The Wohlfahrt-Laymann Residence by Meixner Schlüter Wendt is so brilliantly executed I almost cannot believe it. The original cottage within is the site for a series of excavations and interventions that link it to the new exterior skin, preserving it in its new altered form and program. The interior court for the front facade twists the ownership of the exterior and claims the yard for the double house. I love that the cottage was also painted white to clear it of its past and renew it as near-artificial artifact of its previous self.
Volkswagen recently introduced the CC – their new entry luxury car, set to compete with BMW, Mercedes, Acura, Lexus, Saab, etc.
The Volkswagen CC: We picked up our cars outside the Hotel Sax’s front door and had a little time to review the exterior and interior styling before heading out on the first leg of our drive. The exterior strikes a distinct contrast from pretty much any VW I have seen before. The low stance and elongated form separate it from the older, boxier, rotund shapes of the Beetle and Passat. The car looks smooth and refined as opposed to muscle-y or flamboyant. Design moves we liked included the frameless doors, wraparound rear light arrays, the mini-spoiler, the spoke-like narrow rims, and the long, sweeping shadowline across the side panels.
The interior details pick up on the thoughtfulness of the engineers and designers. Before getting into the car, the windows automatically retract about a 1/4″ to clear the seals in order to allow the frameless doors to open. Once inside, the bucket seats are firm and adjustable in every imaginable way. Contrast stitching on our model was a nice touch as well. The wheel, transmission and dash integrate nicely. I was not a huge fan of the directional chrome panels – a more monochromatic experience would distract less. The key is a fob to be inserted in the ignition, a press starts the engine. The touch-screen navigation and media player were pretty easy to use. The nav had a bit of a learning curve, but worked well once figured out. The sunroof above is huge. It extends from the windshield to behind the front seats.
Being first to arrive downstairs, we had our pick of the litter. I didn’t know that there were different models for the drive so we just picked one randomly. It was the 2.0T. Looking back, I would have chosen the 3.6L for the bigger engine, but the 2.0T was still fun to drive. I drove the first leg out and Anna drove the second leg back. My thoughts on the car were pretty positive. The suspension and seals were great so the ride was quiet and smooth. It was easy to speed because the sensation of speed was not very apparent when driving. It looked like everyone else had the same idea, because we all moved quickly on the highway. The dash is easy to read while driving, and the next turn/street name from the nav system into the HUD between the speedometer and tachometer was a helpful detail. The steering is power-assisted, making it light and responsive. I am not a big fan of the power-assist steering, believing it to be too far removed from experiencing the handling of the car. I drove most of my leg with the Tiptronic shifter, which is fun as a videogame-ish type of driving. I wish the throw of the Tiptronic were longer, like the older Passats, which made that shifting feel a little heavier. The interface of the car was pretty intuitive. I was not searching for any information or dials while driving, adding to the safety of the car.
All in all, I really liked the VW CC. The 2.0T gets ~30mpg on the highway, placing it at the higher end of fuel efficient cars. As a design object, the thought and detail given to its form and interaction with the body is impressive. As a machine, it is a lot of fun to drive, as you would expect from a luxury car of its class. It is fast and comfortable with refined styling and appointments. The CC strikes a balance between luxury and performance. Now if only it came with orange or green leather interiors…
We’re back in New York after a great trip to Chicago. Volkswagen brought us out to Chi-town to review the new 2009 CC (review to come later today). We also had a few free afternoons to wander around Chicago at our leisure – if it weren’t for the crappy winters, I would move there in a heartbeat! It’s a great city – the downtown is really beautiful and well-planned. We stayed at the Hotel Sax, right next to Bertrand Goldberg’s gorgeous Marina City towers.
Herzog and de Meuron (no website!) have unveiled renderings of their new 50-story glass pyramid in Paris, scheduled for completion in 2012. The building will house offices, a conference center, a hotel and some restaurants. The tower is designed to be powered by solar and wind energy. I can’t really tell from the renderings, but I think it’s interesting that the building is so wide in one direction, yet seemingly thin in its depth – more an extruded triangle than a pyramid, if that’s the case.
I love the idea behind Swims – super cute protection for your heels for all those rainy days! It doesn’t look like from their website that the heel versions are available for purchase yet – hopefully soon (they are selling protection for your flats, however)! My favorite detail is the map on the sole – NYC, Paris and Tokyo…
Sean and I are actually on our way to the airport for a rather exciting and last minute trip to Chicago – we’ll tell you all about it on Monday! And thanks to Blogger’s auto-publishing capability, I’ve post-dated a few posts for you while we’re gone. So – more on the trip later. For now – Chris Crites! Chris paints on paper bags rather than on the traditional white piece of paper and has drawn an extensive collection of mug shots (though he also has other work). The artist’s statement:
Years ago I saw a book of black and white crime photographs from the past. I found it amazing. The characters and crime scenes looked like surreal glimpses into the history of human interaction. Much more intriguing for me were the mug shots. Portraits of people who had just been caught. Despair, frustration, anger – so many expressions could be read on the faces. Each one of these images has a story. Often times I have no idea what the real story is, but it’s hard not to make one up. One of the reasons I paint them is to bring out another possible story, for people to look at and think about. The majority of the images I base my paintings on are from the 1890′s through 1950′s.
Originally I began using charcoal and white conté crayon on paper bag. The way the wrinkles, folds and texture added to the piece really appealed to me. In 1999 I painted my first 4 mug shots in acrylic on paper bag with a limited palette of 5 colors each. Paper bag has been my main substrate ever since. Brightly colored acrylics have a different effect on the brown bag than on a typical white backing.
I try to bring new life to these practically discarded portraits of criminal and human history. Using an everyday, disposable item as the surface gives new life to the bag as well. It is my hope to get people thinking about the past, their present, and how we all affect both.
In 1984 Peter Feldstein photographed 670 of the 676 residents of Oxford, Iowa. Twenty-one years later, he returned to re-photograph the 670 original participants, bringing Stephen G. Bloom to interview each person. Though some people had died and some had moved away, Peter was able to photograph and interview large number of the original participants. The result is a beautiful portrait of a small American town. From the artist’s website:
Some chose to talk about religion. Others spoke about relationships gone bad. More than a few talked about spouses’ infidelities. Several broke down in tears. A few waxed about first girlfriends and boyfriends.
Some of their words came out slowly, others came out in jags and torrents. The language of more than several was pure poetry. Stephen and Peter came to realize that the project had a purpose. They had become confessors to an undiscovered America.
Peter and Stephen put together 100 of these portraits and oral histories in a book titled “The Oxford Project”, which is available here.
Mitchell Feinberg describes himself as a “luxury still life” photographer. His artistic and conceptual approach to fashion photography makes him stand out in the crowd. I love this series of photographs he did for Muse Magazine – the relief of the product sands in for its actual presence.
We created a handy-dandy submissions form. Please submit your latest and greatest projects to us this way - it's much more effective than sending us an email. We look forward to seeing what you are cooking up!
// the working proof
Want to advertise on Sub-Studio? Email us for rates.