Snarkitectures Fun House will take over the National Building Museum

May 2, 2018 by  
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It’s almost that time again—the National Building Museum’s (NBM) Great Hall will undergo another dramatic transformation as part of its ongoing Summer Block Party series, this year under the direction of New York-based Snarkitecture . Returning after their wildly popular ‘The Beach’ NBM installation from 2015, the design studio recently unveiled designs for ‘Fun House,’ a comprehensive museum exhibition housed within a freestanding gabled structure. Created in the image of a giant traditional home, Fun House will comprise rooms exhibiting well-known Snarkitecture projects that trace the firm’s 10-year history. National Building Museum’s Summer Block Party is one of Washington, D.C.’s most anticipated architecture events every year thanks to its interactive, family-friendly installations by major design names including the likes of Bjarke Ingels Group , Studio Gang, and James Corner Field Operations. One of the most popular NBM exhibitions to date has been Snarkitecture’s The Beach, which filled 10,000 square feet of the historic Great Hall with nearly one million recyclable plastic balls. Snarkitecture’s Fun House will, for the first time, take up the entirety of the Great Hall. The exhibition, curated by Italy-based Maria Cristina Didero, will lead visitors through a sequence of interactive rooms with recreations of Snarkitecture’s important projects, such as The Beach -inspired kidney-shaped ball pit. The Fun House opens to the public July 4 through September 3, 2018 and will be complemented by a full schedule of programs and special events. Related: Gigantic swimmable ball pit takes over D.C.’s National Building Museum “Fun House represents a unique opportunity for us to bring together a number of different Snarkitecture-designed interiors, installations, and objects into a single, immersive experience,” said Alex Mustonen, co-founder of Snarkitecture. “Our practice aims to create moments that make architecture accessible and engaging to a wide, diverse audience. With that in mind, we are excited to invite all visitors to the National Building Museum to an exhibition and installation that we hope is both unexpected and memorable.” + Snarkitecture Images via Snarkitecture , photographs by Noah Kalina

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Snarkitectures Fun House will take over the National Building Museum

Stunning temporary beach pavilion rises in Lebanon’s Tyre Coast Nature Reserve

March 20, 2018 by  
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Wood, metal ties and rope come together in this temporary space in Lebanon, forming a lightweight structure designed to raise awareness of the area’s rich marine biodiversity. The Tyre Nature Reserve Hub, named MARAH, was designed by Architecture students from the American University of Beirut , who used the project as an experiment in building lightweight and temporary systems, as well as creating spaces that have a large social and programmatic impact. Some of Lebanon ’s longest sandy beaches are located in the Tyre region–also a popular nesting site for the endangered Loggerhead and Green Sea Turtles, as well as the home of several species of local wildlife, such as the Arabian spiny mouse and the Red fox. Phoenician springs and freshwater estuaries dominate the Ras el Ain area which facilities a diversity of marine life and a large part of this region has been turned into a protected area. Despite this, the Tyre region has seen severe destruction and devastation, which acted as impetus for creating a temporary pavilion that would help spread awareness of the importance of conserving marine biodiversity . Related: Floating timber pavilion transforms a Swiss lake into an exciting new public square Architecture AUB students from the DI-LAB (Design Impact Laboratory) teamed up with environmental consultants and the Tyre Coast Nature Reserve to introduce a structure that acts as a hub for the Tyre Coast Nature Reserve. The center is located directly on the beach, where it acts as a meeting point, an information point, a presentation pavilion, an exhibition space, and a training center, among other things. The pavilion was built using wood, metal ties and ropes and addresses the idea of creating a space that simultaneously generates a large social impact and minimal site impact. + Di-Lab – American University of Beirut Via Archdaily Photos by Lorenzo Tugnoli

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Stunning temporary beach pavilion rises in Lebanon’s Tyre Coast Nature Reserve

Lacy Flying Mosque installation changes shape depending on the viewing angle

March 9, 2018 by  
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Following their gorgeous sea urchin-inspired installation at Singapore’s iLight Marina Bay Festival, Choi+Shine Architects unveiled a new lacy design crocheted in geometric shapes that mix cultural influences of the east and the west. The Flying Mosque is comprised of architecture elements that come together to form a mosque when viewed at one angle, or an elegant collection of lacy shapes from other angles. The project reinterprets an Islamic mosque by deconstructing it into elements that form a harmonious whole or a seemingly illegible composition, depending on the viewing angle. Each element is a shape familiar in both Eastern and Western architecture. The varying views of the composition emphasize individual elements that are independent, complete and can stand alone, but can also form a harmonious single entity. Related: Dark highway underpass transformed into a brilliant tunnel of light The elements of the project sway and rotate in the wind, creating a series of kinetic patterned shadows in which viewers can immerse themselves. The geometric patterns reference the traditional Islamic arabesque. The abstract expression embodied in its repetitive, orderly and cohesive pattern signifies infinity and its quiet impact produces a meditative feeling. + Choi+Shine Architects

