Epic Hipster Architecture School: TU Delft

Weekend Travel: Delft | NL

If you are an architecture geek, having hipster lifestyle, and you like the freedom that Netherlands has to offer; maybe, here is your sanctuary. Here in Delft?

The city is home for TU Delft, one of the biggest academic institution in Netherlands and hey, it is no small player in the world either. The architecture school is considered as top 4 best architecture school in the world according to recent article by Archdaily


The Architecture Gigafactory

I would imagine this is how it looks if they convert Tesla Gigafactory into architecture school.

I would imagine this is how it looks if they convert Tesla Gigafactory into architecture school.

And that is only the model room, the workshop is located underneath the mezzanine and you have full access of all kind of tools and machineries. I can work all day here, very spacious, filled with daylight, and never to worry not to get any working space.

But..

They close at 10.00PM. This is the stake... Well it really depends on the individual, it can be good news or a disaster. Most of the architecture schools across Europeimplemented the curfew system where they close down the building after a certain time that force students to go home and not overwork themselves.

 

Neon Lights Ain't No Broadway

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Here is the fancy alleyway that makes a rendition of New York Broadway with its neon light signage sticking from both sides. Feeling like walking in a middle of the night at a bar street in downtown area? Maybe that's the intention. Walking through the corridor and the canteen feels festive and fun. The division of space is defined in different levels to accommodate different kind of activities.

The corridor, the canteen, and the model shop is designed in such a way that it could transforms into a giant party area  at some time during the semester apart from their weekly happy hour every Friday night.


The Model Superwarehouse

This is the playground!

There are massive amount of exploration in terms of communicating the idea through the translation to physical model. This is totally different than architecture schools in the west coast where the majority of the models are 3d printed with minor part is laser cut. It is so refreshing to see some of the analog technique is still used or perhaps newly introduced here. Proof that analogue technique still holds some degree of relevancy among the representation of physicalized digital model that tends to be monotone.

Of course these models are not without the help of digital technology, but it is a good reminder at least for me to see broader possibilities in model making technique and representation.

 

The Why Factory

This is it.

The world famous research studio in collaboration with MVRDV is inside the over-sized orange stairs. Here lies the production of speculative urban projects, urban research, basically everything. 


The Ultimate

Double purpose is always the fundamental design intent of the space in this architecture school. First, an adequate space to carry out academic activities, and second, to accommodate faculty-wide party! 

Seems absurd right, in fact, they just had such event last weekend. Check this rad video by #donotsettle where they did transform the entire space for the ultimate epic party! 


Library / Mecanoo

Apart from the very happening architecture school, the school also known for its library building designed by local firm, Mecanoo. The library features a swooping landscape roof where student can have a bit of fun, feel the sun and Netherland's breeze air, when its time to study, you can just slide down and get inside the huge cone. 

The cone essentially penetrates through the library's plynth, consisting layers of enclosed study area isolated from any outside view or noise. 

Work area and common room.

Work area and common room.

Ascending towards the cone of isolation.

Ascending towards the cone of isolation.


Delft - Centrum

If one wants to be a student in TU Delft, most likely it means living in the city of Delft also. It is a bit daunting, isn't it? I get a chance to stay there for several days to just feel how it's like to be a student there. To be honest, it is a pretty compact city, seems not much to see or to do.

The  kaart figuratief, famous  old city map of Delft, handrawn by Joan Blaeu

The kaart figuratief, famous old city map of Delft, handrawn by Joan Blaeu

The Kaart Figuratief is undoubtedly the most important map of Delft, a “true topographical monument (B. van ‘t Hoff).”3 However, it is not a map in the modern sense, rather, it is a hybrid of a map, an aerial photograph and theatre stage in which the whole town of Delft is seen from a bird’s-eye view with buildings shown in isometric perspective. The drawing’s three-dimensional relief offers an unparalleled sensation of a real brick-and-mortar town in miniature and it is difficult not to be moved by it. Beautiful as the Kaart Figuratief may be, it still has one drawback for the modern historian: it depicts a smaller number of buildings on any given city block than there actually were.4 Thus, exact measurements and identifications of specific building is not always possible.It also does not show the improvised wood structures in which the poor lived in the areas immediately surrounding the walled town
— http://www.essentialvermeer.com/maps/delft/maps_of_delft.html#.Vx8wMVZ9670

However, Delft is located comfortably in between the Hague and Rotterdam. Both are major cities in Southern Holland. Together, the trio becomes the key economy generator for the country after Amsterdam. 

Well there's an old saying, you study in Delft, earn money in Rotterdam, and spend it in Amsterdam.

Tabee !

Weekend Travel: Munich | DE Part 2

One other stadium and two museums. Another three hours and four subway stations.

Yes, I'm not done yet with Munich. Let's revisit what the capital of Bavaria has to offer, and this time I will not only talk about buildings. I went under the shades, slipped between buildings, and lurked underground to discover interesting spaces! 

