Located in front of the Kamiari-mon gate in Asakusa, Kengo Kuma’s Culture Tourist Information Center serves as a beacon to the local area as well as housing programs to serve both tourists and the local community. This video via ja+u takes you through the 7 stacked volumes that make up the 8 internal floors that house a wide variety of programming ranging from meeting rooms to tourist information kiosks. The construction uniquely integrates HVAC equipment in the gaps between the stacked volumes. The interior structure of heavy timber members are left exposed which complement the dynamism of the vertical volumes, while the language of wood is continued onto the exterior by means of laminated timber louvers.
Kathryn Findlay is the Principal Director of Ushida Findlay Architects. The internationally renowned practice is known for its use of experimental design and progressive technology. This was demonstrated most recently when they were appointed as delivery architects by Arup for Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond’s ArcelorMittal Orbit, the tallest sculpture in the 2012 Olympic Park. One of Kathryn Findlay’s most notable projects was the Soft and Hairy House in Japan, inspired by Salvador Dali’s notion that future architecture would be ‘soft and hairy’. Extending these ideas Findlay guided Crane.tv around London, showing us her favourite impermanent structures, demonstrating the adaptability of our city and the possibilities for the future.
Special thanks to Emmet Truxes, from Harvard GSD, for sharing this animated video of Kenzo Tange’s Yoyogi Olympic Arena with us. Check out the amazing visualizations set to music by Gray Reinhard (we particularly love the build-up of the magnificently suspended roof around minute 5, which is then further detailed a few minutes later) which was created by a team of six students - Emmet Truxes, Nathan Shobe, Julian Bushman-Copp, Mijung Kim, Jeffrey Laboskey, Misato Odanaka - to understand the construction of the building’s innovate tensile structure.
More about the project after the break.
Architect: RA-DA - Rania Alomar, AIA, RA, DA
Location: La Brea Art & Design District – Los Angeles, CA
Completed: May 2012
Building area: 4000 sq ft
RA-DA Design Team: Rania Alomar – Design Lead; Jesse Madrid – Job Captain/Designer.
Contractor: Lemarc Builders, Ryan Dumoulin
MEP: Maftoon Inc.
Photographer: Ralf Strathmann
Our friends at the ja+u have shared with us a video tour of House in Komazawa, designed by Go Hasegawa & Associates. This rustic, Tokyo home is fully clad a variety of eucalyptus wood. Inside, a permeable second floor visually connects to the spaces throughout the entire house and allows for the passage of natural light from the library skylight above to the main living room below.
One of the “best-kept secrets” of the opening ceremony was the Thomas Heatherwick-designed 2012 Olympic cauldron that dazzled viewers world-wide last night as it was ignited by seven young British athletes in a very unique lighting ceremony.
Representing each nation competing in the London Olympics, 204 “very small humble” copper petals were carried out alongside national flags and competitors – each inscribed with the name of the country and the words “XX Olympiad London 2012”. The petals were then attached to long, stainless steel stems that formed ten rings that appeared as an open flower. Once ignited, the flames quickly spread to each petal and then gently rose up to unite as a single flame.
Continue after the break for more on the design.
Produced by Jorrit Spoelstra and Sven Prince, Genre de Vie is a documentary film about bicycles, cities and personal awareness. Shown in the video above, they document urban life empowered by the simplicity of the bicycle by looking at desired spaces and our own impact to the process of it. At a time when we are facing environmental issues more than ever before, this film creatively explores how the bicycle contributes to the future livability of cities and brings more awareness to the public. (more…)
The London Festival of Architecture hosted its first photographic exhibition called “The Architect’s Eye”, featuring winners and finalists from the Architect’s Eye Photography Competition that we previously mentioned here on ArchDaily. On the exhibition’s opening night, nearly one-hundred people attended a panel discussion that focused on the relationship between architecture and photography within Zaha Hadid’s ROCA London Gallery. The panel, chaired by Amanda Baillieu from Building Magazine, was formed by Moderator Alex Health, Jack Pringle of Pringle Brandon Architects, Simon Allford of Allford Hall Monaghan Morris Architects, Architectural Photographer Nick Guttridge and Architectural Photographer Grant Smith. Roca London Gallery has provided us with the clip above. Check it out and follow us after the break key points from the discussion.
