February 17, 2012

Pruitt Igoe

Built is At. Louis in the 1950's it is an example of modernism testing its theories of affordable housing. The Pruitt Igoe encompassed 2870 apartments with space for over 10,000 residences. This housing development brought together people fallen on hard times. Without parks, retail, or mixed use buildings, the area became inundated with crime and violence until its destruction in 1972.

They also have an ongoing design and Ideas competition http://www.pruittigoenow.org/.

Additional Sources:
Pruitt Igoe Myth

February 15, 2012

Building 8 in Copenhagen Denmark by BIG

I was taken by this. It also looks like your living in a dream! It must be fantastic to have accessibility to public transportation and have amenities so close to home. This fantastic building was designed and built by BIG (Bjark Ingles Group).

8-House is located in Ørestad on the edge of Copenhagen. 8-House offers homes for people in all of life’s stages: the young and the old, singles, families that grow and families that become smaller. Instead of dividing the different functions of the building - for both habitation and retail - into separate blocks, the various functions have been spread out horizontally. The apartments are placed at the top while the commercial program unfolds at the base of the building. As a result, the different horizontal layers have achieved a quality of their own: the apartments benefit from the view, sunlight and fresh air, while the commercial merges with life on the street.

Ørestad, Denmark near Copenhagen
Gross Square Footage: 650,000 sf
Total Cost: $118 Million

Bjarke Ingles Group

Founded by Bjarke Ingles in 2006, the Bjarke Ingles Group (BIG) encompasses 64 architects working out of offices in Copenhagen Denmark and another one recently opened in New York City. This group can be characterized by creativity, high energy and a unifying team spirit, dedicated to the creation and maintaining of a workplace where they might continuously learn and become better at what they do. Not only is the firm budget conscious, they are constantly asking themselves, ‘What can the project provide for the neighborhood and its residents?‘“ Otherwise, ”the money is wasted and the opportunity is lost.” Ingles believes that a “pragmatic utopian architecture takes on the creation of socially, economically and environmentally perfect places as a practical objective.”


The block to be developed is located near a new transportation hub and a previous BIG project. They starting designing with a perimeter block, instead of stacking, they layered the components of the program one on top of the other like a cake: Commercial uses, including retail space, a café, a day care center, and offices, are placed near the base, so that they can benefit from direct contact with the street, while the different types of apartments — townhouse,  flats, and penthouses offer living for people in all life’s stages above. Penthouses, flats and townhouses for the young the old, singles, a growing family or empty nesters layer the upper levels where the apartments benefit from the view, sunlight and fresh air, while the commercial merges with life on the street. Normally social interactions are reserved to ground level, whereas here a ramp provides social interactions all the way to the top of the building to produce a ‘lively urban neighborhood.” This sense of community is also increased with a 5,300 sf of community space. It is still too early to tell if these ideas will see fruition, however time will dictate its success.

More Bike Friendly Architecture
Bike Share System by RAFAA


8H - The 8-House from BIG on Vimeo.

The follow video documents how the  8 House has fared since its construction and looks at its success as a building project.


February 12, 2012

Liubov Popova

Liubov Popova was a Russian avant-garde artist, painter and designer and lived from April 24, 1889 till May 25, 1924. As a female, her presence was rare in the male-dominated world of Soviet Art. Her art was Cubist, Suprematist and Constructivist. She was born in Ivanovshoe, near Moscow to a wealthy and successful textile merchant and patron of the arts. Her mother also came from a highly cultured family. She was originally trained at a teacher before pursuing her artistic studies. She traveled to investigate and learn new styles of painting. Numerous sketchbooks attest to her desire to apply Cubist analysis to the human figure after gaining first-hand knowledge of cubism she gained studying in Paris. At some point between In 1912 and 1915 she worked with Vladimir Tatlin at his studio in Moscow called the Tower working with his constructions. In 1916 she joined the Malevich’s Suprematist circle where she adopted the rectilinear geometry and white grounds of the Suprematists. Her abstract compositions were distinctive, powerful in which “large geometric planes, boldly colored but with elements of modelling, abut and interpenetrate to create taut and thrusting diagonal compositions.”1 In May of 1920, she joined Aleksandr Rodchenko and they were both pivotal figures in the discussions that defined Constuctivism. They compared an artist to that of an engineer, arranging materials scientifically and objectively, producing works of art as rationally as any other manufactured object.

Liubov’ Popova
Space-Force Construction, 1920-21
Oil with Marble dust of board
Collection George Costakis, Germany

Popova’s Space-Force Construction was made in response to the idea of ‘Construction’ in which a more impersonal method dictated by the materials and stripped if anything decorative or unnecessary. In the above composition, she utilized the creation of space though lines, planes and arcs in which the intersections between the different geometries to create space or planes between them, breaking down the dark color of what life once was with the Bourgeoise before the revolution. The red is clearly the driving force behind the tornado of change, replacing the old with the ideals of the revolution, spreading its force outward to encompass everything, breaking down the dark/gray construct of what had been. The orange seems to represent areas where the revolution had been, eventually turning these areas to the purity of white, representing the melding of everything together to form a utopia. The composition’s movement represents an agitation of the revolution and the affects of the upheaval. This agitation or break down starts to become visible with the dotting of one linear element as well as the implication of its movement outward and onward. This breakdown of rectilinear forms into its industrial components will surly follow. Some rectilinear elements, now absorbed, create an echo of what once was, leaving that imprint on the composition. The geometry and overlaps also imply three dimensionality to the composition

Source: http://www.moma.org/collection/artist.php?artist_id=4694

February 11, 2012


Brief history of Futurism with analysis of current futurism in art and movies.

Russian Constructivism Info

Constructivism is Russian's modern movement equivalent. 

Here are some videos on Russian Constructivism

Constructivism in Motion

I was doing a little research on constructivism for school and I stumbled upon this video.Whomever put this video together did an amazing job of it