Open Form Architecture, Version 2.1

•March 6, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Open Form Architecture launches a new version (2.1) of its web site. Enjoy!


Frozen Grand Central

•February 7, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Here is a great performance piece – 207 IE Agents freeze in time on cue in New York’s Grand Central Station.

Skid Row Housing | Rainbow Apartments | Michael Maltzan Architecture

•December 23, 2007 • 1 Comment

Tonight, as I was browsing the Net for more information for my research on the Image, Identity and Integration in the Los Angeles housing development, I found these two videos about the Rainbow Apartments; a significant project, designed by Michael Maltzan Architecture, for the homeless community in Los Angeles. According to the Institute for the Study of Homelessness, an estimated 254,000 men, women and children experience homelessness in Los Angeles County.

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Basel Stadtcasino, Zaha Hadid Architects

•December 18, 2007 • 3 Comments

by Maxime Moreau

Few months ago, one of OFA’s collaborators, Christophe Plattner, wrote me, while visiting his home town in Basel (CH), about this new project of Zaha Hadid Architects, the Stadtcasino, to inform me that the new city casino was rejected at the urn by a clear majority, not only because the citizens found it too large and expensive, but also because they felt not enough informed by the authorities. Tonight, while I was surfing on the Internet (Detail Topics – Digital Architecture), I discovered this video/animation, by Neutral, which investigates the buildings integration into the architectural and cultural fabric of Basel – a new shortcut connecting two major squares determines an architectural landscape to access the old and new parts of a music venue – and demonstrates the increasing convergence between motion graphics and the built environment.

Museum Plaza, REX

•December 17, 2007 • Leave a Comment

By Maxime Moreau

[Video by Brooklyn Digital Foundry]

Here again, we easily distinguish REX‘s operation to comb, consolidate, and identify a set of programmatic clusters designed with different purposes: a 5,000 m² contemporary art centre; 3,400 m² of studios, glass shop, and gallery for the University of Louisville’s Master of Fine Arts program; a 250-room Westin Hotel; 98 luxury condominiums; 117 lofts; 25,000 m² of office space on 13 floors; 1,860 m² of restaurants and shops; underground parking garage for 800 cars.

The final result is a 214-meter-tall, 62-story skyscraper, displaying another distinctive and iconic figure which participates in what Koolhaas describes as: “an archipelago of cities in the city”. One might see a collection of traditional skyscrapers placed on top of each other above a traditional urban pattern, but in reality, even if the Museum Plaza doesn’t revise the superposition of floors in the typical American high-rise -in the same way as the Seattle Library- this project is a beautiful and inventive variation on the classic skyscraper; a new vision of skyscraper. The Museum Plaza will doubtless redefine the Louisiana skyline and certainly change the way architects, urbanists, and engineers shall think about tomorrow’s new high-rises and the process of urbanization.

Brad Pitt annouces vision for Lower Ninth Ward

•December 16, 2007 • Leave a Comment

[Images by Pugh+Scarpa Architects]

In December 2006, Brad Pitt convened a group of experts in New Orleans tobrainstorm about building green affordable housing on a large scale to helpvictims of Hurricane Katrina. Having spent time with community leaders anddisplaced residents determined to return home, Pitt realized that anopportunity existed to build houses that were not only stronger and healthier, but that had less impact on the environment. After discussing the hurdles associated with rebuilding in a devastatedarea, the group determined that a large-scale redevelopment project focused on green affordable housing and incorporating innovative design was indeed possible.

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Nevada House 1, Marmol Radziner Prefab

•December 15, 2007 • Leave a Comment

[Nevada House 1, photo by Marmol Radziner Prefab]

After the big success of the Desert House, a prefab home designed by Marmol Radziner Prefab, here is their new arrival: the Nevada House 1. This project not only combine the benefits of a custom residential design with the efficiency of factory-built houses, but also clearly express this change in the way houses are now thought and bought. Before Thanksgiving, Marmol Radziner Prefab installed the thirty five modules of Nevada House 1 in just three days without a glitch. Check out their new video for a glimpse of the exciting delivery and installation.

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Cherokee Lofts Breaks Ground‏, Pugh+Scarpa Architects

•December 14, 2007 • Leave a Comment


Few months ago, I got the chance to interview the architect Lawrence Scarpa, principal of Pugh+Scarpa, on the impact of sustainable design on the figure and integration of his own house, the Solar Umbrella, in Venice. Inspired by Paul Rudolph’s Umbrella House of 1953, the Solar Umbrella provides a contemporary reinvention of the solar canopy—a strategy that provides thermal protection in climates with intense exposures—using photovoltaic panels to provide 100% of the home’s energy needs.

Today, with the Cherokee Lofts, Pugh+Scarpa pushes “Green” edge design to a superior level and breaks ground with another green mixed-use housing project. For these architects, sustainability is always considered a top priority, with the goal of building responsible living for the 21st century. The architect, Pugh+Scarpa, is a leader and pioneer in green building, an unprecedented two time winner of AIA Top 10 Green Building Award plus 100 other awards and accolades.

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