Museo del Agua by MID Estudio, Palencia, Spain

“Boxes” hanging from the skylight go down to light up exclusively the sheet of water achieving a more tenuous and quiet space.

Spanish architects MID Estudio have converted a old grain store in Palencia, Spain, into a museum by blocking up windows and door with metallic and wood boxes on the roof and facade. Called Museo del Agua (Museum of Water), the building has been renovated to house a reception area, and temporary and permanent exhibition spaces.

The creation of the Museum of Water has made it possible to refurbish one of the stores in the dock. The building has a rectangular floor measuring 62,4×10,3m, concrete load-bearing walls with a brick sheet on the outer side and a repetitive rhythm both of doors and windows. Wooden trusses with metallic straps form the roof´s structure.

The proposal links the abstract content of the museum to the neutral continent by means of architectural language. A skylight which goes along the ridge of the roof gives sense to the different spaces of the museum bringing and qualifying light into each of them and providing the building of meaning. The skylight is superposed to the pre-existing structure but does not alter it and gets accommodated to its rigorous modulation. That way, both structures, the new one and the old one, complement each other. “Boxes” pending from the skylight bring light inside.

The program is divided in three areas: a reception area with administration and services, a temporary exhibition area and the permanent exhibition area. The building is long and narrow so it establishes a sequential route along the spaces where the visitor always discovers them in the same order.

After the access and the reception there is an exempt piece covered in glass so that it dematerializes with a game of reflections. It holds the administration, facilities, toilets and a small store. The visitor should walk around it to access the exhibition area of the museum. The light from the skylight reflects on its cover.

The space for temporary exhibitions is diaphanous and versatile and multiple activities such as exhibitions, conferences, etc can be held on it. The light coming from the skylight, changing throughout the day and the seasons, enters freely through it.

A sheet of water starts at the end of the temporary exhibition area and crosses the permanent exhibition space, situated at the end of the route, compelling the visitor to surround it. “Boxes” hanging from the skylight go down to light up exclusively the sheet of water achieving a more tenuous and quiet space.

At the same time, the permanent exhibition which will be carried out via interactive audiovisuals will be projected onto those boxes´ surface. The tangible presence of the water moving and the sound that it generates are part of the sensory experience of the museum.

Doors and windows of the existing building are now occupied by metallic and wooden devices. They are designed, like the skylight on the roof is, to drive and filter the light or to direct the visitor´s gaze to the water surface of the dock, as well as to create small spaces which now have the shape of peculiar bow windows where people on a visit can take a break.

Photographs are by Helena Velez Olabarria.
Via Dezeen


Ella Dining Room and Bar by UXUS Design, California, USA

With the principles of “Rustic Luxury” in mind, UXUS designed a dining space that celebrates the essential beauty and goodness contained in simple things, a principle that is similarly reflected in Ella’s menu, which promotes local growers, seasonal ingredients and pure, simple dishes.

UXUS created a unique dining concept for Ella,  located in California’s State Capital, Sacramento, that embodies the principles of Rustic Luxury.

The Selzim Restaurant Group commissioned UXUS to create a world class environment for their new restaurant, Ella Dining Room & Bar, located in the heart of Sacramento California, two blocks away from the State Capitol Building. The restaurant is named after the granddaughter of executive Chef Randell Selland, of the Kitchen Restaurant and Selland’s Market-Café.

The 4 million dollar project has a capacity for 250 diners and serves “Modern American Bistro” cuisine. The owners wanted the restaurant to become “Sacramento’s living room,” an urban oasis where lawmakers and other diners can go and unwind after a long day’s work.

With the principles of “Rustic Luxury” in mind, UXUS designed a dining space that celebrates the essential beauty and goodness contained in simple things, a principle that is similarly reflected in Ella’s menu, which promotes local growers, seasonal ingredients and pure, simple dishes. “Rustic Luxury” synchronizes simplicity and complexity, the traditional and the contemporary, to define an elegant, relaxed lifestyle and the pleasure and sensuality of real materials.

In keeping with these principles, UXUS beautifully intertwines the old and the new. 500 salvaged antique Hungarian shutters line the walls and ceiling, enveloping diners in rustic textures and colors, whilst billowing white curtains punctuate and soften the space. Plush, luxurious ottomans and a light, contemporary palette balance reclaimed wood stools and traditional country tables. Simple white pendants dramatically sweep through the space; their gold interior complementing the custom LED gilded steel discs on the wall. More..

