Friday, December 30, 2011

frank lloyd wright was my teacher

"When my daughter was 7 years old, she asked, 'Daddy, why do you always talk about Frank Lloyd Wright so much?'

"And I would tell her, 'Well, he was my teacher,' " recalls Phoenix architect and civic planner Vern Swaback.

" 'Really?' she said. 'What grade?' "

Read on

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

breakdown of blog hits

After a bit of a hitus I am back. As I was away from the blog, I had a quick look at the hit counter and what struck me most was the disparity between the hits from Western Province and the rest of the country. Is this a case of  less interest of architecture outside Colombo or just that we do not have enough  Internet access to the other parts of the country? May be both.

And also look at the disparity between  Southern Province and the provinces like Sabaragamuwa and North Western.

Western             - 10,356
Central               - 287
Sabaragamuwa   - 124
North Western   - 93
Southern            - 85
Uva                    - 31
North Central     - 21
Northern             - 7

Friday, December 23, 2011

Designing for students by peter cook

The Lunch Hour Lecture discusses two academic buildings by CRAB studio currently on site, demonstrating with many anecdotes and pertinent observations how forty five years’ teaching experience have been integral to their design process. A law school at Vienna Economics University with “a jolly plan” rallies against the convention of prioritising only spaces dedicated to parts of the curriculum, acknowledging the importance of interstitial spaces and improvised seminars.(Via UCL Events)

Read more

Sunday, December 18, 2011

House at Madiwela (#49)

Architect: Chinthaka Wickramage
Struct. Engineer: Prasantha Pieris
Quantity Surveyor: Sunanda Gnanasiri
Consultants: Chinthaka Wickramage Associates
Photos: C.V.

chinthaka wickramage is commended @ ar+d Emerging Architecture Awards

ar+d Emerging Architecture Awards: Highly Commended
Community Centre by Chinthaka Wickramage, Thalalla, Sri Lanka

Rebuilding in Sri Lanka still has a long way to go after the catastrophic damage wrought by the 2004 tsunami. This new community centre designed by Chinthaka Wickramage on a budget of $55,000 (£34,000) works hard to restore essential services for the villagers of Thalalla. Set in the grounds of a Buddhist temple (as a debt of gratitude to the local chief monk who assisted with the tsumani recovery effort), the centre adopts the ancient Buddhist temple building tradition of tam pita viharas (building on pillars) so that it can withstand flooding.

A robust concrete frame holds infill panels of exposed red brick and supports a clay-tiled pitched roof. Despite noting its formal and material modesty, the jury found this a compelling project.


See more photos here IFRC community centre (#48)

sri lankan wins RIBA president's award for outstanding PhD thesis

Dr. Milinda Pathiraja, an alumni of the Department of Architecture of the  Moratuwa University has won the 2011 RIBA President's Award for Outstanding PhD Thesis. He has carried our his doctoral thesis under the guidance of Prof. Paolo Tombesi at the University of Melbourne.

Link for RIBA President's Award for Outstanding PhD Thesis.
Milinda Pathiraja of the University of Melbourne: The function of robust technology in the construction of a 'third world' practice: architecture, design and labour training

Friday, November 11, 2011

the world's most expensive photo

Last night, art history was made when an anonymous buyer paid a record-breaking $4.34 million for Andreas Gursky's photograph of the Rhine River, called Rhein II. The snapshot, which sold at Christie's impressionist and modern art auction in New York, became the most expensive photograph ever sold at auction.

It beat out Cindy Sherman's Untitled #96, (see below) which sold for a whopping $3.89 million at a Christie's sale this May. Gursky's print, made in 1999, was expected to sell for between $2.5 million and $3.5 million. It depicts a stunning panorama of Germany's most famous river. The sale price includes the buyer's premium.

Here is a list of world's most expensive photographs 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

titus thotawatte 1929-2011

Remember "handaya" and "Doctor Honda Hitha".

Titus Thotawatte was a great film maker and perhaps the best film editor Sri Lanka ever had. He made several popular and technically skilled Sri Lankan action movies in the 1960s and 1970s and later developed Sinhala children's pro grammes and perhaps made the most significant contribution by producing properly dubbed foreign language children's programs to Sinhala hence making these films accessible to a wider section of the Sri Lankan society. He passed away on October 15, 2011.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

IFRC community centre (#48)

IFRC Community Centre for Tsunami affected community @ Thalalla Mathara

Architect: Chinthaka Wickramage
Engineer: Keerthi Rathnayake
Quantity Surveyour: Sunanda Gnanasiri
IFRC Co-ordinators: Wardell Eastwood, John Wain
Photographer: Kesara Ratnavibhushana

This project is commended @ ar+d Emerging Architecture Awards

Monday, October 10, 2011

look out loo

Artist Monica Bonvicini has created a minimalist glass cube containing a usable loo to stand opposite the Tate Britain gallery in London (Photo 2). The work, called Don't Miss A Sec, is made out of one-way glass which means you can see out but not in.

