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
Built area: 3500 m²
Type of project: Cultural
Location: London, England, United Kingdom
Detached 4 floors: Detache
Aesthetically and Geographically Related Projects:
1:44 am 8:50 pm
Hurst House (2012) by John Pardey Architects + Ström Architects located in The UK | The Hardt
Hurst House (2012) by John Pardey Architects + Ström Architects located in The UK.The Hurst House is a new build one-off contemporary house located on the edge of the village of Bourne End in Buckinghamshire. The site forms part of a garden of a substantial house located on the edge of Bourne End in Buckinghamshire, directly fronting an area of open fields that form part of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding National Beauty (There are currently 33 AONB designations within England). The clients’ brief was to build a very sustainable and contemporary family home that would have the flexibility to successfully cope with changing family conditions as their children grow up and leave the nest. This lead to a house where they can live in one extended space while family bedrooms can be shut down and left on tick-over.
A masonry rectangular volume on the ground floor contains bedrooms and is slightly sunken into the ground to reduce the height of the building towards the AONB. A lightweight steel and timber volume at the first floor is set perpendicular to the ground floor volume and contains living, kitchen and dining spaces, as well as the master bedroom suite. It rests on top of the ground floor volume and spans across to a masonry wall that defines the southern edge of the house. A rectangular service element underneath the first-floor sleeve – separated by a clear-storey – defines an entrance lobby with vertical circulation to one side as well as a carport to the other. This arrangement of space allows for a self-contained bedroom wing for children (teenagers) that opens up to a south-facing courtyard, whilst the first-floor volume allows living spaces and master bedroom to make the most of the site with its incredible views of the rolling landscape of the AONB to the west.
A linear balcony along the length of the first floor allows the facade to open up, and the recessed floor to ceiling glazed sliding panels to be shaded in the summer. At the southern end of the first-floor volume, the glazing is pulled back to create an outdoor living area which is open to both the east and the west allowing the sun to reach it at different times of the day. The environmental impact of the house was considered from the outset, and we were aiming to get very close to being a zero carbon home.
The building utilises very high levels of insulation. A small highly efficient gas boiler, together with heat recovery ventilation, rainwater recycling, solar water heating, a 10kW wood burner and a 9.9kWp photovoltaic installation, and low energy fittings throughout, ensure the property has an overall near zero CO2 impact rating. (We are yet to carry out the as built environmental performance calculations, to establish the exact CO2 impact of the property.) Since the building was connected to services, it has generated 25% more electricity than has been used.
We employed high-quality natural materials that enhance and harmonizes with the site; local Weston Underwood coursed stone to ground floor walls, and the upper floor element is clad in British Sweet Chestnut, which weathers to a natural silver color and will last for many centuries without further maintenance. To the garden side, panels of pre-weathered zinc, set within the timber sleeve are employed. These materials will all weather naturally and blend harmoniously with the site and surroundings.
John Pardey Architects and Strom Architects worked in collaboration to see this building completed. When Magnus Strom left his job as a Director of JPA in 2010 to set up his own practice, John and Magnus decided that it would be beneficial for the project, if Magnus continued working with the detail and construction side of the project as well as overseeing it on site. This collaboration ensured a continuity of the project and has resulted in a strong design that has been detailed with great care and finished to an extraordinary quality.
© Andy Stagg
Aesthetically and Geographically Related Projects:
7:07 pm 10:33 pm
Located in Walberswick, United Kingdom, The house of Clay and Oak by Dow Jones Architects | The Hardt
Located in Walberswick, United Kingdom, The house of Clay and Oak by Dow Jones Architects. British practice Dow Jones Architect. Poplar Cottage is a small house on The Green in Walberswick built in the early 1920s. Over the past eighty years, a number of piecemeal extensions had resulted in a peculiar internal organization that cut the house off from its garden. Our brief was to demolish it and to make a new house, but an initial conversation with both the planners and Parish Council suggested that there would be much opposition to this. The decision was taken to retain and renovate the front façade and end gables of the existing house and to build a new house into this carapace. In this way, we attained planning permission for the project as an extension.
The house sits on a large plot that faces onto The Green and extends to the west as a large garden. The garden is structured as a series of rooms ‘enfilade’, with an existing axial pathway that runs to the back of the house. The new house was conceived of as the completion of this sequence of external rooms and the culmination of the route through the garden. The house is focussed around a large hearth that sits at the heart of the plan. The hearth faces the garden and is located at the junction of the new and the old. The hearth is located to the side of the axial route through the garden, which is completed by the staircase.
The ground floor to the garden side of the hearth is occupied by a large kitchen, dining living room, that is joined to outside by two large folding sliding screens. These open the façade entirely and allow the clay floor tiles to run seamlessly from inside to out, blurring the distinction between the house and garden, and enforcing the idea that this room is the completion of the garden. The house is entered from a courtyard space to the south, which is made up of an existing Suffolk flint walled out-building, a high garden wall and a new games room which is made entirely of black corrugated metal sheeting. On entering the house you find yourself in a hall space, which reveals a diagonal view through the living room, past the hearth into the garden.
