29 December 2007

Ken Isaacs On Dwell

As we have featured before, dwell magazine has launched a new series of videos on various topics that include a collection of videos from various designers. Here is another in the Designer Series featuring architect Ken Isaacs. Here is the description from dwell:
"As part of our Design Leaders video series, architect Ken Isaacs reflects on the innovative projects that defined his career, from the Shoebox House to the Knowledge Box."

26 December 2007

Happy Holidays

The Dome on George Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
via flickr: Tr1xx

21 December 2007

20 December 2007

Posta Aerea 03

Time once again for another edition of selections from the mailbag. This week we have two announcements regarding competitions to pass along, one exhibition listing and an interesting link to an article in New York magazine.

The first competition is sponsored by the Architectural League of New York, Young Architects Forum 2008 and is due on February 11, '08. Here is a brief from the Call for Entries:
"Young architects and designers are invited to submit work to the annual Young Architects Competition. Projects of all types, either theoretical or real and executed in any medium, are welcome. The jury will select work for presentation in public forums, an on-line installation, and an exhibition at the Architectural League beginning in May 2008. Winners will receive a cash prize of $1,000. A poster of the winning entries will be published and distributed nationally, as will a catalog of winning work published by the Architectural League and Princeton Architectural Press. The Young Architects Forum is an annual competition, series of lectures, and exhibition organized by the Architectural League and its Young Architects Committee. The Forum was established to recognize specific works of high quality and to encourage the exchange of ideas among young people who might otherwise not have a forum."
The next competition is sponsored by Ceramic Tiles of Italy and their media release is below:
"Ceramic Tiles of Italy is now accepting entries for their 15th Annual Design Competition. The competition celebrates outstanding examples of contemporary American design featuring fabulous Italian ceramic tiles. North American architects and interior designers are invited to submit residential, commercial and institutional projects completed between January 2003 and January 2008. Entries may be submitted for domestic and international new construction and renovation projects. Winners in each category will receive a cash prize of $5,000 and a trip to Coverings which will be held in Orlando, Florida from April 29th - May 2nd, 2008. Winners will also be treated to a 5-day trip to Cersaie 2008, the world’s largest exhibition for ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings and join a delegation of leading design media journalists. The organization will once again offer an additional $1,000 to be shared by the winning contractor/distributor team."
For those readers in Asia, the Seoul Design Week 2007 opens today and runs through 12/28/07.

From New York magazine comes this interesting news blurb:
"This week in New York magazine's "Year in Culture" issue, architecture critic Justin Davidson names the ten best things that the architecture world had to offer this year, from the best new building (The New Museum of Contemporary Art)(by SANAA) to the best new interior (Tiffany & Co on Wall Street). See his picks at http://nymag.com/arts/cultureawards/2007/41799/."
And finally a sad note...the quality design blog Reluct.com has apparently left the building. Thanks for the inspiring posts.

Check our sidebars for competition links and updates.

14 December 2007

Intriguing Earth Architecture 36

Huis met Studio, Rotterdam, Netherlands - Mecanoo Architecten
via flickr: alessandrom caruso

Newhouse III Opens At Syracuse

polshek partnership photo

The Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University recently opened the third addition to their college amid much fanfare. The building designed by the Polshek Partnership at around $31.6 million features state of the art facilities to educate, study and advance the ideals of free speech within the digital age. A statement from the firms website regarding the project appears below:

steve sartori photo

"This new addition for the Newhouse School of Public Communication's complex, Newhouse III, will allow the school to expand its education and research missions with a new facility focused on interdisciplinary study. It will house community spaces such as dining facilities, student lounges, and an auditorium, an executive education suite that functions much like a professional conference center, classrooms, offices, editing suites, and numerous interdisciplinary media labs and research centers. Located at the northwestern corner of the Syracuse University campus, the complex is near one of the main campus entrance gates and is bordered to the north by a busy thoroughfare. In its prominent location, the distinctive architecture of the new facility will welcome students and the community not only to the Newhouse School but also to Syracuse University at large. Integral to its design is the creation of a rational and memorable circulation system connecting all three Newhouse buildings, the provision of spaces which encourage interdisciplinary study to further develop a sense of community, and the realization of vibrant, state-of-the-art teaching and research spaces that will advance the school’s vision and academic excellence."

steve sartori photo

The key feature of the building is its transparent fenestration adorned with sand-blasted quotation of the U.S. First Amendment to the Constitution. Additionally, the project features large lounge areas, digital classrooms and laboratories, as well as an internal dining hall that encourages informal interaction among students and faculty.

