NEW HEADQUARTER FOR VOLKSBANK
URBAN AGENCY, in collaboration with BEM Architects, has been invited to design the 25.000m2 headquarter of Volksbank, one of the biggest banking groups in Germany. Located in the center of Freiburg, opposite to the central station, the project will become a new entrance-gate to the medieval city center of Freiburg. The project comprises of a 43-meter-high bank tower also featuring a hotel, retail and office functions, as well as a new assembly hall and music classrooms for the adjacent secondary school. With restricted guidelines provided by the city, the shape of our proposal displaying simple breaks in scale, enriches the skyline and relates better to the surroundings. The first two floors, where the client services are located, open themselves on
ON THE WAY
Urban Agency’s Social Housing Block Project in Copenhagen is on the way. You can already see how the building will shape the new skyline of Amager! Soon the structure of the project will be completed with the whole construction process being scheduled to finish in early 2017. See more of the project here.
THE BEAUTY OF THE PLAN
Urban-Agency is delighted to see two of our Dublin Projects breaking ground! The first being Farrenboley, an interesting innovative triangular private family home and the second a modern curvaceous Creche called Hyde & Seek. We are thrilled to see the pre-pouring foundations finished and excited to watch the progress in the months to follow. See more of the Hyde & Seek project here.
EDUCATION CENTRE FOR ALL
The project for a 10.000m2 adult education centre, located in the south-west of Morocco in a harsh and isolated area, aspires to create a robust world class education facility that will give generously to its community. Site strategy: Less is more Although the given site is quite large, the building occupies half of it in order to create a compact and introverted building, with a humble and simple exterior leading into a rich dynamic internal courtyard – drawing reference to the traditional “Medersa”( first universities) for its social, cultural and climatic ingenuity. Occupying a portion of the site allows for further development, creating the opportunity for expansion in the future. Meanwhile, the freed space will be used as a generous public
84 MIXED-USE BUILDINGS
URBAN AGENCY has been commissioned to design public spaces and design guidelines for 84 new mixed-use buildings to both accommodate local residents and tourists from Incheon airport as well as new entertaining facilities over the Yeongjong Island.
Slagelse, a city strategically located at the point between Copenhagen and rest of Denmark, continues to undergo major transformations; Initially residing with the typical medieval city’s urban and street structure, then evolving through increased industrialization supported by the railway development and further advancing with the establishment of shopping center in the 1970’s – each of these periods left a stamp in the city’s structure. The old town, train station and shopping mall are all located within a 1km radius and can be all interpreted as an anchor in the town, each acting as main focal points of the city. Unfortunately, the area in-between does not provide them with proper connections so they do not support each other and are forced to work as
CASTLE & DRURY
With all protected buildings careful consideration has to be applied; we wanted to retain the existing beautiful features of the interior whilst creating a smaller, more exclusive and intimate shop area. The new menswear shop, for a young and passionate independent trader, required a much small space than the given premises in order to minimize cost. We segmented the space by means similar to a Georgian room-divider, traditionally used to get change behind, comprised of a 2m high sand and cement rendered partition, with custom-made mounted clothes rails that undulate at different levels to facilitate and showcase an array of clothing and reflective chrome/ mirror aluminum that runs along the bottom allowing light to further bounce around the bright front
SCHOOL IN LURUP
NEW HEART OF THE DISTRICT
The aim of the competition for a school for 900 pupils in Lurup, one of Hamburg’s districts, was designing a stimulating and comfortable education venue for students, faculty and the surrounding community alike. Given the vast cultural program proposed such as a community center, library, small theater, auditorium and sports hall, the project is set to become the focal point of the entire district, despite it’s central but hidden location in the “second row” – striving to create a neighbourhood magnet luring residents all day long. The school will have two entrances; the first in direct contact with the existing building and the second leading to the only road from which the building can be directly visible in the urban
MODEL MAKING PROCESS
Enjoy watching our conceptual 1:50 concrete model come to life! This short film shows the process of creating the model, while the model tells the story behind the architecture. After many endeavours on the way, the 150kg heavy design arrived safely in Venice alongside our two other “Human Architectures” and will on display in the Danish Pavilion until the 27th of November. Learn more about Venice Biennale here
SHOE SHELVE SHOP
URBAN AGENCY’s 200m2 shoe shop in Neumünster, Germany is nearing completion. The shop will be a light, double-height space with a shopping area in the ground floor and a meeting room and office spaces on the first floor. See more of the project here.
