Um Ponto De Fuga

quinta-feira, 23 de outubro de 2014

Witnessing History - René Burri's career

(...) The photographer René Burri, famous for his architectural photography and his portraits of the twentieth century's greatest creative and political figures, died yesterday at 81. The news was reported by the Magnum Photo agency, where Burri had worked since 1956. "His contribution to Magnum and his unrivalled ability to tell stories and entertain us over this time will be part of his enormous legacy," said Martin Parr, President of Magnum Photos, in a statement. Burri had donated his archives, containing some 30,000 photographs, to the Musée de l'Élysee in Lausanne.
The following article, published in our March 2004 issue, has been edited to reflect Burri's passing.
It would be difficult for young photographers today to recreate the career of René Burri, who came of age in the 1950s—when being a generalist was considered a sign of artistic strength. In a career spanning more than 50 years and several genres, he has covered wars, revolutions, and all manner of political upheaval; shot street scenes of his beloved Paris and other world capitals; and created intimate portraits of some of the twentieth century's most significant figures.
Born in Switzerland in 1933, Burri took his first photograph at age 13; it caught a regal Winston Churchill riding in the back of a limousine. He joined the legendary Magnum photo agency at the age of 26 and soon after became a protegé of Henri Carton-Bresson.Burri also cultivated a lifelong interest in architecture. "In art school I had a professor from the Bauhaus, Hans Finsler," he says. "Finsler instilled in me what he called 'the new essential things' about lines and buildings, and that seeped into my consciousness." The photographer was present at the opening of Ronchamp and later became friends with Le Corbusier, compiling a 1999 book on the master. Burri collaborated with Luis Barragán on a kind of prose-poem book that combined his images with the mystic musings of the architect. His book, René Burri Photographs (Phaidon Press, 2004), brought much of this impressive work into a single volume, creating a memorable portrait of the second half of the twentieth century.

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quarta-feira, 22 de outubro de 2014

Blood Simple

quarta-feira, 15 de outubro de 2014

Artist "Vandalizes" Villa Savoye (Photoshoped)

(...) Delory presents this alternate Villa Savoye with head-on images of its four elevations, confronting viewers with hypothetical vandalism and a mastery of trompe l’oeil Photoshopping. Among the typical aerosol scribblings of signatures and swears, a diving shark and the text of Le Corbusier’s Five Points are also visible. The unnamed vandals have thrown rocks through the windows, leaving some shattered, others boarded up or covered in plastic. Weather, too, has played its role in this fantasy of ruination—large slabs of whitewash have chipped and fallen from the once-pristine facade.
 Overall, Delory’s provocation is an attack on the idolization of architecture. The shock induced by his images is perhaps evidence that the Villa Savoye, as an icon of function and utilitarianism, is now too often treated as a precious object. In fact, the contemporary state of the building—pristine, untouched by the ages—is the result of an extensive reconstruction and restoration process that began in the 1960s. During the Second World War, the house was commandeered first by the German military, which used it as a hay barn, and then by the American army. Both damaged it heavily, and the Villa was in reality far more of a ruin than even Delory’s talented hand could fabricate. (...)

segunda-feira, 6 de outubro de 2014

Apelo à Petição | Pelo Direito à Arquitectura

Qual a diferença entre um Arquiteto e um Engenheiro, passo à destrinça, é a mesma que entre um Psiquiatra e um Psicólogo, o primeiro é terra a terra, prescreve medicamentos, que tem consequência prática no seu bem estar, o segundo, tenta nos convencer, que a dolorosa aprendizagem do cinismo, é a panaceia para os nossos problemas. Se acha cínico, que outros profissionais recebam por fazer projetos de Arquitetura, então assine on-line esta petição... antes medicado do que cínico!

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domingo, 5 de outubro de 2014

Make More than a Banker? Become a Farmer!

Seriously, it's the best job in the 21st century. Down on the farm, incomes are up.
If you want to become rich, Jim Rogers, investment whiz, best-selling author and one of Wall Street's towering personalities, has this advice: Become a farmer. Food prices have been high recently. Some have questioned how long that can continue. Not Rogers. He predicts that farming incomes will rise dramatically in the next few decades, faster than those in most other industries — even Wall Street. The essence of his argument is this: We don't need more bankers. What we need are more farmers. The invisible hand will do its magic. "The world has got a serious food problem," says Rogers. "The only real way to solve it is to draw more people back to agriculture."
 Time Magazine

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sábado, 4 de outubro de 2014

