A beautiful "canopy of light" resurrects the Guangzhou East Railway Station in China

June 23, 2017 by  
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One of the biggest railway terminals in China recently received an extensive renovation that shelters the main entrance with a beautiful “canopy of light.” The Architectural design and Research Institute of SCUT renovated the landmark Guangzhou East Railway Station by installing artificial landscape elements, repairing the public spaces , and introducing a series of amenities that meet the requirements of a modern railway station. The station was constructed in the mid 1990s, and it suffered from poorly organized of circulation and ventilation routes. Guangzhou won the bid to host the 2010 Asian Games, which provided it with the opportunity to upgrade the station and convert it into the valuable public space it’s supposed to be. Related: Renovated Paris Rail Station Will House 1000 Start-Ups! The architects cut several openings into the floor to allow natural light to filter inside. They moved the main entrance from the ground floor to the upper level and created a curved glass canopy that protects pedestrians from excessive sunlight and rain. All the metal elements are modular , and they were prefabricated in local factories and installed on site. A recent renovation round, executed six years after the Asian Games, introduced smaller elements like a loop-shaped kiosk, translucent curtains beneath the roof and other public amenities. + Architectural design and Research Institute of SCUT Photos by Liky Lam

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A beautiful "canopy of light" resurrects the Guangzhou East Railway Station in China

Peek inside Bloombergs sustainable new headquarters in London

June 21, 2017 by  
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Former Mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg’s eponymous company is moving into the heart of London with the help of Foster + Partners . The renowned British architecture firm designed the new 3.2-acre Bloomberg site with approximately 500,000 square feet of sustainable office space illuminated with natural light and naturally ventilated with a large living green wall. Set to open this autumn, Bloomberg’s new European headquarters focuses on the creation of healthy, collaborative workspaces. “Our people are our most important asset,” said Bloomberg in a statement. “I wanted to create a unique, sustainable building where our 4,000 London employees would come to work every morning inspired to connect, collaborate and innovate. I believe in openness. This building takes that to a new level – there’s nothing like it in the world.” In addition to office space, the new Bloomberg headquarters will include two public plazas featuring custom art, a restaurant arcade built upon an ancient Roman travel route, and a cultural hub that links the ancient Roman Temple of Mithras to its original site. Related: First Apple Store in Southeast Asia is 100% powered by renewable energy The interior features open-plan layouts connected with a spiral ramp spanning seven floors in the nine-story building. An atrium ceiling funnels light deep into the building. Workspaces feature bespoke desk designs arranged in circular pods around a central table to promote collaborative working. Each desk also has an adjustable standing feature and upholstered pedestal to allow people to sit and work side by side. The building’s central hub on the sixth floor features a double-height column-free “pantry” with views of St Paul’s Cathedral and functions as a space for impromptu meetings over food and drink. + Foster + Partners Images by dbox, ChopsMoxie, and Foster + Partners

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Peek inside Bloombergs sustainable new headquarters in London

Cleverly layered compact dirt walls mimic ice cream cakes in this Tokyo patisserie

June 21, 2017 by  
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Dirt may seem an odd material choice for an upscale patisserie in Tokyo , but design studio nendo playfully pulls it off with style. The Japanese designers layered compacted soils of varying colors to mimic the layers of an ice cream cake. The earth walls lend the “à tes souhaits!” shop a sense of warmth and contrast beautifully with the glass-and-steel facade. Located in the trendy Kichijoji neighborhood in Tokyo, à tes souhaits! is a small and elegant shop specializing in ice cream and chocolates . The earth walls comprise stacked soils of varying shades arranged in a staggered pattern to look like cut slices of ice cream cake with different flavors. “The wall guides people into the shop by the soft curvature from the outer wall, and then creates a gentle all-enveloping effect, like melted ice cream, all the way into the back of the shop,” writes nendo. “This created a relaxing ambience, taking advantage of the compactness of the space.” Related: Ancient Japanese tombs inspire nendo’s first public space design Since the new patisserie is the second location of à tes souhaits!, Nendo wanted to differentiate the two shops. The flagship uses bright lighting with mostly white surfaces and hard materials like marble and metal. In contrast, the new location uses a subdued color palette and softer lighting to complement the dominant use of wood and soil . + Nendo Images by Takumi Ota

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Cleverly layered compact dirt walls mimic ice cream cakes in this Tokyo patisserie

