Artist NOSIGNER has teamed with Tokushima Wood & Bamboo Industrial Cooperative Society Confederation to create a new wood furniture brand named ‘AWA’. Three of these new pieces were recently unveiled at DESIGNTIDE TOKYO 2009, and are featured here.
When Tokushima was once called the country of Awa, the tradition of wood furniture was initiated by ship builders. Thus, AWA decided to go back to its Tokushima woodworking roots to form this new and yet traditional project to bring Japan’s wood working culture into the future.
I think the dopeness of the projects speaks for itself – nothing like some Japanese minimalism and beautiful wood to create an awesome project. Here’s some info from NOSIGNER:
Cartesia stands for the “Cartesian coordinate system”, that is translated into a structure of drawers that have the capacity to open in two directions. This special quality makes it especially suitable for room corners. The new type of system that can open the different cases at the same time,?is a fundamental shift from the traditional modus operandi. The characteristic form of Cartesia, an inverted trapezium, is related on a rationally based design that implies handles.
Imaginary is a table that refers to the mathematical term of “imaginary number”. It includes an invisible drawer that allows to hide our cutlery and documents.
UNIT is a series of interior, that is made of the same specification. Combine the chair and the law table. They transform into a bench. Confine the stool and the chair. They become a low table. This series is a flexible interior solution that can be used in numerous ways.
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::
The typical architecture-school final thesis project tends to start as a theoretical written document, laying out a students individual thoughts and concepts on a particular architectural topic – which then evolves into a ‘paper architecture’ project, designed by the student and explained in drawings, diagrams, models, and maybe some animations.
Quad Space – the M-Arch thesis project of University at Buffalo students Michael-John Bailie, Paul Dudowski, Ernest Ng H.H., and Dan Stripp – is, as you can see, no ‘typical’ thesis project. Rather than leave the project on paper, the four students decided to test their ideas in the real world – through a fairly drastic/awesome renovation of a 400 SF 1850’s Buffalo home. From the team:
Quad Space is an insertion of an architectural academic exercise as a full-scale constructed exploration to spatially and structurally manipulate and define the division of four spaces within a 400 sqf house.
Project background, via Quad Space:
This thesis re-evaluates the operations of architectural exercises within the academia and its role and relationship with the social, communal and economic environment that it is based in. This thesis project will critically investigates the process of establishing an academic architectural research project as a full scale construction insertion in the city of Buffalo, through the physical manipulation and conversion of a derelict house into a habitable space.
This collaborative thesis project is strengthened and necessitated by the nature, scale and logistics of a full scale architectural construction exercise involving coordination, compromises and negotiations by four individuals, while also being challenged and contorted by the conventions of the academia and its definition of a thesis work as a purely individual exercise.
This thesis project operates within the space of two current economic situations: the first being the stagnant and derelict economic landscape of Buffaloâ€™s domestic environment in which the insertion of this academic project, self-motivated and independently funded by architectural students/ designers/ builders/ owners creates a sense of iconography and raise awareness for innovative attitudes towards the re-considering the banal within such an urban landscape.
The second Â being that of the typical American view of domesticity, which the thesis acknowledges and provokes by challenging the perception of conventionally extensive spatial needs within the ideal American home and domestic landscape, by re-defining and re-interpreting conventional building codes requirements for minimal living.
The 4 students bought the existing structure for $6,500 at auction, and subsequently gutted the building and tore down an addition to prep for their project. The total cost of the renovation/redesign is estimated at $32,000 – with donations from a number of local construction-related companies.
From a programmatic standpoint, the project takes the existing 400 SF home and inserts 4 volumes [seen in diagram above] into the space – creating 4 private living spaces. Each of these inserted volumes pushes through the existing home, becoming visible on the exterior as a uniquely defined space. The interstitial space remaining between these insertions will then function as communal space, such as kitchen, bath, and living room. Check the Quad Space blog for some great photos of the process of cutting the existing facades and roof, then sliding the newly created volumes through from the inside – pretty sick.
Now, I know what you’re thinking – you want to see the finished product. AMNP has already arranged to stay in contact with one of the team members, and I look forward to bringing readers images of the completed project when the team wraps everything up – possibly with some of their thoughts on the process of collaborating on a thesis, actually building an academic project like this, and reactions to the completed structure. For those of you in NYC, the project will also be exhibited in September [images, obviously] as part of “Arch Schools: Visions of the Future”, an annual exhibition at the Center for Architecture.
