If you’re looking for a fun place to hang out and interact with data (and who isn’t?) try the Teton County Library in Jackson, Wyoming. The library has a new addition built by Gilday Architects. And inside the new entrance lobby, you’ll find a stunning installation created by E/B Office. The New York-based practice has filled the lobby with five miles of fiber optic cable cut into a thousand segments.
On the south side of Melbourne, designer Ryan Russell of Russell & George has recently completed a bright, playful space for Australian bag maker Crumpler, their twelfth store in Australia. What immediately makes the store stand out is the grid of fluorescent lights that defines the ceiling and moves down the walls of the retail space. The lights are big, looking almost like the largest and most fragile K’Nex project you’ve ever seen.
Even if they weren’t your favorite, you may have spent a portion of your childhood building things out of blocks. I loved playing with the blocks at school because they were huge; I could stack the pieces into symmetrical piles half my height and stomp around the mess durring recess. Sadly, at home I was relegated to playing with lincoln logs or Legos, neither of which are any fun to stomp on with bare feet. As it turns out, some architects grow up and never stop playing with blocks. Instead, when these architects start to work/play, the result becomes more complex than anything I made when I was little and their building blocks become much more expensive. But not always.
Here are two recent works by the Dutch firm MVRDV. To me, most of the firm’s work can appear blocky at times, but these tall white towers made for an exhibition in Cannes are especially blocky because they are made from white legos. The exhibition is called Porous City and these towers (which were made with help from the Why Factory) are investigations about how to break up the solid mass of a skyscraper. These legos are the building blocks that aren’t so expensive.
The internet is being awfully funny today, with all the joke stuff and tomfoolery, but this proposal by Atelier Zündel Cristea to turn the old Battersea Power Station in South West London into an amusement park is no April Fool’s joke. But is architecture all that amusing to the general public? This week, we’ll be looking at projects that are particularly playful and exuberant, so it make sense to start at an abandoned power station, right?
I’ve spent the last several hours watching two dozen or so videos from the Creators Project, and I regret nothing. The videos are great, highlighting work created by some embarrassingly talented folks. One of the newest videos is focused on the light installation on the San Francisco Bay Bridge that Bobby wrote about last week, and another one I particularly like focuses on the work of Aranda\Lasch.
Lead by Benjamin Aranda and Christopher Lasch, the architecture firm has built a body of work along the boundaries of what most would call architecture, spilling over into a kind of computer and fabrication science where the firm experiments with ideas about everything from crystals to infinity. While their website is molting into something new, the two are pointing the curious to their flickr account. There, you can find more pictures (like the ones above) of an excellent project featured in the aforementioned video: a set for the band yeasayer. If you’re unfamiliar with the band, they are bueno and I added one of their songs to the TFIB March Playlist so you can take a listen.
As the more pale areas of the country are experiencing near-record low temperatures, I’m pretending it’s summer all week long. We started the week looking at a warm and modern lake house and yesterday saw iterations on the theme of a pool house. Today we’re looking at a rusty surf shack.
Amsterdam-based NL Architects have recently shared three versions of a project designed for a Canadian entrepreneur on the beach in Florida. If this seems like a strange mix of characters and settings to you, you’re not alone. The collaboration is not a product of rampant globalization, but one of logic. First, pools in Canada are frozen solid year round* so a beach house with a habitable pool had to be built elsewhere. Second, who, other than a Canadian, would scour architecture firms around the world, searching for the firm best equipped to build a nearly tropical beach house and decide to go with a firm in the Netherlands?
Every time I start packing away the winter sweaters and coats, a long string of cold days shows up on the forecast and I start to hate the axis of the earth for not tilting toward the sun more quickly. Days are getting longer (at least for those of us in the northern hemisphere) but as close as summer seems to be, there is still too much snow on the ground for too many of us. 2013 is just another year that the groundhog lied to us all.
So I’ve been flipping through projects trying to find some that look summerish even if I’m not sure why seem that way. Counterintuitively, we’re starting in Michigan with a tall, skinny cabin that is probably absolutely miserable right now, so let’s just pretend that it’s summer. The Glen Lake Tower is a cabin on Glen Lake where Balance Associates Architects worked with the owners to come up with a warm and modern abode that hoisted off the ground to accomodate a covered parking area.