Blueprint magazine issue #280
Infrastructure is the theme of this month’s Blueprint, from the real to the surreal, the mundane to the fantastical. The cover story is COVRA’s nuclear waste facility situated in the south-west of the Netherlands. Painted bright orange and adorned with the fundamental equations of nuclear physics by Dutch artist William Verstraeten, the high-level waste facility on the site has been described as Holland’s ‘largest work of art’. Now, COVRA’s other waste facilities are being used to store artifacts from local art museums. Peter Kelly reports on this strange fusion of art and nuclear infrastructure, which strives to make buildings associated with atomic energy into symbols of national pride.Meanwhile, in London, it seems that some of the best architecture to come out of the 2012 Olympics may well be its plant buildings. Drawing on Stratford’s historic vernacular for inspiration, an electricity sub-station by Nord in textured brick and a concrete pumping station by John Lyall are two projects that look set to leave a great legacy. CABE has used them as examples to design infrastructure across the country.
This June, one of the centerpieces of the Venice Art Biennale will be a utopian installation by the venerable Yona Friedman. A visionary artist and architect whose plans for city superstructures and high-speed rail systems have been inspirational to younger generations, Friedman talks to Tim Abrahams about his life’s work. Also in this issue, Erik Spiekermann argues that the time is ripe for designers and architects to shed their artistic outlook and for clients to appreciate design as integral to a place’s fabric, while architect Neven Sidor says that the UK could learn a lesson from the Netherlands’ public-spirited approach to its ambitious infrastructure projects.
We also look at the latest project from Sixteen*(Makers), an experimental studio which has designed one of five new shelters for visitors to Kielder Forest; Vicky Richardson and Gian Luca Amadei pick their favourite products and furniture from this year’s furniture fair in Milan; the Cabanon competition winners are announced; Christopher Rainbow takes on architects and infrastructure in his latest cartoon; and much more…
Via & more: Blueprint