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HIGHLIGHT: MADEN GROUP

In order to offer Kosovo’s architecture a unique studio, that gives comfort, spreads friendly vibes and works with creativity, the talented architect Ideal Vejsa together with the engineer Memli Dushi decided to open Maden Group in 2009, based in Prishtina.

Maden Group always trys to integrate new elements according to the evolution of technology and materials, giving different dimensions and colors to their creations but never losing their identity.

With a team of 15, among them the other partners Gazmend Dema and Rashit Zeneli, the studio’s main attention is the environment and the atmosphere where they work in. “In pursuance of refreshing the work we do, sometimes we transform our workplace to avoid monotony and set up a creative surrounding. This has given amazing results in our work and also enhanced fondness and friendship in our team.” – says the architect Vejsa.

Their approach to design and work creates a strong foundation for the studio, resulting in successful projects, honored with national and international awards.

maden group
Maden Group Office

Gjirafa.Biz Offices, Prishtina, Kosovo, 2016

As a continuation of the Gjirafa.com offices, the Gjirafa.Biz project is conceived in harmony with them, but with one difference: the created environment must convey a serious and professional feeling in contrast to the more friendly offices of Gjirafa.com. The entrance was designed to create an impression of uniqueness and cleanliness, by using the power of black color in the main hallway.  To create a visual connection between the spaces of Gjirafa.com and Gjirafa.biz, one of the walls is covered with an orange container plan used even in the premises of Gjirafa.com, an element that you can see in many of the projects of the studio.

maden group

Hostel Mami, Prishtina, Kosovo, 2018

In this project, Maden Group has combined traditions with contemporary design to create a lively architecture. What makes Hostel Mami special is the use of traditional elements – a concept we often see in Maden Group projects – such as sofra, flute, çiftelia, etc., treated in a different spiritual way, in the form of an art exhibition, giving foreign tourists the opportunity to learn and get acquainted with Albanian traditions.

maden group
maden group

American School of Kosovo, Shkabaj, Kosovo, 2018

The American School of Kosovo is probably one of the works that best represents Maden Group. The project consists of a high school and kindergarten, which focuses on children and teenagers. In addition to spatial organization, importance has been given to functionality and the impact that these spaces have on students. Based on this concept, the architects designed multifunctional spaces where multipurposes are developed in one place. Natural lighting in each space, variety of colors and incorporating of green in the interior are some of the components that characterize the new campus of the American School of Kosovo.

maden group

Metalic Club, Gjakova, Kosovo, 2019

In many of the Maden Group projects we can see their approach to the traditions and preserving the connection with the past. Even for Metalic Club this was the concept: save the old, the new one should look colorful. The project characterized by an approach that attempts to contextualize contemporary architecture within a typical modernist setting of the last century. The project represents an intervention within one of Kosovo’s largest industrial buildings (Metalik factory, Gjakova), which is at the same time a marker of an important phase of urban-architectural development in the country. The concept is based on the fact that any new intervention should fit the inherited architecture, without damaging and stripping it of its stylistic features. Significant portions of the building have been preserved, not interfering with them at all, while each new intervention has been treated in color in detailed way, to be regarded as an important layer of present time.

maden group
maden group

The Hill House, Ulcinj, Montenegro, 2019

From the beginning for the studio it was important to design a villa that had to be contextualized so that the house would be stretched out and placed inside the location. By integrating the home with the terrain and handling the details to enhance environmental appreciation, this carefully positioned and developed design gains an outdoor treatment in a challenging location. The project was influenced by the countless coastal villas that can be found on the Ulcinj coastline. “The Hill House” was simplified to pure geometric shapes and then manipulated and modernized to take advantage of the sea views, resulting in a typical Mediterranean architecture.

Francis House, Prishtina, Kosovo, 2020

This project consists of an existing house renovation, where the biggest concern was its lack of identity. Its transformation began with the removal of  some of the existing elements of the facade, resulting in pure volumes of white cubes to work on. By using a bright orange color, the architects managed to give the house the needed attention. A modular cube screen – which is also the key architectural element of the building – provides the necessary privacy on the balcony, while allowing the penetration of sunlight. Unlike the bold facade, the interior design is characterized by a minimalist style in order for the space to maintain its tranquility.

maden group

HEB’S Bar & Restaurant, Prishtina, Kosovo, 2020

The main features that Maden Group has paid attention to in the Heb’s project were the comfort, the special look and the feeling “at home”. Now that restaurants and bars have been moved from spaces where man simply goes to eat, to creative and beautiful spaces, the architects used elements that would set this restaurant apart from others, such as glass blocks to give the environment a feeling of abundance, as well as the indoor greenery to make it as comfortable and natural as possible.

maden group

Tregu i gjësë së gjallë

Livestock Marketplace

Project name:
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Livestock Marketplace
Public market
MetroPolis
MetroPolis
Fier, Albania
Constructed
2020
2.470 m2
1
Eranda Janku, Imeldi Sokoli
Abkons Shpk

Tregu i gjësë së gjallë fier

The concept of the Livestock Marketplace project by MetroPolis starts as a space that turns into a landscape sign. The market is a cycle (daily, monthly), the life of the animals traded is also a cycle. Both are rigid and defined.

Visiting the market space is an overlap of the shopping life cycle with that of visitor life. The most complex cycle but also a defined one.

We want to turn the overlap of these processes, which coincides with the Time of Market Revival, into a spatial experience that is remembered. Overlapping of these two different cycles turned to be a space where everyone can see all the processes that will happen there.

Tregu i gjësë së gjallë

The livestock project is located outside of inhabited areas. In the suburban area of Fier city.

Winner of BigSEE Architecture Award 2020 in Public and commercial architecture.

Tregu i gjësë së gjallë masterplan

Studio Founders: Besnik Aliaj, Sotir Dhamo, Dritan Shutina. Architect/ Project Team Leader: Endrit Marku Architectural Team: Emel Peterci, Franc Linxa, Erialda Zekthi, Besart Gjana, Ledian Bregasi Engineering Team: Merita Guri, Aguljeljn Marku, Dilaver Oshafi, Krenar Caushi, Erjon Stambollxhiu

Autizmi dhe Hapësirat e Gjelbërta

Autism and Green Spaces

Green spaces have always had an impact on both our mental and physical health. However, little is known nowadays about the impact of these spaces on people with autism, considered globally as one of the most common neurological disorders affecting children. But what is autism? Autism is a complex developmental disorder that typically occurs in the first three years of life and is considered a neurological disorder that affects brain functions. Based on the American Psychological Organization statistical manual, autism disorders involve many areas of development: the ability to interact, the ability to communicate, and the creation of stereotypes in behaviors, interests, and activities.

According to Bronfenbrenner’s theory, we can say that individuals develop in interaction with the environment to which they belong. Numerous researchers have given special attention to environmental risk as a factor that can cause autism. Data from studies show that the percentage of babies born with autism is 8-10% higher in regions contaminated with toxins than in those living in cleaner areas (Kurti, 2013), also an interesting study is that of conducted in 2010 in America entitled “The Relationship between Green Spaces and Autism in Primary School Children in California” whose purpose was to test whether these two environmental factors and autism are related to each other. So does the lack of green spaces cause autism? Is this one of the factors that can lead to the development of this disease? Is there a higher prevalence of autistic children in areas where green spaces are smaller?

Autizmi dhe Hapësirat e Gjelbërta
Courtyard Kindergarten By Mad Architects (c) Arch-Exist

To answer these questions the researchers decided to extend their research to 560 public schools in California. They decided to calculate the green area in all schools including the percentage of forest, small trees and large trees located on the side of the road as well as the area covered with grass. The researchers concluded from the results of this study that a 10% increase in green space directly affects a 10% decrease in the total number of autistic children and a 19% decrease in this number if the amount of trees on the side of the road will increase by 10%.

This binomial between autism-green spaces is proven once again in schools which were close to the main roads. Heavy traffic urban areas were directly related to an increase in the number of autistic children. Hypothesis / The solution that these researchers thought to implement after this study was to increase the number of trees near the main roads by thinking of it as a ‘Form of Prevention’. But it will take many more studies and evidence to fully confirm the correlation between this pathology and green spaces, not forgetting that noise pollution, as a result of heavy traffic, can be another influential factor in autistic children.

Autizmi dhe Hapësirat e Gjelbërta
Fuji Kindergarten School by Tezuka Architects (c) Katsuhisa Kida

In Albania, there is an increase in the number of children with autism from year to year and today, according to data from the Institute of Public Health, 1 in 68 children is affected by autism.