SHARING MODELS: MANHATTANISMS
URBAN AGENCY ENVISIONS NEW YORK'S FUTURE
Urban Agency is delighted to take part, alongside 30 other international Architects, in the very thought proactive exhibition ‘Sharing Models: Manhattanisms’. Exploring how new-age technologies and ever-changing social typology may “affect the way we inhabit and build the cities of tomorrow”; each Architect was given an area of Manhattan with the task of envisaging the city’s future. The Models are on display till the 2nd of September at Storefront’s Gallery; showcasing a “composite figure; a territory that is simultaneously fictional and real, and one that opens a window to new perceptions of the city’s shared assets.” We were assigned a section of the Financial District of Manhattan in the to rethink, reinterpret and reimagine for the future. A recent study
1:1 SCALE MOCK-UP
ON THE SITE
We are absolutely delighted with the arrival of our 1:1 Scale quality-testing mock-up Model of the New Cycle and Pedestrian Bridge at Copenhagen’s Inner Harbour. The Model itself is on site, providing us with a glimpse of the elegant bridge that will further connect the city. With BLOX Building, aka the new Danish Architecture Center, well and truly under way as you can see across the canal, we’re starting to see the shape of the harbour’s new skyline and surroundings emerge – an exciting few months lie ahead! See more of the project here.
VENICE BIENNALE 2016
URBAN AGENCY TAKES PART AS ONE OF THE DANISH CONTRIBUTION WITH 3 PROJECTS FEATURED
The highly anticipated 15th Architecture Biennale in Venice is a massive success. We are proud and honoured to be a part of the Danish Selection with 3 of our projects featured. For more information check out here.
URBAN AGENCY AMONGST 25 SHORTLISTED
FOR THE EUROPEAN PRIZE for URBAN PUBLIC SPACE 2016
URBAN AGENCY’S Public Baths in the Harbor Fåborg-Midtfyn, Denmark has been named as one of 25 Finalists for the European Prize for Urban Public Space 2016. We are excited and honoured to have made the selection, it also comes as great news as our Faborg Project is one of our three projects being featured as part of the Danish selection in the 15th Architecture Biennale in Venice. See here for more information.
36 METERS TALL SCULPTURE IN FREIBURG
The former post area, located between the city’s main artery on one side and ICE trains on the other, sets a very special context for our new project. The dynamics of the place reflects in it’s design and turns the office building into a 36 meter tall sculpture. Strong gestures in the volume give the building an architecturally and structurally significant appearance; making it the dominant landmark of the new business district. While the slopes on the upper floors optimise the sun in the central square throughout the day, the slanted corners on the lower floors provide better linking of public space. The special building form creates a welcoming condition of the overall urban concept between Boulevard and the area
URBAN AGENCY COMPLETES DENTAL PRACTICE FIT-OUT IN DUBLIN
Our fundamental aim was to rethink the typical, clinical corridor typology of dental practices to redefine how patients view a visit to the dentist – from a daunting experience to a pleasant one. We started with a layout based on a “poché” plan with an enfilade of bright rooms make for a soothing atmosphere. Introducing curved walls made out of natural materials soften the space and large windows that look out onto small courtyards with lush gardens provide an abundance of natural light whilst maintaining privacy and provide delightful views to distract the patients during their procedures!
