The Architectural Trio: Edition #43
7th January 2018Happy new year, and welcome to the first Architectural Trio of 2018! This week’s edition features an interesting variety of buildings, from an office in Indonesia to an oil spill unit in Finland to a transit station in America. Other posts on Barn21 this week include a photoseries showcasing Granada in the snow, and a candid interview with my friend and my former classmate regarding the value of liking your projects at architecture school. I hope you have a wonderful week, and that the Architectural Trio inspires you to create some brilliant work, enjoy!
Weathered steel visually links to the brick masses. Photo by Mario Wibowo Projections in the brick wall create interest when lit at night. Photo by Mario Wibowo The interior is professional and sleek. Photo by Mario Wibowo Employees are encouraged to move around the spaces. Photo by Mario Wibowo
Studio Air Putih Offices, Indonesia, Studio Air PutihDesigned by the architects for their own design and interiors team, this office consists of a series of red brick volumes arranged around a tree filled courtyard. Situated in a mixed use zone in the Greater Jakarta metropolitan area, the cluster design is inspired by the sparse layout of buildings in the area. Earthy tones such as those from the red brick and weathered steel walls unite the volumes and contrast the lush greenery of the landscaping. I especially like the use of an alternative brick bond as it delivers a unique aesthetic to the relatively standard building element. Further emphasis is placed on the brick walls with projections which create dynamic areas of light and shade when lit at night. Marble has been used internally at specific points to add a touch of elegance. The layout of the office promotes productivity with few outward facing windows, and employees are encouraged to move their workstations around to make the most of the spaces and ensure a fresh working environment. This tactile and elegant scheme demonstrates how a few creative sparks can lead to architecture that’s more than the sum of its parts.
One simple move has elevated this project. Photo by Ville-Pekka Ikola The strong reds stand out against the blues and greys of the surroundings. Photo by Ville-Pekka Ikola Plywood panelling adds a warm and organic aspect to the functional interior. Photo by Ville-Pekka Ikola
Oulo Oil Spill Recovery Unit, Finland, Alt ArkkitehditThis bright and bold storage hangar has been optimised for speed and functionality in the case of damaging oil spills in the nearby Baltic Sea. Designed for use by the local coastguard and fire department, the building is located to the North of the city of Oulo in the Kello district of Finland. The elements within this scheme that are atypical when compared to a standard storage shed highlight the skill of Alt Arkkitehdit, since they brilliantly combine functionality with joy and context. For example, projection of the clerestory window away from the building walls minimises the risk of damage from forklift trucks which constantly move around the spaces. This move causes the hangar’s form to break from tradition which adds a novel and memorable aspect. The architects have also used materiality in a sensible yet creative fashion. The red painted corrugated metal visually links the shed to the local fire department, and internally easily replaceable and charmingly rugged plywood panels create a light atmosphere that is comforting against the cold metal exterior and solid concrete floor. This project proves that utilitarian spaces don’t need to be souless gray boxes, imagine if all architecture was built with such care and attention.
Imagine the ugliness of the buiding without the wrap. Photo by Ben Benschneider The versatile technique unifies the whole area. Photo by Ben Benschneider Stunning conflict between the wrap and existing form. Photo by Ben Benschneider
Angle Lake Station Wrapping, America, Brooks + ScarpaI love this project. Whilst its actual physical aesthetic is wonderful, I think the aspect that pleases me most is how it works with a ridiculously simple concept to produce such a complex and interesting outcome. Essentially, the wrap consists of two curved lines at the bottom and top of the building which are joined by straight lines to create an undulating surface. This surface was inspired by the dances of choreographer William Forsythe, who is known for his use of technology and mathematics in dance. If you imagine the building without this intervention, I’m sure you can visualise how ugly it was. The simple addition of the wrap gives it a whole new lease of life. Located in Seattle, the station contains an elevated light rail stop, car and bicycle parking, retail space and a community plaza. Brooks + Scarpa won an international competition to revitalise the area, in part due to their continuity of sustainable traditions related to the LEED Gold certified building. The straight panels of the wrap are identical for efficient manufacture, and the whole project was completed in just three weeks with no cranes or special tools required. I have always favoured the use of bright colours in architecture in sunny environments, with the blue anodised steel in this scheme being no exception. I also really like the intermediary spaces between the concrete building and wrap due to their spacial conflict and dynamic light and shade. 2018 has started off with a bang, let’s hope the projects continue to deliver.