Sunday, March 17, 2013

This Week in Architecture: Episode VII

Welcome back to another episode of "This Week in Architecture"! Let's jump right in to what we have this week:

A House in Kamigamo

From Kyoto, Japan, we first visit a House in Kamigamo, designed by Méga. Hidden from the street by the combination of a large privacy fence and a protective façade, this home is deformed to fit on a very strange acute triangular plot of land. Initially, the site was zoned to be a sort of scenic overlook, and so the house that now stands on the plot captures a beautiful view of Kyoto city.

From the inside, the house is about as bare bones as you can get. In some ways, it shares some similarities to the Native American longhouses primarily used by the Iroquois tribe, in that its ceiling is actually the bare rafters that hold up the roof.

Due to the steep fall of the land as you move away from the street, the home is terraced down to help ease the potential forces created from one giant cantilever (the basic principle being that the higher something is, the greater the gravitational potential energy there is, thus making it harder to hold up -- physics!). There is also something really minimalist about the home; the rooms feel large and open, and the walls are simple stained wood and paint.

Check out the full story here.


Next we travel to Montreal, Canada to view a project by ATOMIC3. Montreal is the deemed the culture capital of Canada, and this project is no exception. In my opinion it hearkens back to the childhood curiosity. The project is an architectural form, but doubles as an interactive light and sound display. As you move through the various zones, certain things happen, whether it lights flash or sounds are made.

The reason for the name is that the idea of the project is intended to show the life cycle of an iceberg, from birth in the Arctic circle all the way down to the warmer waters where it eventually melts. As people move through the iceberg skeletons, they are transformed by motion-sensor-controlled lights and sounds that are inspired by the true sounds icebergs make as they melt. There is a really cool video that goes along with the article that I encourage you to check out, because it really helps to illustrate what I'm talking about.

Check out the full story here.

Daqing Highway Passenger Transportation Hub

Coming to us from Daqing, China, the Daqing Highway Passenger Transportation Hub is the epitome of state of the art. It almost seems as if there isn't a single straight edge on the entire building. Huge long sweeping lines along the exterior façades provide a wonderful contrast between the uniform square windows.

Located in the northern alpine zone of China, the building attempts to show a cultural staple of the region, the snow and ice (quite successfully, I might add). Its exterior lines almost look like snow drifts and ice sweeping along the façade. While the main building is three stories, the tower is fourteen, and helps to break through the mold of a traditional traffic pavilion.

Check out the full story here.

ANIMA Cultural Center Proposal

Our final project comes to us from Bernard Tschumi Architects. His first project in Italy, the ANIMA Cultural Center Proposal is a "cultural, social and architectural generator of events". The large open permeable space is both flexible for many uses and welcoming, while the façade helps to encourage creativity and an open mind.

ANIMA, a name given by Tschumi, is actually an acronym which stands for Art, Nature, Ideas, Music, Action. The full article has sketches, renderings, and some serious detail that is definitely work giving a look.

Check out the full story here.

Thanks for tuning into another episode, and hope to see you this Friday!


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