Water Architecture, Contemporary Aquatic Design, Buildings
Aquatecture : Buildings on Water
Aquatic Architectural Design around the world – article by Matthias Neumann
26 Mar 2013
Article for e-architect by Matthias Neumann
The German philosopher Schelling has been quoted many times over with the notion that architecture was to resemble frozen music. However, it was in fact a lucky stroke of questionable translation by Schelling’s contemporary Henry Crabb Robinson who – reporting on Schellings thoughts to the English speaking world – translated what would be in a more faithful translation “petrified music” with the implicitly more liquid attribute “frozen”. The deed was done and the metaphor still chimes today, though possibly for different reasons than it did during the 19th century. Today, years into the proliferation of complex geometries through easily accessible computer programs, the qualities of fluid space and form, frozen in time, have gained a literal resemblance in geometric form as if Schellings architecture had thawed for a while only to be fixed in its liquid state. This metaphor may be particularly potent when the architecture itself deals with water as element.
Changsha Meixihu International Culture & Art Centre, China
Design: Zaha Hadid Architects
image courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects
Zaha Hadid’s recently unveiled design for the Meixihu International Culture & Art Centre proposes a large cultural complex situated in and along the lake side of Lake Meixi in Changsha, a city in Southern China of 7 Million. Three buildings, a theatre, a museum for contemporary art and a multipurpose hall, are loosely grouped together and connected by a network of paths, streets and plazas. While each building retains a recognizable individuality, the whole complex seems in a liquid state of uninterrupted flow from the water surface to the most magnificent as well as to the most intimate interior spaces.
Florida Pool House Building, FL, USA
Design: NL Architects
picture from architect
On a more modest scale, but no less ambitious, the Dutch firm NL Architects has conducted a series of studies for a Pool House in Del Ray Beach, Florida, in which the term “pool house” is being taken quite literally. The design strategy was not to design a house with a pool, but rather to create a hybrid mash-up of both programs in one single structure where the pool becomes the defining element to organize the space and volume. The three variations on this theme quite poignantly illustrate the potentials and formal possibilities of unexpected mash-up of program as generator for architectural form.
The Blue Planet, Copenhagen, Denmark – building news
photo from architect
Last week the city of Copenhagen added its own version of a water inspired building to the tally of free form contemporary architecture by inaugurating Northern Europe’s largest aquarium building, called Den Blå Planet, The Blue Planet Aquarium. Designed by 3XN architects, the building resembles in plan a whirl pool spiraling into a central point of gravity off of which the various exhibition galleries are organized. The building volume gradually emerges from the landscape and its surrounding water surfaces in a continuous movement. The facade is clad in aluminum mimicking the reflection and color of the surrounding sea, and allowing the water metaphor to reemerge yet again and again and again in multiple (and beautiful) ways.
Matthias Neumann is principal of normaldesign, an award-winning design firm in Brooklyn, New York. His work as designer, educator and curator has been recognized in the US and abroad. He has recently curated the exhibition “Made in USA – German Architects in New York” for the General Consulate of Germany in New York, and has taught architecture in various institutions. He has been involved with Global Studio (www.theglobalstudio.com) since 2007 as faculty and mentor.
Article for e-architect by Matthias Neumann
To see all listed projects on a single map please follow this link.
Another architectural article for e-architect by Matthias Neumann:
New York Architecture News
image courtesy Gehry Partners
Holman House, New South Wales, Australia
Durbach Block Architects
photograph © Brett Boardman
Sydney Waterfront House
Loch Tay Boat House, Highlands, Scotland
McKenzie Strickland Associates
photograph : Keith Hunter
Scottish Boat House
Tigh na Dobhran, Arduaine, Scotland
photo : Keith Hunter
Beach House Scotland
Darling Harbour Redevelopment, Sydney, Australia
image : OMA
Darling Harbour Redevelopment
Cove 3, Western Cape, South Africa
photo : Micky Hoyle COURTESY OF VISI
Western Cape Waterfront House
Leaf House, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
photo : Hugh Rutherford
Waterfront House Sydney
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