A Painting Reflection

Klimt painted the mural for the XIVth exhibition of the Association of Visual Artists Vienna Seccession in 1902 devoted to works focussing on Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Originally placed in the left aisle of the exhibition, the 34m long mural was meant to be a temporary installation however it was carefully removed after the exhibiiton and reinstated on permanent display in 1983.

It represents Wagners interpretation of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, namely thus: The Yearning for Happiness, The Suffering of Weak Humanity, The Knight, who driven by Ambition and Compassion takes on the fight for Happiness (YEAH!), The Hostile Forces of Typhoeus (the horrific baboon with mother of pearl eyes), who is surrounded by his daughters – the three Gorgons – as well as Sickness, Madness, Death, Lasciviousness, Wantonness, Intemperance and Gnawing Grief. Quiet the baddass posse ol’ Typhoseus had. After the maelstrom of the insane baboon and his cohorts, the frieze returns back to more pleasant territory with Happiness finding solace in Poetry depicted here playing the lyre. Then there is the void followed by the Arts where true happiness is found and you get to see a couple making out. Get a room, kids.

Upcoming event

The studio is happening again SOON. Last year in the studio, run through the University, students worked on projects that explored the industrial ruins of the site, the topography of the already tunneled, chiseled and warped landscape, and constructed a stunning installation in the turbine hall.

Kickstarting the event will be a symposium at Sydney University on Monday July 16th and will tackle everyone’s favorite myth, that of the “Industrial Landscape”. Indeed these are my favorite kinds of myths and I am sure yours too so make sure you get in early!

The day is will take place on Popoli Island. If you have never been out to Popoli Island, this is a fantastic opportunity to rummage among the abandoned industrial radness as well as seeing some interesting student work and to have a few beers in the setting sun.

Hip Hop Modern Architecture

And I thought the swamp donkey was hardcore. Boy was I wrong:

Check out Swiss hip-hop crew,getting massive in this youtube video of their track’.

The baths are already a rather primal place – the mass of the stone dug into the side of a mountain, the silver coiffured ladies wading in steaming pools, black leather curtains and fourteen different types of muesli at the buffet. However add a hip-hop posse all clad in white, some super mystical monks in red, a medieval knight (dude! don’t go in the flower pool! You’ll rust/drown!) and ancient mask held aloft and all of sudden things get are bound to get a whole lot heavier.

I do wonder how this crew/posse managed to sweet talk Mrs and her fellow directors into allowing them to film their epic masterpiece of wordcraft in the baths. As anyone who has ever visited the baths would know it is difficult enough to smuggle in a digital camera let alone a suit of armour. An accordion, maybe. Suit of armour? No.

New Idea New Event

Following on from last years successful in the Tulum carpark,
RACH is starting a regular night in Sydney.

“Whoa, Nellie, Hold on. What’s this about?”

Is a slidenight each presenter has 20 slides to present and 20 seconds to talk about each image. Quickfire presentations for the ADD generation. In addition to this, the night is open to anyone with something interesting to show, just fill out the form, send it back to me and off you go.

This will be held on the last thursday of every second month in the Commercial marketing Association. You know, under mushroom on Martin – in the bar that time forgot. No? Well, go to the base of the mushroom, in through the glass door and down the lift to Level 2. We’ll see you there.

Spaces will be limited to 20 presenters and the spots will be filled in a first in, best dressed manner. SO BE QUICK. If you are running late and there are spaces available, bring your files in on the night – no later than 6:45 and we will throw them in. Or if you just want to turn up and watch the show, come along at 7pm.

Architects websites often overlooked?

We are, I hope all familiar with The Prize. It is architecture’s richest prize and I guess as result, considered its most prestigious. It is awarded each year by the Foundation to an architect with a substantial body of consistently high quality work that upholds the highest values of design.

As such it seems a little strange that the official website so utterly, terribly, eye-puncturingly, horrifically designed? Don’t believe me? Let us have a look:

Click – Enter – to enter.

