Monday, September 27, 2010

VD Guide IX

Visiondivision gives you a brief tour of inspiring projects and phenomenon around the world. If you have more suggestions, dont hesitate to contact us at: like our friend Charles Ranken from Australia did when he suggested the Makedonium Monument.
Many thanks for that.

The Lightning Field - An array of steel poles to attract lightning
Birth: 1977
Location: Catron County, New Mexico, USA
Architect: Walter De Maria
VD says: A sublime and fundamental project

The Lightning Field by the American sculptor Walter De Maria, is a work of Land Art situated in a remote area of the high desert of southwestern New Mexico. It is comprised of 400 polished stainless steel poles installed in a grid array measuring one mile by one kilometer. The poles — five cm in diameter and averaging 7 meters in height—are spaced 70 meters apart and have solid pointed tips that define a horizontal plane. A sculpture to be walked in as well as viewed, The Lightning Field is intended to be experienced over an extended period of time, and visitors are encouraged to spend as much time as possible in it alone, especially during sunset and sunrise. In order to provide this opportunity, Dia offers overnight visits during the months of May through October.


Penecost Island Land Dive - An ancient bungee jump structure
Birth: A long time ago
Location: Penecost Island, Vanuatu
Architect: Penecost islanders
VD says: Fearless stunts from impressive structures

The island is the spiritual birthplace of the extreme sport of bungee jumping, originating in an ages old ritual called the gol, or land diving. Between April and June every year, men in the southern part of the island jump from tall towers (around 20 to 30 metres) with vines tied to their feet, in a ritual believed to ensure a good yam harvest. The ritual is also now used to show acceptance into manhood.


Shibam Hadhramaut - The oldest skyscraper city in the world
Birth: 16th century
Location: Shibam, Yemen
Architect: Hadhramaut Empire
VD says: An impressive and brave highrise conglomerate in the desert

Shibam is often called "the oldest skyscraper city in the world" or "the Manhattan of the desert", and is one of the oldest and best examples of urban planning based on the principle of vertical construction. The city has the tallest mud buildings in the world, with some of them over 30 meters high, thus being early high-rise apartment buildings. In order to protect the buildings from rain and erosion, the façades are thickly coated and must be routinely maintained.
This building technique was implemented in order to protect residents from Bedouin attacks.


Palais Bulle - An organic modern super villa that already is classified as a historical monument.
Birth: 1970
Location: Cannes, France
Architect: Antti Lovag
VD says: A lovely and playful home

French star designer Pierre Cardin was looking to buy a nice house on the Cote d’Azur, but was horrified by all the unoriginal designs that he had seen and that didn’t match his avant-garde fashion designs . While searching, he stumbled across a construction site being built by architect Antti Lovag for a French industrialist. When the owner died before the home’s completion, Cardin asked the architect to complete it for him. Cardin was thrilled to acquire the almost finished residence that finally satisfied his exigent taste.
A heart attack inspired Lovag to reflect on life, and his new outlook of course influenced his architecture. "I discovered that I was mortal— meaning I discovered that I was free. I realized that building as if for eternity is an attack on time itself. Furthermore, it usually leads to an angular, aggressive organization of space. On the other hand, when one knows one's limits, all that is swept away. I began to think about improvised buildings, cobbled together on-site and adapted to a particular person's desires or idea of a house," he explains. "Instead of construction based on prefabricated panels, I began experimenting with frameworks that could be bent and changed and with techniques of concrete surfacing. That way, forms could move again." Architecture's first task, he came to believe, was to eliminate inhuman angularity.
Cardin, too, adores curves. "The circle is my symbol," he says. "The sphere represents the creation of the world and the mother's womb. Holes, cones, breasts—I've always used them in my designs."


