Kultur och resor
House has taken possession of abandoned British military barracks in Tanglin Village in the midst of the lush jungle of Singapore. An extravagant restaurant with 8 multipurpose rooms for conferences, an outdoor as well as an indoor café, a whole storey with a Spa in 20 differently themed treatment rooms, and throughout an industrial loft-like feel with plenty of humor.
Leo Gullbring on 11th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice
Questions and Answers with Lebbeus Woods
What projects are you working on right now?
I'm doing a lot of writing. Particularly for my blog (on lebbeuswoods.net) but also what I call independent writing, meaning I have something to say, but no place to publish it yet.
Of course, as you might expect, I'm working on conceptual projects, several of which can be seen on my website, under the rubric 'current.'
Also, I've been working on a quite interesting architectural project, which I call Technological Knot, within the context of a major building project in China. I can't say much about it yet, because the project's architect (a prominent American) hasn't gotten the final go ahead. We'll see.
Architecture all too often look the same wherever we go around the world, square modernist boxes on the ground or in the sky. Malaysian-born Ken Yeang dare act local in a global world, considering architecture basically a shelter which has to contend with climate as a given immutable parameter. And with some 6 billion human being living in the Tropics, buildings has to be more energy efficient if the planet is going to survive. But instead of creating low-tec sustainable architecture Ken Yeang and his partner Tengku Robert Hamzah has opted for high-tec solutions sporting green skyscrapers. Among his recent works is the New National Library in Singapore, the Mewah Oil Hq, and the Malaysia Design Innovation Centre in Cyberjaya.
Zaha Hadid's extension to the Ordrupgaard museum north of Copenhagen presents itself as a soft almost live shape among the apple orchids in the quiet garden..
Zaha Hadid has achieved star-status after years of lectures and rejected competition entries. Now her architectural gems has grown out of the deconstructivist language she once promoted, and they are popping up everywhere. With the Pritzker Prize she has grown into the role as an imposing first lady of architecture. But is she really satisfied? Leo Gullbring met her at the eve of the inauguration of the extension of Ordrupgaard in Denmark..
The Mill house by Wingårdhs architects is quite a little gem right in the middle of Västra Karup, a sleepy village in the increasingly gentrified western countryside of southern Sweden..
Santiago Calatrava's latest skyscraper Turning Torso is almost finished. The gleaming white facade does it's solitary twists in the harbour area of Malmö, the third city in Sweden. The sculptural form of the 190 meter, 54 floors high building, is extraordinary and has almost convinced the local critics, although still sore about a bolting project cost raised to amazing ¤1,4 billion.
Vito Acconci's Mur Island
Always judge architecture by the toilet. It's there we're truly human, taking care of our fragile leaking bodies, trying to keep up appearance in the face of a supposedly eternal architecture. Vito Acconci's artificial islet in Austrian Graz is an exception though.
Klas Anshelm belonged to the same generation as Peter Celsing, Ralph Erskine and Carl Nyrén. But based in Lund, far from Stockholm, his rugged and at the same time caring modernism never got the same attention.
the Venice Architecture Biennale 2004
Models of curving, sprawling, morphing, dynamic, moving architecture alights along the darkly lit halls of the Corderie dell'Arsenale, the main thoroughfare of the ninth edition of the Venice Architecture Biennale. Appended on the dented brickwalls of this legendary ship-yard flares Kurt W.
The shadow of progress
Unintended or not, caused by the human factor, by sheer calculation, or by terrorists, accidents cast the inevitable shadow of contemporary society. In presenting works made by Tony Oursler, Cai Guo-Qiang, Nancy Rubin, and others, the French philosopher and architect Paul Virilio comments on 9.11 by evoking a museum of accidents at Fondation Cartier, in Paris. The question at heart is the covert fact that our faith in progress has mass-produced accidents and catastrophes as its unavoidable byproduct.
More than anything 9.11 was the beginning of the 21st century.
The attack on the World Trade Center saw the global explode in the midst of the local. To the terrorists the skyline of New York was an emblem of the evil empire. They targeted the vulnerability of a worldknown image and its engineering structure as the weakest spot in the fortress of the enemy, and with their attack turned architectural imagery into a weapon of mass destruction. This was the advent of a new kind of war using counting on the medial impact as the main vehicle of warfare. Since then the reading of the images has been of outmost importance.
In the last decade Sweden has experienced a surge in so called senior housing, apartments adopted for certain age spans, but without the harsh segregational pattern of the past. This new dwelling form might be seen as a revival of the ideals proposed in functionalist community housing of the 30s, but the utopia of today is more contended, a plain nostalgia for the old village of preindustrial times.
The Italian Cultural Institute in Stockholm by Gio Ponti, one of Italy's
most influential architects of the 20th century, was received by Swedish
architectural critics at its inauguration in the late '50s as an elegant
lady shoe, very beautiful, but perishable, apt to be outmoded by time'.
The reproval albeit the fascination, evidenced diverging ideas about
Modernism. Swedish architecture adhered to the International Style which
promoted abstract open-ended building designs. Gio Ponti's closed,
autonomous sculptural form, on the other hand, drew on a personal interpretation of
Neoclassicism as well as Modernism.