AMAGER FÆLLED KVARTER
URBAN AGENCY SHORTLISTED FOR THE FUTURE DEVELOPMENT OF AMAGER FÆLLED MASTER PLAN
We are happy to announce that our office, in collaboration with C.F. Møller, NIRAS and Jens Kvorning, has been invited to participate in a competition for the future development of the Amager Fælled area, finishing therefore Ørestad’s overall urban structure. The master plan will mainly be to develop the area as a residential quarter, with a competition area covering 40 hectares, of which 18 hectares for urban development. The surrounding green zone is already planned to be used for a mixture of commons and green-belt areas, such as recreational areas and gardens. Team: Urban Agency C.F. Møller NIRAS Jens Kvorning
THE VERTICAL VILLAGE
The love for the suburban house in Ireland is well known. However, it is an unsustainable model for the future of a city like Dublin which should encourage a more pedestrian and cycling mobility rather than car commuting culture. The design concept wants to bring into the project the qualities one finds in the typical Irish “Terraced houses” such as the 2 storey spatial qualities, the greenery environment, and the outdoor space, as well as sense of community. We propose a series of vertically stacked terraced houses with generous lush outdoor spaces, communal facilities, concierge services, café, gym, etc.: A vertical village The project, commissioned by the US developer Hines for 165 apartments scheme on Spencer Dock, is an exemplary
GET THE HANG OF OUR URBAN MOTION!
Arriving in Copenhagen, you are now able to stretch your body after a long flight at our ‘Urban Motion’. Copenhagen airport invited Urban Agency to repeat the succsess of the Kalvebod Wave in the arrival hall.
HYDE & SEEK
The awkward shape of the site, the adjacent traffic noise and the need for minimising windows at ground-floor level to prevent overlooking result from the site strategy. The building is placed at the centre of the site to create 3 gardens of various scale at its corners, serving as individualised amenities for the respective age group. The creche is introverted at ground-floor level, opening into private landscaped courtyards; at first-floor level, windows are created to allow for distant views. The building is organised as a series of 4 small oval volumes that accommodate the various age groups, the administration and ancillaries. A large circular roof caps and unifies the building overall, serving as a vast external playground at first-floor level
152 MICRO APARTMENTS IN SEOUL
Urban Agency has been commissioned to design 152 units of Officetel building with a hybrid program between an office and a hotel as a self-contained living environment in the new development area of Negok District of Seoul together with Soomok architects and Imma architects. The plot, at number 2-2 Negok District, has both positive and negative aspects – the design concept embodies and tackles said upsides and challenges. The open view towards Mt Chunggae is utilised while the unsightly Kyungbu highway and the very closely located neighbouring building is resolved – an innovative urbanistic solution to a complex condition. We proposed a counter shape as a response to the neighboring U shape building; its counter U shape not only creates
URBAN AGENCY PARTICIPATE IN 15TH ARCHITECTURE BIENNALE IN VENICE
URBAN AGENCY will be part of the official Danish contribution to the 15th Architecture Biennale in Venice. Chilean Architects Alejandro Aravena is head curator of the Venice Biennale in 2016. Under the heading ‘Reporting from the Front’ Aravena examines the architect’s role in the struggle to strengthen the quality of human life worldwide…. http://www.labiennale.org/en/news/18-07.html
Shenzhen Hongkong Bi-City Biennale
URBAN AGENCY is currently taking part in Irish Design 2015’s ‘New Horizon_architecture from Ireland’ – a series of presentations showcasing the work of emerging Irish practices. The installations kicked off on the 4th of December at the Dacheng Flour Factory, Shekou and will run until the 4th of March 2016, presenting photography and short films which highlight the fascinating relationship between Shannon, Ireland and Shenzhen, China. The exhibition explores, promotes and celebrates Irish design throughout Ireland and internationally portrayed by talented filmmaker, Matt Thompson alongside work from fellow architects practice, AP&E.
WHEN THE BRIDGE OPENS,
100 times a year
You can watch the short video showing the opening mechanical procedure of our new pedestrian and cycle bridge in Copenhagen. The bridge will open approximately 100 times a year. The project is going very well and it is in the early tender phase. The construction will completed in 2018. The model is made by WilkinsonEyre. See more here
It’s a Winner!
