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Architecture Now: The Best Works of 2013 - III

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on November 14, 2014 at 05:52 PM

In continuation with our list of the 20 best works of 2013, here are the next five! Some of these projects are monumental in size, programming and detailing, creating architectural moments that perhaps have never been seen before and almost always leaving a lasting impression with their iconic nature!

© Courtesy of Internet Sources

Over the past few weeks, we have spoken about the architectural wonders that 2013 has seen, and the list indeed has some really significant buildings. From the aesthetically pleasing Benson Radiology building in Salisbury and De Rotterdam in Netherlands, to the functionally sound ‘Knowledge Centre’ at St. Olavs , the past year has been a great year for design - not only in the field of architecture, but also in terms of infrastructure and urban reforms. Now we head over to five more design interventions that have changed the way the world and all its architects, look at design briefs, and interpret them.

New Offices of the Botín Foundation - Image 2 & 3

For their Madrid offices, the Botín Foundation chose a 1920s industrial building by Gonzalo Aguado, which was previously a silversmith workshop in the Spanish city. The majority of the original heritage building was left intact, with the infilled windows and doors reopened and reinforced with slender metal members and fire-retardant glazing. A double height atrium is carved out of the floor plane, strengthened by hidden steel beams, to greet visitors and illuminate both levels.  The distinct shell of the building gave the architects, MVN Arquitectos, the unique opportunity to create inspiring and singular spaces for the new offices- and to function as a part of a whole at the same time. The principal objective for the renovation was to allow more natural light to enter the whole building and enhance the space with sunlight and natural vegetation, which has been achieved by the creation of tiny pockets of courtyard-like spaces which serve as focal points for informal social gatherings.

Fontys Sports College - Image 4 & 5

The council of Eindhoven and Fontys University commissioned Mecanoo architects to build the sports complex in the Dutch town. Intended for educational, professional, and recreational sports purposes, the Sports College can be manipulated depending on the specific use. The crowning glory of the building is the fifteen-metre high climbing wall with an enormous window behind which you can see the climbers making their way up. The architects rightly believe that this building breathes sport from every pore, and it is rightly so. They wanted to create a social building- Everyone is familiar with the stereotypical image of the sports hall as a dull closed box, an association the architectural firm wanted to avoid, which it successfully achieves. The state of the art complex accommodates educational facilities for 2,000 students, five sports halls, a climbing wall, a restaurant and an underground car park with 200 parking places. The sports college presents itself as a powerful entity with a single theme: sport is fun.

Splashpoint Leisure Center - Image 6 & 7

The new pool complex includes a six lane, 25 metre pool; a combined learner/diving pool; indoor leisure pools with rapids, flumes and outdoor waters; a health and fitness centre; café; crèche and flexible space for other activities. The copper and cedar clad structure serves as a new flexible complex for multiple fitness activities in UK overlooking the coast on the Worthing sea-front in west Sussex. Located between the seaside and the town center, the new leisure center's fragmented shape is a response to the surrounding mix of build forms and landscape. The design maximizes the potential of the site with narrow slivers of housing spreading southwards to emphasise the connection between land and sea. Wilkinson Eyre, the architect cites the fluid forms of nature as their inspiration for the building's shape- Each pool form has its own terrace, opening up the facade to animate the beachfront elevation and enlivening this prominent location in line with the architect’s vision.

Park Royal on Pickering - Image 8

Dubbed as the "ultimate green-city", this hotel-as-garden by WOHA is a lush oasis in the city of Singapore-designed so that it actually doubles the green-growing potential of its existing site. The three main towers are connected by curvaceous, green gardens, overflowing with dense vegetation and tropical plants and trees. Greenery flourishes throughout the entire complex, and the trees and gardens of the hotel appears to merge with those of the adjoining park as one continuous sweep of urban parkland. The architect's intention was to recreate and urban street scale with interesting details and engaging views, and mostly to challenge the blandness of the Singapore skyline.

Shirasu Residence - Image 1, 9 & 10

The Shirasu residence in  Kagoshima, Japan by ARAY Architecture in the conventional sense, is a unique structure. Because the resident did not depend on locally supplied energy, the architects had to be creative with their design. The structure of the residence was constructed using a mixture of volcanic soil mixed with cement. The two-story home accommodates a family of six, and incorporates energy efficient practices for natural heating and cooling. The concrete structure is energy efficient, keeping the interior cool in the summer and warm in the winter, functioning as a nomadic dwelling would do. The structure is also fireproof and offers plenty of natural light.  The house caters to a native-style of living.

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