Derived from natural, cultural, and mythical landscapes, the Norwegian Wild Reindeer Centre Pavilion, known as Tverrfjellhytta, features the unique juxtaposition of a soft organic inner core with the rigid outer shell. Sitting on a plateau at 1200 meters above sea level, the center offers a panoramic view of the surrounding Snøhetta mountain range, home to herds of wild reindeer. The installation, designed by Snøhetta, is at the outskirts of Dovrefjell National Park. This 90 square meter pavilion serves at the destination of a 1.5 kilometer nature trail, where the visitors are greeted with the flowing curvature of the wooden core confined by a rusted shell.

The undulation of the core resembles that of a rock or ice eroded by being exposed to natural forces such as wind and water through the ages. Marrying the organic flow of the core with the sharp contrast of raw steel shell, the build explores the integration of different materials that allows the building to blend with the landscape. The overall effect is that of a protected shelter with a warm and welcoming essence. With emphasis placed on both quality and durability, the core is coated with pine tar treatment to withstand the harsh climate. In addition to the use of native materials, the shelter’s simple form references those of local building traditions. Read the rest of this entry »

Most people believe cardboard is the mundane material that is used to make boxes, after which, carelessly thrown away. Yet, this thin shell structure, made by the professor and students at University of Minnesota, along with help of MATSYS, uses that exact material to produce a walkway installation for the school. The students completed the project within a 4-day workshop focusing on parametric/thin shell structures, student team design competition, fabrication, and assembly.

The hex shell deals with the design aspect of parametric process. Using tools provided by MATSYS, the students generated the form  in response to the circulation of the area. To guide and reinforce circulation, dimensions of the structure coincide with traffic flow and usage density.

The structure itself challenges the conventional thinking of materials and their properties. The team uses cardboard, which is very deformable and often lack aesthetics appeal. However, knowing the limits of the material being utilized, the design exploits the properties and compensates for the weakness. Throughout the installation process, the team used the cardboard’s ease of manipulate as an advantage in terms of assembly and reshaping. In the final product, the design utilizes a method of folded plate to compensate for lack of structural integrity. In doing so, the structure is not only reinforce but also provided the units with attaching point for construction. Read the rest of this entry »

Sitting in the countryside of Bedfordshire, UK is an old barn. Or at  least that is what it used to be. The innovative minds at Nicolas Tye Architects reinvented the old farm landscape by converting the barn to an elegant studio. Home to Nicolas design team, the Long Barn Studio is representational of their design philosophy. This 2,200 square foot studio space, erected on the ruins of an old barn, lies harmoniously with the landscape and adjacent to an existing barn.

The studio boasts a modern yet subtle appeal, utilizing materials that enhance the surrounding context and vice versa. The studio is composed of a glazed elevation with ends enclosed in larch timber cladding that resembles “book ends”. The overall aesthetics is elevated through the use of Cor-ten detailing that furthers the sense of place, reflect the old machinery and steelwork of the barn. Read the rest of this entry »