World’s largest wooden structure

Slots and grooves on a truly grand scale

Looking like something from the dreams (or nightmares?) of the guys at SketchChair, this enormous $162 million pavilion in Spain is a sight to behold.

It’s the Metropol Parasol, designed by Jurgen Mayer H. Architects for the historic medieval district of the city of Seville. Towering above an archeological museum, the world’s largest wooden structure also houses restaurants, shops and tourist facilities. Eager sightseers can even access the canopy via a winding terrace that offers spectacular views of the city.

Click through for more from Fernando Alda and David Franck’s collection of striking images. (more…)

Related posts:

Model Builder

Heritage buildings preserved as miniatures

A few weeks ago I wrote about the 50th anniversary of the Futuna chapel in Wellington.  Ponoko lasercut the commemorative scale models of the building for the event, so we were very curious to know how it all happened because let’s face it, we don’t have many old interesting buildings in New Zealand, so this is a pretty big deal.  Surprisingly (because “astonishingly” may sound too dramatic) the ball started rolling because of a passersby curiosity.  The passer-by was Tony Richardson, and Futuna was the place he was passing by.

Tony’s visit to the chapel made a big impression on him as he struggled to understand “how the building worked, in particular how the lines of the roof planes related to the internal central pole and valley beams.”  His examination of the plans and photos was of little help, so he resorted to his kiwi bloke approach of wood+shed+tools.  All the marking and sawing resulted in a pile of wasted materials, rather than a beautiful model, so Tony started looking for a less painful way to make mistakes via an online laser cutting service.  It just so happened that Ponoko was mentioned in the business section of the national news.  Needless to say, the ball started rolling.

More about Tony’s fabbing under the cut: (more…)

Related posts:

The Model Chapel

You can get your hands on the Futuna model.

On Monday Ponoko staff were invited on a special guided tour of the Futuna chapel that celebrated its 50th anniversary just over a week ago.  It’s certainly a special place, and we felt privileged that the Friends of Futuna Trust chair Nick Bevin took time to show us around.

We found out that twenty out of the fifty scale models were assembled on the day, which was quite an achievement, considering the model’s complexity.  One of the models was presented to the visiting renowned Australian architect Richard Leplastier.

The Futuna models are available for purchase from Nick Bevin (bevanvic[at]clear[dot]net[dot]nz).  The limited edition boxed model complete with certificate of authenticity will be one of the only fifty made.  Alternatively, you’d like a fun challenge, you can try your hand at model making and purchase of the flat self-assembly packs which are limited to 25.  These kits include packaging complete with glue, assembly jig and assembly instructions.

Related posts:

Celebrating an Architectural Icon

Lasercut scale models of the Futuna chapel commemorate its 50th anniversary

New Zealand has no lack of natural beauty, but when it comes to built environments, there is a distinct deficit of heritage value.  Wellington’s Futuna chapel, hidden away in suburbia, has been described by architects as “New Zealand’s most significant building of the 20th century.”  The dignified sculptural splendour of this structure betrays its underprivileged history.  Futuna was born from unskilled labour, and in its fifty years of existence has been subjected to neglect, theft and disregard by those responsible for its surroundings.

In 2010, Friends of Futuna Charitable Trust approached Ponoko about creating commemorative models of the chapel to celebrate its 50th anniversary, which took place last weekend.  Over several months, the plywood model and its plinth/box were prototyped and continuously refined in Inkscape.  Tony Richardson – the model’s designer, specified 4mm Eurolite Poplar which is a low density, fast cutting ply.  The final order was for fifty individually numbered kits to be assembled by the visitors to the chapel during the anniversary celebrations.

(more…)

Related posts:

Ten Best Articles on Architecture

Best of the Blog 2010 – Architecture

There are few professions that are truly able to challenge conventions and shape our world in quite the same way that Architecture does. A big part of this is how architects use the technologies available to them – often pushing the boundaries in new and exciting ways.

Click through for our top Architecture highlights from the Ponoko blog.

(more…)

Related posts:

Laser Cutting Sugar. It Doesn’t Really Work.

learning from your isomalten mistakes

Seattle Food Geek recently posted an equally amusing and interesting article on the not-so-successful attempts of Seattle resident Scott to create a scale model of the Seattle Central Library from a sheet of sugar.

The article begins:
“I had this grand idea for a “gingerbread” house this year: a scale replica of the Seattle Central Library building – one of the few modern architectural landmarks of our city, and a magnificently example of complicated geometry. I planned on making the whole thing out of sugar, since the library building has an all-glass exterior.

And, to top things off, I was going to laser-cut all of the pieces I needed, since the project clearly wasn’t geeky enough to begin with.

Instead, I ended up with this 6” spiral staircase. Let’s review what happened…”

You really should check it out.

Well, they both sort of lean the same way…

Related posts:

Laser Cut Your House

Ok, maybe a scaled down version

No architecture firm is complete without a model maker. That patient person who precisely cuts out all the little doors and windows and walls from card, basswood and acrylic and then painstakingly assembles them. Once the cloud of glue vapours has settled, lo and behold a scale model of a house that makes you want to shrink yourself, so you can run around the miniature building. So much accuracy is required to make sure all the pieces fit. Of course, laser cutting makes it all so much easier. Working from his Boston residence. Daithi Blair does just that.

The residential designer found Ponoko in his search for a laser cutting service that would enable him to create the architectural models. Having just one room in his apartment as his office wasn’t sufficient space for any cutting or sawing or pretty much anything too messy.

(more…)

Related posts:

A treasure trove of modern design

Impressive photo stream of design icons

If you’re feeling a little stuck on where to head with your next design, how about jumping onto flickr where user afghtiga has been steadily uploading an incredible collection of design icons.

There is a definite leaning towards products from the 1960s and 70s, as well as a particular fetish for gentlemanly wristwatches. You’ll also catch a few more recent industrial design goodies… and even a burst of architecture here and there. He is an architect, after all. This is an archive well worth immersing yourself in if design tickles you in even the smallest of ways.

What a fantastic opportunity to get inspired before firing up your Personal Factory 4 here on Ponoko!

Via Engadget

Related posts:

Cave Grave for Dead Websites

lasercut in polycarbonate for posterity

I’m sure many of you would agree that because the internet has become so important in our lives, it is only proper that there should be a place where we can go and pay our respects to dead websites.

In their third Manual of Architectural Possibilities, experimental architecture group David Garcia Studio proposed an installation for a dead website archive in the Munižaba cave in the Velebit mountains of Croatia.

Selected sites would have their contents lasercut into thin, polycarbonate sheets and would be “arranged chronologically, placed directly upon the topography, lit by LEDs and visited as one would a library, or a forest.”

Within the a bridge-like building inside the cave, a visitor could photocopy an entire website archive or project it on the wall.

Although this project is an exercise in imagination, preserving the ephemeral virtual world is a legitimate endeavor undertaken by organizations like the International Internet Preservation Consortium, the Web Archive, and Library of Congress.

via PSFK via DPR Barcelona

Related posts:

Flatpack, Lasercut Dollhouse

Ponoko Product of the Week

I love this simple but perfect “Foldable Dollhouse” from Make Anything aka Katherine Belsey. The house structure is lasercut from 3mm hardboard and provides a blank canvas for 8 doll rooms.

But if you would rather have a fully-furnished, turnkey dollhouse, you can order the pop-up paper interior at MakePopUpCards.com

The lasercut house is available for $55 in MakeAnything’s Ponoko Showroom or download the structure plans for free.

The paper interior comes in the form of a book and is available HERE for $21.95. (10% off until Halloween! use coupon code HARVEST at checkout.)

Related posts: