December 23, 2006

Seasonal Greetings

Blogging will resume shortly.
Merry Christmas and a happy new year!


October 10, 2006


Originally uploaded by scisar.

A teaser before I resume blogging tomorrow. Enjoy.

leap of absence - is over tomorrow

I am sorry for leap of absence. Unfortunately I was busy with my exams. Coverage and posting continues tomorrow.

September 19, 2006

Coup attempt in Thailand?

Apparently the PM of Thailand has been overthrown in an army coup. The Council of Political Reform has claimed responsibility and declared their loyalty to the king.
Breaking News via: Swissinfo/SDA, BBC World, CNN

Koolhaas unveiled Cornell Building

A computer rendering of how Milstein Hall, designed by Rem Koolhaas, will look behind Sibley Hall on the campus of Cornell University.

Rem Koolhaas was hired last January by Mohsen Mostafavi, the dean of the Architecture Department at Cornell.
The building will be a box, not a "...massive presence, but nevertheless a strong presence." “We didn’t want to do a literal masterpiece, but an almost mysterious single beam of modernity,’’ and furthermore Koolhaas said, that “The box is always an isolated thing. But here, we use the box as a connector. You could say it’s a postmodern use of the box.” However, the design will be very simple, according to Mostafavi, but pro- and diagrammed based on the research of the daily use. “It’s definitely an exercise in modest, discreet intervention."
The plans have now to be approved by the City Council of Ithaca, where the University is located Upstate New York.
Groundbreaking is expected in 2007 and completition in 2009.
via: NY Times

September 18, 2006

Herzog & De Meuron Art Museum for Miami

H&dM were recommended and picked by Terence Riley, the Miami Art Museum's new Director, and a commitee that was researching on works of various architects for months. A civic panel endorsed the choice.
The new home for the museum is expected to cost $208 million and will be the Bicentennial Park/Museum Park on Biscayne Bay.
First designs of the project will be reveiled at the Art Basel in 2007.
via: NY Times and Miami Herald.

September 15, 2006

The design weblog Dezain is my main referrer today. So thank you to Eizo Okada and his Dezain and to all of you readers for visiting my blog and I hope to entertain you in future with more interesting stories and posts.

September 14, 2006

The Architecture of Roche and Novartis

As mentioned in my previous post about the introduction of a new tower by Roche, design by Herzog De Meuron, 10vor10 shows that Novartis is building there too.

I will update this post tomorrow with some images and further information, but as a sneak-peak: Frank Gehry, Sanaa, Diener & Diener and others were hired for designs.

Neill Blomkamp - Aspiring Director

Once one of my professors at the ETH told us to go out become inspired, watch movies, go to the theater or dance. Well back than we hadn't much free time so we had to be inventive, but after my year in the US I consider myself a Hollywood-Movie pundit. That's right. So I'd like to introduce you in future to movies or directors I have on my personal watch-list.

Today It's Neill Blomkamp, a Johannesburg native, is a fairly gifted young aspiring director. One that grew up with all that new technology and computers and he doesn't fear using it in his shorts and advertisements, which he has been doing so far. He uses CGI as it is just a cutting method, you can't tell whether the shown object is a built prop or just digitally generated. Absolutely great to see.

He has done commercials for Nike and Citroen most notably.
Groundbreaking and certainly important for his future film making are his shorts Tetra Vaal and Alive in Joburg. The latter features some sort of aliens that are stranded on earth and live in the shantytowns of Johannesburg. You could clearly read it as a critique, because it describes a situation that resembles Apartheid.

Tetra Vaal continues by introducing a robot that performs as a modern police-soldier, replaceable and repairable fighting in a urban-war zone, that unmistakeably looks like Joburg's Townships.

He did another short about a robot that is introduced to a company as "co-worker" and his integration afterwards, or lack thereof; especially in means of love. That might sound absurd at first, but once again the 'bot seamlessly blends in and you even start forgetting that it's synthetic, or even cgi. The robots, although not having that appeal visually, perform "humanoid" what makes you symphatize.

