Done under 30 minutes while channeling my inner Safdie.
Rhino + Vray + Photoshop
Base rendering + Photoshop Only
My old work from 2014
One of my favorite things about architecture in general is to make pretty things, which I understand is not the foundation of it. It is just the part that I enjoy the most. I am not a fan of pure automated realistic rendering but I understand that it is necessary in the professional setting most of the time. I get ecstatic whenever I see a rendering where I can spot some artistry involved. Being a technocrat also has room for artistic explorations, but I can be a little traditional when it comes to making it "warmer" in a sense and putting my own personality in it. I believe anyone can click a button, but not everyone can completely make it his own... Just like when I added some hidden chinchillas in the bushes.
It was my first time at the Cooper Hewitt Museum. I enjoyed their development of their interactive wand where you can store information and works that you can access through your temporary personal website printed on your ticket, which of course I lost. I was able to create some 3D drawings through their interactive tables and save them. The exhibits right now include Pixar animations where I was able to just sit down and draw Merida from Disney's "Brave" movie. It showed the process of how Pixar comes up with their designs and stories. David Adjaye, who I met a few years back, also had an exhibit on his Central African textile picks. Other exhibits include "How Posters Work" and other curated architectural furniture, models and drawings.
Provocations: The Architecture and Design of Heatherwick Studio was the star of the show taking up one whole floor full of their experimental, conceptual, upcoming and built works. All the models and prototypes you could wish for form the London-based firm are available for viewing at the exhibit. Their information brochure can be obtained from the large spool located at the entry point as seen in the video above. It ends on January 3, 2016 so catch it while you can. For more information about the exhibit, click here.
I have attempted several times to drive through the borders of Canada to view Habitat 67 by Moshe Safdie. I entertain myself by asking people who did not study architecture to guess the age of buildings such as these. My go-to would always be Habitat 67 and The Breuer Building as mentioned in my previous post. It's always fascinating to hear them guess that they were built during the 21st century. With designs ahead of their time such as that of Moshe Safdie's, there is a conjecture of timeless contemporary qualities through their complex age obscurity.
In Global Citizen: The Architecture of Moshe Safdie Exhibit, you'll see stunning and articulate physical models of his conceptual, current and upcoming international works. It is located at the National Academy at from now until January 10, 2016. It was curated by Donald Abrecht who is a curator of art, architecture and design based in New York. For more information, click here.
Yesterday night at The Great Hall in The Cooper Union, Fuensanta Nieto and Enrique Sobejano gave a lecture courtesy of The Architecture League of New York. They familiarized the audience with their design approach and their works around Europe.
Repetition, Patterns, Geometry, Voids, Roof and Ground were the themes of their presentation.
I definitely want to see their built works in person in Germany, Austria, and Spain. My highlighted project from their portfolio is the Arvo Pärt Centre in Laulasmaa, Estonia because it had the most purpose to the form, material choice and context consciousness out of all the projects that they presented. This was the winning entry selected by the President of Estonia, Toomas Hendrik Ilves on June 2014.
Rendering by Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos
I must admit that I was not able to attend all the amazing lectures and intimate discussion during Archtober in New York City because of work overlap and being sick. I have been catching up with all of it this week, which is of course, the last week for these organized events. However, it will not stop there as I have five more architecture events to attend in the next two weeks.
I missed the last Nordic-specific lecture because I had to go to REX and Front's First Friday and was really torn because it was about Art and Public Spaces, which of course is one of my many main interests. Luckily, they invited me to attend the discussion today that was organized by the Danish Consulate of New York. Little did I know that they would be discussing the main topic of my thesis back in school. I was not able to catch the presentation of Louis because I was caught up at work but was able to walk into Jesper's. After his presentation, it was deja vu all over again as director of AIANY, David Bourney, moderated (in much humor) our intimate discussion with Henning Larsen Architects' managing partner, Louis Becker and award winning Danish lighting designer, Jesper Kongshaug.
