Tag Archives: architecture

A Giant LED Star Pierces the Floors of a 4-Story Building in Malaysia 


Malaysian artist Jun Hao Ong constructed this bright LED star that appears to shoot through the floors and ceilings of a 4-story concrete building as part of the 2015 Urban Xchange public art festival. The piece is comprised of steel cables that help suspend a network of over 500 feet of LED lights that grows seamlessly in 12 directions. “The Star is a glitch in current political and cultural climate of the country, it is a manifestation of the sterile conditions of Butterworth, a once thriving industrial port and significant terminal between the mainland and island,” shares Ong.

The Star was curated by Eeyan Chuah and Gabija Grusaite from the Penang-based contemporary art centre, Hin Bus Depot. You can see more of Ong’s elaborate installations using LEDs and flourescent lights on his website. (via The Creators Project)







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A New Japanese Painting Supply Store Lines its Walls With 4,200 Different Pigments 


Thousands of pigments fill glass vials below the slatted wood ceilings of the new concept Pigment, an art supply laboratory and store that just opened in Tokyo by company Warehouse TERRADA. The store design was created by architect Kengo Kuma, utilizing bamboo and large open spaces to create a sense of unity with the outdoors and spark the imagination of those who enter.

In recent years fewer artists have turned to more traditional methods of art making, diminishing the number of successors to these older forms. Pigment aims to provide hard-to-find tools for the preservation of older paintings while also inspiring the latest generation of artists to incorporate these older materials into newer works. In addition to selling brushes, pigments, special glues, and papers (some used in Japanese painting since the Meiji period), the store will also provide workshops by both art professors and manufacturers of the supplies housed in-store.

If you can’t make it to Japan to experience the space in person, you can browse Pigment’s large supply of pigments and rare materials on their online store here. (via Designboom)








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Windows that Double as Accordion Fold Skylights and Glass-Bottom Balconies 


More Sky,” a thesis project by architect Aldana Ferrer Garcia, gives those with cramped apartments the chance to spread out—out beyond the walls of one’s living space. The project merges a window, lounge, and skylight, surrounding users in natural light while providing a bit more space just outside their apartment’s confines.

Each of the concepts serves as a niche that can provide more access to natural light and nature within an urban environment. “Hopper Window” allows a nearly full recline, the owner able to glance up into the sky while resting against the accordion-like window. The second, “Casement Window,” is a small semi-circle protruding from the wall, giving a single person the ability to sit cross-legged while glancing out of the overhang. The third, “Awning Window,” is the smallest of the three, just enough room to lean against while glancing down at the world happening below.

The Argentinian architect seeks to address the lack of human scale often found in architecture, and recently completed her Masters of Industrial Design at the Pratt Institute. Her work has been featured in London Deign Week, Interior Design Magazine, Dwell, and The Woodworkers Journal. (via Lost at E Minor)








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A Drought in Mexico Uncovers a 400-Year-Old Colonial Church in the Middle of a Reservoir 

Licensed from the AP / David von Blohn

Licensed from the AP / David von Blohn

Licensed from the AP / David von Blohn

Licensed from the AP / David von Blohn

Licensed from the AP / David von Blohn

Licensed from the AP / David von Blohn

Licensed from the AP / David von Blohn

Licensed from the AP / David von Blohn

Licensed from the AP / David von Blohn

Licensed from the AP / David von Blohn

Usually when droughts occur and reservoir water levels recede, it’s not a good thing. But a certain drought in Southern Mexico is attracting a lot of enthusiasm. Water levels in the Nezahualcoyotl reservoir have dropped by 82 ft (25 meters), revealing the remains of a mid-16th century colonial church. Known as the Temple of Santiago, the structure was erected by Dominican friars but then abandoned in the 1770s because of plagues.

The 48-ft tall church became a relic of memory in 1966 when the construction of a dam submerged it under water. Since then it’s only emerged twice: once in 2002 and again, now. As it did in 2002, the church has become a popular destination for tourists and local fisherman have been taking spectators out on boats to get a close-up view of the rare occurrence.

“The people celebrated,” recalls a local fisherman, of the last time the church emerged out of the water. “They came to eat, to hang out, to do business. I sold them fried fish.” If the drought continues, water levels could get low enough for people to walk inside the church.

Photos by David von Blohn, used with permission.

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Artist Theaster Gates Bought a Crumbling Chicago Bank for $1 and Turned it Into a World-Class Arts Center 

Tom Harris © Hedrich Blessing. Courtesy of Rebuild Foundation.

One might think that an abandoned 1920s bank on Chicago’s South Side, crumbling from top to bottom—the roof long collapsed, exposing the interior to snow and rain for years—would be destined for a wrecking ball. Like so many other decaying structures in the area, that was certainly the fate of the Stony Island Savings & Loan building before artist, urban planner, and Chicago resident Theaster Gates intervened.

