Archive for November, 2018

Exhibitions | Building on 3D Lettering

Friday, November 23rd, 2018

Terracotta lettering
facade, for Hackney
Empire Theatre, London,
UK, by Tim Ronalds
Architects
with Richard
Ho
llis
, 2004

© Hélène Binet



3D Lettering on Buildings
Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Zürich | Switzerland
7 December 2018 > 14 April 2019



Superbüro’s oak
floor number for the
new building at
Neue Volksschule
Brünnen, Bern-West,
Switzerland, by Ernst
Gerber Architekten

and Urech Architekten,
2015 > 2016

© Superbüro



This is how a random bunch of international, commercial businesses enthusiastically advertise the attractions of 3D signage on buildings:

‘3D letters give building signs depth and impact… A 3D lettering sign gives a building a sense of permanence… 3D signage catches the eye by standing out… 3D signs are a great way to add depth and texture to your signage… 3D lettering and 3D logos add an element of sophistication and individuality to your business… If you’d like your 3D signage to stand out, even more, we offer face-lit and reverse-lit lighting options… 3D building signs are a fantastic and great-looking way to brand your building… 3D signs provide that extra visual connection with a building’s occupants… 3D signage can help your business stand out from the crowd… 3D signs give a professional and high-class look… 3D signs can be static or illuminated to help create a modern professional look for your building, reception area or store… 3D signage looks great on monument signs or also on a building… Our eye-catching 3D building lettering will guarantee your signage and brand stands out from the crowd… 3D signs are ideal for commercial building signage, as attention-grabbing retail signs or for creating a strong brand identity in your office reception signage…’

In contrast, the dead-pan title of the forthcoming show, 3D Lettering on Buildings, may sound uninspiring. However, the Swiss are masters of the understatement; what at first sight appear to be low-key exhibitions turn out to be – much like the subject matter of this one – hugely impactful as well as fascinating and informative.

Lochergut, illuminated
lettering sculpture
by Olaf Nicolai on
the Grand Café
Lochergut building,
Zürich, Switzerland,
2006, (modified, 2016),
by Pool Architekten

© Marcel Meury



Detail of Vai com
Deus
(sayings about
God) in applied
relief for a chapel
converted into a gallery
in Lisbon, Portugal,
by R2 Design, 2008

© R2 Design



Detail of biogas
station facade panels
made of Nabasco, in
Dinteloord, Netherlands,
by Studio Marco
Vermeulen
, 2013

© Ronald Tilleman



Although the title gives no clue, the 24 international examples included – all produced during the past twenty years – relate to specific architecture and its surroundings, and are the result of architects and artists, working together in interdisciplinary teams to create bespoke 3D lettering for buildings. For example, Beat Keusch Visuelle Kommunikation collaborated with architects Herzog & de Meuron on signage for Basel’s REHAB Centre for Spinal Cord and Brain Injuries. Respected British designer, teacher and author Richard Hollis worked closely with Tim Ronalds Architects, who undertook the restoration of the Hackney Empire in London, devising giant terracotta letters for its façade. Meanwhile, Pool Architekten asked the German conceptual artist, Olaf Nicolai, to construct a unique 3D light sculpture for the Grand Café Lochergut building in Zürich.

Facade lettering by
Beat Keusch Visuelle
Kommunikation
,
on the new REHAB
building, Basel,
Switzerland, by Herzog
& de Meuron
, 2007

© BKVK



While acknowledging the obvious fact that 3D signage, in the form of recessed inscriptions and bronze letters has been around since ancient times, the exhibition’s organisers demonstrate that new production techniques such as 3D printing and 3D milling, as well as new ways of using conventional processes and materials, are being combined and experimented with to produce signage that fulfils all of the promises made by the commercial businesses, above, with a more thoughtful approach that is pushing hard against creative boundaries.

As well as architectural photographs, some of which we show here, 3D Lettering on Buildings at the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich features a range of scale models, prototypes, documents and films illustrating the creative, manufacturing and installation process.

Photos courtesy Museum für Gestaltung Zürich


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The Blog is about art, architecture, books, design, gardens and anything else that currently interests us that we think might interest you

The Blog’s publishers insist that all images supplied for publication in our posts are cleared for that use before being made available to us. Whether pictures are sent to us as email attachments or made available as downloadable files, any responsibility for fees that may, under any circumstances whatsoever, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier

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Books | Rainy Days in Glass Houses

Friday, November 9th, 2018

Shinjuku Gyoen
National Garden
Greenhouse
,
Tokyo, Japan



Glasshouse
Greenhouse

India Hobson +
Magnus Edmondson
of Haarkon

Pavilion Books
224pp hardback.
October 2018



Royal Botanic
Gardens, Kew
,

London, UK



‘It usually rains wherever we go,’ British photography duo, Magnus Edmondson and India Hobson tell us in the introduction to their book, ‘[it] makes us thankful we chose a project about inside gardens of the world.’

