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Astley Castle Stirling  Witherford Watson Mann - surface and surfaceIt was announced this evening that Witherford Watson Mann Architects have won the RIBA Stirling Prize, an architectural equivalent to the Mercury Prize. The project consists of the preservation and conservation of the 12th century Astley Castle structure in Nuneaton, North Warwickshire for the Landmark Trust. The sensitive insertion by Witherford Watson Mann provides new accommodation within the previously fire damaged castle ruin. Although my money wasn’t on this one I have to admit it really is a beautifully unique building with well crafted details and stunning interiors. As it’s part of the Landmark Trust it’s technically a holiday home that’s open to use by the public. No doubt it’s already booked out for the next few years after this evenings event but you can check that here.

www.wwmarchitects.co.uk

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mona kuhn - surface and surfaceVenetian images from LA based photographer Mona Kuhn. Born in Brazil with German parents, Mona’s work is mainly figurative but seems to take studies of the surrounding landscape during shoots. I really like these semi submerged photographs of the Venetian waterways. Mona Kuhn is represented by the Flowers Gallery in London and New York, and you can find more work on her site below.

www.monakuhn.com

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carlos cruz-diez - surface and surface 1 Beautiful lighting installation by Venezuelan Artist Carlos Cruz-Diez. Cruz-Diez work is about the viewers interaction without any need for cultural context. He works with silk-screen prints, video, architectural models, and traditional paintings. Olafur Eliasson has done similar chromatic works if you’re interested in seeing more of this kind of stuff.

www.cruz-diez.com

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BIG - Phoenix observation tower - surface and surfaceCopenhagen and New York based Architects BIG’s (Bjarke Ingels Group) design for a mixed use Observation Tower in Phoenix, Arizona. Influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum rotunda, the tower marks a pin in the city to provide a new identity to the sky line. The oversize lollipop like structure towers 130 meters above the city consisting of a reinforced concrete and an open-air spiral sphere.

www.big.dk

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francis matthews - surface and surfaceAmazing photo-real paintings from Irish Artist Francis Matthews. Francis works from photographs he takes around Dublin city, always looking for an interesting lighting effects and dynamic compositions. His technique is time consuming but the results are mind-blowing. He is currently working on an exhibition which will be held early in 2013. Francis’s work is available through Cherry Lane Fine Arts. You can see an interview with Francis Matthews put together by Chutney Films below.

www.francismatthews.ie

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Nendo - Bird Apartment : Tree House surface and surfaceA Tree house that’s for the Birds by Japanese design studio Nendo. The tree house is located in  a forest in Komoro City in Japan’s mountainous Nagano Prefecture and contains 78 separate spaces for birds to nest while providing accommodation for the ornithological enthusiast to have an auld snoop. There’s a mammoth amount of great furniture and product design from Nendo on their site but do check out the exhibition they did with Philips de Pury in the Saatchi Gallery, London in 2011 entitled ‘Think Black Lines’.

www.nendo.jp

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Kevin Bauman - 100 abandoned houses - surface and surfaceThe City of Detroit has an area of over 225 square kilometers, which is about the size of San Fran, Boston and Manhattan Island combined but with a population of 700,000. With the reduction in population by over half in the last 60 years and the masses of area; large amounts of the city have become completely abandoned; leaving waste lands of burned out houses where packs of wild dogs roam feeding from rubbish dumped by opportunistic passers by. Over the last 10 years Denver based Photographer Kevin Bauman has documented these houses in a series entitled ‘100 abandoned houses’.

www.kevinbauman.com

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