Archive for August, 2008

Psycho Buildings, Artists take on Architecture, Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, London, U.K

August 13, 2008

The Hayward’s huge spaces will be filled with artist-designed architectural environments, which will spill onto the three outdoor sculpture terraces, radically altering the interior and exterior of the gallery. Inside a floating , translucent apartment and a room frozen in a moment of explosive disaster are amongst the installations that will both enchant and disconcert visitors. Outside on the Gallery’s sculpture terraces, installations including a huge iridescent observatory and a working cinema will alter the exterior face of The Hayward. Visible from the surrounding area and across the Thames and illuminated by night, they add a significant public dimension to this major exhibition. 

The ten artists are: Atelier Bow-Wow (Japan), Michael Beutler (Germany), Los Carpinteros (Cuba), Gelitin (Austria), Mike Nelson (UK), Ernesto Neto (Brazil), Tobias Putrih (Slovenia), Tomas Saraceno (Argentina), Do-Ho Suh (Korea), Rachel Whiteread (UK). 

Borrowing its title from a book by the artist Martin Kippenberger, the exhibition brings together the work of artists who create habitat-like structures and architectural spaces that are mental and perceptual spaces as much as physical ones. The exhibition invites visitors to immerse themselves in a series of ten atmospheric, enthralling and unsettling installations. Combining architectural and artistic design with the use of light, colour and smell to trigger responses, these dynamic constructions actively encourage viewers to become adventurous participants. The scale and ambition of the exhibition means many of the artists will be working in the gallery for over a month in order to realise their installations. 


ATELIER BOW-WOW, Life Tunnel, 2008

Designed by Yoshiharu Tsukamoto & Momoyo Kaijima




Staircase – V, 2003/04/08




Stone Lip, Pepper Tits, Clove Love, Fog Frog, 2008



LOS CARPINTEROS, Show Room, 2008

Marco Antonio Castillo Valdés & Dagoberto Rodríguez Sánchez




To The Memory of H.P Lovecraft 1999, 2008




Venetian, Atmospheric, 2007




Observatory, Air-Port-City, 2008


To find out more about these individual projects please visit The Hayward Gallery, London, the exhibition runs from 28th May – 25th August 2008.


Blueprint Magazine September 2008, Experimental Architecture.

August 13, 2008




London appears to embrace ‘Architecture’ and ‘Design’ more readily year on year. Sections of the city are occasionally transformed from their regular appearance into showcases for fascinating geometric structures challenging the environment and it’s occupants to interact.

The ‘British Pavillion’ has certainly evolved, here we have two examples from Bedford Square, in the historic district Bloomsbury. Hot off the drawing board these are surprisingly effective and well considered examples of recent work from the Architectural Association. The ‘Swoosh Pavilion’ designed by 12 second and third-year students is 60M wide and wraps around a wrought iron Georgian lamp-post. The [C] Pavilion was designed by two alumini of the AA’s Design research Laboratory, Alan Dempsey and Alvin Huang, project co-ordinated by Patrik Schumacher and Yusuke Obuchi.

Frank Gehry Architect, Cinémathèque Française, Paris, France.

August 5, 2008

PARIS: For the better part of a decade, this city’s only Frank Gehry building has been standing abandoned, a sad monument to a failed American dream.It was planned as a new headquarters for the American Center of Paris, which was founded in 1931 and had long drawn crowds to its rambling Left Bank home as a place to discover American culture and to learn English.

But the dream of a dazzling image went sour. The new center opened in June 1994 – and closed just 19 months later.

Bad planning was one culprit. The new center absorbed almost all the £21 million raised by the sale of the old center on the Boulevard Raspail, leaving little to cover its running costs. With a minimal endowment, dwindling private donations and no U.S. government support, the organization was forced to put Gehry’s neo-Classical-style and Cubist creation up for sale.

Now, thanks to the French government, the building has begun a new life, this time as the headquarters of the Cinémathèque Française, the legendary film center that was the cradle of the New Wave movies of the 1950s and ’60s. To make this happen, the government chipped in about £11 million for the building and spent £20 million on adapting its interior.

Extensive alteration was necessary. Originally designed around exhibition spaces, artists’ studios and a state-of-the-art theater, it now has to accommodate four new movie theaters of different sizes and France’s film library. But the original atrium has survived, and two floors are still reserved for exhibitions, while its distinct exterior remains unchanged.

What makes this transformation unusual is that it was not carried out by Gehry, although he did participate in the selection of Dominique Brard of l’Atelier de l’île as the project’s architect. “It’s unique for someone else to rework a contemporary building designed by a living architect,” Brard told Libération, the Paris daily. “Above all, Gehry!”

Article by Alan Riding, International Herald Tribune.

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