Charrettes are nothing new to architects. In fact, the term (which describes a quick design challenge) comes from 19th century architecture students studying at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts who would work on their project to the very last second. Literally, they would continue to work on their projects even as those projects were being wheeled off to be displayed and out of the rooms on en charrette- the cart. But we’re not in France during this video, we’re farther East.
This video documents a 72 hour architecture competition in Israel. During that competition- er festival (their word), 10 teams intervened in public spaces producing a variety of solutions to two problems: the first problem had architectural solutions and the second set of solutions answered the question “how many different ways are there to style a pair of bright orange overalls?” You may not be crazy about the individual results (to either problem) but it certainly looked like a good time.
The pace of architecture usually seems glacial, but I’m sure for these participants the cart was moving way too fast. Some of these speedily set-up structures may not be too sturdy, but the point wasn’t to build lasting monuments. As far as I can tell, the point was to spark ideas. And to engage the public, and students alike, into thinking about how physical structures can rehabilitate dysfunctional public spaces. Quickly.
But they still kind of look like stylish prisoners.
Sooner Or Later it All Comes Down, such a perfectly apt title for such a rad installation. It was constructed by the folks over at Via Grafik, a graphic design studio and an art collective based in Wiesbaden, Germany. They honestly do it all, but this installation in particular definitely stuck out to me, and felt like it tied in nicely with the Ijburg House in the previous post. You know how people like to create those crazy videos where shapes blow up and spread and move to music? That’s what this seems like to me, but in real life. It’s got such a great sense of motion to it, like it really could come crashing down at any moment.
This isn’t a bad thing, but it looks like it was fairly simple to implement, and that with enough time and care you could even do something like this yourself. I’m also really glad that they actually, physically made this. It makes me want to go out and try and make a giant installation in a field. Be sure to check out the rest of their work for more inspiring projects.
For a little while now I’ve been thinking about the phrase, “Do happy people live in black houses?”, which is a silly question, but I feel like there’s something there. A lot of people connotate the color black with darkness or death, while some of us (myself included) think of things that are sleek and contemporary. So when you have a home that’s painted black, it seems a bit out of the norm, at least from an American perspective. But that’s part of why I love this house by Marc Koehler, called the Ijburg House. It might be black but it’s got such amazing textures on it and it’s huge windows make it feel open and completely inviting. It almost looks more like a monument than a house, or a large sculpture that people just happen to live in. But when you look inside you can see there’s tons of storage and counter space, it seems like a perfect place for a family of creatives to occupy. I’d totally live in this house in a heartbeat.
Images of Peter Zumthor’s design for the 2011 Serpentine Pavilion have been released and it looks like this year’s pavilion will not look like ones from the past when it’s built this summer in Hyde Park. For starters, Zumthor’s pavilion is introverted, inviting people to sit around in a garden, inside a garden, and take a break from the hectic city. The pavilion is dark and heavy-looking, although the actual construction will be lightweight: “The 2011 Pavilion will be constructed of a lightweight timber frame wrapped with scrim and coated with a black paste mixed with sand.” There’s often something surprising about the materiality that Zumthor uses, something low tech and earthy. For instance this chapel he designed formed interior space by burning logs in cast concrete. The floor is poured lead.
Even though I’m not super crazy about the renderings (mostly b, I’m looking forward to seeing the results; I’ll post new images of the pavilion as they become available.
The politics of architecture materializing into buildings can be murky. This foggy terrain spans moods and motives, but any project lucky enough to find itself in this tricky territory is there because someone wanted it built badly enough to push it there. I was reminded of then when I saw images of Gigi Scaria’s work on designboom and looked at a bit more of his work.
According to the brief blurb under the top image, “Scaria’s work explores the impact of the recent growth boom in the cities of his home country” India. More broadly, I think you could say his work is about how the built environment affects social structures. The top image looks like a delightful pop-up book at first, but after looking at more of his work, it looks slightly more cramped and disorganized to me… just rendered pristinely and without people. The lower image is probably one of my favorites. It’s humorous to see a habitable Trojan Horse, but it’s also an overt statement that buildings are used as political tools.
If buildings are machines for living in, I hope I don’t live in a bulldozer.