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Typology studies

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  • Aerial final

    United States Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon by MorphosisSubscription

    Like US diplomatic buildings worldwide, this facility currently under construction in Beirut is subject to increased fortification, following two bombings of the previous embassy

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    Swiss Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya by Roeoesli & Maeder ArchitektenSubscription

    The new embassy complex turns is back to the street, begging the question of what buildings of this type owe to the context in which they sit

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    Franco-German Embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh by SPA DesignSubscription

    Completed in 2017, the double-occupancy of the embassy shared between France and Germany in Dhaka is expressed in the very fabric of the building

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    Egyptian Embassy in Lisbon, Portugal by Promontorio, 2018Subscription

    The patterns of Lisbon’s Egyptian embassy deal with an expression of its home country’s architectural heritage, without becoming a replica of a traditional building, alien to its new, foreign context

  • Typology embassy architectural review 10 german cairo wall

    Typology: EmbassySubscription

    Redolent of the geopolitical climate, embassy design has shifted to create symbols of protection as well as power

  • 03 typology bank john soane england gandy architectural review

    Typology: BankSubscription

    Beginning with the simple table from which they take their name, banks developed into one of the most splendid urban building types as they sought to reassure depositors. Today they are on the verge of disappearing altogether

  • Caesars web

    Typology: PalaceSubscription

    Big houses for feudal rulers advertised the right to power of those within, while protecting them from the people they exploited to build them – today, the tradition continues in the hands of oligarchs

  • Pier looking east no lounge

    Remodelling of St Pete Pier in St Petersburg, USA, by ASD Architects and Rogers Partners Subscription

    The pedestrianisation of the pier creates a new kind of seafront, that re-envisages and reinvigorates the traditional archetype

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    Harbour Bath in Aarhus, Denmark, by Bjarke Ingels GroupSubscription

    Aarhus’s new baths extend the public realm into the water, revitalising a former industrial area

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    Pier 2, Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture in San Francisco, USA, by Leddy Maytum Stacy ArchitectsSubscription

    The remodelling of the former military port for San Francisco Art Institute combines drama and intimacy, lending itself surprisingly well to its new role

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    Cruise Terminal in Salerno, Italy, by Zaha Hadid ArchitectsSubscription

    Zaha Hadid’s cruise terminal reframes the role of the pier as indeterminate terrain, mediating between land, sea and sky

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    Typology: PierSubscription

    Devised by pleasure-seeking Victorians but now undermined by social change and physical neglect, does the building that defined the seaside have a future?

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    Gasholders in London, UK, by Wilkinson EyreSubscription

    Is the solution to obsolescent gasholders demolition, building housing developments within them or, perhaps best yet, parks? 

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    Irving Street Brewery plant in Sydney, Australia, by TzannesSubscription

    Parasitic orchids of zinc mesh shroud the cooling towers of this brewery conversion in central Sydney

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    Energiebunker in Hamburg, Germany, by Hegger Hegger Schleiff ArchitektenSubscription

    Inventive reuse of a German Second World War bunker provides energy, and public space and amenities, in Hamburg

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    Amager Bakke Waste-to-Energy Plant in Copenhagen, Denmark, by BIG and SLASubscription

    The sloping ‘hill’ design of this waste-to-energy plant, naturally, features a ski slope and requires more waste than the city produces to run at profit

  • Br7nb9

    Typology: Power stationSubscription

    Faced with planetary catastrophe, does the future of energy generation lie in a return to its historical origins?

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    Market in Niigata, Japan, by Takuya HosokaiSubscription

    This woodland pavilion in blackened timber provides a collection of amenities for the local community and its visitors, bundled together in three distinct but linked volumes

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    Municipal Market, Abrantes, Portugal, by ARX PortugalSubscription

    Staggered cubic volumes in white-painted concrete link two streets that are separated by a steep incline

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    Foodmet Abattoir, Brussels, Belgium, by ORG ArchitectureSubscription

    This new market hall joins an imposing 19th-century hall in iron and glass – in use as an abattoir until the 1990s – and a large open-air market

  • Baltic Station Market in Talinn, Estonia, by KOKO Architects

    Baltic Station Market, Talinn, Estonia, by KOKO ArchitectsSubscription

    The Modernist motif of the floating roof, whether cantilevered or supported on impossibly spindly legs, found its ideal functions in the factory and the market

