Pavilion Siegen by Ian Shaw Architekten located in Siegen, Germany | The Hardt
Pavilion Siegen by Ian Shaw Architekten located in Siegen, Germany. The pavilion’s dramatic, planar form articulates an assured, yet subtle compression of space, framing views of the lake and the local topography. The building’s tectonic rigor is palpable, its seemingly gravity-defying configuration enabling the floor plate and ceiling to cantilever some 6m beyond the lakeshore. The scheme is both a weekend fishing retreat and a garage for three classic cars. A toilet and washroom facility is also included, as is a storage area for the client’s angling equipment. Detailing is measured throughout – from the integrated lighting to the fully glazed internal area.
The 12 x 12 m structure conforms to a strict proportional grid that determines both the position and heights of the walls, as well as the shuttering joints and fenestration divisions. The 3 x 3m door panels – built by the client’s engineering company, and weighing 340 kilos per door – pivot on bespoke spindles, allowing each to be opened with the push of a single finger. The 12 x 12 m structure conforms to a strict proportional grid that determines both the position and heights of the walls, as well as the shuttering joints and fenestration divisions. The 3 x 3m door panels – built by the client’s engineering company, and weighing 340 kilos per door – pivot on bespoke spindles, allowing each to be opened with the push of a single finger. Throughout the building process, the concrete mix was carefully monitored in order to achieve an off-white finish, this tone refining the pavilion’s dialogue with the surrounding terrain. Special, non-oiled shuttering ensured that no harm came to the lake’s fish population during construction.
Located in Ica, Peru, Site Museum of Paracas Culture (2016) by Barclay & Crousse | The Hardt
Located in Ica, Peru, Site Museum of Paracas Culture (2016) by Barclay & Crousse. An archaeological museum must find the delicate balance between heritage conservation exposed and release to the public. A site museum, as the Paracas, acquires the additional challenge of having to integrate into the landscape that was the cradle of this culture, which is now part of the most important biological and landscaping reserve of the Peruvian coastal desert. The project is implemented practically on the ruins of what was its predecessor, destroyed by an earthquake in 2006. It retakes its rectangular geometry and compactness. A crack or flaw breaks in this volume, separating the functions of disclosure of the museum as workshops, meeting rooms and services dedicated to the conservation of archaeological heritage. The access to the different spaces of the museum is done by this “crack”: open spaces that frame portions of the landscape and create the necessary privacy to live in the vast desert.
Inside the museum, is explored a seemingly contradictory hybridization between the labyrinthine spatiality and spiral path used by the ancient Peruvians and contemporary spatiality, smooth and transparent. Environmental requirements of the Paracas Desert and the museological collection requirements are solved with a “device environmental correction”, that defines the architectural and museum party. The device consists of a lamppost run, under which are the transition spaces between exhibition halls or circulation spaces, according to the needs and his position in the project. This device allows controlling natural light, artificial light, natural ventilation and cooling of the different environments. Its geometry reinterprets the series and the gap characteristic of the Paracas textiles, which were his most outstanding technological and artistic expressions. The building is constructed entirely with pozzolan cement, resistant to the salt desert. The exposed concrete and cement grinding that constitute its materiality, acquire a natural reddish color that blends with the neighboring hills. The patina left by builders in the polished concrete that surrounds the museal rooms give to the museum a ceramic look that resembles the pre-Columbian ceramics (huacos) that are exposed inside.
Combs Point Residence by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson located in Finger Lakes, NY | The Hardt
Combs Point Residence by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson located in Finger Lakes, NY. This property had a wildness that captured the client’s interest immediately. They understood the raw beauty of Seneca Lake when they began looking for a site on the exposed eastern shoreline. A hunting lodge once sat on the site, but burned to the ground many years ago. It wasn’t until they hiked upstream, into the 100-plus acre property’s deep cut ravine that they found a waterfall, hidden within the site’s botanically diverse plant palette. It was the site’s inherent drama and ephemeral delicacy that bound the owners to this place and ultimately defined the design direction for the house and landscape.
The project scope included a four-season weekend retreat for a family of four that supported their active life on the lake and love of the out-of-doors. In addition to three bedrooms for the main house, the architect was asked to create areas for office, exercise, and guests, in addition to a boathouse and garage. From the beginning, the Landscape Architect (LA) worked closely with the design team towards a strategy that would repair and enhance the site’s ecological function.
The design decision to break the program down into separate but connected structures came from the need to respond to the narrow site, the solar orientation, and the disturbed area of the old hunting lodge. The extrusion of the parts along a line of circulation, the site’s outdoor hallway, created opportunities for outdoor rooms formed by the interplay of existing trees and the framing of the space by the building walls.
The design resolution locates the primary family room on the point, like a boat, with its prow forward, exposed, and open to the drama of the seasons and the prevailing eastern winds at the water’s edge. The more private rooms of the house gather behind this front room and are more protected, nestled in the ravine. A bridge for pedestrians and the family’s all-terrain vehicle spans the creek and connects the main house to the boathouse, which sits at the water’s edge. Further still is a three-car garage on the bluff above the main building site. All cars remain high on the bluff at the garage, thereby limiting the primary circulation around the house to foot-traffic.
