Category Archives: Architecture

February 11, 2018

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Julia Fish

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Edvard Munch’s Controversial New Neighbor: “A House to Die In”

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Controversy has erupted in Norway in response to a proposal to build a house next to Edvard Munch’s. Munch lived the last 28 years of his life on an estate called Ekely in an area outside of Oslo. The villa has since been torn down, and there is now an …

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Controversy has erupted in Norway in response to a proposal to build a house next to Edvard Munch’s. Munch lived the last 28 years of his life on an estate called Ekely in an area outside of Oslo. The villa has since been torn down, and there is now an artists colony, but the views he painted and his winter studio are still standing. “A house to die in” would change those views.

The house will be the home of Bjarne Melgaard and the architectural firm working on the projects is Snohetta. Melgaard is a well known and highly controversial Norwegian contemporary artist, and Snohetta is an architectural firm responsible for the design of the Manhattan September 11 Memorial Museum, among other major projects. Norway’s heritage conservation authority will soon decide whether or not to allow the house to be built. It is drastically different than anything Munch would have seen, although there was a house at its prospective location while Munch was alive.

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The house’s design is based on a sketch by Melgaard, and if built will be a modern black form resting on columns resembling animals. The exterior will have burned wood and the interior will have movable walls and innovative multifunctional rooms, such as one that will combine a dining room and swimming pool. There will be a so-called suspended drug room (not used for narcotics but rather to create a sense of disorientation), and proposals for an underground studio shaped like a tiger and a 40 foot tower were rejected.

“Nothing continues forever, so I was interested in the notion that you can have a house to die in, where you say, ‘It’s my end station,’” -Bjarne Melgaard

February 8, 2018

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Julia Fish

CATEGORY

The End of an Era for One of New York’s Most Iconic Buildings?

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© Time Magazine The AT&T building, now known as the Sony Tower, at 550 Madison Avenue is an icon and important marker of a turning point in postmodern architecture. The building was so important that it was placed prominently the cover of Time Magazine five whole years before it opened. …

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© Time Magazine

The AT&T building, now known as the Sony Tower, at 550 Madison Avenue is an icon and important marker of a turning point in postmodern architecture. The building was so important that it was placed prominently the cover of Time Magazine five whole years before it opened. The building was originally commissioned to be the landmark and headquarters for AT&T, at the time the largest corporation in the world. Its architect, Philip Johnson, is arguably one of the most influential American Architects of the 20th century. He created the ever famous Glass House and was the first director of the department of architecture at the MOMA, among other things.

“The building is an extraordinarily important building for New York and for the history of postmodernism,”-Hilary Lewis, Chief curator and creative director of Philip Johnson’s’ Glass House

The building, which is 647 feet tall, features a broken pediment with a semicircle inspired by Chippendale furniture. The middle of the building is relatively standard, but the bottom features an oversized arch entrance and a seven-story lobby. Pink granite and simple geometry play on the materials and the perfect forms admired by mathematician architects of the Renaissance. 

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©Wright

The building may not look this way for much longer. In fact, demolition on the building’s facade has already begun. Johnson’s iconic postmodern masterpiece is facing significant alterations proposed by Olayan, the Saudi conglomerate that owns it. Their British development partner is Chesfield. The announcement that the building would be “reinterpreted” by Snøhetta came in October and was met with significant criticism. The plan would leave the iconic pediment, but significantly alter the facade: one of its most recognizable elements.

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The original building (left) and proposed alteration (right) © Snøhetta 2018

“Thanks in part to the popularity of Apple stores around the country, many developers now believe that a building you can see through is by definition a contemporary building, one in touch with the times. But transparency is more often these days a sign of deadly earnestness and lack of imagination, of giving in to the sort of architecture that you think your prospective tenants prefer. Many Manhattanites have grown weary of transparent architecture, and for good reason; there are blocks on which it seems the whole island has traded stone for glass.”

