Launched in 1930 by Battista “Pinin” Farina, the Italian car design firm Pininfarina is now run by the founder’s grandson Paolo Pininfarina. The company has partnered with all the big hitters over the years including Ferrari and Rolls-Royce and since 1986 Pininfarina Extra, headed up by Paolo Trevisan, has widened the Group’s design scope to reach anything from the Eurostar to Lavazza coffee machines. Often collaborating with other heritage brands such as Scotch whisky label Chivas, much importance is placed on striking a balance between history and innovation. Visiting the HQ in Cambiano, Italy, we interview Pininfarina and Trevisan to discover why they see problems as opportunities and how this ethos has spurred their success despite Europe’s current economic climate.
Mayeul Akpovi shared with us a time lapse video he made, which goes through a sequence of experiences and places, highlighting the day and night life of the big city. ‘Paris in Motion’ includes about 3500 photos as he successfully creates a video, accompanied by music, which draws you in and fast forwards through time.
WE Architecture is a young firm based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Started by partners Marc Jay and Julie Schmidt-Nielsen in 2009, the practice is focused on public competitions and consultancy, along with teaching at the Royal Danish Academy. The partners studied in Denmark, but shaped their professional career working abroad in New York and Barcelona.
The firm maintains a young spirit, working with architect from around the world, never more than 12 people. WE Architecture acknowledges the role of the architect in a collaborative and diverse society, incorporating not only architecture on their practice, but also planning, logistics, engineering, and economy. With this multi disciplinary approach, the firm provides services that go from construction management on maintenance operations to advising families who have recently bought a house.
Interview by Soledad Undurraga.
Projects by WE Architecture at ArchDaily:
During the World Architecture Festival, held this October in Singapore, we had the opportunity to interview one of the UK’s most succesful landscape architects: Andrew Grant. On the occasion, the project, Gardens by the Bay, in collaboration with Wilkinson Eyre Architects, was awarded the World Building of the Year Award.
Andrew Grant, who was recently named Royal Designer for Industry, formed Grant Associates in 1997. The practice has been focused on the blurry boundary between architecture and nature, using landscape design as a tool for sustainable innovation on different scales, from sub-regional planning to the smallest detail of a new landscape.
A perfect example of this is the Cooled Conservatories at the Gardens by the Bay project, where architecture and nature become one to produce a naturally breathing machine.
More about Gardens by the Bay in the following video:
This minimalist elementary school, located in Kumamoto and designed by Japanese architects Kazuhiro Kojima and Kazuko Akamatsu (CAt), is designed to seamlessly connect the indoor and outdoor space. Within the building, individual classrooms and spaces are loosely formed by L-shaped walls that feature foldable doors and flexible components. An abundance of courtyards and airy walkways are just some of the highlights, along with a wood deck activity space found on top of the roof.
As the 2012 Jencks Award winner, Rem Koolhaas charts the evolution of his ideas and built projects in this lecture provided by RIBA. He describes a double life split between practice and theory, two ventures reflected by his studios, OMA and AMO, the Office of Metropolitan Architecture and the Architecture Media Organization. Enjoy!
The lecture is chaired by Charles Jencks, designer, author and broadcaster.
In this TEDxRamallah, Palestinian Architect Saud Amiry – who works in architectural restoration on Palestinian buildings – discusses her journey as someone finding a path for herself. Although she speaks about her nationality and her family’s refugee history, her focus is on learning how to find the things that are fulfilling in one’s life in the face of challenges. Her sense of humor and passion is inspiring. Not only is she an architect working in a field for which she has a passion, she has also stumbled upon the role of an author, having written “Sharon and my Mother–in-Law: Ramallah Diaries”, which is an account of living under Israeli occupation. Even in the dire political circumstances of of her refugee status, Amiry finds humor under tragic circumstances.
More about Amiry after the break…
Shohei Shigematsu is the director of internationally renowned architecture firm OMA in New York. He has been a driving force in conceptual projects such as the Universal headquarters in Los Angeles, the Whitney Museum extension in New York, the China National Museum and Prada Epicenters for Shanghai and London. Here we visit the New York offices to discuss urban planning, his latest project with Marina Abramovic and the role of architects in society.
Crane.tv visits British designer Tom Dixon in his shop in Portobello Dock. The designer of the iconic S-bend chair and Mirrorball light shares his disappointment at not becoming the next king of disco, and tells us what he’s learned about design from the chef of his restaurant, Dock Kitchen. Address: Wharf Building, Portobello Dock, 344 Ladbroke Grove, London, W10 5BU.
