Earlier this year, the L’Abre Blanc Residential Tower was completed in Montpellier, France. Designed by Sou Fujimoto, Nicolas Laisné, Manal Rachdi, and Dimitri Roussel, the tree-like structure features cantilevered balconies protruding from its ‘trunk’ in all directions. An eccentric but unique silhouette, the building is hoped to become an object of pride for the people of Montpellier as well as a tourist attraction.
Laurian Ghinitiou: The Latest Architecture and News
The Virtues and Limits of Photography in the Representation of Architecture: Five Photographers Share their Perspectives
As a way of representing architecture, photography has certain undisputed qualities. With it, it is possible to present to a project from a distant corner of the globe to people anywhere in the world, showing everything from general views to internal spaces and constructive details - extending the reach and, in a way, the access to the architecture.
But like any other form of representation, it is not infallible. Even as technological advances allow for ever more well-defined images and editing software offer tools to retouch and even alter aspects of the built space, photography by its very nature lacks the means to convey sensory and tactile aspects of architecture. It is not possible - at least not satisfactorily - to experience the textures, sounds, feelings, and scents of spaces through static images.
One of the star attractions of 2018’s Burning Man Festival was the ORB, designed and overseen by Bjarke Ingels, Iacob Lange & Laurent de Carniere. The 1/500,000 scale sphere of the Earth’s surface was designed to conceptually reference earth and human expression, intending to leave no trace following its deflation.
The designers wanted the giant sphere to act as a guiding landmark for festival-goers, and set up an Indiegogo campaign back in July to raise the remaining funding for the installation. In total, the team invested 30 tons of steel, 1,000 welding and sewing hours, and $300,000 of their own funds to make the ORB a reality.
The story of the Hastings Pier is an improbable one. Located in Hastings - a stone's throw away from the battlefield that defined English history - the pier was first opened to the promenading public in 1872. For decades the structure, an exuberant array of Victorian-era decoration, entertained seaside crowds but by the new millennium had fallen out of disrepair. In 2008 the pier was closed - a closure that became seemingly irreversible when, two years later, it burnt down.
In a creative scene that is already bursting with talent and innovation, Atelier Deshaus' works in China stand out. Their projects, often renovations of existing spaces, do not follow particular rules of style set by others or even themselves. Yet they are united in their subtle and enigmatic take on the experience of space in the ever-changing urban environments in China.
Bjarke Ingels Group's (BIG) LEGO House, which opened to the public earlier this month in Billund, Denmark, has already entered the canon of the iconic. By reframing the "toy scale of the classic LEGO brick" to the architectural scale, a vibrant collection of exhibition spaces and public squares "embody the culture and values at the heart of all LEGO experiences." In other words, it's playful, bright, and almost exclusively rectilinear!
SANAA's Zollverein School of Management and Design in Essen, Germany, is a perfect 35 meter-cube. The building's dominant presence, which is particularly striking amid its suburban context, extends to the interior spaces. The architects felt "that exceptional ceiling heights were appropriate for the educational spaces, particularly for the studio level that occupies an entire slab of the structure." Indeed, this production floor is "an unusually lofty and fully flexible space," enclosed only by the external structural walls. Photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu has visited the building, which was completed in 2010, to capture a fresh view on this seminal project.