In Trondheim, Norway, there stands a building made up of uneven windows. From the outside, it looks like a wacky fun-house, but inside, it is a standard white cube fit for displaying amazing artwork. The gallery space, known as RAKE, was developed by four NTNU students who invited fellow architecture students from Trodheim, Oslo, and Bergen to materialize this idea.
The project’s creative planning began in May and the group of architecture enthusiasts were ready to build in August. RAKE was physically assembled in twelve days, gaining many of the necessary constructing materials from a nearby building that was scheduled for demolition. The walls are made up of two layers of windows, the ceiling has three layers of doors, and the floors are composed of large wooden cubes made by a local farmer. The group’s practices and methods of construction fit perfectly with the project’s “reuse” theme, which hopes to prove that the reuse of items does not devalue a structure and can still be pleasing to the eye.
Since completion, the showroom has had its first art opening, featuring a collaboration between architect Fredrik Lund and artist Anne-Karin Furunes. How wonderful for art to fill a beautiful work of art, especially at night when the space illuminates against the urban backdrop. What a sight to see!
The Enabling City is a new way of thinking about communities and change. Read the little guide’s initiatives to have fresh ideas and creative inspirations in order to stimulate participatory processes and imagine sustainable urban neighbourhoods.
Germany just staked a massive claim in solar energy by building the world’s largest photovoltaic solar park with Unlimited Energy and the Saferay company. Constructed in eastern Germany near the city of Senftenberg, a portion of the 166-megawatt park was recently opened by German officials. The park repurposed otherwise unusable land that was once occupied by an open-pit mine.
Wilton’s theater in London is the world’s oldest surviving grand music hall - and it’s currently undergoing a renovation that will return the space to its former glory. Tucked away in the East London district of Tower Hill, Wiltons remains remarkably beautiful despite many years of neglect. It began its life as a music hall when John Wilton converted a row of five terraced houses on a quiet alley in 1858, and it continues to be a platform for unique talent today. A series of dimly lit, cavernous rooms and hallways lead into an extraordinary hall - read on for a look inside!
Utrecht-based studio Zecc Architects has converted a catholic church built in 1870 into a spacious house. Located in Utrecht in The Netherlands, the 5,112 square foot church features an open contemporary interior design.
The atmosphere, created by furniture and styling, is the work of Thomas Haukes from (springers)wonen. The result complements the strong design of the architect, creating a, extremely fine living space with original design. The design perfectly takes into consideration the original style, all in the right proportions. The original nave (14 meters high) is impressive, but the balanced design of the inner space ensures that a human dimension is not ignored. The clear plainness that the Saint Jakobus knew at the time of architect Gerard Gerritsen still gives today the power to this monumental building.
In the guise of the Hamburg Philharmonic Hall, Hamburg is acquiring a new and impressive concert house, one that seems destined to house one of the world’s ten best concert halls. This should be an outstanding location for performing classical music as well as jazz, world music and pop music. The Hamburg Philharmonic Hall will become a new landmark for the city and, at the same time, a place for everyone. The new building complex on the western tip of HafenCity will comprise three concert halls, a hotel with an international conference area, apartments, a plaza at a height of 37 meters, a wellness area and a large number of parking spaces in the Warehouse A. The complex was based on designs by the renowned Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron.
The Hamburg Philharmonic Hall will be a landmark straddling the river Elbe. In the West you could say it projects into the Elbe, forming a link between the city and the port. Similarly, the Hamburg Philharmonic Hall is to have a major function for HafenCity. In conjunction with the “Hamburg International Maritime Museum” and the planned cultural facilities in the Überseequartier (Overseas Quarter), Hamburg Philharmonic Hall will be the cultural heart of HafenCity and will help to further invigorate the largest inner city development area in Europe.
The building’s sensational design is the work of Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron. It combines a classic brick style with the daring sweep of the glass facades and a dramatic undulating roof. It is this interplay of two very different architectures that accounts for the Hamburg Philharmonic Hall’s unique impact: the archaic looking Warehouse A, designed by Werner Kallmorgen and inspired by the port – a monument to the industrial architecture of the 1960s – and the festive elegance of the Philharmonic Hall. Between these two contrasting buildings lies a freely accessible plaza from which you can enjoy an amazing view out over the city and the port. The Hamburg Philharmonic H all will have boast three concert halls. The large concert hall in the upper section will number amongst the world’s best. 47 apartments will be built on the West side of the building. On the East side – facing HafenCity – a luxurious hotel with 250 rooms is planned.
