Fan Zeng Art Gallery (2014) by Original Design Studio

Fan Zeng Art Gallery (2014) by Original Design Studio

Asher 3:24 pm 3:24 pm

Fan Zeng Art Gallery (2014) by Original Design Studio located in Nantong, Jiangsu, China | The Hardt


Fan Zeng Art Gallery (2014) by Original Design Studio located in Nantong, Jiangsu, China. The Fan Zeng Art Gallery is built for the exhibition, communication, research and collection of calligraphy, paintings and poetry, created by the teacher Fan Zeng and Family in the city of Nantong. The concept of the Fan Zeng Art Gallery started from the “patio”, an element of the traditional space. In order to create an atmosphere of “modern creations under the old rules”, the designers separate the playground from the physical circumstance and then combine the behavior of visiting together with that of thinking. Photos by © Yao li-Su Shengliang.



The “relationship patios” are a theme of the art gallery. It is reflected for the first time in the presentation of three different patios: “patio de bien” on the ground floor, “patio de agua” and “patio de piedra” going from north to south and “fenced patio” on the third floor. With these ratios, a three-dimensional frame of patios is established, where these courtyards play an important role. At first, the idea of “three-dimensional patio” aims to reduce the volume of the building. Therefore, a large and integral volume is transferred in three smaller volumes. Thus, the scale of the courtyards focuses on the scale of the human body, and then it can be more sensible and understandable. Designers move away from the grid system and make partial relationships a new beginning. The three apparently unrelated courtyards are assembled for their own reasons, and unexpectedly become dynamic spaces with diverse connections to each other.




The “viewing patio” is another topic. The partial relationships are juxtaposed so that they can be presented in sequence, and therefore make it possible for people to visit and visualize. In the fragment of the scenes, relationships emerge one after the other. Although they are juxtaposed, there is still contact between them. They connect with each other in our mind, so that the whole can be visualized. The art gallery advocates the “diffuse border” in order to break the usual separation in the exhibition by a dispersed display mode. This helps to build a miraculous space with several possible paths. His narrative mode is never formed by the central exhibition, but is led by the route and experience. Change the original concept of obstruction and communication in an interesting way, It brings smoothly and smoothly an exploratory way for visitors, but it still refuses to be boring or shallow. This is the beauty of the so-called Eastern tortuosity.



“Patios of artistic conception” stand out, too. The Fan Zeng Art Gallery realizes the conception of “less is more”, the detailed control of existence, and the vision of abundance within a soft appearance. Instead of a strong general framework that carries the whole story with a clear norm, it produces a relatively flexible and spontaneous partial relationship of the three different courtyards. The theme of the “evolutionary relationship” means that the evolution of the relationship itself plays a more important role than the evolution of each unit. Thus, the design reconstructs the relationship of three patios, but it does not make any great change in either. Three courtyards in a simple prototype that are not far from the traditional way, but in reality, they express an extraordinary possibility of communication and intermediation among themselves. Today, we usually call the modern spirit under a traditional cover, the so-called modernity and tradition not only depend on formality but also require a thinking spirit.



The Fan Zeng Art Gallery is an ethereal camera that lets water and ink mix, making it possible to make light of the strong. It represents an attitude that pays tribute to the Chinese brush painting of having the universe within an inch, realizing all the complexity in each simple part, and showing the full charm with a pure spirit.



© Yao li-Su Shengliang



Aesthetically and Geographically Related Projects:




Sonnesgade 11 (2016) by SLETH Architects

Sonnesgade 11 (2016) by SLETH Architects

Asher 10:27 pm 10:27 pm

Sonnesgade 11 (2016) by SLETH architects located in Sonnesgade 11, Aarhus C, Denmark | The Hardt


Sonnesgade 11 (2016) by SLETH architects located in Sonnesgade 11, Aarhus C, Denmark. As the city of Aarhus prepares for 2017, a number of urban districts are being transformed from industry to modern city districts. One of the main cultural venues in 2017 will be Godsbanen – a new lively and cultural district on the old freight terminal area. The new mixed building by SLETH is situated nearby Godsbanen and reflects the transformation from industry to the lively cultural urban district. The starting point for the design of the new office building is an ambition to reuse and rethink spatial and material quality on the former industrial site. The new building is directly grounded on the original underground industrial constructions, which acts as the building’s foundation.



