What is a Super-Furniture? According to Chicago architect Jimenez Lai of Bureau Spectacular, it is "a building that is kind of too small, or a couch that is kind of too big." Whichever way you prefer to think of it, Lai's plan to live in one of the his installation-scale Super-Furniture, in this case called the Hefner/Beuys House, for a month inside a London gallery is a provocative project where "suddenly architecture becomes performance art." Lai's small structures not only question our relationship to building by contorting, constricting and distorting spaces in interesting ways, but it also repositions architecture within the context of the public. Visitors will be able to see Lai living in his Hefner/Beuys House, an intimate look into one man's existence. By viewing the architect on display inside the comicbook-like building, architecture becomes narrative. Visitors to the gallery are also invited to enter the building and take part in the act. The Hefner/Beuys House needs your help, however, and a Kickstarter campaign is attempting to raise the funds necessary. As with most Kickstarter projects, Lai is offering some unique and collectible items in return for help, including highly inventive and visually striking original drawings, paintings, and T-shirts. You can even get your own Super-Furniture. This project is not the first architectural endeavor to be "Kickstarted." The Delancey Underground, a park proposed to be built underneath New York's Lower East Side, and +Pool, a floating pool planned for the East River, were both successful in raising funds through Kickstarter.
Posts tagged with "Installations":
Coca-Cola has big plans for an Olympic Park pavilion for London's 2012 sporting extravaganza. London-based architects Pernilla & Asif have created the "Coca-Cola Beatbox," a spiraling structure clad in red and white panels that appear to be suspended in frozen animation. It's not only an intriguing structure but an interactive musical instrument. The experimental architecture works with cutting edge sound technology, encouraging people to interact and "play the pavilion." Inspired by sounds of the Olympic games—the plunge of an archer's arrow into a target, athlete's quickened heartbeats, squeaking sneakers—the Beatbox will be imbedded with sound-bites created by Grammy Award-winning producer Mark Ronson that allow visitors to remix their own mashed-up productions. Parnilla & Asif have designed a floating, divergent panel system that encapsulates a spiral ramp, leading visitors to the roof for a panoramic view of the Olympic Park. Sound and light reflect off of the panels, creating a sensory and aural experience that may be difficult to discern from renderings, but Coca-Cola is sure that its impact will be felt: “With the eyes of over four billion people on London next year, we want to use our long-standing association with the Olympic Movement to shine a spotlight on Britain’s brightest stars and inspire young people to pursue their passions."
In the interest of getting students to build physical things, three years ago, USC introduced Top Fuel, a week-long design-build workshop accompanied by lectures, exhibitions, and panels. This year's workshop, "Filters Funnels Flows," wrapped up earlier this week. It focused on pneumatic (aka inflatable) structures, teaching students about the "inseparable relation between form and performance of pneumatic systems." Indeed, produce the wrong form here (or material, or structure) and the piece doesn't inflate. Students also explored lighting, temperature, and other environmental issues. Student teams of eight produced three different structures. The first, "Sheer Pressure," located on the lawn in front of Watt Hall, was constructed with pneumatics sewn into a double-skinned fabric dome. The second, "cellul/arch," located inside the courtyard of Harris Hall, featured a tensile structure using lozenge-shaped inflatable bladders to create a structural skin. The third, "Pneus Bridge," made up of a series of linked pneumatic tubing cylinders, rose over a pedestrian bridge between Watt and Harris Halls.
When preliminary designs for the third and final section of the High Line were revealed, the designers presented several options including flowerbeds and amphitheater seating for the Tenth Avenue Spur, an offshoot of the park that stands above the intersection of 10th Avenue and 30th Street. The design team’s aim is to make the Spur one of the main gathering spaces in the park. Now, with the proposal of a massive installation by artist Jeff Koons calling for a suspended locomotive over the park, the Spur may become exhibition space as well. Koons’ Train, a full-scale replica of a 1943 Baldwin 2900 steam locomotive, would be suspended above the High Line by a crane. The sculpture would be constructed from steel and carbon fiber, weighing in at several tons. Visitors to the park could stand directly below the 70-foot-long sculpture and stare up at the locomotive as it spins its wheels, blows its horn, and shoots out steam several times daily. Train has some history with the High Line; there was an effort in 2005 to install the piece in a plaza at West 18th Street and 10th Avenue but the space available would not permit installation. In 2008, Director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) Michael Govan began studying the feasibility of installing the piece in conjunction with LACMA’s expansion, and talks with the City of Los Angeles are ongoing. But while LACMA managed to haul a 340-ton rock from a mountain quarry through the streets of LA, it seems their Train may have left the station. Both the museum and Koons have expressed support for installing Train at the High Line regardless of the outcome in LA, so the possibility of a trans-continental Train still exists. Arnold, a German fabricator, is conducting engineering and fabrication studies, taking into account public safety and cost. The piece is estimated to cost at least $25 million to build and install. Robert Hammond, co-founder of Friends of the High Line, explained on the Friends of the High Line Blog, “Our top priority is to build and open the rail yards section of the High Line. In order for this idea to become a reality, we would need to determine a way to safely integrate Train into the rail yards design, and find private support from a single funder to build it.”
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.
The 12th annual IESNYC Student Lighting Competition, “Fraction/Refraction”, was held Wednesday night at the appropriately well-lit Helen Mills Event Space in Chelsea. The competition was open to all interested students in New York City and included entries from designers at Pratt Institute, Parsons/New School, Fashion Institute of Technology, Fordham, and New York School of Interior Design. Over 100 entries created a luminous one-night exhibition of over 100 light-sourced objects, each with a different take on this year’s theme of “how light plays with textures, flows through materials and creates layers of contrast.” There were many different takes on the theme at different scales. Some entries were more traditional light-emitting objects, others used multiple lights and materials to create layered effects, while some obscured the line between object and environment by projecting designs onto the walls of the gallery. Many were interactive, and there were even some architectural models, which doubled as lamps that night. A keynote address came from Dietrich Neumann, author of Structure of Light: Richard Kelly and the Illumination of Modern Architecture, about Kelly’s work as "the first modern lighting designer" including his close collaborations with Philip Johnson and Mies Van Der Rohe. Kelly even convinced Mies to use the white travertine in the Seagrams Building rather than dark green marble. Grand Prize went to Pratt's Sejung Oh, whose project titled "Dal Beat" was inspired by Oh's pondering of the moon and how its light reflected off of water. It was an interactive piece, inviting participants to hit the moon-like drumskin, sending vibrations through water which reflected the light into radial patterns. When asked what he was going to do next, Oh responded, "Im excited to go home and sleep. I didn't sleep last night." Well, Sejung, it paid off. The Grand Prize is $2,000 and a trip to Paris to visit L'atelier and La Machine. Second Place was Ivre, by Sang Yoon-Lee also of Pratt. His well-constructed wine bottle projectors got the judges' attention with interactive cork screws which allowed users to play with the focus of light on the wall via lenses in the bottles. In Third Place was Farnaz Hamedanchian, of New York School of Interior Design. Her peaceful composition of natural elements used refracted light to make artful shadows on the wall behind them. The simple, organic feel of the piece set it apart from most of the other projects which used an assortment of lighting technologies and synthetic materials. An honorable mention went to Pratt's Andrew An and his "Quasar" project. The simple setup utilized a directed light source in its base which was refracted through a suspended glass ball, making an animated projection on the ceiling. The piece directly referenced Achille Castiglioni's Arco Lamp, and was one of many examples of projects that served as both object and environmental element, an interesting take on the theme of refraction.
The New Museum has been transformed into a real-life game of chutes and ladders, or perhaps a Fun Palace a la Cedric Price, for its new exhibition Carsten Höller: Experience that opened this week and is running through January 15, 2012. The centerpiece of the show is a spiraling stainless steel slide traversing the fourth through second floors and providing what certainly must be the most rapid vertical circulation in the entire city short of a plummeting elevator . We stopped by to check out the slide and, after signing our lives away on a waiver, took a couple rides ourselves. Carsten Höller, originally a scientist, is known for experimenting on others' perceptions of the world around them, and upon entering the New Museum and being confronted by a series of ten-foot-tall mushrooms lined up against the back wall, it was clear Experience would be unlike a typical museum visit. On the fourth floor, the sleek stainless steel of Höller's slide emerges from a concrete floor, offering no insight to where you might end up. Sandwiched between an unusually slow, mirrored carousel and a mobile made of bird cages (and singing live birds), the slide clearly steels the show. Once saddling up on a canvas sheet to speed your descent, the plunge down the rabbit hole only lasts a couple seconds. You don't notice others gawking at you through plastic windows as you fly through what the museum has likened to "a giant 102-foot-long pneumatic mailing system." The spiral deposits viewers on the second floor largely no worse for wear (but watch your elbows on that last turn!) and uncontrollably grinning, perhaps wondering if they had indeed just slid through three levels of an art museum. While many made a bee-line for the elevator back upstairs, we suggest taking the spiral staircase to beat the others back to the line.
If all goes according to plan, sometime in early October an enormous boulder will leave a Riverside, California quarry and a couple of weeks later roll onto the grounds of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, to become an installation called Levitated Mass. In 1968, Michael Heizer, the artist behind Levitated Mass, made a drawing of a rock he hoped would one day emerge from the quarry he had been visiting. Decades later in 2007, the boulder he’d been looking for tumbled out of its granite escarpment. The 21½-foot-tall rock came to rest several yards from the quarry face. “It was quarried up top, and they pushed it with 2 bulldozers and a Caterpillar loader 300 feet. That’s how we pulled it off the mountain. But when it became a work of art, they had a big cradle and crane to move it,” remarked Stephen Vander Hart, the head of Stone Valley quarry, who seems both pleased and anxious to see the boulder leave his custody. It has taken nearly five years of fundraising and engineering to work out how to move the rock the 85 miles to Los Angeles. To get from quarry to museum, the 340-ton chunk of granite will be slung on thick cables suspended between two 127-foot-long steel beams and hauled at a snail’s pace by a Kenworth truck in front and an Oshkosh military transport from behind. Each truck is capable of producing 550 to 600 horsepower. The entire rig, front to back, will be 273'-10" inches long. LACMA says the rock is the “largest monolith moved since ancient times," a lofty claim no one could really prove or disprove. Still, toting the 670,000-pound boulder requires Emmert International (the firm building and driving the rig) to construct a transporter consisting of two hollow beams of welded and gusseted T-1 laminated steel. Each beam is roughly 2 feet wide, tapering from 40” up to a height of 6’-9”. The beams, which have been pieced together on site around the boulder, are made up of five sections that will be drawn together by bolts along vertical seams. When closed, the seams push against each other, like the keystone in an arch, becoming stronger because they are in compression. When completed, the beams will be connected by cross members and trusses, forming a 26’-7” wide saddle that will sit on 22 dollies with remote control steering. A total of 196 tires will bear the load. Empty, the rig will weigh nearly a half-million pounds; fully loaded about 1.1 million pounds. It will lumber, by night, at an average speed of five miles per hour. “It’s just a big rock,” said Rick Albrecht, Emmert’s supervisor for the move. “I’ve seen most of the route so far. We’ll do it,” he added flatly.
For the second year in a row (check out last year's report here) we'd like to share some of the most amazing, ridiculous, and inspiring architecture of Burning Man, which just wrapped up in Nevada's Black Rock Desert. And like last year the Playa's temporary installations didn't disappoint; displaying an aggressive level of imagination and ambition for Burning Man's 25th anniversary (has it really been that long?). The theme this year was Rites of Passage, although we're not sure the artists here are interested in following any rules. Photographer Michael Holden was on the ground to document the event. Here are our favorites from Burning Man 2011: The Burning Man By Rod Garrett This year the Burning Man—the symbol of the festival—was perched atop two pinnacles divided by a chasm. Four semi-pyramids surrounded the structure, creating alcoves for performance. Of course at the end of the festival the installation was torched. Tower of Transformation by Joe Arnold, Estes Park, CO This is one of the projects that really adhered to the festival's theme. According to its creators the Tower of Transformation represents the passage from "our self-imposed limitations to a world of pure, unbounded possibility." Formed by two very different sculptures connected by a hyperbolic frame, the base of the sculpture contracted inward and was covered with battered armor plating and rusty chains representing "the defenses that bind us in self-doubt and self-censure." The top is a lotus blossom that opened outward and upward representing "pure potentiality and possibility." The Temple of Transition by Chris Hankins, Diarmaid Horkan, and the International Art Megacrew, Reno, NV, Dublin, Ireland, and Aukland, NZ Described by its creators as a "place where we both remember and look ahead," the installation consists of five smaller temples surrounding a larger central temple. Each temple contains altars, shrines, decorated archways, windows, and walkways, each "exploring a different phase of life," and promoting "peacefulness, reverence, and reflection." Orgasm by Bryan Tedrick, Glen Ellen, CA One of several sexual-themed installations, Orgasm was a rotating 20' x 8' steel vessel that was filled with wood and burned. The shapes that form the vessel included a phallic inner basket made of stainless steel and an outer receiving structure (yes, it was meant to look like a vagina) made of regular steel. When the interior was set on fire the coming together of male and female represented an orgasm. Enough said. AURORA by Charles Gadeken, San Francisco, CA Like the secret portal in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the installation AURORA represented the "secret clubhouse," the portal from a practical reality into a real life fairy tale. A metaphorical weeping willow tree rose 30 feet into the air, its trunk and copper leaves reflecting sunlight across the desert. The trunk was both solid and transparent, created from tubing bent in sinuous lines joined together with thousands of hand curved rods. The roots rose out of the ground, creating resting places for people to sit. At night, the sculpture's branches were lit with bands of green, yellow, red, and amber light. Tympani Lambada by Flaming Lotus Girls, San Francisco, CA Tympani Lambada essentially represented the inner ear transformed into a physical installation through a steel armature, flame effects, LEDs, and sound effects. AND MORE....
