Fiber and nature inspire public artist

May 1, 2008

By Mason Riddle Trained as an architect, Randy Walker has a keen appetite for creating architecturally inspired public art projects from woven materials. Some originate with pre-existing structures like the 1962, 7.6m high playground Spaceship in Minneapolis’ Brackett Park. About to get the heave-ho because after 45 years, people decided it too dangerous, Walker came …

Book review: Manufacturing Processes for Design Professionals

Reviewed by Jeremy Clark When I was an intern, I worked with an architect who started his career as a contractor. He used to shake his head at new designers coming out of school, who he claimed never had held a 2 x 4 in their hands. He firmly believed that one needed to understand …

Retractable canopy system extends outdoor service of Seattle café

One of Seattle’s public golf ranges gets a makeover to improve outdoor dining at the club café. Part of a series of public golfing centers established by the Seattle parks and recreation department, the Interbay Golf Center is newly renovated so that patrons of the driving range café can enjoy views of the range year-round …

New materials inspire architects

The latest films, membranes and new materials fire the imagination of architects. By Katherine Carlson A fountain of light-filled fabric is the center of The Soft House, one of 15 architectural innovations created for the 2006 Intelligent Living by Design exhibit at Germany’s Vitra Museum. The futuristic vision by Kennedy & Violich Architecture (KVA), Boston, …

Rooftop gutter and ETFE clamping assembly

PTW Architects designed the Beijing National Aquatic Center to take advantage of ETFE’s lightweight to clad the entire building with the air-filled pillows (“bubbles”)—twice! First, for a protective exterior façade and second, for an interior “façade” of the same material with a 5m airspace between them. At the roof level, rain gutters are built into …

Brewer distribution center acclaimed as Britain’s greenest warehouse

The Adnams Distribution Centre in Suffolk, England, instills the green approach to building throughout. By Helen Elias Designed by architects Aukett Fitzroy Robinson and structural engineer Faber Maunsell Aecom, the 90m long, 45m wide new central distribution center for the Suffolk brewer Adnams is being widely acclaimed as Britain’s greenest warehouse. The client, known across …

Metaphors and materials meet in Beijing’s National Stadium

By Frank Edgerton Martin China’s civic infrastructure and economy continues to grow at Olympian proportions. With thousands of skyscrapers, factories and new towns opening each year, design and architecture are moving at the speed of capitalism. Yet, with such a rapid pace everyday design is often uninspired and over-literal in attempts at historicism. Yet, with …

Olympics feature top-to-bottom membrane structures

As the world’s first public top-to-bottom membrane structure, the ETFE infused Watercube gets its moment in the sun this summer in Beijing. For almost five centuries, the Forbidden City—located in Beijing, and home of the imperial palace—has been the symbol of China’s distinct grandeur, as well as its detachment from the world. But with the …

Textile shades protect balconies and apartments

A compact cluster of low-cost apartments soaks up sun and sea on the Mediterranean. Slovenia has a southern coast on the Adriatic Sea that neatly tucks in between Italy and Hrvatska east of Italy. Although it faces northwest and therefore doesn’t quite get the intensity of sun that a Valencia, say, or Monte Carlo might, …

Artists and architects

Launching a working relationship. By Regina M. Flanagan Recently, I was one of 63 artists invited to submit credentials to design the portico for the Pines Dining Hall at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. The Blue Ridge Mountains are a backdrop for the school and I imagined the undulating sculptural form of a …