Dark Architecture

dark architecture

EXTRACT Published with Permission from Black: Architecture in Monochrome (Phaidon), 2017 PHOTOS Johnsen Schmaling ARCHITECTS John J Macaulay, Oller & Pejic Architecture/Marc Angeles, Neutelings Riedijk Architecten/Christian Richters

The intensity and mystique of buildings in black is explored to the full in this book. Showcasing 150 structures built in the past 1 000 years, from Icelandic chapels to modernist houses, from beach shacks to skyscrapers, Black celebrates dark architecture all over the world. Here is a taster.

1. Stacked Cabin

Johnsen Schmaling Architects, Muscoda, Wisconsin, USA

At the far corner of a forested clearing sits a compact cabin designed for protected interaction with its bucolic surroundings. The woodland home is constructed from exposed concrete at its base, and black cedar, anodised metal and plaster. This black material palette causes the cabin to recede into the shadows and foliage, while also strongly delineating its bold form.

2. Roads and Waterworks Support Centre

Neutelings Riedijk Architects, Harlingen, The Netherlands

A regional support centre for a busy public works department, this low-slung trapezoidal structure was designed to support a number of disparate functions under a single continuous volume. The tapered single-storey building is clad in black corrugated metal panels so that the structure itself becomes a backdrop for the fluorescent painted roadwork vehicles that are constantly moving about the perimeter.

Black Desert House

Oller & Pejic, Yucca Valley, California, USA

Built on an isolated 1 ha site in a niche carved between rock formations in the High Desert in Southern California, Black Desert House was inspired by the client’s goal to build a house like a shadow. Since in the desert a shadow is often the only resting place for the eye, the intention of a black house was to act as a similar respite, not only from the relentless desert sun but also from the stress of urban life.

In the evening, the house disappears into the night, with only the faintest impression of structure lit by the moon and stars. The interiors are also executed in black and grey so that even the inside of the house recedes into the shadows during the day.

For more information about Black: Architecture in Monochrome (Phaidon), visit phaidon.com.