31 December 2009

Happy New Year's 2010

Happy New Year '10

Taipei 101, Taipei, Taiwan - Taipei 101
via flickr: VinceHuang

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28 December 2009

VotW 08: Shigeru Ban On L/Studio

Today we feature a video of Shigeru Ban talking about his work in his own words. Ban is the architect of such works as the Nomadic Museum, Artek Pavilion, Centre Pompidou Metz and the Aspen Art Museum among others. As Ban describes in the video, he has long been a proponent of using materials or more specifically, recycled mass produced items in unconventional ways in his works. The wikipedia entry for Ban describes his polemics in this way:
For Ban, one of the most important themes in his work is the “invisible structure”. That is, he doesn't overtly express his structural elements, but rather chooses to incorporate it into the design. Ban is not interested in the ‘newest’ materials and techniques, but rather the expression of the concept behind his building. The materials he chooses to use are deliberately chosen for how they aid the building to do so.

Shigeru Ban Website

25 December 2009

Happy Holidays '09

Regent Street London

Regent Street, London, UK - Regent Street
via flickr: leoniewise

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22 December 2009

Intriguing Earth Architecture 75


CGAC, Santiago De Compostela, Spain - Alvaro Siza Vieira
via flickr: David G. Neguillo

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15 December 2009

VotW 07: Canal Theater By Baldeweg

In case you were not aware a fairly new website has emerged on the web featuring video reporting of many architectural and design projects throughout Europe. In their own words:
Studio Banana TV is an on-line platform dedicated to the promotion of multidisciplinary creativity in an audiovisual format. Studio Banana TV broadcasts its own video productions which are produced upon demand and which range from interviews to notorious artists, designers, architects, musicians etc. to documentaries on exhibitions, projects and studios. Through its thematic channels it also features a rich selection of videos edited by specialists in each field.
In this weeks video Studio Banana TV features the Canal Theater Building by Juan Navarro Baldeweg in Madrid, Spain. Here is an excerpt from their website describing the video itself:
Juan Navarro Baldeweg (Santander, 1939) is a Spanish architect, painter and sculptor. Navarro Baldeweg has provided a novel look at the constructive practices, in which the work is understood as the subject of an existing physical context activation. He has been guest lecturer at many international universities and is a professor in the Department of Architectural Design of ETSAM. He is author, among other works, of the National Museum of Altamira, the Canal Theatres in Madrid, the National Museum of Human Evolution in Burgos, the Salamanca Congress Centre, the Institute of Archeology and Architecture Awareness in Amersfoort, the Netherlands, or the extension to the School of Music at Princeton University. Special thanks to the Canal Theatre and to Juan Navarro Baldeweg Architects.

Interview and translation by Studio Banana TV

12 December 2009

Intriguing Earth Architecture 74

Cleveland Clinic Ruvo Las Vegas

Lou Ruvo Brain Institute, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - Gehry Partners, LLP
via web: Hello Beautiful!

If you have not visited already, we highly recommend Hello Beautiful! by Edward Lifson which provided the article and inspiration for the photo shared here.

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21 November 2009

Intriguing Earth Architecture 73

Alumni Hall Lehigh University Parking Garage

Alumni Hall Parking Structure (Lehigh University), Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA - Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
via flickr: alish863psu

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19 November 2009

VotW 06: Carolyn Steel Speaks At TED

Here is a description of the lecture given by Steel from the TED website:

Every day, in a city the size of London, 30 million meals are served. But where does all the food come from? Architect Carolyn Steel discusses the daily miracle of feeding a city, and shows how ancient food routes shaped the modern world.

