Ratzburg Schools Campus by MIKOU Design Studio, Germany

Paris based office, Mikou Design Studio designed this building, during a competition last year for a new campus in Ratzeburg, Germany.

The new schools complex in Ratzeburg is located in a mainly residential cityscape, in the middle of an area of low-density detached housing, characterised by brick architecture and pitched roofs that make up the neighbourhood’s identity.

This schools complex includes an existing specialised school, a primary school and a lower form secondary school, and it aims to be a strong, identifiable landmark in its urban setting, on the scale of the city of Ratzeburg and the county of Lauenburg.

Our scheme was designed to free the site for building the primary and secondary schools with a new architectural expression, in contrast with the surrounding built environment, to represent both the institutional function of these amenities and their new educational requirements.

The main aim of our scheme was to design and develop schools amenities within a consistent, uniform architectural whole which creates spatial centrality with a shared common core while clearly identifying each of the schools.

To meet the requirements of the brief for creating empty spaces for school playgrounds and to protect some existing trees, we designed the primary and secondary school buildings with free, flowing forms that sensitively link together the project’s internal and external spaces and which describe a sensual, organic figure on the site.

An overall view of the scheme’s layout is very organic, reminiscent of a plant pattern with a very strongly marked central core and branches that extend towards the site’s boundaries and contain spaces for the various school functions.

Therefore the proposed scheme opens onto its urban setting through its large courtyards with their undulating, generous forms that alternate with the rhythm of the various primary and secondary school units.

This configuration provides the neighbourhood with transversal viewpoints of varying proximity and visual landmarks that make the new schools complex a major asset in the urban composition.

Architect: Mikou Design Studio
Salwa Mikou, Selma Mikou, Iskra Pencheva, Naori Yamozoe, Cécile Jalby, Alessandra Annoni, Samiel Musolino, Dan Vavassori
Client: City of Ratzeburg
Program: Specialised school, secondary school, campus
Budget: 28 M €
Surface: 16 000 sqm
Location: Ratzeburg, Germany
Date: competition 2009

Mikou Design Studio, is a young and succesfull architecture office founded in 2005 by sisters Selwa en Salma Mikou based in paris, France.

Mikou Design Studio is a place of creation and experimentation in architecture and its inter-disciplinary cross-fertilisation. They work in a continuous workshop spirit with a multidisciplinary team of architects, engineers, graphic artists, scenographers and town planners from very different cultural backgrounds.

Every project is an excuse for re-questioning and redefining the meaning of a brief, a function, and an urban, social and human context, in order to invent new ways of living, places for sharing and gathering that are more sensitive and more sensual, and which stimulate feelings.

There aim is to get away from preconceptions of form and function in order to transmit more and better. ‘Our philosophy would be how to give more’.

How to reach the fourth dimension, that of sensitive spatial perceptions, of communication and reconciliation between people through the cross-fertilisation of imaginations, whereby everyone can interpret and live a space in their own way, with an infinite number of possible appropriations.

Because a building is above all a place of giving.

The two partners, Salwa and Selma Mikou were born in Fes Marocco in 1975. After attending school in Paris (Paris Belleville) and Lausanne (EPFL), they received their diploma on Architecture and Urban design in 2000. During 2000 to 2005 they worked at RPBW (Renzo Piano Building workshop) and AJN (Ateliers Jean Nouvel) where they were in charge of international projects.

They co-founded Mikou Design Studio in 2005. Mikou Design Studio is currently involved in a large number of projects throughout France, Germany, Brazil and Morocco, with a focus on cultural, educational buildings, housing and offices.

Special thanks to Selma for sharing!

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Wallpaper* Design Awards 2010! Vote now

Air Multiplier fan by Dyson

It’s time again for Wallpaper* Annual Design Awards. As usual the judge’s list is stellar. “To judge the Awards, Wallpaper* has once again brought together a highly esteemed international panel. The judges are Paris-based fashion designer John Galliano, Belgian-born installation artist Carsten Höller, American interior designer Kelly Wearstler, British media executive James Murdoch, American architect Steven Holl and Spanish film director Pedro Almodóvar.”

CLICK HERE TO VOTE!

Wallpaper*, the international design, fashion and lifestyle bible, has announced HTC, a global smartphone designer, as its new headline sponsor of the Wallpaper* Design Awards. The six-figure partnership will span global activity in the magazine, on wallpaper.com and at the Awards event.

HTC’s sponsorship of the Wallpaper* Design Awards reflects HTC’s commitment to design. As an established and respected brand in the mobile industry, HTC is focused on delivering beautifully designed devices, both inside and out, in a Quietly Brilliant way. This aligns perfectly with Wallpaper*.

