Monumenta 2011 in Paris / France, internationally renowned artist Anish Kapoor has created a truly monumental work called Leviathan | The Hardt
For Monumenta 2011 in Paris / France, internationally renowned artist Anish Kapoor has created a truly monumental work called Leviathan. Kapoor created a space within the space of the Grand Palais. “Visitors will be invited to walk inside the work, to immerse themselves in color, and it will, I hope, be a contemplative and poetic experience” (Anish Kapoor). Video by Christophe Ecoffet.
Aesthetically and Geographically Related Projects:
Soulages Museum by RCR Arquitectes with Passelac & Roques located in Rodez, France | The Hardt
The Soulages Museum located in Rodez, France was completed in 2014 by RCR Arquitectes – the winner of the 2017 Pritzker Prize, architecture’s equivalent of the Nobel – in collaboration with architect G Trégouët. In 2008, RCR Arquitectes teamed up with the firm Passelac & Roques architects to take part in the Greater Rodez Authority’s design competition for the Soulages Museum. Chosen among 98 applicants, their project placed the museum on the north side of the entirely renovated Foirail garden. They grasped the significance of the site, considering it as a link between the historic center and the new quarters.
RESPECTFUL OF ITS SURROUNDINGS
Respectful of its surroundings, the building is organized in a succession of cubes. The intervals remind the passerby of the ”fenestras” in the Aveyron and give way to contemplation. Orientated towards the garden, the southern wall does not exceed three meters whilst on the northern side of the site, the ‘’boxes’’ overlook a pathway.
THE STEEL REFLECTS PIERRE SOULAGES’ WORK
The cladding is made of Corten steel also known as weathering steel. When exposed to bad weather (i.e. to corrosion), this material creates a protective layer of rust. ”The Corten steel ages with time and perfectly suits the park’s natural surroundings. It is not a lifeless and sanitized material. Furthermore, its color-range echoes Rodez’s pink – grey colors.” (RCR Arquitectes). The shades of this steel also reflect Pierre Soulages’ work.
A UNIQUE PLACE
The Soulages Museum is located in the heart of Rodez town, in Foirail Garden, a stone’s thrown from the cathedral. Designed and conceived by Catalan RCR Arquitectes– Passelac & Roques Architects, the museum is spread on the north side of the entirely renovated Foirail garden. It fits its surroundings perfectly. Well-known for the attention they pay to the geographical location and surrounding scenery, Ramon Vilalta, Carme Pigem et Rafael Aranda immediately understood the value of that unique place.
The museum will take the fragility of the collections into account. Arranged in practical volumes around a monitored light, it will provide obscured and protected areas for papers (Walnut Stains, printed works), whereas the five high ”boxes”
will harbor the paintings and the cardboards of Conques’ stained-glass windows under a zenithal light.
Four levels. From top to 1st floor:
-The storehouses (safety standard)
-The documentary center and a workshop for children
– The permanent exhibitions’ rooms with the works from Soulages’ donations
– The temporary exhibition room dedicated to contemporary artists
– ‘Musee Soulages’ – Chief Curator & Director of the Greater Rodez museums. Photos by Musee Soulages and photographer Vincent Boutin.
Neither a mausoleum nor a monographic chore, the Soulages Museum will be a place for meetings and new experiences. While being a genuinely modern and contemporary art museum, it will favor exchanges with similar institutions or foundations, with great freedom in its choices from promising to seasoned artists, through different themes and links from one historical era to another (the Middle Ages, for instance, whom Soulages holds dear). The museum fits into the European gathering of museums. The Soulages Museum will be ‘’ unusual ‘ according to the painter’s words,: ” It will highlight the process of artistic creation, the role of the unexpected that lies in it, and without using banal teaching methods, I hope it will open the eyes of the public and awake their spirit to understand what art stands for. ”
Visitor services will particularly strive to explain the meaning of the artist’s know-how and gestures. The audience will explore Pierre Soulages’ works in the museum by following an itinerary that combines the painter’s history– his biography–with other expressions of his creativity, such as oil paintings, paintings on paper, printed works or stained-glass windows. The bright rooms with high ceilings will alternate with the darkened rooms with low ceilings to tackle specific topics, including the very first figurative works Soulages made in Rodez, the inspiration he found in the Aveyron, the hanging of artworks, the Walnut Stains, the different techniques of engraving, or the works he did at Conques. Each aspect of the donation will be associated with its constituent technique. That is why Conques stained-glass windows are a link between monumental medieval heritage and contemporary creation and act as a catharsis: they are the accurate portrait of the artist. In Conques Abbey, Soulages thought of a new light. In Rodez, we must show clearly how we can approach that form of light thanks to experimental witnesses. From matter to thought, with tools and hands.
