Friday, October 25, 2013

Frozen Flora

This is our entry for the Warming Huts Competition, an annual open art and architecture competition where the entrants where asked to create shelters along a skating trail on the Assiniboine river in downtown Winnipeg, Canada.

We wanted to create a unique local invention generated on site by a limited set of tools by pure man power and with no harmful waste. The cold climate, the river and the great scale and variety of Canada became our point of departure in finding a suitable building technique.
The key material for this project is reinforced ice.
Water is hand pumped on the site from the river and then reinforced and refined with organic materials taken from six different time zones of Canada into different blends of colorful ice-concrete. The technique of reinforcing ice with nature has been used by native people of America that made mixtures with sawdust and water to strengthen ice and make it more resistant to melting. These proposed structures can be made by two people without any energy consuming machines. The reinforcements will be a mélange of nature that colors water in a beautiful way, such as berries, flowers, vegetables and at the same time includes
fibers that strengthens the ice constructively and also improves its melting time. The final result will be a cluster of six different ice tepees with six different colors of Canada, and on sunny days even with a scent when the sun melts the surface water.
When spring arrives, the tepees will gradually melt into each other and a blend of Canadian colors and scents will eventually be a part of the river.

Section with construction method


The time zones

Exterior perspective with morning frost

Exterior perspective night time

Looking inside the Ontario Beetroot Tepee

Close up of the British Columbian algae reinforcement

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Thai Town in the Media

Our proposal "Thai Town" has attained a great deal of media over the last days and the project has been featured in various newspapers, tv-interviews and radio programs. We hope that all this attention will increase the momentum of a Thai Town district in Stockholm.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Thai Town

Thai Town is an earlier visiondivision sketch from the project titled ”Stockholm Showdown” where visiondivision proposed 24 projects to improve Stockholm. One of the sketches that we really wanted to investigate further was ”Thai Town”; a small budget project where all the key functions of a Thai town already exists but where architecture and design is whats lacking. We talked to a majority of the shop owners in the district and we came up with a plan on how to with small means make this project a reality. What we offer is the strategy you can read about below and also free of charge help to seek building permits and permits for commercial signs for all people in the district that wants to strengthen the Thai atmosphere in Thai town.

Thai Town är en tidigare visiondivisionskiss från projektet "Stockholm Showdown" där visiondivision föreslog 24 projekt för att förbättra Stockholm. En av de skisser som vi verkligen ville undersöka ytterligare var "Thai Town"; ett litet budget projekt där alla viktiga funktioner för ett “Thai Town” redan finns men där arkitektur och design är en av de aspekter som saknas. Vi pratade med en majoritet av butiks- och affärsägarna i distriktet kring Olof Palmes gata och gjorde en strategi för hur man med små medel kan göra detta projekt till verklighet. Vad vi erbjuder är den strategi du kan läsa om nedan, och dessutom så erbjuder vi gratis hjälp med att söka bygglov och skyltlov för alla de som verkar (och vill verka) i området där projekten i någon mån går ut på att stärka den thailändska atmosfären i “Thai Town”.

Stockholm as a city is a rather homogeneous city which is a bit curious, considering the fact that there are living a large number of people from all over the world in the area.
Whether you are walking around in Vasastan, Kungsholmen or Södermalm , it is basically the same scenery that you will encounter and the urban life differs very little.
But if you go north from Hötorget in central Stockholm, there are a small number of back streets streets which over the years has accumulated an assortment of shops and restaurants that have a clear connection with the Thai culture, mainly at Holländargatan and at Olof Palmes gata but also at Olofsgatan.
In a relatively small area, there are for example no less than four specialized food markets that sells almost only Thai food, which with Stockholm’s measure is hard to beat. This fine embryo of potential should be better highlighted; both in terms of marketing but also in terms of visually enhance the area and its character. We believe it is necessary for Stockholm as an aspiring metropolis to highlight the city's various ethnicities in a positive way and with Thailand we have strong ties in Sweden, mainly due to the many marriages between Swedish men and Thai women.
We therefor propose a Thai Town on Holländargatan, Olofsgatan and at Olof Palmes gata where it connects the two parallel streets. We suggest a series of small changes that can be made independently to create Sweden's first real ethnic district.

