A 108-meter high Eiffel Tower rises above Champs Elysées Square in Hangzhou. A Chengdu residential complex for 200,000 recreates Dorchester, England. An ersatz Queen’s Guard patrols Shanghai’s Thames Town, where pubs and statues of Winston Churchill abound. Gleaming replicas of the White House dot Chinese cities from Fuyang to Shenzhen. These examples are but a sampling of China’s most popular and startling architectural movement: the construction of monumental themed communities that replicate towns and cities in the West.
Swiss architecture and design publisher Birkhäuser has released a monograph of Todd Saunders’ work. Based in Bergen, Norway, award-winning Canadian architect Todd Saunders has built work in Norway, Finland and Canada. Todd Saunders: Architecture in Northern Landscapes covers his work over the last decade. The simple yet powerful aesthetic of the book mirrors the elegance of Saunders’ own architectural style and compliments the potency of the natural settings in which his work is often situated.
Human Experience and Place: Sustaining Identity is the latest title in the successful and prestigious Architectural Design (AD) series. Officially launched at the Sustaining Identity Symposium in London’s Victoria & Albert Museum at the end of November, this issue features both well-known and emerging practices worldwide.
By drawing on examples from across the world, this issue of AD demonstrates that, in a time of commercial globalisation, it is possible for architects, designers and engineers to create outstanding buildings that retain a sense of local identity, both in terms of cultural heritage and the conservation of the environment.
Torre David, a 45-story skyscraper in Caracas, has remained uncompleted since the Venezuelan economy collapsed in 1994. Today, it is the improvised home to more than 750 families living in an extra-legal and tenuous squat, that some have called a “vertical slum.”
Urban-Think Tank, the authors of Torre David: Informal Vertical Communities, spent a year studying the physical and social organization of this ruin-become home. Richly illustrated with photographs by Iwan Baan, the book documents the residents’ occupation of the tower and how, in the absence of formal infrastructure, they organize themselves to provide for daily needs, with a hair salon, a gym, grocery shops, and more.
Nearly a million people crowded the National Mall yesterday to witness the second swearing-in of President Barack Obama. The Mall was transformed – from the oft-trampled, dusty track of land separating the Capitol from the Lincoln Memorial – into a space of civic pride and participation. It’s moments like these that reveal to us the latent potential of the National Mall, and it’s important symbolic value as our Nation’s “backyard.”
The National Mall has suffered decades of over-use and under-funding, but has recently come back on the National agenda. With many projects underway – and soon to be underway – now is the time to consider: What is the National Mall? What is its value? And how should it be designed for the future? With informative graphics, varied insights, and interesting case studies, CLOG: National Mall addresses these vital questions.
Read our review of CLOG: National Mall, after the break…
The new issue of MAS Context, a quarterly publication released by MAS Studio, takes on the daunting issue of production and consumption impacting cities through the lens of a handful companies operating out of Chicago. Production and consumption have a negative connotation in today’s atmosphere of sustainability and conservation but architecture is fundamentally a celebration of the craft of inventing, designing and making. MAS Studio, in collaboration with Chicago-based collective The Post Family, looks critically at the social, environmental, and political implications of consumer culture while celebrating the excellence of production.
More after the break.
Instigations Engaging Architecture, Landscape, and the City / Mohsen Mostafavi and Peter Christensen
The creative imagination is not solely based on the intuitive capacities of individuals. One of the tasks of design education is to help provide the tools, techniques, and methods that enhance constructed imagination. At the same time, the modes and practices of design need to confront the challenges of our contemporary societies. The commitment to societal engagement through design excellence is at the core of the pedagogy at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
The Graham Foundation of Chicago will host a book presentation and signing of Wiel Arets: Autobiographical References, a new book edited by Robert McCarter and designed by Irma Boom exploring the notion of ‘A Wonderful World’. The event will take place Friday, February 1st at 6:00pmCST. The evening will begin with a discussion and debate between Arets and McCarter, introducing the book’s origins as well as the work of Wiel Arets Architects, after which signed copies of the publication will be available for purchase. More information after the break. (more…)
Archipendium 2013 architecture shows great examples of modern architecture around the world. Altogether 365 different architectural offices are featured, among others BIG Bjarke Ingels Group, Chaix & Morel, COOP HIMMELB(L)AU, David Chipperfield, Delugan Meissl, Eisenman Architects, Foster+Partners, gmp von Gerkan, Marg und Partner, Graft, Jean Nouvel, King Kong, Massimiliano Fuksas, MVRDV, OMA, Steven Holl Architects, Tony Fretton, UNStudio and Zaha Hadid. In order to get an authentic overview of modern architecture the architects found themselves faced with the choice of projects and contents.
