Showing posts from category: Art
As you are climbing uphill; what seems like a continuous climb throughout the many hills of Parc Guell, you bravely steel a glance or two downwards and think that this is it. This must be one of the more beautiful experiences of your life. Gingerly you take each step with your camera in hand, careful not to drop the camera or anything else as you find yourself looking at, well, everything. It’s an overwhelming experience, and in a good way. Earlier in the year, my dad passed away, thereby making this my first vacation in a decade where I did not suffer from any family distractions. No worries, but did I ever miss him! I still do. But it was one less thing to ponder as I was transversing uneven stone steps with nary a handrail in sight. But I was just starting to speak of the beauty about this park, a must-see for anyone who travels to Barcelona, when I hit a few detours. Count Guell was a prominent businessman in Barcelona at the early part of the last century. He engaged a prominent architect, Antoni Gaudi, to design a garden city with sixty houses on a hill called Montana Pelada. The venture was not successful and only two houses were built. But an unsuccessful venture led way to one of the more beautiful parks you will ever see. At the entrance, you will find the main staircase with a dragon fountain made of broken bits of glazed ceramic tile, a signature style for Gaudi. This leads to the Salon of a Hundred Columns which really number eighty-four, but who cares? The ceiling of the salon has more tiled mosaics. In fact, they’re everywhere in sight. The on-site museum contains splendid furniture that Gaudi designed. And so it goes; you’ve walked for three hours, and have a big smile on your face. You can’t wait to tell the story to all you know.
You’ve planned a week in Barcelona because you are wise and know that you will not be bored for a second. You will want to come back. As you continue drinking in the various Gaudi shrines throughout this beautiful city, you get to understand a bit more about the architect with each building. Casa Batllo is truly amazing and I would suggest to go early in the day to avoid crowds. The details on the doorknobs and locks; the center court and other means of ventilation were ahead of their time. The rooftop dragon is not to be believed. Next up is Casa Mila, his iconic monument to the Modernist movement. It does not seem very livable, but once again, it’s all in the details. The Sagrada Familia is no problem for anyone familiar with waiting on lines at Disney. Wear comfortable shoes! If you are able to go to the top of the towers, then you are lucky for you will view this beautiful city in the most unique way and it is breathtaking.
Okay, I lied. It’s not all about Gaudi. It’s also about the food. As I’m re-reading my diary, the secondary descriptions that do constant battle with architecture are of the fantastic food. As I read about the various meals of fish, meats and risotto, my mouth waters and I desire to savor them all over again. Since we are incapable of dining at 10:00 PM, we chose instead to have our main meals of the day at lunch and have a more casual al fresco experience in the evening.
I lied some more. It’s all about the walk. Ever since I was twenty and I traveled to San Francisco with friends, I have always made note of how compatible I am with the place I am visiting. San Francisco was fine but I quickly realized I couldn’t live with Californians. In Barcelona, at some point we stopped and thought, “could I live here?” Yes was the answer. It is walkable; it is friendly; it is safe and clean; it is modern; it is old. Barcelona is ideal. The week was brimming over with a travelogue of lists consisting of everywhere we ambled and places we didn’t quite get to at this time. Maybe, next time? Because there was so much good stuff that really good architects had the sense to design and get built all in walking distance of each other. More Gaudi, so much to see in the Gothic Quarter as you walk past what is left of a Roman aqueduct, the Picasso Museum and the Palau de la Musica Catalana (a music hall with a gorgeous stained glass ceiling). And then there’s Gehry’s Fish. Barcelona’s golden fish sculpture sits in Port Olimpic at the base of one of the tallest buildings in the city. Frank Gehry was commissioned to build the piece for the 1992 Summer Olympics and brought the city to the attention of the world! Wow!
aia, architect, architects, architecture, architecture critic, Art, buildings, built environment, Design, Engineering, modern architecture, modern buildings, new buildings, Sculpture
architects, architecture, Barcelona, Disney, Frank Gehry, Gaudi, Gehry, Palau de la Musica Catalana, Parc Guell, Picasso Museum, Spain
north eastern corner overlooking the northern forecourt. images courtesy lyons, dianna snape, michael evans, nils koenning
the la trobe institute for molecular science (LIMS) by australian lyons architecture is a major new building on university’s bundoora campus, which will meet the school’s long-term needs in terms of student learning and research in the science disciplines. the project seeks a‘transformative’ identity of the campus, which had previously been built within the strict guidelines for materials and heights.
the lower levels of the building accommodate first to third year undergraduate learning spaces – with large open flexible labs (accommodating teaching cohorts for 160 students) connected with ‘dry’ learning spaces. this allows people to move between laboratory based project work, to digital and collaborative learning activities within the adjacent spaces. at ground level, these learning areas breakout to new landscaped interior environments, extending the idea of placing students at the centre of outside social and learning hubs.
the upper three levels of the building are research focused and based around a highly collaborative model. all laboratories are large open flexible spaces where teams are able to work together, or expand and contract according to research funds. these large ‘super labs’ are located immediately adjacent to write-up spaces, allowing a very direct physical and visual connection between all research work sections. the plan includes a major conference room, staff ‘college’ lounge and informal meeting spaces, are also located on the research levels. the design is fully integrated with the adjacent existing structure, which accommodates a number of other lims research staff and laboratories.
a major stairway rises through the centre of the building, connecting the student and research levels – as a form of representation of the ‘pathway’. the cellular exterior of the building is derived from ideas about expressing the molecular research that is being undertaken within the building, and is adjusted via the materiality of the building itself. the walls are primarily precast concrete, with the cells providing a ‘lower’ and ‘upper’ window into the various spaces, aiding the penetration of daylight. the cellular concept also creates a framework for a number of distinctive spaces for students to occupy or for research staff to meet and collaborate.
