A wind tunnel by Renzo Piano, assembly lines by Jean Nouvel, and a restaurant by MDN (Marco Visconti & Partners) – Ferrari has invested more than €200,000,000 since 1997 for the renovation of their facilities in Maranello, Italy.
In the early ’80s, I took a job at Nissan’s assembly line for the export model of Nissan Z-car in Hiratsuka, Japan. Day and night shifts alternated each week. My job was to grind off hundreds of rough edges created by spot welding on the body of Nissan 280ZX, wearing a protective full suit connected to an air hose. I had approximately 150 seconds to run around the body of a car, which was moving towards the next section of the line, removing all the rough edges using a relatively big air grinder and having two air hoses around myself, one attached to the hood covering my entire head and the other connected to the grinder. I would get yelled at by a supervisor once in a while for making a small scratch on the unpainted hood. If I had a day without making a scratch on any of the 170 car bodies that went through the line, the day was glorious. I’m sure things at Japanese car manufacturers have become safer and nicer since then.
I remember that my coworkers on the same assembly line were talking about retirement often. Everybody was trying to find a way to get out of there as early as possible since stamina and speed were the first things you needed to end each day safely. The chatting took place during the 10-minute break or lunch break, in a small booth next to the line or at a huge cafeteria without sufficient light. Everyday when I walked through the enormous dark facilities to get to my assembly line, I wondered how a company like Nissan, which was exporting nice cars to the United Arab Emirates and North America, could let their workers be in an overly depressing environment.
Looking at these images of the new facilities of Ferrari makes me want to work in their assembly line again. It’s utterly glorious.
The Brazilian shoemaker Melissa, known for their collaborations with some of the hottest designers from different fields, teamed up with Zaha Hadid this time. They built a massive sculpture of the shoe to show off the design (video below).
The video reminds me a lot of what I used to do when I was a more productive and constructive person. My old studios in DUMBO looked quite similar to what you see here. Those are the good old days.
I went to see the Chanel Mobile Art Pavillion, which just opened in Tokyo on Saturday. I have to say it’s a strange architecture, but it actually fits nicely in a lot next to the Yoyogi National Stadium designed by Kenzo Tange, Japan’s foremost postwar architect, and constructed for the Olympic Games of 1964. Continue Reading
Evidently, the era of starchitects is not going to be over anytime soon…
Zaha Hadid’s recent winning design for a museum in Vilnius, Lithuania, which may partly serve as an exhibition space for The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and The State Hermitage Museum looks like the big mother of Chanel Mobile Art.
It’s good to see a BROTHER in a world dominated by whites. Born in Tanzania, David Adjaye based in London is one of the most talked about young architects today. Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, his first building in the US, opened last fall, and he has opened an office in New York City besides his offices in London and Berlin. Architect David Adjaye is clearly on the move.
I am looking forward to his future projects in Japan where a foreign architect is usually given the most freedom and the best engineers and contractors in the world. Unlike New York City where we find many mediocre architectures by star architects these days (it’s not really their fault, I have to say), Japan is an amazing showcase of architectural gems. One thing for sure – it is going to be a real test for David Adjaye to build something there. Continue Reading