BUILD Blog


4 Cities in South America
January 13, 2009, 6:07 pm
Filed under: Architecture, The Modern List, Travel

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After sneaking off to South America over the holidays we’re back in the saddle here at the BUILDblog.  Our travels were brief and the cities we visited are immense, so we figured we’d post quick impressions of each along with a few images, rather than comprehensive modern lists like we’ve done for other cities.  To bring the discussion back around to the northwest, we think there are elements from each South American city that Seattle can learn from.

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Buenos Aires, Argentina
Population: City = 3 Million, Metro = 13 Million

Apparently, it is every citizen’s God-given right to have a terrace in the city of Buenos Aires.  And cheers to that – flourishing vegetation drapes from the buildings over tree lined avenues and creates a lush urbanism.  Buenos Aires is bold with new architecture situated directly alongside the traditional.  Overall it creates an environment that is both authentic and fascinating.

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A few recommendations:

The Recoleta and Palermo neighborhoods
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MALBA museum
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Recoleta Cemetery
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Puente de la Mujer Bridge by Santiago Calatrava
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Banco Hipotecario Nacional
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Biblioteca Nacional
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A good source for apartment rentals is apartmentsba , we recommend the SAN1 apartment at Defensa 1035 unit 5
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[photos by BUILD LLC)

Santiago, Chile
Population: City = 5 Million, Metro = 7 Million

Santiago is a good town to be a tourist in for a bit.  The funicular and gondola, which take you up and back down Cerro San Cristobal hill, are a great way to get the lay of the land and also see the spectacular backdrop of the Andes mountain range behind the city.

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[photo by Trip Advisor)

A few recommendations:

Avenue Nueva Costanera has it all, modern shops, furniture showrooms and incredible restaurants like La Mar and Sole
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The food market in the historical downtown
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Amoria restaurant at the base of the funicular
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Some modern work downtown
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A modern addition to a traditional school near the base of the gondola
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[photos by BUILD LLC)

Sao Paulo, Brazil
Population: City = 11 Million, Metro = 22 Million

Our theory is that at some point in the 80’s or 90’s they were giving concrete away for free in Sao Paulo.  The massive amount of concrete in the city is staggering, as are the ambitious forms and bold geometries.  Even as modernists, Sao Paulo struck us as brutally modern.  Walking the city is fascinating but it can also be grim and dismal, we recommend selecting key destinations and cabbing it or taking the subway between.  While the individual pieces of architecture are worth seeing, the landscape and space in between seems neglected and left to chance.

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A few recommendations:

Hotel Unique and its restaurant + bar provides spectacular view of the city
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Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo
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Praca do Patriarca
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Avenida Paulista
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[photos by BUILD LLC)

Also check out Pinacoteca do Estado Gallery and Spot restaurant for dinner

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Population: City = 7 Million, Metro = 14 Million

Rio is the perfect balance between urbanism and natural beauty.  The neighborhoods are big enough and dense enough to keep the design-minded fulfilled in exploration.  At the end of the day the pristine beaches are just a walk away, all with stunning mountain backdrops.  Gathering at the shore is a religious experience in Brazil and the beach seems to be the common denominator of culture.  It’s free, everyone is welcome and everyone strips down to as little as possible regardless of what they look like.

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We didn’t take many photos in Rio because we were too busy doing nothing at the beach, but here are a few recommendations: Portinari Design Hotel, Fasano Hotel, Santa Teresa Hotel, Second World War Memorial, Palacio Gustavo Capanema, Museu de Arte Moderna, Forneria Rio restaurant, Frederico + Alessandro restaurant, Bar Luiz Beach Kiosk on Copacabana beach, Zaza restaurant, Londa bar at the Fasano Hotel

Fasano Hotel and Londa bar
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Travelers waiting for the clouds to clear around Christo Redentor
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[photos by BUILD LLC)

So to bring the discussion back home, here are 4 key elements from these South American cities that we think Seattle could use a little more of:

1. Mix the old with the new. Take good care of the older architecture and build new architecture using current materials and methods.  A city like Buenos Aires has retained its authenticity by doing so; at the same the layering of the different architectural styles is pleasant and interesting.

2.  If you’re going to build tourist transportation, do it well.  Santiago has a train with a cool name that goes straight up the side of a mountain and a gondola that takes you to terrifying heights.  Both means of transportation take you somewhere that you want to be and offer views of the city and mountains along the way.  Seattle has a waterfront streetcar (ding ding) and a 47 year old monorail.  Neither take you anywhere you couldn’t get by walking in the same amount of time you’ll spend waiting in line.

