Archive for June, 2011

50 Architects You Should Know

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2011 by vincentloy

The title of this post above refers to the exact title of a book by Prestel and written by Isabel Kuhl, Kristina Lowis and Sabine Thiel-Siling. I bought this book early this year and I never had a chance to complete the book not until just now, when I finally flipped to the last page of the book. I would rather say this is a good book to read and to spend your time, but still not informative enough with lack of explanation of told concepts behind some architects as well as lock of images which are far useful than words.

It is a thin book with around two to four pages dedicated to each architects listed from the Renaissance period whom many I do not recognize up till famous architects nowadays whom I have known almost all of their names from their masterpieces, or from their distinctive approaches in architecture.  There is an excerpt at the back of the book which basically summarizes the content of it;

‘Bold structures, dignified splendor, innovative designs – in all eras there have been architects of outstanding vision who have decisively shaped our towns and cities worldwide. In this volume, 50 of the most important architects since the Renaissance are brought together and represented by their major works. Lively accounts of their designs and careers are supplemented by additional information about architectural styles and historical contexts, making this book a unique and highly accessible work of reference.’

This book is useful and interesting if you wish to have a rough and basic ideas of each architectural styles or approaches by every architects listed. However, certain information seems to be unnecessary like mentioning of the architect’s background in too detail that did not help in his/her progress or interest in the field. Some examples of the works are just mentioned without the aid of even a single picture of it. However, I find the words used in this book are very well written and the content is very much written based on language of architecture which I can learn and apply to my future works too. It is very beneficial in mastering impressive English vocabularies for that.

So, here below is the list of the 50 architects you should know and how many of them do you recognize? Some of the architects are mentioned in the name of firm (a group or partner) which they are successful or famous not in individual basis but in that particular group. Hence, actually more than 50 architects are mentioned. They are Alvar Aalto, Tadao Ando, Leon Battista Alberti, Gunter Behnisch, Gianlorenzo Bernini, Donato Bramante, Filipino Brunelleschi, Daniel Burnham, Norman Foster, Antoni Gaudi, Frank O. Gehry, Von Gerkan and Marg Und Partner, Walter Gropius, Zaha Hadid, Herzog and de Meuron, Steven Holl, Victor Horta, Toyo Ito, Thomas Jefferson, Philip Johnson, Louis I. Kahn, Rem Koolhaas, Le Corbusier, Nicolas Ledoux, Daniel Libeskind, Richard Meier, Michelangelo, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Rafael Moneo, Balthasar Neumann, Richard Neutra, Oscar Niemeyer, Jean Nouvel, Andrea Palladio, Ieoh Ming Pei, Cesar Pelli, Auguste Perret, Renzo Piano, Gerrit Rietveld, Richard Rogers, Aldo Rossi, Eero Saarinen, Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Gottfried Semper, SOM – Skidmore, Owings and Merill, Louis Sullivan, Kenzo Tange, Otto Wagner, Christopher Wren and Frank Lloyd Wright.

Some other famous architects that I have known but are not on the list in the book is Carlo Scarpa, Peter Zumthor, Glenn Murcutt, Robert Venturi, Kengo Kuma, Kohn Pedersen Fox, Terry Farrell, Kisho Kurokawa, Sir James Stirling, Jorn Utzon, and some others I might have forgotten at the moment. Many of the architects had even won the highest architecture honour, the Prtizker Prize in their respective year of fame. It seems like now I am writing a review for book too…haha…no, I just want to share my view on the book after I have read the whole book recently.


Last submission for the semester; Furniture

Posted in Interesting Encounters on June 29, 2011 by vincentloy

Yesterday, the main reason for meeting my friends is not for movie, but is for the last submission of the semester. Based on the study calendar, this week is Week 18, which all the marks were supposed to have keyed into the system, moderated and closed…and yet, there is still one more submission for us yesterday which is the furniture assignment in group. The presentation board for that particular furniture had been submitted last week.

Yesterday’s morning after having dim sum breakfast, we went straight to Puchong to collect our furnitures. Our furniture is actually a multi purpose reading shelf which can provide seating as well as plane for table function to users. There are many units of varying sizes on each parts which enable for placement of various reading materials. It is actually quite a simple design, but will provides many possibilities.

Part of the furniture hinged can be rotated out for the multiple functions, including creating a boundary specific for that reading corner. The top plane can be lifted up with help of hinge too so that a person can be fitted in and using that area as a table. All the parts are designed based on appropriate body’s anthropometrics. The whole furniture is in moderate size and is painted in white for a modern appearance (which looks like an IKEA’s furniture).

