Yes â€“ Red Bull held a cliff diving competition in Boston last weekend, where the divers jumped into Boston harbor (really?) from a perch attached to the Diller Scofidio + Renfro designed Institute for Contemporary Art.
My ninjas, please. Ridiculous.
The site selling these tees calls them â€˜ArchBonesâ€˜ â€“ but itâ€™s obviously Corbu! I donâ€™t think you need me to tell you that these things are pretty great â€“ get one, and display your archi-nerdiness on your chest for all to see.
Funny that in about five more years students wonâ€™t even know what those things crossing the skull are or how to use them.
[ed. note - I don't know who my ginger-brethren here in the photo is (no, it's not me - and we don't all look alike), but I left him in thinking that there can't be that many of us bearded red-headed architects around. I like your style, sir.]
I realize that this is pretty stupid â€“ but itâ€™s Monday! I enjoy my work, but still need some humor to kick off the week. Oh, and I really want to do this to mess with some tourists before the summer ends.
Wow â€“ what can I even say about these, other than my ninjas, please!
French jeweler Philippe Tournaire has created a series of rings inspired by global cities & architecture. From left to right above we have London, New York City, and Paris, respectively. Tournaire will also apparently make rings to order, so if youâ€™re project is just too ill not to wear on your pinky a don you can have it immortalized as incredibly gaudy jewelery.
â€œLiving in NYC is our biggest inspiration. Thereâ€™s constant construction and change on every corner. We embraced the idea of urban growth and saw it as something uncontrollable, having a mind of its own. Like a growing flower, a small town constructs larger buildings and becomes a flourishing city with skyscrapers for leaves, airport runways for petals, and airplanes for seeds. Our goal was to show that a city is like a living being, constantly growing, changing, and spreading.â€
Created by Anca Risca and Joji Tsuruga for their BFA thesis film at theÂ School of Visual Arts in New York, using Maya and Adobe Creative Suite.
For starters, if you havenâ€™t checked out the video of Steve Jobs presenting this proposal to the Cupertino City Council, I highly recommend it. Skip around a bit, itâ€™s not all great stuff â€“ but Jobsâ€™ interaction with the board itself is pretty hilarious. I would love to one day be able to go before a city/town/whatever to get a project approved and simply say â€œwe should be able to build this because we pay a butt-load of taxes and can easily move somewhere elseâ€. Very ninja-like.
Iâ€™m going to go ahead and assume (a mistake, I know) at this point that most of you have already seen at least some of these renderings of Foster+Partnerâ€™s proposal for the new Apple campus in Cupertino. The â€˜officialâ€™ news that this was a Foster+Partners project is recent, but it seemed as if everyone was guessing at it from the renderings alone (which are quite beautiful). From there we come to the real question, which is seemingly making itâ€™s way through the web (at least in the comments and op-eds): is it any good?
Iâ€™m coming out in favor of it â€“ for now. Sure, itâ€™s huge. Yes, it looks like someone knocked over Jobsâ€™ Stargate. No, itâ€™s not my favorite project in the world. But the images are fairly compelling, suggesting a newly created, almost pastoral, landscape with a sleek, high-tech building within. While the building itself is pretty enormous, especially when considered in plan, the four storey height lends it more human scale. Plus, Iâ€™m interested to see if the circumference of the building is tight enough to actually create views like the ones shown in the renderings â€“ which suggest that the building will feel as if it recedes away around itself (does that make sense?). Basically it seems to me that if it doesnâ€™t feel too broad from the approach, and is detailed in a way we know Foster+Partners is capable of, then it should look pretty dope.
On to the criticisms!
Iâ€™ve been amused by some of the flack the building is getting. Our lack of knowledge of the interiors has been pointed out by some â€“ leading at least one critic to assume it will simply contain cubicles and typical work-spaces, leaving any innovation for the fancy glass exterior. I obviously have no idea â€“ but Iâ€™ll say again, itâ€™s Foster+Partners. Benefit of the doubt, the work spaces probably wonâ€™t suck.
