The Danish Pavilion is a monolithic structure in white painted steel which keeps it cool during the Shanghai summer sun due to its heat-reflecting characteristics. The roof is covered with a light blue surfacing texture, known from Danish cycle paths. Inside, the floor is covered with light epoxy and also features the blue cycle path where the bikes pass through the building. The steel of the facade is perforated in a pattern that reflects the actual structural stresses that the pavilion is experiencing making it a 1:1 stress test.
“Sustainability is often misunderstood as the neo-protestant notion “that it has to hurt in order to do good”. “You’re not supposed to take long warm showers – because wasting all that water is not good for the environment” or “you’re not supposed to fly on holidays – because airtraffic is bad for the environment”. Gradually we all get the feeling that sustainable life simply is less fun than normal life. If sustainable designs are to become competitive it can not be for purely moral or political reasons – they have to be more attractive and desirable than the non-sustainable alternative. With the Danish Pavilion we have attempted to consolidate a handful of real experiences of how a sustainable city – such as Copenhagen – can in fact increase the quality of life.”
- Bjarke Ingels
The House 6 project was thought out after the client had made an important request. The family wanted a covered external space to be used for everyday living. This space should be used to organize all the social life of the house. The Brazilian tropical climate suggests ample use of these solutions in vernacular as well as in modern architecture. Beginning from the colonial, Brazilian architecture has usually incorporated a space that was known as the veranda. Verandas are covered linear spaces in front of the living room and bedrooms which act as the intermediary between the interior and exterior.
In the House 6 project, the idea of the veranda has been reinvented. The veranda is not exactly in front of the living room, disposed longitudinally, but, rather, perpendicular to it. The wooden pillars that give support to the structure and the clay tiles of traditional verandas have been substituted by modern pilotis that support a volume of flat slabs. The veranda of House 6, nonetheless, still remains an open space and, simultaneously, opens to the garden and the pool. It is a living room, a TV room and an extension of the internal kitchen.
This space, then, structured the entire architecture of the house, organized in two transversal volumes and an annex in the back that holds a home office. The lower volume houses the utilities, the kitchen and the living room with door-frames that can be recessed into the walls, and thereby entirely opening the internal space to either side. This sets the cross-ventilation and an unfettered contiguous view of the garden. The upper volume has the private area of the house with the bedrooms and, on the third floor there is a small multiple-use living room alongside an upper deck.
Architecturally, the space of the veranda, located under the bedrooms, would have a low ceiling-height, to create a warm feeling. The sum of the structure of the two perpendicular volumes and the living room ceiling-height would result in a very high ceiling. Thus, it was decided to make the living room lower in relation to the veranda and the garden. This result made it possible to have a house with elongated proportions and the viability of a covered external pleasant space to be used on both warm and cool days in the city of São Paulo.
Organized around a central pool courtyard, the main living space and master suite all open onto the courtyard through a series of floor to ceiling mahogany and glass sliding panels that seamlessly integrate interior and exterior. Deep overhangs along these spaces serve to protect the home from the harsh Texas sun and create a generous covered outdoor living area.
The private residence of architect Koen Heijse of the young Ghent based office Caan Architecten is a thoroughgoing paradox between minimalism and maximalism. The house is disrobed of all its applications so only the simplicity of form and the essence of material and details remain. The living experience seems to be in service of silence and is remarkably sculptural. However, at the same time the monolith radiates an extreme compactness. Drawings indeed unveil a complexity of daring spaces and distinctive circulations inside a strictly demarcated volume.
House Heran, by Caan Architecten, via: OWI
Photography: Van Leuven Bart
Cut into the landscape by two curved earthen walls, this new spa and swimming pool extend the outdoor living spaces of an existing rammed-earth house. A rustic trellis provides shade from the California sun and frames distant views of San Francisco to the south. The spa pavilion opens to the landscape, embracing its temperate climate and provides an intimate private retreat from the main house.
V23K16 is a single family residence built within a masterplan by MVRDV. The house is designed to maximize light and create flexible living space by placing the service zone at one side of the house.
V23K16, Leiden, Netherlands, by Pasel.Künzel Architects,
Photography: Marcel van der Burg
This house was designed in 1969 by architect Herman Andriessen. A year after completion he passed away. In 2005 interior architect Arjaan De Feyter and his wife bought the house which was in total decay and ready for demolition. They retained the original plan of the first floor, which is where they were to live. They extended the ground floor so as to install a workspace, whose visual impact they mitigated by means of large glass walls with profiles that were barely visible. The house is reminiscent of Villa Savoye or a Case Study House.
Zoersel House by Herman Andriessen, and Arjaan de Feyter
Polish firm Tamizo Architects have designed an office complex, consisting of 3 rectangular buildings colored in black, grey and beige. Each are joined through glass openings and stairwells.
“This box contains a numbered, limited edition interactive model of Herzog & de Meuron’s 56 Leonard Street, designed to be taken apart and reassembled as a means of exploring the tower’s radically innovative design. The building will contain 145 residences, each with its own unique floor plan and private outdoor space, in a veritable cascade of houses stacked in the sky, blending indoors and outdoors seamlessly together.”
Limited edition models of 56 Leonard Street were never available for sale to the public, however one was offered for sale recently on Ebay.
56 Leonard Street Model, by Herzog & de Meuron, via