Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Anne Holtrop's Trail House

Gotta love this one. The entire project is inhabitable circulation. Perhaps the same idea as the Droog House by Atelier Bow Wow, but an entirely different way of resolving that idea.

Link to Anne Holtrop's website

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Antón García- Abril

Casa Hemeroscopium by Antón García- Abril / Ensamble Studio
(from Plataforma Arquitectura)

Love it

Celeste has found a link to this video about a bike storage facility in (where else?) Japan:

Thursday, April 22, 2010


The Archigram Archival Project is online. Please have a look.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Herzog de Meuron

Good photos of more recent projects at Iwan Baan's site.

Centre Pompidou

I didn't know that Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners had such a comprehensive website. Thanks to a (perhaps misunderstood) comment from Catherine, I now do.

I think Catherine was looking for a floor plan of the Pompidou. If so, it is here.

Also, whilst I expect Catherine was raising the Pompidou in Paris, the Centre Pompidou in Metz by Shigeru Ban is very close to completion. There is info at Dezeen and Designboom.

Image of Centre Pompidou Metz from Dezeen below:

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Javier Sáenz de Oiza's Torres Blancas

A photo and plan of Javier Sáenz de Oiza's extraordinary Torres Blancas
(Avenida de América, 37, Madrid, 1964-69).

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Ugly furniture

If you want to look at some really bad and pretentious furniture, Daniel Libeskind is prepared to provide:

Link to Libeskind's ugly furniture

Read the comments too.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

More Breuer

Marcel Breuer also built one building in Sydney!

26 Coombes Drive, Penrith.

[Photo below by Tim]


Also, have a look at the German furniture company Tecta.

Amongst other things, they produce the folding version of the Breuer club chair and this other beautiful chaise also by Breuer.


Link to Corporate Culture's website.

We mostly looked at furniture by the following companies:

Fritz Hansen
Carl Hansen & Søn
Louis Poulsen (lighting)
Serge Mouille

Other furniture shops worth visiting in Sydney as part of your design education include:

Living Edge
Spence & Lyda
Unifor / Vitra

Living Edge, Spence & Lyda and Hub are all really close to one another in NW Surry Hills (near the Hollywood Hotel). Make sure you drop in at Published Art when you are in the area.

Designers we looked at yesterday include:

Arne Jacobsen
Hans Wegner
Verner Panton
Gerrit Rietveld
Gio Ponti
Enzo Mari, do watch at least some of this interview
Vico Magistretti
the Bouroullec brothers
Konstantin Grcic
Marc Newson
David Trubridge
Marcel Wanders
Shiro Kuramata
Tom Dixon
Alberto Meda
Franco Albini
Le Corbusier
Charlotte Perriand
Gaetano Pesce
Paolo Deganello
Toshiyuki Kita

Other designers worth looking at include:

Eileen Gray
Achille Castiglioni
the Campana brothers
Joe Colombo
Jasper Morrison
Maarten van Severen

Finally, a special link for Ms Zhuang
(because I expect she won't approve of my taste):


CaixaForum Madrid

My photos of the CaixaForum in Madrid by Herzog de Meuron. Some images shown by Joanne yesterday.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

How thick are walls?

Please don't draw plans with walls that are a single line thick. It looks stupid.

Find out how thick something is, and if you don't know and can't find out quickly, assume the following:

Most external walls are a minimum of 300mm thick.
Most walls separating different dwellings or tenancies (those requiring acoustic attenuation) are about 200mm thick.
Most internal walls inside a dwelling are approximately 100mm thick.

How big are things?

If you don't know how big something is (furniture and the like) and how much room is required, find out, don't stop work. Don't just guess. Please don't draw beds that are 4x4m, toilets that are 1.5m long or doors that are 400mm wide and 1500mm high.

