A few weeks ago there was a flurry of debate about one of Zaha Hadid’s designs being copied, or at least copied in terms of its outer form. Very soon after this I discovered an interesting article in the most recent issue of MIT’s Leonardo: Journal of the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology.The article, “Hybrid Reassemblage: An Exploration of Craft, Digital Fabrication and Artifact Uniqueness” by Amit Zoran and Leah Buechley, raises some interesting points about the nature of originality, the subjective experience of making original things, and the potential for digital technology to impute this subjectivity to new and repeatable objects. In essence, the authors are discussing the position of craft, the hand-made, the personal, subjective act of making something that is singular and based on a personal process, the negotiation of decisions and risks with tools, materials, and design intentions.
A BIG step forward for Vancouver’s latest mixed-use tower making international headlines, as the 497-foot tall Beach and Howe proposal has received an “enthusiastic endorsement” from the city’s design panel.
Commissioned by Canada’s real estate mogul Ian Gillespie of Westbank, the Bjarke Ingles Group-designed tower promises to add a foreign twist to Vancouver’s skyline and create a new identity for an undefined section of town at the fringe of the city’s residential area. The 700,000 square foot complex – which contains shopping, social housing and market rental apartments – was praised by the panel for anchoring itself on a nine-story podium that occupies the disused, interstitial spaces found between the Granville Street Bridge’s entry and exit ramps.
More after the break…
Now on view at the Yossi Milo Gallery through March 2, rarely-seen images by modernist architectural photographer Ezra Stroller (American, 1915-2004) captures a Post-War American landscape with stunning images of industry, technology, transportation and working class Americans.
Beyond Architecture covers the full range of Stoller’s work, including photographs commissioned by Fortune, Architectural Forum, and House Beautiful magazines in the 1940s and for commercial projects for IBM, Upjohn Pharmaceuticals and CBS in the 1940s and 1950s. Included are photographs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s John Hancock Building, Chicago, and the United Nations Headquarters, designed by an international team of architects led by Wallace K. Harrison and including Oscar Niemeyer and Le Corbusier.
A selection of these images after the break…
In recent years there has been a lot of talk in the United States about our aging population, mostly in terms of social security funds and medicare. We have asked how we should deal with the impending problem that our elderly will outnumber the population that will serve as their caretakers. While speculations for a solution have generally settled within the realm of the economy, urban planners and architects are asking a different set of questions and looking for solutions regarding how we design. It is important to note, that while most of the discussion has been framed about the aging “baby-boomer” generation, Jack Rowe – speaking at the symposium for Designing Homes and Neighborhoods for an Aging Population in Washington, DC - pointed out that this concern is a conservative estimate of the bigger problem in our “demographic transformation”. In fact, the trend is far more expansive; medical advancements and a longer life expectancy mean that for the next few generations each aging population is expected to outlive its parents and will exceed the population of its children. This makes the issue at hand a more over-arching concern, or as Rowe later states, an issue that all members of society must face.
This is why we must think about architecture and urban planning in terms of adaptability for the aging, as we have already starting thinking about it in terms of handicapped accessibility.
More after the break…
Over the last year ArchDaily has kept growing, reaching more than 280,000 daily readers and 70 million pageviews per month. But more important than these figures is our mission: to provide inspiration, knowledge and tools for the architects that will face the challenge of improving the quality of life of the next 3 billion people that will live in cities in the next 40 years.
After 70,000 votes we are happy to present the winners of the ArchDaily Building of the Year Awards, a peer based, crowdsourced, architecture award where a collective intelligence of thousands of architects filter and recognise the best architecture featured on AD during the past year.
This group of buildings is unique in several aspects, from their spatial qualities to their structures and materials, but also in terms of what they represent for society and their impact on local communities. Thanks for being a part of this amazing process, where the voices of architects from around the world unite into one, strong, intelligent, forward-thinking, single message.
You can learn more about the process and the physical award in this video.
The practice with most votes, and therefore winner of the HP Designjet T520 ePrinter is TYIN Tegnestue Arkitekter; the second practice with most votes and winner of the HP Designjet T120 ePrinter is Vo Trong Nghia. The winners of the iPad 4th Generation are Francesca Cattaneo and Laurie Sims.
