ROCA LONDON GALLERY
It was very exciting to see the building process of Zaha’s Hadid Roca gallery from the beginning to the end observing all the problems and the complexities of building it. It’s a bathroom showroom for a world’s leading bathroom fittings firm called Roca, which is based in Spain.
The concept of the building is inspired by the movement of water that is clearly shown through the wavy shapes of the building. The structure is clearly very complex and money consuming. GRC (glass reinforced concrete) and GRG (glass reinforced gypsum) were chosen as the materials to be used for this building.
These materials were approved as being the best to meet the challenge of translating the fluid forms into built environment. The two materials were used with their natural qualities, GRG being continuous white surface of the curved gallery walls and GRC being the exposed natural concrete panels within the product display and the facade.
This complex free architectural form that translates fluidity and nature is a surprise for the visitor from outside and inside. Personally the exterior and the interior of this space astonished me since my last visit last year I didn’t expect to see such a complex interior. I really enjoyed observing the interior of the gallery as it lets you wonder around freely with your eyes wide open.
I really liked the GRP (glass reinforced plastics/ fibre glass) that is used in the main gallery ‘pods’ serving as lighting elements. The neutral colours make the space so serene, quiet, and relaxing just like how you would feel in a spa. Also the fascade reflects the natural quality of the GRC material which I really love the feel and look of it.
Although the design looks so magical and doing the purpose of selling products for the Roca company, making it even more famous. ُThinking about the budget and the fact that all this design is for a bathroom showroom makes it a bit disappointing for the viewer. The budget that is spent on this project is tremendous and I personally think a project for a bathroom showroom should not be this expensive. As well as that a good product does not need such a complex architecture to be displayed in. I do agree that a product does need to be displayed nicely for the people to be convinced that it is the best product, yet not over exaggerated and expensive showroom. I personally think it’s a waste of materials, energy and effecting the environment for non-convincing reason.
The ‘What Architecture’ is a small practice that is currently working on their project in brick lane, which is a building of an old station. Shorditch old station area is known as drank and dangerous area to be in brick lane, the ‘what architecture’ are looking to change that about it. Their design discusses the ideas of bringing the families to the site and making it friendlier. Also encouraging people to come to the area and changing the idea of brick lane as being drank area.
Giving something to the community like this residential area can have a big positive difference to this site. Social rented and commercial spaces into this building will bring families into the area and change the area slowly into safer place to be in. I found it very interesting that they considered having an office in the basement area as part of the design. I’ve found it a heavy weight building although it seems such a simple small building to design and build. However the amount of things that needs to be considered in the design is far too complicated. How much energy it needs to heat up the space? Circulation systems? The ventilation, opening the windows at nighttime? Energy saving? and effecting the environment.
Since the building is near the station and the design is to make a series of flats and an office the architects need to think very carefully about the noise that surrounds it. Each different side of the building will have to have a different enclosure to prevent the noise of the trains. It is a building that will bring professionals and families to the area and by occupying the space more people will feel safer in this area.
The Truffle / Ensamble Estudio
I loved the process of the film and how it shows us the different stages of the building with all its details. Especially showing us the inside of the structure through making a cow walking inside and exploring this space.
This project reminded me of mud houses and how enjoyable it can be to build it. Its remarkable how simple it looks from outside and how complex it is when they finally view the interior in the video. It looks like just layers of mud over a rock from the outside in the first instance, however when they start playing a little bit with the interior that’s when everything gets exciting.
From the video the mud smell gets to you, the serenity and purity smell when the rain drops falls on the ground and that’s how it feels like in a mud house. From this video I can reflect that mud houses can be modern and fully equipped with all the facilities that are available anywhere.
Unlike any other modern architecture this one spatial exploration wishes that citizens return back to the use of energy and efficient mud material. I think it is encouraging us in getting closer to the nature and taking advantages in urban areas.