Month: July 2012

London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games posters by twelve British artists

London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games posters by twelve British artists

The Olympic and Paralympic posters are available for the public to see at Tate Britain for free. The commissioned artists are Fiona Banner, Michael Craig-Martin, Martin Creed, Tracey Emin, Anthea Hamilton,Howard Hodgkin, Gary Hume, Sarah Morris, Chris Ofili, Bridget Riley, Bob and Roberta Smith and Rachel Whiteread.Well worth a look, my favourite is Sarah Morris’ Big Ben. Images: Dezeen var linkwithin_site_id = 519459;

La Petite Bretagne designed by Paul Crofts Studio

La Petite Bretagne designed by Paul Crofts Studio

You could be forgiven for thinking that this petite cafe is in the midst of Brittany, with its gingham covered tabletops, Bonne Maman jam pots and chintzy details. But this super cute creperie is actually in the heart of Hammersmith. Imbued with the ambience of a traditional French bistro, London based Paul Crofts Studio have designed the interior, complete with an acid-etched concrete counter from which crêpes are made to order. Images

House for the Make It Right Foundation by Frank Gehry

House for the Make It Right Foundation by Frank Gehry

I first went to New Orleans, Louisiana in 2007, a little after the devastation that was Hurricane Katrina, on a field trip with my architecture unit of the time. The vibrancy of the city and the continuing resolution of the people stood out from the ruins with their Mardi Gras celebrations. It has been a long time coming, but finally they are beginning to see some positive changes to the built environment, with the help of the Make It Right Foundation, set up by Brad Pitt in 2006. This house, in the Lower 9th ward, is by Los Angeles-based architect Frank Gehry, normally known for his outlandish designs such as the Guggenheim in Bilbao. This time, however, he has toned it down a bit, designing a 1,780 square foot duplex reminiscent of the traditional shotgun houses of New Orleans. Images

French Film Club: Goodbye First Love and Kastrup Sea Bath by White Architect

French Film Club: Goodbye First Love and Kastrup Sea Bath by White Architect

A beautiful semi-autobiographical French film directed by Mia Hansen-Løve, starring Lola Créton, Sebastian Urzendowsky and Magne-Håvard Brekke. It tells the bittersweet story of a young couple, Camille and Sullivan, two Parisian teenagers whose relationship blossoms between school afternoons and summer holidays in the hazy and romantic Loire Valley. But Sullivan soon travels to South America, leaving Camille behind at school, where she goes on to study architecture after picking up a Le Corbusier book on Le Modular. Ticking away throughout the film are some stunning and subtle architectural backdrops; from the famous Bauhaus building in Dessau to the Danish Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, as well as one of my favourite scenes which was beautifully shot on a folly off the coast of Copenhagen (the Kastrup Sea Baths by White Architect, images below). Images var linkwithin_site_id = 519459;

Ingrid Siliakus: paper architecture

Inspired by the work of Prof. Masahiro Chatani (architect and professor in Japan), who developed similar pieces in the early 1980s, artist Ingrid Siliakus creates paper architecture. In this instance, paper architecture is the art of creating an object out of a single piece of paper. The complex design process starts with numerous prototypes made by Ingrid, that are cut and folded. To design a pattern from scratch, Siliakus utilises the skills of an architect, drawing up a two-dimensional design, which with patience and precision, becomes an ingenious three-dimensional work of paper. Silakus describes her process; “…Working with paper forces me to be humble, since this medium has a character of its own that asks for cooperation… Paper architecture does not bare haste, it is its enemy; one moment of loss of concentration, can lead to failure of a piece… I experience an ultimate satisfaction at the critic moment when the paper, with a silenced sigh, surrenders and becomes a blade-sharp crease. The sound of the paper, which guides this surrendering, to me is incomparable.”

Rachel Whiteread at the Whitechapel Gallery

Rachel Whiteread at the Whitechapel Gallery

Originally published in Blueprint Magazine on June 29, 2012 It’s been 110 years in the making for the facade at the Whitechapel Gallery in London to be completed. Finally, with the help of British artist Rachel Whiteread, the Gallery has decorated the recessed plaque between the two terracotta towers on Whitechapel High Street with golden leaves cast in bronze. The original Charles Harrison Townsend designed building was left blank for almost a century after a mosaic frieze by Victorian artist and illustrator Walter Crane was never realised. The resolution of this missing link marks Rachel Whiteread’s first ever permanent public commission in the UK.Whiteread who has been living on Whitechapel’s doorstep for the past 25 years expresses, ‘a deep connection with the area and its cultural depths and diversity’. Her entire cast of a Victorian house from 1993 (the same year she was the first woman to win the Turner Prize), was just around the corner, until it got unceremoniously demolished by the same Tower Hamlets council which have allowed this new permanent addition on the Gallery …

House in Rokko by Tato Architects/Yo Shimada

House in Rokko by Tato Architects/Yo Shimada

Perched on the top of Mount Rokko, this house by Japanese architect Yo Shimada of Tato Architects, provides a vista overlooking the city of Kobe in Japan. The architect minimised the physical impact on the site with the use of a concrete pad on the ground, topped by a delicate two-storey steel structure, which is clad on the upper levels with metal panels, but left exposed with glass panels below. This gives the impression of the house floating on the steep slope, light and slightly precarious but making the most of the awkward site conditions. Images

Menno Aden- Room Portraits

Ever thought what it would be like to get a bird’s eye view of your home? The photographs of German artist Menno Aden take familiar domestic environments from the viewpoint of a camera that the artist installed on the ceiling of various rooms. The resulting images look a little bit like dolls’ houses, with carefully positioned objects creating just the right kind of balance and composition. There is even something a little voyeuristic in Aden’s photographs, despite the lack of human presence. As artist Miriam Nöske notes, ‘The notion of surveillance is systematically played out by the artist to hint at society’s voyeuristic urge that popular culture has made mainstream’. Images: Menno Aden

Proposal for City of Holland Central- Floriade 2022 by OMA

Proposal for City of Holland Central- Floriade 2022 by OMA

Floriade 2022 is the largest horticultural exposition in Europe, held in the Netherlands every ten years for a sixth-month period of green-fingered festivities. Holland Central is one of the candidate host cities for 2022, and the subject of a masterplan proposal by Rotterdam-based architect OMA. Spanning an area which contains 5 million inhabitants within a 50 kilometre radius, the design features five zones of technology, innovation, global market, leisure and culture for the fair’s activities. Added to this are an outdoor 2,500 seat theatre, a land art installation, global village and cable car which connects across the district. It seems we have much to learn from the Netherlands, both in terms of masterplanning and green technology. Images courtesy of OMA

Saijo Clinic by Aida Atelier

Saijo Clinic by Aida Atelier

Mental health is rarely spoken about as much as physical health, there is much talk in the architectural press about the Maggie Centres (with a new Steven Holl one on the cards) at the moment, but what about a respite for the mind’s neuroses? The Saijo Clinic in central Tokyo is aiming to reverse this pattern, with a new private mental health clinic on the top floor of a building facing Shinjuku Gyoen Park. Designed by Aida Atelier, centre offers short-care and group-care programs within a series of simple huts, interlocking, adjacent or nestled next to each other. In doing so, the clinic hopes to blur the boundaries between the harsh setting of the treatment room and the daily life of the city. Images