Architecture

Interactive Portals at LAX.

Public Art can be a hit or miss endeavor. More often than not it misses the mark for one reason or another, be it budgets, design by committee, to many cooks in the kitchen, what ever. Occasionally though it ends up being pretty impressive and true to the need of the commissioning group and the artists themselves.

Recently Los Angeles International Airport installed a series of large-scale, permanent public multimedia installations in the Tom Bradley terminal. The works were designed to enhance the spacial experience of travelers by bringing the architecture to life through the media features of the installations. Designed by Moment Factory the 16 unique responsive digital artworks are built to react to passenger movements with audio, video, sound effects and music being served up real-time in the space. I can’t wait until I fly in or out of LAX again so I can see these in person.

Cabins

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Cabins / Huts is a new book from Taschen that combines beautiful photography, illustration by Marie-Laure Cruschi, and insightful text about the idea of what a small refuge building is. I absolutely love the style of the illustrations, which remind me of classic Charlie Harper works.

Over the past decade, as our material existence and environmental footprint has grown exponentially, architects around the globe have become particularly interested in the possibilities of the minimal, low-impact, and isolated home.

This book explores how this particular architectural type presents special opportunities for creative thinking and showcases some of the most inventive and forward-looking contemporary architecture today. The book features works by Renzo Piano, Terunobu Fujimori, Tom Kundig and many fresh young professionals all embracing such distilled sanctuary spaces.

The cabins selected for this publication emphasize the variety of the genre, both in terms of usage and geography. From an artist studio on the Suffolk coast in England to eco-home huts in the Western Ghats region of India, this survey is as exciting in its international reach as it is in its array of briefs, clients, and situations.

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Digital Grotesque. Printed Architecture from Sand.

This is probably one of the coolest things I have seen done with a 3D printer in a while. Digital Grotesque is a human scale fully immersive enclosed structure that was completely printed out of sand using a 3D printer. The structure measures 172 square feet in size, and creates a fictive narrative space that is less concerned with functionality than with the expressive formal potentials of digital technologies.

Designed by Michael Hansmeyer, and Benjamin Dillenburger every aspect of this architecture is composed by custom-designed algorithms to create a form that appears at once synthetic and organic. The design process thus strikes a delicate balance between the expected and the unexpected, between control and relinquishment.

Architects:
Michael Hansmeyer
Benjamin Dillenburger

Partners and Sponsors:
• Chair for CAAD, Prof. Hovestadt, ETH Zurich
• Department of Architecture, ETH Zurich
• voxeljet AG
• FRAC Centre
• Strobel Quarzsand GmbH
• Pro Helvetia

Research for the Digital Grotesque project was carried out at the Chair for CAAD at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. All components were printed by voxeljet AG. The first part of Digital Grotesque is a commission by FRAC Centre for its permanent collection.

Fabrication Team:
Maria Smigielska, Miro Eichelberger, Yuko Ishizu, Jeanne Wellinger, Tihomir Janjusevic, Nicolás Miranda Turu, Evi Xexaki, Akihiko Tanigaito

Video & Photo:
Demetris Shammas, Achilleas Xydis

Paris Kabbinet from Septembre.

A little over six months ago my wife and I made a very conscious choice to downsize my living space by moving from just under 2000 square feet of modern expanse into 1000 square feet of urban loft. I’m still getting use to the reduced footprint and the challenges that come with it. One thing I do know is, it requires a much more minimal lifestyle, and you use every inch of your space. There is no room for clutter, or things you don’t use. This is why I can appreciate the Kabbinet project from Septembre Architecture. This 85 square meter apartment (approximately 915 square feet) features smart built in furniture that functions as seating as well as storage.

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The former manufacturing workshop in a Parisian alley uses the multifunctional wooden cabinetry to line the perimeter of the space opening up the central living area to create a sense of larger volume. High end finishes and a simple black and white color pallet help make the small space feel larger and exaggerate the feeling of luxury living in a small footprint.

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36 Cities, 21 Countries, 90 Nights.

I love traveling to Europe. I’ve been a number of times, and would go back in a heart beat given the opportunity. I was supposed to go to Italy earlier this year, but with the move and a couple of other things that trip has been postponed. The video below, by Luke Shepard is a tribute to some of Europe’s greatest architecture. The time lapse footage was shot in 36 cities across 21 countries over the course of 3 months. It really is a pretty stunning piece of work. The shots almost have a 3D quality to them, which is a testament to Shepard’s talents as a photographer.

Chicago. Five Great Buildings.

Here is a nice little animated short that features five iconic pieces of architecture from the Chicago skyline. Designed and animated by Al Boardman, this minute and a half video put a smile on my face. The animation features great timing, a subtle yet effective color pallet, a simple illustration style, and nothing to take away from the form and detail of what makes the building standout in the Chicago skyline.

A Modern Tree House, by Chris Tate

At a period in time when the average size of an American home is right around 3000 square feet, it’s nice to see other parts of the world still think modest. Or at least some architects still think modest. I’ve never understood the need for a massive house with tons of unneeded, unused, space. Modular 4 was just under 1500 square feet. My current loft is a mere 1000. That is one of the reasons I really like this modular glass home in New Zealand by Architect Chris Tate.

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This house is not large. If you look at the photos and the schematic, I would say this space is between 1200 and 1500 square feet at most. The house feels huge though, thanks to the copious amounts of glazing that literally blend the dwelling into the surrounding forest. The interior and exterior spaces fold together where the structure is perched in the branches of the densely forested hills of Auckland’s suburb of Titirangi.

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I like the small footprint of the home, but I love the clean minimal lines. The limited color pallet, and the fact that the structure forces the occupant to live with less. From every angle of the interior, you are surrounded by dense green foliage. The forest becomes an ever changing backdrop. Even the bedroom which is isolated at the opposite end of the main living area offers a panoramic view of the world outside. This is definitely a place that I could call home.

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Photos: Patrick Reynolds