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The Architectural Trio: Edition #2
In my opinion this week’s architecture was inferior to the last, when the famous and fantastic Guggenheim Helsinki was supported by smaller yet equally stunning designs. Despite the random lack of quality this week, I have chosen three standout projects that personally appeal to me.
Asahicho Clinic, Japan, HKL Studio
The Asahicho Clinic serves the local elderly population. Its domestic aesthetic is familiar and welcoming from the exterior, whilst the double height interior reception is expansive and open. Light is brought into the space through glass slits which appear in small nooks formed by irregularities in the building shape. The addition of trees that are framed by the glazing and wooden detailing add a welcome contrast to the white concrete, softening the architecture. The following aspects create a calm atmosphere that will no doubt put patients at ease.
The Cedar Lodges, England, Adam Knibb Architects
This pair of houses replace a dilapidated garage in the South of England. The loose brief allowed the architect to work with planners and developers to produce an experimental design that will represent contemporary architecture positively in the traditional town of Winchester. The solid front facade prevents the occupiers from seeing into houses across the street which are at a lower altitude, whilst intelligent glazing and skylights bring plenty of natural light into the open plan living space. I am particularly fond of the vertical cedar cladding, which blends into the tree line behind the houses, and will turn silver/grey over time.
RIBA Headquarters, England, Theis + Khan
The RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) headquarters has been moved ten doors down from 66 to 76 Portland Place in London, bringing all the staff together in one building. Bright colours improve navigation and look sharp in combination with the contemporary materials, whilst plenty of daylight makes the open plan canteen/meeting space welcoming. I also like the subtle inclusion of traditional materials such as brick which add a little interest to the interior. The building serves a number of departments of the institute as well as its members, so it must have been a challenge to coherently organise private and public areas. Theis + Kahn have excelled at this task though, and the RIBA headquarters is now a modern delight, befitting of the prestigious club.