Copenhagen's new pedestrian and cycle bridge
Urban Agency, WilkinsonEyre and BuroHappold Engineering have been selected from a shortlist of five competing multidisciplinary teams, to design an opening pedestrian and cycle bridge across Copenhagen’s Inner Harbour. The plan form of the bridge is an elegant sweeping curve that reconnects the two misaligned axes of Vester Voldgade and Langebrogade. Peter Cederfeld, CEO of Realdania Byg said: “The winning proposal combines a clear and compelling concept with a strong design team to provide Copenhagen with a new high-quality bridge that both the city and its residents can be proud of.” The bridge has been designed as a simple response to the site constraints; from the eastern quayside, the deck rises up gently to clear the 5.4m high shipping channel,
Urban Agency in London
We are pleased to be featured in Nine Lives at the Tank, currently installed at Design Museum , London and residing there until June 28th. Nine Lives shows work of 10 architects from Ireland selected by Raymund Ryan and Nathalie Weadick as part of the ‘New Horizon_architecture from Ireland’ initiative which will see all 10 architects participate in some way in three architecture festivals across the world in 2015 – the first of these seeing TAKA, Steve Larkin, Clancy Moore, Hall McKnight and Emmett Scanlon show work at the London Festival of Architecture until the end of June. Supported by Irish Design 2015. Nine Lives will also be shown in Ireland as part of the Kilkenny Arts Festival opening August 8th and will run at the
Copenhagen's new harbor-front
With the opening of the Kalvebod Waves at Copenhagen’s harbourfront, a central part of the inner harbour has finally become both accessible and attractive to the public. The new public space on the water gives the harbour a new dimension as a recreational space in the centre of the city. Historically this part of the harbor was devoted to industrial activities. In the 1980s and 90s, the city sold the land, and the area was developed into an urbanistically and architecturally harsh and monoprogrammed harbor front, leaving its quay barren and open to strong winds, devoid of any public life. When addressing this infamously gloomy and desolated side of the harbor, the architects focused on two major design aspects: urban
Qianhai Exchange Plaza
Urban Agency in Shenzhen
Enjoy watching the video showing our Proposal for Qianhai Exchange Plaza as a center piece of a new urban quarter in Shenzhen. See more of the project here.
Qianhai Exchange Plaza - More than trade!
Qianhai Exchange Plaza will be a place for economic exchange. But it has the potential for much more. It can become the place for exchange on many different levels – a place of a holistic identity of what Exchange means in the 21st century. + Social Exchange: Economic exchange is based on people interacting. This needs places where people can meet in a formal or informal way – places where social exchange in the context of business and outside it can take place. + Cultural exchange: Qianhai and the exchange plaza are the heart of a new place that is supposed to foster exchange between Shenzhen and Hong Kong and between China and the world. Where people from everywhere meet
Our project Kalvebod Waves wins World Architecture News Awards for best Urban Design!!. See more here
SHOE SHELVE SHOP
ONE BIG STEP
URBAN AGENCY has finally gained a building permit for the design of a new 200m2 shoe shop in Neumünster, Germany. The shop will be a light, double-height space with a shopping area in the ground floor, with a meeting room and office spaces on the first floor. We will start the technical stage and launch its ground-breaking ceremony soon.
New Harbour Bath
With the opening of the Harbor Bath, the inner-city waterfront of Faaborg has finally opened for bathing and recreation / public activity. This new public space on the water adds a new dimension of re-creational activity to the beautiful South Funen Archipelago. The Harbour Bath is designed to tie a closer link between the city and the sea. Three thematic piers give room for everyone: toddlers, children and young people can go wild while others enjoy the view of Faaborg Fjord. The “finger plan” with open basins between the three piers, offers multiple ways to approach the water. The wooden piers form ramps, stairs, sitting opportunities and small pools for children. The new development invites to take a bath,
MAKEOVER FOR ICONS
The ESB’s recent controversial proposal to demolish the redundant but iconic Poolbeg Lighthouses provoked much opposition from Dublin citizens, including Dublin City Councilor and historian Dermot Lacey. URBAN AGENCY’s proposal aims to celebrate the unique identity and character of the Poolbeg Chimneys by giving them a new life and converting them into a new city destination: The Twin Observation Towers. The proposal includes glass bubble-like structures, one on 180-metre-high observation deck in one chimney and in the other, a 160-metre-high restaurant and venue for fundraising events, product launches, meetings, press conferences, receptions, and corporate parties. At the foot of the towers, a publicly accessible building comprising an energy museum/education centre, a shop, a cafe and toilet facilities is proposed. We
URBAN AGENCY’s first house in Lyon, France, is under construction. The site is located in a small wood planted with mature pine trees. The concept is an ultra-efficient cross plan that minimizes circulation and dead spaces while maximizing the natural light and views to the surrounding landscape.
