This article by Samuel Medina originally appeared in Metropolis Magazine, titled “Eero Saarinen’s Bell Labs, Now Devoid of Life” and features stunning photos of the abandoned leviathan by Rob Dobi.
At its peak, thousands passed through its massive, light-filled atrium. Today, Bell Labs Holmdel stands empty, all of its 1.9-million-square-feet utterly without life. An iconic example of the now-disparaged office park, the campus in central Jersey, was shuttered in 2007 and vacated soon after. Years later, it remains in an abandoned, if not unkept state. The grounds are cared for, the floors swept clean, and the interior plantings trimmed, however haphazardly. (That’s saying something; in the laboratory’s heyday, plastic shrubbery filled its glorious central hall.)
More about the building’s future, and more photos by Rob Dobi, after the break
Today is the 70th Birthday of Thom Mayne, Principal architect of LA firm Morphosis. Mayne was the recipient of the 2005 Pritzker Prize and the 2013 AIA Gold Medal, and is known for his experimental architectural forms, often applying them to significant institutional buildings such as the Cooper Union building and the Caltrans District 7 Headquarters.
The Folk Art Museum is most certainly doomed; it may have been doomed from its first appearance. Designed and built to endure, it will soon dissipate in a fog of demolition and fading memory, its lifespan ultimately briefer than a McDonald’s franchise. Looks aren’t everything, I guess.
This raises a lot of questions about permanence, memory, and the spatial character of cities. If The Folk were not in New York, would its status as a landmark building still hold? A particularly New York type of building, more front and slot, it’s a building that is about the street as much as it is about an interior world beyond that street. And losing it will mean West 53rd will be wrought more mega in scale and commercial in vision.
For the 5th consecutive year, we are proud to announce the Building of the Year Awards.
During the past year our network of architectural knowledge has grown intensely. Not only did we reach over 300,000 daily visitors; almost 70 million page views per month; 160,000 followers on Twitter; 105,000 followers on Instagram; and more than a million fans on Facebook, but, moreover, our local versions – ArchDaily Brasil, ArchDaily México and Plataforma Arquitectura – have grown exponentially as well.
This means that ArchDaily is now reaching every corner of the globe – and in many different formats. From the many lectures and events we attended this year to the launch of our new mobile version (which puts ArchDaily in pockets everywhere), we’re doing everything possible to spread our content – and our mission – around the world.
Which is why the Building of the Year Awards continue to be so important for us. As our audience has grown, so has your collective voice.The Building of the Year Awards are our chance to hear it. This is when you – whether you’re from the smallest town in Africa or the largest city in China – get to identify and recognize the most impactful/meaningful/inspiring project that was published on ArchDaily during the past year. This is an opportunity to tap into our global readership’s collective intelligence; an opportunity for you to judge over 3,500 projects from around the world, according to criteria and priorities that are important to you.
Full rules, including how your vote could win you an iPad Mini, after the break:
You see it all the time. You walk into a firm and there, in the often open hangar-like space, you see a sea of people at their computers with headphones on, attempting to maintain their own sense of space in the face of pervasive distractions and the constant white noise of the studio environment. While it can be inspiring to see and hear everything that is going on in a creative office, and while it is healthy to engage co-workers, there are times when people need to “tune out”. But the space of headphones can not equate the true space of being alone and quiet.
In this interview, originally published by Metropolis Magazine as “Q&A: Norman Foster on Niemeyer, Nature and Cities“, Paul Clemence talks with Lord Foster about his respect for Niemeyer, their meeting shortly before the great master’s death, and how Niemeyer’s work has influenced his own.
Last December, in the midst of a hectic schedule of events that have come to define Art Basel/Design Miami, I found myself attending a luncheon presentation of the plans for the Norton Museum of Art in Palm Beach, by Foster + Partners. While chatting with Lord Foster, I mentioned my Brazilian background and quickly the conversation turned to Oscar Niemeyer. Foster mentioned the talk he and Niemeyer had shortly before the Brazilian’s passing (coincidentally that same week in December marked the first anniversary of Niemeyer’s death). Curious to know more about the meeting and their chat, I asked Foster about that legendary encounter and some of the guiding ideas behind his design for the Norton.
Read on for the interview
A recent, well-written article for The Guardian chronicles the story of Sydney’s East Darling Harbour (also known as ‘Barangaroo’), from the city’s optimism in 2003 to the relative disappointment of today. David Shoebridge, a New South Wales Greens MP and the party’s planning spokesperson, recounts the series of compromises and sellouts that have turned what was meant to be a “prime public space” into – to add insult to injury – the site for a casino.You can read this cautionary tale in full here.
Metropolis Magazine has unveiled its 4th annual Game Changers – including architects Eric Owen Moss and Alistair Parvin, the co-founder of WikiHouse, an open-sourced platform for architecture. In the following article, Jonathan Glancey profiles Parvin and asks: is WikiHouse a threat to architects? Or “a glimpse into our digital design future”?
