Category Archives: Architecture

University of Sydney Business School

In a strategic move to consolidate its facilities across nine buildings on the Camperdown/Darlington campuses, Woods Bagot has designed the flagship home for the new University of Sydney Business School. Catering to over 6,000 students, the Abercrombie precinct includes three 550-seat lecture theatres, eight 100-seat study rooms, 40 seminar rooms, a learning hub and 1,500 sqm of informal learning space.

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One of the main objectives of the Business School was to reshape the conventional higher education triptych of teaching, learning and research. The functional floor plates provide a spectrum of learning environments positioned around a centrally-located social spine, encouraging collaboration and visual accessibility.

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The exterior skin draws inspiration from the historic and textural character of the neighbouring Darlington terraces and the university quad. The double-skin façade system is intelligently designed to react to both the interior and exterior building adjacencies, with density and rotation of blades responding to desirable sightlines, privacy concerns and daylight penetration to study areas. In a contemporary reinterpretation of historic local sandstone, the stratification of terracotta baguettes integrates the architecture firmly within the campus aesthetic.

The House by the Trees in Ahmedabad

In the words of the architects Modo Design:

This weekend house meant as a gathering and retreat place for a gujarati family is located in western locality of Ahmedabad. The design brief given was to develop the place more like a small resort. Keeping the essential brief in mind, the house is designed as two blocks separated by open to sky green space. The idea was to allow natural elements into these blocks and engage the user with these elements. The front block has the living, dining and verandah spaces which are more public in nature and are interpreted by a glass pavilion. The rear block houses the private bedroom spaces and kitchen and hence more stark and introverted in expression. A sense of openness and flow prevails towards the garden side.

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The house by the Trees is a gathering and retreat place on the outskirts of Ahmedabad set amidst the existing neem, chikoo and amla trees. The brief given was to have a spacious and open place yet addressing security concerns.

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Our primary concern was to weave the house layout with the existing trees, resulting into some trees within the house courts and some trees along its edge and thus random location of existing trees defined the extent of the house. The house is a two bay plan with the front bay having the semi open porch and vestibule and a guest bedroom adjoining it. A linear courtyard segregates the front bay from the rear one enhancing the sense of openness from the enclosed spaces. The rear bay has the living, dining and kitchen on one side and master bedroom on the other side with a semi open lounge that separates these zones in the rear bay.

The Dovecote in Braga

In the words of the architects AZO. Sequeira Arquitectos Associados:

This is an emotional design!

Our client asked us to reform an old dovecote in the backyard of his home. We decided to propose a play house for the children and a balneary to serve the pool on the ground floor. The whole family loved the idea. We wanted a play room inspired by magic, fantasy and also by the childhood dreams and memories… We decided to transform the old dovecote in a minimal concrete «tree house» that represent these memories and fantasies of pure and peaceful way.

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We look for a way that seemed the main volume is levitating as a tree house but simultaneously it had to be balanced and pure. The idea was that the interior was absent of superfluous elements and were gradually decorated by the works and toys of these children as a reflection of consumer society we are experiencing. Some elements remained of the original building as the triangular window through which entered doves.

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Parliament Inside by Zsolt Hlinka

In the words of the artist Zsolt Hlinka:

In this series I’ve visited another key element of Budapest which we see every day, but only few know about its secrets. My choice this time fell to the Parliament, which is already an imposing architectural work just from the outside, but its inner spaces display even more extraordinary details.The brilliant design and the quality of the materials provide a solemn and elegant, captivating look for the photographs. With the help of these pictures every tiny corner can be explored, examined endlessly, so I’ve opened a new “window” for my audience to discover the hidden symmetries of the capital city.

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© Zsolt Hlinka
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© Zsolt Hlinka

My-House in Melbourne

My-House is Austin Maynard’s own home. It is also the office of Austin Maynard Architects. Maynard and his family live upstairs, whilst AMA occupies the shopfront downstairs. The kitchen, dining and garden are shared between my family and the AMA team between 9am and 5pm.

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My-House is an experiment that Austin Maynard lives in. It is a home that he dares not impose on my clients. It breaks many important rules, often not in a good way. My-House lets in sunlight where a house should not. Whilst it is a very sustainable home, My-House is not as thermally efficient as the homes I design for others. Issues of privacy and personal comfort are often challenged in My-House. It is for these reasons that Maynard and his family love it.

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Musée des Beaux-Arts in Nantes

In Autumn 2009, Stanton Williams won an international competition to transform the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Nantes, one of the six largest Fine Art Museums outside Paris. It will be known upon completion as the Musée d’arts de Nantes. The creation of this urban quarter incorporates several key extension buildings that will link the existing 19th Century quadrangle ‘Palais’ of the museum and the 17th Century Oratory Chapel on the adjacent site, which operates as a temporary art installation space. The Chapel will be accessed directly from the main part of the museum for the first time.

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The existing historical museum building will be comprehensively renovated, whilst the new extension will accommodate the additional exhibition spaces for contemporary art. The project will also include the creation of new educational facilities, an auditorium, a library, a storage space for graphic arts collection and an external sculpture court.

Reflecting the local architecture, moreover, the new extension will also blend into its surrounding area. Envisaged as a monolithic volume, a consistent palette of materials will create an impression that the whole building is carved out of a single block of stone. In line with the concept of unravelling a closed museum, the entire south elevation of the new extension will be glazed with the translucent laminated marble, referencing the time when alabaster and marble were frequently used before glass to draw in natural light into Medieval churches while protecting precious artworks from the natural elements.

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The new urban quarter will ultimately help to redefine the image of Musée d’arts de Nantes, which is still firmly rooted in its surroundings but is now open to new possibilities.

Images by: Hufton + Crow, Stefano Graziani