Le Corbusier, Assembly Hall (Chandigarh, India) Roof model (1964).
Plaster and painted wood
UNStudio (Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos) Mercedes-Benz Museum Model (2001-2006) Stuttgart, Germany. Composite board, plastic and paint
Jürgen Mayer H, Mensa Karlsruhe Dining Hall model (2005-2006) Karlsruhe, German. Laser-cut polystyrene, glue, white airbrushed paint
Curated by Barry Bergdoll - the Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design – and curatorial assistant Margot Weller, Building Collections, at MoMA New York, highlights recent acquisitions made by the museum’s Department of Architecture and Design. Covering eight distinct themed areas that encompass the full range of the collection – which dates from 1890 to the present – the exhibition includes everything from delicate sketches by the likes of Heinz and Bodo Rasch (Suspension Houses Project) to the complete paraphernalia of the design process, such as the models, sketches and plans for UNStudio’s Mercedes Benz Museum in Stuttgart. The vast majority of pieces on display are being shown exclusively for the very first time.
This small guest house stands in an upland meadow dotted with large oaks and granite outcroppings, a new addition to an enclave of house, garage, and barn overlooking Long Island Sound and the Thimble Islands. The project brief was modest: a combined living and dining room with a small kitchen, a single accessible bedroom and bath and an upper story room that would double as additional sleeping or recreational space. Due to its proximity to the primary residence, the building was considered by the local zoning codes as an “accessory building,” strictly limited in both ground plan and height, allowing barely enough headroom for legal occupation of an upper story. Our simple plan incorporates a bedroom, bathroom and kitchenette within an enclosed volume with communal living and dining spaces surrounding it. The sedum-covered shed roof, a steeply pitched plane lifted by the “pressure” of the spaces beneath it, is another planted surface in the garden that spills excess water into the landscape. Our glazing details are intended to dematerialize the building’s seams: eaves come apart from the walls, corners detach, the roof tears open to connect the light bamboo-lined interior to the expanse and beauty of the site; long views, the canopies of oaks, and the ever-changing coastal sky encompass the small building.
Cottage, Guilford, Connecticut, by Gray Organschi Architecture
Nils Wenk Architekten has completed a conversion of former pumping station in Berlin to a gallery, studio and residential buildings.
Pumpwerk Neukölln, Berlin, by Nils Wenk Architekten
You arrive at the villa by a path paved with lava through the front garden, a steel roof with a dramatic change in the pathway and protects at the same time introduces an element which projects outside the main facade of the building. The angle on the roof of the villa entrance is a wall covered in lava rock cleft and contains a cut corner, a window onto the living room. The opposite edge is instead of glass and turns on the side elevation along the length of your stay with sliding glass doors to the garden that interact with the outside world in absolute transparency. On the back on the ground floor front is more solid, a stone wall, alternating with a white plaster wall in the middle, the window of the bedroom is like a cutting height on the wall. Neat, precise, sharp.
Venice-based studio Corde Architetti has designed Euroom, a small exhibition space in the backyard of a private residence. conceived as a display box for photographic works, the rectangular volume is an abstraction of the traditional gallery space compressed down to a 35 m2 area. Arranged on a bed of rocks, the box is wrapped in a milky translucent skin which prevents views into the interior space from the outside. A small rectangular opening at the foot of the outward-facing surface gives a glimpse of the activity within. An outdoor fountain runs water into a large metal basin which creates a very shallow reflecting pond that extends to the edge of the ‘window’, resulting in a dynamic visual connection between the gallery and the garden outside.
Commissioned in the mid-’50s by industrialist Henry Singleton for a site on a spectacular peak atop Mulholland Drive. The house has been restored by legendary stylist Vidal Sassoon and his wife, Ronnie. Although the Sassoons made use of Neutra’s original materials and vocabulary to an astonishing degree, the changes were considered sacrilege by some design purists. Ronnie, however, is unapologetic: “Unless the house is a museum, or you only spend a few weeks a year there, you just can’t live this way today. And given how valuable the land is, the house would have been torn down.”
When the renovations were complete, the couple turned to decorator Martyn Lawrence-Bullard, a close friend, for advice on the interiors, particularly upholstered pieces and textiles. “Ronnie and Vidal both have such an amazing eye,” says Lawrence-Bullard. “They bought great midcentury French and Italian furniture, including important pieces by Charlotte Perriand and Gio Ponti.”
