Monolithic stone building springs up at the base of a Norwegian waterfall

July 10, 2017 by  
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Bergen-based architects Fortunen AS worked with Østengen & Bergo to install a compact service building at the base of the beautiful Skjervet waterfall in Granvin, Norway, using locally-sourced materials. The nature of the project required a prudent building strategy , so the team designed the structure to blend into the natural landscape and appear as though it had been there for years. The terrain around the waterfall site is steep and quite difficult to maneuver. However, the rugged landscape and lush vegetation around the site were carefully protected during the entire construction phase. A single trail made of natural stone was chosen as the central nerve of the project, and became the inspiration for the building’s design. Related: Snøhetta unveils spectacular makeover for nation’s second-largest waterfall The compact structure, which consists of two restrooms and a small technical room, is clad in locally-sourced natural stone. The remaining building materials including rebar fencing and concrete benches were also chosen to blend into the environment. On the inside, panels of warm plywood cover the walls, with various narrow glazed cutouts that look out over the river, allowing for amazing views of the Storelvi River, forest, and mountains. The monolithic building’s steep slanted roof , along with the natural stone facade, creates a jagged silhouette that, although contemporary in style, strategically blends into the solid rock surroundings, creating a subtle addition to the area, rather than a distraction. This achieved the design team’s original intention, which was to create a series of “gentle interventions that look like they have always been in this terrain – despite their modern form. The combination of contemporary form, ancient craft and local materials create a timeless dimension to the project.” The Skjervet design earned the World Architecture News Small Spaces Award in 2016. + Fortunen AS + Østengen & Bergo

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Monolithic stone building springs up at the base of a Norwegian waterfall

A spiraling wood staircase sits at the heart of this wondrous Tbilisi library

July 10, 2017 by  
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Laboratory of Architecture #3 has just opened a stunning public library whose design was inspired by playground slides. Located in Tbilisi, Georgia, the Mediathek Library’s rectangular shape “floats” off the ground while a large open-air staircase winds around the building’s interior courtyard, giving children plenty of room to run, play and read away from the industrial areas in the neighborhood. The project’s aim was to give families a peaceful, but fun place to escape the housing blocks and industrial zones found in the area. Located in the middle of a local park, the building is a contrast of volumes and materials. The main shape of the 12,000 square-foot library is a cantilevered rectangular block clad in a semi-transparent fabric-coated steel, giving the space a light, airy aspect. Lifted 12 meters off the ground on steel stilts, the dynamic building appears to be floating off the ground. Related: Nomadic bookseller travels all over France with his tiny library on wheels On the interior, the architects used a typical playground slide as inspiration for the large spiraling staircase that swirls around the open-air courtyard, encouraging kids to run around and explore the building. Mediathek contains a multi-media library for children and adults with various reading spaces such as an open-air round courtyard on the upper floor, which is fenced in by a brilliant blue wall. There are also plenty of play areas, as well as spaces for art exhibitions, lectures, conferences, and concerts. + Laboratory of Architecture #3 Via Archdaily Photography © Nakanimamasakhlisi

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A spiraling wood staircase sits at the heart of this wondrous Tbilisi library

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