Via Archdaily
Photographs by Mathijs Wessing

Other projects of UXUS on Archide:
+ UXUS to design retail shops in Tate Modern, London, UK
+ Heineken Lounge Bar by UXUS Designers


EXPO 2010 DANISH PAVILION by BIG, Shanghai, China

“When we visited the World Exhibition in Zaragoza, we were stunned by the artificial content. State propaganda in paper maché. The Danish Expo pavilion 2010 is the real deal, and not just endless talking. You can ride the city bike, take a swim in the harbor bath, and see the real Little Mermaid”, Founder of BIG, Bjarke Ingels.

Last week the Danish Pavilion by Bjarke Ingels Group at Shanghai Expo 2010 opened to the public along with the rest of the Expo.

The Danish pavilion at EXPO 2010 gives visitors the opportunity to try some of the best aspects of Danish city life themselves. Through interaction, the visitors are able to actually experience some of Copenhagen’s best attractions – the city bike, the harbor bath, playground settings, a picnic on the roof garden and the opportunity to see the authentic H.C Andersen’s Little Mermaid.

The pavilion is designed as a traffic loop created by the motion of city bikes and pedestrians tied in a knot. Over 300 free city bikes located upon the roofscape, offer the visitors a chance to experience the Danish urban lifestyle which includes biking everywhere. The loops are connected in two places. Coming from the inside, the visitors can move out onto the roof, pick up a bike and re-visit the exhibition by bike as the outdoor cycle path slips into the interior and runs along the entire exhibition before exiting onto the EXPO grounds. The sequence of events at the exhibition takes place between two parallel facades – the internal and external. The internal is closed and contains different functions of the pavilion. The width varies and is defined by the programme of the inner space. The pavilion’s external façade is made of perforated steel. In the evening time, the façade becomes a sequenced instrument of interactive light illuminating the passers-by.

The exhibition can be experienced in two speeds, as a calm stroll with time to absorb the surroundings and as a dynamic bicycle trip, where the city and city life rush past. Like a Danish city, the Danish pavilion is best experienced on foot and by bike. This way, the pavilion’s theme Welfairytales (Welfare + Fairytales) re-launches the bicycle in Shanghai as a symbol of lifestyle and sustainable urban development. When the Expo closes, the pavilion can be moved to another site in Shanghai and could function as a transfer point for Shanghai’s new city bikes.

The pavilion is a monolithic structure in white painted steel which keeps it cool during the Shanghai summer sun due to its heat-reflecting characteristics. The roof is covered with a light blue surfacing texture, known from Danish cycle paths. Inside, the floor is covered with light epoxy and also features the blue cycle path where the bikes pass through the building. The steel of the facade is perforated in a pattern that reflects the actual structural stresses that the pavilion is experiencing making it a 1:1 stress test. The blue cycle path and white concrete surfaces will further define the arrival and exit areas.

Sitting in the harbor pool at the centre of the pavilion is the real Little Mermaid from the harbor of Copenhagen. As one of three of H.C. Andersen’s fables, who is affectionally known in China as An Tung Shung, which is read by every child in China, this will be seen as a gesture of cultural generosity between Denmark and China. While the mermaid is in Shanghai her place in Copenhagen will be replaced by Ai Wei Wei’s multimedia artwork, including a live broadcast of the statue in Shanghai. Other artists include Jeppe Hein from Denmark, who designed a ’social bench’ that will run alongside the bicycle lane and adapts to its environment elastically by incorporating different functions including a bar for food and drink. The works of Martin De Thurah and Peter Funch are also included in the exhibition areas.

All photos are copyright Iwan Baan.
Special thanks to Daria Pahhota for sharing!


SMOG office by Sebastián Bravo, Santiago

The resulting design embraces its industrial origin, providing a flexible setup that fully reflects the way the team collaborate, allowing informal congregation and mobility.

Sebastián Bravo recently completed this office for a motion graphics studio SMOG. The office is located on the top floor of a building formerly occupied by textile workshops, in the Patronato area of Santiago.


With ‘La Vega’, the city’s main produce market at its heart, and generations of Chinese, Korean and Middle Eastern immigrants thriving in the textile business and marketing products from their own countries, Patronato is known for its funky little stores and street vendors. Not your typical location for an office in Santiago.

With an open, bright, empty space in mind, this former workshop seemed like the perfect choice for the client —a motion graphics studio.

The strategy was to locate the only private part of the studio —an enclosed conference room— in the center of the space. Reception, dining area, bathroom, kitchen and a large work area would revolve around it.

A rather tight budget kept materials and solutions as simple as they could possibly be. With that in mind, flooring, walls and windows were kept as they were. The suspended ceiling was stripped away to reveal the original timber and metal structure.

Old electrical wiring was replaced by an exposed installation on trays rising 3m above the floor. Raw construction materials —as opposed to more sophisticated solutions— were used as finishings. Fiber cement boards line the interior of the meeting space and painted plywood serves as flooring.

