Posts tagged with "Architectural Model":

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Anthony Vidler reviews the “extraordinary models” on display at Columbia GSAPP

One of the most charming and instructive accounts of the modern architect’s design process was offered by Filarete, architect of the Ospedale Maggiore in Milan and author of the long, neo-Platonic Trattato di architettura. Writing around 1450, Filarete compares the architect to a mother who conceives and gives birth to a child—the building. “When this birth is accomplished—that is, when he has made in wood a small relief design of its final form, measured and proportioned to the finished building—he then shows it to the father.” In this fable of creation the “father” is represented as the patron, and like Plato’s demiurge, or craftsman, the architect does not create a complete building, but rather its model in scale relief. Models since antiquity have taken on the roles of varying kinds of architectural representation, from the symbolic to the ceremonial. Yet the primary function of an architectural model was the demonstration of a design in three dimensions, made to scale and itself derived from drawings. But beginning in the 18th century, with the establishment of educational institutions—the Ecole des Arts of Jacques-François Blondel, the school of the French Academie Royale, and notably the school of the British Royal Academy—models came to seen as indispensable teaching tools. Sir John Soane’s Model Room in his museum-cum-house documents the scales and contents of a curriculum geared to those students who were (at least in the midst of their training) unable to visit the real thing in Italy or Greece, or even hypothetical reconstructions of lost or ruined monuments. Today “modeling” has become a virtual affair. Google “architectural models” and the first entries to appear are advertisements for modeling software. Kenneth Frampton, Ware Professor of Architecture at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, has long been countering this trend towards the virtual. For the past few decades Frampton has taught the course Studies in Tectonic Culture, which is dedicated to, in his words, revealing to students “the tectonic essence” of works of architecture, a “constructive poetic.” By which he means the way in which a built building, as an object constructed out of materials with structural logic, could not be understood—let alone internalized—by architectural students through drawings or photographs alone. Consequently, over many years of teaching he has had his students build models of existing structures. However, these are not “representational” models of the kind an architect might display to clients, financiers, or even the public. Instead, they are analytical models whose process of design and realization—a process of careful interrogation of the constructive and tectonic nature of a building—is as important as the final object. “A tectonic model,” Frampton explains, “must be expressive of its intrinsic structure by way of the way it’s made. The tectonic is an expressive culture of construction… So what you choose to reveal and what you choose to conceal are part of its poetics.” For Frampton, an architect must internalize such “poetics” on many levels, which encompasses an aesthetic that is not purely visual, but that is grounded in the very process of material construction. Hence the difficulties of virtual modeling in revealing this process: only by, so to speak, re-living the step by step conception of a design, and its transformation into a tectonic object, can the student internalize the work of architecture on all levels. A selection of these extraordinary models is now on display in the Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery at Columbia GSAPP. Six of what must have been dozens of such objects built by students over the years have been rescued from the school’s storage and meticulously restored. They range from sectional models of the Bagsværd Church (1976) by Jorn Utzon and the Saint Benedict Chapel (1988) by Peter Zumthor, a fully furnished three-dimensional presentation of Gerrit Rietveld’s Schröder House (1924), to constructional analyses of Le Corbusier’s Pavillon des Temps Nouveaux (1937) and Norman Foster’s Renault Distribution Center (1982). Each is clearly a work of affection and intelligence; each demonstrates what the student has identified as a guiding formal, poetic, and constructive principle of the work. These six models, standing at appropriate heights in this small, spare gallery, would have been eloquent enough alone—they do, in a very concrete way, speak for themselves. But the curators have chosen to pair them with a series of specially commissioned photographs by the architectural photographer James Ewing. However, rather than replicate what the models exemplify in the straightforward fashion of model photography, Ewing has chosen to work with the models to fabricate his own artistic, photographic essays. In fourteen remarkable images he has responded to the history of the buildings represented by the models, as well as to his own photographic intuitions. Using projected backdrops, special lighting, and in one “spectacular” case a smoke machine, Ewing photographically manipulates the models in order to propose alternative, supplementary readings of their original analytical positions. Here, the results are mixed. Where these supplementary readings involve a demonstration of the power of the model and the photograph to produce, together, a new realization of the qualities of the building—as, for instance, in Ewing’s exemplary photograph of the interior light at Zumthor’s Saint Benedict Chapel—the photograph and the model are brilliantly paired in conversation. Where, on the other hand, the photographic image attempts to constitute an entirely different reality from that implied by the model—as in the case of the hyperrealist image of red clouds hovering behind Le Corbusier’s exhibition pavilion—the effect is less one of conversation between model and photo, as one of contrast pointing to the difference in medium. In sum, the importance of this little show is to open up another conversation—one that is sorely needed today—between the virtual, the visual, and the concrete, in a way that pays eloquent homage to a pedagogical approach and a teacher, whose indefatigable defense of architectural qualities has informed and inspired his students and colleagues for over half a century. Anthony Vidler, New York, March 2017 Stagecraft: Models and Photos is on view through March 10.
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Newark Public Library hosts a community-created architectural model of Newark

