- Modernisation House N in Moscow \ 4a Architekten
- Goettsch Partners wins two China competitions for Greenland Group
- Do Ho Suh inspired hanging Red stairs
- The History and Story – As Important as the Look
Posted: 26 Sep 2013 09:46 AM PDT
4a Architekten give character to residential house in Moscow. A house built in the 1990s, a client who openly welcomes change and a team of architects who are able to give a new identity to a building. House N in Moscow speaks a clear and autonomous architectural language inside and out – with form and detail precisely in tune with other.
A bright, spacious and open house – this was the client's wish and therefore the guiding principle behind 4a Architekten's redesign of this residence in Moscow. Through dialogue, an impressive re-interpretation of the existing building that was constructed in the 1990s and which in future is to offer space both to a family of four and to numerous art objects in a living area of 350 m2. This brought about a radical change to the original appearance of the house.
Although the existing building structure has been largely preserved, the house now reveals entirely new facets: a generously glazed structural shell with a front ramp emerges from the existing volume to create a new, eye-catching entrance situation. Here, shape and form capture the existing structures and axes while this reinterpretation bears all the hallmarks of 4a Architekten.
Strikingly yet cautiously, the glazed shell wraps itself around the original building, creating a soft transition from the existing to the newly-built. The house interior has also undergone a powerful transformation: since the conversion, the different areas of the entrance level merge smoothly into each other.
The original floor plan structure, which was previously divided into small sections, was eliminated through the removal of non-supporting walls. An open-plan interior landscape with a living and dining area, fireplace and kitchen now forms the focal point of the house. This communal area exudes a pleasant air of spaciousness with great freedom of movement. An air space with an open staircase links the ground floor with the upper storeys.
The resulting interplay with the large-surface glazing, offering a splendid view across the gardens that cover an area of 2,500 m2, gives rise to an expansive feeling of space. The two upper storeys serve as a private place into which to retreat. The master bedroom, complete with dressing room, bathroom and free-standing bathtub, is located on the first floor, while the top floor accommodates the two children's rooms and another bathroom. In the basement, a sauna area and a recreation room with access to the garden offer further high-quality living space.
House N now displays resolute clarity and sleek elegance after its modernisation. This language of form is in part due to the reduction in the use of materials – oak floorboards, steel, glass and wood shape the spatial impression inside and out. The white plastered wall surfaces give the building a tranquil atmosphere while at the same time forming the backdrop for the client's numerous art objects. 4a Architekten have succeeded in lending a contemporary ambience to the existing building structure, creating a high quality of living perfectly tailored to meet the residents' needs.
+ Project data
+ All images and drawings courtesy 4a Architekten \ photo by Dmitry Chebanenko
Posted: 26 Sep 2013 09:06 AM PDT
Architecture firm Goettsch Partners (GP) has won two recent design competitions in China for the Greenland Group, one of the country's largest real estate developers. Located in the cities of Foshan and Suzhou, the projects are both mixed-use, multi-building developments, together encompassing more than 650,000 square meters.
In Foshan, the Chancheng Greenland Center involves a two-phased, 430,000-square-meter development located east of the Old City District on a major arterial roadway linking Foshan with Guangzhou. The first-phase planning consists of a six-tower residential complex totaling 86,660 square meters; a 34,500-square-meter street retail environment composed of two- and three-story shops; and a 100-meter-tall commercial office tower. The second phase calls for two 200-meter-tall Class A office towers totaling 173,280 square meters; a 100-meter-tall, 37,570-square-meter commercial office tower; and a four-story, 70,000-square-meter shopping mall. Master planning and design for the retail program elements were key factors in the selection of the winning submission.
In Suzhou, the mixed-use project totals 234,000 square meters across two city parcels. The main parcel features a 50-story, 250-meter-tall office tower totaling 97,000 square meters; a 24-story, 35,000-square-meter hotel; and 10,000 square meters of connecting retail. The second parcel features three apartment towers—two at 40 stories and one at 50 stories—together totaling 100,000 square meters.