The ad's for citroen, feature cars transforming into robots - again. After I heard that Michael Bay is re-adapting Transformers for the big screen, I hoped that Blomkamp would be involved in it somehow, since the two 'bots from the ad's would make pretty good 'Transformers'.
That seems quite unlikley, but Blomkamp will direct Halo - yes, the alien/marine-shooter-game big-screen adaptation. The project that Peter Jackson was to direct at first will be the cinema-debut for a director I hope hearing from much more in future. Jackson him self acts now as Executive Producer and the Halo-Project which is slated for screen in 2008 is in pre-production.

Of course his ability in utilizing CGI is astonishing and not much seen before, but his filmmaking where he is able to express his vision as a director I suppose is most visible in his short films. They are almost all a combination of a documentary-style, hand-crank-camera and "normal" filming. The intensity might not be there yet, but reminds me of a less graphical Tony Scott or a Michael Mann, actually two of my favourite directors. Actually Blomkamp is represented also by Ridley Scott's Production Company, RSA Films.
I hope I was able to share a little bit of my excitement of Neill Blomkamp's work and why I really look forward on seeing more of his work.

Below you'll find two excerpts from his collections of shorts and advertisements.
- The Citroen-Ad:

- and the new short yellow/adicolor, a darker version of Cameron's iconic Dark Angel:

Log 8

For a moment let's stay at 41W25th, Log 8 is out, so go get one!

Peter's minute - updated

Peter answered some questions.
He's reading Houellebecq's latest and thinks building a sacred space might be interesting.
Since we live in a super confidential world I won't comment much on it, except we all look forward for some more pics and his new "bible" Eisenmanual.

Although still no picture, here an article about the two Pompeii train stations that Eisenman Architects is designing.

Ceal Floyer at the Swiss Institute

Who ever walked south on broadway in SoHo, might have noticed a sleek flag with the letters S-I on it.
Well, that's the logo of the Swiss Institute of Conteporary Art, which this fall will host an exhibition about the British Artist Ceal Floyer between September 20th and October 21st. The opening reception is on September 20th between 6-8pm.

Herzog De Meuron Tower for Basel

updated on 15.9.06, 16.9.06
Here we go again, after the recent post about the redevelopment of the fair in Basel by Herzog & De Meruon, today at a media briefing in Basel their design for the new tower for Roche was announced and introduced.
Roche, a global health-care company, based in Basel, will be redeveloping their headquarters-campus, also by adding a 160m (524 feet) tower; which would become Switzerland's highest tower. The timetable suggests an approval by the city's council by the end of 2007 and once approved, construction would take place between 2008 and 2011.

First comments from politicians, no matter what couleur, suggest that they are excited about the project and really look forward to it. What pleased them most is the fact, that this tower by Roche is a bold statement for the city of Basel as location.

Take a look at some images, the official presentation and read the official media release.

The redevelopment of the Roche campus will cost about $640 million and will include two buildings by Herzog & De Meuron. The 160m tower mentioned above, will gather 2400 Roche-workplaces, that are currently spread over Basel. Additonally a new research and development (R&D) centre will be built to replace the old laboratory.

Roche is Switzerland's second-biggest pharmaceutical company behind its Basel-based rival, Novartis. It has a total workforce of 70,000 people worldwide, including 7,500 in Switzerland.
Roche, confident in maintaining a strategy of growth, created 1000 jobs in the city of Basel in the past years; their half-year net income rose a 37% to $3.6 billion.
Meanwhile Novartis will invest about $1.5 billion to redevelop it's own campus, not far from the Roche site, their masterplan has already been introduced and Novartis hired such architects as Frank Gehry, Sanaa and Diener & Diener to name a few (more about the Novartis plans here.)

Below a visualization of the project:

Furthermore an interview from from the guys at venicesuperblog (blogging about la Biennale) with Jacques Herzog from HdM about the ETH-Studio Basel and their project on Switzerland, which is shown in the Italian Pavilion:

September 13, 2006

My Celebrity look-alikes

fun isn't it?

