Showing posts from June, 2014


This is part 4 of a 4-post series. See the previous posts here: 1 , 2 , 3     Daniel Libeskind's installation of his New York home stood out amongst the lot. Red walls, cut off spaces, recessed screens showing caricatures, images and videos of his memories and the cultural idioms that made him. Of his installation, he writes: “For me, to 'live' is living in the cross-section of thememory of places”. But what does home mean to him? "Home is more than just an abstraction, it's the streets, the neighbourhood, the people," he says. "Architecture contributes to making people feel happy or depressed... There is nothing banal in our lives, not even those gestures that seem unconscious." When I walked into Mario Bellini's installation of his 19th century Milan house, I was accosted by impossible scale. Built within the little area was a massive shelving system that supported a staircase. Atop the stairs, you looked down onto images of the eleme


This is part 3 of a -post series. See previous posts here: 1 , 2 The space of Shigeru Ban, Pritzker Prize recipient, was a Zen-nature experience concealed in geometry and minimalism. I turned around a large wall and found myself in an open space with vivid metaphors. Ban lives in the quiet, wooded Hanegi Forest complex of Tokyo. Oval platforms, filled with moving images from his surroundings, the complex and life in the city, played seamlessly on them. Above each was a cutout in the same shape and size, reflecting the complex's oval centre - with trees and open-to-sky aspect. "Like all my architecture projects its origins lie in its location, and it's based on ad hoc solutions that couldn't be used elsewhere", he says. "The key issue was not to cut down trees". At the end of the space is a curved room, with a video of his manifesto. Ban's style of architecture, which preserves rather than modifies or eliminates, is presented by his self-awar


This is part 2 of a 4-post series. See the previous post here . Bijoy Jain's (or Studio Mumbai's) Mumbai was particularly important for me, understandably. Not often is an Indian architect put alongside such revered company. As I walked up the entrance stairs, I wondered what version of India we would see here. The familiar busy sounds of our 'maximum city' reached me first, and I could see two enclosures in the middle of a rectangular room. One was swathed in White netting and the other ran videos reflecting the true nature of Mumbai. Stretched across the long parallel walls were images of trees, most notably a banyan tree, and slender pools of water ran alongside on the floor. This last element recurs in much of Jain's design work, and he says, "My relationship with water is absolute". A video plays on one wall, capturing his connection to nature, his special association with a stonemason, and the essence of his surroundings - a mix of old buildi


This was the most significant event at the Milan Furniture Fair this year. Called 'Where Architects Live', this   extraordinary exhibition, brought to life by Francesca Molteni and Davide Pizzigoni, provided an intriguing insight into the private sanctums of eight outstanding architects of this era. It reflected the sensations that envelope their daily lives at home, the immediate environment around them, the mental makeup of the city that they chose to live in and the nuances that make them who they really are.  Walking through this exhibition was a privilege of sorts for me, after all, it isn't often that one gets to peek into the homes of such luminaries. Set in Hall 9, I found the eight enclosures arranged around an open courtyard. In the centre were scale models of the layouts. Many people, of various ages and nationalities - standing, sitting on chairs, some even sitting on the floor - absorbed the videos that played on hanging big screens. It was, quite