Contextual Building, Architectural Article, Architecture Dialogue

Contextual Architecture : Architectural Dialogue

Architecture Discussion by Roland Wahlroos-Ritter

Sep 6, 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 is a Principal at WROAD, one of two. Recent design work includes the Bigger is Better House in California and the Mason Residence in Santa Monica, California, USA.

Roland Wahlroos-Ritter:
Roland Wahlroos-Ritter

He has taught at TU Vienna, Cornell School of Architecture, the Bartlett School of Architecture (London UCL), SCI-Arc on Los Angeles, and at the USC School of Architecture.

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

Architecture