Via Archdaily!
Photographs by Martin Bravo


Shanghai 2010: The Pavilions via Archdaily

Chaz Hutton shared some amazing photos of the pavilions in Shanghai with Archdaily!  Click here to see al the pavilions!


Middelfart Savings Bank by 3XN Architects, Middelfart, Denmark

3XNs visionary and empathetic winning proposal unites the Middelfart savings Bank’s high ambitions for their new head office. The building must ensure a perfect environment for the employees, while also positively stress demands for high architectural quality in the future development along the harbour front.

One large roof covers all functions in the building. The roof is a large elegant wooden structure with numerous openings. The openings bring in abundant amounts of daylight and allow for direct view of the sea from all places in the building, up and down. In this way, the light and friendly atmosphere sought for by the bank is achieved.

The 83 prism like skylights compose the spectacular roof surface defining the geometry of the rest of the building – in reference to the maritime environment on the harbor front as well as the surrounding timber framed buildings. The roof is designed to frame a perfect view towards the Lillebælt waters as well with a functional purpose of shading from direct sunlight.µ

The new building is carefully fitted into the context. To one side, the village is respected by following dimensions, scale and the shape of the roof. Towards the harbour the building retracts and makes way for a new, triangular space that opens for the view. From the plaza, one enters a large, indoor ‘market place’, the heart of the building. At entrance level, a bookshop, a café and a real estate agent and the cash desk is placed.

The rest of the bank’s area is spread at a series of terraces with open connections to the plaza and to each other. The terraces are connected by spacious staircases that provide good opportunities for the important informal meeting.

With its central position, the building will become a natural meeting point for clients, staff and visitors. In relation to the surrounding city, a delicate balance has been achieved a beautiful, contemporary and well functioning building that integrates respectfully in the overall picture.

Internationally renowned artist Olafur Eliasson has created an art installation for the plaza. Six ‘shooting star’ kaleidoscopes inspired by the triangular geometry of the building are lowered into the ground floor granite adding an extra dimension to the structure.

Thermoactive Hydronic Elements

In addition to developing a comprehensive and holistic sustainable strategy for each project, the Research & Development department at 3XN scans the marketplace and actively implements latest technologies and sustainable innovations into our projects.

Developed through the Danish Technical University, and now a part of the curriculum, the implementation of the latest technologies in energy efficient heating and cooling of buildings for the headquarters of Middelfart Savings Bank has been viewed as groundbreaking. The method utilizes the mass and ability of concrete to adjust the room temperature by absorbing and releasing heat. The method is based upon pre-fabricated concrete decks with embedded plastic pipes.

Large Energy Savings
With these thermoactive concrete elements it is possible to reduce the energy consumption for heating by 30 percent and the energy consumption for cooling and mechanical ventilation by up to 85 percent; in total, an energy saving of 30-50 percent. This is due to the fact that the system allows for better use of alternative supply sources, i.e. the plant can operate as a low- temperature floor heating system during winter, based upon heat-driven heat pumps, and during summer, the cool night air, soil tubes, ground water or sea water can be used for cooling.

The system is partly self-regulating as water for heating and/or cooling is circulated with a temperature only a few degrees from the desired room temperature, and this is the key to the large energy savings. In addition to energy savings the capital costs were lower due to the reduced needs for cooling and heating.

Special Thanks to Lise Roland Johansen for sharing
Photographes by Adam Mørk

More news of 3XN on ArchiDE:
+ MIND YOUR BEHAVIOUR solo exhibition by 3XN Architects
+ 3XN wins architectural competition for
Frederiksberg Courthouse
+ Part2 / 3XN winning proposal for
Cultural Project in Aarhus
+ 3XN Wins
Cultural Project in Aarhus
+ 3XN
showcase pavilion ’Learning from Nature’
+ Saxo Bank by 3XN awarded
RIBA International Award 2009
Saxo Bank headquarters by 3XN Architects
+ 3XN wins architecture competition for the
Randers Museum of Art
CPH Arch by 3XN Architects in Copenhagen
Tivoli Concert Hall by 3XN Architects
Ørestad College by 3XN Architects


New Camper store by Miralles-Tagliabue (EMBT), Sevilla, Spain

EMBT design studio, designed this new store for Camper in the Spanish city of Sevilla. (click here for the making off on video)

When we were asked to designed a store we started to dream… Camper has much to do with “el campo”, that is the countryside, the fields… to walk in the fields… and so we imagined shoes stepping on irregular surfaces, like when we walk on earth.Later, we visited Camper´s factory to see how shoes are made. There we understood we wanted to build our new store the same way Camper shoes are built in Mallorca.

