Monumenta 2011 in Paris / France, internationally renowned artist Anish Kapoor has created a truly monumental work called Leviathan | The Hardt
For Monumenta 2011 in Paris / France, internationally renowned artist Anish Kapoor has created a truly monumental work called Leviathan. Kapoor created a space within the space of the Grand Palais. “Visitors will be invited to walk inside the work, to immerse themselves in color, and it will, I hope, be a contemplative and poetic experience” (Anish Kapoor). Video by Christophe Ecoffet.
Aesthetically and Geographically Related Projects:
House N18 by DRTAN LM Architect located in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia | The Hardt
House N18 by DRTAN LM Architect located in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. No. 18 is a three-story green residence located in the suburb of Sunway Damansara, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. The site slopes up gradually from the street towards the rear, meeting the foot of an abrupt reinforced incline that marks the start of the nature reserve behind. The brief called for a sustainable green home for a large family with generous open living spaces to entertain guests and private rooms customized to each family member’s requirements. The house plan was conceived as a series of large halls based on 6m X 6m modules that are linked together both horizontally and vertically to create interlocking spaces. These are bound together by the raw off-form concrete structure and earthy clay brick screen walls. The resulting three-story box has spaces cut-into and cut-out of it to create high volume spaces, courtyards, nooks and hanging gardens.
The front arrival portico is supported on a formal series of large diameter sienna red steel columns. Beams that bear the roof garden above run across the slab in their exposed concrete form creating a visual landing strip upon arrival as the row of lights hidden behind each beam is unveiled file by file. A collage of concrete, brickwork, and timber becomes an intentional feature wall by the main entrance. A solitary concrete wall with a rectangular cut-out, flanks the right side of the driveway forming a private lawn that fronts the open living area beyond. The entry foyer and formal living space is a tall voluminous space with a large dragon ball light hanging in mid-air. This is an open space designed to promote natural ventilation and lighting and opens out unto the private front lawn. Even the bamboo garden beyond the kitchen is visible from the living hall – an openness that is visually and spatially liberating. The adjacent hall is the dining room that has sliding glass doors on both ends. One end opens into the poetic garden with a sculptural frangipani tree as a backdrop and a koi pond with a fountain in the forefront, and the other end opens to a forest of saplings in a bed of pebble stones. The kitchen and service yard is located to the rear of the house.
The sculptural stair wraps around an off-form structural wall that takes one through to all the upper levels. The stairwell acts as a lantern contained by a double glazed enclosure and illuminated by the moon-like wall lights. The double volume informal family hall is located on the first floor overlooking the fountain courtyard. A hanging roof garden with giant yucca trees sits on the roof of the front concrete portico. Hallways lead to the various bedrooms. The master bedroom sits on the second floor with a zen exercise and tea room. Shoji screens replace window blinds and tatami mats line the floor in the room that is connected to a Japanese garden terrace.
The western façade is protected by a wraparound metal box louver sunscreen. The house is totally cross ventilated with minimal mechanical air conditioning. The large roof has 200mm thick 50kg/m3 rockwool and two layers of heat reflective foil in addition to a fully ventilated roof space that houses the rainwater harvesting tanks. The roof also houses an array of photovoltaic panels that generate up to 5 kW peak of electricity, solar hot water panels and wind turbines to ventilate the house interiors. Other green features are the use of low VOC paints, raw material finishes, water saving taps and sanitary wares, low energy light fittings and local native landscaping. The overall aesthetic is one that is clean and minimally raw and natural.
House 24 (2016) by Park + Associates located in Singapore | The Hardt
House 24 (2016) by Park + Associates located in Singapore. In a usual circumstance, the front of the house is the most important – not in our case. House 24 is sited on a triangular plot, a constraint that we took on as an opportunity to really engage with the siting and planning of the house – to achieve a meaningful footprint that actualized the client’s spatial, functional, and privacy requirement. Moreover, the site adjoins a lushly landscaped state land that we endeavored to take advantage of at every available opportunity and every habitable space. As such, we turned the house away from the main road and neighboring houses, and instead, have the living spaces open out to the mature greenery beyond. The result is amassing comprising of two blocks which, when combined, define a V-shaped patio on the first floor that becomes the focal point of common activities and entertainment, borrowing views from the surrounding greenery.
