Name: Prisma

Their apparently obedient and relentless re-working of the permutations possible within the brief leads to answers that are surprising and original. The proportions, form and pattern produced by this design process are controlled by the architect, whose response is both practical (logical) and aesthetic (intuitive). The form of the exterior changed in response to analysis of sun paths and views of the surrounding area, development of different apartment types and studies of privacy for residents using the balconies. The project
NL Architects’ interest in everyday life does not lead them towards mundane solutions for insignificant problems. right:
View of completed building. NL Architects’ topographical study revealed that the original building, although in need of renovation, has the distinction of being a rare, high-rise element within a flat landscape. The excellent vistas from the flats to landmarks beyond led to an idea to focus the design on creating new balconies, which would further exploit this. In fact, they are concerned with large issues that affect everyone, such as how to improve human interaction within the city. NL Architects make skillful intuitive leaps and use analytical diagrams or graphics to explain their design process and the conceptual thinking behind the generation of architectural form. They are cut away to maximise views and solar orientation. The building stacks the largest apartment types at the bottom and the smaller ones above. Balconies wrap around this stepped form, tying it together. This case study illustrates their approach to working with the restrictions of a brief and their use of diagrams and models to explore, test and record possible design solutions. Prisma is located within a post-Second World War housing development of largely mid-rise apartments and open public space. Many different permutations were tried for these balconies, using models and diagrams, which explored issues such as variations and locations of apartment types, silhouette, volume, privacy for occupants, dynamic form, maintenance access, equity of exterior space for occupants and orientation towards the sun. They also vary in depth and length to suit the type of apartment that they serve. dynamic image

cut out
all balconies are the same size


piling programme: NY setback

balconies define the volume

Problem solving NL Architects: Prisma housing Developing a concept

Case study
NL Architects: Prisma housing

Sketch models
Sequence of sketch models showing the development of the design.

Updated: 28.10.2014 — 22:05