Tag Archives: architecture

An Owl-Shaped Cabin Invites You to Sleep off the Grid in Bordeaux, France 

A cluster of three hollow wooden owls peer out from the end of a dock in Bordeaux, France, connected from within to form a two-story cabin. The Watchers was designed and built by Zebra3, a local contemporary art production company. The design was inspired by the small owls that nest on the ground in the surrounding marsh, with shingles to match their feathery heads.

“The idea of ​​birds came to me very quickly,” said Candice Petrillo, Zebra3’s key designer on the project. “After the last extension of the commercial zone, I saw migrants swirling around in the sky, looking for the old dried wetland. The nod of animal eye and the curve of the object are a tribute to the sculptors François Pompon and François-Xavier Lalanne.”

The structure is a part of a series of unique buildings scattered throughout the region, cabins that invite guests to spend the night for free in order to encourage hiking and exploration. The project, Les Refuges Périurbains is a collaboration between Zebra3 and Bruit du Frigo. You can see more of the area’s cabins on Les Refuges Périurbains’ website, including this lakeside home shaped like a cloud. (via Inhabitant)

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Twin Skulls Transform the Facade of this 19th Century French Castle 

Okuda San Miguel’s (previously) recently transformed 19th-century castle in Château, France is perhaps my favorite work by the artist to date. The intervention, titled Skull in the Mirror, covers the gigantic home’s facade in a mix of colorful polka dots, and is flanked on either side by two three-story skulls. Three dormer windows at the top of the castle are lined in bright red, blue, and orange, while the second story windows serve as openings for the prismatic skull’s four combined eyes.

After stints as a school and holiday center for children, the castle was abandoned for nearly 30 years.

Five years ago it was acquired by the local Town Hall. Recently it became a site for Urban Art Paris' LaBel Valette Festival, which hosted Okuda the last weekend in June. You can see a short video of the project, created by @chopemdownfilms, below.

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A Replica of the Parthenon in Germany Constructed from 100,000 Banned Books 

The Parthenon of Books, 2017.
 Steel, books, and plastic sheeting.
 19.5 × 29.5 × 65.5 m. Commissioned by documenta 14, with support from the Ministry of Media and Culture of Argentina.

South American conceptual artist Marta Minujín has just installed a towering new architectural installation in Germany called The Parthenon of Books, a scaffold replica of the famous Greek temple clad in 100,000 copies of banned books. The piece is currently on view in Kassel, Germany as part of a 100-day art exhibition called Documenta 14.

Minujín worked with students from Kassel University to identify 170 titles that have been historically banned worldwide by various institutions, and then sought help from the public to obtain donated copies. The books were then wrapped in a protective plastic coating to shield them from the elements while allowing visitors to easily identify each title.

An earlier version of The Parthenon of Books was first installed in 1983, referencing an event in Minujín’s native Argentina where books where confiscated and locked up as part of a military junta. This new iteration rests on a site where Nazis burned books by Jewish and Marxist writers in 1933 as part of a broad campaign of censorship.

The Parthenon of Books will be on view through mid-September and you can see more photos at the Instagram hashtag #parthenonofbooks. (thnx, Alice!)

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Gaudí’s First Built House Opens to the Public for the First Time in its 130-Year-Old History 

© Casa Vicens, Barcelona 2017. All images by Pol Viladoms.

Built between 1883 and 1885, Casa Vicens is the very first home designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. During most of the Barcelona home’s 130-year-old history it served as a private residence, but thanks to a 2014 purchase by MoraBanc and a massive two-year renovation, the 19th-century building will be repurposed as a cultural center opening this October.

Casa Vicens was originally commissioned by the tile manufacturer Manuel Vicens i Montaner as a summer home, but sold in 1899 to the Jover family who owned the house for more than a century. The restoration of Casa Vicens began in April 2015, led by architects José Antonio Martínez Lapeña and Elías Torres, of Martínez Lapeña-Torres Arquitectes, and David García of Daw Office. The new museum will display many of Gaudís original designs while hosting both permanent and rotating exhibitions within its grand interior.

The building itself stands as an early example of the architect’s Neo-Mudéjar architecture, and is one of eight UNESCO World Human Heritage Site in Barcelona. Casa Vicens completes the Gaudí Route, a series of more than a dozen buildings designed by the architect including the breathtaking La Sagrada Familia. (via Dezeen and Hyperallergic)

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A Look Inside Europe’s Most Enchanting Libraries by Photographer Thibaud Poirier 

Trinity College Library, Dublin, 1732

Over the last year, photographer Thibaud Poirier has traveled across Europe to photograph some of the world’s most incredible libraries. The series includes both historic and contemporary libraries with a special emphasis on the varied designs employed by architects. Poirier captured each image when the buildings were closed and empty of people to focus entirely on structure and layout. From his statement about the project:

Like fingerprints, each architect crafted his vision for a new space for this sacred self-exploration. These seemingly minute details are everywhere, from the balance of natural and artificial light to optimise reading yet preserve ancient texts to the selective use of studying tables to either foster community or encourage lonely reflection. The selection of these libraries that span space, time, style and cultures were carefully selected for each one’s unique ambiance and architectural contribution.

So far Poirier has photographed 25 libraries and says he intends to add to the series as time permits. If you liked this, also check out his Berlin Interiors series.

Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève, Paris, 1850

Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Salle Labrouste, Paris, 1868

Bibliothèque de l’Hotel de Ville de Paris, Paris, 1890

Grimm Zentrum Library, Berlin, 2009

Stadtbibliothek, Stuttgart, 2011

Bibliothèque de la Sorbonne, Salle Jacqueline de Romilly, Paris, 1897

Biblioteca Joanina, Coimbra, 1728

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The First Annual International Bamboo Architectural Biennale Explores Material’s Use in Contemporary Design 

Youth Hostel / Design Hotel by Anna Heringer. All images via Julien Lanoo.

Last fall the very first International Bamboo Architecture Biennale premiered in the small village of Baoxi, China, placing eighteen permanent works by twelve international architects within the traditionally agriculture-centered town. The biennale, curated by artist Ge Qiantao and architect George Kunihiro, reveals how the traditional material can be incorporated into contemporary design. The plant serves as the base to new buildings in the village including a youth hostel and a ceramics museum, which Baoxi hopes to draw tourism to through supplementary infrastructures such as a visitors building, hotel, and learning center. (via My Modern Met)

Youth Hostel / Design Hotel by Anna Heringer.

Youth Hostel / Design Hotel by Anna Heringer.

Bridge by Ge Quantao.

Bridge by Ge Quantao.

Bamboo product research and design center (interior) by Li Xiaodong.

Bamboo product research and design center (interior) by Li Xiaodong.

Contemporary celadon ceramic museum by Kengo Kuma.

Contemporary celadon ceramic museum by Kengo Kuma.

Bamboo product research and design center (interior) by Li Xiaodong.

Bamboo product research and design center (interior) by Li Xiaodong.

Bamboo product research and design center (interior) by Li Xiaodong.

Bamboo product research and design center (interior) by Li Xiaodong.

Bridge by Ge Quantao.

Bridge by Ge Quantao.

Invited ceramist workshop by Keisuke Maeda.

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