Posted by the editors on Wednesday, 6 March 2013
Architecture: Campbell Sports Center of Columbia University by Steven Holl Architects – Review – ‘A Sports Complex Shows Its Brains and Brawn’ by Michael Kimmelman in The New York Times: “..The center, designed by Steven Holl and Chris McVoy, of Steven Holl Architects, the New York firm, is a trifle beside Mr. Holl’s mega office and residential projects in China and elsewhere. And it’s not a beauty. But it is a tough, sophisticated and imaginative work of architecture for a devilish site..Mr. Holl took on something vaguely similar a few years ago for the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, inserting an addition to its architecture school into a tricky, dissonant space connecting two 19th-century buildings. In this case the challenge is a neglected hilly corner..its facade a mix of irregular blocks and voids, quasi-Cubist, crisscrossed by exterior stairways. All sorts of cuts, setbacks, overhangs and terraces animate the design..”
See some of our posts on other work by Steven Holl Architects:
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image: Richard Perry/The New York Times; article: Michael Kimmelman, The New York Times
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Posted by the editors on Sunday, 3 March 2013
Architecture: ‘The Artistic and the Beautiful': Frank Lloyd Wright’s Wide-Ranging Views (audio interview): “..In 1957, two years before his death, Frank Lloyd Wright sat down with WNYC (ndlr: radio) to discuss his design philosophy, exhibiting his trademark eloquence and blistering opinions. The year of this interview marks an explosion of commissions for Wright, who by then had been practicing architecture for 70 years..
Wright mainly designed homes until 1957-58, when he took on 90 new projects, many for public buildings. Over all, Wright’s last decade was his most prolific, accounting for nearly one-third of his oeuvre. This interview was recorded in his Plaza Hotel apartment where he’d moved two years earlier in order to oversee construction of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, on which he had been working for 14 years. Here, Wright neatly dismisses the project’s many critics, promising “…a new point of view…it’s going to be so enlivening and refreshing that it will make some of these painters quite ashamed of the protest that they issued against it.”
In this interview, Wright also expresses distaste for the nascent designs of Sydney Opera House, as well as the U.S. Air Force Academy structure, whose designers he lambasts as “Poetry Crushers with a capital P.” The Academy’s use of an advisory committee of architects prompts Wright to remark that “an architect is either an inspiration or…he’s merely a committee-mind…a liability.”
Asked whether he’s acquainted with New York’s planned Lincoln Center complex, Wright remarks, “I think it wouldn’t do me any good to become acquainted with it. I suggest the other way around: they become…acquainted with the ones that I’m doing.”
Two notable influences on the young Wright were his itinerant childhood (his father was a traveling minister), and years spent on his uncle’s Wisconsin farm where he “learned…the region in every line and feature…the modeling of the hills, the weaving and fabric that clings to them, the look of it all in tender green or covered with snow or in full glow of summer.” His mother, a school teacher, enhanced his understanding of structure by giving him a set of newly invented blocks developed by revolutionary German educator Friedrich Fröbel whose theories laid the foundations for modern education.
Beyond architecture, Wright is also noted as a singularly influential and innovative urban planner, interior designer, architectural writer, and educator. He is noted for his often prescient, sometimes embattled philosophical and social views, a range well displayed in this broadcast, when in the middle of describing his new designs for homes with children’s playrooms, he can’t help but point out that “the American family should be three, not four…and above that, heavily taxed, more and more as they increase in number.” (Wright fathered seven children.)..
Recognized by the American Institute of Architects as “the greatest American architect of all time,” Frank Lloyd Wright was born in Richland Center, Wis., and went on to design 1,141 structures — including houses, offices, churches, clinics, schools, libraries, bridges, and museums — 532 of which were built. Today, 409 are still standing, nearly one-third of them listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Wright died in 1959, six months before the Guggenheim opened.
Asked what architects could do to help build “a better society and civilization,” Wright slips into an uncharacteristically heartfelt tone, suggesting they “study nature, seriously, intelligently, and with feeling, and appreciation.” He also warns that if New York City doesn’t acquire more green space immediately, it will be “uninhabitable.”
