Godt nytår | Happy New Year | Bonne Année | Bueno Anno
“…you can design everything.” ― Massimo Vignelli
If there were any concerns that New York City, the self-appointed capital of the world, was becoming complacent and erecting too many, cookie-cutter towers, two recent developments should end that. The first, which we discussed on the page for architecture, was the design plans for Hudson Yards, an area on Manhattan’s west side. The second, and no less noteworthy, is BIG / Bjarke Ingells’s VIA 57 West, a building which combines the Scandinavian practice of shared urban spaces with American bravado of pushing the limits on what a skyscraper can achieve. Residents enjoy enviable views and a lush garden in the middle of the epitome of the urban jungle.
“He must be a great original interpreter of his time, his day, his age.” ― Frank Gehry
When it comes to visual poetry, famed Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava’s arguably greatest and most ambitious project was unveiled with much-deserved fanfare at New York City’s reimagined World Trader Center. His gorgeous transportation hub, Oculus, reminiscent of a bird’s wings, is less about stunning architecture and daring design and rises to something even greater―that of art.
It’s fairly common to complain about modern air travel, that the days of glamour and luxury have been replaced by the mundane and tedious tasks of simply transporting passengers from point A to point B. Recently, however, there have been significant changes–transformative in nature if not downright revolutionary. Boeing’s groundbreaking Dreamliner, for example, is intended to define travel with sensuous curves and subdued lighting; Airbus’ A380, aka The Double Decker,” is a technological marvel with bravado to match. It then leads to the proverbial question : what is the next step in aviation ? The latter company may have answered when it introduced its new Airspace, a revolutionary redesign of passenger cabins. This is no mere paint job. Airbus has completely reimagined the flying experience from the passengers’ point of view with contemporary lavatories; customizable ambient lighting; interiors defined by clean and sleek lines; larger and more accessible overhead storage bins; wider seats; and, unobstructed under-seat foot space. Airbus has clearly realized the journey is as important as the destination.
Zaha Hadid’s passing was a shock to the world of architecture and aficionados of great art alike. She brought a unique feminine mystique and perspective to the projects entrusted to her, never compromising a very distinct point of view. If the limits of engineering were tested by her ground-breaking building lines, the results undeniably became timeless. We’re including some of her greatest achievements here and a copy of a post from last year about her first project for New York City.
Pritzer Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid unveiled her first project in New York City, a condominium at West 28th Street near the city’s High Line pedestrian park. Her characteristic materials, which bend into sensuous curves much like Frank Gehry’s titanium designs for the Guggenheim Bilbao and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, are showcased spectacularly. The High Line’s Standard Hotel, which sits atop the park, has been that urban project’s focus for some time. It now has competition.
Celebrated author Victor Hugo once said, “There is nothing more interesting than a wall behind which something is happening.” We sometimes perceive architecture, art, and design as a collection of intangible ideas, behind a wall, and inaccessible. Welcome to the newly redesigned Concept Republik, intended to chip away at that proverbial wall and in doing so, show how design surrounds and influences us.