Israel is a country that was built with modernism as its guide. It flourished in a particular way and resulted in a unique architectural landscape, not only in terms of singular buildings, but also in the way in which the territory itself was planned. Anti-urban in essence, the Sharon Plan from 1951 gave birth to more than 400 new towns scattered across the territory.
This new landscape -a tabula rasa- evolved into a variety of patterns and forms, a landscape that is neither Urban nor Suburban.
“Urburb” is the title of the Israeli exhibit at the 2014 Venice Biennale. Within the pavilion, a constant robotic performance traces the patterns that resulted from the Sharon plan in the sand, only to erase them after a few minutes and then draw them again. It is a performance that makes one think about the future of new settlements and the possibilities of robotic construction.
The exhibition is curated by Ori Scialom, Dr. Roy Brand, Keren Yeala Golan and Edith Kofsky.
ArchDaily is excited to announce that we are now in Venice to cover this year’s highly anticipated Biennale. Curated by the influential Rem Koolhaas, this edition of the biennale delves into the past to inform current architectural production.
For this year, Koolhaas proposed “Fundamentals” as the main theme for the Biennale. Rather than focusing on contemporary production (as the Biennale traditionally has), “Fundamentals” is divided into three large exhibits that look into the past, present and future of architecture: Absorbing Modernity 1924-2014 (National Pavilions), Elements (Central Pavilion), and Monditalia (Arsenale). You can learn more about these exhibits in our previous coverage.
So far, we’ve seen a tremendous effort in the content of the exhibitions. In “Absorbing Modernity,” 65 countries from every continent (even Antartica) show how modernity was manifested in their respective national contexts, bringing to light comprehensive archives and demonstrations of modernism’s storied and complex past. This retrospective looks into one of the most powerful movements in history, a time when architects aligned with the needs of society and set the foundations for an ideal future. The consequences of modernism -whether good or bad- have shaped our cities and highly influenced how we live. And now, Koolhaas hopes to help us understand why it should be thought of as a fundamental part of architectural education.
This complete coverage is brought to you thanks to our partners at CEMEX.
The Most Saturated European Markets: Where (And How Big) Are The Opportunities for Architects in Europe?
A few weeks ago Monditalia, one of the three main exhibits of the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale, tweeted a small infographic which showed the number of architects per country, unleashing an intense debate among architects around the world.
Today Monditalia revealed even more figures, provoking us to think not only about which markets are saturated, but also where opportunities and possibilities lie for our profession. Using data from the construction research center CRESME, the curators of Monditalia have graphed the potential in European markets for architects, in terms of thousands of euros per year.
How do you see the landscape of opportunities in your region or country? Have you moved to another country to find better opportunities to work as an architect? Where do you think opportunities are right now?
We recently went to Tokyo during the Sakura to visit the city’s incredible architecture: from Metabolist towers and the work of Pritzker laureates to the buildings of the new generation of Japanese architects. See the 27 photos we snapped after the break.
Also, leave your suggestions for our next Instatour in the comments below, and be sure to follow @ArchDaily on Instagram to travel with us through the world of architecture! Next destination: #Venice.
We were excited to have the chance to speak with DUST when we lectured at U of Arizona a few months ago. The project for a villa in Tucson that DUST shared with ArchDaily in 2009 gained a lot of attention before it was even built–particularly for its use of a traditional construction system (rammed earth) and a bold material palette. The large walls act as thermal masses but are, most importantly, part of a system that is deeply connected to the site.
We wanted to talk with principal Jesús Robles (who founded DUST with Cade Hayes) to find out more about DUST’s latest work, especially since they know how to design and build with a very low impact, allowing them to be hands-on and innovative in terms of materials. For the interview, DUST brought us to the remote stretch of land in the San Rafael valley where they have been working on their latest project, Casa Caldera. You can see the progress of this house made of scoria here.
Historically, large city-changing projects have depended on the personal interests of a powerful individual: someone able to swim across both political and financial waters. But recently, projects like the High Line have shown the power and potential of projects envisioned and led by local communities.
Back in 2011 we visted our friends at CASE in their West Village office and they introduced us to a small firm across the hall: Family. While the team was working hard on a model in the middle of their large table, partner Dong-Ping Wong showed us some of their recent projects. One of them immediately caught our attention. A floating pool for Manhattan. In the form of a cross, it would sit in the East River, filtering its waters into four pools. This amazing — and seemingly crazy — idea was tantalizing.
