Stapleton Library in Staten Island

In the words of the architects Andrew Berman Architect:

The New York Public Library commissioned this branch library of 12,000 square feet. We restored the existing 1907 Carrere and Hastings Carnegie Library and designed a new 7,000 square foot building to be located alongside. The library is conceived as a modern public institution that will contribute to the revitalization of the Stapleton neighborhood.



The facility is an assemblage of old and new. The existing Carnegie Library was converted into the Childrens’ Reading Room. The new building, constructed of glue laminated Douglas fir posts, beams, joists and roof decking, houses books and media. The structurally glazed facade invites the public and supplies natural light. The exposed wood structure provides a sense of rhythm, scale and material richness unexpected in contemporary public buildings.


Pavilion of Photography in Château la Coste

Château la Coste is a vineyard in the south of France that, in addition to its wine-making program, includes major works of contemporary art and architecture across its 500 acre campus. Joining Tadao Ando, Frank Gehry, and Jean Nouvel, Renzo Piano is the latest Pritzker laureate to complete a structure for the ever-expanding complex. The ‘Pavilion of Photography’ forms a exhibition venue buried six meters below ground.

© Stéphane Aboudaram | we are content(s)

Surrounded by grapevines, the RPBW-designed building seeks to display art and preserve Château la Coste’s wine supplies. the sunken 285 square meter structure uses exposed concrete for the retaining and exhibition walls, a material choice that contrasts the glazed façades and roof canopy. ‘The partly buried building highlights the roof covered with a sail fastened to thin metal arches,’ explains the architects. ‘these arches echo the graphical layout of the grapevines, enabling to integrate the sail into the vineyard.’

© Stéphane Aboudaram | we are content(s)


Where the Eagles Live in Vienna

The scenery of the house also makes sky and stars visible on this residence designed by WILLL Architektur. The inconspicuous form, embedded into the landscape, overlooks a one hundred and fifty kilometer panoramic view.



Through subtle gestures, dark tones from the exterior walls unfold into the landscape. There is direct connection between the permeable nature of the interior space, and what lies outside. A proportional interplay between transparent elements and weighted cantilever, all contribute towards a composed whole. Given the surroundings, glazed incisions cut into the form provide individually considered framed views across the landscape.


Cité Musicale de l’Ile Seguin in Paris

In the words of the architects Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastines:

At the “prow” of the island of Seguin, the Cité Musicale solves the paradox of remaining in perfect continuity with the urban planning project of Jean Nouvel, while at the same time constituting a signal, an emblem of the culture of Hauts-de-Seine. On the downstream end, the foundation is inclined, and allows a nest of woven wood with rounded shapes to emerge. This detaches itself from the general silhouette of the island and affirms its presence. It announces the specificity of a prestigious public and cultural program: at the interior one notices the iridescent hull of the auditorium and the activity of its foyers. To the sides, a silver sail protects it from direct sunlight. This photovoltaic solar sail is always in movement, orienting itself following the course of the sun and permitting optimal energy production.



B018 in Beirut

B018 is a music club, a place of nocturnal survival, designed by Bernard Khoury/DW5. The B018 project is, first of all, a reaction to difficult and explosive conditions that are inherent to the history of its location and the contradictions that are implied by the implementation of an entertainment program on such a site.
B018 refuses to participate in the naïve amnesia that governs the post-war reconstruction efforts.

The project is built below ground. Its façade is pressed into the ground to avoid the over exposure of a mass that could act as a rhetorical monument. The building is embedded in a circular concrete disc slightly above tarmac level. At rest, it is almost invisible. It comes to life in the late hours of the night when its articulated heavy metal roof structure retracts hydraulically. The opening of the roof exposes the club to the world above and reveals the cityscape as an urban backdrop to the patrons below. Its closing translates a voluntary disappearance, a gesture of recess. The building is encircled by concrete and tarmac rings.  The automobiles’ circular travel around the club and the concentric parking spots frame the building in a carousel formation. At night, the continuous motion of the visitors’ cars animates the parking and becomes an integral element of the club’s scenario. The entrance is located at the south end of the low-lying metal construction where a staircase leads to two concessive “airlock” spaces manned by scowling bouncers. Strewn across the concrete pavement floor of the underground hall, the sofas with collapsible backs serve as elevated dancing surfaces that stage the performers.


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