Continuous City


The Builder's Association, the artists collective responsible for several on-stage media theater works over the last decade, is coming back to BAM. You may remember their last show, Super Vision, which was as thrilling technically as it was a tad undercooked theatrically. It was like live blockbuster movie, but with a plot that revolved around how our lives, so fully enmeshed in technology, so easily discoverable through how our personal information is networked, was vaguely unsettling. Not full-on Kafkaesque Modern disaffection, but a cloudy resignation. That project was a collaboration with New York City architectural renderhouse dbox (warning: full screen browser resizing ahead).

Builder's is back at BAM November 18th with Continuous City. This time it's even more collaborative: you can post your own video to the project.

House In Mallorca


From yesterday's news of Madrid architects (and Tropolism friends) Inaki Abalos and Juan Herreros splitting into two different offices I was put in touch with a great project on Juan's website, a country house in Mallorca (pictured). The house reminds me of something by Sert: a simple shape that keeps living married to the landscape.

Pretty Pictures: Resampled Space


BLDGBLOG is back in fine form with a survey of the work of artist Filip Dujardin, who manipulates images to create his architectural fantasies. Yet these images are sublime because they amplify the weight and grunge of the existing industrial photograph material from which they are born. It is that they are plausible which gives them power.

Coop Himmelblau on Grand Avenue Is Built


The crazy rendering we published back in 2006 turned out to be a real, live building. Coop Himmelblau's High School #9 is completed; our favorite write up is the amusing visual essay by Hello Beautiful!

Under Construction: OMA's Wylie Theater In Dallas


OMA's Wylie Theater in Dallas in under construction. Click here for an awesome slideshow by Archinect contributor Orhan Ayyüce.

Via Archinect.

Tropolism Books: Loot: The Battle Over Stolen Treasures Of The Ancient World


We just finished the new book by Sarah Waxman, Loot: The Battle Over Stolen Treasures Of The Ancient World. The book is a fascinating account of the culture war that is the resitution of ancient artifacts in Western museums. Institutions such as The Louvre, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The British Museum are turned inside out by these demands, and the author does a superb job of detailing all of the issues at play. She is remarkably agnostic about the arguments at play, and instead wisely focuses on the powerful questions that now arise. Do ancient artifacts belong in their home country where they can be seen in context, or are they better displayed alongside other civilizations in the great encyclopedic museums of the West? Should they be returned when the host country cannot insure their security, much less state of the art curatorial technology, even if the artifacts have unknown (therefore probably looted) provenance? Are colonial-era agreements (always written by colonists) that allowed some artifacts to leave their home countries legally still valid today?

The wheels spin on these issues and Waxman is content to let them spin. Along the way you will learn fascinating inside stories about museums and artifacts you probably already know and love (the Rosetta Stone, the Elgin Marbles, and my personal favorite, the Zodiac Ceiling), as well as see museums in a greater historical, and now political, context.

The book is available for purchase from Amazon. Buying it here helps support Tropolism.

Furniture Friday: The Chrome Almost-Superleggera Chair


Continuing our theme of Gio Ponti inspired awesomeness comes this pair of chairs done up like Ponti's famous Superleggera chairs. Except these are from the 1970s and are shiny polished chrome. Of course it's possible to find other examples of this, but on this site the attribution to Ponti is incorrect: Superleggera has triangular profiles to the legs, the chrome versions are elliptical. It turns out the steel version is none other than Phillipe Starck's Objet Perdu chair from 2004(?). But they are cool nonetheless.

From the ever-scrumptious Remodelista.

Furniture Friday: Gehry's Swoopy Bench


Speaking of swoopy bench-like sculptures, Frank Gehry has done one for the World Company building in Tokyo, just in time for Tokyo Design Festival. It's worth comparing his to Zaha Hadid's. Formally they are similar: complex curves that you can sit on. They sit in a space, but aspire to some kind of kinetic reflection of their present surroundings. But the materials are very different. Gehry's piece could be made by basket weavers; Hadid's requires a lot of bondo and an apprenticeship in auto body repair. I like them both, but Gehry's piece is a reminder that the build manifestation of complex forms is not always seamless shiny material.

As seen at Core77.

Furniture Friday: Richard Prince's Furniture Show


Richard Prince's latest show at Gallerie Patrick Seguin, in Paris, shows off an interest in furnishings, including his new "Nurse Hat Chair". The other pieces in the show are from his collection, and are arranged in a way to display his rare book collection. As a work of editing and collecting--and by that I mean as an extension of Prince's paintings and photography--it's a fascinating set.

As seen at DesignBoom, where they also have more pictures of the show.

Tropolism Newsletter 1.2


For those of you who missed it, Tropolism Newsletter 1.1 went out last Sunday. It was how the Zaha Hadid Chanel Pavilion now-closing in Central Park would have been improved by curation ideas taken from my favorite Xbox 360 games. This weekend: something different! To get your copy, sign up now in the top far right email field on this page.

Thin Concrete Pavilion


The Experimental Pavilion explores the possibilities of using special high strength concrete. The concrete's strength allows for super-thin forms of its columns and walls. Of interest is that the pavilion was created monolithically in two pieces and craned in. Prefabricated concrete elements generally have to be stronger than cast-in-place pieces in order to withstand all the stresses of transport and delivery, making this pavilion's material that much more remarkable.

We love that it references Phillip Johnson, too. Via sub-studio design blog.

Pretty Pictures: Drafting #1

Favela Painting


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.

Tropolism TV: Ultimate Skyscraper


The National Geographic Channel is featuring One Bryant Park on its Man Made series. The episode airs Thursday, November 6, at 9PM ET/PT. It's a great mini-documentary on the building, and gives some great insights into how large-scale sustainable building is happening these days. What's particularly great is how articulate and passionate Richard Cook is about this way of building.

Shiny Metal Tower Joins Chelsea Wood Tower!


Our favorite wood building in New York City is about to get a neighbor! 245 Tenth Avenue is clad in (very) shiny, stamped metal panels. And surprise it's by friends from my alma mater, Della Valle Bernheimer.

More pictures after the jump, including one with Chelsea Wood Tower.