Spacelab Architects shortlisted for Compasso d’Oro ADI 2018

We are thrilled to announce that the award-winning Spacelab modular design introduced in M1 in 2010-2015 has been selected by the ADI Design Index 2016 among the best Italian design production of the year, and shortlisted for the prestigious Compasso d’Oro ADI prize 2018.

ADI Design Index is the publication of ADI, the Italian Association for industrial Design, that collects, year after year, the best of Italian design put in to production, picked by the ADI design permanent observatory.  Compasso d’Oro ADI is the most ancient and authoritative international design prize, a brainchild of Gio Ponti since 1954.

Rarely a building — in this case a standardized architecture system, designed and patented from scratch by Spacelab Architects —  receives an acknowledgment of this kind, usually dedicated to state of the art, mass produced industrial objects and tools: our efforts to overcome the limits of traditional buildings — usually one-offs, hence with defects typical of prototypes — filling the gap in efficiency between architecture and other advanced product design sectors, have been the cause of the jury’s particular attention.

Thanks to all the partners and the labbers who contributed at this special stage of our work.

But our research continues apace: this international recognition of excellence drives us to further push the boundaries of the standardized architecture theme, striving to seamlessly integrate a straightforward design research with the highest quality execution and sustainability. We still have many axes in the sleeve in this regard, and we look forward to show them to the public in the coming seasons, along with amazing, world-class technologic partners.

So, stay tuned, and keep being exceptional! ;)

 

P.S. : all the ADI Design Index 2016 selected works will be on show among a special exhibition in Milano, at Palazzo dei Giureconsulti (facing Piazza Duomo), starting from October 7th, 2016. Contact us if you want to drop in!

Tales of Exception

Tales of Exception is the final reel with selected contributions of State of Exception Instagram Call, screened onto the Corderie dell’Arsenale Stage D in occasion of the second day of the State of Exception Weekend Special, Monditalia, 14th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia (August 23-24 2014), on invitation by the artistic director Rem Koolhaas. (press release)

Live panelists in Corderie dell’Arsenale, Stage D:
Luca Silenzi – Rule, derogation and exception in architecture
Paolo Bettini – Preservation and tanathophobia
Fabrizio Gallanti – Usucapio | I fought the law and the law won
Joseph Grima – Italian exceptions
Manuel Orazi – Critical editions
Socks Studio (Mariabruna Fabrizi, Fosco Lucarelli) – The atemporal condition
Renata Codello – Dealing with architectural glassware
Lucia Allais – The Italo-globalization of preservation
Ippolito Pestellini + James Westcott (OMA/AMO) – RE-

Guest contributors:
Davide Tommaso FerrandoThe italianness of Italian landscape
Cruz Garcia – Nathalie Frankowski (WAI Think Tank)Manifesto Without Qualities
Cherubino GambardellaCrime in Casa Malaparte
SMALL (Rossella Ferorelli + Alessandro Cariello)Margherita. Story of a theatre whatever the coast
Carmelo Baglivo
Luca Galofaro
Evangelina Guerra Lujàn (TheNomad)
Luigi Manzione
Ethel Barahona Pohl

State of Exception is a project curated by Spacelab, with the art direction by Folder.

(image credits, when not specified, belong to the respective authors)

Breaking news: Spacelab will perform “State of Exception” in XIV Biennale di Architettura di Venezia 2014

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Spacelab is proud to announce to be involved in “Fundamentals“, the upcoming Venice Architecture Biennale 2014, as part of the Monditalia international exhibition in the Corderie dell’Arsenale with the curatorial project “State of Exception”.

Special thanks to OMA, Fabrizia Vecchione and Ippolito Pestellini who invited us in this adventure, and thanks to all the amazing friends, institutions and partners that will take part in this project.

More details will be revealed in the following months. Stay tuned on the Spacelab Facebook Page for some sneak peeks!

Luca Silenzi: a prologue for WAI’s “Pure Hardcore Icons” manifesto

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Form, substance is the prologue written by Luca Silenzi for Pure Hardcore Icons (Artifice Books, London 2013), a manifesto on pure form in architecture conceived by the Beijing-Paris-based WAI Architecture Think Tank (Cruz Garcia+Nathalie Frankowski).

The text is a perspective on the dialectic between form and architecture, deepening the fascination of some primitive, timeless formal concepts inside the mind of designers, jury members and clients.

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Luca Silenzi featured in CLOG:RENDERING

We are honoured to announce that Luca Silenzi – Spacelab Architects co-founder and director – is featured as contributor in the fourth issue of CLOG, dedicated to the topic of “rendering”, with an essay entitled “Real VS Plausible”.

