Dec 30, 2008

CPH Arch, Copenhagen by 3Xn

A bridge spanning a body of deep water, providing the only dry connection between two stretches of land, is one of the most powerful architectural experiences in the landscape. Our proposal for a construction on Marmormolen is both: a city gate and a bridge that links Marmormolen with Langeliniekaj, creating a new coherent area in the Port of Copenhagen. The idea is to create a structure which brings together a complex urban situation in a distinctive and diverse development with the possibility of including flexible and efficient business areas. The towers, bridge and the other building elements constitute one single, floating dynamic movement, characterised by the bold span across the harbour entrance in terms of both the plan design and the facade. Establishing a connection across the harbour radically improves public access and creates brand new opportunities for life and growth in the area.

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posted by s-uper-chii

Dec 23, 2008

Dead Sea Masterplan Proposes Sensitive Sustainable Design in Unique Landscape

London-based Metropolitan workshop has put together an ambitious sustainable masterplan to develop the shores of the Dead Sea, in order to harness the unique natural assets of the area, tackle environmental and social issues and boost the economy of Jordan as a whole.The Dead Sea is world famous for its salinity, but Jordanians are facing the stark reality that the water level is dropping over one metre every year, mainly due to water from feeder rivers and aquifers being used unsustainably, to compensate for a 50% deficit in rainfall. At the same time, the Jordanian population is growing. Amman, which is just 40 minutes drive from the Dead Sea, is now home to 2.1 million people, 750,000 of whom have arrived since the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
It is against this complex social and environmental back-drop that Metropolitan Workshop has been invited to develop a regional plan, which will expand the existing Mujib Reserve to protect the whole watershed of the Dead Sea, an area the same size as the Thames Gateway, whilst also developing economic opportunities, especially in tourism.
(to find out more..)

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posted by afterrabbit

Dec 17, 2008

Chicago architecture at home in 'Lake House': Movie takes Hollywood's affair with Windy City landmarks to a new level

Popular culture pays tribute to architecture. In case you haven't notice it in the movie, "The Lake House", let's do a double take…

Written by Chicago native David Auburn (best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Proof," also set in the Windy City), "The Lake House" takes full advantage of the city's rich architectural tapestry, paying special attention to the diversity of periods and styles.

"Every great architect from Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan to Mies van der Rohe has built in Chicago, and what other city in America gives you all those buildings in close proximity to each other?" says "Lake House" production designer Nathan Crowley, who also used several Chicago locations in last year's "Batman Begins." "Sometimes you go to a city like New York and you feel its greatness, but cinematically, it doesn't stack up like Chicago does - - it's very, very cinematic," Crowley says.

Accordingly, the film's Argentinian director, Alejandro Agresti, and his Canadian cinematographer, Alar Kivilo, lavish shot after shot on some of the city's best-known architectural vistas, from the Chicago River and its lattice of bridges to the skyline as seen from the Grant Park softball fields. They also zoom in on a number of Chicago landmarks, including Daley Plaza (using an unusual down-and-southward perspective on the Picasso sculpture), Holabird & Roche's Old Colony Building, the Artist's Cafe in Solon Beman's Fine Arts Building, and interior and exterior shots of Daniel Burnham's Santa Fe Building and Adler & Sullivan's Auditorium Building, whose great reading room for Roosevelt University students doubles as a design studio.

The film's architectural obsession even manages to reinforce Auburn's central conceit of time travel. In its most poetic visual trope, the movie features a series of montages of ornate 19th and early 20th century buildings standing side-by-side with glass-and- steel modernist monoliths -- a subtle but effective visual symbol of the lovers' co-existence in separate but parallel time frames.

Most daringly for a wide release, perhaps, Auburn's script includes a fair amount of dialogs relating to architectural practice and theory. Alex critiques the glass-walled house of the title (which Crowley designed and built at nearby Maple Lake as a Miesian glass box with romantic Regency touches) as being "about ownership, not connection"; his younger brother, also an architect, calls it "Le Corbusier meets Frank Lloyd Wright." And how many Hollywood movies refer to living architects such as Richard Meier, or ponder the qualities and architectural implications of natural light in an art museum in Barcelona vs. one in Tokyo?

Wilbert and Marilyn Hasbrouck, owners of the Prairie Avenue Bookshop on South Wabash, who were contacted by a location scout about the possibility of using their store in a scene for the film. "They were doing some filming on the street in front of us, and one day this young lady came in and said Sandra and Keanu were going to have a scene where they were looking at books in a shop," recalls Wilbert Hasbrouck, an architect and architectural historian whose The Chicago Architectural Club: Prelude to the Modern (The Monacelli Press) came out last year. "She asked if they could use our bookshop, and I said yes." The next day, however, the woman returned with a message from Reeves, who wanted to talk to someone about architects, their practices and especially their vocabulary. Hasbrouck, a devoted raconteur with more stories in his vest pocket about Chicago architects than anyone else on the planet, volunteered for the job.

In the end, the book-viewing scene was shelved, but Agresti, who had checked out Prairie Avenue on the sly, decided to use the shop as Alex's father's study. After several days of preparation (in which the crew built a fireplace out of cardboard and what Hasbrouck calls "those little railroad tracks the camera rides on"), the director shot Reeves and Plummer's emotional "sleazy condo developer" scene there. The result is a film that, while hardly the final word on Chicago architecture, treats it with respect and brings it into a pop- cultural context. "We're proud of our building and its architectural legacy, and the movie helps us show it off a little," says Kim Gibson-Harman, assistant vice president for administrative services at Roosevelt, which owns the Auditorium Building. "It certainly can't hurt."

