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The Architectural Trio: Edition #50
A double milestone marks this week's Architectural Trio. The first being that this is edition number 50 in the series. I feel I've come a long way in my writing since starting the series in June 2015, and hopefully in the future we'll be celebrating edition number 100 together too. The other milestone is the relaunch of the redesigned Barn21, which happened this week. It has been a touch challenge but I'm happy with the outcome and I've learnt a number of new skills. The most recent article documenting my progress addresses the finishing touches and hosting, and you can find the rest of the series on the Architecture & Design page. Also this week, I wrote a piece explaining why I feel Valencia is Spain's best city. In recent week's as I've been setting up the site a range of new content has gone live, so after reading the Trio have an explore of the categories at the top of the page. This week's selection of architecture is high quality, with all the buildings sharing some common themes despite their differing uses. Enjoy the Trio, and have a great week!
Rancho San Francisco, Mexico, AE Arquitectos
This stable complex in Jalisco, Mexico uses a calm, flat palette to subtly separate itself from its lush surroundings. It is formed of two volumes, an L shaped set of stables and rectilinear clubhouse, that encircle a planted courtyard. The trees are currently small, however when they have grown to their full size they will provide comforting shade. A fountain also provides a drinking spot for the horses. Despite the generally dry annual climate, when rain does fall it is heavy, so the architects have included appropriate runoff areas to prevent flooding. My favourite part of the project is its marrying of materials and form. Moulded volcanic stone has been used as the principal material in large, solid blocks, which pleasingly differ in tone to create a patchwork effect on the elevations. Their shade also complements the black roof and painted tiles found on the gable ends. To soften the aesthetic and link the building to its natural setting, pinewood, which plentiful in Jalisco, has been used for the doors. Their orange colour along with the green leaves of the trees provides the ideal amount of bright colour within the scheme. As shown by the third image, strong geometry has been used. The chimneys, gables, projections and recessions all contribute to the lego-like aesthetic and I tihnk it is very striking and successful. AE Arquitectos have shown refined restraint and just the right amoutn of flair in this project to elevate it above the norm.
I-Park Foundation Studios, America, Fiedler Marciano Architecture
This pair of studios provide distraction free space for artists taking residency on the I-Park Foundation campus, a 450 acre site in Connecticut. Alongside offering its famous four week artist-in-residence programme, the foundation wants to expand its capability with Fielder Marciano Studios producing the overall masterplan. These two studios are the first section, with potential future additions including more studios, workshops, a residence hall and a performance venue. The architecture is based on traditional buildings in New England, with sloped roofs and timber cladding. In order to modernise the aesthetic, the architects have used stained cedar for the siding, as well as skewing the forms and roofs to add dynamism. Internally the roof beams have been left exposed, and a large glazed wall on the north elevation permits plenty of ideal natural light into the main space. A two week residency completed by Mark Fiedler at the start of the project inspired the addition of a porch into the design to provide covered outside contemplation space for the artists. These huts seem to be a perfect setting to create and explore new ideas, with their design matching the tranquility and elegant simplicity of the surrounding woodland.
Le Cabanon, The Caribbean, Rick Joy Architects
La Cabanon uses considered arrangement to funnel ocean breezes through the property and frame particular vistas. Designed as a holiday home, the house is situated on an island in the Turks and Caicos archipelago. Eggshell concrete has a light appearance that highlights the blue of the surrounding water and matches the white sand of the island. The subtle pock marked texture adds a memorable, tactile aspect to the building. I adore the small visual hints formed by the design, which will show just the end of a table or a rockey sea view for example. They appeal to the natural human curiosity and joy of discovery. Despite its sheer length and thickness for privacy and noise insulation purposes, even the street facing facade contains this playful sense of mystery with three tiny windows. Sustainability was key throughout the design process, with natural ventilation eradicating the need for air condititioning and local materials being utilised. In terms of active systems, an underground rainwater storage tank sits beneath the terrace and photovoltaic panels provide electricity from the flat roofed volume. La Cabanon emerges from the rocky shoreline as a gleaming, minimal gem, with the pitched roof adding a wonderful counterpoint to the otherwise uniform volumes. Yet again, I have major home envy...