Abandoned Spaces / Georges Rousse

Posted in Abandonment, Architecture, Installation, Interiors, Photography, ReMix, Reoccupation, Texture by RADDblog on October 16, 2010

Georges Rousse is a French photographer who makes photos of desolate or abandoned spaces. But before he does that, he paints some precise geometrical shapes which are some kind of optical illusions.

The Narrow House

Posted in Architecture, Interiors, Lighting, Sculpture by RADDblog on June 21, 2010

The Narrow House designed by Bassam El-Okeily in Bilzen, Belgium.

via today and tomorrow

EMA Haus by Bernardo Bader

Posted in Architecture, Economy, Interiors by RADDblog on March 23, 2010

Having inherited a small building plot in the town of Feldkirch close to the Swiss border, a young woman demand for a home that would perfectly fit her individual needs, without exceeding the extremely tight budget. Best possible use of space with a custom-made building was the main goal to be achieved.

With a total area of 120 sqm – including a garage (according to building code needed) – spread over 3 levels, the building occupies a minimal footprint on the plot, leaving most of the garden unaffected. The resulting advantageous volume-to-surface ratio ensures sustainable, energy-efficient and cost-effective living.

To build in the height creates the great advantage of free view in spite of expected compaction in the neighborhood. On the ground floor a “summer-studio” directly links to the garden, bath and bedrooms are located on the second floor, while kitchen, dining and living area are situated on the top floor – offering a preferred view to the Swiss mountains. The levels gain their own characteristics by the uniqueness of the windows. Varying in size and position, every opening controls and focuses the perception of the outward landscape in its own way.

Prefabricated timber-elements for walls and ceilings, being already fully equipped with technical installations and the interior panelling made from birch plywood, ensured short construction time and low building cost.

The essential aim of the project is to define a novel approach to one of the true challenges of contemporary architecture: low budget – high quality.

via archdaily

Handmade School / Bangladesh by Anna Heringer & Eike Roswag

Posted in Architecture, Ecology, Economy, Interiors, Social by RADDblog on March 4, 2010


Bangladesh is a fertile alluvial land in the Gulf of Bengal and the land with the highest population density in the world. On average nearly 1000 people live in every square kilometre and over 80% of the population live in rural areas. Much of the vernacular built tradition uses earth and bamboo as a building material, however, construction techniques are error-prone and many buildings lack foundations and damp proof coursing. Such buildings require regular mainte- nance, are often prone to damage and last on average only 10 years.

Project aims

It is particularly important to improve the quality of living in the rural areas in order to counteract the continuing popula- tion migration to the cities. The primary potential for developing building in the rural areas is the low cost of labour and locally available resources such as earth and bamboo.

The project’s main strategy is to communicate and develop knowledge and skills within the local population so that they can make the best possible use of their available resources. Historic building techniques are developed and improved and the skills passed on to local tradesmen transforming in the process the image of the building techniques.

Concept and Design

METI aims to promote individual abilities and interests taking into account the different learning speeds of the schoolchil- dren and trainees in a free and open form of learning. It offers an alternative to the typical frontal approach to lessons. The architecture of the new school reflects this principle and provides different kinds of spaces and uses to support this approach to teaching and learning.

On the ground floor with its thick earth walls, three classrooms are located each with their own access opening to an organically shaped system of ‘caves’ to the rear of the classroom. The soft interiors of theses spaces are for touching, for nestling up against, for retreating into for exploration or concentration, on one’s own or in a group.

The upper floor is by contrast light and open, the openings in its bamboo walls offering sweeping views across the sur- roundings, its large interior providing space for movement. The view expands across the treetops and the village pond. Light and shadows from the bamboo strips play across the earth floor and contrast with the colourful materials of the saris on the ceiling.

Building construction and techniques

The building rests on a 50cm deep brick masonry foundation rendered with a facing cement plaster. Bricks are the most common product of Bangladesh’s building manufacturing industry. Bangladesh has almost no natural reserves of stone and as an alternative the clayey alluvial sand is fired in open circular kilns into bricks. These are used for building or are broken down for use as an aggregrate for concrete or as ballast chippings. Imported coal is used to fire the kilns.

Aside from the foundation, the damp proof course was the other most fundamental addition to local earthen building skills. The damp proof course is a double layer of locally available PE-film. The ground floor is realised as load-bearing walls using a technique similar to cob walling. A straw-earth mixture with a low straw content was manufactured with the help of cows and water buffalo and then heaped on top of the foundation wall to a height of 65cm per layer. Excess material extending beyond the width of the wall is trimmed off using sharp spades after a few days. After a drying period of about a week the next layer of cob can be applied. In the third and fourth layers the door and window lintels and jambs were integrated as well as a ring beam made of thick bamboo canes as a wall plate for the ceiling.

