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Design

Tropical Plants Sprout from the Mesh Facade of an Open-Air Factory in Vietnam

November 1, 2022

Grace Ebert

A photo of a building covered in plants

All images by Hiroyuki Oki, courtesy of the architects

In an industrial park 50 kilometers north of Ho Chi Minh City, a 30,000-square-meter building demonstrates the possibilities of a more sustainable future for manufacturing. The Jakob Factory is a project between Rollimarchini Architects and G8A Architects, who designed the tropical oasis amid the largely concrete structures within the commercial area.

Plants cloak the porous three-story facade made of steel and mesh. Building vertically was a key factor in the project as it contrasts the conventional sprawling designs typical in manufacturing that require more land and greater disruptions to the local environment. The living features protect the interior from rain and harsh sunlight, offer natural ventilation, regulate the temperature, and help to purify the air from dust and other particles. Trees and grassy mounds also sit in a central courtyard, with the green structure surrounding the open space.

The sustainability-focused project received the bestarchitects 2023 award and was included in Dezeen’s 2022 shortlist.

 

A photo of a building covered in plants

A photo of an interior factory with one wall covered in plants

A photo of an interior factory with outside walls covered in plants

A photo of a building covered in plants

A photo of a building covered in plants

An aerial photo of a courtyard in a building

Image by Severin Jakob

 

 

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Design

A Fluttering Exterior Responds to the Elements in a Kinetic, Open-Air Cabin by NEON

October 21, 2022

Kate Mothes

In the park surrounding Louvre-Lens, which opened in 2012 on a 49-acre former mining site about 125 miles north of Paris, a cabin-shaped installation has fluttered onto the grounds. The kinetic structure designed by Margate, U.K.-based studio NEON, who describe it as an “animal-like” work that responds to natural forces in its environment, has feather-like polycarbonate shingles that respond to wind or precipitation to generate movement. “Shiver House V2″—version one was modeled after a traditional mökki in Finland—is an exploration into the way that architecture can help to build a closer connection between its inhabitants and its surroundings.

“Something that we can do with our work is make people be more present in the moment,” says NEON artist Viliina Koivisto, who along with director Mark Nixon, founded NEON on the premise that architecture, art, and design are not ivory towers and instead intersect with one another in unique ways. “Our projects are often eye-catching, bold, and emotive—and quite fantastical,” Nixon explains.

You can view more of the studio’s work on its website and on Instagram.

 

All images © NEON, shared with permission. Photos by Yves Bercez

 

 



Art Craft Design

Elaborately Constructed Shops and Homes Translate Tokyo’s Distinct Architecture into Miniature Models

October 14, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Christopher Robin Nordstrom, shared with permission

From his studio at Skeppsholmen, the small southern island in Stockholm, Christopher Robin Nordstrom constructs precise miniatures of Tokyo’s architecture. Flower shops, hair salons, and neighborhood police stations known as kōban are recreated at 1:20 scale from materials like MDF board, styrene plastic, wood, and brass. The tiny models are both quaint and true to city living: little air conditioners nestle into windows and autumn leaves float across the sidewalk, while trails of rust run down walls and street dirt splatters on doorways and facades.

Nordstrom shares that his dad built model planes and trains throughout his childhood, and after a trip to Tokyo in 2018, the artist decided to try a tiny construction project himself. “I (was) struck by all the small weather houses with amazing patina. Back in Stockholm, I was really tired of just ending up in front of Netflix each night,” he says. “I really wanted a nice kitchen table hobby.”

That pastime has since grown into a vast collection of architectural works in an array of styles and forms, which you can find more of, in addition to glimpses behind the scenes, on Instagram. (via Present & Correct)

 

 

 



Art

Bulbous Inflatable Installations by Steve Messam Interact with Historic Architecture and Landscapes

October 5, 2022

Kate Mothes

“Spiked” (2021). All images © Steve Messam, shared with permission

U.K.-based artist Steve Messam is known for his artistic interventions in the landscape, reinterpreting historical monuments, buildings, or rural areas with bold, ephemeral installations. Often inflated, his works reimagine or disrupt perceptions of our surroundings and impact how people move around and through them. Bright colors and striking forms that jut from colonnades, facades, and river banks prompt viewers to consider their relationships to the built environment.

As part of BlowUp Art Den Haag, a three-week outdoor exhibition featuring large-scale, temporary, inflatable artworks throughout The Hague, the artist has unveiled new work marking two notable locations. For one, a bronze statue of William I, or Willem de Oranje, who founded the Netherlands as an independent nation, a tube of green spikes playfully encircles the monument, transforming the atmosphere of the main square it overlooks.

You can find more work on Messam’s website and Instagram.

 

“Oranje,” (2022). Photo by Pim Top / Hague & Partners

Left: “Bridged” (2021). Right: “Multiform*” (2022)

“Portico” (2022)

“Oranje.” Photo by Pim Top / Hague & Partners

“Tunnel,” (2022). Photo by Pim Top / Hague & Partners

 

 



Art

Vintage Cameras Focus on the Surveillance of Modern Life in Jeff Bartels’s Uncanny Paintings

October 5, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Surveillance Speed Graphic” (2021), oil on linen, 30 x 30 inches. All images © Jeff Bartels, shared with permission

“I’m not sure it’s possible to walk down a city street these days and not be caught on a camera somewhere, either by choice or not even knowing about it.” This idea grounds Surveillance, a series of uncanny paintings in oil by Canadian artist Jeff Bartels. Situated in urban settings with a distinctly retro flair, the works nestle vintage cameras among architecture and infrastructural elements. Oversized lenses, knobs, and levers echo the shapes of windows and doorways with branding imitating signs for shops and restaurants.

Sandwiching the devices between cafes and storefronts or subway stairs, Bartels explores the ubiquity of cameras and how they’re embedded into modern life. “If you look at the people in the paintings, none of them are doing anything particularly noteworthy or interesting. They are all just living their lives in front of a camera, some by choice, some oblivious to that fact,” he shares, noting that the surreal scenes aren’t intended to be altogether sinister. Privacy concerns aside, the paintings also speak to the increased prevalence of photographs and the ability to document and share even the most mundane moments on social media.

In addition to the cameras that feature heavily in Surveillance, the Toronto-based artist has placed other technologies like cassette tapes and stereos among his street-side scenes. See some of those works below, and find more on Instagram.

 

“Surveillance Target Six-16” (2021), oil on linen, 22 x 14 inches

“Surveillance Yashica” (2021), oil on linen, 24 x 20 inches

“Surveillance Rolleiflex” (2021), oil on linen, 24 x 30 inches

“Surveillance Electric Eye” (2021), oil on linen, 30 x 20 inches

“Surveillance C16” (2022), oil on linen, 24 x 20 inches

In reference to the song “Grace, Too” by The Tragically Hip

“Post and Truth” (2021), oil on linen, 30 x 40 inches

 

 



Design

Silk and Stone Converge in Luxurious AI-Generated Baroque Architecture

October 3, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Qasim Iqbal, shared with permission

Utilizing the creative algorithmic powers of the artificial intelligence tool Midjourney, student and designer Qasim Iqbal envisions elaborate Renaissance-style architecture of atypical materials. Each rendering juxtaposes the traditional marbles and stones of 17th-century architecture with softer silks and other fabrics that drape across balconies or billow from lavishly constructed elements. Tall, vaulted ceilings are cloaked in a mix of bunched textiles and small, stone caverns, and elaborately designed motifs and allegories emerge from the upper portions of structures.

Iqbal shares several iterations of the imagined Baroque buildings and the simple text prompts that generated them on Instagram. (via This Isn’t Happiness)