By: admin | March - 3 - 2015

Experimental project SYMMETRYSCOPE tryes get to the bottom of symmetry and reveal its possibilities. At first step the liner symmetry was investigated and several columns were made. The principle consisted in the rotation and mirroring geometrically simple shapes (tetrahedron). However, the geometry of the column did not allow any internal spaces and so were unusable for architectural purposes. Another move forward was done by the planar symmetry. The principle was similar to the columns. The effort was to achieve interior spaces.

The fascination with symmetry has not been exhausted. From the mirror surface we moved into the space. I started from the tetrahedron, I used its internal organization. The mirroring planes match his faces axes, internal axes and perpendicular planes to theses axes in vertexes. Geometry results in kaleidoscopic effect. It can be rotated, target structure changes.


/ AIII / Imrich Vaško, Martin Gsandtner

Nanling Exhibition Hall

By: admin | February - 27 - 2015

We understand the whole as an exquisitely meticulous sculpture that contains space and hosts knowledge. Our intention is to convey a strong character and presence for the building, exemplifying how it as an urban cultural container. The building stands as an entity able to transcend from the local to the provincial scale, capable of reflecting the collective consciousness, feelings, and future visions of the Chinese society.

The Exhibition Hall of Nanling Town should be an important landmark building that represents the town and its local culture. In order to achieve this we looked for local sources of inspiration. The interesting rock formations that cover the Yashan Mountain inspired us to create the lines of the building and to make a landmark that is easy to recognize by anyone.

We organized the project into 3 buildings with a public space in the middle. The volumes are shaped like the rocks with cuts and cracks that act as entrances and windows to bring the natural light inside. The cuts in the volumes are made from different materials. Outside the volumes look rough but inside they are shinny, similar to a cut natural stone. On the edges the building looks solid with only a few carefully placed cuts, but inside the courtyard the building opens to receive natural light.

Although the project is unitary and all the buildings use the same language, we can talk about two different types of facades.One of them is solid, in white color, to give the image of rocks to the buildings and the idea of compactly and solidness.In this solid skin, we draw some cuts to allow the entrance of light inside and to break the volume. In this cuts, the material is glass or metal, like copper or cor-ten steel. The second facade is the opposite, made of glass, very translucent.This facade is necessary for the entrance of light in the parts where we have office.

The main idea is to leave the maximum possible space for people. That’s why, by placing a perimetral car street, the major part of the inner project is pedestrian.This configuration is perfect for creating squares, enforce pedestrian circulation and create people-oriented public spaces.The accesses to the buildings are inside the plot, to reinforce the use of the public areas and create lively space.

Because the major part of the open space of the project is pedestrian, the landscape has a big importance in our project.The first important concept is that we wanted to create a connection between the green park in front of the plot and the inner square of the project.The idea is the use of simple materials to create a soft and elegant landscape in order to set up a friendly and calm environment, The materials chosen are traditional materials like stone, wood, grass and bamboo.We also wanted to reinforce the idea of “green environment”, that’s why we dispose very big green areas. Essentially, the program is divided into three main uses: exhibition, office, and archive. Each of these uses are allocated into one of the different buildings, subsequently, the structure is very simple and easy to understand. Read the rest of this entry »

Walk-On Balcony In Gliwice, Poland

By: admin | February - 25 - 2015

There are ideas that arise from the need of a particular moment. Such a need – another hot day of summer spent in the office and a thought “if only I could go for a walk” – became inspiration for a project of a path suspended in the air, a balcony Walk-on. It is also one of the ideas to change a sad courtyard, that we overlook every day out of the office windows on the 3rd floor, to give the courtyard a bit of magic. A normal path is tortuous, winds, does not lead directly to the goal, surprises, relaxes, gives contact with nature. Therefore our path should also flow freely in space – giving you a moment of relaxation, rest, allowing you to change the perspective. This influenced its shape – it winds freely and intertwines with itself – it allows for a relaxing walk “from office to office.” Longing for a bit of greenery made us treat the path as a large pot. We filled it with grass that can grow as it wants – after all it’s just a path.

A dark courtyard – a well, that was the nucleus of the problem – became in fact an inspiration for solutions. Mounting method imposed itself. Supports – the walls of houses – had just to be reached from all sides. Shading the neighbors was reduced by reaching to the very idea of a path – which in addition to the fact that is winding, it is also very narrow. It is therefore 80cm wide strip of greenery suspended in the air. From the bottom it seems even narrower because of the palate made of polished metal. The sheet, thanks to bending the bows, mirrors the surroundings and blurs the edges of the path.

Usually “the form follows function” but sometimes “the form follows fun” – and our balcony follows this path.

