Building Images

preparing the exhibit

Tonight is the opening for the new VCA exhibit, "Building Images: Seventy Years of Photography at Hedrich Blessing." There will be around 80 images, many quite large, which showcase a broad spectrum of the studio's work. The exhibit runs through April 12th.
(image courtesy Ansel Olson)

The Jepson Center for the Arts

museum face

I just posted four frames of Moshe Safdie's Jepson Center for the Arts in Savannah, GA.

The website for Moshe Safdie and Associates is tragically Flash-tastic, but if you have the patience I recommend checking out some of his other work.


Peter Hossli writes about architect Annabelle Selldorf's current project: a Chelsea apartment building in Manhattan with a car elevator so residents can park beside their apartments - regardless which level!

I think this is a fantastic solution to a problem so common in large cities, and while this incarnation will find itself attached to a super-luxurious residential space I think it's a concept worth further developing in urban areas.
(via swissmiss)

Times for a Change

stairwell in the New York Times building

Slate has an informative slide-show essay concerning the new digs for The New York Times. The wood floors in the lobby (obviously not pictured above) are glorious, but I bet they'll be a bear to maintain...

Opus Caementicium

I saw this clever bookshelf on Design Within Reach:

bookshelf with irregularly shaped openings

The Opus Shelving System is inspired by a variation on the ancient Roman building technique of Opus Caementicium. This shelf reflects Opus Incertum, particularly.

I was fascinated by the different styles of wall facing, and particularly that it seems the bricks and/or stones are pressed into cement as the wall is constructed. This answered an interesting quandary for the Romans:

...for all its advantages, concrete had one major defect: it was unsightly. Once the wooden formwork was removed, it showed an ugly surface. In the beginning, its use was mainly restricted to substructures where noone would see it. Practical-minded as the Romans were, they solved the aesthetic problem by covering, or surfacing, concrete by another material which they deemed visually more satisfactory.

-- Roman Concrete by Professor Fikret Yegul, Department of History of Art and Architecture, UCSB

I'd say my favorite of the variations is Opus Reticulatum (or net-like work) where pyramid-esque blocks are pressed point-side into the cement to form a diamond pattern. You can see a great example here from Flickr user Angela Loporchio:

picture of diamond-patterned stone wall