Polshek Partnership Site
S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications Wiki

03 December 2007

Stewart Brand Speaks At TED

Here is the description of the edited speech given by Brand from the TED website:
"Rural villages worldwide are being deserted, as billions of people flock to cities, to live in teeming squatter camps and slums. And Stewart Brand says this is a good thing. Why? It'll take you 3 minutes to find out. Music: Brian Eno, "Just Another Day on Earth," from his 2005 album, Another Day on Earth."
His comments and projections for the future of rural communities raises an interesting question. Who is going to grow the food for this ever growing population if we all eventually live in cities?

Stewart Brand Site
The Clock of the Long Now - Brand

30 November 2007

29 November 2007

Got Pencils?

So we asked our readers in our sidebar poll, "What would you like featured most on this blog?"; and many of you have responded modern design. In light of this fact, here is something we found today in our exploration around the net. Please continue voting in our poll and while you are at it please take a moment and vote for us in the sidebar poll at PartIV if you like our efforts. Thank you for your participation.

From the Boex website here is their explanation of the bench shown above:
Pencil Bench

Creative Solutions designed this award winning, quirky bench from a single conversation to see if they could incorporate an everyday office object into a piece of furniture.

The seat is made up of 1600 pencils which are individually sprung. Each pencil can be removed and used.
Boex / 3D Creative Solutions Link

26 November 2007

Kathryn McCamant On Dwell

Dwell magazine has launched a new series of videos on various topics that includes a collection of videos from various designers. The first in the Designer Series is architect Kathryn McCamant. Here is the description from dwell:

"As part of our Design Leaders video series, architect and cohousing expert Kathryn McCamant talks about a lesson learned from the Danes: Bringing houses together brings people together."

In Context Article
McCamant & Durrett Architects Site

24 November 2007

23 November 2007

Posta Aerea 002

Another edition of mail call is upon us. Some of these have aged a bit in the mailroom but, nonetheless, are provided below for your perusal. Please enjoy and if you have an event or project that you might like to have featured here please email our editor.

A press release from KjellgrenKaminsky Architecture in Sweden reads:

New Bureau New House New Bench

After winning the international architecture competition for the new Mirage dancehall in Falsterbo, Sweden, KjellgrenKaminsky Architecture was founded by Fredrik and Joakim, two young Swedish architects.

The founders have previously worked at architectural firms such as Wingardhs and UN-Studio, Ben van Berkel. Our new office will work with architecture in its broadest meaning ranging from furniture to city planning, from theory to practice.

Right now we are working with the detail design of the Mirage dancehall and simultaneously releasing a new piece of furniture; a bench called Praline noir.
Two additional links of interest are included below for your enjoyment. One is for european modern architecture site MIMOA and the other is for project submission site Designer Pages. Both of which we will investigate and provide discourse for at a later date.

Designer Pages Link

01 November 2007

How To Hide An Airplane Factory

This arrived in our inbox today and is worth sharing with our readers. Nothing quite like a bit of trompe l'oeil to create instant urbanism. The pictures and text are from a blog called Think or Thwim.

Here is a transcript of the original:

How To Hide An Airplane Factory

During World War II the Army Corps of Engineers needed to hide the Lockheed Burbank Aircraft Plant to protect it from a Japanese air attack. They covered it with camouflage netting and trompe l’oeil to make it look like a rural subdivision from the air.



more images at Think or Thwim

30 October 2007

The Power Of Place

Recently we ran across this short article published by the University of Cincinnati regarding their overall master plan and architectural facilities. Starting in 1989 the university began a master plan with the assistance of Hargreaves Associates in an effort to build a more cohesive and intellectually stimulating environment for learning. In a break with conventional doctrine followed by most universities they did not choose to recreate the past through faux university Neo-Gothic architecture, but instead embraced a more modern design solution. The results of their efforts can be seen today in many trade magazines as well as main stream media. The list of completed and pending projects reads like a, "Who's Who in Architecture?" over the past two decades. Architects of record include: David Childs, Michael Graves, Peter Eisenman, Henry Cobb, Frank Gehry, Charles Gwathmey, Buzz Yudell, Thom Mayne and most recently Bernard Tschumi. Arguably, this is the best single conglomerate of works in one area by star architects other than small town, Columbus, Indiana. But has the if you build it they will come effect really worked? To ask the university the answer would be and emphatic, "yes". As the article describes their enrollment has risen to a point to where they now have a waiting list. Additionally, several of their curricula now rank in the top in the nation. This of course begs the question is it due to the planning and architecture or something else. We post for you a few photos and let you be the judge. Feel free to leave your comments as well.

