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.
Pritzker laureate Frei Otto was best known for his tensile structures. A prime example Otto’s ingenuity, the 1972 Olympic Stadium in Munich was a collaborative work with Gunther Behnisch that connected the park’s main programs - the natatorium, gymnasium and main stadium - with a whimsical, lightweight canopy structure that mimicked the “rhythmic protrusions” of the Swiss Alps. Watch the Spirit of Space short film above to see the project in its current state and learn more about the pioneering structure, here.
The latest innovation in workplace design, Clive Wilkinson Architects’ “Activity Based Working” (ABW) has revolutionized the way people go about their daily activities at the GLG Global Headquarters in New York. Broadening the idea of workable area to a number of specialized environments, ABW fosters a new dynamic in office relations, providing spaces for both individualized activity and collaboration. Experience this through the Spirit of Space-produced video above.
A contemporary museum set within the oldest settlement in the Louisiana Purchase, Trahan Architects’ Louisiana State Sports Hall of Fame and Regional History Museum is distinguished for its sculpted interior and contrasting copper facade. Watch the short film above as Spirit of Space tours through the building, capturing the museum’s historic context and central pathway.
In light of the recent opening of Mons International Congress Xperience (MICX), Daniel Libeskind hosted a private tour through the conference center, explaining his thinking behind the building’s expressive form. The experience was captured on this short film by Spirit of Space with the intention to open the discussion up to a larger audience.
The building, an important new landmark in the Belgium city of Mons, is described by Libeskind as “an expression of contrasting geometric forms.” Aside form providing function and “lively” spaces for auditoria and conference use, the building aims to be “a hinge between the old city and the new.”
In this video from our friends at Spirit of Space, Daniel Libeskind talks about his installation for the Venice Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale, entitled 'Sonnets in Babylon'. The installation deals with drawing, an act that Libeskind believes is "the foundational art, and the mystery and the magic of all buildings and cities." To Libeskind, drawings are akin to religious materials, communicating meaning without the use of a fixed language and each with its own power to shape the way we understand the world around us. At the end he gives a hint as to why he is so attached to drawings: "I drew for many years before I even built a building. But I based those buildings that I built on the drawings I made... Every drawing is also a tool for the future."