Johnson’s Sanctuary Reborn, Spotlight on Italy, an Unconventional LEGO Hack, and More Must-Reads

The Angry Architect The Angry Architect

L: Center for Sufism © Philip Johnson Alan Ritchie Architects; R: OfficeUS catalog by Pentagram

Dome Sweet Dome: The dome has long been an element of architecture; while the likes of Bernard Tschumi may have reinvented it for contemporary applications, others hearken back to previous eras. Inspired by Philip Johnson’s 1959 pavilion at Dumbarton Oaks, the Center for Sufism is now under construction near Walnut Creek, Calif., a predominantly subterranean circular structure topped with a dozen minor domes around the cast-in-place central one.

Architect’s Almanac: With the art edition of the Venice Biennale set to open in a week and a half, it’s the perfect opportunity to revisit OfficeUS, the U.S. Pavilion at last year’s architecture extravaganza. Yesterday saw the launch of the Pentagram-designed catalog, a mind-boggling archive of 1,000 projects by American firms over the past century. The 1,232-page compendium includes practice profiles, industry data, and every infographic imaginable, all utilizing Natasha Jen’s beautifully legible graphic style.

L: The Floating Piers © Christo, via Architect; R: “Tree of Life” at EXPO 2015, photo © Designboom

Walking on Sunshine: The picturesque waterfront of Lake Iseo in Italy is set to be transformed with an ambitious new installation by land artist Christo, who is deploying his signature floating ribbons of golden fabric in the form of a scenic boardwalk, linking the mainland with the islands of Monte Isola and San Paolo.

Meanwhile, in Milan… : Yesterday, we took a look at Daniel Libeskind’s projects at EXPO 2015, but of course there are over 100 countries participating in the blockbuster event, which has the theme of “Feeding the planet, energy for life.” With the opening just two days away, Designboom toured the grounds in anticipation of the exposition, which is set to take over their hometown of Milan when it opens this Friday.

L: Garden Bridge by Thomas Heatherwick; R: SolarPuff

In Brief

Troubled Waters: Last week, Dezeen reported that the fate of Thomas Heatherwick’s scenic Garden Bridge hangs in the balance, with a court-approved judicial review of the project and Lambeth Council’s decision to give it the green light.

A Moment in the Sun: A 2015 A+Award-Winning Product is currently one week into a monthlong Kickstarter campaign, and nearly 1,000 backers have put them at nearly 2.5 times their goal. There’s still three weeks to support the SolarPuff, Jury Winner for Lighting Accessories category.

Smart Phone Tag: Australian firm BVN is inviting Twitter at large to ask #Bigquestions about #Architecture: starting at 4:30 p.m. in Sydney (that’s tomorrow morning at 6:30 a.m. GMT / 2:30 a.m. EDT), they’re looking to address the big questions of urbanism and design … on the small screen of social media.

L: ARCHIDESIGN by Federico Babina; R: Nendo Architect Bag for Tod’s, via Selectism

Eye Candy

Drawing on History: Illustrator Federico Babina is back with a new set of illustrations that tell the stories of iconic furniture designs by architects. The ARCHIDESIGN series combines vintage fashion with timeless classics from Gropius, Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, and more.

Literally in Brief: Nendo has designed a foldover soft-shell briefcase for Tod’s — inquire about the price of the “Architect” bag if you dare. (H/T to Selectism)

Home Economics: Got two minutes to spare? Check out CNN Money’s satisfyingly slick animated infographic on 40 years of American residential development, neatly encapsulated in just 83 seconds.

Non Sequitur

Get Ahold of Yourselfie: While cultural institutions around the world have fallen out of love with selfie sticks, two artists have extended an open hand in the interest of making peace. Aric Snee and Justin Crowe’s “Selfie Arm” offers the vainly alienated masses a more “human” connection to their cameraphones as a sarcastic commentary on our warped relationship with technology.

Brick the Mold: YouTuber HomeMadeModern teaches us how to create sophisticated, minimalist furniture using the greatest materials in the known universe: LEGO bricks and concrete. You’re welcome.

Top image: “Gerritt Rietveld” and “Alvar Aalto” from the ARCHIDESIGN series by Federico Babina

© yves andré

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