Archive for ‘Architecture’

May 5, 2010

Dystopia v 1.0.

by Savvy

Metropolis [Fritz Lang, 1927]

“Metropolis is a 1927 German expressionist film in the science-fiction genre directed by Fritz Lang. Produced in Germany during a stable period of the Weimar Republic, Metropolis is set in a futuristic urban dystopia and makes use of the science fiction context to explore a political theme of the day: the social crisis between workers and owners in capitalism.

The film is set in the massive, sprawling futuristic mega-city Metropolis, whose society is divided into two classes: one of planners and management, who live high above the Earth in luxurious skyscrapers, and one of workers, who live and toil underground”.

In essence, it is a old fashioned fairy tale set in a futuristic vision, of climaxing development and its imminent and unescapable downfall. To tie it all together, a saintly female figure, Maria, (referencing, no doubt, the Holy Mary) gives hope to the workers – the HANDS – with a naive idyllic resolution that a Mediator will come  – the HEART – and bring peaceful understanding between them and the rich capitalists – the MINDS.

Que the crazy star-crossed scientist who created a robotic version of his long lost love, who incidentally was married to the city’s creator, who then hires him to use his Frankenstein-esque laboratory machines to give the robot an alter-ego of Maria, in order to lead the Hands into temptation.

Maria’s Transformation

The film was written with Lang’s wife, Thea von Harbou. Despite their vision being well ahead of its time, Lang later expressed dissatisfaction with the film;

“The main thesis was Mrs. Von Harbou’s, but I am at least 50 percent responsible because I did it. I was not so politically minded in those days as I am now. You cannot make a social-conscious picture in which you say that the intermediary between the hand and the brain is the heart. I mean, that’s a fairy tale — definitely. But I was very interested in machines. Anyway, I didn’t like the picture — thought it was silly and stupid — then, when I saw the astronauts: what else are they but part of a machine? It’s very hard to talk about pictures— should I say now that I like Metropolis because something I have seen in my imagination comes true, when I detested it after it was finished?”

It is believed these reservations stemmed from the Nazi Party’s fascination with the film. His wife later became a passionate member of the Nazi Party and the two divorced the following year.

Perhaps Von Harbou condoned the separation between the Hands and the Minds; perhaps she believed the possibility of an intermediary only exists in fairy tales, perhaps she did not see shades of grey. Lang’s fascination as it were was with technology after all, not with the theme of slavery in isolation; what he maybe did not foresee was that technology would one day greatly abolish the Hands in such a metropolis, a future city where little by little machines with hand-like qualities would take over.

Brigitte Helm as Maria the Robot. As well as playing the two opposing sides to her character, Brigitte Helm also plays the robot – Lang wanted her to get in touch with all aspects of her character, one which is that of the machine.

March 4, 2010

Animal 6th sense.

by Savvy

Daniel Arsham’s Animal Architecture drawings.
i love them all so much.

a)because i love etching,
b)because i love animals and
c)because they are etchings of animals (see b) and floating geometrical shapes. FLOATING. SHAPES.
the juxtaposition of these objects within a natural environment emphasises the contrast between them and highlights the fact that these objects are un-natural? hence defying nature and its laws, such as gravity?

the piece each uses this traditional etching-like technique to portray  pieces of modernist architectural ruins next to animals and lush nature. the animals in each piece are used by arsham to portray what he calls a ‘post-human quality’.” – – you got that right.

‘kangaroo’ by daniel arsham, 2009 (gouache on mylar), courtesy of galerie emmanuel perrotin, paris

intrigued kangaroo stopping to consider this strange object

‘donkey’ by daniel arsham, 2009 (gouache on mylar), courtesy of galerie emmanuel perrotin, paris

silly donkey side-eyeing the reflections

‘owl’ by daniel arsham, 2009 (gouache on mylar), courtesy of galerie emmanuel perrotin, paris

freaky hovering owl chillaxing

‘fox’ by daniel arsham, 2010 (gouache on mylar), courtesy of galerie emmanuel perrotin, paris

sneaky fox most probably about to pounce – – definitely my favourite

‘ostrich’ by daniel arsham, 2010 (gouache on mylar), courtesy of galerie emmanuel perrotin, paris

very confused ostrich about to poke object.

March 2, 2010

All i want now;;;

by Savvy

is some Rem Koolhaas heels.

