Rockaway Beach Residence by Eerkes Architects

Facing east towards the iconic skyline of Seattle, this refined and sophisticated beach house occupies a double waterfront lot on Bainbridge Island’s Rockaway Beach. Views capture the life of the Salish Sea—ships, ferries, and sailboats—a kaleidoscope of twinkling lights and colors

The Deck
Image © Notion Workshop

It’s on an outcropping of rocks, so there are near views, far views, ferries, and orcas,” says Les Eerkes, AIA. “There are views of Seattle, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, and the rest of the Cascades. And there are magical sunrises. It’s 80% rocks, gravel, barnacles, and seaweed, and our tides change about 12 feet a day,” he adds.

Pool
Image © Notion Workshop

Configured as an L-shaped volume, the 6,000-square-foot home is pushed to the lot’s northern edge. Window walls showcase water and forest views from all key rooms, as well as opening to both the protected courtyard pool. A two-story main living area is positioned between the courtyard and waterfront. Glass walls create a transparent threshold from the courtyard to the water. The primary bedroom, located on a second level, reaches out to the view with a dramatic cantilever that also shelters outdoor space below.

  • Architects: Eerkes Architects
  • Area:  6,000 sq.ft.
  • Year:  2022
  • Photographs:  
  • City:  Bainbridge Island, Washington
  • Country:  United States
  • Project Credits:
    Eerkes Architects Team

    Les Eerkes, Principal Architect; Lauren Rist, Project Manager

    Project Consultant Team
    Eerkes Architects (architecture); Allworth Design (landscape architecture); Quantum Consulting Engineers (structural engineering); Toth Construction (general contractor)

    Project Consultant Team
    Eerkes Architects (architecture); Allworth Design (landscape architecture); Quantum Consulting Engineers (structural engineering); Toth Construction (general contractor)

    Renderings by Notion Workshop

    Ernst-Reuter-Platz 6, Revitalisation, addition of storeys, partial new construction in Berlin

    The high-rise office building at Ernst-Reuter-Platz 6 in Berlin-Charlottenburg was built between 1973 and 1974 to a design by the architect Bernhard Binder as a new steel skeleton building for the main post office.

    Ernst-Reuter-Platz 6, Revitalisation, addition of storeys, partial new construction in Berlin
    Photograph © Klemens Renner

    Together with the other buildings on Ernst-Reuter-Platz, which is a busy traffic junction, this sculptural, cubic building is part of a listed urban ensemble that is important for Berlin’s cityscape; it is not, however, itself classified as a listed building. This meant that it could theoretically have been entirely remodelled. The architects, however, made a conscious decision to preserve the architectural language of the 1970s which is so important for Berlin, especially at this location.

    The reconstruction project involved complete structural and technical gutting of the existing building, as well as thorough remediation of the contaminated façade and the deconstruction of a two-storey extension in the courtyard.

    Ernst-Reuter-Platz 6, Revitalisation, addition of storeys, partial new construction in Berlin
    Photograph © Klemens Renner

    Advantage was taken of the planning law and structural possibilities so as to extend the building by one storey. The roof terraces resulting from the cubic staggering of the building structure will be used as outdoor space. Partly planted with dense vegetation, they will also contribute to rainwater retention.

    Due to contamination, the façade had to be completely replaced. The new design closely follows the design of the existing building. The building's structure continues to be characterised primarily by cubic, nested projections, and secondarily by minimally raised bands of windows in dark colours alternating with flat bands of wall.

    Ernst-Reuter-Platz 6, Revitalisation, addition of storeys, partial new construction in Berlin
    Photograph © Klemens Renner

    Following revitalisation, the building offers structurally and technically innovative rental spaces which will meet future users’ requirements, especially with respect to accessibility, building biology, and sound insulation.

    However, it was not just structural sustainability that was central for the architects; continuity of design was equally important. Of precise and clear design, the building can now once again take up its important urban role in the ensemble on Ernst-Reuter-Platz. Together with the former Telefunken high-rise opposite to the north, it forms the prelude to the westward thrust of Bismarckstrasse.

    Ernst-Reuter-Platz 6 | Project Details

  • Architects: Tchoban Voss Architekten
  • Area:  31,140 sq.m.
  • Year:  2022
  • Photographs:  Klemens Renner | Lev Chestakov
  • City:  3B-Berliner Baubetreuungsgesellschaft GmbH, Berlin
  • Country:  Germany
  • Credits:
    Architect: Sergei Tchoban
    Project partner: Philipp Bauer
    Project leader: Philipp Bauer, Kenan Ozan
    Team: Kenan Ozan, Birgit Koeder, Katharina Stranz, Hanna Bulavana, Azzurra Pippia, Dorota Baraniecka, Valeria Kashirina, René Hoch
    General planning: das projekt Generalplanung GmbH, Berlin
    Project management: das projekt Projektmanagement, Consulting & Service GmbH, Berlin
    General contractor: hagenauer GmbH, Immenstadt
    Structural engineering: Weiske und Partner GmbH, Beratende Ingenieure VBI, Berlin
    Building equipment: DELTA-i Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH, Berlin
    Façade: Metallbau Windeck GmbH, Kloster Lehnin district Rietz
    Fire protection: Krebs + Kiefer Ingenieure GmbH, Berlin
    Elimination of pollutans: SVB Sachverstaendigenbuero DR. Sedat, Berlin; SSR Schadstoffsanierung Rostock GmbH, Berlin
    Landscaping: Kretschmer Tauscher Landschaftsarchitekten Partnergesellschaft mbB, Berlin

    Victorian Pride Center - The VPC is the first purpose-built centre for Australia's LGBTIQ+ communities

    In 2017, a national survey in favour of marriage equality lead to the Australian parliament passing the bill to legalize same-sex marriage, a milestone in the struggle for equality of the LGBTQI+ community. The same year, the Victorian Price Centre(VPC), a not-for-profit organisation, received funding from the Victorian Government for Australia’s first purpose built LGBTQI+ centre and subsequently held an open architectural competition for the design of the centre in Fitzroy Street, St Kilda. In January 2018 BAU and GAA were selected winners of the design competition.

    The Victorian Pride Centre
    Photograph © John Gollings

    The VPC houses numerous resident organisations and welcomes dozens of groups for meetings, events, and projects. The building provides a public working hub, health and welfare centres, bookshop, theatrette, archives, roof terrace, and a gallery. Planned for 2022 are a café, rooftop events pavilion and community garden.

    The Victorian Pride Centre
    Photograph © John Gollings

    Augmenting the client’s excellent brief, BAU and GAA carried out workshops with user groups and the local indigenous community.  Consequent ambitions for the architecture included the creation of a profoundly welcoming and safe place; a significant landmark of Australia’s cultural progress; and flexible workshop spaces for driving campaigns of equity, liberty and inclusivity further. Spirit of place and notions of becoming provided the conceptual frameworks for the design.

    St Kilda’s queer history unites many LGBTQI+ communities. Learning from St Kilda, the VPC includes and then abstracts cultural traditions of the exotic, the exuberant, the surreal, and the in-between. The Fitzroy Street strip, the beach, the baths, Luna Park, Catani arch, Esplanade vaults, dance halls, and other histories, all inform this process.

    The Victorian Pride Centre
    Photograph © John Gollings

    A series of conceptual tubes emerge as an abstract armature that maximise the urban envelope; provide relevant and significant architectural forms and spaces; and generates an overarching order. Most importantly, these conceptual tubes are then acted upon by extraction of the specifics of the brief; the more the internal program disrupts the tubes, the more the forms and spaces of a coexistence emerge. These emergent and surprising outcomes embrace difference, diversity, and inclusion. The resultant sense of a constant becoming, of a work in-progress, embodies the ongoing struggle toward equity, freedom and fellowship.

    The Victorian Pride Centre
    Photograph © John Gollings

    The VPC aims to see beyond conventional uses and spaces, to challenge norms and hierarchies, to create a flexible and evolving program. Circulation radiates from the atrium, which provides legibility, natural light, a performance stage, an informal amphitheatre, and a dynamic focus at the heart of the building.

