Archinect - Red Herring 2022-07-03T10:18:34-04:00 sketchy impressions bjd80 2012-04-29T09:01:00-04:00 >2012-05-04T09:28:10-04:00 <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> The more projects I visit, the more aware I become of the limitations of the camera.&nbsp; Above is a sketch from a visit to Alvar Aalto's <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">S&auml;yn&auml;tsalo Town Hall</a>.&nbsp; Getting out of the van and starting to walk around, I finally decided to do some sketching on site instead of trying to take really good pictures.&nbsp;</p> <p> I started thinking about my interaction with drawing&nbsp; over the last several years.&nbsp; When I studied abroad with <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Bill Tate</a> for a summer in Vienna, we took with us 10 rolls of Ilford HP5 black &amp; white film, and stocked up on drawing supplies in Vienna.&nbsp; For 5 weeks we lived out of our sketchbooks.&nbsp; While I appreciate the photos I took during that time, the drawings are a more personal record.&nbsp;</p> <p> With the camera, you control two variables : what is in the frame and how much light reaches the film (more likely the image sensor).&nbsp; More often than not, the photos I think will be interesting turn out blah while the ones I don't remember taking are great.&nbsp; With drawing, you have a more...</p> Finland East Excursion - Day 1 Bronwyn Charlton 2012-04-22T16:22:00-04:00 >2012-04-23T03:05:51-04:00 <p> This Friday, on a cold, very rainy morning, we squeezed into a 9 person van and headed North and East for a two day whirlwind tour of Eastern Finnish architecture. Our first stop was Lahti, where we looked at the Church of the Cross. Designed by Alvar Aalto, he died before it could be completed, and it was finished by his second wife, Elissa Aalto in 1978. It let in a stunning amount of light given the cloudy day, and an organist was practicing when we arrived which gave the space a pretty transcendental air (see video at end).</p> <p> &nbsp;<img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""><img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Next we visited Sibelius Hall by Hannu Tikka and Kimmo Lintula. The glue lam beams had impressive dimensions as well as the range of joinery and hidden steel connectors. This building was one of the first (or the first?) wood-frame construction/framing at a large scale.The structure's relationship with the older brick construction building was interestingly unabashed. While the colors and texture of the wood were beautiful, its use in ...</p> Beauty Minds -- The Finnish Approach Bronwyn Charlton 2012-04-08T13:40:00-04:00 >2012-04-09T13:49:54-04:00 <p> <strong><em>Beauty minds</em></strong> -- our Professore, Matti Rautiola, called himself and fellow professor Pentti Kareoja this when describing their approach to architecture as well as to architectural education. We have been lucky to have an extraordinary cultural experience in Helsinki so far -- but not only in terms of the art and architecture we've been exposed to. More important has been our growing education in the Finnish way of making, seeing, appreciating, and sharing -- and it is unlike any other cultural approach to art and architecture I have come across.&nbsp;</p> <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> Above is us at the "Snotel" bar (Snow Hotel in the Finnish accent) with Professor Matti Rautiola.</p> <p> The "beauty mind" approach is to focus on the positive -- to try to understand the essence or path of an idea and then to pursue it. Rather than emphasizing criticism, Matti and Pentti believe that intellectual rigor can come by really diving into and exploring those aspects of our ideas that really tick. They also place priority on ...</p> Suomenlinna sleeping giant Bronwyn Charlton 2012-04-08T12:49:00-04:00 >2012-04-09T13:49:36-04:00 <p> Suomenlinna is a UNESCO World Heritage site in Helsinki. It is a huge fortress spanning 6 islands, built when Finland was a part of Sweden in 1748.</p> <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> Masterminded by Swedish Admiral Augustin Ehrensv&auml;rd (1710-72) the fort became his life's work and his vision was still incomplete at the time of his death in 1772. Based on a Star Fort style, Ehrensv&auml;rd also cunningly used the natural topography of the site to disguise underground bunkers. This makes the island look a bit like its full of troll dwellings as often you only get a glimpse of a door in an apparently grassy hillside.</p> <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> We have visited twice, and still haven't been able to see every part of this incredible military architecture in 7+ hours of exploring. The islands are host to monumental buildings of a wide variety of colors, stone work, and materials&nbsp;</p> <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> as well as a warren-like network of tunnels and fortification walls:</p> <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> The low angled light of the sun in Finland lends a dramatic air to the shado...</p> Confessions -- Conversations with Pallasmaa pt. 1 Bronwyn Charlton 2012-02-24T07:17:14-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p> As part of our study abroad experience, our study abroad coordinator, Associate Dean Peter MacKeith has set up monthly discussion evenings with Juhani Pallasmaa -- an exceptional thinker and well known architect and author.</p> <p> Some of his titles include,&nbsp;<em>The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses</em>,<em> The Architecture of Image: Existential Space in Cinema</em>, and <em>The Thinking Hand: An Architectural Design Primer</em>. He has also written texts on Alvar Aalto's Villa Mairea and contributed to edited volumes.</p> <p> <em>The Eyes of the Skin</em> was the first "architectural" book I ever read, the summer before starting my MArch -- having come from a non-design background I chose the book without knowing anything about the author, or much about the field, because the human, tactile, and experiential nature of the title described my interest in the field. I am still thankful for that initial introduction.</p> <p> We are incredibly lucky to be able to hear what Pallasmaa has to say about architecture, art, desi...</p> Digitization Nation Bronwyn Charlton 2012-02-24T04:50:00-05:00 >2012-03-19T11:08:52-04:00 <p> As part of our semester abroad we get the opportunity to design and build a chair out of bent plywood with the help of our instructor, Julie Scheu. Bent plywood is a beautiful method for furniture construction -- the simple elegance of the forms that are possible with bent plywood as well as the consideration/limitation of complex curves means that the creation of bent plywood furniture requires equal parts of art and technique.