05 November 2009

Intriguing Earth Architecture 72

Cite' de la Musique

Cite' de la Musique, Paris, France - Atelier Christian de Portzamparc
via flickr: laurenatclemson

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06 October 2009

Intriguing Earth Architecture 71

Community Rowing Boathouse

Community Boathouse, Boston, Massachusetts, USA - Anmahian Winton Architects
via flickr: Chris Devers

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03 October 2009

VotW 05: Daniel Libeskind Speaks At TED

Here is a description of the lecture given by Libeskind from the TED website:
Daniel Libeskind builds on very big ideas. Here, he shares 17 words that underlie his vision for architecture -- raw, risky, emotional, radical -- and that offer inspiration for any bold creative pursuit.

Studio Daniel Libeskind
TED bio

16 August 2009

Intriguing Earth Architecture 70

Potsdamer Platz, Berlin, Germany

Potsdamer Platz, Berlin, Germany - Renzo Piano Building Workshop
via flickr: Luigi Rosa

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14 August 2009

Posta Aerea 08


We are sifting through the virtual mailbag again and would like to share a few newsworthy items with our readers. So without further ado here are the selections that we have filtered for your enjoyment. The urbanSHED International Design Competition has launched its inaugural event. Here is an excerpt from the press release provided to us:

The American Institute of Architects New York Chapter and the New York City Buildings Department are thrilled to announce the launch of urbanSHED, an international design competition that challenges the global design community to rethink the current sidewalk shed standard and create a prototype worthy of today’s New York City. Details on this exciting competition are in the press release pasted below, and the website is now live: urbanSHED.

The Mountain, BIG Architects

The Urban Land Institute has awarded BIG Architects its 2009 Award of excellence. The project has also won the 2008 Forum Aid Award, 2008 World Architecture Festival Best Housing Award, and the 2009 MIPIM Award. The Mountain is the result of a collaboration with Høpfner A/S, Danish Oil Company JDS, Moe & Brødsgaard, and By & Havn. The ULI had this to say about the winning design proposal:

The Mountain is wonderful example of success that showcases creativity, innovation, and long-term thinking. Perhaps now more than ever, the ULI Awards for Excellence program reminds us of the key difference that responsible design and development can make in terms of longevity and overall community sustainability.

Image Courtesy Peter Aaron/Esto

Image courtesy of Peter Aaron/Esto

This striking image arrived in our inbox promoting the work of photographer Peter Aaron. the quality of the images rival that of the renown architectural photographer Iwan Baan. Once again here is a description of the work in the author's own words:

When Peter Aaron was in Chicago recently, he made a series of exciting images of the new Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago and of the city’s Millennium Park. Aaron, who was awarded an AIA Collaborative Achievement Award, created images that capture the luminous quality of natural light, Renzo Piano’s trademark. Peter’s images locate the Art Institute in relation to the landscape, the park, the city and the lake. The adjacent garden was designed by Kathryn Gustafson, Piet Oudolf and Robert Israel. In Millennium Park, the Cloud Gate is by Anish Kapoor; the Crown Fountain by Jaume Plensa; the bandshell, pavilion and bridge by Frank Gehry. The new museum building and the park are well known, have been often photographed and frequently published. You are surely familiar with the structures and the spaces…but they never looked as energetic and lively as in Peter Aaron’s images. I hope you’ll take a look: esto flickr slideshow to see a slide show of these recent photographs.

13 August 2009

Firm Focus: Asymptote

Yas Hotel
Today we feature the architecture firm, Asymptote. The second in our long promised five part series stemming from our earlier Young Architects Poll post. The New York City based firm is headed by the two principals, Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture and currently lists a 65 person staff.

Exhibition Nai 2003
Since its inception in 1989, the firm has long been known as a predominately theoretical based practice. Using amorphous forms and high powered three-dimensional modeling computer software and captivating models, the firm has been featured in a number of magazine articles, architectural monographs and design school lectures. Asymptote were (are) regular participants in many world competitions and exhibitions to include the Venice Architecture Biennale. Its first realized commissions came through explorations in interior architecture for esteemed Italian design firm Alessi and the New York Stock Exchange.