That’s it. Yesterday is the official last day of my semester, and the next time I would be in campus is probably for the registration for next semester which would begins around early August. So, now I am enjoying my one month holiday break before the final semester of my final year of study begins.

Movie review: X Men – First Class (2011)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2011 by vincentloy

Not only the movie’s title bears the phrase ‘first class’, but it is really a movie of the first class! In the beginning of its release or even much earlier when I have watched the trailer for this movie ‘X Men: First Class’, I had no intention or excitement on going to go for it, mainly due to lack of my memory towards the ‘X Men’ franchise by Marvel which the original one was way back long time ago.

Now, this movie is a reboot or a prequel (not a sequel, but in opposite), telling the story of how the ‘X Men’ group all started before the continuity on the few films released previously. However, the movie does not elaborate much on each of the group members’ background, and I think it is not necessary for that too as it would take over few hours just for that. Hence, this movie had this part cut short but still adequate enough to keep the story moving before the other successive films that have been released long time ago. So, this movie sets on a time over few decades ago, when there is rise in tension between United States and Russia which could evokes World War 3, as wished by the main villain of the film, Sebastian Shaw whom is one of the mutants too and possess super power. (what power? I will not tell to avoid spoiler) Here below is the official trailer of the film:

Professor Xavier (or in short, X) whom is actually another mutant while working as a professor in genetic mutation formed a group by recruiting other mutants and worked in team to prevent the success of the villain and his mutant assistants too. From this brief plot I mentioned, it is already very promising that many action scenes would be delivered due to some details which is only to be revealed when you watch the movie which evokes much fighting scenes involving use of different super powers. Those action-packed scenes are the ones that caught my attention the most.

Other parts of the movie will get you excited or you would even being brought deeper into the story itself which is very interesting indeed, as though you can really feel how the characters feel (especially the part when each X-Men members trying to control and maximise the use of their specific power). That part is not only serious-based, but also some humors are added to make it exciting yet enjoyable and entertaining, which includes the other parts of the movie that all lasted in about two hours; not too long and not too short which is just enough to make the whole film almost perfect.

The time allocated to each parts of the film is well planned and the whole framework is well crafted. The performance by the casts especially the main ones (all the X Men members) are very solid, good and natural, and further credit should be given to James McAvoy as Charles Xavier, Michael Fassbender as Magneto and Kevin Bacon as Sebastian, the main villain. The only part that I am a bit disappointed is where Sebastian which is seems so powerful but is killed in a very easy way and in a very quick period of time without any intense fighting scenes at the end. More emphasis should be given for that, on defeating the main villain, rather than his allies instead…nevermind, I’m still fine with it as usually the boss don’t need to fight the most.

The part when humans are involved is also very interesting especially at the end whom are not accepting the presence of mutants. The two nations (US and Russia) in the film joined force to defeat the mutants but is failed and even almost causing them to deal with the harm they ignited themselves. All these are stopped when the main character, Professor Xavier came to action (not really action, but few powerful words of advice). The movie also ends with a different manner of conclusion, and so don’t expect something very typical, happy or whatsoever which is a good and fresh thing for a movie’s ending.

Despite I’m freaking cold in the cinema’s hall during the time of the movie, but my attention was still in focus to the development of the story. That is how strong the movie performed. This is the coolest hall I am ever in for a movie, which is at IOI Mall, Puchong. I almost get sick and can’t stand the coolness any much longer. Okay…back to the movie, everything is brilliantly-created, except a little-bit-too-fake images of huge crashing scenes at the end. The CGI effects on this part is being ignored, but still it does shows out what it wanted to show and it is not too long. When a movie is too good until the reviewers like me mentioning till the every details of it (and notice I wrote a long review here, right?) , it means that the movie is really good, worth-watching and excellent.

By far, this is the best film of the year up until now, and it is the only movie I watched in the year that received a rating of over 8 from me, and even from IMDB. It received very positive reviews from many associations, websites and groups too, but I personally had my own view which is very positive also to the movie in all aspects. So, my rating finally for the movie is 8.1. If this isn’t going into for Oscar’s nomination for best film next year, I would be very disappointed. This is really a movie of first class.

Blog reached over 700 000 hits!

Posted in Explosive News and Results on June 24, 2011 by vincentloy

Previously the pattern comes like this; when the time my blog had 100 posts, the hits is around 100 000, when it’s around 200 posts, the hits is around 200 000, so on and so forth. Now, this is the 650th post of my blog and yet the blog has reached over 700 000 hits. The usual pattern goes off with escalating number of hits, furthering its distance with the number of posts here in my blog.

