Anna Puigjaner has been selected from nearly 200 applications as the winner of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design 2016 Wheelwright Prize. The $100,000 travel grant was awarded for her proposal, Kitchenless City: Architectural Systems for Social Welfare, for which she will study “exemplars of collective housing in Russia, Brazil, Sweden, China, Korea, and India, which reflect a variety of approaches to organizing and distributing domestic spaces.” Puigjaner notes that this typology is "deeply understood as a tool for social transformations," and through her investigation, she hopes to apply new thinking to the housing dilemmas of today. The prize will fund her travel and research over the next two years.
David Chipperfield has chosen to mentor Swiss architect Simon Kretz as part of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative for 2016-2017. Launched in 2002, but working with architects only since 2012, the venture is a biennial philanthropic programme created by Rolex to “ensure that the world’s artistic heritage is passed on from generation to generation, across continents and cultures.”
As founder of Robert A.M. Stern Architects and Dean of the Yale School of Architecture, Robert A.M. Stern is a self-proclaimed modern traditionalist – and no, in his eyes, that is not an oxymoron. When asked about the seeming contradiction in a PBS documentary, he replies by musing, "Can one speak the local languages of architecture in a fresh way?"
On the eve of the Venice Biennale, The New York Times’ Michael Kimmelman sits down with Alejandro Aravena in an intimate profile for T Magazine’s Beauty Issue. Visiting a number of projects by the architect and his office, Elemental, Kimmelman experiences socially minded architecture in an age of informal growth, income inequality, and mounting threats linked to climate change, all while learning about Aravena’s own path and growth as a practitioner. Although told by colleagues that he might be standoffish, Kimmelman finds Aravena to be “earnest, open, a little nerdy –– and deadly serious.”
Selfie Automaton, an exhibition for the Romanian Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, utilizes an automated puppet show to raise the question: “can we—architects—mock ourselves? Can we imagine a less idyllic selfie?”
The exhibit contains seven “mechanical automata” with forty-six built in characters assembled in decided locations for the show. Unlike typical puppets, these wooden marionettes have been removed from their strings, which typically give them the "freedom of movement," and are nailed to various mechanisms that only allow for one repetitive gesture.
Known as Lajkó to his friends, Marcel Lajos Breuer (21 May 1902 – 1 July 1981) helped define first the interior contents, then the form, of the modernist house for millions; his influential approach to housing was one of the first to demonstrate modernism on a domestic, practical level. Beginning as a furniture designer at the height of Bauhaus, Breuer was hailed as one of the most innovative designers working in the 1930s, before moving to architecture and helping define the modernist vernacular—most notably as one of America's foremost Brutalist architects.
Following a competition that received 286 entries from 26 of the 32 states of Mexico, 31 proposals have been selected to be presented at the Mexican Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Narrating the “deep history of social participation in Mexico,” the exhibit, “Unfoldings and Assemblages,” will feature “architectures assembled from fragments, modules, relations, stories, tactics, technologies and construction strategies.” The exhibit will focus on work and experiences that can change, propagate and adapt, rather than closed systems or final products.
This article was originally published on Metropolis Magazine as "Citizen Bridge, NYC's First Floating Bridge, Reaches Kickstarter Goal."
Governors Island is a small, pedestrian-only island to the south of Manhattan and to the west of Brooklyn. It’s just across from Red Hook, the Brooklyn neighborhood known to many a Manhattanite as the home of New York’s only Ikea. To get there, you have to take the East River Ferry—that’s the only option. No subway, no bus, no rail. But it wasn’t always that way.
Nancy Nowacek is a Red Hook-based artist whose vision, since 2012, has been to create an alternative way to reach this backyard of New York City. She has always had a close relationship with the waterfront, but many, she suggests, do not. “It’s really hard to get to the water’s edge from most points inland,” she says. “It’s not a part of the New York that the kids in my building...live in, nor many others who live a few miles away geographically, but experientially are a world away.”
The Greek Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale will be hosting an exhibition titled #ThisIsACo-op, which underscores the role of collaboration in architecture. Through a series of displayed research and discussions, the exhibition aims to understand how architects may need to unite on different “fronts” of world crises, including the refugee crisis, the housing crisis, and the crisis of the architectural profession, among others.
Located on a major boulevard in a series of townhouses, the Museum is currently in a state of disrepair with the roof on its corner building having collapsed. This main corner building, although heavily damaged, still features wall murals by artist Olayami Dabls, and thus needs to be preserved.
