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Archive for the ‘Architecture’ Category

Future Living

In Architecture, Surreal on November 19, 2013 at 4:11 am

Featured Image for Futuristic architecture by Michael Jantzen

This Michael Jantzen’s M-vironment series of flexible hinged-panel houses which are not only conceptual but functional. Held together with a main frame, people can move the hinged panels to allow in as much light or as little light as they wish. Jantzen’s vision to “reinvent the built environment in order to extend the reach of consciousness” can be seen in all his work at http://www.michaeljantzen.com

gray blue modern structure in desert

gray blue modern structure in desert with person approaching

Underwater World

In Architecture, Design, Post-Apocalyptic, Sci-fi, Surreal on October 31, 2013 at 4:12 am

Featured Image for British designer brings us a futuristic underwater city

Taken from the Huffington Post:

A British designer has unveiled his updated plans for a futuristic underwater city that almost certainly would not become the stage for a post-apocalyptic nightmare.

The Sub Biosphere 2 (SBS2) was first ‘created’ by Londoner Phil Pauley about three years ago, inspired by the original Biosphere 2 project and his own dreams of living underwater.

SBS2 is conceived as totally self-sustaining, allowing human occupants to live totally separate from the land. It includes eight ‘biomes’ arranged around a central 120m-tall support biosphere. The structure would be a total of 340 metres wide, and half of its living space would be below water even when the structure is above the surface.

Pauley’s designs allow for life-support systems including air, electricity, food and water generation, controlled by a clever use of atmospheric pressure. SBS2 would be able to move vertically above and below water, which would be handy during intense storms.

Underwater Biosphere pods

Underwater Biosphere pods

Superyachts

In Architecture, Art, Design, Sci-fi on October 24, 2013 at 5:14 am

Featured Image for London Architect Designs a Family of Sci-Fi Looking SuperYachts

Zaha Hadid has collaborated with German shipbuilder Blohm + Voss to design 5 different yatchs and this one is one of them. This 90 meter JAZZ yatch is the first of the 5 to be ‘technically specified and detailed by the naval architects at Blohm + Voss. The overall design is inspired by “fluid dynamics and underwater ecosystems” and with a few more changes, the vessel will be ready for ocean crossings.

Superyacht pool concept

Superyacht concept in compassion to average yacht

Superyacht organic design concept

Mont Saint Michel

In Architecture, Surreal on June 26, 2012 at 10:26 pm

I paid a visit to a mystical place recently- Mont Saint Michel. It is rocky tidal island which is part of Normandy, France and is located approximately 1 km from the country’s north-western coast. I just loved the idea of an island (with a medieval castle no less) that is only accessible on a single path at certain times of the day. It is cut off from the rest of the world once the tide rises and it is surrounded by the sea.

When I arrived, it was breathtaking. It is everything you want a ancient castle on a lone island surrounded by water, to be. A little haunting, but yet idyllic and calm, the entire place is small and quaint. It used to be a monastery and once you get to the top of the tower, you can see why it is a place of meditation- boundless views of the sea and mist is the view from the top and it is so peaceful up there. Its location is so special, almost utopian in its manner of wanting to be away from everything else.

Fun facts that I’ve siphoned from wikipedia:

1. The 1985 IMAX film Chronos has several scenes of Mont-Saint-Michel and the surrounding tides advancing and retreating around it.

2. French composer Claude Debussy frequented the island and possibly drew inspiration from not only the legend of the mythical city of Ys, but also Mont-Saint-Michel’s cathedral for his piano prelude La Cathedrale Engloutie.

3. In 2001, Cornish electronic musician Aphex Twin included a track entitled “Mt Saint Michel + Saint Michaels Mount” on his double-album drukQs.

4. One of the Multiplayer Maps in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is a replica of Mont Saint-Michel. (Exactly what I thought it seemed like when I arrived! Uncanny resemblance…) It also appears in the game as an encore.

5. In a 2004 Disney direct to DVD film called Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers, Mickey is locked away in Mont Saint-Michel and left to drown when the tide rises.