Christopher Hawthorne for the Los Angeles Times (“Philip Johnson’s AT&T Building has always been vain, idiosyncratic and flawed. Let’s keep it that way”)

“It would be like taking one of the fine suits that Johnson favoured and chopping it at the knee. It would be another step in the ubiquitous glassification of the street levels of great cities, whereby everything that is solid must be melted in the cause of shopping.” –Rowan Moore of the Guardian

 

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Natan Eddy, filmmaker and organizer of protests against the proposed changes, with a sign. © Jonathan Hilburg
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Architect Philip Johnson holding a model of the AT&T building © Bill Pierce

February 1, 2018

POSTED BY

Julia Fish

CATEGORY

The Power of Art: A Mile of Peace in Lebanon

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The installation from above© Firas Chehabeddine Photography In an area of northern Lebanon called Tripoli, the second largest city in Lebanon, a series of 82 rooftops stretching almost a mile are painted bright green. From the ground, you wouldn’t even know it was there. But from above, it sends a …

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The installation from above
© Firas Chehabeddine Photography

In an area of northern Lebanon called Tripoli, the second largest city in Lebanon, a series of 82 rooftops stretching almost a mile are painted bright green. From the ground, you wouldn’t even know it was there. But from above, it sends a powerful message. Salam– Arabic for Peace. The twin brothers and artists who created it, Omar and Mohamed Kabbani, hope it will change the way Lebanon is perceived.

“Whenever they talk about the Middle East or Lebanon, all they think about is extremism and terrorism. By painting a big word, salam, we want to show people that we’re creative and positive things coming out from the Middle East. I think we made our goal happen.”

-Omar Kabbani

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Omar Mohamed Kabbani
© Firas Chehabeddine Photography

The specific location of the installation is significant. The area had previously been home to two fighting militias fighting between two areas. Some of the buildings that were painted were ridden with bullet holes and some were uninhabitable. The painters that the Kabbani twins recruited were ex-militiamen or ex-fighter, 62 of them in total. Kabbani says that “basically they dropped their guns and they started helping us with painting their own rooftops.” The paint is not merely an artistic statement, it serves a practical purpose. In is anti-leakage and anti-UV, so it cools the houses and keeps residents dry.

“When we used to go up to scout, they used to tell us, yeah, I used to sit here and point my sniper rifle… Like, people who lived violence and lived, like, war started going up to their rooftop without the fear of being shot… It was very challenging for us. And it was challenging for them. We stayed there for three weeks. Every day, we go up. And you can hear their stories. And you know, like, they are in rock bottom, complete poverty. So whenever someone gives them, like – I don’t know – a small amount of money, they would go and hold the gun and start shooting.” – Omar Kabbani

Omar and Mohamed Kabbani started Ashekman Studio in 2004. They have a degree in Graphic Design and studied Arabic Calligraphy. The studio specializes in Arabic graffiti, calligraffiti, and typography.

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© Firas Chehabeddine Photography
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© Firas Chehabeddine Photography
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© Firas Chehabeddine Photography

January 11, 2018

POSTED BY

Julia Fish

CATEGORY

Dubai Frames Its City with Fernando Donis’ Beautiful Design

© Fernando Donis The Dubai Frame is a building that looks like an elaborate gold picture frame. The frame’s design is inspired by the logo of an event, Expo, that will take place in Dubai in 2020. But unlike most picture frames, this one is 50 stories and 500 feet (150 …

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© Fernando Donis

The Dubai Frame is a building that looks like an elaborate gold picture frame. The frame’s design is inspired by the logo of an event, Expo, that will take place in Dubai in 2020. But unlike most picture frames, this one is 50 stories and 500 feet (150 meters) high and costs an estimated 35 million euros to complete. It is composed of two towers with a 93 meter bridge connecting them. The bridge offers visitors views of old and new Dubai, and the interior will hold exhibition spaces. Notably, it will hold an interactive exhibit telling the story of the past, present, and future of Dubai, using augmented reality to show what the city might look like 50 years from now.

The architect of the Dubai Frame is Fernando Donis. His original concept was for an abstract viewing space. He won a competition for the design of the structure, beating 900 entrants and winning $100,000 in 2008 for coming up with the idea. However, according to Donis:

“They (the United Arab Emirates) took my project, changed the design and built it without me.”

