All photos by Ansis Starks, courtesy Mailitis Architects
Perched on the Songshan mountain in rural Henan, China, this new temple designed by Latvian architecture studio Mailītis Architects brings a whole new perspective to the legendary Shaolin monks: specifically an aerial perspective. The recently completed Shaolin Flying Monks Temple contains a one-of-a-kind levitation pavilion that houses a vertical wind tunnel designed in part by Aerodium that blasts participants toward the sky in the center of a 230-seat amphitheater.
“The concept is to tell the history of Zen and Kung-Fu through artistic performances and architectural image of the building itself,” says Mailītis. “It serves as a metaphor for mountain and trees and was inspired by Songshan mountain – the natural environment for monks to develop their skills.”
You can see more photos of the new landmark building on Mailītis Architects’ website. (via Dezeen)
Long fascinated by the design of pipe organs, photographer Robert Götzfried was recently permitted into 20 Catholic churches in southern Germany where he was able to create portraits of these mammoth instruments. When viewed singularly the pipe organ is impressive enough, but collectively the photos tell the story of an ancient instrument that varies so strikingly in design and layout that it’s hard to believe these are somehow the same musical device.
In his photographic practice Götzfried often approaches a variety of similar objects or locales both grand and obscure from Cambodian barber shops to bowling alleys or abandoned gas stations. Through each collection he quickly highlights the similarities or differences that bind a culture or lifestyle together. You can explore more of his photography on Facebook. (via Fubiz)
Architecture student Adelina Gareeva drafts her work by hand, creating extremely detailed architectural portraits by putting pencil to paper rather than stylus to tablet. Gareeva has created an Instagram account for her laborious sketches, publishing drawings she’s completed of the Panthéon in Paris, Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral in Kazan, the multi-spired Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, and more.
In addition to her lengthy drawings of famous landmarks and imaginative concepts, she also shares quick sketches that she creates while traveling. These come straight from the Kazan-based architect’s sketchbook, and are often much more gestural presentations of the historic buildings she observes.
Gareeva is currently studying at the Kazan State University of Architecture and Engineering. You can see more of her technical drawings and sketchbook musings on her Instagram. (via My Modern Met)
Portland-based artist and illustrator Song Kang creates highly textural work, whether that’s in her drawn explorations or sculptures produced from found and natural materials. Her miniature works are dream-like environments and houses, many built on backs of animals like oxen and camels. Kang likes to imagine these sculptures as visual scavenger hunts, and often inserts even tinier occupants that sit and stand around her micro-cities.
For her Carved in Stone series, Kang imposes architectural forms onto the surfaces of found rocks. “The structures follow the curvature of the rocks, skewing the perspective and creating surreal environments,” Kang shares. “By becoming part of the surface rather than projecting outwards, the architecture becomes almost textural, a relief sculpture.”
You can see more of Kang’s two and three dimensional work on her Instagram and Behance.
In 1973 Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill stumbled upon a cement factory in Catalonia, Spain, an enormous compound of silos and buildings that covered nearly two and a half miles of underground tunnels. Bofill decided to buy The World War I era structure and its grounds, making modifications to the original structure in order to create an all-inclusive live/work space that would unite the Surrealist, Abstract, and Brutalist elements found in its industrial form.
Original construction to transform the sprawling series of buildings took a little over a year and a half. After the dust cleared from the jack hammers and dynamite, Catalan craftsmen worked to add gardens and purpose back into the abandoned compound. Today the factory holds a cathedral, model workshop, archive rooms, residence, and studio, a workspace for Bofill’s firm spread over four floors in the factory’s silos and connected by a spiral staircase.
Despite over forty years in the making, the entire project is constantly evolving and is one that Bofill never sees as being fully completed. With continuous tweaks, Bofill has created a perfectly programmed existence, a ritualized lifestyle that goes against his previously nomadic early life.
“I have the impression of living in a precinct, in a closed universe which protects me from the outside and everyday life,” said Bofill on his website. “The Cement Factory is a place of work par excellence. Life goes on here in a continuous sequence, with very little difference between work and leisure.”
You can see more images of the garden-covered structures on Bofill’s website, and see a short Nowness documentary on his studio and residence below. (via Designboom)
Dutch multidisciplinary artist Vera van Wolferen (previously) produces miniature balsa wood sculptures, architectural objects that are either incorporated into animations or left motionless to tell their own stories. Her static works are often displayed beneath glass bell jars, leaving the audience to imagine that the tiny tree houses, cottages, and campers are neatly contained within their own universes. Van Wolferen also uses simple craft materials like cotton to enhance her sets, making it appear as if her sculpted homes are resting amongst the clouds.
You can view more of van Wolferen’s wood sculptures and sets, as well as some of her cut paper illustrations, on her Instagram, Facebook and Behance.