    The Victorian Pride Centre
    Photograph © John Gollings

    Structural and non-structural fabric is clearly articulated, explaining what is permanent and what is easily changed. The interiors combine raw structural concrete and exposed services with warm materiality including timber, coloured ceramics and velvet curtains. These coexistences further the notion of an aestheticsof inclusion.

    Smaller tenancies in the building resemble laneway shopfronts. A sacrificial timber framework integrated within these shop fronts along with hanging rails and track lighting above walls enable tenants to adapt and experiment with the spaces, enabling the emergence of an authentic self-expression.

    The Victorian Pride Centre | Project Details

  • Architects: BAU Brearley Architects+Urbanists | Grant Amon Architects
  • Area:  6,200 sq.m.
  • Year:  2022
  • Photographs:  John Gollings
  • City:   77-81 Fitzroy St, St Kilda, Melbourne
  • Country:  Australia
  • Credits:
    BAU Project Team Competition: James Brearley, Steve Whitford, Jens Eberhardt (Partner in Charge), Fonarri Chen, Charles Hu
    BAU Project Team Documentation: James Brearley, Steve Whitford, Jens Eberhardt (Partner in Charge), Fonarri Chen, Prague Unger, Adrain Coleiro, Manny Houdek, Tammy Li
    GAA Project Team Competition: Grant Amon; Stephen Herbst; Estelle Peters; Karen McMull
    GAA Project Team Documentation: Grant Amon; Stephen Herbst; Tony Trajikoski; Yiyang Xu; Bruno Rabl; Junbo Qu; Roberta Caione; Millicent Baddeley

    Local Council: City of Port Phillip
    Town Planner: SJB Planning
    Project Management: Case Meallin / Bates & Co
    Quantity Surveyor: Slattery
    Structural Engineer, Mechanical Engineer, Hydraulic Engineer, Electrical Engineer, Facade Engineer, Traffic Engineer, Fire Services, Fire Engineer: WSP
    Acoustic Engineer: Resonate
    ESD Consultant: Hip v. Hype
    Building Surveyor: Checkpoint Building Surveyors
    Landscape Architect: BAU Brearley Architects+Urbanists, Thompson Berril Landscape Design
    Contractor: Hansen Yuncken
    Lighting Consultant: Schuler Shook
    Structural Concept Engineer: Peter Felicetti
    Suppliers: Shape Shell - atrium pre-cast shell, Auscast Constructions - pre-cast  concrete facades, Fade Australia - acoustic plaster.

    Bořislavka Centre by AFARCH

    The building site is located directly over a metro station, right next to one of the city’s major radial roads, Evropská, which connects the city centre to the airport. The site has an elevation difference ranging from 7 up to 14 meters and is immediately surrounded by heterogeneous development, with a neighbourhood of family villas followed by mid-rise apartment buildings and even a socialist housing estate further away.

    In 2012, conscious of the significance and complicated character of the site, the KKCG REG investment company held an international architecture workshop to find a suitable solution for its development. The main challenge posed by the workshop was the inadequacy of a sizable vacant plot, close to tram and metro stations, with a prominent place in the Prague panorama and views to the Prague Castle.

    Bořislavka Centre by AFARCH
    Photograph © BoysPlayNice

    Vision for the Site / Vibrant Urban Environment

    A tight functional linkage between architecture and public space, serving both local citizens and visitors, was envisioned by the client. A complex, unique and respectful solution was required. The design had to be confident and conscious of the urban context at the same time, responsive to the surrounding development. Public space improvement, pedestrian access routes, urban design and landscaping were all emphasized as main aspects of a successful solution. A requirement for sustainable building operation went hand in hand with the A-rated office space requirement.

    Bořislavka Centre by AFARCH
    Photograph © BoysPlayNice

    The main assignment of the architecture workshop was to take advantage of the existing topography – and to do so in such a way that a small local shopping centre (approx. 9,000 m2) is created in the underground part of the project (on Kladenská street level) and then several (minimum three) individual volumes are added on top of this platform, providing office space (approx. 26,000 m2).

    “Our entrepreneurial vision doesn’t end with good investments, we want to consider our projects from a much broader, and above all, a long term perspective.” (Petr Pujman, CEO, KKCG Real Estate Group)

    Bořislavka Centre by AFARCH
    Photograph © BoysPlayNice

    Significant urban development was happening all along the Evropská street during the 20th century. Company headquarters and other imposing buildings were being erected here. Unfortunately, most of these only strengthened the streetscape character, but did nothing for the residential development further beyond the street.

    “What we considered the greatest strength of the design brief was the ambition to reach out and help improve the neighbouring areas.” (Aulík Fišer architekti)

    For both the developer and the architect it became a common goal to provide local residents with a vibrant urban complex offering amenities, cafés, restaurants and shops – in the form of a refined public space.

    “Besides the office and business functions of the complex, our main goal was to supplement public services and amenities in the catchment area, and improve access to the metro station.” (Petr Pujman, CEO, KKCG Real Estate Group)

    Bořislavka Centre by AFARCH
    Photograph © BoysPlayNice

    Architecture Corresponding with the Site / Fractal Self-Similarity Principle

    “While studying available historical maps, we realized the irregular shape of the building site, resembling an elongated triangle, is actually a record of old roads leading to the Prague Castle. Their acute angle makes sense due to different elevations. We used the existing geometry, developed it further, and reopened passage through the site. Then we subdivided the site into self-similar fractal segments.” (Aulík Fišer architekti)

    The four individual volumes of the building are shaped according to the fractal self-similarity principle and derived from existing site geometry. This approach generated a responsive building shape changing with the character and elevation of the perimeter streets, while still meeting the demands of the office space typology. The irregular shapes of the volumes are not arbitrary external design features, in fact they match closely the interior layout and the building function. Each of the four volumes is similar to the other ones, and all are bound together in one composition. Carefully assembled from the irregular “crystals”, the form of the permeable city block emerges.

    Bořislavka Centre by AFARCH
    Photograph © BoysPlayNice

    Permeability and Connectivity

    “We drew on our ongoing research of new urban fabric types for the contemporary city. Our goal is to reinvent the traditional city block so that it would evoke the same quality of public space as the historical centre, but would meet our current requirements for indoor environmental quality and allow individual architectural expression at the same time.” (Aulík Fišer architekti)

    The scope of the design went beyond just individual buildings’ aesthetics and rational floor layout – the space around and in between buildings was equally important. The four crystalline volumes stand on a low two-story plinth. The purpose of the plinth is to address the different elevations of neighbouring streets. Narrow alleys and small open spaces are formed between the crystals, reminiscent of the public spaces typical for compact historical city centres.

    Bořislavka Centre by AFARCH
    Photograph © BoysPlayNice

    The design also introduces a small “piazzetta”, located at the site of a similar pre-existing historical square. “Compared to many large-scale, low-activity public open spaces built since the second half of the 20th century, small city squares usually have a much better feeling.” (Aulík Fišer architekti)

    The piazzetta also provides barrier-free access to the whole building complex and the metro station vestibule. A Federico Díaz sculpture underscores the place’s significance. For both the interior and the exterior, the scope of possible movement through the complex could be likened to that of an anthill.

    Bořislavka Centre by AFARCH
    Photograph © BoysPlayNice

    Glazed Façade – Expressing the Block Composition

    The technologically complicated, fully-glazed curtain wall system represented the best option for formally expressing the block composition – it was not an end in itself, nor was it meant to demonstrate the sovereignty of the office typology.

    Sufficient accuracy of the crystalline shapes could only be achieved with a structural glass façade. Specifying the light transmission characteristics for the glass used for the project made it possible for the outside observer to take in the complex geometry of the buildings, while avoiding, to a large extent, any strong reflections or sun glare, undesirable in the given urban context. The final design strikes a delicate balance between the technical solution and the emphasis on natural daylighting, even for workspaces located deeper into the plan.

    Bořislavka Centre by AFARCH
    Photograph © BoysPlayNice

    The solid and more traditional formal expression of the two-story plinth helps to integrate the building with the surrounding urban context of the Kladenská street. At the street level, solid walls of light stone cladding are punctuated by large display windows.

