Archive for march

Earth Hour 2017 today!

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , on March 25, 2017 by vincentloy

I have been keeping myself 24 hours a day in my room concentrating on reading plenty of online articles and websites on the topic for my dissertation proposal. I have a Part 1 submission on Monday and hopefully I will get it done by tomorrow. It’s been tiring for my eyes to read lines by lines in those articles the whole day. Actually, I have been doing this for the past few days as well to the point that I have neglected my design studio unfortunately.

Time goes by unbelievably fast. A month of the semester is already over. I felt as though we have just started the semester. Now, about a quarter of it is gone. More and more submission deadlines are coming in and that makes a stressful time out of my life. What to do…that’s the life of an architecture student. Now, I can’t wait for the two weeks of break somewhere on mid of April. That would be a great time for me to catch up on my assignments while still having the time to chill and relax.

On the other hand, I almost forget that today is the Earth Hour event. Started 10 years ago in 2007 at Sydney, Australia, this event of switching off non-essential lights for one hour from 8.30pm to 9.30pm (local time) has becomes a worldwide phenomena ever since. Well, it doesn’t play much role on saving the Earth but the event at least has the potential and impact of raising awareness among the general public on the importance to take care of this lovely planet. But since I’m doing my assignment just now during that one hour, I couldn’t bother but to continue on my work without switching off any lights at all. Unfortunately, this event is also getting lesser and lesser attention on each passing year.

I noticed there are a number of cool movies coming out this month and I don’t have the time and opportunity to watch them unfortunately. They are ‘Power Rangers’ movie (the original series made up part of my childhood entertainment), ‘Life’ (movie about an extraterrestrial invading the outer space station), ‘Beauty and the Beast’ (a live-action remake of the animated classic starring one of my favourite actresses, Emma Watson), The Boss Baby (an animated comedy that looks promising from its trailer), etc. How nice it is if I have a few days to be totally free and watch all of them, and the spare time will be spent wandering around in the city too. I also wish to visit Fremantle. Since coming back to Perth last month, I have not been to Fremantle yet. But now, I couldn’t get my mind off from those assignments! Damn…what a stressful life.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

 

 

Advertisements

Star Architect Zaha Hadid passed away. A great loss in the world of architecture.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2016 by vincentloy

I was in shock last night when my Facebook page was suddenly flooded with news of Zaha Hadid who passed away yesterday on the last day of March 2016. She died of heart attack at the age of 65. Zaha Hadid is a name everyone in architecture field recognizes. She played a very huge role in shaping what contemporary architecture is today from her many prominent design works across the world. She was also regarded as being the most famous architect of our generation.

Zaha Hadid Architect

If you didn’t know anything about her, here below is some brief background of this talented woman. Zaha Hadid was an Iraqi-British architect born on 31st October 1950. She studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut before moving to study at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, where she met Rem Koolhaas, Elia Zenghelis, and Bernard Tschumi. She worked for her former professors, Koolhaas and Zenghelis, at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and she became a partner in 1977. In 1980, she established her own London-based practice. During the 1980s, she also taught at the Architectural Association, an architecture school which is one of the best in the world.

She became the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize (2004), the highest architectural prize presented for an individual annually. She also received the Stirling Prize in 2010 and 2011, another prestigious award in architecture field. In 2012, she was created a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services in architecture and in 2015 she became the first woman to be awarded the RIBA Gold Medal. In 2008, she ranked 69th on the Forbes list of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women”.

Her contribution in architecture spanned almost four decades with countless of her completed projects across the world. She was famously known for producing curvy and fluid forms in her designs. Her buildings are distinctively neofuturistic, characterised by curving forms with “multiple perspective points and fragmented geometry to evoke the chaos of modern life”. When you saw a building that was designed by her, you can instantly recognize it.

I do find some of her projects particularly interesting eventhough I’m not that fond of her works at times too. However, it is no doubt that she successfully created some of the most iconic architectural masterpieces of our generation. Here below are some of her prominent works in the past:

051_Zaha_Hadid_Wohnbebauung_Stresemannstr_Dessauer_Str_Foto_2012_Gunnar_Klack1-550x485

IBA Housing, Germany (1993) – Zaha Hadid’s first realised project.

