Tonight, Kengo Kuma will be lecturing at the Woodbury School of Architecture in San Diego at 6:30pm. Shortly following his Woodbury appearance, the Japanese architect will then make his way across the country to Columbia University’s GSAAP (Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation)Wood Auditorium in New York City to present his lecture, Minimize: Small Architecture after 3/11, on Wednesday the 10th at 6:30pm. Both lectures are free and open to the public. (more…)
Cinematographer Tomas Koolhaas, son of notorious Rem Koolhaas, has shared with us his latest clips from the feature length documentary film, REM. Set to debut in 2013, the motion picture breaks away from conventional approach to filming architecture and exposes the raw, human experience of Dutch architect’s most famous projects. As Tomas describes, REM gives the audience “a rare insight into the reality of the hidden internal life of the buildings”.
ArchDaily had the chance to discuss the film with Tomas. Continue after the break for the complete interview and another small preview of the film!
New York’s Mayor Bloomberg is pushing for an updated zoning code for Midtown Manhattan which will affect the blocks around Grand Central Terminal and the Chrysler Building, and north toward the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and Lever House. This new code, called Midtown East, would replace existing building height restrictions and allow high-rise towers to soar in the 70-block area currently outfitted with older buildings of lower stature. If Midtown East is approved, developers would be able to build twice the size now permitted in the Grand Central area, bringing an estimated 16,000 employees in a neighborhood that now has 230,000 office workers.
In such a densely populated area of Manhattan, what will be the urban implication of allowing building heights to soar past their current height regulation? While the potential to increase the real estate value is a driving force for such an initiative, will this financial gain outweigh the drawbacks of new stresses that will be placed upon existing infrastructure and city functioning? The Bloomberg administration feels that such an initiative is needed to maintain the Grand Central area as “one of the premier business addresses”; however, the community is not as fast to support the idea and regard the proposal as just another example of Bloomberg’s latest attempts to make his mark on the city before his years in office are through.
More after the break. (more…)
This year’s underground pavilion was designed by Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei as a kind of archaeological discovery of pavilions past. As they explain: “Like a team of archaeologists, we identify [the] physical fragments as remains of the eleven Pavilions built between 2000 and 2011. […] These remains testify to the existence of the former Pavilions and their greater or lesser intervention in the natural environment of the park.”
Although most of the public events that made up the Park Nights programme have already occurred (including a showing of the incredible documentary on Ai Weiwei and a talk by Herzog & de Meuron), you can still catch the culminating event of the Pavilion, the Memory Marathon (October 12-14), which kicks off with Lebanese sound artist Tarek Atoui performing La Suite. The three-day, multi-disciplinary festival will feature over 60 participants, including former REM vocalist Michael Stipe, filmmaker David Lynch (who will present a new film), and the Pavilion architects, Herzog and de Meuron themselves.
For more info, check out our past coverage on the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion.
Close to the Port of Rotterdam docks, MVRDV has completed the Spijkenisse Book Mountain, a public library in Spijkenisse’s market square. It features a 480 meter route, lined with bookshelves, that wraps around a stacked, pyramidal form as it is showcased through the library’s glass structure. The “mountain of books” illuminates from within and serves as both an advertisement and an invitation to reading. The adjacent Library Quarter consisting of 42 social housing units, parking and public space is also a project by MVRDV. Together, with the Book Mountain, it strives to form an “exemplary eco-neighborhood”.
Continue after the break for the architects’ description.
The Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts will be hosting an exhibition on Russian Modernist Architecture starting October 11 through February 16, 2013. Featuring a wealth of rarely published material on architecture that spanned the empire of the Soviet Union, the 80+ large-scale photographs – documented by British photographer Richard Pare – provide unique insight into the movements of the Soviet revolutionary period. More photos and information after the break.
All Hale, a new film written by Anita Banerji, follows the story of college student Alice Walker who finds herself in a small town in Hale County, Alabama building a home for a family that is going through personal and financial hardship. The movie is filmed on location, with a variety of unique Hale County architecture serving as the backdrop for a story that rekindles a love for “home-grown architecture”. At a time when so much emphasis is focused on “starchitects” and the “Bilbao effect”, the story of this movie has a social agenda that highlights the backlash to this phenomena: the rising trend of design/build architecture.
Join us after the break for more on the underlying social inspiration of this film and a sneak peek at the trailer. (more…)
How to think about today’s architecture, captured in the pragmatic flows of changing society? Can architecture once more be captivating, romantic, humanistic, visionary, and everyday at the same time? It appears that today’s architecture is becoming increasingly complex and ambiguous, and thus increasingly manipulative. It is lost in the cloud of the everyday. But how can architecture be seen again in its elementary correlations, geometry, form, use? To be derived from the specific, idiosyncratic, everyday, and face the timeless, resistant level. How to find the vertical of the everyday? The everyday that makes sense only if it is reflected in the sublime.
More from exhibitor Metamak – Architectural Collective after the break.
