Harvard Design Magazine No. 38 / Do You Read Me?

Courtesy of Harvard Design Magazine

The following is a re-print from the newly relaunched Harvard Design Magazine. The new approach to the 17-year-old publication is the vision of recently appointed editor in chief Jennifer Sigler and associate editor Leah Whitman- Salkin, in collaboration with creative director Jiminie Ha (With Projects, Inc.). “Do You Read Me?” invites “reading” across disciplinary boundaries, and stakes out an expanded arena for architecture and design dialogue. In her Editor’s Note, Sigler explores “When Walls Are Doors.” Read on to find out how you can win a subscription to HDM.

My favorite book as a child was called Story Number 2. Written by the absurdist playwright Eugene Ionesco, it tells the tale of the logical Josette and her enigmatic father, who gives her a lesson in “the real meaning of words”:

“The ceiling is called floor. The floor is called ceiling. The wall is called a door,” Papa explains matter-of-factly.

“A chair is a window. The window is a penholder. A pillow is a piece of bread. Bread is a bedside rug.”

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Alumni Launch Petition to Save the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture’s Accreditation

The ’s Main Campus at Taliesin West. Image © Flickr User: lumierefl

A group of alumni from the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture have launched a petition on change.org to incorporate the school “as an independent subsidiary as required by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) to ensure this irreplaceable treasure is perpetuated.” The school is currently at risk of losing its accreditation due to a recently enacted HLC law that requires colleges and other institutions to be  accredited separately from the organizations that sponsor them. The Frank Lloyd Wright School is currently funded as a part of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, which supports both of the school’s campuses, and preserves collections of Wright’s work.

“The School is a vibrant, rigorous, and fully accredited contemporary school of architectural design (offering an HLC- and NAAB-accredited M.Arch degree) that fills an irreplaceable niche as an alternative to conventional architectural education, a mandate set forth by Frank Lloyd Wright at its founding in 1932,” states the petition, which currently has over 400 signatures. Among the signatures are Mecanoo’s Francine Houben and Finnish architect Juhani Pallasmaa, who wrote: “Having stayed at Taliesin West for five months as a Scholar in Residence, I have deeply understood the great potential of the School.”

Learn more and sign the petition on change.org.

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Five Buildings Compete to be Named “World’s Best Highrise”

Bosco Verticale, Milan / Boeri Studio. Image © Kirsten Bucher

Rem Koolhaas, Steven Holl, Jean Nouvel and Boeri Studio are the masters behind five competing to be crowned the “World’s best.” Chosen as finalists for the 2014 International Award (IHA), the four practices are in the running for a prestigious title and €50,000 prize.

Award organizers from the City of Frankfurt/Main, Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM) and DekaBank at Frankfurt’s Paulskirche will announce a winner in mid-November. The chosen skyscraper will be selected by an esteemed, multidisciplinary jury based on the criteria ranging from future-oriented design and innovative building technology, to the building’s integrative urban development scheme and cost-effectiveness.

“Good architecture requires a willingness to take risks and a desire to try things out. All the finalists took this approach – there can be no innovation without experimentation. Our shortlist comprises three different prototypes of the future,” commented Jury Chairman Christoph Ingenhoven.

View all five of the competing highrises and the jury’s comments, after the break… 

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Big Thinking For Small Projects: Bolster Offers Insurance for Residential-Scale Work

Courtesy of

It is a common complaint among architects that, unlike other manufacturing systems, the way we build has remained essentially the same for hundreds of years. This presents a huge number of challenges, not only to architects but also to their clients and to contractors, with disputes over unexpected costs and time overruns – resulting in a system where contractors, clients and architects often see each other as adversaries rather than as members of a team.

The world of commercial architecture has at least gone some way to a solution: many large projects financed by developers or by the government are covered by construction bonds, which tie all parties down to a contract, and provide insurance against unexpected expenses and overruns. But what about the architects who work for small private clients? Now, thanks to a company called Bolster, designers on smaller projects can have the insurance used to streamline major projects – as well as a client matching service which can help architects and contractors find work.

Find out more about Bolster, and what it can offer architects, after the break

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Shigeru Ban to Construct Tainan Museum of Fine Arts

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Pritzker laureate Shigeru Ban has won an international competition to design the future Tainan Museum of Fine Arts. With an agenda to promote arts culture and tourism in Taiwan’s cultural capital, the museum will foster the research of arts, literature and history, while exhibiting local talent.

Cascading volumes featuring an auditorium, classrooms and exhibition galleries will be capped with a pentagonal roof canopy and softened with lush terraces and landscaping. An outdoor sculpture park and public recreation area will allow the museum’s inner contents to bleed into its surroundings and activate the city.

More images, after the break…

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Exclusive Video: Innovation Center UC – Anacleto Angelini / Alejandro Aravena | ELEMENTAL

Chile is recognized internationally for the quality of its architecture, even though its most lauded projects are not often found in urban areas. At a time when the true potential of Chilean architecture seems absent from the South American country’s cities, Alejandro Aravena | ELEMENTAL has designed a conceptually – and physically – dense project in .

In this ArchDaily exclusive video, ELEMENTAL‘s director Alejandro Aravena explains the concepts that shaped the form and delineated the design process of the Pontifical Catholic University’s Innovation Center UC – Anacelto Angelini. Instead of using materials that are usually associated with technology and innovation, such as glass and steel, Aravena uses and its hermetic, weighty properties to imbue the center with an air of timelessness and transcendence.

New York Shows that Protected Cycle Lanes are a Win-Win Improvement

© Flickr CC User Paul Krueger

The introduction of protected bike lanes in many cities usually raises objections from motorists who believe that devoting an entire road lane to cyclists will restrict the flow of cars and add to congestion in cities. However, a study of New York‘s streets, which has been ongoing since the first protected bicycle lanes opened in 2007, has recently shown that the opposite is actually true: by separating different types of traffic, cars can actually get around faster.

That’s before we even begin to discuss the safety benefits of protected bike lanes, with the study showing the risk of injury to cyclists, drivers and pedestrians all falling on streets where the protected lanes were installed.

Read on after the break for more results of the study

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Hawkins\Brown Unveils Legacy Designs for London Olympic Broadcast Centre

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Hawkins\Brown has unveiled designs for Here East, the redevelopment of the former Press and Broadcast Centre at the London 2012 Olympics. The design for a “world class creative and digital cluster” will feature office and studio space for both established global companies alongside some of East London‘s many creative start-ups. Providing over a million square feet of flexible space, the design also includes shared work spaces and public areas, and a shared yard to host events, aiming to promote sharing of ideas and collaboration between the companies at various scales that will inhabit it.

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APA Awards: James Ewing’s Matrimandir Photograph Places First for Architecture

The Matrimandir in , India designed by Roger Anger and Mirra Alfassa was constructed between 1971-2008. The inner chamber contains a meditation hall which houses the largest optically perfect glass sphere in the world. is an international peace community founded as a project of the Sri Aurobindo Society in 1968 with the endorsement of the Government of India and UNESCO.. Image © James Ewing

Brooklyn based architectural photographer James Ewing has placed first in the American Photographic Artists for architecture. The image, as Ewing describes, “was created to describe the verdant landscape that surrounds the Matrimandir and the community of Auroville.” 

“The land was in an advanced state of desertification when the Auroville project was started in the 1960s. Heavy erosion had removed most of the topsoil and left a barren scorched earth. Through many years of careful engineering and land management Auroville has created a lush, wooded, garden city. I sought out an elevated vantage point that allowed me to present the building in context with its landscape. The building without the landscape would only be half of the story. The cyclists in the foreground show scale and provide a contrast between the familiar low-fi technology of the bicycles and the fantastic sci-fi form of the Matrimandir itself.”

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Spotlight: Renzo Piano

© Architecture Record

“Architecture is art, but art vastly contaminated by many other things. Contaminated in the best sense of the word – fed, fertilised by many things.” -Renzo Piano

, the Pritzker-Prize Laureate born in Genoa, Italy, turns 77 today. While Piano was originally expected to follow the family tradition of building, Renzo rebelled to study architecture in Milan. Even so, to this day, Piano maintains a healthy skepticism of academia; indeed, craftsmanship and experimentation are both pillars at the Renzo Piano Building Workshop. Check out more Renzo Piano, including inspiring quotes and all his works on ArchDaily, after the break…

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KAMJZ Reveals Proposal for Shenzhen Bay Super City Masterplan

Courtesy of KAMJZ Architects

Already one of the most remarkable examples of China’s urban growth in the last 30 years, Shenzhen will soon also host a bustling new financial district. The Shenzhen Bay Super City Masterplan aims to create a new city center with top headquarter offices for global corporations and related venues for international conferences, exhibitions, and cultural programs. KAMJZ Architects has recently revealed their competition entry with a plan that proposes a more sustainable city center through the design of a radical new typology for office towers. Read on after the break to learn more about the proposed masterplan.

