Archive for November 27th, 2011

November 27, 2011

Architecture in Charts By Jody Brown

November 27, 2011


BIG wins an invited competition to renovate and extend an existing 1960′s concrete warehouse situated in a  industrial district which is being transformed into an alternative Arts District.

Located in Basel’s upcoming Dreispitz neighborhood, which is envisioned as an attractive and inviting urban quarter in Herzog de Meuron’s master plan from 2003, the existing 18.000 m2 ”Transitlager” built in the late 1960s is to be renovated and extended by up to 7.000 m2 for residential and commercial purposes. The development is undertaken by St. Gallen -based real estate development company Nüesch Development for the landlord, the Christoph Merian Foundation and investor the UBS (CH) Property Fund – Swiss Mixed ‘Sima’. The winning entry which included engineers Bollinger Grohmann and HL Technik was chosen among proposals from Harry Gugger Studio and Lacaton Vassal among others.

The Transitlager’s surrounding industrial area is characterized by the geometries of infrastructures – the intersecting railways, loading docks and turning radiuses that weave through the city and create a puzzle of linear buildings with pointy corners and staggered façade lines into an untraditional and adventurous urban area consisting of galleries, restaurants and creative businesses. The iconic character of the existing Transitlager, its generous surrounding public spaces, and connection to the city’s botanical garden makes the building a natural focal point of the Arts District. By re-programming and extending the former warehouse into a multifunctional series of floors for various uses, BIG proposes a cross breed of art, commerce, working and living. Two distinct buildings on top of each other form a mixed-use hybrid with activity and life 24 hours a day.

“We propose a transformation of the Transitlager that builds on the industrial logic of the existing building and of the surrounding area. The extension doubles the size of the Transitlager and becomes an opposite twin – based on the same structure, but with a different geometry. The combined building becomes a spectrum of optimal conditions: From open and flexible plans to tailor made units, public programs to private residences, vibrant urban space to peaceful green gardens and from cool industrial to warm and refined. ” Andreas Klok Pedersen, Partner, BIG.

The wide dimensions of the former warehouse, the mix of programs, the structural limits and the sun orientation creates a typology that is neither point house nor slab – a folded geometry adapted to the specifics of the existing structure and optimized for daylight and views. The staggered edge and pointy ends echoes the geometries of the industrial buildings of the neighborhood, creating a surprising familiarity with the heterogeneous surroundings.

“The stacking of two complimentary structures – one on top of the other – has generated a new take on the typology of the communal courtyard. Where the typical residential courtyard finds itself incarcerated by walls of program, the roofyards of the Transitlager combine the tranquility and communal space of the courtyard with the sunlight and panoramic views of the penthouse. A penthouse for the people.” Bjarke Ingels, Partner and Founder, BIG.

Stripped from existing interior walls, the 60’s era structure offers flexible open plans and an exceptional high quality of concrete work. BIG proposes an extension that with a minimum of intervention, creates a maximum of programmatic diversity and feasibility. By keeping the interior finishing sparse, and installations simple we propose a building tailored for creative businesses, ateliers and workshops. We propose a building with a simple and economical material palette optimized for both artistic work and classy luxury.

Architect: BIG
Location: Basel, Switzerland
Partner in Charge: Bjarke Ingels, Andreas Klok Pedersen
Project Leader: Jakob Henke
Team: Gul Ertekin, Ioannis Gio, Ricardo Palma, Alexandra Gustafson, Bara Srpkova, Marcelina Kolasinska, Ryohei Koike
Client: Nuesch Development RG, UBS Fund Management, Christoph Merian Stiftung
Collaborators: Bollinger+Grohmann, HL- Technik
Size: 30,000 sqm
Status: 1st Prize (Completion 2015)
Images: Courtesy of BIG

November 27, 2011

Eduardo Souto de Moura | Competitions 1979 – 2010 Exhibition


Portuguese architect, , was recently honored with an exhibition that took place this summer at the Álvaro Siza-designed Porto Faculty of Architecture (FAUP) which was arranged by curators André Campos and Pedro Guedes Oliveira. The exhibition, Eduardo Souto de Moura-Competitions 1979-2010, is a tribute to a specific design approach and working method.

Twenty years worth of drawings accompanied a collection of models and photographs that document fifty competition entries.Chests of drawers made from oriented strand board displayed the models alongside working drawings, construction photographs and additional sketches.

