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The Architectural Trio: Edition #34
Welcome to the Architectural Trio, which this week is an absolute cracker. The three projects are very diverse, however they all demonstrate the skill and creativity of the architects involved. Other articles featuring on the blog in the past seven days include Debunking Myths About Architects and a handy walkthrough explaining how to get your NIE Card in Spain. Let me know what you think of the following buildings, and enjoy the architecture.
Indianapolis Zoo Bicentennial Pavilion And Promenade, America, Ratio Architects
This pavilion is designed to attract more visitors to the zoo during the shoulder seasons by providing a covered space. It was funded by a ten million dollar grant awarded by the Lilly Endowment with the understanding that the money would be used to benefit the long term sustainability of the zoo. The space is adaptable to a range of functions such as picnics, bird shows and concerts, however it is also memorable in its own right due to its interesting design. A forest of steel pylons support wide splaying timber roofs with translucent panels to allow sunlight to filter into the space. From these roofs rainwater is collected and channelled to an underground aquifer that has the capacity to withstand 100 year storms, limiting demand on the city’s sewer network. In its green surroundings, the pavilion is a welcoming and tranquil half way house between nature and the built environment, providing protection, education and joy to visitors to the zoo.
Complexe Sportif Saint-Laurent, Canada, Saucier + Perrotte
This award winning sports complex in Montreal boldly ties neutral tones with bright colours. The two volumes house two swimming pools, a fitness centre, basketball court, football pitch and cafe. The external tones relate to those of the surrounding buildings, whilst the strong, upward momentum of the masses and their confident angles represent to me the exertion and endeavour of sport. I especially like the gradient of the white building, which adds some subtle interest to the facade. Internally, as is tradition for the practice, they have used bright colours to add energy to the spaces. Orange ceilings, walls, staircases and fittings are dynamic and exciting, and the colour pleasingly complements the bright light blue of the pools and green of the football pitch. Visiting this centre would no doubt motivate me to push myself and make me excited to play sport.
House 334, America, Craig McMahon
This house located in Alamo Heights, Texas, was renovated and extended by Architect Craig McMahon and his wife, who is an interior designer, in order to show that smaller, well designed homes can function better than those that are larger but make inefficient use of space. The goal of the pair was to create a “one story, modern open home with interconnected outdoor living spaces” on the 15x45m plot. Alongside repurposing of the original 1952 structure to make it open plan, a pavilion has been added to the south and the garage extended to the north. Small creative touches bring some real joy to this project, such as the fun spiral staircase which leads onto a rooftop dining deck and the tiny window that allows light to strike the sinuous lampshade above the dining table. Sustainability was also a key part of the scheme with deep overhangs and natural ventilation keeping internal spaces cool, while an on demand water system further saves energy. I would certainly say that the couple have achieved their goal with this design, and hopefully they are enjoying the property.