Art From Disaster

Almost 3 years after Hurricane Katrina, many New Orleans homes still bear the spray-paint markings used by rescue workers who were searching for survivors. On the facade of their house in the Bywater neighborhood, some residents have installed a metal sculpture permanently memorializing these new urban hieroglyphics.


New Uses for Ceramics

French architecture firm and Life Without Buildings favorite, Lacaton Vassal, were invited by CRAFT (Centre de Recherche sur les Arts du Feu et de la Terra a Limoges) to propose new uses for Limoges porcelain.

Their solution is nothing less than inspired: a procelain overlay for structural steel. Designed for steel profiles H, I, and U, the ceramic tiles add both fireproofing and a decorative element to the steel columns.Great idea, right? I’d love to see this go into production, although I do have one suggestion. For the first run, let’s appropriate the world’s largest ceramic – Jeff Koons’ Michael Jackson and Bubbles.

Sure, it may have sold at Sotheby’s for $5,600,000, but I think melting down this travesty of art and applying it to a steel column might really give it some integrity; an extra layer of meaning reminiscent of Robert Rauschenberg’s Erased de Kooning.Plus…you know, we get the added benefit of MELTING A HIDEOUS CERAMIC STATUE OF MICHAEL JACKSON AND HIS MONKEY.


Erwin Wurm

This weekend, a friend introduced me to the work of Austrian artist Erwin Wurm, whom I suppose could best be described as a conceptual sculptor. His medium varies – from drawings to photography to foam to performance – but regardless of form and material, there are common themes throughout the work. Most notably, a sort of demystifying of art and it’s related fields – a figurative, and sometimes literal, deflation.The following examples aren’t particularly representative of his work as a whole, but since this is supposed to be an architecture blog, they’re probably the most interesting to you, dear reader. Plus, the field of architecture can always use a little deflating.
Fat House Moller/adolf Loos
Am I a House?
House Attack. image via flickr usr Dom Dada]
More of Wurm’s work can be seen at Artnet.


Something Interesting

This is step 6. For the complete instructions, other helpful how-to guides, and DIY art projects, see Something Interesting Kit.


The Architecture of Olafur Eliasson

The design of this year’s Serpentine Gallery Pavilion is a collaboration between artist Olafur Eliasson and Kjetil Thorsen of Scandinavian architecture firm Snohetta. After looking through the incredibly thorough documentation of the construction process at 0lll, I’m starting to get pretty excited about this thing. Open from August until November, this years pavilion will play host to artists, architects, academics and scientists as they lead a series of public experiments, culminating in “an extraordinary, two-part, 48-hour marathon laboratory event exploring the architecture of the senses.” Life Without Buildings loves exploring the architecture of the senses and will probably get a bit of head start on the pavilion…say, as soon as this post is finished.

photo via 0III

This is by no means Elasson’s first collaboration with an architect. In fact, as a sort-of spatial researcher, architecture is integral to his work. One of my favorite of his collaborations is the 2005 Thyssen-Bornemisza Limited Edition Art Pavilion in Venice, designed by David Adjaye.

david adjaye pavilion

david adjaye alafur eliason

The pavilion was specifically designed to present Eliasson’s piece, Your Black Horizon. The project, as described in David Adjaye: Making Public Buildings:

“In the windowless main space, a horizontal line at eye level serves as the primary light source. Located in a slot in the construction of each wall, the light slowly changes colour every 15 minutes and moves through the spectrum of the Venetian sky as filmed on a single day.”

Eliasson’s piece is complemented by near-total darkness, which has the well-designed side effect of concealing construction details, resulting in a space where one can only orient themselves in relation to the art work.

A view of the interior.

The elegant 3-material palette has been very carefully selected. Black bituminous fiber board cladding reflects the darkness of the interior, framing and sun screen are built from heat-treated timber and the interior is clad is OSB. It’s that simple. And it works.

Adjaye is a poet, there’s no other word for what he does. I think this is architecture at it’s finest. A clear concept, simple design, a thoughtful yet limited palette, and a startling sensitivity to both the site and the art.

All images taken from David Adjaye: Making Public Buildings