Archdaily's Building of the year 2011 - Bauhärepräis 2012
Within the framework of this project, the architecture and the art are found side by side, intertwined. The idea was to create a common language, a synergy which would reflect an intriguing, vivid and dynamic, yet at the same time intimate, welcoming and friendly ensemble. The thought of relating the art and architecture is part of the concept created with the involvement of the Luxembourgish artist SUMO. We aimed to create a response to the evolution of the urban landscape, which is nowadays significantly characterized by the 'post-graffiti' era that has become an integral part of the city. Sumo voluntarily covered the space from the bottom to the top by a subtle integration of the 'post-graffiti' art work. The architecture incorporated the art within: yellow, orange and red cloud images sometimes appear on the bottom of the overhanged volumes; peculiar figures emerge on the loggias’ backgrounds. The art emphasizes the formal play of volumes: while sliding, they leave space for the organic sketches and eccentric colors. The anticipated equilibrium between the landscape of the building and the artistic interpretation is in such a way endorsed.
The form of the building, together with the choice of the façade materials, establishes a certain monolithic appearance, which strongly opposes its neighbors. The overall volume is a unique object, characterized by the juxtaposition of simple and pure volumes. On the whole, the surrounding architecture is formally characterized by a clear distinction between the ground floor, other floors and the roofs – through the use of materials. Our idea was to use a single material, black shiny extruded metal that would enact the monolithic, sculptural nature of the building. This material has a multimodal character. During a nice day weather, the material reflects worm, intense color, which contrasts its neighbors, where usually used plaster has an absorbing effect. On a cloudy day, the material interestingly merges with the color of the sky. During the night, it allows certain discretion, while being illuminated by the city lights and the passing vehicles. The sliding panels allow the residents to have a desired relation with the environment. A view without exposition, or an exposition without a view?
The organizational idea comes from freeing the three facades from internal circulation in order to bring maximum flexibility and to bring light into the apartments. The programs itself comprises 4 different apartments, with the garage on the ground floor. The garage positioning is due to the proximity to the road, the lack of intimacy and the poor exposure to sunshine at this level. The first floor is occupied by an 80 sqm two-bedroom apartment. The intimacy is provided at the back façade, while the living space is orientated towards the road. The second floor includes two studios, 47 and 48 sqm sized, destined for young couples without children. Given the longitudinal character of the apartments, the walls are used only to separate the bathrooms, while the rest of the space is structured by the use of furniture. A 115 sqm duplex in occupying the third and the fourth floor. A solid all-glass ceiling allows sunshine in the north-oriented kitchen and dining room.