MVRDV to upgrade historic French city with modern, ecological design

June 15, 2017 by  
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France’s historic Bordeaux World Heritage Site is getting a modern ecological refresh thanks to prolific Rotterdam-based firm MVRDV . Working together with local architecture studio Flint , the architects unveiled Ilot Queyries, a pilot project for a new neighborhood that combines the European city’s historic qualities with eco-friendly and contemporary features. The dense and mixed-use masterplan not only calls for modern architecture and green space, but will also include solar panels, an integrated water system, and optimization of natural lighting in all buildings. Located east of the River Garonne, the 2.5-hectare Ilot Queyries neighborhood occupies a coveted riverside site with views towards the water and the historic city. The mixed-use masterplan comprises over 300 apartments, commercial units, a glass-fronted rooftop restaurant, and a large public park located at the heart of the development with a garden of alder, birch, and high grasses. To optimize views, natural ventilation , and access to daylight , the architects designed the building facades with 45-degree angles. These angular buildings give the development a modern sculptural aesthetic. A large landmark building at the riverfront will feature a unique angled facade covered with varying gold shades of ceramic tiles for a beautifully textured effect. Related: MVRDV transforms an abandoned highway into a “plant village” in the sky “For the Bastide Niel master plan we make an update of the European city: based on the values of the historic city that is intimate, dense and mixed, whilst at the same time proposing new objectives like sunlight for all, even on the ground floor, new energy supplies with solar panels , integrated water system and more green spaces,” said MVRDV co-founder Winy Maas. “The concept of the cuts of the volumes is introduced here at Ilot Queyries which can be interpreted as a pilot project of the master plan Bastide Niel. Cuts in the volume allow the new qualities and allow adapting to the neighbours and mimic the height of nearby buildings. The result is ‘a true Grande Dame’ which stretches from very low pavilion-like housing towards the neighbourhoods at the back and more ambitious and monumental where the scale permits to do so, for example at the Garonne riverside facing the historic left bank.” Ilot Queyries is located next to and is a part of the larger ZAC Bastide-Niel masterplan, also designed by MVRDV, that aims to create an inviting, attractive, and greener extension to Bourdeaux’s city center. Ilot Queyries will be completed in mid-2019. + MVRDV Images via MVRDV

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MVRDV to upgrade historic French city with modern, ecological design

A spectacular staircase draws you into this breathtaking daylit loft in Vienna

June 7, 2017 by  
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This renovated loft in Vienna has a sculptural staircase at its core that appears to support the entire upper floor. Design studio Smartvoll sought to preserve as much of the original space as possible while cultivating a minimalist feel reminiscent of Adolf Loos’s interiors. The renovation of the 3,767-square-foot Loft Panzerhalle introduced an abundance of natural light into the interior. The architects left the ribbon windows on the upper floor intact instead of creating galleries typical in modern loft design . An impressive central staircase sweeps upwards like a concrete sculpture, rounding off the composition. The staircase also divides the room while creating a roof over the kitchen, recesses and elevations. Related: Architects turn a cramped apartment into a gorgeous loft where the owner’s cats can roam freely While concrete dominates the space, semi-transparent materials were used to delineate the guest area and bedroom. All the furniture looks integrated into the construction, celebrating free space and minimalist aesthetics. “We wanted to revitalize the space’s original charm,” said the architects. “Magnanimity and a spatial experience of both storeys were priorities. In all dimensions.” + Smartvoll Architects Via v2com Photos by Tobias Colz/smartvoll

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A spectacular staircase draws you into this breathtaking daylit loft in Vienna

Norway’s breathtaking Infinity House has giant windows instead of walls

May 8, 2017 by  
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This minimalist retreat offers breathtaking views of the gorgeous landscape of Northern Norway . Rotterdam-based architect Vladimir Konovalov designed the Infinity House with huge windows that soak up daylight and offer panoramic views of the mountains and the Norwegian Sea. The house is located in a remote area of Northern Norway, far from busy touristy places. Its main purpose is to complement the existing landscape and create a visceral connection to nature. The predominantly monochrome interiors accentuate the changing light instead of distracting from it. Related: Timber-clad waterfront house in Norway epitomizes modern Scandinavian design The building comprises three main elements– an exterior concrete superstructure that emerges from the rocky site, an infinity pool roof and a black volume housing a bathroom and a secret staircase. + Vladimir Konovalov Via Highsnobiety Images by Omega Render

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Norway’s breathtaking Infinity House has giant windows instead of walls

Snhettas ready-made cabin can fit into any landscape

May 4, 2017 by  
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If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a Snøhetta -designed home, this may be the opportunity you’ve been looking for. The renowned Norwegian design firm just unveiled a beautiful prefabricated cabin designed to pop up in and complement any landscape. Created in collaboration with Rindalshytter , Norway’s leading producer of leisure homes, the Gapahuk cabin features an environmentally friendly footprint with off-grid capabilities. Designed for adaptability, Gapahuk can suit an array of climates and terrains from high mountaintops to lakesides. The cabin is built primarily from wood and uses a twisting roof that protects the interior from the elements. “Focus has been put on using high quality and low maintenance materials that can be locally sourced and are environmentally friendly,” writes Snøhetta. Related: Gorgeous forest home will fulfill your tiny cabin dreams Natural light pours into the Gapahuk through the cabin’s large windows that also frame views of the surrounding landscape. Created with an emphasis on social design, the compact cabin interior prioritizes common areas with its large open-plan kitchen, dining area, and living room. In contrast, the cabin’s three bedrooms are moderately sized. The building also features an outdoor patio space to emphasize connection with the outdoors. + Snøhetta

