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  • Architecture Caribbean Celebrates its First Anniversary (20th June 2010)

    Posted on June 20th, 2010 Architecture Caribbean No comments

    Architecture Caribbean Celebrates its First Anniversary

    Architecture Caribbean Celebrates its First Anniversary

    Architecture Caribbean would like to thank all our members, readers, subscribers, supporters, designers, artists, students, and the entire design community in the Caribbean, Latin America, and the rest of the world. Read our anniversary message here >>>


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  • Dalian Shide Stadium, China by NBBJ

    Posted on September 23rd, 2009 Vernelle 2 comments
    Dalian Shide Stadium

    Dalian Shide Stadium

    NBBJ’s recent competition entry for a new stadium in Dalian, China challenges the typical stadium typology of a dramatic skin which shields those outside from those inside. The concept according to NBBJ is “an open-ended ‘garden’ design which welcomes external interaction; creates public space and invites visitors to breath in the surrounding nature.”

    Dalian Shide Stadium

    Dalian Shide Stadium

    The structure and form of stadiums in the past and have are always about a dominant façade, dominant roof, and dominant structure. Examples include:

    • Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, USA,
    • Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium
    • Mound Stand at Lord’s Cricket Ground, London
    • Telstra Stadium, Sydney

    The original site for the new stadium (a new one is being sourced) was set beside the ocean with mountains as the backdrop to the stadium. Instead of closing off those outside from those inside, the concept “welcomes external interaction, creates public space and invites visitors to breathe in the surrounding nature.” The shorter sides of the stadium allow views to public plazas, the ocean, and mountains. The longer sides of the stadium fold up from the landscape as planted walls.

    Dalian Shide Stadium

    Dalian Shide Stadium

    Dalian Shide Stadium

    Dalian Shide Stadium

    The imagined conversation between the mountains and the ocean seems almost poetic, and I can see it. Since the site for this stadium is an open one (open parkland setting), having the walls “fold up” from the landscape into planted ones can make a positive contribution to the environment. The façade does not seem to be properly composed just yet; and having the stadium completely hidden behind the planted walls is a valid strategy. I would have preferred to see those walls rise from berms in the landscape however. The planter walls seem like a monstrous barrier. If there were mounds, larger mounds rising from the landscape meeting these planted walls, the scale of the wall would read better, reinforcing their concept of interaction with nature so that it melts away into the surrounding landscape. The roof proposed will be a flexible system of cables and fabric which will “flutter above the fans.”

    I like the concept and the renderings sell it. I see their concept of openness to nature. What do you think of the design?

    Links: NBBJ, World Architecture News


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  • Interview with Trinidadian Architect – Rudylynn DeFour Roberts (Pt. 1)

    Posted on July 30th, 2009 Architecture Caribbean No comments
    Rudylynn DeFour Roberts

    Rudylynn DeFour Roberts

    Rudylynn De Four Roberts, TTIA, is a Trinidadian Architect with a love for old buildings and Historic Restoration. She is a director of De Four Farmer & Associates Ltd. and was a visiting lecturer at several Institutes including the Caribbean School of Architecture. As the former head of the Trinidad and Tobago Government Historic Restoration Unit she was responsible for monitoring government restoration projects, and advising government regarding preservation issues. She was kind enough to take some time to do an interview with Architecture Caribbean, and we have placed parts of the interview here for you.

    Architecture Caribbean: Who is Rudylynn De Four?
    Rudylynn De Four Roberts: I am a Caribbean woman, an architect with a love for Old buildings.

    AC: Where were you born?
    RDR: I was born in New York USA while my Father was at University doing his second degree. Both my parents are from Trinidad & Tobago. We returned to Trinidad when I was six years old.

    AC: Where did you study?
    RDR: I studied at Howard University. Washington DC. USA

    AC: What inspired you to study/practice architecture?
    RDR:
    I come from a family of Engineers and Architects. My father was a Civil and an Electrical Engineer. He established the first locally owned engineering consultancy practice in Trinidad & Tobago. I myself was an artist and my Dad encouraged me to study Architecture like his brother and cousin.

    AC: Have any other professions or types of work interested you?
    RDR: I enjoy lecturing, and speaking to students about historic Architectural Patrimony. I suppose I could always go back to Art.

    AC: How long have you been in the field?
    RDR: I graduated from Howard University in 1974.

    AC: What was your first architecture job, doing what?
    RDR: My first job was in Alexandria Virginia. I did the usual as a new graduate, working drawings for design architects, I also did site planning and landscaping drawings. My first architectural design job was the Restoration of a 200 year old Lutheran Church. It was an adaptive re-use. We converted it into a community theatre. I was responsible for doing the design, the drawings, and the specs….everything.

    AC: What did you learn during that experience?
    RDR: I realized that I loved restoration, and I began what was to become my life’s vocation. My appreciation of historic architecture came from my love of History and seeing my Grandfather’s buildings. He was a builder and joiner. In his early days he built houses with Fretwork and stained glass. I loved to watch the sun pouring through the fretwork creating patterns on the floor and walls; and the coloured glass always fascinated me. When I was a child, Port of Spain looked like a miniature New Orleans.

    AC: What about architecture excites you?
    RDR: Creating spaces that conform firstly to the user’s needs ….and using shape, colour, art and craftsmanship to make the spaces comfortable, pleasing and efficient.

    AC: Who (or what) were the biggest inspirations for your career?
    RDR: The biggest inspirations in my career are my father and the late Trinidadian architect, Anthony C. Lewis. My father Fenrick De Four, for his support, encouragement and example. He felt strongly about ethics in the workplace, serving and contributing to nation building, and supporting local enterprise. Anthony Lewis was an architect, planner and artist, who established the first local architectural consultancy in Trinidad and Tobago. His firm is responsible for many of the landmark buildings in Port of Spain.

    AC: Who are your favorite architects (International and Caribbean) and what do you admire about their work?
    RDR: Internationally – Frank Lloyd Wright, architect, interior designer, writer and educator. I admire his ability to use Nature as inspiration in his organic designs. In 1991 the AIA declared Wright “The greatest American Architect of all time.” Locally- Anthony C. Lewis who was an architect whose concepts expressed an organic and environmentally friendly architecture. He used sunlight, flora and fauna as inspiration in his designs. As an architect he was always conscious of creating a living space for optimum human comfort and visual stimulation. This was reflected in his use of the natural elements and indigenous materials.

    AC: What do you think about (Architecture Caribbean) and its goal to highlight Architecture and the Arts in the Caribbean and other parts of the world?
    RDR: An admirable project, with lots of scope. Although we are all from the Caribbean islands, there is so much diversity in culture and architecture. From earthquake prone Trinidad to islands in the hurricane belt…………Our colonial heritage is varied and each old world intervention has left its indelible mark. Cuba – Spanish heritage; Barbados- British heritage; Curacao- Dutch; Martinique and Guadeloupe –French and Trinidad and Tobago a pleasant mix up of French, English, African and East Indian Heritage resulting in our eclectic architecture.

    Read the entire interview>>>

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