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El Croquis. Herzog & de Meuron 2005-2010

Michael Hays reflects on where architectural theory is today and where it's headed in the future. The architects also envision redeveloping Grenzacherstrasse to include greenery and wider pavements.


As technology improves and open-source data becomes more accessible, prospects to celebrate and find new life for currently abandoned buildings should create positive economic and cultural impacts on neighborhoods.

Interview with Jacques Herzog. They organized the required floor space of sqm into a six-story el croquis herzog et de meuron that is considerably higher and more visible than the predominantly two- and three-story buildings of the neighborhood.

Significantly, this also allowed them to leave half the site unbuilt, so that over the underground storage and infrastructure facility, there is a public plaza with benches where passers-by can relax. Faced with stitched-on areas of living moss that are irrigated from the back and form a pattern reminiscent of both European minimal art and traditional Japanese gardens, the boundary wall thus melds the culture of the company with that of the host country.

El Croquis 152-153: Herzog & De Meuron by El Croquis (Paperback, 2011)

The el croquis herzog et de meuron steel-and-glass tower set in a corner of this landscaped site continues this interaction with the city. For one thing, its angled profile makes the glass-skinned building change its appearance from every viewpoint, looking at times like a crystal, at others like a traditional house and sometimes even like a shopping bag.

The eave heights differ from corner to corner. The facade, with a kink on one side, adds a new dimension to the tradition of modernism.

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Mies van der Rohe used el croquis herzog et de meuron in his Farnsworth House as a membrane that made the boundary between interior and exterior practically invisible, allowing for an entirely unobstructed view and creating the illusion of an uninterrupted spatial flow.

The glazing elements, set in a diamond-shaped grid, differ individually. On the lower area of the ground floor, they are concave, allowing passers-by to see the products on display in the basement as though through lenses.


Higher up, flat and convex panes make the facade appear as an independent space that seems to breathe in and out like a living creature. El croquis herzog et de meuron glass tower is at once a huge window display and triggers a wide variety of associations from an aquarium or a jewelry display cabinet to the bulbous glass of old Parisian arcades, or even a huge lantern lighting the street by night.

What the architects have achieved with their imprinted glass facades for the Spitalapotheke Basel, their tilted window elements for the Helvetia Patria Versicherungen headquarters in St.

Gallen, or their undulating glass walls for the El croquis herzog et de meuron Residence in California, to name but a few of their projects, culminates here in a transparency that is accomplished not by negating the material, but by designing and structuring it in three dimensions.

The topographical concept of the exterior also applies inside, to the space that unfolds behind this glass facade.

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Each floor has its own distinctive character. The ceiling of the ground floor curves into a balustrade, opening up a view of the area below. The space flows freely through all the floors of the building, inviting visitors to stroll through a landscape of diverse materials and sceneries.

Amid all this openness, the three horizontal steel tubes that reinforce the structure create intimate zones while their outer surfaces serve as projection screens. At the same time, the tubes act as periscopes through which the city of Tokyo can be viewed from different directions, complemented by private glimpses of the outside world from the changing rooms.

This building, which opens up to its surroundings like no other in the neighborhood, focuses the gaze as precisely as an optical instrument. Fashion el croquis herzog et de meuron shopping are all about looking, presentation, choosing, trying on and buying.

The gaze drifts uninterrupted from product range to cityscape and back again, so that the process of selecting and viewing that is involved in shopping merges with the casual, drifting observation of the surroundings that is the mark of the flaneur.

Perception becomes the mode within which the individual can oscillate between thoughtful reflection and consumer behavior. The sense of openness that characterizes this building is created by its extreme structural density, its lightness of form by a steel frame that melds space, structure and facade into a single entity in a way that the architects have perhaps el croquis herzog et de meuron before only in their private museum for the Goetz Collection in Munich.

The ceilings, the four vertical access cores with two scissor stairs attached, the three horizontal tubes and the facade all form a seamlessly interconnected load-bearing system.