SPAR*K @ OSTRALE09

•August 16, 2009 • 1 Comment

SPAR*K is exhibiting an architectural sculpture at the Exhibition for contemporary art OSTRALE09 in Dresden / Germany. The sculpture changes the spatial perception and atmosphere both outside and inside the building it is attached to. Winding through the building as a semi-transparent structure of wooden planks, the existing spatial qualities are enhanced and new ones created.
Parascapes04
Outside
Inside

Aboutarchitecture goes SPAR*K!

•May 28, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Check out http://www.spar-k.de every now and then, exciting news and projects will follow soon!

START SPAR*K

The problems we all know so well….

•January 3, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Happy New Year everybody!

Souvenir, Souvenir!

•January 3, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Due to work, I haven’t been able to post for over a year! So before 2008 is over, I would like to post something I came across, concerning the probably most discussed building this year: HdeM’s Bejing Olympic stadium.

The Chinese are fast as usual to bring the building in the same line as the Eiffel tower, or the Sphinx in Egypt: By making it an icon, putting it on a bill and producing loads of trashy souvenirs that are somehow resemble the shape and pattern of the birds nest:

Birds nest on a Chinese bill

Birds nest pocket music player

Flashy Birds nest

HdeM ashtray

In no time, the birds nest has come to the point to be, for the wide mass of tourists (and some architects), the same icon as the sphinx, or the Eiffel tower, being reproduced as all kinds of everyday objects as souvenirs:

Sphinx Lighter

BUT: What a relief! I also came across this one, that shows hdeM didn’t just develop some iconic architecture, but also a pattern that can be used in several ways.  Timothy Schreiber designed these birds nest chairs:

Birds Nest Lounge Chair

Contemporary architecture such as this one  seems to be more than just a stadium, but a brand, an icon, an object to be reproduced in the same way as Neuschwanstein,or pyramids or the Brandenburg gate. On the one hand, one can say ‘Well done, Jacques & Pierre’, on the other, I doubt that this is the way architecture should be heading to.

Do you know of more contemporary architecture being butchered into ashtrays etc., or actually being reproduced as some well-designed object?  Then post them here!

GRAFT Interview Feature

•November 21, 2007 • 1 Comment

graft_gestalten.jpg

This link of a brief interview by the Gestalten editors I received today:

http://www.die-gestalten.de/news/detail?id=2261

“Despite one of the many meanings of the lab’s name, Lars Krückeberg, Wolfram Putz and Thomas Willemeit of Graft architects are completely incorruptible. It was hard work, along with music in the pursuit of happiness that made up for their story of success.

Graft started in 1998 in Berlin and Los Angeles (today there is another subsidiary in Beijing) as a “lable for Architecture, Urban planning and Exhibition Design”. Recently quite a few magazines branded them as “the architects of Brad Pitt”, which is true and a highly effective weapon for promotion but surely they don’t have to stand for that since he is just one client among many, many others. Graft are active all around the world, from Tbilisi, Berlin, Singapore to LA and the Caribbean Islands.

Regardless of their tight schedules two of Grafts’ founders, Wolfram Putz and Thomas Willemeit, were kind enough to meet up with us for an interview. In which they tell us what Grafting means in terms of architecture (scientifically it describes a method where the tissues of one plant are encouraged to fuse with those of another), a true hybrid’s nature and why German academics still live up to their names…”

http://www.graftlab.com

Enjoy!

Thesis teaser: it’s plastic!

•October 19, 2007 • 1 Comment

Today I picked up my printed models and I couldn’t resist to show you a quick picture of one of the study structures I generated within the project. I just like the aesthetic of those printed plastic models, also some of the more complex structures them are rather impossible to produce by hand. The last model was even hard to produce in the computer, so Stefan helped my out on that a great deal….
The models where printed at my university on a Dimension SST1200 in plastic.

sneak_small.jpg

In fact, I love rapid prototyping!
To see more of this, see you Wednesday!

Final Spurt

•October 8, 2007 • 13 Comments

invitation.jpg

I just wanted to let you all know that the presentation of my thesis ‘architecture and digital media – positioning in the design process’ will take place on Wednesday, 24th of October . Whoever is interested in coming and listening to what I have to say is very welcome! My teaching Professors are Prof. Popp and Prof. Edler. For more information on the project, just write me or or post your Email so I can send you my thesis portfolio (5MB PDF) . See you there!

