Venice Biennale 2012: Le quattro stagioni. L´architecttura del Made in Italy da Adriano Olivetti alla Green Economy / Italy Pavilion
The theme of the 13th International Architecture Exhibition, Common Ground, seems particularly apposite in describing the sense of rapport and relationship that is one of Italy’s primary characteristics in the development of cultural research and inquiry. This relationship has always been attained through reference to and an exchange between not only the purview of the contemporary, but also the past and our always compellingly tangible history. (more…)
The Austrian Pavilion for the 2012 Venice Biennale is a collaboration of Wolfgang Tschapeller, Rens Veltman and Martin Perktold, a team that consists of interdisciplinary fields of study, thought and action from architecture and art. The contribution, entitled “Hands have no tears to flow. Reports from / without Architecture” invites visitors to comprehend architecture as a social and cultural phenomenon and to experience it from different perspectives and views. It explores this year’s theme, Common Ground, with a discourse on the sociopolitical function of architecture. The exhibit will be on view at the Biennale until November 25th.
The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.
- Ludwig Wittgenstein, 1921)
The limits of our minds are reflected by the limiting capacity of our language. All the world we know is shaped by our external circumstances, which can be expressed through thoughts and outward expressions – our voices. The voice is typically regarded as a vocal manifestation; but it can also be visual and literal.
Studio Gang Architects and Kalamazoo College have announced plans to break ground October 9, at 4PM, on a new campus building to house the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership in southwest Michigan. The 10,000 square foot, wood masonry center will be the world’s first purpose-built structure for social justice leadership development, integrating a study, meeting, and event space where students, faculty, visiting scholars, social justice leaders, and members of the public will come together to engage in conversation and activities aimed at creating a more just world.
Set to be completed in Fall 2013, the Arcus Center is targeting LEED Gold certification. Continue after the break to learn more. (more…)
An international jury has selected Capital Cities Planning Group (CCPG), an Anglo-American team including Gillespies, John Thompson & Partners and Buro Happold, as winners for the design and planning of the new Federal District in Moscow.
Earlier this year, the Russian Federal Government announced that it was doubling the territory of Moscow to enable it to grow into a competitive 21st century world capital. In response, Genplan, Moscow’s city planner, earmarked an area of 155km2 to the south-west of the city for a new Federal Government Centre, aiming to relieve inner-city congestion through the relocation of the capital’s major employer. Ten international teams were invited to develop strategies and designs for the region during a six month, three stage competition. Continue reading to learn more. (more…)
The current fascination with the ‘reconstruction’ of the architect comes as a direct response to the turbulent forces reshaping global contemporary culture. This unsettling of the professional stability of architecture for most of the past century has forced many architects to question the motivations and assumptions upon which the profession and its practice have been constructed.
The Luxembourg Pavilion for the 2012 Venice Biennale, entitled Futura Bold? Post-City: Considering the Luxembourg case, is a speculative exploration of the future issues that cities of the 21st century will be facing. Using Luxembourg as a case study, Post-City seeks an attitude toward the forces of the urban environment instead of concluding with an urban proposal. Post-City poses pertinent questions that arise from Luxembourg’s urban conditions today. Posed as a platform for discussion, the pavilion will be on view at the Ca’ del Duca as part of the 2012 Venice Biennale until November 25th.
Join us after the break for more on this project. (more…)
Contemporary Athens is a city of strong contradictions: It is a city whose particular identity was shaped during post-World-War-II reconstruction. A city which has at its disposal an exceptionally talented cadre of young architects, international in orientation, well educated and with a wealth of professional experience. It is, however, the city that was most stricken by the current economic crisis. Currently the Athenian urban space is decomposing and there are increasingly frequent and greater disruptions of the social web. The younger generation of architects benefited from the positive aspects of globalization and today has come face-to-face with the harsh aspect of the global financial crisis, a plummeting standard of living and the need to redefine the priorities of architectural design.
These contradictions are shaping a particular dynamic in the city. Conditions are being created in Athens to expand the links between architecture and the city, both during the economic downturn, but also after it has passed; furthermore conditions are being created to bring to the forefront new ways of viewing the role of architecture, removed from the standards of well-being of the previous decade.
The Greek participation presents this idiosyncratic Athenian urbanism within two themes.
Deborah Berke, a New York City-based architect known for her design excellence, scholarly achievement and commitment to moving the practice of architecture forward in innovative ways, was selected as the first recipient of the University of California, Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design (CED) inaugural 2012 Berkeley-Rupp Architecture Professorship and Prize.
