ARCHITECTURE Archives - The General Aesthete

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IN SITU 01 by Förstberg Arkitektur och Formgivning



IN SITU 01, by Malmö-based Förstberg Arkitektur och Formgivning, is the first in their series of furniture inspired by temporary construction structures at building sites. In this design, the functional form is exposed, but its finishes upgraded and the aesthetic refined: flooring framework used for casting concrete slabs serves as the surface, but smooth and lightly oiled, and the adjustable telescopic supports are lightweight, with a clean white finish.

More at: Förstberg Arkitektur och Formgivning

Hostel in Kyonan by Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects

Built as a private training center, Hostel in Kyonan, located in the Chiba prefecture of Japan, is a complex designed by Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects. The compound consists of five buildings: three containing communal facilities such as dining and tatami rooms, the other two with internally stacked guest accommodations.

Hostel in Kyonan by Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects

Hostel in Kyonan by Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects The radial arrangement of units allows for views of Tokyo Bay from each. 

Hostel in Kyonan by Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects

Hostel in Kyonan by Yasutaka Yoshimura ArchitectsThe client’s request for a design based around the possibility of future relocation or addition, resulted in the unit’s dimensions being the size of a standard freight truck, ensuring transportability.

Hostel in Kyonan by Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects

Hostel in Kyonan by Yasutaka Yoshimura ArchitectsAn interior clad in unfinished wood, outfitted with just the necessities, makes for a minimalist, snug stay.

More at: Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects
Photos: Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects

Omizubata N House by Iida Archiship Studio

Innovative Japanese architecture firm Iida Archiship Studio has built a strong reputation with modernist structures that are thoughtfully responsive to their surroundings. This example, the Omizubata N House, set within the forested town of Kauizawa, is a weekend retreat that, like Iida’s other work, gracefully balances elegance and minimalism, while taking its immediate environment into serious consideration.

Omizubata N HouseStacked concrete columns support an exaggerated, dissymmetrical roof that extends to create a wraparound veranda and significant outdoor space at the structure’s front. The house’s open-to-nature design is obvious, while still maintaining a good sense of order and just enough transparency.

Omizubata N House

Omizubata N HouseInside, the gabled-roof design allows for a double-height ceiling, as well as a lofted study.

Omizubata N HouseWood-clad finishing both references and communicates with the forested environment.

Omizubata N House

More at: Iida Archiship Studio
Photos: Iida Archiship Studio

Minimod by MAPA Architects

MINIMOD is an intelligent and sustainable prefab unit designed by MAPA Architects of Brazil. The benefits of this type of factory-built dwelling can, in many ways, trump the hassle of building onsite, from decreased waste and less impact to the immediate landscape, to predetermined costs and construction time. The MINIMOD’s size, at 32 feet in length, is similar to that of a shipping container, meaning it can be easily transported using standardized trucks and lorries.

The lightweight steel frame is enclosed by walls of marine-grade plywood and glass; MAPA partner Silvio Machado envisions MINIMOD in many formats: a compact retreat, portable showroom, or even components of a modular hotel.

With an interior of just 290 square feet, no space is wasted in the single-wall layout: a central kitchen and living area, sleeping area at one end, bathroom at the other. Glass walls are at each end, and an innovative folding shutter system can also serve as a canopy above the sliding glass door.

MINIMOD’s eco-friendly design includes LED lighting, the use of intelligent materials, and a living green roof (accessible by a mobile exterior staircase), that not only insulates and provides additional recreation space, but employs a rainwater harvesting system.

MAPA is planning to make MINIMOD available this year, with a price estimated around $45,000.

More at: MAPA Architects
Photos by: Leonardo Finotti

Kenzō Tange: Architecture for the World

Inspired by Le Corbusier, a young student named Kenzō Tange studied architecture at University of Tokyo in the 1930s; he proceeded to become one of the preeminent architects of the twentieth-century, designing major buildings on five continents. Tange’s unique approach to interpreting traditional Japanese styles through modernism resulted in him being considered the first non-Western architect whose works would be embraced as universal in their value.

Assembled and edited by Seng Kuan and Yukio Lippit, in cooperation with Harvard University Graduate School of Design, this book, Kenzō Tange: Architecture for the World, is a comprehensive study of Tange’s philosophy and contributions to the history of architecture. Archival drawings, period photographs, essays, and case studies explore the diversity and influence of Tange’s work. The book chronicles his most celebrated projects, as well as his collaborations that extended to allied fields such as engineering, furniture design, and photography. In addition to illustrating the great diversity of Tange’s career, the book paints a picture of the progression of architecture and urbanism that took place in postwar Japan.

