Showing posts with label Design. Show all posts

Text | Maria Aslam
Photography | Gary Otte, Janet Kimber & Maria Aslam

Building Facts
Architect: Maki and Associates, Tokyo
Architect of record: Moriyama and Teshima Architects, Toronto
Landscape architect: Vladimir Djurovic Landscape Architecture, Lebanon
Museography: Studio Adrien Gardère, Paris
The site: 6.8 hectares

Museum gross floor area: 10,500 square metres
Size of galleries: 1,800 square metres
Size of collections storage: 620 square metres
Seats in auditorium: 350

Height of auditorium roof: 19.8 metres
Period from design to completion: 2004 to 2014

On the highway, short of Don Valley Parkway, a glimpse of the new addition of a Museum in Toronto is clearly visible. Situated away from the downtown area a major district of Museums and academia, itself is a statement and with such an iconic contemporary architecture amongst nondescript entities of sky-rises; it’s the distance and the distinction from its surroundings that reinforces its massive appeal in the design conundrums. In todays sprawling cityscapes the addition of any museum is distinctly urban and urbane specially Toronto; that boasts of a number of Museums equally designed by Star architects hence The Aga Khan Museum, the very first North America’s monument to Islamic art and founded by The Aga Khan renowned world over as an architecture aficionado, who was involved in the project from concept to materialization, it is known to all that His Highness himself selected the iridescent granite cubes that adorn the façade; is set to make a statement both in architecture and culture. The Museum a white gleaming Brazilian granite masterpiece adds to its distinction from its surroundings and creates an oasis of history, learning and entertainment; an oasis that once you enter, you leave the world behind.

With the lush gardens and the five reflective pools outside its front door and its inner-sanctum, open-air courtyard—entered from inside the building and ringed by walls of glass and wooden latticework so that light from outside projects dancing shadows into the museum over the course of the day—it is clear that this is a labour of love. But that is not all; The Ismaili Centre, Toronto is situated, together with the Aga Khan Museum, within a 6.8-hectare landscaped park, a new space for the public that showcases the work of three renowned architects. Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki designed the Aga Khan Museum, while Indian architect Charles Correa designed the Ismaili Centre and architect Vladimir Djurovic of Lebanon designed the Park, which features a formal garden. The Canadian firm Moriyama & Teshima are the architects for the entire project and responsible for integrating all aspects of the project.


Text: Ruqayya Rizwan
Photography: Ahmed Shajee Aijazi

Encountering space is a unique human experience. It amalgamates romanticism of art and literature, functionality and ergonomics of design and timelessness of brick and mortar. The experience itself engages maximum of our senses at the same time. For most part what we perceive as a visual treat is actually a sensory treat and therefore I can say with confidence if I entered a Rizwan Sadiq house with my eyes closed and ears shut I would be able to tell right away where I was, just like one can tell when one reaches home after a vacation.

Rizwan Sadiq is a contemporary architect. He finds his voice through the mechanics of building a space primarily through a plan. All credit due to his teachers and specially his mentor Tariq Hassan. A plan is the foundation of his houses. Elevation follows the plan. Everything else follows the plan and rightly so for you can live in a space that allows you flexibility and lets you grow as years pass by. If you ask Rizwan what is the strength of his plan he is likely to say his client’s lifestyle. If you ask me the same question I would say it’s the designer’s tribute to light as it falls upon a site.

Shells and doorknobs, closets and attics, old towers and peasant huts are pleasant memories of our childhood…..or are they memories of “the home”. As per  Bachelard (in his book Poetics of Space) admits that every house is first a geometrical object of planes and right angles, but ask his reader to ponder how such rectilinearity so welcomes human complexity, idiosyncrasy and how the house adapts to its inhabitants.
How does the body, not merely the mind remember the feel of the latch in a long-forsaken childhood home? If the house is the first universe for its young children, the first cosmos, how does its space shape all subsequent knowledge of other space, of any larger cosmos? Is a house “a group of organic habits” or even something deeper, the shelter of the imagination itself?
As we listen to the geometry of built spaces, the echoes dignifying and distinguishing every old house, every experienced house, the probe is the impact of human habitation on geometrical forms, and the impact of the form upon human inhabitants.
So how do we sum it; a house is a nest for dreaming, a shelter for imagining or is always a container, sometimes contained, the house serves as the portal to metaphors and imagination. From time immemorial hoses have had a mystifying curious appeal, each into his own, especially when architects try to define a house, an abode a shelter
-          “A house that has been experienced is not an inert box. Inhabited space transcends geometrical space.”
-            All architecture is shelter, all great architecture is the design of space that contains, cuddles, exalts, or stimulates the person in that space.

-          "The house is a machine for living in." (Vers une architecture, 1923)
-          Houses are built to live in, not to look on; therefore, let use be preferred before uniformity, except where both may be had. Francis Bacon, Essays of Buildings
-          "The physician can bury his mistakes, but the architect can only advise his clients to plant vines." Frank Lloyd Wight New York Times Magazine (4 Oct. 1953).
-          I believe that architects should design gardens to be used, as much as the houses they build, to develop a sense of beauty and the taste and inclination toward the fine arts and other spiritual values.  Luis Barragan
-           These cities of 20 million and 30 million people, with densities of thousands of families per acre, they require new inventions to humanize that mega-scale, to find a way in which, though we live densely and though we live one on top of each other, we still want nature, and we still want sunlight and we still want the garden, and we still want all the qualities that make a place humane. And that's our responsibility. Moshie Safdie

Text: Maria Aslam

Photography: courtesy Naheed Mashooqullah Studio for Architecture & Design

Nothing deters the masses to watch a great movie that has had raving reviews, a stupendous box office opening or a steam roller caste……but for us Karachiites big movie or not watching movies is a great way of getting away from the daily works and stresses, the sudden play of city coming to a halt, the ever changing political scenario, the hide and seek of power fluctuations……….. all of this can be best taken care off by going to the cinemas.

A great cinema experience was a story of the bygone era when various cinema halls on the main artery of M. A Jinnah road competed with each other and then a long story of a society deadened in culture and art followed that naturally killed the art of filmmaking and cinema viewing as well.

Hence going to cinema and that also creatively designed with state of the art facilities is definitely a new entity to the recreation-starved city of Karachi. The cinemas have revived (hopefully) good film making and released a spirit of verve and enjoyment to the masses especially the youth of the society

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