With the United States Senate opening up the debate on legislation for increased gun control, we felt it was time to revisit a question we’ve asked ourselves in the past: what can design do to prevent gun violence?
Read more about the recent debate about the potential of design for gun violence, after the break…
As his website reveals, Hancock “panics that he may not be able to draw everything in the world… at least once.” Since Kindergarten, he’s been obsessed with drawing in meticulous detail (or, as he tells the Atlantic Cities, with a mix of “technicality and whimsy”), a characteristic this native Australian brought with him when he moved to Brooklyn, New York.
What began as a blog, All The Buildings In New York, to keep track of his many sketches of New York’s architecture (particularly the brownstones), is now a book (All The Buildings in New York: That I’ve Drawn So Far - which includes about 500 drawings). Organized by neighborhoods, it features New York architectural icons from the past and present, including the Chrysler Building, the Flatiron, Apple’s 5th Avenue store, as well as the everyday buildings that make up New York’s unique cityscape.
See more images from All the Buildings in New York, after the break…
“There are of course the personal feelings — your buildings are like your children, and this is a particular, for us, beloved small child. But there is also the feeling that it’s a kind of loss for architecture, because it’s a special building, a kind of small building that’s crafted, that’s particular and thoughtful at a time when so many buildings are about bigness.” – Billie Tsien, quoted in The New York Times
After only 12 years, the Tod Williams & Billie Tsien-designed American Folk Art Museum is slated to be demolished. Despite the acclaim it has received from critics, including high praise from the likes of Paul Goldberger and Herbert Muschamp, and the importance it has been given in New York’s architectural landscape, the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA, which bought the building in 2011) reports that it must tear down the building to make way for an imminent expansion.
At the time of its construction, the building was of the first new museums built in New York in over thirty years. Unfortunately, the building will more likely be remembered for its short life, taking, in the words of The New York Times reporter Robin Pogrebin, “a dubious place in history as having had one of the shortest lives of an architecturally ambitious project in Manhattan.”
Read more about the American Folk Art Museum’s imminent demolition, after the break…
Since June, we’ve been reporting on the Design Corps and SEED (Social Economic Environmental Design)‘s, SEEDocs, a series of mini-documentaries that highlight the stories of award-winning public interest design projects. As each mini-doc has been an excellent, inspiring exploration of the challenges and benefits of community-oriented design, we are pleased (and not a little sad!) to announce that the final seed-doc has just been released.
This month’s mini-doc, probably the series’ best, focuses on the Nyanza Maternity Hospital, designed by MASS Design Group. MASS of course garnered much attention for their Butaro Hospital, also in Rwanda (for an interesting inside-look at the construction of Butaro, read this excellent article by MASS co-founder Marika Shiori-Clark). Should this hospital be funded and realized, it will no doubt make more headlines for the innovative public-interest design firm.
Read more about MASS Design Group’s lastest project in Rwanda, after the break…
When we see another Eiffel Tower, idyllic English village, or, most recently, a Zaha Hadid shopping mall, copied in China, our first reaction is to scoff. Heartily. To suggest that it is – once again – evidence of China’s knock-off culture, its disregard for uniqueness, its staggering lack of innovation. Even I, reporting on the Chinese copy of the Austrian town of Halstatt, fell into the rhetorical trap: “The Chinese are well-known for their penchant for knock-offs, be it brand-name handbags or high-tech gadgets, but this time, they’ve taken it to a whole other level.”
Moreover, as Guy Horton has noted, we are keen to describe designers in the West as “emulating,” “imitating,” and “borrowing”; those in the East are almost always “pirating.” However, when we allow ourselves, even unconsciously, to settle into the role of superior scoffer, we do not just do the Chinese, but ourselves, a disservice: first, we fail to recognize the fascinating complexity that lies behind China’s built experimentation with Western ideals; and, what’s more, we fail to look in the mirror at ourselves, and trouble our own unquestioned values and supposed superiority. In the next few paragraphs, I’d like to do both.
And it’s even rarer that Goldberger would choose those words – not for a new museum, chapel, or university building – but for a small pre-fabricated house. However, the pre-fab homes of Rocio Romero are lightyears away from the Sears catalog homes of yore, and more than deserving of the high praise they’ve garnered.
Romero has been making headlines ever since she introduced the LV house, her line of affordable, modern pre-fabricated homes, over ten years ago. With pre-fab becoming everyday more mainstream, we decided to sit down with Romero to find out what inspired her to enter in the world of pre-fab, what sets her designs apart (and why they have garnered such a fervent following), and what she sees as the future of pre-fabricated design.