Here is the abstract of CLOG:RENDERING, in pre-order starting from today (the printed issue will be available for shipping and purchasing starting from mid october 2012):

As information is distributed and consumed at an increasingly rapid pace, one of the most effective (or at least pervasive) ways to communicate architectural ideas is through renderings. Typically a perspectival image that can be understood without any knowledge of architectural drawing conventions, the rendering derives power from its accessibility to a wide audience-hence its crucial role in design competitions, client presentations, press releases, and other such public forums.

While these architectural visualizations are certainly nothing new, advances in software and hardware have enabled renderings to be made faster and more realistic than ever before. This presents both an opportunity and a challenge. On the one hand, design concepts can now be tested and conveyed with an unprecedented degree of visual accuracy. Conversely, whether through omission, extreme dramatization, or even intentional fakery, architects now have the ability to realistically depict the impossible. Furthermore, both clients and public are beginning to expect photorealistic imagery even at the earliest stages of a project, when supposed ‘realism’ can oftentimes belie the fundamentally speculative nature of design. Given the importance of these images in mediating between architects and the people they ultimately serve, CLOG will critically assess the state of renderings today.

CLOG:RENDERING CONTRIBUTORS

Michael Abrahamson, Bertrand Benoit, Rachel Berger, Jon Brouchoud, Eric de Broche des Combes, Ilana Cohen, Margot Connor, Victoria Easton, Scott Farrar, Kurt W. Forster, Kevin Frank, Fabrizio Gallanti, Pablo Gallego-Picard, Donald P. Greenberg, Trond Greve Andersen, Benjamin Halpern, Kevin Hayes, John Hill, Julia van den Hout, Incorporated, Alfie Koetter, Labtop, LTL Architects, Nancy Lin, Carl Lostritto, Thomas Lozada, The Functionality – Andrew Lyon, Mansilla Y Tunon Arquitectos, Kyle May, Adam Nathaniel Mayer, Elizabeth Mcdonald, Samuel Medina, Mockitecture, The Office of PlayLab, Inc., Becky Quintal, Deepa Ramaswamy, Andrew Rasner, Jacob Reidel, Sam Roche, Philipp Schaerer, Julia Dorothea Schlegel, Dominik Sigg, Luca Silenzi, Aaron Craig Smith, Ben Strak, John Szot, Victor Tsu, Francisco Villeda, Joel Wenzel, Human Wu, and Christian Zollner.

“Know your [archi-]meme”: Luca Silenzi featured on Domus #956, now on newstands

We are proud to announce that Luca Silenzi, Spacelab Architects founder and director, is featured on the March issue of Domus – the prestigious international architecture and design magazine edited by Joseph Grima – with a paper on “architectural memes”.

“We think we’re original, but in reality we are carriers of, and work on, the ideas of others. Luca Silenzi borrows a concept from evolutionary theory to describe the processes involved in the communication and transfer of forms in contemporary architecture” (Domus 956, March 2012)

Compared to the article “Architectural memes” published in our Imho Blog in March 2011, the Domus essay introduces new perspectives and a working hypothesis for a taxonomy of architectural language (we’re working hard on it, stay tuned!).
The paper (here is the link to the Op-Ed/text-only format in Domusweb) is complemented by a complex infographic curated by Density Design.

@spacelab_it @lucasilenzi

[PS: Special thanks to Joseph Grima, Zoè Chantall Monterubbiano, Paolo Ciuccarelli, Marco Ferrari, Azzurra Pini, Laura Bossi: each one knows why].

Our “Heracles gets smarter” on display in The Gopher Hole gallery, London


Heracles gets smarter, our entry for the “Project Heracles” call for ideas organized by Domus last weeks will be on display inside the exhibition ‘Project Heracles: 300 ideas on a Euroafrican connection‘ in the Gopher Hole Gallery, London.

The exhibition is the result of a project initiated by Domus magazine, who in turn were inspired by the Arab Spring to invite architects and designers to take vast leaps of geopolitical imagination and create a physical link between Europe and Africa over the Gilbraltar Strait
Hundreds of designs from around the world were sent to Domus & The Gopher Hole as postcards: here is ours (http://spacelab.it/heracles), designed – and internationally patented – by Spacelab Architects featuring Agency Architecture.

Take a look and let us know what you think about it…

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Bonus track: as part of the exhibition Project Heracles: 200 Postcards from the Eurafrican Border, launching this Thursday 19 July at London’s The Gopher Hole, Bjarke Ingels/BIG makes a unique contribution: Ingels created two designs for banknotes commemorating the speculative yet all-too-overdue Eurafrican connection that Domus has dubbed Project Heracles. The highest denomination so far of the Euro—the €1,000 note—accompanies a projected new money, the Afro, depicting Egyptian activist and Arab Spring organizer Wael Ghonim. Like the new Euro bill, this imaginary pan-African currency commemorates the construction of the Eurafrican bridge. Learn more in Domusweb.

