DesignByMany’s latest challenge: Superhero Landmark sponsored by Autodesk and media partners ArchDaily. With the rise of superhero movies dominating the movie screens, we need a permanent place of celebration to honor these great characters and their awesomeness. DesignByMany suggests building a Superhero Theme Park! Designing an entire theme park is way too big of a task to tackle for this scope, but luckily every park has an element that embodies the ethos of the park.
This challenge is to design the central landmark of your Superhero Theme Park. The landmark will serve as the iconic image of the park and the primary means of orientation for the park. It can be inspired by a single character, a group of characters, or event your own imaginary character! The more creative the better!
In the context of the ongoing financial crisis, cities and citizens are going through profound and as yet uncharted transformations. Tomorrow in Naples, Italy, UN-Habitat’s World Urban Forum will bring together mayors, international organizations, governments and civil- society organizations to discuss the Urban Future.
This debate aims to blur the boundaries between designers and politicians; researchers and eco- nomists, to highlight new policies and practices which do not require funding from strained public coffers. Can new forms of city development be thought about without the contribution of private enterprise? Can the political and design worlds find “Common ground” in the face of urban decay and austerity? How can policy making and urban planning come together to bring about appropriate norms for improving urbanites’ lives? This will be one of the focus areas for the ANMA Architects’ new foundation ANMA-F.
Photographer Patricia Parinejad has shared with us her images from the Japanese Pavilion at the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale. Presenting “Architecture. Possible here? Home-for-all”, the exhibition tells the story of three emerging architects collaborating with the exhibit’s curator, Toyo Ito, to design for the Rikuzentakata residents who lost their homes during the devastating 2011 tsunami. “The humanity of this project” impressed the Biennale jury and was awarded the top honor of the Gold Lion.
Check out our previous coverage on the exhibit for more information and continue after the break for more images.
This year, the American Institute of Architects conferred its highest honor – the AIA Gold Medal – upon Steven Holl. I had the opportunity to talk with Steven about his sources of inspiration, a mid-career enlightenment, and his recent recognition as one of the most celebrated “American” architects.
Andrew Caruso: Balancing your practice with teaching and art is clearly a part of the designer we know you to be. How do these explorations shape your design point of view?
Steven Holl: Every project is unique: a site and a circumstance, a culture, a climate, a program. All of these forces are unique and you need a concept to hold the manifold pieces together, an idea that makes the project significant in its place and for its purpose. That is always the way I begin projects.
At the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale, three competing projects have been announced winners of the Future Cities: Planning for the 90 per cent compeition: ateliermob (Portugal), Municipal Housing Secretariat of São Paulo (Brazil), and Interazioni Urbane (Italy). The projects were narrowed down from the exhibition’s ten participants, which were selected from more than 100 international submissions. Portugese practice ateliermob has shared with us their winning entry, “Working with the 99%”, a case study on the progress and community work of Lisbon’s self-built PRODAC neighborhood.
The jury, comprised of Anna Detheridge, Joseph Grima, Richard Ingersoll, Fulvio Irace, and Mary Jane Jacob, stated: “Ateliermob, “Working with the 99%” a participatory project in Lisbon Portugal based on a different approach which redefines the architect’s role. Ateliermob have envisaged for themselves a central function stemming from the attempt to answer a basic question: how can architects attempt to solve the many problems they see around them working for clients that do not have the money to pay for their services. The answer they found is to place themselves at the center of a process in which the architect becomes mediator, fundraiser, creating an essential link between the public administration, the financial system and the community enabling the local residents without property or rights to achieve social status and dignity.”
Continue after the break for the architects’ project description.
Inspired by the 13th International Architecture Exhibition‘s theme Common Ground, Peter Eisenman has formed a team to revisit, examine and reimagine Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s 1762 folio collection of etchings, Campo Marzio dell’antica Roma. Derived from years of fieldwork spent measuring the remains of ancient Roman buildings, these six etchings depict Piranesi’s fantastical vision of what ancient Rome might have looked like and represent a landmark in the shift from a traditionalist, antiquarian view of history to the scientific, archaeological view.