– Benoît Decron, Chief Curator & Director of the Greater Rodez museums
Official trailer of the film “Koolhaas Houselife” by Ila Bêka & Louise Lemoine
Maison Bordeaux by Rem Koolhaas located in Bordeaux, France | The Hardt
Maison Bordeaux by Rem Koolhaas located in Bordeaux, France. With the ability to make even the simplest and straightforward programs spatially dynamic and in a constant state of redefinition, Rem Koolhaas and his firm OMA have redefined the term that “a house is a machine for living” in their design of Maison Bordeaux. Completed in 1998, Maison Bordeaux sits on a small cape-like hill overlooking the city of Bordeaux. The house was designed for a couple and their family, but before Koolhaas and OMA were commissioned for the project in 1994 the husband of the family was in a life-threatening car accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. Two years after his accident, the couple approached Koolhaas to design them a new home outside of Bordeaux. Despite having been paralyzed, the man did not want t straightforward house rather he wanted a complex design, stating: “Contrary to what you would expect. I want a complex house because the house will define my world.” Koolhaas proposed a rather simple volume that was spatially complex and innovative in terms of the interior organization and conditions. Koolhaas proposed a house that was the compilation of three houses stacked on top of one another; each with their own unique characteristics and spatial conditioning.
The house appears as three separate entities that fluctuate between opaque and transparent. The lower level sits as a heavy mass that is carved into the hill. The interior is cavernous and labyrinthian, in a sense, where all of the intimate activities of the family take place. The middle volume is the most transparent as well as the most occupied space in the house. It is the space for the living area that is situated partially indoors and outside offering extensive views over Bordeaux and allowing for a multitude of activities with its open plan. The top volume is similar to the lower level in that it is opaque and conceals the bedrooms of the children and the couple. Unlike the lower level, the volume is penetrated with porthole windows that create views for the residents from their beds.
With each floor being inherently different it is perplexing as to how a handicapped man was able to live in such a spatially complex house. Even though there is no duplicated, or repeated, organizational system, all three volumes are tied together by a central elevator that moves between each floor. However, it is not simply just an elevator for vertical circulation between floors, but it is masked by the husbands office that provides access to the entire house moving from the kitchen, the lower level, all the way to the bedroom on the highest floor, which was driven by a large hydraulic piston that raised and lowered the room whenever necessary. This ingenious idea of creating a room that is capable of moving vertically through the house creates a spatial dynamism within the house that is always changing and redefining the space of the office as well as the space where it stops.
With the three differentiated volumes stacked on one another, it appears as if the highest volume is floating on the middle volume because of the transparent glass. With such a complex organization among floors, the overall structure of the house comes into question as to how these volumes stack up to one another. With the third volume seemingly floating on top of the middle volume and actually cantilevering over it, one wonders how it could be supported. The cantilevering volume is supported by a steel tube that conceals a spiral staircase that extends throughout each level of the house. In addition to the steel cylinder, there is an L – shaped brace that supports the back end of the house, which is complemented by a steel beam that runs along the roof that connects to a tension cable that is buried in the ground to stabilize the lateral loads – a signature of architectural intent by Koolhaas and Cecil Balmond.