30S in the Nordic Pavilion: Spacelab gatecrashes the 2010 Venice Biennale

Spacelab is featured in a thirty seconds video in the 2010 Venice Biennale, inside the stunning Fehn’s Nordic Pavilion.

“30S” is a crowdsourced video installation project by AGENCY, selected to exhibit at the Nordic Pavilion, acting as ambassadors for SUPERFRONT-NY in collaboration with At Work With.

Thanks to the AGENCY founders Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller, who kindly invited us to contribute, we are in pole position in the continuous, looping Youtube playlist: a still-life of our workspace during last weeks (“Purple Haze” in the background was an unexpected – and uncut – phone call during the filming of the video…). In the words of Ersela Kripa: “The idea is to highlight the every day, mundane, and quotidian of architecture, and what it takes to make architecture”.

The installation will be exhibited inside the Nordic Pavilion fromOct 19 to Nov 22 2010. Enjoy!

 

Jakarta 2.0: Spacelab at IABR Rotterdam 2009

Night view

In the previous weeks we submitted a project to the international ideas competition “GotongRoyong City: Envisioning the Future of Jakarta, organized by the “International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam” (IABR) 2009 and Rotterdam Berlage Institute, in collaboration with Ikatan Arsitek Indonesia (Indonesian Institute of Architects Jakarta Chapter) and University of Edimburgh, Department of Architecture.

‘Gotong Royong’ is usually translated into English as ‘reciprocity’ or ‘mutual assistance’. In Indonesia the term is applied across political, social, economic and cultural spheres. The aim of this competition was to “focus the possibilities of this rich term onto urban and architectural matters, […] to encourage architects and urban designers to research, dream, and speculate about Jakarta and its future. If we can liberate ourselves from petty politics and bureaucratic planning, what would a Gotong Royong Jakarta be like?” (from the competition brief).

Unfortunately, we aren’t in the winner podium…
However, here is our – provocative? – stuff, so far by “petty politics and bureaucratic planning”, approaching a bit much generic theme with a spongy tribute to the 70’s Superstudio’s “Monumento Continuo”. Enjoy.

Jakarta, 2009
“Greater Jakarta”: estimated at 25milion (2nd largest urban area in the world).
Visitors/city-users increase the congestion: severe traffic jams and overcrowdings ocurring almost every day.
40% of Jakarta is below sea level: air pollution, waste management, drinking water shortage, flooding (due to clogged sewage pipes/waterways, savage urbanization and deforestation).
Major buildings, highrises, services and residual public space are occasional and poorly connected, separated by endless traffic times. Seemingly, no solution.

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The 2nd Chance: Jakarta Layer_02
Imagine a new, physical urban level slightly wrapping the traditional city: a sort of foamy “Monumento Continuo” finally representing the connective tissue able to create smart relationships between the major existing urban issues.

A porous mega-structure, served with a new urban transport system (TransJakarta 2.0?), which integrates public spaces, hanging gardens, pedestrian promenades, commercial/residential/office functions, inner energy/water accumulators. A sample of what Jakarta aims to become.

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Just can’t get enough
Trying to envision the future of Jakarta for this competition, our attention was to choice carefully the object of speculation. We intended this brief as an opportunity: finally liberated “from petty politics and bureaucratic planning”, we tried to make an happy revolution to the urban scale, and beyond.
“Gotong Royong” as a continuous monument to the coexistence.
Thus, as the problems of Jakarta are alike troubles for the resting 70% of similar megalopolis, the site of intervention can be paradoxically anywhere. This project for Jakarta is admittedly a sample of an Utopia. A sample of 2,500x500m over Jalan Sudirman-Thamrin and Jalan Mohammad Husni Thamrin.

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The High-life
Jakarta Layer_02 integrates public infrastructure, public spaces, commercial, touristic, leisure and work functions, energy and water accumulation/production facilities.
The super-structure is 8m thick, and contains in depth one- or two-storied spaces. Tridimensional macro-holes, accurately positioned to respect settled distances from existing buildings and public spaces (diameters ranging by 75m to 350m), are designed to have a crucial contribution to the form-factor resistance. Smaller voids remain between the structure of the space-grid, to reduce weights.
Special designed surfaces integrate solar panels to capture the sun irradiation, so as aeolian generators taking advantage of the higher winds, both connected with a co-generation system inside the structure.
In the wet season, the abundant rain is captured in special multi-stage osmotic filtered tanks, and so given back to public as sanitary water.

