Friday, 29 October 2010

VM Houses

Since it was announced that BIG has won the European Prize for Architecture it has been a bit of madness all around about the Danish architect and his work, which reminded me of one of his first major works visited some years ago: the VM Houses.

At the time called PLOT (BIG + JDS) got the contract for the first apartments’ complex in Ørestaden, in the outskirts of Copenhagen and started a whole awakening movement in the world of Danish architecture, developing a pretty experimental concept and formal approach to the apartments’ building typology.

Through the manipulation of a typical city block they created 2 buildings that in plan configure the letter V and M, trying this way to avoid the direct view between the apartments in the 2 buildings and opening the views from the apartments to the surroundings, giving them at same time a better sun exposure and ventilation.

The most interesting thing about the project is the reinterpretation and improvement of Le Corbusier’s Unité d’habitation, with an amazing diversity of duplex apartments, a typology not very often worked on nowadays in complex apartment buildings.

But I guess, the most eye-catching feature of the project is the shark’s teeth-like balconies, which create a very photogenic façade but which I still have some doubts about the functional side of it.

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