Glowing Maggies Center by Steven Holl Architects opens in London

December 28, 2017 by  
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Just in time for the holidays, Steven Holl Architects completed the latest Maggie’s Center, a building the U.S. firm describes as having “a new joyful, glowing presence.” The luminous building at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London is one in a network of drop-in centers with the charitable purpose of helping anyone who has been affected by cancer. Filled with natural light during the day and lit from within at night, this new Maggie’s Center is a sculptural beauty that takes inspiration from the church’s medieval heritage. Founded by Maggie Keswick Jencks and Charles Jencks in 1995, the Maggie Keswick Jencks Cancer Caring Trust and the network of Maggie’s Centers seek to help those affected by cancer with free support, information, and advice. Located on the grounds of NHS hospitals, the buildings that house Maggie’s Centers also double as uplifting design destinations, having been designed by leading architects such as Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, and Snøhetta. At the Maggie’s Center at St. Barts, Steven Holl Architects fashioned a curved three-story building—one of the few centers with a more vertical rather than horizontal profile—that draws the eye with its glowing matte glass facade decorated with colored glass fragments that evoke the “neume notation” of 13th century Medieval music. The glass facade is also organized in horizontal bands like a musical staff. “Interior lighting will be organized to allow the colored lenses together with the translucent white glass of the facade to present a new, joyful, glowing presence on this corner of the great square of St. Barts Hospital,” wrote the architects. Related: Light-filled cancer center harnesses the healing power of nature The architects continue to say that the building was envisioned as a “vessel within a vessel within a vessel,” referring to the glass cladding as the outer layer on a branching concrete frame that holds an inner layer of perforated bamboo . The inner bamboo shell wraps around an open curved staircase and is bathed in colored light that changes over time and by season. The ground floor welcomes visitors with a rest area, counseling room, kitchen, and dining area. The first floor comprises a library and two additional rooms, while the topmost floor opens up to a public roof garden with flowering trees and a multipurpose space for yoga, Tai Chi, meetings and more. + Steven Holl Architects Images by Iwan Baan

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Glowing Maggies Center by Steven Holl Architects opens in London

Minimalist Revugia retreat is nestled amidst Germany’s Black Forest

December 15, 2017 by  
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Revugia is new wilderness retreat designed for Germany’s Black Forest and Harz Mountains. It consists of a series of beautiful cabins and treehouses designed to have minimal impact upon the environment. Designed by architect Matthias Arndt, founder of lichtecht , for German developer TIDEVAND Bau , the resort will be built using wood, natural stone and glass. The Revugia resort will offer 50 suites in the main building and over 30 additional lodgings spread throughout the forest. Its architectural style champions simplicity and minimalist forms so as not to draw attention away from nature. Related: Inflatable spiky pinecone-shaped roofs top this forest resort in Latvia Revugia will offer spaces for recreation as well as venues for corporate events, meetings, presentations and seminars. It is expected to break ground in the second half of 2018, and is slated to open near the end of 2019. + Lichtecht + TIDEVAND Bau Via Fubiz Images by lichtecht

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Minimalist Revugia retreat is nestled amidst Germany’s Black Forest

Luminous Bear Run Cabin offers dramatic views of the Cascade Mountains in Washington

December 8, 2017 by  
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The Bear Run Cabin in Marblemount, Washington, captures the dual nature of the surrounding landscape – the dramatic peaks of the Cascade Mountains and the gently sloping adjacent woodlot. The building, designed by David Coleman Architecture , is carved into the site, with two volumes standing in a yin-yang relationship. The cabin occupies a rain-drenched site in the rugged, northwestern foothills of the Cascade Mountains. Its western terrace is carved into the site, and it leads towards a soaking tub set behind a glass wall . The south-eastern porch and monumental stair, both covered by a soaring roof, rise above the site and offer shelter from the rain and summer sun. Related: Son builds modern dream cabin from recycled materials for his aging father The house is extremely flexible – in the summer the living space expands onto porches and terraces while retaining its efficiency and compactness in the winter. The 890-square-foot cabin accommodates a living room, a bath, and a sleeping loft clad in frameless glass, while the 1000-square-foot studio houses a music room, a workshop and a guest loft. Related: Affordable Polycarbonate Cabin is a light-filled vacation home in Chile The west wall is clad in a polycarbonate skin that illuminates the interior with a soft glow during the day. This same wall lights up in a dramatic display at night. The project won the GRAY Awards — the first regional awards program to celebrate design exclusively from Washington , Oregon and British Columbia. + David Coleman Architecture Photos by Ben Benschneider

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Luminous Bear Run Cabin offers dramatic views of the Cascade Mountains in Washington

