Not all seaside architecture need be weathered and worn. England may be famous for its salt-pelted beachfront villages, but the isle’s traditional vacation spots have begun awakening to the sleeker charms of modern design. No doubt we owe some of this progress to the evangelism of the pop philosopher Alain de Botton, who brought modern …Continue Reading
Saturday in Marseille, France, pedestrians and city officials joined Foster + Partners to celebrate the completion of the Vieux Port Pavilion at the mouth of Marseille’s World Heritage-listed harbor. Minimal, yet effective, this “discreet” intervention provides a new sheltered events space on the eastern edge of the port. With six slender pillars supporting its razor-thin profile, the polished 46 by 22 meter stainless steel canopy amplifies and reflects the surrounding movement of the harbor, creating a spectacle that encourages pedestrians to linger.
More on Foster’s Vieux Port Pavilion after the break…
Reclaiming the quaysides as civic space and reconnecting the port with the city, the boat houses and technical installations that previously lined the quays have been moved to new platforms and clubhouses over the water in an effort to establish a safe, pedestrianised environment that extends to the water’s edge.
The landscape design, which was developed with Michel Desvigne, includes a new pale granite surface, similar in color and durability as the original limestone cobbles. The simple, roughly textured materials secure accessibility for all, along with the elimination of curbs and level changes.
Spencer de Grey, Head of Design, Foster + Partners: “Our aim has been to make the Vieux Port accessible to all – the project is an invitation to the people of Marseille to enjoy and use this grand space for events, markets and celebrations once again. The new pavilion is quite literally a reflection of its surroundings – its lightweight steel structure is a minimal intervention and appears as a simple silver line on the horizon, but it brings a new focus, provides basic shelter and creates a venue for performances during this very important year for the city.”
Vieux Port Pavilion / Foster + Partners originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 05 Mar 2013.
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Earlier this year, a Munich-based architectural practice led by Gunter Henn, Henn Architekten, have realised this fluid, curvilinear pavilion for Porsche. Located near the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg’s Autostadt, the pavilion has been designed to formally echo the dynamic silhouette of the iconic automobile while the structure’s façade has been prefabricated from no less than 620 sheets of stainless steel. More about the [...]
Beijing’s Ballistic Architecture Machine installed their Ballistic Cloud in Chongqing, South Central China, in September of 2011.
The project came to BAM in the summer of 2011 with two main stipulations–one, the client wanted someone to build them a “cloud”, and two, it needed to be completely finished by the second week of September. At the time, this was less than three months away. BAM accepted the challenge.
Built from stainless steel and finished with DuPont Chromalusion paint which changes color depending on your angle of sight, the piece stands 10 meters high and 15 meters in length. Based on a simple waffle grid structure, the piece appears to be simultaneously solid and light and airy depending on the viewers’ angle. 250 miniature fog nozzles mounted inside the structure envelope the piece in a thick cloud which departs to reveal the “Ballistic” structure within. When seen at night surrounded by fog the piece has an otherworldly presence, as if visiting from a…
Location: Fælledparken (Central Park), Corner of Blegdamsvej/Frederik V vej, Copenhagen, Denmark
Engineers: Grontmij A/S
Landscape: GHB Landscape A/S
Client: City of Copenhagen (CAU)
Project Area: 140 sqm
Photographs: Laura Stamer
Funhouse mirrors are mounted on the gabled ends of this playground pavilion in Copenhagen, as well as behind the doors. This engages a play with perspective, reflection and tranformation. Instead of a typical closed gable facade, the mirrored gables creates a sympathetic transition between built and landscape and reflects the surrounding park, playground and activity.
Windows and doors are integrated in the wood-clad facade behind facade shutters with varied bent mirror panel effects. At night the shutters are closed making the building anonymous. During the day the building opens up, attracting the children who enjoy seeing themselves transformed in all directions.
With simple means it has succeeded to transform an existing, sad and anonymous building to a unique and respectful installation in the newly renovated park.
The roof and facade is clad with heat-modified wood and the gables and shutters are clad with mirror polished stainless steel. The Mirror House is a flexible space and restrooms, used by kindergarden classes.
Architects: Cox Architecture + Architects 61
Location: The Helix at Raffles Avenue and Bayfront Bridge, Singapore
Project Year: 2010
Cost at completion of construction: SGD$82,900,000
Project Area: 1379.08 sqm
Project Team: Philip Cox, Michael Rayner, Hang Chung Ling, Spyros Barberis, Lynn Heng, Michael Ngu, Siti Suriah Taib, Sunita Menon.
Consultant Team: Arup – Structural consultant, Arup – Civil consultant, Arup – Mechanical consultant, Arup – Electrical consultant, Arup – Lighting consultant, Tierra Design – Landscape consultant, Davis Langdon Seah – Cost Consultant.