The ceiling of the ground floor is a triple layer of bamboo canes with the central layer arranged perpendicular to the layers above and beneath to provide lateral stabilisation and a connection between the supporting beams. A layer of planking made of split bamboo canes was laid on the central layer and filled with the earthen mixture analogue to the technique often used in the ceilings of European timber-frame constructions.

The upper storey is a frame construction of four-layer bamboo beams and vertical and diagonal members arranged at right angles to the building. The end of the frames at the short ends of the building and the stair also serve to stiffen the building. These are connected via additional structural members with the upper and lower sides of the main beams and equipped with additional windbracing on the upper surface of the frame. A series of bamboo rafters at half the interval of the frame construction beneath provide support for the corrugated iron roof construction and are covered with timber panelling and adjusted in height to provide sufficient run-off.

Finishes and fittings

The exterior surface of the earth walls remains visible and the window jambs are rendered with a lime plaster. The framework constructon of the green façade to the rear is made of bamboo canes seated in footings made of old well pipe and with split horizontal timbers as latticework. The interior surfaces are plastered with a clay paster and painted with a lime-based paint. The ‘cave’s are made of a straw-earth daub applied to a supporting structure of bamboo canes and plastered with a red earth plaster. The upper storey façades are clad with window frames covered with bamboo strips and coupling elements hung onto the columns of the frame construction. A fifth layer of cob walling provides a parapet around the upper storey forming a bench run- ning around the perimeter of the building and anchoring the upper storey frame construction and roof against wind from beneath. A textile ceiling is hung beneath the roof is lit from behind in the evening. The cavity behind the textiles ventilates the roof space.

On-site labour using and training the local workforce

The masonry foundation was constructed by a company from the regional capital Dinajpur around 20km from Rudrapur. The earth building works and bamboo construction was undertaken by local labourers. The building techniques were implemented and developed on the job together with architects and tradesmen from Germany and Austria. 25 local tradesmen from the vicinity were trained during the building works creating new jobs and providing professional “help for self-help”.

Exemplary nature, transferability, follow-on projects

School handmade showcases the potential of good planning and design, from the arrangement of the building on the site to the realisation of aspects in detail. Furthermore it demonstrates the possibilities of building with earth and bamboo using simple methods as the continua- tion of a local rural building tradition and can serve as an example for future building developments in the area.

A stable foundation and a damp proof course are the primary technical prerequisites for building with earth, making the buildings last longer and reducing maintenance requirements. For smaller room spans, the newly developed bamboo ceiling construction can be made entirely out of local materials using handmade jute rope and bamboo dowelling.

METI, Modern Education and Training Institute

METI enables children and young people in the region to take classes up to the age of 14 and provides workshops for trade-oriented professions. The idea is to provide the rural population with access to good, holistically-oriented educa- tion. The children and young people are encouraged to develop into responsible, motivated and creative personalities and to use their skills to improve and develop their immediate rural environment. Reading, writing and arithmetic as well as languages are offered in a free environment and through open forms of learning. Meditation, dance and creative writ- ing are part of everyday learning at the METI School as are discussions, learning as part of a group and self-critical and social behaviour.

via archdaily

Oblique Clock by Tristan Zimmermann

Posted in Installation, Interiors, Motion, Sculpture by RADDblog on March 1, 2010

It’s quite amazing how many different designs there’re for a simple clock. This one is Oblique Clock by Tristan Zimmermann.

via today and tomorrow

Family House in Obama by Suppose Design

Posted in Architecture, Interiors, Texture by RADDblog on February 27, 2010

Suppose Design recently finished a family house In Obama, in the Fukui prefecture on the sea of Japan. The site, situated near the beach, posed climatic problems such as damage from the sea breeze.  The client – the director of a clinic opposite the house – wished to combine openness on the ground floor to allow for parking spaces for his clients with more protected first floor living spaces.

Kitchen space, bathrooms, study corners and storage are strategically placed at the perimeter of the site to form a buffer around the living areas and bedrooms to protect them from the harsh climate.  Light and air are allowed in through the insertion of courtyards with glass-framed walls between the rooms.  It opposes the notion of letting the outside world in and offers an intimate controlled environment, but one that can be very open at the same time.

