vineri, 30 ianuarie 2015

An austere shape ruptured by two void-atriums: Residence in Megara by Tense Architecture Network

The house is a frugal yet decisive answer to the need of a family shelter in the midst of a rather recluse site. It is articulated through the creation of two interior courtyards, while the interconnection of its open and closed spaces is served by two juxtaposed corridors -a glass roofed and an open-air one. Its courtyards and living spaces remain inscribed in an austere, yet perforated triangle. Two of its trapezoid, inclined sides retain a deliberate protective massiveness while the third, rectilinear one opens up to the magnetic view of the opposite mountain.

In the midst of 300 olive trees and in-between the Megara plain and the Gerania Mountains, the residence had to make a choice; although the mountainous volume lies to the north, the residence directs itself there -closely- renouncing the distant plain. Of a triangular plan, it forms a funnel to the mountain. Two courts, one at the southern entrance and one in-between the living spaces and the sleeping quarters organize an open-air diversion to the surrounding wilderness: A triangular diversion. The introvert interpenetration of building mass and void attempts to sooth the fact of the residence’s insertion into an almost recluse landscape. Two differently scaled courts constitute the open spaces of the residence, inscribed in the triangular plan. For the triangular coiling attempted here the simplicity is inherent. Furthermore, the triangle is ‘atrium-like’, namely Mediterranean.

The austere shape seems to be ruptured by two void-atriums, or maybe it is right from the start created for them: The landscape calls for them so that the residence opposes itself to it. The creation of the northern court demanded a higher degree of complication; two columns of triangular section under different directions, a metallic composite one and a hidden, inverted beam at the point of the roof’s bending make part of the structural choreography: the aim is the direct contact of the living spaces with the magnetic mountain. The brownish, transparent color of the exposed concrete shell relates the house to its warm, earthy field. Vertical cuts open up the shell to selected views and direct the sunlight to the interior. The concrete exterior surfaces of the house await for their gradual corrosion by the surrounding plants -coming either out of its welcoming Attica ground or down from its protective elevated garden.

The project’s sustainability is attained by passive means; its inclined, protective greenroof. The vegetation of the roof is adjusted to the Greek climatic conditions, in particular those of Attica; lavender, helichrysum, gauras, drosanthemum, thyme. A self-sustaining, biodiverse ecosystem that allows for the building to gradually become part of the landscape.






Info and images © Tense Architecture Network

An austere shape ruptured by two void-atriums: Residence in Megara by Tense Architecture Network

Extruding bodies by Loris Cecchini

In the work of Loris Cecchini (born in Milan, 1969), photography, drawing, sculpture and installation combine to form a unified poetics, the cardinal element of which is transfiguration. The subjects that appear in his work include multiple collages and detailed architectural models, objects in rubber, reinvented caravans and tree houses, structurally distorted spaces, and prismatic, transparent covers and surfaces. The variety and morphology of the elements constantly interrelate in a continuous alternating process of deconstruction and reconstruction located in the interchange between the physical reality of the materials and a virtualized presence.

In both his photographs and his sculptures, the revision of a wide-ranging notion of the ‘model’ involves the reworking of familiar forms from our everyday lives, which are transferred into an altered vision that challenges the viewer’s perceptions. Using subtle digital processing methods, the artist superimposes snatches of reality onto physical/virtual scenarios constructed by means of studio models, creating various situations that lie somewhere between the plausible and the paradoxical.

The idea of modelling and of paradox can be seen in the life-size objects reproduced in grey urethane rubber: like ghosts and shadows of their real referent, the objects appear helpless, collapsing onto themselves, but at the same time acquire a sense of character and an irony that makes them less object-like and more human.

Cecchini’s latest work focuses principally on diagrammatic models, searching in the alterity of artifice a key of ambivalence of Western systems of representation. Physical phenomena become an optical and emotive inventory of the environment, natural systems turn into algorithms of a non-homogeneous system, both complex and individual, in order to reveal the invisible processes of our present. Searching for an analogy between grammar and anatomy, in their language the works recall formulas capable of generating auto-poetic systems in which the bursting out of the structures regenerates itself, contaminates and transforms itself, just as happens in an organism.






Info and images © Loris Cecchini

Extruding bodies by Loris Cecchini

joi, 29 ianuarie 2015

Emotional classic and rational contemporary: Nozomi Sushi Bar by Masquespacio

The project in which Masquespacio began to work in January 2014 starts with a previous study of Japanese culture and the origin of sushi. A study in which was involved the whole team of the Spanish creative consultancy to understand and represent the Japanese culture through the brand image and specially through the interior of the new restaurant from José Miguel Herrera and Nuria Morell.

The brand name Nozomi was chosen by the founders of this project being a ‘Japanese high speed bullet train’ and at the same time meaning ‘fulfilled dream’; two significances with which with José Miguel and Nuria felt identified and that create a duality present continuously through the whole project: “Emotional classic’ and ‘Rational contemporary’.