Guatemala City Sink Holes - 100 m deep circular holes in the ground
Birth: 2007 & 2010
Location: Guatemala City, Guatemala
Architect: Earth
VD says: Dangerous yet alluring

In February 2007, a large, deep circular hole with vertical walls opened in a poor neighborhood in northeast Guatemala city. This hole was 100 m deep, and was apparently created by fluid from a sewer eroding uncemented volcanic ash and other pyroclastic deposits underlying Guatemala City. The piping feature has since been mitigated and plans to develop on the site have been proposed. However, critics believe municipal authorities have neglected needed maintenance on the city's aging sewer system, and have speculated that more piping features ("sinkholes") are likely to develop unless action is taken.
In May 2010, another piping feature, which was larger than a street intersection, developed after Tropical Storm Agatha. It engulfed a three story building and a house. No one was miraculous hurt. This 2010 piping feature was at least 18 m wide and 60 m deep.The distance between the 2010 piping feature and the 2007 piping feature three years ago is about two kilometers


The Weather Project - An indoor weather imitation
Birth: 2003
Location: London, UK
Architect: Olafur Eliasson
VD says: When one imitates the sun, that project earns a place in the guide

The weather project was installed at the London's Tate Modern in 2003 as part of the popular Unilever series. The installation filled the open space of the gallery's Turbine Hall.
Eliasson used humidifiers to create a fine mist in the air via a mixture of sugar and water, as well as a semi-circular disc made up of hundreds of monochromatic lamps which radiated single frequency yellow light. The ceiling of the hall was covered with a huge mirror, in which visitors could see themselves as tiny black shadows against a mass of orange light. The work reportedly attracted two million visitors, many of whom were repeat customers


Cliftons Cafeterias - A serie of cafeterias with flamboyant decors
Birth: 1930s
Location: Los Angeles, USA
Architect: The Clifton's
VD says: Extravagant facades and vivid thematic interiors

In 1939 when the founders of Clifton’s decided to remodel the Pacific Seas cafeteria from a conventional dining establishment to the exotic setting, the Los Angeles Architectural Commission was so upset over the facade and the décor that it threatened suit.
This exterior with the waterfalls, geysers and tropical foliage – all of which are brilliantly illuminated in the evening, has become a mecca for tourists.
With the help of his capable, willing staff, a second Clifton's opened in 1935. It was named Clifton's Brookdale and it's interior was reminiscent of the California Redwood groves with waterfalls and brooks and remains today the largest public cafeteria in the world.


Lake Kliluk (aka Spotted Lake) - A mineral lake that causes a cool effect during summertime
Birth: A long time ago
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Architect: Nature
VD says: A neat natural phenomenon

Spotted Lake is very highly concentrated with numerous different minerals. It contains some of the highest quantities (in the world) of magnesium sulfate, calcium and sodium sulphates. It also contains extremely high concentrations of 8 other minerals as well as some small doses of four others such as silver and titanium.
In the summer, most of the water in the lake evaporates leaving behind all the minerals. Large “spots” on the lake appear and depending on the mineral composition at the time, the spots will be different colors. The spots are made mainly of magnesium sulfate, which crystallizes in the summer. Since in the summer, only the minerals in the lake remain, they harden to form natural “walkways” around and between the spots.


Makedonium Monument - An elaborate shaped memorial for the first republic on the Balkans
Birth: 1974
Location: Kruševo, Macedonia
Architect: Jordan Grabulovski
VD says: A rebellious monument with a mutinous architecture

The Makedonium was built in 1974 on the 30th anniversary of ASNOM (Anti-Fascist Assembly of the Liberation of Macedonia) and the 71st anniversary of the Ilinden uprising, which resulted in the 10 day Kruševo Republic, the first republic on the Balkans. The short lived republic was put down by an immense number of Ottoman troops, but is still remembered as a high point in the national history. The President of the Republic visits the Makedonium each 2nd of August and it remains an important symbol for the country and is also portrayed on their currency.


Fontana di Trevi - A theatrical and lavish fountain
Birth: 1762
Location: Rome, Italy
Architect: Nicola Salvi
VD says: Masterful layout; dominating a small square and using a building as a powerful backdrop.

