade that is comprised of more glass than brick. Instead of conventional load-bearing exterior walls, Gropius had made the bold and innovative decision to place reinforced concrete columns inside the building to free the façade. A series of brick piers suspend iron frames between that supports glass inserts. Metal panels were placed within the iron frame to conceal the floor slabs behind. The most innovative feature of the building is the fully glazed exterior corners, which are free of structural elements. The exterior design of the office building effectively demonstrated Gropius’ ambition to improve interior conditions while exposing contemporary construction techniques as an architectural image.


The Fagus Factory was architecturally completed in 1911, though the interiors were not completed until 1925. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011 for its early influence on the development of modern architecture. Design elements of the factory, such as its simple geometric forms, generous use of glazing, and perceived weightlessness, became inseparable from the vocabulary of Modernism and remain common principles in contemporary construction.

Following his work on the Fagus Factory, Walter Gropius continued designing progressive industrial buildings, and in 1919 established the Bauhaus. The Bauhaus Building was designed by Gropius himself and remains his best known work of architecture. As a result of his prolific career devoted to the Modern Movement, Walter Gropius is considered to be one of the most important pioneers of Modernism.

Reference: Lupfer, G., and Sigel, P. Gropius (Cologne: Taschen, 2005).

Architects: Walter Gropius, Adolf Meyer
Location: GreCon, Hannoversche Straße 58, 31061 Alfeld, Germany
Architect In Charge: Walter Gropius
Design Team: Walter Gropius, Adolf Meyer, Eduard Werner
Year: 1925
Photographs: Flickr user martin

AD Classics: Fagus Factory / Walter Gropius + Adolf Meyer via Wikipedia Commons
AD Classics: Fagus Factory / Walter Gropius + Adolf Meyer © Flickr user martin
AD Classics: Fagus Factory / Walter Gropius + Adolf Meyer © Flickr user martin
AD Classics: Fagus Factory / Walter Gropius + Adolf Meyer © Flickr user martin
AD Classics: Fagus Factory / Walter Gropius + Adolf Meyer © Flickr user martin
AD Classics: Fagus Factory / Walter Gropius + Adolf Meyer © Flickr user martin
AD Classics: Fagus Factory / Walter Gropius + Adolf Meyer © Flickr user martin
AD Classics: Fagus Factory / Walter Gropius + Adolf Meyer via Wikipedia Commons
AD Classics: Fagus Factory / Walter Gropius + Adolf Meyer via Wikipedia Commons
AD Classics: Fagus Factory / Walter Gropius + Adolf Meyer AD Classics: Fagus Factory / Walter Gropius + Adolf Meyer
AD Classics: Fagus Factory / Walter Gropius + Adolf Meyer via Wikipedia Commons
AD Classics: Fagus Factory / Walter Gropius + Adolf Meyer via Wikipedia Commons
AD Classics: Fagus Factory / Walter Gropius + Adolf Meyer via Wikipedia Commons
AD Classics: Fagus Factory / Walter Gropius + Adolf Meyer via Wikipedia Commons
AD Classics: Fagus Factory / Walter Gropius + Adolf Meyer via Wikipedia Commons
AD Classics: Fagus Factory / Walter Gropius + Adolf Meyer via Wikipedia Commons
AD Classics: Fagus Factory / Walter Gropius + Adolf Meyer Elevation and technical sections
AD Classics: Fagus Factory / Walter Gropius + Adolf Meyer Ground floor plan

AD Classics: Fagus Factory / Walter Gropius + Adolf Meyer originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 28 Mar 2015.

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Mesh Temporary Bar / fala atelier

Architects: fala atelier
Location: Porto, Portugal
Year: 2014
Photographs: Ana Luisa Soares, António Lopes

Client: aefaup
Budget: 500€

From the architect. The 3x3x5m metal structure was given; the skin is defined by an overlay of metal meshes and plastic screens.

Light and color flow freely through the translucent materials, becoming a smooth cloud over the imposing geometry of the structure.

From far, only the light is visible; while approaching the object, the thin silhouette and its texture reveal their rationality.