    The more regular, vertical parts of the glass curtain wall use a prefabricated modular façade, while the more complicated, angular and three-dimensional parts use a stick system façade. During the project development, full scale 3D printed models were made to test some of the most complex structural elements. An extraordinary part of the building envelope features a glass ceiling stretching between buildings I a II. The three-dimensional steel load-bearing structure includes a service cavity for peripheral wiring at the steel profile bottom flange.

    Public Space and Vegetation / Balancing Built-Up Surfaces and Green Spaces

    For the most part, new public spaces receive ample daylight and are sufficiently shielded from the noise of the Evropská radial road. Individual buildings – crystals – are set into stepped green gardens, their entrance lobbies and courts filled with lush vegetation, with creepers growing up through the buildings. An experimental form of indoor vegetation, quite unlike the typical green wall, was designed for this project. Several large, three-dimensional structures from rough-hewn wooden posts were erected to carry epiphytic plants. Following that, an open green park with grown trees was designed in the eastern part of the site, balancing the built-up surfaces and the green spaces.

    Bořislavka Centre by AFARCH
    Photograph © BoysPlayNice

    “A more significant use of greenery would, in the case of Bořislavka, go against the architects’ vision. Individual volumes symbolize crystals and crystals tend to be clean. In the Bořislavka project, the scale of the greenery is in a harmonic relationship with the overall design. The “Epifyt” (Epiphyte) forms the focal point, arrived at after a thorough search for a unique way of utilizing interior plants. The singularity of this solution is in the form of the installation itself, but also in its close connection to architecture. It is not just vegetation, but an artwork that is alive and changeable.”(Zdeněk Sendler, landscape architect)

    Integrating Art in the Architectural Program

    From the beginning, the architects of the Bořislavka Centre envisioned several unique artistic interventions as integral parts of the design concept. For their realisation, two possible stages in the project development were considered.

    First group of artworks would be finished at the time of the building’s completion and installed at predetermined locations (in the piazzetta, in front of the main entrance, or in specific interior positions).

    The artworks were always understood to freely express the artists’ vision, the only thing the architects specified was their location. There was no brief asking for a common theme or a starting point for the intended artworks, and no indication as to how they should be integrated or juxtaposed to the architecture of the building.

    Bořislavka Centre by AFARCH
    Photograph © BoysPlayNice

    “Since the design and development of these artworks preceded the completion of the building and the surrounding public space, in consultations with the artists, a certain timeless quality was preferred to contemporary social commentary. The long-term effects these artworks would have on individual public spaces had to be taken into consideration, too.” (Petr Pujman, CEO, KKCG Real Estate Group)

    However, all the sculptures in the first group (Aerial by Federico Díaz, Ledovec (The Iceberg) by Maxim Velčovský, Planeta (The Planet) by the architects of the Centre Jan Aulík, Leoš Horák, David Zalabák and the sculptor Pavel Filip, and Proudění (The Flow) by Jan Poupě) were finally conceived as closely relating to basic natural principles, thus manifesting an unintentional, but all the more remarkable synergy between the artists and the environment they entered, and the artists among themselves.

    Bořislavka Centre by AFARCH
    Photograph © BoysPlayNice

    “I was tasked with designing a piece for the main lobby, serving as an entrance hall to one of the crystals. The several hundred square meters space posed a great challenge, when striving to create an artwork that would become an integral part of the building and its architecture. In fact it was a piece of gesamtkunstwerk, which means the connection of all artistic and design disciplines in such a way that the entire building works in harmony. Working with the whole and having to constantly consult other professionals on the project was a very interesting and important design process.” (Maxim Velčovský, Art director, Lasvit)

    A second group of art interventions will continue to be commissioned and installed in the public open space after the building’s completion. The interventions will be selected and positioned contextually with the existing artworks from the first group, reacting to existing spatial relationships. Both long-term installations, co-existing in the given space, and short-term installations or exhibitions are acceptable, opening the doors for current art pieces as well.

    Indoor Environment – Office Space

    Contemporary office interiors are inevitably filled with unified products, for a comfortable everyday use it is therefore very important to supplement them with individual, custom-made, and craftsmanship solutions. The individual and the unified elements work together in a strong, natural and balanced composition. Colors and textures of raw substances and natural building materials also serve as important interior design tools.

    Bořislavka Centre by AFARCH
    Photograph © BoysPlayNice

    Sustainability

    For its rainwater management solution, extensive green roofs and the building energy management system (energy recovery from elevators, heat exchanger), among other things, the building complex has been awarded the internationally recognized LEED Gold environmental certificate.

    Bořislavka Centre | Project Details

  • Architects: AFARCH
  • Area:  10,780 sq.m.
  • Year:  2021
  • Photographs:  BoysPlayNice
  • City:  Prague
  • Country:  Czech Republic
  • Credits:
    Co-author: Jakub Fišer, Jakub Hemzal, Gabriela Králová, David Zalabák, Alena Sedláková, Petra Coufal Skalická, Eva Mašková, Jan Dluhoš
    Design Team: Ondřej Černý, Petra Měrková, Oleksandr Nebozhenko, Vojtěch Štamberg, Kristýna Zámostná
    Client: KKCG Real Estate Group
    Landscape Architecture: Zdeněk Sendler Matouš Hydroponie

    Paradise Walk Jiangchen by CLOU architects

    With the nearby Yangtze as the key inspiration for the building and its inner workings, Paradise Walk Wuhan Jiangchen evolves around river-themed interior spaces that distinctively enrich the retail experience and social encounter in a notion of water and movement. Centrally located in Wuhan’s CBDs on top of a multi-line transport node, the mall takes on multi-level TOD characteristics, to discharge, channel, host, and gather large visitor volumes within its V-shaped footprint.

    Paradise Walk Jiangchen by CLOU architects
    Photograph © Arch-Exist

    As one of Central China’s flagship malls, Paradise Walk Wuhan Jiangchen sets new standards for large-scale urban retail in conjunction with mixed-use and TOD components: Its site straddles Wuhan’s Central Business District and Financial Street Business District on top of Fanhu Station, served by 2 metro and 25 bus lines.

    This transit base induces a dichotomy in the functional setup of the retail floors: its hub character strives to swiftly accept, channel, and distribute large passenger volumes vertically into the business zones, while the retail aims at attracting and retaining visitors to dispense them horizontally into its multiform commercial environment.

    Paradise Walk Jiangchen by CLOU architects
    Photograph © Arch-Exist

    On a triangular plot topped by two office towers, the 110,000 sqm mall’s two wings converge towards the apex of the site, informing the placement of key spaces, their hierarchical order, and their distinct shape.

    Reflecting Wuhan’s strong river bond, three key interior zones take up water themes, articulating them in spatial layout and material choice, to consequently evoke an emotional reaction in visitors:

    The Source stands as the origin of water as it emerges from the ground. The spherical multi-storey atrium symbolises concentrated power in concentric monochrome patterns that energetically direct movement. The dense ceiling orbits are mirrored in the black-and-white circles of the floor to anchor the space at its base. Mirror accents in the vertical circulation create bright visual effects, with escalators appearing to cascade as they transport people from one level to another. Connecting to the metro hub, the Source is the discharge point of all activities into the development.

    Paradise Walk Jiangchen by CLOU architects
    Photograph © Arch-Exist

    In the opposite wing, the Gorgecreates a very different atmosphere: like a deep ravine, a narrow, elongated atrium extends across several storeys, offering select skyward views. Levels differ in strata-like bending to provide distinct spatial experience with every turn, in an ascending move towards the large skylight. Narrow wood-clad bridges crisscross the void, introducing a natural character that is taken up by the warm tones of the vertical surfaces. 

    The Bridge, the connecting element between the two wings, acts as a spatial and metaphorical hinge: a central zone for encounter and celebration, a communal gathering point, and a vertical and horizontal distributor. Red feature escalators cross a cylindrical void on multiple levels, moving visitors vertically through this pivot point. 

    Paradise Walk Jiangchen by CLOU architects
    Photograph © Arch-Exist

    From here, a linear event space stretches out to culminate in full-width landscaped stairs that lead up to a panoramic window: an elongated cantilever that prominently reaches out into the surrounding cityscape. The bridge narrative continues in the industrial feel of the bright red exposed ceiling structure.

