Btw, you might be interested that my friend is a contractor on a Steven Holl project right now and the stuff coming from his office sucks. No follow-through, details or lack thereof probably being fleshed out by cheap apprentices.
― valleys of your mind (mh), Friday, 10 February 2012 04:00 (1 year ago) Permalink
Huh, that's interesting! I really did find the Chinese projects to be the best-built "foreign starchitect" things we saw there. But I think a lot of that might actually be down to Li Hu, who was at the time the head of Holl's Beijing office....
― Doctor Casino, Friday, 10 February 2012 04:55 (1 year ago) Permalink
To be fair, it seems like it's pretty common on non-flagship projects. Said friend is an architect who is working as the head of the engineering department of a company that does curtain walls for a variety of projects and it seems like he runs into constant headaches due to either poor planning or a lack of actual engineering follow-through on plans.
― valleys of your mind (mh), Friday, 10 February 2012 14:28 (1 year ago) Permalink
^^^ great read.
― Doctor Casino, Monday, 13 February 2012 02:46 (1 year ago) Permalink
^ yes loved that article. So many people don't realize that the failures of grand scale brutalism were largely due to the lack of adherence to the initial plans in terms of pedestrian access, ground level retail, etc.
― I DIED, Monday, 13 February 2012 05:40 (1 year ago) Permalink
And I agree that there's something good in BIG's work in the utopian suggestion that we're finally moving away from the post-modernism mindset that buildings don't really matter. But at the same time his unique one off responses to sites tend to generate sloped buildings in the same way that Diller Scofidio Renfro's responses to a site tend to generate broad public stair sitting areas and viewing windows.
I certainly don't see him having the vision of even aesthetic range of OMA or H&dM, but maybe BIG's best contribution will be that if they can get a bunch of crazy looking buildings built that still have a programmatic sobriety then it might help break down the public perception of architecture as either flash or substance with little middleground.
― I DIED, Monday, 13 February 2012 05:49 (1 year ago) Permalink
Generally agree with the above - although I think DS+R are a pretty darn good firm and have less of a "branded" feel to their work. There are certain devices that recur, yeah, but they do seem to actually care about the specificities of site, or at least of architectural context. Landscape maybe not so much, but they seem to favor urban contexts, at least in the stuff that I've seen.
― Doctor Casino, Monday, 13 February 2012 05:56 (1 year ago) Permalink
Absolutely! With DS+R I think it's more a case of "we did this before and it worked really well" rather than a branding element.
― I DIED, Monday, 13 February 2012 06:11 (1 year ago) Permalink
Here are before & after images of a high end restaurant I finished this past summer. It's in a former auto garage in an alley and it's hard to tell from the photo but the kitchen is a series of open islands in the middle with tables all around, so no seat is more than about 10 feet from the cooking. One of the goals was trying to figure out how to make a 4 star experience in a raw space and we decided to keep the shell as rough as possible while everything at a tactile level during the course of the meal (chairs, carpet, table finish) would be very refined. Got a bunch of other projects I need to have shot and some more opening soon.
― I DIED, Monday, 13 February 2012 06:21 (1 year ago) Permalink
I DIED, that's lovely! The exposed ductwork seems like a nice mediator between the raw oldness of the wall surfaces and the shiny newness of the kitchen hood etc. Adds up well to me.
― Doctor Casino, Monday, 13 February 2012 06:32 (1 year ago) Permalink
I may slap the next client who says they're going for a "farmhouse aesthetic". Unless they're doing a farm.
― I DIED, Monday, 13 February 2012 15:06 (1 year ago) Permalink
Have these people actually been in farmhouses? I could unload some genuine farmhouse paraphernalia if they need some.
― valleys of your mind (mh), Monday, 13 February 2012 15:28 (1 year ago) Permalink
Amateur Architecture principal Wang Shu won the Pritzker Prize! First winner I've really been stoked for in my time of being an archinerd - we got to visit a bunch of their stuff on this last trip and it was all awesome.
― Doctor Casino, Monday, 27 February 2012 22:19 (1 year ago) Permalink
So unexpected and great! Glad the Pritzker committee seems to have moved to recognizing people doing great work when it's actually being done rather than as a lifetime achievement award.
― I DIED, Tuesday, 28 February 2012 04:24 (1 year ago) Permalink
Yeah, I think this was a pretty great choice for pretty much the exact reason I DIED mentioned.