The LA, the architect, and the client agreed that the site’s inherent natural beauty and ecological diversity needed to be prioritized over all other site decisions. The client stressed the desire to be responsible ecological stewards so grading was minimized to pathways and roads and the diverse plant palette carefully edited to allow the house to slip into the existing landscape.
The charge of making the site appear untouched was far more difficult to achieve than it might seem. The LA began with a comprehensive survey of the existing plants and determined that the diversity of the herbaceous groundcover was both remarkable and unusual, even in the Finger Lakes. The LA, with a staff trained in landscape architecture, arboriculture and horticulture, determined that the project sat within four existing ecological communities: Dry Upland Forest, Moist Upland Forest, Floodplain Forest, and Seasonally Inundated Wetland. The project planting plan mixed these communities into five planting zones (See Planting Zones Diagram). The plant list is composed of plants that fall within a mix of vegetation communities (See Plant List).
Plant groupings within each zone reflect variations in elevation, slope, and aspect. The most interesting lesson learned was that the shale soils change pH radically as they degrade. The tops of the relatively shallow ravine have much lower pH than the bottom. The result is extreme diversity in a small area because of the dramatic changes in soil pH, light, and weather (Seneca Lake’s deep waters moderate the temperatures on the site, so it can be snowing at the garage when there is no snow at the main house). There was not an analog upon which to model this project. Finding the appropriate plant material in nurseries proved challenging and it was difficult to find trees that blended seamlessly into the forest. The layout of the plants mimicked existing conditions so that the plants looked to be the result natural propagation in the microenvironments where they occur naturally. The careful culling or retention of existing material was an integral part of the project. Three years later, the site is healthier than ever, with bursts of trout lilies, trillium, and ferns in the early spring.
This is a highly volatile site and the weather extremes are felt throughout the seasons. The builder and the LA discussed in detail site drainage and water flow to save existing trees. The LA planted the slopes and pinned down dead trees to provide slope and wind erosion control during seasonal storms and to trap organic material so seedlings could grow rather than wash out. Vegetation grows easily in the fertile soils of the flatland with its high water table at 18” deep. The stream run can be violent in the spring and after heavy rains, with water elevation changing from flood stage to nearly dry throughout the year. Rather than guarding against these conditions, the design team saw these ephemeral shifts as an essential part of the experience of the place.
During the two-year planting process, it became apparent that a traditional approach to landscape management would not work. The LA wrote a meadow management plan for the different meadow areas but the plantings would require constant editing by someone who understood the plants over time and could choose which volunteers to keep and which to pull. The LA and client searched for the right person and found a botanist from Cornell University, who became so attached to the property that he now serves as a consultant that supervises the on-going site work. His discovery of a threatened New York State species on-site, Agastache nepetoides- Yellow Giant Hyssop, deepened his commitment to the place.
Materials and Site Details
All aspects of this project were carefully adapted to the site and considered for their regenerative results. The house design has a respectful relationship to the land and site, using sustainably harvested tropical wood for the boardwalk, a beach shale gravel path excavated from the shore edge of the site, New York granite paths, and beach shale splash blocks and drip lines. Through careful siting and thoughtful interplay of architectural elements, this project shows the result of a highly collaborative design process where the role of each discipline is blurred to create a simultaneously bold and ethereal composition, unique to its place and time.
Photos by Nic Lehoux
Aesthetically and Geographically Related Projects:
Serenity House by DBALP located in Phuket, Thailand | The Hardt
Serenity House by DBALP located in Phuket, Thailand.“The Serenity House is a three-story private residence in Phuket. It is a second home for a small family: husband, wife, two children and two housemaids. The prime requirement from the owner is a full panoramic view of the sea and the integration of nature. The programme consists of 4 bedrooms with bathroom, living room, dining room, kitchen, garage for three cars and the infinity swimming pool. The project is perched on the slope of the mountain in Phuket. Since the site is located in a village, there are planning restrictions on the individual design by the local developer. Therefore, the sloping site becomes a point of departure for the concept. But how does the topography of the mountain turn into the architecture? To answer this question, an interesting technique that can open up the possibility of becoming architecture is to ‘graph topology’ from the site. In this way, the graph is drawn to respond to the slope of the site. Such a technique on the slope analysis creates nine varieties of topological graphs as an alternative. This project demonstrates a topological graph as a technique in order to design the condition, rather than condition the design. After this process, the ‘topological graph’ is interpreted as a sequence of abstract spaces and the uses. Therefore, the eight graphs are eliminated from the design process since only one graph can meet certain functional criteria and all requirements. The design develops into mass model study only insofar as it shows a sequence of space and investigates the differences of level on the sloping site.