Construction Team: Sato Kogyo (S) Pte Ltd – Builder
Photographs: Christopher Frederick Jones, Angus Martin
The Helix Bridge provides a pedestrian connection across the head of the Singapore River between the city’s existing CBD and its new Bayfront district. Its commission was the result of a selected 36-entry international design competition held in 2006.
The plan concept was to curve the bridge in an arc so that it arrives fluidly into foreshore promenades on each side. It also enabled the bridge to connect in its centre to an adjacent vehicular bridge’s footpath while shifting away from it beyond this point of junction.
Please insert the video here: Click the vimeo icon (it looks like a V its on the second row of icons and fourth from the right) insert the video link and change the dimensions to 530 x 298. Here is the link: http://vimeo.com/32220770 Seeking a delicate, lightweight contrast to the vehicular bridge, the concept evolved of a double helix structure. This form enabled the canopy, required by the brief, to be integrated as segmented panels of glass and perforated steel, unlike other bridge structures. The structural typology also proved highly effective in working to a curvilinear plan, and in generating an intriguing sense of movement flow along the journey.
The Helix Bridge is illuminated at night by ribbons of LED lighting accentuating the interplay of the two helix tubes and their intervening, connecting ties. Four ovular-shaped ‘pods’ cantilever out from the structure enabling people to gain wider appreciation of the bridge form and providing gathering space for viewing bay events. Conceptual Framework The design of The Helix Bridge responds to the brief of an international architectural competition calling for a unique structural form that could be symbolic of Singapore’s goal of promoting the identity of Asia’s ‘connected city’. The plan concept was to curve the bridge away from an adjoining linear vehicular bridge, such that it touched at a point for pedestrian interconnection, yet descended in each direction to fluidly continue along existing promenades at each end. The double helix structure was conceived as both a highly efficient and exciting form that integrated with the curvilinear plan. It forms a dynamic spatial experience as well as, unlike other bridge structures, enables the canopy to be integrated into the segments between the helix tubes and their interconnecting ties.
Public + Cultural Benefits The Helix Bridge forms an essential public link across the Singapore River mouth between the city’s existing CBD and its newly developing Bayfront District. Its curved arc in plan enables people to descend continuously into the bayfront promenades on each side, linking these points with existing major cultural facilities such as the Michael Wilford- designed Esplanade National Performing Arts Centre. From a symbolic perspective, Singapore sees the design as emulating DNA and conveying a spirit of revitalisation.
Relationship of Built Form to Context The Helix Bridge runs adjacent to two linear concrete vehicular bridges. It was felt that running a further parallel, linear bridge alongside these would both congest the crossings and leave the pedestrian bridge as a meagre adjunct to the vehicular bridges. Curving the new bridge away both facilitated its presence and enabled it to meet a point where people can interchange. The curvature also helped to form a sense of containment to the bay and to act as a viewing arena to Marina Bay’s many water events. Program Resolution The Helix Bridge is the world’s only double helix bridge which delights the client (Singapore Government) as uniqueness was a prerequisite of the brief to distinguish Singapore as a ‘connected city’. However, the double helix structure proved to be an ideal response to the requirement to fluidly connect the bridge into existing promenades on each side which are perpendicular to each other. It also facilitated integration of canopy and lighting, also brief requirements.
Integration of Allied Disciplines The bridge design is the product of inseparable collaboration between architect (Cox Rayner / Architects 61) and engineer Arup. Its recognition as an art form also stimulated the Government to create an adjoining Art Park comprising school student works which we assisted in selecting siting. Cost / Value Arup found that for its 280 metre length, the dual helix structure utilises 5 times less steel than a conventional box girder bridge. This finding enabled the client to direct the structure to be constructed entirely of stainless steel for its longevity. Sustainability The bridge’s environmental performance is implicit in the use of minimal steel noted above, this being a key objective of the design.
Additional Benefits Its four cantilevered decks utilising the bridge’s structural natural rigidity to add these expansive external viewing platforms.
Helix Bridge / Cox Architecture with Architects 61 originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 10 Jan 2012.
Modernist or Convicted Felon?
1. His room is spare, clean, and well lit.
2. The dining area is spacious and white, with a subtle, almost imperceptible low humming drone.
3. He eats alone, although he is often surrounded by others.
4. He spends time in isolation.
5. Daily, he shuffles aimlessly in the enclosed yard, trying to avoid eye contact, until it’s time to go back inside.
6. The facility is gated.
7. Out his window, he can see a harsh, rocky bluff.
8. Even though he is well guarded, protected by alarms, high walls, security cameras, and motion detection devices, still… he never really feels safe.