The Newark Public Library is celebrating the city's 350th anniversary with a study of its urban planning history. Every Block in Newark is an exhibit made possible through a collaboration among 150 local artists, architects, and community members that aims to give insight into the many decisions and processes that led to the city's current form. The centerpiece of this installation is a 14-foot-wide scale model of the city of Newark, the first complete model of its kind. 30,000 individual models were crafted from styrene and cardboard; their bright colors designate the use of each structure. Built at 1:250 scale, the average two-story home is roughly 1/8 inches tall. The entire model is built on a surface of milled plywood that shows the hills and valleys of Newark's landscape. Architectural students from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and volunteers from the community took several years to build the model. The Mayor's Office of Arts, People Power Planning Newark, and Newark Celebration 350 also collaborated with the library to bring the project to life. The exhibition will also feature geographic quilts and historic planning materials from the public library's archives, including master plans, community plans, and urban renewal reports. These documents will give insight into the processes that led to the city's modern day shape. Also on display are some of the artworks of Bisa Washington, a sculptor, printmaker, and writer who lives and works in Newark. Newark was originally founded in 1666 by Robert Treat and other Connecticut Puritans from the New Haven Colony. It is currently the second-largest city in the New York Metropolitan area, and contains the largest container shipping terminal on the East Coast. The Newark Public Library is located at 5 Washington Street and will have the model on display until September 15, when the exhibit will move to Newark City Hall. The contributing architects were: Damon Rich, partner, Hector Urban Design, Planning & Civic Arts, and founder, Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) Tony Schuman, associate professor, New Jersey Institute of Technology Jae Shin, partner, Hector Urban Design, Planning & Civic Arts
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This museum in a Tokyo warehouse is dedicated to preserving architectural models

A recently-opened museum in Tokyo aims to archive and display architectural models from great Japanese architects like Kengo Kuma, Riken Yamamoto, and Shigeru Ban. The museum treats the models as  important archival pieces in respect to their finished buildings as well as pieces of art worthy of appreciation. The museum is called Archi-Depot, and it’s located in the Shinagawa district of Tokyo. Its founder, Warehouse Terrada, is a storage company that advertises its expertise in storing wine, art, and other media. This helps explain the layout of the space, which has its models simply arranged on 116 shelves in an open warehouse. Guests can look up more information, including photos and blueprints, of each model using QR codes. The layout of the museum is clean and minimalist, and it doesn't take an expert in architecture to appreciate these delicate miniatures. According to Archi-Depot, their mission is work at the intersection of museum and archive. “Architectural models are considered to be profound materials that transmit designers’ thoughts, as well as being high quality sculpture works,” the museum says on their website. “Fans of architecture will gather from all over the world, as ARCHI-DEPOT has an accumulation of Japanese architectural models.” This museum is the first of its kind in Japan but its philosophy is similar to that of the Richard Meier Model Museum in Jersey City, New Jersey, which specifically gathers models made by the Pritzker winning architect Richard Meier. Other museums have dedicated specific exhibits to architectural models.
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SCI-Arc’s spring show features 16 models from a diverse collection of architects

SCI-Arc’s Spring show, Close-up, curated by Hernan Diaz Alonso and David Ruy, opened in the usually staid SCI-Arc atrium that’s now filled with 16 prototypes designed by practitioners from across the spectrum of the architectural discipline. The prototypes explore the power of magnification in digital and physical expressions of architecture. The exhibition examines the architectural detail through the lens of technology’s impacts on “the traditions of tectonic expression….An often overlooked condition of digital design technologies is the ability to design objects through continuous degrees of magnification. The consequences of this very basic fact are more significant than we may realize. The traditional premise that some architectural ideas only reside at standardized scales of magnification at this point is nostalgic,” explained Alonso, discussing the impetus behind the exhibition. Close-up features work from UNStudio, Neil M. Denari Architects, Gehry Partners, Griffin Enright Architects, Greg Lynn FORM, Atelier Elena Manferdini, Morphosis, Oyler Wu Collaborative, P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S, and Tom Wiscombe Architecture among others. The exhibition remains open through May 29.