In regards to the client’s requirements, there are two priorities: the full panoramic view of the sea and the integration of nature. This raises the question to us: What is the integration of nature in this project? And how to bring it into the design? We propose that the notion of experience should be brought into the design. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word ‘experience’ means an event or occurrence that leaves an impression on someone. The integration of nature is, therefore, a relationship between the notion of experience with the nature and the sequence of abstract spaces and the uses. In other words, this is a link between landscape and architecture. Undoubtedly, the full panoramic view of the sea is a part of experiences – seeing an event or a scene over the sea. However, another sign of experience to achieve integration of nature is a ‘realness’ of material. In such a way, all materials in this house represent the beauty of natural texture. Apart from the study of topological graphs, it is important to translate these two requirements from the client into the design and this is why our client is happy with the Serenity House. For example, if one visits the house, there is a sequence of space that offers a variety of experience. To begin with, the visitor arrives at the outdoor entrance court as a big space. After that, he or she will walk through a tremendous wooden door and pass through the small corridor, but then again, walk across the entrance bridge, where the inner narrow court with fountain, waterfall and fishpond is situated, to the living area of the house. This experience in each space of a sequence would somehow be able to leave an impression on his or her.”
Aesthetically and Geographically related Projects:
Situated in a remote part of Desert Hot Springs, CA, United States, Desert House by Marmol Radziner | The Hardt
Situated in a remote part of Desert Hot Springs, CA, United States, Desert House by Marmol Radziner. The 2,000 ft² (297 m²) Winter retreat employs four house modules and six deck modules. The Desert House, Marmol Radziner Prefab’s prototype home is oriented to best capture views of San Jacinto peak and the surrounding mountains. Located on a five-acre site in Desert Hot Springs, California, the house extends through the landscape with covered outdoor living areas, which double the 2000 square-foot interior spaces. A detached carport allows the owners to “leave the car behind” as they approach their home.
Designed for Leo Marmol and his wife Alisa Becket, the Desert House employs four house modules and six deck modules. Sheltered living spaces blend the indoors with the outdoors, simultaneously extending and connecting the house to the north wing, which holds a guest house and studio space. The house hovers two feet above the desert landscape, anchored on a recessed platform. The main living space unfolds west to views of the San Jacinto and San Gorgonio mountains. Open frames provide sheltered living spaces blending indoors and outdoors, while simultaneously extending and connecting the house to the north wing containing a guesthouse and studio space. By forming an “L”, the home creates a protected environment that includes a pool and fire pit.
The home is built with prefabricated technologies in a factory. Using steel framing, twelve feet wide modules can extend up to sixty-four feet in length and use any type of cladding, including metal, wood, or glass. The Desert House is built with three types of basic modules: interior modules comprising the living spaces, exterior modules defining covered outdoor living areas and sunshade modules providing protection from the sun. The design of the home employs passive and active solar technologies as well as sustainable design concepts. Solar panels provide power used by the house. Sunshades on the south and west facades minimize the impact of the harsh summer sun. In the colder months, concrete floors provide passive solar heat gain.
House on the Cliff by Fran Silvestre Arquitectos located in Alicante, Spain. Due to the steepness of the plot and the desire to contain the house in just one level, a three-dimensional structure of reinforced concrete slabs and screens adapting to the plot’s topography was chosen, thus minimizing the earthwork. This monolithic, stone-anchored structure generates a horizontal platform from the accessing level, where the house itself is located. The swimming-pool is placed on a lower level, on an already flat area of the site. The concrete structure is insulated from the outside and then covered by a flexible and smooth white lime stucco. The rest of the materials, walls, pavements, the gravel on the roof… all maintain the color, respecting the traditional architecture of the area, emphasizing it and simultaneously underlining the unity of the house.
New Concrete House in Brissago (2013) by Wespi De Meuron Romeo Architects located in Brissago, Switzerland | The Hardt
A simply cut monolith in washed concrete, which is docked directly to the road, rises from the natural topography of the slope. Two cars are parked almost directly on the roof. The visitor is guided down along a linear alleyway to the entrance door. An entrance courtyard is located directly behind the wooden entrance gate. Across this courtyard, one enters the house on the top floor and will be received by the kitchen with a long dining table and an open fireplace. Already when entering, the room open itself to the landscape, the “Lago Maggiore” and the mountains. The entrance door and the glass front to the court can completely be a shift into the wall so that the outside and the interior space flows together in the summertime. Lift and staircase lead to the lower floors.
At the floor beneath is located the additional living area, with living room, fireplace, library, and TV, as well as a covered outdoor terrace and a generous courtyard with natural stone pavement, two olive trees, and a fountain. Means wide openings to the court and to the outside, exterior and Interior, landscape and architecture forms a unity. The inside participates to the court, like the court participates in the landscape, offering spectacular views. The court can be closed by two wooden gates, which generate a secure feeling. This court becomes The Hardt of the house; different paths join together here, like in a historic village. On both sides of the court walkways and stairs lead down to the large garden terrace with swimming pool and outdoor kitchen.
On the two lower floors of the house are placed three bedrooms and the baths, as well as fitness room and a sauna; they are also connected to the garden and swimming pool by appropriate exits. Due to its spatial diversity, complex relationships between interior and exterior spaces, diverse path choice, this house can be experienced like a historic village.
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