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Snhettas ready-made cabin can fit into any landscape

Barn ruins transformed into contemporary home with spa

April 27, 2017 by  
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Parisian architecture studio Antonin Ziegler converted an abandoned barn into a metal-clad home crafted to evoke a “contemporary ruin.” Located in France’s Regional Natural Park of Boucles de la Seine, the adaptive reuse project, called The Barn, sits between a wheat field and river and was formerly used to store fodder for horses. With the barn’s weatherboarding worn away, the architects encased the timber structure in a new shell of zinc to preserve the building’s monolithic and distinctly agricultural gabled shape. The metal cladding was left untreated and will develop a patina over time. The original timber framework, however, is still visible from the outside and peeks through along a window that runs along the home’s stone foundation base. “The framework is the fundamental element of the new residence,” write the architects. “From the outside, it remains partially visible, beneath the zinc envelope, thus conferring an incomplete aspect to the construction, as though eroded by the surrounding nature. The windows and doors are visually understated: the archetypal house is kept at bay to give rise to another kind of habitat, more in keeping with the surrounding wilderness. A lone crack that pierces the roof and walls thus gives the project the appearance of a contemporary ruin .” Related: Zinc-clad Midden Studio hides a cozy interior with a see-through floor The interior echoes the facade’s simple and rustic appearance with a material palette of breezeblocks, battens, and exposed concrete. Natural light pours into the home on all sides and the windows frame views of the river and landscape. The ground floor is mostly open plan with few partitions, with the double-height kitchen, dining room, living room on one end, a double-height swimming spa on the other, and a master bedroom and utility room located in the middle. Four bedrooms are tucked away on the upper floor in the former hay loft. + Antonin Ziegler Via ArchDaily Images via Antonin Ziegler

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This gorgeous greenhouse-like home in the Netherlands soaks up daylight

April 21, 2017 by  
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From beneath this traditional thatched roof in the Netherlands emerges a stunning glass greenhouse. Lochem-based Maas Architecten conceived the Modern Countryside Villa as two contrasting volumes: an opaque, timber-clad space, and a transparent glass structure that lets the outside in. The Modern Countryside Villa, located on the edge of the town of Berlicum in North Brabant, has an H-shaped plan with contrasting wings that house different amenities. The timber-clad volume accommodates a garage and storage space , while a greenhouse-like structure protruding out from underneath the thatched roof functions as a studio space. The second wing houses the main living areas. The wooden volume in front of the living area houses a kitchen, pantry and toilet, while the master bedroom has direct access to the sheltered courtyard with a swimming pool and terrace. Related: DAPstockholm’s Energy-Efficient Villa Midgard is Nestled Into the Swedish Countryside The transparent parts of the house are sheltered by a grove of trees that lines the plot towards the nearby road. Large glazed surfaces provide an abundance of natural light and expansive views of the picturesque surroundings. + Maas Architecten Via Dezeen Photos by Edith Verhoeven Save

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This gorgeous greenhouse-like home in the Netherlands soaks up daylight

Green roof flows into a lush living wall on this modern Vancouver home

April 13, 2017 by  
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Texture and hand craftsmanship are king in this beautiful modern home in Vancouver . Design studio Measured Architecture completed the Rough House, a single family home and laneway project that skillfully combines a myriad of patterns, colors, and texture for visual interest without looking at all cluttered. With beautiful details to be found in every corner, the carefully constructed home is a delight for the eyes and even boasts lush green roofs and living wall. The 3,600-square-foot Rough House comprises two narrow structures, the main home and the smaller, detached laneway house, slotted into a tight urban lot in a way that still allows room for side yards and light wells. Carbonized cypress clads the primary residence while board-form concrete and repurposed white boardroom boards cover the smaller building. Large windows cut into the volumes frame views of the garden using Japanese principles of shakkei, or “borrowed view.” Related: Vancouver home built almost entirely with former building’s materials “Fundamental to the success of this project is the separation of the home from its neighbours in a tight urban condition through the narrowing of building to support increased side yard landscape edges and exterior light well circulation, displaced green space to regain connectivity to yard in an increased densification, and finally a play of textures to increase an intimacy between materials and occupant,” wrote the architects. The firm’s success can be seen in the outdoor patio, built like an extension of the indoor living space, that’s partly bookended by a lush living wall. The vertical garden appears to seamlessly connect with a green roof on the laneway house, a smaller version of the landscaped roof atop the primary residence. + Measured Architects Via Dezeen Images via Measured Architects

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