June 29, 2011 § Leave a comment
Recently, reader, I was found to be miserable and complaining about the godawful trials of trying to relocate oneself in London. Today, however, I can happily report that my persistence has paid off and I’ll soon be moving to an uncannily suitable flat with two gardens and permission to realise my life-long dream of canine companionship (note: not that which is pictured above as that is Eames’ Case Study House #8, here not for its socio-architectural importance, but illustrative dream home purposes.) My rather particular criteria was further met by total lack of carpet (I don’t like carpet and I can’t stand to touch it as it makes me feel like I feel when I think about the process of dry cleaning i.e. most peculiar,) bath with shower over (I like to rinse) and a private entrance (my entrance is not something I like to share.)
In honour of this great event, Nic Stark of All The Pieces Matter has very kindly made a flatwarming mix just for me (please see below for the tracklist.) Aren’t I a lucky girl, eh? So it’s a big thank you to Nic for marking this fortunate event with the joyous gift that is music, and it’s a big thank you to me for all the dedicated hard work I put in that has finally paid off (well done, me!) And if this isn’t the winter of my discontent, I expect you can refer to me, permanently, as Fifi ‘D-Fens’ Wilson.
Lalo Schifrin : The Eagle Has Landed
Don Gere : Werewolves on Wheels
Brainticket : Radacacuca
Damon : Don’t You Feel Me
Lalo Schifrin : Sherman Holiday Inn
Chico Arnaz & His Latin American Orchestra : Yashmak
Omar Khorshid : Guitar El Chark (Guitar of the Orient)
Figen Han : Haydi Bastir
Okay Temiz : Denizalti Rüzgarlan
Wadih Essafi : Aandak Baharia Ya Rayess
Fairuz : Andi Ana Haneed
The Brogues : I Ain’t No Miracle Worker
Count Five : Psychotic Reaction
The Sonics : Psycho
The Human Beinz : Nobody But Me
The Monks : Black Monk Time
Bob Seger : Rambling, Gambling Man
Redbone : Witch Queen of New Orleans
Jimi Hendrix : Crosstown Traffic
Black Merda : Cynthy Ruth
Rhythm Heritage : Theme From Swat
The Fabulous Mark III : Psycho Pt 1
Manu Dibango : African Battle
May 26, 2011 § Leave a comment
Decay, dilapidation, demolition.
Lately, my life has been overtaken by, and forcibly devoted to, the annual ballache that is flat-hunting. Annual in regularity is this event because of the perpetual trap of too many dictatorial constraints, all of which filter through from the all-pervasive annoyance known to far too many UK-dwellers as overpriced housing and insufficient funds. The chasmic disparity between these two factors is, of course, amplified in London, where I find myself once again in the daily-escalating panic to find anything that’ll vaguely do simply because it’s next to impossible to secure a London home once you’ve had to leave the capital. And so it goes on.
Anyway, I was remembering Mordant Music‘s 2010 collaboration with the BFI on the DVD MisinforMation, of which the above section A Double Room In A Single Bed forms part. With its 1970 Ideal Homes images set to a sampling of 1983’s Tackling Priority Estates, the juxtaposition of promise and consequent reality seemed rather fitting. This is, of course, a vast subject that could and should be examined further, but that’s a whole other show. For today, a topical illustration of how it feels to be faced with paying £270-per-week for a tiny shithole of a one-bedroom flat. A flat with three different types of mismatched, 20-year-old-looking, Holiday Inn-style carpeting in an area so unsavoury I’d not be able to go round the corner for a pint of milk in the daytime without the greatest concerns I’d likely get raped, murdered and raped again. At a cost of £270 every week. Hopeless and utterly disillusioning is how it feels.
May 6, 2011 § Leave a comment
For Brazilian architects, Angelo Bucci and Alvaro Puntoni, a site topographically unusual for its depression became more advantageous than problematic in relation to meeting the clients’ brief for a live/work environment. Utilising the abrupt drop in ground level, Bucci and Puntoni responded to the need for separatism of these two existential necessities by elevating the 3mW x 25mL tubular office area by two reinforced concrete supports, the only section visible at street level.
Connected to the office space by a steel bridge, but nestled below the street level, the two domestic storeys of the house in Carapicuíba, Brazil, lay in distinct, desired separation. But just as the site encourages this brief to be so surprisingly well-realised, so, too, does its geography allow for great incorporation of indoor and outdoor space. Woods, valley, gardens and pool surround the home storeys, merging with living spaces through sliding glass doors onto a terrace and patio. Similarly, the windows at either end of the office structure allow for a unique aerial viewpoint of the green spaces, thus offering further converging separatism within the property.
Working with the site’s geography and landscape, to allow its unusual topographical dictates govern the realisation of the project, has not only created distinct living and working environments and a merging of nature with structure, but has also meant simplicity of materials. Built from two material elements – concrete and glass – Bucci and Puntoni were less constrained by budget and more able to focus on the build itself. The result is exemplary of the great design and wellbeing that can and should be derived from environmental attentiveness.
Photography by Nelson Kon.
March 27, 2011 § Leave a comment
“Open up a structure to the undulating space of sky, landscape and view, and the building becomes an ever-evolving organism” – Wallace E. Cunningham, architect.
What do you get when you cross a Wrightian-schooled member of the AD 100, a client whose brief is akin to a Warhol-style fluctuating artwork, a plot of land widely considered unsuitable for building, and a $32,000,000 price tag? Answer: the Cunningham-designed home of philosophical merging extraordinaire, The Razor, is on the market.
“Nature is not static, nor should be the efforts of man.” Cunningham has, no doubt, brought forth an appreciable continuum of the Wrightian ‘Organic’ ethic, and a remarkable response to working harmoniously with both the environment and the clients’ own wishes. The resultant reactive structure, deeply embedded within the steep and difficult plot, is in perpetual response to its environment and therefore more living sculpture than inert structure. The clients in question, a couple for whom the La Jolla, California, situation afforded them good opportunity to flow internal to external, requested a residence that would be active and reactive; a building which, rather than dominate or compete with the incredible view, would not only compliment it, but act as a sort of passive viewpoint to the landscape itself.
With the advantageous position, lightness of materials, and an approach to design that is “more intuitive than intellectual,” Cunningham took the clients’ brief and returned a property that is of the sharpest adherence to all necessary components, carrying it to a transcendence of its own materials and into a true work of art.
But if you find yourself salivating at the sight of this highly glorified concrete and glass lookout and with a readily-spendable £32,000,000 (or the seemingly more digestible figure of approximately 20,000,000 if you make your acquisitions in Great British Pounds), then The Razor could be the residence of your reality.