Amsterdam-based NL Architects have recently shared three versions of a project designed for a Canadian entrepreneur on the beach in Florida. If this seems like a strange mix of characters and settings to you, you’re not alone. The collaboration is not a product of rampant globalization, but one of logic. First, pools in Canada are frozen solid year round* so a beach house with a habitable pool had to be built elsewhere. Second, who, other than a Canadian, would scour architecture firms around the world, searching for the firm best equipped to build a nearly tropical beach house and decide to go with a firm in the Netherlands?
Every time I start packing away the winter sweaters and coats, a long string of cold days shows up on the forecast and I start to hate the axis of the earth for not tilting toward the sun more quickly. Days are getting longer (at least for those of us in the northern hemisphere) but as close as summer seems to be, there is still too much snow on the ground for too many of us. 2013 is just another year that the groundhog lied to us all.
So I’ve been flipping through projects trying to find some that look summerish even if I’m not sure why seem that way. Counterintuitively, we’re starting in Michigan with a tall, skinny cabin that is probably absolutely miserable right now, so let’s just pretend that it’s summer. The Glen Lake Tower is a cabin on Glen Lake where Balance Associates Architects worked with the owners to come up with a warm and modern abode that hoisted off the ground to accomodate a covered parking area.
Gestalten’s latest architecture and design book, Northern Delights, poses the eternal question of what would go into the ultimate dream house. While they imagine the architecture might be Italian, the furniture Japanese, and the garden of British design, they agree wholeheartedly—and we concur—that the interior should be left to the Scandinavians. Longstanding leaders in a timeless, spare, and streamlined aesthetic unafraid to mix in bold color or the occasional touch of whimsy, Northern Delights explores both classic and newer designers from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland, as well as the latest in product and home design.
An ocean or two away in Aarhus, a team of four architects has finished Isbjerget, a residential project on the waterfront of Denmark’s second-largest city. The pointy-roofed Iceberg is a collaboration between JDS Architects, Cebra, SeARCH and Louis Paillard. All great firms, but it’s especially exciting for me to see the project finish because I feel like I witnessed the conception of the project at the desk next to mine while I worked at JDS. And what does it take to conceive architecture? A lot of blue foam.
Han Kjøbenhavn is a menswear company founded in Copenhagen in 2008. Designers Jannik Wikkelso Davidsen and Tim Faith have been building a steady following ever since with their unique brand of timeless vintage workwear imbued with streamlined Danish design. There’s an easygoing wearability to the clothing and accessories (at an affordable price point too) and an unconventional rowdiness echoed in their marketing. And, luckily, with a retail space newly opened in New York City, the company is finally poised to reach a much larger audience.
Sunday, the Hyatt Foundation announced that Toyo Ito is the 2013 recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, an annual award which recognizes “a combination of those qualities of talent, vision, and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture.” I didn’t realize until I had read the full announcement that the first studio opened by Ito was called Urban Robot. We’ve talked about Ito a few times on the blog, but there are some other excellent projects worth mentioning.
This biggest architecture-related news bouncing around the internet today is that Toyo Ito has been selected as this year’s recipient of the the Pritzker Prize. Expect a longer post about that later today or tomorrow. First, I thought we’d return to the idea that healthcare architecture is ugly with a counterexample. Here we have the Chiyodanomori Dental Clinic designed by Hironaka Ogawa. Of course it’s easier to find a pristine small clinic than a big, enormous hospital but this one is still exceptionally well done.
When Bobby first floated the idea of spending a whole week talking about Iceland, it occurred to me that I didn’t know anything about Iceland other than Björk. Well maybe I knew a little bit more. I knew the most visible work of contemporary architecture in the country is undoubtedly the Harpa Concert Hall, which we’ve already talked about a few times before Bobby even knew he was going to Iceland. But I did learn this week that the concert hall looks like this at night and that the irregular facade of Harpa mimics the basalt geology that you can find in other parts of Iceland.