There are three different arches typology in this photo.

There are three different arches typology in this photo.

There is one mundane door with interesting German pattern

There is one mundane door with interesting German pattern

Sometimes I  feel that I focus too much to check the popular places and did not realize that there are actually a lot of other interesting stuff to examine. And that other stuff are just all around.  With this perception shift in mind, I found all these underground gem throughout the city ready to be admired!

 

1 Stadium

Allianz Arena by Herzog and de Meuron

Okay, I admit that I did not put any hassle on finding this one. However, they only put up this wonderful color only when Bayern Munchen win the match. So, come at the right time!

On the note of the building facade, It was one of the early projects of HdM's stadium that uses ETFE pillow as facade and also roof enclosure. The pillow facade features integrated lighting system that will illuminate each pillow and can be programmed to tune different color accordingly. Therefore the face of the building is always changing, informing out what's happening on the match inside. Allianz Arena was built in 2005, three years before the firm's Bird Nest and Water Cube. The use of rhomboid pattern is pretty clever moves to minimize the amount of module variation needed due to the stadium overall geometry. Along with that, notice the circulation stairs are neatly placed together in parallel to the angle of ETFE pillows. The glow inside the stairs tube adds another layer of depth of view. Brilliant!

 

2 Museums

Brandhorst Museum by Sauerbruch Hutton

Look at that meticulously curated facade!

The building embodies very simple massing strategy and focus more on the curation of color composition of the facade element. Interesting, to see all those color combination of each facade elements in a distance creates a different perception of color.

Reminds me of Van Gogh.

Pinakothek der Moderne Museum

This museum is more like a temple of modern art collection because of its massive scale of the building. Apart from its size, it also features one of the unique displays in museums, the giant teaser wall. It performs as a preview before getting into the actual gallery space. A pretty interesting approach as they architecture scale display then begin to create dialogue with the adjacent spaces. 

The height of the ceiling is utilized to hang large-scale sculpture and to occupy the void as people can observe the sculpture from different levels.

Diagonal axis to break the regularity of gallery organization and provide public space around the irregularity its causing.

Diagonal axis to break the regularity of gallery organization and provide public space around the irregularity its causing.

 

3 Hours and 4 Subway Stations

And it can be done for less than 3 Euros!

xx

U-bahnhof Station  Westfriedhof:  Quirky and night club-like feeling, a bit Phillipe Stark-ish.

U-bahnhof Station Westfriedhof: Quirky and night club-like feeling, a bit Phillipe Stark-ish.

U-bahnhof Station  Sankt Quirin Platz:  Feeling to carve down and through the ground.

U-bahnhof Station Sankt Quirin Platz: Feeling to carve down and through the ground.

U-bahnhof Station  Candidplatz

U-bahnhof Station Candidplatz

Eye candy and colorful space. Feel the gradient color change as you pass through the station by the subway.

Eye candy and colorful space. Feel the gradient color change as you pass through the station by the subway.

U-bahnhof Station  Marienplatz

U-bahnhof Station Marienplatz

Tunnel as if you are getting into the matrix.

Tunnel as if you are getting into the matrix.

 

And for 5...

Equipped with five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science.
— Edwin Powell Hubble
 

Keep it going and, onto the next one. Ciao!

Weekend Travel: Stuttgart | DE

The Architectural Battle of Two Automotive Giants

Stuttgart is home of Mercedes Benz and Porsche, some of the most influential carmakers, not only in Germany but also in the world. They were born here, shaped by the city, believe in the city, and committed to the city to make the most out of it. So what's so special about the city itself?

The city of Stuttgart ranked 21st globally in Mercer’s 2015 liveability rankings, and 6th in Germany behind top-ranked cities such as Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Munich. For economic and social innovation, the city was ranked 11th globally, second in Germany after Hamburg and 7th in Europe in 2009 out of 256 cities. Stuttgart is spread across a variety of hills (many of them vineyards), valleys and parks – unusual for a German city and often a source of surprise to visitors who primarily associate the city with its industrial reputation as the ‘cradle of the automobile’.
— https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stuttgart
 
Old city map of Stuttgart. Concentric Development on the west side of Necklar River.

Old city map of Stuttgart. Concentric Development on the west side of Necklar River.

 

Okay, that sounds legit. It's one of the wealthiest cities in Germany with well established history and industry. It's a conducive environment for business entities. But it turns out that the whole future trajectory of the city was laid down by these gentlemen, Karl Benz, Gottlieb Daimler, and Wilhelm Maybach.

