“…And God Saw The Light And Said It Was Good”

Yesterday I had the pleasure of showing you the Winston-Salem Light Project in North Carolina.  Today we take a trip around the globe to see other illuminating lighting events.

First Stop New York City…

On Election Day we watched as CNN projected winner in each state; the iconic spire of the Empire State Building  displayed the race to 270 electoral votes with the building’s spiffy new LED lights—blue for the Democrat, and red for the Republican.

Tower of Empire State Building Election Night 2012

Two days ago the buildings new energy-efficient LED lights were on full display again, swaying in sync to the music of Alecia Keys tunes “Girl on Fire” and “Empire State of Mind.”   This is the first ever light show for the building, word is, it won’t be the last!

Synchronized Light Show Empire State Building 2012

Each November the Glow Festival in Eindhoven, Netherlands buts on a fantastic show.  let’s have a look at the 2011 show, designed by  Luminarie De Cagna

30,000 LED lights come together to create a “Dome of Lights”,  Photo by Truus, Bob & Jan of Holland Eindhoven, Netherlands

Dome of Lights by  Luminarie De Cagna erected over statue of Aton Philips co-founder of the Philips Company (Royal Philips Electronics), Photo by Truus, Bob & Jan of Holland

Dome of Lights by Luminarie De Cagna Glow Festival  Eindhoven, Netherlands, Photo by Truus, Bobo & Jan of Holland

The Swiss Company Projektil projected 3D images onto and inside of De Catharinakerk (the Catharina Church), bring the chapel to life with both static and scrolling images.  The dazzling display both illuminating and engaging.

Catharinakerk te Endhoven, design by Projektil Glow Light Festival,  Eindhoven, Netherlands

Catharinakerk te Endhoven, design by Projektil Glow Light Festival, Eindhoven, Netherlands

Catharinakerk te Endhoven, design by Projektil Glow Light Festival, Eindhoven, Netherlands

If one weren’t a believer yet, try the heavenly Renaissance & Romanesque LED “Cathedral of Lights”  At the 2012 Light Festival (held in January) in Ghent Belgium, also a creation of  Luminarie De Cagna.

2012 Light Festival, by Luminarie De Cagna, Ghent, Belgium.

2012 Light Festival, by Luminarie De Cagna, Ghent, Beliugm

2012 Light Festival,  by Luminarie De Cagna in Ghent, Belgium

Each year in October, Berlin is turned in to a large light festival for 2 weeks.  Artists from around the world light up over 70 famous landmarks throughout the city.

Brandenburg Gate Festival of Lights Berlin

Berlin Cathedral in the Museum Island district Festival of Lights Berlin

Festival of Light Berlin

In the park, Festival of Lights Berlin

And finally each November Loy Krathong festival takes place on the evening of the full moon in the traditional Thai lunar calendar.  In an incredibly beautiful and simplistic display, a host of thousands of ‘khom loy’ (floating lanterns) are launched into the night sky.  Along with these lanterns bad spirits and misfortune are expelled.

Floating lanterns  launched at Loy Kratong Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand

A unique view of a “khom loy” with back-drop of fireworks at Loy Kratong Festival, Photo Bob Asawa (above) & Mark Fischer (beneath)

Floating lanterns at Loy Kratong Festival, Photo By Bob Asawa & Mark Fischer

Fireworks and lanterns at Loy Kratong Festival, Photo by Bob Asawa & Mark Fischer

lanterns float away at Loy Kratong Festival Chiang Mai, Thailand

I guess this puts Christmas decorating in a whole new “light”.  Tell me what you think.

Benji

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At Sunset in November…

Each November after the sun sets, the faculty and students at University Of North Carolina School of the Arts transform the city-scape of Downtown Winston-Salem, with a delightful and amazing state of the art show of illumination.  The project launches the annual Six Days in November Festival; an event full of music, plays and performances.  But for me, the highlight of the week is the light show.

This year UNCSA, illuminated Winston Square Park with large inflatables animated with projection lighting.  Here are a few images of the 2012 show and previous shows…

Winston Square Park Winston-Salem Light Project 2012

Winston Square Park Winston-Salem Light Project 2012

Winston Square Park Winston-Salem Light Project 2012

The Stevens Center Winston-Salem Light Project 2011

The Stevens Center Winston-Salem Light Project 2011

The Stevens Center Winston-Salem Light Project 2011

Stevens Center Winston-Salem Light Project 2011

Stevens Center  Winston-Salem Light Project 2011

Window Winston-Salem Light Project 2010

The Winston-Salem Journal Building Winston-Salem Light Project 2010

Downtown 4th Street Winston-Salem Light Project 2010

The Pepper Building Winston-Salem Light Project 2009

The Pepper Building Winston-Salem Light Project 2009

The Pepper Building Winston-Salem Light Project 2009

The Pepper Building Winston-Salem Light Project 2009

 The 2008 Project was the first and, in my opinion, most spectacular of them all!

The Millennium Center Winston-Salem Light Project 2008

The Millennium Center Winston-Salem Light Project 2008

The Millennium Center Winston-Salem Light Project 2008

The Millennium Center Winston-Salem Light Project 2008

The Millennium Center Winston-Salem Light Project 2008

Tomorrow we’ll look at other November light festivals around the globe.

Benji

425 Million Dollars and Dorothy’s Dream House!

Well it’s happened again.  The Powerball Lottery is over 200 million dollars and I went to the convenance store, with fanciful ideas of winning dancing around in my head, and bought a ticket.  Each time this happens I dream about using my massive winnings to build my dream home.  If you’re familiar with Dorothy Rodgers it will come as no surprise that  my thoughts drift to her saga of the pleasures and pain of building her dream house.  The book, The House in My Head, written in 1967, tells her story.  But the home even today proves to be well ahead of its time, and has become required reading for anyone who is considering building or even remodeling their own home.

Rodgers thoughtfully designed, the glorious Fairfield, Connecticut home for her and husband, famous American Composer Richard Rodgers, has new owners and a new designer, Susan Zises Green, in tow.  Lets have a look at the house then and now…

Dorothy And Dick Rodgers Home Fairfield Connecticut.

It seems a bit ironic that I begin the tour with exterior of the home since Rodgers and her Architect did just the opposite; they designed the house from the inside out.  In fact it was well after the rooms were configured and finished chosen that thy even gave a thought to how the outside would appear.

View of entry hall, Dorothy and Dick Rodgers house. From The House in My Head

The hall connecting the bedrooms with the entertaining area and the service areas of the house.  If it had been my design I would have had a much larger & longer hallway.  One of the best parties I attended took place, for the most part, in the hallway.  But Dorothy wanted this house to function like a machine with as little maintenance and housekeeping as possible.

A view of the Living and dining area from the built in buffet, Rodgers solution to Servers at dinner parties.  From The House in My Head.

One of the “unique” designs for the time was the buffet that connected the pantry to the living & dining area. Dorothy wanted this house to function with as little household help as possible. By having a buffet installed, it enabled dinner guest to help themselves, eliminating the need for Servers at dinner parties.  Rodgers also did away with a formal dining room; now doesn’t that sound like a 21st century concept.

A view from the swimming pool of the central living area flanked by an outdoor sitting porch on the left and dining porch on the right.  From The House in My Head.

The swimming pool was central to the design of the home, and large windows from the Great room offer an indoor/outdoor feeling.  The pool was where the Rodgers entertained during the summer months, it also offered  sweeping views of the valley below. The Private quarters are to the left and the service room on on the right side of the house.

Side hallway connecting the bedrooms.  From The House in My Head

Dorothy was particularly fond of the strategically placed skylights throughout the house.  “There’s a fascinating, almost continual change of intensity that moves, in a row of skylights, from the first to the next, then the next as the earth turns away from the sun”, said Rodgers.

A view of Dorothy’s Bedroom.  From The House in My Head.

Dorothy’s Bedroom.  Not only did she and her husband have separate bedrooms, but separate baths and dressing rooms also.  A very outdated arrangement, but for every passé idea, but I’m sure many wives today would opt out of sharing a bathroom with their husband.

Dorothy thoughtfully designed and decorated here home herself: the new owners recruited New York Interior Designer, Susan Zises Green to give the home a 21st century appeal.  Here’s what she came up with…

A View of the new living room decor. Photo used by permission Photo by John Kernick.

The result; a much more cozy room.  It’s easy to spot the minor architectural changes, a couple of bookcases removed, the enclosure of the sitting porch, and the addition of a chandelier, but I must say we’ve come a long way in the area of comfort in our interiors.  It seems as if there’s not an uncomfortable seat in the room.

New entry hall, photo used by permission, Photo by John Kernick.

Dorothy wrestled with the idea of wallpaper, thinking white to be “more effective”.  Today the subtle green & white wallpaper seem to obtain the same effect.  The ferns, flowers and rack full of straw hats give the house a country home feeling.

seating area in living room, photo used by permission. Photo by John Kernick.

