Is it just me, or have automobile museums been enjoying a surge in popularity? Fancy, European places got the first automobile museums dedicated to luxury brands like Mercedes and BMW. At first I thought the trend was just a friendly (albeit expensive) competition among the european luxury brands. Now, even the U.S. has opened its own automobile museum dedicated not to Ford or GM, but to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Back in fancy Europe, the National Automobile Museum has opened an addition designed by Cino Zucchi.
Imagine that the new project resurfaces the old one, adding new bits and pieces of infrastructure under a wall of glass that rounds the corners the way a car might: making curves. The glass is fritted to have these difference transparencies so that when the project is lit at night, an traces of hierarchy dissolve into an undulating ribbon punctuated at random by brighter lights. It’s almost frenetic. Inside, the newly-enclosed courtyard uses the wavy walls to a different effect, making a space much more calm than the exterior.
This project accommodates a wide array of functions, everything from skateboarding to tightrope walking, but what exactly is it? It seems a bit inarticulate to call a project like the Merida Factory Youth Movement by Selgas Cano a building, because, even though it is built, it does much more than act as single building. Maybe it’s better to call it a constructed body covered by a luminous canopy, or an assemblage of programmatic volumes without air conditioning. Whatever we call it, the kids in Merida, Spain are lucky to have such a great-looking place to assemble, skate and tightrope walk. The architects are also lucky to have Iwan Baan photograph the space and make it look as great as it does. Not that they need help! It’s just that his photos are always excellent.
I’ll admit to being more that a little biased when it comes to the work of JDS Architects: I used to work there. However, this didn’t keep me from finding the firm’s old website obnoxious and cumbersome. Gladly, the firm has a refreshing new website that is easy to navigate, stuffed full of shiny new projects and keeps with the attitude of the firm’s work. To accompany the launch of the new website, JDS has made an introductory video about the firm. The pictures above the video here are all from the newer projects posted on the updated site.
In keeping with the firm’s presentation style, I feel urged to simply instruct you. 1: Click Here. 2: View Projects 3: Enjoy.
This building both amazes and terrifies me. I mean, it’s a beautiful building, and the structure is extremely creative, but it’s also a 10-story mall, which is absolutely ridiculous, that’s the last thing anyone needs. That said, maybe it’s a new kind of mall? Here’s how a designer from UN Studio, the architects behind this project, describe the building:
“The department store is no longer solely a commercial space, it now offers the architect the opportunity to build upon and expand the social and cultural experience of the visitor. If today we are seeing the museum as a supermarket, then we are also now seeing the department store as a museum.”
So really the intention is to shift the idea of what a mall can be to perhaps be something else entirely? It’s a really interesting concept for sure, but I wonder if people will view it as such, and if they do, how does someone managing a place like this make that happen? It’s almost like they’d have to put a bunch of psychologists in a room with a bunch of environmental designers to make the magic happen. If you’d like to see more photos of the building, you should click here.
Found through KNSTRCT
Yes, yes: a second section of The High Line opened recently in Manhattan. It’s lovely! It’s the extension of an innovative, urban park. It’s impossible to copy other places. My favorite part of the second bit happens to be this sculpture by Sarah Sze. On either side of the walkway, these forced perspective grids rise, dotted with wooden and steel structures. These structures not only play off the urban environment that make up their backdrop, but provide shelter to the wild animals that make the High Line home.