Some of you ninjas may remember the posts we had up a few months back featuring Boston’s City Hall – and the exhibition at Pink Comma of the ‘alternative’ schemes that had recently been presented in Architecture Boston. One such proposal [or, two+, really] was designed by our current architecte de la semaine, HÃ¶weler + Yoon Architecture.
In an attempt to address all the issues with the building, the architects considered all of the basic solutions in the image above – and for the proposal featured here seem to have combined ‘shrink it‘, ‘enter it‘ and ‘mask it‘. The proposal, ‘Wrap’, creates a new ground plane that rises up to the building and – as the name suggests – wraps around it, creating a second skin for the building.
Basically, the proposal is an attempt to make the City Hall more ‘people friendly’ – allowing for more pedestrian/public interaction with the brutalist structure. Who would’ve thought – a city hall/city hall plaza that’s people friendly, and doesn’t look like the embodiment of some kind of unapproachable totalitarian structure…Seriously though, I’m not sure that the proposal is totally based in reality [in terms of something like this ever getting built in Boston], but it’s still one of many favorite proposals.
[There would be some kind of auditorium/gathering space in that glass area beneath the ramp…pretty siiick]
You can check out more of the proposals for ‘Rethinking Boston City Hall’ in the issue of Architecture Boston – or if you’re in the are you can check out the exhibit [previously over at Pink Comma] at Wentworth.
Previous posts on HÃ¶weler + Yoon on architecture.MNP:
Other posts on Boston’s City Hall on architecture.MNP:
Located in Boston, the Davol Loft by HÃ¶weler + Yoon was created by combining two 1,100 sf loft spaces on the top floor of a building in Chinatown. The two lofts were mirror images of one another, organized around a central core and separated by a partition wall.
The new space is was created through the insertion of an 8’x8′ courtyard into the space, along with two skylights / lightwells [check out that section above]. These combine to add a ton of additional natural light to the loft – while the courtyard space also provides an opportunity to experience the ‘outside’ while living downtown.
The most interesting aspect of the courtyard is how it’s completely contained within the loft space. Located off of the kitchen space, the 8’x8′ space is a mixture of inside+out in that it is exposed to all the elements and brings them inside the loft. On a rainy/snowy day you can look out across/through the courtyard and back into the loft, viewing the opposite space as if through a lens dependent on the weather. The choice in materials also aids in this blending of inside + out, as HÃ¶weler + Yoon used reused Tauari [a red South American Mahogany] slats for the kitchen wall – which slip past/through the glass wall into the courtyard and climb the wall up onto the roof to form the deck.
The other interesting feature of the courtyard is it’s introspective nature. Rather than a terrace/balcony space that looks out onto the surrounding neighborhood/city, the courtyard frames a private and secluded view of the sky – with walls high enough [it appears] to block all views of the surrounding buildings.
The other two insertions into the space – the skylights/lightwells – occur in the bathroom. The skylights illuminate an acid etched glass-enclosed shower + bathtub, which both bathe the user in light while creating glowing volumes that bring additional natural light into the bedroom and study.
Previous posts on HÃ¶weler + Yoon on architecture.MNP:
[images courtesy pinkcomma gallery]
Our ninjas over at pinkcommagallery in the Bean’s South End have announced the opening of there newest exhibit – which is really 2 shows in 1! The double feature – “Heroic” and “Publishing Practices” – opens next Friday, September 18th – starting off both the third fall season of the pinkcomma gallery, and the opening of the current South End Open Studios weekend [which I hope you Boston-based readers don’t sleep on].
“Heroic” explores the concrete structures that were instrumental in the remaking of Boston in the late 1950s, throughout the 1960s, and into the 1970s. Whole districts and vast infrastructural improvements appeared in a matter of years, fashioned from concrete to serve the needs of government, hospitals, universities, housing, and the financial sector. What were once hailed as heroic visions have now often become perceived as hubristic and brutal. The gallery has enlisted various experts to weigh in on the topic, including architect Michael McKinnell (Boston City Hall), architect Tad Stahl (the State Street Bank), historian Douglass Shand-Tucci, architectural materials specialist Kiel Moe, critic Michael Kubo, structural engineer Paul E. Kassabian, and young architects Christina Crawford (Utile, Inc.) and Eric Howeler (Howeler + Yoon Architecture). Coupled with the works represented visually in the show, these essays frame a series of provocative questions surrounding the heroic era and its powerful and controversial concrete architecture.
“Publishing Practices” investigates the history and influence of the architecture book as an operative device. Many of the most prominent architects of the last century have been equally prolific publishers who have seen the book as a strategic tool in the architect’s arsenal, deployed for its capacity to act independently of the constraints of other forms of architectural production. Guest curator Michael Kubo has surveyed over 150 architects and academics to gauge the impact of these and other publications within the field. Coupled with data from this survey, a graphic timeline of canonical architecture books in the past century reveals the history of publications as an alternative form of architectural practice, parallel to and frequently more agile than the production of work more typically labeled architectural.
Friday, September 18, 2009, 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
September 18 through October 15, 2009
81B Wareham Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02118
We’ll see you there [don’t worry about ‘seeing’ us – we’re ninjas, after all].