Richard Rogers: “Forget About Greenfield Sites, Build In The Cities”

as it could be” / Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. Image © RSHP

In an article for The Guardian Richard Rogers questions why, with space still left in urban areas, we should build in the countryside? Lord Rogers, no stranger to political activism, chaired the UK’s Urban Task Force in the 1990s, culminating in his report Towards an Urban Renaissance. Now, over fifteen years later, his plea for denser, better designed urban environments has been rekindled as he argues that: “We can’t go on like this. The housing shortage threatens both the economy and our quality of life.” Laying out a clear argument reinforced by his forty years of experience as an architect, you can read his article in full here.

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Building in the Metropolis MX – Gaeta Springall Arquitectos

© Gianluca Giordano

From Architecture Forum Aedes. The exhibition “Building in the Metropolis MX” presents selected works from the Mexican studio Gaeta-Springall Architects. In their working process right through to realisation, architectural elements such as form, material and function serve a larger and more complex system: the City. Julio Gaeta, Luby Springall and their team take great care over designing the envelope in order to generate possible interactions through the porosity of the exterior skin. Here they set particular store by intelligent systems and technologies as the longevity and durability of the building lies in its efficiency and . Gaeta-Springall Architects dedicate themselves to space as an entirety, which they see as the “true stage of life”. For them, “Building in the Metropolis MX” means the linking of architectural, urban and social elements. It is here that they see their everyday work. After curating this year’s Mexican pavilion “Condemned to be modern” at the Venice Biennale, the presentation at Aedes is the second exhibition in Europe for Gaeta-Springall architects, already highly regarded in their home country.

For more information about the exhibition, head over to exhibition’s site

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Does Heritage Have The Power To Change Lives?

Recently Listed: The Spectrum Building / Foster + Partners.. Image © Richard Davies, Courtesy Foster + Partners

In a recent article for The Telegraph Jonathan Ruffer, a hedge fund manager turned campaigner for architectural heritage, discusses the significance of historic buildings in a time when they are “increasingly having to justify itself in the cold light of cost cuts.” The notion of architectural “” covers not only castles and stately homes but increasingly post-war and early contemporary structures. Speaking from a financier’s point of view, Ruffler examines the “gulf” between public and private funding for restorative architectural schemes alongside the difficulty of mobilising large bodies to activate change. Arguing that “heritage has the power to change lives,” the need for people to engage with their built heritage is more important than ever. Read the article in full here.

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Workshop and LEGO Architecture Studio Launch: Villa Pennisi in Musica

Courtesy of

LEGO® Architecture Studio, a new concept of the LEGO Architecture line, makes his appearance in in an innovative context of architecture and music. The LEGO Group chose and the prestigious setting of the Sicilian “Villa Pennisi in Musica” event for the launch of the new set of building blocks.

Villa Pennisi in Musica is an architecture and design-to-build summer school and a classical music masterclass, where young architects will be challenged to design and build and acoustic shell for outdoor chamber music concerts from a pile of uncut wood in less than ten days, and host a concert featuring, among others, world-class conductor Sir Antonio Pappano.

LEGO® Architecture Studio will be used during the workshop to help students and architects ignite their imagination and to explore new ways of designing in LEGO forms. Students will also participate in a unique building competition to create 3D thematic models using the new LEGO Architecture Studio Set.

For more information, please click here.

Title: Workshop and LEGO Architecture Studio Launch: Villa Pennisi in Musica
Website: http://www.vpmusica.com/en/workshop/
From: Fri, 01 Aug 2014 
Until: Fri, 15 Aug 2014 
Venue: Villa Pennisi
Address: Piazza Agostino Pennisi, 29, 95024 Acireale Catania, Italy

MOMA Announces Barry Bergdoll’s Successor for Chief Curator of Architecture & Design

, The Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design, . Image Courtesy of

Martino Stierli, a Swiss architecture and art history professor interested in ”how architecture is represented in the media and intersects with art,” has been named Barry Bergdoll’s successor as the chief curator of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

In a Press Release, Stierli comments upon his appointment: ”Since its inception, MoMA has presented groundbreaking exhibitions that promote and critically reflect upon modern and contemporary architecture. By continually expanding its comprehensive collection, the Department of Architecture and Design has been pivotal to the preservation of modernism for the future, and to making that heritage accessible to scholars and the broader public alike. I am excited to continue this tradition at MoMA and look forward to working with the Museum’s extraordinary team to contribute to shaping the current discourse on architecture and the city—locally, nationally, and globally.”

