The Makerie Studio worked in collaboration with photographer Luke Kirwan to create “Cloud City,” an alluring landscape inspired by the intricate patterns in Moroccan architecture.
Three egg-shaped palaces seemingly float in mid-air—connected only by ladders—and give the viewer a bird’s-eye-view into the opulent locales.
Gilded rails, tiered fountains, and gold lattices are fashioned entirely out of cut paper, but with the moody lighting and incredible craftsmanship, they fool the eye into thinking these structures might just be real.
Ian Marcos Gutiérrez, a 23-year-old printer at the Taller Experimental de Gráfica, in Havana, helps the author prepare a block of lithographic limestone for printing. (Arien Chang Castán)
by Mimi Dwyer;
Photographs by Arien Chang Castán
Lithography arrived in Cuba before anywhere else in the Americas, as a way to protect the sanctity and integrity of the country’s industry.
By the early 19th century, Cuban exports, especially tobacco, had a prestige that made them valuable throughout the world.
Exporters wanted a way to protect Cuban industry from counterfeiters.
Using lithography, they could make seals and rings that both decorated their products and distinguished them from those of competitors.
The process depends more than anything on the repellent properties of oil and water, and their interaction with limestone. By using acids, powders, solvents, oils, and gum in specific combinations, lithographers manipulate the places a stone receives ink.
In this way, they can use a stone to print precise and intricate images onto paper.
Cuba imported thousands of lithographic limestones from Germany in the 1800s, when the technology was first emerging.
Cuban businessmen brought machines from France and Germany and lured experts to Havana who knew how to use them. Many of the original machines still work.
The Taller’s oldest is an intricate, red woodcutting machine from 1829, still used by artists every day.
In the 1950s, shortly before the revolution, aluminum replaced lithography as the best way to protect product identity, and the stones fell into disuse.
Campesinos started to use them to make walking paths through muddy fields. Habaneros, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, laid them around the city along with whatever other stones they could find to serve as barricades.
Cuban lithography would have died then but for a few artists who recognized the value of the craft.
They lobbied the government to protect the stones, and in 1962, as minister of industry, Che Guevara signed a mandate to provide materials, space, and machines to Cuban lithographers in the name of art.
The Taller was born from that directive, and it remains the oldest and best known print studio in Cuba.
Designed in 1935 by Frank Lloyd Wright, Fallingwater or the Kaufmann Residence is one the famous architect’s most recognizable works.
Located in rural southwestern Pennsylvania, about 43 miles (69 km) southeast of Pittsburgh, Fallingwater is constructed over a waterfall on Bear Run river.
The house was designed as a weekend home for the family of Liliane Kaufmann and her husband, Edgar J. Kaufmann, owner of Kaufmann’s department store.
Time cited it after its completion as Wright’s “most beautiful job”; it is listed among Smithsonian’s Life List of 28 places “to visit before you die”.
It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966.
In 1991, members of the American Institute of Architects named the house the “best all-time work of American architecture” and in 2007, it was ranked 29th on the list of America’s Favorite Architecture according to the AIA.
A woman’s hand juts of the earth holding an exposed glass house.
What exactly could this mean?
Architect Andreas Angelidakis created this crazy cool concept.
When the rain falls, the giant hand appears to be coming out of the water, elegantly holding the glass house.
“The Glass box represents the moment when the celebrity exposes herself to the paparazzi,” Angelidakis says. It “sits on the concrete platform as a forgotten piece of infrastructure.”
The staircase leads down into the cave section of the house where a normal life is taking place. “Behind the boulders are doors to excavated bedrooms, places of total isolation and darkness.”
Ultimately, the house shows us the dichotomy of Hollywood.
“The residents enjoy total privacy together with total exposure, a day on the beach and a night in the cave, the entire city of Los Angeles abbreviated like a Twitter post inside the limits of their property.”
Johanna Basford, whose fanciful, hand-drawn illustrations launched a worldwide craze, is back with flying colors.
Not far from Johanna Basford’s home on the northeast coast of Scotland lies a parabola of golden-ocher sand where the proportion of sky to land is unlike anything you’ll likely see outside of a Bertolucci film.
A wildlife Eden, this stretch of heathland serves as a motorway for birds that wheel in from the Arctic—red-throated divers, pink-footed geese and long-tailed ducks with cream and chocolate plumage.
During the summer months, strong gusts combined with the powdery sand can ruin a perfectly good sandwich.
Throughout the winter the shoreline is invariably a few degrees warmer than inland. On this biting afternoon, the sea changes shades with each shift of cloud and rain and wind. Basford sits in a pub in nearby Ellon, her hands wrapped around a cup of English breakfast tea, comparing the colors of nature with those found in a 120-pack of Crayola crayons.
“As a child, I used to think the yellow and the white were just a bit redundant,” she says in a soft burr that tends to drift upward at the end of a sentence, making statements sound like questions. “But I don’t think I had any specific favorite colors.
I do remember the day that I learned that if you heated up the crayons, you could bend them. And that was a revelation.”The 35-year-old Basford is something of a revelation herself.
