Video: One World Trade Center Tops Out

Caution: This video may induce vertigo.

As the final segment of the One World Trade Center was hoisted into position – topping the structure out at a patriotic 1,776 feet – Curbed NY captured its journey via a small Go-Pro camera to reveal its fascinating, and somewhat nauseating, view of Manhattan.

While the US rejoices this monumental feat, a debate amongst , engineers and city officials lingers on whether or not the 408-foot spire will count towards the One WTC’s overall height and allow it to officially claim its title as the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. Although the Port Authority argues that the spire doubled as a radio antenna is considered as non-essential telecom equipment and therefore should not be considered as part of the “architectural top”, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat will make the final call in October. (more…)

Video: Bianca Bosker Discusses Architectural Imitation in China

In ’s effort to modernize its cities, it has used architectural mimicry – essentially “copy-cat architecture” as journalist and author Bianca Bosker puts it – to rapidly and substantially “adapt to the market” for urban development.  Watch this video as Bosker describes the atmosphere of imitation that China has  adapted to bring western architectural styles to its housing market. Bianca Bosker is the author of “Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China”, in which she gives a tour of the various towns within major cities that have seen this rapid development.  Cities like Hangzhou has its own imitation of Venice, which includes man-made canals, townhouses, and villas.  Shanghai has its own version of Paris, Eiffel Tower included.  And Beijing has an imitation of the London Bridge.

More after the break.

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AD Interviews: Pedro Gadanho

Pedro Gadanho is a Portuguese architect, curator, teacher and writer, appointed as the  Curator for Contemporary Architecture at the MoMA in January last year.

Pedro is a prolific writer, who uses a blog as a laboratory for his ideas about architecture and urbanism (sharing his views on the current states of cities and how architecture can transform them), and will surely have an impact on what the Department of Architecture of the Museum focuses on in the future.

During this past year Pedro has been involved in the YAP (Young Architects Program), a platform to discover young and foster new ideas through installations at the MoMA PS1 (Queens, NY), the MAXXXI Museum (Rome, Italy), the Istanbul Modern Museum (Istanbul, Turkey) and with CONSTRUCTO (Santiago, Chile).

He also curated the exhibit “9 + 1 Ways of Being Political: 50 Years of Political Stances in Architecture and Urban Design”  (open until Jun 9th, 2013; Architecture and Design Galleries, third floor), where his views of city and architecture come together in the form of a selection of fresh ideas and examples of architects who actively shaped our cities. The opening of the exhibit included the architectural performance “IKEA Disobedients” by Andres Jaque.

Pedro was also a jury for the 2013 Mies van der Rohe award.

In today’s world, where we have access to everything at the the tip of our fingers, the role of the curator becomes more and more relevant for us to understand our new context.

You can follow Pedro on Twitter @pedrogadanho.

Video: Thom Mayne Talks With Toyo Ito

At 71, the 2013 Pritzker Prize winner Toyo Ito is not content with settling down just yet, at least not architecturally-speaking. Where many architects have established distinct styles, Ito is known for constantly shifting, experimenting, questioning and developing his approach to architecture. As one member of the Prtizker jury put it “he has been working on one project all along – to push the boundaries of architecture. And to achieve that goal, he is not afraid of letting go what he has accomplished before.” 

In this video entitled Learning from Laureates - which comes courtesy of the good folks at ARCHITECT magazine - fellow experimentalist and Pritzker Prize recipient (not to mention 2013 AIA Gold MedalistThom Mayne gets to grips with Ito’s motivation. The pair of laureates converse via Skype examining the drive behind Ito’s evolutionary approach, before getting down to discussing how they think architecture is being affected by society’s biggest change yet – the advent of the post-digital age.

See more of Ito’s work along with some of our previous coverage after the break… (more…)

The 10 Most Inspirational TED Talks for Architects

Courtesy of Youtube – TEDtalksDirector

Inspiration is a funny thing: when you need it is nowhere to be seen, and just when you’re not expecting it, it can blindside you in the least convenient of places. Here’s ten inspirational TED talks for (in no particular order) from people with broad and unique views on architecture. Some might enlighten, educate or even enrage you – at the very least they should get those creative juices flowing a little better.

