Not long ago I visited slate quarries in Wales and I was amazed how people use this place. Well here is a precedent by Austrian design studio AllesWirdGut Architektur that designed festival grounds inside an old rock quarry in St. Margarethen, Austria. The project covers a vast surface area and features a large series of walkways and bridges which start at the top of the quarry and lead the visitors down to the main festival space. The complex form of the walkways, jutting out from the terrain takes its form from the mining techniques that originally created the space, rusted metal used for cladding contrasts with the light colored stone inside the quarry.

All incredibly beautiful, creating dialogue between the existing topography and the introduced, dynamic form, not only telling the history of the place but also allowing the current events to keep it alive.
More here an here.



'Bios (Bible)' by robotlab is an interesting view on the duality of our nature and conflict between rational/scientific and emotional/spiritual interpretation of reality.
In this installation an industrial robot writes down the entire 66 books of the Bible. Like a monk in the scriptorium (in much shorter time though), this robotic arm places calligraphic letters onto paper rolls with high precision.
In this context, the holy scripture becomes writing of knowledge and laborious and meditative creation is reduced to mechanical, computer controlled process.
You can read more here and here.


first snow

No snow in Birmingham by now but here is a beautiful picture of wintery New York I found.

(via the thinking tank)


Elger Esser/Eigenzeit

Elger Esser's photographs of impressionist-like landscapes will be presented in Kunstmuseum in Stuttgart, starting on the 28th of November.
The artist sets out in "search of lost time" (Marcel Proust) not only through the chosen subject but also through his choice of photographic techniques. At this exhibition he presents his most recently produced heliogravures, made with almost forgotten technique from the nineteenth century.
More here.


Days With My Father

Incredibly moving photographs showing days that photographer Phillip Toledano spent with his father after his mother’s death. These simple but hones images show horror and humor, beauty and ugliness of this complex father and son relationship..
More here.
Thank you, Agata for sharing :)


The Continuous Monument

This image and at the time this structure reminded me of the Superstudio’s Continuous Monument (an Architectural Model for Total Urbanisation).

“Architecture becomes a closed, immobile object that leads nowhere but to itself and to the use of reason."


misterious machines

While walking in the quarries, we came across some interesting looking machines. Very often they looked like like site specific art work that amazed us with textures, colours and structure.
Most of the time I could only guess what they were used for or part of what kind of bigger machinery they were.


Slate Quarry

As I mentioned, last weekend we went to Wales and visited the Vivian Slate Quarry which is located on the east shore of Llyn Padarn in Snowdonia. This particular quarry is part of the extensive Dinorwic quarrying complex that functioned from the beginning of 1869 and operated through to the 1960s. From the beginning I was amazed with the fact that this very industrial in character complex is situated right in the middle of Snowdonia National Park, surrounded with the most beautiful scenery. Unfortunately being a kind of a scar on the mountainous landscape of the Llanberis Pass.

Another surprising thing was to see how people use this abandoned-looking place now. With time it changed into a kind of public park where people go walking, jogging and local climbers climb the walls of the quarry’s galleries.
More photographs soon.


ma ke-wu yong

Designer Ma Ke is known in China for her beautiful and silent but also very reflexive clothing.
With her latest collection 'Wu Yong', which translates to 'Useless', the artist refers to China’s history and highlights the role of time, natural processes and the value of handcraft.

Here few of many amazing photographs (couldn’t make up my mind which ones to post!) taken for The Life Magazine by photographer Zhou-Mi that not only promote fashion but also tell the story about the man and earth.
More here.

I also read that Ma Ke is the subject of the film 'Useless', a poetic documentary contrasting her creation with the lives of china’s garment factory workers. This film was awarded the best documentary prize in the 64th Venice Film Festival, directed by Jia Zhang-Ke.
If it’s as moving and visually beautiful as her fashion then I need to see it!


“grey area”

Exhibited now at Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin Julie Mehretu reminded me of Sylvano Bussotti and his unusual musical notations.
Both artists through complex compositions create enigmatic and almost impossible to define realities of their visual and musical worlds.

Myoung Ho Lee

South Korean artist Myoung Ho Lee questions representation, reality and seeing in art through series of beautiful photographs.
More here.
(via betonbabe)

Kazuyo Sejima-Director of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2010

'The buildings, the atmosphere they create and the way they are designed may be a central point of departure for the next venice architecture biennale.(...)

Now that we are in the twenty-first century, we can take this opportunity to step back and assess the spirit of our current times through this international exhibition of architecture, exploring the essence of contemporary architecture and the importance of new relationships when we enter the future.

A significant point of departure could be the concept of boundaries and the adaptation of space.(...) it could be argued that contemporary architecture is an afterthought and perhaps and easing of borders themselves.'

Kazuyo Sejima

Sejima was appointed as a director of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2010!
The japanese architect is the first woman to direct the biennale, since its inception.


Vivian Slate Quarries

We're off to Wales this weekend.
The main thing planned for this trip is to take photographs of Vivien Slate Quarries in Llanberis.
I will write about it more once I have new photos to post.
Meantime, here are few photos taken there during my last visit there.


Gerrit Engel

Here is my latest discovery, photography by Gerrit Egel.
With his work he looks at architecture's pursuit of permanence ending with inevitable failure but also tries to observe how social and economical transformations change our built environment.
Very good.


Sato de Moura-the Storyteller

This building has been widely published in nearly all of the architectural magazines this month. In my opinion it deserves the attention so I thought it should also appear here.
Casa das Histórias in Cascais, designed by Eduardo Souto de Moura is a museum dedicated to the work of Portuguese artist Paula Rego. The architect was asked by the artist (as apparently they both admire each other’s work) to design the building for her paintings and drawings.
What I find particularly special in the design is the storytelling quality to this building.
Sauto de Moura becomes, in a way, a bard that through these earthly and sculptural forms tells us about local architectural heritage, his inspiration taken from Aldo Rossi’s but most of all creates a sensitive home for the moving stories told by Paula Rego.
All incredibly powerful in it’s simplicity, inviting to visit and get to know the stories told with color, space, light and materiality.