Nearly 25 years ago, the world tuned into Melbourne for the ultimate in sporting events, the Olympic Games. Even long before that, Aussies were renowned as being among the world’s greatest sport fans. From grand-slam tennis to cricket’s oldest and greatest rivalry between Australia and England, Ozzie sports are part of its culture.
Opening in 2010, the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, designed by COX Architects with engineering assistance from Arup, and from Norman Disney & Young — is a $200-million boutique rugby and soccer stadium with a capacity of 31,000.
Pride in sporting venues is also part of the very culture that supports sports so proactively. To stand on the same level as the Bird’s Nest, the Water Cube, Wimbledon, Coliseum and all sports architecture icons, new and old, great sporting venues support and enhance the cities in which they stand.
Melbourne expects its new Rectangular Stadium to not only contribute to the city’s sporting life, but also to be a focal point of the city’s Olympic Sports Park and Entertainment Precinct — only a short walk from the city center.
Fractured architecture is slowly becoming synonymous with 21st-century architecture in Melbourne. From the honeycomb concrete façade of Federation Square, to the steel tubing we recently wrote about on the city’s new recital centre, the bio-frame roof of the Rectangular Stadium already looks like it belongs. The roof will be covered with thousands of LED lights that can shine in many colors. They will be programmed to follow patterns that mimic the crowd’s energy during a match — soccer with Victory or rugby with Storm — or any other game or event. - Andrew J Wiener
From August 5 to September 30, the cutely nostalgic Fiat 500 C, unveiled in February, appears on Milan’s world-famous fashion street, Montenapoleone, in an unexpected role. Exactly 20 fiberglass replicas, precisely the same size and shape as the little Fiat, have become planters for real trees of various shapes. The happening, called “Per fare un albero” (Create a tree), is a cooperative effort between the City of Milan, Fiat, and artist-designer Fabio Novembre. In Novembre’s words, his solution to merge into one object trees and cars, two elements always vying for urban space, is a “symbol of a new way of living.” According to Fiat’s spokespeople, Fiat 500 C’s cheerful, friendly, innovative and eco-friendly character is a perfect fit for such an undertaking. - Tuija Seipell
Our world is full of noise, coming from every angle. Consumers have seen it all before, creating an unprecdented challenge to marketers.
It’s not enough just to be noticed. To rise above the clutter brands need to be extraordinary in every way. Extraordinary is the new ordinary; a mandatory requirement in a globaiised world where consumers are savvier, better educated and more connected than ever before.
Over the last five years The Cool Hunter has sought out the extraordinary and these finds have been a source of inspiration for hundreds of thousands of readers. But what you see on the site is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg as we don't always give away content for free. For hundreds of examples of innovative brand communications - from guerilla marketing through to environmental and outdoor - visit our consulting arm The Cool Hunter Platinum.
Pushing the bar higher, the luxury motorcycle manufacturing company Confederate is set up to unveil its latest machine at the Quail Motorsports Gathering in Carmel California this month: the P120 Fighter Combat.
The new bike is made of a lightweight aluminum frame that wraps around an obvious massive engine, yet manages to maintain a somewhat graceful silhouette. Confederate, known for ‘celebrating the art of rebellion,’ has not released any additional specs or price on its newest design – but we’re guessing you’re not going to see too many of these on the streets of your cities. - Andrew J Wiener - via Bikeexif
An existing subway or metro station does not give much room to creativity. Drassanes is a metro station in Barcelona’s Ciutat Vella district at the old docks of Port Vell.
The original station was built in 1968. Eduardo Gutiérrez Munné and Jordi Fernández Río, the 31-year-old partners of ON-A Arquitectura WWW.ON-A.ES, had no other option but to accept the limitations of the constricted space and make the best of it by covering the old station with new surfaces. They decided that a subway car already has everything a passenger needs and proceeded to create a station that emulates the feel of (a) subway cars. Light-weight, white glass-enforced concrete covers the vertical surfaces and a resin component helps make the white floors vibration-proof.
The overall feel is clean and open, something that could not be said of the old station. Eduardo Gutiérrez and Jordi Fernández have completed several public and commercial projects, from hotels and bars to stadiums and zoos. They established ON-A in 2005. - Tuija Seipell
Boutique beauty brand Aesop has launched another collaboration with inspiring Melbourne design firm, March Studio. After designing award winning stores in Adelaide (remember that amazing ceiling constructed from recycled bottles?), Melbourne (those product displays crafted almost entirely out of recycled cardboard), Studio March was charged with the task of designing a temporary installation doubling as a bar at Melbourne's recent State of Design Festival.
A partnership with Absolut Vodka and the British Design Council, the installation, called "After Dark" was brought to life with 1400 meters of tracing paper, forming the cocoon-like ceiling and walls. We can't wait to see what they do next. - Lisa Evans
We're getting ready to launch the real estate portal of TCH next month - The Cool Hunter Living, an uber-luxe real estate listings portal which connects vendors to a discerning, hard-to-reach market of high-income architecture and design aficionados.
For the first time, The Cool Hunter Living gives vendors access to this hard-to-reach market. The site also offers vendors an unparalleled opportunity to “position” their properties amongst the best and most luxurious in the world, endorsed by the highly-credible voice of The Cool Hunter, which has become a global authority on design.