3. While we have our criticisms with Sao Paulo we like that they push the envelope of materials and design.  Concrete is great stuff and has potential to do amazing things.  Seattle could use a bit of that ambitious, bold design intention.

4. Seattle needs a place to do nothing.  We’re so geared to multi-task all the time that most of us Seattleites would probably bring a laptop to the beach.  Like the Brazilians, we need to establish a place in the city and a ritual of relaxing.  The Olympic Sculpture Park is on the right course if we can just keep the Master of Fine Arts students from blathering on about the theory of three dimensional form.

Cheers and let us know your thoughts…

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The Modern List Seattle

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In addition to a few recent projects here in Seattle, we’ve noticed that there are some great examples of architecture that have been around for decades and should be represented. Today’s post should bring you up to speed with the current work as well as some staples of Seattle design that we should all be familiar with. Many more on The Modern List Seattle… and as always, let us know what we missed.

Recently, the City of Seattle authorized the painting of repetitive geometrical patterns to the underside of some of the more oppressive I-5 underpasses. We got our own up here in Ravenna, and we have to admit that it makes the pedestrian experience much more pleasant. Coincidence that we named this location as one of the top candidates to turn into a legal graffiti park in an earlier post?
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[Photo by BUILD LLC]

The geometrical frames also allow for some good impromptu Banksy like stenciling.
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[Photo by BUILD LLC]

Four Seasons Hotel and ART restaurant, 99 Union St
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[Photo courtesy of The Four Seasons]

Spring Hill Restaurant in West Seattle at 4437 California Ave SW, 206.935.1075 by Heliotrope Architects
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[Photos courtesy of Spring Hill]

Remedy Teas on Capital Hill at 345 15th Avenue East, (206) 323-4832 by Adams Mohler Ghillino Architects
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[Photo courtesy of Remedy Teas]

Queen Anne Residence on 8th Ave W by Eric Cobb

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[Photos by BUILD LLC]

Queen Anne Residence by Olson Architects
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[Photo by BUILD LLC]

Sea-Tac Airport Concourse A addition by NBBJ, landscape architect Robert Murase
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[Photos by BUILD LLC]

4109 Lake Washington Blvd S. designed by Thomas Isarankura, developed and built by Ainslie-Davis Construction. The house is currently on the market and BUILD kicked the tires at the open house. We were very pleased with the overall design, detailing and amazing lot. Nice job to the develop/design/build team.
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[Photo courtesy of Ainslie Davis Construction]

Seattle’s finally got itself a good place to buy European city bikes. Dutch Bike Co., 4421 Shilshole Ave NW, 206.789.1678
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Molly Moon’s Ice Cream Shop, 1622 ½ N 45th St, Wallingford, 206.547.5105
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[Photo by TinderBOX]

Trabant Coffee Shop downtown at 602 2nd Ave by Bo Hagood of Made LLC and Travis Latta of Lattaworks
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[Photo by BUILD LLC]

Seattle Public Library Montlake Branch by Weinstein A|U
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[Photos courtesy of Weinstein A|U]

Bethany Community Church‎ at 8023 Green Lake Dr N by Miller|Hull

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[Photo by BUILD LLC]

Fremont Peak Park is one of the best little secrets of the city. Located in Fremont near the zoo at 4357 Palatine Ave. N, by Haddad-Drugan. Read about the complicated process to get it realized here.
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[Photos courtesy of Haddad-Drugan]

Novelty Hill Januik Winery at 14710 Woodinville-Redmond Rd NE by Mithun
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[Photos courtesy of Mithun]

Seattle’s starting to feel a little more big city with the push for better transportation and real transportation maps (inspired by the New York Subway system maps).
thanks to Gavin for the tip
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[Image courtesy of Puget Sound Rail]

Pifer House, 1217 Willard Ave W at Parsons Gardens by Ralph Anderson, 1970
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[Photo by BUILD LLC]

Marine Sciences Building on the UW campus by Liddle & Jones, landscape by Richard Haag, 1967
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[Photo by BUILD LLC]

Nuclear Reactor Building on the UW campus by The Architect Artist Group (Lovett, Streissguth, Zema, Torrence), 1960. The building was recently added to the state list of historic buildings, read more about it here.
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[Photo by BUILD LLC]



