Kengo Kuma’s Turkish art museum is made of stacked timber boxes

April 24, 2017 by  
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Prolific architect Kengo Kuma just unveiled plans for an amazing timber museum in Turkey. According to the architects, the Odunpazari Modern Art Museum will be an expansive complex made up of obliquely stacked wooden boxes, paying homage to the area’s traditional wooden Ottoman residences. The modern art museum is planned for Eskishehr, a university town about three hours from Istanbul. According to the Kengo Kuma studio , the design focused on blending the building into the existing urbanscape while creating a cultural landmark for the city, “Our design strategy is to make the volume in aggregation; stacking small boxes to create the urban scale architecture,” explained the studio. “Stacked boxes at the street level are read in the scale of surrounding houses and it grows taller towards the centre of the museum to stand in the urbanscape that announces itself as new cultural landmark of the area.” Related: Kengo Kuma unveils plans for spiraling timber-clad library in Sydney The timber boxes , which are placed at irregular angles will allow for the building to gradually grow in height from the exterior towards it center, creating a fairly large building but one that doesn’t hover over the traditional low-level buildings in the immediate area. Additionally, the wide spaces in between the horizontal timber slats – a nod to the area’s former wooden market – will illuminate the interior with tons of natural light . The entrance of the museum will lead to a central atrium, made up of four boxes and lit from a skylight in the ceiling. The boxes slowly rise up through the design, giving the interior plenty of flexible exhibition space . The larger exhibitions will be placed at the bottom level while more intimate collections will be exhibited in the smaller boxes at the top of the building. + Kengo Kuma Via Dezeen Images via Kengo Kuma

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Kengo Kuma’s Turkish art museum is made of stacked timber boxes

George Lucas selects Los Angeles to host $1 billion art museum

January 13, 2017 by  
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Apparently, the force is much stronger in Los Angeles than it is in San Francisco. Star Wars creator and beloved filmmaker George Lucas recently announced he has chosen the City of Angels as the location for the $1 billion Lucas Museum of Narrative Art . Although the project is very much in the beginning phases, Lucas has tapped Chinese architectural firm Mad Architects to lead the design, which, at first glance, looks like it will be a futuristic design surrounded by acres of sprawling green space . The much-anticipated museum will be located in L.A.’s Exposition Park, holding court along side the California Science Center , Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and California African-American Museum. It will also be adjacent to the director’s alma mater, the University of Southern California. Related: Quirky Pinocchio-themed museum looks like it came out of Geppetto’s workshop As far as the content of the museum goes, the one-of-a-kind collections will be divided into three categories, namely narrative art, the art of cinema and digital art. The exhibitions will include everything from fine art and popular art to illustrations and comics, and of course, props and storyboards from the director’s iconic movies. According to Lucas, the museum will revolve not only around the art itself, but the idea of creating something new and unique, no matter what medium, “The whole point of this museum is to stimulate the imagination…to open eyes to the possibilities of creating art.” + Lucas Museum of Narrative Art + MAD Architects Via Forbes Images via Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

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George Lucas selects Los Angeles to host $1 billion art museum

California storms could herald the end of punishing historic drought

January 13, 2017 by  
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Californians may finally receive some relief from the drought they’ve grappled with for five brutal years. Recent storms drenching the state with rain and snow could enable at least Northern California to leave the drought in the past. National Weather Service specialist Tom Fisher said Southern California is seeing the highest rainfall “in at least five years,” while Northern California experiences their highest rainfall “in at least 10 years.” The United States Drought Monitor said Northern California has at last escaped the drought, but Southern California is still grappling with dry conditions. About 30 percent of that region is still experiencing extreme or exceptional drought. Other officials warned it may be too early to claim a full victory over the drought, as California weather conditions can change. Los Angeles Department of Water Resources spokesperson Ted Thomas said the state sometimes begins with a wet winter, only to see dry conditions prevail later on in the season. According to the US Drought Monitor, over 26 million people are estimated to live in areas still dealing with drought. Related: 713 trillion gallons of water discovered under drought-stricken California The extreme conditions have inspired California farmers to come up with creative ways to store water . Terranova Ranch general manager Don Cameron flooded the ranch’s vineyards during the winter, allowing all that water to seep underground to replenish aquifers. As it rarely rains during California summers, and during the drought farmers couldn’t obtain the water they needed from surface reservoirs, they often had to pump water out of the earth to water their crops. But as the drought persisted, wells dried up, and aquifers were depleted. Cameron’s idea worked – the water sank into the ground and didn’t harm the crops on the way down. Other farmers are working with University of California, Davis groundwater hydrologist Helen Dahlke to apply the innovative yet simple method of water management as storms dump water on the state. Cameron told NPR, “This is going to be the future for California. If we don’t store the water during flood periods, we’re not going to make it through the droughts.” Via Phys.org and NPR Images via James Daisa on Flickr and Bob Dass on Flickr

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Mark Twains personal library opens to aspiring writers

