Posts tagged with "Vernacular":

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The Shui Cultural Center connects to traditional life through copper and concrete

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Opened to the public in December 2017, West-Line Studio’s Shui Cultural Center is an imposing complex located in a valley within China’s rugged Sandu Shui Autonomous County. The complex, consisting of three single-gabled halls and a monumental tower, is a formidable display of timber-pressed concrete covered in pitched copper plates.
  • Facade Manufacturer Changsha Di Kai Construction Engineering Co., Chongqing Zhongbo Energy Conservation Glass Co.
  • Architects West-Line Studio. Lead Architects—Haobo Wei, Jingsong Xie. Architecture and Landscape Design–Hanmin Dan, Yudan Luo. Interior Design–Martina Muratori
  • Facade Installer Changsha Di Kai Construction Engineering Co., Ltd
  • Facade Consultants Changsha Di Kai Construction Engineering Co., Ltd
  • Location Sandu County, Guizhou, China
  • Date of Completion December 2017
  • System Concrete system clad in copper panels and glass
  • Products Custom made double-sided copper plates, and glass
The Shui people, concentrated in the county and the larger Guizhou province, are a distinct ethnic minority with a unique language and logographic writing system. For West-Line Studio, the project was an ambitious attempt to translate local customs into a cohesive design for a cultural center campus nearing 150,000 square feet. Placed atop an expansive concrete podium, the halls are of varying size, height, and function. They are unified by relatively hidden wall openings and approximately 4,000 perforated copper cladding panels. Each half-inch-thick panel, measuring four by two feet, was subjected to a multi-stepped anodizing process to overcome corrosion in the acid rain–drenched province and to boost iridescence. The perforations, numbering just under 50,000 in total, fulfill three functions. Structurally, gaps in the copper plate significantly reduce the dead load placed on cantilevered concrete trusses and the screen wall fastening system, composed of galvanized steel corners, sheets, and expansion-and-burst bolts. Aesthetically, the perforations create a patterned brise-soleil for the halls’ east and west elevations, filtering light through the narrow, rectangular glass panes that line the hall. Symbolically, the gaps are a nod to the Shui character for rain, which consists of tiered vertical bands. The interiors of the complex, marked by exposed concrete structural systems, are imprinted by the surrounding landscape through the use of pine panel-formed concrete. Sandu, relatively isolated from the country’s principal economic centers, is known for its dense Huashan pine and Chinese fir forests. The concrete detail effectively softens what could be considered an ominous space, transforming them into grey, oversized versions of the region’s traditional timber vernacular forms. The triple-glazed glass panels, produced 350 miles north in the megalopolis of Chongqing, largely insulate and guard the complex from the elements. However, West-Line Studio inserted two details that add color and symbolic depth to the cultural center. In the complex's ritual hall, glass panels are dyed to resemble typical batik tapestry patterns, blanketing the concrete walls and flooring with ever-changing color. Additionally, box-like concrete appendages marked with traditional Shui logographic characters protrude from this same hall. With a glance of sunlight, the characters are beamed downward, further tying the symbolic and material. Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified the cladding panels as being made of bronze rather than copper.

ASA International Design Competition: Vex Agitated Vernacular

1.DESIGN BRIEF

This year’s ASA International Design Competition aims to upend the typical associations of vernacular architecture and design. The term ‘VEX’ can be approached from a multitude of perspectives, all to challenge, or agitate, the stereotypes of what vernacular should or should not be.

One tends to assume that vernacular architecture is in opposition to modern architecture and lifestyle. There is the perception that vernacular is something that is traditional and therefore is considered to be technologically ‘inept’ or ‘crude.' This relegates vernacular design to irrelevance in today’s society and also implies that it is immutable and static, and ‘unimprovable.’

The challenge of the competition is for participants to create a new type of vernacular with characteristics not commonly associated with vernacular design. The competition is looking to showcase new vernacular design that is mutable, inventive and capable of self-renewal.

The goal is to re-think vernacular as something that can assume performative roles and possess generative potentials. The Jury will reward entrants that can demonstrate vernacular design that is dynamic and is particularly suited to innovation, invention and relevance.

VEX asks:  How can Vernacular agitate the status quo?

- Can Vernacular be a catalyst, a variable, a process, rather than a static element?

