For small firms, design competitions can often feel like a Catch22 - enter and lose precious time and resources (usually for nothing) or avoid them – at the risk of losing out on the “big break.” Now a new class at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design takes on just this quandary, as well as the many other practical, theoretical, and moral implications of architectural competitions for the profession. Learn more at this article at the Harvard Gazette.
Imagine standing on a glass platform with Chicago 1300 feet directly below. Suddenly, the glass holding you begins to crack. This actually happened to Alejandro Garibay at the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) just last week. Luckily, Garibay wasn’t hurt, but the occurrence begs the question: how safe is glass - the most common material used in skyscrapers nowadays - really? Karrie Jacobs At Fast Company – Design, asked materials experts to find out “The Truth Behind Building With Glass.”
Skillshare is an online learning community to master real-world skills through project-based classes. Their new class, ”Cityscape Photography: Capture Your City’s Story“, launched yesterday. In the one-hour self-paced class, Chicago-based photographer trashhand will take students into the creative process that allowed him to rise from Instagram amateur to acclaimed artist.
Throughout the class, students will follow in trashhand’s footsteps and learn by hitting the streets to capture and share their own city’s unique story. You can find out more about the class here, and stay tuned because in a few weeks we’ll share some of the students’ best images!
Following the news that Lloyd’s of London is planning to leave it’s Grade-I listed headquarters designed by Richard Rogers, Edwin Heathcote has written an interesting article asking whether the Lloyd’s Building - along with some other more spectacular failures of ‘iconic’ commercial architecture – can teach us anything about how we ought to design buildings. He argues that while high-profile design serves developers well, tenants seem to prefer bland yet functional corporate buildings, leading Heathcote to ask: shouldn’t we be seeking something in between? You can read the article in full here.
Following the devastating news that the Mackintosh School of Art’s iconic library was recently destroyed, Steven Holl - designer of the adjacent Seona Reid Building that opened earlier this year – reflects on the “magic” of what has been lost in an article for the Architectural Record. The Charles Rennie Mackintosh building, for Holl, “embodies a refreshingly direct conviction”, the sudden loss of which brought on a “deep sadness.” Placing it within a canon of architectural masterpieces, Holl gives insight to his emotional connections with this Glaswegian masterpiece: “the Glasgow School of Art has an inner worth and a dignity beyond all measurable value.” Read the article in full here.
Warehouse 623 Gallery is pleased to announce “Five Proposals for the Future of the Atlantic Yards“, an exhibition of alternative architectural schemes for the Atlantic Yards site. “Abstracts of New York”, a selection of photographs by Jean-Marc Bellaiche, will be shown concurrently.
In response to growing concerns about the direction that development of the Atlantic Yards might take and the potential impact on the surrounding communities, a group of architects exploring alternatives from a design perspective will present their work. The exhibition has been organized by architect Thomas Barry, principal of the Brooklyn-based design firm OPerA Studio, with contributed exhibits from five firms, including Joshua Zinder Architecture + Design (JZA+D); Amoia Cody Architecture; David Cunningham Architecture Planning; Matthias Altwicker and Farzana Gandhi; and OPerA Studio.
For more information please visit the exhibition’s official website.
Title: Exhibition: Five Proposals for the Future of the Atlantic Yards
From: Thu, 05 Jun 2014
Until: Sun, 22 Jun 2014
Venue: Warehouse 623 Gallery
Address: 623 Bergen Street, Brooklyn, NY 11238, USA
The annual theme Money and its questions posed by the Think Space 2013 | 2014 guest curators Ethel Baraona Pohl & Cesar Reyes Najera will undoubtedly trigge
Along with its unique approach in which new forums for thought are created via new design objects, in this cycle Think Space Programme is again leaning on historical discourse that normally takes the form of reflection through writing. As part of the 2013/2014 cycle of competitions, Think Space was calling for Money Papers in the following fields of inquiry: Territories, Culture & Society and Environment.
Another asset to the Unconference Programme will be The Money Exhibition, presenting the awarded entries at Lauba, House for People and Art, continuing to be on display after the Unconference event. More information can be found here.
Title: 3rd Think Space Unconference / Money
From: Wed, 11 Jun 2014
Until: Fri, 13 Jun 2014
Venue: Lauba, People and Art House
Address: Prilaz baruna Filipovića 23, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
With the recent news that Dutch practice Mecanoo, along with Penoyre & Prasad, have been selected for a £200 million new engineering campus at the University of Manchester, Amanda Baillieu of BDOnline argues that they ”need to set their ambitions a whole lot higher.” Alongside’s Manchester’s announcement, universities in Sheffield, Newcastle and Oxford also recently announced a big investment in their campuses. The trick, Baillieu suggests, will be in ensuring the architecture is not “safe and office-like” (which fits universities’ “business-like” mindset). As we enter a “golden age” in university capital investment, educational architecture will be playing a central role. Read the article in full here.
House Housing: An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate in Nineteen Episodes is the first public presentation of a multi-year research project conducted by the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture at Columbia University. Installed in the second-floor apartment of Columbia’s Casa Muraro in Venice and staged as an open house, the exhibition responds unsolicited to the proposal by Rem Koolhaas, curator of the 14th International Architecture exhibition, that architecture focus on its “fundamentals.” House Housing replies by considering architecture’s economic fundamentals, which locate housing at the center of the current economic regime, with the United States as an influential node in a transnational network.
In architecture, economic fundamentals are built from the ground up. The laws of real estate—relating to the acquisition of land, the financing of construction, the cost of building maintenance and services, profit from rent or resale, the value of equity, or the price of credit—inexorably shape any building component (like a window) and any building type (like a house). They are visible even in the residential work of such singular figures as Frank Lloyd Wright, not least because the Greek oikos, or household, forms the root of the word “economy” itself. But look closely and you will see that what seems fundamental, basic, or natural is, like any other law, a historical artifact permanently under construction and subject to change.
