Archive for ‘Architecture’

Skyscrapers of Wood

0 Commentsby   |  04.03.13  |  Architecture

I just read an interesting article in Architect about the potential for skyscrapers to be constructed from wood. Michael Green, a Canadian architect, collaborated with engineer Eric Karsh to envision how wood could be used to create structural systems that typically utilize steel or concrete, both of which are responsible for significant carbon emissions globally. Not only would the use of wood drastically reduce those emissions, it would also provide massive amounts of carbon storage. Here’s a link to a TED article (no video yet) and an ArchDaily article. Green and Karsh compiled their findings in a white paper that was published last March. You can download the paper here.

Digital Design & Fabrication

0 Commentsby   |  10.09.11  |  Architecture, Interior Design

Earl's low relief alpine mural

Digital drawings showing progressive detail

Earl’s Gourmet Grub is an eatery located in Los Angeles. FreelandBuck designed the interior space, including a large low relief mural along one wall of the space. As the second image illustrates, FreelandBuck digitally translated a photo of an alpine landscape into a grid-like pattern using progressively smaller squares to provide more detail. The finished piece uses white maple veneer laminated onto standard sheets of medium-density fiberboard (MDF), which is then precisely cut by a computer numerical control (CNC) milling machine.


Detail of de Young copper panels

After seeing this project, it reminded me of the de Young museum in San Francisco, which I visited a couple of years ago.The facade of the de Young Museum, designed by Swiss architects Herzog & deMeuron, was created using a similar digitally-informed process. The architects digitally translated images of tree canopies into patterns of circular perforations and indentions, which were then pressed and/or cut into large copper panels. The intent was to replicate the impression of light filtering through a tree canopy, which resonates with the tree-filled park in which the de Young is located.

Here is a recent article from Architectural Record that provides more examples of the use of digital fabrication in architecture and design.

Prefab Lattice Construction

0 Commentsby   |  09.26.11  |  Architecture, Reference

While I’m thinking about Studio Gang, the architecture firm designed a 1,400-square-foot open-air pavilion in Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo. This is a beautiful example of prefabrication, understanding material properties and fabrication technology.

Here’s a short film by Spirit of Space.


Jeanne Gang named MacArthur Fellow

0 Commentsby   |  09.26.11  |  Architecture, Reference

Jeanne Gang is the 47-year-old founder of Studio Gang Architects in Chicago. Here is a link to a short article/interview with Jeanne and below you’ll find a short interview produced by the MacArthur Foundation.


The Third & The Seventh

0 Commentsby   |  09.19.11  |  Architecture, Film

I came across this film a couple of years ago. Beautiful cinematography and architecture!



Renzo Piano’s Expansion at Ronchamp Chapel

0 Commentsby   |  09.16.11  |  Architecture, Reference

The article linked below provides a brief synopsis of Renzo Piano’s expansion to Le Corbusier’s chapel of Notre Dame du Haut, which many consider to be the epitome of modern architecture – a masterpiece. A little closer to home, Piano is currently designing the addition to the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, which was designed by Louis Kahn and considered to be a masterpiece of modern architecture as well. Piano’s sensitivity to these modern masterpieces is through his understanding of the site and the experience of those visiting these places. Both projects incorporate portions of the building that are below grade (buried) and landscaping to help reduce the visual impact of the structures. Which one is more sensitive given the existing context and “purity” of the sites?

A Grand Opening for Renzo Piano\\\’s Controversial Expansion at Ronchamp Chapel | News | Architectural Record.

The Making of a Memorial

0 Commentsby   |  09.01.11  |  Architecture, Reference

Below is a link to an article posted on about the National September 11 Memorial. It discusses the process, and the problems, inherent with creating such an emotionally-charged monument. Toward the end of the article, mention is given to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial designed by Maya Lin – then a young architecture student at Yale University. I remember one of my architecture professors saying that architecture is only truly created when we design a monument or memorial. Maybe that is due to the significance (social, political, cultural, etc.) of such an artifact and the symbolism – meaning – it holds.

The making of a memorial: Reshaping ground zero –

A Strong Clear Vision is a good documentary about Maya Lin that discusses in some detail the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.