Sep 27, 2008

Abandoned spaces

What is it about abandoned property and places, frozen in time, that makes them seem more real than any other representation of history we encounter? From individual structures to entire abandoned towns and cities, abandonments large and small inspire the imagination and tell us things about the past in a visceral way. Capturing moments in time, deserted cities, towns, buildings and other abandoned property can be powerfully evocative. Many people break laws, trespass on property and risk life and limb to explore and photograph abandoned places. (to find out more..)

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posted by ling

Covent Garden - A Brief History

by John Richardson

...The Covent Garden area then reverted to agricultural land until the 17th century. It was then the scene of the first experiment in London of town planning, and the creation of the first public square in the country. It was the work of three men - the Earl of Bedford the developer, Charles I, who gave his strong support to the scheme, and Inigo Jones the most important architect of the day.
The enthusiasm of Jones for classical, especially Palladian, architecture was to have an enormous effect on London's later buildings. Having seen and studied the many public squares in Italy, he brought the idea to London and he also surrounded it with a perfectly straight grid of streets. Londoners, used to the random and haphazard arrangement of winding streets, alleyways and courtyards, must have been amazed. Architecturally, it was a watershed in English architecture.
The Piazza was designed by Jones with arcaded houses to the north and east. (These are now all gone but more modern developments have sought to remind us of them.) To the west was the church of St Paul, flanked by two houses, and to the south there was at first no development because the Piazza backed on to the mansion of the Bedford family, which faced the Strand, the main artery of London connecting City and Court at Westminster.
This new square was a public one - and meant to be so...
(to find out more..)

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posted by afterrabbit

Sep 24, 2008

Yehiam Memorial by SO Architecture

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the convoy to Yechiam, the memorial site for those who were killed in the convoy, and for the fallen Kibbutz members, was designed. The project is situated in Kibbutz Yechiam on the north of Israel in the community center area.

The project derives its geometrical form from two major sources:
1. The feeling of the inside of an armored truck of the days of the convoy
2. The will to convey the feeling of bereavement

The visitor who arrives at the memorial experiences, while progressing to the hall the confined geometry of the place that was designed with the help of a computer, and based on physical models. The materials used in the construction are wood and plaster. The space that is revealed inside the building is a clean space, which forms a balance on the one hand of the general feeling, and on the other hand points to the photos of the fallen.

The photos themselves are emphasized by hidden lighting, both natural and artificial. In the interior design work of the site, the photos of the fallen were reconstructed and renovated with the help of computers. This project, was executed on a very small budget, succeeds in producing a special, strong and exciting feeling, which honors the memory of the fallen. (more images..)

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posted by midori mizu

Sep 22, 2008

Antonín Dvořák Concert & Congress Centre by Future Systems

Architects Future Systems have been commissioned to design a new concert and congress centre at České Budějovice in the Czech Republic.As the home of the Ceske Budejovice philharmonic orchestra the design will achieve an exquisite blend between and culture and music with the utmost sensitivity and understanding of every user and does so while maintaining a thrilling narrative, as is true of all one off Future Systems projects.

The two concert halls, seating a 1000 people in the philharmonic music hall and 400 in the chamber music hall, are of a completely new breed in architecture. For the first time in musical design a large and elegant rear window behind the musicians will be carved out to allow for spectacular views in to the park behind the building. Each hall is formed of sensual free form curves that manage to combine aesthetic beauty with outstanding acoustic quality that is only enhanced by the ‘eye’ window concept. (to find out more..)

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posted by midori mizu

Sep 21, 2008

Black & White Fest

The Annexe Gallery and Central Market is proud to present the Black & White Fest, a mini multi-arts fest happening from Fri 19 Sep to Mon 5 Oct.
The Annexe Gallery & Central Marketinvite you to the opening of

A Celebration of Diversity
Fri 19 Sep, 2008, 8pm
Refreshments served

Exhibition will continue until Sun 5 Oct 2008, 11am - 7pm daily
Admission free and open to the public

Photography Exhibition

By Alan Ng, Alex Moh, Azril Ismail, Azrul K. Abdullah, Bernice Chauly, Caecar Chong, Erna Dyanty, Lim Hock Seng, Pang Khee Teik & Tan Chee Hon.
Ten Malaysian photographers return to their first love, black & white photography, to seek diversity in a monochromatic world. All works are shot on black & white film and printed on silver gelatin paper.

I think everyone should make an effort to visit this Exhibition, regardless which field or industry you are in; because after this exhibition, I felt that everything is very much inter-related. There's a huge variety of story being told here, such as:

the story of colours through Black and White,

the story of a girl and her flamboyant family,

the story of dealing with mannequins and loneliness,

a brave adventure to seek sensuality through nature,

a love for natural rainforest and his encounters,

the harmony of human elements as a background of the natural landscape,

the story of nude patient models and a photographer + the joyful process of picture development,

the beautification of a transgender,

a psycological message "Whatever You Believe Becomes True To You" that questions our belief and what is real to us,

a creepy sealed entrance that is blocked by the Goddess of Mercy.

