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Another Architecture N°70 October — November 2017

Arrival

SelgasCano’s Conference Centre has landed in Plasencia Productora Bringing the Aztecs back to life

Dennis Gassner Designing Blade Runner 2049

MVRDV Colonising Seoul with 232 plant species


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Mark 70

October — November 2017

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020 Cross Section 022 MVRDV Poznań 024 Sanjay Puri Ranchi 026 Game Design 028 Next / Rudy Uytenhaak Utrecht 030 Eric Owen Moss Culver City 032 Andreas Gruber Barbiano 034 Pentaplan Graz 036 Infographic 038 Case Design Lavale 040 Optimist Design Los Angeles 042 Society of Architecture Seoul 044 CCPM Buenos Aires 046 AL_A London 048 Aki Hamada Ayase 050 Freaks Fermanville 052 Atelier Stěpán Sazovice 054

MVRDV Mixed-use building in Poznań Photo Ossip van Duivenbode

Perspective Affordable Housing in Los Angeles

056 Michael Webb discusses LA’s housing crisis. 058 Brooks + Scarpa provides shelter and security to formerly homeless people. 066 Lorcan O’Herlihy adds a bit of public space to a disparate city. 074 Michael Maltzan houses the homeless.

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Brooks + Scarpa Housing in Los Angeles Photo Brooks + Scarpa

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084 SelgasCano’s auditorium in Plasencia took 12 years to complete, but today it sits at the edge of the city, with no apparent plans to assimilate. 098 Antonin Ziegler’s projects blend in with their surroundings, while also showing how they change over time. 112 MVRDV makes Seoul a greener place. 122 Blade Runner 2049 manipulates architecture to magical effect. 130 Productora unearths new ways of living with history. 144 Labics builds public space on the eternal city’s edge. 154 Ramos Castellano designed a hotel for hikers on the Cape Verdean island of São Vicente. 166 Carlos Teixeira talks about the books and magazines that influenced him and explains why reading Baudrillard is dangerous. 170

Tools

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Antonin Ziegler Photo Alice Boursini

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Blade Runner 2049 Image Warner Bros.


citizenM Hotel Tower Bridge London by Sheppard Robson Architects

Ultra light folded concrete for facades | formparts made of glassfibre reinforced concrete | Offsite pre-assembly of fastening brackets | Onsite fast and unitised installation, easy to hook in

www.rieder.cc


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Mark 70

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‘Danes delivered the Sydney Opera House and we have great expectations that they will deliver again’ Sydney Fish Market General Manager Bryan Skepper about 3XN’s design for the market’s new accommodation, page 013


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Rendering by A2 Studio

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1 Wonderwoods Utrecht – Netherlands MVSA Architects and Stefano Boeri Architetti – Two towers (70 and 90 m high, totalling 65,000 m2) with residential, office, leisure and retail space Expected completion 2022 mvsa-architects.com stefanoboeriarchitetti.net

2 Vendepunktet Copenhagen – Denmark WE architecture + Erik Juul – Transformation of Jagtvej 69 into temporary housing for homeless people Expected completion undisclosed we-a.dk

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New Cyprus Museum Nicosia – Cyprus Architects for Urbanity – 16,000-m2 museum Competition entry architectsforurbanity.com

4 Link Riga – Latvia NRJA – Multipurpose residential building Competition entry nrja.lv

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Fish Market Sydney – NSW – Australia 3XN – Fish market in Blackwattle Bay on Bridge Road in Glebe Ground breaking late 2018 3xn.dk

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‘In this bustling Metabolist metropolis one needs to beware of violent nudists’ Oliver Zeller on the design of video game Tokyo 42, page 026


Eric Owen Moss The steel structure is consistent yet irregular.

Culver City — CA — USA

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Mountain Home Andreas Gruber nestles a concrete house against an intimidating rock face.

