Friday, October 3, 2014

World Architecture Festival Entries: Big, Small, Shiny, and Otherwise

(From Wingårdh Arkitektkontor AB, via CNN, used w/o permission.)
("Until Aula Medica was built, there was no large auditorium at the Karolinska Institutet (a medical university in Solna, Sweden). The building houses a 1,000-seat auditorium and other facilities.
"Category: Higher education and research
"Architects: Wingårdh Arkitektkontor AB (Sweden)")

"In Pictures: Spectacular buildings from Singapore's World Architecture Festival"
Maggie Hiufu Wong, CNN (September 28, 2014)

"Zaha Hadid's spaceship-like Dongdaemun Design Plaza, an avant-garde new home for Singapore's oldest Buddhist Temple, and a private bunker sprawling on top of a lake are some of the shortlisted entries competing for architectural honors at the World Architecture Festival in Singapore this week.

"Now it its seventh year, the event is the world's biggest celebration of building design.

"Hundreds of firms from more than 50 countries will be presenting and competing across 27 categories (Hotel and Leisure, Education and Display, others) in the three-day event...."

Some of the entries, like that Swedish auditorium, are shiny. Others, not so much.

(From Aedas, via CNN, used w/o permission.)
("The Administration Information Building is part of a joint international university founded by Xi'an Jiaotong University and Liverpool University. It's in Suzhou Industrial Park in China.
"Category: Higher education and research
"Architects: Aedas (Hong Kong, China)")

They're not all huge, or trying to look huge, either.

(From a21studio, via CNN, used w/o permission.)
("Vietnamese coffee shop Salvaged Ring is built from a collection of scrap wood stockpiled over the years by the owner, who is also a carpenter.
"Category: Small projects
"Architects: a21studio (Vietnam)")

Xi'an Jiaotong University and Liverpool University's Administration Information Building looks cool, and it's a good-sized structure: but it's not as big as those horizontal elements at the corners imply.

It's easy for an observer to see those alternating light and dark lines as rows of windows: which would make the building something like a hundred stories tall. Look at the windows at the center of each side, and the scale changes a bit.

It's a nifty optical illusion, in the Lemming's opinion: sort of like the strong vertical elements in Victorian mansions that made them look taller.

The entry shown in Maggie Hiufu Wong's article that particularly caught the Lemmings eye was the Salvaged Ring coffee shop. It's good to see someone making good use of "scrap" lumber. Long before "sustainable" design — real or imagined concern over resource management — became fashionable, folks were re-using wood, brick, or just about anything else that was lying around. And that's another topic.

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