Contextual Architecture: Roland Wahlroos-Ritter

Contextual Building, Architectural Article, Architecture Dialogue

Contextual Architecture : Architectural Dialogue

Architecture Discussion by Roland Wahlroos-Ritter

6 Sep 2011

Context x 4

All four of the following projects are characterized by their particular relationship to their built context.

Hamburger Hof Berlin

The Hamburger Hof in Berlin is a sensitive yet audacious intervention into and renovation of an 200 year old building ensemble. The project continues the historic programatic mix of culture, crafts, housing and offices and inserts dramatic new volumes strategically to retain spatial qualities. The architects clearly distinguish their interventions by choosing contemporary facade materials that contrast with the masonry of existing building substance.

Hamburger Hof, Berlin, Germany
Nps Tchoban Voss
Hamburger Hof
photo © Roland Halbe

Port Arthur Resort

The Port Arthur Resort will be a new resort of 34 independent, translucent pavilion at the former convict’s settlement site. The pavilions will be situated within the culturally sensitive boundaries of this World Heritage Site. Circa Architecture now completed a first prototype for the pavilions. The light weight polycarbonate envelop of the building has in the words of the architects a ghost like appearance in the evening and night hours. The pavilion echoes in its size, typology and light weight footprint the former convicts cottages, but will make living at “The Hellhole of the British Empire” as pleasant as it can be.

Port Arthur Resort, Tasmania, Australia
Circa Architecture
Port Arthur Resort
photo from FD

Arc En Ciel

The “Rainbow” boroughs mostly a perky color palette from its intangible and diaphanous namesake. The mixture of offices and primarily apartments is situated within a heterogeneous urban fabric. Positioned on top of a level of parking in the middle of traffic flow and public space the “Rainbow” remains spatially at distance from its surroundings.

Arc En Ciel, Bordeaux, France
Agence Bernard Bühler
Arc En Ciel Bordeaux
picture from Agence Bernard Bühler

Kindergarten Neufeld

The Kindergarten in Neufeld presents it self functional and coolish.Yet, beyond it’s apparent pragmatism it provides light filled, flexible spaces and brakes down the boundaries between the inside and the outside. The building volume is intelligently placed to define the outdoor spaces and transitional zones between the building -that echoes the architecture of the case study area in Los Angeles- and the historically grown structure of the Austrian small town.

Kindergarten Neufeld an der Leitha, Austria
SOLID architecture
Kindergarten Neufeld an der Leitha
photograph : Kurt Kuball

The once hotly debated relationship between new projects and their context appears to have entered a new phase. The response to context, not a primary driver anymore as it has been in the semiotic debate of the early 90’, has a much more varied approach and doesn’t imply that a project has to formally replicate it’s built environment. Historical trajectory and context in architecture has expanded beyond the formal to social, programatic and economic fields.

Roland Wahlroos-Ritter

Roland Wahlroos-Ritter is one of two Principals of WROAD. Recent design work includes the Bigger is Better House, an extended family residence in California, the Y-Project, a 17 level office high-rise in Seoul South Korea, Leg Avenue Office Extension in City of Industries California, Korean Embassy in Tokyo, Mason Residence in Santa Monica California and the experimental Wall Project in Los Angeles California.

Roland Wahlroos-Ritter:
Roland Wahlroos-Ritter

He was a Assistant Professor at at the TU Vienna. In 2002, he was a Visiting Professor at the Cornell School of Architecture. After teaching at the Bartlett School of Architecture he taught at SCI-Arc until 2006 and is currently a Adjunct Assistant Professor at USC School of Architecture. Roland Wahlroos-Ritter is an SBA registered architect, and holds a license in The Netherlands.




Architectural Articles by Roland Wahlroos-Ritter
Wolf Prix Criticism of Venice Biennale : Roland Wahlroos-Ritter. 5 Sep 2012

Architectural Facades : Roland Wahlroos-Ritter. 21 Jun 2011




Architectural Articles – Selection

Architecture Context : article by Trevor Tucker. 21 Sep 2010

Design Narrative : article by Lee Miles – 7 Sep 2010

Sustainable Architecture – Building Issues : article by Adrian Welch

Comments / photos for the Contextual Architecture – Architectural Article page welcome

Contextual Architecture