What they refer to as their ‘Greenhouse Tour’ began at the University of Oxford Botanic Garden, where they became smitten by ‘the idea that someone would construct an entire building with the purpose of housing plant life.’ It would take them to distant locations such as Singapore, California’s Palm Springs, Adelaide in Australia and Tokyo in Japan; they travelled to Germany, Denmark and The Netherlands, and many other UK destinations, including Edinburgh, London and Cornwall and, not least, to a DIY allotment greenhouse in their home town.

Private Cacti
Collection, North
Yorkshire, UK



Royal Botanic
Garden,
Edinburgh
, UK



This is a nice, accessible book; it’s well-produced; the layout is clean and unfussy; the text is easy and accessible; the photography is well-composed and consistent. It’s clear that the authors, who are architecture and design fans, and plant enthusiasts – as opposed to plant experts – derive great pleasure from their obsession with glasshouses. Plants and architecture, however, are brought to life by light – it gives them form, it flatters them, bringing out their best features. In the majority of the many pictures included, sunlight scarcely penetrates the verdant interiors from where blue skies are rarely glimpsed through the intricate and ingeniously-designed glass roofs that protect them.

Exotic plants and
waterfall, Cloud
Forest at Gardens by
the Bay
, Singapore



Edmondson and Hobson, who go by the joint name Haarkon, are based in Sheffield, a city renowned for its annual rainfall of 747mm. It’s unfortunate that their overcast weather went on tour with them.

All photos by Haarkon, courtesy Pavilion Books, from Glasshouse Greenhouse by India Hobson and Magnus Edmondson


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The Blog’s publishers insist that all images supplied for publication in our posts are cleared for that use before being made available to us. Whether pictures are sent to us as email attachments or made available as downloadable files, any responsibility for fees that may, under any circumstances whatsoever, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier

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Architecture | Sky-High with Street Credibilty

Thursday, November 1st, 2018

MahaNakhon,
Bangkok, Thailand,
Büro Ole Scheeren +
OMA

Photo Hufton + Crow



Best Highrises 2018/19
The International
Highrise Award 2018

Deutsches
Architekturmuseum
Frankfurt | Germany
3 November 2018 >
3 March 2019



Beirut Terraces,
Beirut, Lebanon,
Herzog & de Meuron
Photo Iwan Baan



Aside from the obvious symbolism of its subject matter, this is a very sexy competition. A fact that was, presumably, not lost on The City of Frankfurt which initiated it in 2003. The International Highrise Award, now considered the world’s most important architecture prize for high-rises, was guaranteed to establish Frankfurt as a centre for architectural innovation and to draw global attention to the city, which continues to host the event.

Oasia Hotel
Downtown, Singapore,

WOHA
Photo K Kopter



But why Frankfurt? Due to the historical value of their existing buildings many other European cities, have rejected skyscraper construction. Frankfurt’s inner city area, however, was destroyed by Allied bombing during World War II and only a small number of its landmarks were rebuilt, which left ample room for modern high-rises that would stand as monuments to reconstruction. Outside Germany, Frankfurt is simply called Frankfurt; in German-speaking countries the city is given its full name Frankfurt am Mein (Frankfurt on the Mein river), and sometimes referred to as ‘Mainhattan’ – a reference to its impressive high rises and skyscrapers that began to appear in the 1960s and where architect Coop Himmelblau’s European Central Bank (2015) is situated. The intervening years saw hundreds of high-rises erected in the city, however, the Commerzbank Tower, at 259 metres, built in 1997, is destined for the moment at least to remain the tallest.


2 views of

Torre Reforma,
Mexico City, Mexico,
L Benjamín
Romano

Winner of The International
Highrise Award 2018

Photo (top) Iwan Baan.
Photo (above)
Alfonso Merchand



Although extremely high, landmark buildings continue to go up around the world, especially in China, which now has 30 of the world’s tallest, the criteria on which their design is based has somewhat altered. Hybrid usage is on the rise, while single-use buildings are becoming rare. One trend emerging in Southeast Asia and China involves grouping individual structures together in ensembles, which is creating developments that define their surrounding areas and even whole districts. While extraordinary aesthetics and trailblazing design have not lost their attraction, this year’s IHA competition has placed greater emphasis on functionality, innovative building technology, sustainability, cost-effectiveness and how high-rises contribute to the urban fabric and encourage street-life.

Chaoyang Park
Plaza, Beijing, China,
MAD Architects

Photo Hufton + Crow



Organised jointly with the Deutsches Architekturmuseum and DekaBank, both also based in Frankfurt, aimed at architects and developers whose buildings are at least 100 metres high, the biennial competition is judged by a panel of prominent architects, structural engineers, real-estate experts and architecture critics from across the globe.

Best Highrises 2018/19 at (DAM) Deutsches Architekturmuseum, focuses on the main prize-winner and five finalists, (all shown here), but presents all 36 nominated structures.

All images courtesy DAM


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The Blog is about art, architecture, books, design, gardens and anything else that currently interests us that we think might interest you

The Blog’s publishers insist that all images supplied for publication in our posts are cleared for that use before being made available to us. Whether pictures are sent to us as email attachments or made available as downloadable files, any responsibility for fees that may, under any circumstances whatsoever, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier

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