JUL

Foyer makeover, Technical Museum of Vienna by Querkraft Architects.

foyer at night

Photos: Querkraft Architects

In the 1990s the transparent glass box was used as a way of extending the historical building of the Technical Museum of Vienna. It allowed views through the new building to the historical fabric and in this sense was felt to be as unobtrusive as possible, as well as an appropriate metaphor for what the museum is about.

But things change. The energy necessary to control the huge internal temperature swings of the glass structure are no longer environmentally acceptable. The space was also noisy, and did not provide the necessary emotional environment that curators now need for their museums.

Querkkraft Architects were asked to examine the issues and came up with this exciting intervention. Read more

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JUL

Idle days on the river: A floating demonstration of elegant living by Werner Aisslinger.

view on the riverCould you manage with just 39 square metres to live in?

Well if it was in a spectacular setting on the River Nagold and your essential needs were catered for in such elegant style as with Häfele Functionality Cube you might be tempted to downsize.

The pavilion was designed by Werner Aisslinger, for the Germany’s National Garden Festival in Baden-Wuerttemberg. The accommodation provides living, cooking, working and sleeping space. There is also external space as the cube sits on a floating pontoon. Read more

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JUL

Weather It’s Raining or Not…!, Exhibition Hoxton Square, London by Harry Dobbs.

Art installation showing yesterday's weather.

Photos: Christopher C. Hill

This year’s summer in London has been a joke! But then most summers in London are a joke. The British obsession with the weather is explored in a light- hearted way with the Weather It’s Raining or Not…! exhibition in Hoxton Square, in east London. There are two works: a series of umbrella like structures which swivel upwards to become satellite dishes designed by Harry Dobbs, and “Yesterdays weather”, an illuminated display designed by Troika. Read more

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JUL

A renovation and extension of a glass house

Side elevation

Photos: Kengo Kuma and Associates

New Canaan, an area of Connecticut, became known in the 1950s for bespoke houses designed by people such as Philip Johnson and Marcel Breuer. The houses resonate with that Bauhaus, minimalist style imported into America around the time on a wave of immigrant talent from Europe. Reinterpreting that architectural spirit were people like Philip Johnson and his friend Joe Black Leigh. This house was designed and built by Black Leigh for his own residence in 1956.

Kengo Kuma Associates were tasked with repairing the old house and extending it, both physically and perhaps spiritually into the 21st century. Read more

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JUL

Pots and tins: Renovation of the Central market Phnom Penn, Cambodia by Arte Charpentier Architects.

Street view of the market

Photos: Arte Charpentier Architects.

This is an unusual project about which to blog. When I first saw the yellow building, I thought it was the mausoleum of a tin-pot dictator. The architecture certainly suggests authoritarian arrogance. It transpires that it is the central market in Phnom Penn. The central, yellow authoritarian-looking building dates from 1937. Perhaps the palpable architectural arrogance has a colonial flavour?

The market has always functioned well although it developed a throng of ad hock stalls around it that cramped comfort, and reduced efficiency. Nonetheless it imparted a human scale to the building. Beyond a certain point of decrepitude, Arte Charpentier Architects were tasked with a brief to renovate the original market building, improve comfort and hygiene, maintain all the merchants on the site and integrate the building into its urban environment. Read more

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