Archive for July, 2008

Wall Flower

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

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Sitting right next to Singapore’s new Changi Airport Terminal 3, WOHA Design’s Changi Airport Crowne Plaza hotel is due to officially open in September. The striking facade features a sunscreen made up of giant frangipani flowers that wraps the building.


When you get closer to the screen and begin to see it from an an angle, the three dimensional qualities of the facade really come into play. At some point, the facade starts looking more like a giant plate of fettucine!

Diamond Life

Friday, July 25th, 2008

A new monograph entitiled Insight and On Site – The Architecture of Diamond and Schmitt has just been released, sporting an image of mine on the wrap around cover. Diamond and Schmitt Architects are one of Canada’s leading firms. I’ve had the pleasure of working with them on a number of projects including the Esplanade Theatres in Medicine Hat, Alberta and the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto.

Bass Solo

Friday, July 18th, 2008

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The basement aquarium tanks at the California Academy of Sciences are gradually being filled with both water and wildlife. Each day it seems, something new is literally moving in.

Most recently, a giant sea bass (who I’m told is about 30 years old) has made its presence felt. I cannot begin to describe the imposing size of this fish. Except perhaps to suggest that its eyeball is about the size of a tennis ball! After spending an hour peering at the tropical tank teeming with hundreds of fish, walking around the corner to confront this single beast, slowly cruising the tank, was quite unsettling. I’m guessing this will be the stuff of many a child’s nightmare.

 

When this fish fixes its gaze upon you, you can certainly feel it.

Over in the tropical rainforest tank, the Amazonian fish are getting a feel for the new territory. Looking up through the tank from the tunnel is quite a trip, particularly as it had just been cleaned for the first time…

Urban Jungle

Saturday, July 12th, 2008

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In Singapore, WOHA Design’s office is in many ways, a test-bed for their ongoing exploration of new materials and methods. The central light well of their reworked five level shophouse provides a lush, textured contrast to the woodgrain and stone used throughout the interior.

The vertical space which brings light and fresh air to the interiors, also provides a visual connection between the various levels.

A similarly planted vertical green wall was used to great effect on their multi award-winning Newton Suites apartment building.

Blessed Context

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

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Stanley Saitowitz’ Congregation Beth Shalom Synagogue in the Richmond district of San Francisco opened in June. Not surprisingly, it’s a mixed bag of reactions from the neighbors who were hesitant about the building fitting in.

Seeing the project up close, one can’t help wondering how the occupants of the house immediately to the left (or perhaps even underneath) the curve of the Sanctuary feel when leaving each morning. One small tremor and…

But ignoring the neighbors for the moment (something they’re used to, I suspect), the design has some beautiful moments.