There is a very strong idea about construction in play in this house. The new building work is made entirely out of clay and oak. The ground, both internally and externally, is made of a red clay slab. The new perimeter walls and hearth are local brick, flush jointed with natural lime mortar. The flush jointing gives the wall the appearance of being a plane of the material and draws attention to the natural lime mortar, which has been mixed with small grit fragments that glisten in the sun and lend the walls an incredible softness. The floor and roof structures are made of large green oak joists, overboard with oak planks. All of the internal walls are paneled with vertical oak boarding. The oak boarded stair descends to the ground floor where it sits on a section of raised oak floor that forms ‘the snug’ – a north-east facing room with a fireplace that overlooks the green at ground floor level. This section of floor sits on top of the oak ground and establishes a relationship with the stair and adjoining oak clad cloakroom that emphasizes the fact that the oak joinery in very much an ‘inclusion’ both on the clay ground, and within the existing carapace of the house.
On reaching the top of the stair you find yourself in the ‘withdrawing room’ a large room off which all of the bedrooms are organized. The room is set up as a room for listening to music and writing at the desk that cantilevers off the wall. There are three bedrooms each with a private bathroom. The external treatment of the new part of the house is laconic in comparison with the existing part of the house. The new building is brick with plain oak windows and a clay tile roof, materials which with time, will tend to a uniformity of tone and hue that will emphasize the purely volumetric idea for the extension. The existing part of the house has been restored with the original materials; cedar shingles, lime render, brick chimneys, clay roof tiles and painted sash windows.
Aesthetically and Geographically Related Projects:
10:41 pm 12:46 am
Light House (2005) by Gianni Botsford located in London, UK | The Hardt
Light House (2005) by Gianni Botsford located in London, UK. The project is for the construction of a new 8,600 ft² (800 m²) house on an enclosed back-land site in Notting Hill, London, for a family of two academics and their two children. The clients had previously lived in typical London vertical townhouses of up to five stories and wanted the house to be connected and interactive by being more horizontal. The brief required a very private house for the family to live and work in, a suite of living rooms, a kitchen, two studies, a library, dining room, chapel, five bedrooms and bathrooms, a swimming pool, courtyard gardens, garage, wine cellar, laundry rooms and plant rooms. Finish reading and see the unbelievable interior, on the site.
The empty site was essentially a box 130 ft (40 meters) deep by 50 ft (15 meters) wide 32 ft (10 meters) high on one side and up to 26 ft (8 meters) high on the other sides, consisting of brick party walls. We were not able to apply any pressure to the party walls having to build an entirely independent structure and had a requirement for very large planes of walls extending up to the top of the 32 ft (10 m) high wall. In situ exposed concrete was a natural choice- it acts as an environmental moderator (the house is naturally ventilated), the exposed finishes put workmanship on display, and structurally there was a requirement for large vertical cantilevers and beams. A grillage of deep tapering beams spans from vertical cantilevers 26 ft (8m)-32 ft (10m) high and 105 ft (32 m) long, forming the high-level enclosure to the room below. These ‘rooms’ range in size from 60 ft (18m) x 10 ft (3 m) at the largest to 10 ft (3 m) x 10 ft (3 m) at the smallest.
The complexity of achieving this apparent simplicity was deceptive. 14 separate party wall awards were required and the site is only accessible through an arch 10 ft (3 m) wide and 13 ft (4 m) high. The vertical cantilevers needed to be built within 6 inches (150mm) of the existing walls, and no pressure could be placed on the party walls during construction. Our subcontractor developed a method utilizing specially designed and fabricated steel shuttering at the back of the wall taking the forces through to the front of the shuttering, which was propped back onto the slab. Due to the restricted nature of the site, the project had to be built from the back of the site in stages towards the front of the site, as mobile drainage was the only solution possible for placement of concrete and movement of shuttering.
Careful research on the concrete specification was carried out by the architect, Arup, and the client- whilst concrete was an early decision, there were concerns relating to achieving the finish and color required. Site visits from London to Berlin were undertaken in order to narrow down what was wanted, and possibly more importantly, what was not wanted. We were looking for an ‘as struck finish’ with no making good. Some character was also a requirement, rather than a very flat even color throughout. These are issues that are subjective and therefore difficult to include in a specification. The solution was to research the methods used in the concrete we did like, and write the specification from that point. Trial panels were specified, and the basement walls used to test various chamfer and bolt hole details, as the evenness of the bolt holes both in the finish and setting out were very important.
The house is naturally ventilated, which is controlled by means of thermal mass, shading, and air movement. The roof, although made of 3,230 ft² (300 m²) of glass, has a highly effective solar coating, three different frit densities to the glass, electrically operated blinds, and opening vents, all of which contribute to a high level of control of the internal environment by the occupants. A very restricted palette of materials was used throughout the house, consisting of stainless steel, concrete, glass, and aluminum. Polished concrete screed floors, stainless steel lined swimming pool and bathrooms, exposed concrete structure to the walls and beams, stainless steel kitchen, aluminum framed sliding doors and windows, the perforated corrugated stainless steel used as cladding and external screens and doors.
ⓒ HÉLÈNE BINET
Aesthetically and Geographically Related Projects: