Archive for August, 2010

August 31, 2010

Pencil Lead Sculptures by Dalton Ghetti


Talk about precision. Brazilian born, Connecticut based, Dalton Ghetti carefully crafts the tips of pencils into amazing micro sculptures.These miniature masterpieces are a side project for the professional carpenter, who has been perfecting this art for the last 25 years.Dalton uses a razor blade, sewing needle, a sculpting knife, a steady hand and lots of patience to meticulously carve the graphite which can take anywhere between a few months to a few years.Over time he has broken many works in progress and keeps them in what he calls ‘the cemetery collection.’ One of the most fascinating things about these tiny works of art is that he has never sold them, only given away to friends as gifts.

August 31, 2010

Lamy Scribble Black 3.15mm Pencil – L186-315

designed by:

Hannes Wettstein   Hannes Wettstein

Hannes Wettstein, born 1958 in Ascona, Switzerland, had been a professional in design, corporate design and architectural styling.
In the 1990s he was host lecturer at academies and schools in Amsterdam, Hannover, Basel and Milan and he was lecturing at the ETH Zurich. From 1994 until 2001 he was professor at the University for design in Karlsruhe.
Since then his company zed has been cultivating and producing brands and creates the sphere for a successful brand image. zed is active in many contexts with philosophy, ethics, aesthetics, economy, ecology, precision and realism being the fundamental values. Experts of all disciplines of design belong to the zed network.
Hannes Wettstein died in 2008 but his work for Lamy lives on.
For Lamy he designed the LAMY scribble and LAMY studio range.

August 30, 2010


1957 | 38-Story | 157m

August 30, 2010

The Grid Book | Hannah B Higgins |The MIT Press

August 29, 2010

Salvador Dali’s Museum by HOK / Beck Group

i guess the anchor must be Heather Van Nest

August 29, 2010

A fresh bite of the Big Apple: NYC gets an architectural boat tour

New York finally has an architectural boat tour that compares–sort of–to the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s highly-regarded Chicago River cruises. It runs every other week, encircles Manhattan, lasts nearly three hours and costs $75 (yikes!) versus a far more democratically-priced $32 for the 90-minute CAF tour. The New York Times’ Ariel Kaminer(nice name, but I don’t think we’re related) reports.

August 15, 2010

August 29, 2010

The Building of a Symbol: How It Got There, and Why It’s Orange

The Golden Gate Bridge under construction, around 1935. The actual building of the bridge took over four years, with mensometimes perched more than 500 feet above the water in wind or fog.

It’s the western bookend to the Brooklyn Bridge — as iconic an American edifice as the Statue of Liberty, and a favorite spot for lovers, photographers and suicides. It’s been hailed as one of the modern wonders of the world, “perhaps the most successful combination of site and structure since the Parthenon,” a “democratic masterpiece” and a “giant harp hung in the western sky.”

Despite the many existing odes to the Golden Gate Bridge, Kevin Starr seems particularly well equipped to write a biography of that famous orange bridge. The author of more than half a dozen histories of California, Mr. Starr — a professor of history at the University of Southern California and state librarian of California emeritus — has written frequently about the myths and metaphors that festoon the Golden State, and he seems to instinctively understand the place that the Golden Gate Bridge has come to occupy in the national imagination as a symbol of American enterprise and the gateway to the Pacific.

Curiously enough, the passages in “Golden Gate” devoted to explicating the bridge’s symbolism and allure are its least persuasive: pretentious, clichéd, derivative and pompously theoretical. “In its American context, taken historically,” Mr. Starr writes, “the Bridge aligns itself with the thought of Jonathan Edwards, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and other transcendentalists in presenting an icon of transcendence: a defiance of time pointing to more elusive realities. Were Edwards, Emerson, or the Swedish theologian Emanuel Swedenborg, a mystic thinker of great importance to the formation of American thought, alive today, they would no doubt see in the Golden Gate Bridge a fusion of material and trans-material forces held in delicate equipoise.”

It is when Mr. Starr turns from interpreting the bridge to recounting the story of its construction that his narrative takes off. Though it’s a story told many times before — most notably by John van der Zee in “The Gate: The True Story of the Design and Construction of the Golden Gate Bridge” (1986) and Allen Brown in “Golden Gate: Biography of a Bridge” (1965) — Mr. Starr does an agile job of situating the tale within the larger context of San Francisco’s efforts to rebuild after the Great Earthquake of 1906 and the nation’s march from the Roaring Twenties into the slough of the Great Depression.

