While visiting New York in 2015 I watched the construction of Calatrava’s Occulus AKA The Transportation Hub, at the World Trade Center sites. The experience was the beginning of my interest in this man of creative genius. He is admired and distained, loved for the wildly imaginative creations of his mind, and hated for his arrogance and more. For me it all comes down to the visual experience first, his work is clear and precise art, Beauty in the eyes of this beholder.
Approaching the Milwaukee Art Museum, which sits on the edge of Lake Michigan, was a heart pounding experience. The graceful, white structure against the blue sky and wispy clouds is so simply beautiful. The fact that it breathes in it’s location is an added bonus, too often there is distraction and competition, but this Calatrava owns the vista and it is glorious.
As my beloved mom use to say, “beauty is as beauty does” and the art museum fulfilled that dictum of beautiful form and successful function. It is truly a “precious” museum, full of substance but not overwhelming, a perfect amuse bouche.
National Congress of Brazil Oscar Niemeyer Architect via escuyer.tumblr.comvia
Oscar Niemeyer was one of the most important architects of the 20th century and he did not like angles. “Right angles don’t attract me. Nor straight, hard and inflexible lines created by man,” he wrote in his 1998 memoir The Curves of Time. ” I am attracted to free-flowing, sensual curves. The curves that I find in the mountains of my country, in the sinuousness of its rivers, in the waves of the ocean, and on the body of the beloved woman. Curves make up the entire universe, the curved universe of Einstein.” via theaustrailian.com.au and gizmodo *great Niemeyer architecture images
Was he ahead of his time, anticipating the direction of architecture?
EDIFICIO COPAN STAIRS by Oscar Niemeyer
People are far more likely to call a room beautiful when its design is round instead of linear. What about architecture, curves versus angles? The reason may be hard-wired into the brain. There have been recent studies by neuroscientists that conclude, “Curvature appears to affect our feelings, which in turn could drive our preference.” It’s also critical to point out that just because people have a natural neural affinity for curves doesn’t mean round design is always superior. If researchers asked people to rate architecture based on functionality instead of beauty, for instance, they might get different results.
CoDesign, in their post Why Our Brains Love Curvy Architecture shared: When the great architect Philip Johnson first visited the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, designed by Frank Gehry, he started to cry. “Architecture is not about words. It’s about tears,” Johnson reportedly said. Something about the museum’s majestic curves moved him at an emotional level.
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao Architect Frank Gehry
image via scarflove.tumblr.com
Curves are making big statements on skylines around the world from the exquisite (in my humble opinion) Guggenheim Bilbao to London’s “Gherkin” , the “Marilyn Monroe” Towers in Ontario, many of Zaha Hadid’s Designs, Calatrava, and the Apple Campus 2 — its massive new headquarters designed by starchitect Norman Foster.
The Gherkin, Architect Norman Foster
Curved buildings can point to nature, whereas angular buildings contrast with it
Paul Silvia, assistant professor of psychology
Monroe Curves, Absolute Towers by Ma Yansong of MAD Architects
Calatrava via voguevoyager.tumblr.com
Curved or angular, do you have a preference?
Some of the rooms had a round style like this
Courtesy Oshin Vartanian via CNN
Others had a rectilinear form, like this
Courtesy Oshin Vartanian via CNN
In short, what we learned from our research and fastco.design’s work, “Time and again, when people are asked to choose between an object that’s linear and one that’s curved, they prefer the latter. That goes for watches with circular faces, letters rendered in a curly font, couches with smooth cushions–even dental floss with round packaging.
Paradigm Gallery is proud to offer products from several new partners. While we are restyling our website we have not shown the full array of our new modern furniture options, but they will be coming soon. The new year, 2014, is an important beginning for Paradigm Gallery’s emphasis on modern designs manufactured in the USA and Europe. The emphasis is on environmental awareness in sourcing the materials and quality furniture.
The Osaka Chair
Lounge22 retail furniture and rental furniture is hand crafted in Los Angeles, California. Lounge22′s product is designed and fabricated with the highest level of integrity.
Osaka Chair: The Osaka makes use of future-forward technology to literally bend matter; in this case, sustainable bamboo. This beauty’s smart design and unequaled craftsmanship make it a timeless addition to any room. A signature addition to our collection, the Osaka Chair is part of Lounge22′s Green Line. Made from sustainable bamboo.
The Nuans Collection is very young, utterly attractive modern furniture collection.Commercial grade, minimally designed, very unique furniture line. Nuans Collection specializes in hospitality seating in general and dining chairs in particular. The entire line is manufactured under one roof in our factory in Turkey, following European specifications.
B & T Design the words better, desirable, and worthy of choice lie at the heart of the brand
With use of modern materials Kubikoff Italy was able to reinterpret authentic icons of design. In this restyling, they collaborated with brilliant young architects, such as Sander Mulder, Ruud Bos, Jutta Friedrichs and the Stolt Design group.