The Modern List Manhattan
September 20, 2008, 12:42 pm
Filed under: Architecture, The Modern List, The Modern List Manhattan, Travel, Urban Architecture


BUILD just returned from New York City where we field tested the new and improved Modern List Manhattan.  The database of all things modern is iPhone friendly now and each entry links directly to Google Maps – eliminating the need for physical maps.  Supplement the Modern List with a credit-card size subway map (found at Barnes & Noble) and you’ve got everything you need for urban adventure.  We’ve got a few tweaks to make here and there (like adding a digital subway map) but overall it’s a great way to see a lot of city with a minimum amount of travel ‘stuff’.  There are tons of new entries for you modernists out there (if you can put up with our crappy photos), and many more on The Modern List:

Buildings
The soon to be completed Standard Hotel at 848 Washington St (& 13th) spans the Highline Viaduct (also soon to be completed).  We’re betting that this is going to be one hot place to stay in town.  With very few other tall buildings around, the view will be incredible and it sits perched atop the Meatpacking district.

C.B. 4 at 11th Ave & 24th St boasts vehicle elevators and private parking stalls adjacent to condo units.

The 47 Story building at 20 E 23rd St appealed to our simple, boxy aesthetics.

Chelsea Arts Tower at 545 West 25th St

The building at Stanton & Allen caught our attention for it’s use of glass and rainscreens.  Anybody got the scoop on this one?

A couple of HUGE towers going up on the upper west side.

Building at 9th and W 54th

Breakfast
Check out Bread Tribeca, 301 Church St & Walker, 212 334 0200

Coffee Shops

Roots & Vine Café, 409 Grand St, 212.260.2363

Dinner
Matsugen at 214 Church St is the old 66 by Richard Meier, 212.925.0202.  Despite the change of restaurant the interiors were kept to the original clean, simple lines.

[photo by Daniel Krieger]

Rayuela at 165 Allen St, 212.253.8840 is all about the tree.

[photo courtesy of Rayuela]

WD-50, 50 Clinton St, 212.477.2900

[photo courtesy of WD-50]

Also check out:
Hearth, 403 E 12th St (at 1st Ave), 646.602.1300
Thai Terminal at 349 E 12th St, 212.614.0155 is the old United Noodles space
Blue Ribbon, 308 W 58th St

Drinking
Solex, 103 1st Ave (at 7th), 212.777.6677

[photo by Noah Sheldon]

Butter at 415 Lafayette (btwn 4th & Astor, 212.253.2828) has been around for a while but seems to have a renewed coolness on weeknights.


[photos courtesy of Butter]

Also check out:
Budda Bar, 25 Little West 12th St, 212.647.7314
Bar Veloce, 175 Second Avenue on 11th,  212.260.3200

Museums | Galleries
MOMA’s Fabricating the Modern Dwelling show.  More on this disturbing exhibit later…

International Center for Photography, 1114 Ave of the Americas (at 43rd), 212.857.0001.  The space is a clever modern solution -fitting an entire school into a courtyard and making it look hot.

The Storefront for Art & Architecture at 97 Kenmare Street (212.431.5795) is getting a needed face lift.  Looking forward to the reopening.

Retail Spaces
Jil Sander, 30 Howard St (at Crosby St), 212.925.2345.  Part fashion part museum this one is a must see for the minimalist fans out there.

Also check out:
CB2, 30 Mercer (Soho) 451 broadway 212.219.1454

Let us know what me missed…



The Modern List St. Petersburg

This post on St. Petersburg is the 3rd and final modern list guide from our recent travels which also include Stockholm and Helsinki.  There are many reasons to visit St. Petersburg: a robust and fascinating history, political importance, physical size and opulence, world class museums, theater… the list is long and primarily exclusive of anything modern.

Unfortunately for those of us interested in modern architecture, design, art, food and culture, St. Petersburg can be challenging, taxing even.  Recent design is minimal and spread out – and when we say recent, we mean within the last 150 years.  The city of 5 million inhabitants seems to have been frozen in time since Alexander II.  The “Venice of the North”, “Paris of the East”, or however travel agencies want to market it, doesn’t seem to have a personality of its own now that it has stepped out of its communist past.  Despite the well conceived urban plan and endless avenues of architectural grandeur, there seems to be an awkward gap between the city’s original intentions and the tedious reality, the emptiness behind the facades, the lack of urban soul.  Given the amount of time and expense it takes to get into Russia and the effort required to navigate St. Petersburg, we actually don’t recommend it to modern go-getters.  Your resources are better spent on the Scandinavian neighbors to the west.  However if you’re hell-bent on visiting (as we were) here’s a quick and dirty guide.

