Sep 16, 2011

Temporal Architecture

Project: Big Mountain Music Festival
Architect/ Designer: Pitupong Chaowakul/ Supermachine Studio

This is a temporary structure project but a simple response to defining an invisible boundary for human interaction. The use of natural materials such as bamboo for structure support and fabric as a covering skin from the elements lends a very local flavor. The fabric pattern is repetitive and arranged in a grid module, but its the alternating colors that makes the surface striking. Freedom is given to the traders to set up stall at any location and the passerby walks around them. (to find out more..)

Reference & images:


Aug 28, 2011

Ground and Above Roof House - SPACESPACE

Taking note of the site's open atmosphere, the design features a transparent street facade with a vertically extended communal space that continues the sense of expansiveness to the interior. Situated on the corner of an intersection in a neighbourhood populated with long-term residents, the design aims to maintain a friendly level of communication with the street.

In addition, the site is characterized by an unchanged zoning regulation which enabled the architects to build slightly higher than the adjacent structure to the south. Taking advantage of this ability, the house stands much taller than a conventional two-storey building, placing its second level above an exceptionally open communal ground floor. (to find out more..)

Yokohama Apartment, ON design partners

Japanese architecture practice ON design partners has sent us images of 'Yokohama Apartment', a two-storey residential complex for young artists in Kanagawa, Japan. Located in an area populated with wooden houses and narrow roads, the design elevates the living units to sit above a semi public courtyard which serves as a multifunctional place for exhibitions, work, and socializing.

Conceived as the main communal space, the courtyard is loosely defined by four, triangular volumes that pinwheel around the center. An outdoor kitchen complete with a sink and stove allows the inhabitants to congregate in this area for a variety of functions. A washroom and storage closets are accommodated at the ground level of the four pillars, ensuring efficient organization of the second storey. Access to
the elevated living space above is gained by a series of exterior staircases that wrap around the courtyard. The landings serve as small outdoor terraces that provide visual connection to both the street and communal area below.
(to find out more)

Akio Hirata’s Exhibition of Hats - Nendo

“Akio Hirata’s Exhibition of Hats”

The graphic and exhibition design for the first major Japanese retrospective of internationally-known milliner Hirata Akio’s seventy years of work. For the exhibition space, we wanted to make Hirata’s hats stand out.

The mass-produced non-woven fabric hats we created for the space are the antithesis of Hirata’s carefully handmade hats, and bring them into sharp relief through dramatic contrast.

Hirata oversaw the shape of these hats, which float and stream through the exhibition like ghosts or shells of the real hats exhibited. Some are exhibition stands; others become walls, ceilings and diffusers to scatter light through the space. Flooded with roughly 4000 of these ‘ghost hats’ as though shrouded in a cloud, the exhibition space softly invites visitors inside. There, they find not clear-cut paths to follow but an environment in which they can wander and discover Hirata’s creations as they like, as a way of physically experiencing the creative freedom that underlies Hirata’s work. (to find out more..) (& here)

Jul 30, 2011

Peter Zumthor on Serpentine Pavilion 2011 - Dezeen

Interview: Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2011 by Peter Zumthor from Dezeen on Vimeo.

Swiss architect Peter Zumthor explains his design for this year's Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in this movie filmed by Dezeen at the preview in Kensington Gardens, London.

The pavilion is open to the public from 1 July to 16 October 2011.


Studio East - Carmody Groake

Built within a live construction site, 35m atop Westfield Stratford City development, the pavilion provides the first views across London’s Olympic Stadium, and Zaha Hadid’s 2012 Aquatics Centre, forming a commanding presence on London’s skyline.
A fast build with a life span of just 3 weeks, the primary structure, weighing 70 tons, is constructed from hired materials borrowed from the existing construction site, including: 2000 scaffolding boards, 3500 scaffolding poles, and reclaimed timber, used to create the walls and floors of the 800 square metre dining space.
(to find out more..)


