Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Taboo Lecture at Chalmers University

visiondivision are invited by 4Ark to hold the final lecture of the semester at the faculty of architecture at Chalmers University in Gothenburg.
The topic will be about taboo in architecture.
The team will discuss their point of view in the matter and name a few points where the team possibly could stand out from the Swedish norm.
The lecture starts at 4.30 pm and will be held at "A-Salen".
Here is a short trailer of the upcoming event;

video

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Deer Grotto

Visiondivision was commissioned to build a house among a group of cottages from the 18th century. The client wanted the house to blend in with this environment, especially from one side where the client’s conservative mother has her cottage and watchful eyes. We therefore made a building that blends in so good that it is almost invisible. The site where the client wanted to add an extension is sloping from the old cottage down towards a small creek. We excavate this hill to build a concrete vault in its place, punctuate it with strategically located holes for light and then we cover it up with the soil we moved. The result is a slightly bigger knoll. A couple of deer statues is placed on top of the building and some of them are hollow and covers the holes and becomes the light shafts themselves. Besides from being light shafts they are also acting as a reference point for the content of the house. Two resting hollow deer is placed over the bedrooms, a solid deer that jumps out of a small pond that is a light shaft is placed over the bathroom, a solid drinking deer is directed over the kitchen and a mighty hollow buck sits on top of the living room.
The house itself is connected with the old cottage with an internal stair.
The stair divides the extension into a social zone and a quieter one.
The social zone consists of a small kitchen and a living room with a glass façade towards a nice river view which also is the only visible façade of the house.
The bathroom and the sleeping area are slightly darker and the over lights gives a nice change of contrasts throughout the day.


Deer on the roof

Exterior - winter

Bathroom

Interior with river view backdrop

Interior, livingroom

Ground floor plan

Roof plan

Section

Monday, May 10, 2010

VD Guide VIII

Visiondivision gives you a brief tour of inspiring projects and phenomenon around the world.If you have more suggestions, dont hesitate to contact us at: info@visiondivision.com
Don't forget to download the whole guide to Google Earth here.
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Derweze Gas Crater aka The Gate to Hell - Industrial accident that became a burning hole
Birth: 1971
Location: Derweze, Turkmenistan
Architect: Soviet
VD says: An accident that became one of the greatest sights on Earth

In the hot, expansive Karakum desert in Turkmenistan, near the 350 person village of Derweze, is a hole 100 meters wide that has been on fire, continuously, for 38 years. Known as the Darvaza Gas Crater or the "Gate to Hell" by locals, the crater can be seen glowing for kilometers around.
The hole is the outcome not of nature but of an industrial accident. In 1971 a Soviet drilling rig accidentally punched into a massive underground natural gas cavern, causing the ground to collapse and the entire drilling rig to fall in. Having punctured a pocket of gas, poisonous fumes began leaking from the hole at an alarming rate. To head off a potential environmental catastrophe, the Soviets set the hole alight. The crater hasn't stopped burning since.


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Gold Pyramid House - A six-story private residence shaped as a 24-Karat gold-plated pyramid surrounded by a moat and an extensive statue collection
Birth: 1970s
Location: Wadsworth, Illinois, USA
Architect: Jim and Linda Onan
VD says: Eccentric living is often admirable, especially if it includes a golden-plated pyramid

Its builders, Jim and Linda Onan explain in three nouns and two adjectives what their unique home represents: "Power, Gold, Mystery, Exotic, and Impressive." The Onans are subscribers to the seventies cult theory of "pyramid power." Their home is believed to be the largest 24-karat gold-plated object in the world.
Located on an island and surrounded by a giant moat, the Pyramid House has many remarkable features, including a 15 meter statue of King Tut, a metal palm tree and, a three car garage topped by three smaller pyramids.


