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…
Visit the Kickstarter Campaign here.
A small group of students and architect Tobias Holler of sLAB Costa Rica at the New York Institute of Technology, have teamed up to design and build a communal recycling center for Nosara, Costa Rica – a city that is facing grave problems with sanitation and illegal dumping of garbage on beaches and in wildlife areas. Construction started last summer after a Kickstarter campaign that raised $15,000 helped provide expenses and costs associated with housing the students that assisted with the construction. A relaunch of the Kickstarter campaign will provide the project with additional funds to bring the students back to accelerate the pace of construction. The funds also support the documentary by Ayana de Vos, whose film follows the progress of the project and features waste management and sustainability in Costa Rica.
Join us after the break for more. (more…)
If you missed Design Like You Give A Dam: LIVE! - the Architecture for Humanity event of panel discussions and workshops at the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco - you must check out this short video.
The event brought together people from all walks of life from all corners of the globe, united by one simple idea: design can better human life.
As ArchforHumanity co-founder Cameron Sinclair explained of the event: “We had architects from Medellin, Colombia talk about how to prevent violence through architecture. We had thoughtful leaders who have come from small towns in the Midwest that were devastated by tornadoes that galvanized their community and rebuilt them. We had lawyers that talked about how to create a better justice system – really looking at the human experience within the built environment. [...] The thing about this conference is that we don’t just show you ideas, we show you how those ideas get built.”
Check out videos of the Conference’s Panel Discussions, after the break…
Above is a video by OFIS Arhitekti featuring their Shopping Roof Apartments project in Slovenia. With the initial task from the client to build a new shopping mall on the plot of the existing one, their project cleverly proposed use of the shopping roof for additional volume-as new apartments. The organization of the housing and the envelope of the apartments open towards mountain views and the sun. Therefore the front, wooden facade is mostly transparent with panoramic windows.
If you’re at all immersed in the design world, you already know the name of Danish-American furniture designer Jens Risom. And, if you know Jens Risom, you most certainly know the mid-century, pre-fab house he designed and built on an isolated island 13 miles off the coast of New England.
The house, which has stood on Block Island for 45 years with relatively little renovation, despite the island’s notoriously powerful gales of wind, defies the stereotype that pre-fabricated buildings can’t be built to last (or beautifully designed). Indeed, Risom only attempted the venture because of the “personal freedom” that pre-fabrication afforded him. As he explains: “Architecture, to me, is the most beautiful of the arts. But I watched my father [an architect] struggle with the challenges, what was to me an enormous drawback: The architect did not fully drive the end product. I always knew that I wanted to design, but only [if I could] create products over which I had total control.”
More on this extraordinary home and its designer, after the break…
OFIS Arhitekti shared with us a video they put together for their project, Alpine Hut. Situated in a small Alpine village, part of Triglav national park with very strict rules of construction and architectural design, the client bought the site together with existing construction permit for the generic project. Basically, the main task was to give the hut a new look, create a new veranda around the house and position the openings towards the views and increasing its sustainability.
David Adjaye, the British architect chosen to design Washington DC’s Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, is currently one of the UK’s most successful talents. This year he topped the PowerList 2013, naming him Britain’s most influential black figure, coming in ahead of Olympic star Mo Farah and actor Idris Elba. The award, he says, is a double edged sword. In this film Adjaye reflects on its significance and and as a result explores wider themes of history heritage and culture within the arts.
One of the centers of cultural and civic life, the 1111 Lincoln Road project by Herzog & de Meuron is featured in the video above, made by Elizabeth Priore. This project was chosen as it has changed people’s perception about what a utilitarian structure can be; and has ignited conversations worldwide about its design and use. This garage has reshaped the urban fabric of the city and people are going there to get married, relax, and enjoy a cocktail. The video is a Semifinalist in the $200,000 FOCUS FORWARD Filmmaker Competition and is in the running to become the $100,000 Grand Prize Winner. More information after the break. (more…)
Peter VonDeLinde, Marc Ofsthun, and Christian Korab, an architectural film studio team based out of Minneapolis, recently created an amazing short film on Frank Gehry‘s newly expanded Weisman Art Museum. Gehry’s 11,000 sq.ft. expansion showcases his sculptural talent featuring its stainless steel facade curving out from the entrance. This video was produced in conjunction with the Weisman featured in the January/February 2012 issue of Architecture Minnesota magazine.