The lightness of the construction allows the pavilion to be only a frame for the light it contains.

Mesh Temporary Bar / fala atelier © Ana Luisa Soares, António Lopes
Mesh Temporary Bar / fala atelier © Ana Luisa Soares, António Lopes
Mesh Temporary Bar / fala atelier © Ana Luisa Soares, António Lopes
Mesh Temporary Bar / fala atelier Model. Image
Mesh Temporary Bar / fala atelier © Ana Luisa Soares, António Lopes
Mesh Temporary Bar / fala atelier © Ana Luisa Soares, António Lopes
Mesh Temporary Bar / fala atelier © Ana Luisa Soares, António Lopes
Mesh Temporary Bar / fala atelier © Ana Luisa Soares, António Lopes
Mesh Temporary Bar / fala atelier © Ana Luisa Soares, António Lopes
Mesh Temporary Bar / fala atelier © Ana Luisa Soares, António Lopes
Mesh Temporary Bar / fala atelier © Ana Luisa Soares, António Lopes
Mesh Temporary Bar / fala atelier © Ana Luisa Soares, António Lopes
Mesh Temporary Bar / fala atelier © Ana Luisa Soares, António Lopes
Mesh Temporary Bar / fala atelier Model. Image
Mesh Temporary Bar / fala atelier Plans

Mesh Temporary Bar / fala atelier originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 28 Mar 2015.

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Vlassides Winery / Eraclis Papachristou Architects

Architects: Eraclis Papachristou Architects
Location: Koilani, Cyprus
Design Team: Eraclis Papachristou, Yiannos Tsiolis
Area: 900.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Nikos Louka, Erieta Attali

Structural Engineers: Earthquake Protected Structures- George Demetriades, Nikos Kalathas
Mechanical Engineer: Michalis Gregoriou
Electrical Engineer: Christos Christofi

From the architect. The Vlassides Winery, located on a sloping site amongst vine fields outside the Koilani village in Limassol,  smoothly becomes part of the landscape with most of its volume buried in the hill while the visible part is gradually revealed, benefiting the visitor with the magnificent view of the Cypriot countryside.

The building for Vlassides Winery is organized within a system of parallel walls aligned with the sloping contours of the site. The entrance and the location of the interior spaces create panoramic views to the vine fields, to the winemaking and storage rooms equally, benefiting the visitor with a general experience of the winemaking process.

The building is longitudinal, organized in two functional zones located vertically, including spaces for wine production, wine cellars as well as spaces for wine tasting ceremonies.

The Vlassides Winery is enclosed by parallel walls creating volumes that either emerge or penetrate the landscape. The building makes a distinctive statement in the Cypriot vine fields while the openings on the building shell infiltrate the light into the interior. The conical shaped volumes on the roof, with the stainless steel – mirror finished cladding, act a signal to the visitor, they reflect the Cypriot sunshine and at the same time direct the sunlight inside. The veranda which is the intermediate space between the open-air courtyard (“the plateia”) and the entrance lobby reveals views to the fields as well as to the sky through the conical skylights on its roof.

The spaces are organized in two functional zones located vertically. On the ground floor, the space for wine production is attached to the interior courtyard where the grapes are delivered for the winemaking and the storage in bottles and barrels. The courtyard is enclosed by two walls constructed with the local stone, hiding the view to the automobile traffic. In front of the stone wall an open-air courtyard (the “plateia”) naked from any structural elements, becomes a scene for local festivals under the Cypriot sky.

On the upper level, the space for the wine tasting ceremonies is accessed through the external staircase. The corridor along the wine tasting space gives views to the winemaking spaces and to the cellars.

The building for Vlassides Winery has most of its volume buried in the ground with the wine cellars are fully buried so as to keep an ideal and stable temperature for the wine.

