The house made famous by “Secret Garden”, a Korean soap opera, hosted a press conference for the actors and gave the shows fans an intimate look at Oska’s house, one of the main characters of the show. The house is actually owned by cosmetic and health food brand Maiim. The whole area is called the Maiim Vision Village and is an environmentally-friendly park where the indoors and outdoors are balanced harmoniously. In some views of the house, one can see how the exterior appears to be a smooth continuation of the interior space. Floor to ceiling glazing provides views to nature extending beyond the house. More images after the break.
Ever think you could find a moment of peace and quiet to have an intimate conversation with a friend in the middle of Times Square? The designers that go by mmmm… must have considered the same thing. Starting August 16th, people visiting Times Square can enjoy a private moment with up to eight people in one of mmmm…’s Meeting Bowls supported by the Times Square Alliance. The 5-foot tall, 7-foot wide pieces of street furniture will be available as a visiting exhibition until September 16th between 8am and midnight.
In this effort to humanize the otherwise frenetic city of New York, the designers at mmmm… hope to inspire intimate dialogue and interaction in the commercial center. These semi-spherical forms are more than benches; they seat people across from one another, obscuring all the other events outside of the space. They even rock gently as people enter and leave the bowls.
The city of Long Beach, California recently asked firms WE-designs and XP& Architecture to design a landmark project to revitalize its downtown area using a low budget. The initial ideas are represented here as a series of re-configured old shipping containers, truncated and placed upright. The futuristic cluster of low rise buildings, called (RE) Configured-Ecologies, may eventually become multi-use space with an open playground feel. It will comprise of an education center, a café, retail space and 13 work/live loft spaces as well as an open roof terrace. Through proposing three types of innovatively reconstructed modular shipping containers, the overall construct leads to open courtyards, interlocking units, and playfully generated programs that introduce a new innovative topological creation that regenerates and reconnects the community.
More images after the break!
Gowanus Connections is an international ideas competition hosted by Gowanus by Design, inviting speculation on the value of urban development of post-industrial urban lands, and the possibility of dynamic, pedestrian-oriented architecture that engages with the Gowanus Canal and the surrounding watershed. The competition focuses on reusing the industrial space and orchestrating a clean-up for the canal. This competition is a first of a series which will explore the possibilities of the future of the Gowanus Canal and its effects on the people that work and live around it.
The Gowanus Lowline: Connections competition produced 98 entries, of which six were selected. First Prize was awarded to “Gowanus Flowlands” by Tyler Caine, Luke Carnahan, Ryan Doyle, and Brandon Specketer. Second place winners, along with four honorable mentions can be seen here after the break.
When the iconic Apple glass cube on Fifth Avenue was shroud in barriers in preparation for renovation in June, the future of the flagship Apple store was unclear. It was only revealed that Apple would be removing the glass cube and working on drainage, pavers, and bollards on the plaza, but just what changes were to be made to the cube itself remained elusive.
Apple has now revealed that the glass panels as we have known them will be replaced with larger panels to create a seamless appearance. A sign now states, “We’re simplifying the Fifth Avenue cube. By using larger, seamless pieces of glass, we’re using just 15 panes instead of 90.” There will be three panels per side of the cube, running the full length. During the day the store is faintly recognizable as a glass encasing for an underground world; at night the store glows from the inside out. With this new structural detailing, the building will likely appear even more subtle during the day and more brilliant at night.
This original design is an innovation by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and structural engineers Eckersley O’Callahan. The glass cube and subterranean glass staircase were trademarked in 2010, associating the vision of the architecture with Apple’s own innovations.
We recently reported that according to documents released by the city of Cupertino, Foster + Partners will be the architects of the new Apple Campus in Cupertino, California. Steve Jobs shared the following, “We’ve used our experience making retail buildings all over the world now, and we know how to make the biggest pieces of glass in the world for architectural use.”
The AIA Consensus Construction Forecast predicts that spending for nonresidential and commercial construction will continue to decline before a modest recovery in 2012. The reason for the continued decline, of course, is due to the overall uneven economic recovery. The hesistency on the part of lenders to finance construction projects, the weak financial position of governments at all levels, and rising costs of key building material commodities all restrain the nonresidential and commercial construction sectors.
