Monday, July 28, 2008

Le Bains des Docks by Jean Nouvel

The aquatic complex Les Bains des Docks, designed by the 2008 Prtizker-prize winning architect Jean Nouvel has just opened in the historical Port of Le Havre. Inspired by the Roman thermal baths, the 5,000-square-meter complex offers an eerily beautiful atmosphere of tranquility with the fantastic play of natural light soothing the eyes, the masterful acoustics pleasing the ears, and the pools and treatment areas taking care of the rest of the body.

Although the main “color” of the complex is white, each section’s distinct atmosphere and hue is created by flowing water curtains, color walls, and various textures and surface treatments. Each pool – lap-pool, children’s pool, whirlpools – is designed, shaped and lit to create a unique “private space” for its specific users. These seemingly enclosed areas help minimize echoing and sound carriage – an annoying aspect of most aquatic centers -- as do the varying-height floors and ceilings, and the acoustic false ceilings. Saunas, a hammam, cold and hot baths, and a spa area with hydro-massage and aqua gym areas complete the atmosphere of pampering and care. An external lagoon makes the summer use of the complex even more appealing.

The Docks in the south end of the ancient port city of Le Havre are the oldest docks in France. The area is under massive revitalization with the goal of making this a leisure, culture and shopping neighborhood. When completed, the area will include residences, a large park, a tropical greenhouse, cinemas, bowling alleys and a shopping center, plus a Nouvel-designed Sea and Sustainable Development Center to be completed in 2011. The Sea Center will be a showcase of shipping and sailing – exploring their economic and industrial significance as well as their environmental impact on coasts and estuaries. It will be a 120-meter-high metallic structure dominating the port and it will include exhibit areas, an aquarium, a meteorological station and a restaurant with panoramic, 360-degree views of Port of Le Havre.

Nouvel’s well-known public buildings literally span the world from New York to Reykjavik, Dubai, Soul and Tangiers. Recent interesting buildings include the bright-red research center for the maker of brakes for luxury cars, Brembo, in Italy. NouveI's masterpiece for La Philharmonie de Paris will open in 2012. - Tuija Seipell

via: The Cool Hunter

Tivoli Concert Hall by 3XN

In 2004, 3XN was awarded the prestigious task of performing the renovation and extensions of the Concert Hall in Tivoli, the famous old Copenhagen amusement park.

The venerable hall has been renovated in respect of its historical surroundings; the building has been gently modernized and improved with regards to the modern, second millennium requirements for a concert hall. The scene and the orchestra pit have been expanded, the acoustics and seating comfort considerably improved. And the Tivoli spirit remains intact.

Moreover, a new extension has been realized in a light, transparent and modern expression in keeping with the existing Tivoli pavilion architecture. The extension measures 700 m2 and contains the new main entrance with a lounge area, intermission café and outdoor catering.

The so called Rainbow Hall in the basement under the concert hall has been changed into a cloakroom with a lobby area and restrooms, and has - as its most spectacular feature - a beautiful 3o meters long shark tank covering one wall of the lobby.

The task also entailed a completely new building with rehearsal facilities for the Tivoli Symphony Orchestra and guest musicians. Moreover, the added feature comprises improved staf facilities, a family restaurant, and a conference centre. The new building replaces the former “Winter Entrance”, which in turn has been demolished.

via: Arch Daily

Sunday, July 27, 2008

More Amazing Work from Peter Guthrie

Here are several images of a series that Peter Guthrie did of a holiday house in Switzerland by the firm AFGH Architects. Like always, Peter's work impresses the hell out of me with his amazing attention to architectural details and beautiful quality of light. I look forward to see whats next.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Thermal Baths of San Pellegrino by Dominique Perrault

"Our proposal presents a city plan for a new area. The urban strategy organizes two types of projects, an exceptional project and a contextual one. The urban plan develops and completes the existing city street network in order to create a new quarter. The territory dimension has been transformed, restructured and has become the focus of a master plan reflection which will create a group of streets, places and building islets in harmony with the surrounding environment. An exceptional architecture building will emerge out of this city plan corresponding on the one hand to the Grand Hotel and on the other hand to the casino. Thus, three main buildings will appear in the landscape, all related with different periods of time. This new building will transform the city skyline as prominently as the Grand hotel and the Casino once did. Preserving this fabulous context, a specific architecture is added, but in relation with those ones which have put an impact on the city history."