Elevated glass-bottomed pool hovers over a second pool in the hip Wall House

September 15, 2017 by  
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An outdoor swimming pool with a glass bottom hovers above the second pool of this gorgeous residence in the Portuguese Riviera. Guedes Cruz Arquitectos designed the entire Wall House as a sprawling, open-plan house that embodies the principles of indoor-outdoor living, with so many gorgeous elements that it’s surreal. On one of its side, the residence features an expansive glass wall that can be opened to create a direct connection between the interior space, the garden and golf course. Wood slat coverings cover the concrete exterior walls and can be shut to provide complete privacy when needed. Related: Glass-bottomed sky pool will be suspended 115 feet in the air The most striking feature are the two outdoor swimming pools . The first is located on the ground level, while the second one hovers above the patio and has a glass bottom. The surreal visual effect of this bridge-like structure create unlikely visual connections between different levels of the house. + Guedes Cruz Arquitectos Via Dwell Photos by Ricardo Oliveira Alves

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Elevated glass-bottomed pool hovers over a second pool in the hip Wall House

Naturally-ventilated glass building looks like a shimmering urban mirage

August 31, 2017 by  
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This office building in Geneva features a complex glass facade that makes it look like a shimmering urban mirage. The new Headquarters of the Swiss Société Privée de Gérance (SPG), designed by Italian firm Giovanni Vaccarini Architetti , appears almost as an immaterial object that glimmers and vibrates in dialogue with the urban landscape around it. The building sits on Route de Chêne, at the gates of the historical center of Geneva. The existing building was converted and extended, starting with a naturally-ventilated glass façade that improves the acoustic and thermal insulation performance of the building. The glass facade also gives the project a dematerialized quality that constantly amplifies, reflects and refracts natural light. Related: South African office building was designed to keep its occupants healthy A triple layer of glass is covered with a ventilated chamber containing micro-perforated Venetian blinds to regulate the light. Brise-soleil screens made of screen-printed glass are anchored on the outside, giving the façade’s external surface a variable modular pattern in terms of both the panel dimensions and the design on their surface. The glass facade, lit by white LED lights at night, softens the perimeter of the building, creating a kind of “nebula” that pulsates and changes to adapt to its surroundings. + Giovanni Vaccarini Architetti Photos by Adrien Buchet

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Naturally-ventilated glass building looks like a shimmering urban mirage

Three glass arms and a sunken visitor center enhance this renovated Dutch park

August 22, 2017 by  
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Some people have a wonderful knack for devising new ways of seeing the world – including Studio Maks and Junya Ishigami + Associates, who designed this sublime park expansion in the Netherlands . The new triangular-shaped visitor center in Park Vijversburg acts as an extension of the adjacent historical villa, while ensuring minimal impact on the parkland. Three sweeping glass corridors extend from the center, providing visitors with a more immediate perspective of the surrounding landscape. The addition to the recently refurbished park aims to accommodate the increasing number of visitors by providing new exhibition and meeting spaces. Studio Maks’ Marieke Kums and Tokyo-based architect Junya Ishigami designed the center as a partially sunken single-floor structure that has minimal impact on the site. Related: New light-filled learning center celebrates the food history of one of Denmark’s oldest towns Its three curved arms are fully glazed and free of columns and other structural elements. This creates an uninterrupted flow and views of the parkland , while giving a floating appearance to the roof. “We wanted to make a most subtle intervention,” Kums said. “Although the pavilion is an architectural project, it was designed and imagined as part of the landscape.” Rotterdam studio LOLA Landscape, Utrecht-based Deltavormgroep, Hummelo-based Piet Oudolf and Frankfurt-based artist Tobias Rehberger designed an additional 15 hectares of new landscape. + Studio Maks + Junya Ishigami + Associates Via Dezeen Photos by Iwan Baan

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Three glass arms and a sunken visitor center enhance this renovated Dutch park

Staggered volumes help make Portland’s Slate building an energy-efficient marvel

August 15, 2017 by  
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Portland, Oregon’s new mixed-use development , known as Slate, consists of a shifting stack of volumes that reflect the vibrancy and complexity of the neighborhood. The development, designed by Works Progress Architecture for co-developers Urban Development Partners and Beam Development , earned  LEED Gold certification as an energy-efficient complex that takes the curtain-wall system to the next level. The 10-story development has six floors of apartment units, up to four floors of co-working office spaces and around 7,800 square feet of retail space at street level. Its modular, rectangular shapes have a sculptural quality on the east and west elevations, while a flat, clean look dominates the north and south side of the building. Related: Oregon’s Largest Education Building Achieves LEED Platinum Certification The architects worked closely with the glazing contractor to create a unitized curtain-wall system. Dallas Glass installed Wausau Window and Wall Systems, which can be put in place in a fraction of the time needed to install field-glazed systems. Related: Cherokee Mixed-Use Lofts is a LEED Platinum Award Winning Design The facade was thermally improved to respond to the challenges of Portland ‘s climate. This thermal barrier is combined with solar-control, low-e, insulating glass to achieve a high performance for solar heat gain control, condensation resistance and high visible light transmittance. The system also facilitates optimal natural ventilation in order to reduce the reliance of HVAC systems. + Works Progress Architecture Photos by Joshua Jay Elliott , courtesy of Works Progress Architecture