September 11, 2006

9/11 - The New Cityscape of Fear - updated

Cityscape of fear
The online news magazine Salon recently featured an article about the Cityscape of fear, claiming that the American Architecture is still reeling from the 9/11 attacks. Security is the main concern, even five years since the attacks occured, and you can see the effects everywhere: from jersey barriers in front of the Lincon Center, posts and bollards became ubiquitous aswell as planters and fences. These barricades are sucking the soul out of urban life.
Highrise Boom
The San Francisco chronicle claims that altough the terror threat fails to stem the high rise boom, defensive measuers focus on fortifying the buildings bases against possible attacks. Currently there are five towers are under construction that will exceed 30 stories.While Chicago approved recently the 2000-foot Fordham Spire and Boston will maybe feature soon a 1000-foot tower in the historic finacial district. While Lord Foster's WTC-Design of the "kissing towers" has been rejected, he was able to lead on a series of new mayor towers in New York City that have been introduced after 9/11. Actually his Hearst Tower opened just last year. 2002 the design for the new 1046-foot New York Times Tower by Renzo Piano was hailed as breakthrough for the Manhattan Skyline, it's construction end is slated for 2007.

The World Trade Center Site
Last Thurday the plans were unveiled of the last three skyscrapes that will join the Freedom Tower around the former World Trade Center site. These towers altogether will reshape the current skyline of lower Manhattan but the future ensemble won't dominate as much like the former WTC's Towers did. Lord Foster also designed one of the three, which would mark his second tower in Manhattan. The other two were designed by Richard Rogers and Fumihiko Maki. Nicolai Ouroussoff, the NYTimes Chief Architecture critic, writes in his architecture review of the new towers that they illustrate how low our expectations have sunk since the city first resolved to rebuild the site. Mixed views allegorise fellow Archinecter's discussion of the new designs. BBC menwhile ask what exactly it means to build a skyscraper after 9/11 and examines the design of the centerpiece of the WTC site, the Freedom Tower.
The 1776-foot tower had to ensure maximum safety and security, and had to incorporate a number of features. Most notably is the multi-layered glass curtain wall to protect the building form explosions on street level, from which the curtain wall extends about 40 meters and mostly hosts building technology. The building's base, which more resembles a plinth, is probably the strongest sign of retreat and security that has been designed for future towers. "People that still are clinging to the expectation taht the tower will become a monument to the highest American Ideals, the current design should finally shake them out of that delusion." Nicolai Ouroussoff wrote in his review of the Freedom Tower.
Fear rising? - Epilogue
It is said that Americans are safer now more than they were before the 9/11 attacks. But whith Bin Laden still on the run, after three wars and maybe on the brink of a fourth, poeple feel less secure. Accordingly the Wired Magazine writes that security technology is booming. "Of course, even as technologies improve, none is likely to end the post-Sept. 11 era of hyper vigilance." BBC has again some interesting statistics that show how 9/11 changed America.

9/11 - Comments and upcoming posts

Today is Monday, the Sepetmber 11th. The Newspapers and TV-Channels around the world are remembering the terrorist attacks five years ago. CNN streams its live TV coverage of 9/11 through it's multicast service pipeline for free. Just navigate on the right side of the site to where it says "pipeline".

Furthermore I'll be posting some interesting articles, about the presumed state of being of the world today and of course what that means for the architecture of today.

Dialog now on blogger-beta

As you might notice, I run now the new blogger-beta which is powered by google. Most probably the whole service will run on a similar engine like gmail, so enjoy the slightly updated look.

September 02, 2006

Lange Nacht der Museen in Zürich

Die Lange Nacht der Museen findet heute wieder in Zürich statt, zwischen 19 und 2 Uhr. Gewissen Veranstaltungen laufen aber schon heute Nachmittag und das Kunsthaus feiert sogar bis 5 Uhr morgens. Also ab in die Stadt!