You could:

1. Measure one
2. Google (Google is quite difficult to use to find appropriate info)
3. Refer to a book with anthropometric data

Good books with anthropometric data include:

Ernst Neufert, Architects' data
the Metric Handbook
Julius Panero's Human dimension & interior space

A quick note on Lifts

If you are thinking about lifts as part of your circulation system, its worth knowing where the Building Code of Australia stands on this matter.

Clause EF3.1 of Volume 1 of the BCA says that
Where a passenger lift is provided, it is to facilitate safe and easy—
(a) movement for occupants with disabilities; and
(b) evacuation of occupants, who due to illness or injury need stretcher assistance.

EF3.1(b) only applies to a building with an effective height of more than 12 m.

[italics mine]

Clause EF3.2 of Volume 1 of the BCA says that
A building is to be provided with one or more passenger lifts to facilitate—
(a) the safe access for emergency services personnel; and
(b) safe and easy evacuation of occupants who due to illness, injury or disability cannot use stairways in the event of an emergency.

EF3.2 only applies to— (a) a building with an effective height of more than 25 m

[italics mine]

Refer either to the BCA or to my post titled Some info on Planning & Building regulations for the definition of Effective Height

Therefore, if the floor level of your topmost storey is more than 25m above the floor of the lowest storey providing direct egress to a road or open space, you must have an accessible lift able to accommodate a stretcher. If the floor level of your topmost storey is more than 12m and less than 25m above the floor of the lowest storey providing direct egress to a road or open space, you are not required to have a lift, but if you do have a lift, it must be accessible and able to accommodate a stretcher.

If you need to know how big a lift, its shaft and equipment is, Kone have a handy online toolbox that will tell you.

[George has also suggested that Imem Lifts may be of interest]

Some info on Planning & Building regulations

A bit of info on planning controls:

If you have a look at the Central Sydney Floor Space Ratio Map, you will discover the area around our site has a Floor Space Ratio of 7.5:1. To find out what this means look for the definition of Floor Space Ratio in the Schedules and dictionary section of the Local Environmental Plan to which this map is attached. Essentially it means the maximum internal floor space you can propose is 7.5 times the site area, but do read the definition.

If you look at the Central Sydney Height Map you will discover that the maximum height on your site is 50 meters. You will also need to look at the definitions again to find out how to measure this height (from what, too what, and what exclusions there might be). 50m is tall. If you were to allow for ceiling heights of 2.7m, ceiling space of 300-400mm for services and say 200mm floor thickness (lets assume beams can intrude into the ceiling space), then you could fit a building that is 15 stories high! For comparison purposes, the building to the North is supposed to be 43.7m high (or 45.7, my info is blurry) and the ridge height of the building to the south is supposed to be 24.5m (this is much taller than this building looks to me. I hope someone is obtain an elevation of Sussex St, and the side elevations of neighboring buildings facing the site.

I think its unlikely any of you will propose a building of this height. One very good reason is the Building Code of Australia, which you can access online at the UTS library (login required)

Here are some important bits:

Clause D1.2 of Volume 1 of the BCA
D1.2 Number of exits required
(a) All buildings — Every building must have at least one exit from each storey.
(b) Class 2 to 8 buildings — In addition to any horizontal exit, not less than 2 exits must be provided from the following:
(i) Each storey if the building has an effective height of more than 25 m.

You will find it very difficult to fit 2 exits on your site, therefore, I think its likely you'll need to keep your building to the Effective Height of 25m. You need to go to the definitions part of the BCA to understand what an Effective Height is, because it is not the height of the building. To quote:
Effective height means the height to the floor of the topmost storey (excluding the topmost storey if it contains only heating, ventilating, lift or other equipment, water tanks or similar service units) from the floor of the lowest storey providing direct egress to a road or open space.

To understand the dimensional requirements of stairs, look at your helpful BCA again, Clause D2.13. I'd suggest you read it cause you'll need to just know this stuff for the rest of your career.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Achille Castiglioni

The Museo Achille Castiglioni has launched a website