Press Resources for the ar+d Awards for Emerging Architecture.
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Optical Glass House
Fabricated from 6,000 long, thin blocks, the huge glass wall forms a lustrous veil, screening out the distractions of the city and enclosing a verdant courtyard garden at the heart of the house
The house in its city context. Hiroshima’s bland and alienating urban texture is based on the needs of the car rather than any sense of human scale or intimacy. From the street, the garden is diffused and refracted through the shimmering glass wall. The glass retains micro-scale surface irregularities that generate and project unexpected visual effects around the interior spaces
The 13-ton facade made up of 6,000 glass blocks, each measuring 50mm x 235mm x 50mm. With their large mass-per-unit area, the crystalline glass blocks effectively shut out the urban noise and create a sparkling backdrop for the garden with modulated city views. Their high degree of transparency was achieved by using borosilicate, the material used to make optical glass. The difficult casting process required slow cooling to remove residual internal stress and achieve precise dimensions
There are open spaces for concerts and social gatherings, surrounded by vegetation − potted trees and ground cover tiered in artificial berms − as well as hidden corners for private time
Irregular faceted domes (to break up sound) are finished in the vividly-patterned fabrics traditionally used for window awnings in Madrid. Flat sections of the roof are filled with translucent polycarbonate sheets
To meet these demands, the architects decided ‘to make a city instead of a building’, in the words of María Langarita. Ten music workshops and Academy offices became one-room cabins, which they distributed along raised wooden walkways at the edges of the structure’s two high central ‘naves’
Under one nave, two larger circular pavilions house a recording studio, lecture hall and canteen…The architects secured the building’s openings with chicken wire, and consolidated the earthen floors, converting the structure into a kind of giant shading device. The result is something like a Club Med version of a village in the bush.
Bloc 10 Housing
The visual force and impact of an extremely modest building is amplified by setting an exo-skeleton of black-stained vertical wood studs out a half foot and more from the well-insulated walls. These add a degree of privacy in front of bathroom and bedroom windows, but are cut away to provide unimpeded light and view for the huge picture windows in living and work rooms. When viewed obliquely by the heavy traffic along Grant Avenue, the studs visually congeal to form a banded but continuous form
A three-storey timber-frame apartment block on the most ordinary corner in an inner suburb, bloc 10 could hardly be more different from the artful, occasionally arty creations of this older generation. Balconies have cut-away sections to allow views from within the flat, and screened sections for extra privacy
The designers jettisoned the banalities of the doubly-loaded apartment building layout, and were inspired instead by that twistingly puzzling creation of Hungarian architecture professor ernö rubik
Sectional perspective showing how flats are spread across storeys both horizontally and vertically
With no building lobby, each of the 10 units is entered from their own private door on the street or rear lane, these main floor rooms used variously as kitchens, work rooms, or even bedrooms (the building has condominium ownership, and initial residents got raw space with plumbing available throughout, so each could ascribe uses to the rooms as they wished). the main structure is five bays at 18 feet wide each, the standard width of a Winnipeg townhouse, meaning off -the-shelf wood joists could be used, cutting costs.
The Friendship Centre
There is no air-conditioning in the complex; fractured and pavilion-like building volumes allow for natural ventilation and cooling, also facilitated by courtyards and pools
The centre functions as a training facility for an NGO which works with local people
The labyrinthine warren of the Friendship Centre recalls the exposed ruins of Roman hypocausts
A new project called the Friendship Centre seems like a woven terracotta raft that has been swept out from a remote village in a distant time, and now lies stranded on the flood plains that surround the small town of Gaibandha in the north of Bangladesh
With topographical modulation in mind, Kashef Chowdhury decided to create a mini embankment around the site and to construct the buildings inside that enclosure at the existing ground level in load-bearing, exposed brick