The courtyard screen fronting the street is an exercise in rethinking the conventional entry sequence of residential dwellings, and an exploration in creating a more layered and sequential experience. It is experienced almost as a ritual space – serene and tranquil – marking the transition between the public and private. It was also an opportunity to explore what timber craftsmanship might mean in contemporary architecture, and we envisioned the screen to be a well-crafted element with a modern aesthetic and detailing. It eventually manifested itself as a refined and rhythmic facade, drawing attention to its delicate scale even as a structure that is over 8m high. A delightful pattern of light and shadow play out over the course of each day whilst allowing sunlight to filter in and natural air to stream in, creating a relaxing ambiance that reinforces the client’s desire to live in a home that reflected its tropical locality.
Fleuve (2013) by APOLLO Architects & Associates located in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan | The Hardt
Fleuve (2013) by APOLLO Architects & Associates located in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. The client, who is a hair stylist/a salon owner, requested us to design a house with a hair salon. It is an exclusive and luxurious hair salon where the salon owner himself provides all services, and the number of clients is limited to only two at the same time. Our design strategy is to minimize the size of the salon, to create a compact and intimate space where the hair stylist gives utmost attention and professional service to the customer. On the contrary, we provide the maximum floor area of the house. The glass-clad salon has a stylish and sharp atmosphere, but the sharpness is softened by greenery in the front yard and low and deep eaves above it. Lounge for resting is provided as a buffer zone between the hair salon and the house. And entrance court with a family symbol tree is specially designed as a transitional zone where the client is able to switch his mood from business to private.
The client’s wife practices tea ceremony, so we design a Japanese room to welcome tea guests, with a compact courtyard (called “Tsubo-Niwa” in Japanese) attached. Our intention is to fill the space with an atmosphere of a warm welcome from the hair salon to the tearoom, and in and out of the house. On the second floor, family room and child’s room are divided by the stairs in between. Study room in the middle acts as an intermediate space in between. The roof of the hair salon becomes a wide roof balcony adjacent to the family room. It can be used as an extended family room on occasions such as big parties with many guests. From the windows, one can enjoy the view of the family symbol tree, along with the beautiful background of the adjacent park and trees along the street.
Located in Paju Book City, Republic of Korea, Mimesis Museum (2009) by Castanheira & Bastai Associated Architects + Jun Sung Kim + Álvaro Siza Vieira | The Hardt
Located in Paju Book City, Republic of Korea, Mimesis Museum (2009) by Castanheira & Bastai Associated Architects + Jun Sung Kim + Álvaro Siza Vieira. There once was a Chinese emperor who liked cats a lot, and one day he called upon the most famous painter in the Empire and asked him to paint him a cat. The artist liked the idea and promised that he would work on it. A year passed and the Emperor remembered that the painter still had not given him the painting of the cat. He called him: What of the cat? It is nearly ready, answered the artist. Another year went by, and another and another. The scene kept repeating itself. After seven years, the Emperor’s patience came to an end and he sent for the painter. What of the cat? Seven years have gone by. You have promised and promised but I still haven’t seen one! The painter grabs a sheet of rice paper, an ink well, one of those brushes like you can only get in the East and… in an elegant and sublime gesture he draws a cat, which was not just a cat but only the most beautiful cat ever seen. The Emperor was ecstatic, overwhelmed with such beauty. He did not neglect (which is no longer the case nowadays) to ask the artist how much he would charge for such beautiful drawing. The painter asked for a sum which surprised the Emperor. So much money for a drawing that you did in two seconds, in front of me? said the Emperor. Yes Excellency, that is true, but I have been drawing cats for seven years now, replied the poor painter.
The project for the Museum Mimesis, in the new town of Paju Book City in South Korea, is a cat. The client didn’t have to wait for seven years for his drawing of a cat, but Álvaro Siza has been drawing cats for over seven years now. He has never seen a Korean cat because he has never been there. In one day I briefed him on the site, and brought along a small site model, showing the boundaries and the immediate context. In one single gesture, a cat was drawn. The Mimesis is a cat. A cat all curled up and also open, that stretches and yawns. It’s all there. All you need to do is look and look again. At first, the design team members could not understand how that sketch of a cat could be a building. I have in my days seen many sketches of cats, and am always overwhelmed by them, can’t get tired of them. I want to see more cats, more sketches of cats, for several seven years have gone by.
In architecture, after an initial sketch comes the torment. The initial design, models, drawings, corrections to these, doubts, new drawings, new models, a presentation to the client, who had already seen other projects but could not conceal his surprise at this one. Once approved, we progressed the project on through the usual steps, which in Korea are shorter and less bureaucratic. The brief has not been altered, but it is necessary to make some adjustments as part of the evolution process. To think of materials, techniques, infrastructure, representational conventions, so that everyone understands, in an attempt to make everything work out. In the basement, we will have the archives, the service area, maybe an extension to the exhibition area, as is becoming a habit in museums designed by Álvaro Siza. The ground floor is a space for arrival and distribution, areas for temporary exhibitions and a café/restaurant with all necessary back up. Administration areas, staff circulation, area for the administrative archive and staff toilets are located in the mezzanines. The top floor is for exhibition space.
Light, always light, so carefully studied. Both natural and artificial is seen as essential. Allowing to see without being seen. Models and more models were constructed, some of which you could enter into. Also 3D images. The form will be given by cast concrete, light grey, the color of a cat. Inside, the white of the walls and ceilings, of the marble, which we hope will be from Estremoz and also the honey color of Oak. Timber for the internal frames, and glass. As for the external windows, timber, painted steel and crystalline glass. The building progresses, so do we, as it is in Korea. It is a technically difficult job; we were concerned at the quality of the contractor and sub-contractors involved. Our friends and partners are enthusiastic and reassure us.
Ferreries Cultural Centre by [Arquitecturia] located in Tortosa, Spain | The Hardt
Ferreries Cultural Centre by [Arquitecturia] located in Tortosa, Spain. The old local market of Ferreries, after falling into disuse for several years, has been restored and extended to become the new 26,855 ft² (2,495 m²) Cultural Center of this neighborhood. The main old nave of Ferreries market it’s preserved and through its extension a new transition space is generated in order to enable the connection between the existing building and Joan Monclús square; furthermore, the elevation that defines this public space is completed | The old nave gets involved to the public space intertwining its interior to the exterior through a new access. The Joan Monclús’ Square intervention solves the access to the existing building in terms of slope, at the same time gives the option to carry out open-air activities related to the Cultural Center.
Light Walls House (2013) by mA-style Architects located in Toyo kawa, Japan | The Hardt
Light Walls House (2013) by mA-style Architects located in Toyo kawa, Japan. The site is in a shady location where a two-story neighboring house closely stands on the south side, and even the shade and shadow on the path intensify the impression of darkness. Therefore, the design intended to create a space with uniformly distributed light by adjusting the way of letting daylight in, and the way of directing the light. By taking into consideration the space for the residents, the functions for a living, and the relationship with the surrounding environment, the creation of a diversity and richness in the house were intended by controlling the concept of light.
Along the edges of the 9.1m square roof, skylights are made, as if creating an outline, in order to provide sunlight. The roof beams narrow the sunlight, and the slightly angled clapboard interior walls with laminated wood reflect and diffuse the light. As a result, soft and uniformly distributed light is created and surrounds the entire space. Along the outline of lighting, workspaces such as a kitchen, bathroom, and study are arranged. Private spaces such as bedrooms and storage are allocated into four boxes. The path-like spaces created between them are public spaces. Each box attempts to balance within a large spatial volume. Light coupled with the rhythm of scale raises the possibilities of the living space for the residents.
Considering each box as a house, the empty spaces in between can be seen as paths or plazas, and remind us of a small town enclosed in the light. The empty spaces, which cause shortening or elongating of distances between people, are intermediate spaces for the residents, as well as intermediate spaces that are connected to the outside when the corridor is open, and these are the image of a social structure that includes a variety of individuals. In terms of a natural component, in which light is softened by small manipulations, and of a social component, in which a town is created in the house, this house turned out to be a courtyard house of light where new values are discovered.
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