Divine Intervention 

Mathieu Lehanneur creates a gorgeous contemporary addition to the original roman setting of St-Hilaire Church in Melle. Jim, this one’s for you.

Joseph Dirand Architecture 

His brother Adrien—the photographer—is sure doing an effing good job.

Azure: Fogo Island’s Cultural Revival 

If you’re at the mag shop, waltz over to the design section and take a look at the latest Azure issue. Making the cover is a well written article covering the completion of the Long Studio on Fogo Island, which I visited and photographed last February . Beautiful architectural photography by Bent René Synnevåg.

In-between architecture 

For Patrick E. and his students, who regularly reproduces famous bedrooms (or bedrooms of famous architects) at 1:1 scale: Studio Mumbai Architecture presents at the V&A a reproduction of a dwelling “that is crammed into narrow urban allotments” commonly found inside Mumbai city’s grid of buildings. In the video they say these spaces represent 50% of Mumbai’s city dwellings, which basically means every in-between space between buildings in the city is somehow inhabited:

While quite tiny, the original structure houses a family of eight. Though seen as parasitic, these homes offer intelligent design solutions in a city where space is scarce. Like its neighbouring sculptures, ‘in-between architecture’ is a cast of the space in mumbai.

Moulding urban space! The negatives of our daily living spaces!

Apple: Walk-Through of Their Giga-Million Dollar Antenna Testing Lab 

Um, can we see more of these boneriffic sci-fi-bat-cave interiors? What other secret installations do these kids have in Cupertino?

CCA: Geoff Manaugh on Method 

This summer, BLDGBLOG’s Geoff Manaugh has been crowned Resident Blogger at the CCA. He’s been taking plunges in their archives and blogging his discoveries on the CCA’s website and on the bldgblog. And tonight, good news to montrealers: he’s taking the stage at the CCA and talking about the experience and “the strategic opportunities and limitations of blogging as a form of architectural research”. 6pm. See you there.

UPDATE: Non-Montrealers rejoice! The talk will be streamed live.

Vanity Fair: Top 20 architecture projects since 1980 

As voted by a jury of 52 architects. Frank Gehry’s Bilbao Guggenheim seems to be the flat out favourite. View the whole list here. (via Kottke)

Et Quebec poursuit sa lancée! Au lieu de mettre la “tour Eiffel” de Londre sur la page couverture de la Presse ce matin, on aurait du voir le résultat de la compétition de l’agrandissement du Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec remporté par la firme neerlandaise OMA. Situé sur Grande-Allée et adjacent l‘église St. Dominique, le projet d’agrandissement de la MNBAQ sera la première construction de OMA en territoire canadien. Ils visent terminer la construction en 2013.

Mise à jour


Pour mes amis designers & architectes: des espaces de vie trop léchés font des gens trop tristes. Hence Unhappy Hipsters. Faîtes plutôt comme mon ami Charles-Antoine et mettez des pin-ups qui dansent dans vos rendus architecturaux. C’est toujours plus plaisant. (via le @jeanhambourg) 

TED: Captivating talk by architect Joshua Prince-Ramus of REX on the design work and contextual considerations that shaped the Wyly Theatre in Dallas. His rejects starchitecture, emphasizes on the nature of collaboration, and therefore fervently believes that architecture should result in solutions « that neither can be imagined initially nor individually. » 

With all those fireworks, good thing they didn’t make a CCTV out of themselves: the Burj Dubai—renamed Burj Khalifa only a few hours ago—is now open. (Merci Joanie) 

Gorgeous and distinctive use of wood for the concrete formwork (the molds into which the concrete is poured) in this Antwerp four story house. Design for and by CSD Architecten, it also subtlety features a street facade glass wall garage. Like parking in a boutique.  

Pick up this week’s edition of the New Yorker and there’s an excellent and exhaustive article about architecture’s superstar Zaha Hadid. Covering the story of her latest project—the Museum of 21s Century Art in Rome (MAXXI)—it also explores where she has come from and how her views of architecture have been challenging the status quo since the 70/80s and are still, today, as fresh. The accompanying audio slideshow gives you the gist of it.