This design for a mews house for a mid-terrace site at the rear of Fitzwilliam Square in Dublin offered the challenge of how to cater for contemporary living within the historical urban fabric. Avoiding pastiche, the aim was to reinvent the banal box typology of some mews schemes in the city, opting for four interlocking, offset vaults to create a dynamic series of outdoor and indoor spaces flooded with natural light. The vaults – inspired by the dominant stone arch on the lane – allow for an enfilade of grand rooms surrounded by a series of gardens and patios, despite the house being only 130m². The movement through the house has been imagined as a journey, with a series of
Together with BEM Architects, URBAN AGENCY has designed the urban scheme for the new development of 13,000 m2 of housing in Freiburg, Germany. The project, consisting of four housing blocks, will provide a working/living area based on the German concept of ‘Common Living’. The next step is to find future residents and investors.
House reconfiguration & extension
This project started with the clients’ desire to have “their head in the sky and their feet on the ground”. The attic level offers magnificent views toward the mountains and Dublin Castle while the rear garden is bathed beautiful afternoon light. The ambition of the proposal was to offer it all. Rather than adhering to the usual “modern box extension” at the rear, the design of the house maximizes the footprint of the existing volume. To that end, the house has been carved out entirely, dropping the ground level to gain a 30% floor plate within the roof. A series of split levels platforms organised vertically throughout the house connect all the living and communal spaces physically and visually, while
New Tent Structure
The Fringe Festival tent is a structure which is at the same time a spectacle, the brief is simple, a tent structure which can be erected in 24 hours, stand for one month for the duration of the festival and then be disassembled and stored until the following year. The project is 5 small domes all interconnected in a complex series of curves like a belly of a whale. A led skin powered by embedded photo voltaic cells brings the pavilion alive during festival time. The containers that the pavilion is stored in become ticket booths, wardrobes, bars and VIP areas spread throughout the docks during the festival.
10 Apartments & retail
The project consists of ten luxury apartments and a restaurant on the ground floor opening onto a semi-public lush garden. In 2013, URBAN AGENCY was commissioned to reassess an existing proposal and managed to gain an extra 40% of floor space by sliding and twisting each storey in order to comply with and “twist“ French planning law.
New social housing
The ten town villas are placed as a chain in the hilly landscape and relate both to the 5-6 storey houses of the new development and the small-scale houses of the village itself. The town villa typology has a small volume compared to the traditional social housing slab, combining the qualities of the one-family house with the density of the multi-storey housing typology. The access system and the common outside terrace area melt together as wide wooden bridges, including entrance zones for the units and terrace spaces. This creates housing with a strong community and a high level of safety. The buildings are planned according to the principles of the German DGNB certification system.
In spring 2010, URBAN AGENCY was appointed the winner of the competition for new housing at the Sommerlyst site in Holmbladsgade, Copenhagen. The project will now be realized as 28 units of social housing. The house enjoys a vivid landscape of roof terraces and balconies, which also provide access to the housing units themselves. This creates a safe and socially well-functioning environment for the inhabitants. The units are large family houses – partly duplex housing units with double-height spaces and four rooms. The ground floor to the main street offers two business areas suitable for cafes, restaurants or office spaces, with the facade to the minor Geislersgade featuring small front gardens and small-scale row house typologies. The brick facades fit
A short film on URBAN AGENCY’s project, Kalvebod Waves. See more of the project here.
Orla Kiely’s flagship store in New York is a 215m2 boutique situated on the ground floor of a 19th-century manufacturing building in the landmark area of Soho. The 7.5m x 28m long space is divided lengthways in two parts; an open plan area that can be used for catwalk shows or exhibitions, and a series of domestic-scale rooms that house Kiely’s signature collection of bags, homewares, stationery, beauty products and wallpaper designs. The spaces are arranged as a 1:1 cross-section of a doll’s house, acting like a stage set for customers to play out their ambitions of creating an ideal home, complete with original Orla Kiely designs. The modern, interchangeable interior street space allows for theatrical events and unusual displays,
A BIGGER SPLASH
AIT Prize 2014
URBAN AGENCY’s Kalvebod Wave project has been named winner of the AIT Award 2014. More than 500 projects from 31 countries competed in eight different categories (living, hotel/gastronomy, retail/trade fair, office/administration, health/care, sports/leisure, public buildings/education, industry/commerce) to win the prestigious prize. An international jury of 12 highly-esteemed experts selected the Kalvebod Wave project as the winner in the sports/leisure category. See pictures of the prize winning ceremony here. Also see more of the project here.
