Archived Blog Articles - October Print
Saturday, 06 October 2007 02:06

We select here the best Articles that we find around the blogosphere. We hope that you will enjoy them. 

Today's archidose #148
By John - October 30th 2007
Mock-up of the rooftop louvers for the Art Institute of Chicago addition by Renzo Piano Building Workshop. 
The Efficient Materials Trap
By Philip Proefrock - October 29th 2007
Efficient materials can sometimes seem to be the ideal path for green building. If we can find a way to more efficiently produce the materials we need to build our buildings, it would seem that we would be well on our way to reducing our impact on the planet....

Design Revolutionaries

By David Colman
Great design is like the Bill of Rights. We get so used to having it around, we don’t even think about it anymore. And as much as we might complain about what we don’t like, much of New York is fantastically thought-out. Street signs, dinner china, perfume bottles, sofa fabrics; we forget that, at some point, someone put serious effort into making the mundane beautiful..... 

Work on New FSC Classroom Structure Begins
By Robin Williams Adam, The Ledger - October 27th 2007
... Architect Robert Stern, dean of the Yale School of Architecture and a Frank Lloyd Wright scholar, is designing the building. He also designed the Residential Life Center now under construction along Lake Hollingsworth....

Architecture in Africa: 'Lasting Foundations'
By - October 26th 2007
THE SHOW ABOUT art and architecture is OK in "Lasting Foundations: The Art of Architecture in Africa," which runs through Jan. 13 at the National Building Museum.
Between the lines is a better show about time, the extreme tests of which, on these huts, houses, mosques and palaces found throughout Africa, have no parallel in a society that produces the Toll Brothers' Santa Barbara Foyer.

Green Building Elements: Building Controls
By Philip Proefrock - October 24th 2007
For all our technological advances, our buildings remain incredibly dumb constructions. Automobiles have multiple onboard computers that help maximize their performance and improve efficiency and coordinate the various systems....

Stuffy Irish Architects Complain About U2's Clarence Hotel
By Steve  -  October 23rd 2007
We've been working long hours lately and we desperately needed a good laugh. Thankfully, the gods answered our pleas in the form of this piece in Ireland's Independent paper: "Architect Survey Rejects U2 Hotel."...

Artek: Sustainability from Aalto to Dixon
By Collin Dunn, October 22nd 2007
Courtesy of the NY Times, we get an up close and personal look at Finnish furniture company Artek, who've taken old-school notions of sustainability like durability and timeless longevity and updated them for the 21st century. Building on the legacy of co-founding designer Alvar Aalto, this longevity "has made Artek a Finnish institution, and Aalto a national treasure," and really shows how sustainable design is about more than green materials and efficient manufacturing....

The only castle in Malibu
By BLDG Blog - October 22nd 2007
As wildfires "rage," "blaze," and "roar" across Southern California, we find perhaps little-needed proof that surrealist postmodern medievalism will not save your house from destruction.
Castle Kashan has burnt down....

Cities Elapsed
By Brand Avenue - October  21st 2007
Perusing an now-ancient post about a day in the life of Winnipeg, Manitoba as depicted through atmospheric, often captivating time-lapse photography has inspired an ongoing search for evocative time-lapse city shorts. I admit to knowing rather little about the growth of time-lapse photography as a technique, but I do know that I like it, particularly in how it registers experiential variation through time.

In Marrakesh, Homes Among the Palm Groves
By SETH SHERWOOD - October 18, 2007
When Albert Watson’s Greenwich Village neighbors and fashion-business colleagues want to flee their familiar Manhattan routines, many speed off to the Hamptons. ‘The weird thing about the Hamptons is that everybody you see in New York, you go out to the Hamptons and you see them all once again...

A Wooden Cube
By William Wiles in All Archive, Architecture - October 17, 2007
A wooden cube ends a row of terraces in De Beauvoir Town, north London. Recently completed by David Adjaye, the house was designed for a photographer friend, Ed Reeve. The three-storey house is clad entirely in stained garden decking. Adjaye wanted the house to appear as though it had sunk within its own material,” says Reeve. “Not only is the house clad in decking, but so is the outside floor space and the perimeter walls.”.....

Leo a Daly and Conron & Woods Design New LEED-registered Building for State of New Mexico
By - October 16, 2007
The design for the new Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) headquarters, which is a collaborative effort of the Phoenix office of LEO A DALY, the international architecture, planning, engineering, interior design and program management firm, and Conron & Woods Architects of Santa Fe, N.M., was recently completed.

