Photos courtesy of Kyungsub Shin
SONGWON ART CENTER
The project convinced the jury by its capacity to fill the notion of the private art gallery with new life and contemporary meaning. It reevaluates and displaces the abstract ideal of the white cube art space according to the specific conditions of its urban context as well as contemporary concepts of curating. Burying half of its volume in the ground, the project manages to keep the scale and character of the context with its mostly two-story buildings.
Dramatically siting on an inclined corner site and an unusual materialization, the building does not give away its programmatic identity too easily, but cultivates an air of estrangement about it which may well help to anchor it safely in its community.
Its cultural program presents a welcome of the predominantly residential character with its mostly two-story high buildings. At the same time it introduces a welcome shift.
Buk-Chon, where Songwon Art Center is located, is one of the few areas that were less affected by the heavy wave of development that has been sweeping through Korea since the fifties.
The townscape is based on an irregular network of streets that weave through the area, where the han-ok is the dominating architectural typology. During the past 10 years Buk-Chon has seen lots of buzz primarily caused by the newfound interest of the public on the traditional townscapes. Han-oks (traditional Korean houses) have become a subject of admiration again, and many commercial/ cultural businesses have been brought into the area to take advantage of this setup.
In this social context, it is consensual that any new development in the area intrinsically faces the challenge to simultaneously conserve existing values, and contribute in a new way to what already is. Not surprisingly, with our project we faced numerous restrictions and conditions that were inherent to the site. The design development process took an unusual amount of time – as we neither wanted this project to become a compromise to the restrictions nor a mere negotiation between the contextual obligations. The design is a result of optimizing the parameters, sensitively reacting to the surrounding and simultaneously developing a rigorous logic.
JIANAMANI VISITOR CENTER
Yushu, Qinghai, China
The jury decided to award the Teamminus project for its innovative approach to traditional landscape and materials use, as well as for its permeability to the local topography. The project declares an alternative approach to cultural buildings and fits properly into the surrounding context.
Yushu è un centro religioso molto importante per i tibetani. La sua importanza deriva soprattutto da Jianamani, il tumulo buddista tibetano più grande del mondo. Il Centro Visitatori di Jianamani serve sia i visitatori sia la comunità locale. A visitatori e pellegrini fornisce informazioni su Jianamani e la sua storia, integrate dalla visita ai siti storici circostanti, mentre agli abitanti locali offre un ufficio postale, una clinica, servizi igienici e un piccolo archivio di ricerca. Il Centro Visitatori di Jianamani è realizzato per lo più secondo le tecniche di costruzione locali. La struttura in pietra è opera di muratori locali che utilizzano lo stesso tipo di roccia da cui sono estratte le pietre Mani. Le ringhiere intorno alla terrazza sul tetto e sulle piattaforme di osservazione sono di legno, con alcune parti riciclate dalle macerie dei terremoti.
Photos courtesy of Jesús Granada
Elche, Alicante, Spain
This project transforms an unused dry river bank that divided Elche into a vibrant, connected and versatile public landscape with many new routes and crossing points, and flourishing vegetation and ecosystem.
The participatory placemaking project of this project was exemplary, as were the architects’ beautiful, inspiring set of drawings.
In an age of austerity, Grupo Aranea shows that their talent and ingenuity can transcend political and economic restrictions, through a project that is a valuable model for contemporary urban regeneration elsewhere.
El Valle Trenzado aims to recover the pedestrian’s traffic footprint.
The system aims to give voice to the Vinalopó river. The sinuous braids have no relation to the orthogonality of the city. These squiggly lines shape thes lopes. Offer more comfortable routes and incorporate the possibility of crossing the river to continue the ride.
The roads that float on the untouchable riverbed of concrete, become the heroes of the reconquest. And they blur the difference between bridge and path, becoming a graphic thought solved by a material abstraction. A single bridge becomes a network of trails which fold, bend, stretch, tighten, disperse, curve, and of course twist.
The vegetation is also a material. Native species and trees help to build the shadow of the forest. A system based on the experience, understanding and empathy to connect with elegance, both sections which divide Elche.The valley has already started plaiting, now reduced to infrastructural minimums, and over time they will allow the flourishing of urban activities.
Photos courtesy of Wison Tungthunya
SAC: STUDENT ACTIVITY CENTER
SAC: STUDENT ACTIVITY CENTER
Bangkok University, Rangsit Campus
SAC (Student Activity Center) is one of the most challenging projects that Supermachine studio has to do for Bangkok University from quite a number that we have done for the campus. It is not only because of the complexity of the program but also the 2,200 sq.m. project has to be on the 20+ year old building that used to be a dormitory. It is the most drastic building transformation that we have done to date.
SAC consists of diverse facility space, mainly for out-of-classroom ones, from photo studio, music rehearsal room, Thai dance club, 20+ faculty rooms, meeting rooms to POM POM cheer leader training hall. All of the students’ programs have to be accommodated into the existing structure of the building that was not designed for.
The old building was a 32 compact room dormitory inserted with 12 compact courtyards. The 90 meter long building was low, dark and damaged from the great flood in Thailand in 2011. The main operation is to merge 2 gable roofs into a new single roof with new structure to make the space more livable for the increasing number of users. The outer skin of the building is re-clad though out with single material which is a cedar shingle. Half of the inner space are kept intact but repainted systematically the existing corridor is yellow while 4 of the voids are modified, made public and painted into 5 different colors; purple, green, pink and turquoise. Natural light is brought in through the void skylights to make sure that the new space is bright enough. At the rear end of the building is a completely new structure as it has to house the BU POM POM club. When completed the 16 meter high gym will be the new training ground for the famous cheer leader team of Bangkok University that has won a lot of competitions internationally.
Given a nickname like a chocolate while being developed, “Toblerone”, SAC has been transformed from a simple program dorm into a complex programmed public building compressed into one long stick. Architecture also can be “Recycled.”