Saturday, July 18, 2009

Half Dose #64: Martha und Daniel Gantenbein

One building definitely worthy of inclusion in my post on Porous Masonry Walls is the Martha und Daniel Gantenbein Winery in Fläsch, Switzerland by Bearth & Deplazes Architekten. Like Herzog & de Meuron's Dominus Winery in California, the walls filter sunlight entering certain spaces.

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[Martha und Daniel Gantenbein by Bearth & Deplazes Architekten with Gramazio & Kohler | image source]

Bearth & Deplazes' piece for the winery is an addition to two existing buildings; together they create a new courtyard. The new building's form recalls the older buildings, with a shallow hip roof raised above the textured brick walls.

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[Martha und Daniel Gantenbein by Bearth & Deplazes Architekten with Gramazio & Kohler | image source]

These brick walls are infill for a regular concrete frame, but the pattern of the brick is anything but regular; circular "bubbles" appear from a distance, while up close the varying directions and shadows of the brick appears random.

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[Martha und Daniel Gantenbein by Bearth & Deplazes Architekten with Gramazio & Kohler | image source]

The architects worked with Gramazio & Kohler on the facade, a double-skin of brick with polycarbonate panels on the interior. As they describe: "[a] robotic production method ... developed at the ETH [Zurich] enabled us to lay each one of the 20,000 bricks precisely according to programmed parameters—at the desired angle and at the exact prescribed intervals." Therefore a supergraphic composed of overlapped "grapes" could be created in brick in precast panels without the expense of numerous mock-ups or traditional masons.

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[Martha und Daniel Gantenbein by Bearth & Deplazes Architekten with Gramazio & Kohler | image source]

But could this design be achieved with traditional masonry techniques? Determining the exact angle of each individual brick would have been difficult, especially without any repeating pattern evident. Additionally the application of bonding agents may have been easier with masons, given the variety of overlaps, but the use of computers enabled this hurdle to be addressed fairly easily. And finally the timeframe of three months for Gramazio & Kohler's contribution is most likely too fast for traditional masons, especially with the complexity of the design. So I'm guessing the design arises from robots being able to tackle the pattern. Surely more similarly complex facades will follow.

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[Martha und Daniel Gantenbein by Bearth & Deplazes Architekten with Gramazio & Kohler | image source]

The effect of the brick and its gaps on the interior spaces is what makes the facade's design a standout, more than the exterior pattern. The varying degrees of light infiltration signals that the space inside is special, as is what's contained within. Other spaces in the addition (below) have their own unique qualities, but they don't come close to matching the drama of the dappled light in the fermentation rooms.

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[Martha und Daniel Gantenbein by Bearth & Deplazes Architekten with Gramazio & Kohler | image source]

Links:
:: Bearth & Deplazes Architekten
:: Gramazio & Kohler
:: Wienerberger Brick Award 2008

4 comments:

  1. Your blog is full of wonders!
    Thank you for every enjoyable post.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great development for masonry. It reminds me of Andy Goldsworthy's 'Pool of light' installation.

    Btw. the link for Bearth & Deplazes really links to tamassociati instead.

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  3. I need your help. I need to prepare a project report on a building (any building) whose design is influenced by the site in a major way. This is one of the examples. If you can give more details about this winery, I'd be glad.

    _Andy

    P.S: I hope you read this as soon as possible.

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  4. Dina - You're welcome and thank you for the compliment.

    the real nick - Corrected, thanks for pointing out the link error. Is this the Pool of Light? From the descriptions I found it sounds like a sundial of sorts, as reflections off the wood change throughout the day. Typical subtle but striking Goldsworthy.

    Andy - Sorry I don't have any more information. Try contacting the architects or the Brick Award for more information.

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