Wood Experience Center
Jeju Island is the most natural tourist attraction in South Korea. The centre is situated in the most untouched forest area in Jeju called ‘Redorum.’ One of the main challenges was to design a building that respects the existing forest as well being iconic in its own right as a tourist attraction. The roof covers the whole space of the building, which accommodates an exhibition hall, workshop and library.
School of music
The major challenge of our design proposal is to enhance the area around the train station as a new gate to the city of Kronberg, Germany. The new ensemble of chamber music hall, Kronberg Academy and Hotel has been carefully designed to blend in with the station’s forecourt. The unique design of the chamber music hall has evolved from the unique characteristics of the landscape, the idea of ”flow” is to allow the landscape by means of a set-through foyer through the building. The building itself receives its special sculptural form through the curved design of the building’s envelope. Curved wall cutouts allow large-scale column-free openings, theses characteristics shape the halls and also the exterior facades form.
URBAN AGENCY, together with Henchion+Reuter, Transsolar, Hosper, Haley Sharpe and Planning Partnership, were chosen to design a new masterplan and an interpretive centre for a UNESCO designated site in the heart of Dublin bay. See more of the project here.
Images alone do not do justice to URBAN AGENCY’s Vertical House. Watch the video to experience it for yourself. See more of the project here.
Distributed over two buildings, Ørestad Assisted Housing Project comprises a total of 110 units for disabled people and psychiatric patients. As it was important that the development naturally integrated itself into the future urban fabric and the public space, all the common facilities on the ground floor, e.g., café and rehabilitation center, are gathered in order to achieve an open and inviting access with a close link to the public space. The facade of the building is designed in a modular system with a distinctive checkerboard layout. The shifting half-module size windows and the set-back balconies create a distinctive depth and a unique and lively character that puts the buildings in dialogue with the urban space. The building’s design invites
The design for the Yuseong youth centre envisaged the building not just as an entity but as a composition of different identities. This vision involved devising seven programmatic volumes and lending them all a different architectural language to distinguish and characterise each function. We carefully recomposed the volumes to enhance their spatial and visual interrelationships. We believe this process creates not only the appropriate context for youth to develop their individual interests but also to allow them communicate among different groups. The site is complex, having a green field and lake on the south-east side and a 50m road on north-west side. We started with an L-shaped layout to create a cozy and active urban backyard embraced both by our
URBAN AGENCY, together with Artist Gregory Dunn, completed the Playstation project for “The Everyday Experience” – the Irish Architectural Foundation’s exhibition at The Irish Museum of Modern Art. See more of Greg Dunn’s Playstation video here. See more of IAF “Everyday experience“ here.
Get a feel for URBAN AGENCY’S shop interior design for Orla Keily in New York. See more of the project here.
Future of Copenhagen
In 2008 URBAN AGENCY, together with Vandkunsten Architects, won a two-stage urban planning competition for the development of the “Kløvermarken” quarter in Copenhagen. The project comprised the development of a new urban district with about 900,00 m2 of floor-area for housing, public and commercial use. Organized around the existing football fields, the project was designed with a focus on public health and sustainable living. URBAN AGENCY has worked on the project from inception to development plan and has been responsible for the development of a design manual for landscape architecture and public space.
