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The Indicator: A Brief History of Balconies

Sears Tower Glass Balcony / Jared Newman, DesignCrave.com
Sears Tower Glass Balcony / Jared Newman, DesignCrave.com

Commencing. A Brief History of Balconies entails the examination of subjectivities above ground, on little bits of buildings in air, looking down, at pennies on the sidewalk, oddly visible from the 34th floor, which appears to be the same level as jumbo jets coming into Logan from wherever they were coming from and above the sea. I once stood parallel with the jets as they banked and tipped their wingtips a little. It’s an odd sensation to be in the air at such heights, stationary. It feels more natural to be in motion, to be flying. Chin on the warm aluminum extrusion of railing, I could fit my knees through the verticals. Just a slight web of metal anchored into concrete. I was once fearless at such heights and would sometimes stand on a patio chair to have the sensation of being clear of the rail. Was back a safe distance, or so assumed, with palms pressed to the balcony above. Holding myself in the in-between space like a jack, wedged between two floors and looking out over the rail to the vanishing point.

Venice Biennale 2012: Arum / Zaha Hadid

© Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

With their early work inspired by Russian Suprematism, Zaha Hadid Architects’ pays homage to the historical lineages of collective research that has led to the major works of today’s contemporary architecture at the 2012 Venice Biennale with the installation ‘Arum’. The pleated metal structure is derived from the work of German architect Frei Otto, who paved the way for material-structural form-finding processes. This installation is a response to David Chipperfield’s belief that the theme of ‘Common Ground’ is meant to “reassert the existence of an architectural culture, made up not just of singular talents but a rich continuity of diverse ideas united in a common history.”

© Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

Beautifully crafted, the installation at the Corderie of the Arsenale also includes models and explorations of ZHA, related to the work of Frei Otto, Felix Candela, Heinz Isler. In this aspect the firm has able to expose visitors to the inspiration and research from modern architects that can be found on ZHA’s contemporary works. We saw Patrik Schumacher before the Biennale’s preview on top of every detail, leading to an impecable result. Videos, photos and more from the architects after the break:

Armi OPEN Workshop – Urban Brain Stream

Armi OPEN Workshop – Urban Brain Stream is an international workshop that aims to develop our urban environment. It is part of the program of both World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 and the Helsinki Design Week. In a series of workshops, to be held around the world in a span of 24 hours on September 6, professionals in architecture, art, business, construction, design, graphic design, media and traffic planning, together with city residents, discuss current challenges in urban planning in the context of each city involved. The workshops will discuss topics that have to do with movement and communication – the redesigning of the experience of moving and communal urban spaces. The findings of the workshops will be summed up in an open public meeting at the Huutokonttori information center in Jätkäsaari, Helsinki, on Septmeber 7, from 3pm to 7pm. For more information, please visit here.  

Yutenji Apartments / architecture WORKSHOP

© Daici Ano
© Daici Ano

Architects: architecture WORKSHOP Location: Tokyo, Japan Design Team: Koh Kitayama, Hiroko Hasama, Mariko Hama, Kim Young Woo, Shimpei Yamashita Project Year: 2010 Photographs: Daici Ano

© Daici Ano
© Daici Ano
© Daici Ano
© Daici Ano
© Daici Ano
© Daici Ano
© Daici Ano
© Daici Ano

Guest House / Enrico Iascone Architetti

  • Architects: Enrico Iascone Architetti
  • Location: Bologna, Italy
  • Design Team: Carlotta Menarini, Camilla Belletti, Alberto Vitali, Anna Grassigli, Silvia Labanti
  • Project Architect: Enrico Iascone
  • Structural Engineers: Luca Turrini
  • Area: 100.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2009
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Enrico Iascone Architetti

Courtesy of Enrico Iascone Architetti Courtesy of Enrico Iascone Architetti Courtesy of Enrico Iascone Architetti Courtesy of Enrico Iascone Architetti

Melon District / Gus Wüstemann

  • Architects: Gus Wüstemann
  • Location: Paral.lel 101, Sants-Montjuic, Barcelona
  • Area: 2038.7 sqm
  • Project Year: 2007
  • Photographs: Bruno Helbling

© Bruno Helbling © Bruno Helbling © Bruno Helbling © Bruno Helbling

Coffee C.A.F.E. / Drozdov and Partners

  • Architects: Drozdov and Partners
  • Location: Kharkov, 77 Sumskaya st
  • Design Team: Aleksandr Abrosimov, Sergey Vasov, Denis Davydov, Oleg Drozdov, Sergey Rusanov
  • Area: 760.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2011
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Drozdov and Partners

Courtesy of Drozdov and Partners Courtesy of Drozdov and Partners Courtesy of Drozdov and Partners Courtesy of Drozdov and Partners

Porto Salvo / David Perri

© Peppe D’Urso © Peppe D’Urso © Peppe D’Urso © Peppe D’Urso

Lennox Residence / Artau Architecture

  • Architects: Artau Architecture
  • Location: allée de Clerlande 7, 1340 Ottignies
  • Area: 395.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2006
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Artau Architecture

Courtesy of Artau Architecture Courtesy of Artau Architecture Courtesy of Artau Architecture Courtesy of Artau Architecture

