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January '08 - Blog Articles - Page 11 Print E-mail
Monday, 31 December 2007 19:00
 

January 2nd, 2008

Destroying New York
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
What better way to start a New Year -- traditionally a time for looking forward in hope and making resolutions towards a better self -- than to ponder the destruction of a major city? This thought is all too reasonable given the beginning of what's sure to be a growing onslaught of advertisement for the film Cloverfield, in which "a monster the size of a skyscraper descends upon the city." Coming on the heels of Will Smith's I Am Legend -- a film based on a 1954 science fiction novel set in a post-apocalyptic LA, but moved to New York because "it's hard to make Los Angeles feel empty" -- there appears to be some sort of trend, or at least acceptability, in the physical destruction of New York City.

Blue Collar Architecture Tour
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
Today I dropped off my car for servicing at its usual shop in Goose Hollow. One of the things I like about this place is that they'll give you a ride to home or work (or in my case, both) afterward. And today, as one of the mechanics drove me through downtown toward the Hawthorne Bridge, I unexpectedly got some interesting opinions about architecture. He was the first to admit he didn't follow design or know a lot about architecture, but the guy repairs German cars for a living, so it's not like he's oblivious to form, function and beauty.

Local Color
Chris in Brand Avenue
Yesterday, 4:06 PM
While working on a project about the power of celebrity, Canadian product designer and writer Todd Falkowsky encountered an intriguing question:
I asked myself whether there was something about, say, Cameron Diaz’s face we could apply to a cellphone or a car that would increase its appeal. I did something similar for the City of Toronto, trying to figure out whether it has a specific colour that could be used by Canadian firms, and it occurred to me that this could be done for all of Canada.... How do we approach and identify essential, commonly agreed upon qualities of place?

yerra rugs
Justin in materialicious
Argentine designers Patricio Lix Klett and Federico Churba designed and developed the technology to create Yerra Rugs. Using 12″x12″ modules, the rugs are assembled using a special heat process. The rugs are stain-proof and the backings are made from eco-friendly materials. They are available in a variety of sizes and colors, and can also be custom ordered.

A Whole Kansas Town Is Going LEED
ASLA.org - The Dirt
Mark this up to the popularity of sustainability; the tornado-damaged town of Greensburg, Kansas, has announced last month that the City Council has adopted a resolution that all city buildings greater than 4,000 square feet must be certified LEED Platinum. These buildings will also be required to reduce energy use by 42 percent over current building code requirements. From the press release: "Following the Council's historic vote, City Administrator Steve Hewitt said, "I am so excited about being the first city in the U.S. to adopt this system for a town. I am ecstatic about this commitment and what it is telling the world about our town's character and where we are headed." Mayor John Janssen said, "This is just another important step in our recovery and our intentions to come back as one of the greenest towns in America.""

Yeon Exhibit In Final Days (His Influence, Ongoing)
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
Bob Hicks has a great piece in The Oregonian today about John Yeon that serves as a good reminder of the "In the Land of Influence" exhibit continuing through tomorrow evening at the new AIA Center for Architecture. Hicks recently retired from full-time editorial duties at the paper after a decades-long tenure there, but as he proved countless times over the years, he can write insightfully about anything arts related. About a decade ago, at my first daytime critics screening to review a movie for Willamette Week, Bob was there reviewing it on pinch-hit duty for Shawn Levy's Oregonianreview team. It's great to see him still contributing to the paper...

wharton esherick house and studio
Justin in materialicious
From Wikipedia: Wharton Esherick (1887-1970) was a sculptor who worked primarily in wood. He reveled in applying the principles of sculpture to common utilitarian objects. Consequently he is best known for his sculptural furniture and furnishings. Esherick was recognized in his lifetime by his peers as the Dean of American Craftsmen for his leadership in developing non-traditional designs, and encouraging and inspiring artists/craftspeople by example. Esherick’s influence continues to be seen in the work of current artisans, particularly in the studio furniture movement….. His greatest creation was his home and studio, outside of Valley Forge Pennsylvania. The buildings evolved over forty years as Esherick lived and worked there. He continued working on the studio until his death in 1970. In 1972 the studio was converted into the Wharton Esherick Museum.

William McDonough’s Treescraper Tower of Tomorrow
Mahesh in Inhabitat
What would you call a skyscraper that works like a tree, makes oxygen, distills water, produces energy, and changes with the seasons? Perhaps it’s time to propose a new word: treescraper! Biomimicry - the art of drawing inspiration from nature’s designs - is a strategy often found in green architecture, and here’s a tree-inspired super structure that exemplifies healthy and high-tech design for the future. Designed by William McDonough, the green architect par excellence, who built the first solar-powered house in Ireland in 1977 and was entitled “Hero of the Planet” in 1999 by the Time magazine, this latest proposal for the Tower of tomorrow was commissioned by Fortune Magazine. McDonough’s proposal focuses on the possibilities of today, for a future context, integrating green and arboreally-inspired systems in a super efficient, forward-thinking architectural marvel.

Michael Jantzen: M-Velopes
architecture.MNP
Jantzen earns our first ‘my ninjas, please‘ of 2008 for his ‘M-Velopes‘ project - a transformable structure created to provide a special place for ninjas to meditate. The shape and interior light quality of the M-velope can be changed by folding the surface of the structure into many different combinations. Each plane of the surface of the structure is covered with panels that are subdivided in different ways. These panels are hinged to each other, and to the main support frame. Each panel can be moved and easily attached to the main support frame with pins at two locations. The first fixed position of the panels opens the M-velope in many unexpected ways. The second fixed position opens the structure up much more, and there are many transformations possible when the panels are opened and/or closed in different combinations. The present floor area of the M-velope is eight feet square, and the height is approximately twelve feet depending on how the panels are folded. The size of the entire space can be increased by joining more M-velopes together [from Michael Jantzen’s website, HumanShelter.org].

Ancient pyramid found in central Mexico City
By Miguel Angel Gutierrez, Reuters
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Archeologists have discovered the ruins of an 800-year-old Aztec pyramid in the heart of the Mexican capital that could show the ancient city is at least a century older than previously thought

Montreal’s lost Expo opportunity
Christopher DeWolf in Spacing Montreal
Expo 67’s 40th anniversary has passed, but there’s one aspect of the world fair that I find strangely overlooked: its transportation system. While the Minirail and pedicabs moved people around the Expo site, more serious transit links were needed to get them to and from Notre Dame and St. Helen’s islands. That’s where the metro, Expo Express and hovercrafts came into play. Hovercrafts were used to speed people between the South Shore, La Ronde and the Cité du Havre. The metro’s yellow line was built between Montreal and Longueuil because it offered a stop on St. Helen’s Island, right in the middle of the Expo action.

"Stunning" Burnham and Root San Francisco Chronicle Building restoration unveiled
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
"Stunning"is how San Francisco Chronicle architecture critic John King describes the restoration of the building Burnham and Root designed for that newspaper in 1890. This is what it originally looked like, in a historic postcard that appears on the Curbed SF website. According to King, the four-story clock story, ballyhooed by the paper as "the only bronze one in the United States", lasted only to 1905, when it was set ablaze by skyrockets set off by supporters celebrating the re-election of Mayor Eugene Schmitz, who the Chronicle had opposed, as they paraded past its offices. The next year was even worse. The building survived the Great San Francisco earthquake, but a fire broke out in the top floor, sending the heavy typesetting equipment plunging all the way through to the basement.

January 1st, 2008

Ettore Sottsass Dies at 90
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
Italian designer Ettore Sottsass, architect, designer and founder of the postmodernist Memphis Group, died on New Year's Eve at the age of 90, reports the New York Times. Mr. Sottsass was known for his playfulness and wit as well...

Terry Farrell enters the age of aquariums
BD Online
The Biota! aquarium will form the centrepiece of the Silvertown Quays regeneration in east London. Architect Terry Farrell presented his plans for the landmark building in the same week he was named design champion for the Thames Gateway. The naturally ventilated aquarium will boast an ETFE roof — as used on Grimshaw’s Eden project in Cornwall — and will include a series of biomes arranged around a central atrium, each housing a complete eco-system. Four biomes will recreate water habitats from the Amazon, the British Isles, the Indo-Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean, while the fifth will focus on protecting aquatic species.

29th Olympic Games year 2008, Beijing, China
Young in Architecture
The biggest event in the coming year of 2008 is the 29th Olympic Games, which will be held in Beijing, China. China had an official website introducing the stadium, the concept, the design, the structure and the events.
"Located at the southern part of the Olympic Green in Beijing, the National Stadium is the main stadium of the 29th Olympiad in 2008. Occupying an area of 21 hectares, it has a floor space of 258,000 square meters. Its seating capacity amounts to 91,000, including 11,000 temporary seats." to find out more...
Passage from http://www.n-s.cn/en/generalinfo/introduction/


 


 

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