Awesome. Frames. So retro.
In order for you to gain a full appreciation of the site I have taken the liberty to point out a few of the more subtle features:.

A quick look at the source code reveals that the site was made in Microsoft Frontpage, which begs the question – With a prize for US$100,000.00 given out each year why not spend a couple of bucks to get someone to design something that even remotely does justice to the work of the architects being awarded?

Jesus Vassallo Crumpled Tower Project

From a source comes this crumpled, faceted tower project by GSD student Jesus Vassallo:

“The 15 story-high tower is built as a continuous in situ concrete shell, wrapped in a ventilated polycarbonate façade. Some of the facets are replaced by glazing where it is necessary to provide light to the units. The building touches the ground in three points that become the accesses, housing the elevator, staircase and mechanical shafts. When these three hollow pillars come together, a large space is generated, providing a lobby and space of social relationship for the inhabitants.”

It is a somewhat geological tower; a stretched mineral.

The compression of scale at the lower levels, its apparently small footprint, the system of placing openings and the gently undulating roof present a series of subtle moves within the immediate gesture of the faceted concrete tube.

Although, I have to say, cladding anything in polycarbonate never did anyone any favors. The beauty of the model in these photos comes from sheer planar character and the subdivision of those planes into standard polycarbonate sheet sizes and their sub-structure would render the tower a very different beast indeed.

We Lost

The finalists have been announced for the Harbour Competition. This ain’t one of them.

My entry presented an urban strategy rather than an architectural solution. It acknowledged the significance of the site through a singular urban intervention.

The proposal was to cut a new fingerwharf out of the site creating a public park 50% larger than the brief called for. Buildings were placed along the edges of these waterways at a consistent height that matched the height of the adjacent sandstone cutting.

Sydney is a contained city – the CBD is held in place along its edges by the harbour, its parks and arterial roads. It is not a gridded city, it has edges and this scheme builds on this urban morphology.

Determined destruction

The Zip Feed Mill in Sioux Falls was scheduled for implosion the other day, but instead came off as an unintended Pisa. The footage is quite wonderful, the building lurching to the side, collapsing just a bit and then stubbornly staying put.

It seems that the whole thing was doomed from the start:

“One of the few people not smiling was Jim Redyke, who supervised the explosion for Dykon Explosive Demolition of Tulsa.

He said there was nothing that could have been done to prevent the non-collapse; the concrete was apparently too old to maintain its integrity after the blast. Old concrete structures like the tower are “the toughest structures there are” to demolish with explosives, he said.”

There was nothing to be done to prevent the non-collapse… Well, what were you doing tying to implode it then?

Anyway, I like this non-collapse stuff. It could be a whole new field of engineering – Non-Collapse Prevention! Preventing your buildings from maintaining their structural integrity. They have their work cut out for them though – there are thousands (more!) of buildings around the place that are constantly not collapsing. If these people are serious about their Non-Collapse Prevention campaign, then

Meanwhile, down south, a couple of months ago some more Non-Collapse was prevented when the footings were blown out of an apartment building in Artarmon, Sydney. You see, Sydney at the moment has gone a bit tunnel mad. We can’t get enough of them. The cross city tunnel has been completed and nobody is using it, due in part to the mysterious, complex mathematics involved in determining the toll required to enter coupled with the fact that the citizens of Sydney feel it is their duty to punish the State Government for screwing up the cities roads in an attempt to funnel traffic into their cashcow while making the CBD impossible to navigate. But this is a different story for another time… right now the mole men are tunneling under Artarmon and Lane Cove to free up the congestion that hits Lane Cove between the M2 and the Gore Hill Freeway.

However they made an eency wittle mistake one day and a little bit of the tunnel collapsed and brought down a corner of the apartment building above with it. oops.

Looking at the apartment building in question, a red-brick three storey walkup, it is probably the best thing that has ever happened to the owners – rescued from mediocre housing by a giant tunneling worm.