architecture

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History Photography

Striking Photographs Capture Ornate Patterns of Historic Iranian Mosques and Palaces

December 30, 2019

Grace Ebert

All images © Fatemeh Hosein Aghaei, shared with permission. Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque in Isfahan, Iran

Iran-based artist Fatemeh Hosein Aghaei takes mesmerizing photographs that showcase the intricate patterns inside the country’s ancient buildings. The artist mostly features mosques in the Iranian city of Isfahan, which is located about 250 miles south of Tehran and is known for its Perso–Islamic designed structures, boulevards, covered bridges, palaces, tile-filled mosques, and minarets. In her photographs, Hosein Aghaei often looks upward to frame the building’s domes and arches complete with complex colorful designs, sometimes even adding glimpses of the city’s blue skies. The artist tells Colossal that she wants her work to capture and share the beauty of Iran’s historic architecture. Keep up with Hosein Aghaei’s captivating images on Instagram.

Sheykh Abdussamad Mausoleum

Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque in Isfahan, Iran

Dowlatabad Garden of Yazd

Ali Qapu Palace of Isfahan, Iran

Jameh Mosque of Isfahan, Iran

Emam Mosque of Isfahan, Iran

Agha Bozorg Mosque of Kashan

Agha Bozorg Mosque of Kashan

 

 



Design

Amsterdam Storefront Windows Imitate Billowing Transparent Fabric in Renovation by UNStudio

December 17, 2019

Grace Ebert

All images © Evabloem

A soon-to-be fashion shop in Amsterdam has a new facade that mimics flowing textiles. Designed by UNStudio, a Dutch architecture firm, “The Looking Glass” features three glass panels mounted on the building’s brick front. Each low-iron annealed glass piece is attached with silicone to adjacent panels and has stainless steel edges that form a glass box. Eight millimeters of silicone also sit between the steel to account for any shifts or changes in the pieces. The structures were assembled in a factory before being transported for installation to the store, which is located at P.C. Hooftstraat 138 on one of the city’s best-known shopping streets.

Extending away from the building, the boxes eventually will be used to display clothing. “In a fluid gesture, fashion and architecture come together to represent and celebrate the craftsmanship and geometry of high-end, tailored clothing, creating harmony between aesthetics and function,” the firm says of the project.

Follow UNStudio’s upcoming work, which includes a cable car connecting Heihe, China to Blagoveshchensk, Russia, on Instagram. (via designboom)

 

 

 



Design

50,000-Square-Foot Garden Populates New Workspace, Making It the Densest Urban Forest in Los Angeles

December 12, 2019

Grace Ebert

Designed by Spanish architects SelgasCano, a Los Angeles workspace has popped up in a formerly empty parking lot in Hollywood. The recently opened SecondHome Hollywood boasts a 50,000-square-foot garden of 6,500 trees and plants and 700 tons of soil and vegetation. It is Los Angeles’s densest urban forest and is also home to 112 native species.

The Hollywood location, which is the first in the United States, contains sixty yellow-roofed office pods. It also encompasses the Anne Banning Community House, a ’60s building designed by prominent architect Paul Williams who is known for defining much of Los Angeles’s architectural aesthetic throughout the 20th century. (via Jeroen Apers)

 

 



Design

Solar-Powered Chicken Caravan Keeps Farm Birds on the Move

December 11, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Designed by Tom Gottelier and Bobby Petersen, who work together as Designers on Holiday, the Chicken Caravan is a solar-powered chicken coop. The lightweight, automated, mobile unit was created for The Ecology Center farm in San Juan Capistrano, California. Activated by solar sensors, the aluminum-clad cabin doors automatically open at sunrise to allow the hens out. The coop itself can be towed by a tractor to help fertilize new areas of the farm with the chickens’ manure—it also comes with a portable fence to keep the birds in the desired zone. Lastly, a solar battery keeps everything charged and ready. See more of Designers on Holiday’s innovative projects and explore their collaborative camp for designers on the company’s website. (via Inhabitat)

 

 



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)