Small House by Japanese studio Unemori Architects is a multi-level single-family residence in Tokyo, Japan. Small House is located on a site measuring less than 35 square metres, consequently the design is vertically arranged, all connected via a central spiral staircase. Each floor at Small House has a specific use, so then the ground floor (partially below street level) is the bedroom, the first floor is the dining room, the third floor is a spare room and the third floor is the bath room. (via I Like Architecture)
This is architecture that originates from the system of Cidori, an old Japanese toy. Cidori is an assembly of wood sticks with joints having unique shape, which can be extended merely by twisting the sticks, without any nails or metal fittings. The tradition of this toy has been passed on in Hida Takayama, a small town in a mountain, where many skilled craftsmen still exist. Cidori has a wood 12 mm square as its element, which for this building was transformed into different sizes. Parts are 60mm×60mm×200cm or 60mm×60mm×400cm, and form a grid of 50cm square. This cubic grid also becomes the grid on its own for the showcase in the museum. Jun Sato, structural engineer for the project, conducted a compressive and flexure test to check the strength of this system, and verified that even the device of a toy could be adapted to ‘big’ buildings. This architecture shows the possibility of creating a universe by combining small units like toys with your own hands. We worked on the project in the hope that the era of machine-made architectures would be over, and human beings would build them again by themselves. Link here.
Living Pavilion, an installation on Governors Island in New York, is a low-tech low-impact installation that employs milk crates as the framework for growing planted surface similar to a green wall. Living Pavilion aspires to create a synthesis of form, structure, light and life. The pavilion’s surface is planted with hanging shade-tolerant plants that will provide an environment maintained at a cooler temperature because of evapotranspiration from the plants. At the end of the season, the pavilion’s modular design will allow easy disassembly and distribution of the planted milk crates to the New York area for use in homes, public places, and community gardens.
The Scotts Tower SOHO apartment building by UNStudio is located in Singapore. It is ‘designed to conserve space whilst maximizing live/work/play areas, The Scotts Tower presents a new dimension of functional and flexible vertical space. The 18,500m2, 31-storey, 231-unit tower consists of 1 to 3-bedroom apartments and 4-bedroom penthouses; expansive landscaped gardens, sky terraces, penthouse roof gardens and diverse recreational facilities.’ Link here.
‘Building a place for oneself is an opportunity with its own risks and difficulties. I chose a place in one of Granada’s earliest areas, the neighborhood of El Realejo enar Campo del Príncipe, on a site favored by views of the west side of the Alhambra, presided over by the Manuel de Falla Auditorium and the country house and garden of the Martyrs. Further back, behind the cedars, chestnuts, magnolias and palm trees in the gardens of the little hotels in Belén stands the Sierra Nevada mountain range. This lot would have been rejected by many because its tiny size precludes a conventional distribution. Only 3.60 meters deep and ten meters wide, this work is an exercise in minimums, a laboratory of light and construction intended for living. The program is as exceptional as this tiny lot on Belén street. It is adapted to stack work areas and a living space for a single person without renouncing quality and spatial wealth. And it does so with very straightforward means, such as the manipulation of natural light, varying heights indoors to compensate for the narrowness of the rooms, and of course, an absolute minimum of compartmentalization. Thus, the stairs and service areas are at the ends, leaving the central spaces free.’ – Elisa Valero Ramos (Architect)
Here are some photos of a possible design for the Olympic Tower for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. ‘An innovative Solar Powered Water Fall – ” Solar City Tower”, located atop the island of Cotonduba is said to be the welcome symbol to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. This 105 meter tower is meant to supply energy for all of the Olympic city, as well as also for part of Rio. It pumps up water from the ocean to create what appears like a water fall. This stimulates turbines that produce energy during the night. The Tower will consist of an amphitheater, an auditorium, a cafeteria, boutiques, and a top floor observation deck with a 360 degree breathtaking view of Rio.’ (via Photoshop Candy)
‘In what’s perhaps one of the more unique celebrity green homes we’ve ever seen, Spanish architect Luis de Garrido has designed a 25-room, off-grid retreat for model Naomi Campbell. Shaped in the Eye of Horus, an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection, royal power and good health, the creation will reportedly be built on the private Isla Playa de Cleopatra in Turkey. Green features include photovoltaic panels, geothermal heating, and a rainwater harvesting system. The home is rumored to be a gift to Campbell by her longtime boyfriend, Russian billionaire Vladimir Doronin.’ Link here.
Axis Viana Hotel by VHM in Viana do Castelo – ‘The overlapping stacked volumes generate a series of different perspectives, ranging from a full box in a frontal view, to a complex column when seen from the sides. The 2 lower levels have a concrete structure, with the rest of the boxes resolved in a steel structure sitting on top of it.’ (via ArchDaily)
‘New Refuge Gervasutti, the survival unit was designed by Italian architects LEAPfactory, who specialise in modular accommodation for extreme environments.’ This is a solar powered tubular mountain cabin installed on Mt.Blanc with the use of helicopters. Incredible.