Monday, January 28, 2008

Design Process - II

Once you have your three concepts, how should those be expressed in the spaces and finishes of the church?

For inspiration, here are some of the unique expressions of Ordrup school:

"Children in the age of 6 and 12 have different needs. This is why Bosch & Fjord has designed specific initiatives for the various ages. In the younger classes importance is attached to peace and absorption in the upholstered reading tubes while movable pieces of carpet create temporary space for discussion and cooperation. In the middle classes you can work together in smaller forums in the sculptural Hot Pots or withdraw to read and work concentrated without being interrupted by the surroundings in the colourful concentration booths. In the oldest classes importance has been attached to the teenager's situation 'on the way out into the real world'. The bright red sofa islands on wheels are movable on the screamingly yellow floors and can be used for concentrated group work, loud discussions or movie showings. A long bright green table sprawls through one of the rooms and forms a dynamic frame for creative cooperation and flexible work situations. "

I think the combination of intimate and public, collaborative and individual spaces is inspirational for a church setting.

I also like this part of their process: "employees and students were given pads of yellow and pink post-it sticks to place on their favourite spots. This was supposed to show both parties an insight into each others different ways of thinking and considering rooms. The purpose of all assignments in the process was to challenge the traditional use of the rooms and create new ways of thinking rooms as active tools in the teachings. "

If you did this at your church, where would most of the sticky notes be?

Design Process - I

I was interested to read about the design process for the Ordrup school (they of the circular dividers below). From the Bosch and Fjord website:

"The design is based in three concepts, 'peace & absorption', 'discussion & cooperation' and 'security & presence', that will separate the individual areas in distinct functions and create new rooms for learning."

If you had to come up with 'three concepts' for your church building, what would they be?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Circles for storage and space

Re the previous post on divisions of space, I love these 'reading tubes' for dividing children's spaces (from ordrup school, denmark, by bosch and fjord). If built as free-standing units they could be moved within a large space as semi-permanent dividers. The circular theme could easily be repeated in storage devices like those shown above...the last one, (from godoylab via fabgreen), could be duplicated using metal paint cans available at big-box home improvement store.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Divisions of Space

Church spaces have to be very flexible; not only in the short term (switching a room from a youth event to a church-wide dinner, for example) but in the long term---so that as the demographics of the church change its rooms can serve new functions.
Think beyond those ugly metal folding walls!

From top to bottom:
Link by PearsonLloyd is a modular system from which you can build flexible but still elegant spaces according to your needs. [via designspotter]

Instant Space moveable wall, housed in an aluminum column for easy handling, opaque and sound absorbent; the wall is even suitable for projection. Available from nienkamper. [via swissmiss]

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Great Design from Cheap Materials - 3

Though these light fixtures (fancy London restaurant) are by Tom Dixon (fancy London designer), I think they're really big stainless steel salad bowls. Perhaps Mr. Dixon has a sense of humor.

Available at a restaurant supply house near you. Or perhaps already in the church kitchen. Drill a hole, paint the inside gold (or not...I'm thinking not), add a single bulb socket fixture and you're away.

P.S. Note the impact that comes from a simple form when it is dramatically oversized and repeated. Just pointing it out in case you're not a designer sort of person.

Floorazzo - Terrazzo on the cheap

Terrazzo is a traditional go-to choice for high-density traffic areas because of its durability and low-maintenance. It also looks great and is highly customizable. If you've been in an airport, you've stood on terrazzo, basically marble chips embedded in a binder that used to be cement but is now polymer resin. It's a great option for churches, but oh-so-expensive, mostly due to the specialized labor costs associated with pouring it in place.

Now, Floorazzo is offering terrazzo on the cheap; basically 24x24 format low-profile tiles that fit together with barely visible seams. Still customizable in both color and pattern but at a fraction of the cost of traditional terrazzo. Sample tiles available to 'commercial property owners', which should include churches.

Oh, and it can be put on walls as well. Bathroom maintenance...always a vexing church issue.

Check their website, which hopefully soon will have a better gallery of pictures.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

The Summer Bible

Not a building, but relevant to the design discussion....this is the new Bible cover designed by crush co in the UK. They call it the 'Summer Bible'...see the cover in detail in the 'publishing' section of their website. Pretty cool to redesign the best-selling book of all time. Most people seem to wish they could re-design the inside...we'll leave that alone. But if you re-designed the outside, what would it look like?

Pixellated Stained Glass

By Gerhard Richter, 2006, for the Cologne Cathedral

Friday, January 4, 2008

Maya Lin's Langston Hughes Library

Before we get too far away from the 'Dairy House' post I wanted to draw attention to a similar (and previous) design, that of Maya Lin's 1999 Langston Hughes library. A 100 year old barn was cantilevered off a structural base that is two corn cribs, whose lumber is interwoven with glass. The barn contains a single 1200 s.f. space that houses the library, wisely in an interior that is Shaker-simple but elegant rather than homespun. Again, an innovative use of traditional forms that express the genius of their place, inspiration for any setting. And a wonderful use of an old barn. My midwestern upbriging has given me a soft spot for old barns.
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