architecture

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Design

Light Streams through a Swelling Canopy of Woven Bamboo in China's Karst Mountains

September 17, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Lllab.

An understated bamboo canopy situated among the verdant landscape of the Karst Mountains in Yangshuo, China, offers respite from the sun and frequent rainfall that blankets the area. Designed by Lllab. Architects for the outdoor theatrical performance of Impression Sanjie Liu, the curved structure merges seamlessly with the surrounding environment. Bamboo trees line the pathway the canopy occupies as it stretches across 140 meters.

Smaller lanterns are positioned at the entrance to the venue before the larger structure guides visitors to the main performance stage, which sits at the bank of the Li River. The canopy is hand-woven by local craftspeople, who utilize a specific technique that allows the suble form to be made entirely of the organic material without the use of glue or nails. Inside the permeable walls are load-bearing posts.

In a statement about the surging form, Lllab. notes that the architecture mimics the performers’ movements:

The hand weaving, bamboo playing off the tension of one another. The topography of the canopy ceiling dancing between columns of bamboo as if unsupported. Even the way guests are intended to move from lantern to lantern, in a narrative of interaction. Together these subtle hints encourage a particular frame of mind, readying the guest for the main feature.

To explore more of the architectural firm’s projects, head to Instagram. (via designboom)

 

 

 



Craft Design

Build a Miniature Hangout with a DIY Wooden Treehouse Kit

September 15, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Treetop Hangout.” All images © Tiny Treehouses, courtesy of Lars Wijers, shared with permission

A new DIY kit transforms any ordinary houseplant into a miniature haven complete with mood lighting. Created by Australia-based British designer Lars Wijers, Tiny Treehouses feature multiple configurations, from an ornate gazebo to a multi-roofed structure resembling tropical architecture. Each is equipped with LED lights (batteries included!) and manufactured to hang from a branch or rest on a flat surface.

Back the project on Kickstarter—$1 from every treehouse will be donated to restoring Australian forests—and follow Tiny Treehouses on Instagram for updates on designs and buying options.

 

“Tropical Lookout”

“Home Base”

“Tropical Lookout”

“Temple of Gratitude”

“Tiny Gazebo”

“Temple of Serenity”

 

 



Design

Old Railway Tracks Converge to Form an Arced Pavilion in Sydney by Studio Chris Fox

September 10, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Interchange Pavilion” in Sydney. All images © Studio Chris Fox, shared with permission

In 2017, artist Chris Fox utilized decades-old wooden escalators to create a sculptural ribbon above Sydney’s Wynyard Station. His latest project titled “Interchange Pavilion” similarly repurposes vintage railway tracks to construct a 350-square-meter outdoor pavilion. The work is comprised of 250 meters of stainless-steel rails, 15 tons of glass-reinforced concrete, and 1,400 pieces of hardwood. Built in sections, the rails in “Interchange Pavilion” offer several paths upward, where they converge at a central point.

If you’re in Sydney, check out the newly-opened public artwork, which was unveiled August 25. Otherwise, find more from Fox on Instagram.

 

 

 



Design

The World's Longest Glass-Bottom Bridge Stretches Across the Lianjiang River in China

September 4, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Architectural Design & Research Institute of Zhejiang University

Extending 526.14 meters, a new glass-bottom bridge in China’s Huangchuan Three Gorges Scenic Area now ranks as the longest in the world. The lengthy structure is the project of the firm Architectural Design & Research Institute of Zhejiang University and looms 201 meters above the Lianjiang River. Bright red towers mark either end, with an 8.8-meter-wide deck running between them. Three layers of 4.5-centimeter-thick glass lined with steel compose the transparent bridge, which is suspended with cables and can hold 500 people. According to Dezeen, the previous record-holder was a wobbly 488-meter structure in China’s Hebei province.

 

 

 



Design

Transparent Public Restrooms in Tokyo Transform into Opaque, Colorful Stalls When in Use

August 24, 2020

Grace Ebert

Haru-No-Ogawa Community Park, by Shigeru Ban. Photos by Satoshi Nagare, courtesy of The Nippon Foundation

On the periphery of a busy city park in Tokyo is a transparent bathroom that offers a few forms of alleviation. Although it seemingly provides little privacy, the translucent facade is designed to let people peer inside to inspect the cleanliness before they venture in. Once users do open the door and step into the structure, the walls turn into opaque, illuminated stalls that hide the person from view. As public bathrooms have shut down and been a source of fear since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the new structure ameliorates multiple issues of accessibility.

The sensitive facility is part of an ongoing project called The Tokyo Toilet, which tasked 16 designers—including Kengo Kuma (previously), Tadao Ando (previously), and Shigeru Ban, who created the two transparent structures—with conceptualizing the public facilities throughout Shibuya. Five of the 17 locations are currently operational, with most of the remaining scheduled for 2021. The result is a diverse series of public facilities designed to be more accessible and attractive to those who need them.

To calm any further worries about cleanliness, The Tokyo Toilet also has extensive plans for maintenance. The Nippon Foundation, the Shibuya City Government, and the Shibuya Tourism Association will work collaboratively to ensure the spaces don’t live up their “dark, dirty, smelly, and scary” reputation, a project coordinator tells Fast Company.

Check out some of the open facilities below, and take a deeper look into the unique designs and their locations on the project’s site. You also might want to take a look at GreenPee’s hemp urinals that were installed recently around Amsterdam.

 

Yoyogi Fukamachi Mini Park, by Shigeru Ban

Ebisu Park, by Masamichi Katayama/Wonderwall

Ebisu Park, by Masamichi Katayama/Wonderwall

Higashi Sanchome, by Nao Tamura

Ebisu East Park, by Fumihiko Mak

 

 



Design

Sunlight Filters Through a Shell-Like Pavilion Covered with Wicker Baskets in Annecy, France

August 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

“The Wicker Pavilion” (2020), 50 square meters. All images © DJA, by Eriks Bozis

A new, woven structure in the Jardins de l’Europe in Annecy, France, offers respite from direct sunlight without completely blocking out the light source. “The Wicker Pavilion” is comprised of pine planks that are formed into a shell, which is covered with 262 wicker baskets that are hand-woven by Latvian craftsmen. When the sun hits the structure, it casts intricate triangular patterns on the grass inside and nearby, allowing it to merge with the rest of the garden rather than blanket it in a shadow. As the pavilion ages, the natural materials will darken and further blend with the surrounding environment.

Designed by Didzis Jaunzems Architecture, the project is part of this year’s Annecy Passages festival. Check out this video that dives into how the structure was made, and follow the Latvian firm’s projects on Twitter. (via ArchDaily)