Digital Design and Fabrication Reaching New Heights in Hong Kong, China by camiel weijenberg

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This office interior on the 50th level of the I.M. Pei-designed Bank of China building in Central, Hong Kong, is the second project Weijenberg is designing for an online betting company in China. The look and feel of this workspace interior follows the previous project in Shenzhen, while exploring new techniques, textures and forms.

Flow and fluidity are the core principles of the forms adopted in both projects, taken from the nature of money flows in the online betting business, and spatially interpreted in wood and marble. In Hong Kong, a ribbon-like wooden form wraps and flows through the space, across walls, furniture and ceilings, creating quiet spaces and framing spectacular views to the harbour and Kowloon Bay.

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Using parametric design tools, the Weijenberg team arrived at a visually powerful and materially efficient design – a sculpturally beautiful, yet practical solution.

The walls and seats are fabricated from Ash Wood in a material-saving process that involves gluing together smaller square-sections before CNC milling the final shape. 5-axes CNC robots are used to fabricate the wooden form in sections in a workshop in Nantong. These are transported to Hong Kong where they are being put together piece-by-piece on site. The reception counter and tables are machine-sculpted from White Marble, quarried from Quyang in Hebei Province, China.

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This high-profile project demands a speedy installation process with minimal construction time on site. This is being achieved by close collaboration between the Weijenberg team and the fabrication team led by artist-sculptor Mr. Wang in Nantong, China.

The project is due for completion by the end of March this year.

WEIJENBERG DESIGNS TIMBER POP-UP RESTAURANT IN TAICHUNG, TAIWAN by camiel weijenberg

 A contemporary take on the traditional Taiwanese courtyard.

A contemporary take on the traditional Taiwanese courtyard.

Weijenberg is collaborating with a prominent Taiwanese chef, looking to reinterpret traditional local culture in a contemporary way, through food as well as a spatial experience, at this new restaurant building in Taichung, Taiwan. A parking lot in central Taichung is due to be transformed into a pop-up scene for local foodies.  This temporary food market of shipping containers, called 'UNO Market’, is currently under construction, and Weijenberg’s new project is planned as the star pavilion within the development, offering a daring and contemporary design proposal.

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The Weijenberg team will always look to the local and traditional for inspiration. Here it came from traditional Taiwanese architecture.  The grammar of the vernacular dwellings was taken as a starting point for the design, by studying traditional roof structures, with particular attention to the forms, layers and details. The theme of light and shade was carried into the architecture through the traditional Taiwanese courtyard. The translation of a traditional Taiwanese roof is articulated in the wave-like roof shape around the courtyard. All functions from the restaurant, kitchen, working spaces, gallery, to the shop are collected under one undulating roof.

As sustainability is a very important to the client and the firm, we have applied wood as a primary building material. The roof structure is made entirely of glulam beams and rafters. Wood has been heavily used as a building material in Taiwan for centuries. Our desire is to bring sustainability into the project focus and re-introduce wood as a primary building material choice to inspire locals. The construction process is due to commence after Chinese New Year 2018.

 Restaurant interior

Restaurant interior

PARAMETRICALLY DESIGNED AND DIGITALLY FABRICATED OFFICE INTERIOR NEARS COMPLETION IN SHENZHEN, CHINA. by camiel weijenberg

This project, comprising seven-storeys of lobby interiors, was commissioned by a Chinese online betting company in January 2017. Inspired by the constant flows of energy, and money in the world of online betting, Weijenberg approached the project by studying digitally simulated flows through the building as a starting point. Wind currents were analysed together with people flows, to pick moments of turbulence / interaction as critical junctures, interpreting the 3-dimensional flow patterns in space as a functional and elegant interior.

Ash wood is used for the sculptural furniture pieces, balancing the lightness of form and solid weight of the material. Specially fabricated brass inlays in the wood break down the mass, while accentuating the flow lines and fluid form.

Collaborating with a dedicated fabrication team in Shanghai, led by artist-sculptor Mr. Wang, an efficient system of wood layering was designed to minimise material wastage. 3D print models and foam mock-ups were crucial in testing the forms for load transfer and for planning joints and divisions for handling and transportation to site. 5-axis CNC robots were deployed for cutting the wood forms and inlay grooves.

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The floors, walls, ceilings and lighting of the lobbies were detailed to mirror the simulated flow patterns, emphasizing the sense of movement and dynamism within the lobby spaces. Brass inlay in the marble floor were laser cut to accurately match the individually CNC engraved marble floor tiles. The walls will be cladded with brass metal, with laser cut lighting patterns to complement the furniture. The ceiling is a grid of 20 custom-made aluminium panel variations, their opening density pattern designed to incorporate the flow concept with practical requirements of the M&E layout.

With only the walls and suspended lighting elements remaining to be installed, the project is expected to be completed by March this year.