Chika Kijima Architect’s Office + O.F.D.A. transformed a cluster of three existing homes into this work/live haven for a pair of musicians. The naturally lit interiors of the single-story Overlapped House features a studio, kitchen, hall, ample amounts of storage and a well-buffered sleeping quarters.
Video via JA+U.
The Glass House just concluded their second annual Conversations in Context, which presents visitors with the opportunity to join in a weekly evening tour and intimate conversation with industry leaders, including Robert A.M. Stern, Michael Graves, and more.
Since the 1940s, The Glass House has served as a place of inspiration, education and conversation across creative disciplines. Its 49-acre landscape, 14 architectural structures and world-class art collection continue to draw members of an international creative community to participate in its rich story. Conversations in Context continues Philip Johnson’s legacy of using the Glass House as a place to conduct ongoing seminars with architecture students and present emerging and established architects the opportunity to discuss the current state of the industry.
The video above features Architect, critic, and historian Kenneth Frampton, along with Dean Mark Wigley from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Follow us after the break for a few of our favorite conversations from this year’s series. (more…)
This interview with professor and author Tom Fisher, Dean of University of Minnesota, is part of a documentary series called “Things May Happen”, in which he describes the dangers of Fracture-Critical Design. This topic is also the subject of his recent book, Designing to Avoid Disaster: The Nature of Fracture-Critical Design. Fisher discusses examples in which our systems, whether they be architectural, structural or even social and financial, fail with disastrous consequences. In a TEDxUMN talk at the University of Minnesota, Fisher spoke about the 1-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis in 2007, the failure of New Orleans’ levees during Hurricane Katrina, the BP Oil Spill on the Gulf Coast, the Wall Street investment bank failures, the housing foreclosure crisis and now the destruction wrought by Hurricane Sandy. Covering a whole spectrum of “when things go wrong” scenarios, Fisher illuminates the failed foresight in designing systems that are resilient to disaster.
Interestingly, he notes that our economic system, as designed, has a tendency to fail and fail big enough to affect the global economy. Our lifestyle, as designed, is unsustainable and requires “five planets to support”. These warnings are part of Fisher’s discourse and is a call for resilient and considered design systems that anticipate failure and avoid disaster.
Shaped by the Ottoman Empire, known for historical Byzantine structures and its famed Grand Bazaar, Istanbul has always been a melting pot of influences and culture. In recent years, due to thriving economies, emerging cities such as Istanbul have begun cultivating a design landscape. Rapid progress often compromises preservation of heritage and promotion of the arts. On the 5th of November 2012, Taksim Square, one of the few remaining green areas of the city was closed off until late 2013, without the knowledge or consent of its citizens. Here we speak to Özlem Yalim Özkaraoglu, Director of the Design Biennial, and designer, Koray Malhan, about dictatorial urban planning and the future of Turkey’s most notable city.
During the 13th Venice Biennale we had the chance to interview the team behind San Rocco: Matteo Ghidoni, Giovanni Piovene and Pier Paolo Tamburelli.
San Rocco is a very particular architecture magazine, described by its creators as something that “does not solve problems. It is not a useful magazine […] is neither serious nor friendly”, a curated selection of writings around particular topics related to the current state of architectural thinking and criticism. San Rocco has a five year plan, a limited time frame where 20 editions will be published with topics that range from “Scary Architects” and “Collaborations”, to “What’s wrong with the primitive hut” or “Houses for billionaires”.
During the 13th Venice Biennale, San Rocco was present in two exhibits at the Arsenale, including the launch of their project “Book of Copies” at the “Museum of Copying” exhibit curated by FAT. ”Books of Copies” is an online database comprised of images that can be copied in order to produce architecture. As such, “Books of Copies” are receptacles of a collective form of knowledge that we can provisionally call “architecture”. During the Biennale, visitors can photocopy and remix their own magazines.
