When I came across this video of the 1939 New York World’s Fair, it reminded me of an excellent resource: the digital archives of the New York Public Library. Both of the photos above are from the archives, and are just two of the thousands and thousands that relate the fair. The fair invited to folks to wander around the “world of tomorrow” so it isn’t surprising the archive is packed full of the future from the past.
from The Fox Is Black http://www.thefoxisblack.com/2012/05/10/1939-new-york-worlds-fair/
These are images of the recently unveiled 2012 Serpentine Pavilion designed by Herzog & de Meuron with Ai Weiwei. This is the same team responsible for the Beijing Olympic Stadium back in 2008. The Serpentine Pavilion is built each summer adjacent to the Serpentinve Gallery in Hyde Park, London. The pavilion opens sometime toward the beginning of summer (if construction runs smoothly) and stays open into the fall, hosting lectures and planned events while welcoming visitors to wander around and take pictures with their phones. You can tell the architects among the crowd by their excessively expensive DSLRs.
This is the twelfth pavilion built by the gallery. To generate the form of this year’s pavilion, the designers overlaid plans from the previous eleven pavilions onto the site and started to manipulate the drawing into a three-dimensional form. The intersecting shapes were pushed down into the ground or pulled up to support a roof. That roof is covered with a thin sheet of water, and because the is below eye level for folks on the gallery lawn, that water will reflect the sky, trees and people around it. Below the roof, the history of site is excavated into the ground. The seats, platforms, columns, stairs and ramps are all derived from the ghosts of other pavilions that have either been moved or destroyed.
Oddly enough, the uniqueness of this summer’s pavilion will stem from references to previously-built pavilions. I’m not aware of any other Serpentine Pavilion that has done this. It’s a moment of self-consciousness that could easily be awkward (like a kind of architectural puberty for the pavilion) or dismissed as too esoteric (here is architecture referencing other works of architecture.) As with other works by Herzog and de Meuron, the exuberance of the work avoids both. There’s something exciting built into their work, or in this case, the ground.
P.S. The roof becomes a dance floor.
from The Fox Is Black http://www.thefoxisblack.com/2012/05/08/excavating-the-past-the-2012-serpentine-pavilion/
Two things about this building remind me of Tetris. The first is obvious: the massing of this building is blocky in a way that looks like an L-shaped piece glued next to one of the long skinny pieces. If you played with the same strategy that I did, you usually ended up with a tall, narrow crevice between two sides of your screen; no matter how badly you needed a long skinny piece, it would only rain L’s. This building is that rare and skinny Tetris piece, not only because it kind of looks like it, but also because it connects two sides of a city that have needed a connection.
The city here is Galicia, Spain, and the two sides are a historic district on one side and a commercial port on the other. A 20 meter bluff between the two effectively isolates each from the other and makes both sides rely on cars to visit the other. This highly visible project from Abalo Alonso Arquitectos responds simply “How about some stairs and an elevator?” The minimal program is wrapped in a durable concrete skin that is punctuated by deep-set windows to animate the blocky mass. The shape my seem a little clunky or funny, but it’s just the connection the city needed.
Found through ArchDaily
from The Fox Is Black http://www.thefoxisblack.com/2012/05/11/archi-tetris-helping-to-connect-the-city-of-galacia/
Ce terrifiant (et réel) escalier est fixé à l’extérieur d’un gratte-ciel de plus de dix étages . Le design est signé des architectes Sabina Lang et Daniel Baumann de L / B.
from Zeutch http://www.zeutch.com/archi/terrifying-staircase-on-exterior-wall-of-skyscraper-36315
Heather Ackroyd et Dan Harvey ont transformé une église historique du Sud-Est de Londres en un intérieur verdoyant.
from Zeutch http://www.zeutch.com/cool/living-grass-walls-of-dilston-grove-gallery-36290