Milan Design Week 2013: Akihisa Hirata Designs ‘Amazing Flow’ for Lexus

Courtesy of

Under the guidance of Toyo Ito, Japanese architect envisioned an  futuristic, experienced-based installation which sought to express “manifestations of flow as they relate to people and nature” to the spectators of the 2013 Milan Design Week. Titled “Amazing Flow”, the installation offered a “vision of the city of tomorrow” with a multi-sensory experience that embodied the “Lexus’ world vision” and a glimpse into how cars flow throughout built environment  The display consisted of a continuous, wooden structure that represented a moment in which “roads, humans, wind and water flow as a single entity.”

Compare the installation to the Lexus “Create Amazing” promotional video for the 2014 LF-LC Concept car and watch an interview with Hirata after the break…

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Santiago Calatrava Again Faces “Leaky” Charges

© L. Alberto Ramos

The architect and engineer has once again made the headlines of Spanish papers – and, once again, for less than favorable reasons.

Calatrava’s latest controversy is a lawsuit filed against him by the famous Bodegas Domecq winery, property of the Ysios Laguardia in Rioja, . Both the Valencian architect as well as those involved in the winery’s construction are being asked to pay two million euros to the winery, a sum that should help cover a renovation as well as the costs the winery has incurred over the last two years fixing the structure’s leaky roof. The owner claims that the leaks have been creating a damp atmosphere (in a building where moisture control is critical for the quality of the wine) and thus damaging his business.

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William Pedersen Awarded 2013 AIANY Medal of Honor

Shanghai World Financial Center © Mori Building

With a strong passion for successfully integrating tall buildings into their surrounding communities, William Pedersen, FAIA, FAAR has played a significant role as founding design partner in transforming Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) into an international powerhouse, whose diverse portfolio is executed by over 600 staff members in six global offices.

In honor of his undeniable success, the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects announced Pedersen as recipient of the 2013 Medal of Honor during  a ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City Wednesday.

More information and an interview with after the break…

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Critics React to Folk Art Museum’s Imminent Demolition

© Michael Moran

Just as designers have reacted to the death sentence of Ted Williams and Billie Tsien’s American Folk Art Museum building, forming petitions and a tumblr (#FolkMoMA), architecture critics have also been wielding their weapon – words – and entering the fray.

Most critics have responded with outrage (it’s “nothing less than cultural vandalism” says Martin Filler), denouncing MoMA’s prioritization of corporate needs over cultural value. However, a few are actually defending MoMA’s decision, saying the building was never ideal for displaying art anyway. See a round-up of all the opinions – from Davidson to Goldberger – after the break…

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Mexican Architect Pedro Ramírez Vázquez Dies at 94

, one of the most important Mexican architects of the 20th century, died yesterday on his 94th birthday in Mexico City. Ramírez headed the construction of many of ’s modernist landmarks including several museums, the nation’s largest sports stadium and a shrine that attracts the most pilgrimages in the country.

Read more on Pedro Ramírez Vázquez and his architectural legacy after the break.

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Farshid Moussavi Architecture Wins Jardins de la Lironde Competition

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This unconventional stack of shifting floor plates forms what will soon be a new, 36-unit apartment block in French city of . City officials released the news this week, naming Farshid Moussavi Architecture as winner of the Jardins de la Lironde competition.

The 11-story tower’s unique shape will offer residents expansive balconies with coastal views and a ground level restaurant. Construction is expected to begin in 2014, marking the first phase of a master plan to construct 12 new buildings in the Port Marianne district.

More images and plans of the Jardins de la Lironde tower after the break…

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SOM & CASE Launch First Crowd-sourced, Web-based Resource for AEC Industry

Courtesy of Inc

SOM and CASE has formally launched AEC-APPS, the first crowd-sourced, web-based library for applications used by architects, engineers and construction professionals. This is a one-of-a-kind initiative in the AEC Industry and is a non-profit online community that allows digital tool users and toolmakers to share ideas, tips and resources covering a wide array of applications, ranging from commercially-marketed products to user-created scripts and utilities. After months of beta testing, the site currently hosts more than 500 users who have posted 800 apps that can be used in the design, construction and operation of buildings.