Design: ZALEWSKI ARCHITECTURE GROUP Read the rest of this entry »

This undergraduate thesis project by Camden Wade titled Urban Infiltration is a visionary and innovative tower that challenges the typical approach to the high rise typology in Downtown Houston by using “collective design.” In a downtown that lacks formal zoning regulations which creates an exaggerated autonomous mindset for high rise development and their primarily office programs, this design takes a paradigm shift through a more holistic approach to the typology. This is explored by investigating how a high rise can be more beneficial to its environment from the large urban scale, architectural scale, and most importantly, the intimate human scale. This project approaches this design issue by creating a hybrid high rise that encourages a more sustainable and localized lifestyle through a delicate balance of programs, both public and private, that relate to one another in a more 3-dimensional and integrated way.

Rather than the typical tower that is primarily privatized and shut off from the public, this thesis proposes a built environment that encourages and nurtures this interaction by extending the public realm’s street level experience skyward through the use of the “urban ramp” and ending it in a public sky park 300 feet in the air. This design concept creates a social hub for the area while also allowing the public realm to stitch together Houston’s stratified urban fabric from its heavily trafficked underground tunnels, to almost non-existent street life, and ultimately up to its floating sky bridges all through a “vertical promenade”.

Urban Infiltration re-evaluates the role of the high rise within an urban setting by using a building typology which is infamous for segregating user groups and isolating its occupants from the surrounding context, to in fact do the opposite by unifying and uniting Downtown Houston’s urban environment. Read the rest of this entry »

Open Air Wine House

By: admin | February - 18 - 2015

7004 house, designed by Daniel Caven, is based upon using natural materials as structural components, the 7004 house is an open air wine house (3 seasons pavilion). Literally taking root, the site is located in the midwest overlooking a private client’s vineyard. The creation of the house incorporates autonomous natural objects as primitive growths within oriented patterns -allowing nature to overtake structural molds. The molds were based around generations and iterations of natural tree structures, then transformed to structural flow lines for the shell and floors of the house. Allowing for overgrowth to the structures.

The use of trees and plants for structural behavior systems creates new dialogues between ecology to architecture. The wine house tectonically is constructed of a semi-permeable fiberglass shell and structural molds braced in between. Through a two to three year process, a bundle of trees are molded and grown under the shell to create a union of the shell and trees. The shell, although static, grows with the tree lifting and creating a core to the shell. Using low density fiberglass the plants are able to push the shell and manipulate it as it grows; aggregating itself in a new way of passive structure. This new architecture takes on motives towards transformation of autonomy of trees as positions within ecology. The 7004 house is the first iteration of an on going project that will eventually take form towards autonomy of nature materials used for architecture. Read the rest of this entry »

Marfa Housing

By: admin | February - 12 - 2015

Barker Freeman Design Office’s proposal for the design of multi-family housing in Marfa, Texas, consists of three rammed earth dwellings that are integrated into the landscape. The project combines local building techniques with a formal language that alludes to the carved rock formations and smooth transitions found in the indigenous landscape of the Chihuahuan desert. The primary building material is rammed earth, a natural raw material used since ancient times as a sustainable building method that provides heat-absorbing thermal mass.

The dwelling structures are embedded in the ground plane to take advantage of the cooling properties of the earth and create a dynamic public space within the housing block. The stepped central plaza forms an informal outdoor amphitheater for gatherings and exhibitions and frames views of the landscape beyond the town limits.

Entry into the units was designed as an inwardly projecting stoop lit by a sculptural skylight that leads to the front door. Living spaces are raised a half-story above the entry and overlook the plaza through large shaded windows, while bedroom spaces are accessed through internal stairs leading down to the lower level. The internal courtyards are spanned by radial steel struts that funnel rainwater toward a central cistern.

Istanbul Harbor Revitalization

By: admin | February - 6 - 2015

The rapid population increase of the city in the past 10-20 years has resulted in a huge waste of public spaces. Given that Istanbul is going to expect a heavy earthquake whitin the next 25 years, those public spaces could be a place of refuge. Due to fast growth and expantion of the city, the transportation system has been disregarded and important transport nodal points are just now being built. Our goal was it to show with this project a possibilty or rather an idea of how a revitalisation and an upgrading of a harbour area in this part of Istanbul could take place or look like.

In doing so qualities, as well as useful functions and places of the area should be analysed and afterwards packed in suchlike design so that the character, as well as the function of each area and zone are preserved, new areas are being developed who enforce the function of already existing and furthermore help places to attain a new identy and quality of life.

The idea oft the project was to create so-called attractors and to locate them directly at the waterfront. These attractors incorporate the already existing Haydarpasa trainstation, a new museum, an expansion of the existing harbor building and a new congress centre which includes hotels and other programs.

The attractors or hot-spots, as we called them, distinguish not only in their aesthetics but also in their functions. This is important to attract different human groups and to activate the whole harbour area.

The promenade should be a connecting element for the whole area, and it should tie the Haydarpasa train station to the already existing promenade in the south of the wastewater treatment plant. The connection of the hotspots with each other is enabled through water taxis and by the expansion of the established tramway.