"This project is in line with the site geography, both supported by the mountains and rooted in the casino park. We developed, extended and amplified the casino huge belvedere terrace to link the past with the future. It’s the matter of a new park, overhanging the valley and harmonizing difference and diversity of architecture. The architectural concept draws inspiration from surrounding nature and mountain landscape by creating huge chaotic stone blocks, like a mass of fallen rocks. This spontaneous and free architecture seems to be natural because it refers to parts of known landscapes. Like fragments or crystals on a rock, the windows are inlaid in the stone rocks. It’s not a normal glazing, but rather modern like to be found in sacred architecture. Thus, the interior is filled with a colorful light which will bring mildness within the thermal baths, a place of wellness and contemplation. This interior poetry makes a contrast with the natural violence of rock slides which are in harmony with the mountain slope and the park.”

-Dominique Perrault

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Wallpaper* - 50 Hottest Young Architects

Every year Wallpaper* Magazine creates a database of new architects from around the world.

H & deM New Re-design of the Tate Modern Addition

new version on left / old version on right

Tate Director, Nicholas Serota, and leading architect Jacques Herzog of Herzog & de Meuron, today revealed the revised plans for the new development of Tate Modern.

In response to a revised brief and consultation with artists and curators, the architects have refined designs to create a dramatic new museum for the 21st century. At the heart of the updated plans are the unique oil tanks of the former power station which will be retained as raw spaces for art and from which the new building will rise. In the previous scheme the oil tanks were occupied by an auditorium and other facilities.

These revisions have been shaped by a desire to integrate the new building both with the existing building and the local environment. The oil tanks lead directly into the Turbine Hall and these interconnecting spaces will become the foundation of the new Tate Modern. This closer relationship between the buildings is expressed in the façade, which uses brick in a radical new way by creating a perforated brick screen through which was the building will glow at night. The building is more compact than in the previous scheme which built up of stacked boxes and the configuration is more flexible to allow for future changes in the program.

The revised building also sets new benchmarks for museums and galleries in the UK for both sustainability and energy use. By exploiting heat emitted from EDFE’s relocated transformers and employing passive design principles wherever practicable the scheme will use 40% less energy, and 35% less carbon than building regulations demand.

The scheme includes more varied spaces for Tate’s growing Collection and better facilities for the gallery’s popular learning programs. The new building rises 65 meters above ground in 11 levels and will add an additional 21,500 sq meters to Tate Modern’s existing 35,000 sq meters. A sweeping ceremonial route rises up through the floors providing a connecting path through the galleries and offering stunning views over London.

A new north/south route through the building will link Southwark to the City of London and will be open 12 hours a day. Two new public spaces will be created – a southern square modeled as a city piazza with the potential for special commissions and performance, and new gardens to the west designed for families and children.

Two oil tanks will be dedicated to installation, display, performance and film. In addition a further two large ‘as found’ gallery spaces will be used for artists’ commissions and other projects. The project includes a new flexible exhibition space with 6m high ceilings, clusters of top-lit galleries suitable for larger works and groups of more intimate galleries designed for small-scale works. There will also be a dedicated Children’s Gallery and photography and works on paper galleries.

Overall the project will also address some of the strains on the current building. The gallery was originally designed for 2 million visitors. With current visitor numbers exceeding 5 million, there is serious overcrowding particularly at weekends. Changes in contemporary art practice mean that different kinds of spaces are required and additional space is needed so works can be brought out of storage and shown on a more permanent basis. Since 2000, there have been 2 million participants in Tate Modern’s learning programs and existing spaces are operating at capacity.

Old Version

The project is due to be completed in 2012 at estimated cost of £215 million at 2012 prices. To date Tate has received £50 million from Government, £7 million from the London Development Agency and £13 million from the private sector towards the overall costs.

(via: Bustler)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Swedish Art Pavilion

David Chipperfield
and Antony Gormley’s design for the 2008 pavilion for Kivik Art Centre in southeast Sweden will open on Saturday. The pavilion was constructed in only two months and is a sculpture entirely in concrete. Formed of three interlocked 100 cubic meter volumes: ‘The Cave’, ‘The Stage’ and ‘The Tower’ – the pavilion offers three different ways of experiencing nature and landscapes around Kivik.

The Cave, a solid, dormant space in the base of the sculpture is designed to offer the enclosed feeling of being in the dark forest where one can rest on a wall-fixed bench. Stairs then take the visitor up to the first floor,The Stage, a horizontal volume open to the landscape, where one looks out but is also exposed. The third volume, The Tower, takes the visitor up spiral stairs to a platform almost 18 meters above the ground to reveal a spectacular view over the trees towards the Baltic Sea.

Kivik Pavilions is a project that combines architecture with art and design. Fundamental are issues of environmental solutions, a symbiosis of the landscape and the pavilion, and corporate partnership with industries in the region. The 2007 pavilion, called ‘Mother Ship’, was designed by Norwegian architects Snohetta, in conjunction with the photographer Tom Sandberg.