flickr set from darajan used under creative commons license

24 October 2007

Green Architecture Poll Results

Months ago ecAr asked our readers to participate in a sidebar poll regarding, "Green" architecture. The results of the survey are as follows:

  • Yes 80.9%
  • No 6.4%
  • Too Soon To Tell 10.6%
  • Much Needed 21.3%
  • Green 10.6%

So it would seem that most readers are in favor of the pursuit of environmentally friendly architecture and design and that is, in fact, a long time in coming into vogue. Green building and sustainable architecture should not come as a surprise to any of our readers as methods to achieve more favorable development within our environment. There are many movements and organizations under way that are working to that end, the USGBC and Architecture 2030 to name a few. Listed below are some additional links to interesting websites on the subject.

BP Carbon Footprint Calculator
Global Warming: Early Warning Signs
Center for the Built Environment

22 October 2007

Posta Aerea 001

Today is the debut of a new section to east coast Architecture review that will feature additional links and interesting content that has arrived in our email and we found worth sharing with you. Two links of note today are both related to blog rankings. The first was very unexpected and is entitled, "Top 100 Architecture Blogs" in which ecAr lands at number 84.

The second comes to us from another fine Architecture blog dubbed PartIV. Apparently they are looking for the top 15 or so blogs to feature in their links for next year. So if you appreciate the contents and efforts of this blog please show your enthusiasm by voting in the sidebar poll at PartIV.

Top 100 Architecture Blogs
PartIV Poll

18 October 2007

BMW Welt Opens in Munich

BMW Welt opened on Wednesday 17 October 2007. In light of this event we are featuring a interesting video and several photos of the newest addition to the BMW World Headquarters in Munich, Germany. Designed by Vienna based architects Coop Himmelb(l)au the project features a large main hall with a sculptural roof that will house and display various museum pieces, meeting venues and a center for cultural events.

Coop Himmelb(l)au Link
a weekly dose of architecture feature

12 October 2007

Intriguing Earth Architecture 29

Photograph by David Sundberg/Esto
Arizona Cardinals Stadium, Phoenix, Arizona, USA - Peter Eisenman/HOK Sport

11 October 2007

Charlie Rose - The Future of Architecture

Today we embed an episode of Charlie Rose featuring Peter Eisenman among other "Starchitects". It is interesting to hear the explanations given by the various architects as they explain their various projects.

28 September 2007

24 September 2007

Fallingwater - FLW Meets Half Life 2

Interesting video of Fallingwater in Bear Run, Pennsylvania that was produced using the Half Life 2 Source gaming engine. The Google Sketchup version can be found here. Needless to say, these three dimensional models would seem to be highly pragmatic devices for teaching Architecture in primary, secondary and post-secondary school environments. Something that is lost when viewing either pictures or slides in an academic presentation and can not be viewed first hand due to budget and/or time constraints in one's academic schedule.

Digital Urban Link
Official Fallingwater Site

21 September 2007

18 September 2007

Theo Jansen Speaks At TED

Here is the description for the lecture given by Jansen from the TED website:

"Dutch artist Theo Jansen demonstrates his amazingly lifelike kinetic sculptures, built from plastic tubes and lemonade bottles. His "Strandbeests" (Beach Creatures) are built to move and even survive on their own."

Artificial dk Interview
Theo Jansen at Gel 2005

17 September 2007

Todd Oldham On Charles & Ray Eames

Interesting short video on Charles and Ray Eames with documentary by Todd Oldham. Arguably two of the best modern American furniture designers whose work featured bent plywood and molded plastics among other early experimental materials. The are reported to have produced hundreds of prototypes to test both the aesthetic and ergonomic qualities of their designs before considering a single release for mass production by Herman Miller among others.

Todd Oldham Studio Link
Eames Office Resources

07 September 2007

Richard Rogers: Barajas Airport, Madrid

Interesting video of
Pritzer Prize winning architect Richard Rogers' Barajas Airport in Madrid, Spain. A short excerpt from the firm's website appears below:

"...A simple palette of materials and straightforward detailing reinforce the direct character of the architecture. Internally, the roof is clad in bamboo strips, giving it a smooth and seamless appearance. In contrast, the structural 'trees' are painted to create a kilometre-long vista of graduated colour. The lower levels of the building house baggage handling, storage and plant areas, and offer a striking contrast with the lightweight transparency of the passenger areas above."

