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The Architectural Trio: Edition #9
This week’s architecture was vastly varied, from an off grid home to a huge new skyscraper in China. One of the fantastic aspects of architecture is that in a way it is very vague, and as a student I have the opportunity to explore all sorts of building types and techniques before deciding on one that I would like to focus on. Of course, that also means there is a lot to learn, however I find this more exciting than overwhelming. So without further ado, here is the week’s trio…
Private Residence, Japan, Snark and Ouvi
This building located south of Tokyo houses an illustrator. The most important space in the house is the client’s studio, in which he produces drawings and other media for a variety of outputs. The architect has made extensive use of large glazing and strong horizontal beams which extend outside to give the impression that the building is merging with its exterior surroundings. I am very fond of using exposed structure when it is presented as beautifully as in this example, especially timber since being able to see the knots and lines adds a human aspect to a building. I also like the use of simple white walls in this residence, which will inevitably liven up when the owner starts to display some of his own colourful work. The atrium ensures that daylight floods the space and opens up the property, whilst allowing the timber craftsmanship to be admired from many angles. This project shows that a building must not be showy, complex or vast to be stunning.
SaLo House, Panama, Patrick Dillon
Yet more proof that brilliant architecture doesn’t need a big budget is clear in this house. It was designed and constructed by its architect owner Patrick Dillon, who picked out the site when surfing around the area. All the materials were brought to the site by hand or on horseback, most of them salvaged scrap from a nearby bridge project. As the swimming pool photo shows this house blends perfectly with its environment. Dillon sought to revive the wildlife in the area since most of it had been cleared by illegal agricultural activity. After installing the pool which is actually a rainwater storage tank, Dillon commented that many animals returned to the area. He has cultivated a reemergence of nature around the house, and whilst it looks simple it contains intelligent passive and high tech additions to make it more comfortable. Solar panels on the roof provide electricity, whilst the roof itself is curved to channel and constantly refresh the air in the living space. This house must have been a labour of love for the architect, and the thoughtfulness of the design shows how much effort has been put into creating a charming and successful output.
Mast Brothers Chocolate Shop, America, Mast Brothers
Mast Brothers are a chocolatier based in Brooklyn. They overhauled their store to better reflect their brand image and mirror their recently opened London outlet. Minimalism is clearly the theme, with stripped back and gritty yet charming white brick walls and a concrete floor. The contrast between the bright walls and dark display units is pleasing to the eye, whilst the clarity of the whole store reflects the company’s decision to show off the production process to visiting customers. Although the materials are raw, their craft into sharp angular shapes makes the space look clear and refined. It almost seems a shame that people will inhabit this space, since every decision of composition and form seems to be deliberately made to contribute to an attractive whole.