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Boston Molasses Disaster - In 1919 a large molasses storage tank burst, and a 5 meter wave of molasses rushed through the streets at an estimated 60 km/h and glazed a whole city district
Birth: 1919
Location: North End, Boston, USA
Architect: Molasses and the sun
VD says: Kids could skate on the hardened and thick molasses through the rough North End in Boston

The Boston Molasses Disaster, also known as the Great Molasses Flood and the Great Boston Molasses Tragedy, occurred on January 15, 1919, in the North End neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts in the United States. A large molasses storage tank burst, and a wave of 9 million liter of molasses rushed through the streets at an estimated 60 km/h, killing 21 and injuring 150. Nearby, buildings were swept off their foundations and crushed. Several blocks were flooded to a depth of one meter. The event has entered local folklore, and residents claim that on hot summer days, the area still smells of molasses.
It took over 87,000 man hours to remove the molasses from the cobblestone streets, theaters, businesses, automobiles, and homes, meanwhile kids could skate on the hard and thick layers of glazed syrup.


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Parco dei Monstri - A park designed in the 16th century to shock
Birth: 1552
Location: Bomarzo, Italy
Architect: Pirro Ligorio
VD says: Don't miss to have a lunch on the giant tounge inside the head

The Park of the Monsters, or "Parco dei Mostri," in the Garden of Bomarzo was not meant to be pretty. Commissioned in 1552 by Prince Pier Francesco Orsini, it was an expression of grief designed to shock.
The Prince, also known as Vicino, had just been through a brutal war, had his friend killed, held for ransom for years and come home only to have his beloved wife die. Racked with grief the Prince wanted to create a shocking "Villa of Wonders" and hired architect Pirro Ligorio to help him do so. Ligorio was a widely respected architect and artist and had previously completed the Cathedral of Saint Peter in Rome after the death of Michelangelo, and the Villa d'Este in Tivoli.
When you are in the park be sure to enter the giant screaming mouth, (known as the mouth of hell) inside of which there is a picnic table on the tongue and enough seating space for a small group to have lunch.


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Rainbow River aka Caño Cristales - A remote paradise river with a spectacular color rang
Birth: A long time ago
Location: Sierra de la Macarena, Colombia
Architect: Earth
VD says: A superior and trippy display of mother nature

Often referred as the "river of five colors", "the river that ran away from paradise," and "the most beautiful river in the world."
It is indeed a unique biological wonder. For a short period of the year the river blossoms in a rainbow of colours. During that brief span between the wet and dry seasons, when the water level is just right, the many varieties of algae and moss bloom in a dazzling display of colours. Blotches of yellow, blue, green, black, red and a thousand shades in between, coat the river.


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Badain Jaran Desert - A desert with 500 meter high dunes that makes sounds
Birth: A long time ago
Location: Badain Jaran Desert, Mongolia
Architect: Earth
VD says: A Mongolian delight that cannot be missed

Badain Jaran Desert is home to the tallest stationary dunes on Earth. Reaching over 500 meters tall, they are roughly the same size as the world's tallest buildings. This area also shares a mysterious property with some three dozen other deserts around the world. Known as singing sands, whistling sands, or booming dunes, the dunes of the Badain Jaran Desert make a surprising amount of noise.
Singing sands are generated when the desert wind pulls the top layer of sand off layer below. It is believed that the noise is generated by electrostatic charge this action creates. On a small scale, such as a beach, this phenomenon creates a high-pitched sound, but on a much larger scale, it can emit a low-pitched rumble or booming sound, and at up to 105 decibels, it can be quite loud and the mechanism that makes the sound is still not fully understood.


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Blood Falls - A red waterfall in Antarctica that also holds a lake with an ancient eco-system
Birth: A long time ago
Location: Taylor Glacier, Antarctica
Architect: Earth
VD says: Visually and scientifically amazing

This five-story, blood-red waterfall pours very slowly out of the Taylor Glacier in Antarctica's McMurdo Dry Valleys. When geologists first discovered the frozen waterfall in 1911, they thought the red color came from algae, but its true nature turned out to be much more spectacular.
Roughly two thousand years ago, the Taylor Glacier sealed beneath it a small body of water which contained an ancient community of microbes. Trapped below a thick layer of ice, they have remained there ever since, isolated inside a natural time capsule. Evolving independently of the rest of the living world, these microbes exist in a world with no light or free oxygen and little heat, and are essentially the definition of "primordial ooze." The trapped lake has very high salinity and is rich in iron, which gives the waterfall its red color. A fissure in the glacier allows the subglacial lake to flow out, forming the falls without contaminating the ecosystem within.
The existence of the Blood Falls ecosystem shows that life is indeed possible in the most extreme of Earths conditions.