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners Link
Richard Rogers Wiki

31 August 2007

29 August 2007

James Kunstler Speaks At TED

Here is the description for the lecture given by Kunstler from the TED website:

"In James Howard Kunstler's view, public spaces should be inspired centers of civic life -- the physical manifestation of the common good. Instead, he argues, what we have in America is a nation of places not worth caring about. Reengineering our cities will involve more radical change than we are prepared for, he believes, but our hand will be forced by earth crises stemming from our overconsuming lifestyle. "Life in the mid-21st century," Kunstler says, "is going to be about living locally." Passionate, profane and funny, this talk will make you think about the place where you live. "

Kunstler Blog
Kunstler Wiki

26 August 2007

24 August 2007

Zaha Hadid - Dune Formations

Interesting video showing the installation of Hadid's Dune Formations sculpture at the Venice Art Biennale 2007. The clip shows the arrival of the exhibit pieces at the canal dock, the behind-the-scenes gallery prep work for the show and features Zaha Hadid inspecting her pieces prior and during the Venice Biennale.

Dezeen Link

21 August 2007

Mercedes Benz Museum, UNStudio 02

This is the second in a two part series of videos examining the exterior and interior of the Museum for Mercedes Benz in Stuttgart, Germany by UNStudio.

UNStudio Link

17 August 2007

13 August 2007

Mercedes-Benz Museum, UNStudio

This is the first in a two part series of videos examining the exterior and interior of UNStudio's Museum for Mercedes-Benz in Stuttgart, Germany completed in 2006. An excerpt from the architects' website appears below:

The Museum’s sophisticated geometry synthesizes structural and programmatic organizations resulting in a new landmark building celebrating a legendary car. The geometric model employed is based on the trefoil organization. The building’s program is distributed over the surfaces which ascend incrementally from ground level, spiraling around a central atrium. The Museum experience begins with visitors traveling up through the atrium to the top floor from where they follow the two main paths that unfold chronologically as they descend through the building. The two main trajectories, one being the car and truck collection and the other consisting of historical displays called the Legend rooms, spiral downwards on the perimeter of the display platforms, intersecting with each other at several points allowing the visitor to change routes.

Mercedes-Benz Museum Wiki

Motor Trend Magazine Virtual Tour

03 August 2007

CCTV Rem Koolhaas/OMA

This is a well choreographed video showing the CCTV Station and Headquarters building that is under construction in Beijing, China. An excerpt from OMA's website can be perused below:

"This iconic new addition to the Beijing skyline combines the entire process of TV making -- administration, production, broadcasting -- into a single loop of interconnected activity. Two structures rise from a common production platform, each with a different character: one is dedicated to broadcasting, the second to services, research and education. They merge at the top to create a cantilevered headquarters for management.

Built directly adjacent to the CCTV, the Television Cultural Center (TVCC) will house public programs on site including a theater, cinemas, restaurants and five-star accommodation. The building will also serve as the international broadcasting center for the 2008 Olympics."

CCTV Official Site
Arup Project Site
CCTV Construction Photos

25 July 2007

Steven Holl: Sarphatistraat, Amsterdam

This is a short video of Holl's Sarphatistaat project in Amsterdam (96-02) showing interior and exterior spaces with a clear description of each. The inspiration for the project is taken from the
Steven Holl Architects site and can be found below:

"In Amsterdam, on the Singel Gracht, the renovated building is a four-story brick "U" merging internally with a new "sponge" pavilion. While the exterior expression is one of complimentary contrast (existing brick adjacent to new perforated copper) the interior strategy is one of fusion. The porous architecture of the rectangular pavilion is inscribed with a concept from Morton Feldman's music, "Patterns in a Chromatic Field." The ambition to achieve a space of gossamer optic phenomena with chance-located color is especially effective at night when the color patches reflect in the De Singel Canal. The layers of perforated screens are developed in three dimensions, analogous to the "Menger Sponge" principle of openings that are continuously cut in planes and constantly approaching zero volume."

Arcspace Link

18 July 2007

Thom Mayne Speaks At TED

Here is the description for the lecture given by Mayne from the TED website:

Thom Mayne doesn't see architecture as the means to build a readily imaginable structure. Rather, it's a starting point for new kinds of building -- and thus new kinds of landscapes and environments. This mind-bending talk takes us on a whistle-stop tour of the buildings Mayne and his studio Morphosis have created in recent years. From the Federal Building in San Francisco to graduate housing for the University of Toronto to the Wayne L. Morse Courthouse in Eugene, Oregon, these are big ideas cast in material form.

