The original Pennsylvania Station was razed in 1963. (Collection of the New-York Historical Society, negative number 59044)
A passionate NYTimes article addressing the calamity that is Penn Station:
“To pass through Grand Central Terminal, one of New York’s exalted public spaces, is an ennobling experience, a gift. To commute via the bowels of Penn Station, just a few blocks away, is a humiliation.
What is the value of architecture? It can be measured, culturally, humanely and historically, in the gulf between these two places.”
Restore a Gateway to Dignity, by Michael Kimmelman
20essentials is a Belgium based pop-up concept with a selection of carefully picked products by a ‘little more’ or a ‘special twist’. The products are different in their concept, shape, material and functionalities and are an attempt to meet 20 of our most basic, daily needs, such as sitting, sleeping, transport, …
20 Essentials is located in Knokke, Belgium. Wish I could stop by. Lovely idea.
(Thank you Pieterjan)
Olafur Eliasson’s Rainbow Panorama Installation makes me want to book a flight to Denmark asap. RAINBOWTASTIC, as my color-loving studiomate Jessi would say!
This ‘rainbow bank’, as my reader Kirsten calls it, makes my heart beat a little bit fater. It was designed by Emmanuelle Moureaux. It’s called ‘Sugamo Shinkin Bank’, a credit union located in Shimura, Japan. Te design, an offset volume of rainbow-like layers, is the third branch designed by Moureaux, with the first two located in Tokiwadai and Niiza. Read the original designboom post.
Karl Lagerfeld’s bookshelf system is crazy impressive (and big!) It’s an older shot by Selby, who just came out with Edible Selby.
In this short film made by Dezeen and Oliver Manzi of WopFilms, architect Winy Maas of Rotterdam firm MVRDV talks about Balancing Barn, a house in
Sussex Suffolk, England, completed late last year.
At some point in my life, I want to live in a house like the Balancing Barn and own a real Calder Mobile.
photo credit: Rainer Detzlaff
How stunning looking is this suspended staircase? It is part of a home designed by SoHo Architektur.
Now here’s what I call a modern take on the good old fishbowl: Modular Fish Hotel.
It does not happen often that a design has me speechless, but this desk-bed-loft construction just did. Naoto Mitsumoto and Naoko Hamana of MihaDesign were asked to renovate an old 770 sq apartment that was constructed in 1957. The designers were asked to propose a solution for the owners – a husband and wife with 4 kids – who desperately needed to come up with a creative use of the limited space. Who would think of putting boxes into this small apartment that not only serves as cozy bed-nucks but also offer a desk space above the beds. The kids can quietly read or study while comfortably dangling their feet above their beds. This is brilliant! Unbelievably brilliant! Read more.
(via spoon and tamago / via bb)
If I lived on my own this is how I would want to live. Completely clutter-free. No visual noise whatsoever. The owners of this sleek NYC apartment wanted a place where every boot and book, every single little thing could be hidden away; they wanted something that would make the most out of their 715 square feet.
I especially love (!) the concept of the friendly Black Hole, a flexible zone which can be annexed to the living room or bedroom, or optionally kept closed as a large walk-through closet space depending on the needs. It’s big enough to gobble up anything they need to hide.
Hat tip off to Dash Marshall, the architect/designer.
(I know, I know some of you might say that this is too sterile! Live and let Live!)
Filip Dujardin takes photographs of nondescript, often post-modern buildings and remixes them using Photoshop to create strange hybrids. Stunning!
Does the exterior of your house need repair? Ever thought of using LEGO to patch up holes and cracks? That’s exactly what the agents of dispatchwork do. Jan Vormann is the force behind this refreshingly fun public service. Whenever a space needs repair, Jan or one of his volunteers all over the world, jump into action and fix it with LEGO pieces. Made me laugh!
Somebody should send an agent to 10 Jay street in Brooklyn. There’s plenty of patching to do!
(thank you Charlotte)
Here’s a blog post that makes want to jump up and run to take the 6 train:
“New York’s famous City Hall subway station, one of the most gorgeous gems in the world of mass transit, has been closed for decades but now it can be viewed again by in-the-know riders of the 6 train.
Although it’s not open to the general public, there’s a way in-the-know New York subway riders can still see this famous and beautiful architectural glimpse at the city’s past. The 6 train used to make all passengers leave the train at the Brooklyn Bridge stop, but no longer.
If you have a little extra time, you can stay on the train and view the City Hall Station as the train makes its turnaround.”
I can’t wait. Can NOT wait to do this.
(via jalopnik and @HelenWalters)
The Minka post over at Subtraction caught my attention: Khoi points us to a very promising trailer for a documentary about a 250-year-old farmhouse in Japan that was restored by an American journalist and his adopted Japanese son.
