In Residence: Knud Holscher

NOWNESS takes you inside Danish architect ’s minimalist, brick-and-glass home on a suburban cul-de-sac just 25 minutes north of Copenhagen. Holscher, one of Denmark’s most acclaimed architects and industrial designers, built the 1970s home to experiment with what he believes makes an ideal home: a modest open plan, clean lines and simple interiors.

Video: A Conversation with the Architects of the 9/11 Memorial Museum

“Typically, museums are icons that contain exhibits. This is the inverse: the exhibit is the icon.”

In this video, architects Steven M. Davis, Mark Wagner, and Carl F. Krebs of Davis Brody Bond come together to discuss the design process and visitor experience of the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Technical complexities and deeply emotional responses challenged the architects to craft an immersive experience of remembering. From the enormous scale of the site, to the celebration of the iconic surviving artifacts, the designers describe the overwhelming authenticity preserved by the memorial.

Wagner explains, “It pushed us architecturally, to not just look at the physical attributes, but to dive in emotionally… we need markers in our history, we need something to bring us back to that moment.” It is this authenticity and embedded emotive power that the architects aim to enhance. Watch the video above to listen in on the conversation.

Video: Ole Scheeren on Height and Density

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In this interview, conducted by the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, Ole Scheeren discusses the ideal height for sustainable buildings. Drawing reference from two of his projects, MahaNakhon and The Interlace, he speaks to the difference between height and density, and how those two interplay when creating livable spaces in urban areas. He goes on to talk about how large buildings such as skyscrapers can be made more open to the surrounding city, both visually through programming. Watch the full clip above!

Koolhaas’ Career in Film: 1,2,3 Group

1,2,3 Group: Samuel Meyering, Rem Kolhaas, Frans Bromet, Rene Daalder, . Image courtesy of Rene Daalder. Via The Architecture Foundation

Before studying architecture at the Architectural Association in London, Rem Koolhaas embarked on a short but fruitful career in film as a member of 1,2,3 Group, a youthful band of five who shared different roles in front of and behind the camera in a kind of anti-auteur cinema.

The first film produced by the group came from the longtime friendship between Rem and scriptwriter and director Rene Daalder, who along with Jan de Bont, Frans Bromet and Samuel Meyering produced 1,2,3 Rhapsody (1965), a short film which featured Koolhaas as an actor in some scenes and a cameraman in others.

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Video: Leibar&Seigneurin on their “Sculptural” Social Housing Project in Anglet

Based in Bordeaux and Bayonne, architecture studio Leibar&Seigneurin has created a new video to introduce their social housing project in Anglet. Last week we brought you their video on their project in Bordeaux in which they revealed the ways in which film can represent the fabric of architecture better than photography alone. In this video, they discuss the ways in which the white monolithic form of their project in Anglet takes on a sculptural quality, with various elements animating the façade and looking out onto a courtyard.

The project mixes smaller collective units with individual units in addition to providing spaces that are a combination of the two. A variety of outdoor furniture was designed specifically for the project, to provide outdoor functions for people of all ages.

Video: Snøhetta on Designing the 9/11 Memorial Museum Pavilion

“So in some ways I think that this tragedy gave a sense of purpose to people that was very positive, and we tried to translate that feeling into this building.” In this video from the Louisiana Channel, Craig Dykers of Snøhetta describes how his own experience with the events of 9/11 and the positivity of the spirit of people around him helped inspire the design process of the 9/11 Memorial Museum Pavilion.

He speaks of the journey of healing and understanding as central to the design and experience of the building itself. “As you move through these cycles, you realize one day that you are alive, and you that have to present the strength of being alive to those around you, and this building is meant to be a part of that cycle…to allow you to see yourself, at a moment in time.”

Watch the video above to learn more about the challenges of designing a memorial museum fully integrated within an essentially nonexistent site. 

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Video: Robert A.M. Stern on Designing Background Buildings and The Limestone Jesus

“We have lots of silly buildings being built, in my opinion. The buildings should not look like Lady Gaga,” stated Robert A.M. Stern in the latest installment by the Louisiana Channel.

Fifteen Central Park West, what many know to be the “world’s most powerful address,” was designed by Stern with one intention: to fill in the wall of Central Park West with a single, well articulated “background building” rather than a “twisting and turning isolated” structure. As Stern describes in the video above, the building, known as the “ Jesus,” is praised in the real estate world for it’s high-priced apartments.

“Almost every building that is new has a built-in history. We are architects that build on the shoulders of the past. I think is is much more exciting to enter into a dialogue with the past and also to take things from the past and restudy them, their theme and variation. Architecture is made up of many languages in my view and if we have a modern language that is evolved but it doesn’t mean that the other languages can’t also continue to be spoken.”

Interviewers Ask: ‘What Is Architecture?’

What is Architecture? (WIA), a small collection of with influential architects from around Europe, seeks to “provide clear and concise information about architecture”, thereby “forming a panoramic view of today’s architectural thinking.” Set up by three students of architecture residing in , the WIA team have interviewed the likes of Patrik Schumacher (Zaha Hadid Architects), Sir Peter Cook (CRAB Studio), Jacob and Nathalie van Rijs (MVRDV), and Ben van Berkel (UNStudio). Their collection, though small, is continually expanding.

See a selection of WIA’s interviews after the break (or see the entire collection here).

