The Pleasures of Suburban Life: Las Terrenas Resort (Elia Zenghelis – Eleni Gigantes, 1989)

zenghelis-gigantes-08

The 1989 competition entry for a resort in Santo Domingo, was for Elia Zenghelis (teacher, co-founder and former partner of OMA) and Eleni Gigantes the occasion for questioning the limits and the conventional relationship between city and nature.

Whereas the dense urban core usually moves outward towards the suburb, agriculture and then wild nature, Las Terrenas Resort (here’s the title of the project) reverses the sequence: here, wild nature inhabits the center and architecture delineates the boundary.

The project is, in fact, the “city’s invention and alter ego”.

The terrains (asphalt, sand, tile paving, salt water, sweet water, chlorinated water, lawn, forest), their juxtaposition, overlapping, gliding past each other… through a Samba-inspired choreography, dictate the use of the site.

Private vs. public, formal vs.casual, convivial vs. reverie – the terrains promote divergent, contrasting sensations, often as aspects of the same condition.

Central in this unbuilt project is the role of the water and the artificial production of nature. The site is separated by the ocean by a coastal road. A first excavation creates an inner bay. A second one makes a freshwater lake. A third excavation is a rectangular, 420m x 8m swimming pool (echoing OMA obsession for this particular type so elongated).

Excavated earth is then reused to create undulating hillscape – a Sierra – on which villas are lifted, or to be placed on the ocean as a public archipelago of floating islands (another OMA topos), each with a separate program and terrain (tennis courts, terraces, forest, sand oyster bar, pier and breakwater).

 

Las Terrenas Resort
Dominican Republic, 1989
Architects: Elia Zenghelis and Eleni Gigantes

 

zenghelis-gigantes-01

 

zenghelis-gigantes-02

 

zenghelis-gigantes-03a

 

zenghelis-gigantes-04a

zenghelis-gigantes-05a

 

zenghelis-gigantes-06a

 

zenghelis-gigantes-07

 

zenghelis-gigantes-08

 

Via: Hidden Architecture


Go to Source

Drawing Soane: a Comic by Eu Jin Lim

Eu-Jin-Lim4_comic_page_01_00-featured

Young architect Eu Jin Lim chose the house John Soane built for himself in Lincoln’s Inn Fields in London as the setting of a short comic. The drawing is an experiment on the ability of the comic medium to narrate architecture in comparison to more conventional orthographic drawings.  The house, fragmented to create an atlas of multiple vignettes, was chosen “for its complexity, and rich story-telling nature behind each rooms in the building.

 

Eu Jin Lim4_comic_page_01_1000

 

Eu Jin Lim5_comic_page_02_1000

 

Eu Jin Lim6_comic_page_03_1000

 

Eu Jin Lim7_comic_page_04_1000

 

Eu Jin Lim8_comic_page_05_1000

 

Eu Jin Lim9_comic_page_06_1000

 

Eu Jin Lim10_comic_page_07_1000

 

Eu Jin Lim11_comic_page_08_1000

 

Eu Jin Lim12_comic_page_09_1000

 

Eu Jin Lim13_comic_page_10_1000

 

Eu Jin Lim14_comic_page_11_1000

 

Eu Jin Lim15_comic_page_12_1000

 

 

All images © Eu Jin Lim


Go to Source

Order and Failure: Wittgenstein’s Haus on Kundmangasse

Wittgenstein-haus-04

In November 1925, Margaret Stonborough-Wittgenstein, sister of the Austrian philosopher, commissioned Austrian architect Paul Engelmann to design a large townhouse on Kundmangasse in Wien. She also convinced his brother to collaborate with the architect, probably in order to distract him from an incident he had while working as a primary school teacher in rural Austria where he apparently hit a boy making him pass out.

At that moment Wittgenstein had almost renounced to intellectual activities, left his job as a teacher and was working as a gardener. His sister believed he was in need of some stimulating activity and the construction of a house might have been a source of interest for him.