And 1000pts if you can guess the name of the photographer behind the photographs of the MAXXI museum. Watch out, bragging ahead: I got it right.


For Patrick, Francis and other design brains: Ten Reasons to buy the BLDGBLOG book. I have a weakness for books that encompass more than single subject—or a single subject which is approached and treated in many numerous ways—and who celebrate that spirit instead of shunning the idea and streamlining the whole thing way too much.

I know magazines are supposed to fulfill this precise approach, neverhteless, I feel that many should take note, cause it ain’t happening.


J’ai trop de sarcasme qui veut sortir en même temps: mes chers amis apprentis architectes, pratiquez-vous dès maintenant, parce que c’est une des sections d‘évaluation dans les examens de l’Ordre: How to write like an architect. Tant qu‘à faire, “wake up the letters” de ton mémoire de maîtrise de même

James, my Australian Sydney-born friend, why didn’t you tell me about these marvels? An overview of the many (40!) coastal pools of Syndey. I love the Pruned prose (emphasis mine): “[…] You sense that so embedded are [the pools] in the cultural geography of the city that they’ve become an indelible part of its psyche, soaked into its citizens’ genetic makeup after so many decades decades dipping into these baptismal fonts.” 

Next time you’re in TO, make sure to visit the recently revamped Art Gallery of Ontario. The grandiose transformation was realized by toronto-born star architect Frank Ghery and include new galleries spaces, a new facade, a whole new wing… (it’s unclear what hasn’t been remodeled). Additionally, many new private collections were unveiled with the building last month. AGO pool on Flickr. This is Ghery’s first contruction in Canada, hopefully not his last. 

James, Charles: Results for the International Criminal Court architecture competition in La Hague. 1st Prize is awarded to german studio Ingenhoven Architects: “The design is not an overly defensive ‘security-architecture’ but an expression of fairness and a court of law as a place of court hearings.” It’s also interesting to compare the winning projects and what the other participants submitted. C’est juste un peu dommage qu’on n’ait pas de vues d’un peu plus près (ou de l’intérieur). 

Beijing Olympics just finished and London’s are next. Their blog keeps all up to date during the 4 years of prep, like what the new velopark will look like. And seeing it in the animation reminded me: anybody else missed the Olympic BMX racing on TV? 

Pour mes amis architectes: Arup in Beijing affiche des images, des vidéos et des modèles 3d de plusieurs gigantesques constructions chinoises qu’ils ont réalisé tel le stade Olympique, le bassin aquatique, le terminal T3… Des p’tites choses quoi. 

Je récupère sans inhibition le billet Kottke sur le sujet: How Buildings Learn, une série documentaire de la BBC sur la façon dont les bâtiments qui peuplent notre environnement construit viellissent et murissent avec le temps et notre utilisation. La série est basée sur le livre de Steward Brand How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built

What to make out of small spaces? Y’a beaucoup à faire avec un peu d’ingéniosité: Chatou, un pavillon de cour réamnéagé pour un adolescant, un endroit maintenant où on d’y dormir, d’y vivre, d’y étudier et de s’y laver – le tout en 12m2 en double hauteur. A machine for living. Conçu par H2O architectes

Tinker Hatfield, VP du design chez Nike, explique l’influence de l’architecture du centre Georges Pompidou sur le design de la première série de Nike Air en 1987. Je veux voir plus de ça, des explications d’influences créatives puisées dans des domaines complétement séparé. Somewhat related: Zaha Hadid design aussi des souliers. (merci Francis) 

Si vous cherchez à flaner encore plus longtemps vous instruire sur internet, Archdaily a complié un liste des blogs d’architecture les plus plus du net: YaMoPo (yet another most popular architectural blogs). Personellement, j’aime la recherche et la curation derrière Dezeen, The Coolhunter, ArchiDose & BLDGBLOG. Et oui plus peut être employé comme adjectif. 

Seattle based Domestic Architecture vient de rentrer dans mon top 10 de studio de design d’architecture résidentielle. Ajusté, sans prétention.  

