Photo Tour of Spring Break 2010
Leaving Berlin, we got 4 rental cars and hit the road. Upcoming stops included Leipzig, Dessau, Prague, Vienna.
The central building by Zaha Hadid was certainly a gem. She uses an incredibly open lobby that brings the assembly into the central building.
Yet, even more exciting was seeing the manufacturing process of perfect machinery. Just mesmerizing to witness the way robotic arms, conveyor belts, and “just-in-sequence" work. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take pictures outside this entry zone, but take my word for it…BMW knows what they are doing.
Dessau, Germany (Bauhaus)
For the non architecture students here, this may not be something you are familiar with. The Bauhaus is famous in architectural history as being a school that has profound influence on modern architecture and the way architecture is taught. Originally started by Walter Gropius in Wiemar, Germany (a few UTarch students are currently studying abroad here) but moved to Dessau due to the German Nationalist movement in the 20’s. The school eventually closed in the 30’s due to pressure from the Nazi regime.
We got to spend the night in the student dorms of Bauhaus and had a very interesting tour to go along with it. Bauhaus. Makes. Sense.
Prague, Czech Republic (Patrick has correctly coined “Sketch Republic”)
The weather in Prague didn’t actually surprise me much as it fit in with my exact image in my head of Eastern Europe. One things for sure is the Czech’s know how to do dumplings and dark beer. The highlight of our stay in Prague was visiting an Armor Museum where Clay and I got to shoot a legit medieval crossbow.
And YES, I hit the target. My masculinity definitely needed that following my recent stunt with knitting. Even if I was listening to Jay-Z while doing it. Thanks to Courtney for the photo!
The first day in Vienna we did a few sites outside the city since we still had the rental cars. We got to go to a wine tasting at a project done by Steven Holl where we had a great time (may or may not have been influenced by our multiple glasses of excellent Austrian white wine). Also, I may or may not have picked up a few bottles to bring home for mom ;)
The second day was spent in the center part of town. Our professor actually worked for a few years in Vienna so we got to see some of her favorite sites. By this point though, most of us are ‘group traveled’ out and ready to go on our individual spring breaks.
From here Andy, Clay, and I were ready for our trip to Krakow, Rotterdam, and Brussels. A good break from the group and not to mention we get to visit our good friends in Krakow, Poland studying abroad for the semester too.
So our Berlin trip (which is now a couple weeks old) was not solely to experience the fine pilsners and dunkels of the region, we also had a bit of academic work to accomplish. The studio was divided into groups where each was asked to capture a certain spot in Berlin and see how people moved through the space.
Tess Kelly - 3rd year Arch at VT
Brian Potere - 4th year Arch at VT
Mike Cincala - 2nd year Grad Student at VT
Jewish Museum by Daniel Libeskind
Out of the countless photographs our group took, we settled on a select few to display for our exhibition. We had one main photo and then 3 different ‘series photos’ which you can see in the slideshows below.
At the end, each group exhibited their work in a fairly formal manor. We invited local Berliners and anyone interested to come see what we had on display. It was presented quite well and I would say most of us came away from it feeling rather successful.
Let me know what you think or if you have any questions about the pictures.
I will forever remember how to count to 3 in German thanks to the movie ‘Cool Runnings’. Love it.
(I recommend reading the post below this one first)
When we were not working on the project for the Berlin Workshop we were seeing as much as we could… and there is plenty to see in Berlin.
Dutch Embassy|OMA/Rem Koolhaas|2004
-Possibly an entry for Top 5 favorite buildings. Beautiful play with transparency and movement throughout the interior. Exterior conditions work wonderfully in its context. Secure but Open. Perfect for an embassy
-denmark iceland norway(center) sweden finland. each had a unique facade condition which was quite interesting
New National Gallery|Mies|1968
-my perspective panoramic put a curve in Mies. not sure if he’d be happy
We also got to go on two firm visits as part of our Professional Practice class. One of the firms, Barkow + Leibinger, presented us with some really inspiring work that is worth a look. Frank Barkow = the man.
I’ll be getting around to some of our other events of the past few days (Berlin Workshop, BMW plant, Bauhaus, Prague) soon. For now you can chew on this.
"As I say, the best gardens are beer gardens and olive gardens" - Patrick Q.
