It is safe to say that architects and planners have always been among those striving for utopian ideals through physical space. Just look at the 20th century, when designers converged around the idea of creating new cities for lives that embraced new technologies. We had the Futurists who were obsessed with automobiles, speed and factory cities. We had CIAM and Team 10 who collectively and individually developed the modernist ideals for housing and urban planning. We had Archigram that developed conceptual creations for cities that walked, were inflatable, and could be packed and unpacked in locations all over the world. We had Superstudio, an architecture firm that developed renowned conceptual works of the “total urbanization” of architecture.
As impractical and experimental as some of these proposals were, they initiated a conversation, not only about the physical space that they presented, but the social implications of their designs. The latest issue of MAS CONTEXT, Improbable, tackles these “unlikely futures envisioned in the past that never became present” and explores how, to various degrees, these impossible and improbable agendas projects came to fruition. Join as after the break for a closer look at the new issue.
Xenoculture is a term coined by Iranian writer and philosopher Reza Negarestani that describes the need for embracing and exploring the unexpected, the alien. In this issue we borrow the idea and explore the realm of Architecture Xenoculture — the work of architects and designers who detach from everything that architecture is supposed to be and look like, including preconceived forms and aesthetics, to look into new architectural and design possibilities. An architectural form that emerges from mathematical processes and new material explorations and proposes something never before seen — an aesthetic yet to be determined.
While mathematics in architecture has historically referenced notions of order, proportion, and ideal form, the discipline of mathematics itself has shifted to encompass uncertainty, incompleteness, relativity, and chaos towards a situation in which truth itself is elusive. This move stems in part from an engagement with real phenomena, in which natural systems were shown to behave non-linearly and unpredictably. In architecture, while computational developments enabling dynamic and variable modeling have been subsumed into our culture of design and production, a new kind of idealism has emerged.
Fifth project of the Living Architectures series, Inside Piano is composed of three films on three symbolic buildings of Renzo Piano’s career. A visit throughout the prototype-building of the Centre Pompidou. An immersion in the soundproof world of a submarine floating in the depths of the Parisian underground. A journey aboard a luminous magic carpet of a highly sophisticated architectural machine. A humorous, caustic and quirky point of view.
Fourth project of the Living Architectures series, Gehry’s Vertigo offers to the spectator a rare and vertiginous trip on the top roofs of the Guggenheim Museum of Bilbao. Through the portrait of the climbing team in charge of the glass cleaning, their ascensions, their techniques and difficulties, this film observes the complexity and virtuosity of Frank Gehry’s architecture.
Third project of the Living Architectures series, Xmas Meier takes us, during the Christmas season, in the heart of a working-class neighbourhood in the suburbs of Rome, which had been lifted from anonymity to international renown thanks to the church built by Richard Meier for the Jubilee. Controversy, caustic irony and free speech opposed to the faithful’s devotion. Welcome to Rome!
Second project of the Living Architectures series, Pomerol, Herzog & de Meuron takes us to the party atmosphere of mealtime among the grape-pickers in the dining hall designed by Herzog & de Meuron in Pomerol for one of the most prestigious vineyards in the world.
First project of the Living Architectures series, Koolhaas Houselife portrays one of the masterpieces of contemporary architecture. The film lets the viewer enter into the house’s daily intimacy through the stories and daily chores of Guadalupe Acedo, the housekeeper, and the other people who look after the building. Pungent, funny and touching.
Architect Hugh Hardy is the quintessential New Yorker. His irrepressible love of the city animates all of his work, and can be found in many of the city’s most beloved institutions. Theatre of Architecture gathers twenty of Hardy’s projects, both within New York City and beyond its borders, to frame a candid discussion about the collaborations, challenges, and strategies that gave rise to each project’s design. It illuminates the combination of all factors that create memorable architecture.
STUDIO magazine just released their Issue #4: TRANSFORMATION which focuses on how the city is a place involved in a continuous Transformation where man is the main creator and user. Furthermore, this issue uses several architectural projects to demonstrate how the city withstands continuous changes in its form, generating new and different landscapes. Through various scales and facets of architecture, the magazine clearly presents to its readers, from basic to in depth analyses, this transformation process cities undergo. For more information, and to read the magazine, please visit here.
This book selects more than 50 excellent projects of renovated buildings worldwide. The architects adjust measures to local conditions and ingeniously carry out reposition and design for the buildings’ exterior, interior and landscape environment, thus creating some resurrection for them. Each project inside this book has its peculiar characteristics. Some focus on ecological and sustainable parts, such as rebuilding a factory neighboring to residential communities into a library, which decreases pollution, while at the same time produces some cultural atmosphere.
Presented here are twenty recent projects by an equal number of young Belgian architectural firms, published in conjunction with the exhibition ‘XX Models: Young Belgian Architecture’, at the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels. The exhibition showed one architectural model every two months beginning September 2008. Most projects include a public or collective dimension, public rather than private commissions were privileged, and a balance was sought between Flemish and Francophone firms. Each projected is examined in depth; selected offices include JDS Architects, Matador, URA, A229, Dierendonckblancke Architecten, B612 Associates and noA, among others.
A+Editions provides the first overview of the export of Belgian architecture. Belgian Architecture Beyond Belgium is aimed at both amateurs and professionals of architecture and building. A critical synthesis of the history of Belgian architecture on the international stage since the 19th century and the opinions expressed during a round-table discussion by key figures currently involved in export provide elements of response to some important questions: What are the stakes, difficulties and specificities of Belgian architecture? Why, how and where has the know-how of Belgian architecture been disseminated? How do architects take into account local and cultural features in international projects?
The redesign of Lincoln Center is one of the most challenging and innovative civic projects in recent urban history. Over the past eight years, Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R), in close collaboration with FXFOWLE, Beyer Blinder Belle and Lincoln Center’s leadership, has transformed the 50-year-old modernist citadel into a porous and democratic campus. This visually rich document is the first comprehensive book to feature the extensive redevelopment in its entirety. Inside-Out, and still Lincoln Center details DS+R’s interpretation of the modernist project after several generations of social and political change. Through a combination of photographs, drawings, renderings, archival records and texts, the book describes the innovative strategies that have dissolved the public/private divide and effectively turned the campus inside-out, extending the spectacle of the performance halls into the Center’s mute public spaces and surrounding streets.
The logics of digital processes in architecture have begun to structure the way that architects design, the way that builders build, and the way that industry is reorganizing. The process of architectural design has become a complex workflow. At the core of the shift toward more expansive forms of digital production within the design and construction industry is the integration of communication through digital networks. The goal is to develop a continuous, easily accessible and parametrically adaptable body of information that coordinates the process from design through a building’s lifecycle. Organized around the key fields of Designing Design, Designing Assembly and Designing Industry, this book is a reference work on digital technologies as key factors in architectural design, fabrication and workflow organization. It presents essays and case studies from some of the leading voices on the topic.
Fifteen firms of young european architects show their most relevant works and meditate on the current conditions of design production. while pragmatically anchored to the present, this generation confronts the transition to a different, more cooperative and social, existential situation: to an architecture that can overcome the obsession for individual self-representation and formal and stylistic research in order to contribute to an ecology of interaction.
Just arrived to ArchDaily, Mark Magazine #43. New museums keep popping up in the USA. Farshid Moussavi’s Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland, Zaha Hadid’s Broad Art Museum in East Lansing and Morphosis’s Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas. In the Netherlands, Ector Hoogstad gave Eindhoven University of Technology a new library and Powerhouse Company added an impressive villa to their growing portfolio. On the eve of the launch of his new feature film, Oblivion, director Joseph Kosinski talks about his background in architecture. Finally, we checked out Zhujiajiao, near Shanghai, where Atelier FCJZ, Atelier Deshaus and Mada s.p.a.m. realised a milestone in China’s urban development, thanks to the reintroduction of a small-scale methodology coupled with respect for local identity.
Brutalism. It’s the architecture movement that the public loves to hate, and architects dare to love. It’s also the latest topic tackled by CLOG, the quirky publication that takes a long slow look at what’s important in architecture now.
While Brutalism, a movement that reached its height in the 60s, may not seem a timely topic, nothing could be further from the truth. With Brutalism’s monolithic beasts reaching their not-so-golden golden years, the question to re-model (often prohibitively expensive, considering these projects’ complexity) or just demolish (as the public often begs for) is an urgent one – as the recent preservation debates over Paul Rudolph’s Orange County Building (successful) and Bertrand Goldberg‘s Prentice Women’s Hospital (not) reveal.
However, while this edition of CLOG of course mentions these debates, Brutalism shines in exploring the bigger questions these debates provoke: Why is Brutalism so loathed? What is it, really? And – can Brutalism be saved? Should it be?