Tim Winstanley

AD Classics: Torre Blancas / Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oiza

Urbarama.com

The Torre Blancas is an architectural icon of the Spanish Organicism movement. Designed by and completed in 1969, this exposed concrete tower rises 71 meters above the skyline. It also stands as one the most complicated and innovative reinforced concrete structures of the era, absent of the typical rectilinear qualities associated with cast-in-place concrete. More details after the break.

Update: SLEEPBOX / Arch Group

© Arch Group

Back in late 2009 Arch Group shared with us their proposal for an urban relaxation pod – SLEEPBOX. Their concept has been realized, with production of the modular 2.5×1.6m x 2.5-3m high unit high moving ahead. 

Video: Arkansas Mid Century Modern Architecture Short

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This snapshot of a new documentary about mid-century in Arkansas illuminates classic post-war designs. Simple, clean lines were often the elements that delineated the aesthetics of these buildings. While many lay in disrepair, they still exude an aura of a time when optimism was reflected in the country’s desire to build a new future. Some of the architectural icons that are featured include the University of Arkansas’s Fine Arts Center by state native Edward Durell Stone, the Tower Building in Little Rock, the Fulbright Library in Fayetteville, and the abandoned Hotel Mountainaire. Check out the short clip of what will air in November on AETN. Also, see the highlights of the current affairs and award winning architecture that is taking place within the state of Arkansas here.

AD Classics: Puerta de Europa / Philip Johnson & John Burgee

Flickr / Strocchi

The twin office towers known as I and II located in Madrid, defy the typical conventions of skyscraper construction. Designed by American architects Philip Johnson & John Burgee and commissioned by the Kuwait Investment Office (KIO), these structural expressionistic towers straddle one of Madrid’s most important boulevards – the Paseo de la Castellana. More details after the break.

Video: 3D Drawing Machine

Two young artists Ryan and Trevor Oakes have introduced a unique way for drawing using a 3D that assists in re-presenting the view in front of one’s eyes. The machine was developed as an exploration of the nature of vision with a goal to recreate realism in the correct proportions and perspective. The artists explain how the machine works; by limiting vision of the scene to one eye and the other to plot the image on concave paper, an illusion occurs where the paper becomes transparent, rendering an effect that you are simply tracing the scene in front of you.  It is an interesting take on creating artwork with amazingly accurate results. Check out the for their presentation.

Ziggy Stardust Dominates Prahran Apartment Facade

© Herald Sun

Melbourne’s Prahran neighborhood will soon be home to a five-story block with ’s alter ego Ziggy Stardust emblazoned across the façade. The image will span across four of the levels on the new $10 million Tatu building. Utilizing a perforated metal screen system, the eyes and lips of the facial image will be adjustable when residents shift the screens on their balconies.

Originally rejected by the Stonnington Council, it was overturned by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. While some local residents are speculative of its aesthetics, the bold move made by developer Donald Musto is sure to garner attention.  Whether you are a fan of Bowie or not, the full façade mural is sure to make a mark on Melbourne – even if it does come across as kitschy.

References: www.heraldsun.com.au
Photographs: Herald Sun

From the Library of Philip Johnson

© Birch Books Conservation

A Kickstarter campaign started by Birch Books Conservation owner Birch Cooper will see the library collection of Philip Johnson’s Glass House collated in a new – The Library of Philip Johnson: Selections from the Glass House. Conceived as a resource for architects, architecture aficionados, and the general public, the will illuminate many of the philosophies and ideologies that Johnson contributed to American modernism. Featured under the cover will be 100 selections that have been photographed and researched with a brief synopsis by the authors, in addition to the inventory list of all the books contained within the Library Studio of Philip Johnson. With an anticipated publishing date later this fall, it will be Birch Books Conservation’s first publication. Containing over 350 photographic illustrations, the 250 page volume is sure to be an excellent addition to any architecture collection.

FLW’s Historic Park Inn Restored

© www.architectsandartisans.com

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Historic Park Inn Hotel in Mason City, Iowa, has recently undergone an extensive $18 million restoration. The hotel, designed in 1910 for two lawyers features 42 hotel rooms, two-story banking room, basements shops below and office space above. It was the last hotel designed by FLW in the world, thus the group of preservationists who have undertaken the task of bringing it back to its original vision are very excited. Some of the distinctive elements that the renovation restored include the exterior brick and terra cotta façade and the glass windows. This Prairie building is now open to the public and taking reservations.