Here are some more beautiful pictures I found on the net:

I took some pictures of my own. Here it is from the mainland:

Here it is on the long walk up to the gate.

I noticed a small house at the edge of the island and thought it was the most charming thing.

Inside the monastery, there is a beautiful square garden which you can pace around.

Take a trip down there- it is definitely worth the visit: http://www.ot-montsaintmichel.com/en/accueil.htm

Relics of a Different World

In Architecture, Art, Photography, Post-Apocalyptic, Surreal on June 23, 2012 at 11:13 am

Just came back from a short trip to Amsterdam and was really taken in by this one bookshop called Joot (stands for ‘Just Out Of Time’). I really liked this bookshop for its strange and varied collection. Somewhat small in size, but very cosy and selling primarily art books and small selection of old vintage pieces, what I found refreshing about this store was that it was very well curated- every single book in that store was considered and the collection became very unique.  They also have an online store at http://joot.nl/ and ships internationally (hooray!).

I was so lucky to get two amazing finds! Both of which are photography books of JAN KEMPENAERS, an Antwerp-based photographer who hits exactly the sweet spot of the style and content of photograph that I obsess with. He takes extremely picturesque shots with a strange dream-like quality.

Above is the cover of his book ‘Spomenik’ which instantly caught my eye as I walked into Joot. What are these? Alien structures? I couldn’t believe that they actually exist on this planet but they do. These ‘Spomeniks’ are monuments in former Yugoslavia, surviving and weathered by the elements. So beautiful and mystical as these sculptures that they could belong to a whole different universe altogether. Kempenaers also did an excellent job on capturing these in such a romantic dreamy way. Unbelievable. Here are some of his photographs which I love:

I could not resist getting his other book ‘Picturesque’ either. A compilation of architecture and landscape work, they reflect Kempenaer’s research into the theme of ‘Contemporary Picturesque’ where land alterations by man has forestalled nostalgia and forces the viewer to take in the beauty of the present as it is while pondering the implications of the future on the environment. I especially love the colouring of his work.

Definitely worth a look through and if you would like to order his books, they are available on his site at http://www.jankempenaers.info/

 

A View from the Top

In Architecture, Photography, Surreal on April 18, 2012 at 11:31 am

Now who’s glassy high-rise office does this spectacular view belong to? This is a picture taken from Mr Young’s mobile phone while on his break, up in the sky although his office is far from large and glamourous. Mr Young operates the crane that has just completed Western Europe’s tallest building, located in London. It is called ‘The Shard’.

The Shard is a staggering 95 floors of 12 tonne steel and glass and boasts views as beautiful as this one. Mr Young’s photos also include things like the sunset illuminating the curvature of the earth as well as the large arch of a rainbow over London. Although they are in pretty low resolution, they still show us a perspective and side to London that people rarely see.

For more details, check out The Time’s reporter Fay Schlesinger ‘s article ‘It’s the dizzy height of ambition for a man with a top job’ in The Times 18th April 2012.

Modern-day Gaudi

In Architecture, Art, Design, Surreal on February 13, 2012 at 2:27 pm

I recently remembered stumbling across a spread in Wallpaper magazine that instantly took my breath away. I raced to dig these up from my pile of magazine cuttings- It was a spread of architect Bart Prince’s work (picture above) and pages and pages of amazing craftsmanship. It has been a long time since we have seen an architect put such dedication into the minute details of a structure’s facade, as well as the interior.

A true visionary, Bart Prince has managed to design works of art that live in a world on its own. His designs are so unique to his style- very abstract and structured, and yet organic at the same time. He has such a talent for weaving different shapes and material together into a cohesive manifestation. They look a little alien even, and timeless. His work aesthetic reminds me strongly of Gaudi who also had a specific vision for his creations. Very beautiful work.

It’s interesting that his blueprints, in all its simplicity are almost as beautiful as the actual structures themselves. They are almost like how a alien language would look like visualised.