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Local Design Firm Sets its Sights on Singapore Skyline by camiel weijenberg

   
  
 
 
  
    
  
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    Photo credit: WEIJENBERG and Jeremy Hui

Photo credit: WEIJENBERG and Jeremy Hui

Award winning firm, WEIJENBERG, together with Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), are reimagining the Singapore skyline with a tower made entirely of timber (a low-carbon alternative to steel or concrete high-rise construction). Following 2016’s announcement by the Singapore Government to install 5,500 HDB blocks with solar panels by 2020, WEIJENBERG takes one step further towards a greener Singapore of the future to meet the city state’s ‘Sustainable City 2030 Agenda’.

The proposed design is a conceptual tower in the Central Business District, creating a sustainable, energy efficient building, However, it is a methodology that can be applied residentially, addressing the demand for high-rise housing across Asia.

An advantage of towers is their ability to accommodate high urban densities, maximise built-up areas with views, natural light and ventilation while creating energy savings through shared facilities, improved amenities, viability of better public transport and reduced car dependence. In newly-developing areas, building dense makes it feasible for city investment to extend transport networks and public amenities, in turn avoiding urban sprawl, creating economic opportunity and raising the standard of living for inhabitants.

An excellent sustainable alternative to concrete or steel, engineered timber requires a different structural design approach for high-rise buildings. Pushing the boundaries of wooden tower design, WEIJENBERG and SUTD researched the possibility of an 80-storey tower using digital simulation to vigorously test building structures resulting in a 4-layer nested tube system, with beams spanning to the central core. In addition to the tube structure, lateral members and chevron bracing help to stabilise the structure. Joints between members were carefully designed for load transfer with minimal material consumption taking inspiration from traditional wood working joinery. The joinery enables off-site production and is quick to assemble on site to speed up construction time.

As Asian cities expand at an unprecedented rate with the UN forecasting southeast-Asian mass urban immigration so rapid that Indonesia's urban population will reach 82% of its total population by 2050, Asian cities need speedy and sustainable high-rise construction technologies more than ever. Current ecological problems such as overcrowding, traffic congestion, heat islands and urban sprawl highlight the urgency for sustainable, and resilient urban development solutions that support mix use and diversity, while improving the environmental quality and quality of life within densifying urban environments.

Camiel Weijenberg, Founder and Director comments: “At WEIJENBERG, we aim to contribute to the sustainable architecture movement and promote this to the wider community. By integrating this prototype tower in an urban context, where each tower not only consumes less net energy as an individual unit, but optimizes neighbouring buildings in its vicinity, this generates a synergy which has considered multiple aspects such as location, built environment, climate and sociocultural context. A sustainable neighbourhood must not only be environmentally sustainable, but also socially and economically viable, creating a space where people can enjoy everyday life.” 

WEIJENBERG Wins Award for Municipality of Budapest International Contest by camiel weijenberg

   
  
 
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    Transulent thermal roofpanels allow daylight inside and for the velodrome to glow in the night time

Transulent thermal roofpanels allow daylight inside and for the velodrome to glow in the night time

Building on Hungary’s medal haul at the 2016 summer Olympics, the Hungarian government is investing in a large-scale programme to transform the ageing and disused areas of the capital into state-of-the-art hubs for athletics.

In May 2017, The Municipality of Budapest opened an international contest to design a €24 million velodrome overlooking Óbuda island. The brief was to transform a disused former gas works into a 5,000-capacity cycling stadium, national training facility and internationally recognised centre for excellence.

Among two other prestigious firms, WEIJENBERG was bestowed a special award where elements of its velodrome design will be integrated into the cycling stadium.

 The canopy covers the elliptical shape as the foliage covers the forest, providing shade yet letting the light pass through. The velodrome has been landscaped to adapt to the environment. Its structure generates dynamic relaxation with a triangle structure that optimizes the shape and reduces structure cost while creating the optimal surface for solar panels

The canopy covers the elliptical shape as the foliage covers the forest, providing shade yet letting the light pass through. The velodrome has been landscaped to adapt to the environment. Its structure generates dynamic relaxation with a triangle structure that optimizes the shape and reduces structure cost while creating the optimal surface for solar panels

Judges commented that WEIJENBERG’s submission was the only design to break the norm of an articulated elliptical shape, changing the mass of the velodrome and orientation to better fit in the site’s environment. The landscape design and outdoor functions planned around the building, such as an amateur BMX track and public areas for visitors to enjoy active free time, were highly commended as well as access and integration with the city’s transport network. Sustainable solutions incorporated into the final design were also noted.

   
  
 
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    An amateur BMX track encourages visitors to enjoy active free time creating an athletic hub for the public

An amateur BMX track encourages visitors to enjoy active free time creating an athletic hub for the public

WEIJENBERG Talks "Crafting the Traditional through Design and Dialogue" at the Asia Designer Platform by camiel weijenberg

Crafting the Traditional through Design and Dialogue

Camiel Weijenberg joined Annie Ivanova, Australian International Arts Curator, and Tim Chou from Akuma Design at the Asia Design Platform Design Tour in Bangkok this month. Dedicated to promoting the global design exchange, the association aims to provide a platform for emerging designers in Asia.               

Speaking about "Crafting the Traditional Through Design and Dialogue" Camiel challenged the audience to observe lateral dialogues designers apply to their work in order to create architecture that enhances the environment in which we live in. As a team of architects, designers and researchers who specialize in the application of urban design through cultural and contextual analysis, WEIJENBERG is uncompromising about this dialogue, imprinting its own distinctive brand on each of the firm's projects.

