1. citybreaths:

    Mastery over nature? I don’t think so.

    (via architectureofdoom)


  2. fraserarchitecture:

    The classic 50s/60s era State House was soundly and simply built, their current popularity as do-ups is testament to that. 

    Quality affordable housing isn’t impossible and is necessary.

    Bill English is likely right, and if we allowed shanty towns and US style trailer-parks or British style Housing Estate tower blocks, we could certainly solve the housing crisis - history however, shows that the lack of hygiene, warmth, security and dignity inherent in poor quality housing introduces all sorts of other crises - that’s why these areas become ill-maintained, bruised and battered, slums.

    That said, the reason for the 40sqm minimum (one bedroom apartment) size is the too-often poor quality of design. Very small apartments that are well-designed can work well for singles and couples. Particularly with the addition of quality public spaces and facilities. But until we address the design quality of apartments, the best we can do is enforce a minimum size. Because whilst architects know that affordable housing requires smarter design, there’re are too many profit driven development companies that think it requires a meaner design.

    I am delighted that Phil Twyford has said that "Every Kiwibuild house will be architect designed."


  3. "…but then I was very disappointed at my profession as an architect, because we are not helping, we are not working for society, but we are working for privileged people, rich people, government, developers. They have money and power. Those are invisible. So they hire us to visualize their power and money by making monumental architecture. That is our profession, even historically it’s the same, even now we are doing the same… people need temporary housing, but there are no architects working there because we are too busy working for privileged people. So I thought, even as architects, we can be involved in the reconstruction of temporary housing. We can make it better. So that is why I started working in disaster areas."

    Shigeru Ban in his 2013 Ted Talk.  (via subtilitas)

    The disparity between the ‘first-home’ tract housing I worked on in Glasgow and the high-end penthouses and mews refurbs I worked on in London (for probable occupation of a month or so a year), made me ill to think of & I came very close to losing faith with my profession & finding something else to do.  It also rekindled my political fire, so there’s that…

    (via fraserarchitecture)

  4. fraserarchitecture:

    The new Atrium at the Auckland War Memorial Museum, designed by architect Noel Lane, is a very successful contemporary intervention in a historic listed, & much-loved, neo-classical building.  The original building was built to a design by Auckland architectural firm Grierson, Aimer and Draffin, after they won a design competition funded by the Institute of British Architects.

    The Museum was built as a memorial those who died in the Great War (WW1), and the top floor remains a memorial to the human tragedy of war.  The original Sanctuary with the names of fallen soldiers from WW1 has been joined by the Hall of Memories for WW2.  A number of related galleries complete the floor, including the excellent Scars on the Heart which shows the terrible cost of war on human lives.  There is little glory on show, but a lot of pain, loss, fear, and mud.  

    The new Atrium provides new office and work room spaces, as well as function rooms, and a secondary entrance.  The old southern courtyard - a barren, cold, empty space - was given a new glass and copper dome roof.  Beneath this, is a Fijian Kauri clad bowl, though supported on 4 columns, appears suspended.  The form of the bowl speaks to that of the semi-circular Portland stone courtyard wall, with it’s regular grid of rectangular windows.


  5. fraserarchitecture:

    Fractals in traditional African architectures, by design.

    "When Europeans first came to Africa, they considered the architecture very disorganized and thus primitive. It never occurred to them that the Africans might have been using a form of mathematics that they hadn’t even discovered yet." - Ron Eglash

    This is fascinating, & suddenly I want (even more) to go on an architectural study tour across the African continent. Different cultures across Africa are using fractals (only understood in the West in 1977) for everything from urban design to divination, social relationships to games, domestic organisation to education.

    Inevitably there’re those in the comment thread trying to explain indigenous African cultures’ understanding of and use of fractal mathematics, away as happy accident due to ‘primitive measuring skills’. Quite apart from a total lack of evidence given for a lack of such things as rulers (also known as measuring sticks), which is highly unlikely, it could be that they didn’t invent rulers, or millimetres, because they had a system that not only worked better but could be applied to non-physical things - concepts, stories, lessons - too. Perhaps those commentators missed the bit about African mathematical divination tools making their way to Europe, being adopted by Alchemists, and so eventually winding up as the basis for computers. The simple fact that the practitioners of these techniques immediately comprehended what the Western mathematician was talking about, each time he explained why he was interested what they were doing, is evidence enough that they know and understand, that it is conscious, and not just ‘happy accident’.


  6. "…the plan should instantly show the relative importance and use of the various apartments, access to these should be of the easiest, and true architectonic feeling obtained by the whole by allowing the nature of the site and its position with regard to the compass, the character of the materials used in the building, and the habits of the people to use it, together with the personal temperament of the designer shown in this use of mass, line, proportion, light and shade etc, to express themselves fully. When these matters are attended to, how seldom, practically never, does it happen that one plan will suit two clients and two sites, and how the question of style settles itself. It is not a matter of “I wonder what style I shall do this in.” The above set of circumstances determines the style."
    — William Gummer - from The Study of Architecture, a presentation to the Auckland Architectural Students Association (now the AAA) in 1914.  As quoted in Cameron Moore’s “The Design Philosophy of Gummer and Ford” in Proceedings of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand: 30, Open, edited by Alexandra Brown and Andrew Leach (Gold Coast, Qld: SAHANZ, 2013), vol. 2, p 487-497. (via fraserarchitecture)
  7. fraserarchitecture:

    & finished.

  8. fraserarchitecture:

    A long story short(ish?):

    This installation is a reprisal of an earlier one with a new team (other than myself) & in an entirely different space.

    On arrival today we had discussions about location, size & shape mainly because there were some lights we didn’t expect & not knowing that they were intended for this piece, thought we would be in the way of the light if we were positioned as originally agreed. But also because the new team wanted to create a different object from the previous iteration. This was going well until it became clear that this would interfere with another piece - a timeline that will wrap the full extent of the wall either side of our space.

    End result? Half way through we have moved it 1500mm & rotated it 90° - into the originally agreed location, & to be be the original form.

    Better communication with the curatorial team would have undoubtedly helped, but what is architecture if not thinking on your feet & problem solving?

    Tomorrow we will pick up where we left off & we will make it awesome, again.

  9. Architecture+Women Exhibition installation underway!

  10. architectural-review:

    Ideological slurries, the ruins of Marx.