The Art of Living in French Polynesia

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Gray Malin has situated archetypal Mid-Century Modern designs by Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, and Knoll atop a floating 15 foot square mirrored platform handcrafted with the help of local engineers. Emphasizing the form of the furniture, ‘Art of Living‘ was photographed from a vantage point where the colossal Mount Otemanu presents a symmetrical and stunning backdrop. by situating stylized interior design elements in an unexpected outdoor setting, the series places natural and manmade beauty side-by-side, asking viewers to interpret the art of design in a new way. Via

Bing Thom

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Sad to hear the news about Bing Thom, he was a true visionary that inspired many of us.

Thom was on a trip to Hong Kong when he passed away Tuesday afternoon, according to the statement issued by his firm this morning. Here are some of my favorite projects by Bing Thom , if you don’t know much about his career please visit his firm’s website to learn more.

Arena Stage

The design of the new Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater was inspired by the vision of Molly Smith, Arena’s Artistic Director, for ‘a theatre for all that is passionate, exuberant, profound, deep and dangerous in the American spirit.’ Building on Arena’s illustrious history and close relationship with the SW Washington community, the re-invented Arena Stage effectively doubles the facility allowing for state-of-the art technology and modern amenities. This includes: spacious workspaces for rehearsals, set design and construction; classrooms for education programs; expanded office space; community gathering spaces; a spacious centralized lobby, box office, and concessions; underground parking; and the restoration and preservation of the two existing historic theatres, the Fichandler, Arena’s original theatre-in-the-round, and the Kreeger Theater.

Surrey City Centre Library

The LEED® Gold Certified Surrey City Centre Library marks the next phase of a major civic investment in the transformation of downtown Surrey. With advances in easily available electronic information, the role of libraries is changing and the book collection is no longer the central focus. The building design evolved out of the need to provide a space for reading, studying, and above all, gathering as a community.

Tarrant County College

BTA was engaged by the Tarrant County College District to design a new urban campus, the Trinity River East Campus, in downtown Fort Worth. Building on BTA’s earlier master plan for the City of Fort Worth’s largely neglected urban waterfront, the first phase of the campus links downtown Fort Worth to the Trinity River. Flanked on either side by campus buildings and shady courtyards, a pedestrian street cascades down the river bluff to the water. Using extensive landscape and water features, the outdoor areas create comfortable microclimates for outdoor activities both for the College and community at large. The massing of the buildings and the extensive use of louvers at key locations on the exterior glazing and outdoor terraces reduces glare and solar heat gain, while preserving daylighting and views for the occupants.

Chan Centre for the Performing Arts

Prominently sited adjacent to the ceremonial Flag Plaza entrance to the University of British Columbia, the Chan Centre houses a concert hall, experimental theatre and cinema for the use of both the University and the greater Vancouver community. The complex is composed of two connected, drum-shaped sections. The larger drum contains the 1,400-seat Chan Shun concert hall and foyer while the smaller drum houses the 250-seat Telus Studio Theatre, a black-box studio with reconfigurable seating and a 150-seat cinema.

Portrait and some text via

Project images and description via Bing Thom Architects

2016 Aga Khan Award for Architecture Winners

The winners of the 2016 Aga Khan Award for Architecture were announced recently and it is an amazing group. Here are the six chosen projects:

Bait Ur Rouf Mosque by Marina Tabassum
Ventilation and the play of light make this neighbourhood mosque a refuge for spirituality.

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Friendship Centre by Kashef Mahboob Chowdhury/Urbana
A rural training centre inspired by one of the country’s oldest urban archaeological sites.

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Hutong Children’s Library & Art Centre by ZAO/standardarchitecture / Zhang Ke
A small-scale project that enriches bonds amongst communities and revives Hutong life.

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Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs by Zaha Hadid Architects
A new building, radical in composition but respectful of its traditional context, “floats” above an exterior courtyard.

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Superkilen by Big-Bjarke Ingels Group, Superflex, and Topotek 1
A public space promoting integration across lines of ethnicity, religion and culture.

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Tabiat Pedestrian Bridge by Diba Tensile Architecture / Leila Araghian, and Alireza Behzadi
Infrastructure that connects two parks has become a popular urban space.

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You can read more about all projects listed in this post at Aga Khan Award for Architecture. All images and text via Aga Khan Award for Architecture

Transformable Meeting Spaces

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The MIT School of Architecture’s Self-Assembly Lab has teamed up with Google to create Transformable Meeting Spaces, a project that utilizes woven structure research in wood and fiberglass pods that descend from the ceiling, transforming a large space into a smaller one. Designed as a small-scale intervention for reconfiguring open office plans—which “have been shown to decrease productivity due to noise and privacy challenges”—the pods require no electromechanical systems to function, but rather employ a flexible skeleton and counterweight to change shape. Via

Transparent Cabins in New Zealand

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PurePods is a total immersion, totally private experience of your own slice of beauty. Every day in New Zealand nature puts on a show and you are invited to participate in a way that even when the doors are shut you are not shut out. Your PurePod is made of heavy duty glass so you can see everything – from the heavens above to the native plants growing beneath your feet. Pull back the sliding doors on all three sides and indulge the isolation.

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The PurePod is designed from the foundations up for environmental sustainability. Travel through a delightful nature walk to see your PurePod hovering above the ferns and tussocks. Discover your own isolated slice of Kiwi paradise, revel in the birdsong all day long and, at night, explore the stars of the southern sky from the comfort of your luxury bed.

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Learn more about PurePods on their websiteFacebook + Instagram

A blog curated by Roberto Cruz Niemiec with the best of Architecture, Design and Art.