Armed with only a vision to carry him through, Gates acquired the 20,000-square-foot bank for $1.00 from the city of Chicago and set about an unbelievable restoration. This month, amidst all the hubbub of Chicago’s Architecture Biennale, the doors were thrown open and the public was given the opportunity to walk through the new Stony Island Arts Bank. While construction is complete, several details of the bank’s history including peeling paint and damaged ceiling tiles have been preserved to physically merge the past and present.

Steve Hall © Hedrich Blessing. Courtesy of Rebuild Foundation.

Steve Hall © Hedrich Blessing. Courtesy of Rebuild Foundation.

The Stony Island Arts Bank is a place that proudly defies convention. A community savings and loan bank shuttered since the 1980s turned into a world-class arts center in the middle of a greatly under-resourced community most in need of bold ideas. It’s the kind of place that civic leaders propose and residents dream of, but for a thousand reasons it never seems to materialize. And yet here it is.

Gates’ idea has now manifested itself as a platform for site-specific exhibitions and commissions, artist residencies, and as a home for the Rebuild Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by the artist in 2010 that seeks specifically to foster culture and development in underinvested neighborhoods. In addition, the arts bank houses the vinyl archive of Frankie Knuckles, regarded as the “Godfather of House Music,” as well as 60,000 glass lantern slides from the University of Chicago and the School of the Art Institute. You can also find the personal magazine and book collection of John H. Johnson, founder of Ebony and Jet magazines.

In a press release Gates describes the Arts Bank as “an institution of and for the South Side,” “a repository for African American culture and history, a laboratory for the next generation of black artists,” and “a space for neighborhood residents to preserve, access, reimagine and share their heritage, as well as a destination for artists, scholars, curators, and collectors to research and engage with South Side history.”

Tom Harris © Hedrich Blessing. Courtesy of Rebuild Foundation.

Tom Harris © Hedrich Blessing. Courtesy of Rebuild Foundation.

Steve Hall © Hedrich Blessing. Courtesy of Rebuild Foundation.

The building’s first exhibition is by Portuguese artist Carlos Bunga, whose installation Under the Skin introduces towering cardboard columns to the bank’s towering first-floor gallery. The facility will undoubtedly be used as a place for black artists, community members, and other individuals to experiment with and engage with the South Side, in an environment Gates refers to as a “laboratory.”

“Projects like this require belief more than they require funding,” Gates tells Fast Company. “If there’s not a kind of belief, motivation, and critical aggregation of people who believe with you in a project like this, it cannot happen. The city is starting to realize that there might be other ways of imagining upside beside ‘return on investment’ and financial gain.”

You can visit the new arts bank Tuesday through Saturday, 11am-6pm. (via Fast Company, the Chicago Reader).

Tom Harris © Hedrich Blessing. Courtesy of Rebuild Foundation.

Steve Hall © Hedrich Blessing. Courtesy of Rebuild Foundation.

Steve Hall © Hedrich Blessing. Courtesy of Rebuild Foundation.

Tom Harris © Hedrich Blessing. Courtesy of Rebuild Foundation.

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A New Book Celebrates the 200 Most Beautiful and Innovative Cabins Ever Designed 


Built as retreats for solitude and reflection, cabins are typically found in remote areas, tucked into the forest-filled corners of civilization. Due to their remote nature, they are often secreted from the public eye, unless you know the right path to explore. However, as a group of friends (including co-founder of Vimeo, Zach Klein) began to collect inspiration for cabin building projects, they discovered a vast array of outdoor structures and tree-houses with unique architecture on the backroads of America and around the world. They quickly began to document their discoveries online, and the Cabin Porn site was born.

Cabin Porn grew over the course of six years to amass a following of over 350,000 on Tumblr and became a visual bastion for architects, camping aficionados, and anyone craving an escape with a collection of over 12,000 cabin designs. The site has now been transformed into a printed book by the same name, Cabin Porn, a collection that adds narrative to the spaces first documented online to include interior photography, new homes, and advice from cabin makers that touch on subjects from how to live underground to crafting an off-grid bunkhouse.

The book narrows down its sprawling inspiration to just 200 cabins and hopes to not only present the aesthetic of these cabins, but the feel they elicit in their construction. “Inside each of us is a home ready to be built,” says the book’s website. “It takes a supply of ambition and materials to construct a cabin, but the reward is handsome: a shelter for yourself somewhere quiet, and a place to offer warm hospitality to friends.”

Cabin Porn can now be found on Amazon. Take a peek inside the book, and watch a lovely trailer below.









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New Architectural Collages That Double as Visual Poems by Matthias Jung 


Matthias Jung (previously) creates worlds of surreal architecture that inhabit vast photographed landscapes. The works merge together different elements of photography to create unusual compositions, structures you might vividly remember from a dream. By placing the composite structures in commonplace landscapes the German-based graphic designer preserves their believability, allowing us to momentarily trick our brains into thinking these places actually exist in environments we have not yet explored.

Jung refers to the works as “architectural short poems,” a perfect description for how they are visually consumed by the eye. You can see more of his surreal architectural collages on his website gallery here.









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