Text Monica Zerboni Photos Gustav Willeit

Barbiano, a rural village on the steep slopes of the Isarco Valley in South Tyrol, is the setting for a new residential building that seems sympathetic to its surroundings, in spite of its unusual design. ‘The peculiar climate in the Alps, as well as local energy-saving regulations, forced us to use building materials that wouldn’t produce waste,’ explains young architect Andreas Gruber. A native of the region and a convinced ecologist, Gruber

has designed a potential icon of contemporary architecture: minimalist, experimental, environmentally friendly. Similar to an inhabited boulder, the residence is constructed from a rough, porous kind of concrete called Dämmbeton. Used for the dwelling’s 60-cm-thick walls, the material offers high thermal efficiency and is fully recyclable. The architect hopes the porous walls will provide a foothold for greenery to eventually grow over

the building and blend with the landscape. Stark white walls inside the building contrast with its dark, rough exterior. The simplicity of the interior design draws attention to breathtaking views of the Dolomites, which are framed by windows throughout the house. In addition to an openplan kitchen and living room, the house has three bedrooms, a bathroom, a television room and a multifunctional space.

The thickness of the outer walls allowed the architects to integrate built-in furniture, such as a deep wooden window seat with a magnificent perspective of the mountains in the distance. Rooms rotate around an aerial staircase with cantilevered treads, while another focal point of the house is a timber-lined room that Gruber describes as a modern version of the traditional Tyrolean Stube. architektgruber.com


Andreas Gruber

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Andreas Gruber included his interpretation of the Tyrolean Stube.

The bathroom window offers an unexpected view of the steep rock face outside, which threatens to touch the glazed surface.

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Refugee Land

Yayladagi Islahiye camp 2 Apaydin Islahiye camp 1 Oncupinar Elbeyli Suruc Nizip camp 1,2 Karkamis Akcakale Harran Viransehir Ceylanpinar Syro-Turkish border 183,891 refugees

Serbia Central and Southern Serbia*

Bulgaria** Turkey Adiyaman

Kahramanmaras Merkez

Duhok* Erbil*

Iran Iraq zoom in Tindouf*

Algeria

Lybia**

Touloum Am Nabak Mile Kounoungou Gaga Farchana Treguine Bredjing Djabal Chadian-Sudanese border 220,024 refugees

Mauritania Niger Mbera Abala Mentao

Northern Darfur*

Intikane

Chad

Tabareybarey

Guinea Cameroon

Borgop

Nana Mambere Garoua-Boulai

Liberia

Mambere Kadei Mbile

Wad Sherife Shagarab 2

Eritrea

Kaya Sherkole Tsore Bambasi Camp Tongo

Blue Nile*

South Kordofan* Gendrassa Yida

C.A.R.

Dosseye Gore*

Nana-Gribizi*

Ouham*

Ouham-Pende* Gado Badzere Lobaye Gbiti Mole Lolo Kenzou Boyabu

Ajuong Thok

Haute-Kotto*

Basse Kotto

Doro

South Sudan

Lasu

Inke*

Bidi Bidi

Adjumani* Palorinya

Kakuma

Uganda

Gambella 270,683 refugees

Tanzania

Melkadia 204,382 refugees

Katumba

Syria

Zambia**

Nahr el-Bared Beddawi

Meheba

Lebanon Mayukwayukwa

Yarmouk

Malawi Dzaleka

Burj el-Barajneh

Sbeineh

Jaramana Qabr Essit Khan Dunoun

Mozambique

Dera'a

Tulkarm

West Bank Gaza Strip Rafah Khan Younis

Deir el-Balah

Irbid Husn Askar Balata

Baqa'a Dheisheh

Jabalia Beach Bureij, Maghazi Nuseirat

Zaatari

Botswana

Souf Jerash Zarqa

Marka Amman New Camp Jabal el-Hussein

Jordan

Namibia

Sool*

Nugaal*

Somalia Bakool

Gedo*

Shabelle Dhexe

Banaadir* Bay* Kambioos Shabelle Hoose* Ifo 2 Juba Dhexe* Ifo Dagahaley Hagadera Juba Hoose*

Gihembe Kenya Kirehe Rwanda Gatsibo* Burbiey Kavumu Nguenyyiel Mtendeli Tierkidi Melkadida Burundi Nduta Kule Bokolmanyo Ulyankulu Nyarugusu Jewi Kobe Mishamo Pugnido 2 Hilaweyn Buramino Pugnido

