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A typographic tribute honours the residents and neighbours of a now-demolished house

A typographic tribute honours the residents and neighbours of a now-demolished house in Sainte-Marie

 

 

For five days in November 2020, a house in Sainte-Marie, Québec, identified all of its residents and neighbourson Saint Louis Avenue. Antoine Audet, Maude Faucher, James Audet… the list included hundreds of names inked on strips of white paper and pasted to the clapboards.

 

The ephemeral design was the project of Louis Gagnon, creative director of the Montréal-based studio Paprika who lived in the house as a child and wanted to honour its tenants and friends before it was demolished. Back in 2019, major flooding swamped the city, and the government required that the most damaged residences be razed. 283 Saint Louis was one of nearly 60 to be torn down that summer.

 

At the time, 93-year-old Béatrice Vachon had been living in the house for nearly seven decades. “She hoped to spend her twilight years at the same address,” the studio said. “Sainte-Marie is the kind of tight-knit community where everyone knows everyone, from one generation to the next. Here, neighbours saw children being born and growing up; and neighbours helping each other was simply a common practice. Very few people have ever walked away.”

 

As the city prepared for such life-altering change, Gagnon reached out to his sisters to help remember former residents, frequent visitors, and others with ties to the neighbourhood. Before printing the names, he tweaked an existing font to reflect the decorative architectural details, and many of the letters feature curved flourishes with upper points evocative of those on the front porch columns.

 

One photo of 283 Saint-Louis just before it was levelled shows Vachon standing outside her home plastered with the typographic tribute. “As darkness arrives, the house stands before its imminent destruction, bearing witness to a life of stories and memories,” Gagnon said. “A last homage. An act of resilience.”

 

 

 

By Grace Ebert, on Thisiscolossal.com, June 2022. 

Eleven supertall skyscrapers that demonstrate the “human aspiration to go higher”

Eleven supertall skyscrapers that demonstrate the “human aspiration to go higher”

 

 

Supertall skyscrapers have changed the way that we think about cities, says author of the book “Supertall”, Stefan Al. He highlights 11 tall buildings that have had a major impact over the past decade.

 

The tension surrounding tall buildings goes back as far as the Eiffel Tower and even back to the ancient Egyptians, explained Al.

 

“There’s that contrast between this human aspiration to go higher and same time there’s a rejection of novelty,” he told Dezeen, referencing the history of tall buildings. “When the Empire State Building was built in New York, also it kind of stuck out what stood out like a sore thumb, and it wasn’t all praise.”

 

Supertalls “probably a good thing for the skyline”

Al believes that the intersection of changing zoning laws and ever-expanding populations make supertalls inevitable and that they are necessary to deal with growing populations.

 

The diversity of designs currently being created can also positively contributes to cities, he said. “Because we can keep our cities more compact, we can reduce the amount of land that we consume, we can spend more resources and [use] relatively smaller units of land,” he said.

 

“There’s more diversity now than there was before”

In New York, Al is confident that regulations like Law 97, which penalizes buildings with high carbon emissions, and the re-cladding of older skyscrapers is contributing to changing building culture in the city.

 

Commenting on the recent super skinny skyscrapers in Manhattan, Al said that the right of use allows New York’s skyline to be constructed without community input, making it different from many of the cities on the list. “Should New York change that system?” he asked “That’s a good question because it also has some benefits that it gives transparency to property owners and what they can build.”

 

“But if you just look at the aesthetics of the towers, you can really see that there’s more diversity now than there was before,” Al continued.

 

However, Al did acknowledge that the supertall skyscrapers should be critiqued, and that public debate is probably the best mechanism for managing the tension surrounding them.

 

“For some of those critics that recognize that [New York City] has a lot of issues and these towers represent inequities that exist,” he said. “If you look at London, for instance, because there’s so much public debate around these buildings, and because the public actually has a say, this can really make or break the development or planning of a certain project.”

 

“So it’s interesting, as architects, to understand the culture of a place and the publicness of a particular building, and we need to make sure that people will also embrace the symbol that will represent,” he continued.

 

These are the Al’s 11 supertalls that have changed the way we think about skyscrapers:

 

  • 111 West 57th Street, New York, USA by SHoP Architects (2022)
  • Hanking Center, Shenzhen, China by Morphosis Architects (2021)
  • Regis Chigago, USA by Studio Gang (2020)
  • Raffles City, Chogqing, China by Moshe Safdie (2020)
  • Comcast Technology Center, Philadelphia, USA by Foster + Partners (2019)
  • MahaNakhon, Bangkok, Thailand bu OMA (2016)
  • 432 Park Avenue, New York, USA by Rafael Viñoly (2015)
  • Shanghai Tower, Shanghai, China by Genlser (2015)
  • The Shard, London, UK, by Renzo Piano (2012)
  • Canton Tower, Guangzhou, China by Information Based Architecture (2010).
  • Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE, by SOM (2010).

 

 

By Ben Dreith, on Dezeen, June 2022. 