Sunny & Mild Media presents Part 2 of its Googie Architecture Series, presenting design work at the cusp of technological innovations of the 1950s. Emerging out of an obsession with the fast new world of cars, planes and rockets, Googie Architecture became an ultramodern style that sought to encapsulate the spirit of the 21st century. The new forms – sweeping, cantilevered roofs, starbursts, and flowing forms – became a form of advertisement that caught the attention of motorists, for its vibrance along the stretches of highways and for its distinctive style.
This installment features a closer look at the diners and restaurants that thrived in the ’50s and were designed with the Googie style. Even the one of the first McDonald’s restaurants adapted the style to work with its logo. Many of these buildings stand in ruin now, but the style was used in all kinds of building typologies – most of which emphasized the car: drive-thru’s, drive-in’s, car washes, diners, and gas stations. Even Las Vegas, and our associations with the its architecture today, are a reflection of that style.
At the gardens of the Arsenale designed by Piet Oudolf, a small pavilion, the Casa Scaffali, encloses a fantastic world of smells, textures and artifacts, a Wunderkammer (wonder-room) curated by NY-based Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects.
A special group of architects and artists from around the world were invited to share the artifacts that inspire them, shipped in boxes to the Biennale.
We had the chance to interview Tod Williams and Billie Tsien during the opening of Wunderkammer, and we also got a chance to see them both and their team setting up the installation during the previous days, a special atmosphere as they were opening these boxes now turned into chests full of surprises.
The group includes Anthony Ames, Marwan Al Sayed, Matthew Baird, Shigeru Ban, Marlon Blackwell, Will Bruder, Wendell Burnette, Johan Celsing, Taryn Christoff and Martin Finio, Annie Chu and Rick Gooding, W.G. Clark, Brad Cloepfil, Chen Chen and Kai Williams, Elizabeth Diller, Ricardo Scofidio and Charles Renfro, Peter Eisenman, Steven Holl, Stephen Iino, Toyo Ito, Bijoy Jain, Claudy Jongstra, Diébédo Francis Kéré, Jennifer Luce, Thom Mayne, Richard Meier, Murray Moss, Glenn Murcutt and Wendy Lewin, Enrique Norten, Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey, Juhani Pallasmaa, Mack Scogin and Merrill Elam, Brigitte Shim and Howard Sutcliffe, Karen Stein, Elias Torres and José Antonio Martínez Lapeña, Ursula Von Rydingsvard, and Peter Zumthor.
Text from the architects after the break:
We had the chance to interview Catalonian architect Jordi Badia at the Vogadors: Architectural Rowers exhibit at the 13th Venice Biennale.
Jordi Badia is the principal of BAAS, the Spanish practice founded in 1994 with a strong background in public buildings. Remarkable examples of this office are the Tanatorio de León and the Can Framis Museum.
Jordi graduated from the ETSAB (Barcelona School of Architecture) in 1989, where he is has been an associate lecturer since 2011. He is also a Professor at the Architectural Projects Department of the Escuela técnica superior de arquitectura at UIC.
Projects by Jordi Badia BAAS at ArchDaily:
- Can Framis Museum (2008)
- CAP Salt 2 (2008)
- Workspace in a former coal bunker (2007)
- Sant Boi de Llobregat (2007)
- Day Care, Kindergarten and Primary School (2006)
- Tanatorio Municipal de León (2000)
After opening in August, the 13th Venice Biennale will end this Sunday (November 25th). This video is a recording made by Cristobal Palma of the Chilean Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2012 entitled CANCHA – Chilean Soilscapes (see our coverage of the exhibit here).
The Chilean Pavilion was curated by Pilar Planchart and Bernardo Valdés. Other invited architects included Pedro Alonso (Deserta), Elemental (Metropolitan Promenade), Susuka (Limitless Chile), Genaro Cuadros (Playground), Germán del Sol (Kancha), Iván Ivelic (Travesies of the Amereida) and Rodrigo Tisi (Performances of Conquest). The Chilean artist Pedro Pulido also exhibited his sculpture, Nein.
More info on the Pavilion, and videos by Cristobal Palma, after the break…