Latakia Camp

Woqooyi Galbeed* Togdheer*

Galgaduud* Hiraan*

Kiziba

Neirab

Awdal

Mbomou*

Nyamagabe* Lusenda

Refugee camps caused by Palestinian exodus

Khan Eshieh El-Buss Burj el-Shemali Rashidieh

Ali-Addeh Awbarre Sheder Kebribeyah

Lahij*

Ethiopia

Lakes*

Haut-Mbomou*

Dem. Rep. of the Congo

Ein el-Hilweh

Yemen

Hitsats Eastern Darfur* Western Darfur* Berhale Central Darfur* Shagarab 1 Mai-Ayni White Nile* West Kordofan* Yusuf Batil Djibouti Southern Darfur* Asaita Goz Amer

Minawao

Ghana

Khartoum*

Oure Cassoni

Iridimi

Burkina Faso**

Togo

Sudan


Infographic

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Takhar*

Faryab*

Baghlan*

Badghis* Ghor*

Afghanistan

Paktya* Paktika*

Saranan

Pakistan

China Timer Panian Kot Chandna Barakai Akora Khattak Khairabad Badaber Old Shamshatoo Punjab 113,582 refugees

Fujian*

Nepal Guangdong*

Bangladesh

Guangxi* Yunnan*

India

Kutupalong Nayapara

Mai Nai Soi

Hainan*

Mae Ra Ma Luang Mae La Umpium Nu Po

Thailand

Tamil Nadu*

Text and graphics Theo Deutinger and Ekaterina Vititneva

Indonesia

Legend

2000 +

1980 - 2000

Camp sizes and year of construction 1960 - 1980

settlement, which opened in August 2016. A half year later, Bidi Bidi was harbouring no fewer than 270,000 refugees, making it the largest camp in the world and the second largest city in Uganda – until hostilities are over and its inhabitants can return home. Even when the structures erected are meant to be temporary, though, one never knows how long a camp will exist. The oldest UN refugee camps shelter displaced Palestinians who found themselves homeless when the State of Israel was established in 1948. Now 70 years old, the camps that serve Palestinians – such as the Khan Younis Camp in Gaza, which houses over 80,000 people – are nothing like the camps previously mentioned. They are towns and cities with houses made from bricks and concrete. But even when the foundations, walls and roof of your dwelling are as solid as a rock, it will feel temporary as long as your dream is a safe return to the place you call home.

1940 - 1960

Of the 33 million people that are currently uprooted from their homes worldwide, 12 million are refugees that live in one of 450 refugee camps. As nations solidify more and more, people find themselves stranded in foreign countries, floating in a legal and social limbo. The state of statelessness continues to grow, and refugee land keeps adding new cities. Refugee camps seem to be an old-world phenomenon, an observation confirmed by the complete lack of camps in the Americas and Australia, according to the UNHCR. When a crisis arises in one country, refugee camps instantly pop up in neighbouring states. Take, for instance, the conflict in South Sudan, where figures released by the UNHCR show the internal displacement of 1.9 million people and the departure of 1.6 million more who fled to another country to escape the South Sudanese Civil War. Bidi Bidi, for example, was a small village before becoming a refugee

> 100.000 50.000 - 100.000 10.000 - 50.000 5.000 - 10.000 1.000 - 5.000 < 1.000 Refugees per country > 1.000.000 250.000 - 1.000.000 25.000 - 250.000 < 25.000

Camps marked with * are spread over larger regions; precise locations are not available. Countries marked with ** have refugees that are dispersed around the country. Information on the camps shown here is based on data from 2016, provided by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).


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‘People don’t like development. They don’t like density’ Lorcan O’Herlihy on working with neighbourhood groups, page 066


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Tackling LA’s Housing Crisis Text Michael Webb

