Friday, February 27, 2009

Sahara Field Trip

Visiondivision goes to Sahara to research the phenomenon of dew.

Dew is water droplets that are created when hot humid air is cooled down during the night.
The cool air cannot maintain the entire moisture, and some of the humidity condenses into droplets. These droplets appear on exposed and thin objects, like an umbrella for example. The glossy material makes the droplets slide down into its center before it can evaporate when the sun rises. Lets see how the vd team used this knowledge in the field

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Noah's House – a report from the building site

The design

A client wanted help to build a small summer house inside of an old shed. The shed is just next to the Baltic Sea and has been exposed to overflows every tenth year or so. Knowing that the house probably will be exposed to another overflow forced a specific design.
To build a totally waterproof house would be to expensive, so this house is constructed as a lizards tail. If one part of the building gets exposed to water that particular part can easily be replaced without affecting the rest of the building.
The whole building is constructed by spruce boards and spruce pillars and with no synthetic materials what so ever. The horizontal spruce boards can be taken away when exposed to water to dry and later be put back or be replaced by a new one. The insulation can easily be taken out and be replaced too.



A report from the building site

AB (Anders Berensson) worked as a carpenter on this project that turned out to be more like an architectural jam between AB and the client. The program and the building materials constantly changed with the clients daily mood swings and discoveries of cheap building materials. Sometimes the ideas turned out too be quite genius and fun; like putting a wire through the house to be able to drag the boat to its winter position with the clients jeep. Other times ideas had to be rejected such as building a huge hill in front of the house to protect it from huge waves.
Living on this remote island during the winter months while building the house could also be quite harsh, the house AB lived in had heating problems and a constant smell of manure. Despite some harsh condition, we are confident that the result of the design will be successful in the end.
In a couple of months we will know for sure.

The project started out with two days of cleaning. Big things that could not be removed by man power like a container for chemicals where pulled out from the house with the Jeep. This technique was later on refined to take up the boat.

The cleaned out shed

Inner walls and insulation completed

Inner materials almost done

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mass in the Tio chapel

An unique documentation of an ancient sacrificial ritual in the visiondivision designed chapel in Potosi, Bolivia. See for more information.

Capilla para el Tio was by far the most physically challenging project we ever done so far.
The project took five days to complete and was extremely demanding and dangerous.
We couldn’t work while the miners were inside of the mountain because we couldn’t be an obstruction for them in the narrow passages, and at some periods of the building process we definitely would have annoyed them if we would have been there at the same time. When we detonated our dynamite for example or spray painted the cave with highly toxic paint, which was the only alternative in this remote and underdeveloped part of the world.
The only time when the mine was empty was at night time, so we had to cope with extreme cold which in combination with the altitude on 4200 meters makes you uncomfortable. Luckily we had the coca leaves, hard liquor and a great companion in our Bolivian guide and dynamite specialist.
Half of the time we spend in the mines was to give our respect to the older Tio inside of the mine.
We had to offer him great amounts of coca leaves, cigarettes, liquor, and we also had to drink to his name.
Inhaling all that toxic paint inside of a mine is of course not good for you, especially if your only protection is a coffee filter for your mouth. We both got very sick after this project but we are proud and happy that we built it.
We came in contact with a professional sculptor that were supposed to do the Tio, but something came up and he couldn’t deliver it in time, we therefore contracted a local woman who at first didn’t want to do the Tio because she thought it was an inappropriate motive, but after some raise in her salary, she accepted.
To sit next to the hardworking miners on the opening party of the chapel and see how they gave offerings to the new Tio and thanked us for the project, was a great reward after all our efforts put into this project.
Some people haven’t fully understood this project, rejecting it as something trashy, and not belonging to the stylish family of architecture perhaps. We can clearly see that it is hard in a western world to fully take it in if you are not aware of the circumstances.
But sitting in this highest located chapel in the world with your fellow miners, imbedded in a spellbinding red color that glitters in the light of the headlamps, as a contrast to all the blackness and misery in the cave, is a profound experience that you almost cannot feel in the developed world nowadays.

Rejected Wikipedia submission

The modern Swedish Architect (Architectus boringus)

Living: The Swedish architect lives and breeds on the island Södermalm in Stockholm.
You can easily spot the modern architect by wearing a black turtleneck and trendy glasses, often with a characteristic fragile walk to enhance their appearance of being an emotional human being.

Behavior: Swedish architects tend to group in big formations whenever there are free food and drinks around. Architectural wise they follow interior programs on TV or old Swiss trends from the mid90s.

To get a positive interaction with a Swedish modern architect you should name drop different Herzog & deMeuron projects and complain about the shallowness of Frank O Gehry.
Overall the Swedish modern architect has a strong flock behavior, having the advantage that they are easily replaced at work.

Unfortunately this leads to a monotone architecture production with no highs and no lows in it what so ever.

Architectus boringus

Ultra Cheap Guesthouse

An old vd project is finally finished, a scrubby storage that has been transformed into a guest-/weaving house.
The house can accommodate four to eight guests depending on comfort.
Due to the lack of money, new inventions had to be made, as well as material purchases from Blocket, a Swedish second hand site.

Plexiglas door "Sigurd Lewerentz style”.

Interior with multifunctional beam, notice that the door is closed.

Magic shelf detail.
Because this is a summer residence, the need for insulation are not vital, so all the new windows are made in plexiglas, a much cheaper material than glass, and it is also possible to make the appearance more slick.
Shelves can also be drilled right through the plexi for that patented vd look.
Loft with custom made bed
Plan and section

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


The architecture school of Delft was burned to the ground after some misfortunes with a microwave, and a competition for a new school was held. Visiondivision reused one thing from the former school for their new design; the fire itself.
Click on the images to magnify them and to read the story about a naive youngster with architecture ambitions and his journey to a greater understanding of Architecture.