901_photcr_01

Vitra Fire Station, Germany (1994).

Bergisel_01

Bergisel Ski Jump, Austria (2002).

3290736392_aa4f5b1f62

BMW Central Building, Germany (2005).

Expo-2008-Bridge_11

Bridge Pavilion, Spain (2008).

Hadid-articleLarge

Guangzhou Opera House, China (2010).

21_aquatics_center_zaha280711

ZHA_Aquatics-legacy013

London Aquatics Centre, United Kingdom (2011) – Venue for aquatic events for London 2012 Summer Olympic Games. The building is modified after the games. (two images showing before and after above)

93234_img02

Riverside Museum, Scotland (2011).

Arch2O-Zaha-Hadid-Heydar-Aliyev-Center-HAC_Exterior_Photo-by-Hufton+Crow-2

Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center, Azerbaijan (2012).

Innovation-Tower-at-Hong-Kong-Polytechnic-University-by-Zaha-Hadid-Architects-s8

Innovation Tower, Hong Kong (2013).

20141206181838-719

Dongdaemun Design Plaza and Park, South Korea (2014).

1111

Wangjing SOHO, China (2014).

She truly had crafted some of the most beautiful and groundbreaking designs in the world. From small humble structures to impressive magnificent landmarks, her contribution and dedication in architecture was priceless. She truly was one of the greatest architects of our generation who had inspired and influenced a lot of us. A wonderful architect, an inspiring legend. Rest in Peace, Zaha Hadid. We have lost a giant in architectural world.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

 

 

City of Perth Library by Kerry Hill Architects.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2016 by vincentloy

Two weeks ago in a site visit from one of my classes, I had the opportunity to visit a wonderful place in the Perth Central Business District (CBD). It’s the City of Perth Library. The library has been housed in a number of locations before it moved to its current location in a new building along the Hay Street and next to the Perth Town Hall. The new library building costing up to AUD 60 million is designed by Kerry Hill Architects and it is officially opened this month.

I was quite in awe when I first visited this library. It’s not a very huge library but it’s one of the most beautiful libraries I have ever seen. Beautiful architecture and a very luxurious and comfortable environment inside. Definitely a perfect place for readers and even just for the wanderers like us two weeks ago in the site visit. The library has a circular design with seven floors, glass facades, and stone-clad columns. Some interesting features of the library include the spiraling staircase enveloping all the different levels in the center of the building, a central atrium with a huge painting and a skylight above, indoor roof garden, outdoor reading or sightseeing area, slanting top floor / attic level, and some details like the lighting along the handrails, folding door mechanism, etc.

Here below are some images I took of the library which clearly define how beautiful its architecture is.

DSC02154

DSC02158

DSC02159

DSC02163

DSC02164

DSC02212

DSC02171

DSC02167

DSC02176

DSC02211

DSC02185

DSC02187

DSC02194

DSC02198

DSC02208

I would like to visit this library again soon.

(Copyright reserved to all the images in this post)

 

This Easter weekend: Time to choose which side you are on, Batman or Superman?

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 25, 2016 by vincentloy

Happy Easter Weekend! I’m not a Christian, I didn’t celebrate it, but I’m too in the excitement of most of the people here in Australia who treat this festival as among their most important celebrations every year. In conjunction with that, there’s no class today (Good Friday today) and also for next week too. Wonderful holiday. This short break would give me the much needed time to relax while doing on some assignments for my study without the need to rush (I hate rushing for deadlines). Since there are not much to do today, it’s the perfect time to go out for a movie. A movie’s ticket here in Australia is very expensive (four times the cost of a movie ticket back in Malaysia), but I still wanted to watch this movie quick.