The four-lane highway alongside the housing front is becoming a boulevard with new shopping opportunities, bars, restaurants, cafes, and so on. The boulevard covers the whole project area. The inclusion of functions of the housing front on it’s own is insufficient to connect the harbour area with the residential area, so the characteristic narrow streets and alleys shall not only provide a visual aspect; they have to connect the waterfront with the nearby residential areas as well.

Based on facts like the axial subdivision and the hotspots defined by us, an area for living, working, shopping, relaxing, recovering, entertainment, sports, culture and leisure activities is being developed.

Location: KADIKÖY (Istanbul – Turkey)
Instructors: Prof. Bart Lootsma – Institute of Architectural Theory, Prof. Reinhardt Honold – Institute of Urban Design Read the rest of this entry »

Wooden Look-Out Tower In Italy

By: admin | February - 3 - 2015

The main goal of the design was to create a structure that integrates and correlates with the surrounding woodlands. Made out of 90% wood the tower should not only look like a wooden structure but also reflect nature in its form and composition.

The organic structure results from a simple geometric shape based on several different parameters. The main parameters are „golden ratio“ and „linear structural elements“. A twisted design is achieved by only using linear wooden beams and girders on the outer facade which change angle at every two meters.

By simply rotating the upper and lower hexagon against their directions and changing their sizes and angles it was possible to composite a shape that not only resembles the shape of a tree but also functions as such. Similar to a tree that uses its roots and trunk to provide the crown with nutritive substances the large lower part of the tower acts as an inviting entrance for visitors.

Once inside the tower visitors can then experience several platforms located alongside the stairs providing places to rest and enjoy the view.

The main platform located on top of the tower acts as a gathering point, a place to relax and enjoy an astonishing view across the whole valley in the middle of a’crown of trees in the surrounding woodland.

Project: Look-out Tower for Bruneck City Municipality
Site: Bruneck City Municipality, Southtyrol, Italy
Construction area: 140m2, height: 33m
Architects: Anton Pramstrahler, Alex Niederkofler Read the rest of this entry »

Wine Culture Center

By: admin | January - 28 - 2015

Wine Culture Centre is a recent competition entry designed by Urbanplunger studio. The main purpose of the competition was to rethink the concept of “winery” under a contemporary perspective, transforming the winery from being a simple storehouse / production facility to be a catalyst for culture, tourism and research.

The new Wine Culture Centre is a modern building, that fits into the traditional environment through its careful attention to the context. The main feature of the building is a dramatic roofscape that creates new outline on the background of mountains. Many domes compose the spectacular roof surface defining the geometry of the building – in reference to the essence of wine – grape. Such roof shape allows to create impressive interior space and interpretation of traditional Italian arched courtyard.

The fruit storehouse that works for 3 month a year only turned into multi-purpose space. In this area you can find number of temporary pneumatic membranes for smaller activities – “learning bubbles” that divides the whole space into different functional zones.

A water recycling system will be utilized to collect and store rainfall from the roof. The rain water will be recycled for use in lavatories. Natural ventilation and hybrid ventilation will be used. Perforated concrete shell protects building from overheating and creates comfortably shaded spaces inside. Wine Culture Centre respects the natural context in a new interpretation, while supporting the traditions of Valpolicella. Read the rest of this entry »

Anamorphic Projections and its perspectival techniques offer a way to make a dynamic spatial experience that is three-dimensional and moves further beyond simple geometric projections. More than images that are projected through a space and painted onto surfaces, the physical manifestation of the projection, a cone, allows the user to move away from a two-dimensional realm into one where real forms exist and duality of space is created, the virtual and the real.

The Lexington Children’s Museum, designed by 1st year graduate student Aaron Fritsch from the University of Kentucky College of Design, is created from within three particular vantage points, referred to as “the aligned views”. The objects and forms within these constructed views are constantly changing due to adjacencies, linear relationships and programmatic demands of the building without ever changing the original view. Where openings are needed for light or double heighted space is desired for programmatic function, the projections are used to carve away the floor or façade. Where openings are needed for entryways or enclosures for privacy, the projections are used cut away walls that are then scaled or extruded relative to the users positioning without obstructing the aligned view.

The museum is raised in the front to help generate gathering space that can occur outside and below the building before entering the museum itself. Lifting the building also provides a point of entry and a ramp that is necessary to create an auditorium that is essential to the programmatic demand of the building. As the user reaches the museums entrance, they are confronted with the first view of alignment. As the user moves off of the original vantage point and through the space, the shearing of forms and their linear relationships to one another create new moments of alignment and virtual flatness that the user then comes upon rather than starting with. The overlapping cuts in the floor from the projection allow for an atrium to occur; where circulation can revolve around and a moment of phenomenal transparency can take place vertically through the building.

The ideas of virtual flattening and phenomenal transparency are two crucial elements to this project. The virtual flattening creates spatial ambiguity for the user and allows for moments of phenomenal transparency to occur. The moment of phenomenal transparency allows for the user to not only see into adjacent spaces but rather through the entire space at one time without an interruption of adjacent forms or objects. Read the rest of this entry »