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Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts to ban use of styrene in models

Styrene is commonly found in polystyrene foam (styrofoam), a material used for making models and maquettes. In 2014, styrene had been "reasonably anticipated" to be a "human carcinogen" by the National Research Council and now the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis plans to ban its use by next fall. Styrene is also found ABS and even rubber, though it's toxicity in these compounds is still up for debate. As news of polystyrene's hazardous potential spreads however, schools and even cities have started to ban the substance. As reported the university's independent newspaper Student Life, "As of June 2015, cities in 10 different states have officially banned styrene with three others considering to follow suit." New York was one of those cities, banning EPS (Expanding Polystyrene Foam) due the how difficult it can be to recycle. "These products cause real environmental harm and have no place in New York City. We have better options," said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio back in June last year. The ban was later overturned. With regards the compound's environmental impact, propylene has subsequently surfaced as a viable alternative. The material is inexpensive and easy to work with, however, when used for model-making styrene has a tendency to be inhaled. This is especially the case when particles enter the air after being melted or laser cut. The Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry outline the consequences of inhalation listing nausea, respiratory problems and in some cases liver damage. The full list of health defects post styrene exposure can be found here and here. Sophomore student Eve Bobrow spoke of her experience with styrene exposure to student life. “When everyone is using it, you could definitely feel a difference in the air,” she said in Student Life. “Sometimes I have to leave studio because I get such bad headaches. There were even times where I felt like I had chronic headaches because everyone was using styrene for their final models.” Fellow sophomore Kevin He said how despite being in his second year at Sam Fox, the issues styrene can cause were never fully detailed. “When I came into the art school, the professors just told us that styrene was dangerous, but never told us about all the problems with it,” he said. “We never had a safety tutorial. I learned how to use styrene through trial and error and out of all the materials we use here, styrene puts us in the most amount of danger.”
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This designer crafts midcentury modern furniture that could fit in the palm of your hand

A new exhibition, "Atomic Fusion: The Zen Artistry of Michael Yurkovic," showcases the work of Michael Yurkovic, principal at Park Ridge, Illinois–based Atomic Miniature, who creates 1/12th scale models of midcentury modern (MCM) design classics.

Yurkovic, who is a a member of the International Guild of Miniature Artisan, offers select works from his portfolio of MCM and Atomic Age furniture and design at the D. Thomas Fine Miniatures in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. Inspiration, Yurkovic says in a press release, comes from the work of Eero Saarinen and Charles Eames, and his own career as a successful toy and game designer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9THrTmoYis

Using thermoform plastics, high quality hardwood, molded plywood and vinyl, Yurkovic makes all his models by hand. His creations embody the lifestyle associated with MCM design which Yurkovic openly embodies, while additionally, they act as inspiration for further projects, contributing to the meditative space Yurkovic uses to work in.

This results in a Zen-like ethos with a focus on simplicity. Consequently, Yurkovic seldom revisits projects to tweak or make modifications, relying on his intuition rather than, as he says, "fixating on a goal or conventional thinking."

Darren T. Scala, a fan of Yurkovic's work since they met at The Guild School and miniaturist and owner of D. Thomas Fine Miniatures said: “I am excited to showcase Michael’s unique interpretation of the MCM movement. His creation of classic MCM features are rarely seen of this quality in the world of fine scale miniatures and I am so pleased to showcase his work in my gallery.”

The exhibition will run from March 5, 2016 through May 1, 2016 and on the opening day, an all-day Master Class will be on offer to those who want to learn about period design and create their own MCM shadow box. The day after, on March 6 from 3-6 p.m., Yurkovic will also discuss his vision and creative process at a special Open House.