Is it that I can’t keep up the pace by posting fewer posts, and not reaching 700 posts at this point of time? Now, I’m only half way through between 600 and 700 posts……I don’t think so, because I frequently updated my blog with every way possible as long as I have some free time to go online or have something to share. If I keep writing useless posts just to reach 700 at this time, then it would be meaningless, right? So, I don’t mind the pattern goes off, as long as the number of hits keep increasing…then I am already satisfied no matter how many posts I put in my blog here.

I think two more months is needed for me to get to reach 700 posts, and by that time, 800 000 hits could even be achieved. In average, my blog received over 1000 hits daily, and it’s a good news, and hope that the graph showing the progress of my blog daily would remain or even kept increasing further…and to be honest, I would be very glad of that. To be honest, it is not easy to reach 700 000 hits and my blog did it today. It’s another historic and happy moment for me and my blog, today, dated 24th June 2011. Of course, this current achievement is not as great as those very famous blogs with countless of subscriptions or followers, but I do not aim so far for that through my blog which is supposed to be an easy-going collection of my personal stuff which are suitable to be shared to my readers. I keep it simple, light and easy for all.

Days mainly spent online!

Posted in Interesting Encounters on June 23, 2011 by vincentloy

Eemm…how many hours have I spent facing my laptop today? 1,2,3,4…..probably over 6 hours long. Yesterday even worst, with over 8 hours! Just not long ago, my days are busy with many works to do for assignments, and now everything is over, and boredom comes. So, there is no other way to use up my time except than going ONLINE.

Facebook is forever my first priority as soon as I turned on my laptop. Is there notification? Is there any new messages? Then, I would scroll down my home page to see my friends’ status updates or some shared links of interesting videos, articles or pictures. After that, it’s time for the game I’m playing currently, ‘Cityville’ which is all about building city. After facebook, it’s time to check my mail and clean up the junk section. There is not much new email for me to read, and usually it is only flooded with email from facebook’s notification which is sometime annoying. After that, it’s time to browse online news, which I would go to, to check on latest, breaking or any interesting news that would capture my attention. However, nowadays the news are mainly about accidents, political plays, and 1 Malaysia. Haiz… it’s very quick for me to check through the news of the nation…after the news, comes my visit to my own blog here, which I would straight go to dashboard to check on the daily hits and to see whether there are new comments or spams to be cleared or not. If there is anything interesting to be shared, then I would spend some time to write up a post on particular issue like this one here (today itself I have already written five posts…great, isn’t it?). Youtube would be my next choice which sometime I would browse videos of upcoming movies’ trailers, funny videos, entertainment-based videos, songs, or some others but I usually spend little time on these. If there is new movie downloaded or bought, then of course I would spend my boring time watching it, and would even write a review on that. Currently, I am also watching a TVB drama revolving around family and business, which is entitled “團圓” which is called ‘Wax and Wane’ in English title. This is a nice drama.

Anyway, today I found an extended clip showing the trailer as well as some scenes of the upcoming movie, Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon. This is the movie that I am anticipating for the moment as it would be released at the end of this month (next week), but I think I won’t be watching it on its first few days of release due to the fact many screenings must have been sold out due to its popularity. I’m also going to watch this in 3D which would be much more exciting and fascinating! From the clip, there must be quite a lot of fighting scenes between the evil and the good forces (the humans and the robots).

You see….life is like this when it is holiday, then it would turned upside down when the next semester of study begins. Why our life couldn’t be in balance a bit? Sometime, I am so free, and sometime I am so busy! You see…even I find the time now so boring and I don’t feel like sleeping yet, and so I wrote this post to show how boring I am just after the holiday break begins! But of course, I like holiday… it’s time for me to rest, chill and relax…or even doing something beneficial….blogging would then now be my priority here!

Architecture Design 301 Portfolio

Posted in Interesting Encounters on June 23, 2011 by vincentloy

Architecture Design is forever the module that took most of our energy, time and money since it is also the most important subject among all the others. Design is the core element in architecture, and so emphasis and priority is given more for this module such as more credits, more hours in contact with lecturers/tutors, and so more stuff to do for us, the students.

There are a total of three assignments for the semester which the first one is not pretty much counted as it is a collaboration with Year 1 students. The assignment is called ‘Kinetic Aesthetics’ which is the first year assignment of group work in creating various kinetic applications to materials so that the movement flows continuously from beginning till the end of connecting structures (each structure by each group). We, as the third year student have to provide guidance and advice to them, especially on strength of the idea, the selection of theme, and workability. There is no percentage for us from this assignment but we have to include it into our portfolio. It is considered a warm-up exercise.