As part of the partnership, HTC will have a strong presence in Wallpaper’s dedicated Design Awards issue, one of the most popular editions of the year. Online promotion on wallpaper.com kicks off with the launch of the HTC-supported Reader’s Choice Award, which in keeping with HTC’s quietly brilliant ethos will celebrate products that subtly demonstrate the essentials of good design. The brand’s presence on the website will then increase throughout January to the homepage and every channel.

To judge the Awards, Wallpaper* has once again brought together a highly esteemed international panel. The judges are Paris-based fashion designer John Galliano, Belgian-born installation artist Carsten Höller, American interior designer Kelly Wearstler, British media executive James Murdoch, American architect Steven Holl and Spanish film director Pedro Almodóvar.

John Wang, chief marketing officer, HTC Corporation comments: “Quietly brilliant is doing great things in a humble way, with the belief that the best things in life can only be experienced, not explained. The Wallpaper* Design Awards represent the ideal way for us to reach people who have a real passion for design and to commend quiet brilliance.”

Gord Ray, Wallpaper* publishing director, adds: “Wallpaper’s Design Awards get bigger and better every year and the celebratory issue of the magazine is always eagerly anticipated. Having HTC on board, with its commitment to design and innovation, is a great synergy and testament to the influence our Design Awards have on the world design stage.”
The Wallpaper* Design Awards in association with HTC are now entering their sixth year. They celebrate and congratulate the year’s highest design achievers in a broad range of categories from extraordinary architecture and brilliant product design to the most life enhancing item.
The Wallpaper* Design Awards issue goes on sale on 14 January 2010. Details of the Awards event will be announced in due course.

Up street furniture by Ewo and Norway Says

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3XN wins architectural competition for Frederiksberg Courthouse, Denmark

3XN has won a architectural competition for the design of the Courthouse in Frederiksberg in Denmark.

The expansion of the Courthouse in Frederiksberg, Denmark, will be a sculptural and classic structure, which at once expresses a welcoming transparency while maintaining the justice system’s sobriety and seriousness.

The new Courthouse will be a natural extension of the existing neo-classical building, yet still maintaining its own identity through a modern and contemporary expression.  The building design is therefore composed with clear references to the architectural style of the refined neighborhood of Frederiksberg.  The form of the structure is both classic and dynamic – standing as a modern interpretation of the classical saddle style roof.

The interior of the courthouse focuses on compliance with the law reform’s requirements on security and internal segregations in the building.  Therefore, the building provides its employees, the defendants, witnesses and guests an open and friendly environment in which it is easy for the different user groups to navigate.

A small atrium cuts through the middle of the building; drawing light deep into the interior creating an open and airy connection across departments.  This creates the feeling of direct daylight in the rooms and gives a general lightness to the building’s inner core, meeting the visitors as they come up from the foyer.

The Courthouse is expected for completion during the first half of 2012.

Special Thanks to Lise Roland Johansen from 3XN
All images and text are from 3XN!

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Part2 / 3XN winning proposal for Cultural Project in Aarhus, Denmark

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Here are some more pictures of Danish Firm 3XN Architects winning proposal. The competition was to transform the former freight train halls in Aarhus, Denmark into a new and dynamic cultural center. The winning design was part of an collaboration effort with Nord Arkitekter, Hans Ulrik Jensen A/S,Exner Studio, and Søren Jensen Engineers.
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Special thanks to Lise Roland Johansen from 3XN!

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3XN Wins Cultural Project in Aarhus, Denmark

013XN has won an Architectural Competition to transform the former freight train halls in Aarhus Denmark into a new and dynamic cultural center.

A new cultural hub for scenography, visual arts and literature will soon be constructed within a historical framework in Denmark’s second largest city, Aarhus.  The new cultural center is meant to be an inspiring setting that stimulates production of the arts and facilitates the interaction amongst the various artistic metiers, business and education.

3XNs proposal adds elements of nature, with green spaces injecting a natural raw quality which plays up to the historic nature of the existing halls which were used for rail freight in the past.

The jury’s decision on the winning proposal was based on the project being a ’facilitating link, historical, functional and comprising an architectural spatiality’.

The building is expected to be a flexible space with optimal usage of more than 9,000 m2.  The project is comprised of the renovation of the existing freight halls along with a new building with rooms and large scale auditoria.  The roof of the building will appear as an extension of the green space – and indeed will take the form of a green ‘carpet’ over the new building.  There are a number of other green initiatives that will be brought to the project – primarily with a view to reducing the building’s electricity needs for ventilation, pumps and lighting.

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The Cultural Production Center is expected to be completed in 2012 and is a collaboration between the Municipality of Aarhus, Denmark and the Realdania Foundation.

The winning team was comprised of 3XN Architects, Hans Ulrik Jensen A/S, Exners Studio, Nord Arkitekter and Søren Jensen Engineers.

Soon more pictures! Special thanks to Lise Roland Johansen from 3XN!

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Farewell Chapel by Ofis Architects, Ljubljana, Slovenia

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Slovenian office, OFIS Arhitekti have designed  a chapel next to an existing graveyard near Ljubljana in Slovenia.

A farewell chapel is located in a village close to Ljubljana. The site plot is next to the existing graveyard. The chapel is cut into the rising landscape. The shape is following the lines of the landscape trajectories around the graveyard. Three curved walls are embracing and dividing the programs. External curve is dividing the surrounding hill from chapel plateau and also reinstates main supporting wall. Services such as storages, wardrobe restrooms
and kitchenette are on the inner side along the wall.Internal curve is embracing main farewell space. It is partly glazed and it is opening towards outside plateau for summer gatherings. Roof is following its own curvature and forming external porch. The cross as catholic sign is featured as laying feature positioned on the rooftop above the main farewell space. It also functions as luminous dynamic element across the space during the daytime and lighting spark at a night time.
Materials are polished concrete, larch wood, glass

A farewell chapel is located in a village close to Ljubljana. The site plot is next to the existing graveyard. The chapel is cut into the rising landscape. The shape is following the lines of the landscape trajectories around the graveyard. Three curved walls are embracing and dividing the programs. External curve is dividing the surrounding hill from chapel plateau and also reinstates main supporting wall.

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Services such as storages, wardrobe restrooms and kitchenette are on the inner side along the wall.Internal curve is embracing main farewell space. It is partly glazed and it is opening towards outside plateau for summer gatherings. Roof is following its own curvature and forming external porch. The cross as catholic sign is featured as laying feature positioned on the rooftop above the main farewell space. It also functions as luminous dynamic element across the space during the daytime and lighting spark at a night time.

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Materials are polished concrete, larch wood and glass.

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Inner space: 70m2
External plato: 65 m2
Budget: 180.000 EUR
Invited competition 2005 / 
Construction start 2008 / 
Completed 2009
Navigation: Krasnja, Slovenia


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Photographs are by Tomaz Gregoric.

MORE PROJECTS OFF OFIS, CLICK HERE!

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WISA, Wooden Design Hotel by Pieta-Linda Auttila, Helsinki

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Pieta-Linda Auttila designed the WISA Wooden Design Hotel, an architectural gem of wood situated in the maritime heart of Helsinki. Around the construction, lies the city and the 200 years of architrectural history.

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The WISA Wooden Design Hotel is an outstanding example of wood’s versatility. Here, wood works both as a load-bearing structure and decor in walls, ceilings and floors. The building is a composition of Finnish pine, spruce and birch, and a testimonial to their special characteristics. With the design of this hotel, she hope to spark interest in wood and highlight its role in building and interior design!

The first that catches the eye is the atrium courtyard in the center with its long curved pine boards half-covering the patio forming a trellis that titillates the imagination. The wood makes its way to the living quarters located at both ends, where pine floor are complemented with beautiful paneled birch plywood on the walls and ceiling. The atrium’s shape flatters the liveliness of wood which istechnically, the most challenging part of the design.

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The WISA Wooden Design Hotel is a temporary building and will remain in place until the end of September 2009, so be fast!

“By bending the block I forced the slats into a new form that contrasts with the original arrangement. That which is solid turns partly transparent, that which is strictly geometrical, organic,” – Pieta-Linda Auttila, architect

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VISIT THE WOODEN DESIGN HOTEL- WISA

National Tecnical Library in Prague by Projektil Architekti, Czech Republic

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Via Archdaily I found a interesting project off an new library that is recently completed in Prague, Czech Republic. The architects Projektil architekti got the 1st prize among approximately 50 proposal in 2000. The following text is from the architects, more information, click here.

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The idea of the new technical library is quite old and started in the 90’s. The architectural competition took place in 2000. The investor is the ministry of education on behalf of the State technical library. This design got 1st prize among approximately 50 proposals. The building construction begain in 2006 and finished in January 2009.

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There are more sources of the architectural concept of the building. Firstly there is a spatial context influence which involves the historical urbanistic plans for the whole area as well as its present significance. Secondly the concept is our answer to the idea of the institution and especially to the role of the library in today’s society. That is why on the groundfloor there is a minimum of the library itself unlike all the complementary services such as the cafeteria, exhibition hall and congress hall. Next the chosen shape and material should resolve one of crucial question of how to be modern and monumental at the same time. And, what is important, the building from the very beginning was formed to be energy saving one and the shape show it clearly. Part of the concept is as well the use of the area around the building – social space on the west and a green park on the east. Finally, the building was designed to include the interior and the graphic design following the concept “the technological schoolbook”, so a lot of things (for example installations) are knowingly shown for better understanding how the building was designed and functions.

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The building has three underground and six aboveground floors.The underground  is ment to book storage, technology, supply and a parking lot.

