The National Ignition Facility (NIF) was dedicated on 5/29/2009 and is the world’s largest and highest-energy laser. The sphere above is the final chamber where the laser beams converge to a single point, recreating a sun’s core (on a very small scale). NIF’s mission is to learn the secrets of the sun and pursue fusion research to one day provide abundant clean energy. Tech that will someday be a mr. fusion. Check out the NIF Home to see more videos and info on the project.
Arthur Huang, an old classmate of ours, founded a company called MINIWIZ that deals with energy consumer goods and recently invented POLLI-BRICK, a recycled polymer architectural brick. They used it in the curtainwall of an expo pavillion in Taiwan. It’s pretty cool – the system is both self-structuring and light transmitting. With a companies trying to make glass bricks or transparent concrete, why not try this instead?
The bowerbird is nature’s starchitect. The males of the various species build these elaborate and OCD influenced ‘bowers’ adorned with collections of all sorts of colorful stuff. All this to woo potential mates. via National Geographic
MVRDV and ADEPT recently won a Danish competition for multipurpose housing/culture/leisure project in Denmark. I love the stacked and overlapping crazy diagram for the building’s interior spaces. The section is gravity defying and equally fun.
This book looks amazing. Heavenly Vaults: From Romanesque to Gothic in European Architecture, by the photographer David Stephenson, catalogs the domes of eighty different cathedrals built between the 12th and 16th centuries in Europe. The domes are almost abstract in their structure and pattern, becoming something more transient and emotional.
Lerival is a design house that features furniture made by architects. The Gem Series Table by Atelier Manferdini treats “form as fabric” by taking a series of triangular panels and folding them, creating a set of faceted outdoor tables. An intricate pattern is stamped across each panel.
I thought it would be interesting to see how each architect’s built work related to their furniture pieces. Atelier Manferdini’s work is new to me, but she is obviously very interested in architectural skins, geometries and patterns, the latter two of which are definitely reflected in her the Gem Series.
The other Lerival pieces that caught my eye were the Kulms Chairs by Miso Soup Design. The two chairs in the series are called One and Two (based on the number of legs, I’m guessing). Nice clean lines, and I appreciate how One is stackable via the folded piece down the center of the chair that becomes the leg.
Much of Miso Soup Design’s architectural work seems to center around manipulating a surface, whether it is through folding or excavation or wrapping. The same language is definitely a part of their furniture design.
The Big Picture has a set of photos of the Shanghai World Expo 2010, which opened last week to much fanfare. The scale of the expo pavillions was not quite communicated in the renderings that were floating around last year. The photos are of the exterior and interior of the UK Pavillion, aka the “Seed Cathedral”. The thing is humongous.
Above is the Jiangsu Provincial Art Museum by KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten. I like that the slotted facades continue around the two L-shaped masses and are captured in the interior/central skylit atrium.
Herzog & de Meuron’s recently finished a car park in Miami – it looks so amazing. I love the slight shifts in the floor plates, the varying floor heights, and the way that the columns change in shape and size as they progress through the structure. 1111 Lincoln Road is actually a mixed use building with shops and restaurants on the ground level, more shopping on the fifth floor, and a restaurant on the roof. There also seems to be a residential component, although I’m not sure where exactly that part is – maybe it’s the white building next door that is connected via some walkways? H&dM describe 1111 Lincoln Road as “all muscle without cloth”…
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