To coincide with the London Festival of Architecture and the London 2012 Olympics, Gallery Libby Sellers is currently holding an exhibition entitled Games. The show laterally interprets its title and the theme of ‘play’ by focusing on chess, other games and their accessories, with pieces designed by Rolf Sachs, Aberrant Architecture and Studio Frith, among others. We interview Simon Hasan about his Slice chess set and Paul Kelley on his games table and try to understand why chess is such a perennial form of entertainment, whilst Libby Sellers herself takes us through the inspiration for the exhibition.
This summer, New York artist Kurt Perschke brought his celebrated art project RedBall to the UK. Co-produced by Torbay Council and The Dartington Hall Trust, it arrived on the streets of the English Riviera in Torbay in June before touring to Plymouth, Exeter, Weymouth & Portland and London, finishing the tour at Dartington Hall and popping up in a total of 20 sites. The project engaged thousands of people on its tour of alleyways, underpasses, high streets, town squares, heritage sites and bridge arches across the country. Alongside the tour, the RedBall UK education project worked with hundreds of young people and staff in 5 schools to raise the aspirations and achievements of Year 6 pupils. Text Courtesy of Danny Cooke. For more information on RedBall UK, please visit here.
Representing a cross-section of some of the most renowned contemporary artists, Haunch of Venison has recently moved out of Burlington Gardens, where it has been for the past few years, back to its former home in the Haunch of Venison Yard, with architect Annabelle Selldorf overseeing the redesign. With another branch in New York, the gallery represents, amongst others, Turner Prize nominees Richard Long, Simon Patterson and Nathan Coley. We catch up with the gallery’s International Director Matt Carey-Williams and Iraqi artist Ahmed Alsoudani who shows us around his current exhibition.
Phototropia is part of an ongoing series on the application of smart materials in an architectural context and was realized in April 2012 by the Master of Advanced Studies class at the Chair for Computer Aided Architectural Design (CAAD). The project combines self-made electro-active polymers, screen-printed electroluminescent displays, eco-friendly bioplastics and thin-film dye-sensitized solar cells into an autonomous installation that produces its required energy from sunlight and – when charged – responds to user presence through moving and illuminating elements.
Find more information at Responsive Design.
Our friends at Black Spectacles have shared with us their recent interview with Ammar Eloueini from AEDS (Ammar Eloueini Digit-all Studio). With offices in the United States and Europe, the Lebanese architect has become known for his material-based, technology-driven designs. Using the J-House as reference, Eloueini states, “It [technology] could be visible, it could be totally invisible. It doesn’t need always to scream technology or digital technology. It could be very discreet, but very effective.”
As part of the Health Centre and Houses for Elderly People project by IPOSTUDIO Architects, Duosegno Visual Design shared with us this video they created which captures the features of the design and how it carefully integrates into the site. Through merging the new presence with the existent through the functional reuse and integration of the existing rural buildings to the new structures, the result is the emergence of a single façade towards the valley and its bending profile which simulates the soil contour lines.
Provided by the creative minds of Tramnesia, this short film takes us inside a remote hotel in Northern Chile known as the Residencia. Located in a desolate area of the Atacama desert, this subterranean building is straight out of a James Bond movie, literally. You may recognized it as the bad guy lair in Quantum of Solace.
Designed by the German architects of Auer + Weber, this hotel serves as a sanctuary for the astronomers and visitors of the European Southern Observatory’s Paranal Observatory. Hardly visible from the entrance road, the submerged the L-shaped structure is marked by a long brick entrance and skylight dome. Once inside, “cavernous public spaces echo the openness of the desert” and are “enclosed by dark earth tones that produce a cozy and secure effect.” (more…)
Located in the Olympic East End, the London Pleasure Gardens is a new 20-acre riverside arts and entertainment destination. Patterned after the Pleasure Gardens of the 17th and 19th Centuries, LPG invites visitors to listen to music, admire paintings, stroll, drink, flirt and immerse themselves in culture. Featuring open-air concerts, dance and theatre arenas, historic and contemporary architecture, an urban nature reserve, a boutique hotel and a floating cocktail bar, LPG will evolve over the next three years, acting as an entertainment centre but also a platform for artists and musicians to showcase their work to the public. Here, we speak to LPGs creative director, Deborah Armstrong about the project, the regeneration of the Royal Docks and the artists and architects involved.