small WAN logo 26 November 2013
Issue 462
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Hérnault Arnod Architectes reach crescendo with 'urban musical instrument'
A curious new composition has been taking shape in Oignies over the past two years, courtesy of Herault Arnod Architectes. Standing at the edge of a former coal mine - the last remaining mine in the region - The Metaphone
is an interactive architectural gesture that works simultaneously as a venue for artistic performances
as an instrument in its own right. A black box of reinforced concrete is sheathed in a steel structure of mosaic tiles, created using a melange of materials such as frosted glass, steel and wood. This skin extends past the boundary of the core building to form a sheltered porch where musicians can play, their harmonies projected outwards by the building's carefully-crafted shape. Sandwiched between the dark-hued concrete and mosaic skin are technical walkways for installing and maintaining sound and lighting equipment, while on the roof the architects have integrated 'instrumental elements…whose acoustic properties have been calculated to produce musical sound' alongside photovoltaic panels. Herault Arnod Architectes details: "There are two principles of sound production... Read more
Top stories this week
1 Museum of the Human Body, Montpellier, France
It has been a productive few months for Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). The edgy practice, whose team is split between Copenhagen and New York, has opened the Danish National Maritime Museum in Helsingør, gained funding for the Blåvand Bunker Museum in Varde, released further details of Pier 6 of Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York... Read more
2 Tate Britain, London, United Kingdom
An exciting transformation of Tate Britain, one of London's most distinguished art museums, was revealed to the public today. Headed by Caruso St John with project managers Deloitte and structural engineers Alan Baxter & Associates, the £45m project was first glimpsed by an eager arts crowd when a set of ten new gallery spaces... Read more
3 The Manta Resort, Pemba Island, Zanzibar Archipelago
A thrilling underwater experience has opened in the brilliant turquoise waters off the coast of Pemba Island in the Zanzibar Archipelago. Designed by Swedish firm Genberg Underwater Hotels, The Underwater Room at the recently-opened Manta Resort is a serene 3-storey volume that bobs in crystal clear waters, its luxurious bedroom submerged... Read more
4 London School of Economics and Political Science, London, United Kingdom
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners has been announced as the winner of a competition hosted by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) to design a new building at the LSE's Aldwych campus. Click here to... Read more
5 Al Wakrah Stadium, Qatar
This week the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee released designs by Zaha Hadid Architects and AECOM for the Al Wakrah Stadium for the FIFA World Cup. The team was announced in June 2013 but this is the first time that concept designs have been released to an eager public. The stadium itself is designed to seat 40,000 spectators with modular top tiers to lower... Read more
WAN AWARDS: View All Entries
Urban Design Sustainable Building of the Year
Follow in the footsteps of Rafael Viñoly, Herzog & de Meuron and Jean Nouvel...
Adaptive reuse by definition is something repurposed, reinvented, reinvigorated and regenerated. When it comes to building design, rather than demolish an existing structure and start again, the architect is tasked with the integration of old and new, often with wonderfully creative results. These types of projects span all typologies and sectors to create some very imaginative renovations, meaning that this particular WAN AWARDS category is always
highly anticipated and we think with good reason.

One recently initiated renovation project of note is the regeneration of Battersea Power Station in London, masterplanned by Rafael Vinoly. Part of the wider Nine Elms development scheme, this project looks set to be one of the largest and most highly anticipated adaptive reuse designs in the capital since the Tate Modern, which was redesigned by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron. Conserving one of London's largest recognisable landmarks and developing an entire district is a perfect example of preservation and simultaneous regeneration of a prime location.

Outside the UK but still within Europe is another highly celebrated and large scale adaptive reuse project that we feel sums up the nature of this technique to recycle and breathe new life into an empty and disused space: the Wiener Gasometer Complex in Vienna. Designed by architects Jean Nouvel (Gasometer A), Coop Himmelb(l)au (Gasometer B), Manfred Wehdorn (Gasometer C) and Wilhelm Hozblauer (Gasometer D) the cluster of four former gasometers was completed between 1999 and 2001.

The full transformation of what was once a set of industrial buildings for gas production completely changed the area which soon became a mixed-use district for living, shopping, working and socialising, whilst retaining the stunning Victorian-era architecture through the exoskeleton of each column. Both case studies focus on more than just the preservation of something 'iconic': they consider local context and respond to the modern user.

Not all adaptive reuse projects take on such grand proportions but the same core values can apply no matter what the scale may be. Another project that has caught our attention is a recent entry and residential adaptation by architects Fougeron Architecture in San Francisco.

Read more
Morpheus concludes Chelsea Townhouses with opulent Chapman House Mature ginkgo tree inspires glossy new addition to John Abbott College
Chapman House is the latest high-end development by Morpheus in South Kensington and the culminating element in the company's Chelsea Townhouses project. The residence, designed by MMM Architects, has been elegantly decorated by Morpheus's in-house design team in only 10 weeks and is situated metres from South Kensington underground station, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the cultural delights of Exhibition Road. Once Morpheus
The history of John Abbott College along Lac St-Louis stretches back to the early twentieth century, its red-brick buildings touted as 'the most beautiful campus in Quebec'. The English-language college recently welcomed a new addition to this picturesque campus: The Anne-Marie Edward Science Building by Saucier + Perrotte architectes. Costing CAD$30.5m and encompassing 10,400 sq m of prime teaching space, the Science Building takes its cue from
acquired the prime site adjacent to fine jeweller Theo Fennell, down came the derelict properties that occupied the plot and up went the three contemporary new townhouses. The latest, Chapman House, comprises four en-suite bedrooms, an entertainment room below-ground, a cosy snug with climate-controlled champagne wall, and a generous lounge with screened-off dining room. The facades are banded by timber louvres, encasing exposed water pipes on the building's exterior and giving warmth to the project's outward face. The interior finishes soon whip you away from... Read more the manicured green landscaping of the campus. A 'majestic' ginkgo tree stands proudly on the building site and Saucier + Perrotte have deliberately angled the form to embrace this mature tree, creating a public courtyard. At ground level the volume is open and welcoming, encouraging students and faculty to use the site as a passage to other areas of the campus. A permeable ground floor ushers users into a cavernous glass atrium inspired by the neighbouring gingko tree, its vertical circulation branching upwards to the various functions of the building... Read more
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