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Refresh Yourself with ArchDaily’s 15 Most Popular Pools on Pinterest

Devoto House / Andres Remy Arquitectos. Image © Alejandro Peral

We present to you 15 of ArchDaily’s most re-pinned pools on Pinterest; designs which resonate with the profound power of the aquatic. As Lao Tzu reminds us, “nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it,” not even architecture. Now come on in; the water’s fine.

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Spotlight: Tadao Ando

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Tadao Ando (13 September 1941), the 1995 recipient of the Pritzker Prize, turns 73 today. Ando, a Japanese architect based out of Osaka, Japan, is highly regarded for his unparalleled work with , sensitive treatment of natural light, and strong engagement with nature.

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Construction Begins on Miami’s Tallest Tower

Courtesy of Skyrise

Construction has begun on Miami’s tallest tower: SkyRise Miami. Standing 305 meters above the Biscayne Bay, the waterfront tower will offer three viewing decks, a restaurant, nightclub, ballroom, exhibition space, and even the chance to bungee jump off its upper floors.

It’s designers, locally based arquitectonica, hope SkyRise will achieve LEED Gold upon completion in mid-2017.

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National Building Museum Honors Charlie Rose with Vincent Scully Prize

Courtesy of Charlie Rose

The National Building Museum has announced Charlie Rose as the recipient of the 2014 Vincent Scully Prize. The American talk show host and journalist was honored for his exploration “good design, the growth of cities, and the shape of the urban form through his insightful and substantive conversations with leading thinkers of our day.”

“One of the great joys of spending twenty-five years at the table is meeting a cross-section of the best in culture and science and technology,” said Rose. “I have a special place for the men and women who inspire us with the buildings they create. Architecture is a passion of mine and I’ve been proud to know not only architects but also those who teach, assess, and love great buildings. Architecture is one of the reflections of the permanence of a civilization. I am indeed honored to be the recipient of the , named for a man I have known, admired, and interviewed.”

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Amazon to Occupy Stalled Foster Scheme

© with Brookfield

Amazon has confirmed plans to move more than 5,000 of its employees into a Foster + Partners-designed office building planned for Shoreditch High Street. On hold since January 2012, the £290 million mixed-use scheme will compete with Amazon’s Farringdon office to serve as the online retailer’s new UK headquarters.

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AR Issues: Who Needs Architecture Critics?

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ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this post, we take you back to AR’s June 2014 issue, which examines the state of architectural criticism in our age of online media and ever-present PR. Here, AR Editor Catherine Slessor argues that “more than ever, architecture is in need of provocative, engaging and entertaining critics.”

Ambrose Bierce, the great 19th-century satirist and author of the The Devil’s Dictionary, once defined a critic as ‘a person who boasts himself hard to please because nobody tries to please him’. Critics occupy a curiously parasitical position in the modern cultural milieu, and an architecture critic perhaps especially so. But in an age when architects can easily find obliging PR minions to dispense their gospel and biddable publishers to churn out infinite, anodyne oeuvres complètes, who still needs critics and criticism?

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Argentina to Build Latin America’s Tallest Skyscraper

Winning Proposal Image. © Fan Page de Cristina Fernández de Kirchner

Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has announced the winning proposal for the Cinematography and Audiovisual Tower that will be built in capital Buenos Aires.

Out of five competing proposals, MRA+A Álvarez| Bernabó | Sabatini’s design was selected. At 335 meters, the skyscraper will become the tallest building in Latin America, surpassing the 300-meter Costanera tower in Santiago, Chile and a 330-meter tower under development in Monterrery, Mexico. To be used mainly for Argentina’s film and television industry, the tower will have 67 floors and 216,000 square meters of space. A hotel will occupy the top 13 floors.

More details after the break…

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