The winning entry to build China’s Pavilion at the Milan Expo 2015 is a stunning reinterpretation of a public space. Designed in collaboration between Tsinghua University and New York-based Studio Link-Arc, the duo rejected the notion of a typical pavilion, and instead came up with a structure that resembles billowing fields of wheat. It’s a thoughtful and creative twist on the Expo’s theme, “Feeding the Planet – Energy for Life.” According to the architects, the 5,000-square-meter space entitledLand of Hope is centered around the idea that, “hope can be realized when nature and the city exist in harmony.”
The Pavilion’s floating roof plays a large role in capturing the spirit of the Expo. Conceptually, the undulating form merges the city skyline to the building’s north with the natural landscape to the south. It’s designed as a timber structure that references the raised-beam system found in traditional Chinese architecture, and is clad in bamboo shingled panels to reference the country’s terracotta roof construction.
Inside, there will be exhibitions and cultural offerings from the 40 Chinese provinces. The centerpiece of it all is the “field of hope,” a multimedia installation that’s a landscape of LED “stalks” meant to mimic the form of wheat. After visitors have taken in the Pavilion’s sights, sounds, and short films, they can stand on a raised platform outside and enjoy the expansive views of the Expo’s grounds.
It looks like something from the future but its 2014, its about time architecture looked as futuristic as this.
The brilliant aaerodynamic window tubed office, designed by Spanish architects Jose Selgas and Lucia Cano, allows its workers to feel as though they’re working in the middle of a Spanish forest. (This would have been the perfect back drop for the editors of Pans Labrynth).
Half of the office, which the two architects designed for their architecture firm Selgascano, is dug into the ground in a forest outside of Madrid. This ensures that the office stays cool even during the hot Spanish summers avoiding the feeling of being stuck in a green house.
A long window that curves up to the ceiling runs along the length of the office and eliminates the need for artificial lighting during the day. This window is also attached to a hinge and pulley mechanism that allows it to open up and keep the building ventilated. The other half of the building features an insulated fiberglass wall that helps shade the office’s workers from direct sunlight.
The office building’s sunken floor, along with the large and unusual window, means that employees sitting at their desks have an eye-level view of the forest floor. This is a company that really loves their employees!
This, combined with the view of the forest on one side and the sky above, make it seem like the office must be a fairly relaxing place to work.
What you are about to see, are not paintings on canvas! Alexa Meade paints with acrylics directly on human flesh creating the illusion of painterly portraits.
“Alexa Meade is an installation artist based in the Washington, DC area. Her background in the world of political communications has fueled her intellectual interest in the tensions between perception and reality.
Alexa Meade’s innovative use of paint on the three dimensional surfaces of found objects, live models, and architectural spaces has been incorporated into a series of installations that create a perceptual shift in how we experience and interpret spatial relationships.” (from her BIO)
Russian musician and painter Svetlana Kolosova uses her own hand as her canvas as she paints charming little scenes inspired by fairy tales. The Moscow-based artist’s series of hand paintings, roughly translated as Palm Drawings, include a range of stories from classic Hans Christian Andersen tales like The Little Mermaid and The Little Match Girl to Russian folklore like The Snow Maiden, all in beautifully vivid colors.
The multifaceted artist accounts for the lines and ridges of the human hand in each meticulously executed painting. Kolosova makes working with such an unconventionally soft and unruly canvas seem effortless as each image pops and draws the viewer into the magical scene. At times, one forgets they are looking at a painting on the palm the artist’s hand and is simply left admiring the wonderful shades and shapes that Kolosova uses to put a picture to childhood stories.
French painter Françoise Nielly uses a palette knife to create highly stylized portraits that pop with color. The artist has already produced a number of new paintings in 2013 that highlight her exuberant aesthetic and technique. The textured works juxtapose contrasting yet complementing colors to create artistic renditions of deeply expressive faces that tend to sway toward the sensual.
Using a colorful array of oil paints, Nielly manages to create figurative portraits that have an abstract quality about them. Each face is composed of blocks of expertly applied color to offer a sense of realism mixed with creativity. Additionally, the rawness of the coarse strokes heighten the passionate eroticism that each piece exudes.
Moscow-based physician Leonid Tishkov has been traveling around the world with a private moon for over ten years now. A lamp installation, which he originally created for a festival of contemporary art, quickly found its way to Leonid’s home and the two haven’t parted since. Leonid calls this project a “performance of a lifetime”, with the moon revealing more and more spaces to him as the time goes.
“The moon is a shining point that brings people together from different countries, of different nationalities and cultures. And everyone who gets in its orbit does not forget it ever. It gives fairytale and poetry in our prosy and mercantile world,” says Leonid, making it clear just how much his Private Moon means to him.
Finding her place in the most unexpected settings, the moon has been shot by different photographers. Leonid often relates his performance to poetry: “Poetry is born in the image. Before placing a Private moon in a place that I like, I look at it for a very long time. Often this is the place that I see as the basis of the poem. The world is beautiful around us, you just lluminate it with the light of poetry! And for me, the light of the moon is the perfect poetry.” Check out the beautiful journeys of the terrestrial Moon below!
In his ‘Architecture of Density’ photo series, German photographer Michael Wolf explores the jaw-dropping urban landscapes of Hong Kong. He rids his pictures of any context, such above or the earth below, and rarely includes people, either. The images are large scale flat captions of buildings which appear to be infinite and haunting in Michael’s photos.
First prize winner in the World Press Photo competition in 2005 and 2010, Michael moved from Germany to Hong Kong back in 1994 and spent 8 years working for Stern Magazine as a contracted photographer. As he started working on his own projects since 2001, many of them proved to be successful enough to be released as books. His Architecture of Density, also available for purchase, is one out of 13 to date.
Michael’s main focus has always been life in mega cities, capturing the urban beauty of the “architecture and the vernacular culture of metropolises,” as explained in his statement. The distinctive feature of Michael’s work is said to be his ability to “find the symbolic value in those seemingly insignificant details that so often go unnoticed”.
Be sure to visit Michael’s website for more!