There is an urgent need to build many more apartments in all the major coastal cities of the US to relieve the shortage of affordable housing. Rapidly escalating prices are aggravating the homeless problem. It’s estimated that there are about 60,000 homeless people in Greater LA, a number that rose 23 per cent in 2016. Everyone but the rich is being squeezed, and the lack of buildable land within the city boundaries has driven developers to the desert areas – a two-hour commute by car from booming employment opportunities on LA’s Westside. Even when developers can overcome the resistance to new construction in residential neighbourhoods, they fall back on tired formulae to minimize risk and maximize profit. Far too many apartment buildings at every price level are constructed like cheap hotels: generic boxes that present a blank face to the street, with repetitive cells opening off double-loaded corridors. Light and air come from one side only, and outdoor spaces are vestigial. Conscientious architects are pushing back, demonstrating that good design adds value without increasing the cost of construction. Los Angeles is leading the way, disregarding the stigma long attached to renting an apartment. In the past, everyone aspired to owning a house, a goal that is becoming unattainable for much of the middle class. I recently wrote a book, Building Community: New Apartment Architecture,

featuring 30 exemplary projects from around the world. Four of them are located in Southern California and many more in that area deserved inclusion. The three newly completed projects described in the following pages are models of their kind. Two were commissioned by the nonprofit Skid Row Housing Trust (SRHT), which is devoted to accommodating the homeless; the third, by an enlightened developer, is a rental property. All stretch modest budgets to realize humane living environments for people of modest means. They achieve a balance between private and shared spaces, open up to natural light and breezes, and find space for plantings. However, these are isolated examples in a vast sea of mediocrity. Radical solutions are needed, and architects are brimming with creative ideas, but far too little gets built. Affordable housing built cheaply by developers to secure bonuses and tax credits often proves unaffordable for low-income residents and, when maintenance is lacking, can degenerate into a slum. SRHT creates permanent supportive housing, where rents are geared to income and residents can remain as long as they need to. Its projects serve only one in 300 of those in need; additional funding and many more nonprofits are needed. The approvals process must be streamlined. As architect Lawrence Scarpa observes: ‘Some people criticize affordable

housing for being too expensive, and the architect is blamed [a charge levelled at Michel de Klerk in Amsterdam a century ago!]. In fact, what drives up costs are the escalating requirements of overlapping agencies and funding sources, including bank loans and tax credits. State, city and community development agencies have overlapping requirements, and regulations encumber projects with unneeded costs.’ Zoning regulations need to be changed to permit densification and the development of unused sites. Maltzan built the prefabricated Star Apartments atop a single-storey retail building in Downtown LA, and there are hundreds of underutilized warehouses to the east, which could provide the foundations for a new community. To encourage developers to be more adventurous, the city might offer financial incentives to foster good design. Architects deserve the chance to do their best work on a much larger scale. _


Affordable Housing

Los Angeles — CA — USA

01  The Six Apartments by Brooks + Scarpa 02 Mariposa1038 by Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects 03  Crest Apartments by Michael Maltzan Architecture

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Brooks + Scarpa provides shelter and security to formerly homeless people. Text Michael Webb

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Brooks + Scarpa

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Photo Tara Wujcik


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The backside of the building seen from South Coronado Street. Photo Brooks + Scarpa

Brooks + Scarpa is an award-winning LA practice with a strong commitment to social housing and sustainability. An apartment block called The Six is the sixth project that the firm has designed for the homeless, but it takes its name from the soldier’s phrase ‘got your six’, meaning ‘I’m covering your back’. It’s located in MacArthur Park, a densely populated, lowincome neighbourhood on the western edge of downtown Los Angeles, with around 400 people per hectare. A third of the 45 single-occupancy rooms and seven one-bedroom apartments are set aside for veterans of the military. The Skid Row Housing Trust (SRHT) would have liked to allocate all the living spaces to veterans, but the law mandates that all homeless people be given equal consideration. However, their special needs helped shape the design. The typical response to this confined site would be a closed volume that filled a gap in the street wall. Instead, the architects have hollowed out the five-storey block, set it back behind a landscaped forecourt, and cut away the façade between the first and third floors to reveal the raised interior courtyard. From the street, it resembles a picture frame, tilted up at one corner to reveal the fully-glazed entry lobby and manager's office. Behind are

counselling and computer rooms, plus parking for bicycles and a few cars. Few residents need to drive in this pedestrian-friendly neighbourhood. Stepped planters separate the courtyard from the street, serving – like a haha in a country estate – as an almost invisible boundary between the public and private domain. That provides a balance of openness and security, giving the residents the feeling that they are suspended in a safe, welcoming haven between street and sky. The open areas are bathed in sunlight for much of the day and are refreshed by cool air that is drawn through from the east and south. To one side is a community lounge that opens up through glass sliders, and a self-service laundry. Stairs and galleries that link the upper floors encourage social interaction. A gated flight of steps provide direct access to the courtyard from the street, and a side opening frames a row of palm trees – a vignette that might have been lifted from La La Land. This was the architects’ first commission from the SRHT and they were encouraged to be inventive. As Lawrence Scarpa observes: ‘Some clients are afraid to hire us, thinking our buildings must be costlier