He reminds us that the bridge, first proposed in 1921, initially encountered vociferous opposition from a variety of interests, including ferry companies (which saw the bridge as stealing their business) and environmental groups like the Sierra Club (which argued that such an edifice would profane the natural beauty of the site). There were also protests, Mr. Starr recounts, that “the Bridge was too costly, tolls would prove insufficient to redeem taxpayer-backed bonds, the geological foundations for the south pier were inadequate.”

Arguments that a bridge was vital for San Francisco’s development as a modern metropolis and the demands of commuters from Marin County and beyond would prevail in the end, however, and the bridge would help fuel the Bay Area’s exponential growth in the decades to come.

As it turns out, the years of wrangling over the bridge’s construction would lead to a design triumph. Mr. Starr describes the original plan of the Chicago entrepreneur Joseph Strauss as “an undistinguished example of industrial design” — an “upside-down rat trap,” in one opponent’s words. The revised blueprint, devised by a team of noted engineers and architects, would result in that rare thing: a triumph of design by committee.

The self-promoting Strauss would get credit for the Golden Gate, but Mr. van der Zee wrote in his book that it was Charles Alton Ellis, a University of Illinois professor and design engineer with enormous mathematical prowess, who was really the presiding genius behind the bridge. In this volume, Mr. Starr acknowledges that “Strauss turned the design of the suspension system, which is to say, the very essence of the Bridge” over to Ellis, who together with the civil engineer Leon Moisseiff, would grapple with the daunting challenge of designing a super long suspension bridge, subject to the intense tidal actions of the strait below, as well as high winds, fog and possibly earthquakes.

Crucial contributions, Mr. Starr says, were made by other consultants as well. Othmar Hermann Ammann (the chief designer of the George Washington Bridge) helped with the assembling of the bridge’s various components. John Eberson, a leading architect of movie theaters, developed the Art Deco vocabulary for the towers. And Irving Morrow, a local architect and skilled illustrator, refined those ideas further, accentuating, in Mr. Starr’s words, “the stepped-back segments rising vertically on all sides” of the twin towers.

The actual process of building the bridge, which began in January 1933 and ended in the spring of 1937, would be herculean. Mr. Starr writes that “the construction of the anchorages involved the removal of 3.25 million cubic feet of earth and pouring of concrete into frameworks twelve stories high, the equivalent of building two skyscrapers”; and that each of the bridge’s two transverse cables was 36 3/8 inches in diameter and under “63 million pounds of pull or tension from its own weight.”

Workers were perched 500 to 600 feet above the water and faced cold winds blowing in from the ocean. “In the summer,” Mr. Starr writes, “fog banks compounded the cold and obscured vision, which was a frightening thing, given the fact that at all times the Bridge site was an orchestration of dangerous objects in constant movement: steel being swung into place; tools and construction material being accidentally dropped; superheated rivets being heated aloft on precariously perched forges, then funneled through tubes to riveters working in near darkness inside the steel cells, or, if outside, tossed from forge to riveter through the air and caught with handheld funnels.”

As for the bridge’s famous color, international orange, it was not an obvious choice. Mr. Starr reports that Ammann favored gray (as used for the George Washington Bridge), and others wanted black. While the Navy “preferred a yellow and black striping to facilitate visibility for ships entering or leaving the Gate through low-lying fog,” the Army Air Corps wanted a red-and-white color scheme more visible from the air. The reddish-orange paint was primer, used to protect the bridge against the elements, and it gradually went from being a default choice to the color of choice.

In an over-the-top burst of purple prose, Mr. Starr observes that international orange not only “unified the Bridge into one compelling statement,” but also summoned memories of “the gold of the Gold Rush that had created the Bay Area, and the gold of the Golden Horn of the Bosporus first suggested by John Frémont when he named the site in 1846 and by metaphor evoked a color-drenched city of towers, domes, and stepped-back structures rising like Constantinople from blue waters along green hillsides, their red-tiled roofs touching a sun-flooded azure sea.”


Courtesy of the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

A19th-century illustration of the Golden Gate by Peter Petersen Toft depicts Fort Point opposite the Marin Headlands.

August 29, 2010

The Best Construction Management Apps for the iPhone and iPad

Read more:

August 28, 2010

Gateway Arch showing rust and decay

August 28, 2010

Mustafa Abadan and his new Super Green Tower for Seoul

Project Facts

Completion Year: 2015

Project Area: 725,000 m2

Building Height: 640 m
Number of Stories: 133

This landmark tower designed by Mustafa Abadan from Skidmore Owings and Merrill located at the heart of Seoul’s Digital Media City proposes a new paradigm in high-performance skyscraper design.

