Photos: Luc Boegly.
Harley Street in Central London is a district, and a street that specialises in private medicine. It is as far away from medicine for the masses as it is possible to imagine. People who have stayed in some of the hospitals around Harley Street report, if one forgets the treatment side of things for the moment, it is like checking into a luxurious hotel.
This private hospital located in Villeneuve d’Ascq, France, and designed by Jean–Philippe Pargade, also takes the idea of a hotel as its basic architectural premise. Rather than the grand city hotel as its model, it however takes something more like a modern three star airport hotel for its inspiration.
Is it better for its lack of bombast? Read more
Photos: Amel Istin
Revealing the unvarnished truth of what a house is built from will today usually mean revealing a range of mass-produced, industrially processed materials. Such materials are often considered inexpensive, and perhaps for that reason, aesthetically inferior to materials such as natural wood, stone, brick, or even reinforced concrete. Traditionally materials such as concrete block or wood chip board are used in back of house areas or they are concealed under layers of construction that can be finished in a way that looks polished.
In this house, designed by Patrice Bideau, these basic materials are not only allowed to show their face, but they are offered as part of an environmental narrative that goes to the heart of the scheme. Read more
Photos: Julian Lanoo.
I am not sure I have come across an archetype quite like this before. I think the building is a driving test and administration centre, but some of the functions seem to be about more general road safety education and test driving. It could just be that it is normal to mix these in Gennevilliers, France where the building is located. In my experience driving test and education centres are seldom purpose built, so when they are, what sort of architectural expression might be appropriate?
One key to understanding this might well be to remember how nervous you were when sitting for your driving test. It seems that the architect A+Samueldelmas remembered the experience and used it for their inspiration. Read more
The very notion of “the scales of justice” has provided OMA with inspiration for this Paris courthouse. The tried and trusted metaphor for justice, a blindfolded person weighing only the evidence in the scales, has been called upon again, but this time the “scales” have been abstracted to suggest the buildings form and programmatic organisation. Read more
Photos: Denance Photographe
With the Euro soccer tournament currently in full flow, and the Olympics games due to start in a few weeks, stadia design is a hot topic. But out of the limelight of major international competitions, where national ego is reflected in the size and budgets of the stadia, or the major sports and racing leagues, where some similar measure applies, there tends to be far less consideration given to the designs of stadia for smaller, local events.
This equestrian centre designed by Joly Loiret shows what can be done for these smaller settings to ensure that they are a pleasure in their own right, and usable by a wide part of the community. The whole project can be considered as a sensitive manipulation of the landscape in a physical, sporting and social sense, rather than the imposition of a super-ego. That said, it is no less impressive than many of the forthcoming Olympic venues. Read more