Berlage Master Class: “Architecture without Architects…Architects without Architecture?

The Berlage is pleased to announce that internationally acclaimed architect Ben van Berkel, cofounder and principal architect of UN Studio, is leading a design master class in November 2014 entitled “Architecture without Architects.. Architects without Architecture?”

The master class, to take place from Thursday, 13 November to Friday, 21 November in both Amsterdam and Delft, will focus on strategies for designing contemporary knowledge environments in relation to the changing nature of knowledge generation. Participants will explore how different “smart” initiatives, organizational patterns, communication interfaces, and alternative forms of interaction and collaboration are affecting architecture as a professional discipline; while, at the same time, redefining the role of the architect.

Participants will develop a speculative design scenario for the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS), a newly established collaborative initiative for urban research from MIT, TU Delft, and University of Wageningen. The master class will use AMS as a fictional client, asking participants to define a small-scale architectural invention that houses
facilities for research, debate, and display.

Interested applicants should send a CV and portfolio to the Berlage by Wednesday, 15 October.

The Berlage Center for Advanced Studies in Architecture and Urban Design is a renown postgraduate educational institution at the Delft University of Technology. UN Studio is an Amsterdam-based international architectural practice specializing in architecture, , and infrastructural projects, founded in 1988 by Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos.

Title: Berlage Master Class: “Architecture without Architects…Architects without Architecture?
Website: http://www.theberlage.nl/
Organizers: The Berlage Center for Advanced Studies in Architecture and Urban Design
From: Thu, 13 Nov 2014 10:00
Until: Fri, 21 Nov 2014 18:00
Venue: UN Studio and Delft University of Technology

The Woman Architect Who Specialises In Mosques

Dome of the Sakirin Mosque, Istanbul. Image © ZF Design

As part of CNN’s Leading Women series, Sheena McKenzie explores the work of Turkish architect Zeynep Fadillioglu - perhaps the first female architect to design a mosque, now on her third. In buildings where men and women are traditionally separated for worship, and women are often given a smaller space, Fadillioglu “purposely placed the women’s section in one of the most beautiful parts of the light-flooded dome” in Istanbul’s Sakirin Mosque. McKenzie concludes that although “Fadillioglu might have made a name for herself designing mosques, you don’t needn’t be religious to admire their beauty.”

A mosque isn’t for a certain type of person, or certain type of area. It’s supposed to be used by anyone and everyone.

Sakirin Mosque, Istanbul. Image © ZF Design
Place of worship, Sakirin Mosque, Istanbul. Image © ZF Design

Read the article in full here.

Callous Indifference or Fetishizing Poverty: What Exactly Can Architects Do About Slums?

The Torre David in Caracas, the subject of Urban Think Tank’s research for the 2012 Venice Biennale. Image © Iwan Baan

In an excellent essay for the Architectural Review, Charlotte Skene Catling deftly ties together a number of recent debates in the field of morality in architecture, from the false accusations aimed at Zaha Hadid by critic Martin Fuller to recent debates over whether architects have any responsibility to tackle poverty, an ostensibly political issue. Taking aim at one article in particular - in which Dan Hancox argues that architects such as Urban Think Tank who engage in humanitarian work are often ‘fetishizing poverty’ – Catling dissects the work of many of those in the field to find that they in fact do vital work to connect the top-down and bottom-up approaches that would otherwise never meet in the middle. Or, as Urban Think Tank’s Alfredo Brillembourg says, in opposition to the horizontal city of the 19th century or the vertical city of the 20th, “the 21st century must be for the diagonal city, one that cuts across social divisions.” Click here to read the article in full.

Three New Towers on the Cards for City of London

© Flickr CC User Darren Harmon

Just days after revealing that the Pinnacle has finally been scrapped, the City of London‘s Head of Design Gwyn Richards has told BD that three new skyscrapers are soon to be submitted for planning on nearby sites. Though Richards did not reveal the architects of the three towers, he singled out one of the plans as “a very considered response from an architect I have the utmost respect for,” adding “I have worked very closely with him and there’s a mutual respect. It’s a good example of cooperation between architect and planner to come up with a building that hopefully the public will see the value in.”

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Paul Goldberger on the High Line

The east-west orientation of the newly opened High Line at the Rail Yards allows you to “ride off” into the sunset along the rails. This view – nearly identical to that of the shot we shared this morning – is looking west along 30th Street towards the Hudson River.

This past Sunday, celebrated the opening of the High Line’s final section. More playful and untamed than its counterparts, the elevated park’s northernmost segment seems to have pleased the critics. As Paul Goldberger explained, the at the Rail Yards is “stunningly refreshing” and “gives you an altogether new, relaxed, low-key way of being on the .” You can read Goldberger’s take on the new portion of the  here on Vanity Fair. 

Spotlight: Gunnar Asplund

As a professor of architecture at the Royal Institute of Technology and often cited for his contributions to , Swedish architect Gunnar Asplund (September 22 1885 – 20 October 1940) was a notable theorist on the most important architectural challenges of his time, first exemplified by his lecture entitled “Our architectonic concept of space.”

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goCstudio Launches New Kickstarter to Fund Floating Sauna in Seattle

open hatch. Image Courtesy of

Seattle based firm goCstudio have designed a wood-fired floating sauna, a project resonant with the culture of the Pacific Northwest. Aiming to begin construction in spring of 2015 and open in summer, the firm has recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the building of their first model. Easily transportable and accessible by kayak, the floating sauna fits within the dimensions of a standard size trailer. Providing a space of refuge and revitalization, along with a uniquely interactive way to experience the landscape of Seattle, the project, named “wa_sauna“, requires $43,000 to become a reality. Learn more about the project and how you can help at the firm’s page, here. More images after the break.

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US Launches $1 Billion National Disaster Resilience Competition

OMA’s vision for New York’s Hoboken Waterfront – one of six winning proposals of Rebuild by Design (Click image to learn more). Image © OMA

Building on the model set forth by Rebuild by Design, the U.S. Department of Housing and (HUD) and Rockefeller Foundation have announced a $1 billion . The two-phase competition invites communities affected by natural disasters to compete for funds that will help them recover from prior disasters and improve their ability to withstand future threats. See if your community complies with the competition rules here.

Narrowminded + BOM Propose New Central Bus Station for Marrakech

Courtesy of Narrowminded + BOM Architects

As part of an international , Narrowminded Architects teamed up with BOM Architects to identify and solve central functional deficiencies in a proposal for a new Marrakech Central Bus Terminal. Together, the architects found that obsolete infrastructure, unclear orientation, hazardous traffic density, rampant pollution, and confusing overlaps between vehicular and pedestrian flow were all contributing factors in the inefficiencies and hindered advancement of the terminal. Thus, with the intent to create a timeless environment that could flourish in Marrakech’s future morphological developments, the proposal adopted a strategy to thoroughly address each individual issue.

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Deborah Berke Tapped to Design Cummins’ Indianapolis Headquarters

Berke-designed 48 Bond Street in Manhattan. Image © Deborah Berke Partners

-based Deborah Berke Partners has been selected to design a $30 million headquarters for Indiana-based diesel engine manufacture Cummins. Planned for downtown on the former four-acre site of Market Square Arena, the project will provide office space for up to 400 employees, as well as ground-floor retail, parking and public green space. Berke was chosen over SHoP Architects and Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects.

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FuturArc Prize and Green Leadership Award Contest 2015 Now Open

Courtesy of

FuturArc, a bimonthly journal that promotes the enhancement of sustainable architecture in Asia, have launched their annual contest to generate ideas for innovative and sustainable design. The contest is split into two, with the FuturArc Prize and the FuturArc Green Leadership Award rewarding sustainable design in both unbuilt and built projects. Read on after the break to find out more about both .

