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Old March 14th, 2006, 05:52 AM   #1
hkskyline
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Architectural Curveballs and Fantasies

Curveballs Are In Play
After the Bilbao Guggenheim, architects are taking ever wilder trips into the light fantastic

Richard Lacayo
20 March 2006
Time

As far as architectureis concerned, if the 20th century was the age of the box, the 21st is fast becoming the age of the wiggle. Over the past few years, and especially after the debut of Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, the sturdy glass-and- steel rectangle, for decades the default mode for serious buildings, has begun to give way to the parabola, the whiplash curve and geometries so irregular, there's no point in looking them up in geometry books. Thanks to a combination of insistent forward thinking by architects and ever more ingenious computer-design software, buildings that once would have been no more than architecture-student fantasies are being green-lighted every year as real-world construction projects. And one of the newest, the Metropol Parasol, is a sign that those forces are carrying buildings to a place where the word building may not be up to the job of describing what they will become.

Or to put it another way, why shouldn't the ancient Spanish city of Seville sprout a few 90-ft. mushrooms? For 150 years, Seville's Plaza de la Encarnacion was a market in the heart of the old quarter. In 1973, in an act of municipal hooliganism that was typical for its time, the market stalls were torn down by the city and replaced by a parking lot. A few years ago, plans were moving ahead to replace the lot with an underground garage when workers excavating the site discovered a cluster of Roman ruins. This time a wiser city government made two important decisions. First, it chose to preserve the ruins within a below-ground museum. Second, it opted to hold an international competition for an overhead structure to connect the museum to the surface and to transform the plaza from a parking lot into a people magnet.

One other thing: the city authorities did not specify what kind of structure they had in mind. That created a very large opening for Jurgen Mayer H., a Berlin-based architect who understands that a solid structure can be a thought balloon. What Mayer, 42, proposed was a series of six voluptuous forms made of high-strength laminated wood that would rise above the plaza like massive mushrooms--or shade trees. Or maybe they're umbrellas. Whatever you think they look like, the Metropol Parasol, as they are officially called, refuses to be one thing--or to serve one purpose. With a cafe layered into their upper reaches and walkways laid across their tops, the forms provide a canopy, a promenade and a swashbuckling sculptural fantasy.

Mayer says most of the inspiration for the project, which is expected to be completed next year, came "from outside of architectural terms. We jumped from mushrooms to trees to clouds." There's not a right angle in any of those. Like Antoni Gaudi's Parc Guell in Barcelona, with its swelling plazas and ribboning pathways, the Parasol emerges from a place where architecture meets the unconscious, a source outside the merely rational faculties, one that gives rise to whatever is soft, concupiscent and shape- shifting.

It is also the best evidence in years that the design options made possible by computers, which allow architects to experiment with the structural stability of some very unconventional forms, are well along in transforming the language of architecture. That means a future with more buildings that are whimsical, sensual and possessed of a substantial wow factor. In the end, however much the Parasol works as a cafe or a concert venue, wowing may be its abiding function. That's one reason Terence Riley, the chief architecture curator of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, decided to feature the Parasol in "On-Site: New Architecture in Spain," a show that runs at the museum through May 1. "This thing has the same purpose as a triumphal arch," he says. "It's a generator of wonder."
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Old March 16th, 2006, 05:35 AM   #2
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Here's one such fantasy I've seen - OCAD in Toronto :

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Old March 20th, 2006, 04:00 AM   #3
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The OCAD in T.O. has to be one of the most oddball original designs on earth. It's still a hidden gem though if yoyu ask me because i'm sure not that many people on this board know about it. I love standing underneath it.
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Old March 22nd, 2006, 06:24 AM   #4
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Another one I can think of off the top of my head is the Turning Torso in Malmo :





More photos : http://www.pbase.com/traianc
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Old March 22nd, 2006, 11:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
Another one I can think of off the top of my head is the Turning Torso in Malmo :





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great shape...i vot for this...
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Old March 29th, 2006, 06:54 AM   #6
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I guess it can't get more funky than Gehry :



Source : http://www.pbase.com/ihl/
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Old October 27th, 2006, 04:08 PM   #7
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From a design point of view, Hong Kong's Highcliff and Summit were built at a very dangerous location. It is exposed to the hills and subject to high winds especially with their tall and slender heights. A sophisticated damper system was designed to keep the buildings stable when the storms hit and people stay home.

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Old October 31st, 2006, 04:37 PM   #8
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Storey Hall RMIT Univesity,Melbourne:





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Old November 2nd, 2006, 10:51 AM   #9
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 01:31 PM   #10
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Holy Cow! What does this represent, a crystal or something? Thats crazy!
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 04:33 PM   #11
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This is a render of the stellar tower (thats its name) that will be built in Abu Dhabi. Its not like your traditional skyscraper (its wider at the top than at its base)



It is an interesting time - perhaps 'Artists' will be increasingly employed to design buildings instead of architects.
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 04:59 PM   #12
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Holy Cow! What does this represent, a crystal or something? Thats crazy!
It is a rock crystal design (I think called Kinemax)covering of the first Imax movie theater in France, built in 1987 at Futuroscope, Poiters France.(if any of that is wrong someone please correct me) Apparently is it for appearances only and does not really correspond with the interior. I believe Futoroscope is some kind of technological 'theme park"


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Old November 3rd, 2006, 01:24 AM   #13
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Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada








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Old November 3rd, 2006, 01:45 AM   #14
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the Brown Center at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore is very interesting and beautiful, it was built in 2003 by a local architecture firm, Ziger Snead:



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Old November 4th, 2006, 03:19 AM   #15
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When the Petronas Towers were designed, a major challenge was to build the skybridge. The two buildings sway different in the wind, and a rigid bridge structure can easily snap from the force of the sways.

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Old November 4th, 2006, 10:59 PM   #16
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Casa da Musica, Porto, portugal - Rem Koolhaas




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Old November 5th, 2006, 02:03 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Another one I can think of off the top of my head is the Turning Torso in Malmo :

(Images)

More photos : http://www.pbase.com/traianc
There was an Episode of "Extreme Engineering" dedicated to the Construction of the Turning Torso. I saw it some time ago, but I remember it being quite interesting and informative!
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Old November 5th, 2006, 06:59 PM   #18
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Anything by Santiago Calatrava Valls. He uses alot of "rib" structures.
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Old November 6th, 2006, 10:41 PM   #19
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other frank gehry buildings:

fred and ginger, prague


pracownia projektowa, poland (?)
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Old November 8th, 2006, 11:13 PM   #20
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Rose Center for Earth and Space, New York City by Polshek Partnership




LVMH Tower, New York City by Christian De Portzamparc




Guthrie Pavilion, Shah-Alam, Malaysia by Ken Yeang

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