Category Architecture

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.

Continue reading

‘Northern Delights’: An Exploration of Scandinavian Design

Gestalten Northern Delights 2013

Gestalten Northern Delights 2013

Gestalten’s latest architecture and design book, Northern Delights, poses the eternal question of what would go into the ultimate dream house. While they imagine the architecture might be Italian, the furniture Japanese, and the garden of British design, they agree wholeheartedly—and we concur—that the interior should be left to the Scandinavians. Longstanding leaders in a timeless, spare, and streamlined aesthetic unafraid to mix in bold color or the occasional touch of whimsy, Northern Delights explores both classic and newer designers from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland, as well as the latest in product and home design.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Han Kjøbenhavn Menswear Opens First U.S. Store

Han Kjøbenhavn Store NYC

Han Kjøbenhavn Store NYC

Han Kjøbenhavn is a menswear company founded in Copenhagen in 2008. Designers Jannik Wikkelso Davidsen and Tim Faith have been building a steady following ever since with their unique brand of timeless vintage workwear imbued with streamlined Danish design. There’s an easygoing wearability to the clothing and accessories (at an affordable price point too) and an unconventional rowdiness echoed in their marketing. And, luckily, with a retail space newly opened in New York City, the company is finally poised to reach a much larger audience.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Beautiful building, beautiful teeth: The Chiyodanomori Dental Clinic by Hironaka Ogawa

Ogawa Chiyodanomori Dental Clinic

Ogawa Chiyodanomori Dental Clinic

This biggest architecture-related news bouncing around the internet today is that Toyo Ito has been selected as this year’s recipient of the the Pritzker Prize.  Expect a longer post about that later today or tomorrow. First, I thought we’d return to the idea that healthcare architecture is ugly with a counterexample. Here we have the Chiyodanomori Dental Clinic designed by Hironaka Ogawa. Of course it’s easier to find a pristine small clinic than a big, enormous hospital but this one is still exceptionally well done.

Continue reading

The Blue Lagoon Strikes The Right Note Between Interior and Exterior Architecutre

Blue Lagoon Iceland VA Arkitektar

When Bobby first floated the idea of spending a whole week talking about Iceland, it occurred to me that I didn’t know anything about Iceland other than Björk. Well maybe I knew a little bit more. I knew the most visible work of contemporary architecture in the country is undoubtedly the Harpa Concert Hall, which we’ve already talked about a few times before Bobby even knew he was going to Iceland. But I did learn this week that the concert hall looks like this at night and that the irregular facade of Harpa mimics the basalt geology that you can find in other parts of Iceland.

Continue reading

A Step Into Arkitecktar’s Woody Villa Lola

Arkis Arkitektar Villa Lola Akureyri

These are images of Villa Lola designed by Arkis Arkitektar. It’s built near Akureyri, not too far from the cultural center we talked about the other day. The weird thing is that even though we can mostly find images of the exterior of the project (which is how most of the public will experience the building) the folks that own the house will spend most of their time indoors, enjoying it’s private spaces privately. Partly, this is a problem of presentation and likely true for most projects you can read about on the internet, but it may be especially true in Iceland where long and dark Winters keep most folks indoors.

Continue reading

A More Permanent Roadside Stop by KRADS

Stöðin Rest Stop by KRADS

It’s interesting to me when one culture borrows from another culture, and in this case, someone borrowing from a classic American concept: the convenience store. Designed by KRADS, an architectural studio based in Denmark and Iceland, this “roadside stop” as they call it is essentially trying to outdo what’s come before.

Continue reading

A monolithic cultural center carved out of stone in Akureyri

Iceland Arkitema Akureyri

What you see above is a cultural center built in Akureyri, the second largest urbanized area in the country after Reykjavík. And the population of Akureyri? Just 17,000 Icelanders. It doesn’t seem like a lot of people, but by comparison I grew up in a town almost twice the size of Akureyri and we didn’t have anything remotely as interesting as this – we only had soybean fields and diabetes.

Continue reading