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The architect retrieved the prize and was flown to Dubai to dine with the Crown Prince. The contract he was asked to sign limited his involvement in the project. It wouldn’t allow him to visit the construction site or promote the projects as his own work, and even demanded that Donis hand over his intellectual property. The architect refused to sign it, so they just went along with the project without him. Unfortunately, the Dubai Legal System, according to The Guardian:

“…makes it impossible to sue the municipality unless the municipality gives you authority to sue them. They give themselves sovereign immunity against any lawsuit.”

December 23, 2017

POSTED BY

Julia Fish

CATEGORY

8 Nights 8 Windows: Boston’s First Jewish Public Art Installation

An installation called Eight Nights Eight Windows is Boston’s first Jewish Public Art installation. Through the 8 days of Hanukkah, which ended last Tuesday, 8 Boston establishments displayed installations. They were selected by a jury of art leaders, practitioners, and notable curators. Luminous Miracle by Matt Brand on display at …

An installation called Eight Nights Eight Windows is Boston’s first Jewish Public Art installation. Through the 8 days of Hanukkah, which ended last Tuesday, 8 Boston establishments displayed installations. They were selected by a jury of art leaders, practitioners, and notable curators.

  1. Luminous Miracle by Matt Brand on display at United South End Settlements
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    © 8 Nights 8 Windows 2017
  2. Giants of the Community by Susannah Lawrence on display at the Milk Street Cafe.
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    Video Installation featuring students
    © 8 Nights 8 Windows 2017
  3. 8 Nights, 8 Windows Illuminated by Astrid Chow at Roche Bros
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    This installation grow brighter over the 8 nights and has volunteers record videos of their favorite Hanukkah Traditions
    © 8 Nights 8 Windows 2017
  4. Halfway Through the Dark by Christian Meade and Nathaniel Wyrick on display at the West End Museum
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    © 8 Nights 8 Windows 2017
  5. HueMenorah: An interactive projected menorah by Fish McGill and Saul Baizman on display at Boomerang’s Special Edition
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    © 2017 Elan Kawesch/The Times of Israel
  6. The Coming of Light by Claudia Ravaschiere and Michael Moss on display at The BCA“Winter holidays, especially Hanukkah, are celebrations of light and warmth with many events that gather family and friends together,” said Meade. “The work Nathaniel and I have created for 8 Nights, 8 Windows integrates these ideas of family, togetherness and embracing the miracle of light in the midst of darkness.”Holographic Laser Projections © 8 Nights 8 Windows 2017
  7. We are the Shamash by Tova Speter on display at Pavement Coffeehouse
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    The hanging window frames with miniature candles contain notes with how to brighten peoples days and be a like a shamash, the candle used to light the other candles. © 8 Nights 8 Windows 2017
  8. Capturing the Sunrise by Gianna Stewart on display at the Cambridge Trust Company
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    The sun in the window rises just as the sun sets © 8 Nights 8 Windows 2017
  9. Community Installation: 8 Nights, 8 Windows Kids by Tova Speter with Becky Price. Presented in partnership with Temple Israel of Boston, the Families with Young Children program, and the Frances Jacobson Early Childhood Center on display at Fire and Ice

Following Hannukah, the installation went to Temple Isreal. It will be displayed there for the next year.

November 9, 2017

POSTED BY

Julia Fish

CATEGORY

The Louvre Abu Dhabi: Architectural Masterpiece

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I recently saw a photograph of the most beautiful building I have ever seen. Located on Saadiyat Island, which means the island of happiness, the Louvre Abu Dhabi will not only house pieces of art, it is a piece of art. Jean Nouvel was the architect for the project. Its …

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I recently saw a photograph of the most beautiful building I have ever seen. Located on Saadiyat Island, which means the island of happiness, the Louvre Abu Dhabi will not only house pieces of art, it is a piece of art. Jean Nouvel was the architect for the project. Its design echoes traditional Islamic architecture but is in a style entirely of its own.  

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© 2017 Gaston Bergeret

The museum is massive, covering nearly 64,000 square meters and has a dome 180 meters in diameter that covers most of the museum. The dome is pierced to look like palm leaves and light falls through them and dances in graceful shapes in the building. The building below the dome is a complex of 55 room-sized buildings inspired by buried cities that look somewhat like a city. Water goes through the Museum in an Arab engineering system called falaj. It cost an estimated $650 million to build.

