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Imposing Right Angles on an Oscar Niemeyer Building

‘Su Mesure’ by FREAKS freearchitects

The straight line is an anomaly in the work of Oscar Niemeyer, whose entire career has been concisely described as a “personal struggle with the right angle”. As is well known, Niemeyer is a disciple of the curve, a fond admirer of the splined beauty [insert gauche, anachronistic reference to the “feminine” figure here] that characterizes nearly all of his hundreds of buildings and projects. This is not to say that the Brazilian architect’s baroque-modernist aesthetic is without a political dimension; to do so would be ignorant of Niemeyer’s personal politics (he’s a lifelong communist) and the collectivized spaces that mark his architectural and urban schemes (see the blank squares at Brasilia or even the recently shuttered Centro Niemeyer, massive intentionally featureless rostra where the public may gather unencumbered by the frilly obstacles posed by planters and shrubbery). His design for the French Communist Party in Paris combines both aspects of his person and talent.

The building, a favorite of the architect, follows a typical modernist formal scheme, with a large office bloc straddled atop an avenue of pilotis and foregrounded by a secondary structure that reconciles the complex’s scale and program to pedestrians. This being Niemeyer, both components diverge from the modernist template, replacing the latter’s ubiquitous rectilinearity with round, playful curves. FREAKS freearchitects‘ sticker installation “restores” order to the building’s evident capriciousness, superimposing x and y coordinates on its undulating facade.

Commissioned by the National Council of French Architects, ‘Sur Mesure’ (translate as “Bespoke”) was part of an architecture event called “Le droit à l’architecture” (“The right of architecture”), whose mission it is to promote architecture to the public. The project, which marks the first time the building has been altered or added to since being listed as a national historic monument, is a simple and fun intervention that both envigorates Niemeyer’s weathered landmark and, more importantly, calls attention architecture’s fundamental presence (physical or otherwise) in the public arena.

Casa Magia – Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

El proyecto nace por la necesidad de tener un lugar de descanso ante el ritmo ajetreado actual, huyendo de todo ruido y perturbación que hay dentro de la ciudad.

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Con esa idea, se compra el terreno ubicado en inmejorable zona de la ciudad, en las orillas de la misma, con amplio espacio, colindando hacia el oriente con una zona abundante de árboles, hacia el poniente con el majestuoso Lago de Chapala, siendo las colindancias a cuidar el norte y sur, colindando con construcciones deshabitadas y en lento deterioro.

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

El terreno de 40 m frontales y 100 m de largo, se conecta al lago extendiendo la propiedad infinitamente a la vista humana, cuenta con una terraza y una pequeña construcción de 15 * 7 m, la cual nos dá la oportunidad de crecer hacia arriba, y respetar la zona verde que envuelve a la obra.

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

El proyecto se basa en la inclinación predominante de la terraza existente y los acabados en ladrillo aparente, definiéndolo en su totalidad, satisfaciendo la necesidad del cliente de conservar lo actual e integrar lo nuevo sin un choque visual, dejando la visual interior del departamento libre de oriente a poniente y viceversa, convirtiendo el interior en un exterior protegido.

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

El resultado es apoyado por la creciente del Lago de Chapala, logrando la plena satisfacción del cliente y del proyectista.

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Arquitecto: Jesús Cervantes Godínez
Ubicación: Col. Nuevo Fuerte en Ocatlán Jalisco, México
Colaboradores: Jesús Cervantes Flores, Berenice Cervantes Godínez, Coni Cervantes Godínez, Alejandra Flores Godínez, José Flores Herrera, Jesús Cervantes Godínez
Construcción: Ingenieros Civiles y Arquitectos de Ocotlán Sa de Cv ICAO
Superficie Construída: 237.86 m2 de nueva construcción, 183.21 m2 de remodelación
Ingeniería Estructural: Jesús Cervantes Flores, Rosendo Sánchez
Fecha de Construcción: Febrero a Septiembre de 2010
Fotografías: Cortesía Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Casa Magia - Jesús Cervantes Godinez

Progress Report: Warm-Up to Wendy!

All photos: HWKN

Wendy is coming. In just over two weeks time, “Wendy“, winner of the 2012 Young Architects Program, will open in the courtyard of MoMA PS1 primed for a summer of fun.  Designed by Architizer sister firm Hollwich-Kushner (HWKN), the project is notable for its creative approach to the ecological issues that contemporary architecture and urbanism now face, using some 28,000 square feet of ground-breaking fabric treated with photocatalytic titania spray to clean the air around it.

Construction began last month in the PS1 courtyard, with the erection of the scaffolding taking some four weeks to complete. Now in week 5, Wendy’s iconic starburst shape is coming into view, with the first of her 64 blue spikes being currently assembled. While she looks large, Wendy only covers a tiny fraction of the courtyard surface, with a planimetric footprint of just 3,120 square feet (out of 19,816 square feet). The porosity of the scaffolding and the intricate web of spikes create numerous public and intimate zones, all of which are shaded by Wendy’s multifaceted form and cooled by fans integrated in the higher registers of the structure above.

