David Basulto

Graduate Architect. Co Founder and Executive Editor of ArchDaily.com. Architecture geek.

Foster + Partners re-imagines New York’s Iconic Grand Central Station

© Courtesy Foster + Partners

Only weeks after revealing their designs for 425 Park Ave., soon to be ’s latest “Iconic” Building, Foster + Partners have now taken a stab at one of New York’s oldest iconic buildings: Grand Central Station.

Yesterday, at the MAS 2012 Summit, was one of three architects to present his re-imaginings of the station, which turns 100 this February. Unfortunately, it hasn’t borne its age well. Designed to support 75,000 people a day, Grand Central, one of the world’s busiest transport hubs, routinely handles about ten times that much (and even a million on peak days). With the upcoming LIRR East Side Access and plans to re-zone the area, now is the time to re think this building’s future.

Foster + Partners has developed tremendous expertise in transit programs, having designed some of the world’s largest airports, viaducts, subway stations – even a spaceport (perhaps there’s no better example of their facility for tackling enormous infrastructure challenges than their proposal for the Thames Hub). That expertise shows in their vision for Grand Central, which eases accessibility and mobility by widening concourses, improving entrances, enlarging public spaces, and reconfiguring streets in favor of pedestrian traffic – bringing, in their words, “clarity back to Grand Central Terminal.”

More about this project from Foster + Partners after the break:

425 Park Avenue: OMA’s proposal

View from Pepsi Cola Building © Courtesy of

OMA has shared with us their proposal for the 425 Park Avenue competition, organized by  City developer L&L Holding Co to replace the existing, ageing tower with a new state-of-the-art, LEED-certified skyscraper. The competition was awarded to Foster + Partners, as reported earlier.

The competition also included Atelier Christian de Portzamparc, Ateliers Jean Nouvel, Herzog & de Meuron, KPF, Maki and Associates, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Richard Meier, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and Zaha Hadid Architects; and all the projects will be presented today at the MAS NY Summit.

OMA’s project was led by partners Shohei Shigematsu and Rem Koolhaas. Shohei is in charge of the NY office, where he has been researching strategies for towers in NY and other areas, including a skyscraper in Madison Park, a mixed-use project in Jersey and the  Bicentennial Tower in Mexico.

More information after the break:

Matter @ Context: Contemporary Chilean Architecture at the IIT

Matter @ Context

Starting today, “Matter @ Context: Contemporary Chilean Architecture” will feature an interesting group of Chilean practices whose work represent the new architecture of the country.

The Exhibit Organized by the Universidad Finis Terrae de and the Illinois Institute of Technology will be on display at the Crown Hall, , until October 22nd. A lecture, with Alberto Moletto, Ignacio Volante and Felipe Assadi, will take place on the 16th at 6PM. The book “Matter @ Contex” published by UFT will also be launched at the event.

More about the curation and images of the selected projects after the break:

AD Interviews: Norman Foster

is undoubtedly one of the most influential architects of our time. Since establishing his award-winning practice in 1967 – originally titled Foster Associates – the Pritzker Prize laureate has grown Foster + Partners into an international powerhouse, with project offices in more than twenty countries.

The Manchester native has become known for contributing well-designed, imaginative solutions to complex design problems, while remaining sensitive to the environment and embracing the highest technological standards. His diverse portfolio ranges from urban masterplans, public infrastructure, airports, civic and cultural buildings, offices and workplaces to private houses and product design.

As stated in the 1999 Pritzker Jury Citation, “Sir Norman Foster’s pursuit of the art and science of architecture has resulted in one building triumph after another, each one in its own way, unique.”

has received nearly 500 awards and citations for excellence and has won more than 86 national and international competitions. Some of Foster’s greatest achievements include receiving the 21st Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1999, the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal for Architecture (1994), the Royal Gold Medal for Architecture (1983), and the Gold Medal of the French Academy of Architecture (1991). In 1990 he was granted a Knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honors, and in 1999 was honored with a Life Peerage, becoming The Lord Foster of Thames Bank.

Check out the latest projects and news from Foster + Partners here on ArchDaily.