Ghost-like Architecture - Shingo Masuda+Katsuhisa Otsubo

The site is a threshold of house, street, garden, and neighbor.
We judged that it would be effective to design a boundary that could constantly renew and rewrite the interpretation in our consciousness each time they involve the site, of a garden being a house, a house being a neighbor, a garden being a street and so on - without restricting sites.
We tried to create an inconsistence between physical and visual experience of "boundary" to individuals, according to the state, by constructing an ambivalent "ghost-like architecture" that emerge and dissolve simultaneously. The boundary, which creates the interpretation of the scene or the crossing of awareness, becomes the new borderline that circulates inside the consciousness, which will not belong to any or all domains.
(to find out more..)


Jun 19, 2011

Go Hasegawa - Pilotis in a Forest

Japanese studio Go Hasegawa has designed 'Pilotis in a Forest', a weekend house located three hours outside of Tokyo, Japan. Situated among a forest of mature trees, the structure aims to co-exist with the natural landscape that surrounds it. Propped 6.5 meters into the air through a series of stilts and cross braces, the dwelling provides views above the treetops and on to the mountains in the distance. An open plaza below is sheltered by trees that encircle the structure like walls. (to find out more)

Floor 0
Floor 1


Jun 18, 2011

Cedric Price - Think the Unthinkable

Date: 31 Mar 2011 - 3 Sep 2011
Location: Gallery 2, level 2, The Lighthouse, Glasgow

The questions posed by Cedric Price (1934 – 2003) are still potentially revolutionary. Is architecture doing as much for people as comfortable shoes? Do we need buildings, and if so what for?

This exhibition looks at the ideas which underlay Price’s celebrated projects, exploring their continuing power to inspire and challenge, and the strong parallels between Price’s vision of a technology-rich, communications-driven future and the reality of contemporary life in Britain. The exhibition draws on Price’s archive, bringing his projects to life with new graphic technologies which Price would undoubtedly have enthusiastically embraced had he lived.

Projects by architecture students from Strathclyde University and the Mackintosh School of Architecture, and by fine art and photography students from the Glasgow School of Art are presented. Based on Price’s ideas on public space, these add a contemporary layer to the exhibition.


Jun 12, 2011

Garden of 10,000 Bridges / 万桥园 - West 8

Gardens tell a story. They combine poetry and narrative. The Garden of 10,000 Bridges represents the human life; the path of people’s lifetime, which is a route of uncertainty and burden, but also of highlights and elation. The garden design takes you on this walk of life as a meandering, winding trail – continuous and like a labyrinth. It lets you find your way through nature and takes you over 10,000 bridges.


Sad to say, there're only 5 bridges, not 10,000.

For the 2011 Xi'an International Horticulture Exhibition, West 8 designed a Master Landscape Architect Garden, that plays with the limits and the sensation of surprise.
The Xi'an International Horticulture Exhibition 2011 is open until 22 October 2011.


Apr 29, 2011

On Tree

Very often, we see a tree put alongside a building as a complimentary object, but rarely have we thought about comparing them, and sometimes don't even think they're related.

Ito was one who explicitly took the motive of trees on the street as the facade of his Tod's Omotesando building, despite rather superficially in my opinion, one can see from here the fact that there're times when a building and a tree would have similar scales and proportions. This much is probably as good as it needs to establish some sort of connection.

The thing is - subjectively speaking from my personal imagination - while sharing similar scale and proportions, one feels comfortable and relaxed under the tree but not so much when under/out by the building. Perhaps it is too hard to put the two into a direct comparison. Instead, I would like to talk about a few things on 'Tree' only, hoping at the end some hints to building-making can possibly come into view.

1. Coherent

A tree does not have a facade. Its outer layer is just where the entire figure stops growing and expanding. Being away from, under or up on the tree has a rather similar sensation in that its expression does not change drastically. In order words, it is a smooth, gradual and continuous transition of space that never completely cuts away from one another.

2. Porous and Transparent

A tree is probably one of the most porous being under earth's elements. Sunlight, wind, rain, insects and animals gently and freely pass through it. Within or under a tree exists a micro environment that is at once individual while highly in-sync with the greater natural environment. The porosity also enables good visual extension into or out from the tree, which I thought is simply intriguing and interesting.