Overall, many sectors of the building industry are seeing a decline this year followed by a slight rebound. The nonresidential sector is projected to decline 5.6 percent this year and recover at 6.4 percent in 2012. The commercial sector will see a 6.5 percent decline this year and rebound approximately 12 percent next year. Manufacturing facilities will see a steep decline at almost 16 percent, with a rebound of 8 percent. While the stable institutional sector will see the least amount of decline at 3 percent and rebound at 4 percent.
With such a week recovery, most businesses and institutions are refraining from building new facilities. However, spending on renovations of existing facilities has remained strong. Unstable home prices, unusually severe weather conditions, rising energy costs, concern over growing debt, and the rising national unemployment rate (up from 8.8 percent in March to 9.2 percent in June) have made consumers extremely nervous. This also threatens international markets that have seen rapid growth in recent years.
For a more thorough breakdown of the AIA Consensus Construction Forecast refer to this chart by following this link: http://info.aia.org/aiarchitect/2011/charts/consensus-survey/july/july.html
Soon after Mark Noad’s vision of the London Tube Map was viewed, debate ensued about whether the integrity of the original diagram was misused to create a hybrid between the original information as a concept of the underground train system and its pathways and the concept of a geographically accurate map. With a slightly more condensed font style, the map is intended to be more legible, especially on mobile devices. Eminent typographer and designer Erik Spiekermann headed the debate stating that Harry Beck original depiction of the Tube was not a map at all, “it’s a diagram. Not meant to show geographic relationships, but connections.”
Therein lies the schism between the concept of depiction and illustration. Fastco Design writer John Pavlus discusses the value of the designer’s intent – to produce something of use – rather than the initial concept of the first drawing. Most users of the train system diagram are likely to call it a map. The visual information implies that it will be used to guide travelers to particular destinations, thereby making it useful as a map. The initial intent of the information becomes irrelevant when its use and usefulness comes into play. Did Mark Noad achieve the clarification that the Beck’s original diagram was lacking by adding elements of a geographical map into it?
The question that Pavlus concludes with is how does the designer extend his or her role beyond solving problems; how does a designed artifact continue to evolve with each iteration, engage the public and continue to develop new and better uses?
(via Fastco Design)
A new vision of the map for London’s Tube has been posted to depict a more geographically accurate representation of the underground train system. Navigate through the map for yourself here: http://www.london-tubemap.com/.
The original map was designed by Harry Beck; he compromised geographical accuracy for a rationalized system of connection, transfers and passages on a map that in 1931 only depicted 7 train lines. While those principles remain in use today, the underground subway system has doubled in size. The increased complexity of the system increased has amplified these inaccuracies and has received a lot of criticism for its diagrammatic quality and lack of correlation with London’s street level.
This updated map attempts to keep some of the principles of clarity that Beck designed as part of the original map, such as fixed line angles – in this case 30 and 60 degrees instead of the original 45. But the map attempts to establish a relationship between relative distances through the train and on the street, so that users can identify which routes are faster for walking or hopping on the Tube.
For more on the discussion what design means, sparked by the new vision for London’s Tube Map, follow this link: London Tube Map Sparks Debate: “Design” and the Multi-screen World.
Cushman & Wakefield, in collaboration with the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance’s BetterBricks Initiative, recently released its second annual Green Building Opportunity Index and three New York City submarkets cracked the top ten. Midtown, Midtown South, and Downtown placed second, fourth, and seventh, respectively in the Index. One of the goals of this initiative is to assist urban planners and policymakers in examining data to understand what new policies and incentives may be useful in accelerating green building practices at the local level.
RecoveryPark is a collaborative effort of neighborhoods, policymakers and designers that will include urban farming, education, commercial and housing development in Detroit, Michigan. SHAR, Inc. (Self Help Addiction Rehabilitation) teamed up with the Detroit Collaborative Design Center (DCDC) at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture to create a community design process to develop land-use proposals and speculate on what a resuscitated urban environment might look like.
Read on for more after the break.
Genre De Vie, “Way of Life”, by filmakers Sven Prince and Jorrit Spoelstra researches the effects that bicycling, as a popularized form of transport, has had in transforming our cities, and by extension the lifestyles attached to it. This video takes on a global perspective on the initiatives taken in the revitalization of the bicycle and its socio-cultural impacts. It focuses mainly on city’s that already promote a pro bicycle lifestyle. This coming from a viewpoint, that the bicycle is a positive development on the social and environmental structure and hence of profound effect on the living quality of its inhabitance. The documentary concentrates on individuals that plan yearly races in the post-industrial landscape of the city, and the sociological processes in which the bike plays a pivotal role. It also focuses on the more general role of the bicycle with regards to personal experience and use of space.
