Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs

If you want to learn the sucess secrets of Steve Jobs, read more HERE.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Atmosphere by Peter Zumthor

"...... Not only are you learning the fundamentals of architectural design but how people react within space and what design factors contribute to your understanding of the space. Also the book illustrates some images of projects so it is short, informative, interesting by justifying the essay itself.
A must read for all architecture students and people alike!"

Read more about this book HERE

Thinking Architecture By Peter Zumthor

"I believe that this book is based on a series of lectures ....... I think however that it is a key text for architcture students and architects alike, giving some insight into where Zumthor obtains his inspiration for creating truly individual and inspiring buildings. In a world of throwaway gestures where architecture is becoming (or has become?) equally shallow, this book is a timely reminder of the quiet power of architecture to resist this cultural move toward surface and iconoclasm". Comments on this book from Gary T. I echo  Gary's comments and I would recommend this book for the readers who are interested in the poetics in architecture.

Read more about this book HERE

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The Monastery of Sainte-Marie de La Tourette

“Create a silent dwelling for one hundred bodies and one hundred hearts”.Such was the prayer that Father Marie-Alain Couturier offered up to Le Corbusier whom he regarded as “the greatest living architect”.
More information about this building can be found HERE

                                          Photo: arcspace

Renzo Piano's Understated Convent Opens in the Shadow of Le Corbusier's Ronchamp Chapel

After the initial fervent opposition from the architectural community, Renzo Piano's convent on the grounds of the Chapel of Notre Dame du Haut in Ronchamp, France, is finally complete.
The convent sits in the shadow of a highly-lauded design by Le Corbusier, an architectural legend so venerated in his own right that the Fondation Le Corbusier, the organization devoted to preserving his work, vehemently opposed anything being built on the chapel's grounds. Starchitects like Richard Meier joined the opposition, while, as if it were a Pritzker Prize winner showdown, the likes of Tadao Ando supported the new convent. 
Commissioned by the Association Oeuvre Notre Dame du Haut, Piano was ultimately able to erect the building, with a mission to preserve Le Corbusier's structure and finish the job with a mere $14 million, raised through a combination of local government funding, donations, and the sale of the nuns' former convent in Besançon, which their order had inhabited for 800 years. The new structure, barely visible, is nestled into the hillside, greeting visitors with an outward facing zinc and glass façade. More information about this buildin can be found HERE.

                                                       The patio and sewing room
                                                       Photo by Michel Denancé
You can also read 's article about this building HERE. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

British Pavilion for Shanghai EXPO 2010 by Heatherwick Studio

In September 2007, Heatherwick Studio leading a team that includes Adams Kara Taylor and Atelier Ten won the competition to design the UK Pavilion for the Shanghai 2010 Expo. The event, which was held from May to October 2010, was set to be the largest ever. Two hundred countries took part and with over 70 million visitors visited the Expo.
The studio’s concept is an enclosure that throws out from all faces a mass of long, radiating cilia. Their length means they gently sway in response to any wind movement. It rests on its soft forest in an urban field, surrounded by a concrete canopy that resembles unfolded wrapping paper.
The UK, with its millions of gardens, thousands of public parks and garden squares, has pioneered the integration of nature into cities as a way of making them healthier places, in which to live and work. The UK pavilion encourages visitors to look again at the role of nature and wonder whether it could be used to solve the current social, economic and environmental challenges of our cities.

More information about this project can be found HERE

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The Eyes of the Skin by Juhani Pallasmaa

From the Back Cover

Architecture has the capacity to be inspiring, engaging and life-enhancing. But why is it that architectural schemes which look good on the drawing board or the computer screen can be so disappointing ‘in the flesh’? The answer, argues Juhani Pallasmaa, lies in the dominance of the visual realm in today’s technological and consumer culture, which has pervaded architectural practice and education. Whilst our experience of the world is formulated by a combination of five senses, much architecture is produced under consideration of only one – sight. The suppression of the other sensory realms has led to an impoverishment of our environment, causing a feeling of detachment and alienation.
First published in 1996, The Eyes of the Skin has become a classic of architectural theory and is required reading on courses in schools of architecture around the world. It consists of two extended essays. The first surveys the historical development of the ocularcentric paradigm in western culture since the Greeks, and its impact on the experience of the world and the nature of architecture. The second examines the role of the other senses in authentic architectural experiences, and points the way towards a multi-sensory architecture which facilitates a sense of belonging and integration.
Since the book’s first publication, interest in the role of the body and the senses has been emerging in both architectural philosophy and teaching. This new, revised and extended edition of this seminal work will not only inspire architects and students to design more holistic architecture, but will enrich the general reader’s perception of the world around them.
‘Not since the Danish architect Steen Eiler Rasmussen’s Experiencing Architecture (1959) has there been such a succinct and clear text which could serve students and architects at this critical time in the development of 21st-century architecture.’ Steven Holl.

