Shop Talk

The world’s deepest swimming

A little light relief this balmy Monday courtesy of Daily Mail Online. Brussels, Belgium now hosts the world’s deepest swimming pool, Nemo 33. At 113 feet (34.5 metres) deep and containing 2.5 million litres of water it’s not your average liesure-centre-haunt. Nemo 33 was designed by Belgian diving expert John Beernaerts as a multi-purpose diving instruction, recreational and film production facility (no doubt we’ll see some snaps of James Cameron in his wet suit before long). Some of the photos are pretty...

Read more
James Wood

Guest Post: Designed in Hackney​

On Wednesday STL companion Matthew Wood spent the day at ‘Designed in Hackney’. Here are a few of his highlights: This week Dezeen – in collaboration with Beatice Galilee – hosted an event to celebrate all things designed in Hackney. The event focused on emerging young architects and designers whose work ranges from shoe design to Olympic Park installations. Hackney is known widely for its diverse creative industry and as we soon found out, even the Olympic Torch was...

Read more
Shop Talk

London 2012 Architecture: Basketball Arena

Following on from the Shooting Arena last week, another temporary, reusable*  and sustainable venue has been constructed this summer. The new Basketball Arena is one of the largest temporary structures ever built for a Games. Like the shooting venue, the tent-like structure is made from a kit of parts, containing 20,000 square metres of a recyclable white PVC fabric that forms individual curved shapes creating an overall canvas. The membrane will also host spectacular lighting displays throughout the Games. The 12,000-seat stadium was designed by Sinclair...

Read more
James Wood

London 2012 Architecture: Shooting Arena

Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be taking a look at a selection of venues, stadiums, parks and spaces that have been upgraded or created for the London 2012 Olympics. The LOCOG committee have commissioned some truly breathtaking pieces of architecture that not only demonstrates the wonderful talent we have here in the UK, but what the rest of the world has to offer. Up first – shooting. One of the biggest concerns raised throughout the buildup to London 2012 has been...

Read more
James Wood

Solar Sinter by Markus Kayser

According to professor Brian Cox in Wonders of the Solar System, the sun produces more energy in a second than 1 million times the power used by the US in an entire year. Cleverly, Markus Kayser has found a way of making things out of it. His ‘Solar Sinter‘ project uses similar principles of the rapid prototyping technique in which powdered plastics and metals are melted together very precisely by a laser to form an accurate physical counterpart of...

Read more
Joe Haire

Architectonic Installations

At a glance a miniature metallic metropolis of towers and blocks fluctuating in density and grain, upon closer inspection a floor covered in staples. Ephemicropolis, an installation by artist Peter Root, covers 18 sqm of the Northern Trust Atrium in Guernsey. He describes his work as the result of a conflict between laborious repetition and playfulness – in this case 40 hours of breaking and arranging hundreds of rows of staples into a miniature city. The piece, like many...

Read more
Joe Haire

All the way from Mexico

I’ve been meaning to get this post up for a couple of weeks. Currently, two of my favourite design agencies operate over 5,000 miles from London and only 3 miles from each other. Studio Savvy and Anagrama are based in the Nuevo León, Mexico, and are a testament to some of the best design and creative work coming from central America. Both agencies have a wonderful diversity of projects across multiple-disciplines, from architecture to graphic design. Certainly a suitable reference for Shop Talk. Be sure to...

Read more
James Wood

Too Dutch?

An interesting building from a couple of years ago – the Inntel Hotel Amsterdam-Zaandam, Zaanstad by WAM architecten. A neotraditional heap of the green painted canal houses completed in 2010. The architects described it as the new centres ‘eyecatcher’ which it certainly is. The building brakes all ties with the conventional appearance of town centre hotels; its 12 storeys clad in a varying collection of projecting stacked façades based on traditional Zaanstad houses. Wilfried van Windens, chief architect of...

Read more
Joe Haire