The toilet was also exhibited at the Messeplatz in Basel, Switzerland (photos 1,3)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

"stay hungry, stay foolish" - the whole earth catolog

The Whole Earth Catalog was an American counterculture catalog published by Stewart Brand between 1968 and 1972, and occasionally thereafter, until 1998. Although the WECs listed all sorts of products for sale (clothing, books, tools, machines, seeds – things useful for a creative or self-sustainable lifestyle) the Whole Earth Catalogs themselves did not sell any of the products. Instead the vendors and their prices were listed right alongside with the items. This led to a need for the Catalogs to be frequently updated. (Wikipedia)

Steve Jobs compared The Whole Earth Catalog to Internet search engine Google in his June 2005 Stanford University commencement speech. "When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation.... It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along. It was idealistic and overflowing with neat tools and great notions." During the commencement speech, Jobs also quoted the farewell message placed on the back cover of the 1974 edition of the catalog: "Stay hungry, stay foolish." (See previous post)

Generally the catalog has been divided in to seven sections: Understanding Whole Systems, Shelter and Land Use, Industry and Craft, Communications, Community, Nomadics and Learning. The whole earth catalog (1972 edition) won the US National Book Award, the first time a catalog had ever won such an award.

visit WEC website
Read about Stewart Brand 

Monday, September 26, 2011

coming of age - a mid centuary architectural conversation on more than architecture

 Recently we has very interesting seminar  under the theme "Coming of Age - A mid century architectural conversation on community, shared values and possible horizons" at Moratuwa university. Apart from  seeing quite a few interesting projects from different parts of the world we had the opportunity (and time) have a lively discussion at the end and true to the title of the seminar actually the participants were able discuss thing beyond architecture and how these issues impinge on our architecture from time to time. Presenters went beyond their presentations were keen to see the Sri Lankan perspective on things.

Recurring themes at the discussion were;
- what have you guys been doing, in terms of architecture;with  the wonderful climate you have in this country.
- What does post / neo colonialism means to you?

There were more direct questions like
- policy on affordable housing in Sri Lanka
- and finally the most in teresting, I think this came from Julie Eizenberg "we come and show all these things, what do you  think of us"

The presenters at the seminar were
Julie Eizenberg - The children Museum at Pittsburgh
Ricardo Vanucci - Beyond the prototype: After the CBF in Ougadougou
Emanuela Valle - The student cafeteria at the Polytechnic of Turin
William Lenart - The relocatable classroom design program in Florid
Hank Koning - Low cost high value housing in California
Paolo Tombesi - On measure in architecture: The toilet of the Sydney Opera House
Ashley De Vos chaired the proceeding 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

vladimir putin

Vladimir Putin, widely regarded as the man who guided  the post communist Russia away from anarchy and economic disaster will be seeking  a third term for the presidency of Russia.

Asked at a press conference on 14 February 2008 whether he was the richest person in Europe, as some newspapers claimed; and if so, to state the source of his wealth, Putin said "This is true. I am the richest person not only in Europe, but also in the world. I collect emotions. And I am rich in that respect that the people of Russia have twice entrusted me with leadership of such a great country as Russia. I consider this to be my biggest fortune. As for the rumors concerning my financial wealth, I have seen some pieces of paper regarding this. This is plain chatter, not worthy discussion, plain bosh. They have picked this in their noses and have smeared this across their pieces of paper. This is how I view this."

Read more

Saturday, September 17, 2011

top architecture prize jury gets a real judge

Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer and the architect Zaha Hadid will join the jury that selects the Pritzker Prize, architecture's highest award, Thomas J. Pritzker, chairman of the Hyatt Foundation, the prize's sponsor, announced on Wednesday.

Justice Breyer has long been interested in art and architecture and wrote the foreword to the 2006 book, “Celebrating the Courthouse: A Guide for Architects, Their Clients, and the Public.” Ms. Hadid, who received the Pritzker Prize in 2004, has projects in numerous countries including the United States, China, Germany, Spain and Italy.

With these two additions, the Pritzker jury will now consist of eight people, including its chairman, Lord Palumbo of the United Kingdom.

“The members of the Pritzker jury are now, and always have been thoughtful, outstanding individuals from diverse backgrounds providing sometimes surprising insight to architectural achievement in our time,” Mr. Pritzker said in a statement. “Our family is constantly proud and honored that these individuals are willing to give of their time in choosing architects to be singled out for excellence.”

from here 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

habarana lodge (#46)

Still growing 30 after 30 years................
Architects: Pheroze Choksy and Ismeth Rahim Architects
Photos: Waruna Gomis (Yes, he is back after a long hiatus!)