shu and joe

Posts filed under ‘Architecture’


February 9, 2009

Sad to read that the TVCC tower was destroyed last night when a blitz of New Year fireworks in downtown Beijing set the building on fire. Luckily the building was not in operation yet and no injuries have been reported only one fatality has been reported. Friends of ours spent years developing this project only to see it ruined.

Photo: David Gray/Reuters

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Saving the Suburbs

February 6, 2009

Thought provoking post from Allison Arieff at the NY Times design blog on the future of failing suburbs.

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MVRDV Gwanggyo City Center

December 4, 2008

Below are images of MVRDV‘s winning proposal for the to-be-established city of Gwanggyo (sited 35 km south of Seoul). The stacked towers look like a cross between giant termite hills and the stepped rice terraces common in China. The city is projected to house 77,000 residents and is currently undergoing feasibility studies.

(More pics and info at Bustler.)

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The Portland Building

December 2, 2008

We’ve been staying a block down the street from Michael Graves’ Portland Building – considered one of the first and enduringly iconic large-scale expressions of stylistic postmodernism. The building was completed in 1982 and supplemented with Raymond Kaskey’s copper-clad Portlandia statue in 1985. The proportion of the statue to the entrance below coupled with the facades’ aqua blue concrete garland is definitely whimsical, but the functional interior space has been reviled over the years for featuring poor lighting, small windows and cheap finishes. (Though Brian Libby attempts to find redeeming qualities in the work in this Architecture Week review from 2002.

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Urban Studies | Time out of place

November 16, 2008

Insightful review of Michael Winterbottom’s 2003 film Code 46 at bldgblog. Seems that the film develops its urban backdrop via visual bricolage, amalgamating the landmarks of developing megacities into an uncannily familiar no-place. Regarding this technique, Geoff Manaugh asks, “But what does it mean that Asian cities – cinematically depicted as a kind of monolithic urban Other – are, for the time being, so visually unfamiliar to Western audiences that they can be edited into a seamless Global Metropolis, a vast agglomeration of spatial alterity that we can cut-and-paste together on film?” What, indeed. Manaugh will sit down with Winterbottom next week at the Barbican to tease out some answers.

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Architecture | Theater in the Round

October 20, 2008

Life is but a stage, especially if you live a tulou-style structure like the ones built by China’s Hakka people more than 1000 years ago. For those interested in trying out communal round-house living, Shenzhen-based Urbanus is developing a modern tulou in Guangzhou to provide some affordable housing China’s vast migrant worker population. The Cooper-Hewitt has put together an exhibition detailing the project. Also, a pretty laudatory review in the NY Times from Nicolai Ouroussoff.

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Architecture | Words and Things

September 25, 2008

One of the most insightful architecturally-directed blogs I’ve come across in a while is Steve Parnell’s Sesquipedalist. Rather that serve up shiny new renderings of the newest buildings on the block, Parnell combs back issues of architecture porn to demonstrate “the architectural journal’s effect on the profession’s social construction of architecture.” The results (part of his PhD research) are often quite compelling. A good example is this post on Alison and Peter Smithson’s Robin Hood Gardens project and its reception (or lack there of) in the annuls of architectural journalism. Included are some nice scans of Peter Eisenman’s review of the project from the September 1972 issue of Architectural Design.

Also, a nice Flickr set of Robin Hood Gardens images.

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September 9, 2008

Apartamento is a new editorial project dedicated to the world of interiors. It’s special.

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Lebbeus Woods and the Architecture of the Impossible

September 8, 2008

Great article in the New York Times by Nicolai Ouroussoff about the architect Lebbeus Woods.

Some critics condemned the design for its coldblooded imagery. But it also turned cold-war Modernism on its head. In the 1950s American architects were striving to retool wartime military production for the construction of a peacetime paradise. One result was the mind-numbing conformity of suburban subdivisions. Mr. Woods, by comparison, has never been so utopian. In his drawings society seems to be coming apart at the seams. His glistening pods, armored against the surrounding mayhem, are intended as sanctuaries for society’s most vulnerable: outcasts, rebels, heretics and dreamers.

Berlin Free-Zone 3-2. A proposal from the early 90’s for an abandoned building in Berlin.

Terrain 1-2. A series of designs that reflected the effects of earthquake-induced seismic shifts.

A design for an unrealized pavilion in China. “..a dense Piranesian space in which people can climb out to peer out at the urban sprawl of the new China.”

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Invisible Man

September 5, 2008

The Chinese artist Liu Bolin continues his ongoing photo project of “blending into” the background. This time, he embeds himself in slightly more politically loaded situations, including a poster for the Olympic mascots and a scene where he’s being grabbed by a policeman.

via ifgogo

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