The Kubikoff project is the result of international spirit and Italian labor. The winning commercial idea is to release immediately recognizable products at an accessible price. Today, Kubikoff manages to be one of the most attractive European design firm. Kubikoff is manufacturing tomorrow’s classics.
Zifg Zag Armchair Designer: Shell: Kubikoff lab / Base: Jutta Friedrichs
Diamond Patchwork Rock
Made In Detroit Möbel Link
At Möbel Link, the passion for design is matched only by an unflagging commitment to operate in a manner that preserves and protects the earth’s resources. All Möbel Link furniture is made from sustainably grown and harvested, formaldehyde-free, multi-veneer Baltic birch plywood. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has certified the plywood used in Möbel Link furniture as environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable for management of the world’s forests
Founder Alan Kaniarz is known around Detroit as a brilliant craftsperson and an innovator in the world of furniture design. Alan’s furniture can be seen at the Detroit Institute of Arts in the Modern wing. He was also recently chosen to re-create furniture for the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Turkel-Benbow House in Detroit.
The ZagZig chair responds to your movements. Handcrafted in Detroit, and made from sustainably grown and harvested plywood
Made in Detroit: Impeccable Craftsmenship
Made in Detroit the new modern look of American Furniture
Paradigm Gallery wishes all of our readers a New Year of Peace, and good health….cheers!
The beautiful Solvesborg bridge in Sweden
The beautiful Solvesborg bridge in Sweden
Completed in 2013, the Solvesborg Bridge in Sweden is the longest pedestrian bridge in Europe. The bridge consists of a higher part made out of three characteristic vaults and a long wooden bridge for pedestrians. ljusarkitektur has developed a unique lighting scheme to enhance its landmark status. the use of color changing LED fixtures from lumenpulse graze the suspension cables of what is considered Europe’s longest bicycle and pedestrian viaduct.
The team of architectural lighting experts planned the lighting “with respect for the birdlife and is inspired by the migration of the birds during the whole year. In this way the character of the bridge changes over the year and the night. In addition to this there are a number of scenarios to be used for different events in the city.” http://www.ljusarkitektur.com/en/portfolio/solvesborg-bridge/
“The overall design was achieved without impacting on the local wildlife – to limit glare, the firm integrated deep, custom glare shields, which also hide the light sources. influenced by the surrounding fauna and flora, ljusarkitektur pushed the fixtures’ flexibility and controlability to program different color sequences throughout the year. managing to be both dynamic and understated, the glowing, reflective installation has turned the bridge into an attraction in its own right.” http://bit.ly/1hlrDLJ
I close with the words of Louis Kahn who was an architect known for his philosophy of incorporating natural light in his architecture. Indeed this project is LED lighting but the use of light takes it to another level and enhances the architectural grace of the structure and it’s setting.
“I sense a Threshold: Light to Silence, Silence to Light – an ambiance of inspiration, in which the desire to be, to express, crosses with the possible … Light to Silence, Silence to Light crosses in the sanctuary of art.”
Those who cross this bridge may not say these exact words but I am certain they experience “the sanctuary of art” this bridge gifts to the world.
Solvesborg bridge in Sweden
Due to the length of the bridge, at intervals along the way parts of the nature have been accentuated with light, for example trees and reeds are lit.
Solvesborg bridge in Sweden
A winter view of the house in 1971, showing the original insect screening of the porch, and the roller shades added by the owner after the curtains were damaged by flood waters. image via Wikimedia Commons
The Farnsworth House is a 1,500 sq.ft home designed and constructed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe between 1945-51. It is a one-room weekend retreat in a once-rural setting. The design is recognized as a masterpiece of the International Style of architecture and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006, after joining the National Register of Historic Places in 2004. The cost of project was $74,000 in 1951 ($648,000 in 2012 dollars). There was a cost overrun of $15,600 over the approved pre-construction budget of $58,400. This created havoc, lawsuits and counter lawsuits ensued until the courts ordered Dr Farnsworth to pay her bill.
At his inaugural lecture as director of the department in 1938, Mies stated:
“In its simplest form architecture is rooted in entirely functional considerations, but it can reach up through all degrees of value to the highest sphere of spiritual existence into the realm of pure art.”
This sentence summarized what had become Mies van der Rohe’s consistent approach to design: to begin with functional considerations of structure and materials, then to refine the detailing and expression of those materials until they transcended their technical origins to become a pure art of structure and space.
The dominance of a single, geometric form in a pastoral setting, with a complete exclusion of extraneous elements normally associated with habitation, reinforces the architect’s statement about the potential of a building to express “dwelling” in its simplest essence.
As Mies stated on his achievement, “If you view nature through the glass walls of the Farnsworth House, it gains a more profound significance than if viewed from the outside. That way more is said about nature—it becomes part of a larger whole.” Farnsworth House is the essence of simplicity in the purest form, displaying the ever-changing play of nature.
image via farnsworthhouse.org http://www.farnsworthhouse.org/history.htm
Information for this post was obtained from the following resources: Wikipedia http://www.farnsworthhouse.org/history.htm