I don’t know if it’s a good idea for architects to be designing or collaborating in the making of shoes and/or other wearable products, but I would like my very own Möbius strip on my feet.

March 1, 2010

For the AIDS generation.

by Savvy

Architecture: Koji Tsutsui – Japan
Photographs by Iwan Baan – Architectural Photographer

In a region often considered as the birthplace of HIV, where families are led either by grandparents or by 14years old ‘big’ brothers, where a whole generation has been erased by AIDS, the orphanage is home to 87 kids with ages up to 15 years. Another approximately 200 children attend the school on a regular basis, commuting to this otherwise surreally beautiful place“.

Tags: ,
February 16, 2010


by Savvy

Skecth by Massimiliano Fuksas

Fuksas’ Cloud. The concept images and models in the project’s initial stages are much more to my liking than those in the development stages. Still, it promises to feel amazing to be inside this building. Why has no one ever thought of locking a cloud inside a building before?

Rome is still waiting for its Congress Hall… (competition won: 1998), (initial proposed date of project commencement: 2004), (initial expected completion: 2007).
Architect: Massimiliano Fuksas
Construction began: 2007
Completion: 2011

February 16, 2010

A competition a month…keeps itchy feet away.

by Savvy

Competitions monthly at: Spontaneous Architecture

muy muy triste I missed this one.

Haiti epicenter basemap

February 16, 2010

Εγκατελειμένη Λευκωσία – Abandoned Lefkosia.

by Savvy

Photographic investigation of abandoned buildings
Old Nicosia, Cyprus


View more photographs here:. [<Thesis 1.2>]

My dissertation was followed by a series of photos taken in the old town of Nicosia, Cyprus. The photographs document small-scale abandoned buildings, treated as an addendum to my thesis. Cyprus is my home and a country still dealing with its recent turbulent and devastating past. It is under this context of a place of sensitive memory that I wished to pursue my interest.

The effects of recent history are embedded in the city’s present physical fabric; a divided city holding scars indicative of its past, while the old town lies on the edge of a buffer zone. Many houses found appear to have been abandoned in the hastiest way. Dishes have been found, lying in sinks, covered in years of dust, as if residents deserted their houses in unexpected ‘escapes’, or assumed swift returns. It both bewilders and intrigues how families could have left behind their entire photographic family history, passports, medicines and even simple personal objects such as reading glasses. It is mystifying and sends my imagination rushing. It is not impossible that all this may have happened in times of war or unrest, for some of these derelict houses match the era of the invasion. It is peculiar how nothing has become of many, nothing has changed and no one has claimed them. The initial proprietors have seemingly disappeared.

This documentation includes buildings that have been left in the same state as that in which they were abandoned for years. One could almost imagine hearing the washing machine rumbling, the phone ringing, the man of the house fixing tyres; wedding photos, postcards and passports were among found objects, as well as clothes and furnishings such as curtains (not always in ordinary places). These spaces evoke a severe sense of memory reverting back to the theme of phenomenology in my dissertation and Gaston Bachelard’s ‘Poetics of Space’; most importantly his argument that “A house that has been experienced is not an inert box”.

Some spaces were found to be inhabited by squatters, which up to that time was a notion unknown to me in Cyprus. Security on abandoned places is virtually unheard of; it is not difficult to enter these spaces and there are no laws as to squatting, much unlike London (the essay’s focus), where squatters’ rights are publicized and fully taken advantage of. The squatters seemed to be using the space solely out of need and taking very good care not to get caught.

Of my findings, one which resonated most, was a house that appeared to be disintegrating back into its site, slowly being reclaimed by nature. Nature’s presence was felt more so than the building itself, more than the walls and the floors of which it was made. Nature was spilling through every opening, pushing through every corner, and enveloping the house in pure green vegetation. This links back to the case study of my dissertation and the ‘life vs. death’ theme which were very much about nature being a wholly important factor in the life of abandoned spaces and places, regenerating the degenerate.

View more photographs here:. [<Thesis 1.2>]

January 22, 2010

Oh Lebbeus…

by Savvy

Lebbeus Woods

Lebbeus Woods

Lebbeus Woods

December 11, 2009

São Paulo, Brazil.

by Savvy

Cube house, by AR Arquitetos

i love this: simple plans, small house, max space, clean, gardens, cool stair, the sky, an office/library.