Created by Swiss artist Romain Crelier, La Mise en Abîme (an idiom that communicates the same thing as “a curveball,” but means, roughly, “to have put into an abyss”) was a visually arresting artwork installed on the floor of the Bellelay Abbey in Switzerland back in 2013. The piece is comprised of two shallow pools of used motor oil that function as mirrors, reflecting the architectural details of the surrounding interior. The crude juxtaposition of recycled oil and the impeccably preserved aesthetic of a 12th century church wasn’t lost on the artist who referred to the piece as “monochrome paintings using a despised substance.” You can see more photos on We Find Wildness. (via We Find Wildness, This Isn’t Happiness, thnx Kathy!)
A potted forest of trees and branching steel beams disguise this 5-story apartment building in Turin, Italy. Designed by Luciano Pia, 25 Verde brings plants up off the ground in an attempt to evade Turin’s homogeneous urban scene and integrate life into the facade of the residential building.
The undulating structure creates a transition from outdoors to in, holding 150 trees that absorb close to 200,000 liters of carbon dioxide an hour. This natural absorption brings pollution protection to its residents, helping to eliminate harmful gasses caused by cars and harsh sounds from the bustling streets outside. The trees’ seasonal progression also creates the ideal microclimate inside the building, steadying temperature extremes during the cold and warmer months. The plants’ full foliage block rays of sun during the summer while letting in warm light during the winter.
The building holds 63 units, each benefiting from the terraces and vegetation just beyond their windows and walls. Each species of plant has been chosen purposefully from deciduous plant life in Turin to provide the highest variety of color, foliage, and blooming. This innovative design provides a childlike dream while also instilling real world benefits to those who live in this urban treehouse. (via Divisare)
Appearing as an oversized red barn, architecture and design studio dRMM‘s Sliding House has a much more complex facade than its doppleganger’s A-frame design. The project encompasses three separate buildings (house, garage, and guest annex), and was built with the intention for the owners to grow food, entertain, and enjoy the landscape from the structure. Each segment of the Suffolk, England property is connected by a 20 ton, motor-driven enclosure which slides up and down the buildings to create constantly changing coverage for the home, and exposes open-air living areas.
An escape from static architecture, the house gives its inhabitants endless options for living comfortably and freely during each season. There is even the option to extend the roofing system beyond its current length to cover a swimming pool if the owners want to add one down the line.
The innovative residential project was completed in 2009, and was the 2009 winner of the Royal Institute of British Architects East Award, and winner of “Best New-Build” and “Home of the Year” at the 2009 Grand Designs Awards. (via The Gasoline Station, Design Milk)
Polish watercolor artist Maja Wronska continues to paint explosively colorful depictions of European architecture, most recently in Poznań, Poland. Wronska is an architect herself, a skill that greatly enhances her artwork. She first renders each piece as a detailed drawing and then adds layers of watercolor, an unpredictable medium that can be difficult to control, making her paintings all the more incredible. You can see much more over on Behance, and several of these are currently available as prints.
Inspired in part by the classic horror literature of H.P. Lovecraft, artist Jim Kazanjian (previously) assembles foreboding buildings using snippets of photographs found in the Library of Congress archives. Equal parts secret lair, insane asylum, and the work of a deranged architect, Kazanjian’s collages are created from 50-70 separate photographs taken over the last century. Each piece takes nearly three months to complete as he painstakingly searches for just the right elements, a process he likens to “solving a puzzle, except in reverse.” From his artist statement:
I’ve chosen photography as a medium because of the cultural misunderstanding that it has a sort of built-in objectivity. This allows me to set up a visual tension within the work, to make it resonate and lure the viewer further inside. My current series is inspired by the classic horror literature of H.P. Lovecraft, Algernon Blackwood and similar authors. I am intrigued with the narrative archetypes these writers utilize to transform the commonplace into something sinister and foreboding. In my work, I prefer to use these devices as a means to generate entry points for the viewer. I’m interested in occupying a space where the mundane intersects the strange, and the familiar becomes alien. In a sense, I am attempting to render the sublime.
When we last covered the pen and ink drawings of Ben Sack, the artist was in residency aboard the m/s Amsterdam, a ship that circumnavigated the globe from January through April 2014. Sack’s latest drawings are partially influenced by stops in dozens of port cities during the expedition. As well as geography, his drawings are heavily influenced by architecture, history, and classical music. Via Robert Fontaine:
Sack’s work explores architecture as a flexible medium capable of expressing the unique space between realism and abstraction; where interpretation and our ability to create meaning is in flux. Within this space, Sack, furnished with pen and ink, encapsulates both the infinite and infinitesimal. His work invites the eye to explore drawings of the “big picture,” to gaze into a kaleidoscope of histories and to look further into the elemental world of lines and dots.
One of my favorite new Tumblrs to follow is Paperholm, a project that started this summer by Charles Young who challenged himself to build a new paper structure each day. Young received his bachelor and masters degrees from the Edinburgh College of Art where he taught himself paper and card modelling. Despite a long-time familiarity with the process and materials, it’s amazing to see the progress he’s made in just the last three months or so as the models become more intricate and lend themselves to bits of animation. You can follow Young’s growing paper city here. (via My Modern Met)