Take-in these ten TED talks after the break…

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Video: ‘The Competition’ Trailer

Madrid-based architect of Office for Strategic Spaces (OSS) has directed and produced the first documentary focused on the tense process that often characterizes an architectural competition. Appropriately titled The Competition, the film captures a fascinating account on how five world renowned architects – Jean Nouvel, Frank Gehry, Dominique Perrault, Zaha Hadid and Norman Foster – “toil, struggle and strategize to beat the competition.” The premise is based on a nearly forgotten, 2008 competition for a new National Museum of Art of Andorra, a small Pyrenees country nestled between and France, which has yet to be realized.

The Competition is expected to debut in late 2013. Updates will be available on OSS’s website and facebook.

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AD Interviews: Alexander Mamut

The construction of the city is something that goes beyond and planners. It involves the government, the citizens and the private sector. For the ArchDaily Interview series we have interviewed many with very different backgrounds, and we have started to include people outside the field that have played an important role either for our profession or the city.

During our last trip to Moscow, we had the opportunity to interview Alexander Mamut, businessman and investor who is involved in projects such as the Pioner Cinema, the Waterstone book chain, the blogging service LiveJournal  and other projects related to culture, media and the city. He is also one of the founders of the Strelka Institute, a post graduate school located at the Chocolate Factory in the heart of Moscow and using the city as a laboratory, with an ambitious plan to raise the quality of architectural education in the country.

The founders of Strelka (who also include Sergey Adonyev, Dmitry Likin, Ilya Oskolkov-Tsentsiper and Oleg Shapiro) invited Rem Koolhass to design the curriculum for this new school, who under the AMO research arm prepared the educational programme for Strelka, with a research agenda based on design, energy, preservation, public spaces and thinning. The institute brings together professionals from different disciplines to have a comprehensive approach to city and architecture, from architects to urbanists, writers, designers, scientists, and journalists.

The city of Moscow is facing tremendous challenges, due to the growth and changes it has undergone in the past few years, which will only accelerate as the result of its vibrant economy. The city is expected to double its population in the coming years, and many competitions, including the masterplan for the city’s expansion, are being held with this objective in mind.

Courtesy of Strelka

In this scenario, architecture education is key in order to form the new generation of professionals that wil face the critical issues of contemporary Russia. And this is why we wanted to include Alexander Mamut, whose passion for the city led him to invest in the city in a particular way, in our interview series. He is a good example of what can be done from the private sector to develop cities with a long-term vision.

During the interview, we discuss with Alexander Mamut the future of Moscow, how education can improve the quality of life of its habitants, the importance of the private sector in the development of cities, and more.

Video: Architecture with capital letter A

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From Frank Lloyd Wright to Oscar Niemeyer and the 2013 Pritzker Prize laureate Toyo Ito, this short film features a series of excerpts from interviews, speeches and documentaries of the most influential Architects from the past 70 years who have shaped the notion of Architecture. As described by the ’s producer, viaViLi, “this accumulation of scenes some how expresses the condition of Architecture today – its moments of Glory and Misery.”

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Films & Architecture: “Old Boy”

This amazing South Korean film tries to express captivity and its consequences for an escaped hostage. A range of spaces, from underground rooms where the crime operates to luxury apartments owned by the leaders, reveal a mix of carefully prepared colours and compositions, with patterns on the walls, strong contrasts and several kinds of lighting atmospheres. Enjoy and let us know your ideas about architecture and captivity in the comments!  

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Video: Sou Fujimoto at IE Master in Architectural Design

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IE Master in Architectural Design opens its 2013 lecture series program, at the Círculo of Bellas Artes in Madrid, with the Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto.

Sou Fujimoto’s lecture, “Evolving Ideas: Primitive Future”, served as a forum for students to participate in open discussions between scholars, critics, independent professionals, entrepreneurs, curators and cultural activists.

What is the meaning of Architecture? How does it relate to nature? These are the two questions that Sou Fujimoto continues to ponder on. His projects are a pure reflection of his continuous research of the relationship between: City and architecture, architecture and landscape, inside and outside, and nature and architecture.

Enjoy the interview with Sou Fujimoto and summary of the event.

