OPA’s Casa Brutale Lets You Live on the Edge

Casa Brutale gives us wall-to-wall water and concrete set into cliffs above the Aegean Sea in what OPA promises will be a literally ground-breaking development.


Unclad and simple, the house is all about modesty, making no impact on the landscape beyond a surface swimming pool and a set of steps. Descending these steps, though, brings you to the entire point of this home; an enormous glass facade set flush into the cliff face, bringing an incredible view of the Aegean Sea to the entire residence. Upping the stakes, the living quarters are topped with a skylight that turns out to be, in fact, the swimming pool – made of reinforced glass, it functions as the only other window in the house, diffusing the sunlight to soften the hard surfaces of the building itself and giving you views that could plausibly claim to be 100% water.


With jaw-dropping features like these, OPA chose to keep the rest restrained. Simple, raw concrete surfaces and slabs set off by aged wood and steel form the rest of the project, placing an open living area around the main stairs and a master bedroom on the mezzanine floor, making the incredible water views perfectly visible from the bed, which is also made of cast concrete. The whole thing is cooled by the landscape and the swimming pool, thanks to the design’s clever twist – aside from the big chunk of rock removed from the cliff, there’s very little impact on the landscape.


An inverted Casa Malaparte – brutalist, plain concrete mixed with water, light and rock – OPA says that their concept “seeks for an investor or an ambitious owner to finance its construction.”






Barack Obama has chosen the University of Chicago for his Presidential library


The presidential library system in the United States is a nationwide network of libraries that preserve and make public president’s statements, papers, records, and other historic materials. President Obama’s presidential library is to be built in his hometown of Chicago, at the University of Chicago where he was a law professor before becoming a senator. The University of Chicago has been chosen over Columbia University in New York, the University of Hawaii and the University of Illinois at Chicago. The final site of the building has not yet been decided.


Two winners of Chicago Architectural Club 2014- Chicago Prize Competition for Barack Obama’s   Presidential Library are the Design team of Zhu Wei, Fu Junsheng and Liang Yinka and Aras Burak Sen.


The first project includes six divided sections each showcasing different aspects of President Obama’s   life; early life and career, legislative career, presidential campaigns, presidency, public image, family and personal life. The library is imagined to reflect President’s charisma but also the urban grid of the city. The building’s roof would also be fully utilized and visible from surrounding skyscrapers.


The second project’s primary function would be to serve as a public forum with a focus on President’s years in office.  The library would be divided into eight levels, where each one will archive a single year of Obama’s presidency. As levels would be of different heights, each of them would provide different views of Chicago. The ground floor is designed in a shape of a peace sign that represents the hope that Obama’s selection brought, and the peace sign would change on every level symbolizing the deviation of that hope over years. The peace sign construction would also serve as a bridge connecting three riverbanks.




Bruce Munro’s Arrow Spring


Bruce Munro’s Arrow Spring is a 300-foot serpentine trail filled with sage that resembles a flowing watercourse by day and a meandering stream of light by night. Its luminescence is the result of the innovative pairing of ordinary LED flashlights and cutting-edge fiber optics concealed within sculptural spheres placed throughout the landscape, weaving 15,000 points of light into the swath of sage.


The idea for Arrow Spring came to him on a bike ride in 2009 when he was thinking about the meandering pathway that led through a work of his called CD Sea (in which 600,000 recycled CDs were laid out in a field in the British countryside) and realized there was a natural connection to the spiritual rivers described in two of his favorite books, Kim by Rudyard Kipling and Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. His idea was to simply create a Serpentine River of light. The title of the installation is taken from the River Arrow in Kim.





“Defensive Constructions in the British landscape”- by Richard Brine


70 years after the Second World War there are still over 6,000 defensive structures nicknamed “Pillboxes” due to their mostly hexagonal shapes, left along the British coastline. Partly forgotten and often ignored, the old pillboxes and defensive emplacements built across Britain in 1940 and 1941 represent and record an extraordinary achievement. In the space of just a short number of months thousands of these buildings were built across the country in a desperate attempt to prepare for the very real threat of German invasion.

Photographer Richard Brine has documented the structures in a series of photographs called ‘Defensive Constructions in the British landscape’ – “These small, obscure buildings have a poetic importance, combining and encapsulating many themes that still have the power to arrest and engage us. They are poignant reminders of many aspects of our own identity and national character and their increasingly vulnerability, after so many years of ‘service’, lends them a particular pathos.”



Psychedelic Roomba LED Light Paintings


The Roomba has quite the following and it’s not just because it cleans your house without having to pull out the vacuum. Roombas are completely hackable serving as open source robots that can be turned into pacmen, be controlled by your cell phone, or even be turned into musical instruments. Then there’s a whole other group of people that is using the robot to create eco-art with LEDs.


Creative users are attaching LED lights to the top of these robots and taking long exposure photographs of the vacuums in action in dark rooms. The resulting pictures are a trace of the robots’ activity and often come in wild, psychedelic colors. Some users are going to such extremes as to program light color changes or specific robot movements to create their patterns, while others like the IBRoomba group set up obstacles in the middle of rooms to create blank spots, like the initials “IBR.”




LED Artist Bill FitzGibbons Illuminates Old Railroad


LED light sculpturist Bill FitzGibbons has turned Birmingham’s 18th Street railway underpass into LightRails, a dynamic interconnect between the revitalized south side, and city center to the north.