Perspective


Brooks + Scarpa than they are. We have a strategy of making everything stack perfectly on 80 per cent of every project – a straight shot from dirt to sky. That saves time and money in construction and gives us freedom on the remaining 20 per cent.’ Wood-frame construction with stucco cladding kept the cost to a reasonable €2,400 per m2 for the 12,100-m2 block. Lead architect Diane Thepkhounphithack and her team drew on their experience to create a frugal, but spatially

Los Angeles — CA — USA rich building. It’s a model of thoughtful design that relies on natural ventilation, geothermal and solar-assisted heating, and permeable surfaces to retain rainwater on-site. It secured – like most of this firm’s buildings – a LEED Platinum Certification. Scarpa’s sister-in-law is a psychiatrist and, as he was planning The Six, she warned him that a high proportion of the formerly homeless are mentally disturbed, suffering

061 from schizophrenia, or imagining they hear voices. Veterans are often victims of posttraumatic stress disorder, aggravated by physical injuries. Most of them are cared for by the Veterans' Administration, but some fall through the cracks. ‘We needed to provide communal spaces for social interaction as well as spaces where people can watch from the side-lines before they are ready to become fully involved with their neighbours,’ explains →

The corner of the building offers access to the reception area. Photo Brooks + Scarpa


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The community space on the first floor faces the courtyard. Photo Tara Wujcik

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The formerly homeless want to be like everyone elseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;


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The courtyard on the first floor offers natural light, cross ventilation and views. Photo Brooks + Scarpa

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Scarpa. ‘We also provided a high level of sound insulation around the individual rooms, increasing the width of the walls by 5 per cent. Insulation is the cheapest thing you can do – it’s almost free and there’s an immediate payoff.’ Precautionary measures include doors that open outwards, so a disturbed occupant cannot barricade himself in, and guard rails around the access galleries that exceed the standard height to discourage jumpers. Still to come are screens of cast aluminium battens with the texture and colour of ipe wood. These will be placed diagonally around the galleries, from the courtyard up to the roof terrace, to add another layer of privacy and enclosure. They would be up already but for the city’s insistence that €174,000 be expended on a windowcleaning system that may never be used. The inflexibility of the LA Planning office and its Building and Safety officials seriously impedes innovation, even though the city desperately needs more affordable housing. Happily, architects and client are skilled in negotiating the labyrinth of restrictions and were able to achieve their goals. The site was formerly a parking lot and poor soil conditions required piles to be driven 12 m deep. Funding depended largely

on tax credits, so The Six had to be completed on a tight schedule. But there is no sign of parsimony. Though the finishes are spare, there are more amenities and open space than in most market-driven developments. The rooms are small but well equipped, with a full kitchen, a bed doubling as a sofa, a dining table and a handicapped-accessible shower. The Marciano Art Foundation (which recently opened its gallery in a landmark building close by) has loaned some serious paintings and these add a vibrant splash of colour. It is small touches like this and the plantings in the courtyard that humanize The Six. ‘The formerly homeless want to be like everyone else, so we treat them with dignity,’ says Scarpa. ‘Good design is for everyone and they respond to the same basic things – natural light, cross ventilation and views. Housing contributes to the healing process. It’s a struggle to achieve quality on projects of this kind because our clients are missiondriven and they sometimes accept poor workmanship that a private client would not. On the positive side, they give you a lot of creative freedom, whereas market-rate developers want to control every detail.’ _

The roof terrace offers a view of downtown Los Angeles. Photo Tara Wujcik

brooksscarpa.com

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The rooms are well equipped with a full kitchen, a sofa-bed, a dining table and a handicapped-accessible shower. Photo Tara Wujcik


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â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;What happens in a space is more important than the space itselfâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Carlos Teixeira quotes Bernard Tschumi, page 166


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SelgasCano

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SelgasCanoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s auditorium in Plasencia took 12 years to complete, but today it sits at the edge of the city, with no apparent plans to assimilate. Text Anna Sansom

Photos Iwan Baan

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The

After dark, the semi-transparent building glows like a beacon in the landscape.

