After Facebook began its move into its new Frank Gehry-designed headquarters last week, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has praised his architect for his work. In a post on his personal Facebook page yesterday, Zuckerberg shares the story of how Gehry he initially turned down Gehry’s request to design the project, saying that “even though we all loved his architecture… We figured he would be very expensive and that would send the wrong signal about our culture.”
But Frank Gehry persisted, saying that he would match any bids the company received. As a result, Zuckerberg has now praised Gehry – in a somewhat uncharacteristic description of the architect – for being “very efficient.”
Read Zuckerberg’s full statement, after the break.
Nikola Olic is an architectural photographer based in Dallas, Texas, with a focus on capturing and reimagining buildings and sculptural objects in “dimensionless and disorienting ways.” His photographs, which often isolate views of building façades, frame architectural surfaces in order for them to appear to collapse into two dimensions. According to Olic, “this transience can be suspended by a camera shutter for a fraction of a second.” As part of his process, each photograph is named before being given a short textual accompaniment.
See a selection of Olic’s photographs after the break.
Uncovered by New York YIMBY, five new images have been revealed showing SHoP Architects‘ supertall and super-slender tower at 111 West 57th Street in Manhattan, just south of Central Park on what has become known as “Billionaire’s Row” (on account of the slew of new residential skyscrapers with some unit prices approaching $100 million).
Manhattan based real-estate company HFZ Capital Group has announced “The Bryant,” David Chipperfield Architects‘ first residential condominium project in New York City, located at 16 West 40th Street. The proposal for the 32-story building features a hotel on the lower levels, with 57 apartments ranging from one- to four-bedrooms, including two duplex penthouses, on floors 15 through 32 – offering residents “the rare opportunity to live in a new construction, residential development on the fully-restored Bryant Park,” according to the developers.
As cities worldwide are plagued with increasingly congested streets, more people are turning to bicycles to ease their commute. To accommodate the trend, bike lanes have been popping up around cities, yet often in a disjointed manner. A series of maps compiled by the Washington Post illustrates this surprisingly sporadic cycle infrastructure in several US cities.
Cropping up as afterthoughts in the existing urban fabric, many US bicycle networks consist of fragmented stretches of bike lanes and “sharrows” (shared car and bike lanes) loosely bound together by their proximity. In the case of Washington D.C., most of these are under a mile in length. A lack of cohesion and continuity leads to commuter chaos, forcing cyclists onto unprotected shoulders or into traffic when their designated lanes pull a disappearing act. Take a look at the maps after the break.
In many African countries, clean water is still a luxury. Wars are fought over it, families are uprooted for it, and entire communities perish without it. The scarcity of freshwater has plagued nations in Africa and around the world for centuries. Now, non-profit group PITCHAfrica is fixing the problem with a novel combination of sport and design. Part of a 10-acre Waterbank Campus comprised of 7 water-harvesting buildings, the soccer (or “futsal”) stadium is capable of hosting up to 1500 people, helping to save, educate and unite communities that are most in need.
After the unexpected departure of Rick Bell last week, the American Institute of Architects’ New York Chapter (AIANY) and the Center for Architecture have named David Burney as interim Executive Director until a long-term replacement can be found. Currently an Associate Professor of Planning and Placemaking at the Pratt Institute’s School of Architecture and Board Chair for the Center for Active Design, Burney worked as an architect at Davis Brody Bond until 1990, when he embarked on a 24-year career as one of New York‘s key civil servants: first as director of design at the NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) until 2003, and then as Commissioner of the City’s Department of Design and Construction (DDC) from 2004 until 2014.
Richard Rogers has announced that the home he built for his parents in Wimbledon, London, will be gifted to Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD) for the training of doctorates in the field of architecture. The home, which will be donated by his charity, the Richard Rogers Charitable Settlement, was completed between 1967 and 1968 by Richard and his then wife Su Rogers. Originally designed for his parents, Dr. William Nino and Dada Rogers, the Grade II* listed pre-fabrictated single storey dwelling was later adapted for Rogers’ son Ab and his family, before being put on the market in 2013 for £3.2million ($4.8million).
The Nasher Sculpture Center has announced the new $100,000 Nasher Prize, an international prize that will be awarded annually to living artists worldwide for “work that has had an extraordinary impact on the understanding of sculpture.” The inaugural winner will be announced in Fall of 2015.
“The Nasher Sculpture Center is one of a few institutions worldwide dedicated exclusively to the exhibition and study of modern and contemporary sculpture,” says the center. “As such, the prize is an apt extension of the museum’s mission and its commitment to advancing developments in the field. By recognizing those artists who have influenced our understanding of sculpture and its possibilities, the Nasher Sculpture Center will further its role as a leading institution in enhancing and promoting this vital art form.”
With opposition seemingly mounting against the Nobel Foundation’s plans to build a new, David Chipperfield-designed center along Stockholm’s Blasieholmen, advisors for Norrmalm’s neighborhood management has spoke up in favor of the project believing to be an opportunity to enhance the urban fabric and make the area more family-friendly. “The administration believes that the new park should be as green as possible and that more play environments for children and youth a priority in the development of public spaces,” reads the statement, highlighting the open space provided in the plan. Their response is just one of many that will help sway Stockholm’s City Planning and City Council final decision later this year.
