George is also a partner at Pei Cobb Freed & Partners. Given his position as a partner on one of the most recognized firms in the US and as the voice of the architects through the AIA, George has a very good idea on the current state and future of the profession. We did our usual set of questions, but also included two things that I find very important: The importance on pushing IPD and the role of the AIA during the financial crisis (and what lessons can be learned after it). We also recommend you to read our article on his position regarding small business taxes, part of his efforts to improve the way architects practice in the US.
We published each question as a separate video so you can easily watch them. On a side note, there is some audio noise due to a bad mic placement. My fault, won´t happen again.
“The house is a machine for living in.”
- Le Corbusier
With this statement, Le Corbusier acknowledges the relation between technology/mass production and the new ways of living that the modern movement tried to materialize. For him the house was a static car, a designed functional object that could be mass produced. When the Villa Savoye was completed in 1929, 5.3 million cars were produced in Detroit.
From this point forward, architecture and car started a long lasting relation, with examples such as Albert Kahn’s buildings for Ford, Giacomo Matte-Trucco’s FIat Factory in Turin, Archigram’s Drive-In House concept, the Mecedes Benz Museum by UN Studio and the recent Lincoln Rd 1111 parking by Herzog & de Meuron.
Along this line we find the new Nanjing Automobile Museum by 3Gatti Architecture Studio, which was awarded with the first prize on an international invited competition. The project not only shows the car in an unusual way, but it also lets you to experience the museum by car:
We first heard about the new Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SSE) building by OMA during the peak of the new chinese construction revolution. Then we saw Rem Koolhaas breaking ground together with the Chinese government, and capitalism in China started to have a tangible representation.
The new building for the NASDAQ equivalent (730 high tech companies & startups, moving over US$500 billion) has now topped out at 246m.
“For millennia, the solid building stands on a solid base; it is an image that has survived modernity. Typically, the base anchors a structure and connects it emphatically to the ground. The essence of the stock market is speculation: it is based on capital, not gravity. In the case of Shenzhen’s almost virtual stock market, the role of symbolism exceeds that of the program – it is a building that has to represent the stock market, more than physically accommodate it. It is not a trading arena with offices, but an office with virtual organs that suggest and illustrate the process of the market.”
The project is based on pure volumes, a combination of a tower and a podium suspended 36m high. The podium is one of the biggest cantilevers in the world, an operation that liberates the ground to create a big public plaza which is visually connected (representing the new economic openness) to the lower part of the tower and the podium itself, the places were the stock exchange operations take place. Above the podium, there is a series of office space for internal operations of the SSE, totaling 200,000sqm for the entire building.
The tower’s structure is a robust exoskeletal grid overlayed with a patterned glass skin – the first time such glass has been used for an exterior at this scale. The patterned glass reveals the detail and complexity of construction while creating a mysterious crystalline effect as the tower responds to light: sparkling during bright sunshine, mute on an overcast day, enigmatic at dusk, glimmering during rain and glowing at night.
The building is expected to be completed by August, 2011.
Renderings afte the break:
Cristobal shared with us another high quality video of this new generation of Colombian architects: The Flor del Campo school in Cartagena de Indias.
I really like the organic shapes of the school, and the pre cast concrete elements on its facade with openings that allow cross ventilation. You can browse more projects by Colombian architects, and projects shot by Cristobal Palma.
Graphisoft recently released ArchiCAD 14. ArchiCAD was a pioneer in BIM, a tool that has now become standard not only in terms of design and construction, but also for the life cycle of buildings. ArchiCAD has been available for ages for the Mac users, having a large install base on that platform. Their pricing program has made it affordable for new practices.
But back to this new version. Graphisoft has added several new features aiming for better, open collaboration, something very important in terms of pushing BIM as a standard tool on which different professionals can work together. In ArchiCAD 14 we find several workflow enhancements (such as IFC integration, a neutral data model not controlled by any vendor) to successfully bridge along different CAD/BIM/MEP packages, such as Autodesk and Revit, a big step towards an effective IPD (Integrated Project Delivery).
This version also includes BIM Server to further improve teamwork collaboration (64-bit version for the Mac), and Teamwork “Pack & Go” (to allow you to keep working with your team anywhere you go).
More on ArchiCAD 14 new features after the break:
Landscape “artist” Enzo Enea recently completed the Tree Museum in Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland, right next to the brand new headquarters for Enea Garden Design designed by Miami based Oppenheim Architecture + Design (more on that soon!).
The museum includes 50 different species on the site of a 14th century monastery, some of them 130 years old. These have been collected by Enzo himself for the past 17 years, sometimes rescuing trees threatened by construction or urban expansion. The collection includes over 2,000 species on an adjacent 2.5 acre park.