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SCI-Arc Appoints Hernan Diaz Alonso as New Director

“Pitch Black” – Joint-winner in the AR+D Awards for Emerging Architecture. Image © Hernan Diaz Alonso, Courtesy of SCI-Arc

The Southern Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) has appointed Hernan Diaz Alonso as the architecture school’s new Director beginning September 2015. Alonso, principal of Xefirotarch and educator widely credited for spearheading the transition of SCI-Arc to digital technologies, will succeed architect Eric Owen Moss who has served as the school’s director since 2002. Continue after the break to watch Alonso’s “New Director Presentation” and preview a selection of his work.

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Spotlight: Peter Smithson

(year unknown)

Peter Smithson (18 September 1923 – 3 March 2003), the acclaimed British architect often associated with New Brutalism, would have turned 91 today. He attended the school of architecture in Newcastle, but left to serve in the war in India and Burma. After returning to complete his degree in 1948, he enrolled in the Royal Academy architecture school. In 1950 he set up his own practice with his wife Alison, and the two went on to become some of the most influential British architects of the mid-20th century.

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Are Property Developers “Ruining Our Cities”?

Phase 3, Battersea Power Station redevelopment (). Image Courtesy of Foster + Partners / Gehry Partners

Alongside a number of recent articles that explore the rise of the urban property developer and the subsequent “threat” to the built environment, Oliver Wainwright of The Guardian explores at length how developers are “exploiting planning authorities and ruining our cities.” In discussion with Peter Rees, former Chief Planning Officer for the City of London and responsible for the financial district’s monuments of today, Wainwright discusses the lack of accountability of the vast majority of urban developers. While local councils attempt to secure the next iconic development for their area many planners, authorities and developers are locked in a battle over the built fabric of our cities. Read the article in full here.

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Trading Parking Lots for Affordable Housing

9×18 Scheme © Credit Peterson Rich Office/Sagi Golan via the NYTimes

The cost of living in New York has skyrocketed over the years, causing one of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s biggest challenges to be the integration of . Considering this, architecture critic has spotlighted a plan that suggests trading parking lots for micro housing units. Envisioned by three young architects at the Institute for Public Architecture, the “9×18” scheme has the potential to transform the city by capitalizing on outdated zoning regulations that would unleash more than 20.3 million square feet of usable space. Read more here on the New York Times.

UK Politicians Invited to Workshop to Learn About Architecture

One possible activity for the workshop includes guided tours of from the Thames. Image © Flickr CC User Donna Rutherford

Oliver Colvile, chairman of the UK‘s All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Excellence in the Built Environment, has proposed that Members of Parliament should be invited to an architecture workshop to improve their understanding of the built environment. The workshop would be jointly run by the APPG and the Farrell Review, and could include activities such as designing a virtual town or an architectural sightseeing tour along the Thames. More on the proposal after the break.

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High-Speed “Skyway” Aims to Shorten Commutes from Brooklyn to Manhattan

© East River Skyway via New York Daily News

New York real estate executive Daniel Levy of CityRealty has unveiled a proposal to connect Brooklyn’s waterfront to Manhattan with a $75 million “East River Skyway.” According to Levy, the high-speed could shorten commutes to just four minutes and move more than 5,000 people per hour, while relieving congestion on ferries, subways and bridges. “[The Skyway] would be a relatively inexpensive and quickly deployable solution,” said Levy. “It is essential to adapt ’s transportation system to serve residents in these booming areas.” Levy will present the project in an effort to harness support at the Brooklyn real estate summit on Tuesday.

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Sheila Kennedy Awarded 2014 Berkeley-Rupp Prize

. Image Courtesy of UC Berkeley

Shelia Kennedy has been awarded the 2014 , a $100,000 prize presented biannually to a “distinguished practitioner or academic who has made a significant contribution to promoting the advancement of women in the field of architecture, and whose work emphasizes a commitment to sustainability and the community.” Kennedy is a principal of Boston’s KVA Matx and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s first-ever female Professor of the Practice of Architecture who is internationally renowned for her explorations of material innovation in the fields of architecture and urbanism.

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