World Business Center Busan
Since 2000 more projects have come to realization for the firm especially in southeast Asia, eastern Europe and the United Arab Emirates. Recently completed and current projects include: 166 Perry Street, NYC; World Business Center Busan, Busan, South Korea; Strata Tower, Abu Dhabi, UAE; and the Yas Hotel, Abu Dhabi, UAE among others. What seems to separate Asymptote from others is its particular fusion of structure, materials and design aesthetic. All of which seem to be the source of intrigue for the firm's projects. Additionally, their introduction of refreshingly different forms differentiates how their architecture is perceived, in terms of space, rather than that of the orthogonal norm.

Asymptote Architects
designboom article

30 July 2009

Intriguing Earth Architecture 69

Espacial Habitat
Espacial Habitat
Espacial Habitat, Epinay-sur-Seine, France - ecdm
via email: Matthieu Roggwiller

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20 July 2009

VotW 04: Jalisco Library By LOT-EK

Guadalajara Library - LOT-EK from arquiNETWORK on Vimeo.

Ever wonder what could be done with all those left airplane fuselages when they have flown their last miles? Apparently, LOT-EK has given it a lot of thought and has proposed a design for a library in Mexico as an example. You might recall that this New York based firm has been a strong proponent of using/reusing everyday cargo containers in a creative and arguably sustainable way.

An excerpt from noticias arquitectura follows regarding the design:

Over 200 Boeing 727 and 737 fuselages are stacked in a north-south slant in relation to sun exposure for energy efficiency. Two shifts in the direction of the main axis of the fuselages generate two large open spaces within the stack.

The building utilizes the space inside the fuselages to contain and organize functions that require enclosed spaces - such as book collections, meeting rooms and administration offices, - while the 2 large open spaces house a large atrium with all the reading areas on one side and two auditoriums on the other...

noticias arquitectura article
BLDGBLOG article

18 May 2009

Intriguing Earth Architecture 68

St Ignatius Chapel
St Ignatius Chapel, Seattle, Washington, USA - Steven Holl
via flickr: 2:19

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03 May 2009

VotW 03: Hauz29 on the Caltrans HQ

Hauz29: Morphosis, Caltrans, Los Angeles from Hauz on Vimeo.

A well crafted video from Hauz29 who also produces some excellent podcasts on architecture that have been featured in our sidebar for some time now. In case you were not aware, the Caltrans District 7 Headquarters was produced by Morphosis and was designed to meet the LEED Silver Certification standard.

Arup Journal entry

01 May 2009

Intriguing Earth Architecture 67

MAC, Niteroi, Brazil - Oscar Niemeyer
via flickr: c.alberto

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28 April 2009

VotW 02: Niels Diffrient Speaks At TED

Here is a description of the lecture given by Diffrient from the TED website:
Design legend Niels Diffrient talks about his life in industrial design (and the reason he became a designer instead of a jet pilot). He details his quest to completely rethink the office chair starting from one fundamental data set: the human body.
Humanscale Corporation Site
DWR Profile

24 April 2009

Intriguing Earth Architecture 66

Safari Drive
Safari Drive, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - Miller Hull Partnership
via flickr pool: hellothomas

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22 April 2009

Earth Day '09

Earth Day '09
April 22nd is here again and that means it is Earth Day around the world. As part of Bloggers Unite, our fair blog has decided to take a look at sustainability and provide a voice in the global debate over going green by focusing on something in which we have experience.

Previously, we asked our readers in our sidebar poll whether the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED initiative was a good measure of overall sustainability. Our poll had mixed results with most respondents agreeing with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) assessment program. A full half of respondents however believe that either the initiative is not a comprehensive set of metrics or that it was too early to tell its success. To more fully understand the reasoning behind our poll, one needs to know the what, where and why of LEED and its implications.

Without going into a detailed history of the program, LEED is a set of standards and metrics by which the sustainability of building materials, systems and strategies can be measured. These are then given a point value rating and are given a certification level based on the total number of points obtained. Currently these are certified, silver, gold and platinum. We featured a further breakdown of the concepts and point system in this earlier post.