Vlassides Winery / Eraclis Papachristou Architects © Nikos Louka
Vlassides Winery / Eraclis Papachristou Architects © Nikos Louka
Vlassides Winery / Eraclis Papachristou Architects © Nikos Louka
Vlassides Winery / Eraclis Papachristou Architects © Nikos Louka
Vlassides Winery / Eraclis Papachristou Architects © Nikos Louka
Vlassides Winery / Eraclis Papachristou Architects © Erieta Attali
Vlassides Winery / Eraclis Papachristou Architects © Nikos Louka
Vlassides Winery / Eraclis Papachristou Architects © Erieta Attali
Vlassides Winery / Eraclis Papachristou Architects © Erieta Attali
Vlassides Winery / Eraclis Papachristou Architects © Erieta Attali
Vlassides Winery / Eraclis Papachristou Architects © Nikos Louka
Vlassides Winery / Eraclis Papachristou Architects © Nikos Louka
Vlassides Winery / Eraclis Papachristou Architects © Erieta Attali
Vlassides Winery / Eraclis Papachristou Architects First Floor Plan
Vlassides Winery / Eraclis Papachristou Architects Ground Floor Plan
Vlassides Winery / Eraclis Papachristou Architects Site Plan
Vlassides Winery / Eraclis Papachristou Architects Elevation
Vlassides Winery / Eraclis Papachristou Architects Elevation

Vlassides Winery / Eraclis Papachristou Architects originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 28 Mar 2015.

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Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates

Architects: Nath Rankothge & Associates
Location: Kandy, Sri Lanka
Area: 282.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Ajantha Ranaweera

Construction Management: Lal Rankothge & Nath Rankothge
Structural Engineer: Sam Samarasinghe

From the architect. Nisala Villa is a fusion of vernacular and contemporary, Sri Lankan and Western sensibilities. Located along the village high road in the countryside of Kandy, a UNESCO world heritage city, the villa aims to respond to the rich architectural and cultural heritage, tropical mountain landscape and climate.

The design is an exercise in abstraction and simplicity, inspired by Sri Lankan ‘up-country’ living and ancient kingdoms, utilising locally sourced vernacular materials and building traditions.

Moving up the hillside and through the villa, a linear sequence of spaces and platforms unfold. There is a transition from the communal front living, dining and entertainment terrace under one generous cantilevering roof to smaller private spaces and intimate gardens connected by the central hallway.

Platforms slide underneath unifying floating timber roofs that hug and soar dramatically. The ‘platforms’ reinterpret Jorn Utzon’s essay, “Platforms and Plateaus” (Zodiac, No.10(1962):113-140). Dramatic spatial variations, environmental lighting effects, and inside-outside conditions are created by the soaring roofs, skylights, platforms and gardens. The building is fragmented, tectonic, yet a unified whole object.

Furniture is manufactured or sourced from Sri Lanka, a combination of hand-crafted colonial and Sri Lankan antiques, and complementary contemporary pieces custom designed by Nath Rankothge.

The project employs socially, economically and environmentally sustainable approaches through design, construction and operations.

Passive design features were critical to reducing the carbon and energy footprint. The effectiveness of natural ventilation, capturing breezes, cooling perimeter gardens, high ceilings, ground level living, and thermal mass have meant that air conditioning is avoided. Natural cross ventilation is promoted through a highly ‘openable’ skin of doors and windows facing perimeter gardens, and capturing a natural cooling breeze coming down the mountain on the Northern elevation. Spaces stepping up the hill are connected by the linear hallway with high level windows and louvers promoting stack ventilation. The transparent glass elevations, high windows, and skylights permit generous natural daylight, while deep, low eaves reduce direct sun penetration. Electricity consumption is minimised using solar hot water and electricity.

Engaging local labour, materials, and fabricators were integral to the design and construction process. Most construction materials and labour were sourced in Kandy or other parts of the island based on availability, sustainability, technical capability, and cost considerations. The limited selection of cost-effective, quality imported materials and advanced construction technologies in Sri Lanka is a consequence of a 3 decade long internal war that ended in 2009. As an adaptive response by architects practicing in Sri Lanka, the detail refinement of vernacular materials and use of available skills such as stonemasonry is defining a contemporary Sri Lankan architectural aesthetic. The Sri Lankan preference for the detached garden home typology has shaped an island-wide, dense, ‘tropical-suburban’ condition. Within this context, Nisala Villa demonstrates possibilities for accessible, appropriate, quality residential construction, during a period of rapid development generally characterised by low cost, substandard construction.

