Category Archives: Architecture

The Avenue on Portage by 5468796 Architecture

By | Architecture, Design, Residential | No Comments

Two commercial buildings in Winnipeg have been converted into an apartment block with mirrored balconies that stick out like open drawers.

The Avenue on Portage by 5468796 Architecture
Photograph by James Brittain

Constructed at the start of the twentieth century, the Hample and Avenue Buildings occupy a prominent position on Portage Avenue. They once housed shops and offices but had stood empty since the 1990s.

The Avenue on Portage by 5468796 Architecture
Photograph by James Brittain

The renovation by 5468796 Architecture involved upgrading the ground floor of both buildings for commercial use and adapting the upper floors to accommodate 75 rental apartments. At just three storeys, the Hample Building was half as tall as the Avenue Building, so the architects also added extra storeys to bring the two buildings into line.

The Avenue on Portage by 5468796 Architecture
Photograph by James Brittain

Steel balconies cantilever through existing window openings for 20 of the apartments. Each one is clad in mirrored aluminium and has a see-through gridded base.

The Avenue on Portage by 5468796 Architecture
Photograph by James Brittain

“A series of formally simple moves dramatically transform the original facades, shifting public perception of the buildings from eyesores to a unified urban landmark,” say the architects.

The Avenue on Portage by 5468796 Architecture
Photograph by James Brittain

At ground floor level, a mirrored canopy gives shelter to two different entrances. Stretching across the facade of both buildings, the volume is intended to unite the two structures.

The Avenue on Portage by 5468796 Architecture
Photograph by James Brittain

The first entrance leads though the glazed shopfront facade into the large ground floor unit, which is currently occupied by a charity organisation.

The Avenue on Portage by 5468796 Architecture
Photograph by James Brittain

The second entrance is dedicated to residents, who are led through a V-shaped recess into a stairwell at the centre of the building.

Glass Farm by MVRDV

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Glass Farm by MVRDV

The building is located in the market square of small Dutch town Schijndel, where MVRDVpartner Winy Maas grew up. The town suffered damages during World War II, and Maas has been campaigning since the 1980s to replace a destroyed structure in the space between the church and the town hall.

Glass Farm by MVRDV

Thirty years and six failed proposals later, the architects and the town council agreed to develop the site within the traditional building envelope specified by the town planners.

Glass Farm by MVRDV

MVRDV reinterpreted this volume in glass, then compiled photographs of traditional http://www.zinensis.com farmhouses by artist Frank van der Salm and created a collage of images to apply to each surface of the facade. Using a fritting technique the architects were able to print the images straight onto the glass, creating the illusion of brick walls and a thatched roof.

Glass Farm by MVRDV

The building is out of scale with the original farmhouses, so it appears to be two storeys high rather than three, while visible doors measure at a height of around four metres.

Glass Farm by MVRDV

“When adults interact with the building, they can experience toddler size again, possibly adding an element of nostalgic remembrance to their reception of the building,” say the architects.

Glass Farm by MVRDV

The actual windows and doors don’t line up with the printed images, so entrances look like they pass through brick walls and windows appear as semi-transparent blobs.

Glass Farm by MVRDV

Above: photograph is by Jeroen Musch

The architects explain that the building is “more or less translucent” and at night it is illuminated from the inside to appear as a glowing presence in the square.

Glass Farm by MVRDV

Named Glass House, the building contains shops, restaurants, offices and a health centre.

Glass Farm by MVRDV

MVRDV has completed a number of projects in recent months, including the new Oslo headquarters for Norwegian bank DNB and a public library inside a glass pyramid.

Glass Farm by MVRDV

See more architecture by MVRDV, including the Balancing Barn holiday home.

Glass Farm by MVRDV

NEO Bankside by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

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NEO Bankside by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

London firm Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners has completed NEO Bankside, a set of six-sided apartment blocks beside the Tate Modern art gallery on the edge of the River Thames.

NEO Bankside by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Like the Centre Pompidou and many other buildings designed by studio founder Richard Rogers, the four towers feature external bracing systems that form a steel diagrid across the facades.

NEO Bankside by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

These supports carry the weight of each structure, preventing the need for load-bearing walls inside the building and in turn allowing flexible layouts on different floors.

NEO Bankside by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

“A key feature is the external bracing, which allows a fantastic amount of flexibility inside the apartments,” explained Graham Stirk. “All the walls internally are non-structural, which means we have been able to open up the floor-to-ceiling space much higher than in a conventional apartment. That has enabled us to maximise daylight and the views.”

NEO Bankside by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

The towers range from 12 to 24 storeys in height and all four feature balconies on the north and south elevations.

NEO Bankside by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

“The four pavilions make up a family of buildings, a series of four towers of different heights bound by a very strong three-dimensional geometry,” said Stirk.

NEO Bankside by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

The exposed steel structure is also intended as a nod to the industrial heritage of the area, which was once home to a large oil-fired power station (now Tate Modern).