- TREE HUGGER \ Murali Architects
- Poiano Resort SPA \ Alberto Apostoli
- Vertical Emptiness \ Onishi Yasuaki
- The Green Design of Adelaide’s Christie Walk
Posted: 20 Sep 2013 09:26 PM PDT
The "TREE HUGGER" at chetpet is a contemporary house with exposed concrete, metal, steel, glass wrapping around the existing trees in the site.
The designer aimed at giving a contemporary grammar to the house creating a sculptured mass by retaining the existing trees.
The entry undulates into the stone gathering plaza which opens to the vassal / mithan creating a typology in continuation to the past living.
The visitors are thereby entertained in the inviting green front amphitheatre which opens into the "Cementine Sculpture" created for the family of three children and the elderly mother, has series of levels with double height and triple height spaces.
The double height open planning of living, family hall and dining around the courtyard creates vertical volume connecting various levels of the house with the flow of roof planes.
A visual drama is created by means of natural lighting from the open courts reflecting the outdoor quality.
The large windows in every room floods the space with natural light and provide views of the outdoor green breathing pockets making the house lively and cheerful.
Thus the "TREE HUGGER" makes a bold statement to the spectators with technology and nature going together.
+ All images courtesy Murali Architects
Posted: 20 Sep 2013 09:04 PM PDT
The SPA designed by Alberto Apostoli for the Poiano Resort (Garda Lake – Italy) satisfies two needs: the development of a particularly attractive location and the concept of a contemporary design. The lake is the natural background of this center located in the hills above the town of Garda, among olive trees and lush vegetation upstream of a valley a few hundred feet above water level. The project speaks the language of an absolutely extraordinary and unique area; simultaneously linking space, quality and atmospheres through skillful creativity, as a result of the architect's leadership in the wellness industry. A place rich in views, in continuous dialogue with the outside world and with some scenarios drawn from the dualistic axiom: wellness / nature, to which Apostoli always makes continual reference.
In this regard, Apostoli says:
The entrance consists of a curved space enhanced by a local stone wall (built using a traditional local technique, by skillful craftsmen) in which windows of different sizes filter the view to the pool area. The semi-circular infinity pool (salt water) is covered with the same material as the floors of the center and it visually lies outside. The space takes on a different atmosphere during the day thanks to the natural light that filters through four large windows from the garden and from the lake, while at night the pool is lit internally with different colors.
The spa area is a series of suggestions and atmospheres generated by the combined use of different materials, coordinated in a refined way. In this area, a double glazed sauna (bio and Finnish sauna) is internally divided by a wall, also in glass, emphasizing the overall size while at the front there are four showers separated by glass walls. The saunas are lit by under-bench lamps to create a spectacular lighting effect on the inner walls which is partially reflected on the outside.
The steam bath is the natural continuation of the stone wall behind the shower and is made using a specially treated surface with a wax finish. A bench made in ceramics and a central fountain from which flow water and steam complete this area.
The relaxation area was conceived as a space of total psycho-physical decompression and it has therefore an essential and minimal (a
lmost monastic) style. The only suggestion consists of a stone wall lit from above.
In the beauty area, the treatment rooms, all different from each other, have warm colors and soft lighting. Room doors and walls were treated with a texture, which contributes significantly to the characterization of this area. The cabins are different from each other and were designed in cooperation with the spa manager in order to optimize the treatment menu.
The lighting project was carried out with extreme care; it aims to create a striking space and to emphasize the important materials and finishes. It also aims to develop and refine an extreme deconstruction of the volumes. Apostoli says: “I wanted to create a place where it is difficult to perceive the boundaries of the individual functions. A project of great material emphasis: stone, textured surfaces, natural colors, wood and glass – and in which the frankness of the room is able to convey the quality and the excellence of the hotel and the services provided.
In this project everything seems natural, though a lot of work has been done trying to provide glimpses of emotional and refined atmosphere. The Spa at Poiano becomes the highlight of this facility so prestigious and well located, without excessive personalism, finding its own identity, style and aesthetics from the context itself.
This is my way of conceiving about the wellness zones: a spa that is in no way detached from the existing environmental situation and leads the visitor to think that nothing can be more suitable for this specific place”.
+ Project credits
Chief Architect: Alberto Apostoli
+ All images and drawing courtesy Alberto Apostoli \ photo by Luca Morandini
Posted: 20 Sep 2013 08:14 PM PDT
Onishi Yasuaki uses tree branches, hot glue, and urea for his installation. He uses the glue to connect our ground to an imaginary world. Crystalized urea appears on thin glue lines and in the tree branches. This installation is presently exhibited at the Kyoto Art Center.
+ Project facts
Artist: Onishi Yasuaki http://onys.net
+ All images courtesy Onishi Yasuaki
Posted: 20 Sep 2013 06:41 PM PDT
The city of Adelaide is filled with notable architecture, but one of the most intriguing projects is Christie Walk. Designed by architect Paul Downton, Christie Walk is meant to be a sustainable development in every sense of the word. It was constructed using green-friendly materials, generates its own green power, and is kept in top shape by residents who share a sense of community. The project was meant to provide an affordable, sustainable community for Adelaide residents.
The Project’s Beginnings
Downton used American Shaker villages as an influence when designing Christie Walk, which are known for their sense of community and re-use of materials. All materials and buildings are meant to be both functional and appealing to the eye at the same time. He also used the idea of permaculture as an influence for the Christie Walk concept, which is a branch of environmental design focusing on creating self-maintained architecture.
When the project first entered its planning stages, Downton asked the future residents for their ideas in its construction and design. The group formed a non-profit building company of their own, which helped to keep housing prices low even within the city centre. All residents now own their own units, while sharing communal recreation and outdoor facilities. They have garden beds, walking paths, and gathering points to sit and relax in.
Eco-Friendly Building Design
There is a mix of housing types contained within this green urban village, including apartments, townhouses, and cottages. The project was originally constructed on a small 2000 square metre site, fitting 14 dwellings. It was then expanded in 2006 with an additional apartment block and community facilities, for 27 dwellings in total. Although typical Adelaide family home listings on Homesales or other real estate sites contain 4 bedrooms, the dwellings at Christie Walk are limited to two or three. This helps utilise the small space more effectively, and does away with unused rooms.
The buildings are constructed from non-toxic, green materials including concrete and straw bale. Solar panels help provide power for the full site, while window and vents provide a source of natural cooling breezes to regulate temperature. The building’s structure is also composed of recycled wood products and natural materials such as cork.
Natural Accents and Community Life
Plant life plays a large role in this sustainable community, and to that effect you’ll find climbing plants growing up the balconies of the housing. Downton was careful to use native plants that have low water needs, to keep water usage low. Trees are strategically placed to help provide shade in the summer months, while plenty of space is provided to grow food in the site’s raised garden beds. There’s also a roof garden, which helps add insulation to the building while offering panoramic views over the city.
Christie Walk is a must-visit destination in Adelaide for any sustainable architecture enthusiasts, and offers tours for a small fee.
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