The following are B/D’s picks for today’s awesome architecture. Sometimes it seems architects don’t get enough recognition for their work as artists, but they are truly masters of sculpture and design (and not only that… they know calculus). Read on to drool over the art works that you (wish you could) live in.
Studio Daniel Libeskind: 18.36.54
This Connecticut home was designed as a spiraling ribbon that folds around itself to create a space that flowed, without clear distinction between its inside and outside. The irregular windows frame dramatic views while widening the space inside the home.
J. Mayer H.: Danfoss Universe
Built for an interactive science museum, this carved slab mirrors the park’s creative approach to the sciences. It’s peaked and curved roof and sides project forcefully from the ground in perfect balance, still abiding by the laws of physics.
McBride Charles Ryan: Klein Bottle House
The Klein Bottle vacation house is modeled after the three dimensional mathematical model that has no discernible inner and outer surfaces, (it’s a bottle in which the neck curves to pass back through the side and into the bottom). To us non-math whizzes, it can be looked at as a play on space, perception, and the idea of a house as a shelter.
HHF Architects: Ruta del Peregrino
This structure serves as a service station and a lookout point along the route Ruta del Peregrino, a pilgrimage path that begins in Ameca and travels to Talpa de Allende in Mexico. Its designers hoped to invoke spirituality with its sweeping arches; to me it looks like part of a jellyfish, (or maybe the bottom half of the Pacman ghosts).
Robert Bruno: Steel House
In hoping to “think outside the box”, Robert Bruno created a sort of space pod on this lake-view terrace. The both the inside and the outside are thoroughly modern in shape, but their deep mahogany wooden colors give it a Craftsman appeal, like Greene and Greene met surrealism.
Herzog & de Meuron: Vitra Haus
Vitra Haus is actually a complex of several houses (like an apartment complex, but with more community), elongated and stacked on top of and through each other. The individual homes are simple in their design, no more than a pentagonal log really, but their arrangement is visually stunning, as are their massive floor-to-ceiling windows.
Robert Harvey Oshatz: Wilkinson House
The Wilkinson’s modern tree-house is built on a slope so that the main portion of the house rests in a canopy. One of the client’s biggest inspirations was music, which Oshatz gracefully orchestrated with flowing indoor to outdoor spaces, circular entryways, and curved natural wood walls and ceilings.
dRMM: Sliding House
Client Ross Russell requested that the design for his house be nothing less than radical, and per his request, dRMM Architects made him a modern barn, with completely retractable outer roof and walls. The larch skin can be pulled back to reveal the inner glass house during warm nights, revealing to its occupants 360 degree views of the rolling countryside. In addition the out most layer of the house allows for the inside to be warmed and cooled on a whim, racking up savings on the electric bill.
Heatherwick Studio: UK Pavillion
Heatherwick Studios designed the UK Pavilion, also known as the Seed Cathedral, for the Shanghai Expo this year. Its fuzzy exterior is actually created through embedding clear acrylic rods in the walls of the building, allowing light to enter from all sides through the glowing tips of these over-sized optical strands. In the tip of each rod are seeds from the Royal Botanical Gardens seed bank.
Coop-Himmelb(l)au: Pavilion 21 Mini Opera Space
The Pavilion 21 was created to be a temporary and mobile performance space for the Bavarian State Opera. Its aluminum spikes were created not only to add space to the interior, (and make it look super cool), but also to deflect unwanted exterior noise, so all it’s 300 occupants will be able to hear are the magnified voices of the singers.