Friday, 24 April 2009

James Stirling's Andrew Melville Hall

Andrew Melville Hall 1Andrew Melville Hall 2
Andrew Melville Hall, design by James Sterling which had aged and weathered well with overgrown moss and lichen, had survived 40 years of age after it was completed in year 1968. A bold move by Sterling to use prefabricated concrete at that time, quoting what Simon Henley of Buschow Henley Architects said,
"It deals with things I find interesting such as the culture of the institution. It’s not a pretty building, but it is heroic and dramatic."

James Stirling and Louis Kahn was Simon Henley mentor, not face to face, but through their work. He studies their plans and visits their buildings. Revisiting Andrew Melville Hall has a great influence on him, especially the psychological/communal aspect of buildings, what he like to call the anthropological — the rituals and behaviours of communal living. Like other buildings, Andrew Melville Hall have had technical flaws too. It leaked and a secondary glazing have been done to make the promenade more comfortable. But considering the time it was built, maybe it was more acceptable to just be cold or to spend more money on heating.
Andrew Melville Hall 3Andrew Melville Hall 4Andrew Melville Hall 5
'It’s a bold example of prefabricated concrete. Assembly was an industrialised process, with a crane on wheels dropping the precast wall panels into place. There are a lot of interfaces — corners, sills, small sections of flat roofs, parapets, flashings and overhangs, and lots of open joints in precast panels — so it had plenty of possible places to fail.

The jointing of the panels doesn’t just occur anywhere but where it should — in a corner. As a result, the panels and their jointing made sense of the plan and sculptural form. And the ribbing is a way of covering imperfections in the precast panels so that the concrete has grain, like timber.

On one level, it’s very idealistic. Stirling recognised the possibility of the landscape by positioning the building right on the escarpment between the coastal plain and the plateau, then created a great mid-level promenade. He took the topology and accentuated it from four storeys to eight, and accentuated the sense of landscape.

You’re really aware of belonging to this great congregation of people. Everyone shares a view inward, of each other, and outward, to the sea. It’s about the lonely relationship with the landscape and the social one with friends — written right into the plan of the building. It deals very well with the notion of society — everyone congregates at the apex of the building and at the promenades out into the two wings.

Its visual qualities are as much about looking from it as looking at it. It’s like an optical instrument — everywhere you sit, it’s like putting on a pair of binoculars with the views. The relationship between inside and outside space has a huge impact on the experience of being in a building, and you can see that here — you can’t help but be engaged by the view.

People say it has associations with ships. Personally, I think it’s more like a monastery — both live an isolated and a communal life.
One of its biggest questions is the isolation. It doesn’t belong to the city, but to the place, the topography. It has a primordial connection with the landscape. You could interpret this removal from the town as a physical manifestation of the legitimate removal of students from the rest of society.

What’s really interesting is how it touches the ground. The battered, moss-covered base is more reminiscent of motorway engineering. I also like to think it is reminiscent of the bases of rusticated renaissance palazzos. It’s very heavy on the ground, with the strong horizontal lines and the diagonal lines in the concrete all playing against the topography.'
-Simon Henley interviewed by Pamela Buxton, bd online.
Andrew Melville Hall 6Andrew Melville Hall 7Andrew Melville Hall 8
a+. bdonline via

COTOTOI, Tokyo Japan

I love the ambience the most!

Pronounsed 'kototowa', COTOTOI is a Japanese restaurant which stresses on,
'meal is not just about “food”, but it is about whole things including its safeness of ingredient, atmosphere of having meals.' - Dilight.

With this idea of importance of surroundings, Dilight, who came out with the concept of the COTOTOI have made the space filled with plants. They gave the whole place the idea of everything coexist and effect each other. Good food in good environment makes the food taste better and vise versa.

'This Japanese word “Koto-towa” is consisted of “koto - thing” and “towa - is” such as “thing is” in English. Meal in Japanese is “Shoku-ji”, “Shoku” means “food” and “ji” means “thing” same letter as “koto”. Therefore it is “Shoku-ji”; “food-things”.'
- Dilight.
COTOTOI 4COTOTOI 5COTOTOI 6The graphic works by Dilight for COTOTOI menu etc. Do check out the rest of their work, u might love it!

a+. dilight

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Tjep's Shock Proof Vases Collection

Shock Proof 1- Collection of vasesShock Proof 2- Shock Proof Blossom
Shock Proof is a collection of existing vases made from Ceramics / Polyurethane rubber, upon which Tjep has applied the Do Break principle. When broken, these vases does not fall apart but remain watertight because of a special rubber coating applied inside the vases.

'The cracks form a new superimposed decorative pattern, witness to dramatic events to which the vases may be subjected: anything from a lovers quarrel to earthquakes.

The first Shock Proof collection was presented at the ACME Gallery in LA (April 2006) and realized upon special request of curator John Geresi. LA seemed to be a very suitable location to introduce the concept as the region is subject to frequent and sometimes intense seismic activity.'
- Tjep.

Shock Proof 3Shock Proof 4- Shock Proof Egg VaseShock Proof 5- Shock Proof Egg VaseShock Proof 6
Below the Do Break Principle.
Do Break 1Do Break 2Do Break 3They are for Droog Design for Do in collaboration with Peter van der Jagt, the Do Break made from Porcelain & rubber, cracks but does not shatter when it hits the floor. Not only can the vase still be used but it also gains in beauty as the cracks multiply to form a unique pattern. From now on, any lover's quarrel is an improvement.

a+. tjep
a+. droog design
a+. do

Monday, 20 April 2009

Leti, A Bookend Lamp by Matteo Ragni

Leti 1Leti 2
Gosh, they look so nerdy cute! Made from painted metal sheet, Leti designed by Matteo Ragni is a simple and eco-sustainable lamp with the shape of a book-holder at the end that allows user to organize objects and desk.
'The lamp conforms to Danese's DNA's eco-sustainable principles and to the use of one material only realized by cutting and bending one sheet.'
- Made in design.

'This project was quite an honour! A homage to Munari and to his travel sculptures, his passion for paper, for objects than can be created with just a few moves and very little material.
A bookend lamp, a hybrid item that forever unites two worlds that often cohabitate: light and reading, lamps and books… one implies the other.'
- Matteo Ragni.

Leti 3Leti 4a+. matteo ragni
a+. danese milano via made in design

It's Not Starck...Not Rashid Either...

bulb & candle
Yup, the above are Bulb & Candle Lamp + Switch Chair from a young French designer, Gilles Roudot. I don't understand French & the translation given by google....hmmmm.....doesn't make much sense to me... .'p , therefore wasn't able to get much on type of materials used, how they were made and where can we buy them, but I do know they are incredible!

Gilles Roudot has been designing objects in Europe for almost ten years and he have this incredible line of work. Do check out his work on his site!

chipsterChipster, chair.

ultra cosi 1ultra cosi 2The Ultra Cosi chair.

a+. gilles roudot via josh spear