We cut different shoe forms, with hills, without hills, tall, short, for men, for women… we put those flat profiles one next to the other… and that is how our the volume of our new Camper store appeared!

Photographs are made by Pedro Pegenaute
Via noticias arquitectura


Buzen House by Suppose Design Office, Japan

Here’s another project from Japanese studio Suppose Design Office, this time a house in Buzen, Japan, where separate structures are connected under a glass canopy. The wooden-clad residence features different courtyards and corridors where children can play under a glazed roof.

Following text is from the architects:

When they are young, places like a narrow path between houses, the edge of a garden, the back of a shed, under the floor, or an open lot are the preferred playgrounds of children.

Rather than a park or garden that was built to be played in, we wanted to make a house with a courtyard that would become a playground naturally. Rather than a collection of rooms, we think of this house as a collection of constructions, and we produced a design that seems to be made out of various different structures.

Paths covered by a glass roof weave between the disconnected structures to create an interior space that feels exterior, a private space that feels public, a hall that feels like an avenue.

In that space the children can run around, you can enjoy a breeze while you eat, read under the sun, and fall asleep watching the stars. There is a charm beyond imagination there, beyond normal home life.

Just like children who use space outside to its full potential, we wanted to make equal the relationship between inside-and out by using the courtyard as a part of everyday life and bringing inside activities outside. Beyond making city streets like courtyards to make them feel closer to houses, we want to continue to try and envision the architecture of the future, moving past the inside-outside relationship to find new types of connections.

+ Lodge by Suppose Design Office, Hiroshima, Japan
+ House in Otake by Suppose Design Office, Japan
+ Clinic by Suppose Design Office, Hirosihima, Japan
+ House in Nagoya by Suppose Design Office, Aichi, Japan
+ House in Sakuragawa, Tokyo by Suppose Design Office
+ Nature Factory by Suppose Design Office, Tokyo, Japan
+ House in Nagoya2 by Suppose Design office, Japan


UXUS to design retail shops in Tate Modern, London, UK

UXUS are pleased to announce they have been appointed by Tate Modern to design retail shops in the Transforming Tate Modern project.

Design consultancy UXUS announced that it has been appointed to design the new retail shops in the existing Tate Modern, housed in the converted Bankside Power Station. As part of the Transforming Tate project, UXUS will design retail stores for the existing Tate Modern, as well as the Herzog & de Meuron-designed extension.

The Transforming Tate Modern project responds to developing art practice and visitor needs with the expanded retail shops providing a greater opportunity to offer an increased and diverse range of books and products in line with the richly diverse requirements of Tate’s customer market.

Creative Director George Gottl states Tate has asked UXUS to produce ‘a brand experience in a supportive role to the galleries, to enhance the experience of visitors and allow them to feel that they are leaving with a piece of the Tate’.

UXUS will begin concept design in February 2010.

Founded in Amsterdam in 2003, UXUS is an independent award wining design consultancy specializing in strategic design solutions for Retail, Communication, Hospitality, Architecture and Interiors. UXUS creates “Brand Poetry”, fusing together art and design, and creating new brand experiences for its clients worldwide. We define “Brand Poetry” as an artistic solution for commercial needs.  Artistic solutions target emotions; emotions connect people in a meaningful way. Design gives function, art gives meaning, poetry expresses the essence.
Check out the website HERE!

Special thanks to Amy for sharing

+ Previous project of UXUS Design on ArchiDE, click here


Nafi, Hair Salon by ZMIK Studio, Basel, Switzerland

ZMIK Design Studio has refurbished a hair salon in Basel by wallpapering the entrance with photocopies from Vogue magazine.The space is subdivided into two zones, which are being separated by a sharp border.

The ceiling and the walls of the entry zone are seamlessly covered with photocopies on packaging paper made from Vogue magazines from the 1920’s until today.

The hairdresser Hairstyling Nafi in Basel’s historic city centre is undergoing reconstruction. The space is now subdivided into two zones, which are being separated by a sharp border. The two areas strongly contrast in their function as well as in their spatial atmosphere. The ceiling and the walls of the entry zone are seamlessly covered with photocopies on packaging paper made from Vogue magazines from the 1920ies until today.

Opulently furnished and bathed in warm light, the entry is an invitation for a rest, for purchasing products and for discussing the newest styling – trends. In the white working area nothing distracts the work of the hair stylist.

The ideal light for working, the bright and glossy surfaces and the reduced furnishing put the newly cut hairstyles into the centre of attention. The customer – literally being framed by the mirror – brings the room alive with the reflection of his face. Up for a new hair-do?

Photos by Eik Frenzel
Via Cubeme


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