Studio Lotus designs an innovative and low-impact visitor center for Jodhpurs Mehrangarh Fort

July 4, 2019 by  
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Delhi-based multidisciplinary design practice Studio Lotus has won a competition to design the new visitor center and knowledge center for Jodpur’s Mehrangarh Fort, one of India’s largest forts that dates back to the 15th century. Now a major tourist destination and repository for cultural and historical artifacts, the Mehrangarh Fort has been undergoing adaptive reuse and redevelopment projects that include the recent design competition organized by the Mehrangarh Museum Trust. Studio Lotus’ winning proposal for “sensitive spatial interventions” was selected due to its use of a highly flexible construction methodology capable of handling high volumes of pedestrian traffic with minimal ecological impact. Selected from three finalists, Studio Lotus’ winning proposal was conceived as an “architectural system” rather than a set of buildings. The modular construction — made primarily from metal and stone to blend in with the environs — are scalable and can be easily inserted and adapted for a variety of areas within the Mehrangarh Fort. The construction system can be used to create a variety of structures, from raised pathways to buildings. “Studio Lotus’ proposal seeks to create new linkages in the fort precinct by means of sensitive spatial interventions that bolster the existing circulation scheme,” the architects explained in a project statement. “The towering edifice of Mehrangarh and its various outcroppings constitute a staggeringly intricate built character, as much a testament to the beauty of the built form as it is an embodiment of the region’s culture and heritage. It was pertinent that any additions or modifications to this dense fabric enmesh with the existing; the proposed intervention aims to do just that — through expressive and adaptable additions that make the most of modern construction technology, yet stand deferential to the historic site’s timeless magnificence.” Related: An ancient Jaipur palace property is transformed into a modern restaurant Located at the junction of the Jai Pol Plaza and a new parallel pathway along the main fort entrance, the new visitor center will mark an alternate entrance and be built from woven steel lattice-based modules fitted with stone ‘tukdi’ slabs. The Knowledge Center will be set on the northwestern ramparts overlooking the Chohelao Bagh and be made up of a series of interconnected decks descending from the Palace Plaza and arranged around a steep lightwell. The programming along the decks will progress from public to more private spaces and include exhibition galleries, seminar halls, community spaces and a space for scholar studies. + Studio Lotus Images via Studio Lotus

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Studio Lotus designs an innovative and low-impact visitor center for Jodhpurs Mehrangarh Fort

Sustainable timber house in the UK is a modernist’s dream

July 4, 2019 by  
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When it came time for London-based architect Catja de Haas to build her own home outside of the city, her first objective was to design a sustainable retreat that, although modern in aesthetic and scale, would blend in seamlessly with nature. Designed in collaboration with Takero Shimazaki Architects , the resulting Burwood House was built to Passivhaus standards featuring sustainable CLT cladding, a green roof and several energy-reducing strategies. Located in southeast England, the Burwood home design consists of three block volumes topped with a green roof . The two principle forms are linked together by a third volume, which wraps around the side of the structure. Large roof overhangs create several shaded outdoor spaces, and help regulate solar gains in the summer time. Related: Circular garden walkway cuts straight through Japanese timber home Clad in a light-hued oak CLT panels , the home holds court in an idyllic setting, enveloped by a thick forest to the back and a rolling green countryside that expands to the seaside. As for the home’s building materials, the architect wanted to use this picturesque natural setting to create a home design that is harmonious with nature. “Burwood is a type of wood that grows in existing woods, becoming a new tree”, de Haas explains. “It is the name of the house, and we hope the house will itself slowly disappear in the green.” In addition to its timber cladding, the home uses floor-to-ceiling glass panels on the ground level to further blend the home into its setting. Surrounded by several sliding glass doors that provide optimal natural ventilation, the main living area is a light-filled oasis . The soft, neutral color palette found on the exterior continues throughout the home’s expansive interior. Built-in furniture, along with oak frame doors and concrete touches create an airy  minimalist atmosphere that is both modern and welcoming. + Catja de Haas Architects + Takero Shimazaki Architects Via Wallpaper Images via Catja de Hass Architects

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Sustainable timber house in the UK is a modernist’s dream

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