NY Times: Jean Nouvel gagne le prix Pritzker (la plus haute distinction en architecture). J’ai toujours apprécié son oeuvre et son approche démunie d’une touche esthétique personnelle répétée. Il a toujours en tendence à développer plutôt en résonance et dialogue (contrasté ou non) avec le contexte d’insertion, formant des bâtiments aussi uniques que les espaces où ils sont implantés. Allez surtout voir les diaporamas, ils sont toutes annotés et pour compléter, Designboom a un interview plus intéressant avec Johnny (et d’autres photos également). 

Outre le fait qu’il n’est parmi nous qu’une fois au 4 ans, le 29 fevrier fut tout aussi exceptionnel cet année: c’est cette journée que le plus grand bâtiment au monde —Terminal 3 du Beijing Capital International Airport— a ouvert ses portes. Conçu par Foster + Partners et réalisé en moins de 4 ans, le batiment s‘étend sur 1,3 millions de mètres carrés (genre 17,333 4½ dans le plateau) et performe a plusieurs niveaux: “the new terminal offers an unparalleled travelling experience, not only technologically, but also in terms of operational efficiency, passenger comfort, sustainability and access to natural light.” On cite Norm Foster lui-même: “[…] a celebration of the thrill and poetry of flight. A gateway to Beijing, it communicates a unique sense of place, its dragon-like form evoking traditional Chinese colours and symbols.” 

Monday World Architecture News: Dubai. Firstly, let’s set the table, let’s get updated on what is being built over in the UAE. Here is a collection of renderings (four pages) of “only a small portion of the buildings that are being proposed, constructed or developed in Dubai and its surrounding region.” In this land of endless potential and infinite possibilities, the biggest architecture players are each pushing and redefining contemporary architecture in every new construction, may it be formal or conceptual. However, in response to the “growing superficiality [and] deadening sterility” that are faced contemporary cities and the “growing use of high-end architecture as a tool for self-promotion”, Rem Koolhaas and his Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) are also proposing a metropolis in the metropolis. The gridded generic city made of smaller scale “nondescript towers and occasional bold architectural statements constructions” is an experience in urban construction and a critic to the development of Dubai as a “theme parks of architectural tchotchkes“. Our own Charles-Antoine & Anne-Sophie were working hard on this project over in Rotterdam last summer. 

If the windy city is your kind of town too: Forgotten Chicago‘s goal “is to discover and document little known elements of Chicago’s infrastructure, architecture, neighborhoods and general cityscape, whether existing or historical”. And as a side platter to all that research, why not a series of flickr image sets cherishing a similar passion for the architectural heritage of Chicago. (thanks Tracey) 

Pour tous les fringants de design et d’architecture progressiste, la 4e édition de Pecha Kucha Montréal aura lieu demain. Ces soirées consistent en une série démos et présentations de designers, organisées dans l’idée de générer un environnement où les créateurs de tous les domaines peuvent venir présenter. Il y a plusieurs projets d’envergures qui méritent d‘être vus. Si vous ne pouvez pas vous rendre à la SAT, plusieurs des projets sont également présentés sur le web. 

Je suis vraiment déçu. Sachant que Montréal est la ville UNESCO du design, je m’attendais qu’avec le Festival Montréal en Lumière, on annoncerait l’inauguration d’un immeuble semblable au Kunsthaus Graz en Autriche. Ça d’l‘air que je vais devoir faire un voyage en Autriche. 

Le Festival Montréal en lumière bat son plein. Par contre, on sait bien que le mot lumière n’est là que par parure. Si c‘était bel et bien un festival de show et lumière, il y aurait des installations comme celle de l’Uniqa Tower de Vienna. 

Tiens, prends ça avec un café: City of Sound présente une collection de facades architecturales expressives, intéractives, animées. Tape à l’oeil, pssst: le bâtiment essaie de te dire qqch. Aussi beaucoup d‘énergie dépensé trop souvent pour un effet plutôt bof—ça n’enjolie pas toujours et ce n’est certainement pas une façon de se rattraper pour avoir fait une facade moche. Mais initier un dialogue est honorable, reconnaissons-le. J’aime les effets moiré du low-tech. Et tiens, parlant surfaces et low-tech: je heart le studio Troïka de tout mon petit coeur. À voir et t‘émerveiller si tu vas à Heathrow. 

