Archive for August, 2009

Charred Cedar House by Terunobu Fujimori

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

This house is called the Yakisugi or “charred cedar” house. Japanese architect Terunobu Fujimori is using a traditional Japanese technique of charring as a way to finish and preserve wood. See another charcoal house by Fujimori here. Fujimori’s buildings often use traditional materials in almost fantastical, quasi-folkloric ways. This house was built to resemble, at least in its interior, a cave dwelling found near Lascaux in France. 

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Unplugged eco-barn in Normandy, from the Eco House Book

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

These photos are from an an article by Terence Conran in UK’s Telegraph online, based on his new Eco House Book(Octopus, 2009). This house is completely off the grid, and was built by one man alone over an 18-month period. Its shape mimics traditional Normandy rural architecture and in many ways its living methods are just as traditional; at night it’s lit with storm lanterns.

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Free Rain – mural in Edmonton, Alberta

Friday, August 28th, 2009

It would be nice to have a mural like this in Vancouver. It was designed by B.C. artist James K-M. Information on the mural, and on the collaborative community work of producing it, is here. Click below for a video interview with one of the coordinators.

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Douglas Coupland’s magical white house

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

This is by far one of my favourite houses in Vancouver. It’s in the municipality of West Vancouver, home to many of the best modern houses in the city, and it belongs to the novelist Douglas Coupland. He grew up in West Vancouver, not far from this house. Just as beautiful as this place is the house below it, a beautiful midcentury modern post and beam house designed by the architect Ron Thom.

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The “boutique Iliad”, or Smash the State? Or both!

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

I had a fit of morbid laughter when I saw this redevelopment banner today. The graffiti could be its Greek chorus. Do you think the condo developer actually bothered to read The Iliad before naming a building after it? Or even bothered to Google it? But then why not style a condo as the location of ten years of vicious warfare, flaming arrows streaming past the gates, grieving women tearing their hair in anguish, the dead lying unburied, horrifying and inglorious trips to the underworld, juvenile and narcissistic gods, the death of heroes, and then ultimately the destruction and fall of Troy.

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When bric-a-brac was part of a revolutionary politics

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

Vancouver curator Scott Watson’s essay Urban Renewal: Ghost Traps, Collage, Condos and Squats is part of the impressive and totally compelling Vancouver Art in the Sixties website project. It’s a well-organized archive of Vancouver’s 1960s art production and it’s far too large a topic for one post.

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