Maison Bourdeaux is a masterful innovation of space that far exceeded the expectation of the client’s wishes. Maison Bordeaux remains as a private residence that does not allow public visitors; however, regardless of its seclusion, it is still an innovative architectural landmark that was true “a machine for living.”
Within an exclusive video interview, Zumtobel had the chance to talk to Rem Koolhaas. In this context, Koolhaas provides insights into his work. In particular, he emphasizes the creative freedom of forms and the potential of lighting in contemporary architecture. He uses artificial light as a coding to understand the complexity of his buildings.
Movies On Design 2015: Koolhaas Houselife 25—26 September / 2, 4 October 2015
Aesthetically and Geographically Related Projects:
S House By Nicolas Schuybroek located in Cap d’Antibes, Côte d’Azur, France | The Hardt
Continuing in the Belgian theme I’ve been going with lately, S House By Nicolas Schuybroek located in Cap d’Antibes, Côte d’Azur, France. Belgian architect Nicolas Schuybroek of NS Architects had recently completed a remarkable minimalist single story holiday house in the South of France. Situated in the Mediterranean on the Côte d’Azur, more specifically in Cap d’ Antibes. The linear, geometric, elegant and stunningly simple design is indeed rather artful in and of itself. However, when you bring into account, that of which the subtle way the landscape enters into and then exits the house, can only be described as masterful. The single-family house which is located in a landscape of unique beauty holds a prime position where it looks out onto the natural milieu of the Mediterranean Sea and the Lérins Islands. Schuybroek’s accomplishment is in both merging and juxtaposing the strong use of concrete with the surrounding lush environment. The single-story linear S House conceived as a volume positioned in its sea-side setting is indeed a volume which provides a sense of constructive continuity with large openings for enjoying the pool and sea-side views.
Thomas Hirschhorn Swiss, b. 1957, Bern, Switzerland, based in Paris, France
Using his signature materials of plywood, cardboard, aluminum foil, packing tape, and copious photocopies, Thomas Hirschhorn makes installations that advance pointed critiques of the global military-industrial complex. Hirschhorn’s works overflow with imagery and text, created with a deliberately slap-dash DIY aesthetic and often incorporating the writings of such Leftist philosophers as Antonio Gramsci and Georges Bataille. The over-abundance of ideas and images in Hirschhorn’s installations mimics the media saturation of contemporary life and highlights the desensitization that consumers experience as a result. For Laundrette (2001), the artist transformed the gallery space into a facsimile of a typical Laundromat, complete with drab linoleum floor, garbage bins, and chained up plastic chairs, juxtaposed with the phrases from Marxist writings adorning the walls.
Apartment Trocadero by Rodolphe Parente located in Paris, France
Apartment Trocadero by Rodolphe Parente located in Paris, France. The approach for the project was based on a deep respect for the existing architecture while emphasizing the significance of the existing volumes and creating perfect opportunities for the contemporary art and furniture collection to receive the attention they deserve. Alas, the result is not a contemplative or a “frozen space” – instead, the apartment is designed as a place that feels comfortable and dedicated to family life. A warm atmosphere is created resulting from a series of bold and ambitious stylistic choices, underpinned with noble materials.
Located in Bonnieux, France, G House is another drop-dead gorgeous villa designed by the genius Karl Fournier & Olivier Marty of the design team Studio KO, in the heart of the national park of the Luberon in Provence. Nestled in the Luberon region just outside of Bonnieux, France, is an incredibly unique house – one that is dominated by concrete, stone, and clean lines. Designed by the famous architectural team Karl Fournier and Olivier Marty of Studio Ko, the priority was two-fold, to design a space that was both simple in design and in alignment with nature. The result is an expansive 3 bedroom home that is modern, minimalist and open-concept, yet far from ostentatious. The open design allows the surrounding environment to be the feature, thus creating a feeling of calm and relaxation among the chirping birds and wafts of lavender carried in the light breeze. Nightly rates start at $800 and vary seasonally