Plasencia Conference Centre and Auditorium, designed by Madrid-based duo SelgasCano (José Selgas and Lucía Cano), has been mired in protracted problems. A decade after the building was commissioned by Plasencia – a historical city in the province of Cáceres in western Spain – it finally opened in May 2017. An ambivalent identity characterizes the project, owing to its situation at the edge of the city and the influence of an untamed landscape.

because people would have been prepared for it. But its impact on Plasencia is far greater, because it’s the city’s first big building since the cathedral or the bullring. It’s super important that projects like these happen in places like Plasencia. You’re giving something extra to the people – something that has a huge impact and that is very needed for the future city – and they’ll be much prouder than anyone else in the world.

This is the first important building constructed in Plasencia for centuries. What do you think it represents for the city? JOSÉ SELGAS: Realizing this kind of building in a city like New York would have been easier,

How have Plasencia’s inhabitants responded to it? LUCÍA CANO: For years, people have been very upset about the building. The project started in 2005, when the region had the money to

invest in a cultural building. But then the crisis hit, and during a crisis cities don’t want to finance buildings like this one. The result was a feeling of regret. It was heavily criticized in the newspapers, because it was delayed for ages and construction stopped a few times. When the project was finally completed, people came to the inauguration almost wanting to kill the building. But when they entered, they were surprised by the spaces. I remember someone shouting – ‘What the hell is this?’ – and people running around the building, going completely insane. They eventually realized it was their building, and they decided to love it. The feeling at that moment was: We’ve paid for it, why would we hate it? →


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With its doors opened, the entrance hall – an orange space that pierces the building – becomes a semi-outdoor area.

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SelgasCano

Plasencia â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Spain

089 Plasencia is on a plateau that rises from the Spanish landscape. The auditorium lies just beyond the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boundary, on a site that is 17 m lower than Plasencia itself.


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‘You have the feeling the building is huge, because it’s complicated and confusing’ How would you describe the particularity of the plot? CANO: It’s where the city ends and nature begins. We wanted to position the auditorium in the landscape but to touch nature as little as possible by lifting the building. That also explains why we stacked the programme as much as possible. Did you want the building to recall the mountains beyond? SELGAS: We never work with metaphors or relate our buildings to other shapes. Instead, we explore the many possibilities of the programme, the values and the history of the place. When we have a clear view of all this input, all these necessities and possibilities, we bring them together and typically arrive at an initial shape. Only then do we play a little with that shape and try to make it as beautiful as possible. If the shape makes people think of something – like a mountain – that’s all right, because a building has to be open to personal interpretation. When we finished the auditorium, some people said it reminded them of a big rock or a boat in the sea. That’s fine, but it wasn’t our intention. In designing the building, did you work from the inside out? CANO: Yes. The auditorium has two main walls in concrete. The rest of the programme is structured around them. Creating the envelope of the building are two circulation systems surrounding these two walls; they wrap around it and add a layer of complexity. It’s the smallest building of this type that we’ve ever made – less than half the size of the other two [El Batel Auditorium in Cartagena Harbour and the Badajoz Congress Centre]. But you have the feeling that it’s huge, because it’s complicated and confusing. It can be hard to understand where you are. The corridors are