August 23, 2006

Brief von Grass an Danzig

Gelesen bei und dokumentiert vonFAZ.
Ich habe das Geständnis von Grass und die Kontroverse darum genau verfolgt, zur Zeit lese ich seine Autobiographie "Beim Häuten der Zwiebel". Der Brief an den Bürgermeister von Danzig, welcher heute dort verlesen wurde, ist Grass's erste Wortmeldung nach seinem "Geständnis", respektive Interview, in der FAZ.
Mehr zum Thema später, hier zunächst der Brief zum nachlesen:

Sehr geehrter Herr Adamowicz,

ich danke Ihnen für Ihren Brief und für das Vertrauen, das Sie mir gegenüber auch in der gegenwärtigen Situation beweisen. Bevor mein jüngstes Buch, „Beim Häuten der Zwiebel“, öffentlich zur Kenntnis genommen werden konnte, hat die Meldung über eine zwar gewichtige, aber nicht den Inhalt des Buches dominierende Episode im Verlauf meiner jungen Jahre eine Kontroverse ausgelöst, die unter anderem die Bürger der Stadt Gdansk verunsichert und die zugleich für mich existentiell bedrohliche Ausmaße angenommen hat.

In meinem Buch, das meinen Lebensweg vom zwölften Lebensjahr an, dem Jahr 1939, erzählend beschreibt, berichte ich, wie ich mich in meiner jugendlichen Verblendung als 15-Jähriger zur U-Boot-Waffe melden wollte, doch nicht angenommen wurde. Anstelle wurde ich im September 1944 als annähernd 17-Jähriger ohne mein Zutun zur Waffen-SS eingezogen. Das geschah in dieser Zeit nicht Wenigen meines Jahrgangs. Die zwei Wochen militärischen Einsatzes vom Beginn bis gegen Ende April 1945 habe ich nur zufällig überlebt.

In den Jahren und Jahrzehnten nach dem Krieg habe ich, als mir die Kriegsverbrechen der Waffen-SS in ihrem schrecklichen Ausmaß bekannt wurden, aus Scham diese kurze, aber lastende Episode meiner jungen Jahre für mich behalten, doch nicht verdrängt. Erst jetzt, im Alter, fand ich die Form, davon in größerem Zusammenhang zu berichten. Dieses Schweigen kann als Fehler gewertet und - wie es gegenwärtig geschieht - verurteilt werden. Auch muß ich akzeptieren, daß durch mein Verhalten meine Ehrenbürgerschaft von vielen Bürgern der Stadt Gdansk in Frage gestellt wird. Es steht mir nicht zu, in dieser Situation auf all das hinzuweisen, was während fünf Jahrzehnten mein Lebenswerk als Schriftsteller und gesellschaftlich engagierter Bürger der Bundesrepublik Deutschland ausmacht, doch möchte ich für mich beanspruchen, die harten Lektionen, die mir in meinen jungen Jahren erteilt worden sind, begriffen zu haben: meine Bücher zeugen davon und mein politisches Handeln.

Ich bedauere es, Ihnen und den Bürgern der Stadt Gdansk, mit der ich als gebürtiger Danziger zutiefst verbunden bin, eine Entscheidung aufgebürdet zu haben, die gewiß leichter und auch gerechter zu fällen wäre, wenn mein Buch bereits in polnischer Übersetzung vorläge.

Zum Schluß meines Briefes will ich mich bei den Bürgern Ihrer und meiner Stadt bedanken, die mir weiterhin Vertrauen schenken. Als ich zu einem frühen Zeitpunkt, zu Beginn der fünfziger Jahre, begreifen mußte, daß aus deutscher Schuld der Verlust meiner Heimatstadt Danzig als endgültig zu erleiden war, habe ich dieses, zugegeben, schmerzhafte Verständnis auch öffentlich vertreten, nicht zuletzt, als ich im Dezember 1970 den damaligen deutschen Bundeskanzler Willy Brandt nach Warschau begleitete.

