Unite d’habitation by Le Corbusier


Triangles Perces 2016, Felice Varini

Meaning ‘Housing Unit’, this particular building is located in Marseille France and built between 1947 – 53.  Colloquially called Unite, it is one of five constructed during this period with buildings in Nantes-Rezé ’55, Briey ’57, Firminy-Vert ’63 all in France & the final one in Berlin in 1965.  All of them are basically built from the same plans.  The plan is unique in that every apartment faces east west and each apartment spans the width of the building with cross through ventilation (something sorely lacking in current apartment design).  This is achieved by a cross over section and access corridors located every third floor.  Parts of Unite Marseille are open as a hotel, link to that site here.

The image above is by an artist Felice Varini of the roof top structures to Unite Marseille, Varini paints geometric shapes over physical objects that can only be discerned from a particular viewpoint, look him up.  Image above via Dezeen.

Some links to previous posts on Corb buildings in this Journal include Saint-Pierre Church / community building here and Villa Savoye here.  Follow the jump for more, I’ve attached some plans and sections below plus an picture of a Lego construction created by One World Architecture link to their site here.


Site Modelling


Kinetic Object by Axel Schindlback

Architectural model-making is an excellent way of understanding designs for both an architects process and also for a client’s understanding. It was also my first job while still at Uni. It’s very easy discussing a design over a model rather then plans and I’ve had a couple of clients that simply can’t read a plan. There is nothing wrong with that as we all have our strengths. I present computer models to all my clients and we also format this model so client’s can take them away to view at their own leisure and ruminate over the design. With the invention of BIM (building information modelling) that same model we create then becomes the documentation for town planning and construction / contract documentation. Structural engineers are also now providing their steel shop drawings to us in BIM format which we then overlay on our model, this very quickly shows any discrepancies and you’ll easily notice if a beam is sticking out of the roof or wall. The gained efficiencies are in turn affecting the weighting of the work bringing more to the front end and, I suspect, soon we’ll be changing our billings to reflect this.


Dale Frank


Dale Frank 2017 via Neon Parc

Ricky Swallow


ricky swallow killing time 2004

Artday – Vuk Vidor


Art History Version D

Ocean (kinda) Racing


Some drone footage of the current overall leader of the Volvo Ocean Race; MAPFRE in the doldrums on their way to Hong Kong after leaving Melbourne on the 2nd of Jan. I was very excited to see Australia as a late addition to the 8 month round the world ocean race after a 10 year hiatus. I went down to the pier and watched MAPFRE win leg 3 on their way into the heads on Christmas night and I also watched the full fleet for the start of leg 4. It appeared to be really intense and hard sailing through the roaring forties from Cape Town to Melb, very different to the footage shown here. Best use of a drone that I have seen to date but I am still rooting for team Brunel.

Via Volvo Ocean Race and Team MAPFRE.

Artday – Banksy on advertising


“The people that run our cities do not understand graffiti because they think that nothing has the right to exist unless it makes a profit. The people who truly deface our neighbourhoods are the companies that scrawl giant slogans across our buildings and buses trying to make us feel inadequate unless we buy their stuff. Any advertisement in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours, it belongs to you, its yours to take, rearrange and re-use. Asking for permission is like asking if you can keep a rock someone just threw at your head.” Banksy.



I usually do something every year for Christmas, I think it’s a nice gesture and a little reminder that I am still here (Coostaaanza). Last year I had some tree/cards printed up on a extra heavy card stock and I think my clients and friends loved them, I’ve noticed some still have them standing up months after Christmas has passed. That feels good. The image above is the plan that I drew up, click more below and you’ll see the finished product. Merry Christmas.


Wally Regatta


Happy summer with some stunning footage of the Wally Class regatta from this years Voiles de Saint-Tropez.

Video by Guilain Grenier
Music by Path of Exile OST
via Sailing Yacht TV

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Artday – Archibald Prize 2017


The boys of Sydney Grammar Edgecliff Prep
Goodbye, Sir!
acrylic on wood
124 x 112 cm
© the artists
Photo: Mim Stirling, AGNSW

The Archibald Prize is in Melbourne at the moment but for a very short time, you should do yourself a favour and get along to the Geelong Gallery as this is the last week. The newish Geelong library by ARM Architecture is also an interesting thing to see (right next door). Better still check out the Geelong Government Building across the road, a whopper. The entrant above is made by the entire Boys of Sydney Grammar Edgecliff Prep School. Click below to see the write up.


Solo Circle House by OFFICE Kersten Geers & David Van Severen


This is the Solo House in Spain and I am a little obsessed with it. Brilliance designed by a firm, I think, are called either Office KGDVS or Goldsmith (I am really not sure).  I have studied these photos, plans and renderings over the past few months and I would love to get into the minds of both Kersten & David to understand more about the house.  Mostly because it is a concept made real which is always very exciting. You need a excellent client to allow such a pure idea to become a reality. I imagine the house would an fabulous experience. Built in 2017 and photographed by Bas Princen. Follow the jump below to see a plan. Via Archdaily, see more here in their super thorough blog post. If you want to read more about OFFICE, check out El Croquis issue 185.

*UPDATE: I just learned this house is available for rent at a boutique hotel site here. I also noticed another significant house called Casa Solo Pezo (cover shot of Superhouses) designed by Pezo & Von Ellrichshausen is also located on the land and also available to rent.