The documentary will be done by interviews with architects, city planners and people in control at the local government while on the other hand the people who create the urban bike culture; the cyclist in these cities. For example David Trimble who organizes the Red Hook Crit, a bike race in a post industrial landscape in Brooklyn, New York, will be part of this documentary. On our website you can read a longer and more detailed description of the project.
This video features the architecture firm Build LLC, as they discuss the beauty in developing designs through different means: visiting other places, eating good food, meeting new people. It discusses the value in learning from the environment around us and developing one’s own designs based on one’s everyday experiences. They discuss the psychology of our environment and what it means to design interior space for various climates, particularly areas like the North American Northwest were six months out of the year people are indoors because of the cold and rainy seasons.
Parsons The New School for Design has joined with NYC Parks & Recreation via the Design Workshop, its innovative design-build studio led by graduate architecture students, to create a new pool pavilion for the Highbridge Pool and Recreation Center, a WPA–era bathhouse in Washington Heights.
Join us after the break to learn more about The Splash House.
In this two part video film maker John Thornton, a.k.a Rusty Scupperton, reconsiders what post-modernism is all about, as made popular by Robert Venturi. Through a series of interview of Venturi’s colleagues and excerpts from the architect himself, Thornton gets a better understanding of the architect’s influence and sense of humor in regards to architecture.
Catch part two after the break!
Although often criticized for being especially liberal in its approach to crime and punishment, Norway focuses intensely on ensuring that ”doing time” is done in a dignified way, and inmates’ sentence should be a dress rehearsal for living a life without crime once they have completed their sentence. The Halden Prison in Halden, Norway by Erik Møller Arkitekter is considered to be the world’s most humae prison and it will be the new home for Anders Breivik, the Norwegian right-wing extremist responsible for the deaths of 76 people last week.
More after the break.
For the 2011 Xi’an International Horticultural Exposition, the Berlin-based landscape architecture office Topotek1 “dug” a hole to the other side of the world. From its edges visitors to this garden in China can peer into a real or imagined world at the end of the tunnel. Whether these are the cows from the pampas of Argentinas, commuters rushing among transit through New York City, the maritime life of Stockholm, and layers of history so audible among the streets of Berlin. These soundtracks pique the imagination of the visitors, transferring them away from China, away from the garden,” and into a far-off place.
This concrete, clover leaf-shaped structure, which was built in 1975, will likely suffer a fate common to many vacant and disused buildings. After approximately four years of vacancy, this Bertrand Goldberg-designed building will likely be demolished when ownership will revert to Northwestern University this year. Although Goldberg’s organic architectural designs – such as this one – were widely influential, none of his major Chicago works are protected by local landmark designation. Prentice Women’s Hospital was considered groundbreaking for its cutting-edge architecture, advanced engineering, and its progressive design approach to organizing medical departments and services. It received international press coverage and an award from Engineering News Record for its innovative tower and open floor-plate layout that eliminated the need for structural support columns. “You will not find the structural solution to Prentice, which is an exterior shell cantilevered off a core, anywhere else in the world” notes Geoffrey Goldberg, an architect and Bertrand Goldberg’s son. “Prentice was the only one in which this was achieved.”
[AC-CA] has shared the results of the London Olympic Games Information Pavilion International Competition. This idea’s competition was hosted to generate progressive contemporary design solutions and promote architecture experimentation, specuation and discussion. The site of the competition was Trafalgar Square in the heart of London. The ten winning entries were selected out of a total of 164 proposals that were submitted from all over the world.
Read on for a closer look at the selected entries after the break.
Atrium’s recent design move from modern furniture supply to fine lighting was celebrated and explained through a carefully choreographed space designed by Studio RHE. The result was an interactive open space with central reception that could easily be transformed into a darkened showroom – with a little twist.
Read on for more after the break.
KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten were awarded first place in the international competition for the Qingdao Science and Technology City the company’s design for the approx. 600-hectare site in the north of the port city of China. The primary objective of the project was to create a sustainable urban living space for the 100.000 inhabitants, in which a high quality of life with ecological equilibrium is achieved. Come back after the break for more about this project.