9. None of the windows are operable.
10. Each room in here is only as large as it needs to be.
11. He has struggled with many forms of addiction.
12. Once again, he will shower in full public view. Once again, he will long for frosted glass.
13. His stay here has completely ruined his finances.
14. He has very few pieces of furniture.
15. Since he’s been here, no one has come to visit.
16. Although they still love him, his family doesn’t understand what he did to end up here. They don’t understand why he chose to live this way. Where did they go wrong?
17. He is surrounded by metals, mostly stainless steel.
18. Every morning, he sits upright, waits for his eyes to adjust to the light, and then slowly, almost reluctantly, swings his legs over the edge of the bed and steps onto the hard, cold concrete floor, solemnly starting another day.
all photos are from Averain’s photostream on Flickr and have been used under creative commons license.
Location: Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, USA
Contractor: Frank Rewold & Son, Inc.
Project Size: Collections Addition – 31,200 GSF
Construction Completion: November 2011
Project Design: Paul Urbanek, AIA, LEED AP, ice president and project designer
Project Team: Paul Urbanek, AIA, LEED AP – project designer; Kevin Shultis, AIA, LEED AP – project manager; Ryan Smith, AIA, LEED AP – project architect; Darin Daguanno, AIA, LEED AP; Terry Guitar, AIA, LEED AP; Frank Muehlenbein; Frank Weber, AIA; Mark Goyette; Ben Motyl; Tom O’Connor, FAIA; Jared Lawrence, AIA, CDT; Andrew Dunlap, AIA, CDT, LEED AP; Meredith Steckling, AIA, CDT, LEED Green Associate; Jerry Carter
Photographs: Jim Haefner, Courtesy of SmithGroupJJR
Flanking the majestic peristyle of Eliel Saarinen’s Cranbrook Academy Museum, the new Collections Building completes the second phase of the museum’s master plan. Sited east of Carl Milles’ Orpheus fountain, the simple masonry volume redefines the museum’s forecourt with a quiet demeanor while reinforcing its powerful entry sequence.
The three-story structure provides 7,000-square feet of art collection storage, creates a receiving area for new pieces arriving at the museum, and adds space to accommodate physical care of the collection. It also houses the main mechanical plant for the entire museum and its storage spaces. The plant was re-designed to regulate temperature and humidity at a constant level year round. These and other restoration and improvement efforts created a state-of-the-art conservation environment for the museum’s artwork. Without these improvements, the museum was as risk of losing its accreditation from the American Association of Museums (AAM). AAM certification impacts a museum’s ability to lend and receive prominent exhibits.
The 31,200-square foot Collections Building is composed of three rectangular volumes decreasing in height and width as the building progresses northward away from the museum. The west façade, facing the entry court, is a continuous brick wall that steps down as the volumes recede. Void of fenestration the brick is toned a deep rich brown, clear coated to provide for gentle reflections and trimmed with fine blades of stainless steel. Its only accent is a lone stainless steel bench that marks the termination of the Grand Allee. The simple expression, separated from the original facility by zinc clad panels adjacent to the Chinese Lion stair, is intended to create a serene dialogue with Saarinen’s museum.
The eastern side of the Collections Building presently denotes the service court for the museum and the entrance court for the adjacent Studio Building. This space is ultimately expected to become part of the new entry drive court when the final phase of the museum master plan is in place.
The stepped volumes of the Collections Building are clad in the same brick as the Studio Building, simplifying the overall palette. Also anchoring this edge of the structure is a series of 12-foot high zinc-clad steel panels that enclose the Collections Building’s service court. The panels act as a counterpoint to the lead-coated copper panels on the Studio Building. Completing the composition is a large square stainless steel clad projected window. Here the deep brown brick wrapping the structure from the west unites with the light red brick on the east façade to engage the window and define the Seminar Room within.
The building’s interior is an expression of utilitarian concrete block construction enhanced to an artistic light. The joints of the standard gray block have been raked and the concrete’s soft coating retained to create a subtle, luminous backdrop to finely crafted details throughout. Primary openings within the block have stainless steel plate surrounds and mahogany plank doors are introduced with custom stainless steel push/pulls all to accentuate the act of crossing each threshold. Circulation paths give way to recessed niches of stainless steel and granite, which provide additional spaces for display of art.
Cranbrook: Past Influences, Future Vision
Cranbrook Academy of Art has been described as “America’s Bauhaus,” in recognition of the singular impact the school – one of the nation’s leading graduate schools of art, architecture, and design – has as a place of artistic creation. The Museum’s collection of art and objects includes sculpture, paintings, models and drawings, ceramics, glass, furniture, textiles, and metalwork, and it is renowned for its variety, depth, and unrivaled quality.
The Collections Building is envisioned to promote learning about art within a renowned architectural icon. The completion of this project will allow the museum’s full collection of design, textiles, ceramics and fine art to be displayed and accessed, underscoring the pedagogical mission of Cranbrook by bringing the collection to life for a new generation of artists, students and visitors.