The second assignment is ‘Small Pool and Canopy’ which we need to design three projects of the small pool and canopy, each based on the three schools of thought in architecture; technics, civic narrative and poetic. Technics is mainly about beauty in craft with emphasis on detailing, joint and construction systems. Civic narrative is more on human engagement and story or symbol-telling is expressed through architecture. Poetic architecture is a space that is able to evoke emotion through senses and able to move people’s feeling with play of light, shadow, volume, journey and density of materials. For more information regarding the three positions in architecture, you can refer to my previous post not long ago regarding the three terms. For this assignment, I have to produce a final model and an A1 board containing drawings (plans, sections, perspective, and relevant drawing regarding each term) and precedent study for each school of thought. This assignment costs 35 percent.

For that assignment and the next assignment to be completed, a site visit is conducted and the site chosen is Miami Beach, Penang. It is a narrow stretch of beach with scattering rocks and with some public amenities and food kiosks with backdrop of luxurious homes and condominiums and hills. It is a middle point between the bustling city of Georgetown and the relaxing famous beach of Batu Ferringhi. Site analysis based on group and individual observation is conducted, and I even go to Penang twice this year just to take more photographs and get a better picture of the site’s conditions.

The third and final assignment is the most burdening one which is called as ‘Tidal Pool and Pavilion’. As a continuity from the previous assignment, a preferred project from the three schools of thought is selected to be further developed into a bigger scale structure consisting of tidal pool (divided into training and lazing pools) and a pavilion of various spaces (beauty chambers, gymnasium, lobby, car parks, locker room, change rooms, administration’s office, plantroom) and a public hall (may be divisible into two). The pavilion should be linked to the earlier small pool and canopy of the same theme (poetic, technics or civic) either physically or visually or both. The total marks allocated for this assignment is 55 percent.

At the end of the semester, a portfolio is a must as a compilation of all design works throughout the semester. Best and relevant drawings, sketches, pictures and writings as well as composition of final boards are all put into A3 binded booklet as portfolio which costs 10 percent of the semester. However, emphasis is given more on the portfolio which would affects seriously on the final percentage of the design module. So, my portfolio should be neat, and conveys clearly what I wanted to present from the four designs I thought of for the semester. Here below is the images of my portfolio which is not very good to be honest but is already satisfying for me, but I seriously think I can do better than this if I am given more time. Really hope that I could obtain a satisfying result for not only this module but also all the others I have taken.

For the Power Point show, click on the following link:

design portfolio 301

My portfolio shown in this post is only for reference purpose. Copyright reserved.

Building Science 301 Radiance Assignment

Posted in Interesting Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , on June 23, 2011 by vincentloy

It is usual for me to put up some of my works in past semester into my blog here right after my holiday break begins. For my first semester of third year which began on March 2011 and ended recently on June 2011, there are a total of five modules I have taken; Architecture and Culture 301, Building Technology 301, Building Science 301, Furniture Design (Option), and the core module, Architecture Design 301. For the culture module, it’s all about writing report and essays, having presentation and taking exams, while for Building Technology module, I have written a post on the assignment before with picture of the final model, emphasizing on construction systems.

For this post, I would be writing on the only assignment for the module of Building Science 301 which concentrated only on lighting and sound systems in architecture. The lectures thought are not very technical and are mainly basic with simple and straightforward theory with some calculations involved. This module is by far the easiest of all, with more marks allocated for examination which I prefer. There is only one assignment as mentioned before and it’s using the rendering software of Radiance.

To complete that assignment which costs 30 percent of the whole semester, I need to attend two sessions of workshop on using the software of Radiance which is very much on programming with many codes and test and trial methods applied in creating impressive images. The lighting visualized from the software is very good but it is just too hard and complicated in using this software. After the workshop, we are given an assignment, which we were given a ‘gallery’ with existing displays and lighting, but we need to improve the lighting by having adequate light to each exhibit, using different light materials or in different positions. Then, we need to have 6 views of 6 exhibits in the gallery. Sounds easy? Not really, this assignment took me over 8 hours to complete. Facing the computer for such a long time is definitely unhealthy to my eyes. Here below are the 6 views I captured which are all compiled into two A3, which are not perfect or really impressive, but still are satisfying for me.

Anyway, one assignment which can be completed in less than half of a day and costs 30 marks of the whole module of the semester is considered easy to be scored. Of course, we won’t get full marks for that, but once you did as what the requirement wanted, then it’s okay already. Besides than this assignment, there is only two tests to cover up the whole semester for the module. Actually, for previous year, there is another assignment on calculation of sound/noise level, but for this year, it is canceled which is so good to us. Less one assignment means quite a lot to us.