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posted by s-uper-chii

Sep 20, 2008

Rectification to the design history of the Temppeliaukio Church

Temppeliaukio Church (“Rock Church”) in Helsinki centre attracts visitors from all over the world. The rock church, designed by Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen and built in 1969, is the most popular architectural sight in Finland, not only among modern but also historic buildings. Yet, as a result of superficial observation, mistaken assumptions about its design history and architecture have been and still are presented as facts. It is time for rectification.

Architect brothers Timo (1928-) and Tuomo (1931-88) Suomalainen won the open competition in 1960-61 for the architectural design of Temppeliaukio Church as a result of the unanimous decision of the jury. There had been two competitions arranged about the same church in the 1930s, both unrealised. Architect P.E. Blomstedt (1900-1935) participated in the first competition arranged in 1932-33, but without success. The similarity between Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen’s and P.E. Blomstedt’s proposals is a persistently repeated claim or insinuation. In these designs both the main idea and the artistic overall structure are, however, totally different and only the Suomalainen brothers’ church is sunk into the rock.


It dawned intuitively on the Suomalainen brothers when they visited the building site that, in order to save the character of place, the rock itself had to be understood as a church and everything to be built at the site should be adjusted to accompany the character of the rock. The architect brothers had a firm relationship to rock. They had been born and lived their childhood until the beginning of the World War II on a small island, called Suursaari, in the middle of the Gulf of Finland. Juxtaposed to the white sandy beaches of the island’s bays were hills, precipices and crevices, caves, gorges, boulders, and stony fields. Timo Suomalainen tells how the island of their birth, lost to the Soviet Union, unconsciously participated in their architecture. On the Temppeliaukio Square (“Temple Square”) the home island of the brothers, which was its own micro cosmos, is present as the rock church itself. Transferred from the island is the simultaneous feeling of security and freedom that one can experience in nature, which offers not only surprises and adventure, but also a feeling of stability and shelter. Before the brothers started designing the Temppeliaukio Church, they had done planning work for the Ministry of Defence and thus had become familiar with rock building. Moreover, they had come to the point in their career where, after having designed clean-lined and minimalistic architecture, they wished to open to architecturally intuitive, unconscious, solutions giving space even to chance. (to find out more..)

Architect brothers Timo (1928-) and Tuomo (1931-88) Suomalainen in 1984

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posted by afterrabbit

Sep 14, 2008

Some Ideas on Generating Ideas

by Akira

In a book called Kougu*, which in Japanese means “thinking tools,” author Masaharu Kato of ad agency Hakuhoudo offers a few tips to come up with fresh ideas. I’ve used them when coming up with ideas for our clients, and thought I’d share some of my favorites…

1. Know what you are looking for.

Start with a clear idea of what you’re trying to come up with. A catch phrase? A new name, a logo? Once you identify your goal, repeat it aloud to yourself a few times, and engrave it on your mindscape.

2. Focus on the surface: color, shape, size, word.

You can gather ideas anytime–driving to work, taking a stroll, during your lunch breaks. When you start these 'idea gathering sessions', sometimes it helps to decide ahead of time that you’ll focus on something arbitrary, say the color red. Think about the problem you are trying to solve, and at the same time, focus on the color red. You’ll notice red things around you that you’d might otherwise ignore, just by being focused on that color. Tuning into these details can lead to unusual, fresh connections that help you solve the problem.

3. Write thoughts down wherever, whatever they may be.
The act of writing activates your brain and focuses your thoughts. Use anything : post-it's, the back of napkins, or a sketch book, to write. The point isn't to come up with perfect notes, so don’t worry about keeping everything together or too tidy. Don't worry about whether your thoughts are 'good' ideas, either. Just keep writing–sometimes that's enough for something brilliant to pop up in your head.

Here’s an example.

Say you’re trying to come up with a tag line for your new product - a new condo complex on the waterfront. You are thinking about the condo - how big it is, what kind of amenities it has, your target demography, etc. Then, you go out gathering hints outside. Focus on something specific, like, for example, the color blue today…The sky is blue (for once, in Seattle! Hey, maybe weather should play a role in this), so is this car (an SUV - what kind of cars do the prospect tenants own?), and a mailbox (maybe they can offer a concierge service for the tenants, drop-off points for mail, dry cleaning, packages, rented videos/dvds?).

Jot stuff into a notebook as you go, connecting dots and coming up with more random links. Get your head to work this way so you can get to really interesting ideas more quickly.

*Published in Japan by Hankyu Communications, 2003.

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posted by afterrabbit

Sep 9, 2008

Free Architecture Courses

If you have a computer or an iPod, you can go to college for free. Hundreds of colleges and universities around the world offer free downloads of popular courses and lectures in architecture, urban design, and engineering.

Yes, there are drawbacks. You can't chat with the professors or classmates. You can't earn credits or work toward a degree. But you'll get the same lecture notes and assignments as "live" students. In some cases, you can even download free audio files and videos.
(to find out more..)

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posted by midori mizu

Sep 2, 2008

The 2008 Small Project Awards

AIA Small Project Practitioners presents the recipients of its third annual Small Projects Awards program, which promotes excellence in small-project design. The awards program emphasizes the excellence of small-project design and strives to raise public awareness of the value and design excellence that architects bring to all projects, regardless of the size and scope.

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posted by s-uper-chii

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