São Paulo, January 21, 2002
“It is ten o`clock at night. Very hot. I use this moment of rare calm and solitude to design the new house. I look through the window and parked in front of the building is a BMW X5. A young man of about 27 slides out of the car with a stunning blonde fearfully clutching her Prada bag. An almost-black, almost-beggar approaches asking if he can watch the car for R$ 5,00. They go into a Japanese restaurant. On the radio, which I will turn off within ten seconds, there is talk of the most recent kidnapping and a prison rebellion. I read my notes of the first meeting with the clients, a couple in advertising. We spoke of an enormous library in the living-room with double high ceilings, enormous windows opening completely to the garden, a pool 3 x 30m, a kitchen with an orange lunch table in the center, two symmetric marble staircases lit by focused natural light, a precisely detailed work studio, spaces of rare and elegant proportions which always relate to the exterior differently, white textures, an Eero Aarnio ball club chair, minimalism, the 60’s, electronic music, Stockhausen Cage, the latest issue of Visionaire magazine, a recipe for spaghetti al mare and finally “My Uncle” by Jacques Tati.”
“I think of a single enormous volume wrapping everything: a white box. In São Paulo, we don’t need to be concerned about environmental coherence; it is total chaos, the most absolute chaos. In this city, the world’s ugliest, which overflows energy, vibrant like no other, loved and hated, anything that is projected will be totally integrated into the city. Ah, yes, don’t let me forget an enormous wall protecting the house, covered in natural wood (maybe from the last tree of the Amazon), and which, certainly, will be completely covered by graffiti, giving the final touch in perfect harmony with the environment.”
From a humble architect of the third world. – Marcio Kogan
A glass house cut into a rocky slope emphasizes simple geometry and indoor-outdoor relationships.
Catskill Mountain House, West Shokan, New York, by Audrey Matlock
The limestone, steel and aluminum house was built on the foundation of the original house also designed by the architect. The expanded house with a prime location needed to conform to subsequent zoning which required it to be built within the same footprint of the original house.
Georgica Pond, East Hampton, New York, USA, by Designer, for Bates Masi
Guanyin-hall, Dule-monastery Tianjin, Jixian (Liao Dynasty 916-1125)
Chunyang Hall, Yongle Palace, Ruicheng, Shanxi Province (Yuan Dynasty 1271-1368)
Bracketing Cluster (Dougong) (Song Dynasty 960-1279)
Hall of a Thousand Buddhas, Temple Zhihua, Beijing (Ming Dynasty 1368-1644)
For about three centuries, almost all public buildings in China were built according to a hardly ever changing construction system: an enormous, curved hip roof rests on wooden posts with wide overhanging eaves and tile covering, supported by an elaborate wooden construction.
In the 20th century, documentation and teaching models of the highest accuracy were made of the most important buddhist temples and palace complexes. These large-scale models precisely show all the details in order to enable their study and a possible reconstruction of the historical buildings. The exhibition at the Architekturmuseum shows 19 of these models, among them detailed models of the bracket system (Dougong) and reproductions of the oldest timber constructions existing in China.
The holiday house in located in the middle of the village of Vnà in the Lower Engadine. The particular challenge of the project was to bridge the divide between the old-world charm of the village and the modern flair embodied in a holiday house for an internationally successful art gallery owner. The aim was to develop a formal language which had a certain proximity to traditional Engadine architecture and yet remained immediately recognisable as contemporary without being conservatively romanticised.
House 53 was conceived as a wood and mortar monolithic block with another concrete and glass volume upon it. Due to the ground’s small front and volumetry, the box’s two edges had to make the most of light’s entrance, which explains the large windows. It was also desirable that these windows would make it possible to darken the internal environment whenever needed.
The house’s inferior volume, which comprises the living room on the first floor, and the bedrooms on the second floor, is a glass box with wooden brises that open as folding doors. The rooms’ front and back facades were designed to be completely closed or opened.
Kübler House is surrounded by golf courses and green areas near the Andes. The project seeks to incorporate the landscape into daily life, following the client’s request to spend a long time throughout the year in the exterior spaces.
Casa en la Cala Galiota, Mallorca, Spain, by Joan Riera + Francisco Barceló
Photography by Miguel Coelho
When the international contest for a building that would house the works of Brazilian painter Iberê Camargo, who died in 1994, was launched, it was equally supported by the artist’s family and the local administration, who donated the site near the Padre Cacique road, in Porto Alegre, a city with over one million inhabitants, in southernmost part of Brazil. The site was a difficult one, shaped as a small and tight triangle, surrounded by rocks of around 25 metres in height, offering a great view on the river Guaiba.
In his museum project, Álvaro Siza Vieira incuded exhibition spaces, storage spaces, a library and a video-library, a cafe, a small auditorium, as well as administrative spaces and workshops for artists. Consequently, the building developed vertically, the main volume being dug in the rocky background. The building’s shape moulds upon the nearby slopes and, through a coherent distribution of space, solves the problem of parking, extremely important in such a tight place, situated near crowded arteries.
Ibere Camargo Museum, Porto Alegre, Brazil, by Álvaro Siza Vieira
This is a residence for a family who looks for a more extensive terrain and ampler spaces, without leaving the traditional neighborhood where it has lived for almost 30 years. Located on the east side of Santiago, the main characteristics of the neighborhood are the presence of old growth trees and huge lots with houses that have a limited relation with the street.