Eisenman’s team consists of Eisenman Architects, students from Yale University, Jeffrey Kipnis with his colleagues and students of the Ohio State University, and Belgian architecture practice, Dogma. Each group has contributed a response to Piranesi’s work through models and drawings that stimulate discourse on contemporary architecture. In particular, they explore architecture’s relationship to the ground and the political, social, and philosophical consequences that develop from that relationship.
Described as “precise, specific, yet impossible”, Piranesi’s images have been a source of speculation, inspiration, research and contention for architects, urban designers and scholars since their publication 250 years ago. Continue after the break to learn more.
The National Building Museum has named Paul Goldberger as the fourteenth laureate of the Vincent Scully Prize for “his lifetime work of encouraging thoughtful discourse and debate about the importance of design”. The Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic is currently a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and has written for a number of publications, including The New York Times and The New Yorker.
Vincent Scully Prize jury commended Goldberger for understanding that “architecture is in itself a form of public discourse”. Jury member Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk further explained that Goldberger has a unique ability to “explain architecture to the popular readership in a way that bridges the perceiver and the designer.”
Continue reading for Goldberger’s response.
The jury of the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale has awarded the United States pavilion a “Special Mention” for it’s innovative installation, titled Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good. Curated and commissioned by Cathy Lang Ho, along with David Van Der Leer and Ned Cramer, the exhibition presents 124 socially-minded urban interventions that have brought immediate improvements to the public realm.
Brooklyn-based practice Freecell collaborated closely with the Sausalito-based design studio M-A-D, led by Erik Adigard and Patricia McShane, to design a kinetic system of color-coded banners, weights and pulleys, that showcase each urban intervention. Learn more after the break.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced Rem Koolhaas as the recipient of the 2012 Jencks Award. Given annually to an individual (or practice) that has recently made a major contribution internationally to both the theory and practice of architecture, the award will be presented to Koolhaas on November 20th at the RIBA in London. The event will also feature a public lecture by Koolhaas, chaired by architectural theorist Charles Jencks.
The RIBA stated: “Through his research and experimentation as well as his built projects and literature, Rem Koolhaas consciously works to deepen and expand the intrinsic connection between architecture and contemporary culture.”
Continue reading to learn more!
News from the 2012 Venice Biennale: Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima has been appointed as the first architecture mentor for the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Initiative – a unique program that pairs major artists with young talents. Recognized as “one of the most important creative disciplines”, architecture has added as the seventh category in the Rolex’s global philanthropy program, which already includes literature, music, visual arts, dance, film and theatre.
Kazuyo Sejima is expected to announce her protégé in the Fall. She and the young architect will collaborate for a year on the international project Home For All, which she established with other leading Japanese architects – Toyo Ito, Riken Yamamoto, Hiroshi Naito and Kengo Kuma – in response to the 2011 housing crisis caused by Japan’s devastating tsunami.
The idea will be to design community meeting spaces for people who are living in emergency accommodation. Continue after the break to learn more.
For over a century, the Venice Biennale (La Biennale di Venezia) has been one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world. The avant-garde institution has remained at the forefront in the research and promotion of new artistic trends, while leading international events in the field of contemporary arts that are amongst the most important of their kind. Over the past thirty years, the Biennale has given growing importance to the Architecture Exhibition, which is still a young component of the Biennale considering that its first exhibition was held in 1975. Today, the Venice Biennale captures a multitude of interest from around the globe and attracts over 370,000 international visitors.
Before the festivities of the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale begin tomorrow, read up on the origin of this highly acclaimed international exhibition.