The Republic of Seychelles will make their debut at the upcoming Venice Biennale with an exhibition titled Between Two Waters, Searching for Expression in the Seychelles. Curated by Andrés F. Ramírez, and featuring the work of local firm ADD.locus, the exhibition faces the Grand Canal and “transports visitors to the 115-island archipelago—the least populated nation in Africa,” exploring the identity of this nation while also investigating the architecture of every day life in the paradise islands.
REX has released designs for 2050 M Street, an office building in Washington DC’s Golden Triangle Business District. The 41,800 square meter (450,000 square foot) building evolves and merges two existing typologies in the US Capitol: heavy masonry or concrete buildings, with high relief facades and punched windows – in styles ranging from Beaux Arts to Neoclassical, Art Deco and Brutalist – or modern structures with taut glass envelopes, many with applied decorative treatments. To reconcile these two competing strategies, 2050 M Street provides hyper-transparent, floor to ceiling glass, without view-impeding mullions. From the exterior, the panels appear scooped or concave, establishing that an all-glass building can also have a high-relief facade befitting of the nation’s capitol.
Mecanoo has unveiled plans for the Namdaemun Office Building in Seoul. The tower takes its name from the Namdaemun Market, the oldest and largest market in South Korea, which is next to the ancient southern gate of the city. Opened as a government managed marketplace in 1414, the market is now an important 24-hour destination for trade and tourism. The slim 14-story, 5,900 square meter (65,000 square foot) building rests on a corner opposite the commercial activities of the market.
LEGO® today unveiled “Big Ben” as the company’s newest kit in its Creator series. Aimed at adult LEGO® fans (meaning 16 and older) the 4,163 piece design pays tribute to the engineering and architecture of the 19th century Gothic Revival clock tower adjoining the Palace of Westminster and Elizabeth Tower. Highlighting the set’s complexity, LEGO® has outlined the its unique features, including “detailed facade with statues, shields and windows, and a clock tower with 4 adjustable clock dials and a removable roof allowing access to the belfry, plus buildable exterior elements including a sidewalk, lawn and a tree depicting the building’s location.” Big Ben measures over 23 inches (60 centimeters) tall and will be available to purchase on July 1, 2016.
LifeObject: Israel Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale to Study the Relationship Between Biology and Architecture
Israel has unveiled its theme for the 2016 Venice Biennale: “LifeObject: Merging Architecture and Biology”. Their pavilion will be comprised of a large-scale sculptural installation and seven speculative architectural scenarios relating to Israel. The exhibition will focus on the relationship between biology and architecture, acting as a “research oriented platform.”
Following “Brutal London,” Zupagrafika has released another collection of illustrated paper cut-out models, “Paris Brut," which portrays the Brutalist architecture of Paris from the late-’50s through the 1970s. The set features buildings from the city’s arrondissements and banlieues, the latter of which became a central locality for Habitation à Loyer Modéré, a type of public-private, rent-controlled housing in France.
Paris Brut is made up of six illustrated models to assemble: Orgues de Flandre, Les Choux de Créteil, Cité Curial-Michelet, Cité des 4000, Centre National de la Danse and Plan Voisin interpretation. The whole set is eco-friendly (printed on recycled paper and cardboard), and includes a short technical note on each building’s architect, year of construction, and exact location.
For this year’s US Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, curators Cynthia Davidson and Monica Ponce de Leon have chosen twelve teams to speculate on possible architecture projects for four sites in Detroit, in an exhibition titled: The Architectural Imagination. After visiting Detroit last fall for site visits, community meeting, and discussions with faculty and students at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, the teams have now released images for their projects. The curators hope to generate creative and resourceful work to address the social and environmental issues of the 21st century.
Bjarke Ingels is the recipient of the 2016 Louis Kahn Memorial Award, an annual prize established in 1983 to recognize "excellence in architecture" in honor of one of Philadelphia’s most influential architects. Ingels was honored at a ceremony on May 9th, hosted by the Center for Architecture and Design, where he delivered the annual talk that accompanies the award.
Speaking on the subject of Louis Kahn, who died the same year Ingels was born, in 1974, he remarked, “I wouldn't say that my work is linear of Louis' but I think that he rediscovered symbolism and designed super-functional architecture that's been lost and has been re-created by pragmatism." This fits into Ingels' own views on his practice, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), which he described as “pragmatic utopianism,” asserting a belief that architecture is “the art and science of turning fiction into fact.”