Kings Cross, Old Maps & VFX

Recent miscellanea that has caught my attention…

The £547 million Concourse

Western Concourse, King's Cross StationA good critical review (unfortunately not that common these days…) from Hugh Pearman about John McAslan and Partners‘ recently opened Western Concourse at Kings Cross Station in London.

From outside the new concourse has a clamshell look: surprisingly – maybe, given all the heritage attention, deliberately – unspectacular to the point of banality. The drama is all inside.

For another opinion of the project, head over to The Guardian for Rowan Moore’s take. Or browse to McAslan + Parners’ download page and click “Rebuilding King’s Cross: All Change!”.

Old Maps Online

Screenshot of Old Maps Online showing NSWUsing Google Maps as a base, Old Maps Online enables you, via an overlay technique, to compare existing places with those in the past for historical maps dating back to 1551. Instant search results appear related to your location and a date slider bar allows you to fine tune the time period. Another handy site for your online research toolbox. [via The Verge]

Boardwalk Empire VFX

Continuing a loose interest of mine (have a look here) in digital creation of imagined places or reconstruction of historic places, comes a tidy little before/after showreel from Brainstorm Digital who created Atlantic City in the 1920s for the show “Boardwalk Empire“. I always wonder how many ex-architects – some may argue you are never an ex-architect – work in VFX creating/reconstructing these environments. Enjoy! [via The Loop]

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Holiday Reading (Part 4): Henrick Fisker

Henrik Fisker on Aston Martin, Ford & General Automotive Design

A interesting (but perhaps overly long) interview with Henrik Fisker, the designer of the stunning Aston Martin DB9 and V8 Vantage. Fisker’s comments on where his design inspiration comes from would be familiar to most architects:

But where do I get the idea for the design? Whenever I’m awake, I think about cars. It’s not really something that’s from 9 to 4, and it’s not even exclusive to the 5 days a week; it’s 7 days a week.

Any decent design professional understands what he is saying. Design is not just a job, it is all-encompassing.

Interview, Part 1 | Interview, Part 2 | Interview, Part 3

Holiday Reading (Part 1): Cecil Balmond

It’s been an age. I know. Been busy practising architecture, that’s all. Anyway, maybe you have some more time on your hands over the holidays, like me, and are looking for some interesting reading. Over the next 10 days or so I’ll post a selection of (mostly) unrelated but worthy articles that should keep you happy, starting today with…

The Beauty of Numbers

Inspired by his work with influential architects, Cecil Balmond searches for that exquisite blend of structural logic and structural logic.

Cecil Balmond headshot

Also worth reading, if you don’t know too much about the extraordinary Cecil Balmond is The Informalist, a Q & A with Cecil and An Engineering Magician, Then (Presto) He’s an Architect.

Go and buy his book, Informal (he has a new one coming out early 2008), or splurge on the a+u issue devoted to his work.

Jacques Herzog, Urban Photos & MoPo 2007

Mid-Week Linkage No.2

The 503

Jacques Herzog Interview | There’s worthwhile interview with one half of the Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron on why they don’t have website (everyone else does it for them by writing about H&M on the Internet apparently), their stadiums and football. Of particular interest is the “photo essay” on Herzog & de Meuron which has some good pics of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Stadium (also this page) under construction, the Tate Modern Extension in London (which looks like a deconstructed Habitat ’67 by Moshe Safdie) and a bizarre Philharmonic Hall in Hamburg.
[via Archinect]

Calm

JPG Magazine | Both an website and a published magazine, JPG has been around since 2004 and each issue is thematic. The latest issue is titled “Street” and you can download the entire issue as a PDF (12mb) or just browse online. A small selection of stunning photographs from the Urban theme accompanies this post. 10 points for anyone correctly identifying the designers of the top and bottom photographs. A few more urban and architecture related photos here, here and here.

MoPo 2007 – redux | What started as a joke listing of the most popular architecture blogs of 2007, has now returned (a week later) with a more thorough list of the Top 25 individual and Top 25 collaborative blogs on architecture. This time, there is also an online poll if you want to push your favourite up the ladder. Who knows, next year maybe Arkhitekon.net will make the list!

Any suggestions for future mid-week linkage? Post a comment below or contact me by email.