He will begin his new role in March 2015. Learn more about Stierli, and how his appointment will influence the MoMA’s exhibitions, at The New York Times’ Arts Beat Blog.

Call for Entries: Ideas to Remember

The series of earthquakes that began on 4 September 2010 altered the landscape and had a huge impact on the people. Now it’s time to create a place to remember.

The Canterbury Earthquake Memorial will honour the lives of those who died in Canterbury’s earthquakes and provide a place for individuals and groups to pay respect. It will acknowledge the shared trauma experienced by the people of Canterbury.

It will also give recognition to the people who participated in the rescue and recovery operation, and provide a special place for holding events, such as the annual memorial gathering on 22 February. Design ideas must be submitted by 12 noon ( Standard Time) on 22 August 2014.

For more information, please click here.

Craftsmanship: Material Consciousness – Inside Indonesia’s Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2014

© Nico Saieh

At its debut at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2014, offers a peek into the country’s past 100 years of architectural history in its pavilion: “Craftsmanship: Material Consciousness.” Moving images projected onto glass panels tell ’s story through the development of six materials, traced over time: wood, stone, brick, steel, concrete and bamboo. See images of the pavilion and enjoy a statement from the curators after the break.

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Lecture: Architecture as a Way of Life and Placemaking

Rafiq Azam is the principal of SHATOTTO architecture for green living, based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He will introduce us to his work and city, which is also home to works by Louis Kahn. Azam’s “green” is not about global ratings or the current sustainability trend. It is his response to the sky, water, and vegetation that surround him and his city. There is an apparent simplicity in Azam’s work that disguises and belies a complex fabric revealing the wonders of the cosmos.

“Shatotto” in Bangla means “doing something continuously.” Azam creates spaces and structures for one’s senses and thoughts in the context of South Asia’s past and future. His presentation will coincide with the introduction of his monograph by SKIRA, the first ever published about a Bangladeshi architect.

Title: Lecture: Architecture as a Way of Life and Placemaking
Website: http://cfa.aiany.org/index.php?section=calendar&evtid=7182
Organizers: Asia Society New York
From: Mon, 28 Jul 2014 17:30
Until: Mon, 28 Jul 2014 20:00
Venue: Center For Architecture
Address: 536 LaGuardia Place, New York, NY 10012, USA

Architect to Buy/Re-Purpose Rudolph’s Orange County Government Center

The Brutalist-style Orange County Government Center in , N.Y., closed since 2011, and designed by Paul Rudolph, may get a shot at preservation. Image © Randy Harris

Some people hate Paul Rudolph‘s Orange County Government Center in Goshen, , while others love it. Despite the Brutalist building’s eligibility for landmark status, its current fate is up in the air. Gene Kaufman, a partner at Gwathmey Siegal Kaufman Architects, has offered to buy and repurpose the building. To learn about his proposal, head to the New York Times to by clicking here.

Why We Can Thank Gehry, Graves, and Scott Brown for Julia Morgan’s AIA Gold Medal Win

is the eighth posthumous winner of the Gold Medal, which has been issued since 1907. Image Courtesy of The Chronicle

Considering Julia Morgan was overlooked for over 100 years and has been dead for over 50, naysayers may consider her recent accolade as the first woman to receive the AIA Gold Medal something of an empty gesture. However, the prestigious group of supporters who compiled her nomination package – among them Michael GravesFrank Gehry, and Denise Scott Brown - would beg to differ. To find out how and why the trio championed Morgan’s case, check out this article on SFGate.

Retirement Community Is Fastest Growing Metropolitan Area in U.S.

Residents drive golf carts through the main square of the Spanish Springs neighborhood of The Villages, . Image © Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP Photo

While other in the United States are shrinking, the world’s largest retirement community – The Villages - is booming. Completely devoid of crime, traffic, pollution, as well as children, the fastest growing metropolitan area in the country raises serious questions about the concentrated demographic’s future infrastructural needs. After all, by 2050, the over-60 set is expected to almost triple to 2 billion. To learn more, check out this fascinating article on Bloomberg.

