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May 27th, 2008
Young Architects 9: Proof
“Proof calls for creativity at a conceptual level, but also demands innovation in the ways we activate and employ our concepts”. Assembled as a mini-monograph of collected works from the 6 emerging architecture practices, the Architectural League of New York’s Young Architects 9: Proof is an insightful look at some of the [US] architecture scene’s newest movers & shakers (and 2 of them are from the Bean - act like you know!). The 6 featured firms - Aranda/Lasch, Jinhee Park, ludens, PARA, PRODUCTORA, and Uni Architecture - were the winners of the 2008 Young Architects competition held by the Architectural League of New York.
House for architects and artists / AFGH
Nico Saieh in Arch Daily
The task was to create reasonably-priced residential space with high standards of living comfort for four differently sized parties. In the processs, each party was to profit as much as possible on the one hand from the 3,000 m2 south-facing environs, and on the other from the north-facing view of the city. This determined an unconventional and complex internal organisation of the building. All four apartments are accessible via a two-storey entrance hall, each of them having their own internal staircase of one or two floors. In principle the double-storey apartments and the two roof apartments are encapsulated in each other so that the quality of the four-sided building is fully exploited. Common place and unrefined materials such as concrete, timber, wood and glvanised steel were chosen, which animated each other when combined.
Sustainable Eucalyptus Flooring by Duro Design
Sarah Roe in Jetson Green
Duro Design is offering a beautiful collection of eco-friendly Eucalyptus flooring. The wood is grown in managed forests in Europe and is available in 12 colors ranging from gray to natural to a warm apricot color. Premium German and Swiss pigments give the flooring its wonderful tints and depth of color. It is treated with 6 coats of MP765 low-VOC Urethane giving it incredibly durability. This particular Urethane allows you to refinish the floor without sanding or stripping, which is an incredible advantage. The flooring comes with a 25 year structural warranty as well as a five year finish warranty. The tongue and groove boards may be glued down or nailed, as conventional wood floors.
pj house for $3.1 mil
Who wouldn’t want to live in New Canaan in a house designed by Philip Johnson? I’ve been looking for something to do with all this extra $$ I’ve got laying around anyways…[click the title of this post to read the full article, from the NYT]
Morgan Lovell's Green Office Demonstrates Blueprint for the Future
Design Build Network
The doors were opened to one of the country's top 'green' offices at a special event to show how a typical 1960s London block has been turned into a sustainable workplace of the future. Over two days, 160 facilities and property professionals - as well as business leaders - toured Morgan Lovell's headquarters in a series of seminars to see how they can build sustainability into their interior office design projects. Morgan Lovell's pioneering transformation of its Soho site has seen the company ranked in the 2008 Sunday Times Green List - a record of the 50 top sustainable organisations in the UK.
Geoff Manaugh in BLDGBLOG
The visually underwhelming London Olympics stadium, designed by HOK Sport, might actually be broken down into its constituent parts once the 2012 Summer Games are over and shipped off to Chicago – where it will be partially reassembled.
Perhaps this act will open the door to a new choreography of reused, plug-and-play architectural structures, with fragments of existing buildings being FedEx'd around the world to fit one into the other in a delirium of improvised building space. Cathedral pods and office modules meet in a haze of stadium seating and hobby lobbies on the outskirts of San Francisco. New rooms are trucked in from somewhere east of Reno.
rectangle of light, jun igarashi architects
Justin in materialicious
House in Hokkaido, Japan. An exercise in introversion: while shutting out the landscape entirely, the house was designed in such a way as to capture sunlight and let it permeate inside the domestic space. This light box casts a very white, diffused light over every corner of the house, making it seem a spontaneous emission, an intrinsic presence in the space.
New York - Robert Moses Freeway Express: Queens, BQE, Coney Island (Part III)
Shawn Micallef in Spacing Toronto • understanding the urban landscape
BQE to Flushing Meadows. We drove an old blue tank of a Volvo on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway to Flushing Meadows park in Queens to see the Queens Museum of Art. The BQE is a crazy, crazy road. Narrow, fast, elevated, old and in New York City — it’s horrific and awesome at once. The lanes seem too narrow, not up to interstate standards. Similarly, the concrete median looks temporary. It’s a kind of anarchy, Live Free or Die style. Like being on the subway, it took us a while to get to Queens from central Brooklyn, “driving” home, again, the size of this city. The Queens Museum is on the site of the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs, both personal Robert Moses projects. Like walking around Jean Drapeau Park in Montreal, site of Expo ‘67, there are very few reminders left that this was a site of intense focus for a brief period. It’s like the future has gone back to seed — or lawn — and only a handful of structures are left, as well as the elaborate pathways between them.
The Mysterious Disappearance of Zaha Hadid (and the Replacement Appearance of Norman Foster)
One of those bits of news to read into and make up your own conspiracy theories or supposed conflicts. Story goes, as learned by the wonderful 1+1=3, is that Foster+Partners has been put in place to build a multi-billion office and housing project in Melbourne, Australia. Nothing too new or exciting there, sure, as Norman Foster and his pals are always landing these sorts of huge gigs. But the interesting part is learning that, up until recently, Zaha Hadid was running the project. Then, all of the sudden, she went away and no one is saying why. So now you get to make up your own story, as to why she'd walk away under mysterious circumstances. See the sorts of fun we provide for you around here?
Architectural Veil Swarovski
Design studio Regina Dahmen-Ingenhoven designed a transparent veil to embrace the Swarovski factory in Austria. The semi-transparent veil was the winning entry in the competition to design an object for the entrance at the Swarovski factory. Situated in Wattens, the veil embraces the factory and also functions as a gate.
Radical approach to cities rethinks the urban myths
Young in Architecture
Some interesting studies from AA for your browsing pleasure.
"But in some ways its radicalism in design is becoming mannered and predictable. A high percentage of the work here seems locked into a narcissistic logic that cannot stop producing the same architectural bling of distorted nets, abstract grids and curvy blobs. Although this is all drawn and modelled to an incredibly high standard, it is reiterative. But the work on cities is strong, inspiring, and authentically radical."
May 26th, 2008
Palmer House Facade Looking Good - interior, not so much.
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
A photoessay on upgrades, restorations and misfires at Chicago's classic 1920's hotel
Beijing Airport / Foster + Partners
David Basulto in Arch Daily
After 4 years the Beijing Airport -currently the biggest one in the world- is finished, just in time for the 2008 Olympics. The airport, designed by Foster + Partners, turned out to be a very efficient building in terms of in terms of operational efficiency, passenger comfort, sustainability and access to natural light. As an interpretation of traditional chinese culture the roof of the airport has a dragon-like form. According to Norman Foster [...] this is a building borne of its context. It communicates a uniquely Chinese sense of place and will be a true gateway to the nation. This is expressed in its dragon-like form and the drama of the soaring roof that is a blaze of ‘traditional’ Chinese colours – imperial reds merge into golden yellows. As you proceed along the central axis, view of the red columns stretching ahead into the far distance evokes images of a Chinese temple.
Does Toronto need an Urban Centre?
Shawn Micallef in Spacing Toronto • understanding the urban landscape
On Saturday in the Toronto Star’s Ideas section I wrote an article proposing an “Urban Centre” be established here in Toronto. “Does Toronto need an Urban Centre?” is the theme of tomorrow night’s Toronto the Good party in the Distillery District. ERA Architects, our co-hosts of the party, are the prime movers behind this idea, and we hope the party will generate excitement around this idea and begin to form a constituency for an Urban Centre in our city. Below is an expanded version of the article, with more examples of Urban Centres in other cities.
Cristina Ross Back on the Philip Johnson 'Demolition!' War Path
Well here's a good way to start getting even more nasty looks around the neighborhood. First: buy Philip Johnson's "other Glass House," the one just down the street that he built for people to actually be able to live in, called The Alice Ball House. Then, start thinking about demolishing it because you'd like to build something new and the town won't let you, nor have you had any luck selling it. Lastly, talk enough about it and make threats for months so that you eventually get a story printed about it in the New York Times. Such is the case with architect Cristina Ross, who owns the $3+ million dollar house and desperately wants out. We have sympathies for her, as we do with anyone in these days of housing woes, but she and her people sure continue to come very well in the article: "It's basically an option," said Ms. Ross, who has the demolition permit to prove it. "Investment in property is only worth what you can get out of it."
Calgary’s new green skyscraper by Foster + Partners
Evelyn Lee in Inhabitat
What does one of the largest independently owned oil and gas companies do to turn over a more sustainable leaf? Well, in this case, EnCana hired green-tech architecture firm du jour Foster + Partners to design their new, environmentally sustainable headquarters in Calgary, Canada. Dubbed The Bow, the new tower’s namesake comes from its overall shape, as well as the breathtaking views it offers inhabitants of the Bow River. As expected from a Foster + Partners design, the form of this sustainable skyscraper follows some very green function.
Georgio Cazzaniga Scent bed
Derrick Stembridge in Lost At E Minor: Music, illustration, art, photography and more
There are three elements in the Scent bed: the light and low wooden base, from which a space for magazines has been built; the upholstered headboard, available in all the fabrics of the Porro sample collection, which colors and softens the formal rigour of the base; and the mattress, proposed in two alternatives, both attentive to the ergonomics of sleep. (more…)
Book Review: Two Books on Sustainability
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution (2000) by Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, & L. Hunter Lovins. Back Bay Books Paperback, 416 pages
Ten Shades of Green: Architecture and the Natural World (2005) by Peter Buchanan W. W. Norton Paperback, 128 pages
One look at magazines, newspaper or television, or a listen to the radio and it's clear that sustainability has taken hold of most aspects of life, from architecture and automobiles to light bulbs and other consumer choices. After Al Gore's film on climate change, the growing acknowledgment of the phenomenon, and rising oil and gas prices, the acceptance of sustainability as a potential means of reversing the negative impacts of widespread modernization has made it the buzz word all over the country, if not beyond its borders....
Siamese Towers / Alejandro Aravena
Nico Saieh in Arch Daily
YWe were asked to build a glass tower to host everything that had to do with computers in the university.
We saw three problems in this: the computers, the glass and the tower. The university asked us to question the type of architecture required for teaching now that everything depends on digital technology. Should architecture change now that we have computers? Does the notion of room (be it for work or for attend a class) still make sense? Our answer was, of course, Yes and No.
In Progress: Elephant House / Foster + Partners
David Basulto in Arch Daily
If house design is a challenge, imagine designing a house for elephants. Foster + Partners took the challenge and is currently finishing the Elaphant House at the Copenhagen Zoo, for a group of Indian elephants. The Elephant House is covered with lightweight, glazed domes that enclosure spaces with a strong visual connection with the sky and changing patterns of daylight.