- Can Vernacular be a language from which others can spring from and use?

2. SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Each submission must include the following contents:

2.1. The participant can select any specific site as the site of their design. The subject can be architecture, urban design or interior design.

2.2.  After identifying the site, provide conceptual drawings, analytical drawings, sections, plans, renderings or perspective drawings in any scale. Demonstrate how vernacular quality modifies the subject and the resulting design outcome.

3. DELIVERABLES

3.1. Five (5) Graphic Slides: Square Format 420×420 mm each

-  High resolution PDF @ 300 dpi (maximum file size of combined 5 PDF slides: 20* MB)

-  Recommendation: font size used in the graphics should not be less than 11 pt. for

   printing clarity.

-  File name: Firstname_Lastname_300.pdf

3.2. Project Description in English, maximum 300 words

Files that do not meet the specified requirements will not be taken into consideration.

For more details on deliverables and submission process please refer to the competition website.

4. AWARDS

First prize: 4,000    USD

Second prize:  2,000    USD

Third prize: 1,000    USD

Honorable Mention: 3 x 500    USD

5. COMPETITION TIMELINE

-  Official Announcement of competition:  January 30, 2018

-  Online Submission for competition begins: January 30, 2018

-  Deadline for submissions: March 31, 2018

-  Announcement of shortlisted entries: April 15, 2018

-  Finalist Judging and Awarded entries: May 6, 2018

6. REGISTRATION & SUBMISSION

-  Registration is free.

-  Register and submit online at www.asacompetition.com

7. ELIGIBILITY TO PARTICIPATE

-  Open to students, architects, urban planners, designers, artists and thinkers.

-  Submit as an individual or as a team.

-  No restrictions on age, gender or nationality.

-  No limits on the number of submissions.

-  Work cannot be published elsewhere before.

-  Submission cannot be built work or completed projects.

-  The entrant should have legal rights and copyrights to all the material submitted.

   If the project contains any material or elements that are not owned by the entrant,

   the submission shall be excluded from any consideration.  If it is later known that

   rights have been violated, the prize and award will be recalled.

-  The copyright of the project belongs to the entrant.

-  All materials submitted may be displayed and/or published at the discretion of

   The Association of Siamese Architects under Royal Patronage.

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In latest push to clear backlog, NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission designates nine new landmarks

Tasked with clearing its 95-item backlog, New York City's Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) is moving swiftly to shape the future of historic structures in the Big Apple by clearing its docket. On Tuesday, the LPC voted to designate nine items—eight individual structures and one historic district—as New York City Landmarks.
Perhaps the most recognizable item on the list was the Pepsi Cola Sign, which has graced the shores of Long Island City, Queens, since 1936. The sign is not a typical landmark. It's an ad for a beverage conglomerate, albeit a charming, retro ad. A debate arose around the nuances of the designation at a meeting in February to present evidence in favor of preservation. Supporters' eyes ping-ponged anxiously as LPC members brought up possible obstacles objections: Would designation cover the metal scaffolding that the bottle and logo are attached to, or would designation encompass just the signs' iconic appendages, leaving a loophole to alter the sign's arrangement?
The LPC decided to landmark the Pepsi sign, noting in its recommendation that the sign was preserved once before, as the factory it flanked was sold in 1999. The LPC's decision recognizes the city's manufacturing heritage, and preserves the spirit of place that's otherwise the face of bland waterfront luxury condo development. The grassroots Historic Districts Council (HDC) recommends that the LPC "investigate additional preservation protections, such as an easement or some other form of legal contract to help ensure this landmark’s continued presence."
In all, there were ten items recommended for designation, including two whose eclecticism and allure rival the Pepsi sign (the commission delayed a vote on Immaculate Conception Church in the South Bronx.). One residence is a Gravesend landmark: The Lady Moody-Van Sicklen House, a stone, 18th-century Dutch-American-style farmhouse, is a rare survivor from Brooklyn's agrarian past. Local lore holds that the house belonged to Lady Deborah Moody, one of the area's first European women landowners.
New Yorkers thrilled by the Neoclassical flourishes of the Fifth Avenue facade of the Metropolitan Museum of Art will be delighted by the LPC's recognition of the Vanderbilt Mausoleum, a diminutive-by-comparison and little-known work by the same architect. École des Beaux Arts–trained Richard Morris Hunt designed the Romanesque Revival final resting place for the titans of industry, located in Staten Island's Frederick Law Olmsted–designed Moravian Cemetery. The Vanderbilts were so impressed by the meeting of minds that they hired Hunt and Olmstead to collaborate on the clan's low-key country house in North Carolina.
With that memento mori, the LPC voted to designate a few 19th-century structures within Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery. Although the entire cemetery, a National Historic Landmark, was up for local designation, even ardent preservationists advocated against the designation, noting that landmark status could place onerous restrictions on the 478-acre cemetery's operations: The plots, headstones, and mausoleums are owned by individuals, with 1,200 new "permanent residents" added annually, potentially complicating the regulation process.
The largest rural cemetery in the U.S., Green-Wood was designed by David Bates Douglass under the guiding landscape principles of Andrew Jackson Downing. The Gothic Revival entrance on Fifth Avenue, designed by Richard Upjohn and home to a vigorous parakeet colony, was declared an Individual Landmark in 1966. A chapel in the same style by Warren & Wetmore (the same firm behind Grand Central Terminal) received designation this time around, as did the Gatehouse and Gatehouse Cottage at the Fort Hamilton Parkway entrance.
For more information and updates on the extension of a Park Slope historic district, St. Augustine’s Church and Rectory, New England on City Island, and other newly-landmarked items, check out the LPC's website.
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One Year In: Five Healthful Homes for Haiti

