An image of a 1925 Lithuanian LTL 1000 banknote is applied to this 10-story building using special enamel paint. During the process the paint turns into a ceramic print that lasts forever. This particular banknote came out between the two devastating world wars during a period that Lithuania was independent. The façade consists of 4500 glass panels in different shapes, manufactured by Saint-Gobain. Two major banks have rented office space in the banknote building, SEB and Lithuania’s Snoras Bankas.
“At around the same time we were assessing some of the design projects for a new office building [...] we happened to come across a very elegant banknote dating from 1925, and decided to use it as our overall theme.”
Architect, RA Studija in The Baltic Times.
A great idea for a summer house designed for Polish photographer Szymon Szcześniak. The house is open except for a billowing curtain. We have a few lingering doubts about locating this house in continental Europe.
While the facade is the work of the French architect Jean Nouvel, each of the Hotel Puerta América’s 12 floors – from the elevator lobbies down to the blankets and bathrobes – has been conceived by powerhouse architects and design studios, among them Arata Isozaki, Norman Foster, Marc Newson, Ron Arad, Richard Gluckman, Javier Mariscal, Victorio & Lucchino and Zaha Hadid. With public spaces like the Black Tears restaurant designed by Christian Liaigre and the underground garage by Teresa Sapey, the Puerta América can bill itself as “12 floors with 19 stars.”
Hotel Puerta América, Madrid, Spain, $250 to between $1,500 and $3,900 for the suites, designed by Starchitects.
The new Mountain Retreat has to deal with quite different terrain. Located in New Zealand’s Southern Lakes, a mountainous landscape of snow-capped peaks and dense beech forest, this is a low impact second home designed as a place to get away from everything. The aesthetic approach is subdued, with a minimal palette of hard-wearing materials. The stone exterior, concrete floors and dark wood give the Retreat the feeling of a cave, embedded in the hillside.
This building was constructed for the purpose of promoting Xi, a brand of apartments. In addition to the standard type of a showroom apartment unit, a larger share of the floor area is allocated as a variable cultural space for the local residents, which as a result creates a brand-new building typology: a housing cultural center. As economic forces and cultural activities seem to form complex interrelationships causing our private and public spheres to merge and invade each other, this building comes as a product of these current phenomena.
Xi gallery, Yeonsan-dong, Pusan, Korea, by Minsuk Cho, Kisu Park, Seoul, South Korea for Mass Studies
The new Boston Institute of Contemporary Art is located on the harbor at Fan Pier in south Boston. The best feature is the “gallery box”: a large exhibition space on one level that dramatically cantilevers over the Harborwalk toward the water.
For a site near a forest, where the building is situated has one major drawback: south-western access. In order to avoid the functional collision of the driveway and the garden, the driveway was ‘pushed’ into the ground. This prompted the idea of a driveway leading inside to the the ground floor level, from underneath the building, which became possible thanks to the creation of an inner atrium with the driveway in it. This in turn has made it possible to obtain a new type of house, which is the reverse of an atrial building. The Aatrial House is closed to the inside and open to the surroundings.
This art studio, in addition to providing for the amenities of storage, cooking, cleaning, and reading, posed the problem of how to achieve extreme horizontal openness in order to move freely within the studio. It is based upon an expanded NYC loft typology that has been displaced to the countryside.
Winters Studio, by MOS
The residential building H16 consists of two contrasting cubes responding to the particular situation on the inclined plot. The black cube is constructed from prefabricated architectural concrete sections and accommodates the private rooms, thus ensuring intimacy and possibilities for retreat. A dense hedge at street level shields the glass cube from view. The ensemble is augmented by a light-coloured cube, which is visually connected to the residential building by a steel terrace and houses the garage and engineering.
H16, Stuttgart, Germany, by Werner Sobek