architecture

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Design

An Historic Cape Town Grain Silo Converted into 80 Cylindrical Art Galleries

September 18, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Housed in what was once Cape Town’s tallest building is the newly unveiled Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA), created by London-based architect Thomas Heatherwick. The institution’s 80 gallery spaces were converted from 42 historic grain silos, storage units which were once used to hold and grade maize from all over South Africa.

Heatherwick Studio transformed the tightly packed tubes into open areas of contemplation, carving out various oblong shapes to make room for large social spaces and lots of light from overhead windows. Heatherwick wished to clear out large spaces for the galleries, however he was also careful about not eliminating the tubular structure of the building completely.

“We realised we needed to do something that your eye couldn’t instantly predict,” Heatherwick told Dezeen“Our role was destructing rather than constructing, but trying to destruct with a confidence and an energy, and not treating the building as a shrine.”

The nearly 20,000 square foot museum is one of many facilities that form the V&A Waterfront, a cultural center dotted with several bars and restaurants on the city’s harbor. (via Dezeen)

 

 



Art Design

A Towering 4-Story Organic Structure Built From Material as Thin as a Coin

September 12, 2017

Christopher Jobson

All photographs © NAARO

Minima | Maxima is the latest creation from Marc Fornes / THEVERYMANY, known for their innovative fusion of computational design and architecture to build organic self-supporting structures. This new piece was commissioned by World Expo 2017 and now stands as a permanent structure on the grounds in Astana, Kazakhstan. Despite its impressive height of 43′ feet (13.1 meters), the core material used to build Minima | Maxima are 2mm strips of aluminum. From their project statement:

Minima | Maxima evolves the studio’s invention of ‘Structural Stripes’ — a signature material system for building self-supporting curvilinear structures — with a step in a direction that offers even more structural potential: multi-ply composite. Three layers of flat stripes — white and white sandwiching pink — are constructed in tandem, supporting one another as they assume curvature and gain height. One layer never exists independently, but contributes to and benefits from the unified whole as it is built.

The system warrants comparison to fiber technology — such as carbon or glass fiber — yet is unique in that unlike fibers, each individual component does not need to be in tension (a straight line), and/or their processing does not require any mold or temporary scaffolding. Also such a composite system is mechanically bonded, allowing for recomposition and corrections during construction.

You can see how the structure was assembled in the video below, and explore more work by THEVERYMANY on Instagram.

 

 



Art Design

New Miniature Mobile Homes Created From Balsa Wood by Vera van Wolferen

August 24, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Dutch artist Vera van Wolferen (previously here and here) imagines new designs for homes on-the-go, producing miniature balsa wood models of tiny houses that teeter on the top of sedans or contain wheels to propel themselves on the road. The sculptures, which she refers to as Story Objects, are intended to allude to narratives, and are often built with the addition of cotton to serve as clouds or tiny puffs of chimney smoke. The rest of the miniature house is left as minimal as possible, van Wolferen focusing on the architecture of the object rather than a complicated color scheme.

You can see a 360 degree video for a piece she’s titled Jeep Safari for the Cultural Anthropologist in the video below, and view more of her miniature homes on her InstagramFacebook and Behance.

 

 



Design

A Secret Work Studio Suspended Below a Highway Overpass by Fernando Abellanas

August 21, 2017

Laura Staugaitis

All images by Jose Manuel Pedrajas, courtesy Lebrel

Spanish furniture designer Fernando Abellanas has carved out a new creative home in a section of Valencia that isn’t the typical artist neighborhood: he’s built a studio affixed to a highway underpass. The workspace is complete with a desk and chair, as well as shelves stocked with homey framed artworks and potted succulents―all attached to the highway’s cement framework. The floor and walls function as a self-operated horizontal elevator. Using mechanics adapted from a metal dolly, Abellanas hand-cranks his way to his studio, completing the picture of a cozy four-walled workspace.

As he described in an interview with le cool Valencia, Abellanas has a lifelong interest in refuges―locating peace and solitude in unexpected places, like under the dinner table as as a child, and now, hidden underneath the whir of traffic. The designer is also inspired by the way people with very limited resources use neglected spaces to create homes.

The studio hasn’t been sanctioned by the city of Valencia, so its exact location is a secret, and it will remain intact for as long as Abellanas is able to keep it there. You can follow more of Abellanas’ work  for his brand Lebrel via Instagram and Facebook, and the video below (in Spanish) offers a closer look. (via FastCo)

 

 



Design

A Bamboo Recreation Facility Inspired by the Lotus Flower Blooms in Thailand

August 9, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

The Panyaden International School is an education center located in Chiang Mai, Thailand built entirely from natural materials. Architecture firm Chiangmai Life recently designed a covered recreation hall for the school’s sports teams, creating a 2,500-square-foot bamboo terrace that echos the Buddhist values found in the school’s curriculum. The lotus-inspired structure was built without any steel reinforcements or other manmade materials, and stays naturally cool in the city’s humid climate while also withstanding high-speed winds and earthquakes. (via Inhabitat)

 

 



Art Illustration

Elegant Dip Pen Illustrations Inside the Sketchbooks of Elena Limkina

August 7, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Moscow-based illustrator Elena Limkina fills the pages of her sketchbooks with detailed Baroque-inspired drawings of architectural elements, anatomical studies, and flowing calligraphy. She refers to the books as her “artist’s diary” and indeed each page is practically an artwork unto itself. Limkina works primarily as a watercolor artist and creates concepts for brands, interior designers, and magazines, but also sells prints in her online shop. You can follow more of her work on Instagram and Behance. (via My Modern Met, Lustik)

 

 



Design

A Gigantic Buddha Statue Emerges from the Top of a Hill in Japan

August 3, 2017

Johnny Strategy

Unless otherwise noted, all photographs by Shigeo Ogawa.

Normally a cemetery wouldn’t be on our list of recommended sites to see, but the Makomanai Cemetery is one of the most awe-inspiring places we’ve ever been. Located in the outskirts of Sapporo, a large stone Buddha occupies the sprawling landscape. All 1,500 tons of it has sat alone there for 15 years. But when the cemetery decided they wanted to do something to increase visitor’s appreciations for the Buddha, they enlisted architect Tadao Ando, who had a grand and bold idea: hide the statue.

Photo by Hiroo Namiki.

“Our idea was to cover the Buddha below the head with a hill of lavender plants,” said Ando. Indeed, as you approach “Hill of Buddha” the subject is largely concealed by a hill planted with 150,000 lavenders. Only the top of the statue’s head pokes out from the rotunda, creating a visual connection between the lavender plants and the ringlets of hair on the Buddha statue’s head.

Upon entering, visitors are forced to turn left or right and walk around a rectangular lake of water before entering the 131-ft (40-meter) long approach tunnel. The journey is a constant reminder of the weather, the breeze and the light, and is works in tandem to heighten anticipation of the statue, which is only visible once you reach the end of the tunnel.

Any time of the year, visitors will have a different experience. The 150,000 lavenders “turn fresh green in spring, pale purple in summer and silky white with snow in winter.” It really is a miraculous work of environmental art. (Syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

Photo by Hiroo Namiki.

Photo by Hiroo Namiki.