The house is very spacious within the Japanese context, the built areas measure 171 square meters. This size allowed for generously sized rooflights and courtyards, to ensure a flood of natural light throughout the house.   The open character of the first floor was created by using a supporting steel structure, held up by reinforced concrete elements on the ground floor.

Suppose Design aims to create an architecture with a strong interaction between inside and outside environment to ultimately blur the boundaries between them and to create one continuous connected space. The use of identical floorboards in internal and external areas, running along the length of the house, underline this concept.  It carefully blends the need for protection and privacy with the notion of the Japanese courtyard which results in a refined contemporary living space.

via yatzer

Shoal Bay House by Parsonson Architects

Posted in Architecture, Downsizing, Economy, Interiors, Texture by RADDblog on February 26, 2010

Parsonson Architects designed this rural home in Shoal Bay on the rugged east coast of the North Island of New Zealand.

Shoal Bay is a remote settlement on the rugged east coast of southern Hawkes Bay. The building is designed to be part of the rural setting, raised off the ground and sitting beside the original woolshed, which has served the bay since the early 1900’s. The house is rugged yet welcoming and offers unpretentious shelter, it is the type of place where you kick off your shoes and don’t need to worry about walking sand through the house.

The house is formed of two slightly off-set pavilions, one housing the bedrooms and the other the main living space. Decks are located at each end of the living pavilion allowing the sun to be followed throughout the day. Sliding screens at the north-west end provide adjustable shelter for the different wind conditions, offer privacy from neighbouring campers and act as walls for outside sleeping.


WhiteOut by SpaceOperaForm

Posted in Installation, Interiors, Landscape, Performance, Sculpture, Social, Texture by RADDblog on February 26, 2010

from the designers:

WhiteOut is deployed as a series of sequential dividers along the aged wood beams of the Hallein Salt Factory, Austria. Suspended, lightweight and nebulous, the installation is a floating mass, exploring the phenomenological and visual affects of extreme weather conditions. Movement though the passages is a reactive experience as the dividers ‘inflate/deflate’ to the body’s static repletion – the width of the passages varies from 30cm to 90cm.

via SpaceOperaForm

Karis / Hiroshima / Japan by Suppose Design Office

Posted in Architecture, Economy, Installation, Interiors, Sculpture by RADDblog on February 24, 2010

The space is for shopping but also for holding events. The concept of the store is space that is changing its view or atmosphere depending on where you are standing, such as caves or limestone caves. At some points the place offers a view to the end of the store, and also it has an area surrounded by the inner partitions. The experience walking through the artificial yet random space would be close to something like walking in nature. The purpose of the design is to offer a new shopping experience that people could see products through strolling in nature.

The materials of the partitions are paper tubes that are strong and easy to work with, and moreover, they are using for tubes to roll up cloths. The tubes are layered randomly as to be uneven surfaces and create arch shapes as partition for the store.

Because of the arches, the store creates various spaces that are irregular and complex, such as caves in nature. The boutique could be used in different way with the unique characteristics of the partitions through a year. We believe that the store would be a chance to find a new and fresh relationship between people and products.

via archdaily

Contemplating The Void / Iwamoto Scott

Posted in Architecture, Installation, Interiors, Landscape, Lighting, Reoccupation, Sculpture, Technology, Texture by RADDblog on February 23, 2010

Iwamoto Scott’s proposal for the Guggenheim’s Contemplating the Void.

LIGHTCONE uses fiber-optic lines to turn the void into a light channel with different purposes:

Like Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim itself, LightCone forms a choreography of light, art and movement through space.

Informed by Wright’s spiral-conical geometries, LightCone combines three different arrays of suspended fiber-optic lines: 1) The central conical array transmits and transforms the light of the sky from the large overhead skylight. 2) The surrounding spiral array pulls in the changing light of the city outside from the spiraling skylights that follow the ramp. At night these two arrays switch over to artificial light powered by batteries, solar-charged from transparent photovoltaic film applied to the skylight glass. 3) The peripheral array’s mediated light projects images from the NY Guggenheim’s collection. Fed from a digital database, these images can be arranged in a variety of ways: by default they are organized chronologically along the building’s five ramped galleries into five decades. Within each structural bay between the supporting piers, the viewer can use an interactive device to reorganize a sampling of the collection by artist, by genre, by size, by color, etc.

LightCone ultimately attempts to further Wright’s interests in exploring the plasticity of structure, the continuity of space, and “bringing the circle into the third and fourth dimension”, while integrating five decades of content from the Guggenheim’s collection into the building’s spatial experience.

– Iwamoto Scott Architecture

via archdaily


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