A seating area is in what use to be the dining area. The tile floors have been replaced with hardwoods.  One disappointment is that ingenious buffet I raved about earlier has been removed, but was no longer useful when the dining area had been moved to create a more formal dining room.

sitting room, photo used by permission. Photo by John Kernick.

Today the cozy sitting room has been enclosed in what was the sitting porch.  The 19th century prints of hunting dogs and floral fabrics give the room a country air.

A view of dining room in what was the dining porch. Photo used by permission. Photo by John Kernick.

Here is the earlier mention dining room in what was the dining porch.

Mater Bedroom. Photo used by permission. Photo by John Kernick.

 In House Beautiful magazine, Green says, “When you’re the parents of six children, you absolutely need a retreat”.  And what a lovely retreat this turned out to be. I’m certain The parents share bedrooms.

There you have it then and now.  I can only imagine how thrilled Dorothy and Dick must be to look down from above and see this beautiful reinterpretation of what was their beloved country home.

FYI some additional changes to the home; the centrally located pool has been moved, the greenhouse has been removed, and the Spanish Doors at the entry, Mrs. Rodgers took with her when she sold the home, after Dicks death in 1979.

If you’d like a copy of the House in My Head Click on the book cover below to order.

As always, I’m dying to know what you think if you won 425 million dollars, who would you have design your dream home?  Comments are ALWAYS welcome.

Benji

Hadid Takes the Prizes!

Zaha Hadid Won!  The Japan Sports council announced yesterday Hadid as the winner of the competition to replace the existing national stadium built for the 1964 Summer Olympics.  Japan’s New National stadium is scheduled to open in 2018  and it’s first gig will be the 2019 Rugby World Cup, the 80,000-seater stadium will also play a key role in  Tokyo’s bid to  host the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Zaha Hadid Photo by Simone-Cecchetti

Hadid is no stranger to such large notable design projects, she designed the Eli and Edy Broad Art Museum at MSU, the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Arts in Cincinnati, the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London and the Nordekettenbahn, in Austria, to name a few. She is one of the most sought after architects in the world, and thought to be one of the most powerful women in the world.

Born in Baghdad on October 31, 1950, Zaha Hadid graduated in mathematics at the American University of Beirut. After that she moved to London and began her course at the Architectural Association School of Architecture.

rendering of stadium

“I have worked in Japan for 30 years. Our three decades of research into Japanese architecture and urbanism is evident in our winning design and we greatly look forward to building the new National Stadium,” said Ms. Hadid in a statement released Thursday. “The design is both light and cohesive, seamlessly connecting the stadium’s different elements to create a silhouette that integrates with the city.”

rendering of stadium interior

rendering of stadium interior

rendering of stadium interior

It’s always exciting when another huge exciting architectural project takes form anywhere around the globe, and the Olympics seem to be the catalysis for such projects.  What do you think?  How does it stack up against your favorite modern structure?

Benji

Finalists Announced for National Stadium Japan

National Stadium Beijing, Herzog & de Meuron, photo by combinatorial

Remember the  spectacular “Bird’s Nest” from the 2008 Summer Olympics in China.   Well hold to your seats because Japan has announced the 11semifinalist for the new National Stadium in Japan, which will replace the existing stadium designed for the 1964 Summer Olympics.  Here are the entries in no particular order.

Cox Architecture pty Ltd, Alastair Ray Richardson, photo Japan Sports Council

Populous, Rod Sheard, photo Japan Sports Council

UNStuio/Yamashita Sekkei, photo Japan Sports Council

Zaha Hadid Architects, Zaha Hadid, photo Japan Sports Council

Tabanlioglu Architects Consultancy Limited Company, Ihsan Murat Tabanlioglu photo Japan Sports Council

Ihsan Murat Tabanlioglu, Tane / Architects & A+Architecture, photo Japan Sports Council

Azusa Sekkei Co. Ltd, photo Japan Sports Council

Toyo Ito & Associates Architects, photo Japan Sports Council

Sanaa + Nikken Sekkei Ltd, photo Japan Sports Council

gmp International Gmbh, Hubert Nienhoff, photo Japan Sports Council

Mitsuru Man Senda and Environment Design Institute, photo Japan Sports Council

  One entry will be selected for first, second, and third prizes.  The award ceremony will be held later this month.  I will keep you posted. I’ve already chosen my favorite.  Which one is your favorite?

