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Deutinger Offers Shocking View Of Architecture

German-born architect, writer and designer Theo Deutinger’s most recent book, “Handbook of Tyranny” gives us a shocking view of how architecture and design help implement laws or obstruct individual freedom (depending on your point of view).

Deutinger wants us to question what we see in the landscapes we have come to love. This all started for Deutinger when he found out that big boulders were strategically placed in front of De Nederlandsche Bank in Amsterdam to provide an obstacle for bank robbers and their getaway cars from getting too close to the bank.

He gives stunning examples of how political power and authoritarian intervention has worked its way into our most illustrious landscapes. He tells his story primarily through technical drawings. He encourages the reader to question every fence and institutional design that was constructed to control human behavior.

Deutinger makes it known that there are non-human entities or acoustic controls that restrict, and otherwise govern and guide daily existence in our macrocosm. Many of these could be termed as cruelty, such as benches designed to discourage homeless people from using them; or gravel walkways that loudly warn if someone is approaching. These are used as a form of control.

Recent studies have shown that there are many high-pitched sounds that only young people can hear. So as a deterrent, many business owners have installed very high-pitched sounds to prevent teens from loitering outside their businesses.

Deutinger shows us that some of these deterrents that are in the architectural designs are engineering innovations. Others are small tweaks that are in the design themselves; they are supposed to provide security and safety for all. Perhaps this is a great example of the old saying “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

From the ADG Jobsite

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 deutinger-hostile-architecture

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

 

 

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Bloomberg European Headquarters Wins Stirling Prize

 

Located in the heart of London, near the Bank of England and Saint Paul’s Cathedral, this two-building structure has won the Stirling prize, which is the UK’s most prestigious architecture award. The Stirling Prize is awarded annually by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). In a unanimous decision, the Bloomberg building won over five other finalists. Ben Derbyshire, RIBA President stated that:

“This building is a profound expression of confidence in British architecture — and perfectly illustrates why the UK is the profession’s global capital. This role and reputation must be maintained, despite the political uncertainty of Brexit.”

Designed by Foster + Partners with sustainability in mind, it is also recognized as the top-rated major office building in the world based on BREEAM standards.  The inspiration for the building was to create a cutting-edge design that would push the boundaries of accepted design and set new standards for openness and sustainability, while honoring London’s history. The building uses 73% less water and 35% less energy than a typical office building because of the latest innovations in power, lighting and water imagined in the design. The airflow is automatically adjusted by smart sensors, based on the number of people occupying each area of the building at any given time. This alone reduces CO2 emissions by 300 metric tons annually, plus another 500-750 metric tons are reduced by a unique heat/power generation unit which reuses its own waste heat for cooling and heating the building.

The Bloomberg HQ is not only the standard for sustainability, it is just plain gorgeous. The first thing you notice is the sandstone facade, which is accented by large bronze fins which vary in pitch and scale according to orientation and solar exposure, which provide both shade and ventilation. At the center of the site is a pedestrian arcade which re-establishes an ancient Roman road and a museum which displays the Roman temple of Mithras, which was discovered on the site 60 years ago.

Visitors to the Bloomberg HQ enter a two story artwork made from curved timber shells called the Vortex. The entire flow through the building is choreographed by art. The heart of the building is the 6th floor ‘Pantry’ which encompasses a large concourse and cafe space that offer panoramic views of the city. A distinctive bronze ramps spirals down to the office floors below the ‘Pantry,’ which was designed to encourage, by chance, walk and talk meetings that are comfortable and collaborative. The high-tech offices have ceilings fitted with 2.5 million aluminum petals, which regulate acoustics, temperature and light.

In its 23rd year, the RIBA Stirling Prize is awarded to the architect of the most signifcant building of the year. The award criteria is based upon factors such as design vision, innovation, originality, accessibility, sustainability and the capacity to stimulate.

  From the Factory Floor

 A little inspiration…

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by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

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The Passing of an Architectural Giant

“Neave was a pioneer. He showed us how intellectual rigor, sensitive urbanism, and supreme design skill, with determination, could deliver wellbeing to the local community he served so well.”

Ben Derbyshire, RIBA President

An RIBA Gold Medal winner and one widely considered a giant for his contributions, the architectural community suffered the loss of Neave Brown at age 88. He passed on January 9th in London, England. Brown was a celebrated architect and social housing pioneer, best known for his work on three iconic post-war housing designs in London.

Brown was an American-born British architect and artist. He specialized in modernist housing and is best known for his modernist, high-density housing designs across the U.K. He is the only architect to have had all his UK work listed. In October 2017, he won the Royal Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects for his 1968 design of Alexandra Road Estate, which is now considered a landmark of British social housing.

The basic design of the complex was determined in 1968, but met with opposition from the Camden Planning Department, who believed that a low-rise development may not reach the required population density. The project was finally approved in 1969, the license granted in 1970 and construction began in 1972. The first residents settled in 1978, although overall it was completed in 1979. It was the first Alexandra Estate housing complex which won the postwar protection grade II in 1993 at that time it was described as “one of the most prominent groups of buildings produced in England since World war exceptional architectural interest.” The property was declared a Conservation Area in 1994.

The property consists of three blocks east to west in parallel, and occupies a site in a crescent shape. Rowley Way has its main entrance on the west, in Abbey Road NW8, the famous Abbey Road immortalized by the Beatles in Camden, in the city of London.

“He brought a thoughtfulness and generosity of spirit to his architecture which has been appreciated by generations of residents of his social housing. It was fitting that the RIBA Gold Medal award last year gave him the opportunity to experience the love that so many have for his work, and for the man.”

John Grindrod, author of Concretopia – a Journey around the Rebuilding of Post War Britain

From the Factory Floor

White metallic ring pendant in production phase 5

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