#StoriesOnDesignByYellowtrace: Circles in Architecture.

 

I love straight lines. A lot. Perhaps that comes with the territory of being an interior architect. I love their logic, crisp and clean nature, their safety and almost predictability. I sit and draw for hours, rationalise the crap out of every space and surface, align and straighten until I cannot make things any straighter. But then there are times when straight lines just don’t feel right. They are too rigid, formal, stuffy, uncomfortable, inappropriate even. During these times I seek comfort and safety in deliciously sweeping forms. I’ve previously written about my love for deliciously curvalicious projects, as well as geometry, so today’s Story focuses on the combination of the two – the simple curvy geometric shape that is the Circle.

The Circle is a universal symbol with extensive meaning. It represents the notions of totality, wholeness, focus, infinity, unity, timelessness, the Sun, the Moon, the entire Universe. I suspect the reason most of us are drawn to it so much is because the Circle is all about inclusion. Our circle (of friends), the circle of life, or better still – the circle of trust

But we are, of course, talking about epic circles in architecture today, and the power of this bold and basic geometry. Ancient Greeks have based the design for their entire empires on the proportion of basic shapes and principles of geometry. Since then, architects and designers have been using circles as a way to give projects their own identity, and today we are exploring some of the finest examples across various typologies – from cultural, commercial, hospitality, retail and residential, in projects large and small. So without further ado -it’s time to celebrate the magic of The Circle.

 

See More ‘Stories on Design’ Curated by Yellowtrace.

 

 

Hongkun Art Auditorium in Beijing, China by Penda | Yellowtrace

Hongkun Art Auditorium in Beijing, China by Penda | Yellowtrace

Hongkun Art Auditorium in Beijing, China by Penda | Yellowtrace
Photography by XiaZhi.

 

Hongkun Art Auditorium in Beijing, China by Penda // Beijing- and Vienna-based Penda have just completed the Hongkun Art Auditorium, designed to host lectures, exhibitions and various art-related events. The auditorium is located next door to the Hongkun Museum of Fine Art, completed by the studio in 2013. In keeping with the original concept of the museum, the timber structure features a series of arches and circular patterns reflected to infinity courtesy of mirrored walls and ceilings. Inspired by the work of Escher and Salvador Dali, the space is equally disorienting and thrilling.


 

Ex of In House by Steven Holl | Yellowtrace

Ex of In House by Steven Holl | Yellowtrace

Ex of In House by Steven Holl | Yellowtrace

Ex of In House by Steven Holl | Yellowtrace

Ex of In House by Steven Holl | Yellowtrace
Images courtesy of Steven Holl Architects. Photography by Paul Warchol.

 

“Ex of In” House in New York by Steven Holl Architects // Steven Holl‘s latest project is a bit of a showstopper, no? This artist residence in Upstate New York features multiple three-dimensional circle shapes – a series of spheres intersect with the main trapezoid volumes, achieving an exciting 3D circle effect. The carved-out timber shapes are especially dramatic in the entrance hall, and at the large feature window set on the corner of the upper floor. Interestingly, this house can sleep five guests despite having “zero bedrooms”. So much yes.


 

Brion Tomb by Carlo Scarpa. Photo by Nuno Cera | Yellowtrace
Photo by Nuno Cera.

Brion Tomb by Carlo Scarpa | Yellowtrace

Brion Tomb by Carlo Scarpa | Yellowtrace

 

Brion Cemetery by Carlo Scarpa // I’m sure most of you architecture nerds would have expected to see Carlo Scarpa‘s iconic Brion Tomb, which the architect began designing as an addition to the existing municipal cemetery in 1968. Although he continued to consider changes to the project, it was completed before his accidental death in 1978. The enclosure is a private burial ground for the Brion family, commissioned by Onorina Tomasi Brion, widow of the founder of the Brionvega company.

Several discrete elements comprise the Brion family burial site: a sloped concrete enclosing wall, two distinct entrances, a small chapel, two covered burial areas, a dense grove of cypresses, a prato (lawn), and a private meditation/ viewing pavilion, separated from the main prato by a separate locked entrance, and a heavily vegetated reflecting pool. The iconic overlapping circular shapes have become the unofficial poster poster girl for the topic of today’s post – Circles in Architecture. One for the bucket list.


 

The Third Eye Micro Renovation by Wutopia Lab | Yellowtrace

The Third Eye Micro Renovation by Wutopia Lab | Yellowtrace
Photography by CreatAR (Ai Qing, Mao Yinchen).

 

The Third Eye-Micro Renovation in Shanghai, China by Wutopia Lab // Who do you reckon Wutopia Lab were inspired in this project? Hmmm… hard to say. Not! Anyway, this project is a renovation of an existing heritage building housing an office for a video company, completed on a low budget. The architects cut out two circles from the existing facade sitting opposite the front door, with the intersection of the two circles suggesting the third eye. In Chinese culture, the third eye stands for supernatural talent, which allows one to see what others cannot. The third eye represents the video company’s pursuit of discovery of the creative and the unusual, with two blue sections of glass highlighting the intersection. When the sun shines through the blue glass, it leaves mysterious shadow on the floor of the front door and the courtyard. Neat.


 

Exeter Library by Louis Kahn. Photo by Sean Norsworthy | Yellowtrace

Exeter Library by Louis Kahn. Photo by Sean Norsworthy | Yellowtrace

Exeter Library by Louis Kahn. Photo by Sean Norsworthy | Yellowtrace

Exeter Library by Louis Kahn. Photo by Sean Norsworthy | Yellowtrace
Photography by Scott Norsworthy/ Flickr.

 

Exeter Library in New Hampshire, USA by Louis Kahn // I mean, come on. Did you think we were going to write about circles and not include one of the greatest circle masters – Louis Khan. Of course not! Khan’s iconic Phillips Exeter Academy Library, with 160,000 volumes on nine levels and a shelf capacity of 250,000 volumes, is the largest secondary school library in the world. When it became clear in the 1950s that the library had outgrown its existing building, the school hired an architect who proposed a traditional design for the new building. Deciding instead to construct a contemporary library, the school awarded the commission to Louis Kahn in 1965. In 1997, the library received the Twenty-five Year Award from the American Institute of Architects, recognising this building as a work of architecture of enduring significance – an award given to just one building per year.

Kahn structured the library in three concentric square rings. The outer ring – built of load-bearing brick – includes all four exterior walls and the library reading spaces located within. The middle ring – built of reinforced concrete – holds the heavy book stacks. The inner ring is a dramatic atrium with enormous circular openings cut out of its walls. That’s seriously monumental circle action right there. Huge respect.


 

Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad by Louis Kahn | Yellowtrace

 

Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad in Ahmedabad by Louis Kahn //Ok, let’s get another Louis Kahn project on the table. While Kahn was designing the National Assembly Building in Bangladesh in 1962 (scroll down for a bit to see it), he was approached by an admiring Indian architect, Balkrishna Doshi, to design the 60 acre campus for the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, India. Much like his project in Bangladesh, he was faced with a culture enamoured in tradition, as well as a harsh desert climate.

Kahn incorporated local materials – brick and concrete – and large geometrical façade extractions as homage to Indian vernacular architecture, in an effort to blend modern architecture and Indian tradition.


 

March Studio by Jimmy Grants. Photo by Peter Bennetts | Yellowtrace

March Studio by Jimmy Grants. Photo by Peter Bennetts | Yellowtrace
Photography by Peter Bennetts.

 

Jimmy Grants in Richmond, Melbourne by March Studio // Closer to home, March Studio re-envisioned Melbourne’s post-war brick house into a spectacular greek eatery, complete with statement archways, brass finishes and retro wallpaper. Located in the heart of Richmond, this store oozes confidence and fun. Vintage lampshades, yellow PVC-strip curtains, warm tinted mirrors and neighbourhood street names add to the suburban nostalgia. Absolute ripper.


 

Paolo Zermani House in Italy. Photo by Renzo Chiesa | Yellowtrace
Photography by Renzo Chiesa.

Paolo Zermani House in Italy. Photo by Mauro Davoli | Yellowtrace
Photography by Mauro Davoli.

 

Paolo Zermani’s House in Northern Italy // Italian architect Paolo Zermani built his self-portrait in the Po Valley in northern Italy. The brick house is an ode to the foundations of architecture and home life. On the main facade, a huge circular opening looks out towards the landscape and illuminates the library that’s located in the heart of the house. Brick run from outside all the way inside, and throughout the rest of this striking home.


 

 

Nakagin Capsule Tower by Kisho Kurokawa Shimbashi in Tokyo, Japan | Yellowtrace

Nakagin Capsule Tower by Kisho Kurokawa Shimbashi in Tokyo, Japan | Yellowtrace
Photography by Arcspace.

 

Nakagin Capsule Tower by Kisho Kurokawa Shimbashi in Tokyo, Japan // This mixed-use residential and office tower designed by architect Kisho Kurokawa  was completed in 1972. The building is a rare remaining example of Japanese Metabolism, an architectural movement synonymous with Japan’s postwar cultural resurgence. The tower is the world’s first example of capsule architecture built for permanent use, now largely fallen into disrepair.

The building is composed of two interconnected concrete towers, respectively eleven and thirteen floors, which house 140 self-contained prefabricated capsules. The pre-assembled interior features a circular window, built-in bed and bathroom, and is furnished with a TV, radio and alarm clock. Hoisted by a crane, the capsules were inserted in the shipping containers by a crane, then fastened to the concrete core shaft.


 

National Assembly Building in Dhaka Bangladesh by Louis Kahn | Yellowtrace

National Assembly Building in Dhaka Bangladesh by Louis Kahn | Yellowtrace

National Assembly Building in Dhaka Bangladesh by Louis Kahn | Yellowtrace

National Assembly Building in Dhaka Bangladesh by Louis Kahn | Yellowtrace
Photography by Flickr abrinsky (CC BY-NC-SA), Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

 

National Assembly Building in Dhaka Bangladesh by Louis Kahn // We’re back with our mate, Louis Kahn, whose National Assembly Building of Bangladesh in Dhaka is an extraordinary example of modern architecture interpreting Bangali vernacular architecture. The building, completed in 1982, stands as one of Kahn’s most prominent works. The design called for simplistic local materials that were readily available and would protect against the harsh desert climate. The entire complex is fabricated out of in situ concrete with inlaid white marble – a testament to the local materials and values. Simply magnificent in every way.


 

Aarhus Town Hall Staricase by Arne Jacobsen and Erik Møller | Yellowtrace
Photography by seier+seier/ Flickr.

 

Aarhus Town Hall by Arne Jacobsen and Erik Møller // Built between 1937-1942, the influence mathematical concept of Asplund on PP was never more obvious than in Aarhus Town Hall, the first of his many town halls to follow. A competition win from 1937, the building is a riot of modernist details, a collage of highly individual elements brought together under a great skylight, under which sits this stunning stair. The floors are lined in bog oak (oak from thousand year-old tress dug out of swamps and dried very slowly). This wood is nearly fossilised and extremely strong and heavy, featuring a deep chocolate colour that gives this interior it’s seductive, enduring quality.


 

Chiesa di Mogno by Mario Botta | Yellowtrace
Photo by E. Cano, courtesy Mario Botta.

 

Chiesa di Mogno (Church of San Giovanni Battista) by Mario Botta // This extraordinary building made from alternating layers of native Peccia marble and Vallemaggia granite was extremely controversial, but eventually became a landmark known far beyond the borders of Switzerland. The church has no windows, and the interior – which seats about 15 people – is only illuminated by natural light streaming in through the circular glass roof.

Read the full article about this project & see more images here.


 

O House by Philippe Stuebi Architekten Lucerne Switzerland | Yellowtrace

O House by Philippe Stuebi Architekten Lucerne Switzerland | Yellowtrace
Photography by Dominique Marc Wehrli.

 

O House by Philippe Stuebi Architekten in Lucerne, Switzerland // This sculptural villa showcases an expressive, ornamental facade on both the front and the lake side. White concrete elements are dotted with circular openings that allow glimpses of the spaces inside which are veiled with a full height glass facade. A hardcore beauty.


 

Tesla Windshield Factory Lima Peru Felipe Ferrer | Yellowtrace

Tesla Windshield Factory Lima Peru Felipe Ferrer | Yellowtrace
Photography by Juan Solano and Nicolas Villaume.

 

Tesla Windshield Factory in Peru by V.oid Architecture // Completed in 2015 by V.oid Architecture, this new facility supplies the largest windscreen ever produced for a passenger car in the history of the automobile. Located in Lima’s industrial area, the project negotiates a neutral façade with a pristine interior space. The lobby features a vertical, triple height cylindrical space wrapped in LED back-lit translucent U-glass. The reception desk is made of raw glass built like a flat brick wall.


 

Chateau La Coste Art Centre 2011 by Tadao Ando. Photo by Frederik Vercruysse for WSJ Magazine | Yellowtrace
Photo by Frederik Vercruysse for WSJ Magazine.

 

Château La Coste Art Centre by Tadao Ando // The building, conceived by Tadao Ando for Château La Coste, adopts many of the Japanese master’s signature elements to create an extraordinary experience of light and space in nature. Ando’s uniquely smooth concrete walls are marked by a series of conical points and are organised into tatami proportions. His sculptural use of this medium creates strong geometric lines, framed points of view and a variety of reflections throughout the day.


 

Teshima Art Museum by Ryue Nishizawa & Rei Naito | Yellowtrace

Teshima Art Museum by Ryue Nishizawa & Rei Naito | Yellowtrace

Teshima Art Museum by Ryue Nishizawa & Rei Naito | Yellowtrace
Photography by Iwan Baan.

 

Teshima Art Museum by Ryue Nishizawa & Rei Naito // The Teshima Art Museum by Tokyo-based architect Ryue Nishizawa and Japanese artist Rei Naito opened in 2010 for the Setouchi International Art Festival held in the Takamatsu Port area of Japan. The gallery space features 250mm-thick concrete shell with two elliptical openings that expose the space to the elements. Architectural poetry at it’s finest.


 

 

Solomon R Guggenheim Museum by Frank Lloyd Wright | Yellowtrace
Image courtesy of Creative Commons/ Flickr.

 

Solomon R Guggenheim Museum by Frank Lloyd Wright // The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum was the last major project designed by the great Frank Lloyd Wright. The museum was built between 1943 until it opened to the public in 1959, six months after the architect’s death, making it one of his longest works in creation along with one of his most popular projects. The exterior of the Guggenheim is a stacked white cylinder of reinforced concrete swirling towards the sky. The museum’s dramatic curves of the exterior have an even more stunning effect on the interior with “one great space on a continuous floor.”


 

Pantheon Rome Travel Tips, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Pantheon Rome Travel Tips, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

Otherworldly Magical Powers of Pantheon in Rome // The Pantheon is the best preserved building from ancient Rome – its magnificent dome a lasting testimony to the genius of Roman architects, and as the building remains virtually intact, it offers a unique opportunity for the modern visitor to step back 2,000 years and experience the glory that was Ancient Rome.

The Pantheon may well be the first building from Classical architecture where the interior was deliberately made to outshine the exterior. Without a doubt, the most fascinating feature is its giant dome with its famous hole at it’s centre that opens the building up to the skies above, known as The Eye of the Pantheon, or the Oculus. The dome was the largest ever built for over 1,300 years, and till this day remains the largest unsupported dome in the world. You guys, this is an extraordinary fact for a building that’s over 2,000 years old – like, totally holy shit!

Read the full article about this project & see more images here.


 

The Labyrinth Home of Xavier Corbero | Yellowtrace

The Labyrinth Home of Xavier Corbero | Yellowtrace
Photography by Jerome Galland, courtesy of AD France.

 

The Labyrinth Home of Xavier Corbero // Nestled in the suburb of Esplugues de Llobregat, Barcelona, is legendary artist and sculptor Xavier Corbero’s 32 square kilometer (8 acre) estate. Totalling nine buildings, the estate is a labyrinthine cabinet of curiosities concealed by a disarming medieval stone fence. This epic project remains a work in progress that 80-year-old Corbero has been building for over half his life.

The exteriors include geometric concrete structures stacking at different heights to create commanding sculptures amidst the wild surrounds and bodies of water. Across vine-cloaked buildings, details such as floating steps are framed by contrasting curved arches. The interiors are a medley of man-made caves, whitewashed to form living quarters, workshops and gallery spaces.

Read the full article about this project & see more images here.


 

Stanze, Filindeu. Photo by Andrea Martiradonna | #Milantrace2016

Stanze, Laudani Romanelli. Photo by Andrea Martiradonna | #Milantrace2016
Photography © Andrea Martiradonna.

 

ROOMS (STANZE): Novel Living Concepts at La Triennale di Milano // One of my personal favourite experiences during Milan Design Week 20016 came in the form of an exhibition curated by Beppe Finessi titled – ROOMS. Novel Living Concepts at La Triennale di Milano. Eleven architects, haling from differing generations, design vocabularies and approaches to design, were invited to each conceive their interpretation of a ‘Room’ as a primary living space for today and tomorrow.

“Interior architecture has this truly particular remit: to define the spaces and rooms in which we will live out our lives, designing the ‘primary’ world around us. As a discipline, it has always been an important field of professional practice, often providing emerging designers with their first commissions and their first vehicles for expression. It is a major part of creating architecture, involving great skills and significant economies, but there have been few occasions for historical research and critical reflection.” Amen to that!

Read the full article about this project & see more images here.


 

Your Rainbow Panorama by Olafur Eliasson | Yellowtrace
Images courtesy of Studio Olafur Eliasson.

 

Your Rainbow Panorama by Olafur Eliasson // Olafur Eliasson‘s installation ‘Your Rainbow Panorama’ was completed in 2011. The permanent elevated structure provides a 360º view of the city of Arhus, Denmark. Suspended between the city and the sky, the viewing platform insists on the sensory engagement of those who enter it. The continuously circular pathway sits on top of and proportionality compliments the ARoS museum of art, designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen in 2007. Measuring 150 meters around, the transparent glass unit is designed to act as a visual compass for the city, its colours marking the physical location of each visitor.


 

Grace Farms Pavilion by SANAA in New Canaan, USA | Yellowtrace
Photo © Iwan Baan.

 

Grace Farms Pavilion by SANAA in New Canaan, USA // If it looks like a snake, walks like a snake and slithers across upstate New York like one, does it make it of reptilian-decent? Far from it, actually. SANAA‘s Grace Farms in New Canaan is the latest offering from the Japanese firm to continue to take its stake on the US. Grace Farms is a collective foundation that supports this long-standing artist community; it’s a gallery, function space, gathering place and a general ‘you’ve got to see this’ kind of gig as well. It’s pretty impressive.

Read the full article about this project & see more images here.


 

Faculty of Fine Arts University of La Laguna by gpy arquitectos | Yellowtrace

Faculty of Fine Arts University of La Laguna by gpy arquitectos | Yellowtrace

Faculty of Fine Arts University of La Laguna by gpy arquitectos | Yellowtrace

Faculty of Fine Arts University of La Laguna by gpy arquitectos | Yellowtrace
Photography by Filippo Poli.

 

Faculty of Fine Arts University of La Laguna by gpy arquitectos // Swathes of ribbed concrete and glass form curvalicious walls and a spiralling walkway for this art faculty at a Tenerife university, designed by local studio GPY Arquitectos. GPY was asked to create the 32,000-square-metre Faculty of Fine Arts for the University of La Laguna, which is located in the northeast of Spain’s largest Canary Island. The linear grooves – similar to corduroy fabric – emphasise the concrete’s coarse aggregate. The last image of the interior space, which is clearly not circular, is there for your viewing pleasure only. Amazing, no?


 

Elongated Industrial Box by Ding Hui Yuan Zen & Tea Chamber by He Wei | Yellowtrace

Elongated Industrial Box by Ding Hui Yuan Zen & Tea Chamber by He Wei | Yellowtrace

Elongated Industrial Box by Ding Hui Yuan Zen & Tea Chamber by He Wei | Yellowtrace

Elongated Industrial Box by Ding Hui Yuan Zen & Tea Chamber by He Wei | Yellowtrace
Photography by Zou Bin, courtesy of He Wei.

 

Ding Hui Yuan Zen & Tea Chamber in Beijing by He Wei // This former 1970s factory was rebuilt into an office where the open plan space includes a meditation area, serving room and a courtyard. The brief for the “Zen Chamber” called for an Eastern spirit and and Ancient concept. The design aims to convey the essence of the Chinese private gardens and “seeing a bigger picture from small matters”, with a large circular cutouts in the timber screen that faces the street.


 

House Olmen by Pascal Francois Architects | Yellowtrace

House Olmen by Pascal Francois Architects | Yellowtrace
Photography by Frederik Vercruysse.

 

House Olmen by Pascal Francois Architects // An old house, connected with the existing barn, was demolished and replaced by a contemporary building that sits behind the existing construction. The new building doesn’t align with the existing barn, thereby creating protected exterior spaces in the form of two terraces.

Honest materials emphasise the building’s local character. The roof and the façade of the main building are covered with 50omm long red tiles, with no visible gutters. The interior atmosphere is enhanced with natural light and splendid views of the surrounding nature.


 

 

Fairfield House by Kennedy Nolan Architects Melbourne 2015. Photo by Derek Swalwell | Yellowtrace
Photo by Derek Swalwell.

 

Fairfield House by Kennedy Nolan Architects in Melbourne // This south facing, steep bush block on the banks of the Yarra River in the inner-city suburb of Fairfield was transformed by Kennedy Nolan Architects. The architects have designed a number of external spaces in order to make this native garden habitable, including the sensational circular pool.


 

Maison a Bordeaux by OMA Bordeaux, France | Yellowtrace

Maison a Bordeaux by OMA Bordeaux, France | Yellowtrace

Maison a Bordeaux by OMA Bordeaux, France | Yellowtrace
Photography by Hans Werlemann, courtesy OMA.

 

Maison à Bordeaux by OMA in Bordeaux, France // This private three storey residence sits on a hill overlooking Bordeaux. The lower level is carved out from the hill, housing spaces for the most intimate life of the family. The ground floor is a glass room – positioned half inside, half outside – where living room is located. The upper floor houses children’s and a parents’ bedrooms. Those circular pivoting pivot openings on the ground floor and top level are killer, don’t you think?


 

Denim R D by Zemberek Design Office | Yellowtrace

Denim R D by Zemberek Design Office | Yellowtrace

Denim R D by Zemberek Design Office | Yellowtrace
Photography by Şafak Emrence.

 

Vigoss R & D Store in Istanbul, Turkey by Zemberek Design Office // Completed by Zemberek Design, the concept for the interior is built on the interaction between the users of the space (R & D staff), and the items and accessories on display. The scheme is organised around a communal platform positioned at the centre of the volume that frees the actions of both sitting and working. Instead of defining the locations of these actions, activities are flexibly spread among variously staggered elevations. This active method of interaction is further reflected in the design’s curvilinear forms. Tricky.


 

Transformer in Fitzroy by Breathe Architecture | Yellowtrace
Photography by Peter Clarke.

 

Transformer in Fitzroy by Breathe Architecture // The site for this restaurant in Melbourne, vacant for many years, was formerly an electrical transformer factory. The existing building has layers of character from its past, including a small courtyard tucked behind the warehouse covered in ivy, which became key to the design concept – to extend the experience of the garden inside.

There are two defining elements to the design: The Garden + The Shed. Low height concrete planter boxes create “plots” of intimate dining spaces. The bold timber clad shed nestled under the existing pitched roof, holds the back of house “tools” of the restaurant. Texture and low-tech simplicity is key to making the new design sit humbly within the existing building.

Read the full article about this project & see more images here.


 

Bar Nou by MAIO. Photo by Jose Hevia | Yellowtrace

Bar Nou by MAIO. Photo by Jose Hevia | Yellowtrace

Bar Nou by MAIO. Photo by Jose Hevia | Yellowtrace
Photography by Jose Hevia.

 

Bar Nou by MAIO in Barcelona, Spain // The refurbishment of the existing bar demanded the creation of a new and easily recognisable spatial identity. A new vaulted ceiling system was created providing a sense of intimacy while keeping a continuous perception of space. The ceiling vaults are extended up to the front line of the façade, freely intersecting the windows and the walls.