An intergovernmental agreement was signed in spring of 2007, and the official website calls it “the first universal museum in the Arab world.” The museums will feature loans from French Museums rotating every decade and works from its own collection. Most notably, it will feature 300 works from France by Rodin, Van Gogh, and many other artists. The museum will even hold the famous portrait of Napoleon Crossing the Alps.

“The Louvre Abu Dhabi’s unique exhibition design explores the connections between civilizations and cultures that may, at first, appear to be far separated by time and geography. Visitors will be guided through a chronological and theme-based display, traversing different periods and civilizations. The display picks out universal themes and common influences to illustrate the similarities that grow out of a shared human experience, beyond any geographical, historical, or cultural boundaries. The result is a truly universal museum.”

-Louvre Abu Dhabi 

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The United Arab Emirates is leasing the Louvre’s brand for 400 million Euros and will pay 974 million euros to France for 30 years. It is part of the U.A.E’s push to invest in education and culture. Before the 2008 global financial crisis, the Emirate planned to spend a total of 18 billion dollars on Saadiyat Island. There will be a Guggenheim Abu Dhabi designed by Frank Gehry also on Saadiyat Island seven times the size of the one in New York. There are also plans for at least two more museums and a Performing Arts Center designed by Zaha Hadid, but those projects have yet to begin.

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© 2017 The Guggenheim

Many are opposed to the museum, citing abhorrent working conditions. They criticize that this is an attempt to project power fueling the project for politics rather than a genuine interest in furthering the arts.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi will open on November 11th. French President Macron will be among the leaders present for its opening.

October 2, 2017

POSTED BY

Jesus Ortega

CATEGORY

The Mercedes Benz Identity for Super Bowl LIII

Mercedes Benz stadium, home of the Falcons, Atlanta United…now the Superbowl. This summer the MLS and NFL inaugurated one of the most beautiful stadiums in the country. August 26, 2017, is a remarkable date for soccer and football fans based in Atlanta. Their home field surpassed any other stadium in …

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Mercedes Benz stadium, home of the Falcons, Atlanta United…now the Superbowl. This summer the MLS and NFL inaugurated one of the most beautiful stadiums in the country. August 26, 2017, is a remarkable date for soccer and football fans based in Atlanta. Their home field surpassed any other stadium in the US based on its construction and features. From architecture to branding, this ATL organization has done a great job. Not for nothing, it will be hosting the Superbowl in 2019. This week they unveiled what will be the new logo for Super Bowl LIII.

Before I get into the new Superbowl logo, let me tell you what makes this Mercedes Benz stadium one of its kind. This new infrastructure has the capacity to host up to 75,000 to 83,000 fans. There is an eight-panel retractable roof that resembles a pinwheel and could open and close at any time. It also happens to be the first stadium to be awarded the Leeds Platinum Certification; I could go on with the list but it’ll be too much.

The identity for the Mercedes Benz stadium is great and I think it’s due to geometric construction. The geometric construction allows the design to be flexible with triangular silhouettes. The new logo for Superbowl LIII was created by Atlanta based studio, Harley Creative. It was designed as a continuation of the stadium’s current identity, based on the side view of its construction. On the other hand, the new Superbowl LIII logo is based on the distinct aerial view of the Mercedes Benz Stadium. It consists of abstract roof element shapes. The color palette of this emblem consists of a classic red and modern gray which connects with the other franchise logos (Falcons/Atlanta United). The custom typography has the letters ATL highlighted in the Atlanta word with a powerful dark grey color that symbolizes a vibrant progressive city.

We couldn’t ask for more from one of the finest stadiums in the world. We’ll see who will end up lifting the Lombardi trophy at Superbowl LIII.

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June 24, 2017

POSTED BY

Jose Fresan

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Ogilvy Created Seven Million Uniquely Designed Nutella Jars

Nutella has a history of individualized packaging. They first introduced their individualization through words by allowing the buyer to personalize their unique jar. This personalization was achieved by selecting and printing the word of their choosing. Now Nutella and Ogilvy & Mather Italia have taken that individualization to all of …

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Nutella has a history of individualized packaging. They first introduced their individualization through words by allowing the buyer to personalize their unique jar. This personalization was achieved by selecting and printing the word of their choosing. Now Nutella and Ogilvy & Mather Italia have taken that individualization to all of the jars’ design.

