[original image via The New York Times, inset – The Eye of Sauron]
Who knew that the Bird’s Nest would also serve as a portal transporting Middle Earth’s Dark Lord to Beijing. Good thing there are plenty of rings around. I can think of two Swiss architects who have a lot of explaining to do…
[Australian Pavilion image via Dezeen]
- Designed by Davide Marchetti Architetto, the Australian Pavilion for the Venice Biennale is something between Daniel Libeskind’s new Contemporary Jewish Museum and Lacaton Vassal’s proposal for The Architecture Foundation in London. Needless to say, I like it. [Dezeen]
- On Frank Gehry’s Serpentine Pavilion: “…it feels like a giant model – as though through some freakish accident we’ve been shrunk to the size of 1:100 plastic people. The timber posts and beams seemingly lock into each like a giant replica of modelshop balsa handiwork. The way one stick joins to another has been blown up into a gargantuan simulated detail. The model-replica sensation makes me look up, almost expecting to see a giant globule of UHU frozen mid drip above my head. If anything, here it’s all been too well resolved. You can feel the hand of an executive architect faithfully reproducing the models intent, but somehow missing its point… [Strangeharvest]
- Just in time for the Olympics, The New York Times graphics department have outdone themselves with some interactive maps of Beijing. [New York Times]
- The X-Men move from upstate New York to San Francisco, setting up shop beneath the bunkers of the Marin Headlands. Apparently our status as a Sanctuary City extends to mutants as well. Highlights from Uncanny X-Men #500 include Cyclops broadcasting a psychic message to all the mutants of the world from the top of the Transamerica Pyramid and Magneto attacking SFMOMA with a trio of giant Sentinel robots. I’m guessing Mario Botta never saw that one coming. [SF Gate]
- Fluid migration, flood management, and Chertoff as a self-made Moses. “I just find it totally bizarre, symbolic, and possibly a foreshadowing scenario as borders, security, hydrology, and migration have, literally and metaphorically, fallen into the same state of disaster together here.” [Subtopia]
- Trend Watch: Building columns that blossom into undulating roof structure — or inversely, roofs that melt into building columns. Coming to a 2nd year studio near you. [A Daily Dose]
Thousands of people descended on San Francisco’s SoMa and Mission Bay neighborhoods today to protest against/for China/Tibet, see the Olympic torch, skip work, or just plain people watch. 3 of those 4 groups weren’t disappointed. The torch route was announced earlier this week, with the caveat that it may “slightly” change. Well, as you can see in the above map, the route more than “slightly” changed due to the fear of another London or Paris-like protest. In the above map, blue is the announced route and red is the ACTUAL route. The air was thick with anticipation, tension, and excitement as everyone gathered to gawk at or attempt to extinguish the Olympic torch. However, unbeknownst to many of the patient observers and impatient protests, it had long passed-by in a boat or a bus or a secret underground tunnel. Cadres of riot police contributed to the misdirection and either encouraged people to stay put or herded them back and forth into different areas — god knows why, as the torch didn’t even come close to where anyone was waiting.
“We’re getting every barricade known to man and hauling it in from everywhere,” quote SF Mayor Gavin Newsom. Today, the streets and sidewalks of San Francisco are redirected. No one. Gets. Anywhere.
Jetskis in Mission Creek. On any other occasion, this would be completely awesome. As it stands, Giant’s stadium (and hopefully the foundations of the bridge I’m standing on) will be safe from aquatic attack, deep-sea protestors, and agitated Atlanteans.
On the other side of the bridge, cops kept forming up into different shapes. Here, their military training permits the creation of an ersatz plaza in the middle of 3rd St. It’s like there’s going to be a performance or something. Surely this is the torch route? Nope. Just defending a small portion of SF asphalt from the confused masses.
It seems like every cop in San Francisco is completely occupied with making shapes and lines in Mission Bay. There’s gotta be a crime spree going on in the opposite corner of the city.
More photos at the Life Without Buildings flickr page.
Just after winning the commission for the London Architecture Foundation building, Architectural Record reports that Zaha Hadid has been chosen to design the Aquatic Center for London’s 2012 Olympic Bid. The 20,000 seat venue, located in the Stratford area of East London will be built regardless of London’s success in winning the Olympics. The buildings form is reportedly inspired by “the flow of water prevalent on the building’s riverside location.” (groan) If Zaha Hadid was a band, (The Zaha Hadids) I think she’d be running the risk of over-exposure. Admittedly, she does great work, I loved her Cincinnati Contemporary Art Center, but for some reason, I’m kind of turned off by her recent designs and they seem to just keep coming…