3. Green and Differed

Being largely green in colour makes a tree simply the most eye-soothing and relaxing thing to look at. Besides, like human being, no two trees share identical look and form. I personally find it interesting on how each trees gives different, suggestive images that intrigue our imaginations much more than the solidity of buildings blocks.

4. Ordinary

'Tree' is one of the first terms we learn as a child and hence it almost never occur as a strange existence to us. Tree seems so ordinary (and kind) to us that sentiments toward it easily born into our minds. Hence, there're many who thought of certain trees as important aspects of their respective (childhood) memories.

5. A Link to the Environment

Many times, we look at the tree to find out if it's raining, windy or sunny outside. A tree reacts to the environmental conditions throughout each day, each season. Without noticing, we always casually relate to the natural environment through the tree right outside our windows, visually and mentally. Buildings, on the other hand, tends to distinct themselves from the nature.

I’ve thus far managed to come up with the ‘5 points of a Tree’ (high 5! Le Corb) that seem to have been only describing a tree, but probably a relationship or idea can sometimes be best found in the least obvious ways and the least forceful references.

One can try to achieve the quality of a tree in a building in many ways, and probably there have been quite some a of examples already, especially amongst the so-called sustainable architecture. But looking at my points one should understand that I tend to contemplate a tree not in its functionality, but its spatiality. A completed example I would most appreciate currently is the Tama Art Library in Tokyo, again by Ito which I feel, has certain qualities of a ‘tree’ far more implicit & effective than that of the Tod’s mentioned at the start.


Apr 28, 2011

Jun Igarashi Architects: Layered House

'Layered House' by Japanese practice Jun Igarashi Architects is a two-storey dwelling for a family of four located east of Hokkaido in the old city district of Saroma-cho. The design designates long slices of the floor plan to separate programs, creating with a linear compilation a house that is literally layered from one end to the other.

The site is surrounded by a heavily-used street to the north, a co-op farm to the east, a warehouse to the west, and the house of the clients' parents to the south. Taking these conditions as a point of departure, the design pins its directionality to the south where a small garden is placed and creates a closed-door atmosphere for the rest of the house, creating a sense of ease and comfort for the inhabitants. The north, east, and west faces are limited in windows while a large opening to the south places natural light at the center of focus. (to find out more)


Aldo Cibic: Rural Urbanism at Rethinking Happiness

'Rethinking happiness' is a research project showing 4 different new possible communities on a total suface of 40mq.

Curated by Italian architect and designer Aldo Cibic, the model is presented at the 12th Venice Architecture Biennale under the theme 'people meet in architecture' curated by Kazuyo Seijima.

Rural Urbanism
The city enters the countryside, the country enters the city.

One hour from Shanghai, a large rural territory with an ancient agricultural tradition is crushed between a growing industrial zone and a new city.

The idea is to create an agricultural park of 4 sq km inhabited by 8000 persons with low-density residential structures, preserving the agriculture and offering green spaces for the inhabitants. The project calls for a group of elevated buildings on the streets, to create a perpendicular grid that floats over the countryside.

In the middle of this 'agricultural central park' there are specialized farms that produce crops for the sustainable, profitable development of the countryside. The challenge is to create a new community with shared services, new activities and relationships, in tune with the territory. (to find out more)


Feb 28, 2011

Good design communicates meaning. Good design communicates effectively. Good design communicates in a way that words simply can’t. Good design communicates & motivates; it does not merely decorate. Good design communicates an idea & equally considers function & form. Good design communicates the message to the desired audience & inspires the best possible results. Good design communicates a clear message to the desired audience, & serves the needs of the clients, not the whims of the designer.

Good design communicates well.*

* All tag lines taken from different graphic design, web design & advertising agencies that promote their service by referring to this specific design rule.


Oct 24, 2010


LLOVE, the exhibition where you can stay for the night
It is an exhibition, but you can stay for the night. You can choose whichever room you like and spend a night in luxury with a smile.

Location: Daikanyama i Studio. Ebisu-nishi 1-36-10, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo(1 minute walk from Daikanyama Station)
Period: 22 October (Fri) – 23 November (Tue)
Visiting the hotel rooms:
- on appointment (telephone number will be announced on the HP)
- from 29 October until November 3, the rooms will be open to public from 12 until 17hrs
Entrance fee: none

(to find out more..)