Read the interview with Rocio Romero, after the break…
When one thinks of the stereotypical “American” life, images of Suburbia, of small homes with white picket fences, immediately come to mind. But beyond the stereotype is the lived experience of millions of Americans, who have grown up in cities across the country, and indeed, the world.
If you are one of these millions, and have lived at least some of your life in a high-rise building, then you can be of use to the New York Times‘ new Op-Docs series. This summer they will create four short documentaries, directed by the filmmaker Katerina Cizek, exploring “the history and future of high-rise buildings and their relationship to issues of equity, segregation and social responsibility in cities around the world.” The fourth film will consist entirely of images sent by you, the public.
If you have an image (digital or a scanned still) that tells a story about your experience living in or around vertical housing, you can submit it to The New York Times here - just make sure to do it before April 15th.
Story via The New York Times
What do the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building, the Kremlin, and the Burj Khalifa have in common?
Elevators from the Otis Elevator Company. The company, which is celebrating its 160th anniversary today, has an interesting history: it was founded in 1853, the year Elisha Otis invented the elevator safety brake. Before Otis’ invention, buildings rarely reached seven stories (elevators were considered just too dangerous to implement).
But it was Otis’ elevator that would allow for the creation, and proliferation of, the skyscraper – an explosion that would for ever alter the 20th and 21st century skylines.
Read more about the Otis Elevators influence on skyscraper design (and how Otis performed a death-defying feat to increase the invention’s popularity), after the break…
There’s no denying that London’s airport capacity is insufficient (to put it mildly) – not just for its current needs, but, most worryingly, for the future. Nor are architects ignorant to the situation; in the last few years we’ve published proposals from the likes of Foster+Partners, Zaha Hadid Architects, Beckett Ravine, and Grimshaw Architects, offering their own unique perspectives on what could be done.
However, for all the proposals (some emphasizing new off-shore airports, others on bulking up infrastructure or existing facilities), it’s hard to untangle what’s actually being done towards making these ideas reality. To clarify the situation, and lay our doubts at rest, we spoke with Ricky Burdett, one of the commissioners of the newly created Independent Airports Commission.
In the video above, Burdett, a renowned architect and professor of Urban Studies at the LSE (who has previously served as architecural advisor for both the 2012 London Olympics and the Mayor of London, 2001-2006), explains the political situation in the UK that has been preventing action, and describes how the Independent Airports Commission has been assembled in order to help the government through this process.
More info on this controversial commission, after the break…
Zaha Hadid Architects’ first built tower, the CMA CGM Headquarters in Marseille, France, is most immediately notable for its vertical form.
As the stunning images from Hufton + Crow show, the tower’s disparate volumes (generated from gradual centripetal vectors) gently converge towards each other and then bend apart to create an elegant “metallic curving arc that slowly lifts and accelerates skywards into [...a] dramatic vertical geometry.”
Read More about CMA CGM Headquarters, after the break…
“The architect has to continue doing what he or she has done for the last 5,000 years, which is to make objects of great beauty, which uplift the spirits of whoever commissions them or occupies them or sees them. But, increasingly, [the architect] has to take on two other things, which is: to make things in such a way that they are part of an environmental whole; but also to be much more conscious of what the social impacts are of the decisions the architect may make. [...] The architect, unless they want to wipe themselves out and become aesthetes, has to deal with these big issues.” – Ricky Burdett
As the world becomes increasingly urbanized, there lies an important question ahead of us. There can be no doubt that cities will grow, but how can we make sure that they grow sustainably and – what’s more – equitably?
To get to the bottom of these important questions, we spoke with Ricky Burdett, a professor of Urban Studies at the London School of Economics (where he directs the program LSE Cities), the author of The Endless City, and one of the world’s leading experts in urban planning. Not only was he the Chief Advisor of Architecture and Urbanism at the London 2012 Olympics, but he is also a founder of the Urban Age Project, an interdisciplinary investigation into the future of cities. We caught up with Burdett while he was in Chile, invited by CREO Antofagasta to advise on the development of Chile’s sprawled-out city of Antofagasta.
Burdett had so much to share about his varied experiences that we’ve decided to split this AD Interview into two. Part I (above) covers Burdett’s conception of what architecture is/should be; the London Olympics; and his strong opinion on the state of architecture in England today.
