Nagaoka City Hall Aore Kengo Kuma and Associates
"With the growth of cities and their scale, public buildings of 20th Century were likely to be driven away to the suburbs, often as isolated concrete boxes in parking lots. We wanted to reverse this flow with Nagaoka Aore. We moved the city hall back to the center of the town and revived a real “heart of town,” which is located in a walking distance from anywhere, working along with people’s everyday life. This is exactly like the city hall historically nurtured in Europe, and embodies the idea of compact city in the environment-oriented age. We adopted the traditional method of “tataki,” and “nakadoma,” which is to function as a meeting point for the community, is no longer the mere concrete box – the space is gently surrounded by placid structure, finished with wood and solar panels."
Okurayama, Tokyo - Design Kazuyo Sejima & Associates
Photos by Iwan Baan
San Pedro de La Paz • Biobío Region • Chile
by Pezo von Ellrichshausen
Fall House Fougeron Architecture
"The long, thin volume of the house conforms to the natural contours of the land and the geometries of the bluff, deforming its shape and structure in response, much like the banana slug native to the region’s seaside forests. In this way, the complex structural system applies natural forms to accommodate the siting. The main bearing system of the house is set back twelve feet from the bluff, both to protect the cliff’s delicate ecosystem and to ensure the structure’s integrity and safety. The house itself is cantilevered over the bluff. The interior is a shelter, an elegant refuge in contrast with the roughness and immense scale of the ocean and cliff."