Maybe no one else has the problem of failed communication, but I know I do. Whenever I present a project I always leave out important information, even when I make a point of remembering to say it. Here’s an article that I thought was interesting. Maybe it will help some of you too!
We abuse land because we see it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.
A piece of art that holds art is the ultimate summation of the Bloch building addition to the Nelson Atkins Museum. The glowing glass boxes sprout up from the Earth and tumble down the hills. From the exterior, the building appears to be a vision into thefuture modernism of simplicity and imaginative use of new materials. Steven Holl’s design is characterized by an exceptional use of contrast, light, and nature.
His use of contrast is predominant through the whole design. One of the more apparent contrasts is that of style. The Nelson Building stands erect as a symbol of the past with its Neoclassical style. Its classical style, powerful columns, ornate details, and grand staircases evoke a sense of admiration and reminiscence for the past. When standing in the sturdy stone structure, it is impossible not to feel overwhelmed or consumed by its majesty and all the history it encompasses. It is undeniably an awe-provokingbuilding. The Bloch building visibly contrasts with the main Nelson building neighboring it. Instead of being constructed of strong and classical stone, it is made of hazy glass, a symbol of new technologies and materials. It is pure simplicity—merely unadorned glass boxes, which glow at night and are clean and pristine in the sunlight. While still awe-provoking as the Nelson, it is less about nostalgia and more about the future.
These two noticeably different styles are ultimately juxtaposed into the actual conjoining of the two buildings. Interrupting a purely white wall is the stone and historic lamps of the old Nelson. The doors are not thin and made of glass, but are dark, heavy, and made of metal. They open up to a warmly lit corridor of the old Nelson, with thick walls of stone. This single entrance transports the spirit through the centuries. It summarizes the contrast of these two drastically different buildings: it unites them in all complexities creating pure splendor.
Steven Holl manipulates and plays with light in the interiors of the Bloch building. The ceilings are one of the most interesting parts of the building with its various slants and diagonals, reflecting light in unique ways. Various curves of the ceiling also reflect light captivatingly. Most of the light in the building filters through the hazy glass then bounces around the various slants, diagonals, and curves of the white walls and ceiling. Light also reflects off of the black floor. This soft reflection is soothing and subtle. The floor and the hazy glass create a delicate illumination in the room. The understated natural lighting is occasionally interrupted by clean and clear glass windows to welcome pure natural light to stream through the structure undisturbed. It unites nature to the modern structure.
The motif of modern architecture mutually combined with nature is repeatedly employed throughout the building. The straight lines of the building are echoed in the landscape architecture on the East side of the structure. Diagonal lines of the supportive walls are mirrored from the diagonal lines of the building. This repetition adds harmony and cohesiveness. However, on the West side, nature is left unconstrained. The metal and glass structure rises from it almost unnaturally, but the stark contrast between the rolling hills and blatant glass boxes gives the Bloch building a bold presence.
Stephen Holl also combines the forms of nature and modernism on top of the building. Holl, probably inspired by Le Corbusier, added grass to the exterior roofs of the glass boxes. This design enables the amount of ground cover that is occupied to be sustained. It also adds another level of harmonious existence of the cold glass structure with nature. In addition, inside the building, clear windows expose the view of the gardens. This not only unites nature with the building, but also brings nature inside it, so people can view and experience it, while experiencing the interior of the building. He does this explicitly with the rock garden, which extends from inside the building to the outside. The rocks stand for the natural world, which don’t have to only be experienced outside building walls. Holl integrated nature with construction and living areas. He gave people the ability to enjoy the natural beauties man did not design, with the art and architecture that man perceives and creates.
The Bloch building creates an admirable and stimulatingexperience. Through the grand use of contrast, he highlights the heaviness and lightness, the style, and the historical periods of the two buildings. Through light, he lightens the soul with gradients of light streaming across the curves and angles of the ceilings and walls. He unites nature with structure by integrating the nature inside and outside, uninterrupting the ground, and mimicking the lines of the building through the lines of the landscape architecture. The architecture of the Bloch building is art. It heightens our spirits and makes us rejoice with its perfection and beauty. As the outside of the Nelson Atkins building says, “Through art, we realize our perfection. Art still has truth. Take refuge there.” The spirit and mind linger through the passageways, rooms, and exterior of the Bloch building. It is art.
The School of Visual Arts of Oaxaca by Taller de Arquitectura-Mauricio Rocha
Tarra Warra Museum of Art by Allan Powell
(Above two) Rauch Family Home by Boltshauser Architeckten
Johanna Home by Nicholas Burns
Mission Hill Family Estate Winery by Olson Kundig Architects
To some people, it may need seem logical to call our Planet Earth our home. Where our bed is is our home, where our loved one is our home, but not the streets of the city or the vast oceans that most of us will never see in their entirety. However, Earth is our home, all of Earth. When you visit another country, although you may not call it home, it is your home because the entire planet of Earth is here for us to explore and experience. It is also important that we take care of our home. It is our duty to take care of our world, because it can’t always take care of itself. Everyone is aware of the problems of global warming, and garbage dumps polluting the water we drink and the water that sustains nature. It may be the easy way out to stay ignorant and not do anything about it, however in the coming years, we will have to face the consequences, and the problems will be much larger than they are now. Recycling is a great start in the quest for living more sustainable. When garbage decomposes, it releases methane, a very poisonous green house gas and pollutant that can harm the environment and even life if it is in large enough quantities. It is important to REDUCE, REUSE, and RECYCLE! Here are some ways that I do these 3 imporant things, that may inspire you to join me.
I reduce what I use by always using the same water bottle. Camelbak makes a great water bottle that is convenient, and even has a water filter.
I also reduce by always using reusable dishes, so nothing has to be thrown away.
Reduction can also save you money. As a girl, fashion is important is also fun, but having a closet jam-packed with clothes is not only a hassle and a waste of space, but also an unnecessary amount of items. Reuse old clothes in inventive new ways and skip buying that new sweater.
Most of the food we buy, whether from the grocery store or a restaurant is wasted. Eat all the food you buy, and don’t buy more than you need. At restaurants, don’t leave food on your plate. Take it home, recycle the styrofoam take out box, and eat the food that you’ve already paid for.
Recycling is very important, and luckily society’s awareness of the issue has made it easier to recycle. More and more communities in the U.S. pick up recycling along with trash. Recycle things you may not think can even be recycled. Even hair dryers can be recycled! Most products that can be recycled have the recycling image somewhere on the packaging.
Don’t throw electronics away. Many companies, like Best Buy take old electronics, sometimes even with some added cash for you!, if you give them your old junky electronics. That way, metal doesn’t sit in landfills.
When you take out your trash, have a glance at it and think about everything you are holding right there. Most households throw away 2-3 bags a week. That’s 156 bags of trash in just one year, for only one household! When you examine the trash you are about the put into a bigger pile of trash, think about what you could have saved, and what you could have recycled. Odds are, you are wasting alot. Landfills are filling up, and more land is going to have to be devoted to landfills. We can’t just dump it in the ocean for all our fish to be strangled in, and we can’t let it overflow either. We’ve got to just put in a little extra effort in order to save our planet, our home.