I love bookstores. Nothing compares to wandering the aisles, scanning the shelves, or flipping through art tomes on a meandering afternoon. Yes, many of us lead busy lives and favor the lure of the online book purchase arguing that there’s just as much discovery the further you fall down the “Other Recommended Titles” rabbit hole. But I beg to differ. Holding a book in your hand, feeling a page slide under your fingertips, or even engaging with your local bookseller for recommendations trumps the online experience every time because it’s human. I have hope for the local bookstore industry, though, and even more hope for the future after discovering the wonders of Japan’s Izu Book Cafe.
Before a roller coaster starts, there’s a wonderful moment of anticipation. It’s the time when you might be a bit anxious, although some folks are very anxious, and you’re uncomfortable maybe because of your own anxiety, but probably because you’re tightly tucked between a hard plastic seat and the bar that keeps you from falling out of the plastic seat and dying. You can’t know the first time you ride the coaster what it will be like to fly through space on the track ahead of you. The possibilities are endless.
I haven’t seen any images of David Chipperfield’s expansion to the Saint Louis Art Museum since they loaded it with the art, so I was very happy to bump into a video where the curator of the museum talks about the new space while cameras glide smoothly through the pristine, day-lit galleries. It’s really an impressive space.
This weekend, I kind of stumbled into a rabbit hole of Japanese architecture. Or maybe it’s more like an ant farm? It started when I wanted to see what Jun Aoki was up to, and ended when I found these incredible models by Ikimono Architects. Honestly, I’m not even sure how I arrived at the firm’s website; between Jun Aoki and Ikimono Architects, it’s all a blur of white spaces and asymmetrical windows.
Jun Aoki is probably best known (at least in the States) for his designs of Louis Vuitton retail spaces. For over a decade he’s been working on retail projects for the brand in prestigious locations like 5th Avenue, where he wrapped the flagship retail space in a kinetic moiré pattern. Like many of his projects the predominate color of the space and it’s ghostly skin is white. So I was surprised that when I went to the firm’s website and looked at projects “In Progress” and I was greeted by diagrams as colorful as a candy shelf.
Earlier this week, Dezeen ran a story about a clean and modern house; a house where the living spaces cantilevered off of stacked bedrooms like a grown-up, contemporary treehouse. The views from the so-called Tower House are incredible and the architects responsible for the projects are the ones at Gluck+. I poked around the firm’s website a bit and found that the Tower House has a sort of cousin built in the New York: the Vertical Library. Although one house is rural and the other urban, both are organized around something simple and humble: a staircase. More than just circulation, the stairs become exciting and dynamic places in these projects. In the city, the stair climbs a four-story bookshelf, and in the trees, the stair is painted bright yellow.