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June 08 - Blog Articles - Page 3 Print E-mail
Monday, 31 March 2008 19:00

NYC sprouts waterfalls thanks to Olafur Eliasson

Abigail Doan in Inhabitat
Danish Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson advocates that folks learn to Take Their Time, either at his current MoMA retrospective or for the viewing of his upcoming NYC Waterfalls project. With all spigots finally a-go, this $15 million dollar environmental installation project is set to launch on the banks of NYC’s East River and NY Harbor this Thursday, June 26. The wunderkind artist plans to have four freestanding waterfall sculptures awash in cascading water that will fall from heights of 90 to 120 feet. Touted to be the next best thing (economically) for the city since Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s saffron-colored Gates Project in Central Park, we will leave up to you as to whether you think that ‘waterfall chasing’ merits extra points for NYC’s Mayor Bloomberg as he moves to green our urban shores.

Carbon-Free Home Book Review and Giveaway!
Preston D K in Jetson Green
So Chelsea Green was kind enough to pass along a copy of Stephen and Rebekah Hren's new book officially titled The Carbon-Free Home: 36 Remodeling Projects to Help Kick the Fossil Fuel Habit.  As always, I've handled the book with care and will give it away to one lucky, random commenter below.*  To give you an idea of the quality material contained in the book, here's a review comment from the green guru Bill McKibben: "It's hard to imagine a more comprehensive, and comprehensible, guide to making your home work for you and for the planet, inside and out.  It's frugal, it's sensible, and it will help!"  I'd like to echo the comments of Bill McKibben myself, because this book is completely legit.

Will They Ever Finish Gene Simmons' Tongue?
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
Am I just being impatient, or does it seem that the rehab of the Illinois Center plaza at 205 N. Michigan is taking longer than the Sistine Chapel? The proprietors, having decided that the Miesian complex of glass boxes is a bit too dark and sober, have made a huge, floating red canopy the centerpiece of their reconstruction. It's like Calder's Flamingo, but with legs reduced to toothpicks and the body flattened in a roller.

Marcus Trimble in Super Colossal
Architecture Australia has launched this year’s Prize for Unbuilt Work. The AA Prize for Unbuilt Work seeks conceptually rigorous, inventive responses to contemporary architectural issues. An initiative of Architecture Australia, the national magazine of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects, the AA Prize promotes debate about architecture and architectural ideas by recognizing excellence in unbuilt projects. It offers an opportunity to discuss architectural works at the conceptual stage, and recognises projects which might contribute to the development of architectural discourse in Australia.

BEIJING: Paths for the blind
Megan Hall in Spacing Toronto • understanding the urban landscape
Spacing correspondent Megan Hall is in Beijing this summer. Over the next few weeks, she will be sharing her observations of China’s capital as it prepares to welcome the world to the controversial 2008 Olympic games in August.

Warehouse Temple: Visiting Works Partnership's Olympic Mills Commerce Center
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
Yesterday I made a long-intended visit to the Olympic Mills Commerce Center, the circa-1927 cereal mill that has been renovated by Works Partnership Architecture and Beam Development into a series of flexible creative spaces for mostly design-based tenants. Some rough edges not withstanding, I like this building and its rehab a lot. The original structure, known since 1950 as the B&O warehouse (for the former Baggage and Omnibus Company), has an eight-story concrete grain elevator and extends to nearly a full city block with its two-story warehouse.

Infrastructure and democracy
Merten Nefs in Projetos Urbanos
The delayed construction of Heathrow Terminal 5 was the longest public inquiry in the history of the UK. This week the Planning Bill, proposed legislation to streamline decision on big projects like airports, will be voted. Environment campaigners say it will strip ordinary people of the right to object to major projects. Engineers and politicians warn for failure and lack of infrastructure aswell as unacceptable costs through delays caused by civic protests. “It took four years, with 700 people giving evidence at a cost of £80 million to come up with the decision that the vast majority of people expected in the first place.”

house in corsica, foster and partners
Justin in materialicious
The location for this house - poised on the southern tip of Corsica - is spectacular. Glazed on three sides, with sliding doors that dematerialise the boundary between house and terrace, the outdoors becomes a natural and fluid extension of the interior. Laminated beams that support the cedar shingle roof extend on the southern side to form a brise-soleil canopy that attenuates the entire roof into a supple, aerodynamic curve.

Qatar Steel Hires Designer Syd Mean to Predict the Future for Them UnBeige
Proof that we will all soon be living in a time when everyone in the world is envious of a small stretch of ocean-front land in the Middle East, PSFK is reporting that the Qatar Steel corporation has hired industrial designer and artist Syd Mead to paint a portrait of what their home town of Doha might look like in the near future. Mead, who, among a billion other projects over the years, consulted on the looks of almost every influential movie about the future, including Tron and Blade Runner, offered the company up a painting with space ships and crazy Zaha Hadid-esque skyscrapers.

The Myth of Design - A quilty passion or something
Norman Blogster in PartIV
Sorry I haven’t been around much. I’ve just noticed Charles Holland tagged me on a meme thingy, where I’m supposed to show a picture demonstrating what I’m most passionate for students to learn about, title the post something to do with “passion quilt” and then invite 5 more unsuspecting souls to do likewise. So the picture above comes from googling “the myth of design” and choosing an image from the first page. Because what I’m most passionate about students knowing is this “myth of design”. Design is all-pervading in architecture school. I don’t know for sure, but I’d be pretty certain that most schools emphasise design so that it forms the majority of the final mark, whether for Part I or II. So you can be a great scientist, philosopher, historian, critic, writer, or whatever but if you’re only average at design, your mark will only be average. But this is ok, isn’t it - because architecture’s about design, right?