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Video: Daniel Libeskind on Masterplanning Ground Zero

“Its an adventure, because it’s a highly political, highly emotional, highly complicated process, to get something built on the site which is about memory,” explains Daniel Libeskind. “It’s a day that changed the world… and architecture responds in constructing something that has sense for people, that has spirit.”

In this latest installment by the Louisiana Channel, Daniel Libeskind recounts his involvement and intentions behind the Ground Zero master plan. Rejecting the idea of building mega structures and exploiting the site’s real estate, Libeskind focused his efforts on the people of and using architecture as a means for healing.

Watch the video about to hear Libeskind’s story.

Video: Leibar&Seigneurin on their Social Housing Project in Bordeaux

Based in Bordeaux and Bayonne, architecture studio Leibar&Seigneurin created a video to introduce their newest project in . They believe that film can represent the fabric of architecture better than photography alone because it captures life and the passage of time. Throughout the video, they discuss their conceptual approach to dealing with this building’s context.

Characterized by high-rise blocks, the challenge in designing a new building for social housing was allowing it to connect with the surrounding “soft” environment of a park. With curving white loggias rising above the street and a gabion wall at the ground level, the design attempts to establish a new relationship within its context. Other goals included transforming the traditional dynamic of apartment housing in which you do not know or interact with your neighbors, into more friendly and communal experience. Carefully juxtaposed materials bring new life to the design of the façade, creating a subtle and coherent connection with the city streets.

Video: Bjarke Ingels on the Power of Architecture

This past month at WIRED by Design, Bjarke Ingels gave a rundown of his most ambitious projects, highlighting one underlining theme: BIG’s mission to “create social infrastructure for resilient cities.” From their BIG U” storm proofing plan, recently awarded $400 million in federal funds, to their “ski slope” waste-to-energy plant currently underway in Copenhagen, the Danish practice is undoubtedly fulfilling their mission in a BIG and infectious way.

Watch Ingels’ 20-minute talk above and see just how he hopes to realize the world of our dreams with the power of architecture.

Investigating A Radical Future For Our Urban Waterways

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In the third and final installment of their micro documentary series on architecture and waterEllis Woodman and a team at the Architectural Review (AR) have collaborated with architects, developers, urbanists and thinkers to examine the latent connections between and our built environment. Taking a journey by narrowboat through , the film explores the radical ideas which may offer the keys to unlocking the potential of the urban waterway. Through recreation, interaction and radical ideas such as floating parks, amphibious houses and new public wetlands can the river become a living part of the city?

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TED Talk: How to Reinvent the Apartment Building / Moshe Safdie

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Nearly 50 years after realizing Habitat ’67, when the need for high quality affordable housing is at an all time high, is expanding on his ideas first explored in the stacked Montreal utopia to discover just how natural light and the feeling openness can be achieved in today’s megalopolises. Watch as Safdie makes a case to do away with the high-rise in the short TED Talk above.

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Video: Tightrope Walker Nik Wallenda Crosses Chicago’s “Skyscraper Canyon”

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Last night, thousands in Chicago turned out to cheer on tightrope walker Nik Wallenda, as he performed two tightrope walks involving some of the Windy City’s most famous buildings: Bertrand Goldberg‘s Marina City Apartments and Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates‘ Leo Burnett Building. Wallenda set two Guinness World records, the first for the steepest ever tightrope walk as he climbed from the 588-foot Marina City to the 671-foot Leo Burnett Building, and then for the highest blindfolded tightrope walk as he crossed between the two Marina City towers. The stunt was covered live by Discovery, whose footage comes replete with dramatic sweeping shots of a mid-walk Wallenda, made miniscule against the backdrop of Chicago’s famous Skyscraper Canyon.

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Video: French Cities Come to Life in Mayeul Akpovi’s Time-Lapse Movies

These mesmerizing time-lapse videos by photographer Mayeul Akpovi allow you to see several French like never before. Combined with captivating soundtracks, the videos show the architecture of ParisMarseille and Lyon throughout the day with changing light and varying levels of activity. Above, Part I of Paris in Motion displays shots of clouds moving across the sky, reflections on the Le Grande LouvreLa Grande Arche. Check out the remaining six videos after the break.

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Video: Bach Comes to Life within the Walls of Peter Zumthor’s Bruder Klaus Field Chapel

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Take a moment to enjoy German-Korean musician Isang Enders play Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 within the sacred, charred interior of Peter Zumthor’s Bruder Klaus Field Chapel.

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The Question of Gentrification Along London’s Urban Waterways

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In the second installment of their new three-part micro documentary series on architecture and water (see the first part here), Ellis Woodman and a team at the Architectural Review (AR) have collaborated with architects, developers, urbanists and thinkers to examine the latent connections between water infrastructure and our built environment. Taking a journey by narrowboat through , the film explores the radical ideas which may offer the keys to unlocking the potential of the urban waterway. When has an ever-increasing overwhelming need for growth, how does the densification and gentrification of the city relate to the rivers and canals?

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​In Residence: Ray Kappe

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As part of NOWNESS’ latest In Residence series, American architect takes you on a tour through his glass and redwood “treehouse” on Los Angeles’ Rustic Canyon hillside. Built some 50 years ago, the house is considered to be one of the greatest modern residences in Southern California. 

“The house works so well you don’t even notice its age,” says director Matthew Donaldson. “It’s the real deal; not a piece of furniture has changed, and the house is used every day and has brought up a family. It’s like they got it right and didn’t need to change a thing—surely that’s a sign of great architecture?”