Architreasure Weekly #4

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This is our fourth installment in the series, which means we’ve done this for a whole month! This week we’ve been bestowed with some truly amazing pieces of architectural work as Architizer’s A+ Awards come to a wrap. Alongside some of our favorite picks from everywhere, we’ll also showcase a few YD favorites from the A+ Awards this year!

1. It may interest you to know that one of the most prolific architects of our time, Moshe Safdie, responsible for the Habitat 67 (which we covered earlier this week), and the Holocaust Museum… is on Behance! Yes, his works are up on the portfolio site, and this one’s picked right from there. Known to work extensively with exposed concrete, Safdie Architects designed the National Gallery of Canada using the Brutalist style he’s well known for. He also makes extensive use of glass to make sure the building achieves two things. That it makes maximum use of natural light during the day, and looks like an absolute lit-up jewel at night!

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2. From the grand works of Safdie, to the quaint prefab homes by Kodasema. This tiny 25 square-meter apartment has everything you need and comes fully ready to live in. It also boasts of an additional feature. It can be completely disassembled, transported, and reassembled elsewhere in a day! Read our cover on the Kodasema here.

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3. Designer Dennis Palmadessa partnered with Neighborhood Services of New Orleans and the Make it Right Foundation to create these pre-fab single-room shops for local vendors. Sliding doors and privacy glasses make sure that vendors get a good deal of space, along with privacy, to conduct their daily business. Titled the URBANbuild-8, they exist as prototypes for future intervention in New Orleans.

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4. We thought the Aurlios Chapel had to be one for the Architreasure books. Designed by Metro Cúbico Digital, this abstracted version of what traditional chapels look like is sure an eye-catcher. Iconic on the outside and hallowed on the inside, the steeple design actually channels the sunlight to shine as a glorious beam, making the altar look divine!

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5. We kick off our A+ Award fave list with the Bahá’í Temple of South America by Hariri Pontarini Architects. Known for being a very neutral and accommodating religion, Bahá’í temples act as places of spirituality rather than propagating religious beliefs. Designed for everyone, religious or athiest, from all cultures and walks of life, the temple takes the shape of a closed flower bud emanating from the earth. The use of light as a sign of life and natural spirit looks brilliant as rays emanate from within the ‘folds’ of the bud after sunset.

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6. The Poly International Plaza by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) is a definite visual and structural all rounder, the geometric pattern isn’t just overwhelmingly iconic but serves as a smart support system for the floors above and below along with extended free voids, forming expanded shared meeting rooms & rather admirable curved staircases on the inside. In addition to the way the building looks, it also has a direct view of Beijing during the day & functionally helps in cutting down energy consumption due to indoor insulation.

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7. This temporary installation should just get points for its brilliant initiative! Designed by Atelier Kastelic Buffey, this community driven lending library titled Story Pod allows people to step into the pod and subsequently into a world of their own imagination when they pick up a book to read. Situated right in the historic downtown core of Newmarket, Ontario, the pod’s design attracts passersby from afar, and once up close, who can truly resist the temptation to step inside and read a good book!?

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8. Surrounded by the most advanced looking fruit packaging warehouses lies a man-made specially curated environmental courtyard known as the Washington Fruit Company. The space is not just cost efficient courtesy design and material selection, but also a controlled set up for perfect natural lighting. Designed to reflect modernity, yet take inspiration from an aging barn that the client had expressed as a favorite, this Graham Baba designed warehouse certainly breaks stereotypes of warehouses looking ‘boring’ and un-designed!

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9. If a warehouse can be made to look warm and friendly, so can a bank! The Sugamo Shinkin Bank / Nakaaoki Branch, by Emmanuelle Moureaux Architecture + Design completely diverts from the stern/no-nonsense aesthetic avatars of banking buildings. Designed to look fun, vibrant, and inviting, the bank branch makes use of a 3D front facade that looks different from each angle, and memorable for sure!

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10. We decided to end on a high note with a design that has a hypnotic, helical, organic charm that fondly reminds us of the Guggenheim Museum. The Ribbon Chapel by Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP stands proudly enjoying a panoramic view of Seto Inland Sea in Onomichi, Hiroshima. Used mainly for weddings, the chapel’s construction is visually dominated by the two ribbon-like spiral staircases/aisles, with glass panels filling in the gaps, creating the chapel’s hall-space on the inside. The two aisles/pathways are designed so that the bride and the groom can walk up to the top of the chapel, and descend downwards into the hall together united as one. What a lovely way to use architecture to guide human movement, that too with such meaningful and visual grace!

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Co-Authored by Khyati Seth

The Building Blocks of Electronic Music

The modularity movement has hit the music industry too, as can be seen with the Roli Blocks. Designed by Roli, the same people who made the Seaboard Rise that won the Good Design Award last year, the Blocks are a series of MIDI controllers that work on similar principles as the Seaboard, giving musicians a level of fluidity that you don’t see in key-based instruments. The touch sensitive backlit LED surface intelligently tracks taps, slides (on both X and Y axes) and even senses pressure, allowing for a musical experience that is truly unchained, and for literally everyone!

Individual blocks, known as Light Blocks, come with the ability to pair with an app titled NOISE, that allows users to work the instruments by loading sound banks, loops, synths, percussive instruments, or work as a X-Y filter controller. They can even be paired together, just by snapping two units side by side, creating your own setup depending on your need, skill, and budget. Musicians with a low budget can start off with just one Light Block and progress as they see fit.

The design of the Blocks is just stellar and robust. The LEDs underneath act as visualizations as well as entertainment. Even the magnetic connectors are surprisingly secure and efficient, making your music production truly seamless. The touch surface of the Light Block feels great to the touch, and bases itself on the Roli Seaboard’s touch surface (which went through more than a 100 material iterations to get the exact perfect material properties that made the fingers feel at home while they played against it for hours at an end).

The Blocks have magnetic connectors on all four sides, connecting with a click and intelligently pairing with each other. Roli has even introduced two additional styles of blocks, known as Looper and Live blocks, for studio work as well as for performances. Snap these on and you have a setup that’s good enough to knock out a stellar music performance!

The Roli Blocks have received a lot of praise from contemporary musical greats RZA and Steve Aoki, with them even introducing sample packs of their own to Roli’s library. Do check out the free NOISE app on the App Store and give it a try. Your inner musician may just surprise you!

Designer: Roli

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A Grrr-worthy Concept!

What do you get when you cross a bear with a lizard with automotive design?! You get Mazda Grizzly. This electric concept vehicle from Wojciech Jurkowski applies biomimicry from two strikingly dissimilar animals to achieve all-new aesthetics and functionality.

The vehicle’s robust stance and large footprint are like that of a bear – wide, strong and powerful. For greater agility, the design takes inspiration from the lizard’s specialized mobility. The body of the car is actually flexible, lengthening and bending in directional changes for enhanced maneuvering.

Designer: Wojciech Jurkowski

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A Highlighter with a View

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Stationery, like everything else, evolves to get better. The quill became the fountain pen, the messy fountain pen became the roller ball, and because the roller ball couldn’t write upside down, the first ever gel pen was made. We’re seeing a similar evolution with highlighters. The Promark View by Uni comes with a partly transparent nib, allowing you to see past it while highlighting sentences.

The biggest complaint with highlighters is that since the nib is designed to highlight words, what it also does is obstruct words ahead of it, making it difficult to know when to stop highlighting. The Promark View helps make highlighting convenient with its innovative nib design that gives you a clear view of what’s ahead! Hey Copic and Prismacolor, how about some partly transparent alcohol markers for us designer folks, am I right??

Designer: Uni

buy_uni

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A Highlighter with a View

uni_promark_1

Stationery, like everything else, evolves to get better. The quill became the fountain pen, the messy fountain pen became the roller ball, and because the roller ball couldn’t write upside down, the first ever gel pen was made. We’re seeing a similar evolution with highlighters. The Promark View by Uni comes with a partly transparent nib, allowing you to see past it while highlighting sentences.

The biggest complaint with highlighters is that since the nib is designed to highlight words, what it also does is obstruct words ahead of it, making it difficult to know when to stop highlighting. The Promark View helps make highlighting convenient with its innovative nib design that gives you a clear view of what’s ahead! Hey Copic and Prismacolor, how about some partly transparent alcohol markers for us designer folks, am I right??

Designer: Uni

buy_uni

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