Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Villa in the Woods | Zecc Architecten | Architecture


Zecc Architecten projected this new villa located on a wide constructing site in the woods of Soest, in the Netherlands.

The villa has a spatial connection between the three floors thanks to the void that goes from the basement to the second floor. Standing at front entrance a view over the void, directly into the garden, is provided. Functions as the toilet, wardrobe and closets are connected to this void. The parapet around this void continues smoothly into these functional spaces and make sure a sculptural link between the three floors is created.







Tuesday, October 20, 2009

V23K18 | Pasel.Kuenze | Architecture

Design for a private house in an urban master plan by MVRDV.

As the plot does not allow for traditional front or back gardens, the design incorporates open-air spaces within the build structure. The open floor plan with its voids generates exciting views inside the volume and enhances the relation between inside and outside spaces. As the wooden facade is vertically extended, the roof provides a hidden garden with a maximum of privacy.

Architects: Pasel.Kuenzel Architects
Location: Leiden, The Netherlands
Project Area: 130 sqm building + 60 sqm garden
Project year: 2005-2009
Photographer: Marcel van der Burg

Atherton Residence | Turnbull Griffin Haesloop | Architecture

Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects have designed a home in Atherton, California.

Located on the peninsula south of San Francisco, this house sits on an internal suburban flag lot. The previous 1950’s house, which was removed due to structural problems, featured mature landscaping and a manmade pond that the clients wanted to preserve.

They wanted their new house to be a private retreat that maximizes the drama of the pond and takes advantage of the privacy of the site. As advocates of year round outdoor dining and entertaining, the clients wanted a house that would open up to the landscape and have as many outdoor rooms as possible.

The design solution breaks the program into four buildings – main house, study, pool house and garage – that ring the edge of the site and focus inwards on the pond, garden and pool.
The main house features a butterfly roof that turns up to the south with a dramatic overhang. Large sliding glass doors open directly out to the pond and terrace.

The roofs conceal photovoltaic and solar hot water panels. The house is heated with a radiant system in the stone floors, and despite the hot climate it is not air conditioned, but passively cooled with a combination of overhangs, shades, and operable windows.

The house also features many green building materials, including high fly-ash concrete, formaldehyde-free casework and denim insulation. The new house creates a special place for the clients, making a main residence feel like a vacation retreat.

Location: Atherton, California
Year completed: 2008
Architect:Eric Haesloop, FAIA, Mary Griffin, FAIA, and John Kleman
Interiors:Margaret Turnbull Simon, ASID of Turnbull Griffin Haesloop
Landscape Architects:Lutsko Associates
Turnbull Griffin Haesloop 1660 Bush Street, Suite 200 San Francisco, CA 94109(415) 441-2300
Engineer: Mike Forbes, Fratessa Forbes Wong
General Contractor: Carter Seddon, Carter Seddon Construction

Monday, October 19, 2009

Dentist Clinic | UID Architects | Architecture

Dentist Clinic in Fukuyama, Hiroshima UID Architects

photo © Sergio Pirrone // icon-eye

Keisuke Maeda of UID Architects, designed a building for a multi-tenant project in Fukuyama // Hiroshima. Maeda used a somewhat unconventional approach to his design of this multi-tenant building as he and his clients tried to rethink and evaluate the possibilities of a multi-tenant building that would symbolize an “appealing contemporary philosophy while taking into account such routine considerations.” Usually, such projects and the offices which design them place their entire emphasis on profit maximization and the optimization of the floor area. Maeda believes that such projects and their architecture often incorporate superficial elements.

Image Courtesy of Keisuke Maeda // UID Architects

With a long and narrow plot, which is surrounded on all three sides by neighboring houses Maeda embedded a steel structure while the building’s cedar-clad plywood shell neatly encloses the premises of the dental clinic, a beauty salon and UID’s Architectural office. The dental clinic is located on the first floor while the beauty salon and the architectural office are on the second floor; truly a mixed-program regarding the businesses in the multi-tenant building.

Image Courtesy of Keisuke Maeda // UID Architects

In an attempt or rather a challenge to give as much value to the interior spaces as to the street frontage, Maeda designed two boxes which are oriented toward the east and the west, while a third box in the middle includes a staircase and a forest. The sequence of four walls which are formed by the layout of the boxes was designed to create a sense of integrated diversity in the architecture as a consequence of the layered openings between the boxes.

The porous walls which progress from the street to the back of the plot create a small forest in the buildings void. With this design approach Maeda has minimized the transition of the interior and the exterior as he has brought exterior elements into the interior. With an objective to create a vague distance Maeda wanted to create an environment which would spread out in an organic matter.

