I met Giovanni Savino at a breakfast meeting, and he asked if I could help him save an enormous house in the Dominican Republic. Savino is a photographer interested in documenting and preserving cultural oral history. He is so passionate about this house that he has self-published a photo-book called Thirty Three Doors: La Casa Del Sol.
Opening this week at Rome’s MAXXI is an exhibition honoring the late Alessandro Anselmi. Curated by his son and associate Valentino Anselmi and Valerio Palmieri, this important exhibition consists of 100 exquisite drawings, models, and watercolors from the 1960s through 2002. The show is organized thematically to lead the viewer through various aspects of Anselmi’s ouerve: the Architect’s Dream, the Geometry of Memory, the Figuration of the Modern, Fragments and Enclosures, Geometrized Nature.
Among the projects on view are his cemetery of Parabita in Puglia, the State Archive in Florence, the restructuring of Piazza dei Navigatori in Rome. The exhibition highlights an architect who was in many ways radical, but fully inserted into the dynamics of the contemporary debate, but always guided by a passion for history, and intensely sensitive to issues of place and context. One senses his profoundly Roman formation. His vision—intimate and almost oneiric—allowing us to speculate on its possible metaphysical influences.
Small Town, Big Bus Stops: International Architects Convene on Austrian Village for BUS:STOP Project
A slew of internationally-renowned architects have convened on the unlikeliest of sites. Krumbach, Austria, a town of less than 3,000 may soon be the location of bus stops designed by Sou Fujimoto and Pritzer Prize Winner Wang Shu among others. The BUS:STOP initiative is the brainchild of kulturkrumbach which managed to entice the heralded names to participate in a bus stop design project with the promise of a free vacation and little else.
A surfacing material has to offer more than strong aesthetics to suit today’s interiors: It must also support occupancy health and sustainable resource management. Whether made from repurposed post consumer materials or designed to dampen noise, the following products support a healthy environment from the factory floor to the finished project.
Designed by Japanese artist Tokujin Yoshioka, the Phenomenon collection (features natural textures for walls and floors. Air, (pictured above), is a multidimensional mosaic of 1-inch unglazed porcelain tiles on a square foot of mesh backing. It comes in four neutral colorways with coordinating trim.
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A custom designed, prefabricated panel system of white aluminum and glass brings a softer aesthetic to a new development in Norway.
For the Barcode district in Norway—a new, mixed-use high-rise development along the waterfront in central Oslo—the architectural arm of design firm Snøhetta recently completed a 215,000-square-foot building. Two retail levels and 12 levels of workspace for real estate firm Deloitte are wrapped in a prefabricated aluminum and triple-glazed glass facade. Designed to establish a new presence in the Oslo skyline, the firm developed the facade to stand out within the guidelines of the rectilinear master plan and maintains the overall rhythm of the district’s high rises.
In his school project, Puzzle Facade, Spanish designer Javier Lloret decided to transform the exterior of an Austrian museum into an interactive piece of architectural entertainment: a giant Rubik’s Cube. Lloret wirelessly connected a 3D-printed handheld cube to a laptop responsible for controlling colors on the facade of a nearby building roughly shaped like a cube: the Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria. The building proved to be an ideal canvas for the project as it was already furnished with an LED-lit media facade.
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.
More Nine Inch Nails than Mount Rushmore, the upcoming Sochi Olympics will feature a new giant pinscreen that renders impressions of the faces of visitors to the Games. The pavilion for Russian mobile phone giants Megafon will play host to the installation, which was designed by British architect Asif Khan.
While architects are often accused of wanting to be artists (albeit ones with wealthy clients) artists are also sometimes guilty of wanting to be architects. There are, of course, artists whose work crosses into architectural themes like James Casebere and Ernesto Neto to name only two but there are artists who want to actually build. Think of Donald Judd in Marfa, Ai Weiwei, Olafur Eliasson, and now Damien Hirst.