A timeline history of the Venice Architecture Biennale:
Dealing with existing infrastructure has become the most important task facing German architects today. The greatest, most problematic challenge that lies ahead is the downsizing and conversion of postwar buildings, erected from 1950s to the 1970s, which are described as “too unsuitable, too slipshod, too inefficient to serve as housing in the future”. A complete reevaluation of not only of the structures themselves but also the social and historical implications of their unbuilt energy and resources is necessary in order to improve the urban fabric and achieve climatic goals.
In response, the German contribution to the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale, Reduce/Reuse/Recycle, presents sixteen strategies that demonstrate the high degree of creative and architectural potential inherent in an affirmative approach to built architecture.
Continue after the break to learn more.
This year’s Croatian pavilion at the 13th International Venice Architecture Exhibition presents different struggles currently taking place in various Croatian cities. The exhibition, Unmediated Democracy demands Unmediated Space, interprets the topic of common ground by directly asking the protagonists of those collective conflicts how they imagine a common future across and beyond market or state, private or public mediation. The “desires, constrains and potentials expressed in these sites of conflict” are a part of the wider wave of international protests that are demanding a real direct and unmediated democracy. The demands, gathered on the ground through a series of investigative interviews, form the basis for a possible planning strategy, while their resistance tactics become patterns that could shape a common territory.
The Croatian pavilion focuses on how these demands could allow us to imagine the configuration of possible unmediated spaces. It is organized around three sections: Context, Map and Devices.
Continue reading for more details.
Invited by David Chipperfield, director of the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale, FAT has contributed an exhibition to the Arsenale titled The Museum of Copying. Responding to the curator’s theme of “Common Ground”, The Museum of Copying explores the idea of the copy in architecture as an important, positive and often surreal phenomenon. The exhibit will be centered around FAT’s installation, “The Villa Rotunda Redux” – a five meter high facsimile of Palladio’s Villa Rotunda that explores the Villa as both a subject and object of architectural copying.
Sam Jacob, a director of FAT said: “There is a history of copies of the Villa Rotunda that have been important staging posts for architectural culture. We hope to extend this history and explore how copying something is, strangely, a way of inventing new forms of architecture. It also seems sweet to return a bastardised form of the Villa to its original home in the Venito.”
Alongside this, the London-based practice will also present San Rocco’s “The Book of Copies”, an investigative look into four architectural doppelgängers (remember this fake Austrian village in China?) , and Ines Weizman’s “Repeat Yourself”. Continue after the break to learn more.
The Estonian exhibition for the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale investigates the relationship between time and space by discovering how venues once important have been abandoned and how these tendencies may carry on today and in the future. The exhibition poses a question as its title: “How long is the life of a building?”. The answer is sought based on the example of Linnahall – a dignified Modernist legacy in the heart of Tallinn that only a few decades ago was a renowned and requisite construction, yet is closed today. What’s happening to Linnahall speaks volumes in a more general context as well – similar tendencies are becoming prominent everywhere in the world where multitudes of architectural masterpieces less than 50 years old stand unused.
Continue after the break to learn more.
“Inspired by Lebbeus Woods’ Slipstreaming drawings, this installation is made from over one thousand CNC cut plywood pieces that notch together to create an undulating, dynamically patterned and brightly colored wall. Developed as the extrusion of a 2-dimensional drawing through the gallery space in New York, the structure is then cut away to produce a set of interconnected 3-dimensional spaces. The project develops novel forms of digital drawing, ‘egg-crate’ type assemblies typical in stick built construction, and our ability to describe and produce the dynamics of flow and turbulence, a phenomena that have fascinated artists at least since Leonardo Da Vinci.”
FreelandBuck‘s installation Slipstream (previously mentioned on AD) has been on view at New York’s Bridge Gallery since mid-July. However, the exhibition has come to an end and Slipstream is in need of a new home. Interested? You have less than 24 hours to place a bid on Ebay now!
Mark Zuckerberg, the 28-year-old co-founder of Facebook, has commissioned Frank Gehry to design a new campus headquarters on the outskirts of San Francisco Bay, California. Located across the highway from Facebook East, the company’s current headquarters, Facebook West will provide every luxury expected from a modern office space, from a flexible open floor plan, to arcade-filled lounge areas and a massive roof garden.
