Architecture + Design
Askdeco Interior Design Studio brings new thinking to a family home in Beirut
When these clients first approached with a request to design their family home overlooking the Mediterranean in the heart of downtown Beirut, the couple’s vision was of an industrial style. But through consultations with the artisans at Askdeco Interior Design Studio, now in its 18th year, the design idea collaboratively evolved into a vision of a more refined and livable space.
The result is One Oak 3&4 B2, a 700-square-metre, two-storey duplex that meets both the industrial feel and a more comfortable family atmosphere. The space has two distinct atmospheres: a public, playful side on the upper level and a more private lower level.
Earthy colours, textured walls, gunmetal finishes and grey marble flooring are combined with wood and cosier finishes to produce a more home-like feel. Askdeco’s consultative and honest conversations brought the design of One Oak 3&4 B2 to an ideal marriage of old and new, work and play.
Chain10 Architecture’s Green Isle Restaurant in Taiwan sets a new standard
Designing a restaurant with a focus on nature in a dense urban area such as Kaohsiung, Taiwan, meant new thinking for well known designer Ken Lo, who operates Chain10 Architecture in the south of the country. What he has created with the Green Isle may have just set the bar for what environmental sustainability should look like in a commercial restaurant space.
Materials were locally sourced to reduce emissions during transport, and some exterior walls were barely painted. In order to respect the relationship between the building and a green environment, indoor decorations were simplified. Nothing was complex or intricate — the focus was kept on modern, simple choices.
The main entrance to the nearly 6,000-square-metre restaurant features a bridge over a 120-metre landscaped pool, which sets the tone for diners at the entrance by creating a connection between the building and the water. Surrounding Green Isle are more than 250 large trees, reducing the carbon emissions from the project and enhancing the feel of nature within a metropolitan area.
With the Green Isle, the third restaurant in the Tan Zuo Ma Li chain, Ken Lo has created an environment allowing people to pause and enjoy the beauty of their surroundings.
ALA Architects’ award-winning design of Oodi Library in Helsinki
Oodi, the new Helsinki Central Library designed by ALA Architects, has been one of the most successful library launches in recent memory. Opened in December 2018, it welcomed its one millionth visitor just three months later and some days attracts up to 20,000 people. But no one feels rushed or crowded out due to ALA’s innovative design, which may represent a new era in public libraries.
The award-winning Oodi’s design divides the functions of the building into three distinct levels: an active ground floor, a peaceful upper floor and a more function-oriented in-between level.
Oodi opens directly to the surrounding cityscape of central Helsinki, with the wooden front facade arching over the ground floor as a dramatic bridge-like structure. The massive entrance canopy forms a covered outdoor space and allows the library’s functions to expand into the neighbouring Kansalaistori Square. The resulting column-free spaces make the library ideal for all sorts of community events.
The open space on the upper floor is topped with a cloud-like undulating ceiling, with panoramic views of the city. With Oodi, ALA Architects has created a welcoming and engaging space with a serene atmosphere that invites visitors to learn, read and relax.