Category Archives: Things We Like

Things We Like – Material Combinations

The theme for this week’s “Things We Like” was Material Combinations, chosen by Margaret. The group brought in a wide range of ideas and inspirations. Some showed a unique twist on standard exterior/interior building combinations, some used combinations to add contrast to structures or objects, and some concepts were out-of-the-box innovations for the construction industry.

Margaret entry

To start, Margaret picked a uniquely designed community bank designed by Spore Architecture in Seattle. The unusual combination of corrugated metal, composite panels and cedar rainscreen provides an appealing juxtaposition between colour, texture, and pattern.

Melhik entry

The Ebisu East Art Gallery in Japan inspired Melhik due to its exterior display. The effect of the “ripped” concrete effect on the building exterior designed to expose a reflective glass behind, requires new observers to step back and admire the distinctive appearance.

Jamil entry

Jamil selected an interior shop rehabilitation designed by Benedetta Tagliabue. There is a wide variety of materials packed into the space, with this image fully displaying the beauty of the diverse colours, shapes and materials used in the flooring design.

Dee entry

Dee brought our attention to a material combination that has revolutionized many buildings and structures. The bio material looks like regular concrete, but has bacteria that has been added in. This bacteria can survive for 200 years in the concrete and becomes active when damage occurs to fill in the cracks.

Casa de Musica

Mila brought in photos from the Casa da Musica in Portugal. The trademark material use of this building is the manipulation of glass to form curtain-like displays all over the auditorium. The walls are covered with hand-painted tiles picturing a traditional pastoral scene, and some of the public floors are paved with aluminum.

riva-1920-earth-table-3

Elyn picked a breathtaking table designed by ‘RIVA For Italy’. The company combined large pieces of wood and suspended it in resin to create a one-of-a-kind designer piece. The leg stand for the tabletop is constructed of metal, which is proof of the lasting impression that mixing materials can make.

Maria entry

Maria was inspired by thinking beyond regular tangible materials and selected a combination of concrete and the use of light with this awe-inspiring location image. It belongs to the ‘Church of Light’ located in Japan, which manipulates light to create the glowing cross.

Dirk entry

Dirk’s photos of his own kitchen design show a beautiful display of material combinations for the interior furnishings. The space consists of cabinets made of rosewood, marble flooring, granite countertops and stainless steel chairs and appliances – materials that are not commonly combined for traditional kitchens which give an unmatched elegance to the space.

Julie entry

Julie chose a mix of copper and iron to show the contrast between the manufactured industrial appearance of the iron frame and the natural copper elements of richness and reflectiveness of colour. The combination also displays a variance in shape, with the often blocky copper shapes against the ornate iron rods.

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Things We Like – Industrial Architecture

This weeks Things We Like theme Industrial Architecture was chosen by Mila for its versatility. Rightfully so, the group came up with a range of choices including: industrial spaces that are in use today, buildings that were repurposed from old industry, and elements of design inspired by industry.

becker-architekten-hydro-plantMargaret’s Pick: Becker Architekten’s Hydroelectric Plant, Kempten, Germany. Margaret appreciates the way the plant is integrated with the urban fabric, and wonders  if this kind of project would work for Cambridge, Ontario.

maishama-waste-treatmentJohn’s Pick: Maishama Waste Incineration Plant, Osaka, Japan. This fanciful building was designed by Austrian architect Hundertwasser, who protested the uniformity of Bauhaus architecture.

water-millDee’s Pick: Water Mills. Dee finds beauty in the balance between simplicity and complexity in a water mill. She also enjoys the way many towns and cities were once built up around a mill.

hale-county-animal-shelterAshley’s Pick: Hale County Animal Shelter, Alabama. Ashley shared Rural Studio’s project, an animal shelter built using industrial design methods such as a lamella system for the roof structure.

rotterdam-crane-lightsMatt’s Pick: Lighting in Schouwburgplein, Rotterdam. These unique positionable light fixtures are inspired by the cranes in this port city and can be moved to illuminate the many different events and installations that are hosted in the square.

union-stationMonica’s Pick: Union Station, Toronto. Monica is impressed by the functionality of Union Station’s spaces, throughout all the many renovations and iterations.

Jamil’s Pick: Chameleon House, Michigan. This single family home designed by architects Anderson Anderson features elements of industrial design on both the exterior and interior.

Mila’s Picks: Mila shared two entries with us this week; The Fagus Factory, Germany (Left) and the Danish National Maritime Museum (Right). Mila appreciates the historical significance of the Fagus Factory as an important example of early modern architecture. She also loves the way that the Maritime Museum was built around a former dry dock

Things We Like – Record Breakers

For many of us, the month of January becomes a time to reflect on our habits and make resolutions. I’ve always found it interesting to ask people about their resolutions. Whether they stick to them or not, we can gain an insight into people by knowing the goals the dawn of a new year inspires within them.

Over the past year JMA has engaged in an office wide resolution that has become a Friday afternoon ritual. (No – we haven’t been having a Biggest Loser competition.) Any visitor to JMA knows that our office is a bustling place and we value the time to bounce loose ideas off of one another, without judgement. With this in mind came the invention of “Things We Like”, an open discussion about creativity, innovation, and design. Everybody participates and nothing is off limits, as long as you like it!

The idea is simple – at the beginning of each week one member of the JMA team is selected to pick a theme. The theme can be anything; past Fridays we’ve taken a serious look at topics such as Humanitarian Design, Urban Planning, and Intentionally Green Buildings. Other weeks we’ve taken a whimsical approach to Things We Like and gathered to discuss Fictional Architecture or Beds. Once the topic is chosen each member of JMA has the rest of the week to ponder the theme and choose a response to share that they personally enjoy. When Friday afternoon rolls around we convene and have a Things We Like “show and tell”. Each person presents their choice and we use it as a tipping point for open discussion. The conversation it inspires is always informative…and entertaining!

During the most recent round of Things We Like I was the lucky one chosen to pick the theme. I decided upon Record Breakers. After enduring many Evil Knievel jokes throughout the week everyone chose a Record Breaker they like. Check out our entries below. As always, the range in each person’s interpretation of the theme and ideas to discuss was fascinating.

Dee Hopkins

nasa-vehicle-assembly-building

Monica’s Pick: NASA Vehicle Assembly Building, Titusville, Florida. Largest single story building in the world.

432-park-avenue

Jamil’s Pick: 432 Park Avenue, New York City, New York. Tallest residential building in the world.

RIBA68916

John’s Pick: The Crystal Palace, (destroyed) formerly London, England. In 1851 The Crystal Palace broke the record for the greatest area of glass ever seen in a building at the time.

largest-windchime

Ashley’s Pick: World’s Largest Windchime, Casey, Illinois.

bullitt-centre

Matt’s Pick: Bullitt Centre, Seattle, Washington. The greenest commercial building in the world.

villard-de-honnecourt

Margaret’s Pick: Villard de Honnecourt’s Sketchbook, Picardy, France. Some of the earliest found true architectural drawings.

millau-viaduct-2

Mila’s Pick: Millau Viaduct, Millau, France. Tallest bridge in the world.

capital-gate

Dee’s Pick: Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi, UAE. World’s furthest leaning man made tower.

Expect more Things We Like blogs in coming weeks!