Lifting Mies by PARA Project

With this theoretical project by PARA Project is changing Mies van der Rohe’s Seagrams Building’s identity using comparison to procedures of plastic surgery.
Lifting Mies is a catalog of such surgical procedures that operate directly on Mies’ I-beam.
“The techniques eschew the addition of unnecessary material, the conventional approach to ornamentation, and instead rely on the alteration of what exists — as a facelifts would. No longer identifiable as something dispensable and separate from the restructured body, surgery allows ornamentation to evade easy recognition, just as the ideal facelift transforms one’s identity without revealing the work of the surgeon. By cutting, reshaping, and stitching, surgical techniques make ornament essential to the body, and the pace of New York image-making.”
You can read more about this and other PARA projects here.
I wonder if my brother – as plastic surgeon – will find it interesting ;)


Ribcage with Heart

I’m not into Valentine’s Day but I just love this Ribcage card!
What a great idea!
Then again, I guess it's not a card designed specifically for that day ;)
(via swissmiss)



The Garazh, or GCCC (Garazh Centre for Contemporary Culture) Moscow is the new and now the biggest art exhibition space in the Russian capital. Located in astonishing in presence and scale Bakhmetevsky Bus Garage, designed in 1927 by Konstantin Melnikov with 8,500 sq m venue has been compared to the Turbine Hall in the Tate Modern.
The gallery’s first exhibition, Alternative History of Art and Other Projects, is a collection of large installation pieces by Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, a Russian-born artists that currently live in New York.
Looking at few available photographs I must admit that exhibited pieces, even though large in scale, seem lost in this vast space of the gallery. Hopefully the future intervention by London based architect Jamie Fobert will help in accommodating future events and exhibitions but at the same time respect the character of this avant garde building.
The only worrying thing is the fact that the owners/curators don’t seam to know much about modern art (Guardian interview). Hopefully they will look for help among professionals to keep this vision alive!


Studio Banana

Studio Banana TV is an “internet-based creativity-focused tv platform”. On their blog you can find so many videos from different disciplines (architecture as well!). Interviews, documentaries and reportages of art, design, architecture, music, culture and general creativity.
I wanted to post one of the videos but I’m overwhelmed, there’s so much to see so please have a look for yourself here!



The Artfarm, designed by HHF Architects + Ai WeiWei is located 1.5h drive from New York, near Salt Point, on the site of an existing private residence. The client is an art collector and owner of Chambers Fine Art, a well known gallery located in New York City and Beijing and which is specialized in contemporary Chinese art.
The building is designed as a series of three pre-engineered and easy to assemble type of steel building. From the outside it looks like any other building used for agricultural purposes in that area but it actually stores a professional art collection.
In terms of the character of the internal space, architects proposed pure white, modernist interiors, the only difference are the materials: massive concrete floor and the white shiny PVC batt insulation to provide consistent indoor temperatures, which is a challenge in an area with such enormous change in temperatures.
This example is yet another one showing a new trend of independent and pod-like museums.
If you know Polish, you’ll be able to read my article about this matter in the next coming issue of Polish architectural magazine Zawod Architekt. If not… well. I’m working on a translation ;)
Photos by mentioned here before Iwan Baan.


Let's Get Lost

I saw Let’s Get Lost - documentary about famous jazz trumpet player and vocalist Chet Baker- last Summer when it returned to the cinemas after twenty years. I’m coming back to this because I’m listening to Baker’s last studio album, soundtrack for this film.
One of the things that make Let’s Get Lost so much better than any other biographical documents, is amazing photography as it was filmed by a fashion photographer Bruce Weber. It has the same quality as William Claxton’s photographs of Chet that are still the images that we see in our mind whenever we think of this cult musician.
Filmed in black and white with varied interviews and archive footage this picture helps us build a full picture of an artist whose life had several sides. The film’s non-linear path, and the raw honesty of his family and friends, ex-wives and ex-lovers, contemporaries and Baker himself, also give it a level of depth and authenticity that you can truly connect with.
Despite his tragic life and even more tragic death he left with us his music that is here to stay.
The most moving scene of the film is when Chet sings Elvis Costello’s song Almost Blue, all wrinkled and destroyed by heroin addiction but still performing with the same intensity and emotion.
This film is available on DVD and I truly recommend it, also for people that aren’t necessarily fans of jazz.

Fantastic Norway

Cabin Vardehaugen is a project of the Oslo-based Fantastic Norway Architect’s.
Those of you that went to the last year’s Venice Architectural Biennale know the Fantastic Norway’s red caravan that was located in front of the Italian pavilion.
The cabin is located in the Fosen countryside area near Trondheim, surrounded by breathtaking views towards the sea.
The house is constructed to stir the wind over the main volume and breaking it up at into several gentler draughts. The building is almost entirely made out of wood, with very pleasant Scandinavian interiors and plenty of small terraces to relax and look at the amazing landscape.
In many ways, perfect location for a holiday!


