On day 4, we spent the morning still bathing in the Therme Vals baths. We left around noon to head to Basel Switzerland.z_78Our class in the Swiss Alps. z_79We started driving up and over the Swiss Alps to visit the Sankt Benedetg Church. We were in country area. z_82The beautiful Sankt Benedetg by Peter Zumthor (his final building on our tour). z_85The inside. z_90Loved the detailing. All the way down to the door. z_91The material of the facade; worn and weathered. z_93And I met this lovely creature up in the mountains. But she got mad at me for mooing at her and almost tried to kill me, so that was cool.


Day 3 was our last day in Austria. Our first stop was Ludesch Community Center.z_49This is a sustainable building that houses the city’s government along with spaces for meetings, group events and even a cafe. Above you see the Solar panels that were used as a cover for the courtyard area. z_54All of the wood was untreated and the lighted handrail just looks super neat embedded in the wall.z_57Our next stop was another community center in St. Gerold. This one is also sustainable. (They boast that they are more sustainable than their neighboring community center above.) z_61Again the wood is from the surrounding area. The stairs led down to a Kindergarten for the community’s children z_63My classmates needed a place to sketch. What better place than the Kindergarten room’s table and chairs? z_64Me in front of the St. Gerold Community Center. This was our last stop in Austria. z_69We continued driving in our bus. We went through Lichtenstein for some lunch and then we kept going up through the Alps. The scenery was amazing! z_75We made it to Vals Switzerland, home of Therme Vals by Peter Zumthor. Here we were able to experience the baths (no pictures though) and enjoy the surroundings. This was the view from our hotel room.

Day 2 started at 5:30 for me. I woke up to watch the sunrise over the mountains of Dornbirn. Unfortunately, the sun actually rises at 7:15. So I just decided to walk around the suburbs and check things out.z_24It was very foggy but the street were still quite scenic.

Today we are taking a hike up Karren. It is 1 km high. z_26Started off the morning by seeing this big spider making it’s web. It was terrifying and interesting at the same time. z_28We started hiking. The scenery was amazing. The water was a bright turquoise. z_31Here’s the class on the trail. z_36Nice little stop at a lake. z_40A little glimpse of some of the stairs we hiked up. z_42Beautiful, tall, slender trees. z_44As you hiked higher, it started getting foggier. We couldn’t see a lot of things. z_46After reaching the tops (a 13.5 km hike) we rode a cable car back down to the bottom, overlooking Dornbirn.

That evening, some of us decided to try an American BBQ restaurant for dinner called LongHorn. It was an interesting experience.  Just for the record American food does not equal European American food.

At DIS we are given 3 breaks during the semester to travel around Europe. 1 of the 3 breaks is an academic study tour. I chose to go on the Austria and Switzerland study tour.  The other options for architecture students were Sweden and Finland or Germany and Netherlands. (Other core courses had other options as well.)

Day 1 began by waking up at 4:30 to go to Copenhagen Airport for an 8am flight. The flight was 2 hours, on SAS to Zurich, Switzerland. We (26 students and 2 instructors) did not stay in Zurich though. Instead we hopped on a bus to Bregenz, Austria.  And that is where we begin our zumTOUR.

z_3Here is a little Austrian boy. He was just staring at the fountains. z_4We toured the Kunsthaus Bregenz by Peter Zumthor. The building consists of many layers and deals a lot with lighting.  It was interesting to see simple yet detailed Zumthor’s work is. z_7Here is the class, sketching away.  z_9The glass panel facade.  z_13The stairs to the exhibits. z_17The facade compared to human scale. z_19The overlapping glass tile facade.

For the rest of the day we rode the bus to Dornbirn, Austria where we stayed the night. We had a delicious dinner at the Rotes Haus.