House Housing narrates nineteen brief episodes from across the last one hundred years in a mixture of domestic media, from phonograph to television, answering machine to iPad, converting the apartment into a whispering, humming history machine. Though they mainly focus on the continental United States, the discrete episodes are excerpts from global processes. Their artifacts range from houses designed by figures as well-known as Frank O. Gehry to seemingly ordinary gated communities in Florida. Their untimeliness is twofold. First, these episodes return us to financial matters widely discussed in the immediate aftermath of the 2008 foreclosure crisis but now largely abandoned by mainstream discourse. Second, the historical episodes disclose surprising repetitions of themes, tendencies, and actions. This reminds us that the economic infrastructures on which architecture rests are the outcome of such repetitions, rather than an a priori, natural ground.
Title: House Housing: An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate in Nineteen Episodes
Organizers: GSAPP Columbia Univeristy
From: Thu, 05 Jun 2014
Until: Fri, 06 Jun 2014
Venue: Casa Muraro
Address: Dorsoduro, Sestiere di Dorsoduro, 30100 Venice, Italy
Details have been released on the New York Public Library’s (NYPL) plan to renovate its Mid-Manhattan branch, while creating more public space within its flagship Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. The news comes shortly after Foster + Partner’s redesign of the the Beaux-Arts landmark was scrapped due to concerns of a ballooning budget. The revised $300 million overhaul suggests a more affordable option of relocating Schwarzman’s main stacks beneath Bryant Park, while establishing a more campus-like connection with a fully renovated Mid-Manhattan branch. All the details, here.
With the London Festival of Architecture opening yesterday, this article in the London Evening Standard highlights just one of the many threads which make up this year’s theme: the importance of foreign talent in making up London‘s cosmopolitan architectural culture. From Adam Caruso to Zaha Hadid, many of the city’s biggest names have come from abroad to study and work in the UK, helping to make it one of the greatest centres for design in the world – but all this could be at risk from untenable housing prices and draconian new visa restrictions. You can read the full article here.
This year’s Venice Biennale, curated by OMA’s Rem Koolhaas, is “interested in the banal”. In an article in the Financial Times’, Edwin Heathcote discusses the paradox between exploring generic modernism at an event which celebrates the individual. Heathcote raises interesting questions about the extent to which world architecture has developed in modernity, ultimately arguing that, “in a way, architecture is over.” You can read the article, which neatly investigates the curatorial rationale behind this year’s Biennale, in full here.
The four teams moving on to stage three of Washington D.C.’s 11th Street Bridge Park competition has been announced. Selected from over 80 qualified design firms from across the U.S., the following multidisciplinary teams will receive $25000 stipends to envision a new civic space spanning the Anacostia River by early September:
When the profit-driven bulldozing of virgin desert quickly transformed into unfinished ghost towns in 2008, the city of Phoenix, Arizona, reset their sights on a more sustainable and desirable way of living: walkable communities. With the establishment of the city’s first light rail, the once car-centric communities of its urban core have turned into swaths of pedestrian havens. This has not only improved the city’s desirability, but has also been good for business. See how else Phoenix is trying to “pull off an urban miracle” and reverse it’s sprawled image here on Fast Company.
This interesting article by Oliver Wainwright at the Guardian reveals the trend in recent London architecture for “Shardettes” – smaller and usually cheaper imitations of Renzo Piano‘s famous design which Wainwright says “has become a beacon for designers bereft of inspiration.” Highlighting four angular, glazed buildings that are either recently or partially constructed, he questions the quality of these miniature imitations and asks “is this Shardenfreude frenzy something to be welcomed?” You can read the full article here.
Harry Gugger Studio and 6a Architects are among six practices shortlisted in a competition to design a new art gallery at Goldsmiths University in London. Selected from 80 submissions, the final teams, which also include Assemble, Dow Jones Architects, HAT Projects and Jamie Fobert Architects, will now have six weeks to submit designs. Once complete, the 400 square meter gallery will be a “significant showcase for contemporary art” that serves a combination of curated exhibitions, residencies and research projects. It will be built behind the Laurie Grove Baths, a Grade II listed 19th-century municipal bath that is currently used as fine art studios.
China’s accelerated urbanization juxtaposes many local and global urban models in the contemporary urban space of the mega-city/metacity region. Since 1945 the global and local discourse on urban design and development has been dominated by four conceptual models. These four models, the metropolis, the megalopolis, the fragmented metropolis and the megacity/metacity have appeared in Asia with local characteristics and with special, hybrid characteristics. China’s rapid urbanization has been based on an equally rapid industrialization that has telescoped the historical development pattern of western nations into 60 years.
David Grahame Shane, Adjunct Professor at GSAPP, Columbia University will give a public lecture at Studio-X Beijing. A panel discussion will accompany this lecture, in which Wang Hui from URBANUS will introduce and discuss the Urban Models in China’s Accelerated Urbanization and public space.
Title: Lecture / Four Urban Models in China’s Accelerated Urbanization: Local Public Space Implications
From: Tue, 03 Jun 2014 19:00
Until: Wed, 28 May 2014 21:00
Venue: Studio-X Beijing, GSAPP, Columbia University
Address: Andingmen Inner Street & Fangjia Hutong, Dongcheng, Beijing, China, 100009
TAC tableware – designed in the 1960s by Walter Gropius and influenced by the Bauhaus style – has been given new life by BIG and the industrial design studio Kilo. The new tableware set features the heritage blue skylines of twelve cities, including Copenhagen, London, and New York. To check out the full set and spot the likes of Big Ben and the Statue of Liberty, head to the manufacturer’s website by clicking here.