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.
House of Prayer in Litomyšl, Czech Republic by Fránek Architects and MMcité Design
August 21st, 2016 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Fránek Architects and MMcité Design
Construqta – sophisticated beauty of concrete
We enjoy referencing basic construction elements in our designs. Moreover, when you want to design a concrete-made piece of urban furniture, especially if it has to be light, a trussed beam is the right inspiration to opt for. Its maximum strength with minimum materials used spells efficiency. The material used is Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC) and it has little to do with traditional concrete. In addition, it is quite expense so achieving aforementioned efficiency was not easy for us. The design’s form is rather restrained engineering-wise and austere but to fine-tune its functional properties took month to accomplish – a lot longer than we originally anticipated. Finally, we can rejoice. The monumental, almost three metres high piece of high-grade concrete shows its grace from afar. When observed closely, its intriguing and sophisticated geometrical lines come into play.
The inspiration came from one of the most basic construction elements – a trussed beam. We refined the most inherent engineering beauty and carried it over to the landscape in a cultivated form. The symmetrical play of clearly defined inclines and right-angled facets joint together with curves adds character to otherwise simple object made from high-grade UHPC. Small, integrated legs on its bottom side elevates not only the entire mass but the elegance of the installed piece of furniture as well. They also eliminate any potential unevenness of the surface it would stand on. More than two-and-a-half metres long bench can be placed separately, in a group of two or three, or it can be arranged into long lines. Its design makes it suitable for placement either in an urban environment or in an interior installation.
Simple looking yet sophisticated object is made from high quality UHPC. The bench has a smooth surface that is not shiny. It comes in two shades mixed in the material.
Good-quality design is generally considered as something that is intended especially for elites, but we are trying to bring the high-aesthetics into the most common and often omitted elements of public space. (David Karásek, the lead designer and co-owner of mmcité1)
Mmcité was awarded with the Red Dot Design Award 2016 for street furniture, namely for the “Minium litter bin” product.
House of Prayer – Free Evangelical Church
The fifth façade, i.e. the roof of this building is the bearer of all essential information about the building. It has been abstracted to its maximum. A roof without any details is like a way running into infinity. The means of showing the way was a fair-face concrete outside the building and plywood board inside of it. Vertical movement and its visual representation is a dilemma of most religious buildings. The connection between Heaven and Earth need not necessarily be a monologue; it can be an invitation for a journey, and for a gradual ascent up from the dirt of this world. In this case, the ascent to the light, which has been depicted by excellent Czech graphic artists with their minimalistic illustrations. The symbol at the end of the journey has its strong haptic light quality as a clear target.
A simple paper puzzle reminds me the eastern inspiration I got while working on this task. Eastern and western cultures meet here in a universal unity. The program of the building is to serve the religious and social life of the community, which is the investor. The preacher and his family occupy the second floor. The house was built for half the original budget.