TV Studio on DR2
Urban Agency was commissioned to design the TV studio for a new TV show called Vogternes Råd in Danish national TV channel. In the weekly show, 4 panels including MC, Ane Cortzen, and hosts deal with polemic issues about Danish media with critical and humorous point of view. We got inspired by a Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s work, ‘Gleaming lights of the souls’ and introduced it to our TV studio design. Our design seeks to create an infinite spatial sense in TV studio’s limited space by reflection with 35 mirror walls and LED lights. The studio surrounded by mirror walls contains innumerable reflection of colorful LED lights so it implies the infinite media production process between reality and fiction. See
The building, an artist’s studio, consists of a 5x5m singular room set back from the lane and mediated between two new outdoor rooms – a patio and a garden. The finished floor level is sunk 750mm below ground level. The modest-height ceiling at the entrance level increases gradually when descending to the centre of the room. A folding polished concrete ribbon runs around the room, up and down, becoming stairs, desks and a day bed before returning to its normal position. Internally, board-marked concrete walls and roof form a textured cube underscored by two long strip roof lights marking the daily passage of light on walls. Externally, a smooth, sandblasted concrete finish contrasts with the internal textural opulence. The space
The project in Kantplatz 8 in Neumünster, Germany, called for the renewal and restoration of a former church and church community house with special focus on energy optimization. The building is a defining part of the central square of the 1950s housing area. The project strikes a balance between building preservation, modernization and energy optimization: the facade towards the square had to be preserved, with the garden side opened up into a modern facade. Bay windows and balconies were established to create variety and the increase the potential for social engagement in the neighbourhood. The apartments were organized and scaled to accommodate the needs of groups of different ages. The interior and exterior common areas were given special attention to
An existing shopping centre with a deep plan is converted into bright usable office space. The proposal involved cutting a long narrow strip through the three-storey shopping centre, creating an atrium to draw sunlight down into the core of the plan. Stainless steel cladding reflects and intensifies the light, bouncing sunlight deep into the building. The central division forms two 12-14m deep spaces either side of the atrium which the offices can inhabit. As well as natural light, the atrium ventilates the building, preventing overheating. Meeting rooms form bridges between the two strips of office space, providing distinctive focal points within the building and referencing their communal function. The scale of the existing building had to be recalibrated for its
House reconfiguration & extension
A house that doubles as gallery gave rise to a series of flexible spaces that can be transformed by the occupant. An unroofed porch creates a chicane that provides both threshold and privacy. On entering, the living space is presented as a single volume stretching out to the garden beyond. This longitudinal space is served by an inhabited wall that opens up to reveal kitchen, stairwell, fireplace and settee. All the essentials of daily living are thus housed behind a folding white wall. One of these openings conceals a hidden dimension – a light-strewn stairwell leading to the bedrooms above. The upper-level arrival hall is as a place to linger, being glazed to the sky and lined in birch –
Brick a Back House
House renovation & extension
Located on a redbrick wall terrace in Irishtown, Dublin, one finds the wall folded right back into the interior to open a space for living space and a patio beyond. A single volume extends visually from the front door to the rear wall of the site where a variety of spatial conditions are overlaid, all differentiated by the degree of enclosure and the use of two contrasting materials: red brick and white marble. Three metres – two internal and one external – are added to the length of the existing house. Each metre is open, closed or glazed. This tripartite division of ‘air, earth and sun’ establishes an elemental structure that spans the width of the house. A blurring of
34 apartments retrofit & new extension
An existing dormer building is restructured as a permeable light box. Removing the old dormer windows, a three-and-a-half storey block is locked onto the top of the refurbished building. The new block provides a series of duplex and triplex units in the form of vertical houses. The block is carved out to form terraces, gardens and winter gardens, a multifaceted version of the traditional Irish back garden which divided and distributed to provide a range of uses and experiences. Conceptually comfortable houses are placed in a city centre location with three or four sided views over the city and green pockets acting as breathing space. Continuing the sense of rural life in an urban setting, allotments are available to residents.
House renovation & extension
A house is excavated and a space created. The insertion of a polycarbonate and steel cruciform object allows habitation, setting up a complex series of interconnected and overlapping spaces. The object, a piece of architectural furniture, spreads treelike from a concentrated base housing a kitchen, toilet, storage and stairwell. Above this is a platform for sleeping, dressing and study spaces. The four branches of the structure hold various functions – two spanning to the side walls act as wardrobes, while the branch to the front is a cantilevered reading desk for the teacher-client. The fourth branch extends through the rear wall and projects two metres beyond it housing a shower room. This room is glazed to the sky, reminiscent of