“We are talking about approximately 300 cases in each generation of children, if there are 30 thousand new births. This means that we are at 3 thousand cases, if we count from the age of 2-11 years and if we go from 2 to 22 years old it means that we may be at the number 6 thousand cases. It is a fairly large number compared to what is happening today across our services, in terms of diagnostics. Although from a 2 years old to another from 2010 until today, the number of new cases diagnosed, goes with 30-40% increase every year “- quotes the head of the Psychiatric Service Albania, prof. dr. Ariel Çomo. A very alarming figure considering that it is a pathology with which we have been familiar with a few years. In September 2008 was held the first Albanian National Conference on autism and this is the only data we have today because the diagnosis and confirmation of the first patient is unknown. Although the real causes that lead a child to autism are not yet known, we can say that the debate extends in two directions, inheritance and environment. If by inheritance we mean that particular part of the chromosomes that combine at the moment of fertilization, it means that everything else that happens next is the environment. Green spaces in our country over the years have been halved or even worse. We can not say without a detailed study whether this is an influential factor in the alarming increase in the number of autistic children in our country but we can leave it as a hypothesis and a big question mark hoping that we will give an answer.

Source: NEUAR

diabolo flos achille castiglioni

Diabolo Flos by Achille Castiglioni

For about ten years out of production, the Diabolo suspension that Achille Castiglioni designed in 1998, the latest project of his long collaboration with Flos, returns, wisely re-edited and updated with new technologies. Once again, a creation that is, in the spirit of the Milanese designer, a reflection on an “anonymous” product, which has always been present in homes, the ceiling light that is adjustable in height thanks to a hidden pulley system, making it work in a multitude of settings.

Diabolo Suspension Lamp - Castiglioni's studio

The theme was not new for Castiglioni who had already confronted it over the years, for example with Splugen and Relemme. It is clear that that counterweight so prominent did not go down and so in the end he had found a way to hide it and at the same time make the solution not only rational, but also aesthetically pleasing. Indeed, more because the variable distance between the thin cone that hides the rewinding system and the wider one, that is the diffuser, allows you to measure the lighting effects .

diabolo flos achille castiglioni
Another thing: there is nothing sulphurous in the name, simply a quote from the Chinese game of the same name , that sort of hourglass that runs horizontally on a thin thread.
diabolo flos achille castiglioni

Source: vogue.it

diabolo flos achille castiglioni

Libra rreth arkitekturës

Architecture books that you can access online

The philosophy of architecture is a branch of philosophy of art, dealing with aesthetic value of architecture, its semantics and relations with development of culture. Many philosophers and theoreticians from Plato to Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, Robert Venturi and Ludwig Wittgenstein have concerned themselves with the nature of architecture and whether or not architecture is distinguished from building.

Architecture has deep wells of research, thought, and theory that are unseen on the surface of a structure. For practitioners, citizens interested, and students alike, books on architecture offer invaluable context to the profession, be it practical, inspirational, academic, or otherwise.

If you have time and are interested in understanding the architecture better but you don’t have a budget, we made a list of online architecture books that you can download or read for free.

“ARKITEKTURA DHE DIKTATURA” BY PETRAQ KOLEVICA

In the book “Arkitektura dhe Diktatura” (Architecture and Dictatorship),  Petraq Kolevica greets “today’s architects and more those of tomorrow” inviting the reader to become part of a storytelling of lives inmersed in content of a regime’s totalitarian concept, which makes sure to fiercly crush everyone that brings the spirit of controversy.

Download the book HERE

POINT AND LINE TO PLANE BY WASSILY KANDINSKY

As an influential member of the Bauhaus school and a leading theoretician of abstract expressionism, Kandinsky helped formulate the modern artistic temperament. In Point and Line to Plane, Kandinsky presents a detailed exposition of the inner dynamics of non-objective painting. This book amply demonstrates the importance of his contribution and its profound effect on 20th-century art.

Download the book HERE

INVISIBLE CITIES BY ITALO CALVINO

The book explores imagination and the imaginable through the descriptions of cities by an explorer, Marco Polo. The book is framed as a conversation between the elderly and busy emperor Kublai Khan, who constantly has merchants coming to describe the state of his expanding and vast empire, and Polo. The majority of the book consists of brief prose poems describing 55 fictitious cities that are narrated by Polo, many of which can be read as parables or meditations on culture, language, time, memory, death, or the general nature of human experience.

Download the book HERE

THINKING ARCHITECTURE BY PETER ZUMTHOR

In this book Peter Zumthor expresses his motivation in designing buildings that speak to our feelings and understanding in so many ways and that possess a powerful and unmistakable presence and personality.

Download the book HERE and the expanded edition HERE

 

JAPAN: ITS ARCHITECTURE, ART, AND ART MANUFACTURES BY CHRISTOPHER DRESSER

Japan: Its Architecture, Art, and Art Manufactures by the British designer Christopher Dresser (1834-1904) is more than just a book on such subjects: It was born of Dresser’s extensive travels in Japan in 1876-77, and thus also records a journey and what transpired on it. That travelogue makes up the first part of the book; analysis of architecture, art, and design makes up the second part, with more extensive illustration.

Download the book HERE

THE POETICS OF SPACE BY GASTON BACHELARD

Thirty years since its first publication in English, French philosopher Gaston Bachelard’s The Poetics of Space one of the most appealing and lyrical explorations of home. Bachelard takes us on a journey, from cellar to attic, to show how our perceptions of houses and other shelters shape our thoughts, memories, and dreams.

Download the book HERE

JAPAN STYLE: ARCHITECTURE + INTERIORS + DESIGN BY KIMIE TADA & GEETA MEHTA

Traditional Japanese homes, with superbly crafted fine wood, great workmanship and seasonal interior arrangements, have an aesthetic of infinite simplicity. Unlike Japanese inns and historical buildings, the Japanese architecture featured in this book is on private property not open to public viewing. Japan Style offers a rare glimpse into the intimate world of everyday Japanese culture and fascinating insight into the traditional architecture of Japan.

Download the book HERE

COMPLEXITY AND CONTRADICTION IN ARCHITECTURE BY ROBERT VENTURI

This collection of excerpts is from the book Venturi wrote for the Museum of Modern Art as partof a book series curated by the museum in the 1960’s. The objective of the series was to explore and promote ideas that were too complex or involved for exhibit. The re-publication of the book was not to accompany a museum exhibition, rather its purpose was to recognise the importance of Complexity and Contradiction as a critical and historical expression of a turning point in modern architectural history.

Download the book HERE

Boo Land Martini Design Studio

Bookland

Project name:
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Bookland
Commercial, Library
Martini Design Studio
Martini Design Studio
Tirana, Albania
Constructed
2020
– m2
1

Boo Land Martini Design Studio

Designing a bookstore was a challenge that I accepted with a great pleasure. Such a rare interior typology, especially in a strange year like this, does not come very often. So I gladly accepted it.

Boo Land Martini Design Studio

Above all, not only did it happen to be a very special interior typology, but also the structure of the room itself was very unusual. Its planimetry has an atypical shape, it does not even have two perpendicular walls. Although it has a mega south-west oriented window that makes it practically soaked in light.

Boo Land Martini Design Studio

The presence of two constructive columns, both in the middle of the space, was a disadvantage that we tried to turn into the leitmotif of the interior. Their circular shape also inspired the arches above and below the bookshelves.

Boo Land Martini Design Studio
Boo Land Martini Design Studio
Boo Land Martini Design Studio

The color palette we chose to use is a combination of three pastel shades of yellow, blue and pink.

Boo Land Martini Design Studio

The library utilization plan is designed to include several seating corners for adults and children. So, it is a different bookstore concept from the typical bookstores in our city, where you can not only walk between the shelves and browse, but also sit and read calmly if you like or even draw.

Boo Land Martini Design Studio
Boo Land Martini Design Studio

Beyond the huge window is a spacious, green and lighted veranda, where you can also sit and have a look at a book while drinking a cup of tea or coffee.

arkitekti LOUIS KAHN

HIGHLIGHT: LOUIS KAHN

For thousands of years, the most common building materials have been stone, brick and wood. They have also been the most charming, ageing beautifully and suggesting a special kind of nobility and strength. When modernist architecture was born in the early 20th century, traditional materials quickly gave way to the three quintessential modern ingredients: concrete, steel and sheet glass. The result has in far too many cases appeared brutal, uncaring and alienating. The buildings have not aged well either.

Could modern architects not learn to work with traditional materials while retaining the forms and the spirit of our own times? This is the question so beautifully answered by one of the greatest of all modernists, the American architect Louis Kahn.

Louis Isadore Kahn (born February 20, 1901, Osel, Estonia, Russian Empire [now Saaremaa, Estonia]—died March 17, 1974), was an American architect. His family immigrated to the United States when he was four, settling in Philadelphia, where they had relatives already living nearby. As a young man he studied architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, but his career truly blossomed in the 1950s after a trip to Rome led him to a new appreciation of the beauty of Roman architecture. Kahn’s major contribution to modern architecture was to include ancient elements in his work without losing the innovation and clarity of modernism. His buildings, characterized by powerful, massive forms, made him one of the most discussed architects to emerge after World War II. He reminded the Modernists that they could be in dialogue with their most illustrious predecessors.

arkitekti Louis Kahn
Louis Kahn in his office c. 1960

After working in various capacities for several firms in Philadelphia, he founded his own atelier in 1935. While continuing his private practice, he served as a design critic and professor of architecture at Yale School of Architecture from 1947 to 1957. From 1957 until his death, he was a professor of architecture at the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania. Kahn created a style that was monumental and monolithic; his heavy buildings for the most part do not hide their weight, their materials, or the way they are assembled. Louis Kahn’s works are considered as monumental beyond modernism. Famous for his meticulously built works, his provocative proposals that remained unbuilt, and his teaching, Kahn was one of the most influential architects of the twentieth century. He was awarded the AIA Gold Medal and the RIBA Gold Medal. At the time of his death he was considered by some as “America’s foremost living architect.”