Vintage Typewriters are reassembled into amazing metallic Bird Sculptures

Vintage Typewriters are reassembled into amazing metallic Bird Sculptures by Jeremy Mayer

 

 

Jeremy Mayer challenges the notion that typewriters’ creative output is confined to the written word.

 

The artist scours shops and trash bins near his Bay Area studio for analogue processors in disrepair that he then disassembles, sorts, and reconstructs into metallic sculptures.

 

His previous works include symmetrical assemblages, anatomical recreations, and an ongoing series of birds, the most recent of which are shown here.

 

Mayer builds every piece solely from original parts rather than soldering or gluing, and some sculptures, including the black crow with a Corona-brand typewriter logo on its back, feature spring-like components that allow the creatures to bob their heads.

 

Mayer is currently at work on a few large-scale reliefs, a kinetic lotus, skull, and additional birds, and you can follow updates and news about purchasing pieces on his Instagram.

 

 

 

By Grace Ebert, on ThisisColossal.com, June 2022. 

Wearable interpretations in handmade Garments

Influential Artworks find wearable interpretations in handmade Garments

 

 

After a museum visit, we might pick up a postcard or T-shirt as a memento of the artworks we’ve enjoyed most. Brooklyn-based blogger Ariel Adkins, who is also Curator of Art, Culture & Community at Twitter, takes her love of masterpieces to the next level by creating one-of-a-kind apparel inspired by some of the world’s most influential artists.

 

Donning capes, dresses, and coveralls in bright colours and bold patterns, Adkins draws inspiration from a variety of aesthetics and eras to make garments for herself and for people she meets who share a similar love for the power of expression.

 

Painting directly onto the fabric of the clothing, she translates the forms and hues of specific artworks into wearable compositions.

 

Adkins is the creator of Artfully Awear, which began as a way of responding to grief and healing in response to the loss of her mother, who was an artist.

 

Through the language of fashion, both a personal and public assertion of identity and style, she continues the project as an embodiment of joy and a unique way of kindling togetherness. She also admires iconic fashion like designer Michelle Smith’s dress worn by Michelle Obama in Amy Sherald’s portrait, utilizing her platform to share stories of groundbreaking moments in art history.

 

 

By Kate Mothes, on ThisisColossal.com , May 2022. 

Pudgy, curious, and drowsy Pups

A massive volume compiles five decades of the Pudgy, curious, and Drowsy Pups in Walter Chandoha’s Photographs

 

 

Dubbed the 20th century’s greatest pet photographer, the late Walter Chandoha was renowned for capturing the unique personalities of furry companions.

 

From black-and-white candid shots to those posed in the studio, Taschen’s new volume, Dogs, compiles five decades worth of capricious, curious, and playful pups. The 296-page book is a sequel to Cats, which similarly collected hundreds of the iconic photographer’s images, and is edited by Reuel Golden.

 

In his early years, Chandoha served as a combat photographer during World War II. He went on to be prolific across mediums, having written dozens of books and captured more than 225,000 images during his lifetime, many of which were used in magazines and advertisements.

 

 

By Grace Ebert, on ThisisColossal.com , September 2020. 

Lush Aerial Photos capture Vietnam’s Countryside

Lush Aerial Photos by Pham Huy Trung capture the Annual Harvests of Vietnam’s Countryside

 

From the foggy limestone mountains of Trang An to grass collection in Bao Loc, the scenic shots by Pham Huy Trung preserve Vietnam’s heritage.

 

The photographer often works with drones, allowing him to capture aerial views of wooden boats wedged into a harbour and farmers grasping large baskets as they gather tea. Resplendent with vegetation, the images frequently center on industry and annual harvests to create a visual record of everyday activity.

 

 

 

By Grace Ebert, on ThisisColossal.com , May 2022. 

Over 100 young Crocodiles find refuge on their father’s back

Over 100 young Crocodiles find refuge on their father’s back in India’s Chambar River

 

 

The gharial, a large crocodile with a distinctive bulge on its snout, is critically endangered in the wild, with researchers counting only a few hundred individuals in 2017.

 

Living primarily in the rivers of Nepal and India, the scaly reptiles saw a rapid decline since the 1930s due to overfishing and loss of habitats from sand mining and dams, and biologists estimate the population has dwindled to only two percent.

 

Thanks to the National Chambal Sanctuary, though, which is home to a substantial group of gharials, the species is growing.

 

Photographer and conservationist Dhritiman Mukherjee visited the enclave southeast of New Dehli a few years ago where he captured striking images of a father swimming through the murky river with more than 100 young clinging to his back. Measuring 16 to 17 feet long, the male likely was carrying the offspring from 7 to 8 female gharials, which lay anywhere from 20 to 95 eggs each year.

 

“Some breeding programs [and rerelease in the wild] have taken place in the Chambal. So, that’s why I selected the subject so that it gets attention from policymakers or concerned people,” Mukherjee told PetalPixel.

 

The Kolkata-based photographer often travels to document wildlife around the world and is headed back to the sanctuary this month.

 

 

 

By Grace Ebert, on ThisisColossal.com , May 2022. 