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Mousgoum Huts - Decorative mud huts that can be climbed
Birth: A long time ago
Location: Pouss, Cameroon
Architect: Mousgoum Tribe
VD says: Vernacular architecture once again shows its competence

The Mousgoum is an ethnic group in far north province in cameroon that creates their homes from compressed sun-dried mud. The tall conical dwellings, in the shape of a shell features geometric raised patterns.
The decorative surface allows for further refinement and individualization.
The veins are also contributing to the drainage of rain. The musgum houses require
regular maintenance of the coating and the veins allow people to climb atop the building


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Fort Knox - A heavily fortified bullion depository filled with enormous amounts of gold and important artifacts
Birth: 1937
Location: Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Architect: USA
VD says: A building that also is a myth


1929, when the economy in USA crashed, everyone wanted to change dollars for gold.
But there were more dollar bills in circulation than there were gold so Franklin Roosevelt made a law in 1933 that no private person could own gold anymore. All the gold that was changed in for dollars needed a home, and Fort Knox was built.
Below the fortress-like structure lies the gold vault, which is lined with granite walls and which is protected by a blast-proof door that weighs 22 tons. No single person is entrusted with the entire combination to the vault.
Gold holdings peaked during World War II at 20,205 tons that would be worth approximately $765 billion. Current holdings are around 5,050 tons in around 368,000 standard 12.4 kg gold bars.


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Meroë - Ancient city with over 200 Nubian pyramids
Birth: 800 BC
Location: Meroë, Sudan
Architect: The Meroitic Kingdom
VD says: Impressive city with the highest concentration of pyramids in the world

Meroë was the southern capital of the Napata/Meroitic Kingdom, that spanned the period c. 800 BC - c. 350 AD.
The site of the city of Meroë is marked by more than two hundred pyramids in three groups, of which many are in ruins. This can be compared to approximately 120 pyramids that were constructed in Ancient Egypt over a period of 3000 years. The pyramids at Meroë are identified as Nubian pyramids because of their distinctive size and proportions.


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Kansas City Public Library Parking - The parking structure for Kansas Public Library with oversized book spines as facade
Birth: 2003
Location: Kansas City, USA
Architect: cdfm2
VD says: A brilliant facade

The book spines, which measure approximately 9 meters by 3 meters, are made of signboard mylar. The shelf showcases 22 titles reflecting a wide variety of reading interests as suggested by Kansas City readers and then selected by The Kansas City Public Library Board of Trustees


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Iguana Park - A small park with dozens of free roaming iguanas surrounded by a heavily urban area
Birth: Unknown
Location: Guayaquil, Ecuador
Architect: Earth
VD says: A pure delight to wander among these two-meter lizards in the middle of the city.

Parque Seminario (also known as Parque de Las Iguanas or Iguana Park) located on 10 de Agosto Avenue and Chile Avenue, is home to dozens of iguanas, some of which approach 2 meters in length. Tourists and locals alike often feed the iguanas mango slices from park vendors. The park is situated in the heart of Guayaquil, a city of five million inhabitants.


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Morning Glory Pool - A colorful hot spring
Birth: A long time ago
Location: Yellowstone, USA
Architect: Earth
VD says: One of Earth's greatest pools

The delicate blue water is created by thermophilic bacteria, which thrive in the pool's searing heat. Long a major tourist stop in Yellowstone National Park, the Morning Glory Pool suffers from inconsiderate visitors who have thrown coins, bottles, and trash into the pool for over a century. The trash has slowly built up and blocked some of the thermal vents and reduced the heat of the pool, allowing other bacteria to begin working their way in at the edges, creating a red and yellow ring around the pure blue center. While this rainbow hue is indeed beautiful, it is a fragile beauty, as the invasive yellow bacteria continues to close in.

Occasionally, often following seismic activity, the pool erupts in a geyser. There is hope that these eruptions may clear the pool of trash. Attempts have been made to artificially induce geysers, but have met with mixed results.


