Monday, June 30, 2008

London Festival of Architecture 2008

The London Festival of Architecture 2008, a celebration and exploration of the city's buildings, streets and spaces - with over 600 exhibitions, lectures, public space installations, guided walks, bicycle rides, boat tours, parties, design workshops and debates.

One of the events that some of you readers might find interesting in the NASF. Whereby students can show off their design skills to those cantankerous Brits.

The National Architecture Student Festival 2008

The National Architecture Student Festival 2008 (NASF) brings together higher education students from across the UK with pupils from London schools and community groups over the course of a year, culminating in a series of temporary ‘interventions’ in key public spaces at each of the five LFA2008 Hubs.

The resulting interventions will be a series of unique and exciting projects which interpret LFA2008’s theme of FRESH!, signpost the LFA and reflect a sense of place – be it fresh ideas, fresh air, fresh grass or any other interpretation of the LFA theme.

Students have chosen sites (each of which has a specific brief to guide students in the design process) across the LFA2008 Hubs. These represent a range of different types of public spaces in the capital, from Bloomsbury squares and historic Clerkenwell to riverside sites and large expanses of water in London’s Docklands. Students from a variety of disciplines including architecture, urban design, planning, engineering, landscape design and product design will participate and work together collaboratively.

The year-long project aims to introduce local people to architecture and design in a tangible way, and to give students a chance to experience the reality of seeing their designs through to construction. Judging by the inaugural 2006 NASF structures, the final interventions will surprise and delight passers-by and visitors to LFA2008.

Institutions involved:
Canterbury School of Architecture / Architectural Association / Central St Martins College of Art and Design / Centre for Alternative Technology, Wales / Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne / Greenwich University / Kingston University / London Metropolitan University / Oxford Brookes University / Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication / Sheffield University / Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance/University College London

Saturday, June 28, 2008

40 Bond by Herzog & de Meuron

Using digital tools, Herzog & de Meuron turned street art into forward-looking luxury.
by Sara Hart & Fulcrum Magazine

When Ian Schrager’s luxury condo 40 Bond, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, was completed, the press went wild over its startling imagery. A 21st–century rethinking of the cast-iron construction so characteristic of its NoHo neighborhood, 40 Bond’s façade is a Cartesian grid of poured concrete columns, encased in polished stainless steel, and wrapped in bottle-green glass mullions. The Swiss architecture firm combined the glass and metal so that in certain lights and weather, the building would look as if it were dissolving. It surrounded the street front, which contains five townhouses, with a cast-aluminum fence of rhapsodic curlicues, reminiscent of the district’s ubiquitous graffiti tags. Visually, the building is indeed a wild ride, but the drama is in the details.

The contractors balked at the façade until they were persuaded that it was essentially a conventional windowwall system, clad in unconventional materials. The fabrication methods were equally unconventional. To achieve the desired effect of reflecting light off the façade’s stainless-steel ribs, the glass sections were slumped over a bell-shaped mold. The glass was laminated with a ceramic frit to control its translucency. The fritting grows denser as it curves toward the window wall to obscure the joints of its sections.

The architects created the fence by translating their tag design into a two-dimensional, non-repeating algorithm. Structural engineers studied the design and adjusted heights and thicknesses in order to make it self-supporting. They lost-foam cast it in 20-foot sections, and welded it together on site. The fence’s gates, which open onto the entries of the townhouses, were mounted on pivot hinges, creating a seamless-looking barrier. The fence’s wild form juxtaposed against the facade’s repetitive logic makes for a weirdly engaging dissonance, a vibe much like NoHo’s own.

Since the glass grid doesn’t begin until the building’s third story, a curtain wall of green-tinted stainless steel embossed with a pattern that echoes the fence defines the lower floors. An embossed stainless steel polished to a mirror finish curls around the building’s entry, and reappears on the ceiling inside the lobby. Much time and experimentation went into developing a “bumping technique”—similar to CNC-routing, but achieved with a hammerhead—to stamp the pattern into the steel. It was even more challenging to find a rolling machine that could
fabricate the curved panels without producing distortions in the design.

The entry’s walls transition into an Austrian smoked oak, CNC-routed with the same graffiti pattern, creating a wood box reception area.

Leading back to the elevator bank the pattern morphs into wavy walls of dazzling white Corian, and appears again upstairs in the Corian-clad master bathrooms. (For insight into the challenges of its CNC routing, see “Material Evidence: Corian”).