Read more about this new initiative after the break.

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Barry Bergdoll Breaks Silence About American Folk Art Museum

© Flickr User CC Wallyg

Among the many ironies of the MoMA’s decision to demolish Ted Williams and Billie Tsien’s 12-year old building for the , is the most obvious: as a cultural institution, the MoMA is meant to value and protect, not demolish,  architecture.

Critics such as Justin Davidson and Martin Filler have pointed out that the irony is particularly acute considering the MoMA’s “distinguished” and “revivified” department of architecture and design, curated by Barry Bergdoll. They note that Bergdoll, who they both praise highly as “visionary”, has remained conspicuously silent on the decision. Davidson even claims that the MoMA can only appreciate such innovative “individuality [such as Bergdoll's] under glass.”

However, a week after the decision first went public, Bergdoll has finally broken his silence to Architect’s Newspaper. See what he has to say about the MoMA’s decision, after the break…

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Is an Olympic Bid Ever Worth It? What if You Lose?

Via the Atlantic Cities “The would-be BMX track in Douglas Park, from Chicago’s Bid Book.”

In “How (Not) to Host the Olympics,” I suggest that, when it comes to Olympic Planning, there is one Golden Rule: “The best thing to do if you’re bidding for the , Is to Not Get the .”

However, a recent article from The Atlantic Cities’ Emily Badger takes that claim to question.

Badger follows up in Chicago, a city that bid – hard – for the (which will take place in Rio de Janeiro). As she puts it: We often ask what Olympic cities really get in return for all the money, energy, and construction chaos invested in hosting the world’s largest sporting event. But the story of cities that vie for but never win the Games raises a different question.

‘What does putting together a bid that is unsuccessful leave you?’”

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Museum of Moving Image Wins 2013 Red Dot Design Award

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LEESER Architecture’s design for the Museum of Moving Image has recently been announced as the winner of the 2013 Red Dot Design Award in its highly competitive Architecture and Urban Design category.  Completed in 2011, the Museum of the Moving Image houses a comprehensive collection dedicated to educating the public about the art, history, technique, and of film, television, and digital media.The existing structure is seamlessly integrated with the substantial new addition through a grand lobby which connects the two. More information on their award after the break.

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Fusing Architecture and Music: Philip Kennicott On the Inspiration Behind Steven Holl’s Daeyang Gallery and House for Dwell

A watercolor by architect Steven Holl was an early step toward translating an obscure musical score by István Anhalt into a new home and gallery in , South Korea © Iwan Baan

Awarded yesterday with the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for criticism, Philip Kennicott has built an honorable reputation as a art and architecture critic for Washington Post’s Style section. One of his most recent works, Music Holl: A Copper Clad Pavilion - exclusively published in Dwell’s May Issue Global Style - recounts the inspiration behind Steven Holl’s award-winning Daeyang Gallery and House in Seoul. 

Designed as an experiment on “the architectonics of music,” the basic geometry of the Daeyang Gallery and House was inspired by Istvan Anhalt’s 1967 ‘Symphony of Modules’ – a uniquely transcribed sheet of music found in John Cage’s contemporary music compendium, Notations. Reminiscent of the “blocky and shard-like shapes” of Anhalt’s sketch, Holl’s design features three copper-clad pavilions punctured by a symphony of carefully placed, rectangular skylights that animate the interior with “bars of light”. As Kennicott describes, Holl uses music as a “powerful metaphor for the dynamic unfolding of experience” (captured in this film by Spirit of Space).

Read Kennicott’s Music Holl: A Copper Clad Pavilion in its entirety here on Dwell. Continue after the break to compare Steven Holl’s Daeyang sketch above with Anhalt’s ‘Symphony of Modules’.

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Gehry’s Software Enters the Cloud, Promotes Paperless Construction

Courtesy of www.newyorkbygehry.com

There are many ways that the architecture profession has lead the way in environmentally friendly design – but when it comes to the process of creating buildings themselves, the industry works its way through huge amounts of paper. Frank Gehry, through his offshoot company Gehry Technologies, is aiming to change that.