January 12, 2017 by  
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Mark Twain is one of America’s most revered writers – and his legacy is still influencing literature . Now, aspiring writers will be able to write in the author’s personal library thanks to a new initiative by the Mark Twain Museum . The museum recently announced they will open up a handful of slots this year for wordsmiths to work uninterrupted in Twain’s library for up to three hours at a time. Although writers cottages abound around the world, it’s quite rare for a museum to open historic spaces for public use. However, in this case, the museum is paying homage to Twain’s love for the Hartford house, where he wrote some of his most famous works, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn . Slots are limited, with only four nights available throughout 2017. Lest those participants think they can show up with a fifth of whiskey and a quill, those who reserve spaces will be held to some strict rules. The reservations will be for a maximum of three hours and there is no wifi. Plugs are “few and far between,” so laptops should be fully charged before entering. And about that quill? Sorry, no ink allowed, only pencils are permitted in the historic house . Despite the restrictions, the event is geared to the hope of inspiration, “Participants will have the house to yourselves,” a note on the library’s website states. “Feel inspired by the beautiful sounds of the fountain in the family conservatory; rest your eyes upon Twain’s bookshelves as you ponder your next word.” + Mark Twain Museum Via Huffington Post Images via John Groo/The Mark Twain House & Museum 

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Spectacular new shipping container museum nestles near China’s Great Wall

December 30, 2016 by  
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Nestled near China’s famous Great Wall rests a new cultural museum made with shipping containers . The Zhao Hua Xi Shi Living Museum designed by IAPA Design Consultants offers an opportunity to learn while appreciating glorious scenery. Locally sourced and recycled materials add to the peaceful museum’s sustainability. IAPA worked with The Mother Earth Happiness Group to design the Zhao Hua Xi Shi Living Museum in Beijing, China. The design statement said the architects emphasized art culture and environmental protection in their vision for the sleek center that includes offices and exhibit areas wrapped in patios, courtyards, and gardens. Trees and hills of the encircling Great Wall historic site root the museum in nature . Related: Rammed earth Palenque Cultural Tambillo is designed to celebrate Afro-ecuadorean arts Modular containers provide the museum’s main buildings, and recycled timber decking adds a natural touch. Details like woven reeds sourced locally for the outdoor corridor ceilings add to the museum’s beauty. Stone, steel, and hemp are among the other building materials utilized. Varying building heights allow the complex to blend in without blocking too much of the landscape; the design statement says courtyard house style inspired the architects. The Zhao Hua Xi Shi Living Museum is a place to relax; visitors can soak in the scenery via a roof garden, viewing platform, viewing tower, or from the bridges connecting the shipping container buildings. They can wander about the museum, dine in a restaurant, or seek refreshment in a teahouse. According to the design statement, “Zhao Hua Xi Shi Living Museum is a representation of the continuity of traditional cultural heritage.” IAPA’s goal as stated on their website is to use “modern design techniques to interpret traditional oriental philosophy.” It appears they accomplished that goal elegantly in the Zhao Hua Xi Shi Living Museum. + IAPA Design Consultants Via ArchDaily Images via ZENG Zhe/ArchDaily

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Spectacular new shipping container museum nestles near China’s Great Wall

Foster + Partners to transform historic Madrid building into solar-powered Prado Museum addition

November 25, 2016 by  
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Foster + Partners and Rubio Arquitectura’s design beat out a shortlist of eight other proposals by practices including OMA and David Chipperfield Architects . The renovation of the Hall of Realms will create additional display space for permanent and temporary exhibitions at the Prado Museum. As one of the few surviving structures from the former 17th century Buen Retiro Palace, the Hall of Realms holds special historic significance in the city. The Hall of Realms’s magnificent and intricate interiors will be restored , while the facade will be delicately opened to let in natural light and views. These openings will transform the historic building into a more permeable, public-facing structure with connections to the new civic plaza and terrace cafes. In addition to solar panels, the new roof will be cantilevered to protect the southern facade from intense sunlight. Related: Beautifully restored 135-year-old building revives one of Delhi’s oldest markets “On behalf of the team that I led at Foster + Partners in collaboration with Rubio Arquitectura, I would like to say how honoured we are to contribute to this next phase of the expansion of the Prado – one of the truly great museums of the world,” said Lord Foster. “The Hall of Realms, built by Crescenzi and Carbonel in the 1630’s, is one of the very few remains of the former palace and predates the Museum which was conceived in 1819. Two centuries later the transformation and expansion of this historic hall will add significant new galleries and related public spaces to the Prado. It will also create, as a setting, a new urban focus for the city of Madrid.” The renovation project will be completed in time for the museum’s 200th anniversary celebrations in 2019. + Foster + Partners + Rubio Arquitectura Images via Foster + Partners

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Light-filled Shenzhen Art Museum and Library protects against solar heat gain

December 28, 2015 by  
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Concrete and glass museums in Budapest are positive and negative images of each other

November 10, 2015 by  
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Incredible museum by Kengo Kuma will be set inside a lush nature-infused cave in Manila

October 20, 2015 by  
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Spectacular timber-framed Vidalakis Residence cradles an infinity pool in California

October 20, 2015 by  
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