houses

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Design

A House of Crimson Steel Vines Harbors Memory and Mourning in Wuhan Shimenfeng Memorial Park

May 12, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images by Jin Weiqi

Rambling, weathered ivy constructs the walls of a home placed among the quiet, serene cemetery of Wuhan Shimenfeng Memorial Park. The project of designer Hu Quanchun of Field Conforming Studio, “The Vanished House” elicits the act of remembering in a public space devoted to mourning and memories. Tension between the enduring and transitory pervades the architectural work, shown through the combination of the sturdy material and open roof that appears to fade around the perimeter.

In a statement about the memorializing project, the studio likens the structure to that of a child’s sketch, explaining that the simple design draws attention to the sprawling vegetal forms laser cut from sheets of Corten steel. Over time, the crimson material will age with rain and sun, and its rusted color will stand in starker contrast to the green environment.

For more from Field Conforming Studio, including a similar vine-based project installed at Delong Steel Art Park in Leting, Tangshan, visit its site. (via designboom)

 

 

 



Photography

Ghostly Aerial Photos Frame Isolated and Abandoned Houses Scattered Across North America

September 24, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Brendon Burton, shared with permission

In his ongoing series titled Thin Places, Portland-based photographer Brendon Burton documents battered houses that stand alone in barren fields, amidst an encroaching marsh, or at the edge of the mountain. The decrepit structures have been Burton’s preferred subject matter since 2011 when he began seeking abandoned buildings across the continent that exude a sense of impermanence and the uncanny. “This series is for the sake of satisfying my curiosity about the past and exploring isolated parts of North America. It mixes archeology with fantasy,” he says.

Derived from Celtic culture, Thin Places refers to locales “where heaven and earth grow thin,” Burton says. “Traditionally, the term was meant as a place one would feel closer to God, or something otherworldly. In a more modern sense, it’s a form of liminality, areas that feel transitory.” Each property is shot with a drone, offering a detached view of the once-occupied spaces and a brief encounter with their former use. “What makes people leave, and what keeps things standing? How much of a life gets left along with it?” he asks.

Burton plans to visit Appalachia next, and you can follow his travels on Behance and Instagram. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

 

 



Design

An Undulating Roof Made of Cedar and Steel Flows Out from a Pool House in Ontario

June 17, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Partisans

A steel slatted roof ripples across a property in southwestern Ontario, providing a meditative enclave under its gently sloping cover. Contrasting the stark black metal with softer strips of cedar, “Fold House” by Partisans features a two-story living quarter with a lengthy undulating structure that branches out from one side. It’s bisected by a staircase leading to an upper walkway and covers a luxe in-ground pool.

Partisans is an architecture studio based in Toronto that frequently works with organic shapes and textures, which you can see on its site and Instagram. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

 

 



History Photography

Striking Photos Frame the Half-Renovated Houses of a Former Mining Region in Germany

May 6, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Wolfgang Fröhling, shared with permission

When the once burgeoning coal industry in Ruhrgebiet, Germany, began to decline, many of the workers’ apartments were sold off. Oftentimes, new owners only purchased half of the building—miners maintained a lifelong right of residence to their quarters—creating a stark split between the left and right sides of the structure. Photographer Wolfgang Fröhling captures this visually striking divide in a series of images framing the renovated and original designs juxtaposed in a single structure. See the full collection of half-painted facades and disparate landscaping on Pixel Project, and find more of the Bottrop-based photographer’s work on his site. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

 

 



Design

350 Layers of Coiled Clay Form an Organic Low-Carbon Home Made Through 3D-Printing

April 23, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © WASP

Last summer, The New York Times Magazine published a series of articles declaring that climate migration—a global exodus that’s predicted to displace between 50 and 300 million people worldwide—has begun. As more regions surrounding the equator become uninhabitable due to rising temperatures, crop losses, and disasters, entire populations will be forced to relocate to regions with more stable environments and economies. This impending movement coupled with an ongoing lack of affordable housing has sparked a wave of conversation about how best to remedy the looming crisis.

As a partial antidote, a Bologna-based studio, Mario Cucinella Architects, teamed up with the 3D-printing company WASP to design a low-carbon home that’s easily and quickly reproduced. Called “Tecla,” the prototype is a pair of sloping domes that can be built in only 200 hours using an average of six kilowatt-hours of energy. It’s made of 350 layers of coiled clay, which is sourced from a nearby river, that serves as thermal insulation for the earthen structure complete with a living area, kitchen, and sleeping quarters. Two skylights embedded in the roof of the 4.2-meter-tall domes allow light to enter the 60-square-meter space.

A short video from WASP documents the construction technique in Massa Lombarda, which involves two synchronized printing arms that glide back and forth to layer the walls. Producing almost no waste, the process is adaptable to other raw materials, making it a viable option for housing beyond the Italian region.

Find a larger collection of Mario Cucinella Architects’ and WASP’s climate-focused projects and looks into their processes on Instagram. You also might enjoy this 3D-printed home by Rael San Fratello. (via Dezeen)

 

 

 



Design

Clusters of Candy-Colored Domes Designed for Communal Living Populate Iran’s Hormuz Island

December 8, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © ZAV Architects, by Tahmineh Monzavi

Along the beaches of Hormuz Island in the Persian Gulf lies a series of gumdrop-esque abodes. The multipurpose project, titled “Presence in Hormuz,” features earthen structures that dot the sandy landscape in a textured cluster of peaks and bulbs.

To build the candy-colored domes, ZAV Architects utilized the SuperAdobe process of renowned Iranian architect Nader Khalili, which involves stacking coils of wet earth, and trained local craftsman in the technique. “A carpet is woven with granular knots inspired by the particles that make up the ecotone of the island,” the Tehran-based firm says in a conversation with designboom, noting that the area’s topography inspired much of the architecture. “The sandbags that create the spatial particles (aka domes) are filled with the dredging sand of the Hormuz Dock as if the earth has swollen to produce space for accommodation.”

Most of the bulbous structures hold living accommodations with communal dining, laundry, and prayer areas woven throughout. The vibrant venues were designed as part of an initiative to remedy local economic struggles and bring together tourists and the community in a shared cultural space. ZAV expands on the intention of the project:

In a country where the state struggles with political disputes outside its borders, every architectural project becomes a proposal for internal governing alternatives, asking basic questions: What are the limits of architecture and how can it suggest a political alternative for communal life? How can it attain social agency?

“Presence in Hormuz” follows an earthen cultural center ZAV embedded in the island. You can see minimal renderings of the firm’s projects and upcoming plans on Instagram.