De Rotterdam by OMA

De Rotterdam (Photo © Ossip van Duivenbode from OMA site)

Key Information

  • Name: De Rotterdam
  • Location: Rotterdam
  • Architect: OMA
  • Year: 2009-20113
  • Cost: approx €340 million Euros
  • Program: Mixed use

Introduction

Rem Koolhaas is The Netherlands most influential Architect and he built a Skyscraper in Rotterdam, the biggest building in the nation. It’s a compelling matchup of Architect, program and city.

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In Praise of Shadows by Junichiro Tanizak

In Prasie of Shadows by Junichiro Tanizak (translated by Thomas J. Harper and Edward G. Seidensticker)

Review

A beautiful book about Japanese aesthetics and the love of perception in the shadows at the edge of darkness.

This book is short and sweet and at well under eighty pages it flits between more weighty subjects of Shadows, Color and Architecture with seemingly more trivial ones, Japanese toilets, paper, wiring Japanese homes among the many.

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E.1027: What Happens in E.1027 Stays in E.1027

Introduction

E.1027 is small modernist house on the French Riviera that after many years of neglect has been restored and opened to the public. Two things make this building special, first it is a wonderful and early example of a modernist house and secondly its story illustrates the tension between integrity and reputation and what this can lead to.

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The Thinking Hand Existential and Embodied Wisdom in Architecture by Juhani Pallasmaa

Introduction

This book reads as a follow on from the book The Eyes of The Skin by the same author. While The Eyes of the Skin is a beautiful text on the importance of the other senses, apart from touch, on design The Thinking Hand expands this observation and builds around the same themes to provide an overall theory of design practice and thinking emanating from the human body and all the senses.

Every chapter pretty much could stand on its own having their origins in separate essays. Each has its own closely argued references all given at the end of the chapter so although the writing is dense the argument is clear and it is fairly easy to go one chapter at a time.

I have enclosed the notes I took on each Chapter as I want to give a fairly detailed overview of the arguments presented. I hope this gives a good feeling for the style and substance of the arguments in the book. Then I will offer an overall conclusion. But in short I highly recommend this book and think it offers the design student much to ponder.

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101 Things I Learned in Architecture School by Matthew Frederick

101 Things I learned in Architecture School by Matthew Frederick

A friend loaned this book to me and before I handed it back, long overdue, I thought I’d write a few things about it. 

I read it through once at the beginning of my loan, then again many times just dipping in now and again when the book happened to appear on my radar as it did from time to time. This is how the book is really meant I feel as a small handbook of inspiration not as a read through.

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Underground Helsinki and Underground Urbanism

Map of Central Helsinki Early 1900’s (Map: Wikipedia)

Although a country with few people and plenty of space, Finland’s capitol city Helsinki being located on a peninsula finds itself constantly constrained for space by the sea. Luckily the city sits above bedrock which is deep and which frequently punctures the ground. So Helsinki has increasingly used its bedrock to tunnel into and create an underground city. Now with over 400 documented underground facilities and 200 more planned, Subterranean Helsinki is probably one of the largest and most comprehensive underground city systems in the world for its size.

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How To Remote Work For Architects

Working from Home  - The dream
Working From Home – The Dream

So our office in Helsinki started working remotely thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic around the week of March 16-19th (week 12). Most of us haven’t done this before and there are some things worth bearing in mind for remote working generally and in particular for Architects and designers. I decided to try to collect some tips for working from home for Architects.

After about twenty years out of Architecture School and never being in an office that was very receptive of remote working, in the space of a week most of us moved over to it. The Pandemic meant that people became increasingly worried about working in our open plan office and it wasn’t clear whether the government would in fact mandate office closures.

Either way by the end of that week we started preparing and were all able to work from home by the middle of the next week.

I have collated some tips and good advice along with my own insights after the first month of working from home.

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Serpentine Sackler Gallery Extension and Zaha Hadid

My Introduction to Zaha Hadid

One of the first really exciting moments in my Architectural eduction was when I went to the Architecture Winter School of 1990 in Edinburgh around the New Year where lots of Architecture students from all over the UK had gathered to do workshops and hear lectures from the great and the good. I had only been an Architecture student for a couple of months and it was a formative experience.

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Fast Architecture

Wuhan Huoshenshan Hospital under construction. Source Wikipedia

A couple of things recently came up on my radar that coincided and that I thought I would write about.

Firstly was a list made by Patrick Collison called fast which is about projects which were made quickly enough to appear anomalous and impressive. This hyperlinked list is really nice and I have already spent some time clicking through and reading.

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