Seitdem ist dieser Verlust durch die Nachkriegsgeschichte der Stadt Gdansk mehr als erleichtert worden, denn von Ihrer und meiner Stadt gingen politisch wegweisende Impulse aus in Gestalt einer wiederholt Freiheit erkämpfenden Arbeiterbewegung, die schließlich verbunden mit den Namen „Solidarnosc“ und Lech Walesa in die Geschichte eingegangen ist. In meinen Büchern nahm dieser Prozeß auf erzählende Weise Gestalt an; und in meinen politischen Texten habe ich die zuerst in Gdansk praktizierte und Gewalt verhindernde Methode des „Runden Tisches“ als beispielhaft gewertet. Ich sah viele Gründe, auf meine ehemalige Heimatstadt stolz zu sein, ging doch von ihr eine geistige Haltung aus, die europaweit wirksam wurde, als es darum ging, diktatorische Herrschaft gewaltfrei zu beenden, so auch zum Fall der Berliner Mauer beizutragen und die Möglichkeiten für wahre Demokratie zu öffnen. Das alles machte mir Mut, das immer wieder stockende Gespräch zwischen Polen und Deutschen, Deutschen und Polen fortzusetzen, auf daß wir alle aus der Geschichte, so schmerzhaft sie war, eine Lehre ziehen, die wechselseitiges Verständnis erlaubt.

Freundliche Grüße

Günter Grass

August 19, 2006

Rogers awarded Golden Lion

Today La Biennale di Venezia announced, that Richard Rogers will be awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achivement Award.

August 16, 2006

microserfs quote of the day

On Barbies:
"I remember when my Barbie discovered my brother's G.I. Joe's," said Karla. "Talk about a spree. She was in fragments within an hour."

LOL, so ninetees, so funny, so microserfs.

Just found this one: ho to frag like a pro by WiredMag; but then again, read a man to kick a n00b's ass, un-wired!

August 15, 2006

Jacques Herzog auf DRS3

Stephan Achermann hat mich gerade auf die Focus Sendung vom Montag auf DRS3 aufmerksam gemacht, Jacques Herzog (HdM) im Gespräch mit Hannes Hug.
Wer kein Radio hat oder nicht die Frequenz von DRS3 kennt, hier der Webplayer, zusätzlich kann man per iTunes den Podcast des Gesprächs runterladen: einfach -U drücken und "" eingeben - et voilà.

August 14, 2006

Mel Gibson: kaplah!

First read about here: "...when it comes to Mel Gibson, they sure nailed it."
...oh, and me-like the klingon reference.

Spuren der Zeit auf SF

Heute Montag 14. August 22.20 auf SF 1
Das geplante Chaos
Raumplanung als Hoffnung, Selbstbetrug und Lebenslüge
Ein Film von Thomas Buomberger, Benedikt Loderer

Über das Thema Agglomeration in der Schweiz und die schleichende Zersiedelung zur "Hüsli-Schweiz".

Via: Vielen Dank an urbaN_plus_News für diese Meldung. An alle Architektur-Interessierten, bitte hier anmelden für das urbaN-plus-Newsletter: urban_plus_news [at]


August 12, 2006

Messe Basel 2012, updated

Die Messe Basel (Art, BaselWorld) plant ihr Messegelände bis zum Jahr 2012 mit rund 350 Millionen Franken zu modernisieren. Die wichtigesten Neuerungen sind die Erweiterung der Halle 1 und der Umbau von dem Gebäude 3. die beiden Gebäude werden mit einer Überbauung über den Messeplatz verbunden. 200 Millionen des Gesamtbetrages wird Die Messe tragen, der Rest wird von den Kantonen beider-Basel finanziert.

Der Altbau der Halle 1 zum Messeplatz wurde inzwischen nicht als Denkmal deklariert.
Denn der Art-Deko Kopfbau wird ja durch die Brückenförmige Überbauung ersetzt. Neben der freiwilligen Denkmalpflege verzichtet auch der Basler Heimatschutz auf Rechtsmittel und ein Rekurs, über den Regierungsentscheid das Gebäude nicht unter Denkmalschutz zu stellen, soll zurückgezogen werden.
Der Verein Freiwillige Basler Denkmalpflege forderte zwar Alternativen von der MesseBasel, ihr Projekt sei aber terminlich, finanziell und politisch die beste Lösung; welche nun eine weitere Hürde genommen hat.
via: BaZ,
Messe Schweiz,
Info Projekt 2012,
Bilder des Neubaus.

update, in English:
The MesseBasel, host of BaselWorld and ArtBasel, has passed another hurdle on their way to the expansion-project 2012, that features a bold renovation and new building by HERZOG & DE MEURON. The $ 280 Million project was greenlighted by the local government and preservation issues have been resolved so far.
via 1 and via 2, images.