The winners of the ArchDaily 2012 Building of the Year Awards have been announced!
Once again we want to congratulate our readers, as the process has been outstanding. From close to 3,000 projects, the collective intelligence behind ArchDaily has been able to filter a list of amazing finalists, buildings from all over the world, by firms of all sizes and trajectories, with a strong common denominator: good architecture that can improve people’s lives.
As the world enters into the hyper urbanization era, our profession becomes crucial. We are proud to be the channel to spread architectural knowledge around the world and, with your help, recognise the buildings that raise the bar in the built world.
In this short video we wanted to share the spirit of the award, the judges and the wooden ArchDaily building crafted with salvaged wood from the deep south of the world, the award that will be sent to all the winning practices as in the previous years .
Thanks to all the practices that share their work with us, and thank you for being part of this amazing process.
In response to the Commission on Chicago Landmarks’ decision to reject landmark status to Prentice Woman’s Hospital for the second time in three months, the two preservationist groups challenging the City of Chicago have withdrawn their lawsuits. This eliminates the last barrier standing in Northwestern University’s way to demolish the historic, Bertrand Goldberg structure for a new biomedical research facility.
“We felt that we had done as much as we possibly could to demonstrate the significance of the building and ways to reuse,” stated Christina Morris, a senior field officer for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “We just couldn’t see that we’d have any other outcome.”
For many, this news is disheartening as architects and preservationists from around the globe have fought in solidarity for much of the past year in an attempt to illustrate the importance of this one-of-a-kind structure.
More after the break…
The City of New York has long awaited renovations to the East River Greenway. Squeezed between the FDR Drive to the west and the river to East, there are a few scattered public parks connected by a path that has been weathered and torn apart over the years. The proposed “Blueway” is a coordinated collaboration – between Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Community Boards 3 and 6, State Assembly Member Brian Kavanaugh, and New York’s WXY architecture and urban design - that takes suggestions from the general public to develop a scheme that works within the framework of the existing Greenway and provides specific sites waterfront access, development of wetlands and greater connectivity to the city and its waterways.
The stretch along the Greenway, which is the focus of WXY’s scheme, runs from Midtown East at 38th street to the Brooklyn Bridge. Running along the FDR, this area expands towards the river and finds its way under the highway’s overpass. Unlike the Hudson River Parkway along the West Side Highway, the East River Greenway has meager waterfront access and few piers to facilitate its development. A study, executed by several city departments in 2011, determined ways to improve amenities along the Greenway and proposed incorporating elements such as ambient lighting and street furniture. Now the focus has shifted to the river itself to determine ways in which to increase its usability and accessibility After Hurricane Sandy revealed the vulnerability of the hard edge of the East River, these same design considerations are now being used to create a resistant and effective buffer against future storm surges.
See what’s happening at the East River Blueway Plan after the break. (more…)
The ongoing competition for the redevelopment of the landmark Flinders Street Station in Melbourne, Australia has begun to raise some serious questions about the role of the public in architecture. The international competition, which narrowed down a total of 117 applicants to only 6 finalists, is due for completion in mid-2013. Each proposal will be put on display and the public will be invited to vote on their favorite design; what is raising eyebrows, however, is that the result of this public vote will be kept from the jury, who has the final say. The jury will not know what the public likes or dislikes when they place their own votes, and the public preference will only be revealed at the very end along with the jury’s decision.
Although there are pros and cons for keeping this information from the jury members, some Australians feel very strongly about their station - and you can certainly argue that they should have a greater say in its future.
Read more about public participation in architecture after the break…
Gem Barton, based in Brighton, England, is a writer, academic lecturer, curator and designer. As a regular contributor to journals and magazines such as Mark, Blueprint, Design Bureau and Inhabitat she explores and share her passion for architecture and design. Gem’s column ‘The B-Side’ will look at the alternatives to architectural traditions and explore what it means to be knee-deep in the 21st century design world. Follow her @gem_shandy
Allow me to make an unlikely comparison of two powerhouses: Zaha Hadid (62) and, bear with me now, Lady Gaga (26). Both are breaking the mold with their unique aesthetics; both are at the top of their respective industries; both are commercial successes. However, there is one undeniable difference: it only took the world a few years to recognize Lady Gaga and for her to skyrocket to fame. It has taken Dame Hadid the better part of three decades to receive a comparative level of acclaim. Is it fair to compare successful architects and super songstresses? In an architectural world where we are faced daily by terms such as ‘celebrity’ and ‘starchitect’ it may well be time to look deeper into the matter.