Confusion over the circular plan has also been raised as an issue, as has the idea of walking forever in such a longÂ (circumference) building. Just looking at the plan showâ€™s that the building is broken-up internally into eight distinct areas and a cafe (more like a cafeteria or food hall, by the size of it). These individual areas are marked by cores, which appear to house the vertical circulation, bathrooms, etc â€“ basically like any office building. The idea that in California youâ€™ll walk inside around the circle simply seems idiotic â€“ plus, it doesnâ€™t look to be whatâ€™s drawn. I may be completely off base, but the drawings suggest that youâ€™d descend out into the central courtyard and make your way to another part of the building by crossing the outdoor space, rather than walk around inside â€“ which actually seems simpler to navigate than a large office park (the typical option in a place like Cupertino). Walk outside, look around briefly for the entrance youâ€™re searching for (youâ€™d be able to see them all from the exit you just used), and walk through a park to you 2PM meeting.
Another issue that has been raised is that the project isnâ€™t â€˜urbanâ€™ enough â€“ that is doesnâ€™t address itâ€™s context. To which I say, itâ€™s in Cupertino. From the look of it the HP campus is scaled and spaced appropriately for the surrounding context and is mostly asphalt and spread-out buildings â€“ hard to say this proposal couldnâ€™t be an improvement. This project would be awful on the East Coast, donâ€™t get it twisted â€“ but this is how the West was laid out. Plus, look at the numbers Jobsâ€™ gives out at the City Council meeting: +20% building area with -30% building footprint (so the density there isnâ€™t great to begin with), +350% landscape (underground and structured parking, no streets), +60% in the number of trees â€“ all while increasing the number of employees. Sure, itâ€™s really suburban â€“ but so is Cupertino, and a ton of the West Coast. I realize that the suburban quality being the norm is the exact cause for the criticism, but Iâ€™m not sure I believe thereâ€™s much Apple could do about that other than move someplace else. Theyâ€™re not going to turn Cupertino into San Fran with their new campus.
All of that praise / justification / defense aside, it does have a slightly creepy â€œweâ€™re all watching each otherâ€ vibe â€“ and if Steve builds a little tower in the middle we should all start to worry. The enclosed nature of the project is so inward-looking that you can imagine these Apple employees never speak to anyone outside the company. Iâ€™m hoping that the areas outside the circle itself are actually open to the public â€“ which is ridiculous, I know, but it would be providing Cupertino with what looks like a great park â€“ and provide the public with a certain amount of a view into Apple (not going to happen, Iâ€™m sure).
Like I opened with â€“ it could be a flop. But for now Iâ€™m going to sit back and trust that one of my favorite architecture firms and my favorite tech company (also the most profitable tech company) know what theyâ€™re doing. I donâ€™t need to hate in order to manufacture hits for AMNP. Plus, when the wormhole is established and they start sending people through this thing to explore the galaxy I want to have been on Appleâ€™s side. Steve, you can feel free to send me a free Macbook Air or Ipad 2 for this great write-up in the meantime.
This project made its way around the internets earlier this year, but I just recently came across it and thought it was simply too noteworthy to pass up. Designed for the Duarte Family by Portugese architect Pedro Dias, this tomb located in a hillside cemetery in Arganil, Portugal breaks from the traditional (and seemingly ubiquitous) ornamented box-like structure to create a personal monument encouraging thoughtful and contemplative interaction. Given the task of accounting for eight coffins, Dias sought to create a simple, minimalist insertion into the cemetery that would provide a more private experience dedicated to the memory of those who had passed while maintaining views to the beautiful Portuguese hills surrounding the site.
