When it comes to the design process behind architectural projects, brainstorming is never the same for everyone. Some find inspiration in crowded rooms with loud music in the background, some walk around public spaces and observe people’s behaviors, and some need almost no resources whatsoever, just a pen, paper, and complete silence.
Spirit Of Space: The Latest Architecture and News
Being in confinement has produced unconventional means of exploring architectural spaces and installations. Instead of putting everything on hold until life goes back to normal, designers and curators found inspiration from practices like performance arts and theatre, breaking down the walls between the subject and viewers but from a distance.
Ashley Bigham and Erik Herrmann of Outpost Office reimagined the theme of "mobility" by creating 1:1 scale drawings on the Ragdale campus using GPS-controlled field marking robots. Their unique urban installation, which addressed modern-day concerns such as public spaces, how we are engaging with them, and physicality, won first place in the 2020 Ragdale Ring competition.
In these times when we are experiencing an extraordinary situation that limits travel and the possibility of holding events together, we still want to keep alive the debate on the dissemination of architecture in the media. For this reason, this year the venue of the event moves from the inspiring Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona to the YouTube channel of Fundació Mies van der Rohe.
The European Conference on Architecture & the Media is conceived as a place to meet and exchange experiences on the dissemination of architecture. It is addressed to journalists, cultural institutions and organisations, communication professionals, architects and architecture lovers.
While opting for still images seems to be the most utilized means of presenting a project, some architects choose to invite viewers into the architecture itself, allowing them to experience the building and its surroundings immersively. Since 2006, architecture filmography studio Spirit of Space has engaged viewers with over 200 short films of projects built by world-renowned architects such as Peter Zumthor, Steven Holl, Daniel Libeskind, and Jeanne Gang. The studio’s multidisciplinary team has combined visuals with customized soundtracks, elevating the journey and turning it into a multi-sensory experience.
A new film by Steven Holl Architects and Spirit of Space showcases the REACH at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Designed as three pavilions interconnected below an open green roof, the elegant expansion merges architecture and landscape to increase the center's interior space with 72,000 sf of open studios, rehearsal and performance spaces, and dedicated arts learning spaces.
Opening its doors last fall, Princeton University's Lewis Arts Complex by Steven Holl Architects and BNIM created a new campus gateway and state-of-the-art facilities for the arts. Expanding performance, rehearsal and teaching spaces, the complex has now been featured in a video directed by Spirit of Space. The footage shows how the building was designed to shape campus space while maximizing porosity and movement. Welcoming its second year of students, the complex is made to take the arts at Princeton to even greater heights.
In this video, Spirit of Space visits Exhibit Columbus to see Wiikiaami, a parametrically designed structure by studio:indigenous. Beginning in 2016, Exhibit Columbus is an annual event which invites people to travel to the small, but architecturally fascinating Midwestern town of Columbus, Indiana. Free and open to the public through November 26th, Exhibit Columbus displays 18 unique, site-responsive architectural installations.
"We are at a moment of great cultural transition," Jorge Otero-Pailos argues. "The kinds of objects that we look to to provide some sort of continuity in that transformation is often times architecture, [...] one of the most stable objects in culture." This short film, in which an number of participants of the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial reflect on their work and those of others, tackles the theme conceived by artistic directors Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee: Make New History.
In "Horizontal City," 24 Architects Reconsider Architectural Interiors at 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial
Horizontal City is one of two collective exhibitions (the other being Vertical City) at the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial. 24 architects were tasked by artistic directors Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee to "reconsider the status of the architectural interior" by referencing a photograph of a canonical interior from any time period.
Their challenge was in considering the forms and ways that their selection "might extrapolate out from the cropped photographic frame into a spatial and lifestyle construction across a larger, horizontal site" – in this case, a field of plinths, the size and positioning of which is a direct reference to the footprint of Mies van der Rohe's 1947 plan for the IIT Campus in Chicago.
"Strong Relationships Between Engineers and Architects": SOM at the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial
An engineer should design a structure that an architect would be ashamed to cover up.
In this video produced by PLANE—SITE and Spirit of Space for ArchDaily, two of SOM’s great minds take us through the firm’s most recent exhibition, "SOM: Engineering x [Art + Architecture]," currently on display in conjunction with the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial. Focusing on the intersection between engineering and architecture, the exhibition reveals the design process behind some of the firm’s greatest achievements through a range of sketches, models, sculptures and visuals.
As the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial prepares to open its doors, curators Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee (Johnston Marklee) introduce Make New History – the theme of the second edition of North America's largest architecture and design exhibition.
Understanding the trace of history is more important than ever. Maybe now it's a good time to take stock and reevaluate to see what architecture could do better, and there are certain issues that other disciplines address better than architecture itself.
Two months before the much-anticipated opening of the Chicago Architecture Biennal, this video collaboration between Berlin-based PLANE–SITE and Chicago-based Spirit of Space offers an insight into what is to come this fall. The first video of the series delves into the core message that curators Mark Lee and Sharon Johnston of Johnston Marklee have established as the groundwork for contributions from over 100 international participants. One of the youngest biennials in the architectural scene, the Chicago Architecture Biennial is only in its second edition and is still defining the unique and independent traits that will help it stand out from other similar events.
The series from PLANE–SITE and Spirit of Space will unravel some of the Biennial's main themes, and delve into its program, reporting on such projects as the reinterpretations for Howells & Hood’s 1925 Tribune Tower; 3D responses to historical images of building interiors; a labyrinth of galleries that will host larger installations; and some of the biennial's anchor sites across the city of Chicago.
LOHA (Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects) has recently released Amplified Urbanism, a book about its design methodology, which is “rooted in creating fluid interaction between public and private spaces, emphasizing social and civic connections, and harnessing existing ecological and infrastructural patterns.”
Through this publication, LOHA aims to present projects it has developed based on these principles, as well as to provoke discussion about issues in Los Angeles and the wider architectural field.
In order to highlight the book “as a creative process that begins in the studio, and when implemented in the built environment, catalyzes positive connections,” LOHA has collaborated with filmmakers Spirit of Space on a short film.
Referencing architecture's intimate past with the arts, Steven Holl argues the importance of collaborating with other artists for the benefit of the profession alongside choreographer and dancer Jessica Lang. "If we don't intermix the arts and collaborate, we are going to close... The arts are going to fade out individually. We are stronger together."
Watch the Spirit of Space video above to learn more about Holl and Lang's collaboration - Dance with Architecture - that uses dance to explore the four types of architecture: "under the ground, in the ground, on the ground, and over the ground."
"If you only think in architectural terms, only architecture will come out." - Wolf Prix
Inspired by space suits, Formula One circuits, and many other "mind expanding machines," Wolf D. Prix of Coop Himmelb(l)au explains the thought process that went behind their design of the Musée des Confluences in Lyon, France. With spiraling ramps and bridges throughout, the museum allows visitors to explore the space "freely," despite the constraints of gravity, and, in a sense, "conquer space." Read on for Spirit of Space's full interview with Prix.
"A counteraction to what is happening today in China," OPEN Architecture's Garden School in Beijing seeks to reconnect its students with nature. Located in a new town that, as founding partner Li Hu says, was built "too fast," the school serves as one of the few spaces students can interact with nature. The school is designed like a garden, from its sloping "floor zero" to rooftop gardens, offering unconventional spaces for teaching and inviting public areas that encourage social interaction.
“What is problematic is that these new towns are designed too fast, without much thinking about how the spaces are going to be used, and what kind of space they are going to create. I think it is a problem for human psychology. Living in a new town with not enough good green space, good social space, we’ll become very problematic urban animals,” Hu told Spirit of Space.
Read on for a conversation with the architects.
In an effort to spark new ideas for "zero value landscapes," Amanda Williams has been painting abandoned houses in Chicago's South Side with a "palette of culturally coded, monochromatic colors" to "explore how academic and theoretical definitions of color map across veiled language used in American media/popular culture to describe racially charged city spaces... Think a female Gordon Matta-Clark parading around as a Black Josef Albers," says the artist.
One of the best acoustically responsive concert halls in the world, Coop Himmelb(l)au's House of Music in Aalborg has been a lively center for music and creative exchange since its opening in 2014. Based off of the simple, yet powerful courtyard typology and inspired by Le Corbusier’s La Tourette, the 1,300-seat concert hall is embraced by a U-shaped education center and enhanced by a careful overlapping of public and performance areas. This has allowed the building to live up to its name, becoming an animated House of Music where music is not only heard, but seen.