a+u Architecture and Urbanism 21:04_607

a+u - Architecture and Urbanism - is a monthly architectural magazine established in 1971. Since its inaugural issue, a+u has been widely celebrated by architects everywhere as Japan's only monthly periodical that provides in-depth reporting of architecture worldwide. Each issue is edited from a unique perspective, with essays penned by renowned architects, critics, and historians to guide the direction of tomorrow’s architecture, within and beyond Japan. Text is bilingual in English and Japanese. 1971年1月創刊。創刊以来、海外の建築情報を伝える日本唯一の月刊誌として、広く建築界に親しまれています。a+uの取材ネットワークは全世界に及び、100余カ国を網羅しています。これら各国の建築家を直接取材し、毎号独自の視点で編集することにより、生の動向をいち早く読者の皆様にお届けしています。また、建築家・評論家・歴史家による書き下ろし論文を掲載し、明日の建築のあり方を考える指針として国内外の建築界に多大な影響を与えています。

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12 期号


feature: mecanoo

The a+u April issue is our first monograph with Mecanoo, a distinguished Dutch architecture office, founded in 1984. Tracing back to their roots in the Netherlands, Mecanoo’s early housing projects revealed the strong social agenda they have as “they forge a trail through people, place and purpose to that poetry” through their designs, described in an essay by founding partner, Francine Houben. The firm now operates under the direction of Francine who believes that “architecture must appeal to all the senses”. Today, their portfolio includes projects like libraries, theaters and campuses that can be found over the world. This publication provides a comprehensive review of Meccano works in the recent 3 decades divided into 2 distinct sections – the first is a foundation of projects by Mecanoo in their native…

essay: from purpose to poetry

There’s an expression for something that just doesn’t make sense – it has “no rhyme or reason”. What about the opposite? Something with “reason” follows some logic, it has a purpose and it suggests that it is there by design. Clearly, architecture has this sort of reason. But what about “rhyme”? The word usually applies to poetry. A poem is a composition that can resonate deep in our mind, generate emotion, conjure up magic, and evoke memory, either personal or collective. These are elusive things. They don’t come from instructions in a design manual, but intuition senses and finds them. If we can add rhyme to reason in architecture, it becomes poetic, and it is great architecture. That is what we find with the work of Mecanoo. What is the path…

mekel park – campus delft university of technology

Campus The Technical University of Delft gains a campus with undulating lawns and colorful trees, a campus that invites one to stroll, read, meditate, debate, eat and drink. Shaped like a bolt of lightning the promenade links the faculty buildings with one another and symbolizes the interdisciplinary character of the university. The promenade is playfully criss-crossed by a grid of footpaths, reminiscent of Mikado sticks that have been scattered randomly. The formerly sharp differences in height of the park – the previous parking lots were at a lower grade – have been transformed into gentle slopes. Existing trees have been saved or moved as much as possible and form a ribbon winding through the park. Flower Fields and Prunus trees gently announce the spring. The introduction of tram line 19, connecting…

library delft university of technology

Campus The fascinating site for the new library on the 1960s campus of the Delft University of Technology is overshadowed by a large, brutalist concrete auditorium from Van den Broek & Bakema. The university needed a campus atmosphere: lawns with flowers and trees where students and professors meet informally on broad stairs. A modern library is served by computers, most of the books are stored in basements. It is a building where technique is displayed. In this way the program was formulated. Glass and grass The Van den Broek & Bakema auditorium sits like a huge frog in the green grass. The vast lawn is lifted on one edge like a sheet of paper and shapes the roof of the new library. The grass roof is freely accessible for walking and lounging, creating…

nelson mandela park

Differentiation The Bijlmer area grew due to a large expansion of Amsterdam in the late 60s and 70s. The utopian modernism that underpinned the plans for the neighborhood envisaged a metro system, a road network free of crossings, uniform 13-story housing blocks coupled with parking garages and extensive green spaces. In practice, it delivered an unsafe neighborhood with problems. Now re-branded Amsterdam Zuidoost, the neighborhood was urged to provide a differentiated housing stock and improve its management of the public realm. Part of this strategy is the transformation of the Nelson Mandela Park into a new urban park with 700 homes and 6 hectares of sporting facilities. Mecanoo’s response to this brief has 3 main elements: the integration of housing within the landscape, clear boundaries and entrances to the park and…

spoorzone dordrecht

Dordrecht is a city with an extensive history and was the first city of Holland to receive city rights in 1220. Beautifully situated in the heart of nature found in the Dutch Delta, Dordrecht is also a city of innovation, trade, maritime industry and culture. Both the city and the region are growing and are facing major spatial challenges. The vision for Spoorzone Dordrecht (railway zone) outlines a future picture for the city in 2040. It represents spatial opportunities for the city in the fields of accessibility, climate adaptation, socioeconomic developments and the major challenge of housing. From barrier to destination The rail infrastructure does not seem to be the most obvious place for the development assignment of approximately 6,000 homes and facilities. It currently constitutes a barrier in the city with…