Koen Vlecken

Deflating McCarthy, Place Vendôme

After being slapped in the face by a malcontent Parisian and insulted by “Springtime for France”(!) on Twitter, Paul McCarthy’s giant inflatable Tree has been deflated after someone unplugged (!) the power cord. At least, that is what I make from a French article sur le web: “les inconnus avaient débranché l’alimentation électrique de la soufflerie qui gonfle la structure”. I for one do understand how erecting a Christmas tree two months before Christmas can provoke such an outrage. I also understand McCarthy isn’t the political activist who intended a big “Up Yours” season’s greetings to the poor (not really) one-percenters staying at the Ritz hôtel. Aah, art; controversy.

(Also comes to mind: the act of vandalism against a giant inflated duck in Belgium, and this radio show telephone prank from the nineties).

1 day ago

Why is former Pepsi and Apple CEO John Sculley wearing two wrist watches in this interview with Fortune (from 1’20” on) ? Unrelated; apparently Fidel Castro wore two Rolexes to keep track of both local and Moscow time.

Why is former Pepsi and Apple CEO John Sculley wearing two wrist watches in this interview with Fortune (from 1’20” on) ? Unrelated; apparently Fidel Castro wore two Rolexes to keep track of both local and Moscow time.

4 days ago

A carbon neutral lair for an off-grid site on the edge of the Far North Queensland rainforest in Australia, this project has been designed to withstand intense cyclones and flooding, and is obviously inspired by John Lautner’s Sheats Goldstein Residence.

1 month ago

Polyforum Siqueiros in Mexico City, 1971.

Polyforum Siqueiros in Mexico City, 1971.

1 month ago

For architects, this is a project perhaps more recognizable in plan than in photograph. The dazzling rhythmic complexity of the construction drawings for Barcelona’s Olympic Archery Range, completed in 1991, brought more fame to the 1992 Olympic event than any arrow shot from the buildings’ shadow.
Today, the training pavilion stands out of place against the backdrop of a soccer field, where it serves as a changing room for the players.
A few years ago its partner facility —the competition pavilion, which I visited in the summer of 2002— was disassembled to make room for an expansion of the city’s underground Metro. Google’s current satellite view of the site shows the prefabricated curved concrete panels of the competition pavilion lying inert on their sides as they await removal.

For architects, this is a project perhaps more recognizable in plan than in photograph. The dazzling rhythmic complexity of the construction drawings for Barcelona’s Olympic Archery Range, completed in 1991, brought more fame to the 1992 Olympic event than any arrow shot from the buildings’ shadow.

Today, the training pavilion stands out of place against the backdrop of a soccer field, where it serves as a changing room for the players.

A few years ago its partner facility —the competition pavilion, which I visited in the summer of 2002— was disassembled to make room for an expansion of the city’s underground Metro. Google’s current satellite view of the site shows the prefabricated curved concrete panels of the competition pavilion lying inert on their sides as they await removal.

2 months ago

The winning proposal for Copenhagen’s House of Peace is as thin and airy its architects’ statement : “Our House of Peace creates an environment where people can open up to think of peace. It takes you back to the purity of being - ready to embrace the world.”

Were it not for the pastel blue color palette, this blown-up Enric Miralles’ Lungo Mare concrete street furniture or inflated floating version of Ryue Nishizawa’s Art Museum on Teshima Island, Japan, could well have been the artwork for the villain’s lair of a new Bond movie.

2 months ago

Casa Pite (2006) by Smiljan Radić, the Chilean architect of this year’s Serpentine summer pavilion. The picture above shows only one of three units, which have a total surface of 400 m²; this one is circa 100 m². 

Casa Pite (2006) by Smiljan Radić, the Chilean architect of this year’s Serpentine summer pavilion. The picture above shows only one of three units, which have a total surface of 400 m²; this one is circa 100 m². 

3 months ago

The annual Casa Cor exhibition is not your conventional furniture fair, as it gives teams of architects, interior designers and landscape artists free reign in their allocated space. These teams simply decide who it is they are designing for – from a young executive to a family or an elderly couple – and then build the bloody thing. At the close of the event, everything on show – from the artwork hanging on the walls to the walls themselves – is up for sale.
Casa Cor was conceived in São Paulo 29 years ago, and now has several franchises throughout Brazil. This year, the most astonishing ‘exhibition stand’ is Guilherme Torres’ Villa Deca. It is supposed to enhance the dolce far niente.

The annual Casa Cor exhibition is not your conventional furniture fair, as it gives teams of architects, interior designers and landscape artists free reign in their allocated space. These teams simply decide who it is they are designing for – from a young executive to a family or an elderly couple – and then build the bloody thing. At the close of the event, everything on show – from the artwork hanging on the walls to the walls themselves – is up for sale.

Casa Cor was conceived in São Paulo 29 years ago, and now has several franchises throughout Brazil. This year, the most astonishing ‘exhibition stand’ is Guilherme Torres’ Villa Deca. It is supposed to enhance the dolce far niente.

3 months ago

4 months ago

Jill Lepore: The Disruption Machine — What the Theory of Disruptive Innovation Gets Wrong, in The New Yorker

Jill Lepore: The Disruption Machine — What the Theory of Disruptive Innovation Gets Wrong, in The New Yorker

4 months ago

4 months ago

Lothar Götz, Tankstelle der Firma Opel-Fahr, 1951

Lothar Götz, Tankstelle der Firma Opel-Fahr, 1951

4 months ago