** UPDATE: I mentioned above that I would love to get into the minds of the architect… well wait no more, now you can read an interview with the architects over at the Arquitectura-G site, link to the article here, some great stuff in there for any archinerds.  I also noticed Bjark & his 4 wives just stayed there, check out the time-lapse video on his Insta account.


Bladerunner 2049


Bladerunner 2049


Artday – The Glue Society


It Wasn’t Meant to End Like This. James Dive, The Glue Society. Link to another Glue Society piece here.

Wally Cento


Photo: Giles Martin-Reget

This is the new Wally 100 footer called Tango. Lucca Bassani of Wally says the ‘racer cruiser’ is a important category for them, he notes they are built for racing but the cruiser component makes them a lot more enjoyable and in the long term, much more valuable. A pure bred hollowed out racer will very quickly lose much of their value, you can pick up an old VO70 for around $150K, a fraction of the new build cost. A Wally with an exquisite interior on the second hand market is still a valuable item.

Wally Tango is the fourth in this line of Wally Centos (100’s). Check out my previous post showing Wally 140 Esense here or the Wally motor Why here or Wally Barong D here. I think these boats are brilliant as the designers are way out at the edge of their discipline. Tango has an all star cast with Wally as the lead designer and Mills Design as Naval Architect while Pininifarina did the interiors, yep these are the same coach builders that have designed dozens of the worlds best cars for Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Peugeot, FIAT, GM, Lancia, and Maserati. Tango is 30.48m long with a lifting keel, weighs close to 50t and has a sail area of 640m2 and can take 6 guests with 2-4 crew, I suspect the cost is in the order of $20M again.  Check out the huge sliding skylight to the master cabin, strange they have no side windows and also strange that loads of these boats seem to go for separate beds in the main cabin, kinda old school.  All exterior photos by Giles Martin-Reget and interior photos by Toni Meneguzzo. Via yachtemoceans.com. (that does read Yacht-e-m-oceans… meh).  Follow the link below to see every image that I could find as Wally are a little slower with their website and they also no longer post up plans but here is their site anyway.


Solar System Sculpture


The piece is a series of bronze & stainless steel planets placed around the bay in St Kilda in a replica scale model of our solar system, all the distances are perfectly to scale making it pretty big at 1:1,000,000,000 (this is the modern billion and not the million million as the British once used.  The previous term made perfect sense however I suspect America’s wealthiest were impatient and wanted to identify as billionaires sooner after amassing a mere 1,000 million.  This in-turn changed all the figures including a trillion, quadrillion, quintillion, sextillion, septillion, octillion, nonillion and decillion making none of them as clear as they once were.  Apologies, I always seem to go off on these tangents).

So the scale basically means that every metre is equivalent to 1 million kilometres, the full model is 5.9km and includes our friend Pluto.  You start the walk or cycle at the St Kilda Foreshore Skatepark, here you’ll easily spot the sun, you then journey along the promenade northwards and off to the side of the walkway you’ll find the series of large Bluestone plinths with an a explanatory plaque on the side and planet atop, some of the planets are pretty small and hard to find so download this little guide booklet, link to it here or scroll down below for a low res map.  Saturn’s rings have been vandalised a little  by some nuff nuff which is unfortunate but easily repaired.  Thankfully the thickness of the rings is not accurate as they are up to 80,000kms in diameter and a little as 10m thick so to scale that approximates to 0.01 microns.   A single micron is used to measure bacteria and not visible to the naked eye and a strand of human hair is 50 microns.


St Andrews Beach House by Sean Godsell


Photo Hisau Suzuki

I was lucky enough to be a guest in this house and I could barely contain my excitement but then the house ‘happened to me’ and it instantly calmed my nerves. The house is unbelievable in it’s purity of concept, form & design. Built as a bridge structure it makes reference to one of Glenn Murcutt’s mantras in ‘touching the earth lightly’. It may appear heavy but only the four supporting columns touch the ground with the earth underneath undulating and rolling naturally as if the building has been placed rather then built. I heard Sean speak about the house at a lecture once and he said his client wanted to feel the weather after a long and uncomfortable stint in Singapore air-conditioning so his solution was to make the bedrooms and bathrooms accessed via the elevated external walkway. The house is fully open and connected to the outside yet simultaneously very well secured and private. If you study the house plans and images you will see the extraordinary details and continuation of concept though-out. The house won the AIA Robin Boyd Award in 2006 and it is, in my opinion, probably one of Australia’s greatest houses. Check it out in the dedicated issue of El Croquis 165 along with other works by Sean Godsell Architects. I also invited Sean to speak for the AAA some years ago and he gave an excellent lecture and tour of the RMIT Design Hub, link to that tour here.



Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens

Sorry for nerding out here but I think this stuff is important to architects and their practices; I can’t wait for the technology of holograms to catch up to the movies with holograms. Check out these fantastic images from the Star Wars franchise (as a side issue, when did we start calling a movie series a franchise? I am fully aware they are now just cash machines but do we really have to call them a franchise rather than a piece of entertainment… I digress). The original Star Wars hologram scene with R2-D2 & Luke was captivating, even more so when you consider it was 1977. The more recent version pictured above with BB-8 is quite spectacular. I suspect these scenes are easily created as a post production digital effect for the big screen and some of the technology already exists with augmented reality however a fully fledged hologram is yet to appear in reality, I apologise for the terrible pun there but I couldn’t think of any other way to put it. The Star Wars franchise has holograms littered throughout the film with small droid projections, in car / spaceship dash projections, big central meeting tables as pictured below and even little hand-held devices, they’re treated like the norm.