Ensamble Studio’s Hemeroscopium House, in Madrid; photo: Roland Halbe Architects love structure—and with good reason. In a profession that frequently blurs the lines between artistic disciplines, structure is one of the few things that architects can uniquely call their own. From Mies van der Rohe to Félix Candela, many masters have made their affinity for engineering central …Continue Reading
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
Image via Twitter user @Lucien_N_Smith Images of the 2013 Serpentine Pavilion by Sou Fujimoto are slowly trickling out of London. Now under construction, the pavilion, as seen in conceptual renderings, will take the form of a dreamlike dematerializing cloud of white rods, tethered to rationality through its cubic lattice. Fujimoto describes his concept: For the 2013 …Continue Reading
This project won the 2013 Architizer A+ Jury and Popular Choice Awards in BOTH the Government & Municipal Buildings AND Parks categories. See the full list of winners here.
Rising above misty Norwegian fjords, the Trollstigen National Tourist Route provides unprecedented access to a sublime Scandinavian landscape. The bold forms and robust materiality employed by Oslo-based Reiulf Ramstad Architects evoke rugged modernism with a cinematic flair. This exquisite project astounded our esteemed jurors and avid fans alike, sweeping both the Jury and Popular Choice Awards in two different categories to become the most highly decorated Architizer A+ winner! A masterwork of composition and material, the project’s true beauty lies in its restraint and technical execution, perched atop the world. Read more.
The Trollstigen plateau is a narrow slice of flat land wedged between two deep fjords in coastal Norway. While the breathtaking landscape is a national treasure, providing safe access for visitors is staggeringly complicated. The region’s inhospitable climate restricts safe visitation to the short summer season, when the near 20 feet of winter snowfall temporarily abates. Architect Christian Skram Fuglset explains that the seemingly insurmountable project was approached by “considering all the architecture of the place as built landscape, rather than conventional buildings.” Much of the intervention is exterior space, says Fuglset, ”conceived of as a thin thread that guides visitors from one stunning overlook to another.”
The extensive project is composed of a primary mountain lodge with restaurant and gallery and an extensive network of paths and viewing platforms. By methodically designing each component out of cast-in-place concrete and COR-TEN steel, the architects developed “a robust facility, dimensioned for durability with minimal maintenance and large static stresses.” But the elegant aesthetic transcends the strict functionally to achieve an architecture “characterized by clear and precise transition between the architecture and the natural landscape.” The resulting structure—which combines state-of-the-art engineering with a deep sense of place and stunning design—is a testament to the inspirational power of architecture.
Images courtesy Reiulf Ramstad Architects
This project won the 2013 Architizer A+ Jury Award in the bars & nightlife category. See the full list of winners here.
Building a contemporary winery in a UNESCO-protect landscape isn’t easy. The Lavaux Vinyard Terraces have stretched along the southern shores of Lake Geneva since monks started the precarious plantings centuries ago. Yet Swiss atelier Fournier-Maccagan took up the challenge of designing a modern space dedicated to tasting and displaying wines grown on the surrounding terraces, without disturbing the valuable planting surfaces.
With nowhere left to build but directly into the rock, the architects devised a stunning contemporary facade on the cliff-face to announce the winery’s presence among the farmed terraces. The facade of ‘VINORAMA’ is covered by a sculptural steel rain-screen, designed by Swiss artist Daniel Schleapfer. It’s pixelated surface depicts grapevines, which impart a pleasant dappled light to the interior tasting rooms. Read more!
For the architects, making the modern winery fit into the historic and natural context was of paramount importance. They chose to build with concrete—a material both historic and modern, used by the ancient Romans and Swiss modernists. To pay further homage to local building traditions, the concrete was composed of local sand and aggregate, physically including the earth of the site into the structure. Furthermore, the concrete was “incised with a rake before setting, creating an effect both raw and worked by a human hand, imposing itself forcefully and naturally.” The effect of these important details shows through in the finalized building, whose careful crafting adds an elusive quality.
Our esteemed jurors were also obviously impressed, awarding the project the Archtizer A+ Jury Award for the best nightlight spot. Congratulation to Atelier Fournier-Maccagan and Daniel Schleapfer for their win!
Images courtesy Atelier Fournier-Maccagnan with Daniel Schlaepfer
Project: Cruise Ship Terminal
Location: Bilbao, Vizacaya, Spain
The new Cruise Ship Terminal for the Port of Bilbao is an “orthogonal metallic prism” dissected along the port’s quayside. Clad in jet-black steel panels, the terminal building balances a contextual industrial aesthetic with an elegant contemporary character. Large skylights flood the terminal’s interior with light, reducing the need for endless florescent fixtures across the deep space. The assertive architectural presence creates a sense of place that is too often absent from transportation hubs.
Read more about this project in the Architizer database!
Photos: Mariela Apollonio
Project: Park Pavilion
Architect: Moneo Brock Studio
Location: Cuenca, Spain
This astounding park pavilion in the historic city of Cuenca acts as a catalyst for rehabilitating the abandoned surrounding natural landscape. The crowning jewel of a larger urban project that includes the construction of performance spaces, an ice-skating rink, bars and restaurants in a cluster of historic buildings, the park pavilion functions as a venue for the city’s annual fair and weekly market. Composed of 23 pentagonal modules of glass and steel and linked by a structural network, the crystalline pavilion glitters in sunlight, and is sure to capture the eye of any onlooker. By blending material allure with a fragmented layout, the design speaks of a neglected history now infused with a reinvigorated future.
Read more about this project in the Architizer database.
This project was chosen as a Special Mention in the Architizer A+ Awards
Photos: courtesy of Moneo Brock Studio
Architecture has been called a plastic art, but don’t let the term fool you. Rather than images of soft, malleable polyurethane, today we bring you architecture on point—sharp buildings that span the gamut from impossible knife-edges to bristling spikes. These unusual forms capture the imagination and catch the eye. But beware, in this case, looks can kill.
These buildings will having you thinking twice before you mess with architecture. Click through for the slideshow!