FitzGibbons programmed the light piece to play a 17-minute program that loops each night from dusk to dawn. The installation provides the requisite level of white light during the day, while by night the light becomes a colorful garden. Some of the effects used are colors with dazzling white sparkles, color as columns to explore the architectural space. In the smaller pedestrian tunnel, a single fixture can generate a reflection 360° around the tunnel using the beams and arches to provide additional opportunities to show the spectrum.


The installation also provides the opportunity for special shows. FitzGibbons already has the installation programmed to switch automatically to a holiday presentation in December with an emphasis on red and green colors. The controller can even store more programs that can be triggered by an astronomical clock. New programs can be downloaded via an SD card.


Charles Pétillon – White Balloon ‘INVASIONS’


White balloons spill out of the windows and doors of a house, invade a golf course and overflow from a burnt-out car in a series of installations by French artist Charles Pétillon.
In his INVASIONS series, the Paris-based photographer and installation artist aims to use balloons to alter the way people perceive familiar things and spaces.


“It is our way of looking at things that I am trying to transform and revive, and therefore make it possible to go beyond practical perception to esthetic experience: a visual emotion. The whiteness straightens the dualism, the contrast and absurdity versus the materials of the location,” the artist says. “The conjunction of the balloons’ abstracts shapes with the environments allows me to create improbable, poetical objects.”


Pétillon fills spaces from public play areas to buildings with bunches of different-sized white balloons hung on aluminum structures.
The installations have been photographed devoid of people, the balloons becoming the ghostly occupants of the spaces.



1,000 Light Paintings Form One Beautiful Stop-Motion Animation

Artist Darren Pearson draws with light. His latest stop-motion animation video, Lightspeed, contains 1,000 light paintings that have been seamlessly stitched together creating a visual glowing piece of moving art.


Pearson, who  has a background in both film and graphic design, became fascinated with the technique by happenstance. “My interest in light painting really started a couple years back when I saw the famous Picasso Draws a Centaur photo where he’s light painting. The second I realized that you can draw within a photograph, that’s what turned the light on for me,” says Pearson.


To create a light painting, Pearson waits until dusk or evening and sets his camera on a tripod. He then takes a photo with a long exposure—usually between two and seven minutes. While the shutter is open he jumps in front of the camera and “paints” with various tools that resemble flashlights. The result is clever, engrossing images teetering between fantasy and reality. Though his illustrations appear to manifest with ease, the process can be tedious and labor intensive.


Lightspeed features different light beings exploring the California wilderness at night. Each frame had to be photographed, animated, and signed by Pearson himself—a project he said took a full year. “Most nights I was in the middle waving in the wilderness like a fool with LED lights,” Pearson told Petapixel, “like I was on my own at a rave.”







The Museum of Stolen Art – a virtual art experience

Imagine wandering through a gallery space – you see a somehow familiar abstract bronze sculpture out of the corner of your eye. You stroll into the next room and there stands a sculpture of a rustic landscape painting. Just then you hear a voice say “For looted art go to your left, for art theft go to your right.”
Welcome to the Museum of Stolen Art, created by Israeli artist and technologist Ziv Schneider – the first virtual reality museum dedicated to art theft. This is no ordinary museum: it’s the home of artworks whose whereabouts are currently unknown – a place only accessible via Oculus Rift and a Playstation controller. You explore at your own pace as an audio guide explains the history of the different works.

Museum of Stolen Art

Schneider was first inspired while surfing the Interpol website, flipping from databases of wanted criminals and missing persons to art theft. The fact that art and crime could exist on a single plane fascinated her. What if, she pondered, she could pull disappeared art out of thin air?
The museum’s goal isn’t just to create a metaphorical space wherein people can admire artworks they can’t see anywhere else, but to give visibility to art that is otherwise impossible to see on a museum wall, and also to familiarize the public with stolen items in order to assist in the their recovery. Another goal is to bring attention to the subject of cultural theft, especially as a result of war and conflict.

Museum of Stolen Art
Schneider wants attendees to leave educated and ready to take action. Echoing her thoughts, the museum guide chimes in, “If you come across any of these pieces outside of a museum, please report immediately to the International Police.”


Museum of Stolen Art Museum of Stolen Art Museum of Stolen Art




Imagine Autumn in Berlin. The days are getting shorter and darker; the weather is getting colder. But one event that’s part spectacle and part celebration of light continues to draw millions of tourists to this historic city every year – The Jahre Festival of Lights.


For more than 10 years now, the Festival of Lights has transformed the parks, streets and historic architecture into illuminated works of art – imagine the Brandenburg Gate illuminated with a neon skyline view of Berlin, or the Berlin TV Tower illuminated in brilliant hues of blues, greens, and reds. Light installations, 3D video-mapping installations and theatrical performance incorporate light as art to make this a multi media event.



For the 10 year anniversary in 2014 German art collective DUNDU put on a special performance (click here for video)   to mark the 10th anniversary of the festival, as did Grotest Maru, who performed an illuminated ‘facade dance’ (click here for video) 


With the success in Berlin Birgit Zander – the woman behind the concept and brand – and her agency Zander & Partner Event Marketing, are planning to expand it into an international network with cities around the world transforming through the beautiful and illuminating power of light as art. In November 2014, the first New York Festival of Light kicked off in the Big Apple adapting the model of the Berlin show to the American metropolis.