Posts tagged with "Architectural Model":

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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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Polish Design Studio Crafts Miniature Paper Tributes to Warsaw's Modernist Architecture

The semi-dilapidated Eastern-bloc buildings of Warsaw may seem like unlikely candidates to be immortalized in paper miniature. Nonetheless that was the task undertaken by Hispano-Polish design studio ZUPAGRAFIKA, which has devised a series of intricate paper models that can be cut and folded into small-scale models of a number of the Modernist structures dispersed through the city. Each hand-drawn design constitutes a testament to the range of the color grey and is remarkable in its attention to detail. Black bleeds from balconies and stains concrete facades while graffiti peppers the structure's bases. Occasional satellite dishes emerge from apartment units. All but one of the collection appears devoted to residential towers, with the lone outlier being the circular model of the PKO Rotunda. The latter calls for a slightly more elaborate origami effort in executing the structure's zig-zag crown. Each building can be purchased online, though a working knowledge of Polish appears to be required in order to complete such a task. In rendering Warsaw's Modernist legacy with such precision, ZUPAGRAFIKA's project draws a stark contrast between the city's not-so-distant architectural past, and the glossier designs destined to populate its future.
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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.
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Pictorial> Models Capture the Surreal and Absurd

German photographer Frank Kunert is out to challenge your sense of perception and expectation with his meticulously crafted and hilariously absurd miniature scenes. His series "Photographs of Small Worlds" presents glimpses into mundane vignettes gone awry, where doors don't meet balconies, diving boards lead to giant toilets, or an office is eerily underwater. Each model takes weeks—and sometimes months—to build, and Kunert is a perfectionist who won't stop until every detail is just right. The end result is well worth the wait. Kunert prefers the "analog" nature of hand-built models to their digitally rendered counterparts. He believes the tangibility of his miniature worlds adds to their visual effect. Individual model's meaning is left up to the viewer, each evoking a sense of fear, the grotesque, unease, or pure absurdity. What do you you see in Kunert's Small Worlds? Be sure to check out more miniatures on Frank Kunert's web site. All images used with permission. [ Via Trend Land. ]