Tree-Like Skyscraper Takes Urban Farming to Next Level

Courtesy of Aprilli Design Studio

Urban farming is nothing new, but Aprilli Design Studio‘s proposal for a completely open-air skyscraper does put a novel spin on the sustainable ideal. Instead of tacking greenery onto roofs and balconies, they incorporate agriculture into  by dedicating entire buildings to the cause. To learn more about the tree-like design, check out Fast Company’s article here.

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Why Don’t Architects Sign Their Buildings?

Courtesy of Peter Knaup

It is a curious fact that architects do not put their signature on buildings. While even a novice architecture enthusiast can pick out a Frank Gehry building in any given city, there is no physical statement within that building identifying Frank Gehry as the designer. But why not? This article by Planetizen asks explores this interesting question.

New Study Discredits Bilbao Effect

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti proudly displays his pro-Lucas Twitter hastag. Image Courtesy of City of Los Angeles

Before George Lucas found a home for his museum in Chicago, the mayors of other cities were desperately vying for the honor (see Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti above). If they are still disappointed about losing out, a new study about the aftermath of building cultural centers might offer some consolation. To learn about the planning fallacies and negative outcomes often associated with these building types, check out CityLab’s recap.

ECOWEEK London 2014

ECOWEEK is a non-governmental NGO with the mission to raise awareness on environmental issues and Climate Change and to promote the principles of . ECOWEEK has been organizing conferences and workshops across Europe that inspire and empower young architects to be active designers for the benefit of their communities.

Since 2005 ECOWEEK has hosted keynote lectures by leading professionals and thinkers including award-winning architects, such as Shigeru Ban, Ken Yeang, Bjarke Ingels, Francis Kere, Francoise-Helene Jourda, Michael Sorkin and landscape architect Julie Bargmann.

The ECOWEEK International Conference & Sustainable Design Workshops is scheduled to take place in London in September 14-21, 2014. The event is expected to attract young architects, landscape architects, designers and architectural students from the and abroad.

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Terence Gower: SuperPuesto

Rendering by architect Yoandy Rizo Fiallo, 2014

SuperPuesto is a temporary pavilion by Terence Gower commissioned by The Bronx Museum of the Arts in collaboration with the Andrew Freedman Home for Beyond the Supersquare, the first U.S. museum exhibition to examine the complicated legacies of modernist architecture in Latin America and the Caribbean through the perspectives of 30 contemporary artists. With the goal of providing an immersive space for visitors to experience the exhibition’s artistic and architectural themes, SuperPuesto also serves as an annex for educational and public programs related to Beyond the Supersquare.

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Assemble Architects and the Coming-of-Age of the Pop-Up Project

The Cineroleum, a temporary cinema in a disused petrol station. Image © Flickr CC User John Gordy

In his interesting profile of the young London-based practice Assemble, Rowan Moore of the Observer investigates the work of arguably the best collective of designers to emerge from 2010′s “Autumn of Pop-Ups” – examining how they have stayed true to the more noble aspects of pop-up architecture despite the concept’s increasing commercialization. From their first project, a temporary cinema in a petrol station, to their recent Yardhouse project in Stratford, Moore finds an architecture that values exuberance and fun, yet is mature and refined. You can read his article in full here.

Exhibition: Lebbeus Woods, ON-line

Aerial Paris. 1989. Copic Marker on tracing paper on board, 815 × 507 mm © Estate of

The Museum for Architectural Drawing presents Lebbeus Woods, ON-line, an exhibition of the finest works of architectural theorist, draftsman, educator and architect, Lebbeus Woods (1940–2012). Curated by his longtime friend and partner Christoph a. Kumpusch, the exhibition brings together a collection of Woods’ visionary works that have never been exhibited before. The intensely rendered architectural and urban environments produced early on in Woods’ career are exhibited together for the first time. These ink and pencil drawings cover a wide range of Woods’ research and re-imagination of both real and fictive and support Woods’ longstanding desire to show the capacity of architecture as a transformative and eloquent force.

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