In 1629 Pope Urban VIII, finding the earlier fountain insufficiently dramatic, asked Gian Lorenzo Bernini to sketch possible renovations, but when the Pope died, the project was abandoned. Bernini's lasting contribution was to resite the fountain from the other side of the square to face the Quirinal Palace (so the Pope could look down and enjoy it). Though Bernini's project was torn down for Salvi's fountain, there are many Bernini touches in the fountain as it was built.
Competitions had become the rage during the Baroque era to design buildings and fountains. In 1730 Pope Clement XII organized a contest in which Nicola Salvi initially lost to Alessandro Galilei — but due to the outcry in Rome over the fact that a Florentine won, Salvi was awarded the commission anyway. Work began in 1732, and the fountain was completed in 1762.
This fountain is symbolic and almost theatrical in style. It is set against the facade of Palazzo Poli. In the background there is an Arch of Triumph, which frames a statue of Neptune. Two tritons try to master an agitated seahorse and a placid on each seahorse symbolizing a distinct mood of the sea.


Salvation Mountain - A hill painted by one dedicated man
Birth: 1985
Location: Niland, California, USA
Architect: Leonard Knight
VD says: Well, we have said it before, dedication is the only true architectural quality.

Salvation Mountain is a colorful art installation covering much of a small hill north of Calipatria, California. It is made from adobe, straw, and thousands of gallons of paint. It was created by Leonard Knight to convey the message that "God Loves Everyone." Knight refused substantial donations of money and labor from supporters who wished to modify his message of universal love to favor or disfavor particular groups.
Steps cut into the side of the hill lead to the summit, which is topped by a cross. Salvation Mountain also features many large straw bale and adobe walls supported by a matrix of logs enclosing several cave-like spaces. Knight lives full-time at the site in a small cabin mounted on the rear of a 1930s-vintage Chevrolet two-ton truck. Like Salvation Mountain, Knight's "Salvation Truck" and a collection of other vehicles and machinery are entirely covered with paint and Biblical quotes. He estimates that more than 100,000 gallons of paint have gone into the creation of the mountain and that every California-based paint manufacturer has donated paint to the project.


The Great Mosque of Djenne - A huge mosque made out of mud -
Birth: 1907
Location: Djenne, Mali
Architect: Djenné’s guild of masons
VD says: An exquisite "Genus Loci" approach

The Great Mosque of Djenné in the West African country of Mali was originally constructed in the 13th Century. It gradually grew to be an enormous structure before it fell into ruins by the 19th Century. From 1906-7, it was rebuilt using adobe — the original building material. It is today the largest adobe structure in the world.
The Great Mosque is built on a raised plinth platform of rectangular sun-dried mud bricks that are held together by mud mortar and plastered over with mud. The walls vary in thickness between 50 to 80cm, depending upon their height. These massive walls are necessary in order to bear the weight of the tall structure and also provide insulation from the sun’s heat. During the day, the walls gradually warm up from the outside; at night, they cool down again. The mosque’s prayer hall, with ninety wooden pillars supporting its ceiling, can contain as many as 3000 people. This helps the interior of the mosque to stay cool all day long. The Great Mosque also has roof vents with ceramic caps. These caps, made by the town’s women, can be removed at night to ventilate the interior spaces.


Hill of Crosses - A pilgrimage site with 100 000 crosses
Birth: Early 20th century
Location: Šiauliai, Lithuania
Architect: Pilgrimes
VD says: The crosses are so many that they merge into one object, great.

The Hill of Crosses is a site of pilgrimage in northern Lithuania. The precise origin of the practice of leaving crosses on the hill is uncertain, but it is believed that the first crosses were placed on the former Jurgaičiai or Domantai hill fort after the 1831 Uprising.Over the centuries, not only crosses, but giant crucifixes, carvings of Lithuanian patriots, statues of the Virgin Mary and thousands of tiny effigies and rosaries have been brought here by Catholic pilgrims. The number of crosses is unknown, but estimates put it at about 100 000 in 2006 and counting.