    Throughout the mall, strong colour accents mark spatial importance and activity. Diverse floor and ceiling patterns emphasise different ways of movement: waves and linear stripes create directional dynamics, while circles establish focal points. Clustered circles evoke ‘bubbling’ aesthetics that highlight feature zones. Ancillary and transitional spaces take up the bold patterns together with softer colours and warm textures.

    Paradise Walk Jiangchen by CLOU architects
    Photograph © Arch-Exist

    The interior key zones and their dynamics are reproduced in the approach towards the exterior façade design: 

    The V-shaped massing is bisected by the focal glass protrusion of the Bridge, with the adjacent volumes receding in terraces, a gesture to the park across the intersection. Key functions such as cinema and sports zone are volumetrically expressed in protruding cuboid volumes that mark the building corners, entrance zones, and programmatic highlights.

    In addition, the corners set out the colour identities of their respective adjacent facades, with each side of the triangular footprint represented in an individual colour scheme of gold, red, and blue. The strong hues diffuse in a dynamically pleated façade that adds three-dimensional depth and a clever twofold colour play, allowing for different aspects from every view angle.

    Paradise Walk Jiangchen by CLOU architects
    Photograph © Arch-Exist

    Perforated metal screens feature diverse intensities in corrugation for further articulation and visual layering along the extended sides. This introduces lightness and differentiation to the stacked volumetric, effectively breaking down building mass.

    Advertisement panels and oversized ‘shop windows’ create rhythm and animation, their scale reacting to the respective viewing distance they respond to the urban level, the speed of passing by, and the human scale that eventually attracts and draws individuals into the mall. 

    This multitude of spatial experiences helps create an environment that encourages visitors to return and explore time after time.

    Paradise Walk Wuhan Jiangchen | Project Details

  • Architects: CLOU architects
  • Area:  370,000 sq.m. (Retail: 138,711 sq.m.)
  • Year:  2022
  • Photographs:  Arch-Exist
  • City:  Qingnian Rd, Wuhan
  • Country:  China
  • Credits:
    Client: Gezhouba, Longfor
    Design Team: Jan Clostermann, Zhi Zhang, Jianyun Wu, Wenlei Ma, Christopher Biggin, Sebastian Loaiza, Jingshuang Zhao, Sara Fontana, Tiago Tavares, Principia Wardhani, Baolin Shen, Nan Zhang, Florencia Carvajal
    Model Maker: Yuelun Yang, Dandan An
    Planning Design & Towers: Tianhua
    LDI: Central-South Architectural Design Institute Co.,Ltd., Shanghai Kangye
    Facade Consultant: Keyuan Facade
    Lighting Consultant: COPA
    Signage Consultant: Trycool

    Villa M Takes Amazon to Paris with Tropical Building

    A naturalistic manifest: this is the definition of Villa M, a mixed-use complex located in Boulevard Pasteur, in the Parisian borough of Montparnasse.

    Villa M Street View
    Villa M Street View | Photograph © Michael Denancé

    “We designed Villa M as a naturalist architectural manifesto: that is, a building of a new era, where man is no longer opposed to nature and the living." - Olivier Raffaëlli and Guillaume Sibaud, Triptyque Architecture, Architects and designers of Villa M.

    "Villa M is a bubbling, honest, and warm place, where life is good and beautiful, and where it is good to live and eat well. Throughout the restaurant and the bar, fertile surprises, hidden places, and mental games arouse curiosity and guide the gaze of visitors, reminding them that intelligence is one of the most beautiful symptoms of humanity."- Philippe Starck, Architectural Design and Art director of the spaces of Villa M.

    Villa M - top view
    Villa M - top view

    The program, imagined by Thierry Lorente and Amanda Lehmann of Groupe Pasteur Mutualité, is a mixed use building including a Hotel by Paris Society, a coworking, and a dynamic healthcare-focused center.

    "We could not conceive a building dedicated to health and mutualism without including a notion of hospitality, welcome, hotel business. Mutualism implies sharing." - Thierry Lorente,  Villa M Concept Creator and CEO of Group Pasteur Mutualité.

    "We are guided by the well-being of caregivers, to best serve these professionals who follow a vocation from the start, but who experience difficulties and suffering."-Amanda Lehmann, Villa M Concept Creator and Joint General Director of  Group Pasteur Mutualité.

    Villa M Façade
    Villa M Façade | Photograph © Michael Denancé

    Its architecture stands out with its living building, whose geometry is formed by metallic structure beams, conceived to house medicinal herbal plants, fruit trees, and medium to large sized perennial species.

    Designed as an exoskeleton, the building has a minimalist, light look, composed by prefabricated pieces as in a building game.

    “The edifice itself is the support for this vertical garden, which will grow and occupy the entire façade, turning the building into a vertical, medicinal forest, and becoming the main architecture," explains Olivier Raffaelli, Triptyque partner and architect designer of Villa M.

    In addition to the reintegration of nature to the city through architecture, the living-building contributes with sustainability, since it collaborates with the thermal comfort and, therefore, with the building’s energetic efficiency.

    We have explored all of the available surfaces to potentialize the greenery and to avoid energy and carbon waste," explains Gui Sibaud, Triptyque partner and architect designer of Villa M. The environmental responsibility is also present in the basic and organic material choices, proposing a low-tech architecture.

    Villa M Façade Closeup
    Villa M Façade Closeup | Photograph © Michael Denancé

    Villa M’s design is intended for the architecture to bring nature back to the city, with the main goal to provide citizens with a new urbane experience with the advent of a “nature-city”.

    Breathing, sunbathing, and connecting to nature are vital needs that the urban lifestyle is no longer able to guarantee," states partner Olivier Rafaëlli. “To resist the urban expansion – unsustainable by nature - the city must provide this experience in addition to stimulating the correlation between external and internal spaces in built areas."

    The building’s 8,000 m² occupation program also bring an innovative proposal: being a dedicated space for those who chose to help save lives – but open to everyone. The mixed-use complex holds a hotel, restaurant, bar, conference area, a check-up area, a co-working space, and a showroom for start-ups in the world of health to promote mixing, exchanges, and mutual aid between the different specialties and the different generations of health professionals.

    Villa M, a Paris Society Hotel

    The hotel is designed as an enveloping and relaxing cocoon, with breathtaking views of the City of Light. Its 67 rooms and 6 suites have been designed as green spaces. Some of them have a balcony or terrace to admire the Montparnasse and Invalides districts. And, above all, nestled at the corner of the seventh floor, there is the Pasteur Suite: an exceptional suite with large bay windows, a double green terrace, and a living room open to the capital.

    Villa M suite
    Villa M suite | Photograph © Yann Monel

    In these spaces, guests will find noble and durable materials, organic colors, warm contemporary furniture, the play of mirrors, and eco-responsible products.

    It also features the essentials of a high-end hotel - a boxing and fitness club, and yoga rooms - but also 20 open offices and co-working spaces.

    Good Living, Good Eating

    A unique and timeless place for families and young people to lunch, dine, meet, and mingle around a generous and accessible menu.

    Upon entering, the visitor is plunged into a place of life, energy, and benevolence: an Agora made of wood and concrete, vegetation, a friendly welcome, an open kitchen, all surrounded by a luxuriant terrace with trees. The décor evokes the playful and erudite spirit of the French Riviera, where one forgets time, and where we feel good.

    The vast and luminous restaurant is highlighted by wood, leather, shelves of books, knick-knacks, mismatched furniture that seems to have a history, large armchairs, wide benches covered with cushions, and ludic surprises. A plural and joyful universe, and a signature of the Paris Society places.

    Villa M restaurant
    Villa M restaurant

    The Restaurant

    On the large outdoor terrace, under the shade of the fig trees in summer, five times a week, at nightfall, Villa M becomes one of the most festive places on the Left Bank, with a careful 100% live music program and cocktail menu.

    In spring, weekends incorporate the sign of conviviality! Villa M puts brunch in the spotlight to treat late risers, families, friends, from the neighborhood and the whole of  Paris, in a relaxed and warm atmosphere. The menu features varied brunch specials - pastries, eggs of all kinds, burgers or salads, pancakes - and a kids menu for the youngest. Special mention to the floor dedicated to children with an animator and games!

