Facade Friday!

We’re back after being camping on the coast last week. And by “we” I mean me and my dog and this here blog.
In honor of my upcoming birthday, I will feature a facade by an architect (and his partner) that shares my special day with me.

Eames House. Image from archpaper.com 
The facade of the Eames house is like a Mondrian painting come to life. What I love is that the patterns and color look so painterly and have such lovely proportions, yet they are also informed by purpose. The black panel with the “x” is a structural braced frame, opaque areas and colored areas obscure views into spaces that need to be more private, or they hide where there is just wall and not space beyond.
I also really like the way the facade slips behind the preserved eucalyptus tree…
All four sides of the house have this similar theme of proportion and function.
Images from Wikimedia Commons
Happy Birthday Charles Eames!
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Facade Friday!

In honor of spring, let’s look at facades that are exuberently colorful.

Expansion of the Palais des Congrès de Montréal designed by a collaboration of Tétreault, Parent, Languedoc et Associés with Saïa et Barbarese Architectes, Ædifica, and Hal Ingberg Architect. Image from ArchitectureWeek.com

I love this texture-








This one is actually a brise soleil or “sunscreen”. Sounds much fancier to say “brise soleil”. Look at what is looks like from the back:

Images from 2modern.com

I love the way the colors reflect against the granite wall. It’s a school in Barcelona by Mestura Arquitectos.

This one looks like a watercolor – very lovely:

Image from cubeme.com

It’s the Ruban Youth Center by KOZ architects.

And how could I have a blog post about colorful facades without throwing a little Hundertwasser Haus in?

Image from the muslimahsuitcase blog

Happy spring!

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Facade Friday!

Wow, look at this one:

It’s the Dream Hotel in NYC by Handel Architects. What everyone is saying (and what is true!) is that it
looks like a giant Connect 4 game.

I do like the way the openings wrap down to the horizontal plane over the entry:
Basically, it seems that the entire parti of this building is: “Perforated!”

It’s a bit of a one liner, and I think it’s ok as a unique element. But we have to be careful – there really can be only one building like this on a block, or even in a district. A building that is so out of context and scale with it’s neighbors starts to exist in a vacuum - so long as the buildings around it “play by the rules” this one can get away with breaking them – I guess? One big plus for this project in my book is that it’s an adaptive re-use. So kudos for that!
Building mages from Dezeen.

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Wang Shu – Update

Photo from archpaper.com

Wang Shu has stated that his wife and design collaborator Lu Wenyu should have been named along with him and shared in his recent Pritzker Prize.
Read about it here.
This is very interesting. And it is entirely a result of the system of “starchitecture” and the celebration of individualism in our profession. I blame Hoard Roarke. I should blame Ayn Rand! No matter who you blame, behind every single-named firm – if they are doing work of any scale other than single family -lies a team of collaborators who are also responsible for the work. But we’d rather give the big award to the individual. Especially if that individual is a man. Le sigh.

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Facade Friday!

Here are some facades that give back, as they incorporate photo voltaic panels to generate solar energy. PV technology has come a long way and so has the aesthetic. Sadly, the price to do this (first costs) is still high enough that it’s hard to get something like this incorporated into a project.

Manchester College or Arts and Technology, image from Design-Build Solar


Here, the panels act as functional screens to add shade and privacy to residential porches:

Paris Social housing by Pilippon-Kalt Architects, image from igreenspot.com

And here they act as windows – a nice feature of many of these panels is that they are transparent so light can be let in.
Images from Solar-constructions.com

And architect Simone Giostra has figured out how to project images from them. 
Very Cool. Image from 3rings.com

What I like about all of these examples is how the panels are used for multiple purposes. They harness energy, act as windows/screens/signage, and add interest and texture to their respective facades. 
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Facade Friday!

In honor of my post yesterday, and of Earth Day – I am highlighting a facade that is from an adaptive reuse project.

It’s the Scots Church in Sydney, re-christened (excuse the pun) as “Portico”. The project included saving the original neo-gothic church including the assembly space on the interior. Then, after some structural gymnastics, they added an entirely new development of apartments on top.
The resulting facades are fantastic. The architects managed to find a way to extend some of the neo-gothic porportions up into the new residentail facades without mimicking them; instead they make for a new layered expression. And anyone who has followed Facade Fridays will know that I do admire a layered facade.

Images from Detail 360 and Architecture Media
The architects are Tonkin Zulaikha Greer, and the project is a great example of saving a fantastic historical/significant structure and making a compelling new building in the process. 

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