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Developer TF Cornerstone has selected Office for Design & Architecture (ODA) to design the largest affordable housing project in New York. Besting proposals from BIG, SHop and Perkins Eastman, the ODA-designed scheme will occupy more than 1,200,000-square-feet along the Long Island City waterfront in Hunters Point South. With an emphasis on connecting residents with nature, the design will feature multiple community green spaces throughout various levels, including two urban farming plateaus.
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) has unveiled a 99-story tower planned for the Rasuna Epicentrum neighborhood in Jakarta. Designed as a “highly sustainable corporate headquarters” for the state-owned energy company, Pertamina, the “energy tower” aims to become a new landmark on the Indonesian capital’s skyline. Once complete in 2020, the large-scale project will feature a 2,000-seat performing arts auditorium and exhibition pavilion, public mosque, and central energy plant in addition to the office tower.
Northwestern University has selected Perkins+Will to design the new 600,000 square foot Biomedical Research Building for the Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. Planned for the site of Bertrand Goldberg’s recently demolished Prentice Woman’s Hospital, the new building will “anchor the University’s research facilities and be the hub of a world-class research and development enterprise that attracts innovation and entrepreneurship.”
This Article by Avinash Rajagopal originally appeared in Metropolis Magazine as “Five Compelling Works of Architecture Fiction“. Rajagopal argues in favor of the often dismissed genre of ‘architecture fiction’, giving five recent examples of the best the field has to offer.
As far as we know, the writer Bruce Sterling coined the term “architecture fiction,” in 2006. He was referring, of course, to speculative projects in which architects use ideas for the built environment to express themselves in a way that’s analogous to how storytellers use words. It’s a longstanding architectural tradition. Sterling cites the polemic work of the 1960s British group Archigram; the canon includes Lebbeus Woods’s drawings from the two decades that followed and Greg Lynn’s digital imaginings (one of which accompanied a short story by Sterling, in Metropolis’s 2003 Fiction Issue).
In the last few years, we have seen a groundswell in the genre. The usual reason given to explain the profusion of these fictitious works is that the recession made it hard for young architects to find “real” work, but there are probably other factors at play. Ethical concerns are back in the zeitgeist for a contradictory generation that’s equally into Occupy Wall Street, iPhones, and hipster shops selling single-source coffee. Their utopias and dystopias are more easily imagined with 3DS Max and Photoshop, and far more quickly disseminated online. All of this has made for some pretty rich storytelling.
Commenters on blogs still rail about the “uselessness” of architecture fiction. To answer them would be akin to mounting a defense of the short story—one surely could, but it would be a self-defeating exercise. The very nature of fiction is to be less bothered with usefulness than with possibility. In that spirit, here are five recent projects that I found compelling, in both imagery and the stories they attempt to tell.
Location: Zeeburgereiland en Nieuwe Diep, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Design Team: Albert Herder, Vincent van der Klei, Arie van der Neut, Metin van Zijl
Project Team: Daniel Aw, Jarno van Essen, Monika Pieroth, Eliano Felício, Pedro Piernas
Contractor: Verlaat Uden Bouwsystemen
Area: 2400.0 sqm
Photographs: Peter Cuypers
Architects: Wowhaus Architecture Bureau
Location: Moscow, Russia
Architect In Charge: Maria Gulida, Alena Zaytseva, Roman Kuchukov, Darya Melnik, Tatyana Polyakova, Anna Proshkuratova, Anastasia Rychkova, Tatiana Skibo, Yarmarkina; with the participation of Yuriy Belov, Anna Karneeva, Olga Lebedeva, Anastasia Maslova
Bureau Partners: Dmitry Likin, Oleg Shapiro
Leading Project Architect: Mikhail Kozlov
Lighting: Anna Harchenkova
Area: 45000.0 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of WowHaus
Just two days after the passing of R. Allen Eskew, FAIA, the New Orleans-based architect’s practice, Eskew + Dumez + Ripple (EDR), has been announced as the recipient of the 2014 AIA Architecture Firm Award. Presented by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the annual award is the highest honor bestowed by to a firm by the national institution. EDR is being recognized for “rigorously crafting Modernism to repair, restore, and enhance the exceptionally unique cultural and historic context of New Orleans.”