I ﬁrst met WikiHouse cofounder Alastair Parvin—not in the ﬂesh, of course, much less in print—courtesy of YouTube. You can do the same by watching his lecture, “Architecture for the People by the People.” In the video, Parvin explains the WikiHouse concept to the 2013 annual TED conference in Long Beach, California. Looking young and trim in a white shirt and blue jeans, Parvin’s voice is chipper and conﬁdent as he delivers his provocative idea to the world.
Given that the 1,600 TED lectures that are currently available online have been viewed more than a billion times, you may have already heard a little about the WikiHouse by now. In case you haven’t, it’s “an open- source construction set,” according to the WikiHouse online collaborative. “The aim is to allow anyone to design, download, and ‘print’ CNC-milled houses and components, which can be assembled with minimal skill or training.”
A lot of things happened in 2013. Zaha was in the news about every other week. She was copied in China and then accused of designing a giant vagina in Qatar. Rem’s son is producing a documentary about his dad. We lost Prentice Women’s Hospital. We almost lost the American Folk Art Museum. There were a lot of stellar exhibitions and one that took things On the Road. It was the year of high-rise after high-rise, with Rem changing the game yet again by lifting the podium off the ground and sticking to his formal guns, refusing to indulge in curvy shapes.
Things at Architecture for Humanity were shaken up with the departure of co-founders Cameron Sinclair and Kate Stohr. Resiliency became the new sustainability. China suddenly became defined less for its adventurous architecture and urbanism and more for its darker, smoggier flipside. My hometown, Los Angeles got a few more bike lanes, some big plans for its concrete river, plus a new Bloomberg-esque mayor with attendant sustainability tsar. There were people complaining about architecture and telling us why they left the profession. Kanye got attacked for daring to tell us why he likes architecture, and then architecture loved talking about Kanye for weeks on end until we just wanted architecture to shut up about Kanye. Poor Kanye. There are so many things we could say were key in 2013. It’s been a great year. And there were also a lot of fantastic buildings.
But in terms of issues, what really stands out from 2013 (right up there with “resilience”) is equality – and nothing represented this better than Denise Scott Brown v. Pritzker Prize. In arguing that she has a rightful and equal place alongside husband Robert Venturi, she (along with Harvard GSD’s Women in Design organization) woke a sleeping giant—but not for the first time.
In this article, originally posted on Grasp as “We Are All Ethical Hackers!“, Kasper Worm-Petersen demonstrates how design has the ability to make the abstract tangible and create desirable activities. When that ability is used to promote sustainability and improve the state of the world great things happen and we all get a chance to become ethical hackers.
There are enough big issues to tackle in the world today. The financial crisis and the climate crisis seem almost insurmountable. And as our old habits are keeping us from adapting to the new circumstances there is a need for viable alternatives to our current way of living. At the Design for Smart Growth event held by the Global Agenda Council on Design and Innovation some interesting and promising solutions were presented. And they all had design as a key component.
The Danish Minister of the Environment Ida Auken set the scene when she discussed her engagement in environmental policies, “I was so frustrated with the image of environmental policies. That green was someone who hated life… I really want to flip it around and see how we can get people to actually want to live in a sustainable way. How can we make them desire it? And that is where designers come in. It is as easy as that.”
Read on to find out how we can be “ethical hackers” after the break.
Modernism and socialism formed the powerful spacio-political tandem of the 20th century that shaped much of the urban and rural environments of Central and Eastern Europe, including Estonia and its capital Tallinn. Those environments are still there – like fossils of paradigms, one declared dead, the other exiled. Today we consider them as nothing more than a collection of somewhat interesting material substances or formal oddities – after all, we would rather like to believe this era is not relevant to us today. But is there more to those fossils that we’re not examining?
The architects and researchers that were brought together by the Tallinn Architecture Biennale raised interesting discussion and questions that showed how much intertwined history (in this case, the 1960s to the 1980s) and historical ideas are still with us today, especially in a world where freedom might be just as illusional as it was back then.
We are now reaching more than 300,000 readers every day, creating a gigantic network of architectural knowledge accessible to the whole world, including our local versions at ArchDaily Brasil, ArchDaily México and Plataforma Arquitectura.
We are very proud of our editorial content during this year, raising important issues for our profession and opening the debate and exchange of ideas with professionals around the world, connected via Facebook and Twitter. Here you can check the most read articles of the year, and also the selection made by our editors.
During 2013 we have done lectures and covered events around the world, documenting our intense trips on Instagram. Some of our destinations: New York, Beijing, Shenzhen, Moscow, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Singapore, Tokyo, Berlin, London, Santiago, Sao Paulo, Mexico City, among others.
During this year we launched our new mobile version, to deliver our content properly to your phone and few weeks ago we launched ArchDaily Materials, a section to help you find the right materials and products for your next project.
And what’s next for 2014?
We will be announcing a new ArchDaily local edition during the first quarter, and a brand new MyArchDaily to help you organize and collect information. We already have a great lineup of interviews and events to cover around the world. In a few days we will announce the 2014 Building of the Year Awards, an instance where you will have the chance to recognize the best buildings featured during the year.
Thanks for helping us make ArchDaily the valuable resource that we all deserve as architects, and rest assured that every decision taken in 2014 will strictly follow our mission:
To improve the quality of life of the next 3 billion people that will move into cities in the next 40 years, by providing inspiration, knowledge and tools to the architects who will have the challenge to design for them.