Chromatic Installation

A chromatic installation by Felipe Pantone turns a public walkway into an architectural kaleidoscope

 

 

Argentinian-Spanish artist Felipe Pantone magnifies the prismatic principles that ground his Subtractive Variability series to a phenomenal scale in the newly installed “Quick Tide.”

 

Whether working in kinetic sculpture or large-scale murals, Pantone investigates the vast realm of colour theory and its bottomless potential, in this instance transforming the cyan, magenta, and yellow model into a dynamic display. “The idea of creating a system in which I can create endless colour combinations within the visible colour spectrum by simply rotating or displacing the same image over and over (in C, M, Y)… the results are always random, unexpected, yet always interesting for me,” Pantone tells Colossal.

 

The site-specific “Quick Tide” wraps the upper and lower levels of an elevated walkway in London’s Greenwich Peninsula with a vibrant collision of light and pigment.

 

Angled blocks hold radial gradients to “make obvious where the different colours overlap and how different hues appear. These details are usually easy to find as chromatic aberrations in prints by looking under the magnifier,” the artist shares, noting that the combinations shift in appearance depending on the time of day and position of the viewer.

 

Pantone will soon open a solo show titled Manipulable at Tokyo’s Gallery Common that invites visitors to interact with the works.

 

 

 

By Grace Ebert, on ThisisColossal.com , May 2022. 

Dune-like Beeah Headquarters in Sharjah

Zaha Hadid Architects took visual cues from undulating desert dunes when creating the sinuous headquarters for environmental management company Beeah Group in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

 

Designed by the late architect Zaha Hadid, the long-awaited Beeah Headquarters takes the form of a series “of interconnecting dunes” that echo its Al Sajaa desert surroundings.

 

The 9,000-square-metre building serves as a management and administrative centre for Beeah Group. According to Zaha Hadid Architects, it has a focus on sustainability to reflect the company’s work.

 

It is powered by a solar array and meets LEED Platinum standards – the highest certification awarded by the green building certification program – setting “a new benchmark for future workplaces”.

 

“The headquarters is the latest milestone for Beeah Group as it continues to pioneer innovations for Sharjah and across the globe, establishing a base of operations for the group to diversify into new, future-critical industries,” said Zaha Hadid Architects.

 

“With their new headquarters, Beeah demonstrates how technology can scale sustainable impact and ultimately serve as a blueprint for tomorrow’s smart, sustainable cities.”

 

While echoing the surrounding sand dunes, the form of the Beeah Headquarters is also designed and orientated to withstand extreme weather conditions experienced on the site. The building is powered by a solar array linked to Tesla battery packs, which the studio said meets the building’s energy demand throughout each day and night.

 

Glazing is minimised across the office to prevent exposure to the harsh desert sun, while glass fibre-reinforced concrete panels across the exterior help to regulate internal temperatures. There are also on-site water treatment facilities that filter wastewater to minimise consumption. The spaces are designed to maximise natural light despite limited glazing

 

Inside, the building is divided into two wings. One houses the Beeah Group’s public and management departments while the other contains the administrative zone. These areas are connected by a central courtyard, described by Zaha Hadid Architects as an “oasis within the building” that helps provide natural ventilation. A highlight of the interior is the building’s 15-metre-high domed foyer, which has been designed to enhance natural ventilation and allow natural light to filter through.

 

The headquarters also features a visitors’ centre, auditorium and ​​smart meeting rooms designed to facilitate collaboration with remote and office workers.

 

All internal spaces are positioned to ensure ample natural light and outward views without requiring expanses of glass. A smart building management system has been incorporated to automatically adjust lighting and temperature depending on occupancy and the time of day.

 

Zaha Hadid Architects was established in 1980 by Hadid and is now headed up by Patrik Schumacher. It won the competition to create the Beeah Headquarters in 2013, which it designed in collaboration with engineers and consultants Atelier Ten and Buro Happold.

 

 

By Lizzie Crook, on Dezeen.com, April 2022. 

Photography by Hufton+Crow

Evening Sunlight blankets the dense Los Angeles Hills

Evening Sunlight blankets the dense Los Angeles Hills in an ethereal glow in Seth Armstrong’s Paintings

 

 

Los Angeles-based artist Seth Armstrong gravitates toward saturated palettes of greens and blues to render the steep, hilly landscapes of his hometown.

 

Evening sunsets bathe the staggered houses, trees, and sloping streets in a warm glow, adding a tinge of magic to the densely populated neighbourhoods.

 

Balancing light with shadow and hyperrealism with more ethereal details, the oil-based works, while similar in composition and subject matter, rarely follow the same process, Armstrong shares. “Sometimes I rely heavily on a drawing to compose a painting, and sometimes I’ll jump straight into the wet stuff,” he tells Colossal. “I haven’t decided if I prefer a thin and complete underpainting, or if I like just slopping it on, straight up.”

 

Armstrong has paintings slated for a few upcoming shows, including with Asia Art Centre at Jing Art in Beijing and at Amsterdam’s Miniature Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. He’s also working on several commissions and new works.

 

 

By Grace Ebert, on ThisisColossal, April 2022.