Beyond this point system underlies a more utopian goal of forming a collective of groups that include manufacturers, designers, scientists, and law-makers that all have sustainability as one of their main focuses of concern. As a side note it is refreshing to see that many developers and contractors have also joined this non-profit organization. It is our humble opinion that these key groups as well as complacent governmental bodies that have helped contribute to the destruction of much of the natural environment, especially in the United States.

Although USGBC certifies many manufacturers and their products, it also dictates a methodology of design to which all members should strive to achieve if they wish their designs to be certified. The interesting thing about this six division point process is that a lot of the concepts prescribed are very common sense approaches to site and building design. In fact, one could argue that many of these were rediscovered early in the twentieth century and then were forgotten for almost four decades. And now they have reemerged at the beginning of the twenty first century similar to the means and methods reintroduced during the Renaissance.

As the USGBC LEED enters its third iteration (v3) the exam and certification process has become more refined and less open to interpretation. If one has aspirations to become a LEED Accredited Professional then they need to approach the exam and its contents with the same respect that is given to the Architects Registration Exam for example. It should also be mentioned that another goal of the latest version is to attempt to unify codes between the USGBC and similar organizations in both Canada and Europe. This is still in its early stages.

Although the verdict is still out on LEED and its overall effectiveness, it certainly is a step in the right direction. In a time when energy use and natural resource usage (notwithstanding the global warming debate) is at a premium and the global economy seems to be entrenched in a recession going green only makes sense. As a prelude to the 40th anniversary of Earth Day in 2010, we offer this small insight and contribution to the overall global effort for better awareness.

USGBC site
earthdaynetwork link

19 April 2009

Charlie Rose Talks To Koolhaas

This video features a discussion between Charlie Rose and Rem Koolhaas from March 2004 in which they discuss among other things his book "Content" and his projects to include: the Dutch Embassy in Berlin, the China Central Television Headquarters in Beijing, and the Seattle Public Library. We feature this as an interesting retrospective considering the recent loss of the nearly complete Mandarin Hotel adjacent to the CCTV complex in February of this year.

Charlie Rose Interviews

18 April 2009

Intriguing Earth Architecture 65

Dominus Winery
Dominus Winery, Yountville, California, USA - Herzog and de Meuron
via flickr: ianxharris

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20 March 2009

Intriguing Earth Architecture 64

EMPAC-Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
EMPAC-Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, USA - Grimshaw Architects
via email: Davis Brody Bond (collaborative architect)

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19 March 2009

Posta Aerea 07

Posta Aerea

It is that time of the year again. Time to share with our readers several recent emails which all seem to have a very common flavor. Competition awards and announcements predominated the virtual mailbox this time.

Design 21 Announces the Winners of its, "Wood, Paper, Checkmark" Competition. The contest was developed to help educate consumers about FSC-certified (Forest Stewardship Council) wood products and promote responsible forest management. The overall winners this cycle were Damian O'Hara & Christophe Roger from France. Their proposal can be found here. To see the other entrants follow the submitted designs link provided by Design 21

World Architecture Community
The World Architecture Community has released posters of the winners of its 2nd Cycle Competition for download. It also has sent out a call-for-entries for its 20+10+X Architecture Awards 4th Cycle Competition. For more information, eligibility and requirements please visit the website url provided here.

Pamphlet Architecture Competition
Pamphlet Architecture is announcing its 30th annual juried competition whose theme is, "Investigations in Infrastructure". You might know and enjoy these fascinating diminutive periodicals available from PA Press. We will try to add a graphical link in our sidebars when we hear back from them with our request until then the release notes are here.

MONU, the magazine of urbanism, has asked us to let you know that they are having an open call for contributions to their upcoming issue #11 entitled, "Clean Urbanism". Information for those interested can be found here.

Another email requested that we tout an article labeled, "100 Amazing Flickr Collections for Architecture Buffs" for those who love flickr eye candy please partake.

