This minimalist elementary school, located in Kumamoto and designed by Japanese architects Kazuhiro Kojima and Kazuko Akamatsu (CAt), is designed to seamlessly connect the indoor and outdoor space. Within the building, individual classrooms and spaces are loosely formed by L-shaped walls that feature foldable doors and flexible components. An abundance of courtyards and airy walkways are just some of the highlights, along with a wood deck activity space found on top of the roof.
As the 2012 Jencks Award winner, Rem Koolhaas charts the evolution of his ideas and built projects in this lecture provided by RIBA. He describes a double life split between practice and theory, two ventures reflected by his studios, OMA and AMO, the Office of Metropolitan Architecture and the Architecture Media Organization. Enjoy!
The lecture is chaired by Charles Jencks, designer, author and broadcaster.
In this TEDxRamallah, Palestinian Architect Saud Amiry – who works in architectural restoration on Palestinian buildings – discusses her journey as someone finding a path for herself. Although she speaks about her nationality and her family’s refugee history, her focus is on learning how to find the things that are fulfilling in one’s life in the face of challenges. Her sense of humor and passion is inspiring. Not only is she an architect working in a field for which she has a passion, she has also stumbled upon the role of an author, having written “Sharon and my Mother–in-Law: Ramallah Diaries”, which is an account of living under Israeli occupation. Even in the dire political circumstances of of her refugee status, Amiry finds humor under tragic circumstances.
More about Amiry after the break…
Shohei Shigematsu is the director of internationally renowned architecture firm OMA in New York. He has been a driving force in conceptual projects such as the Universal headquarters in Los Angeles, the Whitney Museum extension in New York, the China National Museum and Prada Epicenters for Shanghai and London. Here we visit the New York offices to discuss urban planning, his latest project with Marina Abramovic and the role of architects in society.
Crane.tv visits British designer Tom Dixon in his shop in Portobello Dock. The designer of the iconic S-bend chair and Mirrorball light shares his disappointment at not becoming the next king of disco, and tells us what he’s learned about design from the chef of his restaurant, Dock Kitchen. Address: Wharf Building, Portobello Dock, 344 Ladbroke Grove, London, W10 5BU.
Watch this video tour of the Bacardi Building in Miami, Florida, by the grandson of the original founder. The building, built in 1962, became the headquarters of the company for fifty years and has become an iconic modernist symbol in the city with an additional building added to the property in 1970. The building is designed by Enrique Guitierrez. The unique facade of the building was designed by ceramic artist Francisco Brennand using 20,000 tiles. The building resonates with Miami’s culture and has become a landmark for nearby residents. Tito Bacardi, who is the tour guide in the video, explains with pride how its the company’s legacy has become intertwined with the architecture – a building that represented Bacardi’s relocation from Cuba to America. (more…)
Democratic By Design is a short film, produced by the General Services Administration and narrated by Luke Russert, that tackles the issue of federal architecture. Buildings designed for the government typically have a familiar aesthetic. Washington, DC, is dominated by Neoclassical Architecture, building on the connotations of ancient Greek and Roman fora and temples as a symbol of democracy. But they perpetuate a sense of dominance and formality. Most of these buildings – city halls, courthouses, agency headquarters – were built in the 18th and 19th century, yet they leave behind a legacy and association in the architecture of the federal government.
On the contrary, government buildings built in the mid to late 20th century, specifically after 1962, have a more varied vernacular. This can be credited to Daniel Patrick Moynihan, aide to President John F. Kennedy. His one page document outlined guidelines for public architecture – an effort to contextualize and modernism government buildings. This video brings his words to life via well-known architects who have have designed federal buildings.
Join us after the break for a look at some of these buildings. (more…)
Gary Card is an illustrator, set designer and prop-maker. His bright and broad aesthetic has lent itself to a wide range of high profile brands including Topshop, Comme des Garcons, Adidas, COS and Nike. For the festive season, Card designed an electric christmas tree, inspired by the Vauxhall Ampera, installed at King’s Cross filling station until January. While we get a glimpse of his studio, viewing a multitude of diverse past projects, Card debates the pros and cons of his work and delves into the origin of his odd affinity for the colour purple.
The WUHAO Curated Shop is a modern approximation of a classical Chinese garden, located in one of Beijing’s richest historical districts. Having shown at Beijing Design Week and the Milan Furniture Fair, WUHAO offers a contemporary vision of the classical Chinese garden while also nurturing the work of emerging Chinese designers and international talents. Founder and curator Isabelle Pascal shares her first encounter with the ancient courtyard and explains how the experience inspired the collections she curates today.
Never is the value of architecture so poignant, as when it becomes a tool to facilitate learning, development and exploration. Inspired by this video, which presents three new schools in Concord, New Hampshire that physically embody the educational philosophies of independence, collaboration, and creativity, we spoke with HMFH Architects to delve further into this vital question: how can architecture help children develop the early skills, creativity and inquisitiveness needed to become the independent and inspired adults of future generations? Find out after the break.
