Switzerland

Vertical Accentuation: Rotsee Finish Line Tower | Andreas Fuhrimann Gabrielle Hächler Architekten by Unknown


This wooden structure is located on Lake Rotsee, Switzerland to observe rowing contest. OSB and plywood are waterproofed and used as finishing for exterior and interior showing honesty in terms of materiality use. 


The structure is designed to harmoniously blend with the landscape, and a series of shutters are used to control the view of the race. When all the shutters are closed, the architecture becomes a windowless wooden object on the water. 


Tough, inexpensive materials are used, the overall architecture is well designed and each nail’s location are designed where to be inserted.


The wooden structure is supported by a concrete platform, which is anchored into the shoreline with pinewood to respect surroundings environmental conditions.


Check out this more about this rowing observatory tower here!


Architecture's Modern Marvels - #3 by Michelle Linden

The building that hit #3 on Vanity Fair's Modern Marvels list is perhaps my all-time favorite building. It is at least in contention for the top spot. I guess the critics are right when they call Peter Zumthor the architects' architect.



In architecture school, there is always a lot of discussion about the experience of the space. About entry, passage... about the journey.
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The Therme Bath Vals is a spa set up in the mountains of Switzerland, and if any building is about the journey... then it is this one. I drove with friends from Zurich up to Chur and then on to Vals. For someone who hadn't really spent much time in the mountains, the drive was unbelievable. The scenery was so picturesque and quaint - at one time we were stopped by a passing farmer and his herd of cattle!
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By the time we got to Vals, I was soooo ready to be at the spa. The excitement had really been building. As someone who loves minimalist design, but also loves tactile, crafted designs, Zumthor has always been one of my favorite architects.
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Believe me, the spa did not disappoint. The exterior structure is gorgeous, constructed of locally quarried stone in long linear patterns. The massive forms sink into the mountainside, with the green roof furthering the feeling that you are being enveloped by your surroundings.
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Once inside, we donned our bathing suits and made our way into the pools. Talk about the progression of space... I can still remember the different experiences in each pool; the hot water right next to the unbearable cold, the rose petal water, the tiny pool with the highest ceiling, the pass-through from inside to out. We swam and swam until we were so shriveled we couldn't possibly stay any longer.
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Buildings are meant to be experienced, and the Therme Bath Vals was one of the unforgettable experiences of my life. How can you not love this building and this architect?
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How Embarrassing by Michelle Linden

So, the World Expo 2010 is taking place in Shanghai, and many of the world's best architects have contributed designs. Many countries have hired the best architects found in their own country, while others have ventured out beyond their borders... but most designs have something in common... trying to articulate the priorities and passions of their home country, exuding confidence and creativity. Of course, I say most because the US is one glaring exception. What does our pavilion say about us? We could be locate along any highway in any suburb. We value conformity and corporate culture (which we can directly link to many of the problems plaguing our nation). We don't really have any place for innovation or creativity and we certainly don't value our architects, which is why we hired a Canadian to design a metal panelled representation of an eagle (there is that lack of creativity and ingenuity again).
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Very Frustrating. An expo is not an office park.

US
UK
Spain
South Korea
Portugal
Denmark
Switzerland
Russia
Japan
Poland
Finland
Canada





Chapelle de St-Loup by Michelle Linden










Sometimes I it drives me nuts when buildings are sculptural for no reason other than to look good... but, in the case of chapels, I don't mind it... Chapels are meant to be icons for both their congregation and neighborhoods, so a distinctive design can often aid in defining the building as an icon (but, not a false idol!). This small chapel by Local Architecture manages to be both sculptural and simplistic, offering a meditative place for worship. The use of a solitary interior material helps to tone down what could otherwise be an overly ambitious form.
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Personally, I think this is a fantastic project...
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