Dezeen Wire: as the September 11 Memorial nears completion in New York, architecture critic Rowan Moore examines the political and professional infighting that continues to dominate the rebuilding of the World Trade Centre site – The Observer
A drawbridge-like flap lowers from the steel-plated facade of this Melbourne bunker to reveal a bedroom window.
Australian architects Muir Mendes designed Law Street House for themselves.
The building occupies the site of a former workman’s cottage and is flanked on three sides by other houses.
Designed to be termite-proof, the house features a steel structure plus steel doors, window frames and joinery, as well as a tallow wood floor that is unpalatable to the bugs.
A bedroom, living area and bathroom occupy the ground floor of the two-storey property, while a study, second bedroom and second bathroom are located on the first floor.
A double-height corridor crosses the house and is naturally lit by a skylight.
Law Street House is the fourth Australian house to be featured on Dezeen this month, after a cliff-top home anda glass-roofed residence in Sydney, and a cantilevered house in Melbourne – see all our stories about Australia here.
Photography is by Peter Bennetts.
Here’s more information from the architects:
Law Street House
Located in a tight single lane street in South Melbourne the original dilapidated one bedroom workman’s cottage built in the 1880s formed the initial brief for architect’s/owner builders Bruno Mendes and Amy Muir. To pursue the desire to construct using ones own hands formed a very important part of the brief.
Joe Mendes who manages steel fabrication for a large construction company formed the final link. The following 3 and a half years of demolition, excavation and construction would be referred to as ‘the daddy Mendes apprenticeship’.
While working full time in practice the new house was constructed on weekends. This formed the construction program and associated cash flow.
The 93m2 site adjoined to the north and south neighbouring properties and contained by a rear property called for access to natural light and a view beyond. Flanked by a two storey modernist red brick façade and the ornamented timber cottage to the south, Law Street House became the fourth little pig.
Constructed from plate steel the façade adopts a condition of blankness concealing the second storey within the adjusted roof pitch mimicking the form of the site’s former cottage. A ‘draw bridge’ to the front window provides privacy and curates light to the front bedroom providing a signal of occupation to the house beyond.
Upon entry the double height corridor directs the gaze through the full length skylight to capture a view of the existing palm tree. The inversion of the enclosed cottage corridor is adopted in order to maximise the penetration of natural light to the interior and provide an aspect ‘out’ of the tight site.
Sky becomes an important distraction for the gaze. The white walls play host to the passage of light that dances across the interior as the day passes patterning the walls as it moves.
A memory of the original lean to roof lines ripple across the underside of Level 1 defining the ‘section’ of the house.
The rear of the house forms a continuation of the roof line folding down the Rescode diagram to the south. The rear façade to the east is tilted ensuring that no additional overshadowing was caused to the neighbouring property.
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Internally the wall is pleated incorporating the heating panel and concealed blind to the window on Level 1.
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Steel construction was adopted to combat the tight site and aggressive termites. Windows, doors, stairs and joinery have been fabricated from steel puncturing the white interior. Tallow wood flooring was selected given that it does not suit the selective pallet of the termite. The flooring folds through the space and up the walls providing a robust skirting.
Click above for larger image
Two bedrooms, two bathrooms, one study, open plan living and storage have been carefully crafted into the 115m2. The house is divided into two living zones with the Level 1 gallery study forming the in-between space.
Click above for larger image
Borrowed light and borrowed vistas articulate a space for living, for gazing, for pondering, for thought.
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|House in Ropponmatsu
by Kazunori Fujimoto
Famous avant-garde Catalonian restaurant, El Bulli, operated by renowned chef Ferran Adrià shut its doors permanently on July 30, 2011. A new full-length feature documentary, El Bulli: Cooking In Progress, gives a rare glimpse into what was considered for many years as the world’s best restaurant by the prestigious rating book, The Michelin Guide. The film’s director Gereon Wetzel has said that when he started filming, he did not know that the restaurant would be closing. For foodie fans everywhere, it was a lucky coincidence.
