Listing 24 blog articles for the tag Photo Albums.
If you needed any further proof that architects are magicians, here it is: Polish firm REFORM Architekt made the entire ground floor of a private home outside Warsaw disappear!
1. DANIEL LIBESKIND
ON THE TOUR MONTPARNASSE, PARIS
“It’s legendary for being the most hated building in Paris. I want to defend it not because it’s a particularly beautiful tower, but because of the idea it represents. Parisians panicked when they saw it, and when they abandoned the tower they also abandoned the idea of a high-density sustainable city. Because they exiled all future high rises to some far neighborhood like La Défense, they were segregating growth. Parisians reacted aesthetically, as they are wont to do, but they failed to consider the consequences of what it means to be a vital, living city versus a museum city. People sentimentalize their notions of the city, but with the carbon footprint, the waste of resources, our shrinking capacity, we have no choice but to build good high-rise buildings that are affordable. It’s not by coincidence that people are going to London now not just for work but for the available space. No young company can afford Paris. Maybe Tour Montparnasse is not a work of genius, but it signified a notion of what the city of the future will have to be.”
2. ZAHA HADID
ON THE ORANGE COUNTY GOVERNMENT CENTER, GOSHEN, N.Y.
“The 1960s were a remarkable moment of social reform. The ideas of change, liberation and freedom were critical. Now people think public buildings should be more flowery, but these were times when people did tough projects. The complex is arranged as a sequence of interconnected indoor and outdoor public spaces that flow into each other. There is an integrity within the design that displays a commitment to engagement and connectivity. As a center for civic governance, it enacted democracy through spatial integration, not through the separation of elected representatives from their constituents. Many similar projects around the world have also suffered neglect; yet sensitive renovation and new programming reveal a profound lightness and generosity, creating exciting and popular spaces where people can connect. Rudolph’s work is pure, but the beauty is in its austerity. There are no additions to make it polite or cute. It is what it is.”
3. ANNABELLE SELLDORF
ON THE EMPIRE STATE PLAZA, ALBANY
“Against my better judgment, I like this complex. It’s sculptural, architectural abstraction to the extreme. At a distance, the scale of the skyline exudes a sense of identity and strength for Albany, while at the pedestrian level the Plaza plays an important role in the community. I know that others find it too brutal or forbidding, but I think it’s beautiful in its monumentality and starkness. Monumentality always suggests supreme power, and that’s scary. I somehow think that if you could populate the Plaza with more gardens, and make it feel more part of everyday life — which they’ve tried to do with farmers’ markets and using the basin for ice skating — then it wouldn’t feel so hostile. Ultimately it has to do with the sense of feeling included and welcome. When life is allowed to enter, it makes a space feel alive. Then it becomes an outlet for the expression of our democratic values of assembly and freedom of speech.”
4. ADA TOLLA
ON VELE DI SCAMPIA, NAPLES, ITALY
“If somebody put this complex in front of me right now without adding any context, any history, I would consider it a really strong piece of architecture. They are iconic buildings that embed the Modernist idea of the right to a home — a home for everyone. At the time it was conceived, the complex was very positive, optimistic and progressive. It embodies the idea of the megastructure as the mechanism that can solve the pressing problem of overpopulation and saturation of the city center. The urban planning for the development of the area also testifies to that optimism, with all the roads named after leftist, Socialist or Marxist Italian figures. The interior courtyard and shape of the sail combines the most humble and lively moment of Naples life — the vicolo (narrow street) — with the city’s opulent iconography of the water. But the complex was cursed. It wasn’t built as specified; value-engineering changed the structure and reduced the interior courtyards, therefore limiting the amount of light. None of the planned public spaces, amenities, schools or offices were ever constructed. The buildings were squatted even before completion. The Camorra installed gates and blocked the police from entering. For me it is important to recognize that the Vele is not a failure of the architecture, but rather a failure in execution and management. Demolition is often an attempt to sweep things under the carpet, and that doesn’t seem like the right way to learn from the past.”