For more of Bart Prince’s work, check out his portfolio at http://www.bartprince.com/default.html

Seuthopolis

In Architecture, Post-Apocalyptic on February 5, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Talk about a unique museum experience- this one is only accessible by boat. This is the ancient city of Seuthopolis in Bulgaria, which has existed since the fourth century before Christ. Back then, Seuthopolis was the capital of a country called Odrissia. It is located within a vast lake, not on an island, but under 20 metres of water. It was discovered when a dam was being constructed in 1948 and when the lake filled up in 1954, the city disappeared under water.

Now, the city is going to be presented to the world in a very ambitious architectural project. A huge circular dike is going to be constructed around the city and visitors will be able to get to the site by boat. These are a few artist renditions of the completed project, looking a lot like prime real estate completely surrounded by seafront views. It is unclear when the project will be finished but it sure looks like something worth waiting for.

For the official website of the Seuthopolis, head over to http://sevtopolis.suhranibulgarskoto.org/en_proekt.php

Subterranean Territory

In Architecture, Photography, Post-Apocalyptic on February 2, 2012 at 12:43 pm

An unexplored world might just be under your nose, or feet rather. New York Times writer Alan Feuer followed Earling Kagge on a expedition to explore the underbelly of New York, complete with hikes in sewers and rats. Earling is a 47 year old Norwegian adventurer who has been to both the North and South Poles and ascended Mount Everest. He wants to create a new way of understanding cities via their underground infrastructure.

The article includes an extensive detailed twitter-style update of Alan’s entire journey with Earling underground. An insightful read if you manage to get through the 4 page long article- you too would feel as if you have completed the journey yourself. It feels exciting to know that there is a whole other world beneath your very city, just waiting to be exposed. Who knows, in the future half of the world’s population might live in its complicated depths.

For a full gallery and the complete article head to http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/02/nyregion/02underground.html?pagewanted=1&_r=4

A Temple for Atheists

In Architecture, Philosophy on January 31, 2012 at 11:23 am

Above, a tall dark tower looms over a crowded city of London. Pigeons scatter across the sky while some perch nonchalantly atop the structure. Almost looking like a still straight out from Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, this photograph instantly caught my eye. Seen on the website of The Telegraph, it is a concept visual for philosopher Alain de Botton’s proposal for secular temples to be built in cities across the country, starting in London.

Why Atheists would need temples is curious food for thought. Raised as a Atheist himself, Alain de Botton explains that in today’s busy world, people have little time for organised religion. However, it does not mean that they do not appreciate the nostalgic memories and charming rituals that religion presents. In a way, these religious buildings bring across a sense of calm, much like how old architecture from ages past, do. He hopes that these “secular spaces for contemplation” will help cure modern egotism and encourage oneself to be less selfish and more aware of the world around them.

The design of the tower itself has a interesting story- it will be made from different types of stones spanning across human history, forming a visual geological timeline, starting with a 1mm band of gold at the foot of the tower which symbolises man’s time on earth, relative to the age of the earth. Alain de Botton believes that this structure will be able to compete with great churches and “will have a timeless quality”.

This in my opinion is such a forward thinking proposal which addresses modern needs and captures current lifestyles so effectively. I have always been in admiration of the energy that active religious-activity-goers have, especially in this fast paced lifestyle where time is never enough. Unfortunately, many people find the amount of time or energy needed to seem ‘devoted’ so intimidating that it drives them away from the religion in question. This beautiful structure is a great way of reminding us to be contemplative of our place in this big world. The open attitude that it upholds bridges the gap between belief and nothing at all- be spiritual in your own time, in your own way.

Alain de Botton’s The Architecture of Happiness is proving to be a very enlightening read. I am quite a fan of his work- he writes with purpose and has the ability to present complicated concepts in the simplest ways. Religion for Atheists is definitely next on my list.

I tried to scour the internet for more photographs but I guess the plans are still in its initial stages. For the full article head over to http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/authorinterviews/9045391/Alain-de-Botton-puts-faith-in-temples-for-atheists.html