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Art Design

Alex Chinneck Unzips a Condemned Building in the Style of a Retro Shirt

August 3, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

British sculptor Alex Chinneck has a history of manipulating facades—previously slumping the brick face of an apartment in Margate and completely upending a building in London. Chinneck’s newest monumental manipulation is a condemned office building in Kent, England. The 1960s structure seems to unzip from its middle with a XXXL zipper, revealing the ruin of the forgotten interior. Two folded segments near the top act like a collar, giving the entire installation the appearance of a retro polo shirt. Catch the soon-to-be-demolished intervention while you can: Open to the Public opened August 2 at Brundrett House, Tannery Lane, Ashfield, TN23 1PN. (via It’s Nice That and Dezeen)

 

 



Design

Vietnam’s Newly Opened Pedestrian Bridge Lifts Visitors with a Pair of Giant Weathered Hands

July 30, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Two giant hands seem to suspend a golden pedestrian bridge which recently opened at the Bà Nà Hills mountain resort just outside of the city of Da Nang, Vietnam. The 500-foot bridge rests in two outstretched palms which have been weathered with cracks and moss to give the appearance of age. While walking along the attraction visitors can look out over the sweeping mountains at a height of nearly 4,600 feet above sea level, and take in the beauty of the bright purple Lobelia Chrysanthemum flowers which dot the structure’s perimeter. The bridge is part of a $2 billion investment to bring more visitors to the area, and joins a 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea-themed park and French gardens. (via My Modern Met)

 

 



Design

An Inflated Steel Archway Provides a New Cultural Nexus on a Polish Island

July 24, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Last year Polish designer Oskar Zieta unveiled the NAWA pavilion, an inflated steel passageway intended to bring cultural activity back to Wrocław’s island of Daliowa. This structure’s reflective, bloated surface makes it look like a weightless mylar balloon despite the fact that is constructed from 35 polished metal arches. Using a technology which Zieta calls FiDU, he inflates the metal by pumping air into the cavity between the arches’ steel sheets which produces a form that is larger and more organically shaped.

Zieta first used this process for the Plopp stool for the design brand Hay in 2008, and has continued to develop his technique on more advanced projects. Durability tests on this particular piece proved that a stool weighing just under ten pounds could withhold a load of approximately 2.6 tons, equivalent to two adult elephants. He hopes to implement the FiDU technique into much larger architectural projects, which would provide structures with a greater durability, even in ultralight constructions.

The reflective NAWA sculpture will remain on the island as a permanent installation as a part of revitalization effort for the previously neglected area. “Today, many people cannot imagine this place without NAWA, which has become part of the surroundings and a point on the map of many tourists from the country and the whole world,” the artist explained. You can learn more about the history of the design, and view more images of the inflated gateway, on Zieta’s website. (via Dezeen)

 

 



Art Design

An Olafur Eliasson-Designed Building Only Accessible by Footbridge in a Danish Fjord

June 7, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Fjordenhus is a recently completed structure built on the Vejle Fjord in Denmark only accessible by footbridge. It is the first structure fully designed by the studio of Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson (previously), and was inspired by the harbor’s architecture. The 970,000-brick building is built several yards into the water from the shore, with the surrounding body of water acting as its moat.

The complexly curved form contains four intersecting cylinders which are carved to present a pattern of concave and convex walls, and is dotted with several arched windows and openings to the sea. “The outer walls, which are normally seen as a membrane between inside and outside, are spaces in Fjordenhus,” explains the studio. “You are offered the opportunity to be both inside and outside.”

The structure will hold the offices for investment company KIRK KAPITAL, yet will contain a ground floor open to the public with site-specific art installations designed by Eliasson. Fjordenhus took nearly a decade of planning to implement and build, and is considered both an architectural structure and a work of art. You can learn about more projects designed by Eliasson’s studio on their website. (via Dezeen)

 

 



Design

Contemporary Takes on Cuckoo Clocks by Guido Zimmerman Resemble Brutalist Block Buildings

May 29, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

German multidisciplinary artist Guido Zimmermann reinterprets the iconic German cuckoo clock using examples of modern architecture. The artist notes that while “the classic cuckoo clock stands for the prosperity of the middle class and counts as a kind of luxury for the staid home, the updated version as a panel construction shows today’s urban and social life in apartment blocks.”

