Posts by Alex Dent

Atelier Zündel Cristea wants to turn the old Battersea Power Station in an amusement park

Atelier Zündel Cristea Battersea Power Station London Roller Coaster

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?

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Aranda\Lasch build crystals, infinite variation, and practice on the edges of architecture

Aranda\Lasch The Creators Project yeasayer

Aranda\Lasch The Creators Project yeasayer

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.

In Florida, NL Architects propose Pool Houses for a Canadian Entrepreneur

NL Architects Delrey Florida Pool House

NL Architects Delrey Florida Pool House

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?

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Pretending it’s Summer: Glen Lake Tower by Balance Associates Architects

Balance_GlenLake7

Balance_GlenLake5

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.

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Christo’s Big Air Package: A 5.3 Ton Balloon

Christo's Big Air Package

Christo's Big Air Package

When I think of balloons, I usually think of the helium variety. They’re like brightly-colored bubbles of optimism that can only be held down to earth by white curling ribbon and mailboxes. But balloons can be so much more. They come in all shapes and sizes, and the size of this balloon is… humongous.

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DNA Is Amazing And So Is This Video

DNA Territory Studio BBC Knowledge Explainer

Nothing makes me happier than finding a science-centric video that is also well designed. And that’s what this video is: a mesmerizing and sleek animation that explains the very basics of DNA. What is it? Why is it such a big deal?

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Would You Live Inside an Iceberg?

Isbjerget Iceberg Aarhus Denmark JDS Architects, Cebra, SeARCH and Louis Paillard

An ocean or two away in Aarhus, a team of four architects has finished Isbjerget, a residential project on the waterfront of Denmark’s second-largest city. The pointy-roofed Iceberg is a collaboration between JDS ArchitectsCebraSeARCH and Louis Paillard. All great firms, but it’s especially exciting for me to see the project finish because I feel like I witnessed the conception of the project at the desk next to mine while I worked at JDS. And what does it take to conceive architecture? A lot of blue foam.

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Toyo Ito wins Architecture (or at least the 2013 Pritzker Prize)

Toyo Ito Pritzker Prize Tod's

Toyo Ito Pritzker Prize Tod's

Sunday, the Hyatt Foundation announced that Toyo Ito is the 2013 recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, an annual award which recognizes “a combination of those qualities of talent, vision, and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture.” I didn’t realize until I had read the full announcement that the first studio opened by Ito was called Urban Robot. We’ve talked about Ito a few times on the blog, but there are some other excellent projects worth mentioning.

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