Instead of focusing on built projects and shiny photographs of the final product, the idea of the organisers André Campos and Pedro Guedes de Oliveira was to reveal the intense and sometimes obsessed working process behind this architect “ouvre”.In the two room exhibition gallery of Álvaro Siza’s Architecture School we can check for sketches, physical models, accurate drawings, photomontages, photographs and historic data of 50 projects prepared for competitions between 1979 and 2010.

Exhibition: Eduardo Souto de Moura – Competitions 1979 – 2010
Venue: Exhibition Gallery – 
Dates: June 9th through September 9th 2011
Committee: Francisco Barata e/and André Campos
Coordination and Organization: Eduardo Souto de Moura, Francisco Barata, Alberto Lage, André Campos e/and Pedro Guedes de Oliveira
Secretary: Pedro França
Exhibition Design and Project: R2
Photographs: Luís Ferreira Alves e/and Arménio Teixeira
Models: MG Maquetes



November 27, 2011

Kenmore Library | Weinstein A|U


Architects: Weinstein A|U
Location: Kenmore, 
Design Team: Matt Aalfs, Ed Weinstein
Project Size: 19,000 sqf
Project Year: 2007-2011
Photographs: Lara Swimmer

Landscape: Swift Company LLC
Structural: Magnusson Klemencic Associates (MKA)
Civil: Springline Design LLC
MEP: WSP Flack & Kurtz
Interiors: Weinstein A|U
Contractor: Sierra Construction
Client: King County Library System

The Kenmore Library serves a suburban community largely bypassed by recent redevelopment.  Located in an emerging downtown core that is a mix of 1960s retail buildings, surface parking, and a busy highway, the library responds to needs for community space and integration of public and commercial uses.

To accommodate changes in the continuing evolution of library services, the library design provides a flexible, interconnected, and adaptable floor plan, with minimal fixed obstructions limiting internal organization. As a gesture of civic inclusiveness, the reading room is transparent and open, with continuous glazing on the public facades and a delicate tension-rod roof truss system which clear-spans the 75’ x 90’ space.

Optimum solar orientation and central skylights fill the reading room with balanced and diffused natural light. Relatively solid enclosures of brick and wood at either end of the reading room contain library support functions and private study areas. A raised floor system provides HVAC, power, and data distribution, with public artwork integrated into the floor cavity. Extensive daylighting, LED fixtures, reclaimed wood, and regionally-sourced materials and furniture contribute to sustainability goals.

In response to local aspirations for a pedestrian-friendly downtown, the library connects to the street with an entry plaza and submerges parking beneath the building. Parallel to the street, the library extends to the property line, anticipating future party-walls. A garden of native plants and sculpted landforms buffers the reading room from the highway, providing rainwater infiltration that reduces surface run-off into nearby Lake Washington.

Text provided by

November 27, 2011

Hotel Liesma Proposal | PRAUD

The main concept of the proposal for the Hotel Liesma by PRAUD is to elevate the new hotel mass from the ground level. There are two major purposes of this approach; to have a widely open public park on the ground level and to provide better views to the Baltic sea from hotel rooms.


There are two challenging questions we had when we first met the project. First, what type of architectural form can strengthen the concept of the music hotel as well as this amazing landscape? Perhaps the architecture should not be an iconic building that tries to out stand itself amongst the environment, but a very gentle form that just sits on the site.

The next question was, is it able to bring nature into the site so that the whole site is conceived as park? To achieve this concept of a music park, having a landscape field in the left over space in the site is not enough, perhaps we need a more aggressive approach so that the music park we are trying to create is not something you can experience in other parts of the city.


Every single room in the new mass has a direct view towards the sea and has access to the balcony on the roof. This new mat-type mass is held by multiple cones that contain public programs inside such as, music cafe, restaurants, conference hall, and swimming pool. By having private hotel rooms separated from the ground level and public programs sitting on the ground, the whole ground level, which we call a music park, could be used as a dynamic and cultural park not only for the visitors to the hotel but also for all people who visit the city. Therefore, the music park becomes a new field for all those music concerts and festival of the city.

Additionally, by putting business class rooms and junior suites in the existing building, the hotel can be managed more efficiently. When it is in leisure season mostly for families, the hotel can only operate the new mat-type mass and couple of cones, while when it is for business conferences, it can mainly operate the existing building, conference cone and restaurant cone. This efficient way of using the hotel facilities will let the hotel run viably throughout the whole year.

Architects: PRAUD
Location: , Latvia
Project Team: Dongwoo Yim, Rafael Luna, Emily Ko
Client: Hotel Liesma
Site Area: 15,000 m2
Project Floor Area: 10,300 m2

November 27, 2011

kind of italian gelato: Ferrari Factory Store | Iosa Ghini Associates

Architects: Iosa Ghini Associates
Location: , Italy
Project Area: 370 sqm
Photographs: Gianluca Grassano

Ferrari Factory Store of Serravalle Scrivia, entirely designed by , is located outside McArthur Glen Outlet in Serravalle Scrivia. For the first time in the history of Ferrari Stores an entire building has been designed to accommodate the store. The building enjoys a privileged position as one of the first structures of the Outlet visible from the main parking area and access roads, for this reason it was designed with an exterior that immediately identifies it at ‘Ferrari space”

The building of approximately 370 sqm is characterized by a large glass gallery that recalls the image and feel of Formula One box, immediately projecting visitors in the Ferrari world.

From a technical point of view the glass gallery is highly innovative with a curved face without mounting posts and bars that permit total visibility inward and outward. The curved glass panels are assembled using a frameless anchor system, i.e. without mounting supports but with ultra light and clips that guarantees the perception of material continuity between the plate glasses and provides lightness to the whole system.

Climate control of the glass gallery is effected by a system of air circulation that takes advantage of the motion of air convection, allowing for the passive cooling by natural induction. This natural system is supported by a forced air system that may be activated when climate conditions require it. In addition, the exterior glass envelope is treated with special UV protection films as well as a screen prints that reduces sun rays for energy savings as required by national standards for the sector.

Beyond the glass gallery there is the commercial space. As in all Ferrari Stores the merchandise areas are: the zone for Ferrari fans is designed with aluminium slats of high flexibility, in the luxury zone the display windows use soft materials, brushed leather and polished lacquer, in the children’s zone both systems are integrated : slats and display windows finished in yellow lacquer. A shaped false ceiling outlines the design of the ensemble and follows the path of visitors. The design of the areas is tightly connected to the design and graphic project specific to each Ferrari Store.

The graphic style is integral part of the project, in a personal vision of Iosa Ghini Associates of the architectural space, where the three dimensions meet to obtain an encompassing area able to capture all senses, to transmit an engaging idea through a physical and iconographic interpretation.

Text provided by Iosa Ghini Associates

November 27, 2011

Brockman Hall for Physics | KieranTimberlake

Architects: KieranTimberlake / James Timberlake, Stephen Kieran, Jason Smith, Steven Johns, George Ristow, Casey Boss
Location: Houston, , USA
Client: Rice University
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 10,219 sqm
Photographs: Peter Aaron (OTTO), Michael Moran (OTTO), Hester + HardawayRed Wing Aerials

External Project Manager: Linbeck
Structural Consultant: Haynes Whaley Associates
Mep Consultant: Ccrd Partners
Lab Consultant: Innovate Lab Systems Design
Landscape Architect: The Office Of James Burnett
Acoustical Consultant: Je Acoustics
Civil Engineer: Walter P Moore
Contractors: Gilbane Building Company

The Brockman Hall for Physics gathers together a faculty of experimental physicists formerly scattered in as many as five separate buildings across the Rice University campus. It is now home to dozens of experimental, theoretical and applied physicists from Rice’s departments of Physics and Astronomy and Electrical and Computer Engineering, and will support research in atomic, molecular and optical physics; biophysics; condensed matter physics; nanoengineering and photonics. A recipient of $11.1 million in federal stimulus funding from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, it was completed in a compressed design and construction schedule of just 33 months, an extremely short timeline for a facility of its kind.

he site, a rectangular landscape roughly the size of a soccer field and contained by existing buildings, was chosen out of ten potential sites on the campus for its low level of intrinsic vibration, and its proximity to other science buildings. This location posed a set of unique challenges that had to be synthesized in the design while meeting the difficult technical requirements of a laboratory building. Among the questions at play were: How can a building containing large labs fit within the distinct warp and weft of the Rice campus? How can the architecture help reduce the energy demand for the lab? How can the building retain the landscape that is so important to this campus?