She was indeed right as the philosopher showed great passion for the task and spent a lot of time over the course of two years, focusing on each detail of the house and apparently becoming extremely demanding with each person involved in the design and execution of the project.

Engelmann designed the main volume of the house as three intersecting blocks and left the exterior devoid of any decoration in a language similar to that of Adolf Loos‘ works.

 

Wittgenstein-haus-04

 

In 1926, Wittgenstein left his job as a gardener to devote himself full-time to the project and he slowly became obsessed with it to the point of interrupting the collaboration with Engelmann.
The philosopher accepted the general framework of the house proposed by the architect, expanding the ground floor and adding only small elements to the exterior configuration. He then focused on the definition of the rooms, designing every detail from the doors and paving to the radiators and the doorhandles, the finishing and even the mechanical plumbing and electrical system, looking for an overall clarity and austerity.

The floor plan is made by rooms which always open to adjacents ones and to the terraces allowing light to flow generously through the spaces. Every vertical element bind directly to the ground without the need of thresholds and skirtings.

Designing the rooms, Wittgenstein applies a set of self-imposed rules which were to work within the imposed parameters of the overall design of the house, but in the end he is obliged to resort to several compromises as different orders find themselves in conflict, within the frame of the same architectural composition.

For example, in each room there is the research for a specific order given by symmetry, which lead to the thickening of walls when necessary. The layout of the floor was designed in order to respond to such a symmetry, but the specific conditions of each room led this spasmodic research for a general geometrical control to a failure as the task of perfect order reveals impossible to achieve.

The house was completed by December 1928 and today it is home for the Cultural Department of the Bulgarian Embassy.

 

Wittgenstein-haus-06

 

Wittgenstein-haus-03

Plan of May 1926, by Engelmann. Baupolizei, Rathaus Wien via http://thecharnelhouse.org/

 

Wittgenstein-haus-02

Construction plan, November 1926, signed by Engelmann and Wittgenstein, Courtesy of Baupolizei, Rathaus Wien http://thecharnelhouse.org/

 

Wittgenstein-haus-12

Wittgenstein-haus-13

 

Wittgenstein-haus-07

 

 

Wittgenstein-haus-08

 

Wittgenstein-haus-10

Wittgenstein-haus-11

 

 

 

Wittgenstein-haus-14

 

 

Further readings and images:

The oikos of Wittgenstein

wikiarquitectura

A house is a house: Architecture is a gesture

The Wittgenstein House by Bernhard Leitner

Images via:

dreizehn-magazin

hbt-lako.blogspot


Go to Source

‘Things are Queer’ by Duane Michals (1973)

michals-things-are-queer3-web

This 1973 series of nine photographs by Duane Michals (1932, -) is a short narrative piece with a twist at each step, a discovery of an unexpected level of reality at each new shot. Somehow obscure in its meaning, the work questions the perception of photographed reality and simply tricks the viewer’s mind making him wander through different layers of representation. Scale and frames are the key factors which come into play in the construction of this beautifully orchestrated yet utterly simple sequence.

michals-things-are-queer1-web

 

michals-things-are-queer2-web

 

michals-things-are-queer3-web

 

michals-things-are-queer4-web

 

michals-things-are-queer5-web

 

michals-things-are-queer6-web

 

michals-things-are-queer7-web

 

michals-things-are-queer8-web

 

michals-things-are-queer9-web

 

Related:

Exhibition: ‘Storyteller: the photographs of Duane Michals’ at Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (on ArtBlant)


Go to Source

Imperfections, Dirt and Decay: Interiors by Antonio Lopez Garcia

lopez-garcia-00-featured

Throughout his career, Spanish realist artist Antonio Lopez Garcia painted a number of interiors scenes. Most of these works show the less cared inhabitants of interior rooms: humble toilets, bathtubs, kitchen sinks and old household appliances, obsessively described in their mundane details without obliterating their imperfections, dirt and decay. A complete absence of rhetorics informs the paintings, the artist providing a plain, detached look which investigate carefully into the inner living of found places.