    Villa M Rooftop
    Villa M Rooftop

    The RoofTop

    On the top floor, the RoofTop, with its incredible view of the Eiffel Tower, the Dôme des Invalides, and the roofs of Paris, remains an unparalleled experience. A suspended oasis is composed of fruit trees and plants, with large wooden armchairs, Canadian gardeners, wicker lamps, and garlands guinguettes installed. One comes there to have a drink during the day and late into the night. Paris is a feast.

    Villa M boxing fitness
    Villa M boxing fitness

    A Health oriented building 

    The health crisis has intensified, and accelerated healthcare challenges already known and geographic and urbanistic issues have started to figure as health issues as well. On the other hand, healthcare has exceeded the hospital walls, spreading around the city and creating a more open relationship between citizens and health professionals.

    Designed before the Covid-19 pandemic, Villa M’s groundbreaking program catalyzes the idea of opening healthcare to the city, and the city to healthcare.

    Villa M | Project Details

  • Architects: Triptyque Architecture
  • Area:  8,000 sq.m.
  • Year:  2021
  • Photographs:  Yann Monel | Michael Denancé
  • City:  Paris
  • Country:  France
  • Credits:
    Architectural design of Villa M:  Olivier Raffaëlli & Guillaume Sibaud - Triptyque Architecture. 
    Architectural Design et Art director of the spaces of the Villa M : Philippe Starck
    Client: Groupe Pasteur Mutualité (Thierry Lorente, General Director of Groupe Pasteur Mutualité e Amanda Lehmann, deputy general director of Groupe Pasteur Mutualité).
    Assistant to the Contracting Authority:
    SCPM Access, Guy Sanoian.
    Landscaping: Coloco, Pablo Giorgef.
    Building Company: Eiffage Construction.

    3101 West Coast Highway by ShubinDonaldson

    Located at Mariner’s Mile in Newport Beach, 3101 West Coast Highway is a renovation and adaptive reuse of a 4-story Cape Cod-style building from the 1980s into a modern articulation of the marine coastal aesthetic. 

    3101 West Coast Highway
    Photograph © Benny Chan

    Situated on a concrete podium 6’ above West Coast Highway, this project creates a modern aesthetic by removing existing embellishments to enhance the clean and timeless geometry of the gabled roofs, all while staying within compliance with the Coastal Commission’s strict reframing constraints. The existing dormers were demolished to create inset terraces providing tenants with fresh air, natural light, and unobstructed bayside views. Removing floor slabs enable double-height spaces while opening-up bayside gable walls with floor-to-ceiling curtain walls create transparency from the street to the bayside. Tenant spaces were also demised in a north/south direction to provide all tenants with bayside views throughout the building. 

    Bayside view before
    Bayside view before | Photograph © Benny Chan
    Bayside view after
    Bayside view after | Photograph © Benny Chan

    The bayside connection was shifted from walking through a parking garage to utilizing a public plaza, encouraging pedestrian traffic along the waterfront. The existing stairs and boat ramp were demolished and replaced with an ADA-accessible ramp that winds around new concrete-stepped planters, creating a meandering circulation that provides a slow and peaceful walk to the public podium. On the podium level, the existing boat storage was converted into a public plaza with planters and custom teak furniture, while outdoor patios off the east façade enhanced the ambiguity between interior/exterior conditions. Following the Mariner’s Mile design framework, which encourages connections to the waterfront as much as possible, a 10’ easement on the bulkhead side and east side of the property allows for public access to the bay. 

    Interior view looking out to the bay
    Interior view looking out to the bay | Photograph © Benny Chan

    Elevated by the rejection of typically provided bulky trim pieces, the project’s standing seam panels use custom break metal details throughout the project to create clean corner conditions. Exposed steel connections at the top of the columns emphasize the appearance of the horizontal channels floating above, while existing interior framing elements are exposed and sandblasted to provide a warm yet minimal space. The building’s juxtaposition of transparent and opaque surfaces creates tonal shifts and spatial depth throughout the façade. As the sun rises, standing seam metal panels glow with metallic luster while interspersed high-performance glazing reflects the sunset’s gradations. 

    3101 West Coast Highway
    Photograph © Benny Chan

    The building’s sense of transparency is enhanced by the cable rails installed by local sailors, which provide physical safety without compromising the bay’s vistas. Other local marine elements include the main entry canopy, reminiscent of an inverted boat hull built by a local builder using marine-grade ply covered in resin. In addition, Ipe trellis columns and canvas covering materials draw inspiration from nautical masts and booms.

    3101 West Coast Highway | Project Details

  • Architects: ShubinDonaldson
  • Area:  36,000 sq.ft.
  • Year:  2022
  • Photographs:  Benny Chan
  • City:  Newport Beach, California
  • Country:  United States
  • Credits:
    General Contractors: Slater Builders
    Lighting Consultant: Oculus Light Studio
    Landscape Architect: Terremoto
    Structural Engineer: KPFF
    Civil Engineer: Joseph C. Truxaw and Associates Inc.
    MEP Engineer: AMA Group

    Îlot Balmoral Energizes Montreal’s Creative Economy as a New Addition to Downtown Skyline

    The Îlot Balmoral, a 13-storey mixed-use office building commissioned by the Société d’Habitation de Montréal (SHDM), rises as a testimony to Montréal’s creative economy. One of the final major developmental pieces of the ‘Quartier des Spectacles’ in downtown Montréal, the impressive structure sits adjacent to Place des Festivals, and is the new home of the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and UQAC’s École des arts numériques, de l'animation et du design (NAD School).

    Îlot Balmoral Energizes Montreal’s Creative Economy as a New Addition to Downtown Skyline
    Photograph © Stéphane Brügger

    “We proposed four visions of what an office building specifically designed for a cultural economy could look like, and Îlot Balmoral was selected to echo the very vibrant, dynamic nature of the district,” explains architect Claude Provencher, founding partner at Provencher_Roy. “The Quartier des Spectacles is a cultural centre of activity that is now almost complete in its revitalization and transformation of the urban fabric surrounding Place des Arts.

    An architectural symbol of creativity

    On the surface, Îlot Balmoral is a highly dynamic structure rising up from the urban fabric. The almost perfect cube is very clean and slick, and is wrapped in exterior glass that was carefully selected for its white frit pattern and translucent panels. The smooth and seamless exterior positions the façade as a potential giant screen against which projections of Quartier des Spectacles initiatives can be presented. Subtle and dynamic tonality provides a sense of mass and substance to the structure, and the glass façade provides an enormous infusion of light into the building. The frit pattern also serves to control thermal heat gain inside of the building, which meets the firm’s LEED Gold sustainability objectives.

    Îlot Balmoral Energizes Montreal’s Creative Economy as a New Addition to Downtown Skyline
    Photograph © Stéphane Brügger

    The exterior façade’s infusion of light dynamically highlights a large internal atrium, carved diagonally through the centre of the building to create two volumes. The firm oriented the cut based on the site’s previously existing pedestrian flow, moving diagonally between the Place des Arts Metro station and Place des Festivals. To delineate the cut, and to make the building’s mark on the skyline, a bright red external fold contrasts against the clean glass exterior. The colour was chosen as an echo of the cultural branding materials of the Quartier des Spectacles, and serves to distinguish Îlot Balmoral from the functions of more traditional office towers in the district.

    Îlot Balmoral Energizes Montreal’s Creative Economy as a New Addition to Downtown Skyline
    Photograph © Stéphane Brügger

    Anchoring the creative economy

    As a nod to Îlot Balmoral’s importance to Montreal’s creative scene, the National Film Board of Canada signed on as the building’s core tenant. Celebrating 50 years of film excellence, the Canadian institution was looking to modernize and transform their facilities, and the move included the reinstallation of the iconic NFB logo in the new lobby, which is a symbol of Canadian design history.

    The NFB signing was proof of concept for us that architecture can redeploy and reprogram how neighbourhoods are defined, not only on a visual or physical level, but also in its role as a centre of cohabitation,” says Provencher. “Several other cultural organizations have since signed leases, and Îlot Balmoral is becoming the creative hub that we envisioned.

