Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pod life

GSA student Alec Fraser has begun living in a home-made pod, inspired by the 1960s/1970s Urban Nomad movement and its small-scale, portable dwellings in urban locations. The pod is in Glasgow's West End, and is a replica of a 50-year old design by architect Ken Isaacs. Alec's blog provides further information about the project.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dundee V&A designs unveiled

The six shortlisted designs for the V&A museum planned for Dundee's waterfront have gone on display in the library of Abertay University, and a selection of images can also be viewed online. Shortlisted firms include Steven Holl Architects, Edinburgh-based Sutherland Hussey, and Snohetta with Gareth Hoskins Architects. The building is due to be opened in 2014 as a centre of 21st century design.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Large-scale urban design

CABE (The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) has recently published 'Getting the big picture right: a guide to large scale urban design'. This important guide is freely available online, and it outlines a new approach to the challenge that allows people to shape the places they live or work in, and improve their distinctiveness and quality. Usefully, it includes good examples of large scale urban design.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

555 KUBIK: how it would be, if a house was dreaming

555 KUBIK is a large facade projection onto the Hamburg Kunsthalle, Germany. It rather defies description, so just watch:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Climbing great buildings

The BBC2 series 'Climbing great buildings' in which architectural historian and novice climber Dr Jonathan Foyle scales some of Britain's most famous structures, tonight (6.30pm) visits Glasgow School of Art to explore the influences used by Charles Rennie Mackintosh to create his masterwork. The series features 15 buildings, and previous episodes can be viewed using BBC iPlayer.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

20 buildings every architect should understand

Simon Unwin's latest book 'Twenty buildings every architect should understand' is now available in the GSA Library as an e-book. Unwin's previous titles, notably 'Analysing architecture' and 'An architecture notebook' have proved very popular. 'Twenty buildings' can be accessed online from anywhere by GSA staff and students using their 'MyGSA' account.

Monday, September 20, 2010

City design: transforming tomorrow

It's sometimes useful to step back from the cosy world of architectural books and magazines to see what others are saying about issues related to the built environment. The Guardian newspaper has been looking at how new technologies will help cities to respond to the challenges posed by population growth, and presents a series of thought-provoking articles on the theme of 'smarter cities'.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Glasgow 'Doors Open' Day

It's that time of year again, and for any new students arriving at GSA this week, an opportunity not to be missed. Over the weekend of Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th September, more than 100 of the city's buildings, many not normally accessible to the public, will be open with free access. The Festival's website provides further information on this well-established and always throughly enjoyable event.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

New e-book in the Library

Another e-book has been added to our collection, supplementing the hard copy versions which are always in high demand. It's the 3rd edition of Simon Unwin's 'Analysing architecture', an architectural design classic. A link to the book can be found on the GSA Library catalogue.
Access: Free, but MyGSA account required

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Rammed earth construction

My trip to Berlin last month included a visit to the Chapel of Reconciliation, built by architects Rudolf Reitermann and Peter Sassenroth, and straddling the former 'no man's land' of the Berlin Wall. The chapel is a refreshing change from the city's architectural mega-projects, and one of its many interesting aspects is that it is Germany's first rammed earth building. Read more about this technology in Jean Dethier's article 'Building with raw earth: an eco-revolution?', in the Architectural Review, May 2009, pages 94-95.