What do we want from a hotel? Should it contain the caressing safety of home? Or should it be a titillating adventurous expression of freedom? Or something completely different to the expected? The most common solution are too often neither nor, instead hotels looms forward as uninspiring dreary in a conformist way, anxious to appease and satisfy everyone out of a standard formula which in the end fits nobody. Nonetheless the hotel industry are producing more and more of so called design hotels where architecture and design is the crucial parameter in catering for a demanding hotel clientele.
Daniel Libeskind and the
A truly strange
museum is emerging amongst the shiny new bank palaces,
luxurious department stores and Prussian administration
buildings in Berlin. The silvery shape is all zig-zag, a
twisted, jagged Star of David made out of crispy brittle
zinc. It's impossible to contain it in one view, it folds
around itself, shying away, denying you a complete vision.
Daniel Libeskind's Jewish Museum is no whitish modernist
box, neither a deconstructivist mock-up. Architecture,
instead of the artifacts, narrates the story of the lost
soul of Berlin. Libeskind has achieved a singular
architectural statement with a voice strong enough to never
having us forget the Holocaust.
What is Swedish design? Forget
Ericsson, forget Volvo , forget IKEA. A mobile phone is just
a phone without a cord. A Volvo is just another car. And
when were IKEA lastly at the forefront of design anyway?
Swedish design as it best is not made by the big companies
or by official Sweden, but by young independent designers
like Thomas Sandell.
You slip into a cinema, leaving the blackish
grey city-walk, heavy doors closing behind you. Inside
you're welcomed by warm, attuned colours, getting your
ticket at the box. Lights fading, shadows moving over the
screen, searching for an empty seat. And under the
introductory titles, a flicker of a memory, the scene in
Jean-Jacques Beineix's Moon in the gutter, starring
Nastassja Kinski in a shiny red dress in a shiny red car,
Gérard Depardieu a heavily set dock worker, just
standing there in the dark but nevertheless overdone
stage-set, the uplit billboard an enticing exclamation mark:
'Try another world'. And you try it for two hours, once
again ready to dispute what life really is about. And sure
enough, going to the movies, leaving the trite everyday
behind you, triggers your dreams: yes, you wanted something
more, and you'll do it, sure as hell!
Peter Zumthor has acquired quite
some fame during the last years. But his architecture is all
but superficial and fashionable. Wrongly classified as a
Swiss minimalist and regionalist, his main concern is a
phenomenologist search for how we experience space and how
we perceive material reality. Light, smell, touch and
hearing are key elements in all his work and is handled with
a stunning imagination as well as technical innovation.
Ideals in urban design -
value of ideals
In connection with the arrangement of the international
urban competition for University College of Malmö on
Universitetsholmen a conference was organized the 25th april
1997 by Juul & Frost, Copenhagen, in cooperation with
the Organising Committee for Malmö University College
and City Planning Office, Malmö. The purpose was to
discuss the university as a phenomenon in relation to the
city, to the landscape, in relation to the tradition of the
university, and to the common cultural and social challenge.
In particular the intention was to inspire to a discussion
about the university of the future in an urban context. The
University College of Malmö is expected to turn into an
active partner in the urban discussion about the future of
Malmö as well as the future expansion of the city. Seen
as an urban turning point, architectonically, socially,
culturally and educationally the future development will
create a challenge in relation to urban design, landscape,
architecture and planning.
Things move fast in Norway. Only fifty years ago Oslo celebrated its 900th anniversary, and then this very year it is time for the 1000-year Jubilee. The same queer relationship to time is mirrored in how fast the country has been in adopting new architectural paradigms in vogue. Along the streets of Oslo you find beautiful examples of classicism, of romanticism mingling with clear-cut artifacts of early modernism and functionalism. The reason is that Norway, formerly ruled by Danes and then Swedes until a mere hundred years ago, got their own architectural education as late as the second decade of the last century. When the new movements hit Norway, they subsequently met with no resistance. The most exhilarating place might be the House of the Artists from the 20s. The interesting blend of neoclassicism and functionalism stems from two winning entries showing both the old and the new style in the publicly announced architectural competition by architects Blakstad and Munthe-Kaas, both projects were pertinent to the final design.
Architecture isnt what it once was. Permuted by media, at the crossroads with all kind of cultures, the distinction between interior and exterior is obsolete. The buildings of the future are crossbreeds of repetition and difference. Leo Gullbring has met with Neil Denari, one of the original transarchitects.
Is there an invisible architecture out there, waiting to be discovered, waiting to be made? And is there also a bunch of invisible aliens waiting to be unleashed, Mary Shelleys worst fears coming true? As a leading proponent of cyberarchitecture, Marcos Novaks doesnt hesitate, his goal is to cast the VR in the real world. Thereby he claims that the Modern Project has come to an end, the aim of architecture isnt merely the projecting of space and light, but the organising of information.
Snøhetta has emerged as one of the most promising young architectural offices in Norway. In winning the competition for a new library in Alexandria, Egypt, more than ten years ago, not only did they get a head-start, they also reinvigorated the status of Norwegian design on the international architectural scene. Recently theyve succeeded again, this time for their design of the new Opera in Oslo.
© 2008 Calimero