The Architectural Trio: Edition #30
1st October 2017This week’s trio was a struggle. Maybe since finishing my architecture degree I have forgotten to how to analyse buildings. I now have a lot more time to write since finishing my degree and moving to Spain, so the weekly Architectural Trios and other posts should be back in full force and of the highest quality. This week’s projects cover a range of uses with a home, visitor centre and bridge, let me know what you think of them.
The green roof is a pleasing sustainable touch. Photo by François Verhoeven The blackened timber is a brave choice. Photo by François Verhoeven Surprisingly the dark cladding doesn't overpower the greenery. Photo by François Verhoeven
Villa SG21, The Netherlands, Fillieverhoeven ArchitectsThis villa which is built in one of the wettest parts of the country cleverly meets strict local planning laws whilst expressing a minimal, contemporary aesthetic. The local government outline that homes must not exceed 1000m³ in volume and have a pitched roof. The architect firm have made the most of the available space by recessing the openings, this ensures the internal volume requirement is met whilst creating covered external areas which act as a transition between inside and outside. I’m not sure about their claim that the turf roof makes the garden seem to extend up and over the building, however the grass roof is still a pleasing sustainable touch. I admire the boldness of the villa, especially the decision to use black timber cladding, which surprisingly does not overpower the rich greens of the surrounding verdant landscape. Unfortunately there weren’t any photographs of the interior so I can’t comment on it.
This is one of my favourite architecture photographs. Photo by Jin Weiqi The plan shows the organic cluster of buildings. Image by 3andwich Design/Hei Wei Studio The interiors are bright, expansive and tactile. Photo by Jin Weiqi A range of angles add interest. Photo by Jin Weiqi
Anlong Limestone Resort, China, 3andwich Design/He Wei StudioThis tourism resort in China’s Guizhou Province provides panoramic views of the surrounding karst topography. It consists of four huts which are connected by a raised plaza designed to limit the damage caused by flooding which occurs in the canyon each year. Due to the lack of official measurements the architects consulted locals to decide a high water mark. I am a big fan of the organic, village-like aesthetic of this project, and it reminds me of my final university project which I enjoyed creating a lot (check it out in my portfolio). The buildings seem on a human scale and the interiors look bright, open and airy. I imagine it would be very comforting to reach this resort after a long walk, and a joy to explore it fully once you’d had a rest. The timber and locally sourced stone complement each other and suit the rocky landscape, whilst the relatively low profile of the buildings ensures they do not visually compete with their spectacular setting.
The traffic and pedestrian routes have been split. Photo by Hufton + Crow The bridge looks similar to the work of Santiago Calatrava. Photo by Hufton + Crow A dynamic marrying of nature and architecture. Photo by Hufton + Crow
Cittadella Bridge, Italy, Richard Meier & PartnersI’m classing this as architecture because it’s an absolutely beautiful piece of design that any architect would be proud of. As quite a technical architect, bridges fascinate me for their engineering prowess and sheer scale. This one by Richard Meier & Partners reconnects the modern city of Alessandria and the Cittadella, an 18th century fort and UNESCO World Heritage Site on the other side of the Tanaro River. The engineering of the structure is impressive, with the road which bows to the north counterbalanced by the 32.5m tall arch which bows to the south. This relationship creates a dynamic aesthetic and makes the bridge a statement piece of architecture within the city. Two passageways have been created, with a wide pedestrian walkway providing a civic space that permits scenic views along the river. Having not heard of Alessandria before, I now want to visit, that’s what exemplary architecture can do.