- The cover of David Bowie’s Blackstar album, released just days before his death, was designed to reflect the musician’s mortality, according to his graphic design collaborator Jonathan Barnbrook.
- This week on Dezeen: the designer behind David Bowie’s Blackstar album artwork revealed its true meaning in an exclusive interview and we looked ahead to the era of the “megatall” skyscraper.
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- Rotterdam-based architecture firm OMA also released images of its renovation plan for Berlin’s KaDeWe department store.
- Rotterdam is fast becoming a centre for innovation, according to architects we interviewed this week.
Forecasted construction sector growth falls short
- He also pointed out that the November data on the construction sector from Britain’s purchasing managers was also softer.
- DISMAL official data yesterday revealed weaker than expected growth in the construction sector that followed on a sharp slide in output in the third quarter of the year.
- Output in the sector – accounting for about 7 per cent of British GDP – edged up just 0.2 per cent in October, significantly undershooting City forecasts.
- The ONS said infrastructure had risen to almost £4 billion (28 per cent) of total construction industry output over the year to September 2015.
- The Office for National Statistics also said that Q3 construction output was now estimated to have slumped by 1.9 per cent, heavily influenced by a 5.6 per cent fall in housebuilding.
UK’s Top Art Award, the Turner Prize, Won by Architecture Project for Derelict Houses
- The UK’s Turner Prize for 2015 has been won by Assemble, a collective group of architects that has restored derelict houses.
- The Turner is the leading award in British contemporary art, and arguably Europe’s most prestigious contemporary visual art prize, and Assemble is its first winner from the architecture and design field.
- Alex Farquharson, director of Nottingham Contemporary, has been appointed the new director of Tate Britain.
- Assemble was nominated both for this “Granby Four Streets” project as well as others.
- The total prize pool for the Turner is £40,000 (about $60,300).
Party with the Eameses! Inside the modernist masters’ riotous home
- As Charles Eames used to tell his staff: “Take your pleasure seriously.”
- The Eameses playful mischief is still evident in their home studio, the smaller pavilion that stands across a small courtyard from the house.
- New employees of the Eames Office would be set the daunting challenge of rearranging the keys to make a new tune.
- As the British brutalist architect Peter Smithson, an Eames-admiring contemporary, put it: “They made it respectable to like pretty things”.
- A replica features in the exhibition, providing an appropriately anarchic plinkety-plonk soundtrack to the riot of ideas.
Top five things to do this week: MPavilion, Mozart and more
- The Australian Ballet ends its 2015 season with a world premiere of artistic director David McAllister’s first choreographic work, The Sleeping Beauty.
- Typical of Brink Productions’ immersive theatre experience, the play, set in the fictional suburb of Barranugli, unfolds in an atypical stage installation resembling a cemetery.
- A baroque masterpiece that has been part of the company’s repertoire for 42 years, Australian Ballet has succeeded in finding new life in Sleeping Beauty and was aided by a generous $1.5m budget.
- Paul Blackwell and Kris McQuade star in The Aspirations of Daise Morrow, a new Australian play based on Patrick White’s acclaimed short story, Down at the Dump.
- The pavilion is made up of 13 large and 30 smaller petal-like shades, supported by four metre high columns.
Renewable energy outstrips coal for first time in UK electricity mix
- Ageing coal and nuclear plants have been closing in recent years, while renewable energy has been rapidly rolling out.
- Renewable energy has for the first time surpassed coal in supplying the UK’s electricity for a whole quarter, according to government statistics released on Thursday.
- However, the government’s energy statistics released on Thursday said demand “fell by 2% continuing the recent downward trend”.
- Nuclear power was third with 21.5% and coal – the most polluting fuel – fell back to fourth, with 20.5%.
- Gas-fired power stations provided the most electricity – 30% – with renewables second.
Guided Tours To Challenge Views
- But while some view buildings like the Southbank Centre and University of East Anglia (UEA) as examples of daring and dramatic design others argue they are an austere and bleak eyesore.
- The vast Park Hill estate of flats in Sheffield is also being shown to the public as part of the Brutal Utopias tours starting on 25 September.
And while structures built from slabs of concrete may not be everyone’s cup of tea, the National Trust is keen to convince detractors they are much more than blots on the landscape.
- The “teaching wall” is a building close to half a kilometre long made of unbroken concrete housing different schools of the university.
- There are also the iconic accommodation blocks known as the “ziggurats” – stepped terraces of concrete and glass that hug the landscape.
Timothy Hatton designs floating stairs for Deirdre Dyson gallery
- London firm Timothy Hatton Architects has added a burnished steel staircase to rug designer Deirdre Dyson’s Chelsea carpet gallery as part of a renovation of her studio.
- The rest of the building has been transformed into a gallery, with rugs displayed hanging on metal frameworks.
- Lighting for the gallery was provided by Lighting Design International, who treated the building as an art gallery rather than a carpet showroom.
- Deirdre Dyson had previously used the building as a studio and showroom, but decided to overhaul the space to incorporate a gallery that could also display rugs as works of art.
- The architects added glass bricks to the back wall of the gallery, to bring additional natural light into the space.
Art, design and architecture: what to see in autumn 2015
- The last British Art Show was the best so far.
The dynamism, unexpectedness and sheer abundance of the art market makes these art fairs a window on the new – and the old.
- Jonathan Jones
Groundbreaking attempt to place pop art in its global context or another rehash of familiar names and images?
- This long-overdue survey should allow us to focus more on the art, less on the man.
- The spiritual art of the past echoes in his work – martyrs, triptychs, meditation, all that sacred jazz.
Chipperfield references lemon houses with Lake Garda villas
- David Chipperfield Architects has completed a pair of holiday villas inspired by lemon houses on a hillside overlooking Italy’s largest lake (+ slideshow).
- According to David Chipperfield Architects, they “echo the rhythm of the surrounding olive groves”.
- The British architect’s Berlin office paired rugged stone walls with timber and concrete pergolas to recreate the aesthetic of Lake Garda’s famous limonaias – buildings where lemon trees are cultivated behind high walls.
- The largest of the two structures, known as Villa David Chipperfield, is a two-storey structure with an open-plan living, dining and kitchen space on the ground floor.
- Once complete, the Villa Eden will comprise seven villas, a hotel and an apartment building.