The major â€“ and most obvious â€“ move away from the traditional family tomb is the opening-up of the structure to frame the hillside beyond while providing a semi-enclosed space for both funeral ceremonies and subsequent visits by family members and friends. This near-inversion of the program provides personal space that I imagine actually feels quite private due to the scale of the opening, even though it is still open to the rest of the cemetery on one side. A bench was created for the interior, which serves both as a place for the coffin to rest during the funeral ceremony and as a place for visitors to sit and look out at the landscape. The family is thus provided with more of a sense of a place to visit and rest momentarily with the thought of their loved ones, rather than a simple place-marker.
The tomb is clad in a dark granite on the outside faces, contrasting with stainless-steel panels on the interior. The material choice further emphasizes â€˜insideâ€™ vs â€˜outsideâ€™, adding to the sense of the creation of a more private space for the family. The choice of the dark granite is also a departure from the colors of the other tombs within the cemetery â€“ which, combined with the minimalist & contemporary frame-like shape quietly emphasizes the uniqueness of the Duarteâ€™s tomb.
I really appreciate the idea that this (in theory) transforms the experience of visiting a deceased loved-one from something I find to be a little like interacting with a sign-post to more of an engaging experience.Â The tomb transforms the typical visit, serving as much more of a memorial by simply providing â€˜spaceâ€™ to the family and nothing more. Fairly brilliant, really.
More of Diasâ€™ work (and more photos of this project)can be found at his blog.
Found this via Rojkind Arquitectos on Twitter â€“ instagram photo of Renzo Pianoâ€™s California Academy of Sciences building, which reminded me of the planets from Le Petit Prince. Simple, yet awesome â€“ couldnâ€™t help but post it over here.
While our monuments may justify the response of awe, generally architecture is something to be occupied and adopted, not to be held at a distance and puzzled over. The modern buildings to be admired are those where the physical, material and spatial potential of architecture has been coherently organised, leaving us with a quiet conviction that the way the building looks, and the experience of being within it, not only reassures us through its physical authenticity, but inspires us to consider what our built world could be.
The process of architectural composition must consider what society expects architecture to look like and be like. While it is not our role simply to fulfill these expectations, they must influence our approach. Architecture must engage innovation both at a formal and technical level. While we must search for new possibilities and ideas we must be suspicious of innovation for its own sake. This does not preclude the radical exceptions that we need as provocation.
We must consider innovation within the self-imposed limits of understanding and meaning. The generation of form that has no explanation beyond its own desire to be innovative must be measured against the imagined limits of precedents.
The pursuit of spectacular form erodes the idea of normality. We desire of our environment, buildings and spaces that aspire to their own sense of nature; spaces and buildings that both respond and describe the individual’s position within a civic society.
The rejection of such ambitions based on the fact that social patterns, political authority and commercial structures have changed and that our new situation need new forms and new types of spaces, succeeds in giving license to the erosion of urban structure and uncontrolled urban sprawl.
~ David Chipperfield, Form Matters
A Chippefield project has a kind of calming effect on the senses. For the government of the Austrian city of Innsbruck -along with this project’s developers – I imagine DC’s proposal for the Kaufhaus Tyrol Department StoreÂ was like taking a deep breath of fresh air and saying ‘everything is going to be alright’.
Long story short – this retail project in the heart of a ‘traditional’ [re: Baroque] Austrian city was a mess, and chewed up two different architecture firms before Chipperfield was called in to clean up the mess. A few months later his office was redesigning the entire project with the blessings of the client and the government – a task that had apparently seemed impossible to the previous designers.
Possibly the nicest part – at first glance the project really isn’t a big deal. Calm, simple, clean, quiet, respectful of its context without fading into the background – are we sure this is a retail project? Was the developer confused?
While not DC’s greatest project, the firm was able to stay true to its typically dope style, creating something elegant and modern [out of a shopping mall - my ninjas, please]. While obviously going for a modern approach, the project sought to address its context in an appropriate way – and does so by angling slightly along its long facade. This subtly breaks the mass into three sections, meant to be reminiscent of the massing of the surrounding historic buildings. The fifth floor of the project is also pulled back, mimicking the way floors were added to the surrounding structures throughout the years.