Architecture, Culture, Travel

Alcoholic Architecture x Bompas & Parr

Imagine walking into a cloud and coming out tipsy…hard to believe, but it’s not as far fetched an idea as we thought.

Image of the Guardian

Image of the Guardian

Image from Creative Pool

Image Bompas & Parr from Creative Pool

Image from The Shard

Image from The Shard

Bompas & Parr, the same people that brought us The Guinness Factory’s Tasting Room, has allowed us to walk into a cloud of breathable cocktail through the site of a monastery in Borough Market, London. Alcoholic Architecture is a pop up bar that basically acts as a weather system for “meteorology and mixology collide against a canvas of monastic mayhem, referencing the gothic splendour of neighbouring Southwark Cathedral.” Your cocktail enters the room using powerful humidifiers and alcohol enters your bloodstream through your lungs and eyeballs which bypasses your liver.

Situated next to the UK’s oldest gothic cathedral and on site of an ancient monastery, themes of the times will be reflected through their drinks. Think spirits and beers created monks and drinks with Chartreuse, Benedictine, Trappist beer, and Buckfast (a fortified wine that Scotland is trying to stop from entering the country).

Image from Business Insider

Image from Business Insider

Image of the Guardian

Image of the Guardian

“Inside, the sound is modulated, so that it is like you are right inside the glass,” Parr says. “It’s a dense atmosphere that builds into a thunderstorm with lightning. It’s a new way of experiencing drink, and it’s social because it’s an immersive shared environment. You all have the same flavor sensation.”

Image from Cool Hunting

Image from Cool Hunting

You walk through a monastic-themed changing room and bare a robe so you don’t leave smelling like a liquor bottle. Get yourself a drink at the crypt-like bar and bring it back into the cloud for you to enjoy and “breathe responsibly”.

Alcoholic Architecture is on until early 2016. If you’re in London, you must go see it and tell me all about it. Get tickets and check out more of Bompas & Parr’s work on their website.


Architecture, Contemporary Art, Culture

Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is holding its first open international architectural competition for a proposed Guggenheim museum in Helsinki, Finland. As of December 2014, the shortlist finalists have been announced, and the winner will be announced in June 2015. Guggenheim museums are typically designed by world-renowned architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Frank Gehry, and host critically acclaimed exhibitions.

With 1,715 anonymous entries from 77 countries, only 6 moved on to finals. They are listed below in alphabetical order:

  • AGPS Architecture Ltd. (Zurich, Switzerland, and Los Angeles, United States of America)
  • Asif Khan Ltd. (London, United Kingdom)
  • Fake Industries Architectural Agonism (New York, United States of America; Barcelona, Spain; and Sydney, Australia)
  • Haas Cook Zemmrich STUDIO2050 (Stuttgart, Germany)
  • Moreau Kusunoki Architectes (Paris, France)
  • SMAR Architecture Studio (Madrid, Spain, and Western Australia)

The City of Helsinki has reserved a popular waterfront site in the Eteläsatama, or South Harbor area, for the proposed museum. This area is a developing urban space with great national and cultural significance which is close to the city centre and visible for those travelling by sea. It’s design should follow modern Nordic ideals of openness and accessibility with connections to its historic city centre and harbour setting, as well as possibly become a landmark and symbol of Helsinki. In addition, Finland is well known for sustainable bioeconomy and the use of Finnish wood should be considered.

The City of Helsinki and the State of Finland are to make the final decision whether or not this civic and cultural space should proceed with construction and development after the competition is finished and public announcement of the winning design. The building’s construction is valued at approximately 130 million euros, and the total site are is approximately 18, 520 square metres. The winner will receive 200,000 euros, and the five follow-up participants will receive 55,000 euros.

The six finalist architectural teams visited Helsinki in January to view the site of the proposed museum as well as to meet representatives of the City of Helsinki, the State of Finland, and other stakeholders to discuss Helsinki’s art, culture, economy and urban fabric. In addition, they met with representatives from the Guggenheim on the topics of its history, collections, programs, and exhibitions of the foundation.

Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 8.56.05 PM

A screenshot of all 6 final designs (and to be honest, I only KIND OF like the last two if I had to choose)

Which one is your favourite?

You can follow their travels with the hashtag #GuggenheimHKI


Architecture, Artist Profile, Culture

Throwback Thursday // The Chrysler Building


The Chrysler Building in New York is hands down one of my favourite buildings of all time. During my trip to New York this past December, I couldn’t help but love the architecture that decorates the city that to be honest, is rare here in Toronto. It is a classic example of the Art Deco architecture using geometric patterns, and glitzy man-made materials. It was designed by an American architect, William Van Alen for Walter P. Chrysler during New York’s competitive race to build the tallest skyscraper in the late 1920’s. With the real-estate market at it’s highest at the end of the 20’s, skyscrapers were becoming a clear method for architects to make a name for themselves and skyrocket them to stardom like Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier. At the same time, his ex-partner H. Craig Severence had been hired to build an even taller building- 40 Wall Street, and so in order to be the tallest building, Van Alen designed a needlelike spire in secret within the building.

It stands at 1,046 feet tall with 77 floors, and for a time the Chrysler Building was the world’s tallest building until 11 months later and the Empire State Building was erected in 1931. After it’s completion, critics mocked the idea of the spire, stating that it lacks design and too gimmicky. It’s still the world’s tallest brick building in the world, but only the 4th tallest structure today tied with The New York Times Building.

When Van Alen received the commission for the Chrysler Building, he never entered into a contract with Walter P. Chrysler and after it was completed, he requested a payment of 6 percent of the construction budget ($14 million according to American Institute of Architects standards at the time). Chrysler refused to pay and Van Alen sued him and eventually received the fee, this conduct inevitably ruined his reputation as an employable architect. In addition as a result of the Great Depression that followed and the bad critiques of his designs, his career as an architect was done and lead him towards teaching sculpture and managing his real-estate investments until his death.