Week #13


And best picture goes to…

Wow that was a long break… And what do you know, it’s Oscar season again. (Plus a new year). I guess on my end some things have changed. I gave up the corporate life and am doing the semi freelance gig thing; because why not?

(Plug time) Anyway I’m part of the NY team for the New Zealand firm Monk Mackenzie. Check us out!

Don't forget you can subscribe here.

And like always shenanigans are at the bottom.


As per usual, here is your classical music fix.

Edvard Grieg’s Wedding Day at Troldhaugen Opus 65. No.6.

Incredible! And worth the entire listen.

well lets these architecture oscars begin!

1. best picture. aka best building…?

and the nominees are:

Taipei Performing Arts Center - OMA

I mean who can’t deny that boolean union between a box and sphere?

This performing arts center hosts three theatres, cladded in aluminum with a transparent cube that will hover above a public space.


Zhuhai Opera House - BIAD (Beijing Institute of Architecture and Design)

The cultural building’s design gets its design inspiration from the moon, the sea and tides. The building’s translucent facade allows its visitors to experience a multitude of light qualities from the interior.


520 West 28th Street - Zaha Hadid Architects

Positioned right next to the High Line, are 39 luxury residential units in the curvaceous Hadid fashion that we are all familiar with.
The metal facade is a brushed stainless steel that is intended to pay homage to Chelsea’s industrial past…


Calgary Central Library - Snohetta

Designed by the Norwegian superstars, Snohetta completed 240,000 sf community monument right above the LRT station.


Coal Drops Yard - Heatherwick Studios

Hit the link above for a 360 degree video. Heatherwick studios has the kissing roofline for an extension of two warehouses. Please send me the detail if someone has it. I’m curious.


And best picture goes to…


coal yards 3.jpg

Apart from the project looking great in elevation it has some other interesting features. Heatherwick Studios were asked by the client Argent to link the two gable roof lines. Taking this into account Heatherwick’s designers were wanting to come up with unusual feature that could contrast, but marry the two warehouses.

For the architects, creating a heart for the project, and a focal point was a key component to the design. 52 steel columns are intertwined within the existing buildings and hold up the 35m (115ft) bridge.

2. BEST DIRECTOR (AKA ARCHITECT) aka people I think are awesome.



Jeanne Gang

Founder of Studio Gang and lady boss.

A personal favourite that has just recently been completed is Solar Carve on the West Side highway in New York.


Sir David Adjaye

His studio has been pumping out some great stuff in the past few years. His most recent project 130 William in the Financial District is getting there… large precast panels with an arch shaped cut out for windows frame the views for some pricey condominiums.


Frances Bronet

Appointed approximately a year ago, Frances Bronet is the President of the Pratt Institute. I had the privilege on hearing her speak a couple of weeks ago. (And she doesn’t even have a PhD gasp). But in all seriousness, she’s pretty badass, who unequivocally admitted her kids were raised by daycare.


alright enough of that I’m bored already. They can all be winners. How tall poppy of me.

 3. Hall of Shame

richard meier “steps down”

“yeah right”

Richard Meier and Partners is facing some publicity in the bad way, with claims that Meier well and truly has not stepped down and is still playing architect. If your memory needs a refresher, Meier was accused by 5 different victims for sexual harassment last year.

Stella Lee, Judi Shade Monk, and Lucy Nathanson (Photography by Emily Assiran)

Stella Lee, Judi Shade Monk, and Lucy Nathanson (Photography by Emily Assiran)

4. ttfn

Amazon hq2

A couple of weeks ago Amazon kissed goodbye to their HQ2 proposal to invade Long Island City in New York. Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio were public about their disappointment and the media have labelled it as a massive miscommunication to the public from Amazon’s behalf. Fierce opposition was voiced by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who has been partially blamed by Cuomo for the deal’s collapse.

What did the deal entail? In short:

  • a generation $27.5 billion in state and city revenue over 25 years

  • creation of approximately 25,000 jobs over the next 10 years

  • average salaries of $150,000

  • the project itself would open up 1,300 construction jobs and 107,000 jobs directly and indirectly.

    (more details can be found here.)

However would the “move-in” of a tech giant do the city any good? The multitude of tech companies in San Francisco has reportedly driven out the creative minds, as rents have sky rocketed and the tech bros have “taken over”. Perhaps we are entering a new urban morphology where exceedingly large companies start shaping our cities. For the better or for the worse? Feel free to comment below!

Over the past few weeks, supporters have been working hard to lure back the deal, with New York’s leaders issuing a public open letter to Amazon.


5. That’s a wrap

skycity convention centre artwork wrap

The exterior of the New Zealand convention centre in Auckland will be cloaked by the two largest pieces of public artwork in the country. Artists Sara Hughes and Peata Larkin are creating a piece that incorporates both terracotta and glass. Hughes’s piece features various colour tones that are reminiscent of the forest tone in Waipoua. Similarly, Larkin’s work is also tied to nature, as the terracotta paneling describes the multiple water ways and fertile soil of New Zealand. Additionally, the wall is softened by an undulating pattern, inspired by Maori weaving.


6. is this real life?

Render or real? Den Loft by Nordes Design Group.


So, not that any more press should be given to this issue, but a few weeks ago, NCARB sent the names of a few people around to, pretty much every architect who receives NCARB emails in the country (USA) to name and shame them for “cheating” in the architecture exams.