Mini-hotels have become popular in St. Petersburg as they are a bit cheaper and easier to book.  Our advice is to spend the extra Rubles and book at a larger hotel in the city center.  While more affordable, most of the mini-hotels are on the outskirts of town requiring a subway ride into the city center.


[photo by BUILD llc]

The outskirts of town are authentic but gray and dismal.  Beautifully boring but perhaps not the environment you want to come home to each evening.  A good resource for hotels is Tablet Hotels.


[photos by BUILD llc]

The subways are extraordinary in their monumental design and excruciating cleanliness.  Unfortunately most subways stations do not allow photography for reasons that were unclear to us – we snuck in a few shots despite the discouraging stares.


[photos by BUILD llc]

We’re not entirely sure how St. Petersburg made the Wallpaper* travel guide collection but it’s one of the only modern guides out there on St. Petes.  Although half of the establishments we searched for in the guide have since shut their doors, for ten bucks it’s still a good resource.

One of the few modern buildings in the city is known appropriately as Vanity, which houses high end retailers and a gorgeous café/restaurant on the roof.  The views from the circulation spaces and café are very pleasing.

[photo by BUILD llc]

Located in the residential area on the bank of the Neva River is the Barcode Building, a collection of offices and shops by Vitruvio & Sons completed in 2005.

[photo courtesy of Alexey Naroditsky]

If the weather is nice, Aquarel (14a Dobrolubova Prospekt) will take care of you for lunch and dinner.  The reticent service industry in St. Pete’s requires constant effort from the patron’s side, which is a bit upsetting when you calculate the prices.  But the food is good and the atmosphere is pleasant.

[photo by BUILD llc]

Tucked behind a traditional façade, the modern interior of the Fasol Café is a welcomed find (17 Gorokhovaya Ulitsa).


[photos by BUILD llc]

The Hermitage cafe sits within the Palace Square at Dvortsovaya Pl. 8

[photo by BUILD llc]

The amount of walking necessary to hunt down the modernism in St. Pete’s is excessive.  Russian drivers also have a different relationship with human safety and a pedestrian’s right-of-way.  Subsequently the drama of finding these interiors is either a tremendous victory or quite frustrating.  This is where the vodka comes in.

Day Night (Posadaskaya Str 6)

Maison Martin Margiela (Bolshaya Konushennaya ulitsa, 2)

Mania Grandiosa Shoe Salon (Nevsky avenue, 41 & Bolshoy 1)

Di Versia Shoe Salon (Vladimirsky Avenue, 8)

While the line to enter the Hermitage can be up to 3 hours long the Russian Museum rarely has a line at all. The Russian museum has an outstanding collection of traditional and modern work.  It also has a nice collection of Russian contructivism and subsequently has yet another edge over the Hermitage – that everything in the collection isn’t stolen.



The Modern List Finland


BUILD llc recently returned from Scandinavia where we tracked the latest modern architecture, design, art, food and culture. Helsinki is a convenient overnight boat ride away from Stockholm – the cost of taking the overnight ferry is actually less than most hotel rooms in either city. Helsinki is small enough to get your head around, pedestrian friendly and full of rich design. Scandinavian’s have a knack for subtle, sensible design and Helsinki didn’t let us down with it’s no-nonsense warm modernism. The people are a bit reticent, but maybe that’s what happens after you’ve been in between a Swedish-Russian tug-of-war for several hundred years. At any rate, since 1917 Finland has held its own politically and as a hub of design. The Modern List 2 page 14KB PDF download can be found here: TML-Finland. The list is full of restaurants, design shops and other finds, here are some of our favorites:


Temppeliaukio Church, or church of the rock, is not to be missed. Designed by Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen and completed in 1969 the church has been inserted within a natural rock depression at the city’s center. The church is a photographer’s daydream in terms of the photographic exploration and serendipity. And a nightmare due to the shear number of tourists pouring out of buses and incessantly flashing their point-and-shoots.

[photos by BUILD llc]

The approach to Steven Holl’s Kiasma Contemporary Art Museum is every bit as interesting as the museum itself. The various corridors and surrounding buildings provide a dramatic sequence of views.


[photos by BUILD llc]

A skateboard ramp out front brings some needed activity to the museums lawn. Even the ramp was beautifully constructed out of stained, curved glue-lam beams.