One year ago, a catastrophic earthquake tore through Haiti killing 200,000 people. Today, some progress has been made to return to normality but a Goliath mountain of rubble that was once Port au Prince still must be cleared and housing built for the vast population living in ruins and tents. Toward that end, ARCHIVE, Architecture for Health in Vulnerable Environments, has announced the winners of a housing competition and will build five houses that promote healthy living in Haiti this year. Winners from around the world paid special attention to limit the transmission of tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, the leading deadly diseases in the country. The "Housing and Health in Haiti" competition garnered 147 entries from interdisciplinary teams in five continents. Winners were chosen to showcase innovative strategies in disease prevention through design while also being easily buildable with local materials and techniques. Five prototype houses will be constructed in the coastal town of Saint-Marc in eastern Haiti in cooperation with a local health organization.Each prototype is easily replicable by the local community. “What has sadly been overlooked even prior to the earthquake is how housing improvements can address the root causes of poor health," said ARCHIVE founder Peter Williams in a statement. "We hope our project will empower Haitians in rebuilding their lives, but also we want to replicate this model in other countries – demonstrating that among the poorest, housing can be a central strategy for improving health.” The winning entry, pictured at top, called Breathe House was designed by a team of architects, engineers, and doctors from the United States and the UK. The proposal makes extensive use of natural light and ventilation throughout the interior spaces and its simple construction of local materials can be reproduced in the community. American architects Lilian Sherrard and Brook K. Sherrard took second place for their Maison Canopy which hopes to foster community with a spacious covered porch where residents can rebuild community relationships. The house incorporates low-tech green features like rainwater collection for affordability and utilizes cross-ventilation and insect screening to promote occupant health where mosquito-born illness is common. The appropriately named Shutter Dwelling designed by an interdisciplinary Italian team consisting of Marco Ferri, Giorgio Giannattasio, Sara Parlato, Roberto Pennachio, and Andrea Tulisi was awarded third place. With an emphasis on spatial separation of sick and healthy occupants, the proposal calls for fresh airflows to promote health. The social center of the home revolves around the kitchen and the design takes cues from vernacular Haitian architecture. Another interdisciplinary team of architects, engineers, doctors, sustainability consultants, and a horticulturalist designed Bois l'Etat, a house designed around communal lifestyles. The project incorporates local materials and building practices for ease of construction and to improve the local economy. Green features include rainwater harvesting, composting toilets, and efficient use of energy. Architects Henry Luis Oquet, Kenneth Lopez, and Arlin Morales along with Engineer Pedro Almonte from the Dominican Republic creates Merit Award winner Cycle House. The proposal juxtaposes open lined with screens and closed spaces independent from the rest of the house to facilitate a healthy living environment. Herbs and medicinal plants grow from the house and a bike can be hooked up to provide electricity.