A new pool has just opened in the heart of London’s King’s Cross. In the centre of one of the city’s largest mixed-use development projects Ooze Architects, in collaboration with artist Marjetica Potrc, have developed and realised “the UK’s first man-made fresh water public bathing pond” as a piece of and art. The oblong pool is forty metres long, built two metres above ground level, and is surrounded by “pioneer plants, wild flowers grasses, and bushes so that the environment evolves as the seasons change.” It will be purified through “a natural closed-loop process, using wetland and submerged water plants to filter and sustain clean and clear water.”
Janet Echelman‘s latest aerial sculpture has been suspended 365 feet above Boston’s Rose Kennedy Greenway. On view through October 2015, the monumental installation spans 600 feet, occupying a void where an elevated highway once divided the city’s downtown from its waterfront.
“The sculpture’s form echoes the history of its location,” describes Echelman. “The three voids recall the ‘Tri-Mountain’ which was razed in the 18th-century to create land from the harbor. The colored banding is a nod to the six traffic lanes that once overwhelmed the neighborhood, before the Big Dig buried them and enabled the space to be reclaimed for urban pedestrian life.”
A new sculpture has risen in the desert of Qatar: “East-West/West-East,” Richard Serra‘s second public commission by the Gulf nation. Sited in a barren landscape that was suggested by Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the former Emir, the installation is comprised of four steel plates incrementally placed and standing perpendicular to the ground.
Much like Serra’s first Qatari sculpture – “7″ in Doha – the German rolled steel structure will oxidize, changing from gray to orange and eventually a dark amber, much like the Seagram Building in midtown, said Serra in an interview with The New Yorker. The artist hopes it will become a landmark within the country.
A selection of images from architecture photographer Nelson Garrido, after the break.
Daniel Libeskind, together with Italian paint company Oikos, has transformed the Università Statale’s Pharmacy Courtyard into a garden of “Future Flowers” as part of the 2015 Milan Design Week. On view through May 24, the installation was inspired by one of Libeskind’s “Chamberwork” drawings. It features a series of intersecting red metal “blades” that represent a collection of Oikos paints developed by Libeskind.
By adjoining 200,000 fabric-lined floatable components, Christo hopes to allow the residents of two mainland towns in Italy‘s Lombardy region to walk on water for a duration of two weeks in June 2016. If approved, the ”Floating Piers” would connect both towns with the Lake Iseo islands via an extended, brightly colored fabric dock that would stretch across two miles.
Russian architects Sergei Tchoban (SPEECH architectural office), Sergey Kuznetsov, and Agniya Sterligova are featuring the “Living Line” sculpture at this year’s Milan Design Week. Created for a central part of the University of Milan’s main courtyard, which occupies the Ca ‘Granda complex of 15th century Renaissance buildings, the mirrored plexiglass “Mobius strip” aims to reflect the exhibition’s theme “Energy for Life.”
Associate professor Toni Kotnik and assistant professor Carlos Bañón have collaborated on the design of an exhibition platform for the 2015 SUTD Open House. Held in early, the exhibition was the main showcase for the department of Architecture and Sustainable Design at the Singapore University of Technology and Design.
Contrasting the neutrality of the white exhibition space, Kotnik and Bañón’s design used 200 wooden studs, each 1-meter in length and configured into a modular grid system. The structure was supported by 16 oxidised steel tripods that add both stability and a visual density to the platform. Both Kotnik and Bañón are faculty members at the Singapore University of Technolgoy and Design, with particular interests in architecture and sustainable design. More images after the break.
German artist Carsten Höller is returning to London with plans for two new giant slides to be built at the Hayward Gallery this Summer. As part of his exhibition “Decision,” Holler will provide visitors with a two-slide exit option that will (hopefully) induce an “emotional state that is a unique condition somewhere between delight and madness.”
“[Holler] is “one of the world’s most thought-provoking and profoundly playful artists, with a sharp and mischievous intelligence bent on turning our ‘normal’ view of things upside-down,” says Ralph Rugoff, director of the Hayward Gallery. Decision, he continued, “will ask visitors to make choices, but also, more importantly, to embrace a kind of double vision that takes in competing points of view, and embodies what Holler calls a state of ‘active uncertainty’ – a frame of mind conducive to entertaining new possibilities.”
This sculptural installation, created by Swiss artist Romain Crelier, was exhibited at Bellelay Abbey in 2013. Although the structure dates back to the 12th century, the current Abbey Church of the Assumption was built by Franz Beer in a Vorarlberg Baroque style and completed in 1714.
