Richard Pare’s fascination with modernist architecture shines through his vast collection of images taken over several decades. Living Laboratory will illustrate how he photographs buildings, taking care to reveal both their many subtleties and magnificent monumentality. Pare’s perceptive point of view brings into play dramatic use of light, (always achieved with no supplemental lighting) as well as varied weather conditions and seasons.
To achieve his images he deploys a wide range of technical approaches, combining conventional film and a view camera with the latest advances in digital image making. These state-of-the-art aspects of his work serve to highlight the majesty of his subjects without in any way overwhelming the purposes of the undertaking. He is also attentive to the effects of the passage of time and changing social conditions on the works he chooses to portray. The absence of human beings, coupled with signs of wear and decay, including creeping vegetation and the lingering evidence of past eras, emphasise the impermanence of seemingly solid structures and their struggle for survival.
While Pare’s work covers many subjects, Living Laboratory reveals his admiration for Le Corbusier and Konstantin Melnikov, two of the finest and earliest proponents of modernist principles in architecture.
Living Laboratory: Richard Pare on Le Corbusier and Konstantin Melnikov, March 21 – May 11, 2014, PM Gallery & House, London, United Kingdom
Photography by Richard Pare
Italian architect and illustrator Federico Babina has recently unveiled a new project, this time taking a look at the connection between architecture and the visual arts. Titled ‘Archist’, the project comprises a series of illustrations of imaginary buildings inspired by famous works of art. Beginning with the question: what would a house designed by Dalí or a museum by Miró look like, the resulting images demonstrate what Federico Babina believes is the ”implicit partnership between Architecture and Art.” They sometimes treat the facade as a canvas decorated with a well-known piece of art, while in other cases, they draw inspiration from the artist’s overall output to create an inventive architectural composition. Quite interestingly, and probably unbeknownst to the artist himself, the project also shows how the visual arts world is just as male-dominated as the world of architecture, as only two women (Jeanne-Claude – Christo’s partner – and Anne Truitt) made it onto Babina’s list of 27 ”most popular artists.”
List of artists: Keith Haring, Sol LeWitt, Anish Kapoor, Salvador Dalí, Marcel Duchamp, Pablo Picasso, Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Donald Judd, Joan Miró, Mark Rothko, Gerhard Richter, Richard Serra, Piet Mondrian, Ernesto Neto, Ellsworth Kelly, Josef Albers, Antoni Tàpies, James Turell, Frank Stella, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Anne Truitt, Lucio Fontana, Tony Smith, Peter Halley, Kazimir Málevich.
This new build house is set in a landscape of exceptional natural beauty. The scheme employs a series of linear pavilions that step down the gradual fall of the site, creating a meandering path through the house, from the entrance on the west to the living space and sea views on the east.
The collection of mono-pitched volumes are staggered across the site and the spaces between them are orchestrated to create a series of semi-enclosed sheltered courtyards. At the end of the journey, a larger terrace reveals spectacular views of the cliffs, sea and the islands of West Cork. The existing house is roofed in natural slate with rendered white walls. The new structures are entirely clad in Irish blue limestone to appear as shards of rock in the landscape. These will weather over time to match the surrounding cliffs.
House at Goleen, Ireland, by Niall Mclaughlin Architects
An exercise in contrasts, the Copenhagen Pendant fuses the classic and the modern, the maritime and the industrial. Its matte-lacquered metal lampshade disperses the light in a subtle but spectacular way, resembling the classic gaslight feel of the bleak Copenhagen piers.
“The biggest challenge in designing the Copenhagen Pendant was to meet our own expectations in making an equally sculptural and functional light,” says Signe Bindslev Henriksen, co-founder of Space Copenhagen.
Originally Space Copenhagen designed one version of the pendant, but the project subsequently expanded into a series of three sizes and five matte shades. “The starting point was to create a design which would allow us to mix various metal finishes,” says Peter Bundgaard Rützou, the studio’s other founding partner. The result is a flexible light that works in many different spaces, on its own, or in a cluster.
Francesco Faccin designed this project to provide an answer to the provocative message sent to him from the Tempo Italiano platform. It invited its participants to reflect on design past and present, on the meaning of production today, on a return to the origins of the basic needs and actions within a system of sustainable values.
Re-Fire is a kit for manually lighting a fire; it was inspired by the systems used by primitive Man. Two pieces of different types of wood – a piece of hardwood and a piece of softwood) are rubbed together; in just a few seconds, the friction produces smouldering ash and this can be used to light a fuse in a highly inflammable dry material. Each component is essential for the creation of fire, and the specific wood types selected correspond to a precise technical characteristic.
For Francesco Faccin, Re-Fire is an attempt to re-synchronize with Man’s most instinctive needs using a contemporary means. Producing an article that will produce fire obliged the designer to repeat the gestures of our ancestors, in this case using sophisticated tools that are readily available to all, such as laser cutting machines, CNC routers etc.