"The Lake House" with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock features several Chicago landmarks and panoramic vistas, including:
The Chicago River and its lattice of bridges, with the Marina City towers on the right.
The Picasso sculpture at Daley Plaza, where a crucial and recurring scene plays out.
The Auditorium Building whose reading room doubles as an architectural design studio.
The Prairie Avenue Bookshop on South Wabash, which was made over as an architect's study.

Text from: Kevin Nance, The Chicago Sun-Times, June 15, 2006

* Note: The article above are excerpts. The full article is available on Highbeam Research but on subscription only.

posted by ling

Dec 14, 2008

Amanogawa Bridge, Hokkaido

The nature in Hokkaido reminds Nordic nature. There are birch forests, one can hear cuckoo in distance and smell the same fragrance of misty grass and wet forest after a chilly summer night.
We wanted the visitors in this forest to notice the small forest creek, how the daylight plays on it and how it’s happy sound fills the space we constructed. If one is still for awhile, one can even see small trout hunting insects. This atmosphere is a childhood memory from another forest far away in another continent, some thirty years ago.
Amanogawa is Milky Way in Japanese, literally the River of the sky. Some indigenous hunting and gathering people have the belief that time passes by in different speed in different places. I hope we have created a small place where water and time will flow in a peaceful way.
(to find out more..)

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posted by afterrabbit

Forest Observatory, Kyushu

When I first entered the thick forest on the site, I started instinctively to walk silently and listen carefully. One could not see clearly longer than twenty meters, but things further than that could be heard. This small forest is full of sounds that become mysterious since the source is hidden; strange birds, creeping animals in the bush, wind in the treetops. The often prevailing fog even strengthens this experience. If you stand still for a while, it becomes a universe you would like to understand more. Perhaps, if one listens patiently enough, it reveals itself. Silent and alert, you become partly animal again.
This architectural instrument, Forest Observatory, standing inside the woods, is designed to aid persons in pursuit of understanging the nature. It collects and harbours sounds and offers focused shelters for perception. The inner courtyard is an articulated, closed acoustic room, allowing silent conversation to take place. The consept is based on a simple observation that at times whispering is more effective than shouting.
(to find out more..)

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posted by afterrabbit

Ocho Casas - Romera y Ruiz Arquitectos

Frequent passerby in the neighborhood of Santa Margarita, Spain may find themselves a bit lost when they can’t seem to find the white wall they just passed by. Appearing at first as a simple sheet of folded paper, this beautiful white-walled building features a facade of panels that open in brilliant pops of color. Designed by Romera y Ruiz Arquitectos, “Ocho casas inscritas y tres patios” is a sustainably constructed social housing complex with a facade that changes according to the wishes of its inhabitants!
Showing once again that Spanish architects are at the forefront of simple yet effective architectural design Romera y Ruiz Arquitectos Ocho Casas project was nominated as a finalist at the World Architecture Festival recently held in Barcelona. The name translates to “Eight inscribed houses and three courtyards”, referring to the unique geometry of the building, which essentially allows each unit to share one of the three patios within. (to find out more..)

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posted by afterrabbit

Dec 9, 2008

AMORPHE - Takeyama & Associates

Another good firm with interesting projects, led by Kiyoshi Sey Takeyama (竹山 聖).

Kiyoshi Sey Takeyama

Yamagata University Engineering Department Centennial Hall, 2006.

Shirakawa Library, 2006.

Shoto Guest House, 2006.

Refraction House, 2000.

Nakanoshima New Line, 2004.

Mid Wales Centre for the Art, 1995.

posted by afterrabbit

Dec 8, 2008

IJburg House - Marc Koehler

The residents of IJburg (pronounced “Ye” burg) - a quiet Amsterdam suburb that sits on artificial islands along the IJ river - have a new, flashy neighbor, but we doubt that anyone will complain about it. Already known for his trademark design style that lives somewhere at the busy intersection of architecture, communication, community and ecology, Marc Koehler’s latest project - the IJburg House - does not disappoint. This is one cube house that refuses to be square.
Envisioned as a monolithic sculptural mass that was carved out of solid matter rather than a series of walls raised around a defined structure, the IJburg House contrasts introverted private spaces that form the mass with open collective spaces that seem to have been carved out of the solid volume. The collective spaces, or removed chunks of the mass, effectively connect the house with the street, the garden, and the roof terrace. The house is at once stable, simple, and permanent. (to find out more..)

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posted by afterrabbit

Shrinking Cities: Japan (free downloads)

Complete Works 3: Case Study: Japan

This free digital publication makes texts and studies available on the subject of shrinking cities in Japan. It is the first of its kind to provide concise insight into the Japanese discussion about processes of urban shrinkage, population loss, migration, aging, and declining economic performance.
The downloadable PDF files contain more than 300 pages of studies and research in Japanese and English by twentyfour authors. It provides information on the subject in general, on shrinking cities and demographic transition in Japan, and focuses on Hakodate/Hokkaido and other Japanese Cities. (to find out more / download FREE pdf copies..)

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posted by afterrabbit

Dec 4, 2008

City of Lights








Niagara Falls


Los Angeles


Las Vegas



Cologne Cathedral




Kuala Lumpur



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posted by ling

Nov 20, 2008

FIBER CITY / Tokyo 2050

A Fiber can be understood as an organizing grain or thread. In terms of city form it is a linear space.

Contemporary cities are full of these kinds of fibers, one example being the extensive transportation system that extends from air to ground to underground throughout any urban conurbation. In much the same way, the communication network that supports and connects the city is shaped by the logic of its function, and takes on a similar fiber-like configuration. Fibers are spaces with velocity...

...Fiber City 2050 focuses on the use of urban fibers to develop an alternative model of the metropolis in an era of shrinking cities.
(to find out more..)

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posted by afterrabbit

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