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The Architectural Trio: Edition #6
This week’s trio are slightly unconventional in that one project is an interior renovation, another a proposal and the third a standard new build. There was a lack of quality on show this week, and none of the work blew me away, however the projects I have selected are creative and novel.
LaGuardia Airport, America, SHoP Architects, Dattner Architects and PRESENT Architecture
I adore airports (you can read more about why here). They are huge multi building complexes that contain a unique blend of excitement, organised chaos and the miracle of modern technology and engineering which flying is. For this reason, I am interested to see how the redesigns of LaGuardia Airport in New York take shape, especially as three different firms are collaborating on the project. Currently, the airport is a confusing and eclectic mix of buildings that will be pulled down so the whole site can be reimagined from scratch to improve efficiency. In 2014, Joe Biden described how the airport could be found in a third world country, so the renovation is long overdue.
Country House, Bosnia And Herzegovina, DVA Arhitekta
Country House comprises of seven buildings on a large countryside site near the Croatian border. It was built as a permanent residence for the extended family of a footballer and holiday home for his close family. The stone which has been used extensively is from a local quarry. The tones that it throws up are very memorable, such as the greys and oranges which spring out from the sandy white shade. The buildings were constructed using a vernacular technique in which concrete is clad in stone, whilst the plastered concrete window frames are also a traditional detail. The thick walls retain heat in winter and reject heat during hot summers. In my opinion a subtle and important touch was offsetting the window frames, which creates asymmetry to balance the uniform cubic masses. DVA Arhitekta have respected local techniques and aesthetics whilst adding a contemporary aspect to this complex, resulting in a modern yet fitting solution.
Tyche Apartment, Spain, Colombo And Serboli Architecture (CaSA)
This apartment in Barcelona has been renovated in order to make it suitable for an Italian family to use as a holiday home. By rearranging the spaces efficiency has been improved, whilst an Art Nouveau charm has been created using furnishings, tiles, and a sensitive yet playful colour palette. The Catalan vaulting has been left exposed after peculiarly being hidden behind a false ceiling previously; it seems crazy to me that such interesting and attractive construction details are often hidden away. Using white as a base colour in the apartment makes it bright and welcoming, with bright colours emphasising certain elements and adding a a fun, personal touch to the interior. I often see renovations similar to this one that have been done in Spain, and specifically Barcelona, which is one of the reasons I would like to practice architecture there. Interpreting its rich Art Nouveau history in a respectful contemporary manner must be an engaging challenge, and it throws out some fantastically styled interiors.