Architecture


21
Sep 11

Mirrorcube at Tree Hotel

Blending into the forest

Mirrored glass reflects the surrounding forest

Mirrorcube at Treehotel

Sweeping landscape views

From Tham & Videgård Arkitekter comes the Mirrorcube, a sleek mirrored prism suspended in a forest near the Arctic Circle. It accommodates a double bed, living room and bath, with 360 degree views of the surrounding country from within as well as a roof terrace.

It’s my favorite of the seven arboreal cabins commissioned by TreeHotel, though the others also deserve a look: check out the hotel’s UFO-shaped vessel and gigantic bird’s nest.


20
Jun 11

Seattle.

It’s been another month and well into the summer season since I last wrote. The days have been full with spectacular music shows like Robag Wruhme, Omar Souleyman, and Matmos; Balenciaga at the De Young Museum, Isabelle de Borchgrave at the Legion of Honor; and a trip up to Seattle to see some architecture, sip delicious coffee and visit with some long-lost Fraggles. Oh yes, and memory-drenched ambient releases from the Caretaker, Ezekiel Honig and Matthew Cooper. Here are a few photos from the trip north:

Morning coffee @ Vivace

Morning coffee @ Vivace

Chapel of St. Ignatius, Seattle

Chapel of St. Ignatius, Seattle

Chapel of St. Ignatius

Chapel of St. Ignatius

 

Frye Art Museum

Frye Art Museum

 

Experience Music Project

Experience Music Project


28
Jun 10

Hong Kong Living

I love the efficiency of this tiny Hong Kong apartment! Architect Gary Chang designed an elaborate system of movable walls with folding furniture, allowing a flexible configuration of twenty-four spaces within a tiny footprint of 300 square feet.

Chang gutted the interior, opening up the entire space for a fresh overhaul. He also warmed up the interior by tinting the windows yellow, instantly banishing grey days from entering the flat. Check out the video to see how he fits two beds into this space, along with a full kitchen, living room, library, video game room, laundry facilities, wet bar, and even a private theater complete with a hammock.


17
Jan 10

Happy New Year!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted back here — amidst holiday travels, I’ve been mostly blogging at Logos Graphics. For friends who have been patient with me, a very happy belated new year!

Here are a few photos snapped yesterday at SFMOMA’s 75th Anniversary Party, where Matmos and Nate Boyce performed to a packed audience. Earlier, I went to the Legion of Honor for the opening day of the Cartier and America exhibition where crowds came to ogle the extravagant collection of jewels.

SFMOMA's 75th Anniversary Party

SFMOMA's 75th Anniversary Party

SFMOMA's 75th Anniversary Party

SFMOMA's 75th Anniversary Party

This week will be exciting too — Someone Else and Robag Whrume are coming back to SF for more fun times. See some of you there!


19
Oct 09

Sounds of the Russian Avant-Garde

About a month ago, I stopped by Aquarius Records to pick up Baku: Symphony of Sirens / Sound Experiments in the Russian Avant-Garde. It’s a fantastic a double disc collection of poetry, music, and agitprop accompanied by a 72-page book with detailed notes on the Russian avant-garde movement from 1908 to 1942.

There are works from some of the best known names of the era — El Lissitzky (see his Soviet poster, below), Malevich, Kamensky, even Lenin and Trotsky — though to my great delight, I learned of seemingly countless other groups and their often humorous counter groups:

El Lissitzky
El Lissitzky, “Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge” (1919)

The somewhat staid Ego-Futurists, mostly in the literary camp, were later superceded by the Imaginists who indulged in long, deeply metaphoric poetry; there were also the painterly Cubo-Futurists, who counted Malevich and Mayakovsky as primary leaders. Then there were the Acmeists, the Suprematists (Malevich at his finest), the Neo-Primitivists, the Rayonists, the Bicosmists, the Luminists, the Electroorganists, the Constructivists and the Productivists.

The funniest groups were the Eggists, who formed as a joke in a newspaper article; the Everythingists, who embraced all styles of expression; and the Nothingists, whose slogan was “Write nothing! Read nothing! Say nothing! Print nothing!”

But these groups seem disappointingly shallow when compared to artists like Iakov Chernikhov, who is worth mentioning here as one of the most imaginative minds in modern architecture — even if his perspective is missing from Baku. Though best known for the Flying City, his body of work (especially his collection of Architectural Fantasies) is well worth a peek.

Iakov Chernikhov, Fundamentals of Modern Architecture (1925-30)
Iakov Chernikhov, Fundamentals of Modern Architecture (1925-30)

One of the album’s highlights is About Two Squares – A Suprematist Story by El Lissitzky (1920-22), a children’s tale about a red square and a black square. They travel toward a red circle (Earth) and smash into each other, creating abstract forms on Earth.

El Lissitzky, About Two Squares (1920-22)
El Lissitzky, About Two Squares (1920-22)

It’s a futuristic narrative that combines experimental typography with the fun of reading aloud “colour-blocks of Word”… a synesthetic experience from one of the Russian greats! View the entire story here.