The second part of this interview, which you can see after the break, explores Burdett’s work studying urban environments – including the Urban Age project; the secrets to sustainable, equitable growth (for more on Burdett’s take on this, read Jared Green’s article “The Rise of the Endless City“); and how architects and policy makers must work together if we are to design cities that serve the greater social and environmental good.
A big happy birthday goes out to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969), who would have turned 127 years old today. Mies, who studied under Peter Behrens and was influenced by figures such as Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier, helped to develop the most enduring architectural style of the 20th Century: modernism.
Among his most famous accomplishments are his seminal Barcelona Pavilion; his work as the head of The Bauhaus school; and, after the Nazi ascension in Germany forced him to emigrate, his leadership at the Illinois Institute of Technology. During his 20 years at IIT, Mies developed what became known as ‘the second Chicago school of architecture’, a style of simplified, rectilinear high-rise buildings exemplified by projects such as 860-880 Lakeshore Drive and the Seagram Building. Mies’s minimalist style proved very popular; his famous aphorism ‘less is more’ is still widely used, even by those who are unaware of its origins.
To celebrate him we have changed our logo to a Mies doodle (above) and have rounded up our great Mies coverage of the past, including…
- For the visually-inclined - Infographic: Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe
- For the pop-culture fans - From Mad Men To Mies: Why Modernism Holds Sway
- For the Bauhaus enthusiasts - Infographic: The Bauhaus
- For those looking to buff up their Mies bookshelf - Thanks for the View, Mr. Mies
And, for the architecture purists, all of Mies’ works published on ArchDaily:
- AD Classics: Chicago Federal Center / Mies Van der Rohe
- Villa Tugendhat / Mies van der Rohe
- The Museum of Fine Arts Houston / Mies Van der Rohe
- Landhaus Lemke / Mies van der Rohe
- IBM Building / Mies van der Rohe
- Barcelona Pavilion / Mies van der Rohe
- IIT Master Plan and Buildings / Mies van der Rohe
- The Farnsworth House / Mies van der Rohe
- 860-880 Lake Shore Drive / Mies van der Rohe
- Restoration of Lake Shore Drive by Krueck + Sexton
- Seagram Building / Mies van der Rohe
- Neue National Gallery in Berlin / Mies van der Rohe
Brutalism. It’s the architecture movement that the public loves to hate, and architects dare to love. It’s also the latest topic tackled by CLOG, the quirky publication that takes a long slow look at what’s important in architecture now.
While Brutalism, a movement that reached its height in the 60s, may not seem a timely topic, nothing could be further from the truth. With Brutalism’s monolithic beasts reaching their not-so-golden golden years, the question to re-model (often prohibitively expensive, considering these projects’ complexity) or just demolish (as the public often begs for) is an urgent one – as the recent preservation debates over Paul Rudolph’s Orange County Building (successful) and Bertrand Goldberg‘s Prentice Women’s Hospital (not) reveal.
However, while this edition of CLOG of course mentions these debates, Brutalism shines in exploring the bigger questions these debates provoke: Why is Brutalism so loathed? What is it, really? And – can Brutalism be saved? Should it be?
The Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) has selected five design teams in a worldwide Architecture/Engineering Design Services solicitation to rehabilitate/renovate facilities that “represent American values and the best in American architecture, engineering, technology, sustainability, maintainability, art, culture, and construction execution.”
Each of the five selected firms, which include Weiss/Manfredi Architects, have “extensive renovation and restoration experience.” See them all after the break…
Just a couple of years ago, if you wanted to make something look trendier, you put a bird on it. Birds were everywhere. I’m not sure if Twitter was what started all the flutter, but it got so bad that Portlandia performed a skit named, you guessed it, “Put a Bird on It.” (“What a sad little tote bag. I know! I’ll put a bird on it.” Etc.)
It turns out architects have been doing the same thing, just with trees. Want to make a skyscraper look trendy and sustainable? Put a tree on it. Or better yet, dozens. Many high-concept skyscraper proposals are festooned with trees. On the rooftop, on terraces, in nooks and crannies, on absurdly large balconies. Basically anywhere horizontal and high off the ground. Now, I should be saying architects are drawing dozens, because I have yet to see one of these “green” skyscrapers in real life. (There’s one notable exception—BioMilano, which isn’t quite done yet.) If—and it’s a big if—any of these buildings ever get built, odds are they’ll be stripped of their foliage quicker than a developer can say “return on investment.” It’s just not realistic. I get why architects draw them on their buildings. Really, I do. But can we please stop?