In Archaeology of the Periphery, a publication emerging out of the Moscow Urban Forum, a variety of specialists tackle the issue of a strategy for the development of Moscow’s metropolitan area. As one of the best examples of urban concentric development, teams of engineers, architects, planners, economists and sociologists, studied the Russian metropolis with a pointed focus on the periphery—specifically the territory between the Third Ring Road and the Moscow Ring Road. Using an “archaeological” approach, the study reveals entrenched and hidden planning structures in order to increase the awareness and attractiveness of the periphery. Archaeology of the Periphery argues that examination of the city’s fringe requires different methods of analysis than would be applied to traditional city centers.
“As the centre sets a certain quality of life and serves as a benchmark for the entire city, the high “gravitation” of the centre makes the signs of urban life invisible on the outskirts. Different optics are required in order to work with the non-central urban space. The tactic of “taking out” the centre and “sharpening the focus” on the peripheral territory will reveal what has been obscured and help identify the processes that take place, study potential, support or control the current forces at play.
The term “periphery,” which is based on the opposition to a semantic centre is used in a wide range of scientific fields. The myriad of approaches underlines the ambiguity of the phenomenon and at the same time provides a base for an multidisciplinary research. This research was performed by experts in sociology (S), politics (P), architecture and urban planning (A), culture (C), economics (E) and big data (D). Methodology — SPACED — allows a broader view of the actual and potential intersections, going.”
We caught up with Arthur Andersson of Andersson-Wise during last year’s AIA convention, where he received FAIA status. As the firm’s design director, Andersson shepherds their work through the various phases of the design process with a particular attention to the client’s role.
The work of Andersson-Wise can be defined as authentically local, with a strong emphasis on materials and details. The Texas-based architects use passive energy approaches in their large projects that appear as if they have been extrapolated from their detailed, smaller scale projects. The W Austin, the only mixed-use LEED Silver building in Texas, has design features that strategically reduce energy usage and heat gain. Sustainability in architecture is at the core of their approach–deeply rooted in the spirit and materiality of the buildings.
Their versatility is evident in their successful completion of projects of different scales. They place a premium on the practice of drawing by hand and, as a result, their projects achieve a certain level of sustainability that doesn’t detract from Andersson-Wise’s portfolio of timeless work.
Check out Andersson-Wise’s projects on ArchDaily:
If you don’t know Jeanne Gang, here’s the short and impressive bio: she received her Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Illinois and then went on to Harvard’s GSD for her masters degree. After working at OMA (where she participated in projects such as the Maison à Bordeaux), Jeanne founded Studio Gang in 1997. She has since become a MacArthur Fellow and was 2011′s Fast Company Master of Design. So it was particularly exciting to sit down with Jeanne at the 2013 World Architecture Festival in Singapore.
The work of Studio Gang is very broad, from private residences to community facilities, from small pavilions to an 82-story tower. But all of them have follow a clear line: careful attention to the materials, and a constant research leading to innovations in terms of sustainability and fabrication.
Projects such as the recently honored WMS Boathouse add to Studio Gang’s consistent presence in Chicago’s new architecture, which also includes the stunning Aqua Tower and other projects that serve local communities (such as the new venue for the Writers’ Theater and Lincoln Zoo South Pond Pavilion). Yet she also displays a commitment to her city’s heritage, as can be seen in her proposal for Prentice Hospital.
Be sure to watch our interview with Jeanne Gang and check out Studio Gang’s projects on ArchDaily.
- Lincoln Zoo South Pond Pavilion
- Columbia College Chicago Media Production Center
- Brick-Weave House
- Aqua Tower
- Bengt Sjostrom Starlight Theatre
- SOS Children’s Villages Lavezzorio Community Center
- WMS Boathouse at Clark Park
- Natural Resources Defence Council Office
- Solar Carve Tower
At last week’s Mextrópoli conference we spoke with Winka Dubbeldam about the challenges of architecture education. We also asked her to elaborate on why she thinks architecture should embrace industrial design tools. Watch the short clip to hear Winka’s thoughts on making technology a more integral part of our built environment.
Winka Dubbeldam, Assoc. AIA, is the founder and principal of Archi-Tectonics, and is Professor and Chair of the Graduate Department of Architecture at PennDesign, Philadelphia.
Paris-based architect Brendan MacFarlane, of the firm Jakob + MacFarlane, spoke to us during our visit to the FRAC Centre in Orléans for the ArchiLab 2013 exhibition and conference. MacFarlane, who studied at Sci-Arc in the 80s and later received a degree from Harvard’s GSD, successfully combines theory and form, placing him among the few architects that have been able to harmonize this balance.
