The Barcelona-based illustrator responsible for Archicine and Archipixel, Federico Babina, has created a whimsical alphabet in the style of 26 particularly inspiring architects. For Archibet, Babina modeled each letter after an architect with that shared initial. The Guggenheim wraps around a leg of "W" (is for Wright); wood and colorful panels form a grid in the shape of an "E" (for Eames). The references are as diverse as the architectures, but Babina's style beams overall as colorful, retro, almost Saul Bass-ish.
Seeing the alphabet all together as a composite "Archibet City" is another surreal treat, and a snapshot of architectural history.
You can check out the rest of the Archibet and all of Federico Babina's work here: http://federicobabina.com/
From the architect. With Roc Cube we reached the end of a cycle, the renovation of three, very similar, but different apartments on a single building in Barcelona’s gothic quarter.
We were recently advised that in times of economic crisis, as architects, we had to look for a formula to obtain products with scalability to optimize our resources. We understood that a product with scalability was the repetition of valid solutions from one project to the other, a difficult approach within the refurbishment industry.
In the midst of that search for a common denominator the opportunity to rehabilitate Roc Cubearrived- another diamond in the rough on the very same building where we had done two previous interventions: Casa Roc and Twin House.
We approached the project thinking that we could apply the same parameters as in Twin House due to the fact that it was a very similar apartment in terms of dimensions, orientation and pre-set requirements. This meant placing the daytime space towards the street, the bedroom towards the interior courtyard, and placing the kitchen and bathroom against the median wall in the form of a humid strip.
What seemed obvious, however, was not possible due to the fact that the sanitary drainpipe changed its position on this apartment from the one in Twin House, so we had to look for a new solution for placing the bathroom.
We thought it correct to once again incorporate the washbasin in the bedroom to make a better use of natural light and to enlarge the sensation of open space. This time we separated it from the rest of the room with a low wall and suspended iron cubes that allow storage from both sides. These same cubes were also used to create night tables and extra storage space for recipe books and utensils in the kitchen.
The shower and water closet have independent entries, but can be closed using a single sliding door, a solution first use don Casa Roc. The water closet can also be accessed from the main entry through a second door, which gives the option of guests using this space without having to enter the bedroom. This way, boundaries were set between one space and the other without creating a visual barrier.
The building’s structure and closings are very irregular, so we introduced lineal elements that counterpoint these irregularities and set order within the space. Amongst these elements are a close hanger that integrates lighting (borrowed from Twin House) and connects itself with the support of the suspended cubes and the sliding door’s guide. Wood was used to set limits on the pavement which regulates the traces of the previously existing partition walls. This was also synthetized on the living room lamp.
Roc Cube was about applying new ideas to new challenges, but maintaining the spirit behind Casa Roc and Twin House in which we searched for the original spirit of the building and subtlely intervened to achieve today’s levels of comfort while harmonizing with the building’s history.
The project is about testing the possibilities that ultimately arise with a collapse Iceland has
seen. The modern ideological system which governed Iceland in every way has failed and
Iceland is now about actualizing opportunities, not admiring false visions. How do designers
navigate within this new reality? Are we going to look backwards and let the future
happen or are we going to fi nd a way to navigate forward using what we have at hand? DIY
Reykjavik pavilion is about political controversy, new economy, new technology and community
to ask questions about Iceland’s future.
Initiated, designed and constructed by Shift members along with family and friends the
spring of 2009. The project was based on free contributions of building material importer,
who after economic collapse ended up with full a warehouse of returned products. The
pavilion consists of 1000 different triangles, folded and riveted together with 7000 aluminum
After submitting "En Pointe" to the Europan 12 Austria competition, The Open Workshop + Lorena Del Rio Architects team placed as a Runner-Up in a three-way tie for the Kagran site (In other words, a "Winner" title wasn't given.) "En Pointe" uses the arcade concept and hybrid, multi-functional spaces to improve Kagran's connectivity and potentially enhance the city at an architectural and urban level.
Here's a preview of their project:
Roedig Schop - A52/Ten in One, Berlin 2005. This multi-unit project is an earlier example of “baugruppen,” in which individuals group together to collectively fiance and construct the project, cutting out the developer/excessive profit to create a well designed affordable housing model. See a video on this particular project, and BFC’s comprehensive explanation and examination of the baugruppen (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). Photos (C) Stefan Muller, Gianni Plescia.
Anyone seeking relief from winter’s chill should warm up to the exuberant textile designs of Josef Frank, the great architect, artist and designer who blithely dispels any notions of Nordic design as all geometry and restraint. Frank was Austrian by birth, but Swedish by choice, and, well, lucky Sweden, we say. Frank’s nature-inspired illustrations—leaves and lemons, birds and butterflies, most created in the 1930′s and 1940′s for the Stockholm interior design company Svenskt Tenn—are jubilant, highly saturated confections of stylized repeat patterns and complex visual narratives. Still produced by Svenskt Tenn, Josef Frank fabric motifs remain amongst the most recognizable and coveted of Scandinavian textiles, and no wonder. It’s hard to imagine a more joyful antidote to those long northern winters.