"Mystery of mysteries, water and air are right there before us in the sea. Every time I view the sea, I feel a calming sense of security, as if visiting my ancestral home; I embark on a voyage of seeing."

Hiroshi Sugimoto
These amazing photographs reminded by Dermot Boyd and Peter Cody from Boyd and Cody Architects on Thursday's Birmingham Architectural Association lecture series. Thanks guys for your incredibly inspiring talk and conversation!



(via swissmiss)

Luisa Lambri

“Buildings are living creatures: they preserve memories and they change according to the people who inhabit them. That’s why all my images seem almost empty; I’m trying to restore an atmosphere that goes beyond the immediate function of each construction.
Images are built on layers. One layer is the actual building, with it’s own story and style; one layer can be architecture and its function, but on top of them I try to cast the shadow of my presence”
Luisa Lambri

I read about Lambri in one of the Domus issues, devoted to the work of Gio Ponti.
Her photographs of his Carmelite Convent of Bonsochetto in Sanremo and his Church of San Lucia in Milan left me speechless. It doesn’t happen that often to feel so connected with an image, especially for me, an architect and amateur photographer to see that there is someone else who sees the same energy and potential in architectural creations.
Luisa originally studied languages and literature at Bologna and Milan universities and started her career by chance. Her photographs were a kind of a record of her travels where from the beginning she was interested with new and classic modern buildings.
What’s so beautiful and special about her work is that it’s incredibly emotional and sensitive. Lambri “transforms minimal architecture into mysterious images that float free of familiar associations” (Michael Webb). Her abstract in a way photographs showing roof lights, shutters or blinds show us how absence can stimulate our senses, teach patience and attentive observation.
Miss Lambri, if you ever read it (which I doubt), I’d love to meet you, you must be an amazing person!


Patterns of Speculation

“If I could help to promote experimental architecture by borrowing the model of a commercial art gallery. The idea is that the gallery would have a cultural role, but would also serve to promote and give value to work that is often overlooked and hardly known outside of the field, and so it was really meant as a kind of platform to bring experimental architecture to a broader public.”
Henry Urbach

With his latest project, Urbach brings experimental architecture also to some of us - architects.
Patterns of Speculation is an exhibition presenting work of J. MAYER H.
Berlin based architect focuses on works at the intersection of architecture, communication and new technology. In his projects he explores new materials and the relationship between the human body, technology and nature.
His teaching experience is also impressive; he must have thought at all the best universities in the world!
Anyway, this really interesting exhibition opens on the 5th of February in SF MOMA.
Hope that Urbach’s ideas and new methods of how to exhibit and show architecture will be as innovative as Mayer’s work.
Shame I can’t just go and see for myself…


2amiciti by Matteo Peterlini

"2amici is the synthesis of a journey and it is at the same time the tale of two people and their relationship. A thread connects their existence while the event tends to separate them.The composition shows a superposition of two identical shirts that natural forces - the wind - tend to differentiate.”
The simplicity of this visual metaphor and winsome photography made… my heart ache ;)
See more of Matteo Peterlini’s work here.


Live What You Love :)

Live What You Love Letterpress Print in Black (16/27) by NYC based Hijiri.
(via swissmiss)


Will You Take Me As I Am

A new book on Joni entitled Will You Take Me As I Am will be released on April 7, 2009.
I know quite a lot about her as this is one of the artists I relate to the most but still can't wait to read it! It's her lyrics that made me appreciate sang word in English and her words are my thoughts already there written between the sounds of blue.


Abelardo Morell

Abelardo Morell with his Camera Obscura photographs reminds us that photography is more about how we see than the tools we use to create it.
Here I chose few that really took my breath away...



Despite having no time I have to tell you.
At last I managed to buy a ticket for In-I. The new contemporary dance theatre piece co-created, performed and directed by French actress Juliette Binoche and dancer and choreographer Akram Khan, with visual design by Anish Kapoor (great treat!)
This piece had its premiere in July 2008 in National Theatre, London. Now it will be performed in Curve in Leicester (5th-7th Feb).
By the way, this theatre was designed by Rafael Viniola.
Worth a visit!


My Motto for 2009

'The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.'
Arthur c. Clarke 1917-2008



My visit was brief but managed to see few exhibitions in Museum Quarter. To be more precise we went to see Museum of Modern Art and Leopold Museum, both buildings were designed by Austrian architects Laurids and Manfred Ortner. I'm sure most of you know them as they've been published in many magazines.
In MUMOK we saw an intersting exhibition Mind Expanders - Performative Bodies - Utopian Architecture. Worth seeing although we found it not coherent enough. Then I visited Leopold Museum with their impressinve collection of Klimt and Schielle. The big discovery though was Alfons Wlade, I was lucky to get the catalog from his exhibition that took place there last year.
One more time, big thank you for everyone I met at the New Year's Eve party, your welcoming and hospitality but most of all for great fun! :)
More photographs here.