New from the prolific FUEL Publishing, Brutalist Italy is a photographic tour of the monumental concrete churches, apartment towers,…
Paimio Sanatorium, located among the pine forests of southwestern Finland, is both a modernist marvel and a leading example of human-centered architecture. Completed in 1933, and based on a contest-winning design by the young husband-and-wife team of Alvar and Aino Aalto, the building was designed from the ground up as a place of healing, rest, and tranquility.
Set among the pine forests east of Paimio, a small town about thirty kilometers east of Turku, the building is surrounded by green space on all sides…
Like the earliest examples of books and film, the earliest computer games were defined by the limits of their technology. Games such as Tennis for Two (eventually re-envisioned as Pong) and Spacewar! used monochrome sprites that could be modulated via console-style controls; when graphics had to make the jump to home-based consoles, they became blocky and pixelated, recognizable only by the game’s title and box art.
Les Choux de Créteil (“The Cabbages of Créteil”) is a grouping of fifteen of housing towers in the Paris suburb of Créteil. The buildings, designed by architect Gérard Grandval, were completed in 1974, and remain fully occupied. In recent years, approximately 25% of the project’s overall rooms have been reallocated as student housing.
FOR STUDENTS AND aficionados of architecture, Hong Kong offers a dizzying array of building types, with starkly different styles juxtaposed side-by-side or even within single buildings. While such diversity of architectural typologies is not surprising given Hong Kong’s unique history of competing influences, it is nonetheless unique among world cities in the sheer magnitude at which it has attempted to scale its building projects to an ever-growing population. With the largest of the city’s ubiquitous residential towers housing in excess of 10,000 people, and combined multitower estates holding hundreds of thousands in all, there are few other cities in the world that can match it in terms of sheer verticality and density.
AS THE CURRENT century plays out and the need for sustainability in architecture becomes more urgent, it is increasingly important to take the full life cycles of buildings into account. It is not enough for a building’s post-construction existence to meet base levels of energy efficiency; the materials and processes used to build it, as well as the source of those materials, must be sustainable as well. As resources go, wood is unrivaled its potential to either dramatically raise or drastically lower the carbon footprint of buildings, both before and after they are completed.
Now open at Berlin’s Kunstgewerbemuseum, Retrotopia: Design for Socialist Spaces is “a collaborative exhibition project that looks at the role and influence of design in the countries of the former Eastern Bloc and former Yugoslavia between the 1950s and the 1980s.” The exhibit features photographs, objects, and recreations of designed spaces from throughout the Soviet bloc, and includes many designs that never made it past the concepting and drafting phases.
HR Giger (1940–2014) is best known for the nightmarish creatures and environments of 1979’s Alien, and more broadly for his transgressive (yet deeply stylized and stylish) paintings on broadly “biomechanical” themes. Much of Giger’s work, which in addition to the paintings and drawings for which he was best known included sculpture, industrial art, and even furniture, was created in his Zurich home studio, which he transformed over the decades into a real-world embodiment of his aesthetic.