Find out why it’s not a good idea to put trees on skyscrapers, after the break…
Out of 140 architects considered, 12 architects have been selected by the Nobel Foundation to compete to design their new home, a Nobel Center in Blasieholmen, Stockholm. The conspicuously European selection, chosen for their “design and artistic abilities and experience working in intricate urban environments,” includes some very big names – including BIG, David Chipperfield Architects, Herzog & de Meuron, and OMA. The only non-Europeans to compete will be SANAA’s Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa.
See the full list of competitors, and more information on the competition, after the break…
“Although Mr. Ito has built a great number of buildings in his career, in my view, he has been working on one project all along, — to push the boundaries of architecture. And to achieve that goal, he is not afraid of letting go what he has accomplished before.” — Yung Ho Chang, Member of the Pritzker Jury for 2013
Toyo Ito has been announced as the Pritzker laureate for 2013. Ito is the thirty-seventh recipient of the Pritzker Prize and its sixth Japanese recipient.
The Pritzker jury applauded Ito for his ability to synthesize many architectural languages and functionalities in the expression of one personal “syntax,” inspired by the organic structures found in nature and the sensual nature of the human user.
Calling him a “creator of timeless buildings,” the Pritzker Jury further praised Ito for “infusing his designs with a spiritual dimension and for the poetics that transcend all his works.” Among those works, the Jury singled out his Sendai Mediatheque, whose innovative use of structural tubes “permitted new interior spatial qualities,” TOD’S Omotesando building in Tokyo, “where the building skin also serves as structure,” and Tokyo’s Tama Art University Library as particularly inspiring.
In response to the accolade, the highest award in the profession of architecture, Ito humbly expressed that, with each project, he only becomes more “painfully aware of [his] inadequacy, and it turns into energy to challenge the next project.” For that reason, Ito professed, “I will never fix my architectural style and never be satisfied with my works.”
Read more of the Jury’s selection of Toyo Ito as the 2013 Pritzker Laureate, after the break…
Until his third year of high school, Toyo Ito’s passion was not architecture, but baseball.
Fortunately for us all (and almost assuredly for the Pritzker laureate himself), he soon switched career paths.
Born in Seoul in 1941, Ito moved to Japan at the tender age of two. From the age of 12 (when his father died) to the time he went to University, Ito was part of the family business: making miso (bean paste). However, upon attending The University of Tokyo from 1965-1969, architecture became his life work.
Read more on the life and work of Toyo Ito, the 2013 Pritzker Laureate, after the break…
This article was written by Armen Karaoghlanian for Interiors, an online journal run by Armen and Mehruss Jon Ahi, published on the 15th of each month, in which films are analyzed and diagrammed in terms of space. It has been revised and re-published with permission.
Michael Haneke, known for his cold, disturbing and bleak films, such as Funny Games (1997), Caché (2005) and The White Ribbon (2009), goes for a little compassion with his latest, Oscar-nominated film Amour (2012). The film, which explores the private life of a married couple, Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Anne (Emmanuelle Riva), is a meditation on how individuals cope with the loss of a loved one.
Haneke sets his film within a single location, a Parisian apartment, which was constructed in a soundstage. The filmmaker, who often obsesses over the sound and production design in his films, had complete freedom with the construction of this space. In The Hollywood Reporter, we learn about how specific he was with the design of the space itself. “The crew had to install and reinstall the parquet floor to make sure it creaked just right.” In lieu of shooting on actual locations, Michael Haneke recreated an entire location according to his specifications to create the space he desired for his film.
Read more about how the spaces in Amour allow for the story to unfurl, after the break…
Back in 2006, we saw that there was a very strong generation of young architects that weren’t part of the traditional circle of printed publications. So, we had this crazy idea that we could create a platform to give those architects the exposure they deserved, spreading the knowledge and innovations they were producing to the rest of the world. At a time where Web 2.0 shifted how media was produced and consumed, we saw an opportunity to embrace the web for to achieve this goal.
Very soon we realized that we were on the right track: that we were making available to the world a whole new corpus of architecture knowledge, having a positive impact on the speed of innovation in our field, and generating a new, virtuous circle.
Then in 2008, the world entered the urban era with more than 50% of its population living in cities, 3 billion people, a number that is expected to double by the year 2040. This growth is expected to happen particularly in parts of the world where architecture is required the most, and we understood that our global exchange of knowledge was part of that dynamic.
Our mission is 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.
In the span of five years, we went from an idea to the most visited architecture web site in the world, with over 7 million monthly readers, and a staff of over 50 people working in 9 different countries. This is our story.