Saturday, August 30, 2014

God is in the Detail!

This Idiom made me think of the importance of details in different fields.

God is in the Detail can mean many things but here, I am restricting my definition and describing its importance in only art and architecture field.
Details can enhance the overall concept, and when architects and planners keep them in front along with the overall concept, the project becomes experiential and memorable! Even, in contemporary art, details need to be used intuitively.
1- Architecture ( Details as materials and texture)
Getty Center in Los Angeles
The facade is covered with square stones and aluminum panels, designed to create a uniform grid. What makes it rich and unique is the texture of the stone. Architect Richard Meier has used beige colored, cleft cut square (76 cm x 76 cm )textured, fossilized travertine. To create that texture, which I see it as a  detail, his staff along with Mariotti factory owner worked for a year and designed an automated guillotine.

The Getty Center- Photo Credit- Neela Design Inc.
2- Master Planning (Details as symbolic, economic and experiential expression)
Walk of Faith, Crystal Cathedral , Garden Grove
This project is going through a major renovation after being bought by Roman Catholic group. The path lined with Granite stepping stones known as "Walk of Faith", as shown in the photo below, is going to be demolished  in the new phase. However, when I visited the campus and walked over and started reading the words engraved on the stones, I was transported in spiritual realm and elated me. Each stone has words from scriptures and chosen by individual who donated money.
I love the one in photo- "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" 
That is Detail for me.
Crystal Cathedral, Garden Grove.Photo Credit- Neela Design Inc.
Walk of Faith, Words from Scriptures on Stepping Stone, Photo Credit- Neela Design Inc. 

Meier and his staff worked for a year with the quarries to invent a process using a guillotine to produce the unique finish. - See more at:
This beige-colored, cleft-cut, textured,
This beige-colored, cleft-cut, textured, fossilized travertine - See more at:
This beige-colored, cleft-cut, textured, fossilized travertine - See more at:
This beige-colored, cleft-cut, textured, fossilized travertine - See more at: automated guillotine was created  to split the stone along its natural bedding plane.
3-Painting  of  Georgia O'Keeffe  (Details as colors)

“Nothing is less real than realism. Details are confusing. It is only by selection, by elimination, by emphasis, that we get at the real meaning of things.”
Georgia O'Keeffe

Sky above the clouds series is a painting by Georgia O'Keeffe where she has represented a scene of clouds disappearing in the horizon. She expressed the recognizable forms of clouds and horizons as abstraction still the details are expressed as colors. Yes, it is an art and not a photograph, intriguing for sure! This can be even said as "The Devil is in the Details" !

Friday, August 1, 2014

Wooden Structure in Residences ( Japan & Austria)

Wooden Frame Building - Designed by Toyo Ito,
The light and shadow of the wooden structure of the timber bridge from earlier post reminded me of a simple square house designed by Toyo Ito, commissioned by Tokyo gas. The client invited four architects to design the house of the future, "Sumiko Project".  Toyo Ito did not design the house with futuristic shapes or forms or technology.  Toyo Ito designed a simple, square house under 1000 sq. ft. The rectangular walls were created with geometry of hexagon shaped wooden members and the flat roof was supported by irregularly placed 4 columns. Primary materials used in this house were wood, glass and concealed steel rods. By the way, check the outside walkway to the building, shaped in the same geometry. Now this is creative design using the same traditional materials.


Wooden Frame Building- Designed by Heri & Salli
Another example of creative design of Wooden Frame Building- Designed by Heri & Salli
Vienna, Austria based architect Heri & Salli designed this office for the client "Austrian Facade System Company". The angular wooden shingle covered facades are framed in wooden post and beams. Also, as per current trend of making office fun and play activities, the wooden members are used as play props. Check out the photos below. This is really creative design rather than using tent or play structure inside the office space like Dropbox has done in San Francisco.