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Ian Schrager’s legacy of high design shines in marketing material for Herzog & de Meuron’s 160 Leroy Street

Property developer Ian Schrager has supported good architecture in New York City like no other developer. He pioneered distinguished hotel design at a time when "hospitality" design was an afterthought for hoteliers. For instance, in New York, Schrager built the Paramount, the Royalton, and the Morgan hotels. Then he heroically proposed to have Rem Koolhaas and Herzog & de Meuron work together to design a hotel at Cooper Square, but that project, not unsurprisingly, did not happen. Schrager has used many other architects for his various projects, but now Herzog & de Meuron seem to have become his go-to design firm. He has said that he asks them “to capture the details of life in the details of the architecture.” The architects have executed this request in projects like 40 Bond and 215 Chrystie. Now the Swiss architects have designed 160 Leroy Street, a building overlooking the Hudson River, and the developer claims it is influenced by Oscar Niemeyer. Not satisfied to promote the building as other less creative developers have, Schrager asked Herzog & de Meuron to create a small, wooden scale model of the curving facade of 160 Leroy, pictured above. If I were thinking of moving into the building, I would request one of these small sculptures in order to help make up my mind. Not sure, though, that they are really needed in this case as nearly 50 percent of the building is already in contract.
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Sou Fujimoto’s search for lightness at the Chicago Architectural Biennial

Just like every other major architectural exhibition, the Chicago Architecture Biennial is a massive undertaking filled with large scale models, full size mock- ups and room sized installations. However, the most light-handed approach in the main exhibition can be found sandwiched between two full scale houses. Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto placed about 40 different found objects on five-inch-by-five-inch plywood bases. The objects range from wooden branches to industrial mass-products like ashtrays, to processed food such as chips or candy. Each plate is populated with white scalies and paired with a line of text. A sponge becomes a “myriad of voids layered on top of another, creating a density of void” and a pine cone reads: “When one thinks about it, this form has been a friend in architecture for thousands of years.” The casual inexpensiveness of the objects is amplified by the way they are displayed, seemingly without attachment. A pile of loosely arranged chips seems likely to fly away with the next visitor brushing by. Clearly there is a relationship to Fujimoto’s search for lightness, literally in the appearance of the architecture but also in the figure of the architect being open to inspiration from unexpected sources. This minimal installation eclipses many of the larger efforts of the show—Aaron Betsky called it the most successful installation in the main building. While the installation brings up questions about the role of ready-mades in the design process and issues of scalability, it also quietly mocks the expensive, time- and energy-consuming efforts of some of the exhibitors. With ease it brings playfulness and the joy of simple discoveries back into the discussion.
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Ma Yansong & MAD Architects Present Mountainous Masterplan for Nanjing

Ma Yansong & MAD presented their installation, dubbed the Shanshui Experiment Complex at the the Shenzhen and Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture. The elaborate model is based on Nanjing Zendai Thumb Plaza, the firm's new master-plan for the Chinese city. The model, and the proposal more generally, are indicative of the firm's commitment to meeting the demands of modern urban China through naturalistic architectural efforts. The name given to this approach is Shan-Shui City, a phrase that predates MAD but has been extensively developed through the designs of Yansong, the firm's founder. Its first two words translate as mountain and water, the two pillars of Chinese landscape painting. In the context of Yansong's practice these two representatives of the natural world are seamlessly incorporated into the urban context in which MAD operates. In doing so MAD attempts to distance itself from the notion that the man-made and natural environments exist on opposite ends of a strictly defined binary. In the Nanjing proposal the blurring of these lines results in a series of buildings that avoid the obscene heights of the new skyscrapers increasingly prevalent in 21st-century skylines. The shapely structures are imbued with an organic irregularity that allows them to meld with the surrounding atmosphere without trying to breakthrough it. Amongst these mountains curved pathways link plazas in which artificial and natural landscaping coexist and the distinction between the two is ambiguous. Here, the natural world is not relegated to strictly defined green spaces but is instead allowed to pervade every aspect of the urban environment. The aesthetics on display in the installation are very much in keeping with other MAD projects also conceptualized along Shan-shui principles. Situated within the Yangtze River Delta and surrounded by mountains, the rapidly growing city of Nanjing is a fitting location for the implementation of Yansong's methods. If all goes according to plan, MAD's creations should be added to the Nanjing landscape by 2017.
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Iconic Art Museums Become Sugary Scale Models for Art Basel 2013