A delicate landscape work, using a series of local sandstone walls which frame the trees and generate zen like spaces to contemplate the beauty of the “exhibit”.
More photos after the break.
A few weeks ago we introduced you one of the latest built projects by Frank Gehry, the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas. The center is supported by Keep Memory Alive, and it is planned to become a national resource for the most current research and scientific information for the treatment of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington ‘s Diseases, and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) as well as focusing on prevention, early detection and education.
On our previous feature we got a glimpse of the project, which at first sight might look like just another Gehry project. And now, thanks to these new photos by Matthew Carbone, we can get a better look at it.
The center features three main spaces:
And now we got the chance to “ride” it with Bjarke Ingels from BIG, and get a closer look at the experience that the giant loop of the pavilion offers to the visitors, to have a little taste of the danish way of life.
This one looks great on my desk, and will shortly join the
More photos after the break:
Since its beginnings, photography quickly became the principal architectural media tool. Now, with all the possibilities given by the new technology, specially new media, it seemed that video was supposed to be the natural evolution. However, only a few have been able to evolve from a fixed frame into a video proposal that can transmit the qualities of a building in motion, with most being just a slideshow with background music or a collage of different shots, which can’t tell more than a fixed photo.
But this is changing, and a few photographers have been able to embrace this new format and make a contribution to how buildings are presented, avoiding the use of a single good framing. This has been the case of the first video shot by photographer Cristobal Palma, a commission from our friends at Abitare.
For more, you can visit the projects photographed by Cristobal Palma at ArchDaily.
Last year, BIG completed Mountain Dwellings (winner of the Building of the Year 2009 Award under the Housing category), showing us new approaches to a complex typology.
Along this line of innovation in housing, we now present you a sneak peek of the soon to be completed 8 House a 62,000sqm project located in Copenhagen with an interesting approach to mixed use. Over 540 units for different configurations (single or family, young and elders, growing or shrinking families) are placed around a bow in the shape of an 8, mixed with commerce and community facilities, which Bjarke Ingels explain on the above video with a simplicity that has become BIG’s signature when it comes to project presentation.
More photos of the construction process after the break:
A month and a half ago we presented you Roadmap 2050, a proposal to set in motion an invisible revolution in the energy sector which would stabilize the Earths climate.
The project is a design for a feasible and affordable Europe-wide power infrastructure which can be implemented by 2050 with existing technology. With the political will and capital investment needed to realize the design, Europe could reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80%, and set an example for the rest of the world.
The initiative is lead by the European Climate Foundation, looking to chart a policy roadmap for the next 5-10 years based on the European leaders’ commitment to an 80-95% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050. The goal is to achieve a 2% energy efficiency saving per year in order to meet this goal, with power and vehicle transportation being the most important areas.
OMA is one of the institutions commissioned to develop this strategy trough its think-tank AMO, focusing on the production of a graphic narrative which conceptualizes and visualizes the geographic, political, and cultural implications of the integrated, decarbonized European power sector.
We now present you a series of videos produced by AMO that continue this narrative to help us understand the implications of this plan:
I am very interested on the relation between architecture and weather. That’s why On Weathering: The Life of Buildings in Time by Moshen Mostafavi has a special place on my bookshelf.
That’s why enjoyed Arium so much.
Arium is the result of a studio led by Jürgen Mayer with Neeraj Bhatia at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto. The book moves between a series of analytical articles on the relationship between weather and architecture, ranging from tourism to shopping. These concepts are then tested by the studio over the Victory Soya Mills Silos, a massive concrete structure sitting silent along Toronto’s waterfront, the perfect lab for a weatherized intervention: the Ariums (Algarium, Fogarium, Thermarium, etc).
The balance between weather analysis and the studio projects make this book a good reference on the subject, and not just a mere compilation of student’s work.
More after the break.
A few days ago we showed you a series of screenshoots of the first Autodesk Autocad for Mac Beta (codename Sledgehammer), a preview of the UI improvements that we are going to see for this platform.
This video by ItaliaMac shows more details about the User Interface and mouse (touchpad) gestures.
Many of our readers are very excited about this new version, and we hope it sees the light before the fall semester.
Almost a year ago we told you of a survey Autodesk was conducting regarding the UI and printing capabilities of Autocad with Mac users, the first confirmation of Autodesk finally working on a version for this platform.
Federico Viticci from Macstories posted several screen shoots of Sledgehammer, the first Beta of Autocad for Mac OSX, running on a 64-bit machine. The UI presents several changes from what we were used to on the Windows version, and I´m happy to see mouse gestures (supported by Macbook’s touchpad and the Magic Mouse).
Not much details out there, but we do have a meeting with an Autodesk rep in the following weeks, when we will try to get you more details.
In the meanwhile, take a look at the following screen shoots and tell us what you think: Is Autodesk going in a good direction with this new version (more than an adaptation) of Autocad for Mac? Does the UI seem usable for you? What would you add?
This has been reflected trough several initiatives, such as the White House Redux Competition (2008), Pike Loop (Gramazio & Kohler, 2009), the Reef (Urbana + Radical Craft, 2009), the itinerary Spacebuster (Raumlabor, 2009), and editing publications such as “49 Cities” by Work AC and Storefront Newsprints.
We participated in Postopolis! LA and got to know the SFG team, a group of highly motivated people (Cesar, Jose) directed by Joseph Grima (who we interviewed last year), who we saw again at CIP Talks (2009) in Croatia. But as you might already know, Joseph has stepped down from the SFG direction to become the editor for Domus starting next year.
The position will be filled by Eva Franch, Catalan architect, researcher, teacher and founder of OOAA [office of architectural affairs]. She has studies at TU Delft, ETSAB (Barcelona, where she received her Masters degree) and Princeton (Suzanne Kolarik Underwood Prize and her M.Arch II degree).
“To direct Storefront after visionaries like Kyong Park and Shirin Neshat, Sarah Herda and Joseph Grima is both an honor and a challenge I am relishing. I am delighted to join the institution par excellence that understands experimentation and risk as a priori conditions. New York is one of the most intense cities in the world and I am looking forward to working together with the board, the staff and the extensive network of thinkers involved in making Storefront the place that it is and that will be. I see my role within the legacy of Storefront as a stimulating experience and endeavor for the art and architectural communities inside and beyond cultural, geographic or institutional borders. My practice and my deep connection to the academic world has afforded me a global perspective and I look forward to unveiling, unearthing and spotlighting that which is on the “edge” in order to provide the new grounds from where to produce new “vectors of desire”.”
- Eva Franch
Eva will assume her position starting August 1st, 2010. We look forward to interview her, and to keep collaborating with the Storefront Gallery.
This mixed use project is currently being built at the corner of Alton and Lincoln, one of the most active pedestrian areas in the city, and it will include residences, retail spaces and parking. Parking takes a central space in this building, with one of the best views I have ever seen on a parking space.
Jacques Herzog stated that this builing will reinterpret the essence of Tropical Modernism, and it somehow reminds me of the modern movement in Brazil, with raw structures providing shade, while containing smaller enclosing sub-elements. The slabs stand over a set of irregular columns, giving a sense of a precarious equilibrium. These columns also cast different shadows, giving more character to the facade.
But there are more references to Brazil’s modernism: interior courtyards by landscape architect Raymond Jungles, follower of Roberto Burle Marx (renowned figure of the modern movement in Brazil).
The Shanghai Expo 2010 has opened its doors, and we start to see how the pavilions evolved from the previews we saw during design/construction phases at ArchDaily, to become a showcase of the current status of architecture from around the world.
The Denmark Pavilion was one of the first ones we presented you, almost a year ago. The project, designed by BIG with ARUP and 2+1, was interesting not only from an architectural and structural point of view, but also for the danish spirit it represents.
Basically, the pavilion is a big loop on which visitors ride around on one of the 1,500 bikes available at the entrance, a chance to experience the Danish urban way. At the center of the pavilion there’s a big pool with fresh water from Copenhagen’s harbor (one of the most clean in the world), on which visitors can even swim.
At the center of the pool you will find The Little Mermaid, a statue that has become a symbol for Denmark. And this time, it will be moved temporarily to China. In Bjarke Ingels words “it is considerably more resource efficient moving The Little Mermaid to China, than moving 1.3 billion Chinese to Copenhagen”.
After the break, more images of the completed pavilion by arch photographer Iwan Baan, including Bjarke Ingels himself riding a bike on the circular loop:
In my opinion, Herzog & de Meuron has been one of the few practices pushing new forms on architecture. They always start with something vernacular, extracting its inner essence and materializing it into something new that you will immediately understand by looking at the building (or the renders). A dialog between art and the current state of our society, embodied on industrial facilities, residential projects, mixed use complexes.
Their book “Herzog & de Meuron: Natural History” is a must.
We now bring you a special on Herzog & de Meuron, with photos by Barcelona-based photographer Duccio Malagamba (previously featured on our AD Photographers section).
Eleven works by the Swiss practice after the break: