This is the last week of programming before the summer break for The Architects Series - A documentary on: Archi-Tectonics. Starting on July 28, and throughout the month of August, there will be no screenings at SpazioFMGperl'Architettura, the exhibition gallery and showroom run by Iris Ceramica Group brands Iris Ceramica and FMG Fabbrica Marmi e Graniti.
After the July 26 and 27 events, until September 6 there will be no more screenings of A documentary on: Archi-Tectonics, the third in a series of docu-films on architectural studios which The Plan magazine has organised at SpazioFMGperl'Architettura. The docu-film presents the working methods of New York studio Archi-Tectonics, founded in the Big Apple in 1994 by Dutch architect Winka Dubbeldam, while the pages of Floornature present a number of the studio’s projects. Following the Inscape centre in Manhattan, where the architects came up with a new concept for meditation spaces, and the V33 Residential Building in Tribeca, a housing project representing an innovative twist on the classic apartment building, we turn our attention to the Gypsy Trail Residence, a project clearly revealing the studio’s underlying values: a focus on sustainability, design methods employing digital tools such as 3D modelling and 3D techniques flanked by handcrafting methods, and “New Solids”, defined as massive, soft, full-bodied forms that comfort us by anchoring us to the ground. Winka Dubbeldam sees these forms as a “symbol of quality engineering, of the ecology of new materials and innovative production methods”.
The Gypsy Trail Residence is a housing project in a strong natural context on the waterfront of New York City’s Croton Reservoir, a landscape which is both wavy and jagged, alternating green areas with rocky formations, as the hills around the reservoir drop steeply down to the water. In this landscape, the home is partially set into the hill. The ground floor of rough-cut local stone ties it to its natural context, while the upper level, made of different materials (steel, wood and glass) using a different building technique (overhanging), extends out towards the lake to capture the sunlight.
The architects designed the house "from the inside out", beginning by defining a central core that is developed from the ground floor to the upper level and not only has a “structural” function but is what the architects call “an intelligent structure”. The core integrates essential functions for life in the home (the kitchen, bathrooms, chimney, heating and cooling systems and other installations). The different elements of which it is made up create an organic segmented space that models the inside surfaces connected with it and allows them to go beyond the classic layout with distribution corridors. The house is no longer a "pure box", and even the roof is deformed at this central rib: at these points the zinc roof panels are replaced by glass surfaces which, with the glass walls of some of the spaces below, form a continuous skylight. This is an ingenious way of capturing the rays of the sun and conveying them into various parts of the home, a reactive, sensitive form of architecture that interacts with its natural surroundings.
Project: GT Residence
Type: 3000 sq. ft. residence
Location: Upstate New York - USA
Status: Completion date spring 2003
Design Architect: Archi-tectonics
Architect: Winka Dubbeldam (Principal in charge), Michael Hundsnurscher (Project leader)
Team: Tanja Bitzer, Aaron Brakke, Siki Im, Maarten Wessel, Kajse Krause, Aaron Brakke, Sebastian St. Jean
Images courtesy of Archi-tectonics