To successfully fit 110,000 sqf of program into the constrained site, the building is split into two parallel bars connected by glass-enclosed bridges with an open passage that admits natural light and outdoor breezes. The most sensitive laboratories are located below grade, stabilized by an extremely robust structure. One of the bars is elevated to preserve a significant portion of the existing Quad, and a series of gathering spaces beneath it extends the building program outdoors. The raised bar has an asymmetrically vaulted ceiling, to float it above the ground plane, suspended by board-formed concrete columns. A pathway between the two bars is placed intently to enhance circulation between buildings on the Quad, extending the landscape-to-building-to-landscape connections. The green roof provides insulation and water management for the building above the lower level laboratories.

The two bars are uniquely arranged to knit the building into the landscape, resulting in eight transparent facades. Each facade is tuned to its solar conditions and adjacency to other buildings, minimizing the building’s volume and allowing abundant natural light to enter the building. The north facade is a glass curtain wall with a Penrose frit pattern to hint at the activities going on inside. The south facade is a horizontal terra-cotta screen over aluminum composite panels that protect the labs from solar exposure while regulating natural light and privacy. The first story of the south bar is wrapped in glass bricks for transparency and an ambient glow when lit. Clay brick banding between the glass brick relates to the historic banded brick facades elsewhere on campus.

On the ground floor, immediately off the main entrance, a central stair connects the upper and lower levels of the new facility. Dichroic glass panels create colored reflective surfaces on the lobby walls announcing the public spaces and creating the entry to the main stair. A flexible classroom and 150-seat lecture hall form the public spaces at the ground floor. Within the lecture hall, a gently shaped wood screen and double vaulted plaster ceiling between concrete beams expand the space and help to moderate light and acoustics within the room.

Brockman Hall is a product of the careful analysis of context, culture, elements, form, iconography, materiality, and purpose in Rice’s architecture. We sought to internalize the material palette of Rice, extend the legacy of craft, and translate historic themes into contemporary detailing. The massing capitalizes on the thinness of buildings on campus, while meeting the programmatic needs for a laboratory building; providing an edited and refined 21st century expression of Rice architecture and pedagogy.

Text provided by Kieran Timberlake


November 27, 2011

Landscape Design for Brockman Hall for Physics at Rice University | The Office of James Burnett

Landscape Architect: The Office of James Burnett (OJB)
Location: Houston, , USA
Architect: KieranTimberlake
Photographs: Hester + Hardaway

Project Statement: The Brockman Hall for Physics is a 111,000 SF facility housing classrooms, laboratory space, lecture halls and administrative offices for the Physics Department as well as physicists from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Driven by Rice University’s belief that some of the most important moments on campus are moments of informal discussion and debate outside of the classroom, the design of the building and landscape seeks to provide a multitude of spaces for lively and inspiring conversation. Sheltered from the sun by the building overhead, a ground-floor courtyard features reflecting pool, raised Ipe terrace and enhanced plaza with movable furniture. As the design developed, the Office of James Burnett was also asked to redesign the “Courtyard of Science”, an interstitial space between the wings of Brown Hall to the south. A grove of Honey Mesquites organizes the space and intimate decomposed granite courtyards with movable furniture create a number of social spaces.

Project Narrative: The Brockman Hall for Physics is a new 111,000 square foot facility at Rice University. Gathering faculty and researchers that were formerly located in several building across campus, Brockman Hall is the new home for physics research at Rice. The building and landscape aid this research by providing both a home for the laboratories, classrooms, and offices; and by supplying informal gathering spaces to foster conversation, debate, and cross pollination of ideas.

The tightly bound site lies between six existing buildings. The former open space was at the heart of the precinct of campus known as the Courtyard of Science. In an effort to minimize the impact of the building on the existing campus fabric, the building was split into two “bars” that were then allowed to separate and shift apart from one another. The southern bar sits firmly on the ground and mimics the long thin rectangular floor plates of the first science buildings on campus. The northern bar pulls away from the southern bar and lifts itself up off the ground plane, connecting to the southern bar with bridges at the second and third levels. This separation creates space for a landscape that flows continuously from existing courtyards to the east and west under the building. A sallyport to the south connects this landscape to a courtyard formed by the u-shaped plan of the neighboring George R. Brown building. Much of this new landscape sits atop a 31,000 square foot basement full of shielded laboratories.