Korman House - 1973
Korman House - 1973 | Photo by Cemal Emden

One symptom of this successful rehabilitation of the old was Kahn’s affection for symmetry, which many modern architects had come to view as authoritarian, unimaginative and conformist. Kahn designed the Salk Institute (1959) in La Jolla, California as a complex of buildings, identical on either side of a central fountain – a symmetry characteristic of what is known as the Beaux-Arts style. Kahn was unperturbed by this apparent regression. “If people want to see Beaux-Arts it’s fine with me,” he said. “I’m as interested in good architecture as anybody else.”

Like a city planner for 19th-century Paris or Berlin, Kahn used identical rows of buildings to draw the viewer’s eye to the centre of his design, and out beyond it. The fountain that runs through the centre of the Institute aligns with the path of the sun on both the autumnal and vernal equinox. Kahn used symmetry not as an aesthetic default but with great intentionality, to provide one with a sense of balance, focus, and momentum.

Kahn also managed to create a sense of grandeur in his designs rarely seen in modern architecture. We might gape at the height of a skyscraper, but it rarely instils the sense of awe that a great cathedral does.

Salk Institute
Salk Institute - 1959 | Elizabeth Daniels Photography

Kahn’s most ambitious projects, where he would most eloquently express his ideals regarding a transcendent architecture of universal forms, were realized primarily on the Indian subcontinent. In 1962, he received commissions to design in collaboration with Balkrishna Doshi the newly established Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, India, and the capital building Sher-e-Bangla nagar in Dhaka, the first city of East Pakistan when the project was commissioned, but by the time it was completed, the capital of a recently independent Bangladesh. The Institute of Management is constructed out of exposed brick, while Sher-e-Bangla nagar is made of cast-in-place concrete. Both epically scaled works are marked by elemental geometric forms: circles, squares, and triangles. Each features huge open spaces that the architect, a true believer in civic democracy, thought would encourage freedom of thought, especially in Bangladesh, where the people proudly use the complex as a vast public park.

The Indian Institute of Management
The Indian Institute of Management | Photo by Jeroen Verrecht

Kahn managed to reintroduce a feeling of magnificence into modern works. In the Yale Centre for British Art (1969), he draws the viewer’s eyes upward to the high windowed ceiling, much as though it were the dome of a church.  Even the staircases create a sense of lofty space and height.

Rather than resorting only to steel, concrete, and glass, Kahn regularly sought out a wide variety of older and more sensory materials. He worked with the best consultants to find new uses for ceramic, copper and especially brick.

Yale Centre for British Art | Photo by Xavier De Jaureguiberry

Kahn liked cleverly to juxtapose older and newer materials – like oak with concrete. We tend to associate oak with tradition – Victorian smoking rooms and solemn libraries – while concrete reminds us of impersonal factories and remote, futuristic buildings. But put together, the two mediums demonstrate strikingly different, yet remarkably complementary virtues. The wood gives off a feeling of warmth and domesticity while concrete provides a sense of strength and stability. The combination subtly promises a reconciliation between the old and the new and between comfort and security. A striking combination of wood and concrete characterizes the Phillips Exeter Academy Library, built in 1965 in Exeter, New Hampshire.

Phillips Exeter Academy Library
Phillips Exeter Academy Library | Photo by Xavier De Jaureguiberry

Kahn was drawn to the idea of making buildings that would feel like monuments – at a time when most modern architects firmly rejected monuments as both authoritarian and sentimental. In 1938 the architectural critic Lewis Mumford had declared, “if it is a monument it is not modern; if it is modern it cannot be a monument.” But Kahn rather liked the feeling of authority – and was confident enough in his democratic credentials not to mind borrowing from some of the moves of more dictatorial regimes. After his important trip to Rome, he wrote, “I finally realise that the architecture of Italy will remain as the inspirational source of the works of the future…those who don’t see it that way ought to look again. Our stuff looks tiny compared to it.”
His most substantial building was perhaps the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban or National Parliament House (1961-1982) in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Though recognisably modern, it also seems in some ways eternal in its massiveness, evoking memories of cathedrals, the great mosques and even the pyramids.

National Parliament House

Many of Kahn’s buildings feel luxurious –  but this isn’t the luxury of glitz or gold of an oil rich kingdom, rather the luxury of buildings that aspire to still be around in 600 years time; a luxury of eternity. The Kimbell Art Museum (1966–1972) in Texas uses travertine marble, white oak and concrete arranged in three 100-foot bays, each fronted by an open, barrel-vaulted portico. It’s possibly the most beautiful building in the world.

His ultimate importance lay in his ability to transcend dogmatic modernism and return the best elements of traditional architecture to their rightful place in the canon. He reminds us that the real goal of buildings isn’t so much to shock, dazzle or confuse – as to be the equals of the venerable buildings we have long loved in the ancient world.

Kimbell Art Museum
Kimbell Art Museum

Source: theschooloflife.com; divisare.com

Simone Hutsch neuroarkitektura

What is NeuroArchitecture?

The quality of the spaces where we live and interact undoubtedly, directly affects the quality of life we ​​have and consequently our health. Some spaces make us feel good and full of life by motivating us, while others affect quite the opposite, often creating a state of loneliness or weakness. The urban spaces, neighborhoods and streets where we interact, the buildings where we live, all have an impact on our emotional state, behavior, habits and psychological perceptions. This happens also as a consequence of the emotional connection created intuitively with the spaces based on memories and information received from the environment through the senses. But the design quality of these spaces or buildings at the level of functional and material solutions, are not the only ones that affect our comfort and health. According to the latest research presented during the Virtual Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN), an increase in pollution and stress levels in urban areas, increases the risk of multiple sclerosis by 29%. By 2030, more than 80% of the European population is expected to live in urban areas, making cities play a key role in promoting and protecting public health and social and psychological welfare.

Architects and urban planners have been responsible for years to craft, visualize, and design solutions for our physical bodies and their limitations. Today, while we evolve in our understanding of our surroundings, bodies, and the way they function, we become more conscious about other aspects of our lives, involving emotions and behavior, therefore we need to rethink the way we design. An urban layout or building, now and in the future should not fulfill just its physical aspect, by solving a problem of functionality but cover the psychological and emotional aspect of the people using it. The spaces of the future will be conscious spaces by melding together cross-sector creative solutions coming from neuroscientists, architects, urban planners, environmental therapies, psychologists, behavioral scientists, and community planners.

neuroarkitektura
Indian architect Sudhir Pasala and his colleagues presented research showing that simple, symmetrical, and connected forms help spatial perception, while fractal-like shapes help us navigate within a building or around a city. The takeaway: That an overall orderly environment needs an occasional architectural or urban landmark.

Neuroarchitecture represents an integration of neuroscience, psychology, and architecture that aims to show us how we perceive, imagine, interpret, and react to buildings to help create environments and spaces that can improve our behavior, health, and well-being of man and society as a whole. A discipline that studies the various responses produced by our brain during our presence in a given environment or space. These neural responses can directly change the emotional state and behavior of users in any space, both short-term and long-term. Neuroarchitecture as a research field dates back to the 1970s, when the first hypotheses of research into the psychology of environment and space, and evidence-based design were put forward in the 1980s, which has found use in recent years in the design of hospitals and some school buildings.

In NeuroArchitecture, technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR), research, and sensory technological apparatus come together to measure a person’s heart rate, body temperature, brain waves, eye movement, and “awakening.” The most common research methodologies combine the analysis of a number of other parameters such as: 1) brain stimuli (in areas of the brain that are active during the period that the user is in the environment); 2) responses produced by the brain in that environment; 3) vital signs that change in the environment (for example, heart rate, blood pressure) etc. In the long run, urban planning and functional solutions affect our habits and health, which is documented through monitoring the health performance of the population over the years. This data helps architects and urban planners, who can build spaces that contribute to the health of residents and citizens.

NeuroArchitecture helps physicians deepen their work in understanding the neurological nature of human behavior and interrelationship with the surrounding environment, as well as architects to design buildings and spaces that will have a more positive effect on our mood and senses, and ultimately on our well-being. By understanding how our relationship with space affects us, we are able to gain knowledge of how to design spaces, but also enable spaces to evolve over time to become more people-centered. Designing cities should make people feel comfortable and give them a sense of belonging: including public places and parks where people get together, where they feel welcome and comfortable, thus strengthening social cohesion.

A watercolor Steven Holl presented as part of his ANFA conference talk

During the ANFA conference in 2016, the architect Steven Holl displayed one of his watercolor drawings, in which he described the human body as an island in a sea called the environment, with the brain drawn as a structure on the island, and the mind as an area within this structure.

