CAP in Paris

The renovation of an old 19th century photography studio by AAVP in the heart of the Opera Madeleine haussmannian district, into two prestigious private apartments disrupted the uses of its distribution of the Second Empire. Access to it is via the service staircase and the narrow corridor leading to the rooms once reserved for the servants. Each of the apartments is a duplex with the bedrooms and bathrooms on the lower level, reception areas, as the living room and kitchen, being found at the upper level under a contemporary glazing, re-designed meticulously for the occasion.

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It also offers a breathtaking view of the roofs of Paris. The superior levels are both crossing with two distinct panoramas : The prestigious ornementation of the Opera Garnier situated on both side of the living room and the kitchen. The other side of the décor concerns an urban scenery of accessories such as fire escape, air conditioning units, and ventilation systems hidden in the rear facade of the haussmannian buildings. Haussmannian, by nature, support repetitive changes. Few superfluous elements are contained within it but a setting of exceptional interventions is included : transparent glass walls and curtains for a room, mirror blocks masking or unveiling a generous shower, curtains of leather mystifying a kitchen, concrete benches, whose usage is for seating and “to be carried by the sky”. The most remarkable work remains within the glass that places the inhabitant in a form of showcase, dominating both the urban area and the atmosphere. It’s definitely an experience.

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Rocksplit House in Kea Island

 

A summerhouse in Greece developed for the Mediterranean climate by Cometa Architects, using local materials and sustainable energy saving methods.

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The steep ground and the plot’s narrow dimensions determine the pronounced and gradient form of the building which rises from the mountain and over the valley of Poisses, to finally balance itself with the surrounding traditional dwellings and the natural context. The experience of the Cycladic landscape is the design’s main concern, expressed through the spatial evolution and relationship of the building with the dramatic land.  This is achieved through the traditional method of construction  called “kotounto”, a dry, humid-free space between the rock and the building. In such a way, the external spaces, a continuous perimetrical ‘kotoundo’  makes the building sometimes trying to break away from the rock and sometimes to reconcile with it.

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Exhibition Hall in Nanjing

The Nanjing Eco-Technology Island by NBBJ is positioned to be Nanjing’s center for the development and practice of high-tech innovation, and an ecological destination and resource for citizens and tourists.

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In the Exhibition Hall the roof form becomes a dramatic expression of eight “light canons” that are strategically placed to allow natural light to pierce deep into the building at all levels. The singular large roof form also incorporates an expansive overhang that passively shades the entire building façade.

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Ventura House in Monterrey

This house by Mexican architect Tatiana Bilbao comprises a cluster of five-sided concrete blocks that emerge from a forested hillside to offer panoramic views towards the city of Monterrey. The uneven terrain informed a proposal that extends across the site, composed of a series of connected volumes arranged to optimise the available views.

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With its outlook over the nearby metropolis, the hillside property evokes images of properties in the Hollywood Hills captured in the mid 20th century by photographer Julius Shulman.“This reference was a starting point and an inspiration to begin our design, based a pentagon module as a design parameter, which derived from a spatial diagram and the topography,” Bilbao’s team explained.

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Acolhúas House in Guadalajara

From the architects SPRB arquitectos:

As if it were the case of a precious musical instrument, the house is a robust wrapping that develops around the position of a majestic Bösendorfer piano. The main spaces are related to both the central courtyard and the surrounding gardens, either for functional relationships or for comfort issues given the mild climate of Guadalajara.

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Introverted to its neighbors, exploits its privileged position of contiguity to a public park. To the orthogonality of the plant, the section is contrasted with its different interior reliefs of the roofs in successive variations of scale, intimacy and hierarchy of spaces. An honest materiality has been intended, both in its construction systems and in its finishes.

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A blog curated by Roberto Cruz Niemiec with the best of Architecture, Design and Art.