The building consists of 3 stacked layers of 50 meters long office floors supported by a core wall. Underneath the office floors, where the sloping terrain defines an opening, the restaurant is located facing the street. The parking garage and a wine retailer is located under the sloping landscape. The building has a high degree of flexibility and interaction between the floors, which enhances the meeting situations between different users of the building. The individual floors are open, flexible working environments with the service functions integrated as a single architectural element in the eastern facade of the building.



Around the building, the sloped asphalt terrain is forming the outdoor areas for terraces, bikes, and gardens. The building´s expression is a collage of elements reflecting the surroundings with 6 facades creating a dialogue with the mixed vague context. The project itself is a 1:1 realization of the architecture and challenges of the office SLETH as both landowners, developer, and architects – based on the potential of Sonnesgade. Product Description. The building features a large range of standard industrial materials: glass, steel, concrete. As a contrast to the hard industrial materials, the custom-made doors and furniture (both inside and outside) are done in oak and similar warm materials. 


© Rasmus Hjortshøj / C O A S T  



Aesthetically and Geographically Related Projects:



SOS Children’s Village In Djibouti Urko Sanchez Architects

SOS Children’s Village In Djibouti Urko Sanchez Architects

Asher 10:10 pm 10:16 pm

SOS Children’s Village In Djibouti Urko Sanchez Architects located in Tadjoura, Djibouti | The Hardt



SOS Children Village in Tadjourah, Djibouti from Urko Sanchez Architects on Vimeo.



SOS Children’s Village In Djibouti  Urko Sanchez Architects located in Tadjoura, Djibouti. Djibouti is located in the Horn of Africa, which suffers from persistent droughts and severe scarcities. We were approached by SOS Kinderdorf to design a residential compound of 15 houses where to run their family-strengthening programmes. We learned about SOS systems, about the community where the project would take place, their nomadic traditions and the extreme climate of the region. We searched for traditional housing references in similar cultural and climatic environments and finally decided to design a MEDINA with certain singularities:

A –  It is a medina for children – A safe environment, with no cars, where the narrow streets and squares become places to play

B – It is a medina with plenty of open spaces – Public and private spaces are clearly defined. And in the private, the inside and outside areas melt, allowing residents to maintain certain outdoors living.

C – It is a medina with lots of vegetation – Where the inhabitants are encouraged to take care of their plants and benefit from the result.



In terms of distribution, all houses follow the same scheme but are arranged in different ways, placed close to each other giving shade one another and generating alleys between them in an apparent disordered way. Natural ventilation and sun shading were intensely studied, introducing natural ventilation towers where needed.

The construction of this project was possible thanks to an international team, which reflects the mixture of backgrounds in the practice of our profession, making every project a very enriching experience.

– Dji Fu 

Chinese Contractor based in Djibouti
John Andrews Ugandan Architect based in Djibouti
Fritz Bachlechner Austrian Project Manager based in Kenya
Estrella de AndrésSpanish Architect based in Kenya
Oliver KabureKenyan engineer based in Kenya 


The funding came from the German Cooperation Aid. The materials were very simple: cement blocks, RC structure and Cemcrete finish from a South African company.