 

lopez-garcia-01

 

lopez-garcia-02

 

lopez-garcia-03

 

lopez-garcia-04

 

lopez-garcia-05

 

lopez-garcia-06

 

lopez-garcia-07

 

lopez-garcia-08

 

lopez-garcia-09

 

lopez-garcia-10

 

lopez-garcia-17

 

lopez-garcia-26

 

lopez-garcia-11

 

lopez-garcia-12

 

lopez-garcia-13

 

lopez-garcia-14

 

lopez-garcia-15

 

lopez-garcia-16

 

lopez-garcia-18

 

lopez-garcia-19

 

lopez-garcia-20

 

lopez-garcia-21

 

lopez-garcia-22

 

lopez-garcia-23

 

lopez-garcia-24

 

lopez-garcia-25

 

lopez-garcia-27 lopez-garcia-28

 

 

Related:

Antonio Lopez Garcia, retrospective at the Museum Thyssen Bornemisza in Madrid (virtual visit)

More collections of works herehere  and here/ Artbooks here.

Video interview in English

 

Images via ArtTattler and Rebecca Harp

All images © Antonio Lopez Garcia

 


Go to Source

Nylso: ‘Cabanes’

nylso-cabane090a

Nylso is a French comic artist. He is mostly known for the character of  ‘Jérôme d’Alphagraph‘, (to which he dedicated five albums) and for his contribution for the fanzine “Le Simo“. What has caught our attention is his copious collection of Rotring-pen drawn detached cabins in the woods and small houses from the region of Finistère, where he spent his childhood. Here is a small selection.

 

nylso-cabane002

 

nylso-cabane003

 

nylso-cabane007

 

nylso-cabane022

 

nylso-cabane024

 

nylso-cabane027

 

nylso-cabane030

 

nylso-cabane037

 

nylso-cabane041

 

nylso-cabane044

 

nylso-cabane045

 

nylso-cabane047

 

nylso-cabane048

 

nylso-cabane052

 

nylso-cabane056 nylso-cabane057

 

nylso-Cabane064

 

nylso-Cabane065

 

nylso-Cabane084

 

nylso-Cabane085

 

nylso-Cabane086

 

nylso-Cabane089

 

nylso-cabane090a

 

nylso-cabane091a

 

nylso-Cabane096scanjuinbis-a

 

nylso-Cabane100-ascanjuin

 

nylso-Cabane093scanjuin

nylso-cabane0602 nylso-cabane0711 nylso-cabane0731 nylso-cabane0742 nylso-Cabane0751 nylso-Cabane0773 nylso-Cabane0781 nylso-Cabane0791 nylso-Cabane0822 nylso-Cabane0882 nylso-cabanes031 nylso-cabanes032

 

All images © Nylso


Go to Source

Steven Holl’s Bridge of Houses (1979-1982)

Holl-bridge-05-800

Throughout history bridges have been a focus of legends of every civilization. Esthetes, philosophers and poets have used the bridge as a transcendent form. (Excerpt from Steven Holl website presentation of PA #7 – Author unknown)

During the first years of his career and up to the early 1980’s, architect Steven Holl engaged in the design of a number of conceptual proposals, never-to-be-built projects destined to foster speculation and investigation on architectural thought.

Many of these speculations ended being collected and published in Holl’s 1978 co-founded Pamphlet Architecture series, (read our review of Pamphlet Architecture 11-20, Princeton Architectural Press) a monographic review created as a venue to stimulate research and that was curated, written and designed by a single architect for each issue.

Holl-bridge-01a

PA #7, curated by the same Holl in 1978, investigated the theme of “Bridges of Houses” and was probably intended as an ideal companion to the very first issue “Bridges” (1977). In it, two projects by Holl are documented: the first, an ideal speculation, is a 1979 proposal for a Melbourne, (Australia) competition for a ‘landmark’. The second is a pragmatic yet unbuilt design for the recovery of the then disused High Line elevated railway in Chelsea, Manhattan, by the construction of housing types over the rail link.

