The cover of THE PLAN 140 pays tribute to the dialogue between architecture and nature. The featured building is the Marea residential complex, designed by WORKac in Batroun, Lebanon. Bruce Damonte is the photographer. This issue has ten articles that look at various large-scale projects from around the world.
The issue opens with an editorial entitled “Synthetic Nature” by Winka Dubbeldam, founder of Archi-Tectonics. In it, he reflects on the relationship between humans and nature during this period of history that’s been dubbed the Anthropocene. Through an overview of his topic that includes a range of points of view, statistics, and objective examples, Winka defines architecture’s role in this process of change.
In the Letters from America column, Raymund Ryan looks at the Church of San Sarkis (the façade of which was discussed in THE PLAN 139) and the adjoining Center for the Armenian Community, both designed by David Hotson in Carrollton, Texas.
Winner of the AIA gold medal in 2022, Brooks + Scarpa is the focus of the Highlights column. Michael Webb talks about one of the studio’s latest projects, the multi-use Rose Apartments building in Venice, California.
From the United States, we head to China to discover the Oct Art Center project in Zibo, Shandong province, designed by Studio Zhu Pei. This is architecture in which massive forms and raw materials strike a delicate balance with the surrounding environment. Pei’s mission was to incorporate nature into architecture to create a poetic tension in keeping with the Chinese aesthetic tradition.
Transparency, flexibility, and sustainability are all key elements of the interdisciplinary Echo building in Delft, Netherlands, the latest project by UNStudio. The goal of studio founder Ben van Berkel was to give shape to a tertiary education space in which teachers, students, and visitors can all share ideas and skills.
Another project we look at is a building intended to house two museums, Photo Elysée and Mudac, within the Plateforme 10 arts complex in Lausanne, Switzerland. Designed by Aires Mateus, the building is a monolithic concrete cube, cut open by a glazed horizontal slit that marks the boundary between the two museums within.
As well as various articles about public buildings, we take a look at a very unusual villa: Casa Till II, designed by WMR Arquitectos. This home is set in the hills of Navidad, Chile, from where it offers a panoramic view of the ocean. With its geometric rigor and lightness, the overall design creates an evocative relationship between the artificial and natural landscapes.
Returning to the United States, we look at the project for the Moody Amphitheater in Waterloo Park, Austin, Texas, the work of Thomas Phifer and Partners. The building has been described as a “steel cloud” floating over the park, in which light filtered by the architecture itself takes on a leading role.
Closing the Architecture section is the Marea residential complex, designed by WORKac in Batroun, Lebanon. This is a building that needs to be experienced from different angles. Incorporating swimming pools and hanging gardens, its terraces interact with the surrounding landscape. The interiors, on the other hand, are designed to provide living spaces of the highest standard and constantly changing views.
Out in September, THE PLAN 140 features ten articles on large-scale projects from around the world, beginning with the editorial, “Synthetic Nature” by Winka Dubbeldam, and continuing on to projects by Zhu Pei in China and Brooks + Scarpa in Cali... Read More