In this powerful interview, Jean Nouvel explains his relationship to Arabic architecture. Discussing his various projects in Arabic countries – such as his office tower in Doha or the Louvre Abu Dhabi - Nouvel discusses how he is influenced by and integrates the abstraction and geometry of traditional Islamic architecture into his modern designs. He also espouses a strong opinion on the understanding of context in architecture, saying: “I’m a contextual architect, but for me the context isn’t only the site. It’s above all a wider historical context – a cultural context… each time, building is trying to continue a history, and to take part in this history.” His architecture, he says, is about listening: “The architect is not meant to impose his own values or his own sensitivities on such general plans.” Video via Louisiana.
Designed by Helsinki-based practice AOR, Viewpoint is a peaceful respite floating on the canal in London’s Kings Cross. See how Erkko Aarti, Arto Ollila and Mikki Ristola explained the process and the relationship between the built and unbuilt in Kings Cross.
As an accompaniment to their ongoing Sensing Spaces Exhibition in London, the Royal Academy of Arts has produced six wonderful films interviewing the architects involved in the exhibition, unearthing what motivates and inspires them as architects, and what the primary themes of their exhibition projects are.
The above video features both Álvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura, who both designed their Sensing Spaces exhibits with the other in mind. Siza explains his preoccupation with the joints between the natural and the man-made through his Leça Swimming Pool complex, and the way the rock formations informed his interventions. He also introduces his one-time protégé Souto de Moura’s Braga stadium as expressing the same understanding of the natural and man-made.
See videos from the 5 other Sensing Spaces participants after the break
“Walking City: Architecture + Evolution + Movement” is an awesome new video from Universal Everything that we came across on Fast Co.Design. In it, the humanoid figure, a literal “Walking City,” shape-shifts: one moment like the Plug-In City, another like Bucky Fuller‘s geodesic domes.
For another awesome project inspired by Ron Herron’s The Walking City, check our popular post on Manuel Dominguez’s “Very Large Structure.” And check out the fun gif of “Walking City: Architecture + Evolution + Movement” after the break.
This past September marked the commencement of ArchiLab 2013 at the newly completed FRAC Centre in Orleans, France. Forty architects, designers and artists gathered for the annual architectural exposition and conference’s ninth edition to discuss the deepening overlap between digital architecture and the sciences, particularly molecular biology. Under the theme “Naturalizing Architecture,” two international symposiums took place which provided the opportuntiy for architects and scientists to present, and debate, the latest research revolving this subject and its ever-evolving role within the living world.
To encourage the continuation of discourse, we have complied a video list of all the discussions from the symposium for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy them, after the break, and feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.
This two-minute video with NBBJ’s Andrew Heumann highlights a valuable capability of parametric design; whereby the architect can optimize the shape and orientation of a building to appropriate a variety of viewing conditions at the client’s request.
The aptitude for quick, cost-effective variation and the capacity for intuitive visual re-presentation of scripting plug-ins like this one (Grasshopper for Rhino) is a gold star for parametric design.
When commissioned to design a church in Cebu, the oldest urban center of the Philippines, Carlos Arnaiz of CAZA hoped to create a “scared place that embodied the contemporary search for meaning.” Inspired by the world’s diversity, Arnaiz, together with his colleagues, envisioned the Chapel of San Pedro Calungsod, the “Church of 100 Walls.” Symbolic of “commonality and difference,” the church represents the many paths one may take through life and invites visitors to explore its many, distinct spaces made up of 100, uniquely-sized walls.
When it comes to global cities, New York City may be one of the most prominent – but it is also relatively young. Just 400 years ago, Manhattan island was mostly covered in forests and marshes. In his talk at TEDx Long Island City, Eric Sanderson discusses the city’s radical changes in land use over the past four centuries, and begins to contemplate what the next four might look like. How can we take a city like New York and make it as efficient as the forest it replaced? In a bid to uncover the ideas that might make this possible, he introduces Manhatta 2409 – an online tool which maps/compares the historic and current land use of Manhattan and allows users to propose new uses. Learn more in the video above.
