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Art

Site-Specific Installations Accentuate the Geometric Architecture of Mies Van Der Rohe

November 14, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

German Pavilion. All photographs: Kate Joyce

Chicago-based duo Luftwerk (previously) partnered with architect Iker Gil and sound designer Oriol Tarragó for “Geometries of Light,” two coordinated installations celebrating the architectural forms of Mies van der Rohe. Both displayed in 2019, the shows were separated by one continent and approximately eight months; the German Pavilion display was on view in February 2019, and the second installation took place this fall at the Farnsworth House outside of Chicago.

The concept was was inspired by the structure’s apparent weightlessness, as it “seemingly floats perfectly on its pedestal”, Petra Bachmaier of Luftwerk tells Colossal. After an initial site visit to Barcelona in 2018, the artists decided to use “a specific tool to accentuate the clarity of the architecture with the laser level, a tool mainly used for construction sites to keep things level,” explains Backmaier. (Bosch Powertools provided the bluetooth-enabled three-plane lasers for both installations.)

Farnsworth House

For both sites, the designers were inspired by the history and context of each location. The German Pavilion was built in 1929 and demolished a year later; in 1986 it was rebuilt based on drawings. With bright red lines cutting through rooms and wrapping around walls, “Geometry of Light heightens the illusion of physical and material boundaries,” says Bachmaier. This effect also reflects the morphed history of the building, and retracing its form, from physical to two-dimensional drawing, to physical once again.

In the autumnal installation at the Farnsworth House, the artists explored the relationship between the architecture and its rural setting. “It uncovers the forgotten history of the site and remnants of earlier landscape by revealing the underlying geometries that relate the renowned house to its river floodplain, topography and key trees that no longer exist,” the artists tell Colossal.

Explore more of Luftwerk’s site-specific installations on their website and Instagram, as well as projects by Gil and Tarragó.

Farnsworth House

Farnsworth House

German Pavilion

German Pavilion

Farnsworth House

Farnsworth House

Farnsworth House

Farnsworth House

 

 



Art

Impossible Cityscapes by Benjamin Sack Draw Inspiration From Cartography and Musical Compositions

November 3, 2019

Andrew LaSane

“Astrum”, 11 x 14 inches. All images courtesy of the artist

At the Direktorenhaus Museum in Berlin this past week, a solo exhibition of detailed architectural drawings by Virginia-based artist Benjamin Sack (previously) opened to the public. Titled Labyrinths, the collection of new works features vast cityscapes comprised of impossible inner-geometries. The maze-like urban maps reference musical compositions and various symbols found in cosmology.

Often creating based on what he calls a “fear of blank spaces,” Sack tells Colossal that his starting point for each drawing is different. Finding inspiration in history, cartography, and his own travels, the artist starts with a general concept and builds his intricate worlds intuitively as he goes. Star-shaped buildings and pathways meet with rows of houses that spiral out from clusters of skyscrapers. The pieces in Labyrinths range from 11 inches by 14 inches (a standard photo print size) up to 90 inches wide and 69 inches tall. A work titled Library of Babel is drawn on the surface of a globe measuring 16 inches in diameter. “Generally, a large piece is begun with a few very broad and simple demarkations in pencil,” Sack explains. The rest of the lines and spaces are filled in with pen.

“Over many years my interest in architecture and cityscapes has evolved,” Sack tells Colossal. He adds that drawing such intricate pieces has “become a way and means of expressing the infinite, playing with perspective and exploring a range of histories, cultures, places.”

Labyrinths will be exhibited through January 22, 2020. For more of Sack’s imaginative maps, follow the artist on Instagram.

“Library of Babel” (globe piece), 16 inches in diameter

“Library of Babel” detail

“Library of Babel” detail

“Library of Babel” detail

“Library of Babel” detail

“Canto IV” 70 x 70 inches

“Eden” 14 x 11 inches

“Peregrinations” 68 x 93 inches

“Samsara” 12 x 18 inches

“Stella Aurora” 11 x 14 inches

 

 



Design

Mushrooms, Cattail Reeds, and Agricultural Waste are Reimagined to Construct “The Growing Pavilion”

October 31, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Photographs: Eric Meander

That’s not a giant glazed cake you’re looking at: The Growing Pavilion, which was created for Dutch Design Week is constructed with mycelium panels. Set on a timber frame, the panels are grown from mushrooms and then covered in an organic sealant originally developed by the Inca people. Cattail reeds comprise the floor and the interior and exterior benches are made using agricultural waste, for a fully eco-friendly structure.