(text via: Sara Hart)
(via: Fulcrum)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Kolumba Art Museum - Peter Zumthor

Kolumba is the art museum of the archbishopric of Cologne. As combination of place, collection and architecture it allows the visitor to experience two millennia of western culture in one building housing art from late antiquity to the present. The architecture combines the ruins of the late Gothic church St. Kolumba, the chapel “Madonna in the Ruins” (1950), the unique archaeological excavation (1973-1976), and the new building designed by the Swiss architect Peter Zumthor. The warm grey brick of the massive building unite with the tuffs, basalt and bricks of the ruins. A secret garden, stone ruins, a uniquely dense archaeological site: the ruins of the gothic church in the center of rebuilt Cologne are the most impressive symbol of the city’s almost complete destruction during the Second World War. Kolumba allows visitors to immerse themselves in the presence of their memories and offers them their own experiences on their way.

Below is the except of Zumthor's Design Statement.

Although our lives take place everywhere, we remember some places in particular. One such place is „Kolumba“ in Cologne’s city centre. A secret garden, stone ruins, a uniquely dense archaeological site: the ruins of the gothic church in the centre of rebuilt Cologne are the most impressive symbol of the city’s almost complete destruction during the Second World War. In 1949 the chapel of “Madonna in the Ruins” was created within the church ruins by the architect Gottfried Böhm as a near improvised shelter for a gothic Mary figure that had remained unscathed. »Kolumba« is intended to be a place for reflection. The occasion is the new building for the Cologne Diocese Museum, which was established in 1853 and which features an extraordinary collection spanning from early Christianity to contemporary art. A museum as a garden continually bringing a few alternately selected works of art to bloom. The guiding thread of the collection is the quest for overarching order, measure, proportion and beauty which connects all creative work. This quest is the precious material for an aesthetic laboratory which studies the anthropological connections lying beyond mere chronology. Kolumba allows visitors to immerse themselves in the presence of their memories and offers them their own experiences on their way. As a „living museum“ Kolumba enquires about the freedom of the individual in an exchange between history and the present day, at the intersection of belief and knowledge, and defends existential values by challenging them through art. The new building designed by Peter Zumthor transfers the sum of the existing fragments into one complete building. In adopting the original plans and building on the ruins, the new building becomes part of the architectural continuum. The warm grey brick of the massive building unite with the tuffs, basalt and bricks of the ruins. The new building develops seamlessly from the old remains whilst respecting it in every detail. In terms of urban planning, it restores the lost core of one of the once most beautiful parts of Cologne’s city centre. Inside the building a peaceful courtyard takes the place of a lost medieval cemetery. The largest room of the building encompasses the two thousand year structure of the city as an uncensored memory landscape. Its “filter walls” create air and light permeable membranes which contain within them the functionally independent chapel. The chapel is removed from the changing cityscape and given a final location, in which it will be assured a dignified continuing existence. Located above – carried by slim columns, which gently prod the archaeological excavation like needles – is an exhibition floor. Its spatial structure was similarly developed from the idiosyncratic ground plan. It connects seamlessly to the northern building part, which – as a completely new building – will house further exhibition rooms and the treasury as well as the stairway, foyer, museum entrance and the underground storage areas. The sixteen exhibition rooms possess the most varying qualities with regard to incoming daylight, size, proportion und pathways. What they all have in common is the reduced materiality of the brick, mortar, plaster and terrazzo in front of which will appear the works of art. Kolumba will be a shadow museum which will evolve only in the course of the day and the seasons. Some of the wall-sized windows allow daylight to penetrate from all directions. The steel frames decorate the brick coat like brooches and segment the monumental facade. Though respectful of the location and the seriousness of its contents, Kolumba will emanate serenity and an inviting cheerfulness.

New Images for Sections 1 & 2 of the New York City High Line

The High Line is being designed by Field Operations (landscape architects) and Diller Scofidio + Renfro
(architects). Section 1, from Gansevoort Street to 20th Street, is under construction and is projected to open by the end of 2008. Section 2 (20th Street to 30th Street) is projected to open in 2009. A video animation, a slide show of design images, and a new publication, Designing the High Line, are now available.

These pictures features newly released design renderings of Sections 1 and 2 of the High Line. It includes features such as the Tenth Avenue Square, Woodland Flyover and 30th Street Cutout, as well as recent photos of the High Line's construction.

The High Line Design Video

A four-minute fly-through animation of the design for Sections 1 and 2. The video was made possible by the Trust for Architectural Easements, and produced by Brooklyn Digital Foundry.

Design Publication: Designing the High Line

This full-color book, released in June 2008, presents the final comprehensive design for Sections 1 and 2 of the High Line, by Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro. The 160-page publication includes design renderings, maps, and photographs depicting the High Line from its construction in the 1930s through its current re-construction. Available on for $30.

(text & images via: FHL)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

School for the Arts - North York, Ontario Canada

This project was commissioned by the Toronto District School Board as a facility where children gifted in the performing and fine arts, receive an enhanced education in their specialty while taking a full school board curriculum.

The Design accommodates both deliberate and spontaneous performance and exhibition as well as being a performative civic landmark in its own right.