Almost three hundred years later Crelier’s piece, entitled La Mise en Abîme (which roughly translates to, ’to have put into an abyss’), placed two shallow pools of used engine oil to act as reflective mirrors. These ‘puddles’ “allow the viewers to interact with the architecture of the church by being pulled into the reflection so that they, in turn, become part of the sculpture themselves.” According to We Find Wildness‘ interpretation, “the installation not only dispenses multiple visual thrills and mysteries but also offers a moment where sculpture creates another reading of space.”
Despite Andrés Jaque of Office of Political Innovation emerging as the winner of the 2015 MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program (YAP), his competitors put up quite a fight. One of this year’s five shortlisted proposals, Erin Besler’s Roof Deck breathes life into arguably the most overlooked aspect of architecture – the roof – by injecting it with an active public program and making it a vessel for summer celebration.
Read on after the break for more on Besler’s proposal.
Marc Fornes / THEVERYMANY has realized two permanent installations – “Under Stress” and “Sous Tension” – in the public areas of the Department of Computer Science at the French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (INRIA). Both structures “utilize programming techniques inherent in computer science to optimize the form and creating a pattern on the surface.”
“The structures engage the spaces with their intricate and gestural movements that effortlessly travel over the areas,” says the practice. “They provide visitors with iconic hubs for informal and spontaneous social gatherings while expressing the tension between the dynamic interactions from the multi-directional and converging paths within the public spaces. More than a signal for the school, they become elements of enhancement for the school’s identity.”
Stereotank’s HeartBeat filled the air in Times Square this past Valentine’s Day. Now that the love season is over, the Brooklyn-based practice has turned their clever installation into a welcoming “HeartSeat” by simply opening up their heart-shaped sculpture to the public and transforming it into a bench. The installation will remain on view through Sunday, March 8th. See a video of HeartSeat, after the break.
Each year Winnipeg’s Red River Mutual Rivertrail is transformed by a series of site specific “Warming Huts” that bring life and refuge to what is the world’s longest naturally frozen skating trail. The annual tradition’s popularity has grown exponentially, attracting participation from firm’s worldwide. This edition is offering visitors a highly acclaimed pop-up restaurant, a ski-through museum, and an eclectic collection of warm shelters, including a “hybrid” wood hut designed by Mexico’s Rojkind Arquitectos. You can see all eight completed installations, after the break.
New York City is celebrating the opening of its seventh annual Valentine’s Day installation in Times Square. As part of Times Square Alliance’s heart design competition, Brooklyn-based, Venezuelan-born firm Stereotank has constructed their heart-beating urban drum in hopes to bring New Yorkers together through music.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Unveils Janet Echelman’s Latest Work: “Impatient Optimist” in Seattle
A new aerial sculpture by renowned artist Janet Echelman has been installed at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation campus in Seattle. Entitled “Impatient Optimist,” the sculpture consists of a custom net structure suspended above the courtyard, resulting in an ethereal floating surface which seems to defy gravity. The award-winning artist’s piece hovers above the city as a symbol of connectivity and stands as a testament to the impact an individual can have on a broader scale.
Steven Holl and Vito Acconci’s Storefront for Art and Architecture has hosted its share of installations, but its newest intervention envisioned by SO-IL as part of the Blueprint exhibition is a whole new concept: covering the entire facade with shrink-wrap. The seamless outcome is deceptively simple, however, as the installation involved some careful calculations, a massive frame, and a dedicated team with an acute attention to detail. Read more about the project, see the finished product, and watch the process, here.
Inside Rotterdam’s Sonneveld House everything is in order: books arranged nearly on shelves, chairs tucked under tables, rugs set square on the bedroom floor. The house is a pristine tableau depicting what the interior would have looked like whilst inhabited by the eponymous Albertus Sonneveld and his family.
Yet something interesting lies underfoot, thanks to an intervention by Inside Outside that sees the entire floor of the home covered with a single, continuous mirror. Read more about the installation and view selected images after the break.
Marc Fornes / THEVERYMANY Constructs Self-Supported “Vaulted Willow” with Ultra-Thin Aluminum Shells
The Edmonton Arts Council has commissioned Marc Fornes / THEVERYMANY to construct an “architectural folly” in the Canadian city’s Borden Park. The project, known as “Vaulted Willow,” aims to “resolve and delineate structure, skin and ornamentation into a single unified system” by “exploring lightweight, ultra-thin, self-supported shells through the development of custom computational protocols of structural form-finding and descriptive geometry.”