In the first episode of our new series, Fear and Love, made in collaboration with the Design Museum, British architect John Pawson walks us through his superb reimagining of the former Commonwealth Institute in London’s South Kensington, which this week opens as the new home of the Design Museum. Read more on NOWNESS – bit.ly/2gK5ccQ
Umimirai Library is a public library in the western part of Kanazawa, a slow 20-minute drive from the city center. Designed by Coelacanth-K&H Architects, an architecture firm based in Tokyo, and opened in June 2011, the three-story self-described “cake box” was intended to invigorate this sleepy area of town, a low-lying neighborhood of dreary houses and big box stores that lacked any hubs of activity or real public space. But ask the man on the street about it and you’ll most likely encounter a blank. We inquired at the Tourism Center for directions and even they had to google it. Apparently, not much happens in this part of town — not yet at least, which is sort of the point of the library.
The building is a large white box perforated with hole-punched windows that light up the interiors naturally in the day and at night glow out like portholes of a giant ship. There is a maritime feel to the place, probably unintended, or maybe since it was designed by a firm whose name evokes the ancient deep sea the contrary feelings of floating and drifting and being submerged are all by design. We could easily imagine how much we’d love coming here if this were our local, an airy place with soft, diffused light that lends room to learn, daydream, and to remember. Song lyrics echo in the mind: “…and our friends are all aboard / many more of them live next door…” It’s a peaceful, sublime place, this literary submarine.
The main reading room with its 40-foot ceilings provides a grand scale that all great libraries have, from the NYPL on Fifth Avenue to Suzzallo on the University of Washington campus. In fact, we liked Umimirai so much more than that other notable library in Seattle — Rem Koolhaas’ central library — a dazzling structure, no doubt, but a place that’s more like a puzzle than a place to retreat. Once you get past the spectacle of its punctured skin, the Umimirai Library is a comfortably traditional place. It’s no wonder the library is filled with young children, the elderly, and students — a library’s most loyal patrons. Sure there are modern features like glassed-in cellphone booths and self-service checkout stations. But we were most envious of the spacious newspaper reading room — an old man’s joy — with its canted desks, localized lighting, and drawers full of past days. Japan is a nation where the newspaper is still very much a part of everyday life, and that Coelacanth-K&H Architects featured this reality underscores the success of its design and their intent to insinuate the library into the community’s daily activities.
For us, so much about Japan feels like a bizarro alternate reality where — like with the newspaper that’s disappearing everywhere else — the rest of the world moves right while Japan turns left. This library feels no different. These days, investing in a new library seems like a counter-intuitive act where, at least in the U.S., branch libraries close one-by-one and already meager budgets continue to be slashed. It’s impossible, laughable even, to imagine our cramped Chinatown branch being replaced by the gleaming Umimirai Library … which says everything about this library and this town and why we love Japan so much. It feels like a luxury that a space like this was newly built, a sign that that the city believes in its people, that believes the act of reading is worth investing in, that believes these things will continue to matter in the future and that it’s important for these people and activities to come together in an inspiring and provocative space.
Design genius Thomas Heatherwick has completed the transformation of an historic mill into the new distillery and visitor centre for Bombay Sapphire gin.
The film was originally produced in Stereoscopic and we set up a 3D cinema on site at the distillery for VIPs.
We completed an animation which follows a white dove flying in and around the complex of restored Georgian and Victorian buildings flanking the River Test in Hampshire. The film provides a tour of the complex including the beautiful copper stills, the tasting bar and also the two new glass houses designed by Heatherwick for growing the famous botanicals used to flavour the gin – including juniper, angelica, coriander and cassia.
The Exhibition Road project will provide a new entrance, courtyard and purpose-built subterranean gallery for temporary exhibitions showcasing the best of contemporary design, as well as celebrating the beauty of the V&A’s existing structure. This short film takes a look at the current work and progress of the build happening on site.
For more details about the Exhibition Road project please visit: vam.ac.uk/page/e/exhibition-road-building-project/
Stephenson / Bishop were commissioned by The Architects Journal to create a short film of the new extension to the Tate Modern, The Switch House, by Herzog & de Meuron.
