Thursday, August 10, 2017

Jean Verville facilitates

Jean Verville facilitates a family's everyday life in the brightest colours

QUEBEC CITY – In a hemlock forest, between coniferous evergreen trees bearing needle-like leaves and small cones, stands a dream-like family home. For a young professional couple and their two children, architect Jean Verville created two houses wrapped into one: one for the parents and one for the toddlers.

Deducing from the colour scheme, the project is a mixture of two of Verville’s previous buildings: Paperwhite and Prismatic Colours. But that might be the only thing that is comparable on a general scale, the rest of the two buildings is perfectly accustomed to its inhabitants. A bland flight of stairs follows the landscape’s natural slope to lead the visitor to the ground floor, where he arrives directly on a large concrete-floored and cantilevered terrace – the main entrance into the house. The living area’s walls are all made of glass, connecting the raw forest with a very domestic setting. After a few steps more, a bright red corridor leads to the first perched volume, the toddlers’ area with a spacious built-in bunk bed and a second miniature door. The child-friendly room is safely contained between the wooden warmth of pulse tilts.

Around the corner, a white staircase accesses the parents’ area, which is dominated by simple shapes and the natural contrast between white, wood and black. The bathroom mirrors the bedroom, with both sharing the same view of lush trees. Verville’s graphic attitude and mindfully happy use of colours brings to mind Dominique Coulon’s school projects, but the house is so successfully individual that it defeats comparison.

The room which speaks to the idea behind the house most is the family shower room. It facilitates the family’s everyday reality effortlessly, making the parents’ and children’s lives together less complicated. White rectangular tiles with dark grey joints and black fittings reflect the emphasis on geometry and contrast, which is interrupted by forest-facing windows that let the whole colour range of sky and nature brightly flood into the room.

Verville is purportedly a big advocate of the architectural promenade, the concept of a choreographed pathway through built space. At Fahouse, the idea becomes reality by providing experiences and determining the way in which spatial characteristics unfold their meaning.

rough yet refined museum extension

Out Now: Mark #69

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Elding Oscarson builds rough yet refined museum extension

LUND – Founded in 1934 as the Museum of Artistic Process and Public Art, the Skissernas Museum in Lund, Sweden, features an archive that documents the artistic process and holds the world’s largest collection of sketches, templates and models. In its 70-year history, the building has seen countless visitors and exhibitions, plus a handful of architectural renovations, the most recent of which was realized earlier this year by Stockholm-based Elding Oscarson, a firm led by Jonas Elding and Johan Oscarson. 

It is the first time that the museum has incorporated separate facilities – foyer, restaurant, shop and multifunctional hall – for purposes other than exhibiting art. With the new extension, the architects hope to increase public interest in the museum as an attractive meeting place.

‘Skissernas used to be the kind of museum that many people knew about and had visited once, but not the kind where you would go repeatedly,’ says Elding. ‘It was rather dormant, so to speak.’ The addition’s rough façade, clad in Corten-steel panelling that gives the overall surface a slightly convex curve, timelessly complements the previous extension’s brutalist concrete appearance. The architects selected Corten steel because it enabled the creation of sharply detailed panelling, a result quite unlike anything achievable in concrete. 

Visitors entering the building find a smooth skin of birch plywood that makes for a soft warm contrast. ‘The wooden interior matches the outside in its detailing,’ says Elding. ‘It speaks a similar language, as well as emphasizing the presence of the outdoors inside the building.’

External walls are interspersed with windows that suggest random placement. In fact, their carefully calculated positions offer specific views of the surrounding landscape and open sightlines throughout the building, providing a level of transparency without resorting to conventional curtain glazing.
This project is featured in Mark #69. Get your copy here.