With the planned demolition of Hotel Okura in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games fast approaching, architects and designers have rallied around the Modernist icon, calling for its preservation. In the latest and most high profile campaign, Japanese architect Toshiko Mori and Bottega Veneta’s Tomas Maier have joined forces to span a breadth of platforms from a symposium held last November to an Instagram hashtag (#mymomentatokura) sharing images of the beloved hotel. Most recently, Mori sat down with Architectural Digest to discuss her passion for Hotel Okura, the origins of the campaign, and Japanese Modernism. Read the full interview and see why Mori says Hotel Okura is “a very beautiful orphan child,” here.
German artist Carsten Höller is returning to London with plans for two new giant slides to be built at the Hayward Gallery this Summer. As part of his exhibition “Decision,” Holler will provide visitors with a two-slide exit option that will (hopefully) induce an “emotional state that is a unique condition somewhere between delight and madness.”
“[Holler] is “one of the world’s most thought-provoking and profoundly playful artists, with a sharp and mischievous intelligence bent on turning our ‘normal’ view of things upside-down,” says Ralph Rugoff, director of the Hayward Gallery. Decision, he continued, “will ask visitors to make choices, but also, more importantly, to embrace a kind of double vision that takes in competing points of view, and embodies what Holler calls a state of ‘active uncertainty’ – a frame of mind conducive to entertaining new possibilities.”
Mecanoo and Martinez + Johnson Architecture has released their completed preliminary designs for the modernization of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library – the only library and Washington D.C. building ever designed by Mies van der Rohe. The team’s competition-winning scheme aims to improve “Mies in a contemporary Miesian way.”
“While not final, these renderings demonstrate the amazing possibilities as we work to transform this historic building into a center for learning, innovation and engagement for the District,” says the D.C. Public Library. Updated images and more information about the design, after the break.
Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) has announced three architects shortlisted for this year’s prestigious Wheelwright Prize. The $100,000 grant, which is awarded annually to a single architect to support travel-based architectural research, is “intended to spur innovative research during the early stage of an architect’s professional career” and “foster new forms of research informed by cross-cultural engagement.”
Similarly to previous years, the shortlisted applicants were chosen from nearly 200 submitters spanning 51 countries. Each finalist will be invited to speak at Harvard GSD on April 16 (starting at noon) to present their work and research proposals. The event will be free and open to the public. A winner will be announced at the end of April.
“The strength and diversity of the applications are growing each year, making the jury’s job increasingly difficult,” said K. Michael Hays, Wheelwright Prize organizing committee member and 2015 jury chair. “It’s gratifying to see so many young architects approach their work as part of larger intellectual projects.”
The shortlisted architects are…
“The role of the architect, or the designer, is that of a very good, thoughtful host, all of whose energy goes into trying to anticipate the needs of his guests – those who enter the building and use the objects in it.” Charles Eames
Herman Miller is a furniture design and manufacturing company, which in addition to producing contemporary designs also continues manufacturing classic pieces, including those originally designed by Charles and Ray Eames. The company’s relationship with the designer duo goes back to the 1940s, when they worked together to develop the Eames’ Molded Plywood chairs and the classic Chaise Lounge.
Following a long investigation into the curvature of plywood and the construction of organic forms using new technologies and materials, the pair of architects developed their Shell Chair, an iconic design that is still manufactured today. Learn more about the development of the Shell Chair and see how it is constructed, after the break.
Thirty-two projects have been announced as the winners of the Inaugural Knight Cities Challenge, sharing in a prize pool of $USD5 million. An initiative of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the challenge received an overwhelming number of entries, with winners selected from a pool of over 7000 submissions. Each of the projects proposed strategies for the civic and economic development of one of the 26 cities in which the Knight Foundation invests, including Detroit, Akron Ohio, San Jose California, Lexington Kentucky, and Biloxi Mississippi.
The winning proposals each addressed one or more of the Knight Foundation’s “three drivers of city success”: (1) Talent: Ideas that help cities attract and keep the best and brightest, (2) Opportunity: Ideas that create economic prospects and break down divides, (3) Engagement: Ideas that spur connection and civic involvement.
Dalibor Vesely, a celebrated architectural historian, philosopher and teacher, died this week in London aged 79. Over the course of his teaching career, which spanned five decades, he tutored a number of the world’s leading architects and thinkers from Daniel Libeskind, Alberto Pérez-Gómez and Robin Evans, to Mohsen Mostafavi and David Leatherbarrow.
Vesely was born in Prague in 1934, five years before the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia. Following World War II, he studied engineering, architecture, art history and philosophy in Prague, Munich, Paris and Heidelberg. He was awarded his doctorate from Charles University (Prague) having been taught and supervised by Josef Havlicek, Karel Honzik, and Jaroslav Fragner. Although later he would be tutored by James Stirling, it was the philosopher of phenomenology Jan Patočka who, in his own words, “contributed more than anyone else to [his] overall intellectual orientation and to the articulation of some of the critical topics” explored in his seminal book, Architecture in the Age of Divided Representation, published in 2004.