Solstice on the park, completed in 2018, is a 26 story residential Tower that takes a unique approach tenergy reduction. Studio gang, wanted a unique design, but one that would also be functional. Along with a large green roof for community space, the building also features solar carvings in the building that take Chicago’s latitude into account. These carvings help reduce energy needs by allowing Chicago’s more direct summer sun to warm the terraces, instead of the inside of the building itself. But the windows remain vertical enough to take advantage of Chicago’s more indirect wintersun. This type of design, although slightly more challenging to build then the standard steel frame structure, could be easily implemented to reduce energy needs across the globe.
Writers Theatre completed by Studio gang in 2016, features two performance spaces and a 250-seat mainstage. Surrounding the building is a number of public spaces that help to draw the community in. The building itself features a heavy use of wooden construction. This choice not only helps the building be more efficient, but is also used to incorporate an interesting visual aesthetic, as most surfaces inside and out of the building are covered in a light open-pore wood.
From viewing these buildings, I think that they are extremely beautiful and intricate architectural pieces. It is incredible to me that an individual’s mind can work in such a way that not only creates such beauty, but fully functioning beauty that can house many people and be used for multiple different things. After researching Tom Wright and his work, I think I have gained a much stronger opinion and more respect and admiration for architectures for what they have dedicated their lives to doing.
Roisin Heneghan’s take on the Irish Pavilion building is a departure from her museum buildings. This is a much more industrial design, but still focuses upon the geometric aesthetic designs. The exterior of the building is a subtle, grey, stone build facade that allows the building to follow the style of the other buildings in the area. The interior still follows her normal design style, with angular glass and white walls. However, the interior does vary at this point with an exposed ceiling. This allows the metal framework to not only support the building itself, but to also carry the aesthetic weight of the building by mixing it with the stone. It gives the industrial design the weight it deserves.
The Arcus Center for social justice leadership created by Studio gang was completed in 2015. This tri-axle building design features three glass facades that point to individual neighborhoods in aims of bringing communities together and creating transparency between them. The building features classrooms and converges to a meeting space for the community at its center. The building itself is constructed out of wood masonry which provides a reduced need for heating and cooling. The thing I found most interesting about this structure was its use of light. In the daytime it seems almost bathed in natural light thanks to the windows that run along the base of the roof. At night the building really seems to comes alive. The building radiates light from all sorts of interesting nooks and places, becoming almost a beacon of light.
Wright was born in Shirley, Croydon, Greater London in 1957, and studied at the Royal Russell School and the Kingston University School of Architecture. In 1983, he was recognized a an architect. He went on to become a director of the architectural practice Lister Drew Haines Barrow. He also became the design director of the Jumeirah Beach Resort, which I talked about in a previous blog post, along with designing the Burj Al Arab that was also previously discussed. In October 2013 Tom Wright left Atkins with two other design directors, Hakim Khennouchi and Geku Kuruvilla, to create a new practice.
Designed by Glenn Murcutt, the Australian Islamic Center features a large concrete wall in the shape of a blade, attracting attention to the facility. This wall was intended to invite visitors to the center, regardless of religion to provide people the opportunity to learn about Islam. Ventilation is created through external louvres, one of the themes of the building. Roof lanterns also reflect light in different directions to balance the brightness of the main worship hall. A courtyard is located through an open doorway out of the hall, giving worshipers a peaceful atmosphere for reflection after services with Willow Bottlebrush and olive trees.
Two years after the main garden at Bay South opened, the Children’s Garden opened, fully funded by the Far East Organization. It was designed by Grant Associates in association with Howeler and Yoon, Playpoint, and CT-Art. There are four main pieces to the Children’s Garden:
The toddler play zone features a sway bridge and stepping springs. Since you can’t trust toddlers with water too deep but the Gardens are water-themed, there’s a Fish Fountain with sculptures, tunnels, and places for toddlers to climb around and explore.
Water Play is the main focus of the Children’s Garden, designed for children ages 6-12. There are hydro vaults, water splines, and timed splash buckets stylized like orchids. There’s even an area with sensors that detects the movement of the children in the water, and different water effects are triggered based on where the children go.
There are two treehouses placed inside the rainforest at heights of 13 and 25 feet. The treehouses are linked by wooden bridges and offer other attractions like slides back to the ground.
Encompassing the edge of the Children’s Park is an Adventure Trail, which circles the Children’s Park attractions and offers several outdoor activities in the shade. These activities include all sort of different equipment to allow balancing, clambering, swinging, or climbing, with something different to do at each stop in the “adventure”
Ultimately I find the Children’s Park quite charming, and I seriously wish I had something like this as a kid. It might’ve even convinced me to go outside! I really like how it offers so many different things to do so that you could visit several times as a parent with your kids and not get bored, and it surprises me that it’s not more crowded in the photos that I was able to find. It was apparently designed to be a sensory experience to stimulate cognitive and physical development of young children, and that sounds just like the kind of place I’d want to take my kids to often. Especially in an environment like the Gardens by the Bay, where there’s such a big connection between futurism/modernism and nature.
The Riverside Boyd Education Centre was designed by Glenn Murcutt as a retreat for artists and students. Built in New South Wales, Australia, the Centre oversees a river and outdoor amphitheater. A hall with a capacity of 100 people overlooks the river, and can be used as a space for music performances, conventions, or lectures. Murcutt used variable lighting by using a system of windows to achieve this. Timber cottages provide sleeping quarters with four beds each, while a separate communal kitchen and washrooms are located inside the facility. The main building’s portico and roof accentuates the downward slope of the hill, allowing the building to be continuous with the environment.
While Casa Vicen is both beautiful and unique, the most significant aspect of the building is that it was the first house Gaudi ever designed.
The house was originally inherited by Manuel Vicens i Montaner when his mother passed away. Vincens intended to turn the estate into a summer home and hired Gaudi shortly after he left school. Once Gaudi got a hold of a building permit, he then began implementing the intensive and wondrous plans for renovation. Though much of Casa Vicens appears to resemble the victorian style of Gaudi’s predecessors, retrospectively, we can see here the beginning bud of Gaudi’s unique and innovative style that would later bloom into something ingenious.