Quality Skin. Three projects. Brenac & Gonzalez & Associés: façade design

Intro: Ștefan Tuchilă, Ștefan Ghenciulescu
Texte: Brenac & Gonzalez & Associés
Photo: Ștefan Tuchilă, Sergio Grazia

In this article we speak less of buildings and more of façades. Building skin –solid, opaque, porous, light, transparent, with small or large apertures, loggias, balconies, porches and blinds, merged with the structure or autonomous has always been an essential architectural element. Nowadays, it is probably the main piece in any sustainability concept.

An urban salon. The Mikkeller beer-bar, Bucharest

Project, text: Bogdan Ciocodeică
Photo: Kinga Tomos

A really special beer brand – Denmark’s Mikkeller is only around the world only in its own locations in some very carefully selected cities – like for instance Tokyo, Seoul, San Francisco, Los Angeles outside of Europe, and in Europe, with the exception of Denmark, only in Barcelona, Berlin, Stockholm and Reykjavik. It now has opened a beer-bar and bistro in the Charles de Gaulle Square, in a spectacular villa from the onset of the 20th century.

The Porous School. Steven Holl Architects: Visual Arts Building, University of Iowa

Ecology doesn’t need to show off. It can be a natural part of the building, woven into the general design, and choice of materials and details. We wanted to kick off this dossier on sustainability with a project that is before anything else architecture – beautiful, appropriate, refined and humanly scaled. Yet Steven Holl’s newest addition to the Iowa campus is also the result of a sustainability concept that is highly innovative and centered on the connection to the environment and the people that use it.

A city piece in the countryside. Kanaal operation, Wijnegem, Belgium

Photo: Jan Liégeois

An unsual investor – the art collector and dealer Axel Vervoordt. Art and real estate. A former peripheric industrial site. Recovery, densification and urbanizatiopn as an antidote to urban sprawl. A mix of functions and typologies. Vision, masterplan, three architecture and one landscape office. And well, a work by a great artist as a sign and first action of the project

Recovering a local typology. A Wagon-House in Bucharest

Project, text: Mihai Duţescu
Photo: Radu Malașincu, Andrei Mărgulescu

The Antiaeriana neighbourhood is a long, narrow strip of land, running along one side of the road bearing the same name, approximately from the crossroads of Calea 13 Septembrie and Bd. Ghencea, and down to Soseaua Alexandriei. This is a rather packed borough when compared to other boroughs in Bucharest; like them, it was originally a suburban village, subsequently included in the city and still displays both urban and rural features.

House with a view. Attila Kim: Recovering the memory of an old house

A nice house. An accident and a loss. An interrupted reconstruction. A new house with the memories of the old one

Text: Attila Kim
Photo: Dacian Groza, Kinga Tomos, Attila Kim

Edito: Why We Need Architecture Competitions. Even those of us not participating

Text: Ştefan Ghenciulescu

This is a serious and old problem and one ware have discussed on may occasions. But this particular text was triggered by two events.

Firstly, it just happened that, without noticing it until quite recently, a lot of materials in this issue , in some way relate to the topic of competitions. There are direct articles on competitions—“Prototype for Community” or the European stage of LafargeHolcim Awards, but also indirect ones, presenting good works, resulted from winning a competition.

Ideas for accessible living. The “Prototype for Community” Student Competition

In Romania, a lot of medium and low budget houses are built. However, few of them enjoy architecture, in the true sense of the word. This competition was initiated by Zeppelin and Holcim precisely to show that good houses can also be designed starting from reasonable budgets. Quality is not only about square metres, but also about how one uses them for efficient and good spaces, about how free commodities, such as light and air, are organized, and about distilling poetry from sometimes tiny resources.

ZAATARI. The City of Refugees

Text, photo: Mugur Grosu

On the TV screen on top of a beat‑up metallic oven, a shamelessly familiar image from the civilised world: British adventurer Bear Grylls showcases one of his famous essential techniques of survival in the wild. I have no clue what he’s talking about, as the sound is cut off and the subtitle is in Arabic. Nobody in the room is truly interested, the image is left to flow on the screen as a background, as a sort of modern wall carpet of the Western mirage instead of the old style Oriental scenery.

Stories from Bucharest-South #4: Berceni

Text: Mihai Duțescu
Photo: Andrei Mărgulescu

As I know two absolutely OK and smart people who worked for some years at the Al. Obregia Clinical Psychiatric Hospital – the renowned “loony bin” in Berceni – two doctors, a psychiatrist and a neurologist, and as both have agreed to talk to me, I have done this double interview with them. It is primarily about the hospital, which is one of the landmarks of Berceni, but also about life in the neighborhood in general, about how all these things are seen from a rushing subway train, between two shifts.

An Unsettled Battlefield. Public art and the „Expanded Space” programme

Text: Judit Balko
Foto: Mihai Balko, Tiberiu Mihail Cimpoeru, Radu Boeru, Gabriel Boldiș

The term of public art, as it has been developing in the Western world since the 60s, is an umbrella term covering varied artistic approaches, ranging from actions of a permanent character to ephemeral ones, from statuary sculpture to performance, or actions featuring sound and participatory projects focused on developing a collaborative relation between the members of a group or a community.

The Entrepreneurs Café

Friday October 20th, 20:00 – 01:00 – Opening party and guided tours through the new materials library MATER. DJ Party with Vinyl, Rum, Tapas & Wine (free entrance)

 Saturday October 21st, 11:00 – 20:00 – The Entrepreneurs Cafe

@ MATER Library space – Splaiul Unirii 160, Industria Bumbacului complex, Bucharest (free entrance)

+ Food trucks, drinks and a lot of coffee