The boutique villa operation supports building maintenance and engages the village community. Villagers enthusiastically work with hospitality experts, develop skills, make a livelihood, engage with foreigners, and share ideas. Sensitivity to village identity and culture is paramount and the villagers are involved in decision making and implementation. Nisala Villa has become a symbol of inclusive development and culture.

Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates © Ajantha Ranaweera
Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates © Ajantha Ranaweera
Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates © Ajantha Ranaweera
Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates © Ajantha Ranaweera
Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates © Ajantha Ranaweera
Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates © Ajantha Ranaweera
Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates © Ajantha Ranaweera
Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates © Ajantha Ranaweera
Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates © Ajantha Ranaweera
Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates © Ajantha Ranaweera
Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates © Ajantha Ranaweera
Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates © Ajantha Ranaweera
Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates © Ajantha Ranaweera
Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates © Ajantha Ranaweera
Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates © Ajantha Ranaweera
Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates © Ajantha Ranaweera
Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates © Ajantha Ranaweera
Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates © Ajantha Ranaweera
Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates © Ajantha Ranaweera
Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates © Ajantha Ranaweera
Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates © Ajantha Ranaweera
Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates © Ajantha Ranaweera
Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates © Ajantha Ranaweera
Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates © Ajantha Ranaweera
Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates © Ajantha Ranaweera
Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates © Ajantha Ranaweera
Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates © Ajantha Ranaweera
Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates © Ajantha Ranaweera
Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates © Ajantha Ranaweera
Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates © Ajantha Ranaweera
Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates Floor Plan
Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates Elevation
Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates Elevation
Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates Section
Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates Model
Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates Model

Nisala Villa / Nath Rankothge & Associates originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 27 Mar 2015.

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Filling Station(s)

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The Oeko-Center Administrative Building / Steinmetz De Meyer

Architects: Steinmetz De Meyer
Location: Montée de Pfaffenthal, 2328 Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Area: 1347.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Catherine Thiry

Civil Engineer: T6-Ney & Partners s.à.r.l.
Technical Engineer: Jean Schmit Engineering s.à.r.l.
Landscape Architect : Areal Landscape architects
Coordinator Pilot: HBH S.A.
Coordination Security Health : Fernand Greisen
Blower Door Test: Hubert Schmitz
Energy Consultant : Eböck
Commodo Incommodo: Jean Schmit Engineering s.à.r.l.
Soil Investigation: Geotec s.à.r.l.
Analysis Asbestos Presence: Ingenieurgruppe RUK
Client: City of Luxembourg

From the architect. Next to the elementary school in the Pfaffenthal neighborhood, rue Vauban, the “Centre du Mouvement Écologique” (Ecological Center), known as the “MECO”, was in dilapidated structures, worth of no interest, neither as built heritage, nor as architectural component of urban fabric.

That old structure, having serious problems with stability, moisture and useful surface capacity, has been replaced by a new construction, exemplary for its answers to concerns and questions raised by sustainable development.

Therefore, the decision was made to erect a structure, abiding by environmental and energy values required for the environment.
The new building of the “Centre du Mouvement Écologique” meets the energy criteria of a mixed-use building known as “passive”.

The selection of building materials, the construction itself, the techniques and facilities set up take into account a series of parameters developed in paragraphs relating to environmentalism, energy, stability and outdoor design. This new construction, almost entirely made of solid wood, which only resorts to armored concrete techniques where strictly necessary (escape stairwells and subsurface premises) or to steel construction for long spans, is a pilot project for administrative buildings.

Varied from one floor to the other, the complex organization of the “Centre du Mouvement écologique” gets collected into a sober construction of free and flexible platforms (open space). Each space is partitioned and fitted according to the specific needs of the various departments and positions to be hosted.

