Accepting the Artificial: Astroturf Beyond the Football Field

Gabrielle Golenda Gabrielle Golenda

Outside of sports stadiums and mini-golf courses artificial grass is often considered taboo. From indoor offices to pop-up restaurants, new examples of artificial turf point towards a new acceptance, and even pleasure in the artificial. Architects and designers are celebrating the good points — forever green, resilient, low-maintenance, and in some cases safer — rather than apologizing for it as a substitute. Focusing on textural and material possibilities, this collection highlights new applications of astroturf that challenge not only the associated uses of a lawn, but also the very idea of the traditional greensward image.

© visiondivision

© visiondivision

© visiondivision

© visiondivision

© visiondivision

© visiondivision

Hill Hut by visiondivision, Stockholm, Sweden

Situated in a picturesque lake setting in southern Stockholm, “Hill Hut” was devised as an extension to a villa for two children. Utilizing their budget to create a playful setting, Visiondivision conceived an astro interior covered in astroturf complete with movable grassy hills. Beneath the extension, two secret caves are lit by in-cast IKEA drinking glasses that were appropriated as small lanterns.

Auditoriums – Silesian University of Technology by Zalewski Architecture Group, Gliwice, Poland

With the objective to instill a new life in the existing university auditoriums, Zalewski Architecture thought up an imaginative solution: astroturf. The seat backs in the auditorium and the lower lobby fitted with retractable seats in the wall are covered with artificial grass.

Eco-logic Camping House by carmelo zappulla, Barcelona, Spain

Using low-priced industrial materials, this ready-made installation was constructed with a bare-to-minimum budget out of elements anyone could acquire from a local hardware store. A “polyethylene-foam-rolls-and-nylon-flanges-sofa” rests on a floor-to-ceiling astroturf throne that extends around the floor of the entire “camping house.”

© OHLAB / oliver hernaiz architecture lab

© OHLAB / oliver hernaiz architecture lab

© OHLAB / oliver hernaiz architecture lab

© OHLAB / oliver hernaiz architecture lab

© OHLAB / oliver hernaiz architecture lab

© OHLAB / oliver hernaiz architecture lab

Urban Intimacies by OHLAB / oliver hernaiz architecture lab, Madrid, Spain

Located in the dense city center of Madrid, this penthouse was designed for a couple who requested 15 desires to be incorporated within the small rooftop space — some of which were a bit uncommon. The designed outcome includes a bedroom floor fit with a trap door and carpeted in astroturf. The turf wraps around the room and out to the terrace, where a “small park” overlooks the city.

Keep Off The Grass by Griffin Enright Architects, Los Angeles, California

This installation made up of 1,000 square feet of grass sod was suspended in the exhibition space of the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI_Arc) exhibition series. Exploring the dichotomy of the sod’s organic and artificial nature, the exposed structure of the installation is contrasted by the natural deterioration of the grass as it was intentionally not watered over the course of the eight-week exhibit.

© ABVD PHOTOGRAPHY - Benjamin Johnson

© ABVD PHOTOGRAPHY - Benjamin Johnson

© ABVD PHOTOGRAPHY - Benjamin Johnson

© ABVD PHOTOGRAPHY - Benjamin Johnson

© ABVD PHOTOGRAPHY - Benjamin Johnson

© ABVD PHOTOGRAPHY - Benjamin Johnson

Onefootball HQ by TKEZ architecture & design, Berlin Germany

A three-lane astroturf running track weaves around the office of the headquarters of a football app firm. Inside the former factory building, the track passes a turfed-clad wall behind the reception desk, turfed meeting rooms, goalposts, and a turfed tiered seating “arena.”

© Matt Irwin Photography

© Matt Irwin Photography

© Matt Irwin Photography

© Matt Irwin Photography

© Jim Stewart - Di Mase Architects

© Jim Stewart - Di Mase Architects

Shed Light by Di Mase Architects, Melbourne, Australia

Designed for the “Light in Winter” festival at Federation Square in Melbourne, Australia, this project was part of a month-long series of light installations. The sculpture pivots on its axis in response to changing light.

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© AllesWirdGut

HEI – Residential building, Frauenheimgasse // AllesWirdGut

Vienna, Austria

© H Lin Ho

Archicentre and SHATOTTO’s Eco Edifice Marks a New Era for Corporate A rchitecture in Malaysia

For the last 50 years, designs for company headquarters have been dominated by thick slices of moder nism in steel and glass, from SOM’s iconic Lever House in Manhattan to Kohn Pedersen Fox’s glittering Samsung HQ in Seoul. The brief for such projects remains the same today — to formulate a structure that can come to…

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