Thinking outside the box

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Architectural design relies greatly on the assignment of functions into space and structure. The fact that our practice is guided by codes and regulations often encourages the assumption of standards and parameters that favour the reproduction of homogenous solutions. The following projects show that it is possible to think outside the box and incorporate new functions in architecture, inspiring creative design concepts that expand the potential for human appropriation.

Arons & Gelauff Architecten: Dormitory, Enschede – Netherlands (2007)

People are literally climbing up the walls in this dormitory located in the University of Enschede. Built as a gift to the local mountaineering club, the climbing wall is incorporated into the building’s architecture. The new function isn’t merely decorative, shaping its final form as it becomes an influent design theme. Architectural design by Arons & Gelauff Architecten. Full article on Eikongraphia.

Tezuka Architects: Fuji Kindergarten, Tachikawa - Japan (2007)

This kindergarten in Fuji is immediately surprising for its halo-shaped form. The ring elevates from the central courtyard and becomes an accessible communal platform. The rooftop becomes a functional play area, encouraging exploration and interaction. Architectural design by Tezuka Architects and Kashiwa Sato. Full article on Judit Bellostes blog with many links and references. There is also a very cool video of this building available on Monocle.

PLOT (BIG + JDS): Maritime Youth House, Copenhagen – Denmark (2004)

The Maritime Youth House is both a sailing club and a youth centre. The final design transcends the basic functional program, generating a dynamic platform that serves as a living outdoor space. It’s a wonderfully subversive solution, coming together both as a building and a public space. Architectural design by PLOT (BIG + JDS). Full article on Arch Daily with lots of pictures and technical drawings.