“In Fall 2007, Princeton Architectural Press published ‘Minka: My Farmhouse in Japan,” the memoir of retired AP foreign correspondent John Roderick. Moved by the story of this remarkable house and the memories it contained, and with seed funding from the Graham Foundation, we began work on a documentary film about John, his adopted son architect Yoshihiro Takishita, and the 250-year old house they shared. John died in March 2008 at the age of 93. ‘Minka’ is a meditation on place, architecture, memory and the meanings of home.”
The filmmakers have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds to complete the movie. With your help, they can finish the film! No donation is too small, and they’re offering some great rewards. Please check it out here.
I just pledged $50 over at Kickstarter. If they reach their goal, and finish the movie, my name will be on the film’s website and I’ll receive a digital download of the film.
(Is Kickstarter simply the best thing that has come out of the web in the past few years? YES!)
Hypothetical Development Organization (Kickstarter Trailer) from R Walker on Vimeo.
I had the pleasure to enjoy a cup of coffee with Rob Walker a few days ago here at swissmiss studio. I am a fan of Rob’s creative endeavours, thinking and writing. You might have read about his book Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are or his wonderfully poetic project called The Significant Object. During his visit Rob told me about his latest project called Hypothetical Development.
Rob explained that he kept walking by a construction site that sported one of those fancy 3D renderings of what’s soon to come. After months of walking by the site, and nothing happening, it was clear that obviously this was just a bunch of hot air.
The idea for The Hypothetical Development was born. Why not pick interesting sites and come up with Hypothetical Development renderings? Consider it a new form of urban storytelling.
Or as they explain it on their site:
Members of this Hypothetical Deveolpment begin the narrative process by examining city neighborhoods and commercial districts for compelling structures that appear to have fallen into disuse —“hidden gems” of the built environment. In varying states of repair, these buildings suggest only stories about the past, not the future. What this means is that they will put huge signs with illustrations/graphics of what soon is to come on this site outside various locations in New Orleans.
Take the Museum of the Self as the first example. (Rendering above) I can’t help but think about how much these futuristic hypothetical developments would make me chuckle.
I just backed the project with $50. It’s only $1,200 shy of meeting it’s goal. Let’s help Rob and his team make this happen.
Kickstarter page for Hypothetical Development
Official site: Hypothetical Development
Designed by Dutch architecture firm Hofman Dujardin, the DLA Piper office is a playful space intended to accentuate the variations in sunlight throughout a typical working day. What does that mean? The side of the building that receives the most sunlight is balanced with cooler tones, while the side that receives the least is compensated with warm tones. Meanwhile, the giant gradient of carpet connects the four main meeting rooms, while also creating a simple and clear sense of orientation within the building.
I am pretty sure this will make my studiomate Jessi’s head explode. (She’s the rainbow birthday lady)
(Thank you Rion!)
(photos iwan baan)
Spanish architecture firm SelgasCano has designed their own office in the middle of the forest. I have no words. Gasping for air. This is unbelievably cool. Thumbs up!
I just listened to a super interesteting live interview with Mike Davidson over at 5by5.tv. In this interview that was held by Dan Benjamin Mike mentions the blog that he kept up while building his dream house. I am impressed how generously Mike shared his insights on what it takes to build a house. What an amazing resource for anyone who is in the process or about to undertake such a construction endevaour.
We desperately need one of these Floating Pools outside our studio.
+ Pool is an initiative by a group of architects and designers to build a floating pool in the rivers of New York City… and they need your help. The project was launched with the ambition to improve the use of the city’s natural resources by providing a clean and safe way for the public to swim in New York’s waters. This site is the culmination of Concept Design for + Pool and they are looking to build a team of interested organizations and professionals to continue the development of the project into a buildable proposal.
Their next step is to partner with local cultural, developmental and environmental groups to raise public and private interest, identify civic potential and approach the municipality, while working with engineers, planners and specialists to refine the social and ecological performance of + Pool.
To find out more, contact them at [email protected]
(thank you Michael)
I am a big fan of the Things I learned series and often keep going back to the Archicture School Edition. I just noticed that they now have one out with the following title: 101 Things I Learned In Business School.
(How much do I love Kindle? With the click of a button the book appeared on my iPad. With the exception of beautiful art/photography books, I have no interest in purchasing ‘real’ books anymore. You?)
Porter Fanna Architecture has an impressive 505 sf loft apartment in their portfolio that made me look. They definitely thought of everything to make this small space work. Oh, did we mention they have a little kid? Hidden computer desk, built-ins that also serve as staircase to the loft bed, hidden toy storage, crib in a walk-in closet etc.
Impressive! Check out all the images here.
(thank you marc)