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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)

 

 



Design

New Eco-Inspired Gallery Presents Contemporary Art Within a Vine-Covered Exhibition Space

May 3, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

IK LAB is a new art gallery concept in Tulum, Mexico founded by Guggenheim descendent and Tulum resident Santiago Rumney Guggenheim and designed by Jorge Eduardo Neira Serkel. The open air exhibition space is located at Neira Sterkel’s upscale eco resort Azulik, and eschews all elements associated with the traditional white cube gallery. Instead of static walls, IK LAB contains undulating cement surfaces that meld into overhead pathways and leaf-shaped podiums. Bejuco, a vine-like plant native to the region, fills in the areas not covered by waves of cement and forms the circular openings that dot the gallery’s slatted walls and ceiling.

Guests are invited to walk barefoot through the space to get a tactile sense of the built environment’s textures. The gallery’s cement walls mute most external sounds. This allows any noise produced during contemplation to be echoed and amplified, creating ambient auditory sounds experienced in tandem with the architectural design.

IK Lab opened April 20th with their inaugural exhibition Alignments, which is comprised of work by Artur Lescher, Margo Trushina, and Tatiana Trouvé. In addition to mounting contemporary art exhibitions, the new gallery will also host an avant-garde residency program that will invite guests to interact with the unique architecture. The gallery is open to the public every day from 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. (via Dezeen)

 

 



Art Design

Soaring Wire Mesh Buildings Cast Ethereal Shadows Over Coachella Music Festival

April 26, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

All images © Roberto Conte

Italian artist Edoardo Tresoldi (previously), known for his massive architectural sculptures made of wire, built three transparent structures for this year’s Coachella music festival in California. Titled ‘Etherea’, the sculptural series was comprised of three identical buildings in different sizes, inspired by Neoclassical and Baroque aesthetics. The buildings were illuminated at night with a hazy lavender glow that emphasized the illusion of Etherea’s solidity. You can hear Tresoldi share more about his work in a TED talk, and see previous installations on his website, Instagram, and Facebook. (via Ignant)

 

 



Photography

A Rare Glimpse at a Deserted Great Wall of China Captured by Andres Gallardo Albajar

April 19, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

This past February architectural photographer Andres Gallardo Albajar traveled to the Great Wall of China where he was able to take in a rare sight—one of the seven wonders of the world without a single soul to be seen. Albajar had expected to create the same tourist-filled images as others who visited the architectural feat, however when he arrived he found a thick fog encapsulating the structure. The dense cover may have been a deterrent for tourists, but this particular weather added further mystery to the deserted landscape Albajar captured in this recent series.

“I was expecting big amounts of people, even lines to access or things like that, but for my surprise there was very few people, which allowed me to capture the wall with no people, which in my opinion helps to create a more surreal and magic feeling,” Albajar tells Colossal.

You can view more of the Spanish photographer’s work, including his multi-part series on urban geometry, on his website, Instagram, and Behance.