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Дата публикации:
18.09.2008
версия для печати
Crumple Zone in Monaco

 Monaco House embraces the clichés one might expect from that small European principality. Despite the novelty of its architecture, racing cars, luxury yachts and a certain movie-star quality all play a role in its appeal.

 

Wedged in a side street in Melbourne, the building occupies a mere 101 square metres and reaches up four storeys to include a café, office and private bar. McBride Charles Ryan aimed to amplify this constrained site and emphasize the dramatic corner. The skin folds and multiplies around this edge, morphing shape and texture. The polished, black granite façade becomes highly reflective in the sunlight, giving it a delicate, ornamented appearance in contrast to the smooth metal and concrete. The language of the exterior folds into the interior through balconies and windows. Timber joinery deftly meets white vinyl walls, upholstering the dramatic angles.

A quintessential moment in the architecture is where the metal skin bends into public street seating, hovering over a miniature grass corner. At the other extreme, the rooftop garden floor warps and bends in line with the surrounding trees and buildings.

The photographs of Monaco House often appear closer to the digital than the real. However, while these images give it the quality of a 3D rendering, the experience of this building is that of a precisely crafted object – a crumpled form cast in marble and metal, scaled up to the urban. The building’s plasticity is both sculptural as well as experiential, creating a moment of delight in the drab urban landscape.


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