[photos by BUILD llc]

Just next door to Kiasma is the Sanoma Building by Antti-Matti Siikala & Jan Soderlund. It seems all too delicate a building for the brutal winters Helsinki receives, but gorgeous nonetheless. Although the massing is huge and blocky, the transparent facades and reflected grey skies lighten up the building and alleviate the enormous massing.


[photos by BUILD llc]

Another not-to-be missed venue is Alvar Aalto’s Savoy restaurant. Everything from the textiles to the lamps is original Alvar Aalto design. If you don’t feel like dropping a second mortgage of your home on dinner just go for drinks and enjoy one of the better views in town.

[photo courtesy of Artek]

Harbor and cafe


[photos by BUILD llc]

Underneath Helsinki Cathedral (the most prominent church in town, you can’t miss it) is a café and gallery. Being the design geeks that we are, we headed straight for the restrooms to see how the Fins resolved new in the context of old. The result was impressive: the new wall planes are held out from the original foundation to differentiate the two and allow the viewer to see the traditional construction, even in the bathroom! The plumbing fixtures, including the sinks and toilets, are all stainless steel to further separate new and old.

[photo by BUILD llc]

There is mastery in most of Scandinavian architecture when it comes to inserting design of the current time into a traditional context. The commercial buildings below are a good example in Helsinki. A weathered copper bridge gracefully connects the new to the old.

[photo by BUILD llc]

Many of the new commercial buildings have a design of solidarity and permanence. Heavy stone and marble facades are often combined with expansive teak windows and copper roofs.


[photos by BUILD llc]

Finlandia Hall by Alvar Aalto is a massive building, entirely clad in white marble.

[photo by BUILD llc]

Helsinki has been experimental and creative with their housing and it seems to be paying off with some very handsome projects and pleasant living environments. Most striking was the number of decks and terraces for such a northern climate. Most of the “outdoor rooms” were lined with single pane glass sheets. The projects below are: Kesakatu, Laivapoika, Sinebrychof Brewery Block & housing across from the ferry terminal.


[photos by BUILD llc]

This park facility building was one of the most refined and clever designs we came across. A board & batten siding system uses longer battens for attachment of the horizontal slat rainscreen.

Even the utility structures have been carefully designed. Vertical steel fins line the circumference of this vent stack.

The Helsinki train station speaks to the bold forms and dramatic architecture of its neighbor to the east.

Some other great Helsinki resources:
Architectural Map Guide by the Finnish Association of Architects
Design District Helskinki
materialicious has a great spread on Alvar Aalto’s home

Let us know if we missed anything and stay tuned for St. Petersburg next…



Uppsala: Two Important Buildings
August 21, 2008, 7:38 pm
Filed under: Architecture, Rural Architecture, The Modern List, Travel, Urban Architecture

North of Stockholm, about an hour by train, is the small university town of Uppsala. It makes for a nice daytrip from the Swedish capital and there are several good reasons to visit. The town is made up of quiet but beautifully traditional architecture… and a couple of extraordinary exceptions.


[photo by BUILD llc]

The Uppsala Concert Hall was designed by Henning Larsen and completed in 2007. The building is clever because of its rainscreen system. While there are only a couple of different envelope planes, the rainscreen undulates and gives the skin a complexity of depth. This is achieved by a rainscreen composed of metal boxes – each one bent into 3-dimensional forms of differing depths, like origami, and mounted to the structure. In addition to changing planes, the metal boxes are also angled thereby enhancing the reflections, light and shadows. Glazed panels of the same proportion are intermixed with the metal boxes.


[photo by BUILD llc]

The building is a feast for the eyes. There is a great modern café at the base from which to sip coffee and watch the façade change throughout the day. The interior, with its sleek red atrium, is also a gratifying experience.


[photo by BUILD llc]

A 45 minute walk from downtown Uppsala is Gamla Uppsala. In addition to the area being a historical village it was also an important religious site and burial ground. The ‘Royal Mounds’ located on the site mark the graves of Viking royalty dating from the 5th and 6th centuries. The austere earth-forms take on a powerful minimalism rarely achieved even by modern geometries.


[photo by BUILD llc]

Accompanying the burial mounds is a masterful museum completed in 2000 by Nyréns arkitektkontor AB. The structure includes exhibit space, a shop and an indoor/outdoor amphitheater. A concrete shell mimicking the geometry of an ancient Viking hall establishes the envelope of the building.


