Facade Friday!


Image from indulgy.com


I’ve always loved this facade. Such a basic idea, stolen from our friends the engineers over at hill-side management, inc. who use gabions to hold back and stabilize hills.
The neighborhood I grew up in was accessed by a winding road called Crystal Hills Boulevard that was protected by a tall gabion wall – sort of like this:
Image from gabions.net

Except in our case the rocks inside the mesh were the purple/red native rock of Manitou Springs. So the first time I saw the facade of Herzog and De Meuron’s Dominus Estate Winery I was immediately drawn to their use of the gabion as a facade/exterior wall. Like my old roadway they used local rocks, uniformly arranged in wire cages.


These exterior gabion walls let filtered light and air through, and they add a cooling effect to the spaces inside. Quite clever. Textural and beautiful too!
Winery mages from The Republic of Less Blog
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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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