Archive for the 'architecture' Category

Robbrecht and Daem: Pacing Through Architecture

Flemish architects Paul Robbrecht and Hilde Daem of Robbrecht en Daem Architecten have a poetic approach to buildings. Embracing the intimate and the modest, their projects are defined by natural materials and simplicity of colour. Sudden openings onto exhilarating views act as flowing, ephemeral presences which guide visitors through the spaces they create.

Describing architecture as ‘a vehicle for understanding the world; an observatory’, their projects range from high profile public buildings such as Bruges Concert Hall and the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum extension in Rotterdam, to a woodland cabin, a zoo and a bird observation tower. Collaborations with artists have created subtle interplays between art and architecture, while their sensitive renovations reveal a sophisticated engagement with history in projects including Antwerp City Archives and the Whitechapel Gallery’s recent expansion.

Their first UK exhibition looks at key projects from the 1980s to today, with watercolours, plans and photographs relating to each project. Kristien Daem’s extensive photographs and a series of six films directed by cinematographer Maarten Vanden Abeele provide extraordinary portraits of the key projects. A special gallery dedicated to collaborations with artists, brings together works by Dirk Braeckman, René Daniëls, Raoul De Keyser, Isa Genzken, Cristina Iglesias, Juan Muñoz, Gerhard Richter, Philippe Van Isacker, Didier Vermeiren and Franz West.


Union Street Urban Orchard

As part of the London Festival of Architecture, I was helping on site for this orchard project today building stuff. Haven’t done anything as satisfying for ages! The site is part of the larger Bankside Urban Forest scheme being developed by WWM,

Gargoyles and Shadows: Gothic Architecture and 19th Century Photography

Annoyed I missed this at the V&A…

The Power of Corridors

The Power of Corridors: connecting doors, mobilising materials, plotting openness by Rachel Hurdley

This paper is based on an ethnographic study of corridors in a large university building, originally built to house local government in the early 20th century. By attending to their huge physical presence in the everyday culture of an institution, the paper shows how corridors matter. Too often invoked as iconic, intangible metaphors, the presence of corridors as cultural materials can be forgotten. Conversely, as incidental – or even detrimental – remnants of past design trends, they are perceived parts of a divisive, hierarchical organisation of space. As the open-plan office, indoor street, forum and atrium displace them in a new design for ‘openness’, the study focuses on the mobilisation of corridors in the daily, sometimes momentary re-arrangements of meaning in an organisation. In conclusion, I discuss how the new architecture of ‘openness’ might be reconfigured through mobile understandings of everyday ‘openings’ and ‘closings’.

First heard her interviewed on Radio 4, then found this blog post. Her paper.

Rob Carter’s Metropolis

Metropolis by Rob Carter – Last 3 minutes from Rob Carter on Vimeo.

Metropolis is a quirky and very abridged narrative history of the city of Charlotte, North Carolina. It uses stop motion video animation to physically manipulate aerial still images of the city (both real and fictional), creating a landscape in constant motion.

This reminded me of the RA’s Paper Utopias project.

Greenpeace’s Heathrow fortress

This seems like an interesting project..

Britain’s leading architects are being invited to enter a competition to design an impenetrable fortress to be built on the land earmarked for a third runway at Heathrow.

The plot of land where the stronghold will be built – in the village of Sipson to the north of the airport – was bought last year by Greenpeace, which then distributed ownership of it to people across the world. There are now over 60,000 beneficial owners of the runway land with more people signing up every day on the Greenpeace website, creating a legal headache for any government trying to push ahead with Heathrow expansion.

Press release.

Architexts build small spaces at the V&A

The V&A will be staging a contemporary architecture exhibition in June 2010 exploring the power of small spaces. A number of international architects have been asked to design structures which explore notions of refuge and ‘retreat’. These buildings which examine themes such as play, work, performance and study will be built at full-scale in various spaces within the V&A. Follow exhibition curator, Abraham Thomas, as he documents the evolution of the exhibition and offers an insight into the architects’ design and construction processes.