  • John schofield the last of the billingsgate fish porters london 2012 claudia leisinger

    Typology: Market hallSubscription

    The market hall shelters a cornucopia of delights, but the traffic and mess it generates presents a challenge to planners

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    Law Court Offices, Venice, Italy, by C+S ArchitectsSubscription

    This extraordinary looming monolith on the Piazzale Roma provides offices and a grandly scaled public entrance for the Venetian law courts

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    Kununurra Couthouse, Kununurra, Australia, by TAG Architects + Iredale Pederson Hook ArchitectsSubscription

    An undulating grey roof shelters the courthouse, announcing the building’s presence without admonishment

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    District Court Extension, Alingsås, Sweden, by TengbomSubscription

    The courtrooms occupy the upper storey up to the roofline, giving these spaces impressive volume

  • Jmayerh hasselt fdujardin 001 m

    Court of Justice, Hasselt, Belgium, by Jürgen Mayer H ArchitectsSubscription

    The building takes the form of a blob erupting from a rectangular podium, and, with its somewhat 1970s orange and brown colour scheme, is wilfully ungainly

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    Typology: Law CourtSubscription

    From Kafkaesque labyrinths of columns and arches to the abstraction of Modernist towers: the representation of justice in a world ruled by its absence is an intractable task 

  • New correctional facility schmidt hammer lassen architects 03 edit

    New Correctional Facility in Nuuk, Greenland, by Schmidt Hammer Lassen architectsSubscription

    This jail is currently under construction outside Nuuk, in one of the world’s most dramatic locations for such a facility

  • Aib psp mas d enric penitentiary central square 6

    Mas d’Enric Penitentiary in Tarragona, Spain, by AiB estudi d’arquitectes and Estudi PSP ArquitecturaSubscription

    The undulating green roof echoes the canopy of the surrounding woodland bridging an otherwise insuperable divide between inside and out

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    Hólmsheiði Prison in Reykjavik, Iceland, by ArkísSubscription

    The recurring prison cell extrusions connect the inmates to the surrounding landscape while isolating them from one another

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    Typology: PrisonSubscription

    To confine, secure, rehabilitate or punish: the prison has several, sometimes contradictory aims, but however humane its approach, penal architecture is essentially cruel

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    Elephant House at Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark by Foster + PartnersSubscription

    Buildings for elephants necessarily curtail the inhabitants’ freedom, as they usually roam around six miles a day across the savannah. However, these animals are also accustomed to a certain degree of warmth and dryness, and so when transplanted to colder climes they need a roof over their heads. This problem was addressed by Virgilio Cestari, who created a fantastic Hindu temple for the elephants at Buenos Aires Zoo in 1904, and more recently by Hugh Casson, who completed the corduroy ...

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    Equestrian Centre in Melbourne, Australia by Seth Stein Architects and Watson Architecture + DesignSubscription

    The horse is a noble beast, and as such has sometimes been treated to luxurious quarters, for example by architects as distinguished as Jules Hardouin-Mansart and Johann Fischer von Erlach. (Sometimes, but not always, as those who have seen the film Maîtresse, with its scene set in a horse abattoir, can attest.) Seth Stein and Watson Architecture + Design’s Equestrian Centre Merricks on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula is an impressive addition to this tradition, with its elegantly curved ...

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    Typology: Buildings for animalsSubscription

    Designing buildings for animals has prompted an extraordinary range of responses, from palace to cat flap, which say more about humans than the residents

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    Cowshed in Lignières, Switzerland by localarchitectureSubscription

    Constructed in the Jura hills of Switzerland, the timber beams traditionally used in local barns are employed here to create an unusually complex roof form

  • Bat tower

    Bat Tower in East Otto, New York, USA by Joyce HwangSubscription

    Thanks to human-caused climate change, many scientists argue that the world is entering the sixth mass extinction in its history. Bats are among the species under threat. Over a million have died in the USA, where they have succumbed to a fungal infection, and in the UK, bats are vanishing as they lose their habitats and food supply thanks to non-porous buildings, pollution and pesticides, despite being protected by law. One way to mitigate these problems is to provide roosts that compensate ...