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architect, architects, architecture, architecture critic, Art, buildings, Consulting For Architects, Design, modern architecture, modern buildings, Sculpture
bundoora campus, climate, designboom, interior environments, la trobe institute for molecular science, lyons architects, research, science, science disciplines
All I can say is did we really need to do this?
New sign design by pentagram
Full article via design boom
architecture critic, Art, built environment, Design, Landscape Architecture, Sculpture, Urban Planning
architecture, city signage, clutter, eye sore, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, new york city, pentagram, sign design
Cool benches under one of the many futuristic silver buildings which have popped up recently in West Chelsea.
The anticipation of the second section of the High Line has more in common with that of summer blockbusters than urban renewal projects. With two million visitors last year, the elevated park has garnered praise usually reserved for Manhattan’s original icons. The park was even featured in an episode of “Family Guy” late last year, featuring a Sketch-up like rendering of the hunkering Standard Hotel straddling the elevated walkway whose terminus disappears in a wash of low rise brick buildings.
Due to its overwhelming popularity and appeal, the park has, as some have pointed out, become more than a dynamic urban project — it’s become a brand, and one with remarkable influence in shaping the future of Manhattan’s real estate and elsewhere.
Aerial View, from West 30th Street, looking West toward the Empire State Building. ©Iwan Baan, 2011
Phase II of the High Line keeps all of the original features of the elevated promenade that flipped the Olmstedian park on its head, while introducing some new baubles, including a wide glass screen framing traffic criss-crossing 26th street below and a “cut-out” view of the deck’s substratum, where the trademark concrete planks are stripped away to reveal the platform’s substructure.
There’s also the “flyover” (above), a catwalk ascending above the main path into a “shady canopy of sumac and magnolia trees, allowing an undulating terrain of shadowy groundcover to fill in below”—a narrative apparently warranting donors’ name—and what will probably be the park’s most welcomed addition, a long, unobstructed lawn for lounging or picnicking.
Philip A. and Lisa Maria Falcone Flyover, aerial evening view at West 26th Street, looking South. ©Iwan Baan, 2011
But more has changed since the opening of the first section of the High Line. The architecture looming over the sides of the park has grown increasingly flashy, with starchitects and others being called in to furnish silver-screen backdrops to the spectacle. Of course, Gehry’s IAC building is nearby, accompanied last year by Jean Nouvel; further along, Neil Denari’s HL23 glistens like some Jetson-age aluminum bombshell. And Renzo Piano is set to make his mark at the foot of the High Line’s main entrance with typically ascetic designs for the new extension of the Whitney Museum.
The rapid production of such marketable architectural clout, along with the openings of countless art galleries, chic eateries, and high-end shopping have attributed to the construction of the High Line Effect. The dream is that this gleaming model of gentrification can be reproduced ad absurdum, given the tangentially right conditions, the involvement of fashionable architects, and, the most important ingredient, the procuring of salvageable decaying urban infrastructure. Cities far and wide, from Chicago to Philadelphia, Jerusalem to Rotterdam, have expressed interest in building their own elevated parks, going so far as to contacting Field Operations to consider plans (no doubt, willfully derivative) for their respective cities.
The original conception of the High Line project surely holds the most promise and the most applicable lesson to all venturing cities and urbanizing areas, that is, untapping the potential hidden within the obsolescent and the forgotten made possible through the tireless efforts of a stubbornly committed group of people dedicated to preserving and improving their city.
A ribbon of grass lawn just above 23rd Street
Source and more photos: Architizer
High Line Website
Brooklyn, New York based artist Kevin Cyr created a small mobile house called “Camper Bike”. The project follows a previous project of his called “Camper Kart”. According to Cry, “it investigates habitats and housing; recycling and ecology; exploration and mobility”
More information and images via Kevin Cry website
It’s Friday!! Enjoy this major feel good video of a Minnesota couples wedding that has gone viral on the Internet.
Arch Daily posted this project on their Blog today and it really impressed me. This piece elicits peace and tranquility and transformed me into a state of calm (something we can all benefit from these days). It may have something to do with the feeling I get when I am diving.
Our friend Rob Ley sent us info on their latest installation, Reef, which we’ll be checking out next week. Reef, an installation by Los Angeles Designers Rob Ley (Urbana) and Joshua G. Stein (Radical Craft) is currently on view at Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York City. This kinetic sculptural installation takes advantage of new Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) technology to create a responsive environment.
For more information, go to Reef official website.
This is from the final episode of State of the Art, a series of documentaries about the visual arts in the 1980s. To buy the DVD, please go to www.illuminationsmedia.co.uk
Filmed in Europe, the United States and Australia in 1985-6, the six programmes feature many key artists including — in addition to Basquiat and Warhol — Cindy Sherman, Antony Gormley, Hans Haacke, Eric Fischl and Joseph Beuys. The films also explore the intellectual context of the time and the ideas of post-modernism.
The series was originally seen on Channel 4 in Britain, and then shown in more than 20 countries.