University of Houston College of Architecture atrium

I am very interested in experiences. Be it art, architecture, music or literature. I am most engaged into something when I feel as though I experience it. The architecture college in which I studied fascinated me. Most people were not fans of it, but I don’t believe they even knew why. I loved it. Our building was strategically positioned as gateway to the University of Houston. Every minute there would be students walking through just to get to the other side. You could always tell which students didn’t belong within the first few seconds. They were the ones that always looked up. Our building had a very large atrium and the life of our studio took place around this atrium. For those of us in that building 7 days per week for 5 years, it was the norm. We never looked up. For the other students of the university, they looked up almost every time. I loved that. My dream of being an architect is to create something where one would “look up.” To create something that gets a reaction.

A few months ago I was walking down a pier in Bregenz, Austria in the middle of the night. I swore I kept seeing something out of the corner of my eye. Something crazy was happening and I thought my sleep depravation was getting to me. Then, as I turned my head really fast I saw the word “HAUS” written in the sky in front of me. I almost freaked. There was an artist installation of a light pole that vibrates or oscillates lights to create patters at really fast speeds. But to really understand these patterns, you have to shake your head really fast. When you move your head in front of a light, you get a streak of light as …. well I dont technically know why. I believe it has something to do with the speed of light and memory retention. This was really amazing. I have no idea who did this or what it is called, if you do, please let me know.

Then a friend told me about this billboard that was set up for the Fifa World Cup in Såo Paulo by Coca Cola! Its amazing!

Sourbruch Hutton - Munich Re project

Last week I went to a lecture to listen to Matthias Sauerbruch and Louisa Hutton of the very good Berlin architecture firm, Sauerbruch Hutton. They presented a new project which is already under construction here in Munich. Their project is directly next to the autobahn, and they are creating a facade system that will seem to change from different viewpoints. Their idea, is that when you drive past at a high speed, a magical show will play out of the corner of your eyes. I like this.

Sourbruch Hutton Munich Re

I found this proposal and project quite interesting. I currently have the fantastic opportunity to investigate these interests in the facade of the project I am currently working on at my firm, Goetz Hootz Castorph Architekten. We have developed a facade that will truly create an exciting experience as one drives past, be that in their automobile, the ICE, an S-Bahn, or the tram. It is very interesting to create something that just doesn’t sit there.

About pettydesign

James Petty is an American architect experiencing and contributing to the Yale School of Architecture.