The pavilion will be open to the public from 19 July – 28 September 2008.

(via: world architecture)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Video of Real Architecture Spring 2008: Renzo Piano

Renzo Piano introduces The New York Times Building, the 52-story glass skyscraper housing the new headquarters of the newspaper. In contrast to the usual Manhattan office building, clad in mirrored or tinted glass, Piano's elegant structure is clear glass. Sited in Times Square, the building invites interaction with the street: its lobby forms a public walkway between streets, and internal staircases flow along the side facades, allowing passers-by a view inside.

Date: 15 April 2008
Venue: Tate Modern : Part of Real Architecture Spring 2008
Curated by The Architecture Foundation
Sponsored by Davis Langdon LLP

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Videos of the Public Art Scene in New York City

I recently saw this program on New York's public broadcast channel (thirteen) and I could not help but share the NYC art scene with those who don't have access with it on a daily basis.

About This Episode

Artist Olafur Eliasson's The New York City Waterfalls, a project commissioned by Public Art Fund, consists of four monumental, man-made waterfalls installed at four sites along the shores of Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Governors Island beginning June 26, will join a long line of successful, provocative, and engaging public art projects in New York City. From Christo and Jean-Claude's The Gates in Central Park to Tribute in Light at the World Trade Center site, public art has provoked a variety of intense reactions from New Yorkers and brought millions of visitors to the city. Thirteen/WNET takes viewers behind the scenes of The New York City Waterfalls, visit current public art installations around New York, and look back at past public art in the city in THE WATERFALLS MAKING PUBLIC ART. Premiering Wednesday, July 2 at 9 p.m. on Thirteen (check local listings), the hour-long documentary narrated by actor Tom Wopat includes interviews with artists and members of the public, as well as archival footage, to showcase the pioneering works that have provoked the public, highlighted the city, and engaged the world. The program will examine the works of the non-profit organizations Public Art Fund as well as Creative Time, the two major public arts institutions in the city. Current and past works featured will include Chris Burden's sculpture What My Dad Gave Me at Rockefeller Center, musician and artist David Byrne's Playing the Building at The Battery Maritime Building, and Jeff Koons' Puppy, also at Rockefeller Center.

(via: thirteen)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Kinetic Sculpture at the BMW Museum

The BMW Museum was officially opened in Munich today, following two and a half years of construction work. The ART+COM media installations set the museum’s architecture in motion, creating a unique dynamic for exhibits and content.

The original 1973 building was designed by the Viennese architect Karl Schwanzer and nicknamed “the bowl”. It has been expanded to 5000 square metres, five times its original size, and BMW now uses it to display the company’s 90-year history and development. The Munich-based automotive giant has carefully combined architecture and exhibition design, focusing particularly on new media.

Along with atelier brückner, Stuttgart (architecture and exhibition design) and Intégral Ruedi Baur, Zurich (graphic design and visual identity), ART+COM has created a contemporary take on Schwanzer’s original exhibition concept of “the road in converted space”. Media installations literally set the museum’s seven themed buildings, 25 exhibition rooms and 125 exhibits in motion.

Highlights include the “Mediatecture”, a 700-square-metre glass facade used as a media screen around “BMW Square” and the “Kinetic Sculpture” in the House of Design. The mechatronic installation made up of 714 metal balls translates a virtual design process into the space around it. Seemingly weightless and guided solely by the power of the mind, the sculpture moves through a cycle of free abstractions and typical BMW vehicle forms.

What’s known as service formats provide additional detailed information on the exhibits and subjects such as the company, technology and production series.

The BWM Museum is open to the public from 21 June 2008.

(via: Art+Com)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Darco Magazine Issue 3

The new issue of Darco Magazine was just released on Issuu for your viewing pleasure. This issue focuses on the design work of Concursos de Arquitectura, Nuno Brandao Costa, Carvalho Araujo.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Laser Cutter Tattoo - Kids Don't Try This at School I have done some stupid things while being at architecture school, but this is the zenith of architecture stupidity. Enjoy.

(via: Core77)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Umraniye Retail Complex - FOA

Yet another amazing construction from FOA, so complex and intriguing that it begs to be studied.

The Umraniye retail complex formulates a new prototype of retail developments in antithesis to the usual out-of-town retail boxes. The provision of underground floor space used for a new urban square is the centre of the scheme. The square is activated through a number of new pedestrian routes. All roofs are planted with vegetation, and connected to the surrounding topography at several points, with provisions of roof lights. All other elevations and floor surfaces are treated in the same material, earth-coloured ceramic tiles that incorporate various degrees of perforation.