You can read more about this book  HERE

In Praise of Shadows by Jun'ïchiro Tanizaki

This review is from: In Praise of Shadows (Paperback)
The Japanese have an aesthetic concept called "Wabi Sabi." This term consists of two words. "Wabi" literally means "poverty," but in the aesthetic context it stands for simplicity; "Sabi" is literally "solitude, loneliness," and for aesthetic purposes it means something like natural impermanence. Wabi Sabi encourages, as one observer put it, a profound feeling of inner melancholy, and an appreciation of quietly clear and calm, well-seasoned and refined simplicity.

Andrew Juniper's "Wabi Sabi: The Japanese Art of Impermanence" summarizes the concept by saying that "the term wabi-sabi suggests such qualities as impermanence, humility, asymmetry, and imperfection. These underlying principles are diametrically opposed to those of their Western counterparts, whose values are rooted in the Hellenic worldview that values permanence, grandeur, symmetry, and perfection. ... Wabi-sabi is an intuitive appreciation of a transient beauty in the physical world that reflects the irreversible flow of life in the spiritual world. It is an understated beauty that exists in the modest, rustic, imperfect, or even decayed, an aesthetic sensibility that finds a melancholic beauty in the impermanence of all things." (pages 2 and 51)

In order to appreciate Junichiro Tanizaki's 50-page pamphlet "In Praise of Shadows" it helps to keep the concept of Wabi Sabi in mind. While many people would object to Tanizaki's anti-modernist view of art (and call it "reactionary" or "nationalist"), it is in fact a contemporary take on an ancient aesthetic concept that favors obliqueness (shadows) over brightness, weathered naturalness over functional novelty, the crude over the polished, and - ultimately - irrationality over rationality.
Tanizaki's essay contains good examples of Wabi Sabi, and a few peculiarly funny ones that reek of Zen humor: "one could with some justice claim that of all the elements of Japanese architecture, the toilet is the most aesthetic. Our forebears, making poetry of everything in their lives, transformed what by rights should be the most unsanitary room in the house into a place of unsurpassed elegance, replete with fond associations with the beauties of nature." (page 4) To a Western reader this sounds like unmitigated satire. But it is not. Tanizaki is serious about this stuff. In sum, I find "In Praise of Shadows" a very entertaining illustration of an important Japanese aesthetic concept, written by one of the most important Japanese authors of the 20th century.

You can read more about this book  HERE.

James Turrell - recent work

James Turrell (born 6 May 1943) is an American artist primarily concerned with light and space. Turrell was a MacArthur Fellow in 1984. He is represented by The Pace Gallery in New York. Turrell is best known for his work in progress, Roden Crater, located outside Flagstaff, Arizona, where he is turning a natural cinder volcanic crater into a massive naked-eye observatory. His recent work can be found HERE.
                                         JAMES TURRELL
                                                       Dhātu, 2010
                                                       Mixed media
                                                       Dimensions variable

                                                      *Installation view 1

The Weather Project by Olafur Eliasson at the Turbine Hall, Tate Modern

About the installation

The subject of the weather has long shaped the content of everyday conversation. The eighteenth-century writer Samuel Johnson famously remarked ‘It is commonly observed, that when two Englishmen meet, their first talk is of the weather; they are in haste to tell each other, what each must already know, that it is hot or cold, bright or cloudy, windy or calm.’ In The Weather Project, the fourth in the annual Unilever Series of commissions for the Turbine Hall, Olafur Eliasson takes this ubiquitous subject as the basis for exploring ideas about experience, mediation and representation. More information about this Project can be found HERE.

Serpentine Gallery Summer Pavilions

Visiting the Serpentine Gallery Summer Pavilions designed by different architects / artists at Hyde Park, London is one of the highlights in the summer. You will find ineresting architecture and people here. This year's summer pavilion is designed by Peter Zumthor. More information about the summer pavilions can be found HERE.