There is no question that Tange, who continued to work into his later years, and died in 2005, helped define Japan’s post-WWII emergence into modernism. The architect gained international attention as an urban planner in 1949 when his design for the Hiroshima Peace Center and Memorial Park was selected as part of the country’s plan to rebuild Hiroshima. Throughout the 1950s, Tange worked in the field of urban planning, his Plan for Tokyo 1960 reconsidered urban structures as Japan knew them, and was hugely influential to the Metabolist movement. For the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, Tange designed the Yoyogi National Gymnasium, for which he won a Pritzker Prize; the citation describing the gymnasium as “among the most beautiful buildings of the twentieth century.”

Available at: Lars Müller

Ion Hotel

Outside of Reykjavik, very close to the Unesco World Heritage Site Thingvellir National Park, sits Iceland’s Ion Hotel. Billing itself as an “adventure hotel” the Ion’s location makes it perfect for exploring Iceland’s otherworldly geography, with access to hot springs, glaciers, and a perfect vantage to view the Northern Lights.

Designed by Minarc, the hotel is built with a prefabricated panel system, that not only incorporates recycled materials, but is designed to maximize energy efficiency. The architecture is perfectly suited the the lava fields and stark surroundings, and its suspended-by-pillar construction is an homage to Iceland’s first settler, Ingólfr Arnarson, who, according to legend, en route to Iceland in the year 847, threw his pillars overboard and sailed to where the gods took him ashore.

Hot springs provide geothermal heating, and extensive use of natural light minimizes the need for artificial. With just 46 rooms, a restaurant, and a spa, the hotel is full-service, but with a disconnected, aligned-with-nature approach. In addition to its subdued external appearance, Minarc has thoughtfully incorporated natural materials throughout the hotel, such as recycled wood furniture, lamps made from lava and found-wood, and indigenous birch wood details; in the rooms, images of Icelandic animals stylishly and minimally serve as wall art.

An immersive position in Iceland’s visually arresting wilderness, paired with the luxuries of excellent design, local food, and hotel comforts work together to create an experience that is not only sure to encourage relaxation and health, but an exploratory admiration of nature’s wonders.

More at: Ion Hotel

Harbour Attic by Gosplan

Just under 400 square feet seems like an unimaginable amount of space to contain two bedrooms, a studio, a living room, a kitchen, and a bathroom; but in the small fishing village of Camogli, Italy, architecture studio Gosplan have devised a functional, transforming space, wherein the room structure serves as its own furniture, and despite the small size, is quite hospitable.

It isn’t news that less clutter equates to better living, and Gosplan’s design is a great testament to that case.

This well-thought, comfortable, and stylish living space should serve as inspiration for all of us, living in large or small dwellings.

More at: Gosplan

Photos: Anna Positano

Perfume Architecture by Comme des Garçons

As a limited edition collection, Comme des Garçons has made-over three of their house fragrances: Wonderwood, CDG2, and Amazingreen. At the hands of Frédéric Couderc, master carpenter and one of the minds behind Comme des Garçons’ spaces, and artist Lindy Foss-Quillet, the iconic pebble-shaped bottle remains, but for this incarnation, is suspended in an industrial-style setting of metal and plexiglass.

$140, available online at Dover Street Market.

Stuttgart City Library by Yi Architects

Designed by architect Eun Young Yi, the new city library in Stuttgart, Germany is an incredible monument to modern design in public spaces. The cubic structure of concrete and glass is influenced by the ancient Pantheon, with the library’s central “heart” consisting of a series of staircases connecting floors, and lit by sunlight drawn in through the roof.

Image: Yi Architects

Sheds Series by Filip Dujardin

Filip Dujardin is a Belgian photographer who is perhaps best known for his Fictions series, a visual materialization of architecturally impossible structures he created by combining and manipulating photographs of mostly already existing buildings. Though selections from this series have been floating around the internet for some time, Dujardin’s images are certainly worth reexamining, as his ability to blend the line between surrealism and extreme clarity is remarkable, putting the brain to work, trying to comprehend reason and function.

My favorite of Dujardin’s work, so far, is his more recent Sheds series. Traveling the Flemish countryside, he photographed self-made structures, as he describes, “architecture not built by architects.” These “sheds,” made mostly of leftover farm materials, are captured in such a way that they echo the inexplicable quality of Fictions.

More at: Filip Dujardin