Conventional high-rise towers traditionally create a barrier between program and environment; mechanical systems consume significant amounts of energy in order to heat and cool interior spaces as well as to draw in fresh air. The Digital Media City Tower explores ways of bringing the environment within the structure to reduce energy consumption and create better interior spaces. The inspiration was taken from the marine sponge, a creature that survives by filtering nutrients from water.

Several large atria maximize daylight harvesting. The interior atria along the perimeter act as lungs for the tower, providing air circulation and filtration for the varied programmatic volumes. Within these, active phytoremediation walls temper and refresh the quality of interior air.

The central core allows light to reach the center of the building but its primary purpose is to drive wind turbines at the crown of the building. The air in this volume naturally rises due to the building’s stack effect.

These sustainable systems reduce the overall energy use by 65 percent. The tower is a model for sustainable design at a scale and typology traditionally insensitive to the environment and context.

From top to bottom, the tower’s floor plates provide ideal dimensions for each of the program elements. Retail lease spans at the lowest level are the widest, with the spans on each subsequent program zone narrowing from office to residential and hotel levels.

images ©SOM

from developer website:


Usage of each story of the Seoul DMC Landmark Building

Story Facility Total area Tenant
Transmitting tower 100㎡ AMC
132 ~ 133F Observation room 3,195.81㎡ CJ
131F Broadcasting facility 1,640.98㎡ MBC
128 ~ 130F Event restaurants 5,096.73㎡ Ritz Carlton
109 ~ 127F Hotels 37,791.76㎡ Ritz Carlton
85 ~ 108F Family hotels 51,286.17㎡ Marriott
46 ~ 84F Collective housing 85,691.61㎡ Daewoo Construction
8 ~ 45F Offices 120,132.85㎡ AMC
7 ~ 8F Conventions 13,424.98㎡ Ritz Carlton
B1 ~ 8F Department store, shopping mall 141,865.64㎡ Shinsegae, AMC
B1F, 1F Ubiquitous center,
digital media center,
corporate promotion center
9,632.79㎡ AMC
Total area 469,759.33㎡


Functions Facility Detail
Exchange Research & Business Advanced research & technology offices, such as digital & IT
Business Center Service offices (multi-national firms, preparation offices for entering Korea), SOHO offices, business incubation center
Convention Seminar room, large meeting room
Convergence PR New product exhibitions, special exhibitions, all-time exhibitions
Theme Ubiquitous, cutting-edge digital experience room, entertainment facility
Support Accommodation Hotel Accommodation for families of domestic and foreign visitors
Family Hotel Guest house for CEOs
Housing Apartment Digital apartments with a ubiquitous system
Consulting, Investment, Finance Law, accounting, patents, or investment companies
Commercial facility Department store, shopping mall, restaurants
Leisure Gallery, observation center, event hall, park

Eco-Friendly Plan

  • We have tried to receive the platinum grade
  • The best grade a building can receive, based how environmentally-friendly it is, from Seoul City. New renewable energy generation such as wind power generation, sunlight, geothermal heat pumps, and solar water heating were used. By placing the interface void through the upper middle stories of the building, natural ventilation and lighting were delivered. Such problems are typical concerns for high-rise buildings. Greening of the lower stories generates adiabatic effects against internal and external heat, thus reducing the load of cooling or heating. By installing automatic ventilation windows in the building shell, fresh air is supplied. Eco-friendly systems such as a transmissible pavement plan, green panel plan, an advanced recycling system, and terrestrial & aquatic biotopes were applied to the entire building.

Landmark Structure

단면계획 -최근 우리나라도 지진으로부터 안전지대 아님 -타워부 각 기계실 5개 층에 아웃리거를 설치(횡력저항) -타워 3개 층에 노치(NOTCH)를 설치. (풍진동 제어)

Figurative/Symbolic Characteristic

Mass concept PhotoMass concept PhotoMass concept PhotoMass concept Photo

Mass concept:

-Formative motif of a smoke-signal station site on Namsan

-Smooth curve of Korean nature

Rendering concept

Rendering concept:

Digital image of RIB rendering + LED lighting

NEW PARADIGM - INTERFACE VOID of a high-rise building

NEW PARADIGM – INTERFACE VOID of a high-rise building:

-Open vertical space at the center of the building

-New concept of a high-rise building

-Wind power generation, natural ventilation, natural lighting, wall frame planting.