If you didn’t catch the giant inflatable pop-up chapel/igloo at Silver Lake's Materials & Applications gallery last year, now’s your chance to experience it in person. Well, it’s cousin anyway. The 25-foot-tall second rendition, Density Frames was designed by USC’s architecture director Gail Peter Borden for the school’s Religious Center courtyard. The irregularly-shaped balloon-like structure will be on display through December 15. Based on a baldacchino, a traditional canopy used in cathedrals, the ethereal, undulating installation is made from metal electrical piping and plastic drop cloths. Visitors can turn on the blower and watch puffy arms burst to life and sway in the sky as they ponder the effects of light, space, and form. According to Borden the piece was designed to “evoke a primal spirituality founded in our own perception and relationship with ourselves.” The project was fabricated by Borden and four other students over four weeks at a cost of $1,000. The exhibit is free and open to the public daily. A map of USC University Park campus can be found here.
A High Line education. A $75 million for-profit school called Avenues will open next year at the High Line, reported the NY Times. Funded by private equity firms, the school is slated to move into a converted ten-story, 215,000-square-foot historic Chelsea warehouse in September of 2012. Cyclopedia. Finally, we have a well-curated, refreshing book celebrating vintage bicycle design. Publishers Thames & Hudson recently released Cyclopedia: A Tour of Iconic Bicycle Designs that explores 90 years of classic and racing bicycle history through bright, crisp photographs and an uncluttered layout. More info at Cyclodelic. Plaza politics. Beginning September 7th, Cheonggyecheon Plaza in Seoul, South Korea will host an installation titled Itjanayo (You Know…) featuring the work of Soo-in Yang. The project is comprised of a mirrored cube on the outside and a recording studio and viewing room on the inside allowing visitors to record their opinions to be replayed for others.
“Throughout history, a plaza has been a place for airing statements of opinion, historical statements are limited by time and forgetfulness, but the statements inside Itjanayo are recorded and replayed for others to hear. Others who subsequently enter the box can add responses to the earlier statements as though they were adding online comments”, wrote e-flux.Saving the ranch. Ranch houses, those one-story dwellings once popular in the suburbs following World War II, are now turning fifty years old, making them eligible for preservation. While some deride the houses for their plain style, preservationist Richard Cloues argues that they must be saved as an important markers of U.S. housing development in the mid-twentieth century. More at the WS Journal.
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An aluminum prototype structure at FRAC explores non-linear design and fabricationThe new nonLin/Lin Pavilion at the FRAC Centre in Orleans, France, is a coral-like structure of 40 pre-assembled white aluminum modules made of 570 CNC-cut single components punched with 155,780 asterisk-shaped CNC-drilled holes and held together by 75,000 white aluminum rivets. But these pieces, as designer Marc Fornes of THEVERYMANY has demonstrated throughout his work, are much more than the sum of their parts. Neither an art installation nor a model, the pavilion is full-scale architecture that pushes the limits of its materials and of physical fabrication processes with custom computational protocols. The pavilion’s form began with the idea of a “Y” model—essentially the most basic form of multi-directionality. The study indicates Fornes’ interest in architecture’s shift away from linear spaces, including tube and doughnut shapes, to tri-partite forms that cannot be described through one bi-directional surface. Even in the avant-garde architectural repertoire, writes Fornes in his project brief, the bi-directional surface is still often the main medium of representation: “In order to resolve such an issue, it is required to address morphological models of change and introduce split or recombination—or in other words, how can one become two and two become one.” The computational model developed to create the structure describes it as a set of linear, machinable elements that can be unrolled and cut out of flat aluminum sheets. But the process could not be applied globally to the pavilion; that strategy would fail because the structure’s “defects” are recurring yet shifting. Nodes contain varying numbers of branches, and double-curvatures and radii are constantly shifting. Instead, the model was designed to create an individual solution to each surface while keeping in mind nearby conditions including branches and holes, connections, end rings, and open edges. Though the amount of variation is massive, the information was translated to a series of stripes that would be CNC-cut, drilled, or engraved into 4-by-8-foot sheets of aluminum. Machining took less than 2 ½ hours, but pre-assembly using pneumatic rivet guns to fasten the stripes into 40 modules took several weeks. Now part of the FRAC’s permanent collection, the self-supporting structure is 30 by 18 by 15 feet. Fornes’ model is also scalable to a degree and could appear in other applications in the future, but even at the current size it will inspire visitors to think bigger.