Artist-tecture

Favela Painting

favela1.jpg

Favela Painting is a project by Dutchmen Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn that creates home-grown artworks out of the density of the Rio favelas. The project has raised the cash to fund several large paintings already, creating a pretty brilliant virtuous cycle out of all the money that was flowing through the art world. Compare this to, say, that Burning Man burn out a few years ago, which talked community and sustainability, but didn't really play at this level. This is microfinancing for communities engaged in the production of neighborhood-scale art.

We invite you to support Favela Painting directly.

Via Plataforma Arquitectura.

Finding Double Negative

double_negative_gmap.jpg

Greg Allen does the homework and finds one of our favorite works of Land Art, Double Negative, using the GPS device in the car of his in-laws. The large yet simple cut in the earth, famously difficult to find in the era of cars without GPS and the before-time of non-internet, is now super easy to find! He also found it on Google Maps in a really great satellite photo of the work.

Tropolism Exhibitions: to: Night

SUSANNA%20THORNTON%20-%2008%20-%20Nightstill%20II.jpg

Hunter College's ambitious exhibition to: Night includes a large scale neon installation at the college's aerial walkway, Infinite Light by Laurent Grasso. We have been milling around that part of town a lot lately, and noticed it right away. However we were a little underwhelmed, after seeing what's possible, first hand, day or night, with neon walkways. But we admire its scale, and hooray for Hunter College for doing something this ambitious. More, and more often, please.

Pieces in the show we are more excited about are those from photographer Susanna Thornton (pictured), whose Nightstills series captures both the romance and fleeting nature of light at night, even in the most routine situations. We are particularly drawn to the pieces that show a little foreground, taking them out of the realm of simple out of focus beauty and into an implied narrative.

Also of interest are the illuminated (model?) trees by maquette/lightbox/installation artistDoina Kraal.

Your Own Private Haus Pavi

haus%20PAVI.jpg

For those of you who loved the Haus PAVI in Bad Waltersdorf, Austria, a few years ago, I have some great news for you. It's for rent! Timeshare it! Just like in the book. Or the magazine. This idea is so brilliant I'll share it: develop destination houses for people to timeshare. They can get weird and people can try out that kind of living for a while, going back to the 3 bed 3.5 bath minimansion back home.

Tropolism Books: More Mobile: Portable Architecture for Today

moremobile.jpg

Title: More Mobile: Portable Architecture for Today

Author: Jennifer Siegal

Publication Date: November 1, 2008

Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press

ISBN: 978-1-56898-758-3

The last few years have seen an explosion of explorations of the structures, armatures, tools, and systems that constitute a new nomadic living. The explorations chosen for this book range from smart fashion installations to surrealist fantasies to RVs for the West Elm set. But they all have one thing in common: they expertly explore what architecture can be in the wireless age. They suggests that transitional, temporary, and moveable placemakers are not merely appropriate for our digital lives, but they can even be comfortable. All of the projects here challenge what is expected of house and home, from the art installation tricked-out sleeping bags of Studio-Orta to Andrea Zittel's A-Z Wagon Station (pictured). They challenge conceptually what can be made into a home or public space, the way Archigram's work does. Yet many of them go far beyond being polemics of our time; some (like Zittel's work) strive to being useful, giving us entirely new architecture even as they strip most of the materials away.

This book can be purchased at Amazon.

House Within A House

gr_15_004_WL_AUSSEN_02.jpg

I know sub-studio posted about this a few days ago, but I think it bears repeating. I have loved the Wohlfahrt-Laymann Residence by Meixner Schluter Wendt since we wrote about their spaceship Star Wars thing way back in April. In this very unique house addition, what looks like an existing ski chalet from central casting is completely enclosed in a new box, creating some great interior spaces with what used to be the exterior of the house. The sophisticated cut outs in the new box relate well to the interior layout, and some new sculptural additions to the existing house are also added, also on the interior of the new box. Got that? Check out their great diagrams and plans if you need to get up to speed.

Next Generation House Update: Winner!

housen2.jpg

This just in: Sou Fujimoto Architects' Next Generation House, as seen here on Tropolism yesterday, won the Private Houses jury at the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona. We concur with their report, this house is a winner.

Next Generation House

0829jeng.jpg

One of our favorite architecture studios has recently posted about their Next Generation House. Sou Fujimoto Architects is the land of awesome houses, and the heavy-timber Jenga game that is this house is no different.

Tipped off by sub-studio design blog, where even more awesome pictures can be found.

Boulders and Color

casadamusica_sagmeister.jpg

Speaking of Boulders and Things We Just Love, we are in love with this graphic design idea by Sagmeister Inc. for the boulderesque Casa da Musica in Porto. Stefan Sagmeister says it best: “We failed to avoid using the building shape” said Sagmeister in yesterday's lecture at the design forum Vienna, "so we looked for a different approach". Instead a color calculator uses colors from a poster's image, or portraits of people whose name are on the business card, to generate the coloration of the logo. It's ever-changing, and a brilliant interpretation of the chameleon like shape of the concert hall.

The Madison Square Waterfall

madison%20square%20waterfall.jpg

Overlooking our first instance of Pop-Up Park 2.0 is a building (yes yes it's 200 Fifth Avenue, stunning new luxury la la la all very important) being powerwashed, as it has been for several weeks now. Complete with blue tarp and scaffolding you can walk under. I pass under this temporary structure several times a day, and always feel a little of the spray as I pass under it. The tarp glows a bright blue, and to get by it you need to jump over a little gurgling river of runoff all around the block.

Just as Pop-Up Park 2.0 is an example of public space being claimed as serendipitous proto-park (TM) the powerwashing is an example of public space being claimed as serendipitous art. Because all the elements of an Olafur Eliasson installation are there. And if you don't get the blue tarp reference, I have included a picture of Your Inverted Veto, an installation at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery (a gallery I designed) in 1998.

Farther down the rabbit hole, you will see my implicit (and so far silent) appreciation for Olafur's NYC Waterfalls. I wholeheartedly agree with those who say that the falls fail as objects, or that their water is not like a real waterfall, or that the New Yorkness of New York City overwhelms these constructions. In fact, I think that accurately describes whole segments of Olafur's installations: they are uninteresting objects, and their surroundings are far more interesting. But these descriptions wildly miss the point. As serendipitous effects in the city, or in nature, they are incredibly powerful. They invert the relationship between surroundings and work. In case this point is being debated as an intention, I offer the title of this work (which I also worked with Olafur on).

I have yet to see the waterfalls up close, and do not intend to "visit" them. Instead, I have intentionally seen them unexpectedly, accidentally, without intention. On the F train crossing the Manhattan Bridge at sunset (when two were visible at once); on the approach to LGA from IAD, over Brooklyn (when all four were visible); on a taxi also over the Manhattan Bridge (when I could only see one). They are the perfect art for the vehicles of transportation infrastructure: moving, pumping, flowing, spraying, pooling. And yes, a little inadequate if you crop the picture. They make more visible (and more poetic) the intricate dance of heavy transportation engineering. The sublime nature of New York City is turned up to 11.

The Madison Square Waterfall recreates this effect. This is the first positive test of the success of Olafur's NYC Waterfalls.

See the expanded ever-experimental Tropolism Picasa Pop-Up Park 2.0 album for more waterfall pics.

Pop-Up Park, In Action!

North-to-falls.jpg

The Brooklyn Bridge Pop-Up Park, the very same park where we coined the term "Pop-Up Park", is suddenly open! Just in time for Olafur's Waterfall Day 2008.