Architypes’ Notable Projects “somehow redefine our understanding of a certain typology”. Vol 3: Civic is out. All constructions on american soil except for one in Ontario. L’adjectif “pas très délicat” semble aller main en main avec les concepts de justice, fédéral et autorité (pas tous, mais quelques uns). Le US Federal building à SF sort droit de Minority Report. J’aime. 

Cinquante ans après Brasília, Oscar Niemeyer a 100 ans aujourd’hui

Résultats du Concours Créativité Montréal 2007. Toujours très heureux de voir des beaux espaces d’ici réalisés par des gens d’ici. Plusieurs (particulièrement les boîtes de pub) très léchés. 

Storefront for Art and Architecture in Soho is showcasing a BIG (a collective of Copenhagen architects and designers) exhibition of proposals for innovative residential typologies, which includes a a 250,000 piece lego tower. There’s a time-lapse video of the making at the bottom of the page and pictures of close-up details this way. It’s quite surprising the amount of planing required to build such a structure, much like life-size architecture. 

Drains of Canada : an interview with urban explorer Micheal Cook. 

Video-tecture: Archinect lists a series of music videos “that overlap the [...] format with architecture, landscape, and/or urbanism”. I’m glad the list is conceptually inclined–ideas of what is architecture–instead of simply stating videos filmed in popular constructions. Even includes 50 Cent’s P.I.M.P.: like other “contemporary mainstream hip hop videos [it has] almost completely perverted architecture to a ridiculous farce where shiny white villas, neo-baroque staircases, and humongous pool areas are complimentary served with bling, cars, girls, and Cristal.”  

Wallpaper* Architects Directory 2007. Periodic table of a 101 of the world’s most exciting architects. (via Kollectif) 

Contemporaneous Architecture with Gary Gehry : tant de frustrations relachées à un seul moment. Putain que ça fait du bien. 

Modern Castles : urbanisme militaire en Irelande du Nord. 

Casino Design : je me tue si c’est le seul emploi que je peux avoir plus tard. 

Pardon my dystopian esthetic, but it saddens me that Kisho Kurokawa’s Capsule Tower is getting destroyed. 

Johnston Marklee arhitecture. Super-sweet houses and more. 

MoPo 2007 : Current Top 25 Architecture Blogs. Leur méthode de comptabiliser est un peu sketch, mais bon, la liste est bonne peu importe l’ordre.  

Death by architecture: the preeminent site for architecture competition information on the internet. Tu cherches des compés? T’en trouves. Y’en a comme plein. Information aficionados: check the neat flash calendar on the side. 

Calatrava unveiled monday the latest design for Chicago’s new waterfront skyscraper. At 2000 feet, it’s 550 feet higher than the Sears tower. I am however surprised of the very small and elegant footprint versus its overall height.  

Frank Gehry’s Abu Dhabi adventure. “I’ve just turned 78 and am about to design the biggest Guggenheim yet. Can I pull it off?”  

Architecture for Humanity launches the Open Architecture Network. Improve living conditions through innovative and sustainable design. Find people, projects and ressources. 

AALOG: picture (and video) blog for the AA School of architecture.  

Unrealized Moscow : Utopian soviet architecture that never was. 

Intern Architects in Hell. It doesn’t stop after graduation. 

Abu Dhabi Museum Project. “Abu Dhabi’s royal family plans to buy a $650 million (€500 million) share of the Louvre. This will allow them to transfer several hundred artworks to the Arab metropolis for an initial term of 20 years.” When you have enough money, you can do pretty much what you like. Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel, Tadao Ando ont tous soumis des propositions formelles. 

Achidose visited 30 places/buildings in 30 days in NY and made a report for each and one of them. I was enjoying this this past month as he was publishing one daily.  

The Soviet Roadside Bus-stops. “For the most part Soviet architecture and design is remembered for its heavy block buildings and functionally Spartan designs. Its overpowering desire for conformity left little room for individual creative freedom. A notable exceptions to this is in the transportation sector. [...] The themes that these decorated bus stops took usually varied depending on the region, often reflecting the local culture, history, or industries.”  

Touch is an urban interactive installation. An interactive pattern is drawn by the user on a screen which is then projected on the building’s facades.