&nbsp;</p> <p> We've divided into four groups and each taken on a chair to "digitize" (import the geometry of into Rhino), model out of foam and then foam core from which to develop our own models. To see more about this process read our colleague's Jenn Wong and Alex Morely's fantastic post about the process here:&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"></a></p> <p> My partner, Seth Bartlett and I chose this chair to study:</p> <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> Petteri Chair by Olavi Hanninen</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> We (Seth and I) feel like we have been lucky to model an incredibly elegant chair...</p> Light Sculpting bjd80 2012-02-20T11:20:00-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p> As promised, here are some photos of our experiences in Rovaniemi this weekend.&nbsp; The town sits at the confluence of the Kemijoki and Ounasjoki rivers, about 11km south of the Arctic Circle.&nbsp; Despite the "deep cold" which frequents the area, the section of river by the town almost never freezes due to a strong current.&nbsp; This is one of the reasons that the town is where it is.&nbsp;</p> <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> Two things amazed me about what we saw this weekend : The deftness with which Finnish architects have been able to manipulate light, and the tactile nature of their work.&nbsp; While all architecture is obsessed with light, the Nordic countries have a different relation to light than those who dwell closer to the equator.&nbsp; Light in the North is a coveted resource with a constantly changing character, and the goal is almost never to screen light from the interior.</p> <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> The images above&nbsp; - Alvar Aalto's Rovaniemi City Hall and a private residence by ARRAK architects are beautiful examples of weaving light into ...</p> The Human in the Midst Bronwyn Charlton 2012-02-20T05:09:00-05:00 >2012-02-24T05:46:20-05:00 <p> This weekend we traveled north to the arctic circle and the city of Rovaniemi. The town planning was done by Alvar Aalto after the city was burned by the Germans on retreat from the Russian forces in WWII. Our instructor, architect Matti Rautiola, said that when he was a child every stone that was turned over would have a bullet, gun, or bone underneath it. Some stunning pieces of architecture were lost in this city destruction, including P.E. Blomstedt's Pohjanhovi Hotel (see its incredible fireplace in this image:&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"></a>)</p> <p> We were taken to:</p> <p> Rovaniemi Town Hall - Alvar Aalto</p> <p> Rovaniemi City Library - Alvar Aalto</p> <p> Korudi Music Hall and Art Museum - Juhani Pallasmaa</p> <p> The Design Week Opening</p> <p> Pilke Forest Center - Teemu Palo</p> <p> Arcticum Museum - Juhani Pallasmaa</p> <p> Paivi Tahkokallio's office</p> <p> Tapiola Housing Area - Alvar Aalto</p> <p> Villa Pauliina - ARRAK Architects</p> <p> Arctic Snow Hotel</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Brian will be posting pho...</p> Suomenlinna -- Entering Helsinki Bronwyn Charlton 2012-02-16T04:35:10-05:00 >2012-02-16T04:35:10-05:00 <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> Welcome to Helsinki! Sunrise in the bay as we enter Finland on the overnight ferry Silja. Our first experience of the bitter cold as snow blew hard over the bow of the ship in -16 deg C weather, nevermind the wind chill. You're looking at the fort Suomenlinna (Viapori), built by the Swedish in 1748 to protect against the Russians. The most expensive project built by Sweden, requiring "many bags of gold" according to our history instructor. Augustin Ehrensv&auml;rd used the natural topography is his design for the fort and many of the buildings are tucked in to the landscape. Shortly after it was completed, the fort was taken by the Russian's who took advantage of the frozen Baltic Sea to march across to the islands -- something the Swedes never anticipated.<img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""><img alt="" src="" title=""></p> Stockholm Whirlwind Tour Bronwyn Charlton 2012-02-16T03:57:00-05:00 >2012-02-16T13:56:05-05:00 <p> We visited Stockholm with friends from Washu (Jenn and Alex) for a day and a half. It is truly a land filled with tall, beautiful blonds! The city was lively with activity and infinitely walkable -- its geography of 14 islands, of which 30% is parks was dynamic in its constant undulations and unexpected waterway vistas. Our first trip was the Vasa Museum.</p> <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> The Vasa was built 1626-28 under the King Gustavas Adolphus and sank on its maiden voyage less than a mile from is construction dock. Too top heavy in its design, and with gun ports whose water-line wouldn't allow more ballast to be placed in the hold for risk of flooding, this majestic ship never got to see the land conquest and battles it was built for. It symbolizes a period in Sweden's history of great power, and the incredibly ornate carvings and gold leaf on this majestically restored ship give testament to that.</p> <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""><img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> The harbors in Stockholm are also magnificent -- We all felt jealous of the cozy yachts parked along t...</p> Moi! Terve! Bronwyn Charlton 2012-02-16T03:50:37-05:00 >2012-02-16T10:45:28-05:00 <p> We are 2 Master of Architecture students from Washington University, St. Louis.</p> <p> This blog is a way for us to explore the red herrings of the architecture, art, and design world as we continue our education in a study abroad semester in Helsinki, Finland. Helsinki is the design capital of the world, 2012 so it is a thrilling time to be here. We want to share events and ideas we encounter -- from the explicitly design oriented to everything else.</p> <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> We are Brian Driska and Bronwyn Charlton -- coming from different backgrounds -- Brian from construction and industrial design and Bronwyn from theory, poetry, and costume design -- we find that our experiences sometimes clash but often enrich each other. We humbly hope that by sharing our ideas and experiences here we will grow in our understanding!</p> <p> We welcome your comments! Please don&rsquo;t use our images or words without asking us first&hellip;Almost surely we will say YES!</p>