The Serpentine Gallery’s annual Pavilion is a staple of the capital’s summer architecture calendar and it rarely disappoints.
Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei have worked together to great acclaim before on the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympic Games but this is their first collaborative UK venture. And it seems fitting that their new project should open just in time for the 2012 Games in London.
Given the team’s combined reputation for innovation and creativity, it is no surprise that they flipped the pavilion concept on its head. Instead of creating a fully-fledged new structure, the team’s design puts the focus on the previous pavilions, in a near-archaeological fashion.
In a quest to ‘uncover’ the former pavilions’ foundations, the ground was dug up to form a geography of patterns, low walls and steps that the visitors can explore - and sit on. The whole surface is covered in cork, enhancing the space’s acoustics, as well as giving a tactile quality (and distinct aroma) to the interior. Above the excavation are 12 columns (one representing each pavilion, including the 2012 one) that support a large floating platform roof. It hovers 1.4m above ground and holds a shallow pool of rainwater.
Taking the visitor below ground level and within the intriguingly sculptural landscape of the excavation, Herzog & de Meuron and Weiwei’s design acts as an homage to the Serpentine’s whole Pavilion program, inviting the crowds to discover the hidden footprints of the new structure’s predecessors.
A Public Attic for Helsinki facing the Parliament of Finland. Attic is the memory of a house. In attic time is different. Attic is not routine, attic don’t have stress. All the objects are tied to stories. Attic is a narrative space. Also a city can have an attic. A public attic to reflect the collective subconscious. This became a small spontaneous community centre of improvised architecture during the Helsinki Festival 2004.
All the building material was recycled from various construction sites from around Helsinki. http://www.clab.fi/
Public Promenade – Albisola Superiore – Italy. Italian architects 3S Studio have converted a former railway tunnel between two north Italian towns into an enclosed pedestrian passageway. Steel beams arch around the inside of the Public Promenade and are covered with Corten steel panels that screen the rougher surfaces of the walls behind.Temporary exhibitions can take place inside the tunnel, in the form of lighting and video projections.
Factoria Joven or Youth Factory in Merida, Spain, was designed by Madrid-based Selgascano (Josè Selgas and Lucia Cano) Architects to meet the needs of the youth from the area, a fun place and attractive place to spend the day. The “youth factory” attracts the restless kids from the streets and provides them with a place to skateboard, dance, climb rocks, create graffiti, whatever they would otherwise do in much more sinister surroundings. There’s also a computer lab and a dance studio in this complex, both around 800 square meters in size and there are also meeting rooms, spaces for theatre, video and music as well.
Montessori School Fuji Kindergarten by Tezuka Architects. A novel kind of kindergarten, it is a work that opens a completely new paradigm for school architecture. This building has been created as a huge piece of play equipment with the scale of a child and without any walls or corners.
The way the children learned and played is transformed and vastly improved. The public is also attracted and invited onto the round deck on a daily basis to enjoy a site that they would’ve probably passed by without noticing in the past…
This 156 unit apartment building, called Mirador, was designed by the Dutch architecture studio MVRDV in collaboration with the Spanish architect Blanca Lleó. It is in a residential suburb on the North east edge of Madrid, next to the Sanchinarro district. The most impressive element of the building is the incredible gap of it shape. The gap is used by the neighborhood as a meeting area and playground. These shared spaces allow for interaction and contribute to a sense of mutual ownership and responsibility. They may well be more effective than locks and bars in creating peace of mind, and indeed the creation of so-called ‘gated communities’ has often proved counter productive. The views from the gap are incredible, across to the Guadarrama Mountains, because Mirador is one of the highest buildings in the area..
Greenwich Village Roof Garden by Graftworks Design Research. The project was developed as a 1,100 s.f. roof garden on top of a five story 1850’s brownstone in Greenwich Village. The program brief included requirements for seating, planting boxes, a canopy, and an outdoor shower along with the need to replace the roof, parapets, and the renovation of the existing stair bulkhead.
A new landscape surface is created on the roof out of six parallel strips that organize the elements of the program into zones for different activities. At the south side of roof, the ends of the ribbons are ruled and curled to make room for planting “furrows” that also double as a safety barrier. In the midsection of the roof, three of the ribbons undulate vertically to become chaise longues at varying heights. Grouped together at the existing stair bulkhead, the ribbons roll up and over the façade to become a canopy that accommodates an outdoor shower with a framed view of the Empire State Building to the north.
a manifesto for public space design: this public Lantern by Atelier Oslo and AWP, placed in a small square in Langgata (Norway), is aimed at revitalizing public space.an open, informal, flexible place which interacts with both the climate and light to introduce ever-changing experiences in urban life.
A little house for artists (very) close to the Iglesia de San Francisco in Bogotà, open to anyone who doesn’t suffer from dizzy spell. This is the public intervention by Japan artist Tatzu Nishi, famous for his displaced rooms built encompassing sculptures and architecture’s elements, and Oficina Informal.
The project was part of Lugares Comunes, the artistic initiative promoted in 2009 by the Cultural Department of Bogotà (Colombia).
El Sawy Culturewheel is a comprehensive cultural center laying on a 5,000 m2 area right under the 15th of May bridge on Zamalek island. It’s a clear example of culture requalification of a public space. El Sawy Culturewheel operates all year round, seven days a week from 8 am till the last show ends, offering two to four events a day. It provides culture and art at affordable prices. ‘The Waterwheel’ derives from his five-part novel series with the same name. Since our center is concerned with culture, the word ‘water’ was replaced by ‘culture’.
El Sawy Culturewheel is a comprehensive cultural center laying on a 5,000 m2 area right under the 15th of May bridge on Zamalek island. It’s a clear example of culture requalification of a public space.
El Sawy Culturewheel operates all year round, seven days a week from 8 am till the last show ends, offering two to four events a day. It provides culture and art at affordable prices.
‘The Waterwheel’ derives from his five-part novel series with the same name. Since our center is concerned with culture, the word ‘water’ was replaced by ‘culture’.