Posts Tagged ‘design’

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Impressions of an Electric Car Driver

May 24, 2018

When I posted my little musical interlude a couple of months ago, it wasn’t just a random whim – I’d received my invite to configure my Tesla Model 3.  A few weeks later, I got the call to come and pick it up.  It’s the only thing I ever stood in line for to pre-order, plunking money down in a sort of ultra-Kickstarter production wait deal.  And thus far, it’s been totally worth it. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Architecture Monday

May 21, 2018

Just saw that Hiroshi Sambuichi won the 2018 “Daylight Award.”  Ok, somewhat odd sounding award to win, natch, but his work is a beaut and does indeed do some lovely — and quite stunning — things with light and views.  I spoke of his building that I visited on Naoshima Island here, indeed making note of the qualities of light that were present.

Every picture above makes me want to visit and explore each of the buildings in detail.  The angled frames crossing a path with light at the end of a dark corridor?  What is it?  Where does it lead?  I can feel the experience of the space just from the photo.  Or feel the serenity of the setting sun, reflecting off the perfectly smooth pool of water at the edge of the forever-going overhang that frames a riveting horizontal slice of the world.  Or that cistern!  The old and worn and rugged brick in contrast with the smooth and vibrant wood, punctuated by the flash of green, the moss that brings life in the shafts of light, heightened even further by the glass block that catches and makes physical the rays of sun.  Sign.  Me.  Up!

Wonderful work.  All noted for future travels.

Hiroshi Sambuichi, laureate of the 2018 The Daylight Award.

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Architecture Monday

May 14, 2018

Admittedly, I may just be posting this due to the amazing and theatrical atmosphere of that opening photo… not to mention fond memories of the maple syrup sugar shacks back home… but this really is a nice project.  A sugar factory in China, it’s designed with great dual purposes in mind:  be all it needs to be for the three months of the year when production occurs and be available for a multitude of uses by the community during the rest.

To that end, the complex consists of several high-bay corrugated steel sheds, crisscrossed with generous bands of glass and assembled into a cluster of enclosed and open spaces, themselves crisscrossed by walkways and loggias.  Nestled up against the fields that supply the raw material, it engages both the land and the people that converge to make the magic.

Etched glass walkways let visitors see the production when it’s in full swing, while the covered and open-air courtyards provide ample space for all manner of activities organized by the townspeople, including daily tea, films, puppet theaters, community meals, and dances.

Steel, wood, and carefully placed brick combine well to give a rugged yet refined feel to the complex, while the windows and many pathways easily guide you throughout, and allow for chance encounters.

Great work.  A factory that’s amazing for the workers, and amazing for the town.

Brown Sugar Factory by DnA

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Architecture Monday

May 7, 2018

I call this… playing with brick!

Saint Peter House by Estudio Tecali and Proyecto Cafeina

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Architecture Monday

April 30, 2018

Story Pod is an apt name for this wonderful little jewel of a book box that unfurls to become a lending library and reading room all in one.  It also does a great job of showing just how a quiet, secure, and intimate space can be created with just a few elements.

Like a lantern at night, the books in window motif, coupled with the two thin strips of LED lighting, leave no question as to what this pavilion is all about.  It’s simple, elegant, and a great community builder, letting people grab a read while lazily viewing (and hearing!) the river nearby.

Lovely.  Story Pod by Atelier Kastelic Buffey.

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Architecture Monday

April 23, 2018

This is one of those buildings that make my eyes ask, “Is what I’m seeing real?  Or a dream?”

Quite real, it turns out, but this is still one trippy library.  It’s over the top, of course, but purposefully so, and for a civic place like a library it’s quite appropriate and fun.  Just don’t try to get one of the books on those top shelves…

Tianjin Binhai Library by MVRDV + Tanjin BPDI

 

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Architecture Monday

April 16, 2018

Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture looms almost as large as his reputation (a reputation built upon both his architecture and his ego and actions therein…).  One of the few architects to invent and develop four distinct “styles” during his tenure, each fully developed from a rigorous set of concepts, he designed over 1000 buildings (over 500 of which were built!) over a career that spanned 70 years:  homes, commercial spaces, landscapes, industrial buildings, and, as it turns out, infrastructure.

His design for a trans-bay bridge here in the San Francisco Bay area has been making the rounds of late – perhaps surprisingly this is the first I’ve seen of it (from the wonderful 99pi).  But I’m already quite smitten by it.  Called the Butterfly Bride, it’s sculptural and sensuous, with fluid lines that belie its highway-sized scale.

At the apex of the bridge, required for ship passage, Wright placed a large park in the form of the eponymous butterfly, from which to stop, relax, and observe the water and surrounding hillsides. Truthfully, I can’t see that feature being more than a novelty for longer than a year before it falls mostly into disuse, what with all the whirling traffic (folk were much more sanguine about the highway back then).  But the arcing forms are nice on their own and could be the starting point for a sculptural feature (which could still be adorned with greenery) as a focal point of the bride and something cool to drive through.

Quite the grandiose (though we should expect no less from Wright) and darn good-looking bridge.   And, quite oddly, one that shows up in one of the best christmas movies of all time: