Over the past couple of years, we’ve dug into a number of projects that redeveloped outdated infrastructure into new recreational and green spaces, from Staten Island’s Freshkills Park (a former landfill) to Missouri’s Katy Trail (an old railroad line) to Germany’s Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord (a closed blast furnace works). The Germans clearly have a knack for this whole reclamation thing: two years after shuttering the legendary Tempelhof Airport in Berlin (the site of the 1948-49 Berlin airlift), city officials began discussing ways to reuse the land (which, according to The Local, is nearly as big as Central Park). Their broad plan: a park. Berliners, however, have taken it upon themselves to transform the space for bicyling, rollerblading, cooking out, and urban gardening.
I am obsessed with Matthias Heiderich’s cropped square photos of Berlin’s buildings. Using color and composition, the photographer creates patterns and abstract images that may not obviously be architecture and the city’s skylines. Having just returned from Berlin last week it’s quite remarkable just how perfectly he captures the modern feel and cool, geometric shapes of…
Some call it brilliant and beautiful, and others the most boring case of animal exploitation ever. Love it or hate it, Carsten Höller’s “Soma” is an impressive feat of installation art/living museum exhibit. Situated in the train station turned gallery space at the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin, “Soma” explores the myth of the drink of the same name that originated amongst the nomadic tribes or Northern India around 2000 BCE. The main ingredient is the fly amanita mushroom (those are the ones that look like red and white polka-dotted fairytale toadstools), which supposedly possess healing properties and give the drinker access to enlightenment and “the divine sphere.”
What’s more incredible, the fact that the photo above was taken in 1973 and is only being exhibited now, or the fact that Arizona’s Wigwam motel still looks exactly the same to this day? Probably both, but it’s surprising that any of photographer Stephen Shore’s work would be kept a secret for so long. Shore famously got his start when he sold several photographs to the MoMA when he was just 14-years-old. He was unschooled in the medium then and has remained a self-taught photographer ever since. It wasn’t until ten years later that Shore made a real name for himself with American Surfaces, the 1972 series of photographs he took on his first major American road trip. People immediately responded to his deadpan composition and striking use of color. But it’s Uncommon Places, the photographs from his next road trip just one year later that has Shore fans buzzing now.
The third annual World Architecture Festival (WAF) starts today in Barcelona, where a five-person jury has whittled more than 500 entries down to 236. These range in scale from very large, like South Africa’s Soccer City, to much smaller structures, like the Costa Rican Bamboo House. The jury itself is kind of a big deal, with starchitect Arata Isozaki, MoMA curator Barry Bergdoll and structural engineer Hanif Kara at the helm. But as this is a forum for world architecture, there are lots of big names in each of the 15 categories.
Photos by Mila Hacke. More after the jump.
DIY home sites are always dreaming up ways to reinvent that ubiquitous piece of seemingly un-reusable wood, the shipping pallet. There have been some nice efforts, like studiomama’s Shipping Pallet Chair, or vectroave’s more straightforward furniture applications, but none so big or beautiful as Matthias Loebermann’s Palettenpavillon.