The timescale of geology is bonkers. For instance, the most popular tourist attraction in Northern Ireland is the result of lava flows that occurred some 60 million years ago. Along the rocky shoreline, tens of thousands of hexagonal basalt columns emerge from the ground and gradually sink into the sea. Now thanks to the folks at Henegan Peng Architects, thousands of stone mullions are rising and sinking into a grassy plain adjacent to this natural wonder. It’s the Giant’s Causeway Visitor’s Centre.
I haven’t quite known what to think about Peter Zumthor’s proposed overhaul of the LACMA campus, ever since I saw it described as a “black flower.” It confused me. I know black flowers exist, but the architect’s nickname for the project doesn’t help me understand this enormous, amoeba-shaped slab of concrete that the architect has plopped down onto the sunny Los Angeles terrain. And aren’t flowers, even black ones, usually delicate? This project is something much sturdier and larger, and when it’s done, will probably smell a lot more like the neighboring La Brea tar pits than a flower.
Do you like surprises? Architect Raffaello Rosselli probably does, as is evidenced by this surprising piece of architecture. The project, a house in the suburbs of Sydney, has an unique facade which references the neighborhood’s industrial history. A lowly tin shed used to stand where Tinshed (the name of the home) stands now, but it was razed and rebuilt using sturdy materials and amenities like insulation.
Nike is awesome, and we talk about them a lot. They’ve collaborated with artists and designers to produce everything from apparel to architecture installations (their global director of design actually majored in architecture). That’s just the tip of the iceberg though. Last year, the company out-awesomed itself when it came out in support of gay and lesbian athletes in a major way, releasing sick-looking, geo-specific shoes and hosting a summit to abolish homophobia in sports that coincided with pride month. And even though that was just last year, so much has changed.
Before we talk about the future of Penn Station, we have to briefly consider its past. In 1963, the Penn Station above was demolished. This was after much protest by the architecture community and historic preservationists. The original 1910 structure by McKim, Mead and White exemplified Beaux-Arts architecture and it was razed to make way for the squat concrete cylinder that is Madison Square Garden. This week, the Municipal Art Society of New York released the results of their challenge to four teams of architects to imagine a new future for the site.
Earlier this month, I watched a team of medical professionals crowd around a table and perform a lung biopsy. When that was finished, the team migrated to the adjacent operating room and completed a coronary bypass procedure on another patient. It was my first time to watch such complex operations, and I was worried that I’d feel lightheaded or get sick at the sight of an open human. But it was awesome.
The Draftery is all about contemporary graphic work as it relates to architecture. Mostly concerned with drawings (as distinct from models and renderings) that may be touched up with digital tools but are mostly executed using manual ones. In the Draftery’s own words, their goal is to “promote graphic works by lesser known architects, artists, students, and other practitioners. It is a place for the analysis and presentation of architectural drawings—a place to learn how each practitioner’s personal reasoning develops a distinct process.” And it’s where I found these fantastic watercolors– er, watergrays- by Mentor Noci.
This past March, Ball-Nogues Studio consumed nearly one million linear feet of metal chain. Well, they didn’t eat it, they used it in their projects. I’ve been thinking about the studio’s work since we posted about the handmade work of THiNG THiNG, which reminds me of B-N’s paper pulp experiments. More broadly, the firm has an approach to craft that seems appropriate to point out during a week devoted to things handmade… plus they have a great new project.