The Growing Pavilion was designed over the course of three years by Pascal Leboucq and Erik Klarenbeek’s bio design studio Krown Design. In an interview with Dezeen, Leboucq explained the importance of scale in the project: “There are a lot of bio-based materials but they can be hard to recognise at first, and they often stay at sample stage. I really wanted to make a bigger statement, so that a lot of people can discover this fantastic material.” Mycelium panels are lightweight and are good insulators for heat and sound. With further ideation, Leboucq and Klarenbeek think that the material could last outdoors for a few years.

Discover more innovative designs from Dutch Design Week 2019, which was held in Einhoven, on the festival’s website. (via Dezeen)

 

 



Design Illustration Photography

Urban Tetris by Mariyan Atanasov Imagines Bulgarian Architecture as the Classic Video Game

October 24, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

The urban architecture of Sofia, Bulgaria becomes an oversized Tetris game in a series by Mariyan Atanasov. To create the visual allusion, Atanasov abstracted the Eastern European city’s geometric buildings into minimal images, editing out distractions like phone wires and trees. In each photo sections of architecture seem to float down, ready to slot into the stack in the same mode as the classic 80’s video game created by Soviet Russian software engineer Alexey Pajitnov. Atanasov is based in Paris, Texas and shares his photography and design projects on Behance and Instagram, including many other minimalist architectural studies from around Europe. (via Trendland)

 

 



Design

Augmented Reality and Old-Fashioned Woodworking Techniques Forge a Sinuous Sculpture in Tallinn

October 18, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

All photographs by Peter Bennetts unless otherwise noted

A slate of new public structures have overtaken the Estonian city of Tallin for the 2019 Tallinn Architecture Biennale. Steampunk, created by SoomeenHahm Design, Igor Pantic, and Fologram, merges forward-thinking technology and old-world woodworking techniques in a sinuous sculptural pavilion.

“Computer aided manufacturing and robotics have given architects unprecedented control over the materialization of their designs, but the nuance and subtlety commonly found in traditional craft practices is absent from the artifacts of robotic production.” the design team told dezeen.

To form the swooping structure, the designers created digital models that were then projected using augmented reality. These projections functioned as guides for the construction team, who used steam-bent hardwood and hand tools to build Steampunk.

Explore more of the Biennale on Instagram and Facebook, and if you enjoy Steampunk, also check out the artful public structures of THEVERYMANY and Matthias Pliessnig’s steam-bent furniture. (via dezeen)

Photograph: Tonu Tunnel

Photo: Tonu Tunnel

 

 



Design

Breeze Through the Forest Canopy on a Spiraled Bike Path in Belgium

September 26, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

This summer, a new elevated circular bike path was built that winds through the Belgian forest about an hour outside of Brussels. ‘Cycling Through the Trees’ is part of the Limburg bike route, and works its way up to a height of 32 feet, placing riders inside the forest canopy. Unlike another recent circular tourist attraction, the bike path is not ticketed, and also offers riders places to sit and rest in nearby alcoves with benches. You can vicariously enjoy the ride through the video below. (via Web Urbanist)

 

 



Art Photography

Elaborate Underground Architecture of Soviet Metro Stations Photographed by Christopher Herwig

September 21, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Tashkent. All images: Christopher Herwig

After traveling to 15 cities in 7 countries and taking over 15,000 photographs, Christopher Herwig (previously) has compiled a new book that showcases the diverse architecture of every underground metro station in the former U.S.S.R. Soviet Metro Stations provides rare look at mansion-quality chandeliers, ornate columns, and patterned ceilings that surround millions of commuters every day.

With a background in travel photography and documentary work for UNICEF and other United Nations agencies, Herwig was first introduced to the region while traveling through Russia via train. He later lived in Kazakhstan and most recently Jordan, where he continued to work professionally as a photographer.

Herwig explains that he became interested in the underground architecture of the stations while visiting Moscow and Tashkent. Because many of the metro stations were used as nuclear bomb shelters, they were considered military sites and photographing them was prohibited. “Although I likely could have gotten away with a few images I really wanted to do the series properly and cover all the cities in the former USSR with metro lines not just a few flashy ones in Moscow,” he told Colossal. “With restriction being lifted in many of the cities it meant I could have a go at it.”

Baku

Herwig’s images take viewers on a journey through the architectural and political influences of decades pasts. Soviet-era symbols, relief sculptures of significant events and figures, and displays of opulence cover every square meter of the well-maintained subterranean spaces. Often making early morning and late night trips into the stations, Herwig says that many of the otherwise busy hubs appear to be abandoned because of his goal to “use people with purpose and not to distract from the space and design of the stations.”

Soviet Metro Stations, published by FUEL, lands on September 24 and is available for pre-order today via Amazon. To see more of Christopher Herwig’s photography, follow along with his travels on Instagram.

Petersburg

Kiev

Kkarkiv

Novosibirsk

Tashkent

KryvyiRih

Moscow

Soviet Metro Stations