Singleton House, Bel Air, California, by Richard Neutra, via: Architectural Digest
The garden that separates the main part of the house is south facing, the bottom of the plot presents a level area that ends 6 metres higher up. These are the only constraints to guide the project: a residence based on two rings: a vertical ring ensures the connection between the levels, a horizontal ring includes the earth pressure at the rear and forms the interface between the main part and the rooms on the first floor. Everything is designed so as not to have to reveal the intimacy of the premises to passers-by, in this way, only a small section of the South facing garden is reserved to welcoming visitors and the entrance to the garage. To the right, the site climbs. Steps lead you to two levels in the area bathed in light … the upper garden. The vertical wall folds round to form the ceiling; it covers the living space which is simply organized around a white service area. The floor is black, it moves outside to the south, to form a vast patio. The view overhangs the neighbours so only the tops of the trees can be seen, two birches perforate the vertical patio encircled by the screen wall that makes the night-time areas on the lower level concealed from public view. The bedrooms and office situated in the depth are completed by their own patio. Three vertical circulations have been organised: the hall stairs, the lift and the family stairs that pierce the volume to the swimming pool. On return to the lower garden, a swimming pool takes the tangent from the partition wall and extends 25 metres further. Each time of the day has its own living framework, and one is never bored.
Perke, Belgium, by Atelier d’Architecture Bruno Erpicum & Partners, Photography by Jo Pauwels
The functions are banal: a house divided in private area with bedrooms, and social area with living-rooms. The private areas are at street level under the plot, around a central courtyard with rooms opening to private patios in a intimate environment. The living rooms are around a void, that collects light from above and gazes the castle at the city centre. The house is a recognizable archetype emptied of its centre by the light designed by a three heighted courtyard that opens horizontally at the garden level. The bedroom courtyards, revealed in the garden, relate with this archetypal object providing different readings on its scale. Scale and volume are controlled in a chaotic context, with a clear identity that from its core relates with the historical legacy far away: the Leiria Castle.
This home and studio space, ‘the work of my life’ according to Álvaro Leite Siza, took 12 years to complete, assembling the site, designing the house, and then building it. The home’s size is almost statuesque with its lines and angles.
“To do architecture it’s necessary a client, a promoter. When I realized, in certain moment of my career that to continue my path I would need to occupy that role too, I didn’t hesitate. I conciliated objectives, interests, goals, I pursued an ideal and I achieved a dream. I also had the need to be, in this work, supervisor, coordinator and project director, in an organization in direct administration. I started this work in 2004 and I finished it in early of 2005. The construction begins in February of 2006 and was concluded in July of 2010. The project of personal house-atelier is the first where is present touching figures in their own atmosphere, exalting pieces, personalities that derive from history, versus the sensibility, recreating individually realities, with no intention previously defined. They appear in the middle of delivery to ones believe beyond what we need (specific program and functional), sublimation underlying to authentic communication of the creative process.”
“Transitional spaces, the porticos, the lamps, the light, the doorknobs, the doors, the hand rails, even some paintings and the furniture was designed for me, but also other of XIX century (timeless pieces) that came from my family that fit the environment perfectly, beyond other elements, complement the creation of environments that exalt Mozart, Leonardo da Vinci, Miguel Angelo and surrounded by a lot of extraordinary Art works, that aren’t limited to the atmosphere of purely imaginary architectural.”
- Álvaro Leite Siza
Four years ago while experimenting in the workshop, Dror Benshetrit discovered a serendipitous geometry. Initially inspired by the aesthetic and flexibility of this versatile form, he soon realized the structural integrity of the interlocking members. Dror then embarked on four years of inspired and diligent investigations. Working in a collaborative and experimental environment, the team developed a unique structure that can adapt to a variety of conditions and configurations. These range from product design, trestle structures, dwellings, dividing walls, sound barriers, and more. Some applications take advantage of its load-bearing capabilities, while others capitalize on its acoustic properties, ease of manufacturing, collapsibility and energy performance.
Boosted by a team of experts, the studio conducted inter-disciplinary research and rigorous analysis, to soon discover the overwhelming strength of the geometry coming from the most simplistic physical force. The geometry revealed five development direction for applications with endless possibilities; dividing, dwelling, trestle, fenestration and artistic installation. These enabled designs reflect an ever-changing world where contextual factors and technological resources are shifting definitions of architecture, design, and the traditional boundaries between disciplines.
“Our goal is to inspire change. Working with creative and innovative experts from various fields, we aim to share and implement this geometry in urban design, architecture, philanthropic work, and public art. When realizing that the system could potentially bring a groundbreaking solution to the global issue of habitat, we were eager to complete our experimentations and share this discovery with the world.”
- Dror Benshetrit