January '08 - Blog Articles - Page 3 Print E-mail
Monday, 31 December 2007 19:00
 

January 27th and 26th, 2008

Simple, Elegant, and Compact
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
These simple folding drawer/shelf units are a quite elegant way to add storage, without adding bulk. The design by Shay Alkalay is beautiful as a stand alone object, but its also clever and useful!

Interaction and Choreography
Chris in Brand Avenue
Yesterday, 9:29 PM
In a moment where "interactivity" has become as ubiquitous and desirable as social networking and wi-fi, the design of an ambitious new public space in San Francisco expresses how ideas of interactivity can bear themselves out architecturally and urbanistically. Physical connectivity, material contrast, and consumer choice come to the fore, along with event planning and even furniture design: These clearings in the urban jungle point to what we can expect as the city grows; the best designs and spaces will be interactive in the way these plazas are, with new stores, arts and music venues and digital playgrounds. They are interactive in the simplest way - you walk through them. In addition, venues linked to them use technology to make it possible for visitors to personalize their experience, whether it is while looking at art or engaging with a history museum.

Cultural space to be built on Saint-Laurent metro
Christopher DeWolf in Spacing Montreal
One of the more inexplicable vacant lots in town has been always been the one surrounding Saint-Laurent metro, at the corner of the Main and de Maisonneuve. You’d think that, being right on top of the metro and in such a central location, it would have been developed a long time ago. Well, that’s finally about to happen: forty years after it first came into being, this patch of empty space will finally make way for a new building. Earlier this week, the city announced that it has mandated the Société d’habitation et de développement de Montréal (SHDM) to build a new structure on top of the Saint-Laurent metro entrance. The new building will house commercial and cultural space, notably for LADMMI, Montreal’s school of contemporary dance. The city has not committed to funding the new development, however, which means that the SHDM will be forced to find somebody else to pay for it.

Financing Home 2.0
Jon Lebkowsky in WorldChanging: Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Bright Green Future
While predatory lending practices in the mortgage industry have been getting a lot of press lately, there's a far more positive trend within the same industry: green mortgages. What do I know about finance? Though in these columns I focus on social media, I'm often in discussions about sustainability, and many of those focus on the built environment. I'm aware that big developers like Stratus here in Austin are completely serious about green buidling, and there are more and more LEED-certified construction projects in development, and various green building experts looking beyond LEED for better ways to ensure sustainable design and building....

Marina City In Its Cups
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
Via the indispensible Marina City Online website comes this ad for the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau in which the twin towers of architect Bertrand Goldberg's iconic Marina City are rebuilt entirely out of a coffee cup resting atop each of twin 600-foot-high stacks of about 60 giant saucers. (or maybe they're just actual size serving platters from a Brazilian steakhouse.) It kinda gives you a feel for what Marina City might have looked like - minus the coffee cups - if it had been designed by Oscar Niemeyer. It's the first of a series of ads created for the bureau by Chicago ad firm Downtown Partners, run by a guy whose computer I used to take care of, founding partner Jim Schmidt. In a positive review, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Lewis Lazare reports that it's the first of six print executions, with others to tout the city's "ethnic diversity, its many festivals and its physical beauty, among other selling points." The Marina City ad seeks to underscore Chicago's claim to being "the culinary capital of America." I wonder if Ellis Levin tried to shake anybody down for royalties.

Ann Arbor Lighting Up With 100% LEDs!
Ali Kriscenski in Inhabitat
We haven’t been giving Ann Arbor, Michigan enough attention and the city deserves it! Last year Ann Arbor joined forces with LED manufacturer Cree, Inc, on an ever-expanding citywide LED initiative to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. With a recent retrofit contract signed with Lumecon, Ann Arbor is on its way to being the first U.S. city to light up its downtown with 100% LED technology!

Schmitz Country House Design by Felipe Assadi Architect, Calera Tango, Chile
Mohammad Fahmi Tri Wahyudi,ST in Best House Design
Nice country house located in Calera Tango, Santiago, Chile is the house project for a marriage with no children that was done by Felipe Assadi Architects at a 4.5 Ha land area. Calera Tango is a commune located one hour from the capital. It is located in an intermediate situation between the Andes Mountains and the Coastal Range, from which one can see both limits with great clarity throughout the year. This country house consist of great Living room, dinning room, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, sauna, swimming pool and basement area. The materials used are preferably concrete and glass. Some areas of the body that are structural glazing were covered with Larch wood, a tree native aging with bright silver.

Literary Atmospheres
Geoff Manaugh in BLDGBLOG
A British novelist has been awarded legal damages in excess of £100,000 because she writes thrillers, not literary masterpieces. What's at fault? She's been inhaling fumes from a nearby shoe factory. The author "claimed to have become so intoxicated" by the fumes that "she was reduced to writing thrillers." Indeed, the fumes grew so intense "that she was unable to concentrate on writing her highbrow novel, Cool Wind from the Future, and instead wrote a brutal crime story, Bleedout, which she found easier." That book went on to sell 10,000 copies. So there are several unspoken arguments being put forward by her claim. Such as: 1) Literary judgement. Why is one "reduced" to writing crime thrillers? ....

The Habitat 67 experience
Christopher DeWolf in Spacing Montreal
Yesterday, I visited someone who lives in Habitat 67. It was the first time I had been inside the landmark apartment complex, built as part of Expo 67 and based on Moshe Safdie’s McGill master’s project, and I was surprised at what an awe-inspiring experience it was to wander through it. Although Habitat is known around the world for its unique modular design (The Walrus’ current issue has an interesting look at the ideas behind its design), what makes it a truly spectacular building is the way it relates to its surrounding environment. It’s an almost indescribable experience to stand on the top floor of Habitat, the St. Lawrence’s swift current rushing behind me, the sun setting over Mount Royal and the downtown skyline before me. If it hadn’t been so cold, I could have spent the entire afternoon staring at the ocean liners mired in ice, the port’s cranes framing the Farine Five Roses sign, the Victoria and Champlain bridges spanning an icy river bathed in pink light. More than that, though, Habitat actively frames that view, creating unexpected sightlines and unique vantage points.

January 25th, 2008

Forget about Dealing with Codes
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
 Whenever I see an image like this, part of me wishes that I could have a project in an area without codes and restrictions, and part of me wishes we saw more exciting projects that managed to deal with the local codes and restrictions...

Baraka
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
In a post at Blog Like You Give a Damn on Kowloon Walled City -- one of the most amazing self-generating entities I've witnessed via photographs and video -- commenter fred shares a reference to Baraka, a 1992 film by Ron Fricke and Mark Magidson with scenes of the walled city. The generous stills on this web site include a few images of the physical conglomeration that made up the walled city, illustrating its proximity to the now-demolished-just-like-the-walled-city Kai Tak Airport. Kowloon Walled City was demolished in 1993 for a number of reasons, so only images such as these are what survive for those, like me, fascinated by the place but never to visit it. Glancing at some of the other stills on the film's web site, Baraka clearly resembles another non-narrative film devoted to presenting imagery of the world's populations and their respective environments: Koyaanisqatsi.

Ben Rubin and Mark Hansen's Installation at the New York Times Building Moves Us
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
The idea to siphon the words and images from the New York Times' 156-year archive onto 560 small screens at the paper's new Renzo Piano headquarters seems like an innocent, obvious proposition---a printed paper, in a new age, "going...

Europe's biggest ski lodge.
Christoph, anArchitecture in anArchitecture
Austrian alpine architecture has evolved from modest rural huts to colossal recreational buildings. Strangely, the typology stayed the same – only the buildings got scaled up: Like bizarre caricatures of the historic heritage.
The Hohen-Haus Tenne Schladming is referred as Europe's biggest ski lodge – 3.000 m² total surface. The building houses a bar for 1.500 thirsty guests, seminar facilities, adventure toilets, dance floors, 35 plasma screens and restaurants.

PREFAB FRIDAY: A ‘House Boat’ for the Arctic
Ali Kriscenski in Inhabitat
Winter shelter in the Arctic can take form in an upside down hunting boat – a traditional Inuit practice. Covey Island Boatworks, award winning builders of hand-crafted yachts, power and sailboats, has brought that idea into dry dock developing a prototype wood and epoxy prefab that applies boatbuilding principles directly to an extreme Arctic home.

b4Architects: Europan 9, Kotka
architecture.MNP
Winners of an international call-for-entries for harbor-front redevelopment in Kotka, Finland, b4Architects [along with Matteo Rossetti and our ninja Luigi Valente] create a new urban interface between land and sea with their proposal for the Europan 9 competition. Kotka is a harbor town born from the local wood + paper industries - which brought business and shipping traffic to the harbor while causing a disconnect between the residents and the waterfront, much like other port-cities around the world. Now that these industries have different shipping/harbo-front needs, the city is left with a large expanse of empty waterfront to reshape - envisioning a realization of a ‘contemporary idea of living’.

Finally
David Sucher in City Comforts
C.R. Douglas in Crosscut Seattle on Shaky assumption: An Alaskan Way Viaduct myth is dispelled.

Delicate Exterior, Solid Interior
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
I quite like this project... an adminstrative office for the UAX company by Kamil Mrva Architects, this project has a very delicate and crafted exterior skin. Yet, at the same time, the interior experience gives the impression of solidity and heft. Its a very interesting contrast, making this simple box form not simple at all.

Preservation Chicago Unveils Chicago 7 '08 Monday, plus Tuesday Hearing on SOM Gunner's Mate Future
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
Chicago Seven, 2008 edition. Monday, January 28th, from 12:15 to 12:45 P.M., President Jonathan Fine and VP Mike Moran will unveil grass roots activist group Preservation Chicago's list of the city's most endangered historic places for 2008. According to organization's press release, "This year promises to be different indeed. Included among the list of threatened buildings and districts will be one unconventional entry that will virtually throw down the gauntlet and present a challenge to City Hall." The event will take place at the John Buck Lecture Hall, at the Chicago Architecture Foundation, 224 S. Michigan.



Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 June 2008 01:48
 
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