After tracing a short history of inhabited bridges through the selection of paradigmatic cases from the past, from a 17th Century bridge in London that was the only way-in to the city, through Raymond Hood’s pattern of bridges of houses connecting Manhattan to the boroughs, Holl introduces the Melbourne project, consisting of a series of 7 different inhabitated bridges, or, “urban arms” as Holl himself calls them. Each bridge, extending streets and laneways of Melbourne grid over the rail line to connect with the Yarra river, has a title: Bridge of Pools and Baths; Cultural Bridge; Bridge of Piazzas; Bridge of Ancient/Modern Columns; Bridge of International Trade; Bridge of Odd Flowers and the Bridge of Houses.

 

Holl-bridge-02-800

Click to enlarge

 

 

Holl-bridge-03

The second project, inspired by the last of the bridges from the Melbourne competition entry, is specifically intended for the Highline in Manhattan. Manhattan Bridge of Houses  is an “an ornate collection of urban villas”, each one as a bridge in itself, providing a passage at the pedestrian level, so that the promenade is in fact a series of public courtyards.

 

Holl-bridge-05-800

Click to enlarge

Despite the public continuity and the roughly same cubic volumetry, each villa is very different, to the point of being contrary one with the other. The project is really a collection of seven characters, with seven different programs and seven different stories. Therefore, as in the case of Melbourne’s urban arms, each urban villa is given a title, describing metaphorically the particular type of person (and social class) each house was designed for: House of the Decider; House of the Doubter; House for a Man Without Opinions; The Riddle; Dream House; Four Tower House and Matter and Memory. Of course, each house was accompanied by a text describing how each of these houses are occupied:

“House of the Doubter:
The doubter goes back on everything he says … he never intends anything. If he makes a decision, it is by accident. Each morning when the doubter finally gets up (he is never satisfied with sleep) he dresses with great effort. When making decisions on what to wear his mind wanders to scenes of humiliation in front of large assemblies. The doubter’s meals are tenuous. In the process of indecision, he eats directly from the refrigerator shelf, randomly”

The following axonometric and mostly linear drawings are very far from the typical watercolours sketches or the photorealistic renderings of more recent Steven Holl projects. Yet many of the themes developed in these early proposals resonated throughout the entire career of the architect, ending in multi-million realised ventures such as the Beijing’s Linked Hybrid development.

 

Holl-bridge-06-800

Click to enlarge

 

 

Holl-bridge-07

 

Holl-bridge-08

 

Holl-bridge-09

 

Holl-bridge-10

 

Holl-bridge-11

 

Related:

Steven Holl to invent an American Vernacular, a clip of the lecture given by Steven Holl to the Sci-Arc on Oct, 26th, 1983. (Courtesy of Sci-Arc Media Archive)

Via: Rory Hyde.

Images via RNDRD and Steven Holl Architects. © Steven Holl Architects


Go to Source

L. S. Lowry: the Project of the Working Class Environment

Lowry-01

In 1909 English painter L. S. Lowry moved to the industrial town of Pendlebury, the environment which would later inspire him for several years. Row houses in bricks, chimneys and smoke, mills and warehouses were the recurrent subjects of Lowry’s vast canvas, constant presences out of his minimal vocabulary.

The depicted elements -fragments of the artist’s daily memories- are translated into simple forms, stylized and then combined in order to establish an infinite sequence of invented industrial cityscapes. The scenes are densely populated by little figures, the workers, absorbed in their daily activities and drawn in an almost cartoon-like style. With his obsessive paintings, Lowry provided the visual narrative of 20th century industrial England, an oppressive world absorbing the whole existence of the workers. Looking small and dull, they’re phantoms overwhelmed by pervasive blackened towns.

 

Lowry-04

 

Lowry-05

 

Lowry-06

 

Lowry-01

 

Lowry-02

 

Lowry-03

 

Lowry-09

 

Lowry-07

 

Lowry-10

© the estate of L. S. Lowry

Further reading:

LS Lowry: the industrial revolution


Go to Source