Featuring a home in Hiroshima, Japan by Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP. The Optical Glass house offers a welcoming, tranquil atmosphere rarely seen in such perfect combination with contemporary and minimal interior architecture. I love the simplicity in the execution of materiality, layout, solidity of forms and large scale geometric elements such as the wood storage wall in the main living zone. Color is expressed through the used materials such as warm brown from wood, soft gray from concrete, invigorating green from the central courtyard and beautiful blue from a small pool outside. Soft light penetrates through a reflecting tiled glass, highlighting the carefully curated interior space.
Norwegian Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter recently finished a National Tourist Route Rv 889 in Havoysund, Norway. The objective was to magnify visitors’ experience of walking from the roadside down to the seaside. The winding concrete ramp does not only allow universal accessibility but becomes an integral part of the journey. It slows down visitors in a measured, restrained approach and brings out the awareness of one’s surroundings within the remoteness of a place. Located in the extreme north of Norway, in a landscape almost lunar in its barren and inhospitable beauty, the facility should ideally be completely self-sustainable in terms of power input and waste output. The general notion was to create a human detail in the vastness of the landscape that is as timeless as the landscape itself and that brings attention to the relationship between the duration of experiences and the hugeness of the spatial circumstances. I would love to walk that path in slow, measured and restrained steps as the architects intended, wouldn’t you?
Two different projects, by one architecture firm, located in the same area, make a clear statement about creative and sustainable interaction of nature and architecture. LJB, a Norwegian based architecture team, were assigned to design two rest stops, the Flotane rest stop and the Vedahaugane lookout, at the Norwegian national tourist Route Aurlandsfjellet. The first one consists of 1200sqm parking area and a tilted, concrete, cube structure that serves as toilet. A simple yet so thoughtful design creates a well protected entrance to the toilet service while at the same time the south façade is covered by solar panels; a solution that allows daylight to enter the interior while protecting it from indiscreet eyes. The second one, the Vedahaugane lookout, could be described as a pathway to nowhere. It is a 90m long curve shaped construction – a concrete line that seems to float above the terrain. A minimal approach with the minimum environmental footprint and a place I would definitely love to visit. Photographs: Statens Vegvesen, E. Marchesi