Finoak Blog


Olympic Stadiums: before and after.

Olympic stadiums

It was two golden evenings last summer which really caught the nation’s imagination. ‘Super Saturday’ and ‘Thriller Thursday’ were nights where the gold medals just kept on coming for Great Britain. It was when the Olympic Stadium came alive and provided defining moments for both the Olympics and Paralympics.

It was the culmination of seven years of hard work which converted a wasteland in East London into a sporting paradise. Land had been flattened and cleared, the contractors sent in and steadily the Olympic Park in Stratford began to take shape. All this was crowned by a glorious Olympic opening ceremony where the world caught a glimpse of a confident Britain in the 21st century. But great sporting moments make great venues, so it was the gold’s around the necks Mo Farah and Hannah Cockcroft et al which really made the Olympic Stadium. After years of anticipation and millions of pounds of public money, those moments provided a focal point to the entire summer.

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The Impracticalities of Space


You're in a hurry for work. The last thing you want to encounter is an M.C. Escher-style staircase, leading you upside-down, back-to-front and on the straight-to-nowhere. It’s unlikely that you would ever reach work given these labyrinthine conditions. Yet architecture firm dRMM have unveiled plans for an Escher-style staircase outside St Paul’s Cathedral in London as part of the London Design Festival 2013.

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...but is it art?!

Minimalist design

Minimalist design is primarily recognisable for its less-is-more aesthetic. It has been used as a bastion for architectural innovation and interior design since its explosion in the 1960s as an art movement.

I am always instantly drawn to its attention to clean and bright colour combinations - or often a reduction in colour and attention to black and white lines and shapes - un-fussiness, and emphasis on surface textures. A first encounter with minimalism is like taking a dip in a cool swimming pool after having been on a hot and sticky 10km hike: in one words - refreshing.

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Environmentally Embedded Homes

Environmentally embedded Homes

Feldman Architecture's Mill Valley Cabins, situated about 15 miles north of San Francisco, are environmentally sound and beautifully designed rural retreats. Feldman prioritise their strong connection between construction and landscape, physically building their wonderful cabins into the sides of the hills.

All of the homes have 'green roofs' made from grass and earth. From a bird’s eye point of view, they are camouflaged into the natural environment. Inevitably, all architects have to build within a natural environment. But few strive to build alongside nature, incorporating the landscape into their vision or, rather, using it as the very first building block

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