With an overarching philosophy valuing collaboration and knowledge transfer, G8A strives to honor architectural narratives proper to place. Here we present five projects, each born from vastly different contexts and conditions, they lead us on a tale spanning from South East Asian metropolises to the foot of the Swiss Alps. Five cities; Singapore, Geneva, Hanoi, Zurich and Ho Chi Minh City each giving G8A the opportunity to form a unique architectural narrative.
Ho Chi Minh City: Jakob Factory
Project partners | rollimarchini architekten
The Jakob Factory project offered the partnership of rollimarchini architekten and G8A Architects the unique opportunity to propose a highly innovative and specific manufacturing space. The factory houses the specialist producers Jakob Rope Systems, who specialize in custom made steel rope meshing. The partnership of organizations applied their pillar value of sustainability, both environmental and social, to all phases of the design process from conception to execution.
The 30’000m2 site area is placed in the centre of an industrial park, 50 kilometres north of Ho Chi Minh City, the economic capitol of Vietnam. Ever since Vietnam’s economic reform in 1986 the country has seen a grappling rise in national GDP, with industries and populations moving from a primarily agricultural industry to a focused industrial practice. The past ten years has seen the doubling of industrial parks constructed on city outskirts from the North to the South of the country. With lightning speed, little regulations and priorities focused on economic gain rather than environmental impact, many of these zones have witnessed highly polluting and detrimental construction practices, transforming the previously porous land to large zones of impermeable slab development.
The Jakob Factory proposal was seen as a unique opportunity to offer an alternative to these detrimental practices, presenting a land saving project with focus elements of passive design. Stacking the usable zones on superimposed slats, it offers an innovative vertical densification strategy, negating needless land development, while also offering workers agreeable outdoor spaces.
01 - Reinforcing values, the facade uses the client's steel rope manufacturing technology to promote sustainability methods 02 - An inner garden is offered to employees as respite from the urban mass 03 - Working in synergy with the natural elements 04 - Every architectural volume is an opportunity to innovate with elements of greenery 05 - Vertically stacking the program avoids detrimental land-usage, caring for the context of future generations
Geneva: The Twin-Lah
Project partners | CollinFontainearchitectes
Looking up towards the Mont-Blanc from Thônex (Geneva, Switzerland) The Twin-Lah isn’t just a project for a house, it is the narration of a story.
Since the very first sketches, the requirements of the clients led the process through which the house was designed. Living at that time in Singapore, one of the clients’ main wishes was to bring a piece of their adopted hometown back to Switzerland, to contribute to the design of their home for retirement.
With the name “The Twin-Lah” G8A + CollinFontaine wink at the colloquial Singaporean dialect Singlish; a mix of six languages that represent the cosmopolitan state of Singapore. And through the façade’s warm pigmentation and texture, is evoked traditional Singaporean shophouses.
The villa is orientated to enhance the view of the Mont-Blanc, establishing a dialogue with its surroundings, and playing with strong contrast in order to take place within the neighborhood and the community. The garden was also to remain untouched, so after discussion the house was finally set in a radical gesture, directly against the property’s boundary. Then conceived as a stack of 3 “T” shaped structures, absorbing force from its surrounding context to articulate in and outdoor spaces.
Intended as a sensitive object that responds to its context and to the personal narrative of its owners, the powerful contrasts create architectural challenges that The Twin-Lah balances harmoniously.
01 - A unique dialogue of color puts forward the individuality of the project narrative 02 - The placement of each concrete slab was considered, creating subtly degrading hues 03 - A Chinese motif often found in Singaporean decor becomes a camouflaged Swiss Edelweiss flower 04 - The narrative of transplantation was delicately considered with curated planters 05 - The Twin-Lah, in constant conversation with its surrounding context, a personal and international design story
Zurich: New Oerlikon
A trio of priorities were weaved together to compose the Neu Oerlikon project as a social meeting point in the upcoming area of Zurich Nord; connection, natural light and a thoughtful facade system.
The first element focuses on the plaza as a connection core, from where the whole planning process radiates. Serving as a functional meeting space that also connects the buildings and the traffic flow within the site, the space exudes charisma and charm that attracts the users to the heart of the project.
