and now for my next trick

Posts Tagged ‘architecture

stanley greenberg

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Photographs by Stanley Greenberg.

Written by Peter Rudd

April 13, 2009 at 11:50 pm

prada transformer

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Here is a presentation of the proposed Prada pavillion – called the transformer – in Seoul by the architect OMA. 

This architect’s mind is like a steel trap.  Always thinking.  It’s always about intelligence, a marriage of form and idea and tectonic.  He never allows orthodoxy to compromise what he is trying to do.  It’s never merely about beauty or aesthetics – we have a growing suspicion that bag is only half full.  How can a building, in a city, merely indicate who is serving and who is eating?

Anyway … somehow through this open process, he comes up with this Tatlin like, constructivist but thoroughly contemporary, abstract but contextual and most of all bold construction.

Written by Peter Rudd

March 26, 2009 at 10:33 am

pipes: random architecture images from flickr

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Pompidou photographed by ascord04 on Flickr.

From, random architecture images from flickr.

Written by Peter Rudd

March 18, 2009 at 4:30 pm

clorindo testa london bank

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I really want to see this bank someday – in Buenos Aires.  Brutalism had such a bad reputation for so long.  I think things are coming around now, thankfully.  Look at how strong this is, but despite its strength how it belongs comfortably on the street with everything else – the cars, the people the noise.

I discovered this building – only in print so far – by reading Peter Cook’s description from the Architectural Review

And there it was, but even better, much better. Absolutely amazing in fact! The published information had dealt with the shapes of parts of Clorindo Testa’s Bank of London & South America, but couldn’t begin to communicate the brilliance of the space, the sophistication of the detail, the cleverness of the encompassment of a tight city corner. In several subsequent visits to that city (our favourite weekender if it were about 12 hours nearer), I have delighted in wheeling round my friends from other parts of Europe. They too are amazed and gradually join the substantial Testa fan club. However smug we become about the richness and choice of European buildings, there is always the promise of the realisable dream beyond our geographical, but not our buildable, frontiers.


From elpica on Flickr.

More information from Galinsky.

Written by Peter Rudd

March 16, 2009 at 8:07 pm

seattle’s beautiful room

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The main hall in Seattle Public Library by OZinOH.

OMA set out to make a beautiful city room and this picture shows it so well. 

Beside awe, I had a sense of something very new happening when I went to visit this fantastic space while working on a project in Seattle two years ago.  It stuck me that the architects would be so bold to present a four story concrete wall to the public immediately upon entry to their new library – people want baubles, not abstraction.  But there it is, directly in front of the front door, looming, menacing and slipping into that night sky ceiling.  It’s Kubrick’s 2001 a Space Odyssey, or the Kabbah in Mecca – silent and mysterious. 

That is it’s success and I think the success of this project for OMA.  They tell you right away – we aren’t producing this experience for you, no literalisms or references, no hand holding, no spectacle to lull you, or pull you in.  We’re giving you the goods straightup, some boxes, pushed and pulled for light and views, wrapped in a taut mesh bag.  Here’s a concrete tower that soars and a night sky that floats, and a conference space that feels like you’re in a beating heart.  We’ll decorate it with concrete and steel and street graphics to bring the best of the public life of the city into your new building.  We believe the honesty will freeze you in apprehension; will make you stop and think and slowly overwhelm you in its refusal to manipulate.

So, say thank you now because there is almost noone not willing to saccarine spectacle crap it up for your little fix anymore.  But these guys will; they’ll slow you right down to frozen and you will see, in blinding clarity, just how much snake oil you’ve been forced to swallow, and how much better this option is.  And then relax and enjoy!  I know I did.

Written by Peter Rudd

March 16, 2009 at 6:49 pm

archigram redux

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Let’s have another Archigram, shall we?   Who wouldn’t want walking cities, and living pods and instant city airships?  We must be mad!  starkers!  The ideas have been around since the 1960s, but we’re still walking around like we live in the 19th century.  I’m just off putting powder in my wig, for heaven’s sakes.

I found this good article from the British Council Design Museum.

You can flip through some of their mind bending work on the Archigram site.

Here’s Archigram:

ARCHIGRAM dominated the architectural avant garde in the 1960s and early 1970s with its playful, pop-inspired visions of a technocratic future after its formation in 1961 by a group of young London architects – Warren Chalk, Peter Cook, Dennis Crompton, David Greene, Ron Herron and Michael Webb. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Peter Rudd

March 13, 2009 at 1:45 pm

unrealized moscow

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Unrealized Moscow – images of unbuilt bombast.

Written by Peter Rudd

February 27, 2009 at 6:07 pm

Posted in the city

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