Friday Humor: 10 Wierdest Headlines About ‘House’


Boat ‘Sinks’ House
The Straits Times, 30 January 1962, p.18.

House Stolen
The Straits Time, 18 May 1971, p.24.

House Dug Up
The Straits Times, 14 August 1971, p.1.

House Says ‘Yes’
The Straits Times, 30 December 1964, p.22.

Bless This House and The Toilet Too
Today, 10 May 2006, p.15.

House for Sale, Comes with Bride
Today (Afternoon Edition), 4 November 2005, p.19.

Couple Too Tall For Own House
Today, 21 July 2005, p.19.

“Sorry, We Bombed the Wrong House”
Today, 10 January 2005, p.14.

Man Sets House On Fire to Get Rid Of Guests
Today, 1 June 2005, p.19.

Grandmother Bites Buyer of Her House
The Straits Times, 25 August 2002, p.25.

Thursday Feature: Hiroshi Sambuichi [a new generation of japanese architects]


The Hiroshima-based architect Hiroshi Sambuichi – like his Tokyo contemporaries Fujimoto and Ishigami – contemplates the confluence between nature and architecture. However, the actual articulation of his architecture is markedly different. Born in 1968, Sambuichi conceives of architecture like the “details of the earth”. His rigorous design process entails extensive (read: approximately a year-long) climate and topographical surveys of each site before embarking on the design proper. This culminates in buildings that meld into the landscape and draw on natural energy sources. His is essentially an indigenous and sustainable architecture, where the beauty of its poetics and performance are derived from the “circulating system of nature and local landscape”.

A selection of his best works:

Rokko Shidare Observatory | Kobe, Japan | 2010

Perched on the top of Mount Rokko, the observatory is constructed almost entirely from hinoki wood and is powered by solar and wind energy. The structure is composed of hexagonal frames that are imprinted with images of leaves. The frames are designed to attract frost in winter. In summer, air is drawn in and goes into an ice room that cools the air down.

                                                                                                                                                          Images: akix626 @ Flickr
                                                                                    http://www.flickr.com/photos/14301763@N03/sets/72157625731833172/

Base Valley House | Japan | 2009

The spectacular site of the house – perched at the edge of an expansive river valley plain – brought with it a harsh climate of strong winds. Instead of trying to fight or hide from the less-than-ideal conditions, Sambuichi sought to actually harness the winds while protecting the inhabitants.

He created a “wind street” through the building volume along the north-south axis, thus funnelling the air into the interior spaces. The bedrooms and a sunroom are placed beneath ground, where the natural warmth of the earth regulates the temperature. The living and dining spaces are on ground level, covered with a sloped glazed roof.

The architecture addresses as well as takes advantage of the seasonal climate changes to result in a naturally ventilated environment. In summer, the underground sun room collects the valley wind to cool the bedrooms; in winter, the glazed roof stores solar heat for warmth. But Sambuichi’s masterstroke is in showing how such an energy efficient architectural “machine” can be expressed so naturally and poetically.

                                                                                                                                                  Images: http://www.wallpaper.com

Inujima Art Project | Inujima, Japan | 2008

Inujima is a small, isolated island in Japan’s Seto Inland Sea. Characterised by the raw imagery of the smokestacks and ruins of a copper refinery abandoned since 1919, it was purchased by the tycoon Soichiro Fukutake. His intention was to rehabilitate the site into a museum that would have minimal environmental impact. Sambuichi was commissioned to design the building; the artist Yukinori Yanagi was tasked to create its permanent installations.

Sambuichi perceived the new museum to be part of the natural environment and understanding the earth’s natural cycles. To him, the locally available materials and existing structures were the regenerative resources with which to create the museum. Thus he built within the refinery’s ruins, between the tallest smokestack and the remains of the brick wall structure that spread outwards to the sea. Visually, the striking smokestack became the marker of the partially-subterranean building.

Environmentally, the old structure could nevertheless still generate a chimney effect – drawing air in through an opening at the bottom and releasing it at the top – and thus forms part of the natural mechanism that modulates the interior temperature. The cool of the earth chills the 80m long steel-encased subterranean Earth Gallery; the sun heats up the glazed Sun Gallery. This is gradually filtered in the Energy Hall that serves as a semi-permeable buffer space between the two “climates” and thus controls the airflow.

Essentially this first phase of the project is a prolific exploration into regenerating places through a sensitive interpretation of site, heritage, architecture, art and ecology. We look forward to future phases of this Inujima project, where apparently there are plans to work with the Pritzer laureate Kazuyo Sejima.


                                                                                                                                                 Images: http://www.wallpaper.com

References: Japan Architect, Wallpaper, Spoon and Tamago, Architecture of Consequence.

Friday Humor: 10 Most Suggestive Glass Technical Terms


Fluid Zone
The temperature zone (>1350 Fahrenheit) that glass become molten and can flow.

Full Fuse
Heating two or more pieces of glass until the slump and flow together to form one solid piece of glass.

Grinding
Using an abrasive wheel on a grinder to smoother or shape the edges of glass.

Peep Hole
A small opening in the kiln used for observation of glass during firing process.

Rigidizer
A chemical added to certain ceramic fibers to bind them into a solid state.

Rod
Cylindrical pencil-thick glass. They come in a wide range of colors and different COEs.

Sagging Process
Heating glass until it sags and conforms to the shape of the form on which it rests.

Thermocouple
The probe of a pyrometer. It is inserted into the kiln to measure the temperature.

Transitional Zone
Glass begins to change from about 900 degrees Fahrenheit to 1250 degrees Fahrenheit. The strain point is at the lower end of this temperature, while the upper end is where the softening point and the annealing point are somewhere between.

Wet Felt
Soaking a ceramic-fiber with rigidizer and using it for mold making.

Anima by Fitorio Leksono


© Fitorio Leksono

 Anima is a series of shelves designed by Indonesian designer Fitorio Leksono.

© Fitorio Leksono

Commissioned by the Jarkarta-based design company Toimoi, Anima takes inspiration from the shapes and forms of animals.

© Fitorio Leksono

In keeping with the fun and playful spirit of Toimoi, Anima is designed to appeal to the child within us.

 © Fitorio Leksono

Fitorio Leksono is a product designer with Jenggala, a tableware company based in Bali. He also lectures at Ciputra University in Indonesia. His works have been exhibited in Jakarta, Singapore, Sydney and Frankfurt.

Vanke Experience Center by Urbanus


 Image: http://www.chinese-architects.com

The Vanke Experience Center by Urbanus is located in Shenzhen, China. It is the research facility of Vanke China, the largest real estate developer in the country.

 Image: http://www.chinese-architects.com

The experience center is located within an existing 1500 square meter rectangular exhibition hall that is four storeys high. With heavy, concrete supports and a regular floor plan, the old structure was sterile and uninspiring.

 Image: http://www.chinese-architects.com

In order to create a stimulating and imaginative environment, Urbanus inserted a light and transparent free form structure within the existing exhibition hall.

 Image: http://www.chinese-architects.com

The interior of the building is also an experiment in the design of convertible spaces. Multifunctional in nature, they showcase the possibilities of space.

Image: http://www.zhulong.com

Image: http://www.zhulong.com

Image: http://www.zhulong.com

Image: http://www.zhulong.com

Image: http://www.chinese-architects.com

Image: http://www.chinese-architects.com

Urbanus is a architecture and urban design practice with offices in Shenzhen and Beijing. The firm’s works have been featured in publications such as Abitare, a+u, and Domus.

References: Zhulong, HomeWorld, BuildHR, Chinese-Architects

Xuan Lamp by INNOVO Design


Image: http://www.idea-cool.cn

Xuan (旋), which means ‘spin’ when translated, is a hanging lamp by Innovo Design.

 Image: http://www.idea-cool.cn

The lamp, crafted out of long, thin strips of bamboo, makes use of the material’s fibrous nature. In contrast to its stiff appearance, the lamp is pliant and light, dancing and swirling to the whisper of the breeze.

 Image: http://www.idea-cool.cn

The lamp is part of the Innovo’s design series “Finding a Future for Traditions” conceived in 2009. The series reconceptualizes traditional culture and handicrafts, giving them a new lease of life in the contemporary world.

Innovo Design is a product design practice located in Hangzhou, China. Their designs have been featured at many international exhibitions, including the Milan Design Week 2011.

References: Idea-cool, Innovo

Art Museum of Yue Minjun by Studio Pei-Zhu


 Image: http://www.zhulong.com

The Art Museum of Yue Minjun, designed by Studio Pei-Zhu, is located near the Qingcheng Mountains, adjacent to the Shimeng River in Sichuan, China.

Image: http://www.zhulong.com

Yue is one of the most successful contemporary artist in China today, and is well known for his paintings that depict large, smiling figures.

Image: http://www.zhulong.com

The museum will house the works of Yue, and include an artist’s studio in addition to the exhibition space.

Image: http://www.zhulong.com

The form of the building was inspired by a river rock that principal architect Pei Zhu picked up from the site.

Image: http://www.zhulong.com

The exterior walls of the building are to be cladded in polished zinc, a material that endows the building with a futuristic appearance. At the same time, by mirroring its surroundings, the reflective surface also integrates the building into the natural environment.

Image: http://www.zhulong.com

Image: http://www.zhulong.com

Image: http://www.zhulong.com

Image: http://www.zhulong.com

Image: http://www.zhulong.com

Studio Pei-Zhu is a Beijing-based architecture firm headed by principal architect Pei Zhu. The firm is behind the design of the Digital Beijing Building for the Summer Olympics 2008.

Reference: Zhulong