Re-Fire, by Francesco Faccin, Photography by Delfino Sisto Legnani + Studio Faccin
The initials TEO stand for Timeless Everyday Objects, formulating the design guideline, principles and values of this interior brand. The first TEO collection presents mainly a range of lighting design products. Playing beautifully with the contrast of colorfully painted metal and mouth blown glass, this collection emphasizes TEOs identity to offer its customers high quality products with traditional materials and a timeless yet unique design suitable for everyday life.
The owner is a successful Slovenian businessman who spends some of his spare time in the countryside. The property is situated on the edge of a small village on top of a hill, and consists of farm land, forest, residential building, barn house, apiary and wooden pavilion used as a tool shack. The client decided to replace the broken-down barn house with a new, multi-functional building, a sort of “modern Slovenian hayrack”. The building is intended for dispensing honey, sorting, handling and drying fruit, storage of crops and tools, while the spacious ground floor is intended as a meeting place to host partners from abroad and celebrate family events.
The Black Barn, Šentrupert, Slovenia, by Arhitektura d.o.o.
Photography by Miran Kambič
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is one of the twentieth century’s most influential architects. His most well-known projects include the Barcelona Pavilion in Spain (1929); the Seagram Building in New York (1954-56); the Farnsworth House (1945-50), 860 and 880 Lakeshore Drive (1945-51) and the IIT Campus (1939-58), all in and around Chicago, and the New National Gallery in Berlin (1962-68). These are only a few of Mies’s pavilions, houses, skyscrapers and campuses, which all epitomized a radically new structural and spatial clarity.
The purity of his Mies’s architecture is almost surprising in light the diversity of his interests. An auto-didact, Mies studied philosophy and science as well as design. Author Detlef Mertins, spent over ten years researching and writing this comprehensive monograph. In addition to traveling to see the buildings and reading nearly everything written by and about Mies, Mertins also conducted a detailed study of the architectural, philosophical and scientific literature in Mies’s own library. The result is a lucid text that not only gives the reader detailed insight into all of Mies’s work, but which also explores the variety of ideas that influenced this exceptional figure. The scholarship is rigorous, but the accessible writing and the highly visual, project-by-project presentation also invites those readers who possess an interest in the topic, but who lack detailed knowledge in it.
Arranged in chronological order, the book’s five sections and its conclusion offer a synthetic portrait of Mies’s career and reception, spanning sixty years, two continents and two world wars. The text tells a continuous story, however, most chapters focus on a significant work (the Seagram building or the IIT campus), allowing for an in-depth presentation of photographs and drawings; other chapters focus on a specific event in Mies’s life (such Mies’s time as the head of the Bauhaus).
All the important buildings are presented through photographs, drawings and diagrams, showing the innovative structures, fine details and material richness that distinguish Mies’s work. In addition, many pieces of art and architecture that influenced Mies are also illustrated as well as being discussed in the text.
Collar Lamp is a lamp, which unites simple Scandinavian design with Spanish elegance. The organic shape of the lampshade reflects a pleasant, diffuse light into the room. The lamp consists of three parts; a base, a LED-bulb and a lampshade. The shade, made from powder painted steel, is mounted on an oak wood base. The shade rotates 180 degrees so the light can be directed in any desired angle. The contrast between the cold steel and the warmth of the wood gives the lamp a beautiful, aesthetic expression. Collar Lamp is produced as an up-light and as a wall lamp.
Collar Lamp by Jordi López Aguiló for Nordic Tales
The client wanted a house where he could enjoy the company of his kids and many friends intensely. For that purpose, he asked for ample and various entertaining areas, such as a cinema room, a recreation room for the children and a sauna. And being a sports enthusiast, he wanted the house to feature a large gym room and a long swimming lane as well.
From the main entrance, one approaches the house – set at the back of the land – by foot, up and through a wooded area, and across a wide garden. The house comes then fully to sight: 4 joined but distinct blocks, respectively covered with pebble-blasted concrete plaques (living quarters), exposed concrete (office), wood planks (entertaining area) and sand-blasted concrete plaques (dining and service areas).
A driveway set at the back of the house can be used by those arriving by car. Past a garage where the owner keeps his antique cars collection and up through a lush indoor garden, one comes to the main floor, where all living and entertaining areas are to find – except for the gym and recreation rooms, located on the lower floor, and the sauna, on the basement.
The location of the house was also defined by (huge) existing trees. An important part of the concept, the decision to build small patios and gardens around them allows for broad natural light and ventilation inside the house, helping to keep temperature cool and pleasant green views whichever way one looks at.
Grecia House, São Paulo, Brazil, by Isay Weinfeld