 

Penny Drop Café in Melbourne by We Are Huntly | Yellowtrace

Penny Drop Café in Melbourne by We Are Huntly | Yellowtrace
Photography by Brooke Holm.

 

Penny Drop Café in Melbourne by We Are Huntly // Layered, tactile and sophisticated, yet playful and full of personality – these are just some of the words that come to mind when looking at the images of The Penny Drop Café in Melbourne’s Box Hill. Designed by We Are Huntly, in collaboration with a branding agency Pop & Pac, The Penny Drop sits at the base the new Australian Tax Office building, cheekily playing on the concept of the ‘penny dropping’ from the pockets of the ATO office above.

There is a lot to love about this gorgeous interior – curving geometries, tactile surfaces, terrazzo and granite, art deco light fittings, copper accents, and a perfect palette of soft pastels offset with natural materials. Each corner appears to deliver a different mood, yet everything comes together seamlessly and effortlessly.

Read the full article about this project & see more images here.


 

‘Victor’ Café at Fine Arts Centre in Brussels by Robbrecht and Daem | Yellowtrace

‘Victor’ Café at Fine Arts Centre in Brussels by Robbrecht and Daem | Yellowtrace
Photography by Frederik Vercruysse.

 

Victor Bozar Café at the Fine Arts Centre in Brussels by Robbrecht and Daem // Located in the Bozar Arts Centre in Brussels, this renovated café/restaurant was named ‘Victor’, after the Belgian art-deco architect, Victor Horta, who designed the original building in 1928. The refurbishment was handled by the internationally acclaimed architectural practice Robbrecht and Daem.

Here, Paul Robbrecht aimed to create an entire world wrapped up in the modesty of a café: a sort of microcosm or universe. To create this universe, the architects used circles: round chandeliers specially designed for Victor, and granite circles on the floor. These symbolise a sort of planetarium with sunsets and sunrises. A café is also a place where people see each other and watch each other, hence why there are so many round mirrors providing reflection.

Read the full article about this project & see more images here.


 

Pit House by UID Architects | Yellowtrace

Pit House by UID Architects | Yellowtrace

Pit House by UID Architects | Yellowtrace

Pit House by UID Architects | Yellowtrace
Photography © Koji Fujii/Nacása & Partners inc.

 

Pit House by UID Architects // Circular hollows create sunken rooms and curved balconies inside this timber house in Japan by UID Architects. Pit House’s name references the six excavated spaces that provide circular living rooms inside the building and the terraces in the garden. Circular holes in the upper floor line up with the shapes of the rooms below, creating a curved balcony around the edge of the two bedrooms.


 

 

A Shimmering Sunwheel in Porto | Yellowtrace

A Shimmering Sunwheel in Porto | Yellowtrace

A Shimmering Sunwheel in Porto | Yellowtrace
Images courtesy of moradavaga.

 

A Shimmering Sunwheel in Porto // Situated inside the fountain of Porto’s main boulevard, a site-specific installation by the Portuguese collective moradavaga produces magnificent shimmering light effects that change according to sunlight and wind direction. Manfred Eccli and Pedro Cavaco Leitão, the architects behind the project, took inspiration from one of Portugal’s best known festivals, São João. They linked the festival’s popular icon – the wheel of the traditional water mills – with the old pagan sun cults from which many traditional festivities have originated, creating an art installation reminiscent of a sun. Made of hundreds of little golden moving plates, the eight meter wheel interacts with its surroundings, reacting to weather, time of the day or even the actions of visitors.


 

Rafael Vinoly Completes a Perfectly Circular Bridge in Uruguay | Yellowtrace

Rafael Vinoly Completes a Perfectly Circular Bridge in Uruguay | Yellowtrace
Images courtesy of Rafael Vinoly.

 

Laguna Garzon Bridge in Uruguay by Rafael Vinoly // Rafael Viñoly has completed a perfectly circular road bridge that stretches across a lagoon on Uruguay’s southern coast. The concrete structure is raised above the water on cylindrical piles and provides a crossing for up to 1,000 vehicles each day. The ring-shaped structure frames a circle of water, creating a “lagoon inside a lagoon” where people can swim, fish or sightsee.