Photos by © Javier Callejas  



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MAAVC by Camilo Rebelo + Tiago Pimente

MAAVC by Camilo Rebelo + Tiago Pimente

Asher 9:56 pm 9:56 pm

Situated in Vila Nova de Foz Côa, Portugal, MAAVC by Camilo Rebelo + Tiago Pimente | The Hardt


Situated in Vila Nova de Foz Côa, Portugal, MAAVC by Camilo Rebelo + Tiago Pimentel.  To build the Museum of Art and Archaeology of the Côa Valley we connected different parameters: topography, accessibilities, and program. The fusion of these aspects was highly important for the concept definition – to conceive a museum as an installation on the landscape. The topography was crucial in our decisions since we had to deal with an enormous difference between the museum entrance and the interior of the building. The arrival is made at the top of this topography and that was one of the reasons to create a platform, a terrace, a belvedere – the stage scenario is the huge and impressive landscape with mountains and valleys.




The arrival, a contemplation moment and a parking space as well – as at the same time the museum entrance. The body strategy, in relation to topography, is natural; this means that the platform assumes the same level of the street that ends on the building while the terrain goes down along the side walls showing, in the front elevation, the total height of the volume. On the higher level of the terrain, the monolithic triangular form is a direct result of the valley’s confluences. This triangular body happens in the middle line of the two valleys, facing them (Vale de José Esteves and Vale do Forno) – the third side faces the crossing of Douro and Côa rivers. Its materiality evokes the local stone yards and reflects two different natures: the concrete’s matter and the local stone’s texture and color. For the building expression, we decided to use concrete made with shale pigment (local stone) – the concrete’s texture was made with several molds that were extracted directly from the existing rocks.



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Musealization of the Archaeological Area of Praça Nova do Castelo by João Luís Jorge Carrilho da Graça Architects

Musealization of the Archaeological Area of Praça Nova do Castelo by João Luís Jorge Carrilho da Graça Architects

Asher 3:41 pm 3:41 pm

Musealization of the Archaeological Area of Praça Nova do Castelo by João Luís Jorge Carrilho da Graça Architects located in London, England | The Hardt


The hill now occupied by the Castle of St. George is the first site of human occupation – dating from the Iron Age – that would transfigure in place the strategic elevation over the Tagus estuary and its interior territory that gave birth to the city of Lisbon. In the walled area, the Praça Nova do Castelo occupies an intramural promontory, delimited by defensive structures to the north and west, and by the Santa Cruz Church to the south, a promontory with a visual domain that extends over the walls to the East, from the city at your feet to the horizon of the estuary. An extensive archaeological excavation of this site, begun in 1986, exhibited traces of its successive occupation periods – settlement of the Iron Age, medieval Muslim dwellings and a 15th century palace – with the most relevant artifacts being removed and exhibited at the Castle Museum, the excavation being open to the intervention of protection and musealization.


This intervention addressed the themes of the protection, revelation, and reading of the palimpsest that any archaeological excavation represents, with a pragmatic intention to clarify the palindromic character that the exposed structures suggest in their spatial distribution. Thus, the first action was the clear delimitation of the archaeological site with a precise incision, comparable to the surgical incision in a living body. A corten steel membrane was inserted to contain the raised perimeter topography, allowing either access or a panoramic view of the site, evolving the materiality of this incision slowly and inexorably as a living tissue. The same precision of cut characterizes the elements inscribed in the site that allow the comfortable drift of the visitor – steps, skates, and benches, marmoreal and perennial – distinguishing them from the rough texture of exposed walls and foundations.



Descending to the excavated surface, to its simultaneous first spatial level and last level of occupation – the vestiges of a pavement of the Palace of the Bishops of Lisbon -, a console structure protects the mosaics, structure whose obverse is a black mirrored surface that returns to the visitor the vertical perspective on the pavement, this perspective that the elevated location of the pavement does not allow it to be direct. Moving forward on the site and in its timeline, the necessary cover for the protection of the eleventh-century Muslim domestic structures and the frescoes on which they subsist was taken as an opportunity to reproduce, through a conjectural interpretation, their spatial experience as a sequence of independent spaces organized around courtyards that introduced light and ventilation to dwellings otherwise enclosed outside. Declared abstract and scenographic, the white walls that enact the domestic spatiality of the two excavated dwellings float on the visible wall sections, anchoring themselves on the ground at the mere six points where these sections permit, while their translucent polycarbonate and slats of wood, filters the sunlight.