Serves them right. You say. But seriously, people talk about the exams all the time, is that considered cheating? Anyway, disciplinary action has been dished out by NCARB to do enough damage. Naming and shaming, completely unnecessary. And now New York Post, Archinect and The Real Deal have caught on too. Put it this way, many people don’t get named and shamed for doing far worse things in this world. NCARB’s message would’ve been just as effective without plastering these people’s names all over the internet.

Anyway that’s my two cents. You can google it and decide for yourself.




irving smith architects

Last week I attended a talk at the Architecture League in support of fellow kiwi, Jeremy Smith from Irving Smith Architects.

Smith showed a range of projects that in a comical kiwi fashion refuted the modernist teaching methods that are rife throughout the US and many architecture schools. Smith’s presentation hailed New Zealand’s forever changing landscape and spoke about his buildings having the forgiveness to adapt with its environment. Rather than clearing landscapes to show off our buildings in a modernist fashion, how about doing your absolute best to work with what you’ve got?

If there was anything strikingly poignant to take away, it was whole-heartedly his push on making landscape conscious architecture, not loud boisterous icons. Just dealing with what you have. Perhaps something we can really look at on the commercial side in Auckland…

Nelson School of Music.

Nelson School of Music.

With the Nelson School of Music, Irving Smith restored the music hall closer to its beautiful historic state. Their architectural intervention sits between the historic part (left) and more modern building as a quiet recessed sliver that leads its occupants to a vast area of music practice rooms and educational space at the back of the site.

Another recurring theme that was particularly evident in the residential projects was human circulation throughout all spaces. Below is OffSET a finalist in the world architecture festival. OffSET is a house by the sea, and owned by a family of keen surfers. The way the spaces are offset and organised, is heavily embedded in the way they navigate through the summer surfing season and the colder winter. A front deck allows for surfers to sit and look at the waves, whilst an interior courtyard gives the family a more private outdoor area.

and a couple more…


(Over classical music? Check this)

The Beatles. All time favourite.


1. A Canine friend

Unsure what this little guy’s name is. (Maybe Deuce?) But that puppy face.


2. Babe

Michelle Obama.

She released a book. And I’ve been told to read it…

Also, cannot believe that Business Insider, where the below image is sourced, had a headline mentioning that her memoir is the next hottest thing since Fifty Shades of Grey…

3. documentary

If you have both a Hulu and Netflix subscription, then I would advise watching the Fyre documentaries.

What is Fyre? Fyre my friends, was one of the biggest flops in music festival history, which has now turned into 6 years of jail time for co-founder Billy Macfarlane who fraudulently mislead many investors on pretty much everything about the festival. It was supposed to be the elite of elite festivals. Yay party with models and rich obnoxious people on a remote island in the Bahamas. NOT.

But much controversy even surrounds the two documentaries. You can read here.

I must say, that after reading the articles online and then watching the Netflix documentary, it does seem that it very cleverly frames Billy as the only one responsible… JerryMedia what?

Doesn’t it look like they’re having a wonderful time enjoying some siiick beats?


4. Boy

Mahershala Ali! Hailing from Oakland California took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, for his performance in Green Book. He is also in the latest True Detective Season that I’m about to binge watch. :)

5. stair porn

Those stair hips don’t lie… the Liraria Lello bookstore in Porto, Portugal.

6. Art

Australian artist Ian Strange has a unique take on combining the worlds of art and architecture.

7. object

Saw these really cool playing cards on instagram a while back by the Parks Project US.


8. Wanderlust

The incredible photograph of the Sigiriya in Sri Lanka was taken by travel photographer Jordan Hammond. It is an unbelievable example of ancient urban planning. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is believed to have been created by King Kasyapa (475-495 AD).


9. harsh realities

Oh boy, it’s really happening in Venezuela…

With inflation rates soaring, the country is in political and economic turmoil. Approximately 2.7 million people have left the country since 2015.

People are facing shortages of food and water as current President Nicolás Maduro has closed the country’s borders over a dispute on teh supplies of humanitarian aid.

The crisis itself begins in 2010 during the leadership of President Hugo Chávez as the country encountered economic problems. Now the country is faced with two opposing leaders one President Maduro, the other opposition leader Juan Guaidó who claims that the elections were rigged.

10. doodle

Mesh tent?



11. LOL

@_theblessedone has a private account, but here is a screenshot of a funny meme I saw the other day. (That’s right, never underestimate a little lady).



I’m torn between what to post this week. But I think it has to go to LaRina on Myrtle Ave in Brooklyn. Granted we did get spoiled by Chef Silvia Barban (cheers Alyssa), the pasta was delicious, authentic, al dente, umami and all those words you’re supposed to use to describe good food.

Chef Silvia, delivered to our table numerous dishes in the traditional family style way, so we all got the best of all worlds.

For starters we had a delicious foccacia bread, salad (couldn’t find it on the menu), grilled artichokes.

For main: Tonnarelli (pasta with clams), Sea urchin Linguine, a giant ravioli with shaved black truffle (like an Italian Xiao Long Bao), some gluten free pasta and a fish dish. Oh and double ravioli with meat on one side and ricotta cheese on the other. drool

For dessert: gluten free chocolate cake, affogato, tiramisu, panna cotta with salted caramel.

Didn’t have any of these dishes, but I’m keen to try what’s left on the menu next time!

Didn’t have any of these dishes, but I’m keen to try what’s left on the menu next time!




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

Sometimes spotify gets it right on the “discover weekly”. I’ve had this sweet beat on the noise cancellers this week. Check it out… in addition, I have also created a threethirtyitis playlist, that I’ll try change up. WARNING. It will have very random things on there. Click here: THREETHIRTYITIS



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 :)