Stockholm som stad är en ganska likriktad stad, trots allt utbud och de etniciteter som finns här. Oavsett om man går omkring i Vasastan, på Kungsholmen eller på Södermalm så är det ungefär samma slags miljöer man upplever och stadslivet skiljer sig inte speciellt mycket åt. Men om man går norrut från Hötorget i Stockholm så kommer ett koppel av mindre gator där det genom åren har samlats en skara butiker och restauranter som har en thailändsk prägel, främst på Holländargatan och vid Olof Palmes gata men också på Olofsgatan. På en relativt liten yta finns det till exempel inte mindre än fyra butiker som säljer thailändska livsmedel, vilket med Stockholmska mått är svårslaget. Denna fina samling borde lyftas fram ännu bättre; både i form av marknadsföring och att rent visuellt förstärka området och dess prägel. Vi tror det är nödvändigt för Stockholm som en framtida metropol att lyfta fram stadens olika etniciteter på ett positivt sätt och just med Thailand har vi starka band i Sverige både på en kunglig och på en folklig nivå. Vi föreslår ett Thai Town på Holländargatan, Olofsgatan och på Olof Palmes gata där den binder ihop de två parallellgatorna. Vi föreslår en rad små förändringar som kan ske oberoende av varandra för att skapa Sveriges första riktiga etniska distrikt.

1. For a start, it would suffice to simply establish the concept of a Thai Town to be a catalyst to attract even more establishments with Thai origins. Just a sign and a name on a map would be an easy first step.

1. Till en början så skulle det räcka med att bara etablera begreppet Thai Town för att det skulle bli en katalysator för att locka ännu fler etableringar med thailändska inslag. En skylt skulle var ett enkelt första steg.

2. With easy modifications you can then enhance the character of the area with Thai flags that is put up across the narrow streets and also by taking advantage of the current conditions and characteristics that the area already have.
3. There is also a paved area which is located in the epicenter of Thai Town where it would be suitable to have small markets and events.
4. The tree on Holländargatan could easily be decorated with Thai lamps.
5. A number of empty windowless gables in the area could easily be painted or decorated with Thai motifs.

2. Med enkla grepp så kan man sedan förstärka karaktären i området med till exempel thailändska vimplar som spänns över de smala gatorna och att man utnyttjar de förutsättningar och särdrag som området har.
3. Det finns också en asfalterad yta som ligger i själva epicentret av Thai Town där man skulle kunna ha små marknader.
4. Trädet på Holländargatan skulle enkelt kunna dekoreras med Thailändska lampor.
5. Tar man till exempel Holländargatan så har den delen som går från Olof Palmes gata till Adolf Fredriks kyrkogata en rad av brandväggar som man enkelt skulle kunna måla eller
dekorera med thailändska motiv.

6. Larger signs and details such as balcony fronts can be painted in gold, as well as the asphalt surface where the markets can be.

6. Större skyltar och detaljer som balkongfronter kan målas i guld, likaså asfaltsytan där
marknaden kan vara.

7. To improve the area even further, you can also make some alterations to the small cemetery chapel located on the adjacent church Adolf Fredrik, which now serves as a tool shed.
With inexpensive and easy measures it can be converted into a Buddhist chapel.
There are already some places for prayers for Buddhists, but they are all far out in the suburbs so far.
We have already been in contact with the church and they where open minded about the proposal and not alien to a further discussion.
Having a Thai Town in Stockholm would benefit all residents and also attract more
tourists and perhaps provide a starting point for even more special districts to develop in Stockholm
city ​​to increase and show off the diversity and the variety that the city actually already has, but that for the moment is well disguised.

7. För att förgylla området ytterligare så kan även det lilla gravkapellet som ligger vid Adolf Fredriks kyrka, som nu fungerar som redskapsbod, enkelt och billigt göras om till ett buddhistiskt kapell. 
Vi har redan varit i kontakt med ledningen av kyrkan och de var inte främmande för att diskutera frågan ytterligare.
Att ha ett Thai Town i Stockholm skulle gynna samtliga invånare, locka fler turister och kanske ge ett avstamp i att ännu fler särskilda distrikt kan vaskas fram i Stockholms stad för att öka mångfalden och variationen som staden redan har potential för.

Friday, October 4, 2013

A Nobel Race

Hello dear citizens of the world.
It is 10 :59 am GMT and we just finished our morning meeting with coffee and a look at the latest contributions to the architectural scene.
Today should be a huge day for that. Eleven of the most famous architects in Sweden and the World has made an effort to design an iconic building for the finest prize one can receive; the Nobel prize.
The building should be located at one of the finest sites in Stockholm; at Blasieholmen, the very core of Stockholms famed beauty.
After seeing the proposals we wonder about the amount of effort put into these designs, and if our fellow colleagues has taken this commission serious, and most of all: are these proposals really iconic enough for the finest prize in the world?
After some discussions on how to make an iconic building we decided to try to beat these proposals in one working day, starting right now, and since its Friday we thought that we will stop at 4:00 pm.
As a design help we have gathered all the gadgets in a reachable distance from our office table.
We will do these proposals live, and we will update the website after each new proposal are made, which means that you can follow the progress and be a witness to how many new beautiful iconic buildings that can be done in one short day.
Let the Nobel Race begin!