The Oeko-Center Administrative Building / Steinmetz De Meyer © Catherine Thiry
The Oeko-Center Administrative Building / Steinmetz De Meyer © Catherine Thiry
The Oeko-Center Administrative Building / Steinmetz De Meyer © Catherine Thiry
The Oeko-Center Administrative Building / Steinmetz De Meyer © Catherine Thiry
The Oeko-Center Administrative Building / Steinmetz De Meyer © Catherine Thiry
The Oeko-Center Administrative Building / Steinmetz De Meyer © Catherine Thiry
The Oeko-Center Administrative Building / Steinmetz De Meyer © Catherine Thiry
The Oeko-Center Administrative Building / Steinmetz De Meyer © Catherine Thiry
The Oeko-Center Administrative Building / Steinmetz De Meyer © Catherine Thiry
The Oeko-Center Administrative Building / Steinmetz De Meyer © Catherine Thiry
The Oeko-Center Administrative Building / Steinmetz De Meyer © Catherine Thiry
The Oeko-Center Administrative Building / Steinmetz De Meyer © Catherine Thiry
The Oeko-Center Administrative Building / Steinmetz De Meyer Floor Plan
The Oeko-Center Administrative Building / Steinmetz De Meyer Floor Plan
The Oeko-Center Administrative Building / Steinmetz De Meyer Floor Plan
The Oeko-Center Administrative Building / Steinmetz De Meyer Floor Plan
The Oeko-Center Administrative Building / Steinmetz De Meyer Floor Plan
The Oeko-Center Administrative Building / Steinmetz De Meyer Floor Plan
The Oeko-Center Administrative Building / Steinmetz De Meyer Elevation
The Oeko-Center Administrative Building / Steinmetz De Meyer Elevation
The Oeko-Center Administrative Building / Steinmetz De Meyer Elevation
The Oeko-Center Administrative Building / Steinmetz De Meyer Elevation
The Oeko-Center Administrative Building / Steinmetz De Meyer Section
The Oeko-Center Administrative Building / Steinmetz De Meyer Section
The Oeko-Center Administrative Building / Steinmetz De Meyer Section
The Oeko-Center Administrative Building / Steinmetz De Meyer Section
The Oeko-Center Administrative Building / Steinmetz De Meyer Section
The Oeko-Center Administrative Building / Steinmetz De Meyer Section

The Oeko-Center Administrative Building / Steinmetz De Meyer originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 27 Mar 2015.

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Further details on Tadao Ando’s NYC luxury condo tower

At the corner of Elizabeth and Kenmare Streets at the edge of NoLIta, demolition work began in early March to make way for a seven-story condominium, Mr. Ando’s first stand-alone project in the city, although he has designed a restaurant (Morimoto in Chelsea) and residential interiors in Manhattan.

Sales are expected to begin in April, with prices […] likely to rise to more than $30 million for the four-bedroom penthouse, according to Mr. Steinberg.

Previously:

New details on Tadao Ando’s upcoming residential project in NYC’s NoLItaTadao Ando to design first residential building in New York

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Kickstart this! Archinect’s Kickstarter picks for March 2015

Time for the latest Kickstarter picks for Archinect’s curated Kickstarter page. Check out what sorts of crowdfunding projects made it onto this month’s list…

Organic Growth. Summer Pavilion on Governors Island 2015

Izaskun Chinchilla Architects was chosen as one of the winners in the 2015 ‘City of Dreams’ Pavilion competition to have their proposal “Organic Growth” constructed on Governors Island, NY. Dubbed by the firm as “NY’s biggest bike bouquet”, the proposed 95 sq.m. canopy puts space-filling waste materials to crafty use.

Billion Oyster Pavilion

Another winning City of Dreams Pavilion design by BanG Studios. All the materials in the Billion Oyster Pavilion would be used by the New York Harbor School to rebuild oyster habitats in NY’s waterways.

2015 CGarchitect Visualization Conference

CGarchitect.com/CGSchool’s Jeff Mottle and CGSchool business partner Brian Zajac teamed up to create the first annual CGarchitect 3D Architectural Visualization Conference. Out of an ambitious fund…

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