The Berkeley-Rupp Prize will be awarded biannually to a distinguished practitioner or academic who has made a significant contribution to promoting the advancement of women in the field of architecture, and whose work emphasizes a commitment to sustainability and the community.
The announcement was made by Jennifer Wolch, William W. Wurster Dean of the College of Environmental Design. Continue reading for the complete press release.
The British Pavilion presents the work of ten architectural teams who travelled the world in search of imaginative responses to universal issues. Venice Takeaway charts their course in Argentina, Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Thailand, and the USA, and demonstrates the creative potential of sharing ideas across borders.
The exhibition presents the work of more than twenty-six practicing architects, curators, academics, filmmakers, and writers who were selected by a scientific committee following an open call for ideas.
The World Architecture Festival is around the corner! On October 3rd-5th, hundreds of architects will gather in Singapore for an intense dose of architecture, in the form of panels, lectures, live crits, and more. You can see all the shortlisted projects here.
The speakers and judges list includes a long list of world renowned architects: Will Alsop (Alsop Architects), Neil Denari, Eva Castro (Plasma Studio), Ivan Harbour (Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners), Thomas Heatherwick, Enric Ruiz-Geli (Cloud 9), Wolf D. Prix (COOP HIMMELB(L)AU), Moshe Safdie, Ma Yansong (MAD), Chris Wilkinson and Jim Eyre (Wilkinson Eyre Architects), among many others.
Stay tuned for our live coverage of this important event.
The subject of the grands ensembles (housing complexes) selected for the French Pavilion is a good example of the ambivalence of an architect’s role, which is often decried; once, the urban environment of towers and large housing complexes was even blamed for social unrest in the “schemes”, also known as “estates” or “projects”. On the contrary, the challenge raised by this exhibition aims to show that contemporary architects have things to say about the “suburban crisis,” by working on “transformation” rather than just “repairs”.
Venice Biennale 2012: The Banality of Good: New Towns, Architects, Money, Politics / Crimson Architectural Historians
Presenting six cities built between the World War II and the present day, the installation sets their extraordinary diversity against the spatial, demographic, and economic formulas that lay behind their development. Displayed through a mix of bold typography, architectural elements, models, and painted canvases, this installation evokes the mix of complexity and control common to modern cities.
Through this installation, Swiss architect Valerio Olgiati explores the ambiguous and complex “common ground” of inspiration and imagination in architecture. Images, selected by architects from around the world, represent the infinitely varied forms of visual material that are collected in their imaginations and subsequently transformed through the creative process.
The Twin Towers had a profound presence in my life. I would greet them every morning, watching the sunlight dance across their facades, and, in the evening, I would search for patterns in the office lights that never seemed to fade. As a child, I would stand at the base of the towers and crane my neck in an effort to see the very top where the towers met the sky, trying not to stumble backward onto the stone of the plaza, mesmerized by their dizzying height and stoic duality.
I was in science class in the 6th grade when the towers were hit.
And, so began the quest of what would fill the emotional and physical gap left in my city. But, my focus today, on this day of remembrance, is the progress that has been made at the site and the promise for its future. (more…)
In the following videos you can see Toyo Ito, curator of “Architecture. Possible Here? Home-for-all”, along with collaborators Akihisa Hirata and Sou Fujimoto, discussing what Architecture means to them, the role of architects in our society, and how they approached the Biennale’s theme “Common Ground” on this particular exhibition, which reunites Japanese architects and an architectural photographer collaborating on the design of houses for those affected by the 2011 tsunami.
We thank the Japan Foundation for this interview.
Akihisa Hirata and Sou Fujimoto videos after the break:
After a long struggle for independence, Kosovo became a new European country in 2008. Much of it’s urban landscape consists of Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian and Communist era architecture that has been mostly remained untouched by the war. As wealth returns and the economy slowly grows, a new building spur has ignited, covering the city with a sprawl of store fronts, apartments and office buildings.
The Kosovan Pavilion takes a step back to reflect on the current state of their urban landscape, asking important questions on how architecture will effect the future of Kosovan identity and, more importantly, the emotional state and behaviors of the individuals that inhabit its cities. With the exhibition, The Filigree Maker, visitors and participants world-wide are given the opportunity to help shape the future Kosovo by sharing their emotional response to images of existing architecture. Find out more and learn how you can participate, after the break.
The Hungarian Pavilion for the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale presents a “forest” of white architectural models as a tribute to the common process and existence of this important subject within the profession. With an understanding that the model is where an architectural concept is first realized, the exhibition creates “sacred atmosphere” by placing 500, student fabricated models on top a pedestal.