Architectural landmarks are reshaping the role and importance of arts institutions. But how does the architect shape a building to match both the surroundings and accommodate the particular requirements of an arts institution and diverse audiences? And how can the architecture of an arts institution create new communities?
Every response was artfully and articulately profound but not too new to me as I investigated this phenomenon for my thesis. People don't ask for culture. They ask for participation. They want inclusiveness. The creation of culture is the new trend. Culture is a key factor in the requirements of most desired and livable cities. As Louis accounted, there are three key things that make a city vibrantly appealing for residing: A university, a hospital and a culture house. If one is missing, then there is a problem. It is the city's responsibility to provide these physical establishments to sustain intangible but invaluable elements that create cohesion within a community.
Some memorable quotes include:
"This 'selfie' phenomenon will probably be over in 2 years. It is nothing but transient." - Louis Becker
This was his response regarding the effect of ubiquitous social media images and the culture of "been there, done that" possibly endangering culture houses. Culture through physical architecture has more permanence than technological trends.
"We build the arts and then we build the cars." - Jesper Kongshaug's Friend
Jesper was sharing his concern about the role of art in the accelerated technological age to his German friend. He offended her by saying that she won't have a problem in her country, Germany, because they are prosperous from producing their quality products. I cannot emphasize how those words have so much meaning to me because it's something I have always said, just in different words. It is what keeps me going.
"Well, it's quite different in England. They kept us quiet by beating us. It was more cost effective." - David Bourney
We were discussing the problem of noise in kindergartens when we got off on a not too far tangent. Louis shared that the research department of his firm in Denmark had conducted studies regarding using artificial light as a solution to control the noise of the children. The dimmer, the quieter. The brighter, the louder. David's response was of course in humor. There are multiple ways of solving problems through design, and the former proved to be one of them. On that note, please stay tuned for an article I wrote for a sound design company in Berlin regarding sound in conjunction with design.
It was a very familiar but yet still thought-provoking, I thoroughly enjoyed this informative, casual and quite humorous discussion with some of the leading designers from Denmark and Danish designers based in NYC. There is quite a difference between this particular discussion than the previous ones I attended because there was a sense of involvement, which is a demonstration itself of the matter at hand.
Completed recently at 2013, De Rotterdam by OMA was definitely in my checklist. However, I did not expect to stay there initially. I was not aware that they had a hotel designated in the shifting volumes and was ecstatic to find out that I could stay in the vertical city.
Rotterdam is not as dense as New York City so the scale and reflective density of the structure definitely stood out while walking across the Erasmus Bridge by Ben van Berkel. A little short of 500 feet or 149 meters, it will not complete with some of the tallest buildings in the world. The experience you get from the building however, is quite unique compared to your standard form extrusion.
The vertical city is manifested through the assignation points where different uses and users intersect. While travelling vertically, there is a sense of having a neighbor through the voids in between volumes. The nearsighted transparency of OMA's choice of glass facade plays a role in this experience as I waved hello to the middle volume's working tenants. They waved back with a smile and continued working on their computers. There is a lack of privacy in the building cavities explicitly, but the rooms themselves have all the privacy with almost all hotel rooms having no views of their neighbors. Inside the room, however, transparency is your envelope. It is both your friend and enemy. The lightness and the multi-use of demising glass panels make the space simple and allows natural light to pour through the room but it's almost like living without interior walls. If you plan on staying here with someone, please keep in mind that you will definitely see everything they do in the bathroom and that there are no walls where you can hide to change unless you go inside a closet. The controlled transparent boundaries build cohesion in a small scale and De Rotterdam as a whole.
My friend and I had the opportunity to have breakfast at the hotel and it was a nice opportunity to sample a typical Dutch breakfast buffet. I will admit that I hoarded the all the different breakfast sprinkles and brought them home with me-- only to find out that they're available in Asian (not American) supermarkets in New York City as soon as I got back. The furniture was quite fitting and we had beautiful views. Despite being in the middle of summer, it was quite chilly so we opted to stay inside and enjoyed our post-breakfast food coma with macaroons and coffee.