She’s a pioneer—possibly the pioneer—of the modern adult coloring book, a childhood pastime retrofitted for frazzled grown-ups.
When the genre stormed the best-seller lists five years ago, Basford’s debut, Secret Garden, led the charge. It’s filled with filigreed visions of ferns and flowers and frogs rendered delicately in black and white, all drawn by hand.
“I had a hunch that there were adults out there who would love to return to the days of finger-paints and carefree playing with color,” says Basford, a freelance illustrator whose initial pitch to a publisher was met with baffled silence.
“The first print run was a tentative 13,000 copies. I was fairly certain my mum was going to have to buy a lot.”Secret Garden turned out to be a runaway sensation, selling 12 million copies worldwide, including nearly four million in China over less than three months.
Translated into 45 languages, it was also a huge hit in Brazil (1.6 million), the United States (1.7 million) and France (350,000), where it outsold the country’s most popular cookbooks.
“I love the idea of chic Parisian ladies putting down their saucepans in favor of gel pens,” Basford says. In South Korea, sales of 1.5 million suggest that nearly 3 percent of the population owns a copy.
By 2016, adult coloring books had their own dedicated sections on Amazon and in big-box stores. Demand caused worldwide pencil shortages, and Faber-Castell, the planet’s biggest wooden-pencil manufacturer, had to add shifts at its Bavarian factory to keep pace with global demand.”
An artist’s representation of tiny homes to be constructed in Gosford. Photograph: Tiny Homes Foundation.
When pious architects choose to direct their talents toward a higher calling, they tend to do so in the form of towering cathedral spires, awe-inspiring sermon halls and grandiose vaulted ceilings.
Derek Mah, an associate at NBRS Architecture, went for something a little more humble. At a Sunday sermon about two years ago at Community Church Hornsby, on the northern fringes of Sydney, he was approached about using his skills not to devise great big buildings in the name of God, but tiny houses for the homeless.
The suggestion came from a friend in the congregation – David Woolridge, who, as Mah put it “has always been passionate about trying to get guys off the street and helping them out. He came up to me and said he’d gotten an idea about how to solve homelessness”.
It is a vision about to be realised in Gosford, on the New South Wales central coast, where three to four “tiny homes” that each take up just 14 square metres will be completed next month as the first project of Woolridge’s Tiny Homes Foundation, designed in partnership with NBRS Architecture.“Think of the house as a shoebox,”
The word “shoebox” isn’t usually a selling point in real estate parlance, but Mah uses it in this case with pride, given the long-term objective of the project is to enable housing to be provided to as many of Australia’s estimated 105,000 homeless people as possible in a country where building isn’t cheap, and land is eye-wateringly expensive.
Each tiny house costs less than $30,000 to deliver, and the small size of the building means it can be squeezed onto excess council-owned land not suitable for conventional housing, at potentially no cost.
This treehouse apartment building in Turin, Italy, is so incredible it almost doesn’t seem like it can be real.
Apartment buildings generally aren’t all that architecturally creative, let alone eco-friendly in an imaginative and visually striking way.
But this five-story building by architect Luciano Pia has not only created a wacky new landmark for the city, it also protects its inhabitants from pollution and noise thanks to 150 real, living trees.
The building features stack after stack of curvilinear and geometric architectural forms, all held within a wood and steel framework that also plays host to trees in enormous bronzed pots.
The trees in the building absorb nearly 200,000 liters of carbon dioxide per hour, providing a buffer against all of the car exhaust and other forms of pollution emanating from the adjacent city streets.
Housing 63 apartment units, the building features extensive terraces that offer indoor/outdoor spaces that change year-round as the trees respond to the seasons.
The presence of all that foliage helps regulate temperatures throughout the entire structure.
Beyond the environmental benefits, the building is just plain fun to look at, and we’d imagine that it would be a really fun place to live.
20 Fenchurch Street, aka “The Fryscraper” (photo by Luc Mercelis / Flickr)
Last September, Londoners experienced a pretty unusual architectural phenomenon: One of the city’s newest luxury towers, the half-finished 525-foot-tall skyscraper at 20 Fenchurch St., began inexplicably shooting a “parabolic death ray” hot enough to melt cars.
The massive building’s glass façade with its unusually wide top was concentrating sunlight to the point that it created a reflected hotspot of up to 230ºF — much higher than the boiling point of water. In addition to the roasted Jaguar, the “Fryscraper” set a barber shop’s carpet on fire and shattered a restaurant’s slate floor tiles.
It also, naturally, became a tourist attraction, with people gathering in the unseasonably warm afternoons to fry eggs and toast baguettes in the glare.
Surely the building’s designer was mortified by the results of his creation, right? Well, no. When architect Rafael Viñoly was questioned about his flawed design, he heartily deflected, blaming consultants, global warming, cost-cutting developers, and the sun’s elevation.
This was an especially galling disavowal of responsibility because the science of solar reflectivity analysis has been gaining traction for several years. There are many tools, firms, and even apps available to architects and developers to help avoid just this problem.
Especially damning for Viñoly is that the “death ray” issue was not actually unprecedented.
And the last time a high-profile building had had problems of this nature, it was also one he’d designed.