5. NORMAN FOSTER
ON TEMPELHOF AIRPORT, BERLIN
“Tempelhof is one of the really great buildings of the modern age, and yet it is inevitable that it is not necessarily celebrated by everyone. Its architect, Ernst Sagebiel, studied under the Jewish master Erich Mendelsohn but later served the Nazis. It was adjacent to a concentration camp that held journalists, politicians, Jews and other so-called ‘undesirables,’ so it is redolent with all the most negative associations. Like a pendulum, it served the purposes of the fascist regime and then became a lifeline with the airlifts of 1948 and 1949 that delivered food to the people of West Berlin. The airport is full of contradictions and paradoxes. It has an austere facade, which is not so fascist, and could almost appear in Sweden. The back is a sweeping, cantilevered curve. It soars. If you were transported there and were to walk under that cantilever, you would be awestruck. The architecture is heroic, not in a pompous, empty, vacuous sense, but as engineering that really lifts the spirit. Monuments, if you trace their ancestry, can reveal disturbing things about the past. Nonetheless, they have enduring qualities which, viewed on their own merits, are perhaps an example to us.”
6. AMANDA LEVETE
ON THE BT TOWER, LONDON
“What fascinates me is that in its time the BT Tower was a building that was entirely about its function as a telecommunications tower: Its purpose was its height. Now, without the satellite dishes, that purpose is redundant. It’s lost a lot of its visual and symbolic power. I was 10 when it was finished in 1965 and it was the tallest building in London for many years. It was a marker of arrival if you were coming from the north. That, in the context of London’s skyline now, is extraordinary. It was the first building with an observation deck — that way of engaging with the city was actually pioneered by the tower. It had a restaurant that wasn’t particularly expensive. High rises today are about exploiting the skyline for private gain. But Londoners are capable of being nostalgic too: We have a power station that is now a modern art gallery. I wonder if the satellites and antennae shouldn’t be reinstated to communicate its purpose as an enduring symbol of the moment in the 1960s when technology propelled Britain onto the international stage. It’s a reminder. It holds so much meaning in an elegant slender cylinder.”
7. VINCENT VAN DUYSEN
ON CENTRE POMPIDOU, PARIS
“I admire its boldness and openness as a building that participates with — and is woven into — its city, its place, its time. It was without any respect for the environment, a cultural factory where you could observe important modern art collections, a superexpressive, very colorful, complex building. It was seen as a rejection of the neighborhood, the Marais, and of Paris itself. Paris stands for French stone and light gray rooftops and beautiful natural colors, and all of a sudden you have got this architectural machine. On the other hand, the building has this democratic purpose because it attracts how many millions every year. I couldn’t take my eyes off it when I was studying architecture. It reversed the typical model of a museum into something that was engaging and inviting to the public. Architecture at that time needed to do things differently, like a shock. The shock liberates a lot of emotions and perceptions.”
With environmental concerns propelling a concerted drive toward more sustainable construction processes, notable instances of designers utilizing salvaged materials in new and inventive ways have proliferated over the last decade. The upcycling phenomenon has long been big business in industrial design, with luxury furniture showrooms such as Espasso illustrating that the textured patina of reclaimed materials can make for stylish high-end pieces that belie their humble components.
70 years ago today, the Second World War ended in Europe, sparking joyous celebrations and an unbridled sense of relief around the globe. While the day itself marks a positive moment in world history, the tragedies that preceded it left an indelible mark upon the memories of millions and will be remembered in perpetuity.
Prepare your tequila, salt, and lime, because it’s time to fiesta! Today is none other than Cinco de Mayo, a historic day that has come to represent the country’s fight for freedom — not to mention an occasion for lively Latino celebrations around the globe.
Staircases are, by their very nature, one of the most visually striking elements in architecture — they are one of the few components of a building that can be highly functional yet also incredibly sculptural, ebbing and flowing to fit whatever space is granted to them.
Core77 recently deemed this staircase in Portugal to be the world’s most beautiful, marveling at the structure’s sensual lines and complex geometry — not to mention the ornate timber carving on its underside. What makes this centerpiece even more astonishing is the fact that it was designed over 100 years ago, by engineer Francisco Xavier Esteves.
Attention Mac-using architects: Apple just announced a new 12-inch MacBook. First, the pros: It is astonishingly thin, includes a Retina Display, a new touch-sensitive trackpad and a new port for data transfer and charging in a single connector. It's being offered in 3 colours: silver, gold, and the effortlessly cool slate grey.
However, somewhat perversely, Apple's latest iteration uses Intel's new low-power Core M processor. This seems a peculiar backwards step, altough it does provide for a longer battery life (up to 9 hours) and that über-thin design. Then there is this big controversy about ports... there's just one of them in the super slim device. Yes... one.
Check out the images below and decide whether this one could be for you... or if it's another major faux pas from the tech giant in the wake of mixed reviews for their latest luxury accessory, the Apple Watch.
