Back to basics
Minimalist home reducing the interior to the essentials. Every detail has been thought through: clean lines, sober use of materials and respect for the architecture give this design an almost sacred appearance.
Austrian Pavilion at the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale 2021
This week, the Austrian pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale should have opened to the public. But the Covid-19 pandemic has not only thrown these plans into disarray—it has changed much more: fundamental human rights connected to our physical presence in the world have vanished into thin air, giving way to an army of on-demand platforms in control of shadowy figures glued to computer screens.
The power and control that digital platforms have gained over our lives is now more evident than ever. The question of access has moved centre stage in everyday struggles as much as in the shaping of future societies. But importantly, architecture and urban planning remain key arenas in which the conditions of access are created, configured and maintained.
Indeed, there is a new breed of “platform urbanism” emerging today, pervasive and insidious enough to extend the dominance of Big Tech even further into our living environments and which is at the heart of the project PLATFORM AUSTRIA curated by Peter Mörtenböck and Helge Mooshammer (Centre for Global Architecture).
“Not least in light of the profound transformations we are experiencing at this time, the question of how access has become the new capital will continue to set the agenda for the Austrian contribution, now being adapted for the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021” (May 22 to November 21, 2021), say the two curators.
“To engage with the challenges of the ‘New Normal’, we are devising a programme that can bridge the physical-virtual divide in such a way as to reclaim the common-good potential of platforms—celebrating openness and rejecting algorithmic exclusions, championing equal opportunities over tiered privileges, and recapturing human dimensions while rejecting excesses of affective exploitation.”
“We will continue to refine our curatorial response to this new world of platform ecologies and look forward to unveiling the results of this process at the official opening of the Austrian pavilion on May 20, 2021.”
Join us for this debate at the Austrian pavilion in Venice or online at www.platform-austria.org
Apollo Bay, Bruny Island, Tasmania
Replete with devastating panoramas, Apollo Bay, on Bruny Island finds itself nonetheless exposed. Winds buffet the angled terrain and so we devised a high walled courtyard to protect the inner workings of this home.
The house employs an inflected non-orthogonal plan where massive stone walls encompass living spaces which are enriched by the resultant spatial complexity.
A black interior has been created which provides relief from the blisteringly bright Tasmanian light. D’entrecasteaux House has a simple pallet, dark within and a pale stone exterior. Face-fixed bespoke glazing focuses attention upon very specific elements within the overwhelming landscape continuum.
Project Architect Thomas Bailey
Photography by Ben Hosking
Municipality of Guimarães
The building is located in Veiga de Creixomil southwest from the historic city center of Guimarães, in a sensitive area of high landscape value, classified in accordance with the Guimarães Municipal Master Plan, as National Ecological Reserve (REN).
The morphology of the terrain is characterized by a relative difference of height, by the presence of a water channel, dirt trails, great visibility from surrounding areas and close proximity of large green masses.
The visibility that the building has from the motorway implied a series of interventions, guaranteeing that this is an element which distinguishes itself in the territory.
The access to the Laboratory, on the East, created by the demolition of small roofs, which were on the passageway located between the existing building and the neighboring plot, and the separation of the building by the creation of a reception square and car park, lead the visitor/user through a promenade to the main entrance in contact with the most impressive moment of the building: the facade to the water front Ribeira de Selho.
On the inside, the main objective was to enhance the spatial character of the factory typology. An open space, bright, ready to embrace the new uses and demands of it’s functional program, through a simple but rigorous rehabilitation.
The division of the different functional modules follows the structure of the roofs in order to establish a balance between the different spaces with the structure of the preexistence, and especially with its character.
On the East is located the necessary technical area for the boiler, UTAN and water deposits.
On the West, the existing volumes in the upper floor, that were in a state of ruin or without architectural or construction quality were rearranged and reconstructed.
The proposal aims to recover the architectural character of the existing building and at the same time, with the new roof and the volumetric reconstructions, affirm the indisputable contemporanity of a rehabilitated building.
The concept of intervention seeks to clearly highlight and accurately identify the various intervention stages so as not to produce ambiguities or distortions of the history of the building. Thus the elements in masonry stone were recovered, cleaned and replaced, the existing volumes in brick, or other materials in an advanced state of decay and new volumes were build in white concrete. Different materials to allow a reading of changes in time and use.
The design for the store on Omotesandō uses refined geometry to sculpt space, shape patterns of movement and create atmosphere. Gestures are pared to a minimum, with the emphasis falling on a series of immersive sensory encounters with natural materials and elements of borrowed landscape — most powerfully in the play of light on timber, stone and steel, and through the branches and foliage of a mature tree.
Shingo Ozawa, Verde Buliani, Marta Vitorio, Max Gleeson
Nacasa & Partners
Emerged from shared design values, the collaboration between Tokyo-native design studio, Keiji Ashizawa and Copenhagen based Norm Architects takes its root in mutual admiration and a love for material richness and timeless appeal evident in both design traditions.
In the spring of 2018, Ashizawa onboarded Norm Architects to collaborate on the renovation of two apartments in the Kinuta Terrace apartments complex comprising a total of 36 units. Kinuta Terrace was originally built back in the 1980s and features an integrated courtyard that gives residents the advantages of a single-family home.
The two design studios partnered with Japan’s leading manufacturer of wooden furniture, Karimoku, on carrying out the renovation, during which the idea of a
furniture series arose.
The Kinuta Collection is a series of 12 tailormade furniture pieces that make up the inaugural collection of Karimoku Case Study.