From the architects:
The Tate Modern Project
Competition 2005, project 2005 – 2012, realisation 2010 – 2016
Tate Modern has changed London since 2000. The impact it has had on urban design and the development of the South Bank and Southwark, has been as substantial as its influence on the city’s artistic, cultural and social life. The new development adds another decisive dimension to the architecture and environment of this quarter and beyond. With a new entrance to the South, and a direct North-South passage, taking people from the Thames through the existing building and the Turbine Hall out to a new city plaza to the South on Sumner Street and from there on to Southwark, the new development connects Southwark with the Thames and provides much improved open, public space.
Tate Modern is the world’s most visited museum of modern and contemporary art. In this next stage of development the vision was to establish a new model for museums of modern and contemporary art, by fully integrating the display, learning and social functions of the museum, strengthening links between the museum, its locality and the city.
The Architects Journalのために制作された、ヘルツォーク&ド・ムーロン「テート・モダン新館」のレポート動画。
FOCUS ON est un documentaire qui vous propose de plonger dans les détails d’un projet. De sa conception à sa réalisation, les architectes vous présentent les principales caractéristiques qui définissent le geste architectural et son intégration au contexte. Celui-ci s’attarde sur le Théâtre Le Maillon à Strasbourg et vous en livre les dessous.
フランスのLAN architectureによる、ストラスブールの劇場「Le Théâtre du Maillon」のプレゼンテーション動画。
Metric film about Mies Van Der Rohe
In order of appearance
Weissenhof Estate 1927
Barcelona Pavillon 1929
Villa Tugendhat 1930
Bauhaus 1930 (If you plan to visit, you can sleep in the former student room, a once in a lifetime experience)
George Washington Bridge 1927
Clip from Prelinger Archives – archive.org/
Farnsworth House 1951
860-880 Lake Shore Apartments
S.R. Crown Hall 1956
Neue Nationalgalerie 1968 (from 2015 to 2019 in renovation)
I also filmed the Aachen Cathedral, Seagram Building, Chicago Federal Center, Toronto-Dominion Center, One IBM Plaza, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library but I have chosen not to include the footage in the film.
Mies Van Der Rohe and Martin Gropius interview: “Bauhaus Reviewed, 1919-1933”
Thanks to Yulia for helping me with the filming.
Alexandre Favre 2012 -2015
Music been removed momentarily due to Copyright negotiations.
First Episode of new Architecture Film Collection focus on Japanese 50 to 80’s Architecture Masterpieces.
Project : Yoyogi National Gymnasium – 1964
Architect : Kenzo Tange
Location : Yoyogi, Shibuya, Japan
Filmed & Edited by : Vincent Hecht
Music : —
Equipments : Canon 5D MkII + 24mm TS-E f/3.5 + 50mm f/1.4 + 100mm f/2.8/+ Konova Slider
BSI Swiss Architectural Award 2014 / winner — José María Sánchez García, Spain
This video was shot with a Canon 5D Mark II in Mérida (Badajoz, Spain) in June 2014, as a collaboration with the architecture photographer Enrico Cano (enricocano.it).
The aim was to show the building in its complexity and with the surrounding environment, to document the project of José María Sánchez García during the exhibition of BSI Swiss Architectural Award 2014 (bsi-swissarchitecturalaward.ch).
Architect: José María Sánchez García, Spain (jmsg.es)
Architecture: Environment of the Diana Temple (2005-2008)
“With Hyperloop One we have given form to a mobility ecosystem of pods and portals, where the waiting hall has vanished along with waiting itself. Hyperloop One combines collective commuting with individual freedom at near supersonic speed. We are heading for a future where our mental map of the city is completely reconfigured, as our habitual understanding of distance and proximity – time and space – is warped by this virgin form of travel.” Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner, BIG.
On the run up to the Stirling Prize, 2016, The Architect’s Journal takes a look into the six nominated buildings, with interviews from the architects.
The site for Loyn & Co’s private house lies in a sensitive rural location in the Forest of Dean and comprises 4 acres on a south facing gently sloping, wooded hillside. From within the site, there are panoramic views looking towards the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Accordingly, by virtue of its location, the existing property was visible from significant distances. The proposal involved replacing the existing house, with a new highly sustainable, energy efficient dwelling.
The brief was to create a live-work dwelling specific to both the site and to the client’s needs. This included their passion for the landscape and environment along with their requirement for two artist’s studios and a gallery like space. The building was to be contemporary and to respond sensitively and yet positively to the site, creating a timeless, quality architectural solution which will contribute both to the immediate locality and to the wider rural area in general.