The Festival des Arcitectures Vives in Montpellier, France grants access to the courtyards of private hotels and other buildings typically restricted to the general public, filling these outdoor areas with installations that reflect the architecture that surrounds the temporary artworks. For the 2016 festival, the French collaborative duo Michaël Martins Afonso and Caroline Escaffre-Faure brought architecture’s universal backdrop down to eye level, floating several large clouds throughout one of the selected courtyards.
The project, which they have titled “Head in the Clouds,” provides a relaxing dreamland away from the bustling city, inviting attendees to sit or stand within the fluffy orbs. Although the symbolism of the piece is direct, the installation does provide a meditative area for those to take a step back and think, dream, or scheme amongst the hovering works.
You can see more images from this installation and the rest of the festival on the Festival des Architectures Vives’ Instagram. (via Designboom)
Artist Rosa de Jong continues to explore the spacious confines of glass test tubes by erecting impossibly small buildings, trees, and other inhabitable structures inside of them. For her series titled Micro Matter the Amsterdam-based artist uses traditional model-making materials and her own handcrafted structures that she suspends inside scientific instruments. You can see some of her latest sculptures on Behance, and she may eventually start selling some of her pieces online, so be sure to signup for an alert.
Built in Buenos Aires as a performing arts theater in 1919, El Ateneo Grand Splendid's content has undergone several revisions, with its current purpose being a 21,000 square foot bookstore. Despite the switching of functions, the architecture has remained true to the early 20th century vision of Peró and Torres Armengol, the building still boasting ornate frescoed ceilings and detailed trimmings that line the ceiling, handrails, and walls.
The stage and balcony seating is also intact, the spaces now used as reading areas where guests can peruse the store’s many books in front of thick velvet curtains. These attributes were almost destroyed in 2000 when the building was slated for demolition, however before the historic theater could be taken away it was leased to Grupo Ilhsa who built out the bookstore. Now over 1,000,000 people walk through Al Ateneo Grand Splendid’s doors annually keeping the tiered theater very much alive. If you liked this, also check out the Waanders in de Broeren bookstore built inside a cathedral. (via Twisted Sifter)
Since 1963, a man named Justo Gallego has dedicated his life to building a cathedral on the outskirts of Madrid almost entirely by himself. Despite the lack of any formal training in construction or architecture, Gallego has continued work on the giant church into his 90s and works on it even today. Driven solely by his faith, he admits the project will never be finished in his lifetime and he has yet to make plans for what happens after he dies. Great Big Story gives us a quick glimpse of this unusual man and his towering cathedral.
In this fantastic short titled Spatial Bodies, actual footage of the Osaka skyline is morphed into a physics-defying world of architecture where apartment buildings twist and curve like vines, suspended in the sky without regard for gravity. The film was created by AUJIK, a collaborative of artists and filmmakers that refers to itself as a “mysterious nature/tech cult.” From their statement about Spatial Bodies:
Spatial Bodies depicts the urban landscape and architectural bodies as an autonomous living and self replicating organism. Domesticated and cultivated only by its own nature. A vast concrete vegetation, oscillating between order and chaos.
The film seems to draw inspiration from the architectural experiments of Victor Enrich who similarly toys with the idea of structures behaving in impossible ways. Music composed by Daisuke Tanabe. (via Vimeo)
We’ve long enjoyed the work of painter and architect Maja Wronska (previously) who depicts unique vantages of architectural sites through detailed watercolors. Not only does Wrońska capture these buildings in their entirety, but also focuses on the specific details of their construction and environment such as chandeliers that hang within an ancient church, or the pigeons found circling its exterior. These elements are all produced with an eye for how to capture the character of a space rather than just its aesthetic, imbuing her paintings with the rich history found within each location.
Many of her pieces are available as prints and other objects on Society6. You can see more of Wronska’s works and pieces in progress on her Instagram.