The Chameleon House

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In the rolling hills of Northern Michigan, this intriguing home overlooks a cherry orchard and a beautiful view of Lake Michigan. Completed in 2006 by Anderson Architecture, this striking structure took less than eight weeks to build thanks to the use of prefabricated materials.  The steel frame of this house is wrapped in corrugated, translucent acrylic slats, allowing it to take on and reflect the changing colors of the landscape, like a chameleon blending into its habitat. With breathtaking sunsets on the Peninsula  at dusk, the house is aglow with the reflection of the setting sun. Because it sits on a steep hill, the entrance of the home leads to the third floor, letting residents descend to the bedrooms or walk up to the living area. From within, windows frame the not to be missed views, and when passing by one can’t help but to be taken by its presence in the landscape.

Image and excerpt source:  http://www.archdaily.com

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The Ten College Campuses with the Best Architecture

        

        

High School seniors are heading back to school, many beginning their search in earnest for their college of choice. There are many considerations when selecting a school, academics, location, size… and yes, Architecture.  The built environment has a profound effect on us all, creating a vibe and resultant culture.

Architectural Digest highlighted the ten US Campuses with the best architecture. Very interesting indeed. Before you read the list, do you recognize any of these structures?  Many of these prestigious campus’ are home to more than a single noteworthy building. If you want to learn a bit more about the building and architecture of each campus, click on an image to visit Architectural Digest’s article.

1.  University of Virginia, Architect Stanford White  2.  Harvard University, Le Corbusier  3.  Yale University, Gordon Brnshaft  4.  Brown University, Diller Scofidio + Renfro  5.  Florida Southern College, Frank Lloyd Wright  6. Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Mies van der Rohe  7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Frank Gehry  8. Pratt Institute, Steven Holl  9.  Cornell University, Rem Koolhaas  10. Bennington College, Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects.

Images and excerpts sourced at Architectural Digest

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Precious Trash

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One persons trash is another’s treasure. Indeed. Swedish Designer Johanna Törnqvist has created a collection created from recycled textile and plastic. Quite a beautiful fashion and environmental statement, handcrafted, and each unique. ‘Precious trash’ is a dress made out of recycled material, based on one familys consumption of coffee and pasta for 2 months. To make the dress trash has been processed and refined to become precious material’. Talk about wearing your heart on your sleeve. Perfect.

Image source Precious Trash, excerpt David Report

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Grown up Tree Fort

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Why should those darn kids have all the fun? Tree Forts are all grown up. A new book by Philip Jodidio explores the essence of place, perched high among the treetops. Elegant, Modern, and uniquely connected to nature. There is something downright magical about a birds eye view and the opportunity to take pause, to look at the world with fresh eyes. A great summer DIY project, a tree house need not be ‘fancy’, rather a simple retreat even in our own back yard offers a fresh perspective. An opportunity to create a focal point and tranquil destination in the landscape.

treehouse4An excerpt from the book:  ”a perch from which to contemplate life—the tree house can take as many forms as the imagination can offer. In times of concern for sustainability and ecological responsibility, the tree house may also be the ultimate symbol of life in symbiosis with nature. Whether rustic or contemporary in style, tree houses make the most of space. Climb into this trove of tree houses and enjoy a new perspective on the world.”

Images sourced at the publishers website:  taschen.com

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Maya Lin, Pin River

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Ms. Lin working on her piece “Pin River — Hudson.”   NYTimes

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“After Hurricane Sandy, Maya Lin, the architect and artist, decided her new show at Pace Gallery would fix on Manhattan and its environment, on landscapes and waterways. Called “Here and There,” the show opened April 27 at Pace’s 57th Street gallery and runs through June 22.”  NY Times

I have followed the work of Maya Lin since learning of her winning project for the  Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC.  Her process is self described as one that balances scientific data with the handmade, creating beautiful and thoughtful built expression. I am always intrigued and inspired by her process.

I caught a recent article in the NY Times about her new exhibit “Here and There,”. Our rapidly changing environment has informed and inspired Ms. Lin. “Among the show’s highlights are three of the “pin rivers” Ms. Lin has been making since 2006, part of a series that will eventually include all the major rivers and estuaries of the world. Using thousands of stainless-steel pins and the shadows they cast, she creates wall reliefs that suggest aerial contour maps. One traces the Hudson River and its major tributaries; another picks out some of the many streams that still meandered through Midtown Manhattan a century ago.The largest marks the boundaries of Sandy’s flood plain — a subject that, as Ms. Lin notes, is even harder to represent than an overbuilt urban stream.”

“A flood doesn’t exist except in our memory banks,” she said. “It’s a temporal event. It’s not the river and it’s not the land. It’s neither here nor there.”

To learn more visit www.pacegallery.com.

Image sourced at wap.nytimes.com, Excerpts sourced at www.pacegallery.com

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