Conversations can occur between client and architect, between the landscape and site. Dialogue can speak through the traditional materials used and how these materials are sculpted using local methods or the latest technology, so that ultimately,  all conversations chime together to tell one unifying story about a design.

Sri Lanka Boutique

Projects such as WEIJENBERG’s Sri Lanka Boutique Resort explore the relationship between nature and architecture. Situated in the remotest reach of the Sri Lankan peninsula, the landscape, wind and the sun’s direction were investigated first as well as existing construction methodologies found in Sri Lanka. This resulted in a curvature shaped building angled towards the bay so that the prevailing wind would create a passively cooled building as well as an orientation towards the bay’s views. A series of long lines organise the natural landscape, and by continuing these lines into the main building and carefully situated clusters of villas, there is an integral relationship between  human space and the landscape. 

Sri Lanka Boutique

The landscape itself provided inspiration for the choice of building materials.  WEIJENBERG wanted to weave in human made structures to appear as if a part of the peninsula. This resulted in the choice of rammed earth as the main building material, as the cliffs, boulders and soil of the peninsula display beautiful red-brown hues of colour. Furthermore, this soil in different forms has been used as a traditional building material in Sri Lanka for hundreds of years.

The firm's interpretation of crafting the traditional for this particular site was one that embodies Sri Lankan tradition and is linked inextricably to nature. The result is a dialogue between the land and design that combines architectural appeal with functionality.

Sri Lanka Boutique

Camiel Weijenberg Wins Perspective’s 40 Under 40 Architecture Award by camiel weijenberg

 Camiel Weijenberg collects his 40 Under 40 Award at last night's ceremony in Hong Kong

Camiel Weijenberg collects his 40 Under 40 Award at last night's ceremony in Hong Kong

Camiel Weijenberg, Founder of internationally award winning firm WEIJENBERG, was bestowed Perspective’s 40 under 40 Accolade at an award ceremony in Hong Kong last night. The 11th iteration of the Awards saw 40 creative stars in Asia under the age of 40 recognised from the fields of architecture, art, interior design and product design, believed to shape the design world in decades to come.

Camiel was commended for his contribution to architecture entering projects such as conceptual green building of the future – Chicago Towers, international landmarks – the Art Interchange in the Gold Coast and Busan Tower, as well as eco residential projects – the Sri Lankan Boutique Resort and Eco Bungalow in Singapore.

Each design infuses the firm’s signature aesthetic ‘Crafting the Traditional’ which combines cutting edge technology with traditional methods and materials. Designs are fueled by a passion to create inventive spatial experiences and to find form beyond constructive logic.

Celebrating Asia’s young design leaders, the 40 Under 40 practitioners are based and work primarily in the region as Asia continues to cement a name for itself for prodigious design and creative flair. Winners were chosen by Perspective’s editorial team, with selections based on the nominee’s professional achievements, contributions to the industry, potential for future development and growth as well as excelling in creativity, artistry and innovation.

Camiel Weijenberg commented, “2017 has been a year of moments. It is the year I got married, am expecting my first child and have been recognized by Perspective’s 40 Under 40, just before my 40th Birthday as well!

Importantly this Award recognizes what is yet to come. At WEIJENBERG we will continue to challenge the norm and view the world differently through research and experimentation. We will continue to envision ideas which reflect strong themes of sustainability, utilizing new materials and revolutionary technologies to improve the world in which we live, provide a better life for city-dwellers and create the unique.”

For more information about Perspective’s 40 Under 40, go to:

http://www.perspectiveglobal.com/awards/40-under-40/

Brelades Bungalow Pavilions by camiel weijenberg

Brelades Pavilion

The Brelades Bungalow is situated on the highest peak in Penang in Malaysia with beautiful views over Georgetown and its surrounding forest.  An original heritage house, WEIJENBERG has conceptualized a new extension and renovation with added functionality bringing the building into the 21st century.

The original bungalow was built in 1927 in the style of Eastern and Western ele­ments. It had adopted characteristics from Malay architectural traditions combined with Colonial architectural style tem­pered by Chinese manners. The character of the building is introvert and private, closing out nature and the sun.

Our idea was to take an opposite approach – to turn the building from inside out. We wanted to generate contrasting structures which have an unexpected dialog with the existing bungalow, which lead to the creation of an exposed and non-structural exterior opposing a closed and load bearing interior. Using this approach we created pavilions connected with the surrounding rainforest allowing for breathtaking, column free views of the surrounding lush greenery. In response to the brief three separate pavilions were designed – a reception for guests, a pavilion for family and one for the poolside and relaxation.

Each pavilion has an internal loadbearing concrete core, which smoothly grows over to a cantilevered roof structure. The thickness of the suspended concrete roof structure varies regarding to the structural requirements, growing from thin roof edges to a bump above the core. The external layers of the pavilions are made up of thin glass walls and sliding doors.

Each is cleverly composed of architectural structures beyond the limitations of constructive logic all from the same family, but with different characteristics according to needs.