Sunday, March 2, 2008

Veg.itecture: Curly + Folded

Ok, I promise I am running out of formalistic themes for Vegetated Architecture, really soon. For now, a couple of posts with an exposition on shape and form around some recent projects.

Steven Holl's design for a get's a nod for interesting vegetated plane on structure, as well as the most hyperbolic name 'Sliced Porosity Block' in Chengdu, China. While not as striking in B/W imagery, the plaza and rooftop spaces are integrated into the bioclimatic strategies (quote via Treehugger): "As in Beijing, the complex is heated and cooled geothermally, and contains large ponds in its plaza that harvest recycled rainwater. Grasses and lily pads create a natural cooling effect."

:: images via Steven Holl Architects

A folded plane, similar to some recent projects, is artfully abstracted by artist Ben Peterson, in this visionary 'California Ten', which to me evokes the Gibsonian aftermath of the big quake. (A descriptive quote via architecture.MNP): "He makes exquisitely detailed and pristine renderings of impossible architectural spaces. He calls his imagined constructions follies, and they are indeed in that tradition of fanciful and unattainable spaces that are meant to set the mind to wander."

:: California Ten by Ben Peterson - image via architecture.MNP

In a more tangible form, Eikongraphia profiles a project by Oppenheim described as 'Curly Slabs'. The iconic forms create a soaring interior void between two distinctive architectural forms that engage the periphery, as well as creating cathedral-like quasi-interior courtyard space. It's no surprise that this project is one of the boom in UAE/Dubai, where the anything-goes attitude has produced some amazing potential projects. This is no exception.

:: images via Eikongraphia

The irony of scale is evident in the interior folds of the Gazprom tower in St. Petersburg, dubbed the 'tallest tower in Europe'. Contrasting the lush interiors of the Oppenheim project above, or the interiorscapes of Nouvel - the sparseness of the terrace spaces make a somewhat comical picture when contrasted with the overall building mass:

:: images via Inhabitat

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