Slovenia’s Gorgeous Honeycomb Housing Complex
Mike Chino in Inhabitat
This stunning seaside structure bursts free from the all-too-frequently stale stock of public housing projects with its dynamic array of brightly shaded cells. Taking its cues from the modular honeycomb clusters of a beehive, the complex was constructed as a low-income residence for young families and couples in the industrial district of Izola on the Slovenian coast. The striking development boasts beautiful views and makes smart use of solar shading and natural ventilation to regulate its interiors all year-round.

MEPCO and Tetra Pak Collaborate in Saudi Arabia’s Green Paper Revolution
Sam Aola Ooko in Green Options
Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil producer is going green. At least in its first ecologically sustainable paper manufacturing venture. A carton paper manufacturer is making good its concerted efforts in environmental sustainability in the desert kingdom to recycle paper and raise consumer awareness about eco issues. In a joint effort, the country’s paper manufacturer, Middle East Paper Company (MEPCO) and Tetra Pak Arabia will, exchange expertise and experiences in the recycling field and MEPCO’s role will be to collect, sort and do the actual recycling work. Beverage carton recycling will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from landfill sites. The partnership will address the issue of recycling thousands of cartons that get discarded by households and other establishments across Saudi Arabia on a daily basis, the first of its kind in the Middle East region. The collaborators hope that apart from making a mark on the environment, they will be opening the recycled products, largely post consumer food and beverage cartons, to a wider international market, and follows successful trials conducted to demonstrate the recycling ability of Tetra Pak cartons by MEPCO.

Modern Shoestring: Contemporary Architecture on a Budget
Harry in MoCo Loco
Modern Shoestring sets out to reverse a common misconception, that the "construction of a contemporary house will cost the owner a fortune". The book features 18 custom built residential projects (no prefab) built between 2002 and 2007 on a shoestring budget, some for as little as $51.00 per square foot. The homes are presented with "emphasis on the goals of the owners, the site, and the cost in the design process. Collections determine floor plans, observatories are built for starry rural nights, and found and industrial materials such as highway construction remnants, laboratory counters, plastic water bottles, and discarded chalkboards keep costs low while imbuing structures with character.". From all over the US, from Los Angeles to Anchorage to East Hampton.

Rest in Peace
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
EM2N's competition design for a moturary hall in Erlenbach, Switzerland is a very simple, yet very nice solution. The simple form provides an area of sanctuary where visitors can focus on their thoughts of loved ones and commune with the outdoors. The way in which the form has been pulled apart, providing slots of light gives it an even more ethereal quality. Instead of providing a place of refuge for saddened family members, EM2N has created a structure that will encourage visitors to reflect in a positive light.

Calatrava's Chicago Spire Completed!
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
In another I-could-kick-myself moment, I've been reminded I've neglected to write about an amazing event, Brickworld 2008, where Lego freaks convene and exhibit their work. The ballroom of the Westin Hotel at 601 N. Milwaukee in Wheeling is filled with models that include some of the world's most prominent buildings.
I didn't make it, but our indefatigable correspondent Bob Johnson did, and he's provided these pictures. He also writes of meeting Lego artist extraordinaire - and Brickworld founder - Adam Reed Tucker, AIA, whose website Brickstructures includes photos of his Lego renderings of such classics as Trump Tower, 7 South Dearborn, the unbuilt project that was designed to the world's tallest building, and the Burj Dubai, which has now taken that title.

101 Things I Learned in Architecture School by Matthew Frederick
admin in
I purchased the 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School  and after 10 minutes of reading, I conclude that this is a funny and by far the best architecture book - ever, this is a book that students of architecture will want to keep in the studio and in their backpacks. It is also a book they may want to keep out of view of their professors, for it expresses in clear and simple language things that tend to be murky and abstruse in the classroom. I don’t remember ever having any textbook for my design class, if I had, this would be the book, the bible for every architecture student. I recommend reading it, especially first year architecture students. From my personal point of view, every information in the book is useful, for instant it contains advice on both the technical and the intellectual. Hints for everything from lettering to post modern theory share page space with reminders as varied as ‘design in section’ to ‘if you can’t explain your design in terms your grandmother understands, you don’t understand your own design.’

The Barn House / Buro II
Nico Saieh in Arch Daily
The Belgian architectural and interior office Buro II sent us this impressive house made from an old barn. More pictures and text after the break. Together with Hendrik Vermoortel, Rita Huys runs the Belgian architectural and interior design office BURO II/BURO Interior, which was also the office commissioned for the farmhouse conversion located among the rolling hills of mid-west Flanders. For BURO II/BURO Interior, the central principle for the farmhouse conversion is the relationship between the building and its outside space, and the connection with the surrounding environment. The client was emphatic that tradition, innovation and respect for the landscape be combined in a single project. The structure of the landscape and research into rural building in Flanders stand in reciprocity to the design process and the final built environment. Crucial in this thought process is that the landscape confirms the footprint of the buildings and farmhouses in origin and as tradition. Here respect and tradition create a need for a contemporary continuity, reflected in the search for a new meaning for the farmhouse in its varying scenic mutations. The project is a spatial and architectural quest for methods to offer new perspectives in the relationship between landscape and architecture.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 August 2008 02:03
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