Svelte lady: Iréne, Montreal, Canada by KANVA.

Night elevation.

Photo: Jimmy Hamelin.

Iréne, is an urban housing project in Montreal, designed by KANVA. It explores a number of ideas that have more general application for housing projects and conversions of existing buildings.

A brick warehouse building from the 1930s presented a solid, if uninspired starting point, upon which a three storey extension has been constructed. The brick part of the building came to be seen as heavy, in its aesthetic appearance, its physical qualities, and in the historical gravity that maintains its linkage to the surrounding urban context and the collective memory of a city quarter undergoing rapid development.

This then, was the foundation for a break with the old aesthetic order and the opportunity for new, light, modern and adaptable construction to colonize the building and the district. Read more

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Architecture farm a speculation on mass housing by Akihisa Hirata.

Images: Akihisa Hirata Architecture.

This post is about introducing the promising young architect Akihisa Hirata’s way of thinking about architecture. It is one of two posts today examining his work, the other being a built project: The Bloomberg Pavilion.

For the moment Architecture Farm remains speculative. It begins with creating a flowered growth from a coffee cup. This static image illustrates how simple objects can be developed into complex and beautiful forms. A second exercise, illustrated on a video loop, repeats the process with a torus shape taking it further, by adding text to some of the evolved forms, suggesting architectural possibilities. Read more

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Ikea Land, London

view of development

Images: Ikea

Perhaps the English showed too much enthusiasm for long haired pop idols, boxy but safe cars and brilliant ice-cool bearded tennis players from Sweden? Or perhaps the capital city’s lack of coherent housing strategy, creating mass shortages and rocketing prices, has tempted one of the worlds largest furniture companies to try its hand at housing, and the creation of a new city district? Read more

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