cropped-Happy-Easter-wallpaper-2

Yup, it’s the ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’. I’m not a comic book fans (Marvel, DC or whatever it is) but I have the urge to watch this highly anticipated movie of the year. Despite receiving early criticism especially in the casting and that criticism continues to the poor reception it has right now from many critics, I still wanted to see it. I believe many will too, so that we can judge it by our own eyes. After seeing it, I can say that it is not a masterpiece (some die hard fans praised this movie to the max) while it is not a rubbish film either (some fierce critics calling this extremely bad). It’s just an overly-hyped average film that only marvels in its visual spectacle. Nothing else.

batman-v-superman

In comparison, Marvel still do a better job in their superheroes films in the past. Well, they both went in different direction; Marvel goes for funnier and brighter approach while DC loves darker tone. I’m fine with DC’s darker theme but there can be something more to their outcome. DC did it right in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. However, both ‘Man of Steel’ and its latest sequel now ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ couldn’t reach that level. If you have high expectation entering the cinema watching it, you would be disappointed. I didn’t mean that it is bad; it was just mediocre.

The movie is slightly too long; taking 2 hours 30 minutes. As I mentioned earlier, I’m not a comic book fans and so I’m not interested in the plentiful background story and character’s development especially for Batman in this movie. It’s a bit too much and I think some scenes (especially his many dreams of fear) can be cut off. The continuity of some scenes is also bad.

wonder_woman_97887

The cast contributed steady performances on the other hand. Henry Cavill is being the same Superman like he was in ‘Man of Steel’. Same goes to Amy Adams as Lois Lane. Ben Affleck had proven to his earlier critics that he can be a great Batman too. As for Jesse Eisenberg, his take on the villain, Lex Luthor is different as required by the director. He is doing fine and I’m alright with him being cast as the famous Lex Luthor. I can see that he had put in a lot of effort to take on this big role (his expressions and gestures are good actually). It’s just that his character is being written to be not memorable enough (couldn’t match The Joker’s level in The Dark Knight for instance). But that is still interesting enough compared to the other characters in this movie. So, Jesse’s haters out there, stop criticizing him..he didn’t screw the movie up. Gal Gadot is wonderful as the Wonder Woman but she didn’t get much screen time here yet.

The story here is much deeper compared to Marvel’s films. It focused more on ideologies/philosophies, symbolism, politics, and threat of power and its perception by people or certain individual. It is a refreshing new theme to explore, but it may not please the wide audiences. Fortunately, the movie is still filled with some great fight scenes (of course the one between the two titular roles as well as the final battle together with Wonder Woman with the Doomsday created by Lex Luthor). Opps…Batman appeared to be not much of a help in the final battle since Doomsday is too strong for him. As I said earlier, the movie also delivered with wonderful visual effects (awesome CGI works done on most parts of the movie that heavily requires it). The ending is quite emotional (won’t reveal more spoiler here) and it actually paves the way for more DC superheroes films, eventually expanding DC cinematic universe just like what Marvel did (Marvel does it earlier). Overall, the movie is still fine and worth to watch. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ a total of 7.2. Despite the poor reviews, it would still be a massive box office hit worldwide due to the fame of these two big superheroes sharing the same film. I’m guessing that it would earn over USD 1 billion in the end too.

has-batman-vs-superman-already-revealed-its-opening-scene-678628

Well, to answer back my question on the title of this blog’s post on which side you are on…Batman or Superman, my choice would be Superman, since he is far more superior and stronger than Batman who has to rely on gadgets (not useful against Superman except Kryptonian). Batman is still a human, while Superman is an alien with superpower. So, my side is on Superman. Wait, did he really died in the end of the movie? Opps…spoiler.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

‘Titanic: The Exhibition’ in Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre

Posted in Interesting Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2016 by vincentloy

Not having any classes today, I decided to go to the Perth city centre this morning. The reason for it is that I have to visit ‘Titanic: The Exhibition’ currently being held in the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre (PCEC) at Pavilion 6, Level 1. The lecturer of my culture class visited it and recommended me to pay a visit to this exhibition as I would be writing a scholarly essay later based on this ill-fated ship for my assignment under her subject. As a student, I do get a cheaper ticket price, but it still costs me over AUD 30. That’s still expensive (about RM 100 in Malaysian currency), but I do make full use of that money by reading and analyzing almost all the displays in the exhibition and it took me two hours to finish the tour.