They’ve created an algorithm that was able to generate seven million combinations of textures and colors for a same number of jars. The idea behind this project was to create a personalized design, embracing the uniqueness of every consumer of Nutella in Italy.

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The project raised many questions within the design community. It started a conversation about a designer’s role in the future and how we will be able to compete with this kind of efficiency and individualization power. Nonetheless, it is clear to me that the human part of design will never be able to be substituted by algorithms. Maybe someday, when a computer is able to make artistic and aesthetic choices, we will have to start this conversation again. However, for now, Nutella Unica’s algorithm doesn’t pose a great threat to the designer’s job.

If you appreciate package design, you will enjoy this post.

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new york branding sports graphic design agency

June 4, 2017

POSTED BY

Julia Celestino

CATEGORY

“Scaffold” Controversy at the Walker Art Center

Last week the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis started preparing to postpone the reopening of their Sculpture Garden in light of many enraged citizens. Sam Durant a Los Angeles artist was shocked when he had heard all the negative attention his sculpture was bringing. Durant had been inspired by an …

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Last week the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis started preparing to postpone the reopening of their Sculpture Garden in light of many enraged citizens. Sam Durant a Los Angeles artist was shocked when he had heard all the negative attention his sculpture was bringing. Durant had been inspired by an 1862 hanging that took place in Mankato, this was the largest mass execution is U.S. history. Scaffold represents the execution, but also its intentions on raising awareness about capital punishment and the violence in America’s past. Durant was lacking one thing, acknowledging the sensitivity of those who had been closely affected by this horrendous event.

“Protesters said it was insensitive and trivialized a dark chapter in Minnesota and Dakota history.” Durant gave a statement clarifying the intentions of this piece, he said the intended audience for Scaffold was “white people who have not suffered the effects of a white supremacist society and who may not know it consciously exists.” I can’t help but think why Durant thought it wouldn’t affect the citizens who were directly affected by it, the people who have suffered a great loss. Especially when Durant has done previous work in Minnesota that also focused on American Indian communities.

The Executive Director of the Walker Art Center, Olga Viso spoke out and told the press that the sculpture will be taken down in response to the protests. Is this right? Should this man’s sculpture be torn down, or should Durant and the people of the surrounding community come to a compromise? After all, this is not the first piece of art to depict a horrific historic event.

Surprisingly Architecture can attract a lot of controversy. Here is another article you may be interested in.

 

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new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency

May 19, 2017

POSTED BY

Dana Chou

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Proposals For Trump’s Wall are Rolling In and It’s a Mess

We’ve all heard it, we’ve all scoffed at it, and we’ve all dismissed it – Trump’s proposal to put up a wall along the US-Mexico border. Now, this ridiculous idea is slowly creeping a little bit closer to reality, as companies have begun submitting proposals for possible wall design ideas. …

We’ve all heard it, we’ve all scoffed at it, and we’ve all dismissed it – Trump’s proposal to put up a wall along the US-Mexico border. Now, this ridiculous idea is slowly creeping a little bit closer to reality, as companies have begun submitting proposals for possible wall design ideas. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently selected a group of finalists to design President Trump’s proposed wall. Although it is unknown how many companies have been selected, a previous statement from the CBP suggested anywhere up to 20 companies with contracts each varying from $200,000 – $500,000. More than 200 firms had submitted proposals.

Amongst some of the ideas proposed, some include solar panels, plexiglass, wire mesh, and more. One company even proposed a futuristic hyperloop. 30-feet long prototypes are set to be built in San Diego later on in the near future.

Despite how preposterous some of these are, a lot of the proposed ideas were in fact statements against the idea of a physical wall. See some of the images down below, what do you think?

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Solar Panel wall – Gleason Partners

 

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Wire Mesh Wall – Penna Group

 

new york city creative graphic design studio

 

new york city creative graphic design studio

 

new york city creative graphic design studio

 

new york city creative graphic design studio

 

All images via NPR. All images (c) respectful owners.