The company has recently announced that its GTeam software, which has so far been available for less than a year, will now make use of Box, a cloud based storage system that is well suited to large files associated with complex 3D models that are often required in designing buildings.

Read more about Gehry Technology’s new software collaboration after the break

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Motion Picture Academy Unveils Designs for Renzo Piano-Designed Museum

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures © Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Studio Pali Fekete architects, AMPAS

It’s surprising to think that Los Angeles - the home of the U.S film industry – doesn’t have a museum solely dedicated to its homegrown artform. However, all that is about to change should the Academy of Motion Pictures have their way.

Last Thursday, plans were unveiled for the long-touted Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, a new museum designed by Renzo Piano and native Los Angeleno architect Zoltan Pali, which will be located in the streamline-moderne Wiltshire May Company building at Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, on the campus of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Although the designs are at an early stage, the released drawings propose to convert the historic building into a museum, while marrying it with a 140-foot-diameter glass dome.

Read more about the project after the break…

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Architecture Students Protest University with (what else) Architecture

© Daniel Boesen Nolan, Wenray Wang, Peter Nguyen, Michael Baker

Across the globe, architecture programs are cutting resources and raising fees in an effort to stay afloat. Meanwhile, architecture students feel powerless to demand more – to demand quality, to protest fees, to suggest how curricula could better serve them for the future (a poignant concern in this troubled economy, where even a competitive degree doesn’t guarantee post-grad employment any more). 

In this Catch-22 of a situation, what can students do? Well, as any good architect-in-training, they can use their craft to form a solution. 

Which is exactly what, on the 9th of April, 20 architecture undergrads from the University of Sydney did.

More on the University of Sydney students’ architectural protest, after the break…

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2013 President’s Medal Awarded to Renzo Piano

Renzo Piano’s Flat-Pack Auditorium for L’Aquila / © Marco Caselli Nirmal

The Architectural League of New York announced early this month the award of its 2013 President’s Medal to Renzo Piano of the Renzo Piano Building Workshop.The President’s Medal is the Architectural League’s highest honor and is bestowed, at the discretion of the League’s President and Board of Directors, on individuals to recognize an extraordinary body of work in architecture, urbanism, or design. This award also exemplifies the Architectural League’s 130-year history of encouraging and honoring excellence in architecture, urbanism, and design. The medal was presented to Renzo Piano, one of the world’s most admired architects, by Architectural League President Annabelle Selldorf on April 9th at a dinner with over 350 guests in Manhattan. For more information, please visit here.

AIA/NCARB Survey Indicates Resurgence in Employment Rates for Architects

We have already written about the dauntingly high rates of unemployment that are awaiting architecture-degree graduates in the profession these days, but a recent survey conducted by the AIA/NCARB Internship and Career Survey reveals an optimistic view of job growth and job placement in the two years since the “intense economic contraction” of 2010.  The AIA writes, “emerging professionals have begun experiencing a rebound, with higher employment levels, more young designers getting licensed, and any remaining unemployment becoming, in most cases, mercifully short”.   (more…)

Herzog & de Meuron Breaks Ground on ‘Grand Stade de Bordeaux’

© Herzog & de Meuron

Nearly two years after unveiling the design to the public, Herzog & de Meuron broke ground this morning on the new ‘Grand Stade de ’ in . Surrounded by lush vegetation typically found in this green belt district, the stepped concourse transitions visitors through a forest of slender white columns to the stadium’s bowl, whose form ensures maximum flexibility and optimal visibility for all 43,000 spectators.

Completion is set for 2015, just in time to host the Euro 2016 football championship.

The architect’s description after the break…

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BIG Wins Europa City Development in Paris

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Danish architecture firm, BIG - led by Bjarke Ingels – has been announced as the winner of an international invited competition for the design of Europa City,  a 800,000 square meter cultural, recreational and retail development in Triangle de Gonesse, .  Combining city development with an open landscape, Europa City creates a dynamic center of activity for visitors and residents, appealing to the variety of functions of city life.  Europa City is situated along the route from Charles de Gaule Airport to Paris and has a wide range of programs that is part of a larger initiative to attract international tourism into the northern parts of Paris.

More on the project after the break…

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