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Lacy Flying Mosque installation changes shape depending on the viewing angle

MIT claims that clean, limitless nuclear fusion energy is just 15 years away

March 9, 2018 by  
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You’ve probably heard about the promise of nuclear fusion before… many times. But when MIT is involved, it’s best to listen up. The university has teamed up with Commonwealth Fusion Systems , and they believe that clean, limitless power could be just around the corner. Thanks to the development of a new superconductor, the team believes that they can have a working fusion power plant on-grid within the next 15 years. Scientists have been trying to make nuclear fusion happen for decades, and for a good reason – it could provide nearly endless clean energy without the risks associated with nuclear energy. In the 1950s, scientists theorized that nuclear fusion was just a few decades away. Then, after that failed to materialize, scientists in the 1970s said that it was just a few more decades away. Cut to today, and it seems like we are no closer to nuclear fusion power… until now. Related: ‘We were blown away’ – researchers eliminate obstacle to fusion energy So what makes this time different, I hear you ask? The team says that a new type of superconductor that just became available is the breakthrough they were looking for. Part of the problem with making nuclear fusion happen is that you have to be able to heat things up to a mind-boggling 150 million degrees, which turns most containers into plasma. MIT and Commonwealth plan to use this new superconductor – made of steel tape coated with yttrium-barium-copper oxide – to make magnets that will help make nuclear fusion a reality. “This is an important historical moment: Advances in superconducting magnets have put fusion energy potentially within reach, offering the prospect of a safe, carbon-free energy future,” says MIT President L. Rafael Reif. + MIT Via Fast Company Images via MIT

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MIT claims that clean, limitless nuclear fusion energy is just 15 years away

Dark highway underpass transformed into a brilliant tunnel of light

January 9, 2018 by  
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Design studio antyRAMA collective converted a dark underpass in the city of Katowice, Poland, into a colorful neon-lit sound installation. The music tunnel, illuminated by polychromatic LED lights , houses an inventive structure made from hanging PVC pipes that form the shape of a sound wave. The PVC pipes, hung from the ceiling of the underpass , are rocked by the strong breeze that passes through the tunnel and hit each other to create a variety of sound effects. Passersby have the opportunity to interact with the structure and put the hanging pipes in motion. Related: Amazing Hive comes alive with sights and sounds in Washington, D.C. The installation consists of 2018 white PVC pipes suspended on different lengths of a steel wire rope attached to a net placed just under the ceiling. The composition of the tubes creates waves similar to the recording of sound waves and gets denser as it exits towards the Wojewódzka street. Twenty-three new points of colorful LED light have also been added, which effectively illuminate the area and create a unique ambiance. The project pays homage to the musical tradition of Katowice, which was named Creative City by UNESCO. Its interactive nature reflects the evolution of the city’s music which had for centuries connected people from different corners of the world and different cultures. + antyRAMA collective

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Dark highway underpass transformed into a brilliant tunnel of light

Meditative lakeside Prism Cabin reveals Bordeaux through stained-glass windows

September 27, 2017 by  
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This pyramid-shaped cabin in France features beautiful stained glass windows and lookout towers that offer unique views of the surrounding landscape. Visual artist Lou Andréa Lassalle designed the Prism Cabin to allow occupants to rediscover the world around them through the colors cast from its faceted windows. The cabin comprises part of the Refuges Périurbains project, which offers overnight stays in temporary installations built all around the periphery of Bordeaux. Related: Kengo Kuma’s Transparent Temporary Shelter Pays Homage to Classic Japanese Literature Built by Zebra3 , the pyramid-shaped structure reveals unsuspected aspects of the landscape through color and shape. The designers say it “evokes the esotericism of the water bank where local fish, monsters from the depths, high voltage towers and natural fog mix.” Full of playful design features, the cabin includes lookout towers built in the shape of the Great Sphinx. It can host up to eight people at once and encourages people to reconnect with Bordeaux’s gorgeous landscapes. + Lou Andréa Lassalle + Zebra3 + Refuges Périurbains Via Treehugger Photos by Lou Andréa Lassalle

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Meditative lakeside Prism Cabin reveals Bordeaux through stained-glass windows

Twin warming huts for TED conference evoke the Great Canadian Wilderness

July 26, 2017 by  
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The architecture and design students of DBR | Design Build Research created ELEVATE, unique pop-up structures that brought a slice of the Canadian backcountry winter experience to downtown Vancouver . Crafted as part of a three-month design/build course, this temporary installation served as a sheltered outdoor living room for the TED2016 conference. Innovation with wood and technical fabrication were explored in the project, most notably through the curved planks of CNC-milled timber used to create the structures’ inviting, cocoon-like shapes. From afar, ELEVATE evokes snow-covered hilltops, however a closer look reveals the design’s likeness to high alpine shelters . The 16 students sought to create an attractive meeting place where TED attendees, known as TEDsters, could gather and discuss ideas. The structures were also outfitted with graphics of provincial and national parks to encourage TEDsters to explore Vancouver’s great outdoors during their visit. Related: Solar-powered alpine prefab shows off the power of prefab in extreme conditions METSA Wood donated Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL), an advanced wood product, that was shaped with CNC technology into the ELEVATE’s skeleton. Set on sill plates, the structures feature a timber deck and curved timber ribs reinforced by cross bracing. A white translucent covering protects visitors from the elements and is complemented with exposed timber ribbing visible from the interior. Each warming hut includes a large seating area marked with the TED logo, as well as bright red beanbags. + DBR | Design Build Research Images by Ema Peter

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Twin warming huts for TED conference evoke the Great Canadian Wilderness

A tremendous translucent ‘forest’ pops up in a French courtyard

July 13, 2017 by  
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The courtyard of Fondation Martell in Cognac, France has been transformed into a translucent forest made of glass fiber-reinforced polyester sheets. Spanish architecture firm SelgasCano designed the Pavillon Martell as a temporary, mobile multipurpose space for concerts, workshops, and relaxation. The pavilion covers a 25,000-square-foot space situated behind the Foundation. Its main material, developed by French brand Onduline, is translucent and watertight and shelters a huge area where various activities can take place. Soft, changing light permeates this undulating membrane, creating an interesting and visually engaging rainbow effect. The architects typically work with off-the-shelf structural solutions. Related: German Students Create a Cloud-Like Retreat High Up in the Treetops “We started to look for the lightest and most cost-effective materials on the market. We found what we were looking for hidden away in the catalogue of Onduline, a leading French construction company with a worldwide presence,” said SelgasCano. Inflatable seats installed in the structure are attached by straps and provide visitors with places to sit, relax and organize workshops, concerts and various other events. The structure is easy to dismantle and transport to any location thanks to its modular nature and light weight. + SelgasCano Via World Architecture Photos by Iwan Baan  

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A tremendous translucent ‘forest’ pops up in a French courtyard

A river made of 10,000 glowing books flows through Toronto

October 26, 2016 by  
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This large, interactive  art installation is created by group of anonymous artists/activists who “want literature to take over the streets and conquer public spaces, freely offering those passersby a traffic-free place which, for some hours, will succumb to the humble power of the written word.” Related: Alicia Martin’s Amazing Book Sculptures Pour out of Windows and Into the Streets The team has previously carried out the installation illegally in New York and Madrid, received official permission to appear in Melbourne, and has recently visited Toronto during Nuit Blanche Toronto, an annual, city-wide celebration of contemporary art. For this occasion, the group has used 10,000 books donated by the Salvation Army and worked for 12 days alongside 50 volunteers to replace cars with books on Hagerman Street, downtown Toronto . Related: Guy Laramée Carves a Majestic Lifelike Mountain Range Out of an Encyclopedia Britannica Set The artwork was open to the public for one night, during which visitors could immerse themselves in a literal flow of words and paper illuminated by soft lighting coming from the pages. They would sit down to read, take photos and eventually take pieces of the installation home. It took 10 hours for the installation to self-dismantle. + Luzinterruptus + Nuit Blanche Toronto

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A river made of 10,000 glowing books flows through Toronto

Milkshake Tree playground in London doubles as an oversized xylophone

June 23, 2016 by  
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Photo by Paul Raftery The Milkshake Tree installation is all about sounds, smells, movement and reflective surfaces. The name came about when one of the kids asked if the new Center could include a milkshake tree. Located outside the NOW Gallery on London’s Greenwich Peninsula, the installation includes long ramps framed by reflective screens and timber fins combined with copper xylophones which the kids can play as they pass by. A 12-square-meter gold mirrored cube dominates the installation and features leaf-shaped cut outs, an Amelanchier tree and a glass prism that create beautiful kaleidoscopic effects. Related: Henning Larsen’s Day Care Center is a Green-Roofed Paradise for Children in Denmark Photo by Paul Raftery A multi-sensory ramp with a musical walkway connects the school to the new hydrotherapy and therapy spaces, while the landscape, designed by BD Landscape Architects, provides additional outdoor spaces-a sensory roof garden , a mud kitchen and a treehouse . The entire site stimulates imagination and playfulness, combining education, rehabilitation and entertainment. + pH+ Architects + London Festival of Architecture  Lead photo by Paul Raftery

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Milkshake Tree playground in London doubles as an oversized xylophone

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