Read more about what architecture could learn from the Music Industry, after the break…
First envisioned back in 2003, the enormous crystalline glass structure stands nearly complete on top a historic warehouse on the edge of the River Elbe. Rising costs, delayed schedules and legal issues with the contractor, have plagued this magnificent concert hall with controversy. However, according a report in the German news magazine Der Spiegel, contractor Hochtief has initiated a new deal to ensure the completion of the building.
A revised contract, which is expect to adjust the architect’s fee’s to €94 million (€17 million over the original project cost), has projected Elbphilharmonie will be completed within the next four years. The news is bittersweet, as the architectural community and the residents of Hamburg have been waiting years for this highly anticipated concert hall to be complete, yet they cringe at the news of an overblown €575 million price tag.
Only a few days are left to apply to São Paulo’s Escola da Cidade – School of Architecture and Urbanism. Since 2009, the college has offered specialization courses; this year it is offering two non-degree graduate courses under the theme of ”American Civilization – A Look through Architecture” : ‘Housing and City’ and ‘Geography, City and Architecture’.
Two dynamic post-graduate programs offered by the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in Los Angeles have been charged with examining core contemporary issues facing architecture today. Spanning topics from advanced manufacturing methodologies and new building systems, to urban planning and design challenges faced globally, these post-professional tracks allow students to rethink architecture and design through the creative lens of the SCI-Arc community.
The architecture school’s Emerging Systems, Technologies & Media (ESTm) and Future Initiatives (SCIFI) programs are conceived as intensive one-year (three semesters) post-professional degrees in architecture, functioning as think tanks and research engines within the larger framework of the school.
In 1969, zoologist Desmond Morris released a book titled The Human Zoo; in it, he argued that human beings, tribal by nature, aren’t wired to live in the big, crowded modern-day cities we find ourselves in:
“Some people call the city a ‘concrete jungle’ — but jungles aren’t like that. Animals in jungles aren’t overcrowded. And overcrowding is the central problem of modern city life. If you want to look for crowded animals, you have to look in the zoo. And then it occurred to me: The city is not a concrete jungle — it’s a human zoo.”
Humans in a city are like animals in a zoo. It’s a fascinating claim, one that led me to a rather unusual thought.
If we take for granted Morris’ claim that the city is essentially a human zoo, and that, as we are all aware, it’s far more difficult for animals to mate in captivity, then – could cities actually limit our capacity for love? As our world becomes more and more urbanized, will it also become more lonely?
Is there any way to stop it?
Today, the Serpentine Gallery announced the architect that will design the 13th edition of the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion. Every year the gallery invites a renowned international architects who have not built yet in the UK, to design a temporary pavilion that hosts public activities in at the Gallery’s lawn, in London’s Hyde Park between June and October. The list of architects for the past editions includes several Pritzker laureates. More info of this program at our Serpentine Gallery Pavilion infographic.
The Japanese architect based in Tokyo established his firm Sou Fujimoto Architects back in 2000. He graduated from the Department of Architecture at the University of Tokyo in 1994, and has been a lecturer at Kyoto University since 2007. With a solid trajectory in residential and cultural projects, the firm has consistently shown a unique and innovative approach to the spatial qualities within his buildings, exploring new ways of housing design, space and materials. Sou was also part of the team that won the Golden Lion at the 13th Venice Biennale, with “Architecture, possible here? Home-for-All”, the Japan pavilion.
About the design of the pavilion Sou stated: “For the 2013 Pavilion I propose an architectural landscape: a transparent terrain that encourages people to interact with and explore the site in diverse ways. Within the pastoral context of KensingtonGardens, I envisage the vivid greenery of the surrounding plant life woven together with a constructed geometry. A new form of environment will be created, where the natural and the man-made merge; not solely architectural nor solely natural, but a unique meeting of the two.