The second element focuses on flooding as much natural light as possible into the building. Natural light is an essential component to enable usable space; within the inner areas of the building, also to access cores and where possible in the basement. Strategic openings in the roof were installed allowing light to pour into the centre of the plan. A “cut” in the main plaza was also provided to create a real patio, touching the main facade and letting natural light penetrate the basement level.
The third element was the facade system that had to combine energy, efficiency and aesthetics. By using a repetition of modular perforated panels and shading screens, the facade is conceptualized as a thin layer that honors the historically industrial context, bringing a touch of vivacity and rhythm.
01 - A trio of priorities were weaved together to compose the Neu Oerlikon; connection, natural light and a thoughtful facade system 02 - The project radiates from a central plaza, the heart of the project and social meeting point for all users 03 - Using a repetition of modular perforated panels and shading screens, the facade is conceptualized as a thin layer that honors the historically industrial context 04 - Original artwork commission from Nguyen Qui Duc 05 - Strategic openings in the roof were installed allowing light to pour into the center of the plan, penetrating the project down to the basement level
Project partners | LAUD Architects
Located in the north east of Singapore, GreenRidges is part of the “Leaf Within Our City In A Garden” project of Tampines Town, covering an approximate site area of 70’000m2.
The design concept for this 2’000-unit public housing development was inspired by Asian stone forests, giving the project a unique identity.
The key “Greenery Network” feature, links the social spaces of the upper Environmental Deck and the Green Canyon area at ground level. This Canyon, a lush and well-shaded linear space runs the length of the housing development, offering rest shelters and shade for users to inhabit.
The elevated gardens sitting atop of the two storey car parks are also linked by pedestrian-friendly bridges featuring dense greenery and community gardening spaces.
These landscaped elements where developed in synergy with the architectural volumes, each strategy firmly interconnected, from the entrance park to the upper Environmental Decks the greenery englobes and embodies the project, creating a strong urban and community identity.
01 - GreenRidges' landscaped elements where developed in synergy with the architectural volumes with each strategy firmly interconnected, the greenery englobes and embodies the project, creating a strong urban and community identity 02 - The Greenery Network, links the social spaces of the upper Environmental Deck and the Green Canyon area at ground level 03 - Elevated gardens sitting atop of the two storey car parks link pedestrian-friendly bridges featuring dense greenery and community gardening spaces 04 - Each resident is catered for in easily accessible common green areas, giving ample opportunity for moments of exercise and social connection 05 - The twisted facade of degrading hues of green, connect earth to the sky
Hanoi: The Bridge
Project partners | VUUV Studio
The Bridge embodies a design solution responding to the context of the spatial and socio-economic landscape of urban Vietnam. Topologically located between warehouse and logistic service buildings, the structure stands enigmatically in the middle of Old Hanoi. The proposal envisioned the building as a series of platforms lifted by two cores of concrete; one containing the circulation paths and main services, the second being the support for all documentation so called “the memory wall”. In-between can be found an open space, free of any columns, and open on both sides creating unobstructed panoramic rooms across each floor.
This sensation of space brings forth the particularity of the building, in stark contrast to the surrounding density the platforms open to the environment offering users a rare skyline context. These sweeping work areas represent synergies and transparency, diverging density with a structural and visual porosity. The door-less entrance of the building is seemingly an extension of the sidewalk, facades placed voluntarily in recess to absorb the potential construction of surrounding buildings in anticipation of further growth in the coming years. In the back of the building, the open vertical space allows the site to generate its own light and ventilation, a soft filter from the nearby chaos.
Here, G8A applies an adaptation of the “sustainable ruin” philosophy, a concept previously developed in the High Tech Park of Hoa Lac. The ideology proposes creations of highly adaptable structural system underscoring the robust infrastructural nature of the building.
01 - The Bridge embodies a design solution responding to the context of urban Vietnam, located between warehouse and logistic service buildings, the structure stands enigmatically in the centre of Old Hanoi 02 - The door-less entrance of the building is seemingly an extension of the sidewalk 03 - In the back of the building, the open vertical space allows the site to generate its own light and ventilation, a soft filter from the nearby chaos 04 - Facades placed voluntarily in recess to absorb the potential construction of surrounding buildings in anticipation of further growth in the coming years 05 - The sweeping work areas represent synergies and transparency, diverging density with a structural and visual porosity
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