The mother of all CAD People

•September 18, 2007 • 3 Comments

At this year’s Documenta, paintings from the Argentinian artist Léon Ferrari have been exhibited, also this one:

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Passarelas, 1981, copyright by Léon Ferrari

A friend of mine, Johan, took on his visit in Kassel this close-up picture of it:

ferrari.jpg
I was quite surprised to see the classic top view people in there that you can find in so many AutoCAD libraries:

autocad.jpg

Interestingly, the first AutoCAD-Version has been published 1982.

So, the question here is:

Did Ferrari allow the reproduction, or even produce those figures for AutoCAD, or, in the early days of CAD-software without extensive block libraries, did someone redraw those people from above and they spread to uncountable computers in offices and universities all over the world?

What do you think? Or, is there a well-known story behind it such as the Utah teapot that I just don’t know?

Architecture from, of, or for the Future?

•September 12, 2007 • 1 Comment

In 1995, a Cartoon Series called Aeon Flux was broadcasted on MTV. The background story is that a virus killed 99,9 % of the earth’s population, the survivors live in the ‘perfect society’, in the clean, organized and totally controlled cities of Bregna and Monica.

Ten years later, and with a slightly different plot, a movie was made based on the comic series. Besides the fact that I consider the movie stands in no comparison to the original comic series, let’s take a look at the interesting facts about that movie from an architect’s point of view:

It is not the story, nor any effects, it is what is shown in the movie, and how.

The movie takes place in the year 2415 in the city of Bregna, sealed off from its environment, where nature has taken over again:

wall, view from above and model

…while the movie was actually shot in Berlin! When watching the flick for the first time, I got distracted by parts of buildings that where shown which I am familiar with. So I put together the buildings I know are being shown in the movie. It is quite fascinating to see how they use (and thus reprogram) representational Berlin buildings, some of the already 50 years old, as (rather important) buildings of their fictional, futuristic society .

Let’s continue with that thought:

Does that either mean those buildings are suitable for a clean, suppressed, strictly organized and watched society, or does it mean they are so super-hip, futuristic and sustainable that even in the year 2145 their style is still up to date? Or does reality meets fiction here in every sense?

I put some of the examples from the real world together with the movie situations:

The Bauhaus Archive by Walter Gropius:

A museum(top) …. and a housing block(bottom): Did you notice the ‘balconies’ with flowerbeds to the right?

bauhaus-archiv.jpg

The Park of Sanssouci in Potsdam (top), and Bregna(bottom):

sanssouci.jpg

The Mexican Embassy in reality (top) and in the movie (bottom):

mexican_embassy.jpg

The Conference and Exhibition Hall ‘House of the cultures of the World’ (top), and the Bregna surveillance system headquarters,

even with a scene on the curved roof:

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the original building just re-opened after renovation. In Berlin, it has the Nickname ‘Klappstulle (=sandwich) or ‘Schwangere Auster'(=Pregnant oyster).

I didn’t see that coming….

And, finally, my macabre favorite:

The Crematorium in Treptow (top) by Axel Schultes and Charlotte Frank functions as the seat of Bregna’s council!

treptow02.jpg

It also has some exterior shots, but I couldn’t find the right equivalent from the real world. There are probably even more buildings, and also some more interiors which are probably scattered all over Berlin.
I found it rather interesting how, detached from its surroundings and only shown from a certain angle, buildings can be placed in a totally different time, program, and even style.
If you have any more of them, let me know! And if you’re planning to watch it: Go for the cartoon first and enjoy!

Battlestar Galactica

•August 30, 2007 • 1 Comment

This is an experimental short animation I did for my thesis, ‘Architecture and Digital Media’. The basis for this is a parametric simulation to test different versions of density, nesting and overlapping. The simulation gave out a series of blocks that where exported to a 3D Program, where they got transformed into their negative form to create that superstructure in the video. The idea is to see how abstract parametric results can be developed further and translated into architecture. In this case, the translation aimed at directly translating a random dense structure into a spatial context.

The experiment ended with the result that, a simulation such as this is lacking information for direct translation, it leaves too much space for interpretation. There are some interesting details in it, but it cannot be read as architecture yet. Process is still going on, I keep you posted!