- David Assael, David Basulto and the Global ArchDaily Team
Our mission is to provide inspiration, knowledge and tools to the architects who will have the challenge to face the urban growth of the next 40 years.
We understand that each of the thousand of projects that we feature every year can transfer knowledge from the firms to other architects around the world, through the photos, details, diagrams and their own descriptions.
But we feel that there is a very important structural layer in these projects that can only be understood by actually knowing the architects behind them. And that’s why we started our interview program when we launched ArchDaily in 2008.
During this year we have had the opportunity to interview an incredible group of architects, ranging from Toyo Ito -an exclusive interview the same day he was announced as the 2013 Pritzker Laureate-, Wolf D. Prix, Iñaki Ábalos and Reiner de Graaf, to young upcoming firms from all over the world. But we have also interviewed business men who influence cities, synthetic biologists who are thinking in the future of architecture, sociologists analyzing the future of the urban world, and curators of the most influential museums of the world.
Here you will find the list of the ten most watched (or read) interviews of 2013.
And be ready for 2014, as we have some great interviews lined up for next year!
Architectural street gang and provocateurs, On the Road, named (I would like to think anyway) for Jack Kerouac’s novel of same name, and let’s just say that is the origin (since I happen to like that book), and the decentralized dérives of this Los Angeles crew remind me of Jack’s edit-as-you-go-or-do-not-edit-as-it-may-be writing style, if he even had a “style” (which is questionable), are at it again, or were just last month for their program, “West of LaBrea / 20131117 / 10-4pm” in which these rebellious, anti-establishment “architects” (some may not be licensed and therefore cannot actually go by the official title according to legal precedents in this here United States of America but you all know what I mean wink wink) once again find themselves out in the streets bombing the architectural establishment, which by the way is critical for the history of Los Angeles architecture, and by doing so have once again reminded us that architecture can be about play and a healthy dose of transgression, though no laws were broken during the making of #OtR3, as it is being called, that I can tell….
Interiors is an online film and architecture journal, published by Mehruss Jon Ahi and Armen Karaoghlanian. Interiors runs an exclusive column for ArchDaily that analyzes and diagrams films in terms of space. Their Official Store will carry exclusive prints from these posts.
The Yeezus Tour, Kanye West’s solo tour, which coincides with his sixth studio album, Yeezus, kicked off in Seattle, Washington on October 19, 2013 and ends in Toronto, Canada on December 23, 2013.
The show is theatrical, cinematic and operatic in its structure. It merges together all of Kanye West’s interests in the the visual and performance arts, creating a powerful experience that transcends the concert format.
This article by Fred A Bernstein originally appeared in Metropolis Magazine as “Worth Preserving“. Bernstein tracks the preservation battles fought, won and lost in 2013, unearths their root cause (money), and questions: was preservation better off in recession?
“It’s the old adage: location, location, location,” says Linda Dishman, executive director of the Los Angeles Conservancy. Dishman isn’t talking real estate, but historic preservation. In California, a midcentury house on a modest lot may ﬁnd a buyer willing to maintain it. But the same modernist house on a large lot in Brentwood or Paciﬁc Palisades, is practically wearing a “tear me down” sign. (How does a 1,200-square-foot house stand a chance in a neighborhood where 12,000 is the new normal?) “Small houses on large lots are the greatest concern,” says Dishman.
The Conservancy won a victory this year when ten of the surviving Case Study Houses—including the celebrated Stahl House by Pierre Koenig—were added to the National Register of Historic Places. But listing doesn’t stop the houses from being demolished—it simply triggers additional reviews before bad things can happen to good buildings, the kind of red tape that doesn’t always deter the super-rich. Money, especially big money, can be the enemy of preservation.
Read on about preservation’s fight with big money after the break.
“Is the building really in charge of a woman architect?” I asked the foreman… The man read me a powerful sermon of just three short sentences, punctuated with the earnestness of a reform orator. “An architect’s an architect,” he said, “and you can count them all on the fingers of one hand. Now, this building is in charge of a real architect and her name happens to be Julia Morgan, but it might as well be John Morgan.”
Journalist in 1906 upon learning of Julia Morgan winning a new commission. (Courtesy Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Robert E. Kennedy Library)
The recent announcement that Julia Morgan has posthumously received the 2014 AIA Gold Medal, the AIA’s top honor, while positive and inspirational, raises some important questions concerning the recognition and advancement of women in the profession. She is the first woman, living or dead, to receive the honor in the award’s 106-year history. From 1907 to 2012, all recipients have been men.
In this article, originally published in Indian Architect & Builder, architect and writer David Robson pens an intimate and personal account of the life and work of Geoffrey Bawa – an incredible architect with an un-paralleled legacy in Sri Lanka and south-east India.
Ten years have rolled by since Geoffrey Bawa’s death and fifteen since ill-health forced him to hang up his tee-square. It’s time to take stock: what was his legacy? How were his ideas disseminated? What influence has he had? What were his qualities? Who was Geoffrey Bawa?