The warehouse A The warehouse A was designed by Werner Kallmorgen and built from 1963 to 1966. The old warehouse was used up to the 1990s to store commodities such as cocoa, tee and coffee. The warehouse is also the architectural basis of the new Hamburg Philharmonic Hall. In its volume it is a trapezoidal cubic structure which tapers towards the west and reaches its greatest elegance at the most important urban design setting, the tip of the Kaiserhöft. The warehouse will mainly be used for car parking spaces, backstage facilities.
In addition to the three concert halls, the Plaza also forms the heart of the Hamburg Philharmonic Hall. It will resemble a market place where concert-goers and casual passers-by, residents of Hamburg and tourists can meet. The outdoor terraces offer a unique panorama with views of the city centre to the North, HafenCity to the East, and the Elbe and the harbour to the South and West. There is hardly anywhere else in Hamburg where the relationship between the city and the harbour can be seen in such an impressive way. The interior of the Plaza is dominated by the curved ceiling with its varying geometrical shape. It affords spectacular views of the city and the harbour. Deep recesses are cut into the building above the Plaza, offering varied views between the Plaza and the different levels of the foyer. On the Plaza itself, there are a number of restaurants and bars, and also the entrances to Seite 2 von 3 the hotel lobby and the residential complex. Sculptural staircases lead to the foyers of the Philharmonic Halls.
Restoring old Dutch barns is a tough job due to the fact that they have such a distinctive place in the country’s landscape, but LEVS Architecten has done it with style. Located in northern Holland, the Doggerij barn’s original timber shell was incorporated into the renovated building, which is topped with a brand new thatched roof. But this is no ordinary barn. Instead, it is a 1,150 square meter shelter for 20 Dutch youth who have lost their way and need a bit of help finding it again.
The Council of Europe Museum Prize for 2010 has been awarded to the Portimão Museum in Algarve in Portugal.
The committee’s decision was motivated by the success story of the museum, the relevance of its theme and the extent of its educational programme to the benefit of the local community. The Portimão Museum housed in a former sardine canning factory on the estuary of the Arade River has successfully restored the industrial/historical heritage of the Portimão area.
Its permanent exhibition traces the interaction of man with his environment over a period of five millennia, with particular emphasis on the sardine canning industry. Underwater archaeology also plays a special role, with an extensive collection of items that have been recovered from the River Arade during successive underwater research projects, such as sunken ships from civilisations dating back over three millennia.
Portimão Museum has succeeded in increasing awareness of cultural identity in a region very much dominated by mass tourism.
The Council of Europe Museum Prize has been awarded annually since 1977 to a museum judged to have made a significant contribution to the understanding of European cultural heritage. Museums in the 49 countries of the European Cultural Convention are eligible to enter for the prize.
The winning museum will be presented with a bronze statuette, “La femme aux beaux seins” by Joan Miró, which the museum will keep for a year, as well as a diploma and a cheque for 5,000 euros. The presentation ceremony will take place in Strasbourg in April, during the Parliamentary Assembly’s spring session.
The prize is decided by the Committee on Culture, Science and Education of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) on the basis of a shortlist presented by a jury of the European Museum Forum, and forms part of the European Museum of the Year Awards. Recent winners include Zeeuws Museum in the Netherlands (2009), Norway’s Svalbard Museum (2008) and Geneva’s International Museum of the Reformation (2007).
The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) is “the world’s greatest museum of Art and Design”.Throughout its history the museum has used its own built fabric to showcase contemporary architectural design and construction craft. The project seeks to continue this tradition.
The new Medieval & Renaissance Galleries are located on three levels, in the south east quarter of the V&A, within the 1909 Grade 1 Listed, Aston Webb Galleries which provided significant challenges in achieving the requirements of a modern museum - in particular visitor access, light and environmental control.
