A while ago I was talking to someone about designing a Buddhist temple. I began to think about the subject of sacred spaces: their configuration, their meaning, and most importantly, how people use those spaces to give their religious practice meaning. I realized that designing sacred space is a pretty unique endeavor. And given the nature of commissions these days, the chances that people are unfamiliar with a particular religion is pretty high.
So here’s a hypothetical for you: imagine someone unfamiliar with Christianity has been commissioned to adaptively re-use, say, a building for a Catholic church (L.A is full of such storefront churches). And this person has discovered from an online source that of central importance is the altar and the altar table. But, if that person is not a practitioner, it’s possible that s/he might think, given the limitations of the pre-existing structure, that the altar could be placed in one corner and the altar table in another.
Sounds ludicrous, doesn’t it? Well, something similar was proposed for this Buddhist temple: the altar was placed to the side of the North-South axis. But you can’t place Buddha off to the side. Placing a Chinese Buddhist altar along the North-South axis is of paramount importance. This was, in essence, a big cultural mistake
While perusing the internet, I re-discovered talk about Architect Barbie by Alexandra Lange for Dwell. As part of Mattel’s Barbie I Can Be series, Architect Barbie was added to the company’s list of other arguably atypical professions for women (computer engineer, martial artist, marine biologist, race car driver, etc) in 2011 after partnering with AIA San Francisco. Equipped with a model dream house, hard hat and drawing tube, Mattel boasts that Architect Barbie will empower girls to play out different roles and “try on” fabulous careers. But, this doll was about more than giving young children a new outlet for their imaginations during play time; for, Architect Barbie would serve as a social experiment to generate long term feminine interest in a field where 17% of professionals are women.
More about Architect Barbie after the break.
Designed by 24° Studio for the Santorini Biennale 2012, Daphne is made entirely of self-supporting paper panels to create an enclosure that intervenes the visitors’ perception of the existing conditions. Their installation, which is being displayed until September 30, achieves this perception as being a container of conglomerated memory as the paper panels age and take their shape accordingly to the local condition. Located within the tunneled stairway, it interplays with the notion of concealing and revealing the ancient interior surfaces of the tunnel leading to the peak of Pyrgos. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Architects: Westfourth Architecture
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Design Team: Vlad Arsene, Călin Negoescu, Zzing Lee, Sînziana Nicolae, Alexandru Cutelecu
Envelope Consultant: Aludesign
Structural Engineer: Popp şi Asociaţii
Mechanical Engineering: Air Control Systems
Project Year: 2009
Project Area: 3,000 sqm
Photographs: Andrei Mărgulescu
Focusing on the relationship between tall buildings and sustainability, the ‘Beyond Green! – Tall Buildings in a Sustainable Future’ international symposium will take place October 10-12 at the University of Stuttgart, Germany. Due to urbanization and land being a fixed…
With the intention of expressing the meaning of the Stock Exchange for the city of Tehran, EBA[M] + VMX Architects… aims to combine contemporary with traditional culture to generate a place where all the necessary activities are facilitated, but next
Architects: 1100 Architect
Location: Jamaica, NY, USA
Architect In Charge: Juergen Riehm
Design Team: Jessica Spiegel, Texer Nam, Chen-Whei Su, Joanna Chen, Sebastian Kaempf, Peter Heller
Principal: David Piscuskas, FAIA, LEED AP
Project Architects: Heather Braun, RA; Christine Harper, RA
Project Captain: Ersela Kripa, RA
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Michael Moran / ottoarchive
Grimshaw Architects have released submitted a proposal for a major commercial office development planned above the Crossrail station at Paddington in London. The 15-story structure, located at the junction of Bishop’s Bridge Road and the Grand Union Canal, will also provide retail space, a grand colonnade along the canal frontage, and a new entrance to the Hammersmith & City and Circle Line stations below.
Grimshaw Associate Director Declan McCafferty said: “We are delighted to be working once again with Crossrail on what is an exciting and challenging project. We have utilized all of our experience in both the commercial and transport sectors to create a scheme which will provide significant public realm improvements, while integrating the new station entrance and taxi ramp into a coherent and dramatic piece of commercial architecture.”
Continue reading for more.
Architects: People’s Architecture Office (He Zhe, James
Location: Legend Town Creative Industry Park, Ciyunsi Bridge, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Design Team: Liu Xiujuan, Liang Shaoyi, Chen Yixuan, Emily Kwak, Cui Yujing
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Courtesy of People’s Architecture Office
For Taiwan’s seventh year at the Venice Biennale, the Taiwanese team will present Architect/Geographer – Le Foyer de Taiwan. The exhibition will embody the main theme of the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale which is “Common Ground”. The aspects of Taiwanese culture and architecture will be presented through the perspective of a geographer as mapping that can uncover a new understanding of Taiwan through international eyes. The team is supervised by the Ministry of Culture, organized by the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, and curated by Ke-Fung Liou. The exhibit will be displayed at Palazzo delle Prigioni.
Follow us after the break for more on the exhibit.
Draw Me a House is an interactive colouring book for children, budding architects and anyone interested in the built environment. Come on a journey across time and around the world. Color in, think about it , doodle and engage with architectural elements from Malian houses to New York skycrapers. Draw a new top on the Chrysler building, design a deluxe doghouse, color in a gargoyle and fix up the Parthenon.
The American Institute of Architects, California Council (AIACC) has announced the 2012 Design Award Recipients. Since 1982, AIACC has recognized excellence in architecture and design through the AIACC Design Awards Program. An esteemed Design Awards jury has selected these award winners out of 300 submittals. Continue after the break to review the projects!