While the restaurant itself is now closed, chef Ferran Adrià plans to open a gastronomical think tank called El Bulli Foundation based on the restaurant’s unique history and offerings in 2014.[via laughingsquid]
you’ll need to play more than once
Two of our most popular movies on Dezeen Screen this month featured a robot that wakes its owner then poos on the floor and rioting robots on the streets of London, so we’ve compiled Dezeen’s ten most popular stories about robots.
1: this conceptual high-rise with a facade that’s constantly reconfigured by robotic arms is our most popular robot story.
2: second place goes to our story about Stefan Ulrich’s shape-changing robot designed to relieve loneliness.
3: at number three is a robot called R-O-B that builds walls and was responsible for the award-winning Structural Oscillations installation at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2008.
4: the Outrace robots, at number four, wrote messages in the sky at last year’s London Design Festival.
5: our fifth most popular robot story is Kacey Wong’s robot-shaped shelter for the homeless.
6: number six is Kibwe Tavares’ Robots of Brixton video, in which a downtrodden robot workforce battles with police against a backdrop of dystopian architecture.
7: the Robox shelving system by Italian designer Fabio Novembre comes in at number six.
8: a tea house for robotic kitchen appliances is our eighth most-read story about robots.
9: number nine goes to these robot figurines made from found objects and re-appropriated components by Rusti D.
10: last but not least is this week’s story about a combined vacuum cleaner, alarm clock and pet by Seoul designer Jeongmi Lee.
We’ll be back with another top ten next month!
The IBM Selectric became an instant sensation upon its debut on July 31, 1961, and remained the typewriter found on most office desks until the brand was retired 25 years later, in 1986. With 2,800 parts, many designed from scratch, it was a major undertaking even for IBM, which had been in the typewriter business since the 1930s and was already a market leader. The Selectric marked a radical change from previous typewriter designs, and it took IBM seven years to work out the manufacturing and design challenges before it went on sale.
The Selectric typewriter was a game-changer in many ways:
The Selectric also formed the basis for early computer terminals and paved the way for keyboards to emerge as the primary way for people to interact with computers, as opposed to pressing buttons or levers. A modified Selectric could be plugged into IBM’s System/360 computer, enabling engineers and researchers to interact with their computers in new ways.
“The Selectric typewriter, from its design to its functionality, was an innovation leader for its time and revolutionized the way people recorded information,” said Linda Sanford, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Transformation, IBM, who was a development engineer on the Selectric. “Nearly two decades before computers were introduced, the Selectric laid the foundation for word-processing applications that boosted efficiency and productivity, and it inspired many user-friendly features in computers that we take for granted today.”
Here’s a silly commercial from the 80s. I’m pretty sure it was considered silly even back then!
One piece of plywood furniture inside this Polish apartment encompasses a bed, bookshelf, nightstand and wardrobe.
The hotel apartment in Poznań was designed by architects Mode:lina and provides temporary accommodation throughout the year for trade fair visitors.
Named Quotel, a combination of the words quote and hotel, the apartment has different messages written on the walls of each room.
The architects have furnished the whole apartment using combinations of furniture from Ikea.
Other hotel interiors recently featured on Dezeen include a boutique gay hotel with a life-size polar bear statue and a Paris hotel filled with touchscreens.
Photography is by Marcin Ratajczak.
Here’s some more information from the architects:
Quotel – accomodation for fair visitors in Poznań, Poland
Quotel (combination of words: “quote” and “hotel”).
Architects of mode:lina have completed an apartment designed for guests visiting the Poznań International Fair.
This specific customer defines the nature of this apartment – at the crossroads of hotel features and relaxed homely atmosphere.
The challenge was to use easily replaceable parts (here: IKEA) and create a space that definitely stands out among other similar offers on the market.
Designers faithful to the principle of crossing-over combined catalogue elements with these custom-made to create an affordable and durable design giving the impression of tailored interior.
We wish you a pleasant stay in Poznań!
Interior design: Jerzy Woźniak, Paweł Garus of mode:lina architektura & consulting
Completion date: February 2011
Net area: 100,1 m2
Photos by: Marcin Ratajczak
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