Tag Archives: architecture

“I once wrote a poem about the curve. The curve 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.”
Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, who designed some of the 20th Century’s most famous modernist buildings, has died just before his 105th birthday.
He rose to international fame as the architect of the main government buildings in the futuristic Brazilian capital, Brasilia, inaugurated in 1960.
He died on Wednesday at a hospital in Rio de Janeiro.

Oscar Niemeyer started his career in the 1930s, when Brazil was still copying neoclassical European architecture and designing ornate palace-like buildings. Niemeyer said his stylised swoops were inspired by Brazilian women’s curves. His bold futuristic designs in Brasilia made the new capital a dramatic statement of confidence in the future of Brazil, and an icon of modern architecture. A student of Le Corbusier, he developed a distinctive style defined by stark concrete and sweeping curves.
“When you have a large space to conquer, the curve is the natural solution,” he said.

In 1988, he was awarded the prestigious Pritzker Prize.

Niemeyer went on to create more than 600 buildings around the world. His legacy endures in museums, monuments, schools and churches in Brazil and beyond.

via BBC News

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On Tuesday I went to this beautiful exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum about the English Design Studio Heatherwick Studio. Maybe you don’t know who is Thomas Heatherwick but I’m sure you will know his work. Did you watch the Olympic Opening Ceremony? Did you like the Olympic Flame Cauldron? Well, he designed that.
This English designer shows that through a combination of imagination and materials any dream can come true.
The exhibition is amazing, with some real ‘mouth hanging open’ moments. Not only because you realise that almost everything there was comissioned, so it really happened, but also because of how he has pushed industrial design to the limit.
Objects like the Spun Chair, which is real fun or the zip bag comissioned by LongChamp, were real hits. They designed buses, newsagents, boats, bridges, as well as staircases in Paris in the LongChamp Store which look like a long ribbon. Beautiful buildings in China that come straight out of a cartoon world, a desert installation over a park to celebrate the idea of the desert in Abu Dabhi and coffee shops in Littlehampton on the South Coast of Britain (I’ve seen this one, its fantastic).
If you are in London and you work in design is a MUST see this, if you don’t work in design, go anyway, its so worth it. It is on until September 30th.

photos: Heatherwick Studio website

Isabella Stewart Gardner was a very interesting person.
She loved travelling and loved art. She was an art collector and a philanthropist.
She began to collect art in 1890, bringing art to America from the Middle East, Central Europe, Paris, Egypt, America, and Asia.
She rapidly built a world-class collection primarily of paintings and statues, as well as tapestries, photographs, silver, ceramics and manuscripts, and architectural elements such as doors, stained glass, and mantelpieces. The Gardner collection includes work by some of Europe’s most important artists, such as Botticelli’s Madonna and Child with an Angel, Titian’s Europa, and Raphael’s The Colonna Altarpiece, and Diego Velázquez.
Her favourite destination was Venice, Italy and I don’t blame her for that.
Eccentric, weird for her time, she had exquisite artist friends as John Singer Sargent, Henry James, Okakura Kakuzo, Francis Marion Crawford, to mention just a few.
After her husband’s death, she hired architect Willard T. Sears to build a museum modeled on the Renaissance Palazzo Barbaro of Venice. After the construction she placed every object of her collection according to her personal taste. The eclectic gallery installations, paintings, sculpture, textiles, and furniture from different periods and cultures combine to create a rich, complex and unique narrative.

The museum opened in 1903 with a big opening which included a performance by the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
After she died in 1919, she left $1 million to support the museum, along with strict orders not to touch how the house was left after she died. The house remains like that.

The new addition to the Gardner Museum remains welcoming, the expansion space adds a touch of colour and magnifies the initial idea of Gardner of celebrate international music, art and food!

So if you visit Boston, this is one museum that you must see, its extraordinary.

On Saturday, before going to the theatre I went to see the Bauhaus exhibition in the Barbican Gallery. The number of originals that they have there is amazing, more than 400 originals ion display. I saw one exhibition in Buenos Aires about Bauhaus, but this one is much more complete.
According to the head of the gallery, this is the largest UK Bauhaus exhibition since that of the Royal Academy in 1967, and the first ever to collaborate with all three Bauhaus centres in Germany – Weimar, Dessau, and Berlin – which has only become possible since the reunification of 1990.

Bauhaus was a German School of Design that opened in Weimar in 1918 and was closed under the Nazi Regime Government in 1933. It had 3 directors with different points of view, the first one was Walter Gropius, the second one was Meyer, and the third one Mies van der Rohe. If you study Art, Design or arquitecture, there is no way you don’t know about the work of this school.