SEEDoc: Nyanza Maternity Hospital / MASS Design Group

Since June, we’ve been reporting on the Design Corps and SEED (Social Economic Environmental Design)‘s, SEEDocs, a series of mini-documentaries that highlight the stories of award-winning public interest design projects. As each mini-doc has been an excellent, inspiring exploration of the challenges and benefits of community-oriented design, we are pleased (and not a little sad!) to announce that the final seed-doc has just been released.

This month’s mini-doc, probably the series’ best, focuses on the Nyanza Maternity , designed by MASS Design Group. MASS of course garnered much attention for their Butaro , also in Rwanda (for an interesting inside-look at the construction of Butaro, read this excellent article by MASS co-founder Marika Shiori-Clark). Should this hospital be funded and realized, it will no doubt make more headlines for the innovative public-interest design firm.

Read more about MASS Design Group’s lastest project in Rwanda, after the break…

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Firenze Che Sarà: Screenings and Conversations

Courtesy of Firenze Che Sarà

Firenze Che Sarà (A Florence That Will Be) are a series of screening and conversations involving changes in cities, attempting to stimulate the Florentine administration, which has repeatedly show interest in promoting change. The first two screening already took place, but the sessions will continue on the following dates:

- April 18 (A Gavinana. Architecture in Wait)
- May 16 (At the Uffizi. The cityless museum)
- June 13 (At the Cascine. On the search for landscapes)

All part of the “Firenze Che Sarà” program are selected by Image ARCHIVE. The program is organized by Image in collaboration with the Ordine degli Architetti di Firenze

One of the 9 videos included in the screening is J. Mayer. H.’s Metropol Parasol, filmed by Pedro Kok

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Video: Basket Apartments / OFIS architects

Located on a long and very narrow site, on the edge of Parc La Vilette in ’s 19th district, the major objective of the Basket Apartments was to provide students with a healthy environment for studying, learning and meeting. Designed by OFIS architects, their video gives viewers a look at the surrounding urban context, including the new Paris tram route passing along the site. The open corridor, gallery, and studio spaces are all illustrated here as the film takes you through a typical experience by its users.

The Happiness Machine: The Detailed Drawings of Mark Lascelles Thornton

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With just a Rotring Isograph pen on arches paper, artist Mark Lascelles Thornton completed this scrupulously detailed architectural drawing project titled “The Happiness Machine”. Each sheet represents a city – such as Chicago, Shanghai, London and – and is stylized in red and gray ink.

In addition to the meticulous detail of the buildings, the work is even more amazing considering the scale: the final piece will spread across eight panels measuring 8 by 5 feet.

Continue for more images…

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Video: Alberto Biagetti Milan, 2013

The Italian designer invites us into his home, a space that has become the ultimate private gallery.

CAPACITY: Gensler Los Angeles Academic Studio

CAPACITY, the Gensler led academic studio at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, was created with the intent to survey, understand and visualize the dynamic set of infrastructure constraints impacting and contributing to Downtown Los Angeles’ capacity to evolve. The video above highlights the documentation and synthesizing done by the SLO_GenLA ’13 Professional studio which shows the capacity of Los Angeles’ infrastructure and demonstrates how the limits of each system may physically impact the future built form of the city. Once these variables, which include building information and zoning, energy, waste management, and water were universally known and their units of measure understood, scenarios for the future were generated.

Royal Gold Medal 2013 Lecture: Peter Zumthor

It’s a rarity that the architecture community is presented a chance to indulge in a lecture. Often referred to a architecture’s reclusive “man of mystery”, the Swiss legend has produced a handful of projects so eloquently designed that they have captured the attention of the world. In honor of his mastery, awarded Zumthor with the institute’s prestigious Royal Gold Medal in February. In this video, he gives the 2013 Royal Gold Medal Lecture at the RIBA, focused on the theme of Presence in Architecture.  (more…)

Arup Documentary: Traces of Peter Rice

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has been described as both one of the best engineers and of the twentieth century. Unhappy with the role that engineers play in designing buildings, Rice dedicated his life to championing brave innovation and poetry through structure in a way that helped bridge the gap between engineering and architecture. His desire to work in tandem with , towards a shared vision, made him one of the most in-demand engineers of the twentieth century.

Read more about this amazing man and check out the video after the break… (more…)