Posted: 13 Nov 2013 04:23 AM PST
AGI architects designed the Star House in Bnaider, Kuwait. Nestled into the landscape, this beach house blends with the natural topography of the coastline of Kuwait. It slowly unfolds itself to the visitor, as it is approached from the desert.
Upon entry, one gets glimpses of the sea whilst going down to the public space of the chalet. On this lower level, the house extends into the landscape and the sea, accentuated by an infinity pool in the garden. The private side of the house, located at the entry level, is concealed from the visitors by a bamboo wall. Bedrooms and private living spaces remain isolated from daily activities. A three-way stair, placed at the center of building, organizes the different flows of family, friends and guests.
The organizational and formal structure of the beach house is dictated by the ability to maximize views to the sea.
The initial design was master planned for three detached dwellings, each with extensive sea views while simultaneously achieving privacy from one another. The client, instead, opted for a single house, two bungalows and a boathouse, with possible plans for expansion in the future.
+ Project facts
Project : Star House
Posted: 13 Nov 2013 04:04 AM PST
The main activity of Certest Biotec involves research, development and manufacturing of diagnostic tests. Due to its rapid growth, the company decided to move its premises from the business incubator at the European Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) in Aragon to a free 8,000 m2 plot with a dominant position in the San Mateo de Gállego estate.
The planned building is part of the first phase of the complex, which already has an initial 2,500 built-up m2. The proposed scheme includes 8 laboratories, production and administration areas, a main warehouse and common areas. The proposal is based on a parallel buildings growth pattern. These 7.20 x 5.40 m blocks generate great open courtyards between them, which are overlooked by the laboratories. The set is configured by three 1,000 m2 building wings that rest upon the main warehouse. The latter's volume was strategically conceived to run along the lorry access service road.
The laboratories are located in the arms of the building so that their orientation is always north. This avoids direct solar radiation without having to turn to protection systems. Plus, it also offers a very well illuminated working area and significant energy saving during the summer. On the other hand, the south façade houses the circulation areas that grant access to the labs. Between them, the lab-annexed service areas are located. These store the laboratory special equipment.
The proposal is based on two basic ideas: on the outside, the optimization of the growth model and on the inside, the building is designed around the laboratory. These two criteria organize the whole project, along with the sun potential: landscape, orientations, natural slopes and entrances. Formally, the volumes are convincing, to offer a clear reading as a result of applying a program which has functionality as its primary criterion for an optimum development of Certest's activity.
The façade cladding is monochrome: it covers all sides linking the planes between themselves. Its appearance is neutral, alternating smooth sheets with perforated ones that subtly hide the façade openings during the day. One can sense their existence and feel observed by their occupants, as if they wanted to preserve the intimacy of what goes on inside. However, at night, with the light from the inside, the building comes to life. The appearance it offers is totally different for it outlines the layout of façade openings through the perforated sheet. This game of veils and concealment with a single inexpensive material, apart from pursuing a smooth blending with the surroundings, aims to fulfil another basic objective: to plan a low-cost building with as many architectonic features as possible. This has been, without a doubt, the most complex exercise.
+ Project facts
New Certest Biotec Laboratories
Client: CERTEST BIOTEC S.L.
Structures: Isabel Esteras Emperador
+ All images and drawings courtesy ACXT Arquitectos
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