Titanic_EDM_1600x900_0

I think everyone in this world must have heard of the word ‘Titanic’. It is universally known not only because of the magnitude of its sinking back in 1912 on its maiden voyage, but also due to the immense popularity of a 1997 movie of the same name. That particular epic motion picture directed by James Cameron won audiences’ hearts and subsequently winning 11 Academy Awards including Best Picture. Everyone is melted by the love story between Jack and Rose from the movie. It also became the first movie ever in history to cross over US$ 1 billion in original box office release and remain the highest grossing film worldwide for many years before being surpassed by another James Cameron’s movie called ‘Avatar’.

Let’s put the focus back on the ship itself and the exhibition I had just visited this morning regarding its rich history. The ship named RMS Titanic under the ownership of White Star Line was the largest and the most luxurious ship of its time when it was built and first set sail. On its maiden voyage from Southampton, UK to New York City, USA, this British passenger liner struck an iceberg and sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on the early morning of 15th April 1912. This resulted in death of over 1500 people out of about 2200 people on board (only about 700 people were saved from the doomed ship), making it one of the deadliest maritime disasters in modern history.

The exhibition is filled with interactive installations, graphic art, music and videos, artifacts, costumes, postcards, newspaper articles, as well as recreations of the ship’s luxurious interiors (Grand Staircase, First Class Corridor, First and Third Class rooms). The exhibition also included memorabilia from the 1997 blockbuster movie I mentioned above including the famous ‘Heart of the Ocean’ jewelry and the painting of Rose by Jack. The exhibition started with a photo section on the very edge of the ship (where Jack and Rose’s famous postures are in the movie) and ended with a small shop selling Titanic-themed souvenirs. Before I enter, I was presented a boarding pass with a name of a passenger who boarded the ship in 1912. In the exhibition later on, I can check whether the passenger in the boarding pass survived or died from the tragedy or not from the list of survived and lost passengers on a huge wall.

Hereby below are some of the images in the exhibition that I took:

DSC01678

DSC01679

DSC01690

DSC01692

DSC01715

DSC01712

DSC01755

DSC01732

DSC01703

DSC01782

DSC01769

DSC01790

DSC01805

I had quite a good time going through the exhibition and I’m almost moved to tears by this sad tragedy that took place over a hundred years ago. Nevertheless, my focus in the exhibition is still on finding great information for my Culture assignment of which I selected this particular ship on examining and analyzing how luxury took its form in the ship from its architecture, interior, fittings, accessories and the passengers that varies, depending on the classes of the people on board. I find this topic interesting and has a strong connection to my Architecture and Culture class. Hence, this exhibition that happened to be held right now (will end on this 20th March) is a good platform for me to gain valuable information for my general knowledge as well as for my personal assignment.

The exhibition is good, but can be better. The lighting is not sufficient in some areas. Besides that, interactive installations are also not enough, making it not a very engaging exhibition especially to young kids (they don’t like to read the sea of words on the wall). The recreations of the ship’s interior are great but I’m actually expecting a bit more of that too. The organizer should also put a huge replica (model) of the ship to amaze visitors. Anyway, it is still a visit that gave me a further understanding of the ship’s history and is recommended especially to those who have not known much of the ship before and are eager to find out more.

(Copyrights reserved to all the images in this blog post).

It’s Earth Hour 2015 tonight. Do your part. It’s just a simple action, but a strong symbol of unity and determination to love and care for our planet, Earth.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2015 by vincentloy

On this evening, from 8.30pm to 9.30pm, …..you should know what is going to happen in that one hour, right? I hope I don’t need to remind you again. It’s the annual Earth Hour event. I don’t want to say anything more, as all that matters now is a prayer of blessing to Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, and also to the victims on board the recent Flight 4U 9525 that crashed onto French Alps, and a simple action of switching off non-essential lights for an hour tonight from 8.30 to 9.30 pm (your local time) in support of this positive Earth Hour movement globally. It’s a very effective action to create awareness among people to love the Earth and a symbol for us to do more than just the one hour to care for the planet. We stand united in support of Earth Hour 2015. Will you?