The brief was to display some 1800 artefacts, dating from 300 AD to 1600, in such a way that the curatorial narrative was clear and the range of the collection and outstanding aesthetic worth of the individual pieces celebrated. With highly sensitive historic artefacts, the brief originally required air conditioned galleries to create appropriate conditions in these south facing and rooflit galleries. However, through examination of the characteristics of the existing building fabric, together with an alternative approach to the environmental brief, humidification and cooling were eliminated. In this, the V&A is pioneering and the project is a test-bed for museums elsewhere - questioning current lending criteria which typically lead to high energy consumption.
The Perimeter Galleries were isolated from the rest of the museum, due to a lack of physical and visual connections with access severely compromised by changes in level, so much so that four of the galleries had been subdivided, some with mezzanines, for use as offices and stores. By removing an existing marble staircase on two levels, it was possible to reconfigure light wells to create new vertical circulation and a new Daylit Gallery. Occupying a pivotal location, this intervention not only connects the suite of Medieval & Renaissance Galleries, but also provides equality of access to six levels of the museum thus resolving access in this quarter of the museum.
The new Daylit Gallery is an informal top-lit space, contained between existing external facades. There is an inherent dynamic quality to this found volume; the contrast and spatial tension between the powerful curved form of the East Hall and the adjacent rectilinear blocks, providing an opportunity for an abstract intervention. Translucent structural glass beams, up to 9.5m long, are arrayed across the space; the reconciliation of the existing geometries creating a delicate undulating roof. In keeping with the spirit of a museum that celebrates design excellence, the modern intervention employs innovative construction technologies – ones that are clearly distinct from the historic fabric but also, through form and materials, in harmony with it. These moves have created the first new-build public space at the museum in over 100 years.
Aston Webb’s original galleries have been reinstated, augmented by a series of new connections. New services, are woven discretely through the existing fabric, where possible taking advantage of original chimneys and trenches. In these galleries the scale, proportion and rhythm of the historic spaces has been recovered, whilst creating an appropriate and calm setting for the collection. The spatial rhythm is further reinforced by the use of contrasting light levels and colour, helping to sustain interest and avoid visitor fatigue. Artefacts are used to structure space, establishing and reinforcing the curatorial narrative. Significant artefacts are positioned at key architectural points, framed by existing vistas and glimpsed through new openings. In this way, the collection itself is utilised to draw visitors through the progression of spaces in such a way that the exhibition as a whole is intelligible.
Although almost all of the galleries contain light sensitive artefacts, they are all daylit, with light levels ranging from controlled shafts of sunlight, through diffuse daylight, to controlled, filtered daylight. In one instance, daylight is filtered through a series of translucent structural onyx screens - an abstract interpretation of the use of translucent stone windows in medieval ecclesiastical architecture; here providing a serene and beautiful backdrop for the display of 13th century devotional artefacts.
A limited palate of materials is employed to provide simple backdrops for the display of the delicately detailed and coloured artefacts. Throughout the Perimeter Galleries a pale limestone is used for floors, plinths and the bases of showcases, with leather and oak for loose and fitted furniture. The support structures for artefacts are generally stainless steel or grey painted steel. Glass, stainless steel and fair faced concrete, carefully engineered and highly crafted are used in the new gallery, stair and lift. Details are simple visually. The engineering of slender structures was critical in achieving an appropriate contrast with the ornate plasterwork and brickwork of the original fabric.
Throughout the galleries, the visual impact of the method of display is minimised; to lose the bracket or dissolve the cabinet. In this way the powerful aesthetic worth of the artefact is highlighted – a celebration of the artefacts themselves.
With the opening of the Medieval & Renaissance Galleries, in December 2009, visitor numbers to the V&A have increased by 18% with, in the six months to date, 500,000 visitors to the Medieval and Renaissance galleries alone.
Exhibition Design: MUMA Historic Buildings Consultant: Julian Harrap Architects Structural Engineer: Dewhurst Macfarlane & Partners Quantity Surveyor: Davis Langdon MEP/Fire Engineer: Arup Vertical Transportation: Arup Daylighting Consultant: Arup Artificial Lighting Consultant: DHA Acoustician: Soundspace Design Project Manager: Lend Lease Projects / March Consulting Main Contractor: Holloway White Allom