Architects Who Changed the Way We Travel
ByYanko Design in All Archive, Architecture - October 15, 2007
It’s no secret that beautiful buildings are part of the reason that travelers choose certain destinations, but which modern architects are making the most impact on the travel scene?, the travel site, just released a guide to the top 11 architects who’ve changed the way we travel. It’s also a great way to get a look at some of the best modern architecture that’s coming up soon — from Zaha Hadid’s Guanzhou Opera House to Koolhaas’s Dee & Charles Wyly Theatre in Dallas.

Monday, Monday
By A Daily Dose of Architecture - October 15, 2007
Montjüic Pavilion & Garden in Barcelona, Spain by Federico Calabrese. The updated book feature is Organizing for Change: Integrating Architectural Thinking in Other Fields, by Michael Shamiyeh and DOM Research Laboratory (Ed.).

The sacrifice of Waverly Court
By - October 15, 2007
Houstonist noticed about a month ago that something was missing near the corner of Bissonnet and Mt. Vernon streets, just west of Montrose Blvd. The house didn't seem to fit in, but it sure caught our eye - unfortunately it was recently demolished by the current owners. The house was located at 1 Waverly Court and was designed by Glassman Shoemake Maldonado Architects and built in 1999 to replace a beaten-up 1950s contemporary home by David Baer, FAIA. It was described in the Houston Architectural Guide as "a low-key tower house fronted by a wildly exploded, expressionist stair tower faced with zinc and aluminum-coated steel siding."

STITCH ROOM by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec
By Ali - October 14, 2007
At the intersection of green design, space-making, and textiles, the Bouroullec brothers’ Stitch Room is one part design genius, one part child-like playtime. Known for designs that cross the boundary between furniture and architecture, the creations of this design duo tend to emphasize possibilities, and their exploration of space in The Stitch Room is no exception. Using eco-friendly textiles from the ultra-green Danish company Kvadrat, the brothers have created organized, versatile spaces that can be transformed to almost any imaginable use.

White Installation
By Yoshioka - October 14, 2007
Moroso New York will be the first city exhibiting the final version of Tokujin's Panna chair. The Moroso store at 146 Greene Street in New York is transformed into an ethereal, all-white environment. Tokujin Yoshioka has built an art installation which will show the development of his Panna Chair. New York is the first to show the final version of this chair.

Casa Kike
By mad architect - October 13, 2007
A tropical retreat in Costa Rica by Gianni Botsford. The architects aimed with this project to create an architecture of local adaptation; to climate, environment and culture. Casa Kike located on a beach lot facing the Caribbean Sea for the architect's father - a writer and his extensive library of books.The design is a response to the tropical environment and the local culture, built using available materials and construction techniques. The distinctive roof shape, seamlessly rising from the walls, maps the path of the sun keeping the glazed elevations in shade.

By Jimmy
NPR reports on an often overlooked collection of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in Florida on the campus of Florida Southern College. Wright designed the master plan for the campus, as well as 18 unique buildings, 12 of which were built. Unfortuately, In the grand tradition of FLW Buildings, the campus buildings are crumbling apart. In fact, they're degrading so quickly that they have been included on the list of the 100 most endangered sites by the World Monument Fund. Phase one of the restoration project will be completed later this month, and the university is hoping to raise the 50 million dollars required to completely restore, and in some cases improve, the remaining Wright structures. 

Mark Schomisch
By kim - Thursday, October 11, 2007
Mark Schomisch is my type of designer, because of his love for mixing periods. I love the shock factor of seeing, for example, an antique Louis chair next to a modern lucite table. As Mark puts it - visual tension. "I find myself drawn to beautiful things. Good design. No matter the style or period. That pretty much sums up my approach to interiors. I like the visual tension created by something very modern surrounded by an antique piece (and vice versa)...each one betters the other...draws your eye to what makes them unique".

Chicago: City on the Move
By Lynn Becker - Thursday, October 11, 2007
Thursday evening, October 11th, from 5:30 - 7:30 P.M., marks the opening of Intersections: Views Across Chicago, a new exhibition, at the Chicago Architecture Foundation, 224 South Michigan, of images taken by Chicago Surface Lines staff photographers of the streets and cityscapes through which the company's streetcar routes traveled.

By John - Wednesday, October 10, 2007
This fall semester at NYU saw the opening of Steven Holl's contribution to the campus, an interior renovation of the Department of Philosophy, located on the corner of Mercer Street and Washington Place. Visible from a distance (especially at night) is the design's main feature, the walls of the staircase. Vertical orientation and emphasis seem to be the latest thing for Holl, or at least for urban, academic work. 