A performance platform will be set up facing Wendy where an extensive roster of DJ’s will take the stage for a season of Warm Up events.  The secondary courtyard north of the main space is being converted into a mini waterpark that will offer several fun water-themed attractions, including cascading pools, waterfalls, rain, misting areas, and water cannons (stored in a number of the blue spikes angled overhead).

Thousands of people are expected to meet Wendy this summer beginning July 1 and on through September 8, when the pavilion will be dismantled, its scaffold structure returned to a warehouse to be stored for future use and its nano-particle infused fabric recycled and parceled throughout the city’s construction sites. For more on Wendy, including how to volunteer or purchase merchandise, visit the project site.

RUMBLE 2012, UCLA

As Los Angeles architecture schools with their year end final reviews are contributing to the discourse in varying degrees of engagement, there is one institution usually stands out with its excellence in quality education, UCLA Architecture and Urban Design and its yearly Rumble brand.

This particular event presents and reviews highest quality architecture and urban design work of its students under the direction of their talented professors. Rumble also invites and brings together some of the best educators, practitioners and theoreticians in the field to participate in Rumble with lively and spirited discussions. This event draws students from other schools and professionals from the field.

As I usually do in these occasions, I collected some images for Archinect without being overly curatorial and enjoyed looking at the projects like a kid with a cheap camera. I started with the first few images from Thom Mayne research studio, Culture Now Project where I sat in the …

Imaging Detroit


Gould Evans seeking Project Architect in Lawrence, KS, US

Gould Evans is a national architectural design practice focused on innovative and process-focused design solutions.

We are seeking a project architect, for our Lawrence, KS studio, with leadership experience in progressive design projects.

Qualifications:

  • Ability to demonstrate a passion for exploring the architectural process
  • Ability to demonstrate rigor in executing conceptual ideas
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, collaborative environment
  • Ability to demonstrate a high level of technical competency
  • Ability to communicate ideas in a variety of graphic media including Photoshop, PowerPoint, Sketchup, Revit & AutoCAD
  • A professional architecture degree from an NAAB-accredited university is required
  • Licensed architect (state of Kansas is preferred)
  • Ideal candidate will have 5-12 years of professional experience

All the Private Space You’ll Ever Need, In One Little Box

Everyone needs (or demands) their own bit of defensible space. In an increasingly urbanizing world with living conditions becoming ever more dense, that space may not amount to much. Still, the diminutive dimensions  of this private cloister (the smaller, the better, says the “good” urbanist) need not be boring, nor spatially simplistic. On the contrary, such limitations give birth to innovative new designs, like architect Sigund Larsen‘s “Shrine” project, a small wonder of cabinetry that maximizes style and function despite its negligible footprint.

Larsen says the design came from a need to store all his personal affects, from gadgets and keys to a record player and a bottle of whisky. It should be sculptural, yet fully operable, Larsen thought, impelling him to devise a cluster of adjacent, interconnected compartments that could collapse into a solid volume to save space. Using local oak wood, he fashioned the unit piecemeal, working out a complex configuration of internal “courtyards”, each of which could be accessed from the outside.

When opened, the resultant collage of projecting volumes and hinged spaces satisfy Larsen’s sculptural requisite, yet does not inhibit operability. Larsen  likens the pieces to a small house, one whose plan and section are “forced together” into a patchwork of drawers in which one can store all of their little (and big) secrets. So whether you live in a studio or a penthouse, the Shrine becomes “your most private place in the house.”

Sigurd Larsen // The Shrine from Dario Natale on Vimeo.

El MIT crea superficie solar con menos silicio

espesor-superficie-solar-nanopiramides-invertidas

Con el objetivo de reducir el precio de las placas fotovoltaicas, unos científicos del MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) han estudiado la manera de reducir la cantidad de silicio en las células solares, pero manteniendo una alta eficiencia. Esta estupenda idea ha llevado al equipo a desarrollar un nuevo tipo de superficie solar que podría reducir en un 90% el silicio de la tecnología fotovoltaica.

La nueva lámina de silicio del MIT se ha conseguido realizando un patrón con diminutas pirámides invertidas, estas pequeñas hendiduras practicadas en la superficie, denominadas “inverted nanopyramids“, permiten aumentar la absorción de la luz incrementando un 70% su superficie, de tal manera que con una lámina de 10 micras de espesor es posible alcanzar la eficiencia de una célula de silicio convencional (30 veces más gruesa).

Esta nueva célula solar está aún en periodo de pruebas. El siguiente paso va a consistir en añadir componentes para fabricar una célula fotovoltaica real, y demostrar que su eficacia es similar a las convencionales. Si hay éxito, podríamos ver pronto en el mercado paneles fotovoltaicos más baratos y delgados.

superficie-solar-nanopiramides-invertidas

Vista superior de la hoja de silicio con las hendiduras de pirámide invertida, tan pequeños que corresponden a las longitudes de onda de la luz, y de manera eficiente.

Más información en el MIT. Imágenes de Anastassios Mavrokefalos.