If You Build It is a documentary following the story of high school students in Windsor, a small and downtrodden rural town in Bertie County, North Carolina. In this setting, architects Emily Pilloton and Matt Miller started Project H, an educational initiative designed to not only improve the education of these disadvantaged young people, but also to reach out to the wider community and make real change.
Read on for more about Project H and the If You Build It documentary
In honor of Thom Mayne’s birthday today, we’re sharing this video interview from Danish Website Louisiana. In it Thom Mayne introduces his building at 41 Cooper Square by saying “I wanted to produce something that was off, and was not at all systematic in any normal architectural sense.” Ultimately, the form of the building is, he says, an attempt to engage with New York City, understanding Cooper Union as a key part of the city’s incredible intensity of intellectual creative capital. He also discusses how the building – despite its avant garde form - won over the local community. Enjoy!
What does the workplace of the future look like? Shawn Gehle, of Gensler, explains in this TEDx Talk that with over 10 billion square feet of existing office space in North America, we may not even need to envision new buildings. Rather, by “hacking” existing buildings, architects can transform them into something completely new. For more on Gensler’s “hacker” philosophy, read our article here.
In 2007, Oklahoma City was ranked the most obese city in America. The heavy news caused the city’s – at the time – overweight mayor, Mick Cornett to take a hard look at himself and his city. He realized that the city he deemed great, was only great if its citizen was the car.
For the next five years, Cornett committed himself to improving his city’s health. By 2012, Oklahoma City residents lost a collective million pounds, which removed them from the obese rankings and placed the city as America’s 22nd most fittest. This change was made possible by a series of city initiatives that revolved around the integration of health related infrastructure. By doing this, Cornett sparked a cultural shift that significantly improved quality of life. See what these initiatives included and hear the whole story by watching Cornett’s TED Talk above.
Bunker 599, one of 700 secret bunkers that were used to weaponize artificial hydrology in during the 19th century (see: New Dutch Waterline), recently underwent a radical transformation. RAAAF [Rietveld Architecture-Art-Affordances], in collaboration with Atelier de Lyon, sliced through the seemingly indestructible bunker to link visitors to an existing network of footpaths, create a publicly accessible attraction to those revisiting the NDW, and form a dramatic connection with the flooded plains that were altered more than 200 years ago.
The video above takes you through the process of altering the concrete monolith, ending with film of the stunning result that has been attracting thousands of daily visitors since its completion. To learn more about the project, follow this link.
Spanish architecture photographer Miguel de Guzmán has released a new video, just in time for Christmas. The video covers three light installations in Berlin designed by Brut Deluxe: the first, a huge light dome, the second consisting of five big three-dimensional light cubes, and the third, an artificial landscape built of 50 light shrubs. All of the installations are designed to create atmospheric spaces that can be entered and experienced. Check out more of his videos here, and some great pictures of the installations after the break…
Formlessfinder, the New York-based architects, designers and outside-the-box thinkers won this year’s commission to build the entrance to Design Miami/. Tent Pile is a balancing act of aluminium and sand, the latter is often seen as an obstacle to overcome in architecture rather than the solution. But that’s the way these guys roll.
Los Angeles-based cinematographer Tomas Koolhaas is nearing completion of his highly anticipated film, REM. The feature length documentary, which focuses on the work of Tomas’ famed father, Rem Koolhaas, is the first architectural film to “comprehensively explore the human conditions in and around Rem Koolhaas’ buildings from a ground level perspective.” Rather than lifeless still shots and long-winded, intellectual discourse, REM exposes the one thing that gives each building function and purpose: how it is used by people.
So far, REM has been funded entirely by grants. However, in order for Tomas to collect the necessary funds to complete post-production, he has turned to you by launching a Kickstarter campaign.
Watch REM’s official trailer above, which follows a parkour expert as he moves through the Casa De Musica in Porto, and follow us after the break for Tomas’ exclusive interview with Kanye West, who comments on his work with OMA at the 2012 Cannes film festival.
In this TED Talk, Xavier Vilalta of Xavier Vilalta Arquitectura walks through the design of two projects: a multistory shopping mall in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and a multi-family apartment complex in Tunisia. Each is a prime example of how harnessing nature and referencing local traditions can allow architecture to naturally grow from its surroundings and become an integral component of the city.