On the ground floor and the second floor there is the main entry to the library and all complementary facilities – conference hall, exhibition hall, cafeteria, bookshop and cloak room which are all around the entry hall which is the main place for meeting people from the library or university campus. That is the reason why the building has not one but four entrances to all sides. The idea was to give to the campus, not just a library, but a needed public place as well; where all the students could meet together.

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In construction of the building many interesting technological solutions were used. Some of them help the flexibility, the others help save on energy demands. The construction itself used columns in a 15 meter grid with, in both directions, pre-stress concrete slabs. The statics deflation diagram for floorslabs pre-stressing was used for designing the floor, so you can imagine how the strength in the construction goes.

The main façade is divided into glass and blind parts on the surface in a ratio near to 50/50% in order to optimize the amount of heat energy. Recuperation of air and sun blinds are standard solutions, here thanks to an external double façade, wherein the sun blinds are sheltered from the wind.

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The interior is very open and friendly to express the openness and friendliness of the contemporary institution. The main elements are the power-colored floor and the orientation of all lighting which point to the very middle point of the building.  The main principle of interior design is about collaboartion and reciprocal influence.

The important parts of the interior are the graphic design, which follows the technical schoolbook concept, and the art. We invited an art curator with the group PAS (production of contemporary activities) to prepare an art scheme for whole building. From the big scheme only the central artwork remains because of the lack of money. There was an international competition for this job and the famous artist Dan Perjovschi won. So now you can see an elaboration of his ideas from MoMa in New York.

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Photographs by Andrea Lhotakova

What do you think?

VISIT PROJEKTIL ARCHITEKTI

Opening Toronto Waterfront by WEST8, Canada

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In June 2006, West 8 and DTAH received the prestigious recognition in winning the Toronto Central Waterfront Innovative Design competition. The basic and focal points of the plan are the connectivity between the vitality of the city and the lake and a continuous, publicly accessible waterfront.

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Waterfront Toronto, together with the Government of Canada, Province of Ontario and City of Toronto, officially opened the Simcoe WaveDeck, the second and most dramatic urban dock, designed by West 8+DTAH, being built along Toronto’s central waterfront.

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The Simcoe WaveDeck, one of four uniquely Canadian wavedecks planned for the area, is as artistic as it is functional. Located just west of Simcoe Street at the water’s edge, the wooden wavedeck features an informal public amphitheatre-style space with impressive curves that soar as high as 2.6 metres above the lake.

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02Built in less than eight months, the Simcoe WaveDeck joins the Spadina WaveDeck which opened last year in creating more public space along one of the most heavily used parts of the Toronto shoreline. Construction of the third wavedeck at Rees Street is well underway and will open in August.

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The wavedecks are just one part of Waterfront Toronto’s award-winning design for the central waterfront. The plan designed by West 8+DTAH also includes a continuous water’s edge promenade and boardwalk; a series of pedestrian footbridges connecting major attractions on the waterfront, and the transformation of Queens Quay into a pedestrian-friendly, grand boulevard.

Here’s a short video with designed and architect Adriaan Geuze from West8

Copyright- Pictures and info from West 8 urban design & landscape architecture

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The Melbourne Recital Centre by ARM, Melbourne, Australia

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Ashton Raggatt McDougal (ARM) architects designed the Melbourne Recital Centre and the neighbouring Melbourne Theatre Company helping to transform the formerly derelict Southbank area of the city in to the dynamic district it has now become. Formely they got honoured with the 2009 Victorian Architecture Medal winning highest accolades in three categories for public architecture, interior design as well as urban design.

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The entrance begins with the dramatic facade in 3D iridescent steel tubing folds that bends against black aluminium. The interior, is a 500-seat hall noticeably without a balcony or mezzanine space, but still allowing exceptional site lines to the stage regardless.

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The most striking element that you can find inside, is the World Wall in the main theatre where 70 quotes from different plays are illuminated when the stage is dark. The building also houses a full rehearsal hall that can be used as an event space or a smaller performance space, as well as a café and bar at the front of the house.

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Short news text about the award:

The recital centre and MTC buildings by ARM and the urban transformation of their formerly neglected Southbank site are honored with the 2009 Victorian Architecture Medal for successfully crossing design boundaries and taking out the top awards in three categories: the William Wardell Award for public architecture; th

e Marion Mahony Award for interior architecture and the Joseph Reed Award for urban design.

Chair of juries, Philip Goad, says the combined buildings make a significant contribution to Melbourne’s arts precinct and may well expand current audiences, sentiments echoed in the Victorian Medal jury citation.

“The robust sculptural facades have already become iconic and the changes to traffic and pedestrian patterns at an urban level have transformed the area into an active domain,” praised the jury.

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Photos by John Gollings

Via Bustler

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