Yes, it could begin this way, right here, just like that, in a rather slow and ponderous way, in this neutral place that belongs to all and to none, where people pass by almost without seeing each other, where the life of building regularly and distantly resounds. What happens behind the flats’ heavy doors can most often be perceived only through those fragmented echoes, those splinters, remnants, shadows, those first moves or incidents or accidents that happen in what are called “common areas,” soft little sounds damped by the red woolen carpet, embryos of communal life which never go further than the landing. The inhabitants of a single building live a few inches from each other, they are separated by a mere partition wall, they share the same spaces repeated along each corridor, they perform the same movements at the same times, turning on a tap, flushing the water closet, switching on a light, laying the table, a few dozen simultaneous existences repeated from storey to storey, from building to building, from street to street. They entrench themselves in their domestic dwelling space—since that is what it is called—and they would prefer nothing to emerge from it; but the little that they do let out…
- Georges Perec
The Ministry of Information and Culture of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, in collaboration and sponsorship with the Government of the United States of America and the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, has awarded AV62 Arquitectos first prize for the National Museum of Afghanistan Competition. The Spanish team was selected over 72 other design proposals from 31 countries.
A second and third prize winner, along with three honorable mentions, were also recognized at the awards ceremony in Kabul. More details after the break. (more…)
ARCHITECT Magazine has released their fourth annual ranking of the most “powerful, philanthropic, talented and profitable” architecture firms in the United States. Don’t be fooled, this doesn’t necessarily mean the biggest firms, as the survey uses the broadest possible criteria to allow practices, both small and large, the opportunity to compete and be recognized.
Firms are ranked by profitability, sustainability and design quality. For the first time this year, the survey included pro bono work and water modeling in response to the challenging realities of the economy, natural disasters and drought.
Additionally, the survey revealed that 66% of the firms reported an increase in their net revenue from 2010 to 2011. No surprise there, when considering the slow, overall improvement of the ABI (check out the latest ABI report here).
And now, the Top 50 US Firms are… (more…)
From the architects:
The Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank was designed by Norman Foster in 1979. At the core of the project is the attempt to create a civic space, a piece of common ground for the city. Though the building’s design went through many variations – culminating in the final scheme, completed in 1985 – the common denominator throughout was a desire to create a public arena by lifting the building up to ensure a flow of pedestrian movement across the site. This covered space is lit naturally by an external “sunscoop”, which reflects sunlight down through the glazed “underbelly” of an atrium at the heart of the building. Through the medium of models, sketches, drawings, and photographs, this exhibition shows the evolution of the design of the space and the tower that defines it.
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, Patkau 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.
More information about the “Five North American Architects as a Common Ground” videos shown at the Biennale:
The Museum of Copying, curated by British architect’s FAT, 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.
More about the Museum of Copying from the architects after the break.
OMA has been selected from four competing international architectural practices to design the new École Centrale engineering school and its surrounding urban development in the research and innovation zone of Saclay, southwest of Paris.
Spearheaded by Clément Blanchet, director of OMA projects in France, the winning “lab city” concept contrasts the corridor linearity of the typical laboratory. The design proposes a low level, glass-roofed superblock that contains an interior open plan grid, where various activities can interact and be overlooked simultaneously. Continue after the break to learn more. (more…)
Curated by Alexander Ponomarev and Olilga Milentiy, the Ukraine Pavilion presents mobile museums projects under the concept of “Mirage Architecture”. The exhibition focuses on a conceptual design for a Museum of Contemporary Arts in the Antarctic.
“In order to build new Utopia, there is no need to raze the world. There are still places on Earth with clean, free spaces, offering room for cooperation and co-creation. On of these places is the Antarctic”, says Milentiy.
Learn the story behind the ukrainian pavilion after the break
Last we updated you on the David Wright House, the Arizona home Frank Lloyd Wright designed for his son, things were looking up – the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy (FLWBC) had gotten the unanimous decision of the Phoenix Historic Preservation Commission to recommend Landmark Preservation to the City Council.
Unfortunately, the developer, John Hoffmann of 8081 Meridian, says that really doesn’t matter to him.
According to yesterday’s New York Times article by Michael Kimmelman, Pheonix city policy requires owner consent before designating any building for historic preservation. Since “8081 Meridian never gave its consent, and has no intention of doing so, Mr. Hoffman says he rejects the landmark process outright.”
Hoffman’s demolition permit has been voided by city officials, but he maintains that the permit is legal – it just expires today.
More on the precarious fate of the David Wright House, after the break…
Frank Gehry continues to amaze us – we recently shared the octagenarian’s vision for Zuckerberg’s expanding Facebook campus, and now the architect will tackle a master plan for Miami’s iconic Bacardi Tower and annex. Designed by Enrique Gutierrez, a collaborator of Mies van der Rohe, with amazing tile work by Brazilian artist Francisco Brennand, the Latin-infused modernist tower served as the Bacardi headquarters for nearly 50 years. Just this morning, the National YoungArts Foundation announced that it is the proud new owner of the main 8-story tower, and the “Jewel-box” 1975 annex, designed by Igancio Carrera-Justiz, with glass mosaic walls based on designs by German artist Johannes Dietz. The organization acquired the property for a steal – the Miami Herald estimates the buildings’ $10 million price tag weighs in at less than half of its market value – and is excited to make a permanent home to expand their activities.
Gehry work will not involve either of the buildings’ exteriors, which will be completely preserved, but rather, the project will include transforming the site’s parking lot into a park that will connect with a Gehry-designed performance hall just north of the existing buildings.
More after the break. (more…)