NORD [Northern Office for Research and Design] Architects have recently been named the winners of a competition to design a new healthcare center for cancer patients in Copenhagen. Run in collaboration with the Danish Cancer Society, the project was inspired by “Maggie’s Centre” in Great Britain – and will function as an independent institution that provides cancer patients and their families with counseling and rehabilitation.
[note: this image was cropped from the preceding image, to show more detail]
Founded on the principles of ‘healing architecture’, the center has been specifically designed so as not to resemble a hospital / typical health institution – instead using massing elements suggesting the form of a house [or series or houses]. Conceptually this is intended to both make visitors/users feel more at ease, while also creating an iconic structure that will be recognizable within the community.
“This is a very meaningful assignment to us and we have given a proposal that expresses and defines itself as a new typology between a house and an institution.”
~ Johannes Pedersen and Morten Rask Gregersen, partners at NORD
This saw-toothed gabled roofline runs around the perimeter of the center, forming a central courtyard which can be accessed from a number of locations – creating a public, interior garden area that connects the interior spaces of the project [there’s even a climbing wall, seen in the image below]. A series of balconies open off of this central space, further connecting the building with its site and surrounding neighborhood.
[note: this image was cropped from the preceding image, to show more detail]
And this is yet another example of the current popularity / trend of the iconic gabled roof structure – this time applied to a building that contains no housing at all. So far I’m still into it – but maybe that’s because I’ve yet to come across a project that completely fails in its use of the gables. We’ll see. I’m a fan of this project, regardless – based on the limited information I have [just these images and a few paragraphs of text] I think the project looks as if it could be pretty dope – time will tell.
And is it just me, or is this slightly reminiscent of BIG’s Tallinn’s New City Hall project? Just a little bit…
::all images, info + quotes courtesy of NORD Architects/MIR::
Here we have the L House by the Polish firm moomoo architects -proposed for a site in ?�d?, Poland. The home – which is another in this popular simplified gable form, which looks like a child drew the end elevation in an art class – is set to be completed in 2010. This simplified massing is based on a traditional Polish home, both in the simple elevation and in the way that the roof slopes upward from one side of the structure to the other.
To achieve the clean + continuous form of the home, moomoo is using a plastic insulating material named Thermopian – which is usually reserved for roofs. This both creates these smooth, unbroken wall/roof surfaces, and allows the home to be built in just about any color the designers choose.
The plan is simple and efficient, making for a modestly sized home – the only detail in plan that is really worth pointing out specifically is that wall splitting off at an angle from the main volume of the house. Apparently local building codes require that the building’s facade be parallel to the site boundary – and this is the architects’ way of meeting this local requirement while having the house oriented in the direction they would prefer. It does make for an interesting window looking at what seems to be an essentially unusable space, perhaps protecting the inhabitants’ privacy from the street.
Designed by ADOC [Arquitectura Design Ordenamento Consultores], what we’ve got here today is a proposal for university housing in Zaragoza, Spain. Say it with me now: my ninjas, please… Now, I warned readers in my post on KKA’s fishmarket project that I had a collection of projects that utilize the iconic gable-roofed home shape – and this university housing project is definitely the most extreme / strangest use of the form I’ve come across so far.
The project starts out with a simplistic, minimalist take on the gabled roof house form, creating a single volume to house the university students in an individual module. This module is then multiplied, stacked and arrayed – creating 5 storey housing blocks, seemingly connected by the long central hallways familiar to a typical apartment building.
ADOC likens each floor to a street – individual homes, connected by a shared pathway. We can see this idea in the section best – where the drawing shows not just a narrow hallway, but what looks like a small, two-storey, space that connects the individual volumes to the shared path. Now, I have no idea how big this space is – but it looks to be at least the width of the hallway itself.
That said, if the ‘outdoor’ space is also as long as the individual volume itself and double-height – does this create a useable, individual, ‘outdoor’ emulating space within the structure created by the amalgamation of these individual ‘houses’? It’s definitely a fascinating idea – combining forms we associated with the things we like about single-family homes to create structures that use the land more efficiently, and achieve a higher density without depriving residents of a sense of individual, private space.
Assuming any of this is the case, I think we need to imagine this type of project post-occupancy -where I would expect to find that residents had really taken ownership of their personal volume. Painting, personalizing, decorating, planting – I wonder if you could really achieve the diversity found on an actual street in a project such as this one. I would argue that it may even have to capacity to exceed the individuality found on many streets – as so much single-family residential construction looks so so similar, and the simple fact that single-family homes having clear owners/residents and addresses/land seems to reduce the occupants’ desire to personalize the exterior of the building in additional ways.
Thanks to our ninja Manuel for the link – don’t hesitate to hit me up if you come across something that you think ninjas should know about. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org – or drop me a DM on Twitter @ArchitectureMNP.
This project was also covered a while back by our ninjas over at plusmood, which you can read here.
Interesting entry by Kjellgren Kaminsky Architecture [KKA] to a competition held by the Bergen Municipality, Norway, for a market square and fish market building.
Based on the volumes and proportions of the ‘Bergen building tradition’, the proposed market building is a five storey structure sited at the end of a larger public square – inspired by historically used local materials and clad in wood, in an attempt to reinterpret the historical architecture of the area.
The traditional fish market of Bergen have over the years gradually changed its shape. Today fish sold here is no longer just fish and the clientele is no longer only local people but also a large amount of tourists. We believe that the traditional market would gain more visitors if it was combined with a modern marketplace fully equipped and under one roof. The interior market hall may be supplemented by a traditional temporary market square surface in front of the house.
Purposefully designed to have a small footprint, the fish market allows for the majority of the site to function as a flexible public space, as seen in the diagrams below. Public space is drawn up threw the building, as seen in the sections below, to allow varying views overlooking the market square – turning the building into a kind of backdrop for the public space. The combination of the fish market with a more contemporary marketplace – along with this relationship with the public square, and the use of part of the building as public space – are attempts to use the project as a way to reinvigorate the area, and bring more locals and tourists to the market.
Now, all this about this project in particular aside – what’s up with the increasing popularity of simplified gabled roof building? I have something like 3 or 4 more projects I want to post on that use the iconic gabled-roof home volume in a streamlined, contemporary way – and I know I’ve already posted on some projects doing similar things. How do ninjas feel about this? Overused trend? Cool reinterpretation of a longstanding typology? Refreshing move away from flat and butterfly roofs? [Also, it’s worth noting that it seems as if the hip roof is being used in similar fashion]
::all images + info courtesy of Kjellgren Kaminsky Architecture::