Steilneset Memorial, Peter Zumthor & Louise Bourgeois
The Steilneset Memorial is composed of two pieces- one completely by Peter Zumthor, the other an exhibit by the late Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010), within a structure by Zumthor, the Steilneset Memorial in Vardø, Norway is a tribute to the dark, early 17th century and it’s witch hunts. In total, 135 individuals were indicted for the crime of sorcery (it’s never as much fun in the real world), of which 91 were convicted. The Zumthor structure is a suspended fabric cocoon, hung within a pine scaffolding. Within, a long hallway is host to 91 hanging lightbulbs behind 91 windows, paying homage to the needlessly lost souls. More images here on Dezeen
Serpentine Gallery Pavilion: Herzog and De Meuron & Ai Weiwei
The Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has collaborated with Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, designers of the Tate Modern, to create this year's summer pavilion at London's Serpentine Gallery. A thin steel tank pond provides a roof for a conceptual archaeological dig of previous summer pavilions comprising cork ramps, cork flooring and cork seats. The smell must be incredible! Ai Weiwei, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron
The Balance Between the Natural & the Man Made
Fascinating conversation with Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura. He talks about the natural and man made world and discusses sustainability beyond the life cycle of buildings. For me architecture is a global issue. There is no ecological architecture, no intelligent architecture, no fascist architecture, no sustainable architecture – there is only good and bad architecture. There are always problems we must not neglect; for example energy, resources, costs, social aspects – one must always pay attention to all these."
Minus K House, Shanghai
It is refreshing to see work in China that does not allude to a generic western perspective and deals with Chines culture and its collective memory. This house by the Foreign firm KUU in Shanghai, is 170 m2 and is designed as a duplex composed of a normal dwelling for the family of a worker combined with a weekend house for the owner of a slipper factory. It is located in the compound of the firm's warehouse. The location seems already odd, and so does the program. The designers based their layout on 19 squares, each three by three meters, to form an irregular grid. This recalls the experience normal Chinese people had until recently with shared kitchen, bathroom or communal courtyards and semi public collective neighbourhood streets. But in contrast to the forced arrangement by shortage of housing, in this case a choice is offered which creates an opportunity for communication in a cultured way. More images.
Thomas Heatherwick talks to an Audience
Architect and designer Thomas Heatherwick talks to an audience about his work and inspiration – extraordinary. Have a look at the kissing bridge about 4.5 min in. The studio's work draws on ideas gleaned from art, film and popular culture, creating work with strong materiality and intrigue. Thomas comes from a background of "crafting" small objects and uses this as a starting point for the making of large buildings. The image to the right shows the British Pavilion at Expo 2010.
Steven Holl, Sliced Prosperity Block
'Sliced Porosity Block' In chengdu China with its sun sliced geometry resulting from minimum daylight exposures to the surrounding urban fabric prescribed by code. A great urban terrace on the scale of Rockefeller Center with a multi-level plaza in the center of the complex, sculpted by stone steps, ramps, trees, and ponds and caters to special events or to a casual afternoon in the sun. The three generous ponds on the plaza are inspired by a poem by Du Fu (713-770), in which he describes how 'Time has left stranded in Three Valleys'. (Du Fu was one of ancient China's most important poets, who spent a part of his life in Chengdu). Construction shots at Steven Holl's website.
Olfur Eliasson façade for Harpa Reykjavik Concert Hall
An Interview With Olafur Eliasson, On Crossing Between Art And Architecture: "The thing is, I think that our relationship with natural light is cultural, one could make the mistake, as many modern architects have done, to think of natural light as something of essentialistic or universal qualities. Of course, I think natural lights are full of incredible qualities, but you have to be careful of making rules on behalf of others with regards of how to make relevance of natural light. I think this was one of the great modern mistakes. So what I’m interested in when using artificial light in my work is the potential of singularity in the experience, and based on that, I do think that one can, it’s a lot of ideas about collectivity as well, but I do think that our relationship to natural light is artificial, it is cultural, it is not something we are born with. This is why people in Iceland have a different relationship to light than people in Sicily...." more