― Gonjasufjanstephen O'Malley (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 28 February 2012 04:52 (1 year ago) Permalink
― s.clover, Sunday, 4 March 2012 03:19 (1 year ago) Permalink
So I made a point of uploading all my Amateur Architecture (Wang Shu/Lu Wenyu) photos last week to celebrate/capitalize upon the Pritzker excitement... full set here and here's a few faves...
(If you follow the link, my apologies - I've recently gone digital and while I love lots of things about it, it seems to be weakening me as an editor, that's a lot of pictures!)
― Doctor Casino, Sunday, 11 March 2012 01:34 (1 year ago) Permalink
Photos still great! I showed some of your recent pics to an architect friend at the bar last week. On my phone so... not the presentation they deserved, but good.
― valleys of your mind (mh), Sunday, 11 March 2012 02:02 (1 year ago) Permalink
Aw gee thanks! I hope to soon be famous at bars across the nation.
― Doctor Casino, Sunday, 11 March 2012 02:06 (1 year ago) Permalink
great photos. particularly like the bottom two.
― jed_, Sunday, 11 March 2012 14:03 (1 year ago) Permalink
Thanks - yeah, their firm has a really nice handle on texture, for lack of a better way of putting it.
― Doctor Casino, Sunday, 11 March 2012 14:45 (1 year ago) Permalink
― Doctor Casino, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 12:20 (1 year ago) Permalink
― Doctor Casino, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 12:21 (1 year ago) Permalink
― nickn, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 18:25 (1 year ago) Permalink
put a cat on it
― desk calendar white out (Matt P), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 18:31 (1 year ago) Permalink
Is Daniel Libeskind the worst major contemporary architect? Cheap looking if not cheap to build structures that are notorious for user complaints. A few decent projects mixed in with a ton of shlock.
― I DIED, Saturday, 5 May 2012 15:02 (1 year ago) Permalink
fyi that last lighting sculpture is called "masterpiece"
― I DIED, Saturday, 5 May 2012 15:03 (1 year ago) Permalink
Libeskind is such a tragedy to me because the Jewish Museum is kind of great (kind of badly flawed but kind of great), and at the very least a kind of definitive study on the idea of trying to use a building to produce certain emotional and perhaps bodily effects - - - and each subsequent piece that reuses the language to no effect at all just cheapens the impact of the one good building. That one in Cincy just blows IMO although I've talked to people that liked it.
Worst major name, I'd have to think about for a bit. There's plenty of people where they are just not to my taste at all but I believe they are competent builders who have something interesting they're trying to do so it's hard to say they should just be tarred and feathered. Hmm.
― Doctor Casino, Saturday, 5 May 2012 15:24 (1 year ago) Permalink
yes he's the worst by some distance. "competent builder" is the last way to describe him.
― jed_, Saturday, 5 May 2012 21:22 (1 year ago) Permalink
I think part of it may be that he just tends to accept the types of projects with questionable clients and budgets that others at his level turn down. But only a part of it.
― I DIED, Sunday, 6 May 2012 02:41 (1 year ago) Permalink
I do not like those buildings.
― mh, Monday, 7 May 2012 14:25 (1 year ago) Permalink
so it may read different in person but the photos of the H&dM/Al Weiwei Serpentine pavilion sure are disappointing :(
― I DIED, Thursday, 7 June 2012 17:57 (11 months ago) Permalink
it looks totally joyless from the pics. i could have forgiven the somewhat forced/undergrad nature of the "excavation" (even though there was nothing to excavate, as it turns out, which should have been obvious) if the result had some sense of fun or any other spatial interest.
― jed_, Thursday, 7 June 2012 19:15 (11 months ago) Permalink
having said that the nouvel pavillion seemed fun from the images but was kind of oppressive to spend time in.
― jed_, Thursday, 7 June 2012 19:20 (11 months ago) Permalink
architecture photography is a hell of a field
― mh, Thursday, 7 June 2012 19:27 (11 months ago) Permalink
I'm pretty stoked by the concept of the pavilion but it definitely pushes up against the limits of a "statement" versus material/space/promenade/detail/whatever else might actually make up an architectural experience. I'm a fan of everybody involved so I want to give it a fair shake... we're taking the students to see it later this month hopefully.