August 10, 2006

Airlines terror plot disrupted; updated

This morning at 2am the Police and Scotland Yard have struck and arrested about 21 people, suspected in having plotted to blow up up to ten airplanes bound to the US.
Newest reports indicate a liquid explosive was to be triggered by a bluetooth-enabled electronic device.
via: BBCWorld, CNN

Agent Infiltrated terror cell / plotted by the Qaeda?: CNN
Assets of 'plane plotters' frozen: BBCWorld
The Bank of England released names of nineteen suspects whose accounts have been frozen: Bank of England, Full News Release and Names Annex.pdf, Bank of England Notice.pdf

July 24, 2006

What happened to Archinect?

What happened to Archinect?
Originally uploaded by scisar.

What happend at the guys over at archinect? Someone forgot to pay the bills?
Hey guys' don't let the site down! Is there a paypal account we could all donate money?
we want our favourite architecture news site back!!!


June 26, 2006

Eisenman's Italian Job

Peter Eisenman to design two train stations near Naples, via
More on The Italian Job in Log 7.

June 23, 2006

HOPP SCHWIIZ, Allez les Suisses!

2:0, group leader @ 4:0, before France!!!
Ukraine and Cologne beware!!!

June 01, 2006


Finally I have some forthcoming posts, read something about all the fuss around the new Olympic Stadium in Beijing and whether China is really so cool. Also don't miss the new projective practice (a tautology, an oxymoron?, no: Theory is dead, long live Theory!). And many more things.

April 10, 2006

Pritzker Price 2006 goes to Paulo Mendes da Rocha

Patriarch Plaza and Viaduct do Cha 2
Originally uploaded by scisar.

Paulo Mendes da Rocha was awarded the Pritzker Price, the most prestigious award in the field of architecture. The good news must have arrived to him this January and I must say, like last year I was hoping to hear about a different Laureat. Nevertheless, it was granted to one of the great brazilian architects, who has a quite restpectable oevre to show, which you could read as being in the modernist tradition.
Mendes da Rocha, a graduate of the private McKenzie University in São Paulo, has built a number of importent builings. For the renewal of the old center of São Paulo, this pictured steel and concrete canopy is certainly very important. It is the Patriarch Plaza next to the Viaduct do Cha, the image was taken shortly after Christmas 2005 on a Sunday.
Her some additional information on his work (photobook) and the mediakit of the Pritzker Prize jury.

February 01, 2006

Eisenman/Koolhaas in Conversation

Some images form the
AA news site:

We are still waiting for news on the talk.

January 23, 2006

Inventioneering Architecture (2)

Originally uploaded by scisar.

The exhibition which was seen before at the CCA in San Francisco now arrived in Boston. Last Friday evening the show was kicked off at the arrival hall of Terminal E at the Boston Logan Airport.

Previous post, via and some further
info; Images.

January 20, 2006

Koolhaas warning over future of Britains's public spaces

Koolhaas (...) claimed that a combination of private sector-dominated redevelopment, risk-averse culture and a crackdown on anti-social behaviour were conspiring to create soulless cities.
Koolhaas used Las Vegas as an example of how private sector-dominated regeneration and risk-averse development can "drain a city of its lifeblood", saying: "All the wildness and unpredictability of the city has not so much been tamed as been completely removed. We have surrendered vast sections of our privacy to protect the public realm."

Koolhaas warning over future of Britains's public spaces

Koolhaas (...) claimed that a combination of private sector-dominated redevelopment, risk-averse culture and a crackdown on anti-social behaviour were conspiring to create soulless cities.
Koolhaas used Las Vegas as an example of how private sector-dominated regeneration and risk-averse development can "drain a city of its lifeblood", saying: "All the wildness and unpredictability of the city has not so much been tamed as been completely removed. We have surrendered vast sections of our privacy to protect the public realm."

January 07, 2006

Google Keynote Countdown @ ENGADGET

Let's see what 'L-Page' has in the pockets for us...
Watch here.