Pantheon - A temple with a huge unreinforced concrete dome with a central opening, allowing sun and rain to enter the building.
Birth: 100 AD.
Location: Rome, Italy
Architect: Marcus Agrippa
VD says: A 2000 old masterpiece that never gets out of fashion

Pantheon was commissioned by Marcus Agrippa as a temple to all the gods of Ancient Rome, and rebuilt later by Emperor Hadrian in about 126 AD.
The building is circular with a portico of three ranks of huge granite Corinthian columns under a pediment opening into the rotunda, under a coffered, concrete dome, with a central opening (oculus) to the sky. Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon's dome is still the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome. The height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are the same, 43.3 metres. A rectangular structure links the portico with the rotunda. It is one of the best preserved of all Roman buildings. It has been in continuous use throughout its history, and since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been used as a Roman Catholic church dedicated to "St. Mary and the Martyrs" but informally known as "Santa Maria Rotonda."


Jellyfish Lake - A lake chock-full with millions of golden jellyfish
Birth: A long time ago
Location: Eil Malk island, Palau
Architect: Nature
VD says: An otherworldly acquaintance

Jellyfish Lake is one of Palau's most famous dive (snorkeling only) sites. It is notable for the millions of golden jellyfish which migrate horizontally across the lake daily.
Jellyfish Lake is connected to the ocean through fissures and tunnels in the limestone of ancient Miocene reef. However the lake is sufficiently isolated and the conditions are different enough that the diversity of species in the lake is greatly reduced from the nearby lagoon. The golden jellyfish in the lake have evolved to be substantially different from their close relatives living in the nearby lagoons.

Portfolio Book & Conditions Magazine

Some of the work of visiondivision is featured in the 8000 gram heavy Korean book "Portfolio".
We are also a proud contributor to the Scandinavian Conditions Magazine's latest issue "The politics of quality management" where a flamboyant illustration from the team is featured.

Damdi's Portfolio
Conditions Magazine

Thursday, September 16, 2010

visiondivision in Residence

Residence, the best-selling home style magazine in Sweden, includes an article about visiondivision in their September issue where the magazine proclaims that the young team "is on their way to become the most exciting architecture office in Sweden".
The talents was photographed inside Hill Hut and talked about architecture, their projects and how they got started. A pleasant read.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Noah's House overflow warning system

The final detail of Noah's House is finally finished; an overflow warning system designed as a totem pole changing its mood with the water level.
This is a capture of the final testing performed in the bathroom at the office.
The much anticipated images of Noah’s House will be published later this autumn.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Inside the sukkah

Competition entry for Sukkah City, where one where asked to design a modern sukkah.
A sukkah is a temporary hut created for an annual jewish harvest festival.
A large number of design constraints where implied in the competition, for example the sukkah had to have a roof made out of branches, but they couldn't be in bundles, there of our construction technique, using compression.

As this sukkah is erected in one of the most populated and dense places on Earth filled with built structures and a stressful ambience it changes its function from its initial protection purpose from sandy winds and a blazing sun to a shelter from building mass, infrastructure, scale, city pace and constant movement.
The intention is to build something that differs in scale and pace from the rest of the city. When entering the sukkah, you automatically slow your pace and behaviour and switches to a resting position due to the physical restrictions that makes up the space.
An undulated ceiling, never higher than a man’s length, changes the conditions for social interaction and behaviour.
You are no longer able to perform as you are used to under normal circumstances, your strength and speed is reduced and you are no longer a potential physical threat to your surroundings. The different heights and thickness of the roof sets the atmosphere.
The hollow reed changes its light and visible permeability by how thick it is.

The space itself comprises of two interlinked rooms; a social area for dining and interactions and a more closed space for sleeping and star gazing.

The pavillion in Union Square, New York City

Inside the pavillion

Night time aerial


Building manual;

1. Material needed;
Hollow reeds, saw, lopper, wooden planks

2 The planks are cut up so they will form an interlocking adjustable frame which will hold the reeds in place.

3. The reeds are kept in an upright position with one of the planks and are adjusted back as the amount of reed is added.

4. The construction is watered with a mix of potato starch and water, making the reed swell and the wood frame expand a bit, thus making the construction more stable.
The potato starch makes the reed a bit more sticky and holds everything together better.

5. The trimming of the reed can begin.
Space is cut out according to the plan and the light intake can be adjustable by cutting the reeds shorter on top of the structure.


Roof plan