Venice Biennale 2012: Five North American Architects / Kenneth Frampton

© Nico Saieh

Almost two years ago, on November 13th 2010, I had the chance to attend to a very special seminar to celebrate the 80th birthday of Kenneth Frampton at Columbia’s GSAPP. During that intense day, five north american practices presented their work followed by an interesting debate: Rick Joy Architects, Stanley Saitowitz / Natoma Architects, , Steven Holl, and Shim Sutcliffe Architects.

For the 13th Venice Biennale, Kenneth Frampton was invited to have his exhibit at the Arsenale, where the works of these five practices was presented on a series of videos, on a simple installation designed by Steven Holl.

While we don’t have the videos shown during the Biennale, we present you the full video of the seminar (almost 6 hours), made available online by the GSAPP.

YouTube Preview Image

More information about the “Five North American Architects as a Common Ground” videos shown at the Biennale:

Venice Biennale 2012: Museum of Copying / FAT

© Nico Saieh

The Museum of Copying, curated by British architect’s , was one of my favorite exhibitions at the Venice Biennale. The subject of copy in architecture has always interested me, in relation to how the series of copies in the form of iterations are what make architecture evolve. The concept is explored in this exhibit with three installations, starting with Villa Rotunda Redux, the iconic Palladio building copied (or reinterpreted?) through history now digitally fabricated and casted.

During the Biennale we had the chance to talk with Sam Jacob (@anothersam) from FAT, who explains us more about the Museum of Copying on this video (full interview coming soon!).

More about the Museum of Copying from the architects after the break.

AD Interviews: 5468796 Architecture & Jae-Sung Chon, Migrating Landscapes

We interviewed Winnipeg- based 5468796 Architecture (Johanna Hurme + Sasa Radulovic) and Jae-Sung Chon (Faculty of Architecture, University of Manitoba), the team that curated the “Migrating Landscapes” exhibit at the Canadian Pavilion for the 13th Venice Biennale. The Migrating Landscapes Oganizer (MLO) invited, through a national competition, young Canadian architects and designers from a wide range of cultural and educational backgrounds to create scale models of ‘dwellings’ and accompanying videos that draw on cultural memories.

More about the pavilion in our previous article.

AD App Guide: Morpholio Trace

ArchDaily’s Architecture App Guide will introduce you to web and mobile apps that can help you as an architect: productivity, inspiration, drafting, and more.

Today we introduce you Morpholio Trace, an intuitive  drafting tool that brings one of the most frequent tools from our desk to a mobile touch device: the tracing paper. The app, developed by our friends from The Morpholio Project, lets you draw on top of images (imported from your camera or other sources) as if you were using tracing paper. A collapsible menu provides you basic set of  tools (add more layers, choose from two colours, three widths, save) that enable you to to draft, sketch and review. No fancy fatures, just what you need. Functional minimalism that is not often found in many apps, related to the architectural background of Trace’s creators.

Trace, essential to any design or creative process, allows users to instantly draw on top of imported images or background templates, layering comments or ideas to generate immediate, intelligent sketches that are easy to circulate.  

I tested the app, which is available at the App Store, and it was very intuitive to use. I used it with both my fingers and with a my Pogo Sketch pen, and it was very easy to grab a photo, put a tracing paper on top of it, start sketching on different layers and send it via email.

The app won’t replace the good old tracing paper we have in our boards, but will rather extend its functions and make it more collaborative.

More info from the creators after the break.

AD Interviews: Renzo Piano – Part III

Part IPart II – Part III

We continue with the last part of our exclusive interview with .

Since first achieving international fame in 1978 with the Centre George Pompidou in Paris, Renzo Piano has become known as a prolific, Italian architect capable of achieving a masterful balance between art, architecture and engineering. His intellectual curiosity and problem-solving techniques have led him to develop a wide-ranging portfolio that successfully merges high technology with humane and comfortable environments.

Sophisticated, refined and elegant, the presence of Renzo Piano’s work is internationally celebrated. Originally born into a family of Italian builders, the Pritzker Prize-winning architect now leads a staff of 150 at his practice, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, from three locations – Genoa, Paris and .

