Mar 31, 2011

Folded, a window, unfolded a balcony

alsop lecture

(perdón no consigo incrustar el video en esta ocasión)

Sunset Chapel - Acapulco, Mexico

The stunning Sunset Chapel in Acapulco, Mexico, was completed only recently, but it has already gained much attention for its stark and arresting design by Esteban and Sebastián Suárez of Mexico City-based BNKR Arquitectura.

It is a memorial chapel that will eventually be surrounded by a "garden" of crypts. With its bare-concrete structure that appears eternal, and its slatted walls and glass cross that allow the light to perform its daily magic in the space, Sunset Chapel looks and behaves like a modern-day Stonehenge. Mysterious and stark, yet reassuring and calming; protective, yet part of the surrounding nature.

The elevated shape was partly dictated by an enormous boulder that already ruled the site, and by the wish to allow the spectacular view to be visible from within. At only 120 square meters in size, the chapel evokes a surprising sense of strength. - Tuija Seipell

Mar 30, 2011

Philip Beesley’s Hilozoic Soil

If you’re not already aware we would like to introduce you to the strange bio-tech world of Philip Beesley. We say strange because unlike anyone else we’ve seen it’s Beesley’s work that simultaneously fascinates and repels us. The intricacy of the delicate tectonics, and the visual depth of the work is a convincing display of mechanical reproduction. But the theatrical presence of the work in a space leave little in the way of subtlety. More over there’s an uncanniness to his environments that goes beyond the simple amalgamation of life and machine.
This is no Frankenstein, but there’s undoubtedly something creepy here. From and Animal Architecture point of view, Beesley’s work contentiously resists immediate categorizations. It is neither (exactly) living nor life-less and it’s not directly biomimetic, though clearly there is some inspiration from the biological world… And as such a confounding set of work we’re absolutely enthralled. We have a feeling we’ll be watching Beesley more closely from here on.
Philip Beesley is a trained Architect in Canada and this year’s Canadian representative at the Venice Bienalle. His work has been widely published in a variety of magazines from AD, to Wired, to Domus and many other international publications. For more information about him and his work visit and his press kit can be viewed here. For more information about this year’s Venetian Bienalle check out their website here.
All images courtesy of Philip Beesley.

Bat Tower

An interesting project came our way from a reader a few months ago and we’re working to provide a more in-depth story on the project. However, in the mean time we’ll work with what we’ve got. Joyce Hwang, an architect and instructor at the University at Buffalo has, with the help of her students designed and and constructed a bat tower in Griffiths Sculpture park in the southern part of Buffalo, New York. The project is an excellent example of one way in which humans can build meaningful and valuable structures that benefit a variety of species. It’s also an exciting example of how more modern technologies of rapid prototyping and digital fabrication can be used to create bio-performatic structures (structure behaving with biological systems vs. miming them). Inhabitat has a longer post with more information and some more pictures and stay tuned for our follow up piece on Bat Towers.
All images credit the architect via Inhabitat.