The interior design of this local of 233 m2 in Valencia plays more intensely with the expressed duality. On one hand being ‘Rational contemporary’ through the pure state of concrete and grays, mainly present in the most structural parts such as walls, ceilings and floors. On the other hand the ‘Emotional classic’ aspect makes its introduction thanks to the carpentry, its hand finishes and the warmth of natural wood.

Arriving to the restaurant you can see how these two aspects are attracting the attention. The concrete from the facade and the entry that clearly represents the classic Japanese carpentry. Walking through the door of the restaurant it can be appreciated how a central cube creates two corridors toward the central lounge that incorporates both decorative elements as well as the bathrooms and the warehouse, creating a continuous and open flow very typical for the architecture of the Eastern country.

On the aesthetic level we can see how a Japanese village street has been reinterpreted through different modules, traduced here into a market, pharmacy, doors and windows. The rooftops in turn interpret the most contemporary and rational part with a clearly Japanese inclination. The idea behind the first part of the restaurant is to make the customer live the experience of walking through a Japanese street, while he is being stunned by its beauty and getting excited about the construction details of Japanese carpentry, before reaching the principal lounge where he could enjoy not only an authentic sushi, but at the same time a unique experience below a cherry-tree as if he sits in a Japanese courtyard.

From his seat each diner looks up at the show created in the sushi bar that reinterprets a traditional sushi peddler, known as the first mobile fast food stall. In the meantime the cherry-tree’s flowers, inspired by the origami, bloom naturally. Last but not least the private zone allows separate environments for major intimacy, without isolating the diner from the show projected more below and maintaining the shadows generated by the lightings, also inspired by the more minimal Japan, highlighting the irregular and unique carpentry.




Info and images © Masquespacio

Emotional classic and rational contemporary: Nozomi Sushi Bar by Masquespacio

The liquid qualities of the glass: Ben Young Sculptures

Raised in Waihi Beach, New Zealand now residing in Sydney, Australia, Ben Young is a self-taught artist who has been making glass sculpture for over 10 years. Having spent most of his life living in the beautiful Bay of Plenty (North Island, NZ) it seemed obvious to him to explore the local landscape and surroundings for early inspiration in his art. The ocean also playing a dominant role in his life being a keen surfer and boatbuilder by trade, he was inspired to capture the perfection and raw power of the sea and of the perfect wave. Other local landscapes including the lonely Mount Maunganui and Mayor Island have featured in his uniquely crafted glass sculptures.

Though overwhelming in their apparent simplicity, what the common eye won’t realise is that each of Young’s sculptures are hand drawn, hand cut and handcrafted, layer on layer to create the end product. There is no high-tech equipment involved but the complexity comes from the planning phase, which Young describes as ‘a lot of work’. Internally, he works out what he wants to make and how he wants it to look, “I do a lot of thinking before I even start to draw or cut”, and he then sketches the concept by hand, brainstorming the look and feel.

“I work with 2D shapes and have to figure out how to translate that into a 3D finished product. Sometimes my start point changes dramatically as shapes can be limited – I can’t create any internal right angles – so I have to find a way to layer the glass to create certain shapes,” said Young.

Only the finest glass and materials are selected to use in his pieces. The texture and colour of the glass is different in every piece he makes, ensuring one-off and truly unique pieces of artwork. “I love watching the two dimensional shapes evolve into three-dimensional creations and the different way the light plays inside the glass. I love the liquid qualities the glass brings with it. It enables me to play with lighting and watch the glass react.”








Info and images © Ben Young

The liquid qualities of the glass: Ben Young Sculptures

miercuri, 28 ianuarie 2015

Microsoft Technology Pavilion features the color palette of Windows 8

The Microsoft Technology Pavilion was designed by architectural firm Nowadays for the 2014 Winter Olympic games, held in Sochi. Standard rectangular plots 25×30 meters were given to sponsors of the Games in the Olympic park.

One of the main requirements of the Olympic Committee was to locate a single volume on the site. But the clients wanted to create a public space where visitors could meet between competitions. So architects decided to rethink the proposed layout of a single building in the center of the site and distributed all the functions around the perimeter. It gave the opportunity to create a multilevel courtyard, saturated with various activities.

The pavilion was built of wooden structures on a single platform. The color palette of the windows 8 interface was transferred to the floor in the form of squares of colored chips, literally zoning space. Facades and fences are made of wooden slats that unite all the volumes on the platform in the whole complex, still maintaining airiness and layering.

It’s achieved by complex coloring of inner cubes and external facades – each slat has only side faces painted and in different colors, so that while in motion the moire effect appears. The boundary between interior and exterior space is blurred, for example the amphitheater passes through the wall, organizing lecture room inside and a large sitting area outside.






Info and images © Nowadays

Microsoft Technology Pavilion features the color palette of Windows 8