Zimmermann drew on specific examples of modern architecture to create his sculptural “Cuckoo Blocks,” including the Glenkerry House by Brutalist architect Ernő Goldfinger and Bauhaus architect Marcel Breuer’s Flaine hotel. Grids of windows peek out of flat concrete surfaces, with contemporary details such as satellite dishes and cactus houseplants.

The artist studied at the Academy of Visual Arts in his native city of Frankfurt, where he currently lives and works. You can see more of Zimmermann’s diverse projects, including paintings and murals, on his website, as well as on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 



Art Design

Swing House: A Three-Story Swing Suspended from the Ceiling of a Gutted Cincinnati Home by Mark deJong

May 17, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

All images © Hailey Bollinger

All images © Hailey Bollinger

From the outside, artist Mark deJong’s contemporary installation, Swing House, doesn’t particularly stand out from the other residences lining the street of Cincinnati’s Camp Washington neighborhood. The blue 19th-century building is narrowly built, and features charming architectural details that cap its windows and roof. The interior however, is remarkably different. All three levels of the home have been completely gutted to create an open floor plan void of any interior walls or floors, with a single swing positioned at the center of the space.

Swing House is a piece of art in itself,” deJong tells Colossal. “All of my major decisions were based on the arc of the swing, which started by emptying out everything on the inside. The arc of the swing then dictated where the stairs to the basement went, as well as the placement of the bed and kitchen. While swinging, your feet miss those things with a considered clearance. You are able to swing way over both the bed and kitchen.”

The seat of the swing was formed from reddish pine salvaged from inside the home. Its natural-fiber rope attachments extend 30-feet into the air, and are secured into a metal beam from the home’s three-story ceiling. It is here that deJong painted a black and white hour glass shape, a nod to the motif of passing time represented in the pendulum-like swing.

The installation took three years to build, but had been a dream of deJong’s for nearly thirty. He originally thought of the idea shortly after finishing art school. “I stopped making art for 20 years, so this house was my leap back into the art world,” he explains. He has worked in construction for the past several decades, so this art-based house was a way for him to marry his formal training with his lifelong career. 

DeJong is currently renovating another house on the same street which will also be mostly gutted, except for as set of freestanding stairs which will serve as the main focus. Objects created from salvaged elements of the Swing House are currently on view at his solo exhibition of the same name, which runs through September 2, 2018 at the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center. Tours of the home will occur throughout the duration of the exhibition. (via CityBeat)

The outside of Swing House in the Camp Washington neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio. Since the photo was taken, the home has been renovated with landscaping and other details that preserve the home's original character.

The outside of Swing House in the Camp Washington neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio. Since the photo was taken, the home has been renovated with landscaping and other details that preserve the home’s original character.

 

 



Design History

A Modern Solar-Powered Home Built Within the Ruins of an 18th-Century Farmhouse

May 9, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Architects Nathanael Dorent and Lily Jencks recently collaborated to build a sleek, modern home within the existing ruins of an 18th-century farmhouse. The home is built on a hill that overlooks more than 50 miles of Scotland’s pastoral fields and combines elements of both the old and new world. The structure features white, futuristic walls that wind throughout the length of its interior, which is completely powered by exterior solar panels. Although there are some updated elements, the structure still sits within the original stones of the farmhouse, and is topped by a pitched roof similar to the one that would have sheltered the old Scottish house.

While building the structure, Dorent and Jencks used their admiration of specific views seen from the farmhouse as inspiration for custom windows. One particular oval opening in the wall looks directly onto a nearby field of cows perfectly set against a backdrop of rolling hills. You can learn more about the new home and the philosophy behind its construction on Dorent’s website. (via Fubiz)