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Montaña Magica - A hotel with a waterfall coming out of it
Birth: 1997
Location: Huilo-Huilo, Chile
Architect: Rodrigo Verdugo
VD says: Nice shape; 1 point, great waterfall; 5 points

The hotel is shaped like a volcano and spews water from its top, has a cable bridge leading to its front door and often has an fantastic covering of moss and plant.
Located within the Huilo Huilo Private Natural Reserve, the hotel is nestled among the natural world. Among the things at the reserve are the Huilo-Huilo Falls, Pudu, the world's smallest deer species, and the longest zip line system in South America.
The Magic Mountain Hotel itself is built from local wood and stone and each of the nine rooms are equipped with modern amenities, large windows to look out at the forest, and each room is named after a different local species of bird.
Among the offerings of the hotel are hotubs made out of huge trunks of trees, dug out, and then filled with hot water perched on a deck overlooking the forest. A mini golf course, built into the forest itself and using the natural world as the obstacles, and various outdoor activities such as horseback riding, rafting, and hiking.


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Dogon Tribe - A skillful people with many architectural gems
Birth: A long time ago
Location: The cliffs of Bandiagara, Mali
Architect: Dogon Tribe
VD says: Check out their Togu Na for example, a building for meetings that intentionally has a very low ceiling height in which one cannot stand upright. This helps avoiding violence when discussions get heated.

The Dogon are strongly oriented toward harmony, which is reflected in many of their rituals. For instance, in one of their most important rituals, the women praise the men, the men thank the women, the young express appreciation for the old, and the old recognize the contributions of the young.
The Hogon is the spiritual leader of the village. He is elected between the oldest men of the enlarged families of the village. After his election he has to follow a six-month initiation period, during which he is not allowed to shave or wash. He wears white clothes and nobody is allowed to touch him.
During the danyim, a funeral ritual, masqueraders perform dances every morning and evening for anytime up to six days depending on how that village performs this ritual. The masqueraders dance on the deceased’s rooftops, throughout the village, and the area of fields around the village (Davis, 68). Until the masqueraders have completed their dances and every ritual has been performed, it is said that any misfortune can be blamed on the remaining spirits of the dead

Some characteristic buildings:

Male granary: storage place for pearl millet and other grains. Building with a pointed roof. This building is well protected from mice. The amount of filled male granaries is an indication for the size and the richness of a guinna.

Female granary: storage place for a woman's things, her husband has no access. Building with a pointed roof. It looks like a male granary but is less protected against mice. Here, she stores her personal belongings such as clothes, jewelry, money and some food. A woman is economically independent and earnings and things related to her merchandise are stored in her personal granary. She can for example make cotton or pottery. The amount of female granaries is an indication for the amount of women living in the guinna.

Tógu nà: a building only for men. They rest here much of the day throughout the heat of the dry season, discuss affairs and take important decisions in the toguna.[12] The roof of a toguna is made by 8 layers of millet stalks. It is a low building in which one cannot stand upright. This helps avoiding violence when discussions get heated.

House for menstruating women: this house is on the outside of the village. It is constructed by women and is of lower quality than the other village buildings. Women having their period are considered to be unclean and have to leave their family house to live during five days in this house. They use kitchen equipment only to be used here. They bring with them their youngest children. This house is a gathering place for women during the evening.


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No Mans Land Fort - Floating fortress converted into a luxury home
Birth: 1867
Location: No Mans Land Fort, Portsmouth, UK
Architect: The British Army
VD says: Bond villain potential

No Man’s Land Fort is a floating fort built off the coast of the Isle of Wight between the years 1867 and 1880 to defend Portsmouth from the French during the Napoleonic wars.
The fort is nearly 100 meters in diameter and rises 20 meters from the sea and is heavy framed with granite and steel walls.
Its water supply comes from a borehole sunk into the seabed and it has its own electricity generators. Its sunken inner centre are screened from the elements by a glass roof and it is now a luxury home with 2 helipads, indoor swimming pool, Jacuzzis, gym and two restaurants among other things.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

New (old) email

The last month we recieved a fewer amount of emails then expected, it turned out that our email info@visiondivision.com" didnt work properly, so if you have any messages to us or sent us messages that havent been answered, we suggest you to send your emails to this following adress: visiondivision@gmail.com