The Pavilion will be a delicate, three-dimensional structure, each unit of which will be composed of fine steel bars. It will form a semi-transparent, irregular ring, simultaneously protecting visitors from the elements while allowing them to remain part of the landscape. The overall footprint will be 350 square-metres and the Pavilion will have two entrances. A series of stepped terraces will provide seating areas that will allow the Pavilion to be used as a flexible, multi-purpose social space.
The delicate quality of the structure, enhanced by its semi-transparency, will create a geometric, cloud-like form, as if it were mist rising from the undulations of the park. From certain vantage points, the Pavilion will appear to merge with the classical structure of the Serpentine Gallery, with visitors suspended in space.”
We are big fans of Sou’s work, and we are very excited to see this project being built at Hyde Park. As usual, expect a complete coverage of this project. You can watch our interview with Sou after the break:
After winning the Aberdeen City Garden competition in early 2012, Diller, Scofidio + Renfro‘s ‘Granite Web’ design was rejected over the summer in a 22-20 city council vote for being overly expensive. Despite public approval the proposal, which totaled a whopping £140m, was rejected in favor of a collection of more fiscally responsible city projects, such as refurbishing the Aberdeen Art Gallery and redeveloping the site of the St. Nicholas House.
Just recently, the City of Aberdeen announced a £300m city-wide plan of improving roads, schools and cultural buildings, with only £20m allotted for the city center, which will be pedestrianized but not much else. Thus, confirming the “final nail in the coffin“ for DS+R’s ambitious web of lush gardens and cultural landmarks.
Read more after the break…
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Situ Studio has unveiled the fifth edition of Times Square’s annual Heartwalk installation – a heart-shaped “room within the city” made of salvaged Sandy debris. Inspired by the “collective experience of Hurricane Sandy and the love that binds people together during trying times,” Heartwalk begins as two weathered ribbons of wooden planks that gradually lift to form an illuminated heart enclosure in the middle of Duffy Square.
People are already falling in love, as you can see Instagram’s #heartwalktsq is filling up with images of elated New Yorkers standing within the “heart of New York City”.
More images after the break…
That was the question I posed yesterday, in response to our publication of The WA100, Building Design’s ranking of the world’s largest architecture firms. My conclusion was that ranking, by size, tells you very little about the success of the world’s largest firms. But ranking by income and efficiency? Well, that tells you quite a bit more.
By looking at the Top 5 Fee Income Earners and the 5 Most Efficient Firms of 2012 – and their strategies – we can understand far more what it takes to be successful in this tough market. Since The WA100 is much more than a list of rankings, but also a compendium of information, I went back to the source to investigate these firms more.
The big guns (Aecom, Gensler, etc.) have aggressively pursued a diverse range of projects on an international scale (particularly in China and the Middle East) – a stance that is far from surprising, considering how competitive they are.
More interesting, however, is that the most “efficient” firms (those firms that, while nowhere near the size nor clout of the Big 3, have earned higher fee incomes per employee), have either stayed in strong markets or diversified internationally, creating a niche for themselves in these markets (a strategy discussed at length in “The 7 Things You Need To Know Before Doing Business Abroad”).
Learn the business strategies of the top income earners and most efficient earners of 2012, after the break…
Although preservationists continue to mourn the seemingly inevitable demise of Chicago’s Prentice Women’s Hospital, a solid victory for Brutalism has finally been confirmed. Lawmakers in Goshen, New York, have passed a proposal to renovate Paul Rudolph’s iconic Orange County Government Center, authorizing $10 million in design funding. The 15-6 vote was secured by the overwhelming evidence that an upgrade would be more cost effect than County Executive Ed Diana’s fallback plan to replace two-thirds of the building and preserving only the court section. In addition, lawmakers felt the pressure of a March 12 deadline that would risk losing up to $2.7 million in federal funds to repair water damage caused by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee in 2011.
More after the break…
Fast Company has released a list of what they believe to be the world’s top ten most innovative companies in architecture. From applauding Wang Shu’s abstinence from westernization to praising Mazzanti Arquitectos for transforming impoverished areas of crime into community hubs, this compilation honors some of the world’s most influential practices, regardless of their size.
Review the complete list after the break and share your thoughts in the comment section below. (more…)