Official video of Earth Hour 2015 below:

earthhour2015banner

 

What you can do in this one hour of darkness tonight? I can suggest many; getting outdoor to enjoy the night sky of stars (I’m sure you must not have done that for a long time), light a candle or two, avoid from surfing internet or playing your phone or computer, enjoy the time with your family or friends, or simplest of all, just have a nice rest you deserved! After the one hour, with lights all turned on back (if necessary), it’s time to think and act further than that. For me, I have to work very hard to reduce my habit of throwing many rubbish every day. Should practice 3R; reduce, reuse and recycle. What about you?

In Malaysia, many shopping malls, public spaces, restaurants, cafes, and iconic landmarks will switch off lights tonight in support of the event including the iconic Petronas Twin Towers and KL Tower. I believed my country started participating in this global movement in the early years when Earth Hour campaign started to spread internationally. And I’m glad we support it since then and never stop. But I do hope that more Malaysians will do so, as I find that there are many of us who are not even aware of the existence of this campaign yet. What a surprise! We should actually do something to promote this great event further to all Malaysians, and if possible, to every corner of the world.

Tonight, I will be out for my usual family dinner and so there would be no one at home. So, lights off. Even if you are at home tonight from 8.30 to 9.30pm, try to be in the house with lights off too. Assume that there is a blackout, or just be in the darkness for a while. Your simple action is already very much appreciated. On behalf of Earth Hour’s campaign, I said thanks to you first if you are willing to support.

Celebrating Earth Hour 2010, Canada

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Tribute for Mr. Lee Kuan Yew (1923 – 2015), the founding father of Singapore.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2015 by vincentloy

We woke up today in sombre mood after hearing a sad news from our neighbouring country, Singapore of which we are very close to. Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, whom was Singapore’s first Prime Minister passed away today at 3.18 am (midnight). He was 91 years old.

2015-LKY-via-PMO_thumb

Eventhough I didn’t learn much of him from our history education, but I knew he was a great man, for he had built Singapore to what it is now. I admired his effort and determination in achieving things that would be impossible to many others. Let us see Singapore now. Excellent and a beautiful country. Despite it is only a very small country in an island, but it is now one of the world’s most developed nations and a strong country in global economy. And all that started from Mr. Lee Kuan Yew’s administration since 1950s.

As the co-founder and first Secretary-General of the People’s Action Party (PAP), a political party in the island republic, he led the party to eight victories from 1959 to 1990, and oversaw the separation of Singapore from Malaysia in 1965 and its subsequent transformation from a relatively underdeveloped colonial outpost with no natural resources into a “First World” Asian Tiger. He became the country’s first Prime Minister from 1959 to 1990. He held the post for over three decades. After he retired as PM, he subsequently became Senior Minister (1990 to 2004) and Minister Mentor (2004 – 2011) to contribute his valuable advice to the government for the betterment of the nation and its people.

article-doc-159mq-6X62bukC5HSK2-498_634x818

He was no doubt one of the most influential political figures in Asia. He was a giant. A visionary leader. Asia’s Mentor. Architect of modern Singapore. The news of his death today made headlines everywhere across the world and had many national leaders paying respect and tribute to this great man. His legacy didn’t ends, as it continues to his son, Mr. Lee Hsien Loong, whom is the current Prime Minister of the country.

‘I wouldn’t say everything Mr. Lee Kuan Yew said and done were the right ones. But he does provide a blueprint on how Malaysia should be governed and also offered a glimpse to Malaysians of our country’s potential if governed properly. Rest in Peace to the great Singapore founding father.’

That’s a quote from one of my Facebook friends this morning that I find good enough to explain my feeling right now too. Malaysian government should really learn from him (but in reality, they never do). This is a sad day for Singapore to witness the demise of the nation’s founding father and the ‘architect’ of modern Singapore. Rest in Peace, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. Eventhough he was sometimes controversial, but he certainly made Singaporeans proud. You and your legacy will never be forgotten as long as Singapore is still here, thriving and prospering.

Singapore-City-keyimage

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)