Benji

Going Once…Going Twice…Sold! A Frank Lloyd Wright Home Saved

 Many of you have heard about the looming threat by a Phoenix developer to demolish the David Wright House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Yesterday I learned that the home has been spared the wrecking ball.   It’s been reported that an unnamed buyer who plans on restoring the home to its original slender is currently under contract.  The selling price: $2.4 million!

Photo by Scott Jarson,azarchitecture.com ©2012 Photo courtesy of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy

 It’s a hefty price but considering its historical importance and the uniqueness of this particular FLW home, still a wise investment.  You simply shouldn’t delete history!

Photo by Scott Jarson,azarchitecture.com ©2012 Photo courtesy of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy

The home holds an abundance of memories for the Wright family. They occupied “Spiral House” until 2008 when David’s widow passed away at the age of 104.  I hope its new owners create a centuries worth of memories to add to this home’s rich past.

Photo by Scott Jarson,azarchitecture.com ©2012 Photo courtesy of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy

 The house has a spiral design, with a long curved entry ramp that serves as  a precursor for the famed cylindrical design of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.

Photo by Scott Jarson,azarchitecture.com ©2012 Photo courtesy of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy

The iconic rug designed by Wright for the living room has been separated from the house.  It was put up for auction by a previous owner in 2010.  The rug sold for $16,000 much less than it’s estimated value of  $40,000 to $60,000.

Photo by Scott Jarson,azarchitecture.com ©2012 Photo courtesy of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy

A quick Google search lead me to the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, where I discovered a hoard of information on FLW as well as a list of some Frank Lloyd Wright residences on the market. Below are just a few other Frank Lloyd Wright historical homes being offered for sale.

T r a c y   R e s i d e n c e

Normandy Park, Washington

1955

Nestled among mature trees on a water-front property with views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains you will find the Tracy Residence.  The home is an example of Usonian Automatic design consisting of over 1,700 concrete blocks.  The Tracy’s cast the blocks themselves.  Tracy House is called the “Jewel Box”.  I imagine it’s because of the light that literally pierces through and floods the home, reflecting off its tiled floors.  The home is full of rich textures, geometric properties, and wonderfully enchanting details.  The asking price is $949,000.

Tracy Residence Photo courtesy of Larry Woodin, Executor

Tracy Residence Photo courtesy of Larry Woodin, Executor

Tracy Residence Photo courtesy of Larry Woodin, Executor

A n d r e w  &  M a u d e   C o o k e   H o u s e

Virginia Beach, Virginia

1953

As one approaches the Cooke house they’re welcome by a copper cantilevered roof, a sweeping curved 70 foot great room with vaulted ceiling, and large fireplace.  Cooke House is a variation of FLW’s hemicycle style.  Designed in 1953,  construction started in 1959, two weeks before FLW’s death.  The furniture for this home was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, including, my favorite feature, the incredible 40 foot sofa in the great room.  Can you imagine the memorable parties one could throw in this house?  The asking price is $3,750.00.

Cooke House Photo courtesy of Daniel Duhl flwrightbeachhouse.com

Cooke House Photo courtesy of Daniel Duhl flwrightbeachhouse.com

Cooke House Photo courtesy of Daniel Duhl flwrightbeachhouse.com

Cooke House Photo courtesy of Daniel Duhl flwrightbeachhouse.com

Cooke House Photo courtesy of Daniel Duhl flwrightbeachhouse.com

Cooke House Photo courtesy of Daniel Duhl flwrightbeachhouse.com

A.  W.   G r i d l e y   R e s i d e n c e

Batavia, Illinois

1096

Nick named “Ravine House” because of the ravine sloping wildflowers of the south end of the house.  The Gridley Residence is a very good example of Wright’s Prairie School style.  One unique feature of this home is that is has clear glass as opposed to stained glass, because Wright wanted the owners to view the beautiful trees around the property.   And what a property it is!  The home is situated on 2.3 acres of land.  The original plan included a stucco wall surrounding the front  which has been removed and a barn that was never built.  The house is currently under contract.

Gridley Residence Photo courtesy of Linda Mahaney Coldwell Banker Residential

Gridley Residence Photo courtesy of Linda Mahaney Coldwell Banker Residential

Gridley Residence Photo courtesy of Linda Mahaney Coldwell Banker Residential

To find more information about Frank Lloyd Wright and other residences for sale please visit the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy.

Is there a particular Frank Lloyd house you would like to see more of or perhaps own? Let me know.  The comment button is at the top right of this post.

Benji

All photos used by special permission.

An earnest thank you to the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy and the owners, brokers and executors of these unique American treasures, for allowing me to share these photos with you.