Project Type: Cultural

Hacking Better Shelter

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Hacking Better Shelter is series of IKEA-style hacks designed to expand the use of Better Shelter, a leading emergency shelter system housing displaced people around the world. Our proposal is essentially a set of instructions for hacking the Better Shelter system to create new types of spaces and amenities for refugee communities awaiting asylum or a return home. Our playground swing set was featured, in partnership with Better Shelter and the IKEA Foundation, at the Stedelijk Museum as part of their exhibition Solution or Utopia? Design for Refugees.

 

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Program: Relief Shelters
Team: Andre Guimond, Evan Erlebacher, Harry Lam
Status: Proposal
Year: 2016

Varna Public Library

Varna, Bulgaria

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The new Varna Library is conceived as a series of stacking and shifting volumes, like a stack of books. The gaps between the volumes define a porous public space that flows through the building, opening large welcoming entrances at the ground floor level, and framing views of the city at the upper levels. The shifting and stacking volumes respond to the confines of the strict zoning envelope, while creating a series of interlocking interior reading and collection spaces that spill out into open-air terraces. This results in an inviting urban form, presenting an accessible image to the city of Varna.

The new Varna Library will be a versatile new building, both in terms of its flexible spaces for diverse programming events, and for its environmental strategy to passively provide comfortable interior spaces for the public. Deep louvers shield the interiors from the summer sun, and the concrete facade performs as a thermal mass, absorbing heat during the day – the large central atrium will help to passively cool and ventilate the building.

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Program: Public Library
Client:  Varna Municipality
Team: Andre Guimond, Evan Erlebacher, Harry Lam, Austin Crowley
Status: Proposal
Year: 2015

Bamiyan Cultural Center

Bamiyan, Afghanistan

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Our design for the UNESCO Bamiyan Cultural Center draws its inspiration from the striking views of the Buddha Cliffs of Bamiyan Valley, a World Heritage Site. Our proposal is infused with the region’s remarkable landscape, and the intelligence and beauty of the local architectural traditions that have developed in response to it.

We chose a simple and spatially direct form and a locally sourced material palette of stone and brick masonry, to allow collaborative construction with local construction labor. The brick masonry used in the building will be made with soil excavated from the site and fired in an on-site kiln. An essential aspect of our design strategy is our strong consideration for the social role of this building in the local Bamiyan community, and this begins with the participation of the local community in the construction of the building.

Program: Cultural Center
Client: UNESCO
Team: Andre Guimond, Evan Erlebacher, Austin Crowley, Emily Gruendel
Status: Proposal
Year: 2015

AMP

New York, New York

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Amp is a public broadcast system in disguise – each colorful structure is an array of speakers, delivering immersive surround sound. Concealed inside the walls of AMP is a simple and inexpensive piece of audio technology called a transducer that turns everyday objects into powerful speakers. Working in collaboration with Levy Lorenzo, a New York City-based electronic instrument designer, AMP is designed to broadcast the sounds of IDEAS CITY back to visitors as a looping, colliding, and ever-evolving sound landscape. At times, AMP will be switched to public announcement mode to broadcast live programming, such as lectures and panel discussions.

 

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Program: Streetfair Installation
Client: Storefront for Art & Architecture
Team: Andre Guimond, Evan Erlebacher, Emily Gruendel
Collaborators: Nous Engineering (Structural Engineer), Levy Lorenzo (Sound Design)
Status: Proposal
Year: 2015

M+ Pavilion

Kowloon, Hong Kong

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The new M+ Art Pavilion has a privileged location, perched at the tip of Kowloon in a verdant park overlooking Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Island. Our design for the pavilion looks both inward to the exceptional exhibitions and events that serve its primary purpose, and outward to the breathtaking views of the harbor and surrounding park.

The design concept begins with five circles that fan into the landscape and organize the plan. The building perimeter is a simple geometry of curving glass panels that open up views from every vantage point. Deep structural louvers support the roof and control daylight penetration and heat gain. Their iridescent finish gently reflect blue hues from the harbor and greens from the park’s vegetation.

Program: Museum / Gallery
Client: West Kowloon Cultural District
Team: Andre Guimond, Evan Erlebacher
Status: Proposal
Year: 2013