Jakob + MacFarlane’s special and precise handling of the grids generates projects that, while outwardly complex, are actually deceivingly so. Based not on strong computational muscle but actually a more simple deformation of grids, their projects can appear nearly impossible or too complex to realize. Yet they are able to make these buildings a reality.
Along with his partner Dominique Jakob, the duo’s consistent methodology doesn’t rely on constant innovation. MacFarlane posits that “sometimes it’s about doing something simple that’s kind of obvious.“ This has yielded a stylistic variety that evades singular typecasting.
They are not afraid to combine existing structures with their proposals–in fact, they welcome it. What they do is strategic: a kind of rational deformation of otherwise uniform and uncomplicated geometry, with the computer acting as a tool (but not a generative one).
Last week, while the ArchDaily team was in Mexico City for the Mextrópoli Conference, we caught up with Pritzker Jury member Juhani Pallasmaa and asked him to shed some light onto the recent winners of one of architecture’s highest honors. Watch Pallasmaa, a renowned Finnish architect and professor, explain what motivates his approach for recognizing architects in a world with “so much publicity.”
“The Pritzker jury has now, for at least 5 years, tried to select architects who are not the most obvious names because there is so much publicity in the architectural world and we’d rather try to find architects who have not been published everywhere else…”
Using a magnetic plastic compounds, magnets and simple gravity, Jólan gives birth to the Gravity Stool, an expressive piece of furniture that is like a frozen moment of physics exposing the forces in action. You can see the full process on the above video by Miranda Stet.
The Gravity Stool thanks its unique shape to the cooperation between magnetic fields and the power of gravity.
Last week we had the opportunity to interview this year’s Pritzker Prize winner, Shigeru Ban, within his Metal Shutters Houses in New York City. The Japanese architect, who was a member of the Pritzker jury from 2006-2009, gave us his thoughtful, humble response to receiving architecture’s most prestigious prize, saying the win is an “encouragement for me to continue working to make great architecture as well as working in disaster areas.”
When we asked him how he remains so committed to humanitarian efforts, balancing them with his other commissions, he explained: “I also like to make monuments because monuments can be wonderful treasures for the city, but also I knew many people were suffering after the natural disasters, and the government provided them very poor evacuation facilities and temporary housing. I believe I can make them better.”
Read the entire interview transcript, in which Ban discusses his innovative use of materials and gives us a few anecdotes about studying in the US, after the break.
At ArchDaily, we think that Bjarke Ingels is one of the most inspiring architects practicing today. Having found success at a relatively young age, Bjarke has never shied away from embracing his YES IS MORE philosophy. His conspicuous enthusiasm for the potential of architecture and design sets him apart from his peers. And it is precisely this go-to attitude that has allowed him to overcome some of the significant limits that face many young architects today. An impressive portfolio of both built and upcoming projects shows that his approach to design, though sometimes criticized, is profoundly impacting the social environment of architecture.
On running an office, Bjarke says that “you have the opportunity and the responsibility to create the work environment that you would like to work in.” He has modeled his firm as a type of organism that is able to adapt to growth and change. In the interview, Bjarke explains that not only does his own role constantly evolve, but that the success of BIG is contingent on the invaluable contributions of his partners. BIG is more than just Bjarke.
We also asked him to define architecture (“the art and science of making sure that our cities and buildings actually fit with the way we want to live our lives”), and to give students advice about pursuing a career in architecture. Be sure to read the full interview after the break.
During the Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture, we had the opportunity to speak with David Gianotten, partner-in-charge of OMA’s Hong Kong office. Gianotten launched the Dutch firm’s Asian headquarters in 2009, where he supervises major projects such as the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and the Taipei Performing Arts Centre.
Standing outside of the recently completed Stock Exchange headquarters, he answered our questions about urbanization, innovation and the intricacies of running an office in an environment with such rapid urban growth. Shenzhen has proven an experiment of economic openness and is a vivid example of China’s recent growth. The city’s skyline is practically a physical graph of an upward-trending economy, with buildings designed by nearly every internationally renowned architecture firm. But OMA’s Shenzhen Stock Exchange building stands apart from the rest not only because of its impeccable construction (a rarity in the fast-paced building booms of Chinese cities), but also because it houses the institution that lists China’s biggest companies.
The 254 meter tower is an elegant structure that combines pure volumes with an exoskeleton grid clad in translucent glass. It represents a characteristic OMA-approach to innovative architectural solutions, made possible by extensive programmatic and technical research.
Read the full interview (which includes Gianotten’s insights on the study of architecture, the role of architects, and the importance of simplicity when communicating complex innovation) after the break.