[photo by BUILD llc]

The concrete shell is wrapped with a cedar plank rainscreen at the exterior walls and a board and batten cedar roof (that’s right a b&b roof!).


[photo by BUILD llc]

The windows and re-lites, set within copper frames, evoke strange, mysterious geometries. Between the concrete, cedar and copper the overall architecture is weathering beautifully.


[photo by BUILD llc]

Light apertures in the roof structure are opened and closed manually by means of climbing ropes and pulleys. In an age of overcomplicated, overdesigned light screening and filtration systems this method seemed effective, primitive and refreshing.


[photo by BUILD llc]

These and many Stockholm finds can be downloaded here.



The Modern List: Stockholm

We’re back from Scandinavia and we’ve got the scoop on the latest modern architecture, design, art, food and culture.

First up, Stockholm… everything from a toothbrush to a museum is conscientiously created with a forward thinking, yet humanistic, design philosophy. Beautiful people, inspiring design, and a pleasant atmosphere. If it weren’t for the outrageous prices and weak U.S. dollar we would have bought a sommarstuga and lived out our days talking funny and fishing for herring.

The Modern List Stockholm (14KB PDF) can be downloaded here: tml-stockholm. In addition to the list we’ve rounded up some of our favorites below.

Vasamuseet by Marianne Dahlbäck and Göran Månsson
Although the museum’s shell seems overly complicated the 17th century salvaged ship it houses is spectacular. The museum has been well organized and visitors get a very good idea of the salvaging process and how the ship was originally intended to function. There are incredible views of the ship from the various balconies and special attention has been paid to the lighting design. For more info on the Vasa click here.


[photos by BUILD llc]

Moderna Museet and the Swedish Museum of Architecture by Rafael Moneo
The Museum of Architecture is a large space, filled with highly respectable work. The work of Gert Wingardh was on display when we visited and we’ll have a post on his work in the coming weeks.

[photo by BUILD llc]

A nice dinner can be found at the elegant F12 restaurant in the heart of the city

[photo courtesy of F12]

Gondolen’s spectaclar views are attributed to the former industrial harbor structures, since re-appropriated as a restaurant. The seating is located within the bridge structure – wowy.

[photo by BUILD llc]

If you can’t get reservations at PA&Co stop in for a drink and order dinner at the bar

[photo courtesy of PA&Co]

Dry Lake sells all things cool, be it clothing, bikes or lighting…

[photo by BUILD llc]

Badrums Specialisten is a darn good kitchen and bathroom showroom. They also have a very nice stair that we drooled over.

The Norrmalm neighborhood is full of innovative commercial spaces – typically well integrated with the traditional surroundings. The building below employed a steel sunscreen system.

[photo by BUILD llc]

Office building with transparent stair tower in the Norrmalm neighborhood

Stainless steel clad office building in the Norrmalm neighborhood

A series of long pavilions flank the waterfront housing restaurants, cafés and shops. The structures are ambitious in their use of large glass bay windows.

[photo by BUILD llc]

You studied it back in school, you’ve probably even been there, but a list of modern architecture in Stockholm wouldn’t be complete without Asplund’s Stockholm Public Library. She’s doing well even in the age of digital information.


[photos by BUILD llc]

Don’t tell anyone… but from time to time we take in some traditional sights as well. If the weather’s nice, the hour or so ferry ride out to the Drottningholm Summer Palace is wonderful and it allows views of the Swedish suburban and summer-house lifestyles.

Most impressive is that Swedes have a rule of thumb called “Allemansrätt” or everyman’s right – if you own waterfront property, anyone has the right to access it. Given this philosophy much of the water front is left in its natural state, the housing is pulled back offering views for the inhabitants and waterfront access to everyone… Brilliant.

Moving along through Stockholm’s archipelago makes the exclusive shores of the United States seem shortsighted and foolish.

Like most cities, Stockholm has a shopping mall, but the execution of the mall placement is far more intelligent than most. The Gallerian Shopping Center has been carefully wedged into the alleyways between buildings. Inside, the mall has all the space required for tenants and customers, but outside it is cleverly concealed. Only the entrance points of the mall are visible.

[photo by BUILD llc]

While we were there the Swedes threw a little party – they closed down streets and expected somewhere around fifty-thousand attendees. The reason you ask? It was 08/08/08 – which only happens once. Swedes know how to party.


[photo courtesy of DjMuz blog]

Let us know of any items that should be on our list…