11.34 AM

Radio Nobel

The new building focuses on the one thing that perhaps people anticipate the most with the Nobel Prize; who will win?
When it is time to announce the winner, the large speakers will sound clear and loud so that everyone in a 500 meter radius will hear the name of the winner.
Crowds will gather around the speaker building, and waiting for the announcement will become a festivity in itself.
The most glorious street in Stockholm, Strandvägen, will finally get an event that suits its ambition.

12:07 PM

High-tech shaped landscape

This is a high-tech proposal that acts like a landscape element as well as a protecting shell for the Nobel activities, without taking too much space from the site, and instead using some of the water next to Blasieholmen.
The prize winners will approach the building by boat and the Stockholmers can use it as a place to take baths from.
This form language has proven to be very successful internationally and maybe it could work here as well.
This building can be very difficult to build which automatically makes it expensive and therefor important.

12:49 PM

The Trophy

The Nobel Prize is the most prestigious trophy of them all. With this proposal we wanted to create a grand monument of triumph, with a public space in its base and a magnificent space for parties at the top.
The winners and other important persons can easily be transported with helicopter to the helipad on top of the building, and then take the elevator down to the auditorium/celebratory space, where the most prestigious party of them all is held. From there the dining guests, will have a tremendously good view of central Stockholm and the Nobel festivities can at the same time be watched by the outside citizens, so the whole city can be a part of the celebrations.

1:20 PM
The Golden Globe

Since the Nobel Prize is an international one, so is also the design for this building. The spherical form is a shape well proven for bigger events in Stockholm. This globe facade is slightly different; showing the world map in gold. The laureates countries will shine in different colors for one year. The building has a very small footprint, creating a huge beautiful public space underneath it. The building has two entrances; one public from the base and one for the laureates which is a Meridian elevator, taking them to the center of the globe and also to the center of the worlds attention.

1:40 PM

Lunch break

2:25 PM

Party For Six

In this proposal, the buildings are made up by six flamboyant tent structures, inspired from the traditional crayfish hats that the Swedes wear for the annual crayfish parties.
Each tent represents one prize category, (the peace prize that is given away in Oslo, by some reason is not included) so that each winner will be more gratified and that the celebration can be more custom made for the prizewinner(s.
This will be a colorful addition to the city and give an air of festivities to central Stockholm.

3:08 PM

Totem For Six

Do you recognize the faces of the laureates? If not this design will help you do that. This building is like a giant totem to worship scientists where the faces of the six laureates of the year is projected from inside. The peace prize winner you most likely recognize anyway and that's up to the Norwegians to promote that guy. Each head will be like a museum of each discovery that led to the Nobel prize.

3:25 PM

Oriental Style

Stockholm has an architecture legacy with a great history of oriental influences, and this teawarmer from Uzbekistan actually looks quite good as a Nobel Center.

3:35 PM

The Tree of Knowledge

This is a building that takes advantage of the high-end scietific research that the Nobel Prize stands for. In this scenario, it could be a genemodified tree with buidling parts nested in its structure.
Different fruits has different functions and are interconnected with elevators and escalators.
(Sorry we're in a hurry to make it before 4.00 PM)

3:38 PM

Friday Grog Break

3:50 PM

The document holder

The Swedish bureaucracys most beloved item, the document holder, is the inspiration of this Nobel Center, which primary function will be to document each prize. The building is completely open to the public, and each year, new documents will be added to the structure, explaining the new findings that the laureates came up with.

3:58 PM

Ceremonial Plate

Instead of putting all that money into a center which really doesn't need to be built, we just propose a ceremonial plate standing on stilts in the water outside Blasieholmen with a simple Swedish design.

3:59 PM

The Pig has landed

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Site inspection for a new commission in Thailand

Visiondivision was commissioned to design a villa and a restaurant in the Nakhon Ratchasima province in Eastern Thailand.
The site is on a former rice field and when it was time to staking out the site boundaries, visiondivision was there to inspect the site and also had a small chat with one of the neighbours that had some early inputs.
Click on the movie to see how it looked like.