    Without requiring any significant changes to the architecture, Provencher_Roy redesigned four floors of Îlot Balmoral for the NFB in order to accommodate their technical requirements, including editing rooms and the hosting of state-of-the-art equipment. They also built a brightly lit white staircase leading up to the NFB offices, located directly under the red canopy of the building’s main entrance.

    Îlot Balmoral Energizes Montreal’s Creative Economy as a New Addition to Downtown Skyline
    Photograph © Stéphane Brügger

    A beacon of vibrancy

    Provencher_Roy’s inclusive design strategy embraces the vibrancy of the district by drawing in pedestrian flow across the diagonal cut of the building’s sunlit lobby. The atrium establishes the lobby’s unique identity, ascending skyward to the building’s glass ceiling amidst a bright material palette of white and light gray walls, and exposed concrete floors. The palette was chosen to reflect and enhance the energy and dynamism of the lobby, anointed with additional features including exposed columns and a signature brass deck.

    Îlot Balmoral Energizes Montreal’s Creative Economy as a New Addition to Downtown Skyline
    Photograph © Stéphane Brügger

    Above the lobby level, the open atrium is framed by brightly lit offices. Pedestrian bridges on every level connect the building’s two volumes, crossing the atrium and providing spectacular views of the surrounding cityscape, with a backdrop of Montreal’s landmark Mont Royal. The northeastern volume floats one storey higher than the southwestern volume, and the latter hosts a rooftop greenspace with breathtaking city views that is designed for outdoor events.

    It was a particularly interesting experience, driven by our client’s eagerness to achieve something spectacular,” summarizes Claude Provencher. “Beyond the functionality of the individual spaces of the built environment, we believe that Îlot Balmoral captures and incorporates the vibrancy of the district.

    Îlot Balmoral | Project Details

  • Architects: Provencher_Roy
  • Area:  27,850 sq.m.
  • Year:  2019
  • Photographs:  Stéphane Brügger
  • City:  Montreal
  • Country:  Canada
  • Credits:
    Client: Société d'habitation et de développement de Montréal (SHDM)
    Contractor: Construction Management: Groupe TEQ 
    Electromechanics: Dupras Ledoux ingénieurs
    Structure: Nicolet Chartrand Knoll Ltée
    Acoustic: Davidson Legault
    Lighting: CS Design
    Other Collaborators: AECOM / Exim / Go multimédia / Technorm
    Certification: Candidate for Gold LEED-NC Certification

    CORE Construction Headquarters by 5G Studio

    The 3-story building is defined by an exposed steel structure and large external stairway. Its tilt-up concrete is a nod to nearby structures, and the additional use of brick serves as a reference to the origins of the company — founded in 1937 by mason Otto Baum. 

    CORE Construction Headquarters by 5G Studio
    Photograph © 5G Studio

    The building is located near a pond on the 5-acre site, allowing an intimate connection with the park-like atmosphere. Between the water and the headquarters, an outdoor social area, putting green, and basketball court offer engaging recreational spaces amidst the native grasses and trees.

    CORE Construction Headquarters by 5G Studio
    Photograph © 5G Studio

    In addition to construction excellence, the building presents a commitment to sustainability with geothermal mechanical systems and solar panels. A large roof overhang protects large glazed portions that span across the façade from the intensity of the sun while taking advantage of the expansive view over the property. Steel shading devices articulate smaller windows in the adjacent concrete walls and track the change of natural light throughout the day.

    CORE Construction Headquarters by 5G Studio
    Photograph © 5G Studio

    Inside, office spaces line the perimeter of the building, benefiting from the large glazing and the ample natural light that comes into the spaces. Towards the interior, the offices are defined by steel and glass walls, setting up a visual interrelationship with the common spaces at the heart of the building. Glass and steel stairs and a double-height entry lobby establish a physical and visual connection across the three levels of the building.

    CORE Construction Headquarters by 5G Studio
    Photograph © 5G Studio

    With the new headquarters building, CORE solidifies its presence in Texas, and since its completion, the building has been embraced by the construction industry and Frisco community, hosting events for local entities and offering a welcoming meeting place.

    CORE Construction Headquarters | Project Details

  • Architects: 5G Studio
  • Area:  Site: 5 Acres
  • Year:  N/A
  • Photographs:  5G Studio
  • City:  Frisco, Texas
  • Country:  The United States
  • Tegel Quartier by Max Dudler

    Inspired by legendary Berlin department store architecture, Max Dudler has redesigned the facades for the northern part of the Tegel Quartier. With two staggered tower superstructures and the motif of cas- cading facade pilasters, the architecture becomes a new focus of attraction for this revitalized pedestrian zone. The project, commissioned by HGHI Holding GmbH, is part of an undertaking that redefines Gorkis- trasse – set at the heart of Berlin’s Reinickendorf district – as an urban shopping street. The entire project will reach completion this year, including the southern part, also designed by Max Dudler. Circa two thirds of the new shops have already opened. The Rautenbach and Pechtold architecture offices have been com- missioned with the planning and execution of the interiors.

    Tegel Quartier (Northern Sector)
    Photograph © Stefan Müller

    Tegel Quartier Nord is a component of a comprehensive modernization and expansion of the circa 250-meter- long pedestrian zone known as Gorkistrasse, which includes the former Tegel Shopping Center, the former Hertie Department Store, and the Tegel Market Hall, so steeped in tradition. In collaboration with HGHI, the project’s aim was to revitalize this historic pedestrian zone and to reinvest stationary retail in Tegel with new attractiveness. At the same time, such an upgrade of a building from the 1970s represents a prototypical architectural task with regard to ‘sustainability.’ The new Galeria-Kaufhaus in the northern section is reminiscent of the legendary, now defunct facade of the Karstadt Building on Hermannplatz. The northern portion of the Tegel Quartier is configured as an ensemble of separate addresses: this lively, varied architecture, whose details fascinate passersby day and night, is nonetheless traceable to a unified design concept. Here is a genuinely high-quality, durable, and exceedingly memorable architecture.

    Tegel Quartier (Northern Sector)
    Photograph © Stefan Müller
    Tegel Quartier (Northern Sector)
    Photograph © Stefan Müller

    The facade of the northern section – which has received a completely new design – has for the most part been attached to the preexisting architectural substance, and newly constructed only in part. By filling in the triangular ‘residual areas’ along Buddestrasse, the building’s form – which dates from the 1970s – again approximates the urban street alignments of the 19th century. The deep, lively facade relief, with its vertical structure, draws the attention of passersby, functioning as an decelerating element to slow the gait. Two tall, newly-defined highpoints atop the Karstadt Building awakens curiosity and function as attractors. The powerful material and color contrasts of the high-quality, natural stone facade (pale limestone, green granite, gray shell limestone) articulate and rhythmicizes the ensemble optically into smaller sections that allude to historical subdivisions.

    Tegel Quartier (Northern Sector)
    Photograph © Stefan Müller

    The facade design is animated by the tension between the repetition of identical elements and their continually new and surprising application. The eaves heights rise and fall in harmony with neighboring buildings. The various utilizations brought together here – including an office high-rise and a parking garage – remain legible through modulations in the facade motifs which correspond to the respective theme. Along Gorkistrasse, the ground floor zone is opened up by numerous entrances on varied scales. The result is a lively shopping locale with a multitude of attractive offerings. A genuine piece of urban life.

    The cascading design of the natural stone facade, with its staggered elements measuring up to 45 cm in depth, was executed using numerous solid elements, and is arguably unique by virtue of its form and exceptional quality. Vertically, groups of three stone elements were assembled using compression joints, producing a notably homogenous look. Another special feature is the execution of the fixed glass display windows. A (dismountable) frame in natural stone conceals the post-and-beam construction lying behind, leaving glass and stone as the only visible materials.

    Emerging in the Tegel Quartier on altogether 90,000 m² are retail and office spaces. The northern section encompasses circa 45,000 m². Meanwhile, approximately two-thirds of the new businesses in the Tegel Quartier have already opened their doors. The project as a whole should reach completion in 2022.

