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Sculpture In The Environment: The Latest Architecture and News

On Cottesloe Beach, Gjøde & Partnere Arkitekter Create a Floating Desert Island for Sculpture By The Sea

On The Desert Island in Cottesloe Beach, Australia, a 72-meter wall of mirrors partitions out a section of the sand, creating a cove of its own. The wall faces the Indian Ocean, and the curved reflection of sand merging with the soft-blue waters and the horizon beyond creates an illusion of an enclosed space; a desert island floating in an endless sea.

Conceived of by the Danish architecture studio Gjøde & Partnere Arkitekter, the installation was part of the annual Sculpture By The Sea exhibition in Australia last month. It is the largest free public sculpture exhibition in the world, and anyone can submit their ideas. As beachgoers stumbled upon this panorama of the shore upon sand, they danced, took photos, and watched the sunset from the wavering reflections of the mythical island.

© David Dare Parker© Richard Watson© Richard Watson© Gjøde & Partnere Arkitekter+ 15

Interview with James Wines: "The Point is to Attack Architecture!"

As the founder of SITE, an architecture firm most widely-known for their seminal series of stores for BEST in the 1970s, James Wines has become something of an anomaly in the field of architecture: originally an artist, his approach of creating architecture as a form of cultural criticism struck a chord almost universally, delighting critics and the public alike. In this interview, the latest in Vladimir Belogolovsky's “City of Ideas” column, Wines explains the ideas behind those early designs and how his subsequent works have continued that thread of ideas.

BEST Products Notch Building (1977). Image © SITECompetition entry for Frankfurt Museum of Modern Art (1983). Image © SITEHighway 86 at the 1986 World Expo in Vancouver. Image © SITEAntilia ‘Vertiscape” Tower proposal (2003). Image © SITE+ 47

When Art, Architecture and Commerce Collided: The BEST Products Showrooms by SITE

According to one survey, images of the BEST Products Showroom in Houston, Texas, designed by SITE (Sculpture in the Environment), appeared in more books on 20th-century architecture than any other building. The intentionally crumbling brick at that Houston store, known as “Indeterminate Façade,” and the eight other showrooms SITE designed, were simultaneously iconic and controversial, and most importantly for BEST, they brought in customers. Although SITE-founder James Wines never considered himself a Postmodernist architect, his designs for BEST, completed between 1972 and 1984, steeped in whimsical social commentary, came to symbolize the essence of Postmodernism. Today, all but one of the BEST showrooms have been demolished or altered beyond recognition, but they set a lasting precedent, and continue to influence the use of architecture in corporate branding today.

Cutler Ridge Building. Image © SITENotch Building Plan/Elevation. Image © SITEInside/Outside Building. Image © SITEForest Building. Image © SITE+ 40