Thom Mayne Bios
Slate Article on Mayne

17 July 2007

Westin Raleigh Soleil Center

image courtesy RaleighSkyLine.com

A new 480 ft (146.3m) skyscraper will soon dot the Raleigh Skyline; but not downtown as one would imagine. Instead, the building is situated near a major shopping mall (Crabtree Valley) close to the I-40 Inner Beltline on Glenwood Avenue (aka US 70). The design by Perkins + Will will feature a hotel, spa and condominiums and surpass the tallest building in the city by approximately 50 ft (15.2m) and be second in the state only to the Bank of America Corporate Center (869 ft, 265m) by Cesar Pelli in Charlotte, North Carolina. The project is scheduled to open in 2009.

RaleighSkyline.com Article
raleighing.com Article

07 July 2007

Alex Steffen Speaks At TED

Here is the description for the lecture given by Steffen from the TED website:

Worldchanging.com founder Alex Steffen offers a fast-paced round-up of radical (but possible) answers to our planet's greatest challenges, ranging from green cities and buildings, to digital collaboration tools, to ingenious tools for the developing world (flowers that detect landmines; straws that purify water as you drink; merry-go-rounds that pump water using the energy expended by children at play). As Western-style consumerism spreads to developing countries, we must re-imagine our world -- a process he believes is slowly happening in such cities as Vancouver and Portland, Oregon, and also in the developing world, where new technologies and new forms of collaboration are combining to solve 21st-century problems.

Worldchanging Bios
IT Conversations Article

05 July 2007

New World of Coca-Cola Museum

Coca-Cola the brand known in over 200 countries the world over recently opened their second incarnation of the World of Coca-Cola in downtown Atlanta, Georgia in May 2007. The design follows guidelines set forth in the USGBC's LEED program but is not registered as such to this date. The project is located in Pemberton Place adjacent to the new Georgia Aquarium and within walking distance of Olympic Centennial Park. Atlanta based Rossler International was the architect-of-record for the building while the Jerde Partnership took the lead design role for the design and master planning. The new museum is now able to exhibit an additional 1.000 artifacts and memorabilia never before seen by the public.

New World of Coca-Cola Link
gadling Article

02 July 2007

New Museum Time-Lapse Video NYC, NY

While viewing YouTube we found this interesting time-lapse video of the New Museum of Contemporary Art under construction in New York City due for completion sometime this year.

Here is part of the project statement that can be found at the museum's website:

"...The New Museum is currently building a new, state-of-the-art facility on the Bowery designed by cutting-edge architects Sejima + Nishizawa / SANAA, scheduled to open in the fall of 2007. Over the coming year, the Museum will present programs around the city, and will continue to operate our world renowned store at the Chelsea Art Museum, 556 West 22nd Street (at 11th Avenue)."

designboom Article
Design Crack Blog Article

01 July 2007

Edward Burtynsky Speaks At TED

In light of his recently released book Manufactured Landscapes, here is the description for the lecture given by Burtynsky from the TED website:

" Accepting his 2005 TED Prize, photographer Edward Burtynsky makes a wish: that his images -- stunning landscapes that document humanity's impact on the world -- help persuade millions to join a global conversation on sustainability. Burtynsky presents a riveting slideshow of his photographs, which show vividly how industrial development is altering the Earth's natural landscape. From mountains of tires to rivers of bright orange waste from a nickel mine, his images are simultaneously beautiful and horrifying."

*editor's note: due to technical difficulties the TED lecture must be viewed directly here.

Treehugger Interview
Cool Hunting Article

28 June 2007

US EPA Laboratory RTP, NC

The United States Enivronmental Protection Agency RTP opened in 2002 is a multi-building complex that contains over 600 laboratory modules and approximately 2000 scientists and support staff. The 1.2 million square foot complex consists of four 5 story lab buildings, three 2 story office buildings and a 6 story office tower.

The designer Hellmuth, Obata + Kassenbaum set out to achieve a solution that would encompass its client's environmental goal. Which according to their website was, "The design embodies the EPA's goals for preserving the natural environment, reducing energy use, conserving resources, preventing pollution and fostering education about sustainable design. Strategies for energy efficiency and water conservation are saving the EPA $2 million a year in operating costs."

Some of the key environmental issues targeted for consideration during the design included: ecosystem protection, energy and water conservation, pollution prevention, and indoor environmental quality. The completed project also won the 2002 Washington DC Chapter AIA Presidential Citation for Sustainable Design.

RTP in the News Link
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