 

A Sun Observatory On The Dutch Flat Sands | Yellowtrace

A Sun Observatory On The Dutch Flat Sands | Yellowtrace
Images © Marc van Vliet.

 

A Sun Observatory On The Dutch Flat Sands by Marc van Vliet // The Dutch artist Marc van Vliet created ‘Drie Streken’, a sun observatory in The Netherlands located at the centre of ‘Zeven Stricken’ (Seven illuminated points of the compass). Visitors approached the structure via a long boardwalk leading to a pavilion that changed it’s form every hour corresponding with the tides. Van Vliet explains that the project aims to travel along the Wadden over the next four years. At each location, a connection will be sought between the sand flats, the sun, and the horizon with the illuminated points of the compass and the tide.


 

AntiRoom II: A Floating Island on the Sea of Malta | Yellowtrace

AntiRoom II: A Floating Island on the Sea of Malta | Yellowtrace
Photography by Ahmad El Mad.

 

AntiRoom II: A Floating Island on the Sea of Malta // AntiRoom II is a conceptual design project in Malta; a ‘floating island’ accessible only by a lengthy swim or boat ride. The aim was to design a meditative structure that would conjure contemplative experiences, and reach beyond the concepts of time. Artfully achieving these goals, the circular shape of the space creates a poetic separation between the vastness of the ocean and the structure’s inner sanctum – the small and secure water pool.

Read the full article about this project & see more images here.


 

Gammel Hellerup Gymnasium by BIG | Yellowtrace

Gammel Hellerup Gymnasium by BIG | Yellowtrace
Photography by Jens Lindhe.

 

Gammel Hellerup Gymnasium in Denmark by BIG // Danish architecture studio BIG designed a sunken sports hall where an arching timber roof doubles up as a hilly courtyard. Concrete retaining walls surround the new hall, while a series of curving timber joists give the roof its arched shape. The undulating roof features a series of light fixtures, including an indirectly lit circular installation that clearly attracts skaters like moths to a flame…


 

Museo nteractivo de la Historia de Lugo by Nieto-Sobejano Arquitectos | Yellowtrace

Museo nteractivo de la Historia de Lugo by Nieto-Sobejano Arquitectos | Yellowtrace

Museo nteractivo de la Historia de Lugo by Nieto-Sobejano Arquitectos | Yellowtrace

Museo nteractivo de la Historia de Lugo by Nieto-Sobejano Arquitectos | Yellowtrace

Museo nteractivo de la Historia de Lugo by Nieto-Sobejano Arquitectos | Yellowtrace
Photography by Roland Halbe and Fernando Alda.

 

Interactive Museum of the History of Lugo by Nieto-Sobejano Arquitectos // This underground museum in Spain by Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos features weathered steel towers and cylinders that emerge above a grass lawn. Visitors enter the building via a spiralling staircase that descends into a submerged circular courtyard. Three cylindrical towers provide enclosed rooms for audio-visual installations and are surrounded by the underground exhibition galleries.


 

Diamond Island Community Center by Vo Trong Nghia Architects | Yellowtrace

Diamond Island Community Center by Vo Trong Nghia Architects | Yellowtrace

Diamond Island Community Center by Vo Trong Nghia Architects | Yellowtrace
Photography by Hiroyuki Oki.

 

Diamond Island Community Center by Vo Trong Nghia Architects // Two intricate bamboo domes form part of this community centre in Ho Chi Minh City, by Vietnamese firm Vo Trong Nghia Architects. Located on an artificial islet in the east of the city, the Diamond Island Community Hall comprises eight bamboo domes, designed to provide flexible events spaces for local residents. The design team describes the structure as “a fusion of traditional folk art and contemporary architecture”.


 

2 Responses

  1. Louise

    Intersecting circles are a common motif used in China (and everywhere, Vesica piscis), so I wouldn’t necessarily assume Wutopia Lab straight up copied Scarpa. Brion cemetery is definitely the most famous architectural example though….

    Reply

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