Buckminster Fuller

He demanded you ask yourself “how big can I think?” Meanwhile he was only 5 foot 1, cross-eyed, with one leg shorter than the other, was latterly deaf, and declared himself of “low-average” intelligence.
If we do more with less, our resources are adequate to take care of everybody. All political systems are founded on the premise the opposite is true.’ So began Bucky in his interview with Playboy in 1972. As usual it runs to many pages, but the kernel is right there. So, in telling us that we were running spaceship earth backwards, was he right? (...)
Bucky’s critique of specialisation was not intended to deny our talents as top darts players or pole dancers; blinkered mediocrity is better understood by avaricious bankers, politicians and ambitious academics; the first being a business we should have grown out of, the second a phoney diversion and the third a contradiction in terms. To avoid oblivion man would improve his thinking, abandoning stooge-like religion, treasure, art, culture and much else besides. Sunrise and sunset would be replaced by ‘sunsight’ and ‘suneclipse’ and even ‘up’ and ‘down’ were controversial.
Firmly believing a home was not a house (and perhaps not in homes at all) and with declarations such as: ‘If humans pass their cosmic exam as local Universe problem solvers and continue on the planet in to the twenty-first century, there will be no thoughts whatsoever of earning a living. There will be no thought of, or even such words as business competition, money or lies for such phenomena will be historically extinct’, Bucky became popular with the more adventurous hippies.
However, he was simultaneously wildly unpopular with the more politicised strain, those who saw him as a capitalist provider of military ordinance to Vietnam. Bucky said he had never designed the domes with military purpose in mind, but it certainly helped to pay the bills. (...)
Academics are shy of him. As Leonardo da Vinci crossed with Charles Lindbergh, Bucky attracts enthusiasts, romantic technocrats and children. But at least in a frontier-prone era of burgeoning futurians, Bucky was almost unique in saying that if we took to his synergetics seriously we would not end up mining rocks for food or seeing out our days on Aldebaran II. (...)
The Architectural Review

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quinta-feira, 2 de outubro de 2014

Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, Liberty Place

Project Description:
Liberty Place is not a singular tower form but a rich interplay of three slender architectural forms inspired by the unique qualities of this wonderful Sydney city site. The development unites public, corporate and hospitality architecture into a cohesive environment. It is an amalgamation of five sites comprising of a Premium Grade forty-four storey commercial tower, a penthouse apartment, a heritage-listed building (Legion House) and a three storey office and retail building (167 Castlereagh street). Liberty Place occupies a prominent site in Sydney’s Central Business Districts, with dual frontages to 161 Castlereagh street and 242 Pitt street. Collectively, it is an articulate assemblage of elements (ground plane, street walls, tower elements and landscape). The architectural forms create a dynamic public space and reinvigorates a previously run down mid-city area.
ANZ tower with its distinctive sinuous form and striking glass-walled facade has seamlessly redefined the city skyline. The skyline of Sydney is an integral part of the city’s identity. The tower has become an iconic reference point, with a rooftop feature thats dramatically captures and breaks the light. This layered silvery tower gently turning towards the Harbour and terminating in an arch of louvres, makes a dramatic contribution to this great city skyline.
The commercial tower provides 57,000sqm of Premium Grade NLA with efficient floor plates with access to outstanding views for occupants. ANZ Tower has achieved a 6 Star Green Star Design (Design V2) from the Green Building Council of Australia. Significant energy savings are achieved through the use of efficient light fittings, low temperature VAV air conditioning with perimeter active chilled beam technology. The building also features two gas fired cogeneration units to minimise its carbon footprint.
The base of the tower invites the energy of the city into the development, consisting of a retail and dining precinct, public open spaces, a sunlit plaza and pedestrian lane way connecting Castlereagh Street and Pitt Street. The light-filled pedestrian lane way provides a unique ground plane and entry into the commercial tower.
The Castlereagh street frontage features the heritage-listed building Legion House, originally constructed in 1902 by the YWCA and operated as a women’s hostel and outreach service for 60 years. Legion House is heritage listed and protected due to its social significance. Consideration of the site’s rich history led to the authentic juxtaposition of new and heritage elements.
Restoring and redeveloping Legion House enhanced its overall utility and environmental performance. With a 6-Star Green Star- Office v3 Design rating, the six-storey ‘Autonomous Zero Carbon Life Cycle Building’ generates renewable electricity on site resulting in zero net carbon emissions. Receiving little sun or wind, Legion House receives its energy from a process called biomass gasification. This technology converts biomass (plant sourced) materials to a combustible gas that generates electricity. Whilst traditional gasification plants utilise standard wood chips or briquettes (made from compressed waste sawdust), Legion House can use the commercial paper waste generated from the adjacent office tower through shredding and compressing this waste to form paper briquettes (which can be used in the gasification plant). Essentially, this means Legion House creates its own renewable electricity on site resulting in zero net carbon emissions and is disconnected from the electricity grid with any surplus power created by its independent system (to be supplied to the storey commercial office tower on the site).
Legion House incorporates three retail tenancies to the ground floor, and has been extended with two new office floors and a western extension providing additional office space. The lift and stair case have been located external to the building in an elegantly detailed, curved glass enclosure to minimise the heritage impact while creating visual interest and a new laneway entry.
In addition to energy efficiency, Legion House has been designed to be water balanced. This means that in a year of typical Sydney rainfall, all the amenity and operational water needs of the building will be met through rain captured on the roof. This is achieved through the use of advanced water conservation technology, high efficiency fixtures, vacuum toilets and the use of high quality rainwater recycling.
Collectively, Liberty Place is not only celebrates the public domain, but embodies significant architectural and environmental innovation. The development successfully balances urbanism, heritage and sustainability considerations with commercial requirements to create a rich and considered architectural expression.
® Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp

World Architecture Festival

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