Week #4

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Kia Ora,

Wow, my Spotify 'discover weekly' is truly abysmal this week.

~

The brain is truly an extraordinary creation. And sometimes science doesn't have an explanation for everything. Strength of the mind and positivity, can help channel your energy to the right destination.

As per usual, shenanigans are at the bottom.


 

1. classical music to accompany your reading, press play.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was arrogant to say the very least, however had the musical mind of pure genius. His 14 year old brain was so extraordinary that he memorised and transcribed Miserere (composed by Gregorio Allegri) a piece written for two choirs after only hearing it once. 

For the full story click here.

Luckily for you, below is not the Miserere but a Mozart classic, Piano Concerto No.21 "Elvia Madigan", 2nd Movement.

 

2. the past

The Great Pyramid of Giza (khufu's)

The Great Pyramid was built for Pharoah Khufu and approximately 2.3 million blocks were used to construct it. Each block weighs an average of 2.5-15 tons. Recently, scientists uncovered a gigantic 98 feet/30m long chamber above the Grand gallery, the newest room to be discovered in two hundred years

The Pyramids of Giza were constructed 4,500 years ago with the intention to assist Pharaohs into the afterlife. The engineering feats accomplished by the Egyptians still have scientists duped on how they were built. Theories allude to a system of ramps that were used to manoeuvre the giant blocks in place. Evidence from other sites suggest that staircases and spiral ramps were built to bring the stones up. Once they were roughly located, wooden and bronze levers were used to precisely position them. 

So far, they have come to understand that the workforce was a community of well-fed workers who lived nearby the site. Around 20,000 - 30,000 skilled labourers from stonemasons, to engineers, surveyors and architects were part of the build. 

 

3. The Present (personal favourite)

Oslo Opera House

Architect: Snøhetta

Location: Kirsten Flagstads Plass 1, 0150 Oslo, Norway

A truly magnificent building (completed ahead of schedule), that cost the Norwegians a fair amount of money ($708 million USD) but was under their budget of $760 million USD.  

This building morphs out of the end of a wharf, enabling its users to climb up the entire ramp and roof. Neatly nestled within the sharp, slick geometric form is the stunning auditorium, organically shaped and clad with timber. 

My friend's mother described it as a building that Norwegians were all "very proud of". And so they should. It's beautiful.

Justin Bieber performed here back in 2012 and is securely surrounded by a body of water to distance him from his CRAZY fans.

Justin Bieber performed here back in 2012 and is securely surrounded by a body of water to distance him from his CRAZY fans.

 

4. The Future

THE STEINWAY TOWER

ARCHITECT: SHoP Architects

Location: 111 West 57th Street, New York, NY

Not entirely sure on what I think about this except, damn its tall! 

The building's complete height is set for 1,421 feet/433 m (according to Curbed NY), icing out 432 Park Ave by a mere 24 feet/7.3 m. The design is a commentary on the existing landmarked Steinway building. SHoP have chosen a terra-cotta/bronze facade to pay homage to the materiality of historic New York skyscrapers. 

Render of the Terra-cotta panels with bronze 'filigree' and curtain wall.

Render of the Terra-cotta panels with bronze 'filigree' and curtain wall.

Perhaps a bone of contention among construction workers, but Michael Stern (JDS Development Group) has chosen to go non-union. (Something we shall talk about a little later...) The tower's developers are looking for a $1.45 billion sellout with some of the first condos already entering into contract. 

See here for more renders on the JDS website.

 

5. word on the street

union vs non-union

For the past century construction Unions have had a strong hold on the skilled workforce that has built New York city. In more recent times the battle between Union and Non-Union workers has been rife in New York city. Developers are apparently sick and tired of paying Union worker prices (anywhere north of $50USD/hr) along with overtime pay for weekends/holidays and extended hours; the rate for non-union workers is a lot less. 

So what's the big deal? Obviously the Unions aren't happy that they're losing jobs and being undercut by what is commonly deemed as un-skilled workers. Union pride basks in a regulated system where they are able to provide skilled workers that have been specifically trained and tested for their trade. 