Tom Dixon takes functionality to a new level with his travel-themed collection that allows the wearer to to spend a week away from home with just one travel bag and the clothing it contains—kind of like a stylish survival kit. Each piece was designed with this pragmatic inspiration in mind, rooted in the designer’s real life tribulations in international travel (specifically one night when Dixon could not find a hotel room and had to sleep outside on a public, park bench).
The assortment’s convertible properties also speak to how hectic our lives can be—how we can jump from work to play in a moment’s notice and how, therefore, today’s clothing and accessories need to adapt to suit these sometimes sudden shifts.
As a result, padded parkas convert into full-on sleeping bags; ultra light hoodies fold and zip up into themselves for easy travel and transport; and luggage works double duty, with, for example, backpacks transforming into garment bags.
Architects: Robert Maschke Architects
Location: Cleveland, OH, USA
Design Team: Robert Maschke, FAIA, Marc Manack, AIA, Charlie Able, Charles Chambers, Matt Lindsay, Katarina Striezova, Kurt Weaver, AIA
Structural Engineer: I.A. Lewin, P.E. and Associates
Landscape Architect And Civil Engineer: Environmental Design Group
Mep Engineer: Denk Associates, Inc
Area: 3761.0 sqm
Photographs: Eric Hanson
From the architect. C-House is one of three urban villas comprising the Residences of King’s Hill, a unique residential development located on Cleveland’s near west side. Despite being situated within the urban context of the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood, this “virgin” site provides an idyllic enclave within a park-like setting, adjacent to the site’s eastern and southern boundaries. Uninterrupted views of Lake Erie, Cleveland’s downtown and industrial flats, as well as the site’s proximity to a busy vehicular thoroughfare reconnect the site to its urban environment.
The architecture of the C-House capitalizes on the inherent contrasts embedded in the site. Program is stacked giving all living spaces access to dramatic views. This sectional strategy produces a cantilever whose effect is not only formal intrigue, but provides shelter for the exterior space below. Fenestration is arranged opportunistically to frame views. The resulting composition differs in opacity at each elevation suggesting a varied outward disposition to its surroundings.
Nested into the hillside, the monolithic form and white materiality of the C-House are utilized to give the architecture with a sense of otherness from the landscape. The presence of the C-House elicits a substantive and billboard-like quality to the architecture, an unexpected and iconic presence for commuters between Cleveland’s downtown and western suburbs.
I foresee that major urban spaces of Pyongyang, such as Kim Il Sung Square, will be used as “public” space with a greater variety of urban activities, such as commercial activities and show events. [...] The last thing that may happen in North Korea, or the thing that should not happen in some sense, is the Chinese model. Considering the scale of the economy and the potential of the North Korean market compared to China, it is hard to picture radical and massive urban development in Pyongyang.
Part two of NK News' interview with Dongwoo Yim pushes the discussion of North Korean urbanism into the future, comparing potential development methods to those seen in China and South Korea. Focusing on capital Pyongyang, Yim proposes a "Bilbao effect" development strategy that is heavy on catalytic architecture, and soft on strategy -- Pyongyang has very strict development restrictions that keep it from expanding, and will not be remodeling its mass-demonstration public spaces anytime soon.
Yim suggests that those spaces can be relevant in a post-dictatorship North Korea, and that they should be re-appropriated rather than razed for their history. How a hypothetical reunification with South Korea would look depends on how North Korean statehood is interpreted, as either autonomous or an infringement on South Korean land. But the prevailing lesson in Yim's interview is that Pyongyang is not going to be another Seoul, Guangzhou or Shenzhen, and will ultimately have to rely on it...
Do you remember our post on the world’s first 3D printed Canal House in Amsterdam? Well, if that project was estimated to be completed in a matter of months- an impressive achievement- a new 3D printer is being planned as we speak, with the purpose of building a house in less than 24 hours. The master mind behind this impressive goal is Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis from The University of Southern California. According to MSN.com, the Professor has designed an ingenious robot that comes equipped with a nozzle, able to spew out concrete and can build a house based on a computer pattern.
The technology is known as Contour Crafting and has a major potential in the construction industry. Moreover, the innovation could lower the cost of house construction, making it possible for more people to own a home: “At the dawn of the 21st century [slums] are the condition of shelter for nearly one billion people in our world”, says Khoshnevis, This new system could turn things around for the better. The idea is taken even further: “Contour Crafting technology has the potential to build safe, reliable, and affordable lunar and Martian structures, habitats, laboratories, and other facilities before the arrival of human beings“. Have a look at the video at the end of the post for more details on this discovery and tell us what you think!
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