JUL

Steel stencils for light: Wintergarden façade, Brisbane, Australia by Studio 505.

An entrance facade.

Photos: John Gollings.

In the heart of Brisbane is a black box shopping centre that has three façades poking between other buildings that help to contain it on its site. Together they help to form the surrounding streets and square. Studio 505 were given the age old conundrum of how to distinguish what can sometimes be a graceless shed with a façade that makes a worthwhile contribution to the street and the city. Each façade must also advertise the existence of the shopping emporium behind it.

The result is a rich and beautiful garden scene that takes as its references nature and the richness of life itself, with layering and the expression of geometry. Thankfully, Studio 505 made no attempt to resolve the inherent contradictions within the ideas nor did they attempt to illustrate a story, but rather they allowed the richness of ideas to exist as separate layers that can be interpreted or perceived in whatever way pleases the viewer. The visual complexity that results is beguiling. The façade itself has a delicate and elegant feel.

What really interprets and reveals the façade is the play of light and shadow. During the day the sun plays with the scene animating it. At night, a sophisticated lighting system can suggest sunny, rainy or snowy days – pure entertainment! It is difficult to say if the touch of Vegas is detrimental to the concept or is an essential part of it. In the spirit of the façade, let us leave the viewer to decide.

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JUL

Multi-storey multiplex: Parking Housing by Aaron Cheng.

View in parking mode.

Images: Aaron Cheng curtsey of the James Dyson Award.

Time multiplexing is a term usually used by electronic engineers to describe the sharing of a finite resource such as bandwidth with as many users as possible. The need to time multiplex has crept into architecture during the process of industrialisation, but more widely so in the twentieth century when buildings became increasingly specialized.

In this project by Aaron Cheng which is under consideration for the James Dyson Awards, the problem is expressed as parking buildings versus living space. But it could also be expressed in other formulas such as office space versus living space. Read more

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JUL

The taste of talent: Edna by Anthony Hartley.

Three drawer chestOn the subject of furniture as art, I promised last week to take another look at the work of Anthony Hartley who is a talented designer and maker of furniture with an irreverence for tradition. Edna, the enigmatic name of the range featured here, is as surprising and tantalizing as a strange but beautiful cake created by a master in the art. It looks good enough to eat. Read more

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JUL

Children’s bent metal rocking chairs

Imagine breakfast time: They are under starter’s orders, toast ready, and they are off! Red pulls into the lead with yellow on his tail, orange is close behind followed by blue…

There is a real chance that breakfast times could be chaotic given sufficient children each riding a Blooey rocking chair. But that is an adult talking… Read more

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JUL

Timber summer house

Eeternal elevation

Photos: Martin White: www.pool2b.net

Clad externally in Larch, or as it used to be known in the UK matchwood, this summerhouse in Burgenland is the archetypical rural idyll for a person of sophisticated, minimal taste. It was designed by Judith Benzer Architecture of Vienna. Read more

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