Lagravera / SALA FERUSIC Architects

  • Architects: SALA FERUSIC Architects
  • Location: Alfarràs, Lleida, Spain
  • Design Team: Carles Sala, Relja Ferusic
  • Client: Celler Lagravera SLU
  • Area: 600.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2009
  • Photographs: Courtesy of SALA FERUSIC Architects

Courtesy of SALA FERUSIC Architects Courtesy of SALA FERUSIC Architects Courtesy of SALA FERUSIC Architects Courtesy of SALA FERUSIC Architects

'Rethink Singapore' Archifest

Organized by Singapore Institute of Architects, the annual month-long architecture festival is back for the sixth year running to celebrate the urban environment and the communities that make it alive. With the theme of ‘Rethink Singapore’, the event aims to consider the city in new ways – its people, spaces and the way we inhabit it. Taking place October 6-31, they hope to place Singapore under new light and be seen through new lenses, rethinking and re-framing it as an urban ecosystem, beyond singular architectural projects. For more information, please visit here.

Firehouse of Palma de Mallorca / Jordi Herrero Arquitecto

© Jaime Sicilia
© Jaime Sicilia

Architects: Jordi Herrero Arquitecto Location: Palma de Mallorca, Spain Equipo De Diseño: Jordi Herrero Campo, Sebastián Escanellas Genovard, Juan Gabriel Valls Palmer, Gabriel Palmer Socías Project Year: 2009 Photographs: Jaime Sicilia, Courtesy of Jordi Herrero Arquitecto, Juan Gabriel Valls Palmer

Courtesy of Jordi Herrero Arquitecto
Courtesy of Jordi Herrero Arquitecto
© Jaime Sicilia
© Jaime Sicilia
© Jaime Sicilia
© Jaime Sicilia
© Jaime Sicilia
© Jaime Sicilia

Venice Biennale 2012: Spontaneous Interventions / USA Pavilion

© Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

The jury of the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale has awarded the United States pavilion a “Special Mention” for it’s innovative installation, titled Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good. Curated and commissioned by Cathy Lang Ho, along with David Van Der Leer and Ned Cramer, the exhibition presents 124 socially-minded urban interventions that have brought immediate improvements to the public realm. Brooklyn-based practice Freecell collaborated closely with the Sausalito-based design studio M-A-D, led by Erik Adigard and Patricia McShane, to design a kinetic system of color-coded banners, weights and pulleys, that showcase each urban intervention. Learn more after the break.

Venice Biennale 2012: Originaire / China Pavilion

From the curator Fang Zhenning: “Originaire” is a word created to combine the meanings of “original” and “initial”. In the Chinese language, the character for “source” is specifically in the context of the water source. As such, we invoke the idea of “originaire” to seek the origin of memory and a mental image of the original world.

Koolhaas to be the Biennale's next Director?

Hot on the heels of the Jencks Award, yet another accolade is rumored to be coming Rem Koolhaas‘ way. The claims are flying about the twitterverse: OMA’s Koolhaas will be the next Director of the Venice Biennale. Dezeen first reported the story after reading a tweet by the Biennale’s current Assistant Director to David Chipperfield, Kieran Long (Long’s also the architecture critic for London’s Evening Standard as well as the former Editor-in-Chief of Architectural Review/The Architect’s Journal). You can read the tweet for yourself below:

AD Round Up: Wood Architecture

Venice Biennale 2012: Architecture. Possible here? Home-for-all / Japan Pavilion

© Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

The Japan Pavilion for the Venice Biennale (designed by Takamasa Yoshizaka in 1956) presented the exhibit “Architecture. Possible here? Home-for-all”, curated by Toyo Ito, with the participation of architectural photographer Naoya Hatakeyama, and architects Kumiko Inui, Sou Fujimoto and Akihisa Hirata. The exhibition, which was awarded with the Gold Lion at the Biennale, takes us through the process where these three emerging architects collaborated with Toyo Ito to design the “Home-for-all”, a project for the inhabitants of Rikuzentakata who lost their homes during the tsunami in 2011. In the walls we find Hatakeyama’s photos from before and after the tsunami, along with a visual registry of the architects visiting the location. Around the pavilion, several study models reveal the process to design this unique type of house.

Home-for-all © David Basulto, ArchDaily
Home-for-all © David Basulto, ArchDaily

The jury stated at the award ceremony that ”the presentation and the storytelling in the Pavilion are exceptional and highly accessible to a broad audience. The jury was impressed with the humanity of this project.” In the next days we will feature an exclusive interview with the curator, Toyo Ito. More photos and text from Toyo Ito after the break:

SFMoMA presents "Field Conditions"

Lebbeus Woods, Conflict Space 2, 2006; crayon and acrylic on linen; 74 x 120 in. (187.96 x 304.8 cm); Collection SFMOMA, gift of Aleksandra Wagner; © Lebbeus Woods
Lebbeus Woods, Conflict Space 2, 2006; crayon and acrylic on linen; 74 x 120 in. (187.96 x 304.8 cm); Collection SFMOMA, gift of Aleksandra Wagner; © Lebbeus Woods

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will be hosting an exhibition from September 1, 2012 through January 6, 2013 that features works of conceptual and theoretical architecture. Blurring the lines between the two, the “field” to frame these investigations into construction, representation, and experience of space entitled Field Conditions features works in a wide variety of media by artists and practicing architects. Some of the notable names that will have their work on display include Tauba Auerbach, Daniel Libeskind, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Sol LeWitt, and Lebbeus Woods. More snapshots of the work after the break.