And, if you've ever wondered what these massive blow-up rats were up to around the city. They're set up by the Unions outside sites which use Non-Union labour (not to scare away the pigeons).

The New York times neatly sums it up in this article. 

Spotted in Long Island City, New York.

Spotted in Long Island City, New York.

6. urban legends

In case you were curious, Urban Legends is heavily based on a course I took in grad school by Prof. Daniel Sherer. It spoke about the interdependent relationships between architecture and its contexts (social, political, environmental) in micro/macro scales. Incredible and mind-blowing. 

Venice Part IIi

Continued from Week #3.

For our final excerpt on Venice we move on to its dreamy palaces. As an affluent Republic, Venice was home to supremely rich people in the 12th Century. During this time, Gothic architecture was in vogue and consequently it caught on in Venice with its asymmetry and focus on light. Even when the Renaissance came round, architects still incorporated Gothic features in Renaissance buildings. 

"It's a hybrid." (Al Campbell)

Indeed, it is. In fact, the city's ties to the East has brought through Byzantine and Moorish styles to the architectural history. 

See below for an image of the Ca’ d’Oro built in the 15th Century.

The crenellations at the top of the building and inflected arches are in a Moorish style.

The crenellations at the top of the building and inflected arches are in a Moorish style.

Buildings had to be as 'light' as possible to accommodate for the marshy soft land and building materials were subject to a lot of moisture. Brick was often used as a building material and then faced with stucco. 

Venetian palaces have their main facade canal facing, as the canals were their streets...! Many palaces showed their wealth through ornamentation, however laws kept people from going too over the top. 

Venice was tight for space, and houses were built up rather than sprawling out. Light was let into buildings through big windows, arcades and balconies. 

 

7. (solid gold! and a kiwi favourite: Better be Home Soon by Crowded House)

 

8. An Architectural Model

The new Manhattanville Development at Columbia University by Renzo Piano Building Workshop featuring Lenfest, Jerome L Greene Science Center and University Forum.

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9. is this real life?

A masterpiece of a fishmarket scene by Nguyễn Ngọc Luận. 

 

10. architectural Spotlight - This is...

FRANK GEHRY 

is a Canadian born, American based architect and currently resides in Los Angeles. He teaches at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (also known as SCI-Arc) and earlier this year released an online course with the platform MasterClass (which you can take for $90 USD).

Gehry, a Pritzker Prize winner (1989) started out his career with his "Easy Edges" cardboard furniture line. He remodeled his family home in Santa Monica, surrounding the building with a corrugated steel/chain fence and slicing the house with  skylight. 

His fresh approach to design caught the attention of many and he started designing homes in the 1980s. 

Gehry escalated to star-chitect status when his work reached larger scales, with the Walt Disney Concert Hall and Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao putting him on the map. 

8 Spruce Street, Financial District Manhattan, New York.

8 Spruce Street, Financial District Manhattan, New York.

Walt Disney Concert hall, Los Angeles, California.

Walt Disney Concert hall, Los Angeles, California.

IAC Building, New York.

IAC Building, New York.

His architecture is commonly known for its unique curvilinear forms and unconventional material choices. His work refutes the modernist ideal of form following function.

The forms of his work were so complex that he even pioneered a new technology to assist with delivering projects with complex geometry. Gehry Technologies was created in 2002 from the research and development division from Gehry and partners.

Gehry-esque sketch of the Disney Concert hall.

Gehry-esque sketch of the Disney Concert hall.

You know you've made it when you have a special feature on the Simpsons. 


shenanigans

1. A Canine friend

My word, this German Shepherd puppy called Cane from Florida, is sew ka-ute!

2. Babe

Ultimate badass Uma Thurman known as "The Bride" in Kill Bill, on a mission. "The Bride", a character of mental strength, discipline, tenacity and True Grit.

Ough, tough day at the office.

Ough, tough day at the office.

 

3. Space invader of EERO SAARINEN'S TWA Terminal at JFK Airport

If I was forced to pick my favourite building in New York, this would probably be it. 