For Miami Art Basel this year, food artist Caitlin Levin and photographer Henry Hargreaves teamed up to recreate some of the most architecturally masterful art museums of the world using a very sugary medium. In candy, chocolate, gingerbread, and icing, the New York City–based collaborative pair have molded and modeled highly detailed scale versions of six iconic art spaces. Photographed by Hargreaves in black and white, the dynamic chocolate angles of Yasui Hideo’s Karuizawa Museum and the sweeping icing curves of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim almost seem real. From December 5 to 8—the duration of the annual international art show—the pictures will be exhibited at Dylan's Candy Bar in Miami.
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Pictorial> Modeling for PS1: HWKN’s Wendy

So you want to win the MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program? This year's champs Matthias Hollwich and Marc Kushner of HollwichKushner (HWKN) shared some insight about their strategy with AN. The competition started with an invited portfolio submission from about 20 young architects. After being selected by the MoMA PS1 panel as one of three finalists, HWKN started in with rigorous research into past winners and the selection process. "We made a book about every entry," Hollwich said.  This study provided in-depth knowledge of the different approaches and forms which have won, and also those that have not been successful. The next step was a brainstorming session with their project team that produced 100 ideas.  Those 100 were trimmed to 10, and then cut to three, but then Wendy, a striking scheme for a neon blue star, was added, making four.  Once the final choice was made, a retroactive analysis helped to assure that they made the right choice and that the design had all the elements they were looking for. "It was not a linear process, but design never is," Kushner said. Wendy is a formal departure from recent winners.  MOS' afterparty in 2009, Pole Dance by Solid Objectives - Idenburg Liu (SO - IL) from 2010, and Interboro's Holding Pattern from 2011 all worked as canopy-like structures spanning the courtyard, providing shade by creating spaces with overhead elements.  Wendy is an object, and is more autonomous and isolated than previous entries. "I am interested in volume more than surface," Hollwich explained. The competing teams worked together in an unusual way. During the competition process, HWKN was in contact with the other teams regarding site information, which they felt helped create an even playing field between the competitors. As the only team from New York, HWKN assisted out of town firms with measurements and other on-site information. Upon being named winners, the other architects called to congratulate the HWKN team, said Hollwich. But then things got real. "High-speed architecture and prototyping have many hurdles. We are glad that we were already able to jump a couple of them," Hollwich explained. There was some unexpected drama when the question of ambulance access arose, requiring a column to be moved breaking the 3-D grid of scaffolding, but making for an interesting moment in Wendy's final form. A shout-out goes to the intern at HWKN who successfully convinced the leaders of the project to go with the name "Wendy." One late night in the studio, Hollwich received a long email detailing the reasons the name fit.  He liked it, but figured Kushner would hate it. Kushner liked it, but thought Hollwich would hate it. "We think of Wendy as a kind of perfect storm, and every perfect storm is named for a woman." Personifying the building breaks with conventional architectural naming, and, the team hopes, invites visitors to fall in love. Construction begins May 15, and is set to be completed June 27th.
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What the Dickens! Chuck, 200, Obsessed With Design

Charles Dickens would have been 200 today. Among the bicentennial celebrations of the noted Victorian writer, the Museum of London has been hosting an elaborate Dickens and London exhibition including a Dickensian street scene designed and built by set designer Simon Costin for its City Gallery. The "fantastical wintry vision of 19th century London" made entirely of cardboard and lit with hundreds of LED lights includes quite an array of Victorian buildings and winding alleyways. According to Costin, "My intention is to create a fantasy vision of London as it would have been glimpsed by Dickens on his nocturnal wanderings through the city. His essays are extremely evocative and I am using the text as my starting point and things will grow and develop from there. He has said that he felt like a child in a dream, ‘staring at the marvellousness of everything’. It is that marvellousness that I want to recreate." The window display closes this month, but if you're in London, the MoL's Dickens show keeps going through June. (Via Creative Review.) But it turns out Dickens had his own eye for design as well. Hilary Macaskill recently wrote in the Guardian that the Victorian author had quite the penchant for interior design. She cites a 6,000 word article (you can become amazingly descriptive when paid by the word) he wrote about wallpaper and other decorations, where he remarks on the design of American wallcoverings from his recent visit in 1842 along with his own designs for wallpaper. Even in his home at 48 Doughty Street, Dickens enjoyed crafting the interior spaces down to the shade of pink trim and a set of decanters he picked up for "slight bargains." Read the entire article here and check out a slideshow of his home here.