Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Barnsbury House in London, England by MARK DZIEWULSKI ARCHITECT
October 3rd, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: MARK DZIEWULSKI ARCHITECT
This mixed-use project is located fronting one of London’s attractive garden squares. Planning approval has been granted and construction will begin shortly. It contains three floors of residential units above commercial business space. The existing square, like many in London, has developed over the years with a large variety of different building types, scales and styles. It is this variety that gives the square its character and charm. Each period has provided its own example of what was, at the time, considered contemporary architecture. This design is intended to provide a well mannered and proud example of what our era can contribute to the rich architectural heritage of the area.
The site is long and narrow and the key to unlocking its potential was to create a large garden court at its centre, which opens up the site, allowing maximum density while maintaining attractive views and sunlight for the residents and neighbors. An additional floor of day lit space is created by sinking this court to provide a lower ‘garden’ level, a planning device much used in Victorian terraced houses.
The concept for the facades is based on the idea of an “intelligent skin”. In traditional buildings, exteriors are made up of solid areas of wall and fixed areas of windows, which in turn have various layers of screenings materials for privacy and light control, such as sheer curtains, solid drapes and shutters. An “intelligent skin’ façade would allow each of these elements to be completely flexible so that the occupants could decide which areas were solid or open, clear or private, and in effect move the walls and windows to best suit the interior use. To achieve this, the facade is made up of a series of independent layers of sliding modular panels with each layer providing the different functions of a traditional facade: solid panels, clear glass, and etched glass screens.
It will therefore become a constantly changing canvas of overlapping layers of different levels of transparency and opacity, reflecting the internal use of the building on its facade. Because of the proportional gridded layout, it will retain a sense of scale and order in keeping with domestic architecture in the area. It becomes in effect a constantly changing abstract composition expressing the inner life of the building.
There will be several forms of renewable energy located on the site including. A hydraulic piping system cast into the deep concrete foundation piles, will provide a low energy cooling system. Photo voltaic panels on the roof top generate electricity and biomass boilers to generate heat from waste words
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