Today’s LLC activity was a visit to the Danish Architecture Center in Amager (still in CPH, just a neighborhood) to see the Zaha Hadid exhibition.  Jessie, Maddy and I walked over (while the rest of our house biked) to the Center.yWe crossed the Knippelsbro bridge into Amager, and we saw the beautiful city along the water so we stopped to take pictures. There were a lot of cars and bikes going by at first, so we were getting aggravated. But then the traffic stopped and we had a clear view of the city. We were snapping away but there was an annoying siren going off. I looked for emergency vehicles and didn’t see any so I kept taking pictures.  All of a sudden it all clicked. No traffic. The siren. The arms blocking entrance onto the bridge. We were on a draw bridge that was about to open. We ran for our lives. We made it over before it opened, thank God.y_1We arrived to the DAC before all of our housemates that biked. So we relaxed in the hammocks.y_2It was nice to just sit and watch the sunset over the harbor. y_3Outline of the skyline. Our housemates arrived and we went into the DAC for the Zaha Hadid exhibit.  y_4A lot of the exhibit was her conceptual models. y_6 y_8Jessie and Brett discussing the models. y_10Allison, Carrie and Maddy.  y_11  z_1There was also a neat interactive light exhibit. (Brett, Nick, Meagan, Emily and Jessie) z_5You stand underneath the light and it comes down.  If no one is stand on it, it dims and goes back up.z_7Overlooking the conceptual models. z_9 z_10And we ended the night by hanging in the hammocks again!

I live in the Art and Culture Living and Learning Community house. There are 30 other students that I live with. We are divided into arts appreciation and performing arts. I live on one of the arts appreciation floors (with 8 other students). Part of being in the LLC means we get to go on trips. Yesterday’s trip was to the Louisiana Modern Art Museum (the most visited art museum in Denmark).z_2We took the train from Norreport to Osterport and then to Humlebaek. It was a quick 20 minute train ride, and then a 10 minute walk. z_7Here is the Art house. (minus 3 people and myself, I think) z_17This is the performing arts group (see Sweden in the background?) z_18And the lovely arts appreciation group with our coordinator.  z_21The museum had some interesting displays up.z_22We very much enjoyed looking a the art. z_23The special exhibit was Yoko Ono’s exhibit. It was a large display and it had a huge variety of her art work. z_27 z_29 z_30We all had a great time (and we were happy that we got free food!) It was a great time!

So I haven’t posted in a while because this week was core course week. That means that our core course (mine being architecture) go on a mini trip to either western Denmark, or Malmo, Sweden. The trip was 3 days/2 nights. The Architecture and Design core course was split up into 4 groups. I was in group A. We went to Kolding, Aarhus, and Soro. We had to be on the bus at 7:30am on thursday to depart for Kolding. Our first stop was the Trapholt Museum. z_1The Trapholt Museum had a basement section with a lot of information and examples of Danish furniture design. z_2There were a lot of chairs (over 200) to look at. It was neat to see the experience of sitting change over time.z_4Some chairs just hanging from the ceiling. z_5One of the galleries in the museum had a natural lighting feature overhead that brought in and spread natural sky light. z_7In the cafe area, there were this real cool light fixtures that just covered the entire wall.  After eating our packed lunches at the Trapholt, we rode the bus over to Koldinghus.  Koldinghus is a castle that was built in 1268. It was restored in modern vernacular in 1991. So the castle had a very neat mixed vibe.z_13Lights hanging over a lecture space. z_14Lights in a faux vaulting fashion hanging over a stage/church space. z_15One of the many spiral staircases. z_17Vernacular vaulting. z_18Renovated spiral staircase. The renovated construction was installed so that if the locals/government decided they didn’t like it, they could easily remove it. After Koldinghus, we went to our hostel to unload our things. We then went to go eat all-you-can-eat pizza at a nice restaurant called Nicolai. Afterward, we went to Slotssobadets, which was a huge recreation center with swimming pools, whirl pools, a hot tub, saunas and steam rooms. Sadly, we weren’t allowed to take pictures, but it was a lot of fun. The next day, we packed up and set off early to Aarhus. When we arrived in Aarhus, we went to ARoS Kunstmuseum. The outside is basically a brick cube, but the inside…z_22 z_23 z_24 z_25The museum opened in 2004, after being the winning design in 1997. The “Your Rainbow Panorama” exhibit was added in 2011. The panorama is a giant rainbow colored glass circle on top of the museum. z_26 z_27The pictures just look so cool in the end. z_30 z_31 z_33More interior space.  z_40After the museum, our professor had us take off our socks and roll up our pants and get into a small water pool. After ARoS, we went to Radhus, which is the town hall of Aarhus. To be honest, I didn’t find it visually, photographically or architecturally appealing, so I don’t really have pictures for it. For the rest of the evening we were free to roam around Aarhus and check out the night life. But we had to be up early the next morning for our last day. Our first stop was the Aarhus Crematorium Chapel. I know it sounds creepy and morbid, but it was my favorite stop on our tour.z_44The interior of the chapel. z_45The concept behind letting in the natural light and the entire experience of going through the chapel made for an architectural success. Our last stop was a small town called Soro. There we went to the Soro Kunstmuseum. z_46The majority of the facades in this town were this vibrant yellow. z_47The museum had this brick-material shingles, which made you think of materials in a whole different perspective. z_49All in all, the trip was very educational and a lot of fun. I thoroughly enjoyed western Denmark, but it’s so good to be back in good old Copenhagen.