Neuroscientific research present a new opportunity in designing spaces for people with disabilities and special needs. The acoustic and tactical qualities of an environment, designed through careful materials and spatial choices, can help this typology of people move, interact and experience environments without limitation. Not only does such a design enhance the experience of everyone in a building; it also challenges the visual ways in which we often conceive and design buildings. Design typologies, such as re-education spaces are also expected to change, through neuroarchitecture these objects will not be designed as punishment spaces, but as healing and social interaction spaces focused on thinking and human behavior.

In a world that is evolving daily, where technology is taking an important place in our lives, the human connection to build spaces is also changing. Architects, urban planners, physicians and neuroscientists must help build stronger relationships between cities and their inhabitants by creating and inspiring productivity and habits for a healthy life.

Authors: Aurora Baba & Andela Malaj, NEUAR

7 Kitchen Designs That’ll Make You Buy Smeg Appliances

If you thought there was no such thing as a stylish kitchen appliance then you’ve obviously never seen a Smeg. Best known for its colorful, retro 1950s-style refrigerators, the Italian company offers an array of high-end stainless steel statement appliances — think toasters, coffee makers, stoves, and more — designed to bring a burst  of color and personality to your kitchen.

We surfed on Pinterest and rounded up some of the dreamiest kitchens with Smeg appliances for the ultimate kitchen inspiration. Here are seven Smeg-clad kitchens to swoon over.

SMEG Albania Showroom

Double the Fun

The only thing better than an eye-catching Smeg appliance in your kitchen is two. Case in point: the kitchen of a 1950’s beach house after renovation where you’ll find a pastel blue refrigerator and a chic white oven, both by Smeg, that draw from the dark flooring in the room.

True Blue

Nothing brightens up a neutral kitchen like a bold refrigerator. Do yourself a favor and employ a Smeg fridge in an especially eye-catching shade to energize a monochrome kitchen, like the royal blue one or denim fridge that we have here at Arkspace. Denim has always been a part of everyone’s imagination and communicates freshness and comfort, rebellion and style.

Pink Power

A little bit of pale pink goes a long way in a kitchen and we LOVE the pink Smeg appliance. You can opt for a sprightly pink Smeg toaster (instead of a traditional one) or take a cue from the work of Shoko Design in Poland, entitled « summer vibes » which, in fact, with its pink fridge,  makes this apartment look fresh as the beautiful season.

Classic But Cool

Searching for a way to upgrade your kitchen without having to hire a contractor? A classic white Smeg fridge, one of our favorites too, like the one inside interior design queen  Jules Villbrandt’s kitchen in the Berlin, brings a touch of sophistication to any kitchen that never goes out of style.

Mixed metals

Dreaming of an easy way to revamp your Scandi-style kitchen? Follow in Tracey Tilley’s footsteps and pair a colorful steel Smeg fridge with some shiny copper-finished fixtures to shake things up without straying from the monochrome color palette, just like she did her Detroit, Michigan home.

Blue Heaven

Don’t want much more than a subtle pop of color in your kitchen? Soft, pastel-hued appliances, like the baby blue Smeg fridge that Stephanie Hill from The Style Bungalow blog used in her rental kitchen, can liven up a colorless kitchen without appearing overly flashy.

Vintage Vibes

When all else fails, you can always count on a Smeg appliance to bring some vintage charm into a kitchen. A pale turquoise refrigerator, like this one in wrap watercolor realized by The Big Easy Kitchen BV, plays up the retro appeal of the shotgun-style apartment without overwhelming the small space.

Source: apartmenttherapy.com; pinterest.com

Serafina Café & Restaurant

Serafina Café & Restaurant

Project name:
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Architect:
Location:
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Construction year:
Floor Area:
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Serafina Café & Restaurant
Restaurant
Loft Architects
Fatjon Molla, Lorenxa Cakuli
Tirana, Albania
Constructed
2019
323 m2
1

Serafina Café & Restaurant

The restaurant is designed as an open space where functional zoning is achieved through elements of the interior such as columns boisserie and an aluminum pergola ceiling with a tonality, specially designed furniture or green elements that do not create only a cool atmosphere but even provide the right privacy.

Serafina Café & Restaurant

At the end of the room is designed an open kitchen with a large front counter where the service also integrates the attitude of tasting the chef’s specialties.

It was also important to us and our client that the space could function without compromise from early morning through late night while maintaining its functional variability. So we provided ample and flexible seating, power points and areas geared equally towards both privacy and the happenstance run-ins increasingly found in modern workspaces or a café.

Serafina Café & Restaurant
Serafina Café & Restaurant

The space is heavily glazed and washed in sunlight throughout the day so we were conscious of creating texture and relief in many of the surfaces while mixing materials with a sheen or luster and those that were soft and matte to augment the kinetic quality of the light while providing comfort.

We designed the restaurant to be as warm, welcoming and happy (and even appetizing) at night as it is during the day, and created the joinery and furnishings to look better with some wear and tear after heavy use.

filmi dhe arkitektura

Top 10 Architecture Movies for Architects

In one of our previous articles, we wrote about architecture and cinema. Cinema is an art of perception. Architecture is the scenery of the cinema. Landscapes, houses, and cities consist the frames where filmmakers insert people, lives, and feelings. Film and the architecture share a dimension of living, that is, the space of one’s lived experiences. One of our questions was: Can we begin to use film and filmmaking processes to guide the architectural process by better understanding how film directors have manipulated the medium and the user, to create experiences in multi – dimensional space that have a lasting impact on our real world?

Thereupon we did a research on films where architecture plays the key role in the storytelling or forms the background of the stories of the people producing it, the architects. The following list is a selection of films that we think every architect or architecture student should see, including films suggested by you.

filmi dhe arkitektura
  1. The Fountainhead (1949)

The Fountainhead is an American film based on the novel by Ayn Rand.  The movie directed by King Vidor in 1949 and its scenario was again written by Ayn Rand. The main character in the movie is an architect and the director tried his best to shows the place of the architects in society. The movie has many scenes of modern architecture. Ayn Rand was influenced by the architect Frank Lloyd Wright when he was creating  the character Roark. Frank Lloyd Wright was well-known for his buildings such as the Waterfall House (1936) and the Johnson Wax apartment (1936-39).

Modernist architect Howard Roark, played by Gary Cooper, battles to stick to his ideal rather than conform to traditional aesthetics in black and white drama The Fountainhead.

2. Bladerunner (1982)

Set in the future – Los Angeles in 2019 – Bladerunner‘s sci-fi story of a bounty hunter tracking robot replicants is set against a neon backdrop of a dystopian city that pays homage to Fritz Lang’s metropolis.

Other visual and architectural influences on British director Ridley Scott included the sketches of futurist architect Antonio Sant’Elia, the industrial north east of England where Scott grew up, 1980s Hong Kong, French Métal Hurlant comics, and Edward Hopper’s Nighthawk.

3. My Architect: A Son’s Journey (2003) 

A documentary film about the American architect Louis Kahn (1901–1974), by his son Nathaniel Kahn, detailing the architect’s extraordinary career and his familial legacy after his death in 1974. The film features interviews with renowned architects, including B. V. Doshi, Philip Johnson, Frank Gehry, Shamsul Wares, I.M. PeiMoshe Safdie and Anne Tyng. Throughout the film, Kahn visits all of his father’s buildings including The Yale Center for British Art, The Salk Institute, Jatiyo Sangshad Bhaban and the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad.

4. Dogville (2003)

Dogville is an avant-garde crime revenge tragedy film written and directed by Lars von Trier, and starring an ensemble cast led by Nicole Kidman. A barren soundstage is stylishly utilized to create a minimalist small-town setting in which a mysterious woman named Grace (Nicole Kidman) hides from the criminals who pursue her. The town is two-faced and offers to harbor Grace as long as she can make it worth their effort, so Grace works hard under the employ of various townspeople to win their favor.

5. Inception (2010)

Inception is a US film of science fiction written and directed by Christopher Nolan. In the film, Christopher Nolan does not just make architecture a central theme; the whole story develops depending on the ability of architects to design buildings, neighborhoods and cities in other people’s dreams. Dom Cobb is a talented thief and his mission is to steal the most precious secrets by descending into the subconscious depths while he is dreaming at the most vulnerable moment of the mind. When Cobb says, “Always dream of new spaces” to the young architect Ariadne, Cobb offers us the reason to look at the invented worlds with curiosity. In the same scene, Ariadne’s tense subconscious makes some of Paris frantically folding on itself. From this point onwards, architectural sets are becoming increasingly familiar.

6. EAMES: The Architect and The Painter (2011)

Narrated by none other than James Franco, this vision of Charles and Ray Eames explores its great influence on the development of modernism, the rise of the information age, and his approach to running a creative unconventional work that created all kinds of mid-century furniture. The film also delves into his personal life, particularly the challenges of being a woman in a creative society dominated by males.

7. Snowpiercer (2013)

Snowpiercer is a science fiction action film based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand and Jean-Marc Rochette. The film was directed by Bong Joon-ho  and it takes place aboard the Snowpiercer train as it travels a globe-spanning track, carrying the last remnants of humanity after a failed attempt at climate engineering to stop global warming has created a new Snowball Earth. Chris Evans stars as Curtis Everett, one of the lower-class tail-section passengers, as they rebel against the elite of the front of the train. Filming took place at Barrandov Studios in Prague, using train car sets mounted on gimbals to simulate the train’s motion.

All of the series fans can see Snowpiercer in the 2020 production available on Netflix, based on the Bong Joon-ho movie.

8. Columbus (2017)

The film follows the son of a renowned architecture scholar who gets stranded in Columbus, Indiana, where his architect father is in a coma and strikes up a friendship with a young architecture enthusiast who works at the local library. This movie would be suitable to architecture fans. Among the famous Modernist buildings that feature in the film are the First Christian Church by Eliel Saarinen, the Irwin Union Bank, Miller House, and North Christian Church by Eliel’s son Eero Saarinen, and the Cleo Rogers Memorial Library by I. M. Pei.

9. Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

Blade Runner 2049, US-made science fiction movie directed by Denis Villeneuve and written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green in 2017. The Blade Runner 2049 universe which takes place in a post-apocalyptic atmosphere and carries a dystopian narrative was designed inspired by a brutalist architecture. Brutalism is one of the most striking architectural trends of the 20th century.

10. Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things

MINIMALISM: A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE IMPORTANT THINGS examines the many flavors of minimalism by taking the audience inside the lives of minimalists from all walks of life—families, entrepreneurs, architects, artists, journalists, scientists, and even a former Wall Street broker—all of whom are striving to live a meaningful life with less.  People dedicated to rejecting the American ideal that things bring happiness are interviewed in this documentary showing the virtues of less is more. You can find it on Netflix.

Other films suggested by our followers are: Fahrenheit 451 – in two productions 1966 and 2018; The Truman Show – the commentator describes it as a very dystopian urban settlement associated with social problems; Parasite – to which we have dedicated a full article; Where’d you go, Bernadette; The great beauty; 12 Angry Men and above all the unique Metropolis.

Sera Bistro-bar BGStudio

Sera Bistro-Bar

Project name:
Typology:
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Architect:
Location:
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Photography:
Collaborators:

Sera Bistro-Bar
Bar
BGStudio
Besnik Grainca
Tirana, Albania
Constructed
2018
400 m2
1
Agon Nimani
AA-mobileri, Brunes

Sera Bistro-bar BGStudio

The keywords of this project are: #cozy #family #friends #nature #conversations #great music #books #fresh food. Those keywords used from the family that owns this bistro-bar when describing on how they see their place to become, made the idea easy to put on paper. ‘Sera’ bistro bar is designed by BGStudio to arouse feelings.

Sera Bistro-bar BGStudio

The idea levels up towards a solid, ownable interior design that articulates Sera bistro bar upfront with its authentic relation to fresh food, the suppliers who grow it, and the people who end up eating it, reflecting the conscious attitude towards a healthy living.

The space, located on the ground floor of a residential building, offers to the local and the visitors of this neighborhood, a green oasis in the middle of one of the youngest and most crowded districts of Tirana, where people stop from their daily routine to rest, relax and tease out their imagination.

Originally, the site used to be a greenhouse growing vegetables of many kinds, from which derived its name “Sera” (literally meaning greenhouse).

Nature is our context. A sudden moment of relaxation comes when we are in touch with nature, green color, plants, wood, stone and all the natural elements that we have evolved with. Keeping that in mind, the design integrated a lot of greenery at various points, to bring a sense of nature to the entire space. Being one of its main components, different kinds of plants and flowers that require a lot of attention became part of the space, creating a relaxing state of mind.

Sera Bistro-bar BGStudio
Sera Bistro-bar BGStudio
Sera Bistro-bar BGStudio

All the elements merge in light, shape, and patterns giving the visitor a sense of wonder within the space, but above all a sense of comfort and highlighted senses of feeling good.

Sera Bistro-bar BGStudio
Sera Bistro-bar BGStudio

Because of the U shape of the space, the counter is placed in the middle, separating the space in two main parts, making it easy to create a more intimate space for reservations for special occasions with friends and family.

The floor and counter are made up out of cement tiles, elements such as the stone pattern with natural shades, green walls, the ceiling with air conditioning pipes wrapped with fabric in order to create better acoustics, a wooden library wall which adds a cozy feeling, and yet gives a fresh revitalizing vibe to the place, all of the above submerge the client deep in this unique familiar atmosphere.

The high ceilings and windows on three sides of the building make the space breathe naturally, with ventilation that lets the fresh air flow.

The terrace, with wooden floor surrounded with trees, plants, herbs, filters natural light and blurs the shapes and colors on the outside, attracting birds giving chirp songs, providing a forest ambiance.

This project is designed to add a new image, by using an approach between biophilic design and contemporary elements, creating a powerful cozy and aesthetic impact. A strong identity that does not tell a straight story rather lets you discover something you think you remember, but can’t quite put your finger on, and then you fill it with your own imagination.

HIGHLIGHT: BALKRISHNA DOSHI

Architect, urban planner, and educator for the past 70 years, Balkrishna Doshi has been instrumental in shaping the discourse of architecture throughout India and internationally. Influenced by masters of 20th-century architecture, Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, known as Le Corbusier, and Louis Kahn, Doshi has been able to interpret architecture and transform it into built works that respect eastern culture while enhancing the quality of living in India. His ethical and personal approach to architecture has touched lives of every socio-economic class across a broad spectrum of genres since the 1950s.

Balkrishna Doshi was born in Pune, India on August 26, 1927, into an extended Hindu family that had been involved in the furniture industry for two generations. Displaying an aptitude for art and an understanding of proportion at a young age, he was exposed to architecture by a school teacher. He began his architecture studies in 1947, the year India gained independence, at the Sir J.J. School of Architecture Bombay (Mumbai), the oldest and one of the foremost institutions for architecture in India.

Doshi’s architecture explores the relationships between fundamental needs of human life, connectivity to self and culture, and understanding of social traditions, within the context of a place and its environment, and through a response to Modernism. Childhood recollections, from the rhythms of the weather to the ringing of temple bells, inform his designs. He describes architecture as an extension of the body, and his ability to attentively address function while regarding climate, landscape, and urbanization is demonstrated through his choice of materials, overlapping spaces, and utilization of natural and harmonizing elements.

Vidhyadhar Nagar Masterplan
Vidhyadhar Nagar Masterplan

Doshi’s ambition and initiative guided many pivotal moments in his life—from boarding a ship from India to London, where he dreamed of joining the Royal Institute of British Architects; and moving to Paris—despite his inability to speak French—to work under Le Corbusier; to responding to the responsibility and opportunity of rebuilding his native country.

He returned to India in 1954 to oversee Le Corbusier’s projects in Chandigarh and Ahmedabad, which include the Mill Owner’s Association Building (Ahmedabad, 1954) and Shodhan House (Ahmedabad, 1956), among others. Beginning in 1962, Doshi also worked with Louis Kahn as an associate to build the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and they continued to collaborate for over a decade.

Mill Owners' Association Building - Le Corbusier
Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad - Louis Kahn & Balkrishna Doshi

In 1956, Doshi hired two architects and founded his own practice, Vastushilpa, which has since been renamed Vastushilpa Consultants and grown to employ five partners and sixty employees and has completed more than 100 projects since its inception. Infused with lessons from Western architects before him, he forged his artistic vision with a deep reverence for life, Eastern culture, and forces of nature to create an architecture that was personal, laced with sights, sounds, and memories from his past. Alongside a deep respect for Indian history and culture, elements of his youth—memories of shrines, temples and bustling streets; scents of lacquer and wood from his grandfather’s furniture workshop—all find a way into his architecture.

Life Insurance Corporation Housing
Life Insurance Corporation Housing

Of the tremendous range of completed buildings, which include institutions, mixed-use complexes, housing projects, public spaces, galleries, and private residences, Doshi recalls one of his most personal endeavors, Sangath (Ahmedabad, 1980), his architecture studio which translates to “moving together.” The placement of communal spaces, including a garden and outdoor amphitheater, highlights Doshi’s regard for collaboration and social responsibility. Vaulted roofs, porcelain mosaic tile coverings, grassy areas, and sunken spaces mitigate extreme heat. The mosaic tile detail is echoed in the tortoise-shell inspired roof of Amdavad Ni Gufa (Ahmedabad, 1994), an undulating, cave-like, ferro-cement art gallery, positioned underground, featuring works of Maqbool Fida Husain.

Sangath
Sangath
Amdavad Ni Gufa
Amdavad Ni Gufa

The architect designed Aranya Low Cost Housing (Indore, 1989), which presently accommodates over 80,000 individuals through a system of houses, courtyards and a labyrinth of internal pathways. Over 6,500 residences range from modest one-room units to spacious homes, accommodating low and middle-income residents. Overlapping layers and transitional areas encourage fluid and adaptable living conditions, customary in Indian society.

