Built to the Law of Nature: 3 Buildings We Love

Built to the Law of Nature: 3 Buildings We Love

These structural wonders defy the boundary between architecture and nature.

These structural wonders defy the boundary between architecture and nature.

Text: Emma Li

Like countless other art forms, architecture is constantly being transformed by innovators within the field. Even so, it stands apart in ushering in a new era of its own. These architectural wonders from across the world define what it means to form a cohesive relationship with the environment and nature.

Under is the largest underwater restaurant in the world, and the only one found in Europe. Located in Lindesnes, Norway, the restaurant opened last month in March and serves an 18-course gourmet meal with locally caught seafood and animals while visitors dine five meters below sea level.

The building takes on the form of a rock rising out of the sea, and is an art installation in and of itself. Its structure is designed for integration into its natural environment with the concrete shell functioning as an artificial reef for sea creatures to inhabit.

On average, the restaurant serves 40 guests in its space, which has a capacity for up to 100 people. The restaurant boasts multiple research environments focused on marine biology research in a way that allows guests to engage with the work.

Mexican architect Tatiana Bilbao constructed Los Terrenos, or The Terrains, by using mirrored glass along with earth and clay bricks to create a reflective vacation home that blends into the woods in Monterrey, Mexico. A ceramic screen expands from the floor to the ceiling in a lattice, a flexible pattern that serves multiple purposes throughout the space. One side of each bedroom features a glass partition that can be retracted to open the interior up to the exterior.

The newly constructed space, which is only a couple years old, is situated around a curvilinear pool. Bilbao has plans to expand the space into a site that will overlook the tree canopy.

Teshima Art Museum contains a single piece of artwork, which is arguably the building itself. The museum is participating in Japan’s 2019 Setouchi Triennale, which started earlier this month.

The space unites the creative visions of Japanese artist Rei Naito and Japanese architect Ryue Nishizawa in resembling a water droplet at its moment of landing. The building is located on a hill on the island of Teshima, which overlooks the Seto Inland Sea, and is in the corner of a rice terrace that was restored in collaboration with local residents.

The structure is a low concrete shell that doesn’t rely on pillars or columns for support. Its two oval openings allow wind, light, and other environmental elements to enter the space where nature and man-made architecture interact. Inside, water emerges from the ground throughout the day. The museum’s café offers snacks made from locally grown rice and drinks blended from local fruit.

This unification of art and nature allows for a new experience during different seasons throughout the year.

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