Space Group Wins Competition for Oslo’s Central Train Station

The excitement about the new Opera House has just started to wear off before Oslo is planning a new project. On June 13, the winner of the competition for designing the new central station was announced. There were four strong competitors, but finally it was the Norwegian architect firm, Space Group, which got the honor of giving its touch to the capital skyline.

The design from Space Group involves demolishing a big part of the existing station and expanding it to almost twice its size. The new station hall will be four floors tall, where the two top floors will host offices. A U-shaped building will be placed next to the station and the premises will consist of Norway’s biggest conference hotel. The team has also suggested a crystal shaped building, facing the shopping street Karl Johan, where, among other things, the new tourist information office will be.

The Central Station in Oslo has today about 150,000 travelers every day. It is expected that this number will double in the next few years. The existing station has been expanded in stages and does therefore not work as well as it could. One hopes that the improved version of the Central Station will be big and function well enough for the years to come, so that further expansions will not be necessary.

It is expected that the construction of the new Oslo Central Station will begin in 2013 and will take between five to ten years to complete. The reconstruction will take place in stages so that the station will not have to close.

(via: Bustler)

Freitag_Cohesive Design

Upon my recent visit to Switzerland, I had to include a post about my recent purchase. The company FREITAG makes various products out of recycled materials, a great idea in addition to great products. Check out there website, if you don't like the products, you can't deny the sweet graphics.

FREITAG products are made from original recycled materials – used truck tarps, used car seat belts, used air bags and used bicycle inner tubes. Because the materials are tough, the products are too. Because we’re Swiss, our quality standards are too. And because it is made from an original piece of tarp, every single FREITAG product has its own, individual design.

The standard 20-foot shipping container was chosen as the basic building block for the construction of an asymmetric tower of 9 containers rising from a 4 x 2 base. Set back from the road, the structural shell of the building emphasizes the size of the adjacent brownfield site. The base is used as a sales outlet, while the tower has become a striking landmark between two main i
nternational transportation routes. The circle, from product to building to product, is complete."

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The New York City Waterfalls

I saw it only fitting to add some upcoming information about New York on account of my friend Britton Chambers recent move to the big city. The work displayed is courtesy of Olafur Eliasson, an international artist who is conducting a temporary installation displayed at Four Waterfront Locations in Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn and Governors Island. The exhibit will be open from June 26th until October 13th. Hopefully Brit will return the favor with some photos of his own. Best of luck.

Vertical House by Axis Mundi

Here are several views of a proposed mountain house for a site in Smugglers Notch, Vermont, by New York architects axis mundi.

"Entry is via a long and dramatic bridge to a viewing platform from which one ascends a staircase into the house," the architects' website explains. Kitchen, dining room, living room, and master bedroom are encountered in sequence as one moves upward through the structure.

You eventually arrive at an "open air garden... situated on the roof."The intention is that over time the house will become considerably lush as vines grow down from the roof, in effect making the house into a modern ruin.

The wood cladding you see is teak on a concrete and steel frame. Give that thing wider corner posts, run the utilities and services down through through them, and you're good to go. Install a portaledge or two, and the house gets even better.

Then, three hundred years from now, refugees from a half-flooded Manhattan – that city all but destroyed by an unspecified disaster – make their way north to find the house still standing and covered in a thick labyrinth of vines, home to migrating tropical birds. They clear themselves a place to sleep amidst the dust and vines, and stay for nearly two weeks – before heading further inland, toward the ruins of Montreal, still fleeing whatever unknown fate awaits those stuck in that city down south.

Another hundred years and the building collapses, forming a debris field of wood, metal, and concrete across the hillside, washing down to nothing over decades of rain.

(Text via: BLDGBLOG)
(Images via: Axis Mundi)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Fundacion Ibere Camargo by Alvaro Siza

The new building for the Ibere Camargo Foundation in Porto Alegre, Brazil designed by Portugal´s Alvaro Siza, is a big rectangular white concrete structure. It has a big central space enclose by circulations and exhibition spaces. Some of this circulations separate from the main body as arms going out through the facade.

Text from Ibere Camargo Foundation

The Iberê Camargo Foundation is building its new headquarters at Avenida Padre Cacique, 2000. Designed by Álvaro Siza Vieira, the Project won the Golden Lion at the 2002 Venice Architecture Biennial and will be an architectural reference not only for Porto Alegre, but also for Brazil.

The building will house the collection of more than 4000 works by Iberê Camargo, and will have 9 exhibition rooms, an etching studio, a multi-use studio, an auditorium, a research and information center, an atrium, a bookshop, a café and underground parking. It will exhibit works by Iberê and artists from Brazil and abroad, and will also develop a broad programme of activities in the field of modern and contemporary art.

(via: Archdaily)