With no mirrors, no clocks, and no obvious way out of most Vegas casinos, you could be forgiven for forgetting where on earth you are whilst vacationing in Sin City. However, French-American photographer Vincent LaForet does not suffer from such problems: He has captured this city — a burgeoning urban anomaly in the Nevada desert — in all its idiosyncratic glory, shooting from a helicopter at 9,000 feet up.
LaForet’s vision of the city looks like a neon-fueled architectural model: the miniature effect is created by the photographer’s tilt-shift lens, using selective focus to highlight certain details within the illuminated landscape. Very little post-production is required, with LaForet estimating he spend “30 to 60 seconds max” to color-correct each photograph in Adobe’s Lightroom application.
The results are surreal — the polychromatic sea of glistening lights is reminiscent of a futuristic computer chip, or the suburbs of a mega-metropolis from Steven Lisberger’s sci-fi epic Tron. Interestingly, the most beautiful images might actually be those that show a patchwork of streetlights and the subtle glow of houses far from the Strip — showing there is more to life in Vegas than that rich vein of casinos, restaurants, and five-star resorts.
With his striking set of images, LaForet is a rare species of Vegas tourist — he's managed to leave the city with more than when he arrived…
So, I'm frequently asked what makes me so ANGRY. The truth is, I'm not always in a rage... in fact, quite often I'm a veritable ball of sweetness and light! (Within reason of course, I am an architect after all...)
The infamous anger only really occurs only when I see architecture, design, engineering and project managing that is - how do I put this? - at the WRONG end of the intelligence spectrum. This includes everything from a dodgy door handle to an enormous, post-modern mess...
The question is: How can we reduce this source of face-palming frustration? By compiling a handy pamphlet for all concerned, succinctly named:
A QUICK GUIDE: HOW NOT TO ARCHITECT.
Watch this space for examples of what not to do, and feel free to contribute to the collection as you see fit, just send me your photos over on the official Facebook page... for the benefit and continuing professional development of us all, of course. You can thank me later.
The Angry Architect
ARTICLE 1: The Death Ramp.
ARTICLE 2: The Ramp To Nowhere.
ARTICLE 3: Air Conditioning.
ARTICLE 4: 'Security'.
ARTICLE 5: Post-Modernism.
ARTICLE 6: Suspended Ceilings.
ARTICLE 7: Elevators.
A major blunder in the architectural design of InTempo skyscraper towers in the Spanish eastern coastal village of Benidorm near Alicante allegedly left the building with lifts for the first 20 floors only. The remaining 27 floors are without elevators.
At 200 metres (650 ft) high, the InTempo apartment is expected to be Europe's tallest residential building when finished, according to the project's official website. InTempo was dreamed up in the decade-long building boom that saw new structures leap up across Spain in the late Nineties and early Noughties.
It was due to open in 2009, but now joins a series of white elephants that have been caused by the country's deep recession.
ARTICLE 8: Urban Lighting.
ARTICLE 9: Riverside Foundations.
At around 5:30am on June 27, an unoccupied building still under construction at Lianhuanan Road in the Minxing district of Shanghai city toppled over. One worker was killed. According to information, a 70 meter section of the flood prevention wall in nearby Dianpu River and that may have something to do with this building collapse. Ok, perhaps this one is on the engineers...
ARTICLE 10: Cozy Urinals.
Design is constantly contemplating the ways in which it can transcend time, reflecting the values of the current generation while suggesting possibilities for the future. In response, each building, product, and every other creation is an attempt to convey a pristine image, with innovative materials and unprecedented gestures that show no signs of aging. Providing more commentary on the subject, visual artist xavier delory has asked: ‘What remains of the utopias and the promises of a better future promised by the modern movement at the beginning of the 20th century?’ He then elaborates with a quote from ’toward a new architecture’: ’But let’s not kick a man when he’s down, every era carries its own burden, and let’s not spoil our pleasure of ‘the wise, correct and superb play of masses gathered under the light.’ With this mindset, delory has set out to begin what he calls a ‘pilgrimage on modernity’.
The photoshopped series of images are a tribute to architectural monuments around the world. The first stopover is ‘Villa Savoye’ and its creator Le Corbusier, one of the founding fathers of the modern movement. The iconic structure has been ransacked and vandalized. the ribbon windows that navigate its perimeter have been shattered, haphazard strokes of paint ornament its pilotis, and large pieces of graffiti cover its stark white free façade. The manipulations intend to make a statement about the ‘five points of architecture’, and in turn, highlight the death of modernity.
Images and info via: Design Boom
© 2020 The Angry Architect