Head over to the Quad Space blog for more images and information on the project, and process photos documenting the construction.
::info, images and quoted text courtesy of the Quad Space team::
In a dream last night, I saw a great storm. It seized the scaffolding. It tore the cross-clasps, the iron ones, down. But what was made of wood, swayed and remained.
~ Bertolt Brecht, inspiration for the Chen House
Designed by Casagrande Laboratory, of Finland, the Chen House was built on the site of an old Japanese cherry farm in the Datun mountains, North Taiwan. Built of mahogany [with concrete footings], the house was designed as a direct response to the extreme weather sometimes seen in the mountains – including severe heat in the summer, strong winds, and seasonal flooding.
With these local environmental elements in mind, the house has been raised above the ground plain to avoid the flood waters, and is incredibly porous [as you can see in the photos] – allowing a breeze coming across a local river to cool the structure. The house also attempts to protect itself from typhoons and earthquakes by using the smaller kitchen/bath volume as a ‘kicker’ to stabilize the structure.
The house is not strong or heavy â€“ it is weak and flexible. It is also not closing the environment out, but designed to give the farmers a needed shelter.
Ruin is when man-made has become part of nature. With this house we were looking forward to design a ruin.
It’s barely noticeable in these stunning photos, but the actual ‘interior’ of the house is enclosed with glass walls on either end – although I’m not sure how the walls themselves are weatherized [check out the elevation photo, above, and the plan, below]. Even on the ‘interior’, they still appear ‘open’ – with spaces between the boards, allowing the light to stream through. To make up for this space being enclosed, a series of small operable windows are placed along the floor – along with the nana-like wall on the opposite side of the room – to allow for that breeze to enter during the summer.
What a ridiculously sick project.
::more images + info available at chenhouse01.blogspot.com::
::info, images + any quoted text provided by Casagrande Laboratory::
Our Furniture Expansion System for Small Apartments in Big Cities, is designed for such lifestyles of minimal materialityâ€”even if it is lopsided since these types tend to accumulate large book or shoe collections, vices that one day suddenly surprise with unexpected demands for additional room.
The project, designed for people OBRA deems ‘urban nomads’, is meant to address the needs of urbanites with small apartments who “fancy perpetual pedestrian investigations and as little time spent at home as
possible”. OBRA proposes that their system serves the function of providing simple space definition, storage, and the ability to travel with these nomadic city dwellers as they move over time.
The system is made up of hollow wood panels and cabinets – constructed offsite with CNC milled 1/2″ ash plywood -Â which are a maximum of 2×8 feet to ensure that the system can be transported through standard doorways, hallways, and elevator cabs. The system can be assembled vertically or horizontally – giving the ability to create partitions in a space, and/or create loft floors in space with adequate height – and has the potential for “endless reconfiguration” due to its modular nature.
In todayâ€™s urban housing market mostly universally characterized by unimaginative and ill-conceived spaces dressed-up as luxurious by the inclusion of a few expensive materials, URBIA proposes a luxury of conception implicit in the harmony of its modular coordination. The proposed system is open-ended in nature, allowing for site modifications and the addition of custom elements that can give specificity to the whole, but it also provides, unlike traditional sheet-rock based interior construction, a built-in rhythm of articulation based on a Fibonacci series that makes proportional mistakes difficult and beauty almost automatic.
A very interesting concept, it reminds me a lot of the work of Dan Hisel, AMNP featured Ninja of the Month – in particular, his ‘Z-Box’ projects [1 & 2]. The idea to transform rented or temporary living space with a modular, portable, reconfigurable, inhabitable furniture system is incredible – and I especially like the uniform material, which allows personal possessions and furniture to accentuate the spaces. It would be particularly interesting if you didn’t have to pack up your posessions when you moved – if the system was really potable storage, that was arranged into an inhabitable system. Get a new place? Just close up the cabinets and shelves still filled with your stuff [maybe bubble-wrap fragile objects, but thats it] and be on your way. Not sure that that is feasible, really – but it’d be pretty dope.
[Image: wire-frame drawing of assembly system]
::See more photos – and the ones featured here, but in larger format – here, at AMNP’s Flickr page::
::all images, info + quoted text courtesy of OBRA Architects::