Monday, 30 September 2013

Architecture References - Studentboende: Student Unit, by Tengbom

Studentboende: Student Unit
Smaland, Sweden
Tengbom, Sweden

Year: 2013
Photos: Bertil Hertzberg

Project's description on ArchDaily [by the architect]:
 "A student unit of only 10 square meters is currently exhibited at the Virserum Art Museum in the county Småland, Sweden. Tengbom Architects has designed a student unit for students which is affordable, environmental-friendly and smart both in terms of design and choice of materials. The project is a collaboration with wood manufacturer Martinsons and real estate company AF Bostäder.

To meet the needs of students in a sustainable, smart and affordable way was the key questions when Tengbom in collaboration with students at the University of Lund was designing this student unit of 10 square meters. The unit is now displayed in Virserum Art Museum. In 2014, 22 units will be built and ready for students to move into. To successfully build affordable student housing requires innovative thinking and new solutions. The area in each unit is reduced from current requirement, 25 square meters to 10 square meters through legal consent. This truly compact-living flat still offers a comfortable sleeping-loft, kitchen, bathroom and a small garden with a patio. Through an efficient layout and the use of cross laminated wood as a construction material the rent is reduced by 50 % and the ecological impact and carbon footprints is also significantly reduced.

Energy efficiency is a key issue when designing new buildings. Choosing right material and manufacturing methods is vital to minimize the carbon emission and therefore wood was chosen for its carbon positive qualities, and as a renewable resource it can be sourced locally to minimize transportation. The manufacturer method was chosen because of is flexible production and for its assembling technique which can be done on site to reduce construction time.
The exhibit is open to the public until the 8th of December."

Friday, 27 September 2013

Dashes and Dots - the Illustration work of Marta Nunes

We met Marta Nunes when she was part of Arrebita's second team, a social project which we are partners as cost consultants. After she ended her three-months period working with Arrebita we kept following her, namely the work she has been developing in the area of Illustration. The quality of this work led us to invite Marta to send us some of her drawings to be published in our blog, invitation that she kindly accepted. To get to know more about Marta and her Artworks, visit her page at

We are now working with Marta to organise some initiatives together regarding her intervention on Fine Arts, so we hope to publish more news soon.

"I was born in 1984 and soon began to draw. To talk about me is to talk of dashes and dots - illustration. - Photography . - Architecture.

Beyond the Morse code, participated with drawings, photographs, projects and words in several magazines. Performed group and solo exhibitions in the areas of Photography and Illustration. With regard to Architecture participated in project Arrebita, held in Porto. Sign and produce by the brand Ediota.

"To draw is in fact looking with your eyes, observe, discover. Draw is learning to see, to watch being born, to grow, to develop, to “kill” things and people. It takes to draw to bring to our inside what was seen and what will then be then inscribed in our memory for a lifetime. " © Le Corbusier

To draw values both ​​instinctive and intuitive processes and who draws knows that each design is an unique moment, a circumstance synthesis. The perception will help how we apprehend reality, representation is an individual expression, and the trace is the "fingerprint ". It is a travel between the outside world around us and the inner one where we deposit all the memories. To draw is the simplest way to access the pictures of our unconscious, and to use what’s in there coded in dots and lines, is the expression of something that does not exist otherwise. It is the simplest form of communication and aesthetic expression to which we are sensitive to. The drawing is sharing of feelings and emotions, is part of our nature as it is the act of speaking, is also a form of language, is perhaps the primordial form to build ideas. This sharing means the representation of images that we have built on the real and mental worlds that define us.

The drawing is fluid for me, a continuous line, but sometimes need breaks to choose one or another word. Intuitively one seeks for stronger forms of each representation, as an almost blind single gesture, becomes a memory of something physical .

What interests me is the line, with this gesture wherewith arises Architecture, a dash fluid that becomes abstract and transforms into a handrail, at the rhythm of a facade, into a volume that will be in constant change. I cannot think without images and lines and there is not - for me – Architecture without drawing."

- Marta Nunes

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Projects Wanted - Casa Afonso de Matos, by Matos Gameiro Arquitectos

The Portuguese Architecture office Matos Gameiro Arquitectos sent us two projects to be published in "Projects Wanted" initiative. Today we publish the first one: "Casa Afonso de Matos" a housing project located in Estremoz, Portugal. The project was designed and built between the years of 2008 and 2011 and the photographic work was conducted by FG+SG.

We are open to receive projects from all around the world, regardless of their dimension or typology. Please send us high quality photos (indicating their authors), drawings and descriptive texts in English to our Marketing e-mail - It will be our pleasure to help spreading new Architecture concepts and ideas.

The project site is located west of the town of Estremoz, which is distant about 2 miles, integrating a rural area which consists of properties punctuated by buildings for housing and agricultural support.

In the last stretch of the site access, the path is flanked by low dry stone walls just below the ridge line, setting the quota limit of the high ground. The lot, oblong and without geometric order, extends to the east, down to a small valley where runs a seasonal water line and is populated by olive trees.

The house is implanted on a zone where the topography softens, interrupting the dominant descent movement. The location of this plain area is also the point where the view of the castle of Estremoz is more evident and interesting. The castle watchtower is an irresistible reference. Here the density of trees is smaller, if we disregard the lower part of the water line, therefore, this implantation avoids major cuts on a system intended to be preserved.

On the arrival, from the public path, the house appears to be embedded, small-scaled, recognizing the presence of the aforementioned stone walls and the sheer size of the path. This access is done between trees and low building. In the opposite elevation, in the East, the house takes its real size, resting on the base that forms the yard and connects to the tank. This process is concluded at an existing rocky outcrop facing the tank.

The cloister is the drawing generator, with which the establishment of the house stabilizes and is formalized, giving it meaning and intentionality. Through it are formally staged transitions, culminating in the mentioned point of view on the Estremoz castle, by the tank. The volumes that orbit the cloister reveal, in their cut boundaries, the fickle topography in which the house is anchored. South from the house center (cloister), a long wall ends in a volume that touches the lot boundary setting a break and creating a shadow that announces the beginning of the access route.

- Matos Gameiro Arquitectos 


  PROJECTS WANTED is a DIMSCALE's initiative to communicate new Architecture from all around the world.
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