The automobile and motorcycle were purported to have been invented in Stuttgart (by Karl Benz and subsequently industrialised in 1887 by Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach at the Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft). As a result, it is considered to be the starting point of the worldwide automotive industry and is sometimes referred to as the ‘cradle of the automobile’.
— https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stuttgart

About Mercedes Benz

The three gentlemen, each has their own automotive company, which are still withhold  a prominent role in the automotive industry nowadays. Karl Benz's has becomes the legendary car brand Mercedes Benz which is known mostly for its luxury car apart from other vehicle such as busses and trucks, Maybach is currently focus on ultra-luxury sedan with Mercedes Benz, and at last Daimler, it's still in automotive industry but not directly manufacturing automobiles. Now known as Daimler AG, the group owns Mercedes Benz and Maybach. See how those are all comes together!

 

About Porsche

Of course we are talking about the man, Ferdinand Porsche. Yes, he is the godfather of VW Beetle, the car for all the people. Porsche 64, one of the first initial Porsche car, was developed in 1939 referencing a lot from the Beetle. Porsche 356, developed in 1954 by Ferry Porsche, son of Ferdinand Porsche, featured air-cooled rear-engine configurations with sleek bodywork set the tone of the company's following line, the legendary 911.  All Porsche's , design car is sleek, light, functional, and efficient.

 

Now let's dive in into the real match between the love child of the two giants.

 

Round 1: Building Overview

Porsche Museum Stuttgart by Delugan Meissl

Porsche Museum Stuttgart by Delugan Meissl

Mercedes Benz Museum by UNStudio

Mercedes Benz Museum by UNStudio

At the left hand side, Porsche Museum with faceted tectonics elevated from the ground.  At the right hand side, Mercedes Benz Museum with fluid mathematical curvature, nicely settled on the ground. A binary contrast between the two buildings, also if compared to each others products.

 
911, a Porsche classic.  Legendary key model that define the brand Porsche.

911, a Porsche classic.

Legendary key model that define the brand Porsche.

G Wagen, a Mercedes Benz classic.  Still being produced until now with almost unchanged exterior design.

G Wagen, a Mercedes Benz classic.

Still being produced until now with almost unchanged exterior design.

 

However, the building tectonics maybe best correlated with the following. Well, somehow...

 
Porsche Design applies their approach on products.sleek, functional, and efficient.

Porsche Design applies their approach on products.sleek, functional, and efficient.

To this Gran Turismo Vision concept car

To this Gran Turismo Vision concept car

 
 

Round 2: Concept

 
Porsche Museum: Elevated mass

Porsche Museum: Elevated mass

Mercedes Benz: Double helix circulation

Mercedes Benz: Double helix circulation

 

Design philosophy that becomes the foundation of both automotive brands really underlies the creation of the two museums. 

Porsche's design philosophy that deals with lightness and efficiency becomes the departure of its architecture. The elevated mass provides interconnected plateaus that conceives the world of Porsche apart from the ground. Reminder, this is not a Corbusian approach. 

Mercedes Benz on the opposing side approaches the design through programmatic organization strategy. Considering the amount of items the museum has, it might be the genius solution appropriate to its needs yet creates unique spatial quality out of it.

 

Round 3: Interior Space

Sterile Delugan Meissl space

Sterile Delugan Meissl space

...that even suitable for fashion show

...that even suitable for fashion show

The majestic void, the heart of the double helix.

The majestic void, the heart of the double helix.

 

Porsche Museum: The Tunnel

Oblique tunnel as visitor ascended to the elevated plateaus of Porsche world.

Oblique tunnel as visitor ascended to the elevated plateaus of Porsche world.

Mercedes Benz: The Void

Look up from the center of the void. Notice the circle in the middle as a device to create artificial indoor storm to evacuate smoke in the event of fire.

Look up from the center of the void. Notice the circle in the middle as a device to create artificial indoor storm to evacuate smoke in the event of fire.

That time capsule that brings you back to early time of the inception of Mercedes Benz.

That time capsule that brings you back to early time of the inception of Mercedes Benz.

Sneak peek of what happens in the gallery plateaus. Custom fire extraction strategy allows the ceiling along the perimeter of the void free from fire separation line. Nice detail!

Sneak peek of what happens in the gallery plateaus. Custom fire extraction strategy allows the ceiling along the perimeter of the void free from fire separation line. Nice detail!

 

Final Round: Conclusion

Tough call. 

Porsche Museum apart from its bold architectural expression, is an engineering marvel in itself. The spatial experience may not be as exciting as Mercedes Benz Museum, but it is what reflects Porsche's brand value. 

Mercedes Benz Museum at its time was very revolutionary in terms of the organizational system and how space generated in that regards. Furthermore, it creates a new kind of museum typology that is unique. To my personal opinion, it does left a certain impression when I visited the museum. It is spatially complex yet offer certain degree of explorative moments as part of the museum journey. 

Am I being subjective? Maybe.. I like Porsche a lot for the car, its boldness, and its structure. But this time my heart goes to Benz.

"The best or nothing".