“The ceiling used to be decorative, a symbolic plane, a place invested with intense iconography. (…) Now, it has become an entire factory of equipment that enables us to exist, a space so deep that it begins to compete with the architecture. It is a domain over which architects have lost all control, a zone surrendered to other professions.” Rem Koolhaas, Venice Biennial. This restaurant is located on the rooftop of one of the newest unit of an international chain hotel located in the centre of Brasília. This is a type of space that is often impersonal, where standardized characteristics are kept throughout its units all over the world. In this project, we were interested in exploring the tension between characteristics that could be understood both as undefined and specific in a hotel building. Therefore, the project aimed to stress the differences between its two main surfaces: the floor and the ceiling. The floor is neutral and impersonal. The ceiling has a specific design with a clear iconographic reference.
On June 7th, Saint-Apollinaire Multifunctional Centre, designed by Parka – Architecture & Design, welcomed its first visitors. Flexible spaces were built to suit a range of cultural, recreational and sports activities. The construction includes a double gymnasium with changing rooms, four multi-purpose rooms and a fully-equipped space for cooking classes. A simple and effective organization provides an interior space that is flexible enough to accommodate a wide range of activities.
The new chapel, set within a vineyard in South Africa, is designed by South-African born Coetzee Steyn of London based Steyn Studio. Its serene sculptural form emulates the silhouette of surrounding mountain ranges, paying tribute to the historic Cape Dutch gables dotting the rural landscapes of the Western Cape. Constructed from a slim concrete cast shell, the roof supports itself as each undulation dramatically falls to meet the ground. Where each wave of the roof structure rises to a peak, expanses of glazing adjoined centrally by a crucifix adorn the façade.
An iconic urban landmark, but also a sustainable structure for an evolving shopping experience: the new CENTRO*Arezzo Coop.fi frees itself from the conceptual dictates of the traditional shopping mall and acts as a social and recreation pole that is perfectly integrated with the city. Opened in 1988, the complex has undergone a significant aesthetic and functional redevelopment that has completely changed its identity and its relationship with the surrounding environment.
Article source: STEINMETZDEMEYER architects and urban planners
Next to the elementary school in the Pfaffenthal neighborhood, rue Vauban, the “Centre du Mouvement Écologique” (Ecological Center), known as the “MECO”, was in dilapidated structures, worth of no interest, neither as built heritage, nor as architectural component of urban fabric.
That old structure, having serious problems with stability, moisture and useful surface capacity, has been replaced by a new construction, exemplary for its answers to concerns and questions raised by sustainable development.
The client of this project is an advertising agency, who providing full industry chain service in West China. In the earliest beginning, when the client invite us and introduce themselves, we were attracted by their unique “big platform + branch company” structure. Starting from this very point as concept, we developed the whole space design.
The structure, which maintains its continuity in the linear architecture, is aimed to create a space open to the active use of students and teachers by means of the large courtyard formed in the south by leaning to the northern edge of the land. The climatic characteristics of Urla have been taken into consideration and applications for planting have been foreseen in the sections facing the south pavement. However, such a study of the south pavement by the practitioner has not yet been carried out. It was aimed to break the monotonous inside and outside on the whole of the design by creating the level differences between the buildings and thus a dynamic composition was captured in the building which is a school. The structure in the physical environment in which it stands out in pure geometrical form is exhibiting a naive temperament in Urla’s traditional heritage.
The Project´s basic idea was to have minimum impact in the natural setting. Having this in mind we planed the house to be felt smaller tan what it really is. In proportion it is 15% smaller tan the average existing projects in the club prioritizing the relation between the architecture and its natural setting.
The plot is located in the urban edge of the small town of Calamonte, on a land platform that visually dominates the surrounding farmland. From this location, which gives it a special value in the city-field-landscape relationship, leave the main formal and conceptual decisions that inspire the project. Furthermore, the presence of the building far from the road access routes, also causes the building necessarily respond to them. Therefore, the roof emerges as the fundamental element of the design. Seen from afar, the building completes its compact presence thanks to it, dialoguing with the landscape of hills surrounding the place. Close-up view, the roof provides greater height spaces that require it, such as the assembly hall, likewise providing dynamism and special character to interior environment. The compactness of the volume required an abstract formalization. The building is implanted in the plot adapting to its longitudinal form. The generator concept of the plant is the opening of a crack-patio in its central axis, which runs through its entire length, becoming the main space of the project. In the north façade, this crack configures the public access between volumes, and after passing the vestibule, continues characterized as a more introspective space. The required program, consisting of administrative uses of support to entrepreneurs, is organized with the highest programmatic rationality and economy of circulation, guaranteeing the required flexibility. Uses are grouped into three clearly differentiated units: the business incubator, support offices and meeting rooms, arranged around the central lobby, center of gravity of the building that facilitates the quick orientation of the visitor. This zoning of the small building solves the problem of the compatibility of use in function of the different schedules that each zone has. Thus, an entrepreneur can have night access to his office without having to open the entire building, which makes it much safer to use.