New green McDonough project breaks ground in Chapel Hill
by Jorge - Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Greenbridge, the latest super-green mixed-use residential project by William McDonough of Cradle to Cradle fame broke ground on Monday in all its sustainable glory. Located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the development will offer 98 condos and retail establishments, green roofs, solar panels, rainwater runoff systems, and even a a community learning center to teach sustainable living practices.

Archidose #142

By John - Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Biblioteca Jaume Fuster in Barcelona, Spain by Josep Llinás Carmona.

Cameron Sinclair Speaks at MFAH
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
On Wednesday October 10th, Cameron Sinclair, co-founder of Architecture for Humanity, and co-author of “Design like you Give a Damn” will be delivering the final lecture in the Rice Design Alliance’s 2007 Fall series “Design Activism: Agents of Change.”

Luce et Studio
By kim
Monday, October 08, 2007
Luce et Studio was the brainchild of Canadian architect Jennifer Luce and was established in 1990 in San Diego. "The studio focuses on innovative responses to design and architectural challenges at all scales. Passionate about research, new technologies, materials and a strong philosophy about art in architecture, the work defies classification and explores innovation." Internationally recognized and awarded for incredible modern design. 

David Chipperfield's "Small Acropolis" Wins the Stirling
By Steve
Monday, October 08, 2007
The biggest award in the UK for architecture, the Stirling Prize, was given out this a building in Germany. Ah, but if you read the fine print, you see that the firm who wins "must be a RIBA member, but the building can be anywhere in the European Union." The winner in question is the beautiful Museum of Modern Literature, designed by the top-tier David Chipperfield Architects.

Bilbao and the Gift of Gehry
By Steve
Monday, October 08, 2007
Speaking of museums and architecture, but heading in a much, much different direction, comes this story from the weekend edition of the Financial Times: "The Museum That Saved a City." It's about Frank Gehry's waterfront batch of twisted metal, the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain and how it has saved a dying town.

James Howard Kunstler: The tragedy of suburbia
By Architecture Matters
Sunday, 7 October 2007
After getting a series of hate mails from die-hard-architecture fans and not to mention archi-maniac on my previous post - What is Architecture? Once again, what is architecture? Is it a form of art? and architects are into architecture because of the money? passion? a civic duty to uplift mankind?

Weekend Review: The Future of Nature
By Kelli Best-Oliver
Saturday, October 06, 2007
When I talk to people about thinking sustainably, they inevitably ask for books to read, and although there are several books I love about sustainability, they’re all very specific to one area of sustainability. Want to read about food? Try Michael Pollan, Peter Singer, or the new Barbara Kingsolver book. 

Archidose #141
by John
Saturday, October 06, 2007
The Bloch Building addition to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, MO by Steven Holl, 2007. 

Taking Life Easy in Urban Italy
By Stephan Orth
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Supporters of Italy's "Slow City" movement are trying to develop liveable cities, banning cars from city centers and blocking McDonald's branches and supermarkets. The movement is spreading across Europe and is now taking off in Asia. It's not easy to be punctual for a meeting with Stefano Cimicchi. Parking places are hard to come by in Orvieto, even if cars are still legal. Cars in the city center stick out like a sore thumb among strolling pedestrians, who move to the sides of the streets with studied slowness.


Isolated Building Studies
Revealing Meaning Through Recontextualization. These Isolated Building Studies are the visual confluence of my interests in urban dynamism, socioeconomic inequality and photography. By using a common composition to eliminate physical variables from these solo subjects, I hope to draw our attention to new ways of seeing the common impact of divergent investment processes on Chicago neighborhoods.

You must be crazy not to love Alvaro Siza
Thursday, October 04, 2007
“You must be crazy not to love Alvaro Siza,” said my lecturer in a monotonous voice and expression, “His designs are really good and a strong respect for every site.”
The Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza is one of the world’s most respected architects. The recipient of many awards, including the US Pritzker Prize for Architecture in 1992, Siza has built and taught in Portugal and internationally since the late 1950s.

Sudapan – Endless(s)trips
By Christoph Wassmann, Thursday, October 04, 2007
Supersudaca is organizing its first international competition: It promotes the creation of scenarios for new urban model in massive tourism areas.
Endless(s)trips is a space to rethink the relations between the local means, the tourists, the environment, the touristic operators, the State, the infrastructure, the landscape. It is an opportunity to imagine other cities, other territories and other ways of conceiving the way tourism operates in the Caribbean.

Literary Dose #16
By John, Thursday, October 04, 2007
"In connection with abstract space...a question arises...It concerns the silence of the 'users' of this space. Why do they allow themselves to be manipulated in ways so damaging to their spaces and their daily life without embarking on massive revolts? "
- Henri Lefebvre, from The Production of Space, translated by Donald Nicholson-Smith (1991).

Dispatches from the Super-Versailles
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Last week The New York Times published the latest installment in its ongoing series exploring the environmental and human impact of China's epic economic growth, and from it we learn, among other things, that the country is continuing apace with the construction of “the biggest water project in the history of the world.”

The Laws of Simplicity
By Christoph Wassmann
Dealing with simplicity isn't new for architecture. Recently, John Maeda's book "The Laws of Simplicity" has brought new thoughts on how architects could deal with it. Architecturally we're often dealing with simplicity, thus it often results in purism and minimalism.

Without Walls: An Interview with Lebbeus Woods
by Geoff Manaugh, Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Lebbeus Woods is one of the first architects I knew by name – not Frank Lloyd Wright or Mies van der Rohe, but Lebbeus Woods – and it was Woods's own technically baroque sketches and models, of buildings that could very well be machines (and vice versa), that gave me an early glimpse of what architecture could really be about.

Firm Faces #2, Version 2
By John, Wednesday, October 03, 2007
The office of Vienna-based Delugan Meissl (previously firm-faced here) gets the Waking Life treatment on their team page, their faces animated in front of pink backgrounds. The choice for this is most likely aesthetic, but the means of filtering their faces reduces the amount of information in a way that allows for multiple readings from a lack of clear definition. How this hypothesis relates to their work is not clear, as their buildings have always struck me as crisp and modern, if more playful than those descriptors would normally indicate.

Robo-Chernobyl and the Alcubierre Drive
By Geoff Manaugh, Tuesday, 08:33 PM
In light of an interview I'm about to post with architect Lebbeus Woods, I thought I'd point out two quick bits of recent news. The heavily irradiated failed nuclear complex at Chernobyl will soon be "encased in steel."
This "arched structure," New Scientist calls it, "will be 150 metres long and 105 metres tall – big enough to allow the existing sarcophagus and the wrecked reactor to be dismantled and permanently entombed." That "existing sarcophagus" is actually a giant shell of concrete that "was hastily built over the wreckage" back in 1986. It has already begun "leaking radioactivity" and needs to be replaced.

Hog Island
By Geoff Manaugh, Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Nearly a year ago, Andrew Evans – of Reinterred City fame – sent me this image of a place called Hog Island, Philadelphia. Hog Island was a shipbuilding yard – in fact, we read, it was "the largest shipyard in the world" during WWI.

Twentyone Examples of Dullness in Construction
About what builders were thinking when such things do?

Literary Dose #16
By John, Thursday, October 04, 2007
"In connection with abstract space...a question arises...It concerns the silence of the 'users' of this space. Why do they allow themselves to be manipulated in ways so damaging to their spaces and their daily life without embarking on massive revolts? "
- Henri Lefebvre, from The Production of Space, translated by Donald Nicholson-Smith (1991).

San Francisco's Wright
By jimmy, Monday, October 1st 2007
The Xanadu Gallery is the only existing Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building in San Francisco. Originally constructed in 1912, the building was the home of the V.C. Morris Gift Shop, and it was the Morrises who commsioned Wright to expand and remodel their store. Considering that the commission was for a retail space, it seems odd that there are no display windows, aside for a small terrarium-like entry structure. A little web research yielded the answer to this puzzler.

Lights among the ruins
By Geoff Manaugh, Saturday, September 29, 2007
The New York Times reports today on what it calls the "Pompeii of World War II," an abandoned village in Italy now "overtaken by vines and lime trees."
That village is San Pietro, an "11th-century cobblestone mountain village nestled among wild figs and cactus," as well as the scene of months of horrific fighting between Allied and German troops.

Literary Dose #15
By John, September 25, 07:45 AM
"Thinking about daylight and artificial light I have to admit that daylight, the light on things, is so moving to me that I feel it almost as a spiritual quality. When the sun comes up in the morning -- which I always find so marvelous, absolutely fantastic the way it comes back every morning -- and casts its light on things, it doesn't feel as if it quite belongs in this world. I don't understand light."
- Peter Zumthor, from Atmospheres (2006). The book is a transcript of a lecture Zumthor gave at Wendlinghausen Castle in East-Westphalia-Lippe, Germany in 2003.

Terrace House 2,Vienna, Austria
By Christoph Wassmann, September 19, 2007
Vienna, Austria, has fairly high standards regarding social housing. Especially the architect Harry Glück has raised the bar for high density apartment towers: each flat is connected with a private open space - a terrace.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 June 2008 01:47