Workspaces

OPEN AIR OFFICE

ANTONAS OFFICE

Photos courtesy of Aristide Antonas

OPEN AIR OFFICE

ANTONAS OFFICEarchmarathonANTONAS OFFICE
emm. Benaki 118, Exarcheia, Athens 11473, Greece
www.aristideantonas.com
Category:
Workspaces
Project selected:
OPEN AIR OFFICE
Location:
Athens, Greece
Year:
2011

The Open Air Office (Υπαίθριο Γραφείο) was constructed in central Athens in 2011. It consists of a systematic transformation of small-scale objects into an urban condition. A system of tables, bookshelves and reading lights creates a public space for online works in an abandoned space of Athens. It challenges the potential of urban acts in the nowadays city, with the introduction of programs for Athens in a critical moment of its life. The Open Air Office oscillates between the refusal of any specific concept of locality (being linked to the “neutral” culture of immaterial labor) and a reverse emphasis on the local element; the illumination of a particular area of a decadent city center welcomes a global program. The office area can be used by those who do not use permanent working spaces or by people interested in unplanned or organized meetings for cooperation. It welcomes a number of people who find it useful. The materialization of the project used the framework of an art biennial to formulate answers about the everyday life in a decadent city center in order to see what architecture could be after the collapse of its stable past values. In this context the weighting between the old and the upcoming, between the designed and the non-designed is decisive. Bernard Tschumi characterized the Open Air Office as “the most programmatically inventive” project of the last years in Greece.


MINA 1394 OFFICE BUILDING

APRACTICE STUDIO

Photos courtesy of Marcel Rached

MINA 1394 OFFICE BUILDING

APRACTICE STUDIOarchmarathonAPRACTICE STUDIO
Serhal Building, 6th Floor, Suite 640 Cairo Street, Hamra, Lebanon
www.apracticestudio.com
Category:
Workspaces
Project selected:
MINA 1394 OFFICE BUILDING
Location:
Beirut, Lebanon
Year:
2014

Situated on a corner in down town Beirut, and on the edge of Solidere’s jurisdiction, a company charged with redeveloping Beirut Central District following the civil war, provided the opportunity to negotiate its strict, historically selective regulations.
Two volumes varying in height and width, where one aligns to an adjacent historically listed house was a mandatory guideline that, in our view, often produced an obscure outdoor space, rather than a public one, that is eventually made private. Consequently, a strategy to free the public space from the building was adopted.
Formally, the building was conceived as a single volume aligned to the adjacent old house to generate a public space that mirrors the public space of the church across the street. To compensate for the lost ground floor area, the successive floor plates were incrementally increased to generate a folding cantilever hovering above the public spaces.
Programmatically, the accessibility to the building was displaced to the northwestern face and the volume was consequently chamfered in the horizontal and vertical plane to signify the main entrance.
The horizontal striation of the skin became a device to emphasize this negotiation and the porosity and materiality, determined by the internal spatial ergonomics and the resulting projection of the sun path and its context, made the building environmentally conscious.


SENTEURS D’ORIENT HEADQUARTERS

ATELIER130

Photos courtesy of IevaSaudargaité

SENTEURS D’ORIENT HEADQUARTERS

ATELIER130archmarathonATELIER130
Patriarch Arida, Beirut, Lebanon
www.atelier130.com
Category:
Workspaces
Project selected:
SENTEURS D’ORIENT HEADQUARTERS
Location:
Mkalles, Lebanon
Year:
2014

A tailored soap factory:
The concept behind the main headquarters of this luxury soap brand revolves around the actual soap bar. Inspired by the intricate packaging of the company’s soaps, the structure was first conceived as a box, sliced in half. Around the two distinct structures, a garden alive with greenery and a variety of aromas that linger and welcome visitors, reminiscent of the variety of soap scents. The first structure, where the company’s manufacturing plant is located, is covered by a woven metal wire mesh on top of a wall covered with the brand’s soap patterns. The second structure, which hosts the company’s offices, benefits from wide openings, protected from the sun thanks to sliding aluminum louvers that bring privacy to employees.


PORTA NUOVA

PIUARCH

Photos courtesy of Andrea Martiradonna

PORTA NUOVA

PIUARCHarchmarathonPIUARCH
Via Palermo, 1 20121 Milan, Italy
www.piuarch.it
Category:
Workspaces
Project selected:
PORTA NUOVA
Location:
Milan, Italy
Year:
2013

This building is part of the Porta Nuova urban renewal project in the heart of Milan.
The building seeks to establish a dialogue with the public part of the area as a whole, configuring itself as an access point to the park. Bounded on one side by the central square, adjacent to Cesar Pelli’s three towers, the building has an area of about 22.500 square metres distributed over five stories and a ground floor for an overall height of 30 metres. This choice was conditioned by the need to respect the heights of the existing residential buildings as well as by the desire to make the new structure a strong and recognizable landmark within the requalified area.
The simple and sinuous form of the building articulates and integrates the two volumes in a single element distinguished by a deep central fissure. The two façades are treated differently: the one facing north and overlooking the central square is characterized by large windows that act as a backdrop for the pedestrian area and the Porta Nuova park, while the curved southern façade is protected by a system of sun blinds that mark out its rhythm. The building, which is about 140 metres long, incorporates a system of internal courtyards with coloured walls. The ground floor is wrapped by an ample portico that opens directly onto the main square and is covered by the projecting volume above.