concrete-in-architecture

Palais de justice (Courthouse), Créteil, Paris, France.

(Arch. Daniel Badani & Pierre Roux-Dorlut, 1976-78)

Photo by Carlos Traspaderne with Hasselblad 500 C/M & Ilford film.

8

Half-Tree House in Sullivan County

This 360 sf. structure designed by Jacobschang Architecture is located on a remote 60 acre, privately owned second-growth forest in Sullivan County, NY. It is sited on a steep, isolated area of the property with no vehicular access, no piped water and no electricity. From the outset, the project outlined two formidable directives: to design a structure that can be constructed by amateur weekend builders & to consider a limited construction budget.

The topography presented a difficult challenge. In an effort to minimize sitework (in this case, shovels by hand) and to eliminate the need for large footings, retaining walls and pumped concrete, the architecture is lifted above the ground and relies upon support from the trees. Exterior and interior boards were milled and kiln-dried from the Eastern Pines felled on the property. To minimize maintenance and to withstand long wet winters, exterior boards are treated using traditional Scandinavian pine-tar. Interior walls and ceiling are painted and the floor is protected with a clear matte sealant. 

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10

Tung-Men Holiness Church in Tainan 

This project by Mayo architects+ originates from a vision that the pastor has received from God: Tainan Tung-Men Holiness Church (TMHC) symbolizes an eagle as a biblical metaphor, and it is like an airport, serving as a boarding gate for non-believers to enter into God’s kingdom. The site of the new church is surrounded by secular residential buildings. Responding to this contextual city fabric as well as the pastor’s vision, the lower floors of the church building are used as socializing spaces such as coffee shop and family-friendly book store, inviting the community in and knitting the church closely with the life of the neighborhood.

The church is mainly composed of cool architectural concrete but balanced with warm wood and copper colors used for curved sanctuary ceiling, oak staircase and feather-like metal screens on the main facade. The aluminum perforated screens or “feathers” on the church exterior pay homage to the eagle metaphor, connecting this contemporary architecture to the members of the church on the emotional level. The orientation of every feather is calculated by the Fibonacci sequence and it is varied by increments of two degrees from feather to feather. Thus, the main church façade appears to be soft, transparent and flowing. Looking out from inside, the feathers form a sheer fabric that presents the secular world outside in a different light.

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