Watch this video tour of the Bacardi Building in Miami, Florida, by the grandson of the original founder. The building, built in 1962, became the headquarters of the company for fifty years and has become an iconic modernist symbol in the city with an additional building added to the property in 1970. The building is designed by Enrique Guitierrez. The unique facade of the building was designed by ceramic artist Francisco Brennand using 20,000 tiles. The building resonates with Miami’s culture and has become a landmark for nearby residents. Tito Bacardi, who is the tour guide in the video, explains with pride how its the company’s legacy has become intertwined with the architecture – a building that represented Bacardi’s relocation from Cuba to America. (more…)
Democratic By Design is a short film, produced by the General Services Administration and narrated by Luke Russert, that tackles the issue of federal architecture. Buildings designed for the government typically have a familiar aesthetic. Washington, DC, is dominated by Neoclassical Architecture, building on the connotations of ancient Greek and Roman fora and temples as a symbol of democracy. But they perpetuate a sense of dominance and formality. Most of these buildings – city halls, courthouses, agency headquarters – were built in the 18th and 19th century, yet they leave behind a legacy and association in the architecture of the federal government.
On the contrary, government buildings built in the mid to late 20th century, specifically after 1962, have a more varied vernacular. This can be credited to Daniel Patrick Moynihan, aide to President John F. Kennedy. His one page document outlined guidelines for public architecture – an effort to contextualize and modernism government buildings. This video brings his words to life via well-known architects who have have designed federal buildings.
Join us after the break for a look at some of these buildings. (more…)
Gary Card is an illustrator, set designer and prop-maker. His bright and broad aesthetic has lent itself to a wide range of high profile brands including Topshop, Comme des Garcons, Adidas, COS and Nike. For the festive season, Card designed an electric christmas tree, inspired by the Vauxhall Ampera, installed at King’s Cross filling station until January. While we get a glimpse of his studio, viewing a multitude of diverse past projects, Card debates the pros and cons of his work and delves into the origin of his odd affinity for the colour purple.
The WUHAO Curated Shop is a modern approximation of a classical Chinese garden, located in one of Beijing’s richest historical districts. Having shown at Beijing Design Week and the Milan Furniture Fair, WUHAO offers a contemporary vision of the classical Chinese garden while also nurturing the work of emerging Chinese designers and international talents. Founder and curator Isabelle Pascal shares her first encounter with the ancient courtyard and explains how the experience inspired the collections she curates today.
Never is the value of architecture so poignant, as when it becomes a tool to facilitate learning, development and exploration. Inspired by this video, which presents three new schools in Concord, New Hampshire that physically embody the educational philosophies of independence, collaboration, and creativity, we spoke with HMFH Architects to delve further into this vital question: how can architecture help children develop the early skills, creativity and inquisitiveness needed to become the independent and inspired adults of future generations? Find out after the break.
The Biomuseo, or Museum of Biodiversity, in Panama City is Frank Gehry’s first project in Latin America. The building, situated on the mouth of the Panama Canal , is a colourful design of metal-plated canopies sustained by concrete columns. It will house eight galleries and tell the story of Panama’s diverse biological culture and its global impact. It is projected that, once finished, the 4000 m2 space will play a significant role in Panamanian society, culture and education. Here, one of the museum’s exhibit coordinators, Darien Montañes, explains the work involved in bringing a project of this scale to life.
As we shared with you earlier last month, Danish architectural firm, CEBRA, in partnership with Ski Travel Agency Danski, is working on a new project of epic proportions: the world’s largest Skidome. Skidome Denmark will be shaped rather like a snow-flake, with three 700m, criss-crossing arches (the tallest one reaching 110 m high). While a structure that size is hard to wrap one’s head around, this cool new video gives a great idea of the Skidome’s awesome scale.
More info and images of the World’s Largest Skidome, after the break…
Welsh industrial designer Ross Lovegrove interviews Japanese artist Mariko Mori ahead of her first exhibition in London in 14 years. The exhibition, at the Royal Academy of Arts, will showcase previously unseen pieces from the past 11 years as well as new work. Both Lovegrove and Mori share a futuristic aesthetic – with much of their work also inspired by nature and history. Speaking in Lovegrove’s studio, the pair discuss themes in Mori’s upcoming exhibition, the links between science and art and the nature of our future.