There are 4 harbor baths along the Copenhagen waterfront.  The most famous being Islands Brygge.  August 31st was the last day of the year to jump into the harbor baths. A group of us decided that we had to jump in before it closed. So we made our way to the harbor.photo 3The water was only 60 degrees and there was a slight breeze in the air.  The clouds were hovering above us from the passing rain storm. photo 4But we were determined!photo 5We knew this was a once in a life time opportunity and had to go for it!photo 1-1We started to line up on the 4.9 meters tall cliff. photo 2-1And we jumped photo 3-1And jumped.  photo 4-1And jumped. And it was cold! I was the last to go, because I wanted to take pictures of everyone jumping. I told everyone that I didn’t want my picture taken as I jumped in.photoBut of course, one was taken. It was an interesting experience, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Our studio was assigned a house in Copenhagen to visit, study, analyze and ask questions. At first we had studio and desk crits of our design concepts for our projects. Our studio only has 6 people.photo 2Here we are hard at work. photo 1-2We set out to walk to Hallingsgade, a street part of Kartoffelraekkerne (which translates to “rows of potatoes”, so they are called potato houses). The owner of the house we went to is actually a landscape architect who grew up in the house. So we got an interesting insight on the community and the history.photo 1-1They let us explore their house. This is a view of Hallingsgade street from the balcony.  photo 2-1The entrance of the house (bikes bikes BIKES!) photo 2-2The facade of the house.  photo 3-1The sitting room, leading to the master bedroom.  photo 4-1Hallway.   photo 5-1Leading to the balcony.  photo 3-2There was a cute little play house outside, so of course we became 5 year olds.photo 5-2On our way back to the house, Emily and I got caught in a rain storm. We took cover for a bit, and then just made a run for it. All in all, a good day!

This post is just a short post about some of the stuff I have been eating in Copenhagen. I’ve actually been cooking a lot, so I haven’t eaten out much at all. But I have had a few things from the Danish culture to share with you all.photo 1This is a really big thing here in Copenhagen. Hot dogs. During the lunch hours of the day, you can see all of the locals lined up to buy one of these delicious lunches. It’s typically served in a hollowed out bun with your choice of sauce (I prefer remoulade and ketchup). photo 2This is a Danish danish. Or as they call it in Denmark, vienerbrod. The danish was not invented by the Danes, but by the Austrians! Back in the day (sorry, I don’t know the date really), the bakers went on strike and Denmark imported in bakers from Vienna, Austria (hence the name vienerbrod). But Danish or not, it’s still delicious! (Or laekkert, as they say in Danish.)photo 3I have also tried smørrebrød. This is translated to buttered bread. But obviously this doesn’t really look like buttered bread. It’s actually more like an open faced sandwich. The bread on the bottom is a piece of buttered rye bread. It can be topped with many different things. I got 3 mini smørrebrøds to try. One with boiled egg, shrimp, remoulade and caviar. One with white fish, remoulade, shrimp and caviar. And one with white fish, mustard sauce and tomato. All of them were equally delicious! I will need to get some more sometime soon!