Sunday, 8 November 2009

Lubricants for the engine of architectural imagination

REAL architecture doesn’t always exist in real physical space. Sometimes the most profound architectural experiences are the internal and imagined ones. Some have argued that all architectural experience is internally created and that this process is continuously happening in every space we inhabit.

However the philosophical aspects of subjective spatial experience shall be left aside in this blog as I want to illustrate the more easy to recognise internal architectural experiences that are so incredibly important in opening the flood gates of inspiration that often leads us to creating beautiful built work in real physical space.

Such internal architectural experiences are often facilitated and aided by beautiful immersive drawings that lubricate the pistons of our imaginative faculties and help us inhabit, move around and feel a space that is not constrained by the physical laws and constraints that often govern our everyday. Shaun Tan’s surreal, wonderful and sensitive hand drawings from his children’s book ‘The Arrival’ do just this. The content is confusing and ambiguous but this is what makes them so enticing and interesting...our inquisitive imagination can’t help but begin to tick over ‘What are those giant owls...are they houses? ...Hills? Where is that tail going to?’ ...this is the beginning of the internal and imagined architectural experience...

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Hallucinations of Jean-Jacques Lequeu

In Post revolutionary France a struggling young Architect called Jean-Jacques Lequeu created these drawings, a mad mix of Egyptian, Gothic, Classical and most of all Baroque (but with more grandiose sheep). Along with the Architecture he dabbled in portraits and pornography, but these marvelous visions, with their completely unconventional mix of the weird and the wonderful remind me of the light-heart follies of Fujimori or the wonderful illustrations of Shaun Tan, more on him later.

Friday, 23 October 2009

The Architectural Reverie of Terunobu Fujimori

I feel like an overexcited child when I see the beautiful, playful and dreamlike creations of Japanese Architect Terunobu Fujimori. His work, drawing from a vast basin of traditional ecological knowledge of indigenous Japanese building methods, interprets these sophisticated and ancient techniques into inventive, innocent and truly unique little gems of contemporary architecture. Featured here is a teaser showing a little of Fujimori’s unconventional techniques such as carved tree trunk models, charcoal wood cladding and brussel sprout window detailing as well as his original take on the green roof and Japanese tea house.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Mud, Glorious Mud

Ever spent fruitless months trying to source an eco-friendly sustainable wall tile that is naturally responsive to amibent room conditions, made by a happy orphan peasant collective in central Peru, has a proven track record of reliability over 10,000 years, comes in under the client's budget and provides a better range of beige than Dulux, well don't worry just use mud! It's cheap, readilly available and look what you can do with it. Shibam in Yemen, the once capitla of the kingdom of Hadramwat, is a wonderful example of the potential of what this modest material can achieve.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

The Hermitic Architect

Many of us can perhaps sympathise with hermitic tendencies and yearn for an insular and quiet place for undisturbed absorption into a favourite past time. Here is one such place, beautiful in its humbleness and humility to its surroundings; the home of a Buddhist yogini, near the entrance to Paro Taksang in Bhutan.