Family.jpg

Like a pop-up store, the pop-up park builds brand awareness. Except in this case, it's more like public-space-useability awareness. And nothing says public space awesomeness than the bare bones of what's there now: Lawn, benches, some plants, and a great place to get summer eats. And, refreshingly, it's all low tech, yet modern. We mean this as a compliment: it's not some overwrought construction for PS1 Warmup (SHoP, nArchitects, and Work AC's entries being the exceptions, of course). It has the feeling of a summer deck the community put together, BYO Lawnchair.

At-the-Bar-2.jpg

Pictures from special correspondent Susannah Drake, founder of dlandstudio, designers of this episode of Pop-Up Park.

Tropolism Exclusive: Pop-Up Park Updates

BBP_frombridge2.jpg

The Brooklyn Bridge Pop-Up Park--our favorite platform for viewing, er, lower Manhattan and whatever else might be down there--is getting refined as it gets closer to getting built (click the above image for full-sized goodness). What you're seeing there is painted asphalt (minus the multi-colored action in the previous renderings), grassy mounds, and the tree/sandbox area on the right. It's essentially the same plan, minus the super colors. Beyond is the asphalt wasteland that where the warehouses used to be, blocking the public's access to the water.

The inside story is as interesting as the design: almost all of the materials are being donated. The paint, trees, plantings, planter boxes, hay bales, plexiglas (on the perimeter fence) and some labor is all being donated. So not only is this a pop-up park, but it's becoming more open-source too.

Tropolism Exclusive: The Waterfalls Get A Park

bbpark-aerial-closeup.jpg

Olafur Eliasson's waterfalls have created a rush of art tourism. The number of ways to see the waterfall, created specifically for the waterfalls, is growing fast. One approach is the generically luxury boat cruise for only $50,000. Another is potentially coming to Brooklyn: our friends and favorites at dlandstudio have designed a temporary observation deck at Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

bbpark-aerial.jpg

The 26,000sf site had a Strober Brothers Lumber warehouse on it until a week ago, and has recently been deeded by the Port Authority to Brooklyn Bridge Park. The Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy asked dlandstudio to develop a temporary park for the waterfalls. On a Brooklyn budget! Dland's design includes wide swaths of color painted in stripes over the asphalt to create both a more comfortable walking surface for pedestrians and add color and texture. The design is like a pop-up shop for the future Brooklyn Bridge Park on the waterfront. The park includes grass mounds for lounging (the future park will be lots of mounds), a sand area retained by wood beams with umbrellas for shade, and our favorite, hay bales that get seeded and grow grass like a chia pet as the summer progresses. The pop-up park is going to invite people to use the former warehouse-blocked waterfront as a park, allowing people to discover vistas of New York that were previously blocked. Way better than a cruise.

Click Continue Reading for another exclusive image from dlandstudio.

The Glass From Terminal 8

20061109jfk_lg.jpg

In February the 1960 stained glass window at JFK's terminal 8 was demolished. The window was over 300 feet long and 23 feet tall; it was designed by Robert Sowers for the 1960 American Airlines terminal. Our picture is of the terminal when it opened.

IMG_1652.jpg

What the articles at the time neglected to mention is that most of the window was salvaged by Olde Good Things in Manhattan. That link has lots of juicy demolition details. We happened to spot one of the pieces in their store window while passing by. Some of the window was destroyed before OGT jumped in and took the remaining window to their warehouse in Scranton, Pennsylvania. They numbered the sections and it is now possible to buy large sections of the window for reassembly elsewhere. So while the window did not find a permanent home, and it will undoubtedly be broken up, at least it's in good hands. And it's possible to put large swaths of it back together, if you have the spot for it.

Bioscleave House: Still Kooky

reversibledestinyhouse.jpg

The New York Times does a glossy show for the Arakawa and Madelaine Gins house in East Hampton, now apparently ready for viewing. Online. When we first mentioned the Bioscleve House, over two years ago, we were of the opinion that the Site Of Reversible Destiny was the best testing ground of their ideas. After seeing more pictures of said house, we stand by our original opinion. As a house, it is the finest work Ettore Sottsass has ever produced, were it 1979.