very narrow but very long, so it seems like a never-ending building. What was fundamental to the project? CANO: The orange space that pierces the building is fundamental, as it connects the city on one side of the building with the mountains on the other. It is like a big window that provides a view of the mountains, since its transparency makes the building blossom into the landscape. How did you decide which colours to use? SELGAS: There are many reasons to choose a colour and we try to explore them all. But if one would try to simplify this, we could say that the orange of the ramp and the entrance space has been derived from the colour of the sunset. Then, in contrast, we worked with lighter colours for the rest of the building, to give visitors the impression that they’re floating. The colours of the two circulation systems flanking the auditorium are complementary and contrary to each other. If you’re going up, the floor is yellow and the ceiling is blue; if you’re going down, the floor is blue and the ceiling is yellow. So there’s this playfulness with regard to direction. We experimented with colours on the computer, but the reality is that white is the dominant colour throughout the project, because it blends with the sky. The ETFE looks white, but that’s just the main part, from the ramp upwards. From the ramp down, it has a greenish tint. We wanted to indicate that the building ascends at one point and descends at another. What about the use of concrete and ETFE? CANO: Concrete is the main material, but you don’t see it much. The auditorium’s walls are dotted with small holes to give texture to the concrete. The ETFE envelope has 40 per cent translucency in order to protect the →

Diagrams of the circulation system.


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091 The multifunctional space on the upper level includes a glass floor that offers a view through the building.


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The building has a semitransparent ETFE envelope.

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The main auditorium seats 600.

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building from the sun; otherwise it would be extremely hot inside. It was clear from the beginning that we wanted the building to glow at night, allowing everybody in the city to see its radiance. When it’s all lit up, the effect is extremely powerful, because the building is visible from a great distance.

wall as being too much of a ‘structure’. Our decision has been to go in the other direction. We cannot keep building and building and building forever. We also need to think about dismantling the things that we build. A related concept we’re interested in is how to reuse and reorganize buildings by moving the programme rather than the whole building – leaving the actual structure in place and moving its use. Movable architecture as we know it now is very complicated. Even when we moved the Kibera school pavilion [Mark 63, page 86] – which was meant to be moved from the start – from the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark to Nairobi, transport was complex. Only in very few cases it makes sense to tear down a building and rebuild it in a different way in another place. It makes more sense to keep the structure and change the use. It’s a solution that will become more and more relevant in the future; making a new building from scratch has to have a very good reason.

Cross Sections

‘We don’t like the idea of permanent architecture’

What guided your decision to use circular shapes for doors, windows and skylights? SELGAS: When you’re dealing with a faceted shape that has different angles in every section, it’s difficult to create a gap or a door or a rectangular window. The easiest option is a circle. Like your other two auditoriums, the Plasencia project features diagonal sweeps of visibility. Can you elaborate? SELGAS: There are a lot of diagonals across the section that you don’t see but feel. One of the most exciting aspects is that people standing in the orange entrance hall can follow a diagonal sightline that passes through all the spaces. We installed skylights that provide the interior with more or less natural light, depending on the time of day. At certain points you can look up and see people walking on the floor above or see their feet through one of the skylights. Because most of the building seems to lift from the ground, the project has a sense of impermanence. Did you do that intentionally? CANO: We’ve been working on impermanence and exploring the possibilities in many ways. We don’t like the idea of permanent architecture. We’ve always thought of the

The building is connected to the street by a ramp – or gangway – that makes it appear to be a visitor. SELGAS: It’s nice to think of it as a visitor. We always liked the idea of the auditorium as a boat – someday suddenly sailing away and perhaps being replaced. The message it sends is that architecture is not as important as nature. Someone will get rid of the building someday – its lightness suggests its eventual extinction – while the landscape will always be there. _ selgascano.net


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Exit Mark 71 Dec 2017 – Jan 2018

Takasaki Architects

Japanese architect Masaharu Takasaki is well known for his ingenious buildings. Ever since his career took off in the 1980s, his work has defied commonly accepted structural logic, instead introducing an imaginative architecture that expresses his knowledge of Asian mythology, anthropology and religion. His most recent house, Shinon-no-ie (‘house of heartbeat’ in Japanese), explores his fondness for wood. Designed for a member of a pop-music group and his family, the house took over five years to complete and embodies Takasaki’s architectural philosophy more elaborately than ever.

Also

COBE’s transformation of an industrial silo in the Port of Copenhagen An interview with British architects David Connor and Kate Darby

And

New architecture in Shenzhen

Takasaki Architects, Shinon-no-ie, exploded view.

Profile for Frame Publishers

PREVIEW Mark Magazine #70 Oct/Nov 2017