    Tegel Quartier | Project Details

  • Architects: Max Dudler
  • Area:  44,513 sq.m.
  • Year:  2022
  • Photographs:  Stefan Müller
  • City:  Berlin
  • Country:  Germany
  • Credits:
    Client: Tegel Quartier GmbH
    Project Management: Alexander Bonte, Andreea Porosnicu (deputy PM)
    Team: David Pfister, Miriam Barona, Liliya Lukynchuk
    Architect (inside) LP 1–4: Pechtold Gesellschaft von Architekten mbH, Berlin
    Architect (inside) LP 5–6: Rautenbach Gesellschaft von Architekten mbH, Berlin
    Construction Management: HGHI Baumanagement GmbH, Berlin rdi Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH Berlin
    Structural Engineering: Ingenieurbüro Rüdiger Jockwer GmbH, Berlin
    Housing Technology: Janowski & CO, Berlin / Ingenieurbüro IGET GmbH, Berlin
    Building Physics & Acoustics: Müller-BBM GmbH, Berlin
    Fire Safety Concept: Brandschutz im Kontext, Berlin
    Lighting Concept: Schlotfeldt Licht, Hamburg/Berlin

    Clayton Korte: Design Office, a transformed mid-century Austin office building fostering interdisciplinary collaboration

    Located on North Lamar Boulevard just north of downtown Austin, Clayton Korte’s office embodies the firm’s commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration and to fostering discourse in the design community. Officially named Design Office, the mid-century office space is home to two design practices, Clayton Korte and Word + Carr Design Group, a landscape architecture firm. The open office environment symbolically and physically blurs the line between the creative studios, reinforcing their shared values. In addition to satisfying office space needs, Design Office also provides exhibition space for art, and serves as a design forum, where designers of all disciplines and architects host monthly gatherings.

    Design Office, Texas by Clayton Korte
    Photograph © Casey Dunn

    The 1963, steel-framed, brick-infill building was originally built as a speculative office building. Despite housing a set of dreary, dark offices and needing a lot of work, Clayton Korte jumped at the chance to acquire it, recognizing the untapped potential of the raw spaces. The 10,000-square-foot, two-story structure is set into the hillside abutting one of Austin’s principle thoroughfares. The property slopes the equivalent of one floor from front to back. Unstable soils meant the first order of business was stabilizing the structure. Sixty-five structural piers were drilled to prevent the building from eventually sliding toward Shoal Creek in Pease Park, which sits directly across N. Lamar Boulevard. Rooftop parking for fifteen cars supplements the thirty street level spaces. 

    Design Office, Texas by Clayton Korte
    Photograph © Chloe Hope Gilstrap

    Following stabilization, the interior was gutted, leaving an empty shell into which a minimal set of spaces was introduced. The existing, small perimeter windows were enlarged—doubled in size—to bring more light into the building and to feature treetop views of the adjacent Pease Park. Perimeter interior walls were cleaned, clad in homesite, and topped with industrial felt, transforming virtually every wall into pin-up space to encourage collaborative design exchanges. The few private offices that exist are pulled to the corners, ensuring an open, free-flowing floor plan with ample space between workstations. Low-scale office furniture reinforces the sense of openness.

    Design Office, Texas by Clayton Korte
    Photograph © Casey Dunn
    Design Office, Texas by Clayton Korte
    Photograph © Casey Dunn
    Design Office, Texas by Clayton Korte
    Photograph © Chloe Hope Gilstrap

    The former utilitarian stair connecting the first and second floors was removed. The remaining opening was widened to accommodate a dramatic, wood-wrapped stairway featuring a steel stringer with exposed weld joints and post oak treads. The oil-finished post oak, harvested following a severe drought in 2011, also wraps the stairway. The central open stair anchors the large, light-filled studios on both floors. 

    Design Office, Texas by Clayton Korte
    Photograph © Casey Dunn

    Ceilings and floors remain raw, exposed white ceiling insulation and polished concrete, respectively. Simple, semi-sheer curtains were installed to modulate the bright Texas sun through the now larger windows. Plate steel baseboards continue the minimalist aesthetic while providing durability. Custom steel windows and interior doors were fabricated in-house. Kitchen and support areas are shared by all tenants. A new, glass-and-steel facade replaces the inefficient cladding of the pop-out element above the entry on the front of the building. The exterior brick is lime-washed, a simple durable finish traditionally used in the area.

    Clayton Korte’s Design office | Project Details

  • Architects: Clayton Korte
  • Area:  10,000 sq.ft.
  • Year:  N/A
  • Photographs:  Casey Dunn | Chloe Hope Gilstrap
  • City:  Austin, Texas
  • Country:  The United States
  • TeleHouse Business Center by Schindler Seko Architects

    The TELEHOUSE building is a conversion and extension of a telephone exchange sub-station from the late 1970s. The original building was designed as a pure technological plinth topped with 4 recessed floors mainly for administration. All telecommunication areas are preserved and remained in full operation throughout the construction process. The existing technology is fully integrated into the new architectural and structural concept, creating one fused compact unit – a technological sarcophagus which is embedded inside the new building.

    TeleHouse Business Center by Schindler Seko Architects
    Photograph © Filip Šlapal

    The site was previously organized as an isolated building surrounded by green trenches. The extended footprint and facades are following the urban context by reaching the existing street lines and completing the form of a city block.

    A new public park is carried out along the neighbouring PPF-Gate office building (designed by us in 2009), connected to a piazzetta and arcades covering grand stairs and escalators leading to the elevated main entrance patio (bridging the telecom machine rooms).

    TeleHouse Business Center by Schindler Seko Architects
    Photograph © Filip Šlapal

    The building massing concept consists of three 18 metres wide office fingers oriented in north-south direction and a mutual distance of 12 metres. This grid follows the six-meter modular step of the preserved structures. Two glazed vertical communication cores are placed into the court yards between the fingers, connecting the main entrance hall placed in the middle of the plan.

    TeleHouse Business Center by Schindler Seko Architects
    Photograph © Filip Šlapal

    The new underground parking object in five levels is wrapping the existing structures and cable rooms. The appropriate cornice level of the block allowed six additional floors on top of the existing structure. This limited load bearing capacity, was achieved by using light construction methods - like cavity ceiling panels placed on Peikko steel beams and load-bearing facade walls.

    In memory of the original building we re-installed the statue “Winner” by Olbram Zoubek into the entrance court yard, as wished by the sculptor and the architect of the original building Václav Aulický.

    TeleHouse Business Center | Project Details

  • Architects: Schindler Seko Architects
  • Area:  35, 480 sq.m.
  • Year:  2016-2022
  • Photographs:  Filip Šlapal
  • City:  Prague
  • Country:  Czech Republic
  • Lucio, Office Building by Barbarito Bancel Architectes

    The new economic hub dedicated to information and communication technology, which brings together many local and foreign start-ups. The project site is open and complex, integrates into a plural public space, at various scales. It opens to the “Cour de Bretagne”, the large entry plaza of the new EuraTechnologies economic hub and faces “Le Blan-Lafont”. 

    Lucio, Office Building by Barbarito Bancel Architectes
    Photograph © Alessandra Chemollo

    The “Blan-Lafont”, dominated by its Bell Tower, is the main building of this new urban project. It represents the heritage of the past thread mills of Lille and symbolizes the new economic restructuration. In its core, the project site regains a smaller scale that includes a square in front of the existing brick building. The project consists of an office space of 1 465 m², enclosed in a transparent volume that reveals the depth of the block. Flexible workspaces inside a low-consumption building have been created.

    Lucio, Office Building by Barbarito Bancel Architectes
    Photograph © Alessandra Chemollo

    The four building facades are exposed to the sun most of the day, with no immediate building proximity. This exceptional situation offers a large view to the surrounding landscape and public areas, as well as noticeable illumination throughout the day to the interior spaces. However, this significant solar intake is controlled to comply with the current energy requirements.

    To this end, Barbarito Bancel architects created an original composition of facades, a vertical glass louver facade positioned on a concrete base. This evanescent plane plays with the fragmented reflections of its surrounding, made of brick, concrete and birch, and create deep visual perspectives into the permeable heart of the project site. The vertical orientation of the glass louvers is chosen to protect from the southern sunrays and provide large visual perspectives.