Every three months, the publication CLOG takes on “a single subject particularly relevant to architecture now.” It’s not a quick look at something trendy, but rather an in-depth look at the issues that are affecting – and will continue to affect – architecture as we know it today.
CLOG: Rendering is, in my opinion, the best issue yet. Through dozens of fascinating, concise articles and a handful of illustrative, quirky images, it takes on an enormous question often over-looked in the architectural world: what is a rendering? An alluring device to win over a jury or public? A realistic depiction? Or perhaps it’s an entity unto itself…
Rendering examines how the rendering has become a means of deception – not just for the public, but for ourselves – becoming an aesthetic end-product rather than the representation of an idea in-progress. But at the same time, the rendering is our best tool for entering into the “real” world, for communicating what we do to the public at large.
Is there a way to marry these opposing characteristics? What should the future of rendering be? CLOG takes these questions head-on. More after the break…
Jarmund / Vigsnæs AS Architects MNAL was established in 1996 by Einar Jarmund and Håkon Vigsnæs. Alessandra Kosberg became partner in 2004. The firm is located in Oslo, Norway. JVA works in a wide architectural range with commissions mainly in Norway, but also in other European countries. The majority of their finished work are public buildings and housing projects. JVA also are involved in urban planning and building interiors; aiming to cover all corners of the architectural field. They focus on the independent concept for every single project, avoiding general stylistic approaches. Priority is given to early participation in creative programming and an attentive relation towards the surroundings.
Wang Shu’s design process always begins with an intense study of the location. The architect spends as long as possible on the site, absorbing its atmosphere. He then produces drafts in the form of hand-drawn sketches, creating them in relatively quick succession. Imagining the House follows this process in various buildings. Photographic documentation of the locations elucidate Shu’s on-site research. The reproductions of drawings in this book demonstrate how the designs change and become more concrete over the course of the process. The book provides unique insights into the work of an architect who has hitherto received little attention in Europe, thereby addressing a considerable omission in the publishing world.
Adaptation: Architecture, Technology and the City is a publication that is a result of the collaboration between INABA and Free that brings interviews and art works into a conversation about the advancement of digital technology and its place in the built environment. The publication is a fascinating study into the dialogue between technological advancements in transportation and communications and the tangible environment with which is inextricably linked. (more…)
The works of Sou Fujimoto resist any form of conventional categorization. This young Japanese architect stands for unconventional buildings that cannot be described by standard criteria and definitions such as inside/outside or public/private. Clear divisions such as between floor levels and rooms are shattered by his complex ground plans and interlocking structures which—in a reference to the idea of the cave—he describes as “Primitive Future.” With this approach he creates forms that are committed to a playful interaction between user and space. Alongside private residences, such as the well-known N House, his library for Musashino Art University has achieved particular recognition. In addition he was represented at the 2010 Venice Biennale with a design for a house.
Singapore-based DP Architects has played a significant role in shaping Orchard Road’s present form. Since the practice’s establishment in 1967, it has designed, retrofitted and reworked nearly thirty projects on Orchard Road, oftentimes reinterpreting the same building several times over a period spanning two or three decades. These projects cumulatively represent over one million square metres of mixed-use commercial space – a rare example of the comprehensive, long-term influence of a single design firm on an urban centre.
To Enjoy To Listen is composed of four chapters: cinemas, theaters, music halls and performing arts centers. The book aims not only visually beautiful, but also indeed practical, telling some design skills of theater buildings with a combination of gorgeous photos, elaborate drawings, a fresh layout and vivid descriptions. It even shows in a particular way with images of auditoriums, stages, foyers and corridors etc. Readers may get a deep understanding of architectural design while enjoying plays and music here.
I Want to be METROPOLITAN is a research project on small scale metropolises, MINI Metropolis, using Boston as a case study to provide a different reading of the city. The study focuses on showing the efforts that the city of Boston has made in order to grow with metropolitan characteristics while remaining at a much smaller scale than cities like New York, London, or Tokyo. The morphology of Boston has been achieved through different metropolitan interventions that occur on different scales. These are divided on an infrastructural scale, urban scale, and architectural scale. By means of analyzing these different aspects, we can compose a vision of a future Boston, or Fictitious Boston, derived from its metropolitan potential.
This special monographic issue of ‘Japan Architect’ features Kumiko Inui, who is perhaps best known for her facades, each one a visual pun or optical illusion. It is the first time that almost all of her work has been collected in book form. The magazine “carefully traces Inui’s reference and study process with the idea of conveying the joy derived from the creative process,” exploring 26 of her projects in chronological order, from early proposals and competition entries to high-profile projects such as Dior Ginza, Louis Vuitton Taipei Building and the Shin-Yatshushiro Monument. Includes essays by Tom Heneghan, Taira Nishizawa and Kumiko Inui.