PRAGUE POST SNEAK PEAK: I got to fire a legit medieval crossbow today
and by that I mean this…
Our German adventure began last Wednesday (March 3rd) with a flight out of Milan into Berlin. We got there late in the evening but used what time we had to explore the area we were staying in. The next morning came early, as I overslept breakfast and Andy, Ian, and I rushed out the room to catch the group in time to walk to the subway station.
Sites for the day included:
DZ Bank|Frank Gehry|2000
-bank offices surrounding atrium which houses conference room type program in the “horse head” and below the glass canopy at the bottom
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe|Peter Eisenman|2004
-quite the emotional space. mass of concrete elements grow as you descend towards center of memorial separating yourself from the city plaza.
Chapel of Reconciliation|Berlin Architects|1999
-after demolition for the Berlin Wall, a church was reconstructed out of rammed earth (beautiful material) with a wooden casing that allows fractions of light inwards
Exhibition Hall of the German Historical Museum|I M Pei|2003
-interior space was still being worked on but it did provide a nice place for us to get out of the cold…
No images for the next few but worth a mention:
Neues Museum|David Chipperfield|2009
University of Berlin Library|Max Dudler|2009
oh and White Trash Fast Food for lunch! no seriously…that was the name of the restaurant. And yes it was a restaurant not fast food.
SNEAK PEAK: I’m currently working on video of our extended travel that I will post here once I return to Switzerland. I guarantee it will be just as cool if not cooler than skiing video.
Krakow-Rotterdam (with stops in dusseldorf and brussels for cheaper travel)
This is a shout out to my Memaw. I thought you would be proud to know we now have something else in common other than our good looks.
…I learned how to knit
I was having trouble getting studio work done one night. So typically I was browsing random websites until i “stumbled upon” this website. Here I quote
1. Read about knitting
It doesn’t have to be knitting, but reading about a topic that you are completely unfamiliar with can really get the right side of your brain working. You will learn new vocabulary and skills and be introduced to a whole new subculture that you may not have even known existed, all of which helps your brain make new connections that didn’t exist before, rounding out your world view and increasing the chances that you will make some new, valuable, topical connection you can use with whatever it is you are currently doing.
I kinda skipped over the whole “read about knitting” part and jumped straight to the learn how to knit part. My friend Tess, who sits next to me in studio, happened to have some needles and yarn along with the skill set and patience to teach me all I needed to know to get started. It wasn’t long after that till I had the “up under, wrap, pull through, pull off, pull tight” down pat.
It was a slow process at first, but steadily I’ve picked up my pace and I’ve been making plenty of progress. It is truly amazing how mindless it eventually becomes which allows your brain to start wondering on to other thoughts. This way I’ve been able to think about studio and my design while not really working on studio. Plus it is quite interesting to see people’s reaction to a 21 year old male knitting. My original plan to make a scarf might be cut short as you can see I am running out of yarn.
Any ideas on what I can turn this into?
(you can pan around and zoom in/out with the map if you wish)
For the weekend it’s 100% studio. The Berlin trip is fast approaching and it is pretty much a marker for the mid-point of the semester. Knowing this, it has became fairly obvious to all of us how far behind we are with our studio work. I think we’ve started to make the right strides to catch up, so my outlook is still positive.
Next Wednesday evening we leave for the week long Berlin Workshop. It is part of our coursework where we will be having sessions with a professional photographer to learn how to capture the city in 2D. The objective is to “explore the relationship of the movement, feeling, and behavior of crowds with the structure of public spaces in Berlin.” Pretty interesting stuff.
Along with the workshop, we will be visiting works by Libeskind, Snohetta, Gehry, Piano, Koolhaas, Eisenman (jewish memorial, really excited for this one) +more. The trip continues through Germany to Bauhaus and Leipzig (tour of BMW plan!).
BMW Central Building|Zaha Hadid|2005
WE AINT DONE YET
After Germany, the group heads to Prague for a few days and then Vienna to finish off another week. So if you are counting, that is approximately 2 weeks of travel, 3 countries, and 8934889124 German beers. Awesome.
WE STILL AINT DONE
After Vienna our Spring Break officially begins…more on this later
I like sharing these videos because a lot of times they inspire my studio work. I hope they can do the same for you.
To my dedicated viewing audience:
My friends Stephen, Tyler, and Kyle from UT CoA+D have begun their semester abroad in Poland and have started their own blogs of their adventures. Links to the right have been added so feel free to check them out!