A neat little TED talk by Robert Hammond, co-founder of Friends of The High Line on how they got it together to repurpose the rail line into an entirely unique elevated park in NYC. Haven’t seen the new section yet, but looking forward to it.
// posts about architecture
Long floating bar buildings are a pretty popular architectural diagram, but not everyone can make them look as good as Crystal Gardens by Symbiosis Design.
The Garden Studio, by in.it.studios are small pre-fab studios which provide tranquil shelters within nature. The rooms open up to the outside, and with clean lines and natural materials, make kicking back and reading a book even more enjoyable.
TableTop explores the concept of contextual contradiction. By allowing both the existing 1960′s suburban ranch typology and the new addition to live free of stylistic constraints, the project enjoys true contextual harmony. The rotated forms allowed for intimate terraces and the boxes house a lounge and a gym. These forms were oriented on the TableTop to allow for maximum views of the property, passive solar strategies and to allow for exterior spaces to be occupied. Those are now their favorite places in the home.
This is really very cool – PlayMo is an urban intervention by City Leaks in Melbourne, Australia, that desires to “inspire urban dwellers to explore moments, spaces and places where one can deposit themselves. The challenge is to reconsider how we inhabit and identify ourselves in the cities.”
PlayMo was born from the intention of inventing a space that turns into a place where people meet, spend time and play. Its name comes from “playmobil”, a Lego styled child’s creative play toy. Using milk crates was like playing with big Lego pieces.
Milk crates are a fantastic material for many reasons; they are structural, light, modular and they have an iconic role in Melbourne’s cafe image and laneways. We believe that familiarity to a material plays an important role in engaging with it.
PlayMo uses 3 different types of crates. Black = platforms, Grey= stairs, Green=moveable. The green crates provide the undefined random element; people rearrange their seats or even build small stairs themselves. There hasn’t been a single day where we found them in the same place.
Finally, PlayMo is designed to grow and adapt. People are encouraged to leave things behind and to add to the structure. We found artworks, plants, toys, pillows, new crates and received hundreds of letters. We even found that people had constructed a bin so that it could be kept clean.
When I saw this I thought, no it couldn’t be. And them I scrolled through the pictures a little more and it actually was true – OMA/AMO did a project literally with blue rigid insulation foam. I remember when S,M,L,XL first came out and it seemed like every other page was a blue foam massing model. I guess it was only a matter of time until they found a project that foam could be used for the final material. I wonder what the post-rationalization is for it?
The Chicago offices of The Whitehouse Post got a sweet facelift recently. Designed by Bruce Bolander, a Los Angeles-based architect, the new space is a sweet mix of contemporary and fun (check out the graphics on the bathroom doors!).
The Whitehouse has occupied a set of offices in the historic Courthouse Place building since 1995. The existing space was very dark, so Bruce’s design sought to bring light into the interior.
“I focused the design so that the light from the outside came all the way through, which was occasionally as simple as changing the blinds, wall and floor color. In other areas, we cut out some of the perimeter offices to let light in along the large corridors,” said Bolander. “The intention was to try to peel back and get back to the basics of the building, so we uncovered the brick and steel pieces. We also as integrated other stripped-down elements such as vertical wood-paneling as an an additional material that kind of bridges the old and the new.”
It’s been a few years since we graduated from college (exactly how many, I will keep to myself!), and it’s been fun to see several of our friends from architecture school go on to do their own thing. One friend, Hilary Scruggs, recently completed a housing project in San Antonio, TX, and I’m honored to feature her beautiful project here. What I appreciate most is the contrast between the persona of the houses at night and during the day. In daylight, the houses are very private, with an aluminum screen that sheathes the home and conceals almost entirely the daily activities going on inside. Though the aluminum screen seems opaque, the interior is very light, and the occupant is provided with great views of the outside. At night the exterior of the houses come alive as portions of the building are lit up from inside.
Consisting of two units of 1500 sf each, Biering was conceived as a prototype for sustainable and affordable urban living. The idea was not merely to integrate sustainable features into a contemporary-style home but create a design icon in the process; the thesis being to go beyond “eco-chic” to create an “eco-icon”.
The defining feature of the project is a diaphanous aluminum screen which envelopes the homes, providing shade, security, and privacy during the day while illuminating at night. The screen conceals conventional patio doors on both floors that offer cross-ventilation as well as expansive views of downtown. The screen utilizes continuous 20″ panels of perforated aluminum and the decking material, Trex, which was milled into battens that create an air gap between the screen and the building.
Mixing prefabricated components – like standard windows and IKEA cabinets – with simple but highly custom assemblies out of economical materials (aluminum, knotty pine plywood) – kept costs down while creating the look and feel of a more high-end home. The interiors are conceived to maximize flexibility and customization for an occupant, while lending a sense of warmth and comfort to the overall design.
All photos courtesy of Bailey Porter.