The site itself is on a major cross axis of campus. The sallyport at the south bar aligns with this axis and allows it to continue to its former termination, Hamman Hall, built in 1958. The forecourt plaza at Hamman Hall was removed to allow for the construction of Brockman Hall. Hamman Hall now sits on a plinth of granite stairs that descend into grass to the east and west, and a decomposed granite court along the axis. The lifting of the north bar allows Hamman Hall room to breathe. The strongly symmetrical façade of Hamman continues to terminate the campus cross-axis and provides the Brockman landscape with a backdrop and sense of enclosure. While reinforcing the strong axial organization of campus in the north south direction, the landscape creates a counter flow to the east and west. By extending a walk that runs parallel to the long dimensions of the buildings in the campus precinct, three formerly separate courts are strongly linked.

The space below the north bar of Brockman Hall becomes the centerpiece of this composition. Special pavers in the sallyport flow out to the north and then along the major east west linking path. The decomposed granite court provides a central gathering space. A fountain is introduced asymmetrically to the east to provide both a cooling effect and a reflecting surface to allow natural light to play off of the underside of the north bar. Linked to the fountain is an Ipe deck. The deck is raised up one foot to provide a quiet space just off the path for more private gathering. The ground plane below the north bar is planted with a field of Ophiopogon japonicus’Nana’ (Dwarf Mondo Grass). The planting becomes an abstract plain that reflects the elevated structure above and hints at the laboratories underneath. Beyond the building site, the landscape responds to the existing campus fabric and brings these materials into the composition allowing for a seamless flow between old and new.

Brockman Hall, located north of George R. Brown Hall, is remarkable in a number of ways: It was designed, constructed and occupied in just 33 months; it brings together faculty and students who formerly worked in five separate buildings scattered broadly across the campus; it is both a carefully refined 21st-century research facility and one of the most environmentally sustainable buildings at Rice; and it maintains much of the outdoor space that previously existed on Rice’s Science Quadrangle.

The building is composed of two parallel, rectilinear, spatial “bars” that are oriented east to west and connected by glass-enclosed bridges across an open passage that admits natural light and outdoor breezes. The larger south bar houses laboratories, faculty and research offices, a 150-seat lecture hall and a rooftop astronomical observatory. The elevated two-story north bar houses faculty, student and departmental offices and meeting spaces.

The open space beneath the north bar is framed by a “loggia” of tapered concrete columns that form an outdoor room, with shaded areas for class meetings, casual gathering and circulation. Beneath this serene outdoor oasis lies a sensitive and sophisticated complex of laboratories. Designed for vibration-sensitive atomic, molecular and optical physics and condensed-matter research, the hermetically controlled basement laboratories are stabilized on a two-foot-deep concrete slab and isolated from all the building’s mechanical systems.

Text provided by The Office of James Burnett.


November 27, 2011

Townhouse Prototype | AllesWirdGut Architektur ZT GmbH

Architects: AllesWirdGut Architektur ZT GmbH
Location: St. Pölten, 
Project: Büro- und Geschäftshaus – Office and Commercial Building
Client: Linzertor Liegenschaftsverwaltungs GmbH
Competition: 2011
Gross Floor Area: 5.139m²

The townhouse prototype design by AllesWirdGut Architektur demonstrates how the new office and shopping building fits in with the typology of detached townhouses in the neighborhood. Slight twists of the basic volume actively impact the surrounding urban fabric such as a bend in the longitudinal facade and the staggering of floors.

A bend in the longitudinal facade line relates the building to its surroundings, consolidating the adjacent streets and creating a usable plaza before the building. The staggering of the floors on the narrow sides takes account of different sizes and lighting needs of the neighboring buildings, improves the visual connection between enclosing streets and gives the building its unique shape.Inside, the building is informed by the lobby with its multi-storey air spaces as the communicative center. Due to their structural openness, the adjoining usable floor spaces are neutral in respect to usage and hence may be individually designed.The facade structure qualifies the building a contemporary descendant of the neighboring Baroque houses. As “urban shelves”, it turns the variety of its interior life to the outside to achieve the detailed facade articulation that is needed to contribute to a lively streetscape.