Aranya Low Cost Housing
Aranya Low Cost Housing

Doshi´s architecture is both poetic and functional. The Indian Institute of Management (Bangalore, 1977-1992), inspired by traditional maze-like Indian cities and temples, is organized as interlocking buildings, courts and galleries. It also provides a variety of spaces protected from the hot climate. The scale of masonry and vast corridors infused with a campus of greenery allow visitors to be simultaneously indoors and outdoors. As people pass through the buildings and spaces, Doshi invites them to experience their surroundings and also suggests the possibility of transformation.

Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore
Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore

Professor Balkrishna Doshi, of India, has been selected as the 2018 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate. He is the 45th Pritzker Prize Laureate, and the first to hail from India. “My works are an extension of my life, philosophy and dreams trying to create treasury of the architectural spirit. I owe this prestigious prize to my guru, Le Corbusier. His teachings led me to question identity and compelled me to discover new regionally adopted contemporary expression for a sustainable holistic habitat,” comments Doshi. “This reaffirms my belief that, ‘life celebrates when lifestyle and architecture fuse.’”

Other notable works include academic institution Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT University) (Ahmedabad, 1966-2012); cultural spaces such as Tagore Memorial Hall (Ahmedabad, 1967), the Institute of Indology (Ahmedabad, 1962), and Premabhai Hall (Ahmedabad, 1976); housing complexes Vidhyadhar Nagar Masterplan and Urban Design (Jaipur, 1984) and Life Insurance Corporation Housing or “Bima Nagar” (Ahmedabad, 1973); and private residence Kamala House (Ahmedabad, 1963), among many others.

Institute of Indology
Institute of Indology
Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology
Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology

Premabhai Hall – “A good theatre…is the extension of the most active and creative part of a city. It is a place where all artists meet and recreate a new image of life.” Designed as a public theatre, Premabhai Hall, a largely concrete building, houses an auditorium, vast interior corridors and public gathering spaces. View from Bhadra Square.

Premabhai Hall
Premabhai Hall
Tagore Memorial Hall
Tagore Memorial Hall

Informed by both Western and Eastern designs, Kamala House was named after Doshi’s wife, and is the architect’s personal residence. Doshi relies on a sustainable and economical approach. Natural light is maximized and streams throughout, while cavity walls trap and minimize heat. Top: Unlike traditional Indian homes at the time, the garden was placed in the rear of the house rather than in the front, to intentionally offer privacy

KAMALA HOUSE
Kamala House

Source: pritzkerprize.com

Ingo Maurer MaMo Nouchies

The MaMo Nouchies is a gentle and poetic collection of light fixtures developed by designers Ingo Maurer and Dagmar Mombacher in 1998. When Ingo Maurer encountered a textile sample made by Dagmar Mombach, it was love at first sight. For the MaMo Nouchies the concept was applied to the unique lightness and modesty of paper which has been one of his materials for many years. These Japanese paper lamps are born of quality craftsmanship: each piece is unique. The lampshades are folded by hand according to a patented process inspired by traditional Japanese paperwork techniques. A soft, warm light filters through the paper.

The term “Nouchies” is a reference to the master sculptor-designer Isamu Noguchi, who created the famous paper Akari lamps. The names of the individual lamps are named after ancient tribal spirits from all over the world. Transformed by the elaborate process invented by Dagmar, the paper can be formed in a variety of new ways. Ingo Maurer’s aim has always been to make lighting combines visual beauty with technical sophistication and this is exactly how we see The MaMo Nouchies.

Ingo Maurer MaMo Nouchies

MaMo Nouchies – Babadul 

Babadul is both a floor lamp and a light object, which emanates positively and unmistakably on spaces. The paper sheet hovers at the end of a slender metal rod, like a large abstracted flower petal. Just as in all other MaMo Nouchies, the lampshade consists of Japanese paper, which has to undergo a special manufacturing process in Dagmar Mombach’s studio, until the desired shape is achieved. The light source is an LED module, provided with a cooling element, developed by Ingo Maurer especially for the MaMa Nouchies. Its light is so warm and soft, that any difference can hardly be noticed when compared to conventional halogen light sources.

Ingo Maurer MaMo Nouchies Babadul
Babadul Floor Lamp

MaMo Nouchies – Mahbruky

This truly beautiful Mahbruky lamp was constructed with different rods, each with a differently shaped paper shade. This lamp is a work of art. It is made of paper, metal, silicon, glass, and aluminum. This Mahbruky lamp combines the visual beauty of Japanese hand-folded paper with technical lighting and refinement.

Ingo Maurer MaMo Nouchies Mahbruky lamp
Mahbruky Lamp

MaMo Nouchies – Walking In The Rain

“Walking In The Rain” is a large, sculptural light object standing on two red feet. Three sheets of paper are arranged one above the other and remind of a cloak. The inspiration for this exclusive fixture comes from traditional Japanese raincoats woven from straw, which explains its appearance of a figure with feet and a head. Walking In The Rain’s friendly presence provides more than light.

Walking In The Rain
First sketch, 1997
Ingo Maurer MaMo Nouchies Walking In The Rain
Walking In The Rain

MaMo Nouchies – Yoruba Rose 

Yoruba Rose is a light object that enchants through perfection and grace. The sheet of paper is almost circularly stretched on light metal wires and strives upwards. The harmonious expression of the model and the extremely pleasant light make it the ideal light source in spaces where one rests.

Yoruba Rose
Yoruba Rose

MaMo Nouchies – Gaku

Gaku is a sculptural light object made of Japanese Paper. With its fascinating paper construction, Gaku provides a very pleasant, dazzle-free light.

Gaku Table Lamp
Gaku Table Lamp

MaMo Nouchies – Samurai

Like all MaMoNouchies, each is unique. Samurai is a fascinating sculptural light object and table lamp.

Samurai
Samurai

MaMo Nouchies – Kokoro

Above the red shade made of elaborately shaped paper, a heart-shaped mirror is attached. Kokoro is a fascinating sculptural light object and it is the
word for „heart“ in Japanese.

Kokoro
Kokoro

MaMo Nouchies – Wo-Tum-Bu

Ingo Maurer MaMo Nouchies Wo-Tum-Bu
Wo-Tum-Bu Family

Source: ingo-maurer.com

Banesa Zapanaja e Zekatëve

“Zekate” House

A typical representative of the Gjirokastra House typology. It is known with the name ‘Zekate’ because of the ‘Zeko’ family, this house was given as a present to. The house was a present from Ali Pasha to Beqir Zeko as one of his trusted man. Its construction dates from 1811-1812. It stands on the highest point of the ‘Palorto’ neighborhood.

Banesa Zapanaja e Zekatëve

The house was surrounded by walls and today the south-western part is ruined. As a unique case, it has three court-yards besides the garden in front of it, surrounded by walls too. The courtyards are interconnected with gates. In the right courtyard, we can find the ‘odajashte’ (representing a special place for the second category friends) as well as some ruins of a ‘grass storage’ room.

Banesa Zapanaja e Zekatëve
Banesa Zapanaja e Zekatëve

The house is located on a sloped terrain, therefore built with a semi-floor. It is organized in four floors and on its right side we find a building of two floors where today the Zeko family lives.The ground floor and the one above the ‘sterne'(water tank space) also known as ‘muslluk’ from the local community, have an equal plan-development, unlike the two upper floors which extend towards the back.

Banesa Zapanaja e Zekatëve
Banesa Zapanaja e Zekatëve

The inequality of the land and the deepening of the cistern, have enabled the development of two wings of the house, with one floor difference. Being the right wing, three-story in contrast to the central and left wing, four. The left wing comes forward and is wider. Therefore, it belongs to the two-wing variation. In the composition, it is re-presented with a central interconnecting core, on the side of which the main blocks are placed, while in the last two floors there are two spaces added, one for each floor.

The ground floor and the living room above the ‘sterne’ (water cisterne), have auxiliary functions, being built in with a ‘sterne’, ‘katua’ (space for animals) and a pantry. The first floor has two living areas, besides the kitchen. On this floor, the right wing receives another development from the one below it, since no sanitary facilities are constructed.

Banesa Zapanaja e Zekatëve

The ‘guest-room’ is on the left wing. Next to the ‘cardak’, separated by the last ramp of stairs, there’s the ‘kamerie’ (a kind of balcony), which is sustained by a system of columns-vault system, as well as stairs, circulating on three sides, the main volume of the house. Exept the balcony and the hallway, you can find also a higher ‘sofa’ for the head of the family to rest there.

The third floor is made out of three rooms, two of them summer rooms because of the generous size of the windows. One of the rooms is treated with an impressive attention to details, ornamenting and mural paintings, apart from its treatment with perimetral sofas also known as ‘mindere’ or musandras for the clothes and carpets deposit etc. The ground floor is treated with stone tiles and on the other floors with wooden planks.

Banesa Zapanaja e Zekatëve
Banesa Zapanaja e Zekatëve
Banesa Zapanaja e Zekatëve

The house stands out, for its composition towards the height, with a monumental appearance and protective character. It has maintained in very good conditions its architectural elements and its original construction.

Banesa Zapanaja e Zekatëve

Source: https://thealbanian.house/

hostel mami maden group

HOSTEL MAMI

Project name:
Typology:
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Hostel Mami
Commercial
Maden Group
Maden Group
Prishtina, Kosovo
Constructed
2018
– m2


We have a tradition and a future… These features are combined together to create a lively architecture, the Mami Hostel by Maden Group.

hostel mami maden group
hostel mami maden group
hostel mami maden group

The Hostel offers different variations of rooms, ranking from private to shared ones. In addition, it contains various attractive spaces that would enable socializing tourists among them.

hostel mami maden group

What makes this Hostel special to others is because of the used traditional elements like sofra, flute, çiftelia, leka etc. Which we tried to bring them treated in a different spiritual way, as they will not be able to experience anywhere else. This way the tourists will learn and get familiar with the Albanian traditions.

hostel mami maden group
hostel mami maden group
hostel mami maden group

Where such treatment clearly shows that these elements, besides having the power to cope with the centuries, are also suitable to set themselves in any kind of contemporary design.

Bamboo Spa & Hammam MOLOS GROUP

Bamboo Spa & Hammam

Project name:
Typology:
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Bamboo Spa & Hammam
Wellness/Spa
MOLOS Group
MOLOS Group
Tirana, Albania
Constructed

– m2
1
MOLOS

Bamboo Spa & Hammam MOLOS GROUP

The bamboo plant’s long life has made it a symbol of uprightness. On the other hand, spas and hammams are associated with health and well-being, pureness and cleanness.

Bamboo Spa & Hammam MOLOS GROUP

We have combined these essential pillars with the name of the Tirana-based Spa and Hammam, in order to create a purely minimalistic interior space, which gives a sense of relaxation and hygiene during treatment. The melting of smooth white marble and wood results in clean and warm lines.

While massive wood introduces an organic dimension to the space, concrete delivers a sense of stillness. The use of moss and the bamboo-inspired lamps complete the space with a forest-like feel.

Bamboo Spa & Hammam MOLOS GROUP

Like most of our interior projects, this project also is one of a kind, because most of its products inside are custom designed for this space.

You will find the association with the shape of bamboos everywhere; starting with the lamps, the metal grids, moss dividers etc. We started with the identity design and unfolded the same identity inside the interior.

Bamboo Spa & Hammam MOLOS GROUP

HIROSHI NAKAMURA

HIGHLIGHT: HIROSHI NAKAMURA

Hiroshi Nakamura is a Japanese architect born in 1974. He graduated from the School of Science and Technology, Meiji University in 1999 and worked at Kengo Kuma & Associates (1999-2002). After that he established his own practice in 2002 Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP Architects.

Although at an early age, Tokyo-based Hiroshi Nakamura already has an impressive line-up of projects under his belt that have been honored with many awards. Nakamura is probably best known for a style of domestic architecture characterised by a particular sensitivity to nature.

HIROSHI NAKAMURA

Dancing trees, Singing birds, 2007

This is a housing complex situated in a prime location in Tokyo. The rear of the site has a grove of trees 40 meters wide that are growing on a slope. Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP Architects decided to formulate a design that provided maximum volume while cutting as few of these trees as possible. This did result in rooms that have irregular external shapes, but it was a result of accepting the natural environment as it is. Creating a building that responds in a localized manner to the trees rather than cutting down or trimming the trees is similar to how birds build their nests. This should bring about a new awareness and criticism of architecture that commits the original sin of destroying the environment.

Dancing trees, Singing birds
Dancing trees, Singing birds

Optical Glass House, 2012

This house is sited among tall buildings in downtown Hiroshima, overlooking a street with many passing cars and trams. To obtain privacy and tranquility in these surroundings, the architect placed a garden and optical glass façade on the street side of the house. The garden is visible from all rooms, and the serene soundless scenery of the passing cars and trams imparts richness to life in the house. A façade of some 6,000 pure-glass blocks (50mm x 235mm x 50mm) was employed. The pure-glass blocks, with their large mass-per-unit area, effectively shut out sound and enable the creation of an open, clearly articulated garden that admits the city scenery.

Optical Glass House
Optical Glass House
Optical Glass House
Optical Glass House

Nasu Tepee, 2013

Passing through fields and woodlands, the building lies along the forest path in a grove of mixed trees. The clients wanted to reserve as much of the environment as possible and to live in the surrounding woods. Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP avoided large-scale construction and a majority of felling to build the rooms on the few remaining flat surfaces of the sloping ground, as if sewing them together. It is similar to primitive spaces seen in the houses of the Jomon People (Ancient Japanese) and Native Americans. The structure of the house initiated a lifestyle with close interaction, because the family sat along the low wall facing each other. A fire, a light or a table was set in the middle to initiate conversation as the family gathered around the center. The architecture has had an influence on people’s habits and it strengthened the connection and bond of the family.

Nasu Tepee
Nasu Tepee

Sayama Forest Chapel, 2014

Shrines and chapels in Japan are often so much more than religious sites; rather, they are places where the living can simultaneously greet the deceased and tend to some much-needed self-introspection. The Sayama Cemetery is an incredible place to visit if you want to understand this concept for yourself. It is no ordinary cemetery- while it is home to many Japanese ancestors, it also recently gained two gorgeous architectural monuments: the Sayama Forest Chapel and the Lakeside Cemetery Community Hall (2013).

Sayama Lakeside Cemetery is open to various religions and denominations.  It is located in a nature-rich environment adjacent to the water conservation forest, and the site itself is in front of a deep forest. Hiroshi Nakamura envisioned an architecture that reflects on the way of life as it lives by the water conserved by the forest, and eventually returns to this place after death.  Thereupon, the architect found the forest to be the subject of prayer that is mutual to various religions and conceptualized an architecture that prays to the forest while surrounded by trees.

Sayama Forest Chapel
Sayama Forest Chapel
Lakeside Cemetery Community Hall
Lakeside Cemetery Community Hall

Ribbon Chapel, 2014

The chapel is midway on a hill enjoying a panoramic view of Seto Inland Sea of Japan. Mainly used for weddings, the chapel stands in a garden of a resort hotel, in Onomichi, Hiroshima. A wedding chapel is originally a building type that consists of passage. The aisle a bride walks down with her father becomes the departing passage for the bride and groom, and along the way is filled with profound memory and emotion. By entwining two spiral stairways, we realized a self-supporting structure that architecturally embodies the act of marriage in a pure form. It is essentially an architecture purely composed of flow of movement.

Ribbon Chapel
Ribbon Chapel

Half Cave House, 2018

It is a house where there are two contradictory spaces: an open large space and an intimate small space. The Living/Dining/Kitchen space is gently segmented with a cylindrical vault roof that floats low above the head, so that many people can be invited, while sustaining it coherence. Originally the vault roof aims to realize a large space with few pillars, but here the focus was for the vault to be a single room, while gently dividing the space. Due to moderate acoustic concentrations created by small vaults, sounds made by family members and their activeities gently pour down from the ceiling. This is similar to a intimacy that a cave brings to people. Inevitably, activities become small, and conversations are in a quiet voice. Wherever you are, there is a space as an extension of your body and you can feel that you are at the center.

Half Cave House

Graz Showroom and Home

Japanese architect Hiroshi Nakamura used hexagons to generate the layout of this Tokyo home and workplace for a car dealer, while triangular arches create warren-like interiors. The client sought a large space for displaying cars downstairs and a similar large space for collective family living upstairs. Built from reinforced concrete, the building comprises two open-plan floors. Both of these spaces are divided up by triangular-arched openings, creating a honeycomb-like network of six-sided spaces. This arrangement satisfied the client’s need for a large, flexible space for the business, but also created domestic-scale living areas.

Graz Showroom and Home
Graz Showroom and Home

Source: www.nakam.info

Architecture Photography

8 Architecture Photography Tips

Architecture photography has a long history. In fact, the world’s oldest surviving photo, View from the Window at Le Gras, is an example of architectural photography—and it was taken in the 1820s! The medium has remained popular for all these years, and that’s no surprise when you consider the significance of architecture. Buildings do much more than provide us with shelter. They are also works of art and long-lasting cultural symbols.

Building photography may have first taken off as a way to document buildings, but along the way, it has evolved into its own diverse art form. Architecture photography (also referred to as building photography or structure photography) generally means photography that focuses on buildings. It can include shooting building exteriors and interiors, as well as bridges, other structures, and cityscapes. Whether you’re looking to improve your architecture photography or want to give it a shot for the first time, this guide will teach you about the basics of and give you some architecture photography tips to help you excel.

PHOTO BY SEBASTIAN WEISS - MURALLA ROJA BY RICARDO BOFILL

A tenet of architectural photography is the use of perspective control, with an emphasis on vertical lines that are non-converging (parallel). This is achieved by positioning the focal plane of the camera at so that it is perpendicular to the ground, regardless of the elevation of the camera eye. This result can be achieved by the use of view cameras, tilt/shift lenses, or post-processing. Traditionally, view cameras have been used for architectural photography as they allow for the lens to be tilted or shifted relative to the film plane. This allows for control of perspective, as well as a variety of creative possibilities.

When shooting interior and exterior photography is important to shoot in a wide-angle lens. You want to use two straight walls to frame interior shots. Architectural photography typically shows either the exterior or the interior of buildings. The techniques used in each of these types of photography are similar, but do have some difference and sometimes require different equipment.

Exterior architectural photography usually takes advantage of available light by day, or at night it uses ambient light from adjacent street lights, landscape lights, exterior building lights, moonlight and even twilight present in the sky in all but the darkest situations.

In many cases, the landscaping surrounding a building is important to the overall composition of a photograph, and even necessary to communicate the aesthetic harmony of a building with its environment. The photographer will often include flowers, trees, fountains or statues in the foreground of a composition, taking advantage of their ability to help lead the eye into the composition and to its main subject, the building.

Aerial photography is trending as it shows different and unique perspectives of the structure being photographed. This can include getting level with the structure, showing property boundaries, revealing the location in a geographical view point, and putting context to surrounding scenery.

Interior architectural photography can also be performed with ambient light transmitted through windows and skylights, as well as interior lighting fixtures. Frequently though, architectural photographers will use supplemental lighting to improve the illumination within a building. Either electronic flash “strobes” or incandescent “hot lights” can be used. A feature of architectural photography is that the principal subjects rarely move. It is therefore possible to use post-processing editing to achieve a balanced lighting scheme, even in the absence of additional lighting.

The National Center for Atmospheric Research is on a small plateau at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, near Boulder, Colorado... A tremendous scale of nature with a shimmering, reflective expanse of glass, where Pei has returned to the elemental forms of sheer walls of unfinished concrete of a dark reddish-brown aggregate to match the color of the mountains. Research facilities for five hundred scientists, adjoining common-use facilities across a terraced plaza, are grouped in towers of offices and laboratories to ensure a degree of privacy for individual research groups. Conceived as a concentrated cluster of buildings in the more classically 'contained' sense, impinging minimally on the vegetation and topography of their mesa site at the edge of the Rockies, it too is attentive to site in that it is almost an element of urbanity delicately lowered into nature, yet, like the previous project, monumental in presence while not axially monumental in concept. — from Paul Heyer
PHOTO BY TOM ROSS - THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH BY I.M. PEI

8 Tips on How to Capture Great Architecture Photography

1. Choose a location

You shouldn’t have trouble finding possible subjects for building photography in any city. You can start with buildings or structures that grab your attention or have some meaning to you. Often, architecture photographers focus on shooting things like government buildings, museums, and historic landmarks. These types of structures are usually able to offer interesting or impressive architecture.

Also, old building photography makes for captivating images. That includes well-maintained historic sites that offer examples of classic architecture, as well as run-down or abandoned buildings that show their age in different ways.

HERZOG & DE MEURON
PHOTO BY GEORGE MESSARITAKIS - TATE MODERN BY HERZOG & DE MEURON

2. Get to Know Your Subject

Once you choose a building or structure to shoot, you should spend some time to get to know it. Start by simply walking around the outside of the building and exploring the inside (if possible). Also, consider doing some research on the building and its history. Learn about how it was built and how it’s been used.

All of this information can give direction to your architecture photos and help you decide what kind of style you want to achieve. For instance, if the building has a long and storied history, you might want to experiment with black and white architecture photography. It can lend a timeless feeling to your shots and bring the history of the structure to the viewer’s mind. During your research, you may also discover a unique or interesting architectural feature that you can showcase in your photos.

His House and Her House: Wutopia Lab
PHOTO BY CREATAR IMAGES (AI QING) - HIS HOUSE AND HER HOUSE BY WUTOPIA LAB

3. Try Shooting at Various Times

To capture some different looks when shooting structure photography, try revisiting the site to shoot at different times of the day and in different weather conditions.

For example, try shooting at sunrise or sunset to capture some golden hues, window reflections, and long shadows. Or visit at night to capture the structure in its artificial lighting. Cloudy skies, snowfall, or some rain-soaked surfaces can add interest and dramatically change the mood of your photos, so don’t limit yourself to shooting on sunny days.

PHOTO BY WADE ZIMMERMAN - THE PHILHARMONIE LUXEMBOURG BY CHRISTIAN DE PORTZAMPARC

4. Try not to objectify the building

Imagine the shock of visiting a building you’ve only seen photographed from that one, good angle. Objectifying a building to the point where one only visualizes it from one point of view is one of the greatest disservices of architectural photography.  Making an effort to record the complete spatial context of the building is not easy, but not impossible either.

PHOTO BY IWAN BANN - HEYDAR ALIYEV CENTER BY ZAHA HADID ARCHITECTS
PHOTO BY HELENE BINET - HEYDAR ALIYEV CENTER BY ZAHA HADID ARCHITECTS
PHOTO BY HELENE BINET - HEYDAR ALIYEV CENTER BY ZAHA HADID ARCHITECTS

5. Include Some People

Although building photography usually focuses on buildings, you should consider including people in some of your shots. After all, architecture only exists because of humans.

By including people, your architecture photography can bring to mind the relationship between humans and architecture, and illuminate how people use it. Including people in the composition can also breathe life into an otherwise sterile scene.

If you find people in the scene are a distraction from the architecture, try shooting with a long exposure so they become a blur. These types of shots tend to emphasize the timelessness of buildings, as you can see the structure sitting still while the blurred people convey the movement of the crowds.

HEB'S BAR RESTORANT MADEN GROUP
PHOTO BY ATDHE MULLA - HEB'S BAR RESTORANT BY MADEN GROUP

6. Look for a unique angle

Playing with perspective is not only an entertaining thing to do, it can also be very rewarding. Taking time to find a different angle from which to photograph can expose an overlooked form or abstraction of a building’s detail that may give rise to another level of beauty and appreciation for its form.

While you’re experimenting with different perspectives, keep in mind some of the basic rules of photo composition to create interesting images. For example, find an archway or opening you can use to frame a shot. Or use the architecture to create leading lines, symmetry, and repetition of shapes.

Once you break free of trying to capture a standard shot of the whole building, you’ll have a lot more freedom to get creative.

EDUARDO SOUTO DE MOURA Burgo Tower
PHOTO BY FERNANDO GUERRA FG + SG - BURGO TOWER BY EDUARDO SOUTO DE MOURA

7. Use post-processing tools

Processing images has become quite a standard part of photography, allowing you to tweak your images to perfectly match that atmosphere you want to capture. While images should only be altered with a clear understanding of what kind of changes are acceptable, software such as Photoshop and Lightroom are easy to use with a wide variety of advanced functions such as lens correction. If you’re looking for an easy way to create a panoramic photography using a series of images, try Hugin.

8. Invest in appropriate photography equipment

If you’re serious about getting started with high-quality architectural photography, investing in the right equipment is going to reap big rewards. A wide angle lens is most commonly used for photographing buildings and interior spaces and including a tripod will open up possibilities to shoot in low-light conditions, among other things. Using a polarizing filter can also help to add contrast and make your images more vivid. If you’re looking for something on the next level, a drone with a quality camera installed could be an exciting way to go.

PHOTO BY MAXIM SCHULZ – ELBPHILHARMONIE BY HERZOG & DE MEURON

Source: format.com; archdaily.com; wikipedia

Galeria e Bregdedit

Galeria e Bregdetit

Project name:
Typology:
Studio:
Architect:
Location:
Status:
Construction year:
Floor Area:
Floors:
Photography:
Collaborators:

Galeria e Bregdetit
Installation
Parasite 2.0 & Elian Stefa
Parasite 2.0 & Elian Stefa
Vlorë, Albania
Constructed
2019
– m2
1
Giaime Meloni

Galeria e Bregdedit

In June 2019 Galeria e Bregdetit has opened its door in Vlora, south of Albania, after one year of collaboration between the curator and founder Elian Stefa and  Parasite 2.0.

Galeria e Bregdetit is the first permanent project materialising the research on Radical Islands, which Parasite 2.0 has been carrying out since 2014. These are places of retreat, emancipation and free expression for life and for the human habitat.

Galeria e Bregdedit

The interior of the gallery is divided into two parts by a holographic curtain. The first space pushes the white-cube concept to an extreme, where the interior seems completely isolated and distant from the physical rules of the exterior.

Galeria e Bregdedit
Galeria e Bregdedit

On the other side of the curtain, a rough space dedicated to residencies and to display artworks of big dimensions was completely undressed from every form of finishes and left naked, with at the center a light square and a series of modular furniture that can provide different spatial settings.

Galeria e Bregdedit

The exterior space, called Concrete Dunes, is a garden and space for performances, mixing plants and artificial dunes, creating a multilevel space where the stage and the audience are completely and continuously mixed.

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