The tenants were actively involved in the design and decision-making process of the building from the planning stage to the interior design. As they understood the framework of the building, they all took a practical approach in deciding how the interior spaces would be designed. Each of the spaces is separated by a slender plywood screen while the window openings ensure privacy by the way they are positioned.

When the building is viewed from the exterior the varied positioning of the window openings on the façade creates a pattern as if you’re expecting to see the square opening in the box building. The occasional alignment of the windows throughout the different layers of the box construction allows for ample of natural light to surpass the building although it is constructed in a long and narrow plot with neighbors on all three sides.

Undoubtedly, any future visits to the dentist for the residents of Fukuyama will be in a harmonious Zen environment. The sound of the drill may not sound as freaky as it used to if you are lying on the dentists chair and enjoying this magnificent scenery which very much reminds us as if you are in a tree house overlooking a forest through the square windows. The application of the cedar plywood walls creates a feeling of serenity and calmness more than the white walls of a usual dentist’s office which are said to be relaxing.

Architect Designer: Keisuke Maeda / UID
City: Fukuyama-city, Hiroshima,Japan.
Floor area: Total 403.10㎡, 1Floor: 183.45㎡, 2Floor: 175.89㎡, 3Floor: 43.76㎡
Cost: 675,000 €
Date of completion: January, 2009

Athlone Town Centre | Murray O'Laire | Architecture

Athlone Town Centre Murray O'Laire Architects

Athlone Town Centre can be seen as a new urban quarter adjacent to the footprint of the historical quarter of the town. The site is an assemblage of infill and backland plots, ‘brownfield’ uses and semi-derelict structures comprising c.2.9 hectares in the centre of Athlone. Its location and physical attributes are fundamental to the architectural and urban design approach pursued.

The challenge, to insert a large mixed use development in to an historic setting, was assisted by the shape, topography and particular features of the site. The project is about ‘stitching and mending’ existing streetscapes, and making connections and spaces, as much as it is about giving appropriately authentic contemporary expression to its core function, the retail centre.

Exploiting the site gradient effectively conceals all parking, servicing and delivery facilities on two subterranean levels, eliminating vacuous expanses of surface parking and allowing the range of new buildings to extend towards and integrate with existing development on all edges. A new order is overlaid on the site, imposing a pattern of streets and lanes, squares and courtyards on land that was hitherto excluded from the fabric of the town.

The project accommodates an appropriately diverse use-mix incorporating 66 retail units; 148 residential units in disaggregated blocks of apartments and townhouses set around squares, courtyards and playgrounds; restaurants and cafes; a crèche and a primary healthcare facility; and a 170-bed 4-star hotel rising to an 11 storey signature tower at its core, heralding the commercial centre of town.

Hotel DevelopmentThe 11 storey hotel is the central iconic element of the eight acre mixed-use redevelopment in Athlone’s town centre and it will have a pivotal role in promoting and sustaining day and night activity throughout the week and year. Comprising a tower on a two-storey plinth, the hotel accommodates 170 bedrooms; two restaurants; a bar; a generous foyer; a function room; meeting/seminar rooms; a spa and leisure centre and ancillary service areas.

The majority of standard hotel rooms are arranged around a raised internal courtyard / terrace that can also be used as an outdoor space for larger functions. Guests can cross this courtyard through a glazed link to the bedrooms in the tower on floors five to nine which offer breathtaking views across the flood planes of the River Shannon through a floor-to-ceiling glazed facade. The top two floors of the tower comprise four penthouse suites and a bridal suite with a mezzanine bedroom level and private roof terrace.

The majority of the shared public spaces, including the hotel foyer, restaurant and function room, are located in the two-storey plinth. The basement of the building accommodates a spa and leisure centre comprising changing areas, treatment areas, a tepidarium and an extensive retail area offering pedicure and manicure services. A number of the treatment rooms are expressed as copper boxes and dramitically cantilevered into a double-height pool hall. Both the spa and leisure centre benefit from high class, durable materials such as granite, limestone, glass mosaic tiles and solid oak.

Like the new shopping mall and apartment buildings, the hotel has a modern contemporary look. The tonal range of external finishes, from the sophisticated curtain walling to the tower, through to the use of sandstone, is warm, light, responsive and visually rich.

By treating the skin of the accommodation blocks differently, and by introducing a curvilinear geometry to one ‘wing’ any potential negative impacts of mass are mitigated. The quality of the interiors and materials reflect and surpass the high standards of a new four-star development and create a relaxed athmosphere that embraces hotel guests and visitors with a sense of warmth and comfort.

A restrained, well-balanced palette of colours carries the eye through all public spaces, yet subtle twists give each area their distinct character. Warm natural stone and dark mahogany and wenge are the prevalant materials.These link an array of different spaces, ranging from the introverted spirituality of the spa to the understated luxury and richness of the large ballroom.