Kinda looks like a TMNT (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle).

Kinda looks like a TMNT (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle).

Taken by moi, when Audrey and I took the subway to visit this creature during Open House New York. October, 2015.

Taken by moi, when Audrey and I took the subway to visit this creature during Open House New York. October, 2015.

 

4. Boy

Dr Evan Antin, real life Veterinarian. Yes, you read that right. This isn't some "doctor pose with injured animal" for Stockphoto or Getty Images, he truly exists. 

Apparently he had a body building stage...

Apparently he had a body building stage...

 

5. life coaching, cos i'm all about that haha.

But seriously this podcast is quite interesting. 

http://freakonomics.com/podcast/grit/

 

6. stair porn

This ridiculously sexy flight of stairs is privy only to the owners of a converted tank station to loft apartment in Salzburg, Austria. 

Designed by Smartvoll.

 

7. Art

Roden Crater by James Turrell, one of my favourites. So in case you're wondering, Mr Turrell here, just casually bought a volcano and this is what he has in mind...

Who wants to come and check this out with me?! (When it finally opens). 

8. object

Designer Alexandre Chapelin, brings to you a taste of the Carribean sea with this resin, wood and stone table. An object of pure cool if you ask me!

Unsure on how much one of these costs...

9. Wanderlust

The Northern lights at Laugarvatn Fontana, in Iceland. 

 

10. Lost in Translation

SCROGGIN (NZ) = TRAIL MIX (everywhere else)

(Just for you Win Mixter). I think the heading is pretty self explanatory... 

It's for real.

It's for real.

 

 

11. harsh realities

Residents in Delhi panic over smog pollution which is said to be over 30 times the WHO limit.  Colder temperature and slow winds are what have allowed the smog to settle. The smog is equivalent to smoking 50 cigarettes a day. Read more here.

 

12. Meanwhile...

With no exaggeration, this is probably the stupidest thing to grace the news this week. 

Malaysia's Miss Universe contestant wearing a dress featuring the national dish, Nasi Lemak. Don't get me wrong, Nasi Lemak is delicious, but on a dress with the fried anchovies, egg and cucumber depicted? 

I can't stop laughing.

 

 

13. doodle

My mother is a very particular woman, the other day she was quizzed on how she went about making instant coffee. She went on a detailed explanation on how she made her instant coffee her way. To then be asked, "but Mrs Low, how does a normal person make their instant coffee?"

See below for the procedure.

1. Add the 30ml zero lacto (full) into the cup and put in the microwave for 10 seconds.  2. Add 1-1.5 teaspoons of instant coffee.  3. Wait for water to boil in jug.  4. Add to cup and enjoy with some digestives or Vanilla wines.

1. Add the 30ml zero lacto (full) into the cup and put in the microwave for 10 seconds.

2. Add 1-1.5 teaspoons of instant coffee.

3. Wait for water to boil in jug.

4. Add to cup and enjoy with some digestives or Vanilla wines.

 

14. LOL

Another great instagram find, Sean Charmatz, former Spongebob Squarepants animator creates little cartoons for his account.

Visiting Grandma #grape

A post shared by sean_charmatz (@sean_charmatz) on

15. NOM NOM NOM

Call me basic but this ain't no PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte). It's a smoothie bowl from Bowl and Arrow at the Orakei Shops... was yum! Not sure why New Yorkers aren't on this buzz yet. However, not gonna lie I was hungry after a couple of hours. I'll put it down to my fast metabolism...

14. and that's a wrap! here's some 'new' music.

Not new by any means, but a woman of insane talent, and grit; the vocal powerhouse of Adele. This live clip of "Someone Like You" performed at the Royal Albert Hall will send shivers down your spine. It almost brings me to tears every time. If it's not you, I get it, but take a moment to appreciate a unique musical gift. 

My advice: WATCH FULLSCREEN, VOLUME UP. 

 

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Till next week my friends. #dab-out.

I hope that I have credited everything. If not images are not mine unless stated, please click on the images and hyperlinks to their original sources :)