On our way out to explore the city, I had the unique opportunity to witness glass panels being replaced at the plinth of the building. It seemed that they were replacing it with a darker tinted IGU in contrast to its neighboring units, which made sense because it received the most sunlight. Although the hue is still in the blue range, the difference of the tint and treatment is quite stark and I hoped it was not a difficult compromise for the designers. The facade engineering side in me feels all the work that was done behind that small area of work.
I do highly recommend people to stay in Nhow Rotterdam because of the view you get from the hotel of Rotterdam and the Erasmus Bridge. I do not recommend it for families with older offspring unless you are comfortable with baring it all to your family. Friends, yes, but again depends on how deep your friendship is! It is quite far from the main train station but definitely walkable if you do not have too many things with you. It was such a pleasant walk, too!
It wasn't until this year did I start investing in room design stuff. I think everyone I met this year while travelling has influenced me to just care more about where I sleep. It took a while to curate these things and some of these took months before I could obtain it because I thought they were not available in the US initially. The more I sought after these things, the more aware I became about retailers and designers that bring these things from around the world.
Kaleido Tray - Hay
This was designed by Clara von Zweigbergk. Many colors and sizes are available and I chose the gray one with a cool tone. It's where I put my jewelry and watches. I'm able to expand it through their modular design.
Lup Candle Holder - Hay
Designed by Shane Schneck of Office for Design, this simplistic candle holder has a lot of serendipitous meaning that connects New York City and Copenhagen for me. It's a little secret story that I will not tell!
Arne Jacobsen Cup - Design Letters
I was debating on which letter to get because I go by different names. I decided to go with my real first initial. I also have the gray lid for it which is purchased separately. I just put my cotton inside it.
Flip Mirror in Black - Normann Copenhagen
I actually bought this in the US for a fraction of a price because it was the last piece. I wanted the white one but found meaning in finding a cheap gem!
Pearl Gray Marble - My Office
The great thing about rejected samples in my architecture office is that we can take it with us for our own use. I use it as a side table for my candles and burners.
Ceramic Oil Burner - Muji
I use this almost every single day. I was debating on whether to get the electric diffuser or the burner but ended up with the latter because there's something about its naturalness that makes the aroma seem purer. It is absolutely easy to clean, affordable and highly effective.
First Friday is an architecture office open house for leading New York based firms which is organized by The Architecture League of New York. It's been a while since my own firm's First Friday and I believe this is the first one I have attended since then. Yesterday I attended the First Friday of REX and Front.
While it is about seeing the firm's office and their works to see what they're about, it's quite a known fact that it is also an event for food and drinks. I went with my friend Richard as well as the principal of my firm and my colleague. What's also great about these events is that you always see someone you know and it's always good to see some familiar faces. I used to work with the Director of Business of REX, and it was nice catching up with her and for her to share her experiences with me. More than anything, I bumped into my good college friends, Mahesh and Stephanie. It was really unexpected so all of us decided to grab dinner after the event.
My friend and I personally congratulated Joshua Prince-Ramus for winning prestigious 2015 Marcus Prize for Architecture last month. He's very reserved and quite humble. We met Sarah who was visiting from Dubai in the subway station on the way to the event and she asked Richard to take a photo of her and Joshua, but my former colleague photobombed it. It was hilarious, and I wish I had asked her to send that photo to me. Sarah invited Richard and I to visit her in Dubai. It's always fun meeting international people!
Next month is Richard's firm's First Friday. To get tickets for the First Fridays, see here. If your are a member of the League, you and a friend can get in for free. Just remember to send your RSVP!
Below are some photos of some of their models and work. The first one is a project in Finland, of course!
Hej! I am Katherine Ann A. Salamat and I am originally from the Philippines. Currently, I am an architectural designer in New York City. I love all things Nordic, language, design, food, travel, anthropology and experiential writing.