Part III to be aired on Tuesday Sept 18th.

AD Interviews: Renzo Piano – Part II

Part I – Part II – Part III

We continue with the second part of our exclusive interview with .

Since first achieving international fame in 1978 with the Centre George Pompidou in Paris, Renzo Piano has become known as a prolific, Italian architect capable of achieving a masterful balance between art, architecture and engineering. His intellectual curiosity and problem-solving techniques have led him to develop a wide-ranging portfolio that successfully merges high technology with humane and comfortable environments.

Sophisticated, refined and elegant, the presence of Renzo Piano’s work is internationally celebrated. Originally born into a family of Italian builders, the Pritzker Prize-winning architect now leads a staff of 150 at his practice, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, from three locations – Genoa, Paris and .

Watch Part III.

AD Interviews: Renzo Piano – Part I

Part I – Part IIPart III

Since first achieving international fame in 1978 with the Centre George Pompidou in Paris, Renzo Piano has become known as a prolific, Italian architect capable of achieving a masterful balance between art, architecture and engineering. His intellectual curiosity and problem-solving techniques have led him to develop a wide-ranging portfolio that successfully merges high technology with humane and comfortable environments. Sophisticated, refined and elegant, the presence of Renzo Piano’s work is internationally celebrated. Originally born into a family of Italian builders, the Pritzker Prize-winning architect now leads a staff of 150 at his practice, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, from three locations – Genoa, Paris and . Architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff of The Times described Piano’s work the best when he stated: “The serenity of his best buildings can almost make you believe that we live in a civilized world.” The next part of the interview will air on Monday Sept, 17th. Renzo Piano completed works featured on ArchDaily:

In Progress:

You can also read our editorials Piano’s Progress and The Shard: A Skyscraper for our Post 9/11 World?.

Speakers at the World Architecture Festival 2012

Judges and speakers at the

The World Architecture Festival is around the corner! On October 3rd-5th, hundreds of architects will gather in Singapore for an intense dose of architecture, in the form of panels, lectures, live crits, and more. You can see all the shortlisted projects here.

The speakers and judges list includes a long list of world renowned architects: Will Alsop (Alsop Architects), Neil Denari, Eva Castro (Plasma Studio), Ivan Harbour (Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners), Thomas Heatherwick, Enric Ruiz-Geli (Cloud 9), Wolf D. Prix (COOP HIMMELB(L)AU), Moshe Safdie, Ma Yansong (MAD), Chris Wilkinson and Jim Eyre (Wilkinson Eyre Architects), among many others.

Stay tuned for our live coverage of this important event.

AD Interviews: Sergei Tchoban & Sergey Kuznetsov (SPEECH) i-city at the Venice Biennale

During the opening of the 13th Venice Biennale, we had the chance to talk with Sergei Tchoban and Sergey Kuznetsov, partners at  SPEECH and curators of i-City, the Russian pavilion, awarded with a Special Mention at the Biennale.

i-City presents us the Strolkovo Innovation Center, a new development that aims to concentrate intellectual capital around five clusters (IT, Biomed, Energy, Space, Nuclear Tech), with projects by David Chipperfield, SANAA, , Herzog & de Meuron, Stefano Boeri, SPEECH, Valode & Pistre architectes and Mohsen Mostafavi among others (more details about the project itself in a future article).

An interesting project, presented in detail with a big amount of information that remains invisible inside the space of the pavilion. A series of QR Codes wrap the inside of the Russia pavilion spaces,  and all you can sense at first is light and space. At the entrance you are provided with a tablet, and you walk around the pavilion scanning these codes to obtain the information about Strolkovo.

On the lower level, a dark interior is perforated with peep holes that show images of former Soviet Scientific Towns, a legacy from the past that serves as background of the Strolkovo project.

AD Interviews: The Japan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale / Toyo Ito, Akihisa Hirata, Sou Fujimoto

During the opening of the Venice Biennale, we had the chance to sit down and talk with the curator and participants of the Japan Pavilion, awarded with the Gold Lion.

In the following videos you can see Toyo Ito, curator of “Architecture. Possible Here? Home-for-all”, along with collaborators Akihisa Hirata and Sou Fujimoto, discussing what Architecture means to them, the role of architects in our society, and how they approached the Biennale’s theme “Common Ground” on this particular exhibition, which reunites Japanese architects and an architectural photographer collaborating on the design of houses for those affected by the 2011 tsunami.

We thank the Japan Foundation for this interview.

and Sou Fujimoto videos after the break:

World Architecture Festival in Singapore

The World Architecture Festival is only a few weeks away. This intense architecture event will take place in Singapore on Oct 3rd-5th, a city where architecture is everywhere, as you can see on the above video.

More than 500 projects will be displayed WAF festival gallery, and 300 presenters are getting ready to share their work with the world. 95 internationally renowned architects and thinkers are shaping up to critique over 30 different award categories in front of WAF’s audiences. 60 of the leading names in global architecture are preparing to share with you their thoughts on 25 of today’s most crucial questions. And last but not least, the drinks are on ice for 4 nights of celebrations!

Speakers include Thomas Heatherwick, Will Alsop, Eva Castro, Neil Denari, Jim Eyre, Wolf D. Prix, Moshe Safdie, Ma Yansong, and more.

Keep in mind that these are the last days to register at a reduced price, so hurry up!

Venice Biennale 2012: Eduardo Souto de Moura

© Nico Saieh

’s structure overlooks the old buildings in front of the Arsenale from the waterfront, on the path leading to Alvaro Siza’s structure that we featured yesterday.

This structure is an exploration of material, building systems and language. The facades frame views of these old buildings, reinterpreting the existing landscape, according to the will of the viewer. According to Souto de Moura “geography becomes how we want it to be. This it the great leap of the modern movement, and as a result of postmodernism”.

© Nico Saieh

The installation “reflects the evolving relationship between interior and exterior, the gradual opening up of options, and their dependance and influence on the architectural language”.

More photos after the break:

AD Interviews: Alejandro Aravena / ELEMENTAL, Venice Biennale

Alejandro Aravena, Executive Director of ELEMENTAL, tells us more about The Magnet and The Bomb, their exhibit at the Venice Biennale. You can learn more about the projects presented at this installation: PRES Constitución and Calama PLUS.

For more photos, check our previous article.

ArchDaily v2.5: Less is More, our new design

Dear readers,

ArchDaily is done by architects, for architects. This means that there are architects taking decisions on every level, from the daily curation of projects, to the coding and design of our website.

ArchDaily’s design has stayed practically the same since we started in May 2008, and today we are happy to announce our long due redesign: ArchDaily version 2.5 code name Less is More.

In this version we are presenting a less cluttered, easy to read and more intuitive interface. We have done a tremendous effort to reduce the amount of paths and decisions, as the Less is Moreconcept mastered by Mies van der Rohe has taught us. A tremendous challenge, that made us understand the essence of what we do and what is important to you.

But why v2.5 and no v3.0? While Less is More looks like a very different interface, the structure of the data and gallery browsing are practically the same. And those are the fundamental parts that are currently being developed by our team of engineers and architects, which we expect to release during Q4 2012. This will mean that projects will be available with rich meta data that will allow you to find that wood cabin in front of a lake you have been trying to find, in just a few clicks. And that the image galleries will be blazing fast and adapt to your screen, and your device (hint: tablet and mobile!). On this release we are also exposing our global network: at the top you’ll find a flag to jump to ArchDaily Brasil, ArchDaily Mexico and Plataforma Arquitectura (ArchDaily en Español), a network with more than 7 million visitors per month.

We are in front of a big challenge, and we wanted to put out this revised version after our experience with ArchDaily Brasil and ArchDaily Mexico, as we know that your feedback during these months will help us deliver the best v3.0 possible, making ArchDaily a better tool for you, aligned with our mission:

To improve the quality of life of the next 3 billion people that will move into cities in the next 40 years, by providing inspiration, knowledge and tools to the architects who will have the challenge to design for them. 

Please leave your feedback in the comments section below or through our contact form.

Thanks!

David Assael, David Basulto and the whole team at ArchDaily