The enormous, ten acre “room” breaks away from Gehry’s signature curves, and aims to provide a “system that’s not precious, that they [Facebook] can manipulate.” Work benches “line up in curving arcs like swarming fish”, organizing the 420,000 square foot facility into “neighborhoods” that softly flow into each other in an attempt to foster a collaborative, community-like environment.
When Facebook employees need a break, they can retreat to outdoor-terraced cafes for some sushi and barbecue, play arcade games in the lounge with their co-workers, or escape up a “twisting wooden stair” to the lush roof garden.
Construction is scheduled to begin in Spring 2013.
For more information, check out Bloomberg’s exclusive coverage here.
Each year, approximately two million Mexican residents take part in the religious phenomenon Ruta del Peregrino (Pilgrim’s Route) – a 117 kilometer pilgrimage through the mountain range of Jalisco that is centered around and moved by the adoration to the Virgin of Talpa. This religious voyage has been taking place since the 17th century and represents the pilgrim’s act of faith carried to penitence. Although conditions are harsh, this sacrifice carried with austerity is an essential part of the promise or offering that become the ritual of purification.
In an effort to provide the historical route with better conditions, nine architecture firms and design offices collaborated to build seven architectural landmarks that provide shelter, services and outlook points for the pilgrims. By establishing a strong relationship with both the extraordinary landscape and the religious rituals of Ruta del Peregrino, the architectural pieces have become the “imaginary landmarks” of a deeply rooted phenomenon.
Continue reading to learn about how this project is contributing to the 2012 Venice Biennale.
Russia’s leading creative think tank, Strelka Institute, is hosting a series of discussions with preeminent voices in architecture and urban design in the pre-opening days of the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale. Inspired by the Biennale’s theme of Common Ground, the conversations will focus on how architecture and design can drive the physical, social and economic regeneration of urban environments. Using Russian cities as a starting point, the talks will explore wider issues in urban design around global metropoles. Featured speakers include OMA’s Reinier de Graaf, Teddy Cruz, Stefano Boeri, and more.
The discussions will take place on August 27 and 28 at the Strelka Palazzo. All events are free to attend, but space is limited. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a seat.
Strelka Palazzo Program:
For the first time ever, Design Onscreen – the Initiative for Architecture and Design on Film – will present the Design Onscreen Film Festival at the Venice Architecture Biennale, August 27 through the 29th at the Arsenale’s Teatro Piccolo. All sixteen screenings are free and open to the public and most will be followed by dynamic in-person discussions and audience Q&As, featuring top architects and design experts from around the globe, including Lord Norman Foster, Peter Eisenman, Rick Joy, Steven Holl, Vittorio Garatti, Deyan Sudjic (Director, Design Museum London), Barry Bergdoll (Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art); Moshen Mostafavi (Dean, Harvard Graduate School of Design), Mark Wigley (Dean, Columbia Univ. School of Architecture), and David Chipperfield (Curator and Director of the 13th Annual International Architecture Exhibition, Venice Biennale).
Continue after the break for trailers and more information.
Join the authors and editors of Lars Müller Publishers for a rare book signing opportunity with architects Wang Shu, Sou Fujimoto, and Steven Holl on August 28th at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale! This event will kick off the exhibition Lars Müller Publishers – Book Fever, which will feature sixty publications – new releases, bestsellers, milestones from the past, and rare treasures – for the public to explore.
Founded thirty years ago, Lars Müller Publishers’ carefully edited and designed publications on architecture, design, and contemporary art has lead them to become a renowned international publisher. One milestone you may remember was their release of Peter Zumthor’s Works (1998), which was the first survey of the oeuvre of the architect now known worldwide that set new standards for the monograph as a book genre.
Continue after the break for more details on the book signing and exhibition.