The Biomuseo, or Museum of Biodiversity, in Panama City is Frank Gehry’s first project in Latin America. The building, situated on the mouth of the Panama Canal , is a colourful design of metal-plated canopies sustained by concrete columns. It will house eight galleries and tell the story of Panama’s diverse biological culture and its global impact. It is projected that, once finished, the 4000 m2 space will play a significant role in Panamanian society, culture and education. Here, one of the museum’s exhibit coordinators, Darien Montañes, explains the work involved in bringing a project of this scale to life.
As we shared with you earlier last month, Danish architectural firm, CEBRA, in partnership with Ski Travel Agency Danski, is working on a new project of epic proportions: the world’s largest Skidome. Skidome Denmark will be shaped rather like a snow-flake, with three 700m, criss-crossing arches (the tallest one reaching 110 m high). While a structure that size is hard to wrap one’s head around, this cool new video gives a great idea of the Skidome’s awesome scale.
More info and images of the World’s Largest Skidome, after the break…
Welsh industrial designer Ross Lovegrove interviews Japanese artist Mariko Mori ahead of her first exhibition in London in 14 years. The exhibition, at the Royal Academy of Arts, will showcase previously unseen pieces from the past 11 years as well as new work. Both Lovegrove and Mori share a futuristic aesthetic – with much of their work also inspired by nature and history. Speaking in Lovegrove’s studio, the pair discuss themes in Mori’s upcoming exhibition, the links between science and art and the nature of our future.
Located on the edge of Cerklje, an alpine town in Slovenia, the Hayrack Apartments have beautiful views due to the courtyard opening onto a view of the surrounding mountains. Designed by OFIS Arhitekti, their video highlights the character of the social apartments as they were sold to the Slovenian Housing Fund for young families at a price of 900 EUR/m2 which is extremely cheap. he concept of the façade is taken from the hayrack system – wooden beams following traditional details and patterns. Traditionally farmers use the beams to store grass and corn, on the housing one can store flowers or other balcony decoration. Apartments are of different sizes – from 30m2 studio flats up to four room apartments of 80m2.
Glithero are a progressive London-based practice made up of designers, Tim Simpson and Sarah van Gameren, who met and studied at the Royal College of Art. Their latest work, entitled ‘Lost Time’, was recently unveiled at Design Miami. Created in collaboration with Perrier-Jouët, the installation takes inspiration from the Art Nouveau movement and a trip to the Champagne region of France, where they were invited into the Perrier-Jouet cellars in Epernay. In the past year Glithero has presented solo shows in London, Paris and Rotterdam, as well as exhibitions in Milan, Berlin and Basel. In 2011 the studio was shortlisted for the Brit Insurance Award and the Dutch Design Awards. Filming the installation, we gain an insight into its creation and into Glithero’s design ethos.
Global Architectural Development is an award-winning practice based in Istanbul and New York. Though the majority of their projects are based in Turkey, the practice is truly global, with work in Paris, Libya and the United States. GAD’s projects have been exhibited at the Miami Bienal, the Musuem of Architecture in Rotterdam and the Royal Art Academy in London. Here, Gokhan Avcioglu principal and founder of GAD, discusses the complexity of maintaining Istanbul’s rich architectural history while also creating modern buildings.
A few months ago we informed you about a competition to re develop the massive “wedding-cake” style building at 425 Park Ave in NY, near Mies’ Seagram Building and SOM’s Lever House. The objective of the developer, L&L Holding, was to turn this project into the next iconic building of the city, and for that they invited a group of eleven renowned practices, including ten Pritzker laureates.
The shortlist was announced in October, and included OMA, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Zaha Hadid Architects and Foster + Partners, which was later announced as the winner of the competition a few weeks ago.
Over the last days, the presentations of the architects to the clients appeared on YouTube, and now we have the opportunity to see these interesting group of architects doing a fundamental part of their work. In the videos we see each architect using their own presentation style, either a PPT, video or just physical boards, connecting it to the practice’s research and discourse, projecting their passion about certain features of their projects and engaging with the client around their main objective: to turn this into an iconic project.
Four videos that take us further into how we understand projects, showing insights that we often don’t have access to, turning the competition into a particular moment of architecture this year.
Zaha Hadid Architects, OMA and Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners presentations after the break:
New York, San Fran, Chicago…Columbus, Indiana. Which of these doesn’t go with the others? Well, according to the AIA, none. Columbus, Indiana, a small town of about 44,000 has been ranked by the AIA as the nation’s 6th most architecturally important city, right after Washington DC.
So what’s so special about Columbus? Apparently, a 1950s philanthropist by the name of J. Irwin Miller took it upon himself to foot the bill for any new public building in the city. The result? Today, Columbus has more than 70 buildings designed by internationally renowned architects – including I.M. Pei, Eliel Saarinen, Eero Saarinen, Richard Meier and Harry Weese.
Check out a Video on Columbus “The Athens of the Prairie,” after the break…