architecture

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Photography

Cloaked in Red and Blue Light, St. Peter's Basilica Morphs into a Cyberpunk Dreamscape

October 13, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Aishy, shared with permission

In the aptly named Red Lights: Vatican series, Angers, France-based photographer Aishy transforms St. Peter’s Basilica into a strange, illuminated space that more closely resembles a sci-fi universe than stately church. The altered perspective, which Aishy achieved with Adobe Lightroom, casts red and blue hues on the iconic Renaissance architecture to unveil an alternative environment that hovers between past and future: inscriptions mimic a digital display, ornate flourishes appear backlit, and an artificial glow in vibrant, saturated tones blankets the lavish structured typically associated with marble, gilded details, and other ornamental features. To view the entire Red Lights: Vatican series, find the photographer on Behance and Instagram. (via Jeroen Apers)

 

 

 



Art

New Paintings by Cinta Vidal Elude Gravity and Turn Architecture Upside Down

October 1, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Evenfall” (2021), oil on canvas, 28.75 × 23.62 inches. All images courtesy of Thinkspace Projects, shared with permission

Whether depicting a floating cluster of stairs and balconies or a living space separated by differing forces of gravity, a new series of paintings by Cinta Vidal (previously) establishes multiple perceptions of reality within a single work. The artist, who lives in the small town of Cardedeu near Barcelona, favors skewed perspectives that flip domestic objects and invert architecture, and her collection of oil paintings that comprise Concrete use that same style of distortion to question notions of individual space and community and the walled structures people build in their minds.

Rendered in a subdued color palette of grays and soft blues, the compositions precisely arrange multiple routes and manners of living into single, cement buildings. Each work “remind(s) viewers that they are not alone and to pay closer attention to the many pathways of life existing amidst the masses.”

Curated by Thinkspace Projects, Concrete will be on view October 2 through December 26 as part of Structure, a series of solo exhibitions at the Museum of Art and History in Lancaster. Vidal is also in the process of painting a large, outdoor mural nearby to accompany her smaller works, and you can follow her progresss on Instagram.

 

“Eve” (2021), oil on canvas, 31.5 × 31.5 inches

“Eventide” (2021), oil on canvas, 39.37 × 39.37 inches

“Sunset” (2021), oil on canvas, 23.62 × 23.62 inches

“Twilight II” (2021), oil on canvas, 36.22 × 28.74 inches

“Nocturnal” (2021), oil on canvas tapestry, 143.70 × 70.87 inches

 

 



Design

Building Bound to the Ground: A 1,400-Page Book Surveys Centuries of Global Architecture Embedded in the Earth

September 22, 2021

Grace Ebert

Friendship Centre, Gaibandha, Bangladesh, RBANA, 2011, © Iwan Baan. All images courtesy of Taschen, shared with permission

Despite being physically secured to the ground, much of the architecture common throughout the Western world is defined, in part, by its distance from the earth. Skyscrapers that disrupt distant horizons compete for the title of tallest in existence, and even more sustainable designs, like the new timber structure in Skellefteå, Sweden, are lauded for towering over the landscape.

A forthcoming book from Taschen explores an inverse approach to architecture, though, one that literally unites buildings and other human-centric designs with the earth. Spanning a whopping 1,390 pages, Dig it! Building Bound to the Ground ventures around the globe and across generations to find the innovative, sustainable, and technically stunning methods that embed constructions into the existing landscape.

Written by Dutch architect Bjarne Mastenbroek with photos by Iwan Baan, the tome visits the remote Sar Agha Seyed village built into an Iranian hillside, the vegetation-laden rooftops of a Bangladeshi training center, and the ancient Ethiopian churches chiseled into rock. Each of the designs shares a holistic relationship with its surroundings and a focus on becoming part of the environment without unnecessary disturbances or degradation. “Mankind destroys the skin of the earth at an unprecedented scale. The time has come for a fundamental reset,” Mastenbroek says.