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    Mikve Rajel by Pascal Arquitectos, Mexico City, Mexico, 2011Subscription

    Mikve Rajel, with subdued lighting and expanses of wood and marble lining the communal areas, gives the ritual bath a setting not unlike a modern spa

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    Löyly by Avanto Architects, Helsinki, Finland, 2016Subscription

    The folded wooden envelope provides a place for locals to meet, creating a transitional social zone between the intimate spaces of the interior and the urban space of the waterfront

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    Crossing Parallel(s) by Studio MRDO and Studio LaM, Korean Demilitarised Zone, Korea, unbuiltSubscription

    Prodded by President Trump, the cold war between North and South Korea – which never formally declared a truce – threatens to return to boiling point, with potentially world-ending consequences. What solutions can architecture offer to the crisis? This is of course a ludicrous question; nevertheless, architectural research group Arch Out Loud recently held an open competition to design an underground bathhouse in the demilitarised zone, with the aim of emphasising the shared culture ...

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    Typology: BathhouseSubscription

    Since time immemorial, and from continent to continent, saunas or bathhouses have played a community role, stripping their users of social distinctions and affording a rich seam for architects

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    Princess Diana Memorial Playground Lavatories in London by Jestico + WhilesSubscription

    The incorporation of a toilet into the memorial for a beloved public figure is a delicate matter, and one that fully justifies a revival of the otherwise tediously prudish British tradition of the subterranean lav. Here, however, the monument takes the form of a children’s playground inspired by Peter Pan, incorporating wigwams and a pirate ship, and the toilets are accordingly anything but po-faced. Rising from the landscaping (designed by Land Use Consultants), a grassy mound covers ...

  • Hull

    Typology: Public toiletSubscription

    From the pissoir to the sanisette, from the communal to the stand-alone pod, from male to female provision, a rich seam of history runs through toilets

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    Women’s Toilet in Thane, India by Rohan ChavanSubscription

    Secure places to relieve oneself are important for women in India – not only to raise awareness about endemic abuse – but do they work as sites of social interaction?

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    Selvika National Tourist Route in Finnmark, Norway, by Reiulf Ramstad ArkitekterSubscription

    The project is a triumph of the provision of facilities in a sensitive spot, enhancing the place rather than hiding it coyly beneath an architectural fig leaf

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    House of Toilet on Ibukijima Island, Japan by Daigo Ishii + Future-scape ArchitectsSubscription

    The symbolic or signifying functions of the public toilet are usually secondary, at the most speaking of civic generosity, or, more accidentally, of meanness and neglect. But why shouldn’t the smallest room commune with the cosmos, as in this public lavatory on the Japanese island of Ibukijima? Taking its cue from the sliced spaces of Daniel Libeskind, the structure – which appears similar to other local houses from the outside – is divided by imaginary lines stretching out beyond the ...

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    Typology: ShopSubscription

    Sacred lair of the commodity, its mysteries veiled by plate glass: who can resist the lure of the shop? 

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    Crystal Houses in Amsterdam by MVRDVSubscription

    ‘Over an old Flemish house there stands the mystical inscription: “there is more within me”.’ So wrote Georg Simmel in 1904, referring to the way that fashion allows us to simultaneously express and mask our individuality. He incidentally makes a connection between fashion and the facade, one which, though suppressed in architectural discourse, always lies very close to the surface, as Mark Wigley has shown. The facade hides the interior, but also expresses something about the building. ...

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    Sunnyhills Cake Shop in Tokyo by Kengo Kuma & AssociatesSubscription

    Glass does not have a monopoly on transparency. Using the ancient and fiendishly complex Japanese joinery technique of jigoku-gumi, which literally means ‘interlocking hell’, Kengo Kuma enveloped this Tokyo bakery in a hectic cloud of wooden struts. The interior is not visible from the street, making display of the wares on sale impossible, but the building is instantly recognisable –from a distance, it is reminiscent of a wasp nest – making it a striking advertisement for the business. And ...

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    Twiggy in Ghent, Belgium by Architecten de Vylder Vinck TaillieuSubscription

    The accommodation of retail space within former domestic space presents several problems. The facade is one, another is circulation. Here, in an old house in Ghent, local architects de Vylder Vinck Taillieu had to deal with the quandary of a narrow original staircase that was unfit according to local fire regulations, and yet was to be retained for aesthetic reasons. Their solution was to construct an entirely new staircase on the back of the building, an irregular zigzagging volume ...

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