Month: August 2012

Fondazione Querini Stampalia by Carlo Scarpa

While on my trip to Venice for the Architecture Biennale, I also paid a trip to the Fondazione Querini Stampalia, which includes a bookshop carved out by architect Mario Botta, and a renovated ground floor by Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa. The former Palazzo, previously rendered unusable by the frequent invasion of sea water, was given a new lease of life by Scarpa, with the use of gutters and stone steps, which allow the water to come in by just the right amount. The attention to detail continues into the garden, with intricate water features and bands of golden mosaic tiles. All images my own

13th Venice Architecture Biennale 2012- Aldo Rossi Exhibition

13th Venice Architecture Biennale 2012- Aldo Rossi Exhibition

For the past week I have been in Venice for the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale, working for the British Council on the British Pavilion, Venice Takeaway, and doing a few posts for Building Design. Hence the lack of attention to this blog, but I do have plenty of blog posts to be catching up with, sharing with you my favourite bits from the Arsenale and Giardini over the next few days. Below is a blog post I did for BD on an Aldo Rossi exhibition. You can see the post here on the Venice Blog on bdonline, or if you are a subscriber you can look at this week’s Digital Edition of the magazine here. Aldo Rossi, Image: Anni Settanta In an exhibition space designed and installed by Renzo Piano, on the southern most tip of the Dorsoduro, and adjacent to former boating warehouses, is a small but perfectly formed exhibition on Milanese architect Aldo Rossi. For the duration of the Biennale, the Fondazione Emilio e Annabianca Vedova is showcasing sixteen theatre projects by the architect, from the …

The Glass Room by Simon Mawer

The Glass Room by Simon Mawer

var linkwithin_site_id = 519459; I have recently just finished reading ‘The Glass Room’ by Simon Mawer, a novel loosely based on Mies van der Rohe’s Villa Tugendhat in Brno, Czech Republic. The book follows the fictional family of the Laudauers, a successful Jewish car manufacturer and his Aryan wife Liesel, from their honeymoon in Venice in 1929 to the early 1990s. They commission architect Rainer von Abt to design the modernist Laudauer House, on a hillside near a provincial Czech town. Referencing Adolf Loos’s famous dicta that ‘ornament is crime’, the building embraces modern living with the ‘Glass Room’, ‘der Glasraum’, alongside rich onyx walls and bespoke furniture. But the family are soon ousted from their masterpiece by Nazi troops, the building slipping from hand to hand, from Czech to Nazi to Soviet, but always having a gravitational pull to its owners. The real building, Villa Tugendhat was commissioned by Fritz Tugendhat (1895-1958) and his wife Grete (1903-1970), who both came from Jewish German families of industrialists and traders who had lived in Brno for …

Round up of the student shows on Blueprint Magazine

Round up of the student shows on Blueprint Magazine

This year the Blueprint team and a panel of 14 critics (one of them me) traveled to student degree shows around the country. After viewing hundreds of presentations from a diverse range of disciplines, we have compiled our findings, bringing you some of this year’s best work from the designers and architects of the future. Be sure to check it out here.   Dessislava Lyutakova, Dip Arch, Architectural Association Amy Hiley, The Green Living City Wall, Bartlett School of Architecture Janinder Bhatti, Dip Arch, Bartlett School of Architecture Ned Scott, The War Rooms, St. James’s Park, Bartlett School of Architecture Erika Renedo Illarregi, Empathology, MA Industrial Design, Central Saint Martins Clarissa Wenborn, The Urban Weave, University of Nottingham Joseph Popper, MA Design Interactions, Royal College of Art Sanna Rautio, The New Elizabethans, Westminster University

Borrow Build Abandon by Jamie McGregor Smith

Borrow Build Abandon by Jamie McGregor Smith

This documentary series by Somerset born photographer Jamie McGregor Smith explores the legacy of the 2004 Athens Olympics. They seem to suggest a modern ruin, similar to the Ancient Greek ruins of the Acropolis and Delphi, that has come about from the the country’s current economic downturn. Only three of the twenty-four stadiums, built at a cost of $15 Billion, are currently in public use, the remaining requiring an annual $100 million in upkeep costs. McGregor Smith says, “Olympic construction highlights the continued trend of public borrowing for structures that have limited shelf life. They come at a huge cost of limited natural resources, requiring energy consumption and carbon emission that far defies the intelligence and understanding we’ve been fortunate to develop.. We need to consider the possibility that all human construction in future could have the technology of functional adaptation”. Watch this space London. Images via var linkwithin_site_id = 519459;

Oh Comely Magazine

Hiding behind the Vogues, Tatlers and Elle Magazines at WHSmith, I discovered this unexpected treasure: oh comely. Here is how they describe themselves… It is a magazine that makes people smile, full of quiet moments and stories. Read it with a cup of tea or a toddy. It inspires people to be creative, talk to their neighbours and explore new things. There are adventures that capture the feeling of being free, stories from people with tales to tell, recipes to warm your heart, and crafty things to make. All these things, wrapped up in beautiful words, illustration and photography. oh comely is published six times a year, available in over a thousand nice places in the UK as well as internationally. Issue ten is out now.   Images var linkwithin_site_id = 519459;

Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World

Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is an apocalyptic story of the meeting of two people, soft-spoken Dodge (Steve Carrell) and his kooky neighbour Penny (Keira Knightley), three weeks before an astroid is set to hit Earth. The unlikely pairing of two opposites, on their road trip to the end of the world, makes for a sweet and witty film. Images Watch the trailer below var linkwithin_site_id = 519459;

Beautiful Sigur Rós video by Ryan McGinley

Beautiful Sigur Rós video by Ryan McGinley

var linkwithin_site_id = 519459; This tender and dreamy video of New York City was made by Ryan McGinley as a homage to his hometown for Icelandic band Sigur Rós’s track Varúð. Perfectly timed with the music, a girl in a golden wig skips through the hazy concrete streets of the city, bringing a childhood innocence to urban jungle. Absolutely beautiful, both in sound and in film. via It’s Nice That

The Olympic Infographic by Gustavo Sousa

The Olympic Infographic by Gustavo Sousa

Brazilian born artist Gustavo Sousa has reimagined the five Olympic rings into a series of infographics. The iconic five rings are rescaled to compare statistics across the five continents, ranging from the number of McDonald’s outlets to child mortality and hazardous waste. To see more, check out his blog oceaniaeuropeamericasafricaasia. Images