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Staggered volumes help make Portland’s Slate building an energy-efficient marvel

Modular Cylinder House weaves its way through a forest in France

August 4, 2017 by  
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This remarkable Cylinder House designed for Lyon, France , takes modular architecture to the next level. Cyril Lancelin, French architect and founder of creative studio Town and Concrete , imagines the house as a large cluster of modular glass tubes. The building weaves in and out of existing trees, and it can be expanded without disrupting the wooded surroundings. The architects used a system of cylinder juxtaposition to allow future extensions of the house, but also meander around trees to preserve the existing state of the landscape. Cylinders were chosen for their malleability – they can be open, semi-open or closed, depending on the function and place within a larger configuration. Related: These wooden blocks can be stacked up to create cabins, treehouses, and wilderness shelters The interior spaces, delineated by differences in cylinder heights, are flexible and respond to the lifestyle of their occupants. It is an open plan , with the cylinder pieces acting as posts. There are no corridors or walls inside the structure, which makes it spatially economic and airy. Its undulating glass facade blurs the line between the inside and the outside, and offers beautiful views of the forest. + Town and Concrete Via Archdaily

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Modular Cylinder House weaves its way through a forest in France

Sustainable Konbit shelter replaces home destroyed by Haiti earthquake

August 4, 2017 by  
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Many Haitians are still trying to rebuild their lives seven years after a powerful earthquake devastated much of the country . Thankfully, organizations like Konbit Shelters are helping local communities build sustainable homes that are designed to be resilient against future natural disasters. The Konbit team has just finished work on House Louisana, a multi-family home built by locals with a variety of locally-sourced, sustainable materials . Located in the community of Cormiers, House Louisana was built in collaboration with the local community, along with Oficina Design and the Heliotrope Foundation . The home was built for Mama Louisana and her extended family, who lost everything in the deadly 2012 earthquake. The family has been living in a temporary shelter every since. Related: Konbit Super-Adobe Shelters are Helping a Rural Haitian Village Rebuild In order to rebuild a space secure enough for her and her extended family, the design team chose to go with locally-sourced materials with strong, resilient qualities. Local guadua bamboo was the main building material, and was used in the structure’s supports and roof. Earth and natural fibers were used to create the walls, implementing the local practice of “bahareque” or constructing with natural mud or earth . The design aesthetic was cultivated in accordance with the local Haitian vernacular, including a double-pitched roof, open-air front porch, and plenty of outdoor space surrounding the home for socializing. On the interior, a central patio is surrounded by the living room, bedrooms and a kitchen. Since there is no electricity, windows and open cutouts were placed around the home for optimal natural light and air circulation. The high, inverted ceiling also aids in air circulation. On the exterior, the roof’s eaves jut out over the home considerably in order to distribute rain away from the main living area and porch during tropical rain storms. The low-tech, but efficient features used in the project were taught to the crew of local builders who helped with the project so they can be implemented in future sustainable constructions in the area. The home was built in just four months and was funded by a Kickstarter campaign. + Konbit Shelters + Oficina Design Images via Oficina Design

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Sustainable Konbit shelter replaces home destroyed by Haiti earthquake

This Danish school is completely covered with over 12,000 sea green solar panels

August 4, 2017 by  
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The 25,000-square-meter school in Denmark is covered with a whopping 12,000 solar panels , which provide more than half of its electricity needs. Unlike most solar-powered buildings, the panels aren’t solely relegated to the school’s rooftop. In fact, more than 6,000 square meters of the facade is clad in sea-foam hued photovoltaics. The days of hiding unsightly solar arrays are fading into the past. C.F. Møller ‘s International School Nordhavn in Copenhagen uses solar panels to produce clean energy – and also as a part of the building’s aesthetic. Related: Solar-powered Colorado school houses a sun-soaked learning environment The solar panels were developed by Swiss research institute EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne). The panels are actually clear; the beautiful sea green color is a result of technology that adds fine particles to the glass surface, giving the appearance of color. The result is a reflective green hue that varies with the light, providing the school with an attractive exterior that is beautiful, functional, and green. + C.F. Møller Via Azure Magazine

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This Danish school is completely covered with over 12,000 sea green solar panels

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