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The Architectural Trio: Edition #11
After not posting for months due to other commitments and this blog unfortunately taking the back seat, I have been underwhelmed on my returning week. Whereas normally I have five or six projects to choose from each week, this week I only found three that really grabbed my attention. The second year of my architecture degree has definitely been more intense than first due to the scale of the projects, however I am learning a lot and trying to find time to do other things such as write in here. I will try to continue with the weekly Architectural Trios, as well as a scattering of random opinion posts etc. So without more waffling, here’s this week’s trio…
Cai Studio, America, OMA
Cai Studio is a renovation and expansion of the New York studio of artist Cai Guo-Qiang, who creates art from explosives. The architects have creatively played with new and old materials, maintaining the charm of the original building whilst including sleek modern elements such as the glass handrail and translucent wall panels. Despite originally seeming chaotic, after your eyes settle on the scene the materials complement each other fantastically and strike up a pleasing balance. A central linear pathway acts as a light well that directs natural light throughout the building, including down to the basement and into two galleries that contain museum quality light to show off Guo-Qiang’s work. OMA have sensitively approached this project, discovering that the beauty of the original building is atmospheric enough for only a few neat touches to be adequate in modernising the studio.
Pedestrian Bridge, England, Moxon Architects
Alongside Arup, Moxon Architects have designed this bridge to link Camley Street and The Gasholder Park near King’s Cross Station, London. The bridge is a small part of major redevelopment works taking place in the area. It will be an impressive feat of engineering, with the 38m span being supported by a fifteen millimetre thick steel plate structure. The minimal appearance respects the surrounding Victorian buildings, with the company director Ben Addy saying “In such a diverse context of landmark structures and historic fabric, it would be inappropriate for the new bridge to be an overly flamboyant structure”. The bridge blurs the line between architecture and engineering, with each profession adding to the overall design. I especially like the strong horizontality and symmetry of the bridge when combined with the lock, which helps the modern addition to settle into its historic Victorian context.
Lake Jasper, Canada, Architecturama
I have never seen a home designed in this way, and it puzzles me as I am not sure if it a good idea or not. The house sits on a woodland hillside, and whilst it looks relatively normal on the outside (apart from the large turquoise stripe) the interior is where the design gets confusing. The main living spaces resemble bleachers, with a modular system of metal structure and wooden planks which can be moved to create tables, shelves, benches or whatever else the occupant desires. Underneath the bleachers the slim columns are supposed to resemble trees according to the architect. Despite the gorgeous exterior timber that fits perfectly with the surroundings, I don’t think I could live in this house. The strange interior planning seems messy and inconvenient, although perhaps I am being cynical and its adaptability is a huge plus. The occupant must have approved the design, and I respect their courage to pursue such an original idea.