Architecture

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

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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

Light it Up With Astrofire.

I have a friend that is always looking for a simple modern fire pit for his house’s smaller patio. Something that matches his mid-century modern aesthetic. For the most part it has been pretty hard for him to find anything that doesn’t look ultra contemporary, or rustic. He is in luck however. Modfire introduced Astrofire during Modernism Week in Palm Springs, and I think this might fit the bill.

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Designed by Brandon Williams Astrofire, the newest addition to the Modfire family. This is a sleek modern design with a nod to mid-century modernism. Like all of Modfire products, it features quality design and top end materials. Astrofire is manufactured from 14 gauge steel, and hand-rolled into a wide conical shape which attaches to a ¼”plate steel base with sleek tapered legs.

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At 34” in diameter and 17” tall it is compact, but still has room for a spacious 22” wide firebox capable of burning full size logs. Astrofire is also available with propane or natural gas burners, using a  125,000 BTU stainless star burner guaranteed to keep you warm  on even the coldest evenings.

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I kind of wish I had a space big enough to set one of these because I love the look of it. It comes in a range of bright colors ( Tangerine, Maraschino, Azure Avocado, Ultra-Lounge White, Charcoal, and Aqualuxe ) and it has such sleek lines. At $1450.00 it isn’t cheap, but the quality of the materials and build mean it’s going to last long enough for you to get your money’s worth.

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Live-Work Space from John Dwyer.

For the last 3 and a half years I have lived in a fairly small house by most American standards. Modular 4 was just over 1500 square feet. About three weeks ago we moved and downsized even more to a loft that is right at 1000 square feet in size. Moving into a small space puts a lot of things in perspective, and makes you rethink what you actually need, and what is important in your life.

The first floor of our building is designated for commercial space, promoting a work/live environment for the building. This is something that I can totally get behind. The space is zoned for commercial use, but regulated by the HOA so no restaurant, bar, or other late night business can go in.

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This morning while looking for similar buildings online I came across Minneapolis architect John Dwyer’s Live/Work space. This small building houses a living environment upstairs, and office space below. Judging from the photos I would be willing to bet that each space is around 1000 to 1200 square feet in size. I can relate to the aesthetic shown here. Minimal amounts of objects and artifacts are seen in the rooms. Furniture is clean and space-saving like the Eames compact sofa that divides the living room from the dining room. The fundamental shape of the 1920’s era structure has been reduced to a minimal form modernizing it. Large windows flood the space with light making it feel more open and spacious.  I think could get used to living and working in a space like this.

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