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The super-slab is shored up at the height of 230fts (70m) by mixed vertical supports, such as structural reticular pylons or entire reinforced new buildings, containing lift systems and stairs to reach the Layer_02  level, apart from water pipes, drainings, electrical and data lines . All the support structural system is arranged at the ground level in urban plots still free of buildings or siding main streets, on public property spaces.
Main accesses to the Layer_02  are arranged near huge new parkings and busway stations, directly connected with the parallel and efficient transport system above (monorail/maglev).

Layer_02 is theorically endless, upgradeable in all directions and with more or less concentration of  covered surface. The lymph of the Layer is the seamless network of public spaces and transport, serving a corollary of public and private facilities.
To test it, we choose the condition 2 (im)mobility/”reshuffle”, pulling down a sample of the Layer_02 measuring 2.500m x 500m (1.250.000m2), oriented N-S over the joint between Jalan Sudirman-Thamrin and Jalan Mohammad Husni Thamrin. Pratically, a condition 2, remixed on the north side (congestion+access to the urban nucleus).

“And” is better than “Or”
What is Coexistence  in Jakarta Layer_02? What we intend for Gotong Royong in this project?
Recipro-City: a Jakarta over Jakarta which not create a negation, a destruction, or – at worst – further congestion of the city we know today. Jakarta for us is Layer_02 and the original ground layer. Simply, the upper one supports the today-Jakarta, and can solve severe problems otherwise impossible to approach.
In other words: formal and informal; real and utopia; discontinuity and coherence; ended and endless.
The one of them contemporary with the another.

©2009 Spacelab Architects
Project: Luca Silenzi
Project team: Luca Silenzi, Zoè Chantall Monterubbiano, Roberto Sargo, Giampiero Luzi
Jakarta Layer_02: link to Spacelab italian weblog

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Introducing the Food Container_remixed

From box to hypercube

This commercial building (surface: 2.500 m2) is a part of a wider urban district planned by Spacelab Architects since 2006 in the city of Porto Sant`Elpidio (Le Marche, Italy), in the course of completion.

The client brief was to realize the maximum formal impact in the limits of precast construction and basic tipology dictated by the commercial function. We intended this limits as an occasion to conduct modularity to new formal results.

Mixing two structural systems {precast concrete grid + metal reticular truss}, the box resulting by urban plan parameters is complicated in the entrance side with a tridimensional prismatic intrusion, distinguished by using glass and other traslucent materials.
The result is a distorsion of perception near the main facade overlooking the public space, inside a more basic frame. The other sides are made by a precast custom-made concrete envelope, which module is denied by a looping abstract texture, visually connecting each panel to the contiguous. Windows are obtained by subtracting material inside the texture pattern.

Updates:

The Food Container_Remixed was awarded in late 2009 with the World Architecture Awards – 5th Cycle

The Food Container_Remixed was mentioned and selected in January 2011 to compete the IN/ARCH Prize.

©Spacelab Architects (Arch. Luca Silenzi, arch. Roberto Sargo, arch. Zoè Chantall Monterubbiano, ing. Giampiero Luzi), 2007-2008.

Feb, 17 2009 – Interesting links to this project:

Arch Daily

NotCot.org

 

Night view
Night view
Night view 2
Night view 2
The custom-made precast concrete modular panels
The custom-made precast concrete modular panels
Side view
Side view
Sketch-up early draft
Sketch-up early draft

 

Next Tirane

Tirana Blocks, 3D simulation

Albania and its major cities are today under the spotlight of international interest in new urban development.

Spacelab Architects designed this building in the urban center of Tirane, to approach a different kind of intervention in the today otherwise anonymous city landscape.

The design take advantage of the entire volume available for the site: all the levels of the building are designed in order to occupy the maximum area planned by the so called “French Masterplan” for the urban center of Tirane, with subtle alignment variations in perimetral walls from one story to another. The first two storeys of the building host commercial function, with wide glasses allowing to look to the streets around. Through an inner green court, which can be closed to public during the night, four entrance blocks with independent stairs and elevators lead to offices and residential units above.

At the top of the building is a panoramic restaurant, with privileged sights on the Tirana skyline from a height of approximately 35 meters. The complex is completed by two underground levels of parkings, connected directly with stairs/elevators in order to catch up all the levels of the block.

Design group: Arch. Luca Silenzi, arch. Roberto Sargo, arch. Zoè Chantall Monterubbiano, ing. Giampiero Luzi. ©2008 Spacelab Architects, all rights reserved.

Commercial spaces and entrance to the green inner courtyard

The green inner courtyard

Volumes and vertical distribution scheme