Friday, March 22, 2013

This Week In Architecture: Episode VIII

Welcome to another episode of This Week in Architecture!

Cardboard Cathedral

Coming to us from New Zealand, we first have Shigeru Ban's Cardboard Cathedral. For those who don't know, Shigeru Ban is a Japanese architect known for his "design of structures that can be quickly and inexpensively erected in disaster zones." The city of Christchurch, New Zealand recently undertook the weight of a disastrous earthquake last February, which killed over 200 people. The cathedral that used to stand was one of the most famous landmarks of the city, and so it was imperative that the cathedral be reconstructed as soon as possible.

Ban's construction technique is rather simple: an A-frame made up of paper tubes and 20-foot containers. Tubes will be coated with both waterproof and flame retardants that Ban has been developing since the mid 1980's.

Recycled shipping containers help to uphold the sides of the structure, and it's been great to be able to reconstruct the church so quickly. The Cardboard Cathedral will be the largest paper tube structure of Ban's career thus far, with a capacity of 700 people. It is to be used not only as a place of worship, but also as a space for events or concerts.

Check out the full story here.

MAD Building

We then move to Oslo, Norway, where we see the MAD Building designed by MAD arkitekter. Breaking the mold of the modern tower, the allowable footprint for this building was only 11 meters wide (about 35 feet) for a 15 story building. With two 16 story buildings flanking either side of the lot, naturally something amazing needed to happen to make it all work.

Interestingly enough, the Opera Quarter (the site of the building) has many buildings that are very long and narrow, providing lots of great visual sight lines. Despite the slim nature of the building, each level has six apartments of varying shapes and sizes.

This whole building just goes to show that even great design can flourish in less-than-ideal places and situations.

Check out the full story here.

World Water Day

This last story is not from any one particular location, but instead shows a group of ten projects that are very environmentally conscious designs that really focus their energies toward water conservation. Whether it's the Renzo Piano Building Workshop, the Great Barrier House, or the VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre, there are a ton of options in completely different forms offered here. If sustainability is your thing, this is definitely worth checking out. It really goes to show that making something sustainable doesn't have to drastically affect your design!

Check out the full story and list here.

Thanks for sticking around; tune in next Friday for another episode!


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