― Doctor Casino, Thursday, 7 June 2012 21:36 (11 months ago) Permalink
^ yeah I think my high expectations where part of why I found the result so disappointing. Seems like they felt the need to create a sort of anti-pavilion but SANAA already stripped it back about as far as it could go.
I'm breaking my own rule of trying to ignore things called pavilions or viewing towers in architectural discourse as I generally think just providing shade or a platform is too low a bar to clear in terms of dealing with actual challenges of buildings.
― I DIED, Thursday, 7 June 2012 22:39 (11 months ago) Permalink
Ha yeah - - they can be nice experiments for ideas though, and at their best they really can have as much thinking and care as a building, in the way that, I dunno, a haiku can take as long to write as a novel (or whatever) but it really is a whole different order of challenges.
― Doctor Casino, Thursday, 7 June 2012 23:46 (11 months ago) Permalink
(Viewing towers are the worst though, somehow!)
― Doctor Casino, Thursday, 7 June 2012 23:47 (11 months ago) Permalink
― mh, Thursday, 7 June 2012 20:27 (2 months ago)
Might I recommend the pretty (if boring) Julius Shulman Documentary Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman?
Also since I've spent a couple of days up and down by this building this weekend I have been thinking about (and cussing the budget panel that approved such an ugly monolithic building):
Kevin Roche, you should be ashamed. Actually that entire stretch at the moment is a bit shameful with the empty Anglo Irish building...
― hyggeligt, Sunday, 26 August 2012 08:51 (8 months ago) Permalink
I really loved the Kevin Roche exhibit I saw at the National Building Museum last month but it really glosses over some of the terrible things he's done and influenced (on the planning side even more than the aesthetic side).
― Sadly, 99.99 percent of sheeple will never wake up (I DIED), Sunday, 2 September 2012 04:06 (8 months ago) Permalink
USA pavilion at the Biennale is I guess a wry commentary on the difficulties wheelchair users face in the built environment
― Sadly, 99.99 percent of sheeple will never wake up (I DIED), Sunday, 2 September 2012 04:07 (8 months ago) Permalink
I already hawked this to I Love Photography, but FWIW I am finally starting in with the 2012 "adventure" photos, this time beginning with a chronologically-organized look at Alvar Aalto. This means opening with the "awkward early stuff for fans only" material but maybe it'll be of interest to some people here. First image here, following ones to the "left" in the Flickr interface. (I only recently realized you could just use the arrow keys to get around - whee!)
Highlights of the limited stuff posted so far:
Seinäjoki Defense Corps Buildings, 1924-1926
Villa Väinölä, 1926
Turun Sanomat Building, 1928-1930
― Doctor Casino, Thursday, 27 September 2012 16:55 (7 months ago) Permalink
(2010 and 2011 "Adventure" collections coming, uh, someday. Just ordered a new film scanner the other day...)
― Doctor Casino, Thursday, 27 September 2012 17:07 (7 months ago) Permalink
that Turun Sanomat photo is great! Did you make it to the Savoy restaurant?
― Sadly, 99.99 percent of sheeple will never wake up (I DIED), Thursday, 27 September 2012 18:28 (7 months ago) Permalink
Thanks! And nope, sadly. On the trip it felt like we must have seen every Aalto building known to man, but, turns out, guy built a LOT....
― Doctor Casino, Thursday, 27 September 2012 19:57 (7 months ago) Permalink
I watched this film over the weekend: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1233611/
I'm kind of considering a desert/Palm Springs road trip/architecture tour sometime. Has anyone been out that way? It looks like a lot of Palm Springs city buildings are of the period.
I also ended up watching Urbanized (finally) and the contrast between people in the two films who have a love of architecture and an interest in its relation to the surrounding environment juxtaposed with a Phoenix, Arizona house arrangement is depressing.
― mh, Monday, 19 November 2012 22:22 (6 months ago) Permalink
There is a Modernism Week they hold out there, next one is Feb 2013. this past one included a lautner house tour that looked good, but i just couldn't work up the enthusiasm to go out there (also, the weekend tour sold out pretty quickly).
― nickn, Tuesday, 20 November 2012 01:50 (6 months ago) Permalink
thinking of taking my ridiculous architect friend, doing the reverse F&L In Las Vegas drive, go see some architecture
― mh, Tuesday, 20 November 2012 01:52 (6 months ago) Permalink