Early construction of the Foshan development is already underway, and the Suzhou project is in advanced design, with construction expected to start next year. Both projects are slated for completion in 2016.
Posted: 26 Sep 2013 08:42 AM PDT
Tasked with creating a staircase for a split level property, our team was set the challenge to produce a staircase completely hanging off the existing building structure.
A gauzy red staircase floating high up in a gallery at Tate Modern – a recent installation of artist Do Ho Suh – was the inspiration.
Material Firstly our choice of material had to echo the lightness, the flexibility, translucence and porous contrasts with the solidity of the original architectural structure which Suh has emulated through his work.
Perforated Steel Sheet as our choice of material provided both the contrast in transparency and structural integrity required. The transparency becomes very evident as the perforation and light condition gives a different experience at different times of day.
The sense of space and gravity is experienced by the viewer as a stair hanging and floating in space. Furthermore for the user, seemingly floating as their silhouette floats up and down the stairs.
The Colour Red remained true to Suh choice of colour which works predominantly as a means of removing the structure from its original context, and "heightening the dream-like intensity of a recognisable structure that appears to hover and float overhead".
The staircase by virtue of its nature and form is a 'lightweight' structure and has been designed to be structurally sound but light in perception. One of the challenges was to develop a hanging light structure while maintaining its entire structural integrity.
While putting all of our knowledge and experience to the task, our design team ensured all the final details of this seamless structure were not compromised with any fixings to be visible.
KEY DESIGN FEATURES
Key design features include the full height hanging perforated panels (5x4metres), and the smooth transition between treads and vertical panels.
The staircase was designed to be constructed in several easy to assemble parts, allowing for smooth and accurate manufacturing, transportation and installation; Emphasis has been in creating a continuous and homogenous flow throughout the intricate details of the whole entity.
The manufacturing process involved a combination of skills from specialist engineering, precision metalwork and skillful craftsmen ship.
Posted: 26 Sep 2013 08:11 AM PDT
The difference between many beautiful homes and architectural displays and similarly aesthetically pleasing but far less renowned structures goes beyond the look and even the name of the architect or designer. What gets attention and true notice and acclaim is the story that goes with the design. While a bedroom done in classic Victorian design is beautiful – if it is a replica of the bedroom design of Martha Washington that she shared with the first president of the United States it now has much greater interest and appeal. It has a story.
All the great architects and interior designers are well aware of this. That is why when they describe their inspirations they always reference other famous buildings, architects or designs. It forms a connection in the reader or viewers mind, makes them look closer at the details, and borrows from the fame of the other. The goal is to gain interest from more than just the visual appeal and to connect on a more fundamental level.
The simple truth is, a walk through a home to do nothing but look at each room or even perusing the internet for pictures of beautiful designs and ideas is somewhat boring if there is not any detail but "notice how the colors are coordinated and the angles make the room appear larger. The colors should be chosen carefully and the designed lines of sight are supposed to have an effect so that is nothing really worthy of mention and the need to mention it is actually a criticism of the result.
Making a Story Worth Telling
A story worth telling to complement a room's appearance will improve the overall impression many fold. As an example a beautiful hardwood floor is a fairly standard accoutrement for a dining room. Remarking that it has a nice color and warm glow adds little the value or discussion. Describing the reclaimed flooring company that reproduced the beautiful floor from a 200 year old building in London using the original wood will get far more appreciation and interest. It connects the new floor with history and invokes visions not only of what is now but what it had been for a far more dramatic effect.
Knowing the origins of an architect's design influence will allow you to say more of interest and importance about any structure. Saying look at the garage is dwarfed by the reminder that the garage on your cape cod home is designed to be reminiscent of the Nantucket boathouses even if you are hundreds of miles from the shore. The knowledge of the inspiration may well help you to choose a more appropriate interior design and decoration them as well.
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