I loved the concept behind the design of the House NA by Japanese Architect, Sou Fujimoto (http://www.sou-fujimoto.net/). The idea is to create loosly-distributed spaces that are operating in harmony like a “tree” and its branches. I think the architect has re-defined the modern house in a totally innovative and distinctive way. This house is well related to the modern society in which the boundaries between public and private are fading through social media ( as well as all other modern means that give us the opportunity of sharing our life). The house in its core as a private entity features fully open spaces to both interior and exterior offering a unique lifestyle to its residents. On the other hand, the design features the projection of transparent panels into space that provide visual continuity throughout the context, a perfect solution for the congested urban neighborhoods. Even though the architect himself has set the emphasis on the experience of living in this house as a re-definition of ancient tree houses; for me this is “THE HOUSE” of our age as unique as our era. It is a piece I appreciate for its contribution on defining the architecture of our time. The Architect explains the concept in Archdaily :
“The intriguing point of a tree is that these places are not hermetically isolated but are connected to one another in its unique relativity. To hear one’s voice from across and above, hopping over to another branch, a discussion taking place across branches by members from separate branches. These are some of the moments of richness encountered through such spatially dense living.The white steel-frame structure itself shares no resemblance to a tree. Yet the life lived and the moments experienced in this space is a contemporary adaptation of the richness once experienced by the ancient predecessors from the time when they inhabited trees. Such is an existence between city, architecture, furniture and the body, and is equally between nature and artificiality.”
Islamic art and architecture is famous for its playful manifestation of geometry and form. If you ever felt curious to see more of the Islamic art, make sure you pay a visit to Esfahan, a historic/cultural city in central Iran. In Persian we call the city “Esfahan, Nesf Jahan” meaning “Esfahan, half of the world” because for us visiting Esfahan means visiting half of the world. Our justification for that is the unimaginable amount of history, art and culture that lies behind this city.
In this post I am showcasing one of my favorite masterpieces in Esfahan, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque. The mosque was completed almost 400 years ago commissioned by a Persian king from “Safavi” dynasty. What I love about this mosque is the combination of different forms of art into one building; these include the traditional Persian tiling, architecture, calligraphy, geometry etc. There has been unbelievable attention to the smallest tiniest details on this mosque and once you walk inside you pause in shock; when you come to your senses you would find your head and eyes constantly moving around, jumping from one part of the mosque to the other enjoying the beauty.
For me the best part is the dome; beautifully constructed from combination of bricks and Persian tiles resulting in a special gold color unique among any dome in the world. The interior is covered in tiles painted in beautiful Islamic forms following the spherical parameters of the dome’ creating a heavenly image.
Considering the fact this mosque was constructed 400 years ago, I couldn’t imagine how advanced this piece of architecture looked at its own time; think about the kind of process and technique that was able to put all this together. I am totally against copying the past but I am all up for imitating the techniques of delivering a masterpiece used in the past. Just imagine the amount of thought, aesthetics, variety in means of design, material, man power and money that was incorporated in Sheikh Lotfollah mosque; now transfer all that to the present and use our modern means of design; I do not believe we have a building as advanced as that in the present.