The Tower of Power, located in the Vienna Brigittenau district, is a public charging station for electric vehicles. Operated by the Wien Energie electrical company, it was conceived to be a teaching and research facility as well. It was built by the students of the BFI Wien vocational training institute together with leading firms in the mobility industry. Using different charging systems, the station provides electricity for four cars and four e-bikes at a time.
The site is located in an alley, a few blocks away from Dosandae-ro – a busy boulevard in Seoul’s Gangnam district. The area used to be a low-rise residential district in the past, but now rapidly transforming into a commercial district full of shops and restaurants. The existing building had a simple rectangular structure with a courtyard in the middle, using concrete blocks and blackened steel as a major finish material. The main interest in designing the building was to keep the existing materiality, yet to make enough alteration to accommodate the new program. The concrete block wall on the north was maintained in order to preserve the original materiality of the building, and the blackened steel was mainly used for the newly built walls.
Like some sort of sinuous, white wave, the Porta Nuova Building fits in with the master plan for the urban redevelopment of the old railway station in Porta Nuova, Milan, situated between Corso Como, Garibaldi Station, the Isola neighbourhood and Piazza della Repubblica. This huge structure extends over a distance of 140 metres to create a structure covering a total of 16,500 m² designed for holding offices and shops. This powerful and, at the same time, lightweight, white coloured, glazed building serves a fundamental “urban purpose”: it hinges together the existing city and the latest dynamics triggered off by the entire Porta Nuova project, falling in line with the heights of the old buildings and embracing the square that is set higher level than the surrounding roads.
The Trefoil House inherited a pre-existing three-sided hearth and partial foundation, located on a rural sloped site in Stowe, Vermont. The house was reimagined using the hearth as a structural and narrative generator: The house is built out from its triangular core as three squares joined at the corners. The three-sided hearth is used as a central program driver, producing a continuous trefoil circulation loop around the perimeter of each square and providing a central point of orientation while allowing for the house to spread into the landscape. Public spaces are enclosed in glass, while private spaces are shielded with sculpted louvers to differentiate the rotationally symmetric plan. A 150 foot long curtainwall wraps continuously around six sides of the house. The trefoil circulation allows for an unbroken perceptual experience of the pristine site, but critically also allows for an entirely wheelchair accessible upper level in order to accommodate the client’s elderly parents and an aging-in-place philosophy.
After two decades of infrastructural and urban development, China is now also expanding rapidly in the tourism sector. To promote faster growth, the Chinese government declared several “tourism formation zones”. One of these is the area around the spectacular Changbai volcano in the province Jilin, adjoining the border to North Korea. The region is dominated by vast forests that extend as far as Siberia. The permafrost between November and April makes the area a potential tourist mecca for winter sports.
The MeMo house, which was built on a plot in San Isidro, in the northern part of the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina, was conceived on the premise of a client who is passionate about landscaping and has a strong conviction regarding sustainability and the environment. The premise was to develop a project in a plot between infill buildings while reducing to the maximum extent possible the loss of green spaces due to the construction of the house.
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.
In his essay, “On Trial 1: The situation. What architecture of technology?,” published in1962, Reyner Banham called the suspended ceiling a “Utopian or a Dymaxion dream.” He maintained that suspended ceilings had achieved a degree of industrialization, flexibility, and interchangeability of parts—accommodating a range of services such as heating and cooling, ventilation, lighting, sound, fire-extinguishing, acoustic control, etc.—that far surpass the limited functions of exterior paneling or curtain-wall systems. “Taken grosso modo, one-offs, off-the-pegs, standardized and specialized,” he wrote, “all together, suspended ceilings represent probably the greatest achievement to date in accommodating technology to architecture.” Yet, despite its remarkable all-pervading presence, in Banham’s view, the suspended ceiling had been unremarked in the mythologies of modern architecture. “No one is for or against suspended ceilings,” he argued, “and yet they constitute one of the most sophisticated elements in the technology of architecture.”