Oct 14, 2010

Another Scale of Architecture - Junya Ishigami

Seen from, that Fomal Haut has uploaded a photo set of Junya Ishigami's exhibition at the Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, called 'Another scale of architecture', a well conceived name.
Often dealing with the elements and scales, Ishigami-san has never failed to amaze me by his unique perspectives in architecture, which are extremely powerful and intriguing.
While the collapse of his exhibition piece at Venice Biennale was utter pity (winning a price with it was such a glorious consolation he deserved), we can see in this exhibition that he has taken lightness to a whole new level (and scale) so unbelievable if not actually seen by oneself. The vastness and details are just overwhelming.

See the photoset HERE.

previous post on Junya Ishigami:


White Roofs, Reflective Roofs

A reflective roof coating or white roof, is the best known and most applied of all Green Roof Systems. These systems reduce roof temperatures and thereby save electricity, and are great for almost every application, including residences, apartment buildings, condominiums, townhouses, retail buildings, schools, malls, and hi-rises.

White roof systems involve applying a fluid directly onto the roof. A superior acrylic roof coating waterproofing component and super tough polyester-mat as the reinforcement component is normally used. Compared to most re-roofing alternatives, this system provides an efficient, high-quality solution at a fraction of the cost.

Some of the benefits of white roof systems are:


Sep 29, 2010

Sperone Westwater Gallery - Foster + Partners

Sperone Westwater celebrates the opening of its new gallery on the Bowery in New York with an inaugural exhibition by Argentinean artist, Guillermo Kuitca. Nearly 35 years after its conception, Sperone Westwater continues to exhibit an international roster of prominent artists working in a wide variety of media. Its new building, designed by Foster + Partners, doubles the exhibition area and pioneers an innovative approach to vertical movement within a gallery setting.

Responding to the compact 25 by 100 foot site, one of the features of the project is a 12 by 20 foot moving gallery, which connects the upper four exhibition floors and allows visitors to move gradually between levels. It is a prominent feature along the Bowery, visible from the street, its gentle pace contrasting with the fast-moving traffic. At any given floor, the exhibition space can be extended by parking the moving room as required, with an additional elevator and stairs providing alternative access..

After SANAA, another brilliant art gallery in the form of a skyscraper, is completed on the Bowery by Lord Foster.
Put aside the beautiful proportion of the building.
From altering the scale of the entrance lobby to temporarily increasing gallery spaces, the 'red box' idea is delightful & surprising each time its variety of potentials are revealed, both sensational & practical.
One of the most boring and daunting aspects in spatial design, freight lift in this case, is made the coolest thing in the Sperone Westwater Gallery.

See Lord Foster discusses the design:



September 25 to October 1 in 2011

Theme: Design2050

“Climate Change” is one of the most crucial concerns of the global community, stimulating active debate around the world about the post-Kyoto framework. Some governments have proposed a reduction in the world's greenhouse gas emissions to 50 percent or even more of 2000 levels by the year 2050.
“Population” is another serious issue. While the global trend has been population explosion, Japan is experiencing a drastic shift towards an aged society due to low birth rates, and this is occurring in many other countries as well. These outcomes of 'FORECASTING' are the major drivers of change in 'DESIGN' for quality of life in a sustainable built environment.
Looking back to 1933, “The Athens Charter” drafted by Le Corbusier et al. at the CIAM that year became a worldwide urban and architectural formula throughout the 20th century. However, we have failed to replace this charter for the 21st century and the vision of a sustainable future remains intangible..


Sep 27, 2010

Autodesk Offers Students Free 3-Year Software Licenses

Autodesk is extending the license terms for all free versions of the student software related to its online Education Community from 13 to 36 months.
This license term extension applies to over 25 products available for free download on the Autodesk Education Community.
The license term extension is part of Autodesk's continued effort to support students' pursuit of careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, including architecture and manufacturing.
Today's students face a challenging job market, and Autodesk's goal is to ensure the next generation of designers, engineers and digital artists have access to the same software that professionals use every day.


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