The Cool Hunter Living offers technology savvy agents and vendors a new way to market their properties in a “designer” online environment, unlike other ‘real estate’ sites which are pitched at a mainstream audience and offer low value aesthetics in terms of site design.
TCH Living showcases properties in an unparalleled design-led, online-editorial environment positioned amongst the world's great architecture and design. Properties will be hand picked by our editorial team. For pricing, more info - contact [email protected]
We'll also be adding rentals and commercial properties, so next time you find yourself in a new city setting up an office and home, you'll have to look no further than TCH Living - a gateway to inspiring design you live in.
Hot on the heels (or rather casually surfing behind) the success of psychedelic pop acts like MGMT, Animal Collective and long dormant sample-masters The Avalanches comes this new wave of blissed out artists with an affection for skewed pop-music and windswept psychdelica. Already the victim of a host of silly genre names – including no-fi, dreamwave and the piss-taking chillgaze – the emergence of this scene has been dominated by the likes of Washed Out, Emil & Friends and unquestionably, mystery-clad US duo Neon Indian.
The brainchild of former Ghosthustler and current VEGA mainman Alan Palomo, Neon Indian have already kicked up whirlwind of hype in their relatively short career and it’s easy to see why. With their debut LP, the appropriately named Psychic Chasms, Neon Indian successfully build this sprawling, psychedelic landscape of misshapen samples and bottomed-out synthesizers that feels like the perfect mixtape for a spontaneous cross-country roadtrip, twisting and turning through desert roads and star-clad night skies.
Whatever we’re calling this genre it is all sorts of fantastic. – Dave Ruby Howe
A new permanent exhibition, LEVEL GREEN, dealing with the complex topics of car manufacturing, sustainability and the use of global resources, opened last month at the Autostadt (Car city in German), near the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburgh, Germany.
The architectural firm of J. Mayer H. of Berlin and interactive an digital media specialists, Art+Com Berlin, developed the concept for the 1,000 m2 interactive exhibition. The themes of the exhibition — Personal use, Sustainability at Volkswagen, The three aspects of sustainability, Mobility of the future, Sustainability and the economy, Effects of climate change — wind their way among an organically-shaped, sustainably built web of green structures.
Established in 1994, the vast is a seven-pavilion Autostadt visitor attraction area has ultra-modern pavilions for Volkswagen, Bentley, Škoda, Lamborghini, Audi and SEAT, and draws about 2 million visitors annually. - Tuija Seipell
KAA is a magnificent example of beautiful use of space. A surprising, lush, open-air atmosphere awaits behind a windowless white stucco facade. The main restaurant is a narrow and long nearly 800 square-meter, high-ceilinged space. A massive green wall with more than 7,000 live plants, a retractable roof over a section of the space, a staircase leading to a mezzanine-level lounge, and a dividing wall behind the bar, all add to the magnificent feeling of airy relaxation.
Casas has indeed reached his goal of creating an urban oasis for busy paulistas, as KAA has the distinct feel of a luxurious hotel lounge, minus the hotel.
American institute of Architecture Los Angeles chapter recently gave KAA one of its Restaurant Design awards. The 43-year-old Arthur Casas has already managed to create a successful multi-disciplinary practice that is involved in residential, commercial, corporate, retail and hospitality projects, interior design, plus product and furniture design. Expect to see his name much more frequently. - Tuija Seipell.
Pics via Leonardo Finotti
Cities grow organically, and while some areas thrive and prosper, others parts undoubtedly deteriorate over time as industry evolves, social dynamics shift and economies fluctuate. Many accomplished urban designers look at the multi-dimensionality of any city within which they work regardless of where a project is sited.
Ashton Raggatt McDougal (ARM) architects completed the design of the Melbourne Recital Center and the neighbouring Melbourne Theater Company helping to transform the formerly derelict Southbank area of the city to the dynamic district it has now become. The firm has been so successful in their designs of the two buildings that they have been honored with the 2009 Victorian Architecture Medal winning highest accolades in three categories for public architecture, interior design as well as urban design.
In a country where the two largest cities compete for just about everything, is Melbourne set to de-thrown Sydney for a higher quality performance space? Granted we’re not here to critique Utzon’s Opera House, but we are prepared to say that ARM, in collaboration with Arup Acoustics, designed a dynamic and original 1000-seat performance space and 150-seat Salon. “The fusion of architectural and acoustic design throughout the development of Elisabeth Murdoch Hall has produced a visually and aurally exciting hall,” a designer from Arup explains. “Based on the proportions of the classic shoe-box shaped European concert hall, the geometry has been enhanced to provide greater acoustic intimacy and improved sightlines for the entire audience.”
The design for the Melbourne Theater Company begins with the dramatic façade: 3D iridescent steel tubing folds and bends against black aluminum cladding – just as an actor brings performance to life against a dark backdrop. The interior is comprised of the Sumner Theater, a 500-seat hall noticeably without a balcony or mezzanine space, but still allowing exceptional site lines to the stage regardless of where your season tickets land you. The most striking element inside the main theater is the Word Wall – 70 quotes from different plays are illuminated when the stage is dark. The building also houses a full rehearsal hall that can be used as an event space or a smaller performance space, as well as a café and bar at the front of the house. - Andrew j Wiener