At least four of Wright’s descendants became architects, one of whom, his son John Lloyd Wright, invented Lincoln Logs. Other descendants include an architecture professor, two interior designers, a master woodworker, and the actress Anne Baxter, who is Wright’s granddaughter..” Fascinating…
image: © 2009 The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA; article: Charis Conn, WNYC, NEH
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Posted by the editors on Saturday, 26 January 2013
Architecture: Adriana Varejão Gallery by Tacoa Arquitetos: “..Inhotim Centro de Arte Contemporânea is located in Brumadinho, a village near Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais state, Brazil. A personal initiative of the mining industry businessman Bernardo Paz, the museum has an unusual architectural concept. Instead of sum up all its installations into a unique building, it is composed of many pavilions spread out in a park of approximately 35 hectares..The Adriana Varejão Gallery was commissioned to shelter two works of the artist acquired by the museum and exhibited at Cartier Foundation: the sculpture Linda do Rosário and the polyptych Celacanto Provoca Maremoto (with the further development of the project, the artist created another four works for the building). The project should occupy a hillside with a small slope (typical of the topography of Minas Gerais, composed of old and smooth hills) partially surrounded by the native forest, an area formerly used to store containers. The original topography was modified for this new use: a huge displacement of earth has cut it, creating the great horizontal plane necessary to the storage..The orientation of the project aimed to recompose the site’s original topography and inserting on it an artificial element: a regular block in reinforced concrete (prestressed wasn’t necessary), partially inserted in the hillside. The building structure is composed by an irregular retaining wall that gains the space in the ground floor and receives the loads of the block, in its deepest part, through two beams, in the middle, through 4 columns integrated in the wall..The building was also conceived as a spiral path that connects two different levels of the park, alternating moments of contraction/passage and expansion/exhibition: from the ground floor, (1, contraction) in the middle of the water pound, in a narrow promenade, away from the building; (2 expansion: Varejão’s piece Panacea Phantastica, a tile bench with drawings of hallucinatory plants) The small square plaza of the groundfloor; (3 contraction) The promenade turns to the building; (4 expansion: the sculpture Linda do Rosário and the paiting The Collector) the ground floor, inside the hill, below the concrete block; (5 contraction) The stairs; (6 expansion, the polyptych Celacanto provoca maremoto) The first pavement, inside the concrete block; (7 contraction) The ramp; (8 expansion: another tile bench, now with drawings of birds, Passarinhos-from Inhotim to Demini) The terrace, above the concrete block; (9 contraction) The bridge. And vice versa..” Interesting form; contextual, materials, interior volume sensibility..
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image: © Eduardo Eckenfels; article: “Adriana Varejão Gallery / Tacoa Arquitetos” 20 Jan 2013. ArchDaily.
Posted in Architects, Architecture, Architecture + Design, Contemporary Architecture, contemporary design, Cultural Architecture, Design, Designalog, Galleries, Interiors, Museums | Tagged: Adriana Varejão Gallery, Adriana Varejão Gallery by Tacoa Arquitetos, archdaily, Architecture, Belo Horizonte, Bernardo Paz, Brazil, Concrete, Cultural Architecture, Design, Designalog, glass, Inhotim Centro de Arte Contemporânea, Materiality, Minas Gerais, South America, Stone, Tacoa Arquitetos | Leave a Comment »
Posted by the editors on Wednesday, 23 January 2013
Residential Architecture: Tree-Trunk Garden House by Piet Hein Eek: “..It sometimes happens that you are asked to produce something you have actually wanted to do for some time. A customer called and asked if we could build a log shack in his field, one that would be large enough to sit and write inside. I loved the idea from the start. Oddly enough, we’ve recently received quite a few questions about the log shack we produced years ago..That shack has been added to the collection of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. And now we’ve constructed one as a stack of logs standing in a pasture at the edge of the woods..Not long after that, we sold a version of the shack I had wanted to design for quite a while, this time in a different size and made of birch. As the shack began to take shape, so did the enthusiasm of all those involved in its construction or who saw it. The windows and shutters are what really make the difference. The sliding windows are fitted into specially designed frames, although “specially designed” is somewhat of an exaggeration for the simple plastic and steel profiles..” Marvelous.
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image: © Thomas Mayer; article: “Tree-Trunk Garden House / Piet Hein Eek” 22 Jan 2013. ArchDaily. http://www.archdaily.com
Posted in Architects, Architecture, Architecture + Design, Art, Contemporary Architecture, contemporary design, Design, Designalog, Interiors, Museums, Residential Architecture | Tagged: Amsterdam, archdaily, Architecture, Design, Designalog, Europe, Fenestration, Garden Sheds, glass, Homes, Houses, ICFF – International Contemporary Furniture Fair 2011 Editors’ Awards Winners ICFF, Netherlands, Piet Hein Eek, Piet Hein Eek in Milan 2010 – Unification and Sustainability, Plastic, Sheds, Shutters, Stedelijk Museum, steel, Timber, Tree-Trunk Garden House, Tree-Trunk Garden House by Piet Hein Eek, wood | Leave a Comment »