    Lucio, Office Building by Barbarito Bancel Architectes
    Photograph © Alessandra Chemollo

    For the main facades - southwest and northwest - the project outlines the idea of a double skin that naturally creates a transparent and luminous curtain wall while protecting from the sunrays. The secondary southeast and northeast facades are composed of single walls and alternate surfaces of opaque polished aluminium and glass surfaces that follow the overall geometry of the inclined glass sunscreens by prolonging the gradual and increasing change of rhythm of the inclined panels.

    Finally, the volume is completed with a more slender attic reaching to the sky. The main entrance of the building opens to the “Cour de Bretagne” square, the main public space of the district. It fits into the depth of the concrete base and reveals a neat and contemporary entrance lobby, with the use of elegant materials: concrete and wood.

    Lucio, Office Building by Barbarito Bancel Architectes
    Photograph © Alessandra Chemollo

    The building core, which groups together the annex spaces and the distribution of the floors, is rationally positioned to the south to protect the main workspaces from sunrays. The internal layout of the building comprising of prestressed lightened concrete slabs combined with an ingenious cooling-ventilation-heating system, built into the thickness of the structural slab/engineered floor complex, which makes it possible to create a fully modular platform at each level, free of columns and networks, enables the creation of a fully modular platform at each level that is free of columns and network cables. Visual comfort and luminosity are accentuated by the open view, the wide spaces and the grey painted concrete ceiling.

    The final product is a small precious object, similar to a delicate and evanescent set of glass scales, with elegant proportions and shapes. It subtly creates a game of transparency and reflections fragmented with its environment. The aim is also to give new neighborhood a new spirit and to go along with its development.

    Lucio, Office Building | Project Details

  • Architects: Barbarito Bancel Architectes
  • Area:  1,465 sq.m.
  • Year:  2020
  • Photographs:  Alessandra Chemollo
  • City:  Lille
  • Country:  France
  • Henning Larsen’s new Headquarters for KAB Makes a Home for Housing

    Henning Larsen’s latest, a 7,400m2 new headquarters for Copenhagen-based housing association KAB, is a building at a crossroads -literally and metaphorically. Located on the axis of two major streets in Copenhagen, between one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods and one of its newest, the building bridges Danish office culture with home life. 

    With KAB, the challenge was to create something simple out of something complex,” explains Signe Kongebro, Global Design Director and Partner at Henning Larsen. “We were interested in the play between the office and the home – the two places in which we spend the majority of our daily lives – and were interested in how we could infuse the headquarters with the best of both worlds.”  

    Henning Larsen’s new Headquarters for KAB
    Photograph © Laura Stamer

    A Building for the Moment 

    Like many cities across the world, Copenhagen is facing a housing crisis.

    Unlike many cities, however, where a complex web of speculative development and financial interests have shifted the view of housing from a place for living to an opportunity for investment, in Copenhagen the problem is simple: there are not enough places to live. 

    When KAB, was founded in 1920, Copenhagen faced much the same problem it does today. As people flooded to the capital from the countryside, housing simply couldn’t keep pace. Housing associations like KAB were established to develop, build, rent and administrate properties – and to make sure that prices remained fair. Today, KAB manages nearly 64,000 units across Greater Copenhagen, housing approximately 120,000 residents (10% of the city’s population) with a quarter million more registered on waiting lists. 

    The variety of services KAB provides, from the administrative to the development and investment focused to the more social/outreach oriented, would make for a complex assignment in any new headquarters. But the challenge of KAB’s new headquarters runs even deeper – the building is representative of Denmark’s approach to collectivism, welfare, and the home itself. 

    Henning Larsen’s new Headquarters for KAB
    Photograph © Laura Stamer

    A Home for Housing

    The architectural approach to KAB is a deceptively literal one, taking traditional elements of the home – the living room, the stairs, the garden, the kitchen – and applying them to the workplace. Things begin traditionally office-like: The ground level is open and airy, the large reception desk flanked by a plant-filled seating area behind which the office canteen nestles. It is once you make your way up the stairs that the feeling changes. 

    Within the atrium, nearly everything is clad in wood, giving the space a soft, ‘hyggelig’ feeling and adding scent and texture not often associated with the workplace. The slender stairs cut back and forth across the middle of the atrium, alighting on large community kitchens on each floor. 

    "The stairs are a play on the classic stairwell of residential buildings, which is typically the place you meet your neighbor,” explains Troels Dam Madsen, Associate Design Director at Henning Larsen. “In the KAB House, we added layers of visibility, texture, and beauty to what is usually a very practical space.” 

    The western edge of the atrium is a wall of windows, behind which the main meeting rooms – outfitted to resemble rooms in a house – and office are located. This move marks the border between the private workplaces for KAB and the space that is accessible to the public, while also suggesting something a little more subtle. When you peek into the windows of the meeting rooms from the stairs, you are observing a household at work. 

    Henning Larsen’s new Headquarters for KAB
    Photograph © Laura Stamer

    The House at the Crossroads 

    For all the cues inside, the KAB House could hardly be mistaken for a home on the outside. Located in a ‘leftover’ space that is not quite in but rather between several neighborhoods and perched on a multi-layered intersection that sees traffic from cars, buses, bikes, and trains, KAB is located squarely in the center in Copenhagen’s sites for future growth.   

    In response to this medial situation, this house is designed with no front or back, its pentagonal shape opening onto the city on all sides and framing views on to Vesterbro, Sydhavn, Carlsberg, and Valby. The sturdy, red-brick exterior evokes the materiality and pragmatism of the properties it has overseen since the 1930s, with some flair in the bricklaying that is unmistakably contemporary.   

    Henning Larsen’s new Headquarters for KAB
    Photograph © Poul Christensen

    SLA's parkland around the KAB House invites neighbors and passers-by to stop in green surroundings. At the top of the KAB House there is a green roof garden where visitors and employees can take a break and enjoy views of the railway body and Copenhagen towards all corners of the world.

    "With the KAB House, we have designed an urban nature that gives employees, visitors and neighbors in Vesterbro a green and inviting rest break. The landscape draws character from the creative environments of the local area and continues the raw surroundings of the existing railway terrain by creating a robust and identity-creating nature design – from street level to roof garden. In this way, the nature design binds both the KAB House together with the local area, while acting as a 'buffer' against the noise and particle pollution of the track terrain," says Mette Skjold, partner at SLA.

    The building is a gathering place for 44 housing organizations, approx. 120,000 residents and provides the framework for KAB's 400 employees' daily work. KAB moved in in June 2021.

    KAB Headquarters | Project Credits:

  • Architects: Henning Larsen Architects
  • Area:  7,400 sq.m.
  • Year:  2017-2021
  • Photographs:  Laura Stamer, Poul Christensen
  • City:  Enghavevej 81, Copenhagen
  • Country:  Denmark
  • Gudrun Business Apartments by BFA x KLK

    Fifty business apartments and six offices were constructed in a new building on an empty lot in Vienna. The first phase focused on supporting work for the necessary rededication. In further phases, optimal light conditions were achieved by orienting all of the apartments facing South-East. Noise pollution was reduced by the same measure since the orientation towards a more quiet side street acted as natural sound abatement.

    Gudrun Business Apartments
    Photograph © David Schreyer

    Following the client’s brief of modern temporary living spaces, these affordable micro-apartments offer maximized spaciousness and comfort. Each apartment is accessible via an arcade and external staircase and features a balcony. The compact floor plan consists of a generous main corridor, a bedroom area, sanitary facilities, and a living space with a pitched roof oriel and a balcony. Minimizing the results of the adjacent room in a bright and generous living space that meets the dynamic needs of the future residents.

    Gudrun Business Apartments
    Photograph © David Schreyer

    The building's facade is comprised of stacked traditional Viennese Schrebergardens (small, intimate garden communities), expressing a strong character in terms of urban development in a neighborhood characterized by predominantly commercial use.

    Gudrun Business Apartments | Project Details

  • Architects: BFA x KLK
  • Area:  3,900 sq.m. (42,000 sq.ft.)
  • Year:  2021
  • Photographs:  David Schreyer
  • City:  Gudrunstraße 1, 1110 Vienna
  • Country:  Austria