Underlying the entire archaeological site, the vestiges of the occupation of the Iron Age are exposed and protected by a compact volume that, in a spiraling movement, detaches itself from the bordering corten steel walls to embrace the well needed for its revelation. Massive and dramatic, this volume is punctually fenestrated by horizontal features that invite the curiosity of the observation of its interior, leading the visitor around the excavation pit to the point the view is unobstructed and both the physical and temporal distances of the exposed structures are made evident. The palimpsest of the site’s history is thus decoded and the possibility of its clarified temporal and spatial palindromic reading not only through the reading of the written information accompanying the visit, but above all, and significantly, through the experience built by the materialization of its protection and musealization.


© FG + SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra


Architects: Carrilho da Graça Architects – João Luís Carrilho da Graça

Year: 2010
Built area: 3500 m²
Type of project: Cultural
Project Operation: Intervention
Status: Built
Materiality: Metal
Structure: Steel
Location: London, England, United Kingdom
Detached 4 floors: Detache



Aesthetically and Geographically Related Projects:

Documentation Center Bergen-Belsen by KSP Engel und Zimmermann Architekten

Documentation Center Bergen-Belsen by KSP Engel und Zimmermann Architekten

Asher 3:27 pm 3:27 pm

Located in Belsen, Bergen, Germany, Documentation Center Bergen-Belsen by KSP Engel und Zimmermann Architekten | The Hardt

Located in Belsen, Bergen, Germany, Documentation Center Bergen-Belsen by KSP Engel und Zimmermann Architekten. A 200-meter-long edifice made entirely of concrete houses the Documentation and Information Center at the Bergen-Belsen Memorial. Its extraordinary volume, the radical restriction to the use of just a few key materials and the physical presence of the large structure are condensed into powerful architecture. The exhibition building in the middle of the ‘Heidewald’ forest on the edge of the former concentration camp traces the original course of the country road from Celle to Hörste, which was altered with the construction of the camp.



The building is divided into two sections. One houses the bookshop, cafeteria, library, archive, and administration department, the other exhibition space for the Documentation and Information Center. The focus of the building is on its interior, enabling a profound consideration of the documents exhibited on the part of the visitor. The architecture illustrates the importance of a new form of documentation and research of Nazi crimes and expresses this in an appropriate way. Visitors have a choice of two paths. On the so-called “stony path” they can pass through the entire length of the building without entering the exhibition rooms. Initially covered, the slender path, now open to the skies, is flanked by high concrete walls leading the visitor across a courtyard to the other side of the building, where it opens onto the grounds of the camp.




Rising continually though scarcely noticeably, the second path leads to the end of the large exhibition hall, which extends over two levels and documents the history of the site from prisoner of war to concentration camp. A wide panoramic window at the end of the exhibition room affords visitors a view of the grounds. Out of respect for the place, just above ground level, the end of the building projects several meters beyond the former boundary of the camp. The structure’s extraordinary shape, the limitation to just a few materials, and the total lack of color lend the building a certain stringency in terms of design. The minimalist architecture diverts visitors’ attention to the objects and documents in the exhibition. This way it does justice to the difficult task and makes evident the seriousness with which the subject matter is treated both formally and historically in an appropriate way.



At almost 656 ft (200 meters) long, the Documentation and Information Center at Bergen-Belsen Memorial, which is made almost entirely of concrete, is an unusual structure. There are two paths through the Documentation Center: one is an open passageway or “stony path” that leads directly to the grounds. The second leads visitors to the exhibition rooms, which document the history of the site from prisoner of war camp to concentration camp. 


© Klemens Ortmeyer, Stephan Falk  


Awards: BDA-Prize Lower-Saxony 2009
State of Lower Saxony Prize for Architecture 2008
Museum Prize Lower-Saxony 2009



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