Glazing Advancements

© Wikimedia Commons / Saibo

has always been employed in architecture to convey and complement aesthetics. Its use exemplifies spaces, transitions between indoor and outdoor volumes, and modulates the amount of light penetration. With this in mind, manufacturers are continually innovating new products to resolve the ever increasing demands imposed by designers. Whether it is curvilinear, textured, colored, laminated, etc., the increasing variety available is growing at an increasing rate.

Hurricane Proof Housing Proposal

Hong Kong based architect Ted Givens of 10 Design has recently unveiled designs for tornado proof and hurricane proof . With the recent earthquake and hurricane events that have hit the eastern seaboard of the United States, it seems a fitting proposal for urban clustering on a residential scale.

Map of Architecture Twitter Users

© Google Maps

On August 22, 2011 a live map that charts members of interior , architecture, and related consultants on was released into the wild. In only three days it had already surpassed 8000 views, and added 120 professionals to the map.

The mapping chart is the brainchild of Mark Schumann – director of program cost consultancy for Davis Langdon, Middle East division. Conceived as a method to connect professionals in architecture and the building industry related fields who are active on Twitter in the Middle East, users’ locations are pinned on a Google map indicating their location and profession.

The map continues to grow at an exponential rate, and opens up opportunities for collaboration and connection with like-minded individuals across the globe with relative ease. Click here for the map.

References: www.designmena.com

World Population Concentrated

© www.persquaremile.com

What would the world’s landscape look like if it were concentrated into one megalopolis?  This graphic analysis illustrates the amount of land required to accommodate all 6.9 billion people based on the densities of cities across the globe.  The differences illuminate the adverse affects of suburban sprawl.

References: www.persquaremile.com
Photographs: www.persquaremile.com

Oslo Towers Dance for Music Video


A group of unassuming residential towers in ’s Grorud Valley neighborhood have been transformed into the stars of Cold Mailman’s music video “Time is of the essence” directed by André Chocron.

Taking full advantage of the of the towers, Chocron set up multiple cameras at various angles in order to shoot a sequence of time lapse videos from sundown to sunup. What looks like an intricately choreographed light show, is cleverly composited in post-production. Predictably, in the evening residents turned their lights on, and as the evening progressed turned them off. In order to create the dance of lights in similar effect to that of an equalizer, Chocron switches between the illuminated and darkened states in concert with the choreography of the song. The end result is an intriguing audiovisual composition.

Green Ribbon Schools Initiative Launched

© U.S. Department of Education

The U.S. Department of Education has recently launched its Green Ribbon Schools initiative. The program is aimed at fostering the growth of sustainable indoor and outdoor environments in addition to promoting the integration of environmental curricula into the education stream.

Medellin’s Architectural Renaissance

© Flickr / David Peña

A through architecture has been unfolding throughout the past several years in Colombia’s second largest city – Medellin. Home to 3.5 million inhabitants it was plagued by violence in the 1980’s and 1990’s. However, through an ambitious plan headed by former mayor Sergio Fajardo, the cityscape has undergone a dramatic shift since his election in 2003. One of the defining principles of this initiative that invested millions into civic architecture and public infrastructure was to build in some of the roughest districts of the city.  More details after the break.

Y. S. Sun Green Building Research Center Receives Top Awards

© www.robaid.com

The Y.S Sun Green Building Research Center at National Kung University in Taiwan has recently been awarded top honors by the , in addition to receiving the Taiwan Ecology, Waste Reduction and Health Diamond Certification from the Ministry of Interior. The three-story 4800 square meter building utilizes 13 different sustainable building techniques in order to achieve a 65% energy savings and a 50% water savings over typical office buildings.

Envelop Desk by Herman Miller

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Herman Miller has recently unveiled their new Envelop Desk. Aimed at the individual who is constantly working in front of a computer screen, it addresses ergonomics in a clean and modern aesthetic.  Designed by Bill Stumpf and Jeff Weber, it features a molded urethane surface that tilts up to 7 degrees in order to maintain sightline with a computer monitor or laptop. A flat surface at the rear provides ample horizontal space.  The desk can be complemented with the matching Embody Chair, also designed by Stumpf and Weber.

Sleep Suit Inspired by Dymaxion Sleeping

© Forrest Jessee

Forrest Jessee has recently unveiled his Sleep Suit inspired by Buckminster Fuller’s practice of Dymaxion Sleeping – 30-minute naps over 24 hours – while simultaneously exploring the materiality requirements to accommodate such a function. Interaction between the human body and the suit is the form generator as well as the threshold medium between the internalized occupant and their immediate surroundings.