Dig it! Building Bound to the Ground is available for pre-order from Taschen and Bookshop. You also might enjoy Julia Watson’s Lo—TEK, which explores Indigenous approaches to technology and design.

 

Sar Agha Seyed, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province, Iran, date unknown, © Mirjam Terpstra

Villa Vals, Vals, Switzerland, SeARCH & CMA, 2005–2009, © Kate Gowan

Biete Ghiorgis, Lalibela, Ethiopia, 1100–1200, © Iwan Baan

Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town, South, Africa, Heatherwick Studio, 2014–2017, © Iwan Baan

 

 



Art Design

A Virtual Installation Immerses Viewers in a Reactive Environment of Shape-Shifting Architecture

September 20, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Medusa.” All images courtesy of London Design Festival, shared with permission

A landmark collaboration between Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto (previously) and Tin Drum, a production studio and technology developer, brings an undulating, reactive installation to the 2021 London Design Festival, but the immersive artwork is only viewable through a headset. Falling at the intersection of architecture and virtual reality, “Medusa” is comprised of monochromatic pillars that appear to suspend from the ceiling in a rippling environment. As viewers move through Raphael Court at the Victoria and Albert Museum where the work is on display, the responsive structure shifts and alters its composition in light and shape.

The work draws inspiration from the dynamic displays of the aurora borealis and underwater bioluminescence, two phenomena that manifest through the animated qualities and shifting patterns of Fujimoto’s curved forms. “This is the first time I am designing architecture with non-physical materials—it’s using light and pure expanse of the space,” he said in a statement. “It’s an architecture experience but completely new and different.”

“Medusa” is on view through September 26.

 

 

 



Design History Photography

Architectural Shots Frame the Stately Modern Designs of Churches Across Europe

August 25, 2021

Grace Ebert

Saint-Martin de Donges, France (Jean Dorian, 1957). All images © Thibaud Poirier, shared with permission

French photographer Thibaud Poirier continues his Sacred Spaces series by capturing the modern architecture of dozens of temples across Europe. Similar to earlier images, Poirier uses the same focal point of the front pulpit and pews in all of the photographs, allowing easy comparisons between the colors, motifs, and structural details of each location. “I selected these spaces for the use of original materials, modern for their time in sacred architecture, like steel, concrete, as well as large aluminum and glass panels,” he tells Colossal. Because travel has been limited due to COVID-19, Poirier has mostly visited 20th- and 21st-century churches in France, Germany, and the Netherlands for Sacred Spaces II, although he plans to expand his range in the coming months. Keep an eye out for those shots on Behance and Instagram.

 

Saint-Rémy de Baccarat, Baccarat, France (Nicolas Kazis, 1957)

St. Johann von Capistran, Munich, Germany (Sep Ruf, 1960)

United States Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel, Colorado Springs (Walter Netsch, 1962)

Saint Ignatius, Tokyo, Japan (Sakakura Associates, 1999)

Cathédrale de la Résurrection, Evry, France (Mario Botta, 1999)

Saint-Jacques-le-Majeur, Montrouge, France (Erik Bagge, 1940)

Notre-Dame-du-Travail, Paris, France (Jule-Godefroy Astruc, 1902)

 

 



Design

Evergreen Architecture: A New Book Explores Buildings That Place Nature at Their Core

August 18, 2021

Christopher Jobson

All images courtesy Gestalten, copyright respective photographers

The construction of sustainable and environmentally friendly structures for residential and commercial purposes is one of the more significant challenges of our time. As the built environment continues to encroach on natural habitats worldwide, architects have begun to alter their approach to constructing homes and offices, often taking the lead from nature itself. Evergreen Architecture: Overgrown Buildings and Greener Living, released last month by Gestalten, surveys a wide array of institutional, residential, rural, and urban structures that directly interface with their surrounding environments. The book explores completed projects and theoretical designs that utilize green roofs, vertical gardens, and skyscrapers that support hundreds of trees, many of which we’ve mentioned previously on Colossal. Evergreen Architecture is available now through Bookshop and Gestalten. (via A Daily Does of Architecture)

 

 

 

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