Based on geometry and simple lines, the idea of mass production, in the aftermath of Germany the First World War, was a number one priority for the members of this school, in order to help get Germany on it’s feet again.
If you look at these objects with ‘2012’ eyes, the objects still appear so modern and have influenced so much of what you find in the market today.

It is fantastic that they included in the exhibition several examples of the Preliminary Course directed by Itten so you can see the his expressionist influence, even though it didn’t marry with the spirit that Gropius envisaged for the school. And you can see that in the objects – they were impossible to reproduce.

Catalogues, prints of Albers, typography studies, furniture, photography of Moholy-Nagy, puppets made by Paul Klee for his son, wall hanging textiles of Gunta Stölzl, Bayer´s poster for Kandinsky 60th birthday, teapots of Marianne Brandt, lamps of Wilhelm Wagenfeld. Everything I´ve been studying for years and years, finally I have it in front of my eyes in the same room. It was like a dream come true.

This exhibition will be on until August 12th at the Barbican Gallery, London.

I was watching “Grand Designs” last night and I was fascinated by this story. Alan Dawson is an architect who invented a revolutionary method of building a house. He made his house in different pieces and then assembled all the pieces together, a bit like Lego. First he built the base out of metal in his warehouse and then he takes it to site and installs it. After that, he puts in the panels that will construct the house. But wait, the most interesting bit is that each piece already contains wiring, carpet, plumbing, electricity and it is already painted! So he set himself the challenge of building this gorgeous house in Cumbria in 4 months, and he only took 20 days to assemble the WHOLE house. It is absolutely impressive. The house has a lift and stairs in the middle of the house, both in metal, that give an impressive column in the middle of the living room. The best bit is when they put the wall with the windows already in and they didn´t break any! Unbelievable.

I bow down to this guy. This design system is revolutionary and is very adaptable for places where tsunamis and tornados can devastate a city and you have a rebuild a house very quickly. If I had the money, I would definitely hire Alan.

This is the website of Adaptahaus, his company

And here, if you are in England, you can see the episode of Grand Designs where they show how they built this impressive house.

If you are a fan of Klimt try to go to Vienna this year. There will be many celebrations for his 150th birthday.

The Vienna Secession played a central role in the develpment of Modernism in Europe. For them, all arts were important. Each exhibition was “a total work of art” as Wagner described. Palas Atenea, as their protector, is a symbol of how the classic influence remains in their designs. Ver Sacrum (sacred spring) was a religious practise of Ancient Roman religion, and that was the name that they choose for their magazine.
Gold and ornaments were two very important elements that you can see in their work in many ways.

The Vienna Secession was founded in 1897 by artists Gustav Klimt, Koloman Moser, Josef Hoffmann, Joseph Maria Olbrich, Max Kurzweil, and others.

This summer will be amazing, I will be visiting 5 fabulous cities for my holidays. Vienna is one of them. I can’t wait to see the magnificent building that Olbrich designed for them to house Klimt’s work for the Ninth Symphony of Beethoven. Actually, the 14th Secession exhibition was designed by Josef Hoffmann was dedicated to Ludwig van Beethoven. This work is still preserved and you can see the Beethoven’s frieze in this building. Gustave Mahler’s contribution involved his own interpretation of Beethoven’s work.

There is a house in Brussels, Belgium, called the “the Stoclet House¨ which is the perfect example of the multidisciplinary talent of this group. Unfortunately, it is subject to a legal battle, so is not open to the public. This house was commissioned by Adolphe Stoclet and it is the perfect example of the elegance and magnificence of the Viennese Secession. Everything that is inside is designed by them.

Klimt was one of the members of the secession, well known for his most famous painting “The Kiss” at the Vienna Belvedere, almost all his artwork speaks of erotism and passion. His paintings are very well known as is his laborous work of details and ornament, but his sketches are also wonderful. He made the most exquisite life drawings which are deinfitely worth seeing. He never married or committed to any woman, which is funny to think as his artworks are mostly of female figures, and many of them were his lovers.

These are the exhibitions that will be on this summer.

Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Arts)
Exhibition: “Gustav Klimt at the Kunsthistorisches Museum”
14 February to 6 May 2012. for more info here

Wien Museum
Exhibition: “KLIMT – The Collection of the Wien Museum”
16 May to 16 September 2012. For more info here

For more information of the Secession Building and exhibitions here, click here