shu and joe

Posts filed under ‘Architecture’

Jan Kempenaers

June 1, 2009

Kempenaers’ photo series Spomenik, The End of History has popped up on several sites in the past few days, but I’m gonna post them again. Because they’re captivating. The monuments depicted are Yugoslavian socialist-futurist memorials, most employing cast-concrete and a good number of them in a state of advanced disrepair.

Spomenik 2, 2006

Spomenik 5, 2007

Spomenik 6, 2007

Spomenik 9, 2007

Spomenik 10, 2007

Spomenik 12, 2007

Spomenik 13 2007

Spomenik 14, 2007

Spomenik 15, 2007

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Dunlap House

May 20, 2009

Read the inelegantly named George Nelson: The Design of Modern Design this past weekend and came upon this image of a sun shade that Nelson designed for home of William E. Dunlap. Dunlap was the owner of Aluminum Extrusions, a Michigan-based company that produced Nelson’s original modular wall storage unit — the Omni System. When he commissioned Nelson’s office to design the interior of his home, Nelson found these sheets of punched stainless steel scrap that were the remains from a set of knives he’d designed and set them in redwood. I think it shows a brilliant reuse of materials and a clever way of imprinting Nelson’s mark on the project.

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Architect’s Fish & Chips

May 4, 2009

What! Posh Nosh. BBC circa 2003. Eight 9-minute episodes. Hilarious.

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April 29, 2009

What’s so seductive about the aesthetic of the slum? Buildings in decay? Imbricated scrap multiplied into a shantiopolis? Ad hoc structures? Forms of life dictated by basic subsistence needs?

These conditions have proven to be great fodder for recent visual culture — Camilo José Vergara’s American Ruins, Michael Wolf’s Bastard Chairs, Rem Koolhaas‘ infatuation with the “culture of congestion” of Lagos, Cyril Duval’s design for Bernhard Willhelm’s Tokyo boutique based on the dwellings of the city’s homeless, or Mike Meire’s Global Street Food project are just a few examples. Some of these projects simply document phenomena, presenting them without apparent judgement, while others actively promote an aesthetic of poverty — which has sparked some debate.

A romanticization of the ruined and the impoverished can be traced back through the arts to at least the, well, the Romanic period (the paintings of Hubert Robert or the celebration of the bohemian, for example). Perhaps the global economic situation has made it a choice time to examine social, physical and aesthetic typologies of urban decay, slums and the poor.

Hubert Robert, Vue Imaginaire de la Grande Galerie en Ruines (1796)

Michael Wolf, Bastard Chair #5

Mike Meiré, Global Street Food (2009)

There’s a thoughtful post on this topic at Momus’ blog — which points to an ongoing exhibition of photos of ad hoc shelters by Peter Bialobrzeski and Oliver Boberg.

Peter Bialobrzeski, Slum 29

Peter Bialobrzeski, Slum 32

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The Ghost House

April 19, 2009

From Datar Architects, Japan.

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The Portland Building, revisited

April 5, 2009

Found this image of Michael Graves’ original proposed design for the Portland Public Service Building in a 1985 issue of Architectural Design. Interesting to note the original plan called for much more dramatic decorative garlands along the sides of the building and a collection of public arcades and shops on the rooftop. Both elements were vetoed by city authorities.

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Villa Malaparte

April 3, 2009

The final act of Godard’s Contempt is stunning — in no small part due to its use of architect Adalberto Libera’s Villa Malaparte, situated high on the cliffs of Capri. The home was completed in 1942 for the Italian writer Curzio Malaparte, but was abandoned after his death in 1956. It has since been restored and can be reached only by crossing the island on foot.

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Oshatz Organics

March 22, 2009

May sound like a local dairy, but I’m referring to the organic architecture that Robert Harvey Oshatz has been designing in the Portland area since the 1970s. I don’t know what to make of some of his projects, so I’ll let his website do the talking:

“While most architects today are specialists who associate with other specialists, Robert Oshatz is a generalist who associates with specialists.”

Rosenthal House, 1984

Fennell House, 2005

Fennell House

Wilkinson House, 2004

Williams House, renovation and addition 1990-1997

(via Lost at E Minor)

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Eero & Aline

March 2, 2009

The Smithsonian has collected some great correspondences from the pre-email era, including this illustrated note from Eero Saarinen to his wife, NY Times art critic Aline Bernstein. The juxtaposition of heart + architectural sketch is pretty endearing:

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The New Geography

February 19, 2009

The March issue of The Atlantic features an interesting article by Richard Florida on the effects that the economic/housing collapse may have on the use of space in America. Among Florida’s proposals are a shift from home ownership to long-term renting and the development of suburbs into higher-density nodes within urban metro-zones. Here’s a quote:

If there is one constant in the history of capitalist development, it is the ever-more-intensive use of space. Today, we need to begin making smarter use of both our urban spaces and the suburban rings that surround them—packing in more people, more affordably, while at the same time improving their quality of life. That means liberal zoning and building codes within cities to allow more residential development, more mixed-use development in suburbs and cities alike, the in-filling of suburban cores near rail links, new investment in rail, and congestion pricing for travel on our roads. Not everyone wants to live in city centers, and the suburbs are not about to disappear. But we can do a much better job of connecting suburbs to cities and to each other, and allowing regions to grow bigger and denser without losing their velocity.

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