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The Architectural Trio: Edition #32
Another week, another Architectural Trio, and this one’s very interesting. The selection of projects is diverse, with a range of different aims. This week I haven’t been too productive in terms of posts, however there is a big one in the pipeline so keep an eye out for that. I hope you’ve had a good week, and that you enjoy this week’s Trio!
Private House, Switzerland, Wespi De Meuron Romeo Architetti
Sometimes you find a project that perfectly blends with its surroundings, this renovation is one of those projects. The house is located on the opposite side of Lake Maggiore to the architect practice, and their local knowledge certainly shows. Situated on a steep slope, the cubic form both stands out with its geometry yet also complements the stone walls surrounding it. Intelligent use of concrete, plaster, and rock in a variety of ways prevents any monotony, and the different materials pleasingly blend together at points. The lush greenery and warm wooden window frames offset the hard, grey toned stone, adding a homely aspect to the design. Internally, deep reveals increase privacy and add useable shelf space, however the large sliding doors can also be opened to create a fresh pleasant external environment in the main living space. This project is proof of how simple, yet ingeniously creative and considerate, projects can be astounding.
House Of The Seasons, India, Zero Studio
The retired client of this house wanted a simple, effective, and affordable design that contrasted many of the surrounding large mansions in the area. He specifically wanted to prove that affordable homes can be desirable and beautiful, and then express this point to the many people who pass the house via the nearby connecting road. This seems to be a rare client view, especially in India (as mentioned by the architects), so it makes for a refreshingly simple design. The steep sloped roof aids cooling in summer and runoff in the monsoon season, and it follows the natural contour of the site. Local materials have been used, and in some cases recycled, such as the terracotta roof tiles which are from a nearby house that had been demolished and furniture from the client’s old home. I am particularly fond of the brick jalis in this scheme, which create a playful dynamic pattern of light and shade during the day. Hopefully the architecture on show here will encourage other clients to consider what’s really important in their house design (hint, it’s not how it looks).
Arena Aix, France, Christophe Gulizzi Architecte and Auer Weber
From the charmingly simple we move to the ostentatiously sublime. This arena in Southern France is totally bonkers, and although I’m not sure of its suitability in its location I can’t help but marvel at its sheer scale. The architects have stated that it “carries its own identity, [and] represents a new gateway for the city”, which is certainly true. The center is an arena for both sport and cultural events, with two halls of differing sizes. The main hall, named The Cauldron, will primarily host handball matches, however can be altered to facilitate a range of events such as horse riding, concerts, or bmx shows. The smaller hall will act as a training room for handball teams and host less demanding or popular events. I would love to visit this building and watch a handball match, it would certainly be an experience. Whilst it appears as a spaceship in its fairly rural setting now, as the city of Aix-En-Provence grows over time it may look more settled.