Category Archives: Architecture

The Valpelline Bivouac –  an alpine shelter on a rocky peak in Italy’s Morion ridge – prefabricated offsite and dropped into place by helicopter.

Made from composite wooden panels and steel, anchored to the rock by cables, it offers a base for climbers trekking over the ridge, with cooking facilities, storage and stunning views of Becca di Luseney, Monte Rosa, and the Matterhorn.

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The intricate pencilings of JaeCheol Park (aka ‘PaperBlue’) – done in the style of architectural drawings but given fantastical free reign to merge and blur into dreamlike urban environments.

The artist, based in Seongnam, South Korea offers YouTube tutorials here.

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Behold: Residence 950 – a 9,500 square foot home in San Francisco’s salubrious Russian Hill neighbourhood with spectacular views across the entire Bay Area. A garden filled with ancient olive trees, a Norwegian stone infinity pool, a glass elevator linking all four floors with three bedrooms, a two-storey art gallery, wellness centre and an underground garage for four cars displayed on turntables.

Yours for a mere $45,000,000 (€39,500,000)

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Taiwan’s recently opened National Kaohsiung Centre For The Arts, Weiwuying – a vast performing arts venue (the world’s largest by far) covering 35 acres of a 116 acre park in the southern port city of Kaohsiung.

The undulating structure, built by Dutch engineering firm Mecanoo and inspired by the undulating canopy of local banyan trees, incorporates a 2,236-seat opera house, a 1,981-seat concert hall, a 1,210-seat playhouse, a 434-seat recital hall, and an outdoor theatre built into the sloping roof.

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Behold: Treow Brycg House at Kingsburg Beach on the south coast of Nova Scotia – a brooding structure redolent of some futuristic military installation but actually modelled on the vernacular gambrel-roofed barns of the area.

Designed both to resist and embrace the unpredictable coastal climate and control solar gain, the steel-walled house – on two levels with a separate interstitial zone for circulation – is slatted with brise soleils and clad in darkened aluminium.

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La Dacha Mountain Retreat – strategically sited above a forest canopy overlooking the Nevados de Chillan volcano and the Valle Las Trancas in the Chilean Andes, the charred conifer-clad V-shaped house uses angled glazed panels to frame views of both.

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The 2018 Aggregate Pavillion is a movable structure composed of 70,000 reusable star-shaped components. Created by researchers at the University of Stuttgart’s Institute For Computational Design and Construction (ICD), it’s the world’s first fully enclosed architectural space composed entirely of elements that hold their position by loose frictional contact.

The spiny ‘pavilion’ – whose construction, in essence, combines the properties of a solid shape and a shape-shifting fluid – was made by pouring the strangely familiar plastic shapes into a 8.8m x 9.7m enclosed space containing balloons (to create the negative space) which were then deflated and removed.

Mind now. You’ll have your eye out on that.

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A selection of especially gravity-defying examples of Brutalist architecture.

From top: Grand Central Water Tower, Midrand, South Africa, (1996); Armstrong Rubber Company Building, New Haven, Connecticut, (1968); São Paulo Museum of Art,  Brazil, (1968); Praxis Home, Mexico City (1970); Timmelsjoch Experience Pass Museum, Austria, (2010) and De Rotterdam, Rotterdam, ( 2013).

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Behold: the sumptuous interiors of the Delphi Lux cinema in Berlin’s City West district – an extensive foyer, two bars and seating for 600 in seven different auditoria, each one branded with its own combination of LED lighting and geometric decor.

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