Speaking of flickr, we would again like to extend an invitation for all of our readers to contribute to our flickr pool at ecAr2.0. We would love to feature your photography or photos of your work on our site (Intriguing Earth Architecture, Modern Furnishings, e.g.) And of course thank you again for your continued interest and support of our site.

17 March 2009

Firm Focus: Hariri & Hariri

Wilton Poolhouse
Months ago we asked our readers for their input as to which Young Architect/Firm they would hire in our sidebar poll. Among the comments and feedback we received from this exercise was that our selection of firms were not exactly, "young". And although we would concede this point in terms of the actual physical age of both the firms and individuals involved, that was not our intent. The purpose of our poll, from our standpoint, was to determine which en vogue firm from those listed would one hire at that time. Essentially we were following up on another poll we featured several years back regarding the hot button issue in the news, "Starchitects" (i.e. Gehry, OMA/Koolhaas, etc) and the so-called, "Bilboa effect", to see how preferences had changed or remained the same. Another key point to keep in mind is that we ran this poll prior to the burst of the global economic bubble when iconoclastic architecture was the norm and not the exception.

With that being stated, the first firm we will feature in a five part mini-series is Hariri & Hariri; which tied with Asymptote (25% of respondents) for the firm one would least likely hire according to our less than scientific polling.

The Digital House
Hariri & Hariri is headed by two Iranian born sisters, Gisue and Mojgan, who both received their education at Cornell University in Upstate New York. In 1986, they formed their New York City based firm and began to design many thought provoking and beautifully crafted pieces of both realized and un-built architectural projects. This author’s first introduction to their works came through the monograph authored by renowned architectural writer Kenneth Frampton. At the time, Hariri & Hariri's models and drawings provided seductive and inspiring insights into what was possible in the real world of brick and mortar construction, particularly to a young aspiring architecture student. At the time of this writing their works have been featured in many print forms such as books, magazines, museum exhibits and blog posts to name a few.

Sternbrauerei Salzburg
Some of their recent commissions include the Sagaponac House in Long Island, New York which was one of a handful of influential designs within the, "Houses of Sagaponac" developmental experiment. In 2006 they won an international competition for the "Sternbrauerei Salzburg" consisting of a residential and mixed-use development in historic Salzburg, Austria. According to their own website they have most recently been involved with development of a mixed-use project in the Dallas Art District while also being asked to produce a chandelier design for renowned crystal manufacturer Swarovski.

Hariri & Hariri Architecture
artandculture article

15 March 2009

VotW 01: Don Norman Speaks At TED

Here is a description of the lecture given by Norman from the TED website:
Don Norman studies how real people interact with design, exploring the gulf between what a designer intends and what a regular person actually wants. His work has resulted in some classic books, including "The Design of Everyday Things."
Ever wonder what makes your senses, your very being love the designs of OXO, Apple, or Ferrari? Well in this TED lecture Mr. Norman describes what is built into the human psyche that allows us to associate the emotions that we have for good design. His new book has been added to our bookstore should you be interested in further exploring his design theories.

ecAr bookstore listing.

13 March 2009

Intriguing Earth Architecture 63

River and Rowing Museum
River and Rowing Museum, Henley-on-Thames, England, UK - David Chipperfield Architects
via flickr: toxophilite

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13 February 2009

Intriguing Earth Architecture 62

ICA, Diller Scofidio Renfro
ICA, Boston, Massachusetts - Diller Scofidio Renfro
via flickr: ryan_d_cole

ecAr would love to feature your photos on our site. If you would like to contribute to our flickr pool and join our group please follow the link. Thanks for your contribution to our modern architecture group.

09 February 2009

OMA Landmark Jeopardized By Fire

cctv, fire, oma
Reuters Image

The future Mandarin Oriental Hotel as photographed during the fire that consumed it this evening. Apparently, the OMA/Koolhaas CCTV tower has sustained little damage. This marks the third major fire in less than a year that have afflicted modern architecture projects.

Reuters Article

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