Cool Spaces! The Best New Architecture has released their first full episode online. The PBS television series, hosted by Boston-based architect and professor Stephen Chung, AIA, profiles the most provocative and innovative public space architecture in North America. With the general public as its targeted audience, each hour-long episode is organized around a central theme – such as Art Spaces – and profiles three buildings. In this episode, Chung discusses what makes Tod Williams Billie Tsien’s Barnes Foundation, Steven Holl’s Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and Phil Freelon’s Harvey B. Gantt Center so cool.
“People often ask me what Cool Spaces is all about. And I never can answer without giving a bit of background,” says host Stephen Chung. “You see, it really begins over seven years ago, during the recession, which decimated the architecture profession. In a four-year span, approximately 30% of all architecture jobs in the U.S. were lost — including my own. This time away from practice allowed me to reflect on the profession and its problems and to think about what role I might play in bringing about some positive change.”
Following the highly anticipated world premiere of Archiculture (watch here!), Arbuckle Industries is now releasing over 30 never-before-seen full length interviews with some of the industry’s leading influencers, all discussing the profession and how we are or should be training the next generation of designers. The first of the series featured Columbia’s Kenneth Frampton on whether or not architecture should be considered a luxury. Now, this most recent installation delves into just how policy makers can affect the built environment, interviewing politician and former Governor of Massachusetts Michael Dukakis.
In 2011, China had more people living in urban areas than rural areas for the first time in its history, and recent government statistics show that around 300 villages disappear per day in China. Yet in the face of rapid urbanization, a “back to land movement” is now also emerging. A new mini-documentary by Sun Yunfan and Leah Thompson, Down to the Countryside, looks at urban residents who, fed up with city life, are looking to revitalize the countryside, while preserving local tradition. The documentary follows Ou Ning, an artist and curator, who moved from Beijing to the village of Bishan, in Anhui province, in 2013. Ning considers himself part of China’s “new rural reconstruction movement,” and the documentary shows his quest to develop the rural economy and bring arts and culture to the countryside.
Following the highly anticipated world premiere of Archiculture (watch here!), Arbuckle Industries has now shared with us the first of over 30 never-before-seen full length interviews with some of the industry’s leading practitioners, all discussing the profession and how we are or should be training the next generation of designers.
In this first interview, the directors sit down with architect, critic, author, and historian Kenneth Frampton at Columbia University to discuss whether or not architecture is a luxury and how the profession has been influenced by computerization.
What does the practice of architecture mean for professionals in the age of computing? How can architecture move beyond form to demonstrate a building’s inner workings? These are just a couple of the questions answered by two of the UK’s leading architects, Chris Wilkinson and Jim Eyre in this video from Crane.tv. Discussing their work at Wilkinson Eyre, the designers both reveal what initially led them to pursue architecture, as well as how their office has transformed and expanded in recent years to take on a range of international projects and competitions, becoming one of the UK’s largest and most successful practices.
As preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics escalate, so do concerns regarding the preservation of the city’s heritage; and more specifically, according to Tomas Maier, Japan’s modernist architecture. The Bottega Venneta creative director recently embarked on an “urgent visit” to Japan in an effort to evaluate the city’s risk of loosing its modernist icons. With special consideration for the overlooked and threatened Hotel Okura, Maier believes that this Yoshiro Taniguchi-designed landmark is just one of many structures at risk of falling to “progress.”
What do you see when you look up? As part of the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) #ILookUp campaign, this video seeks to elevate the public’s awareness of the impact and importance of the design profession by asking everyone to “look up.” It is the AIA’s goal to spark a two-way conversation on the value of architects and architecture. Please watch the video above and share your thoughts on social media using the #ILookUp.
The first to use this type of free-form geodesic geometry in the United States, HOK’s Salvador Dali Museum is a Floridian landmark in St. Petersburg known for housing one of the most important collections of a single artist’s work in the world. Referring to it as “The Dali,” architect Yann Weymouth and museum director Dr. Hank Hine discuss their intentions behind the building’s design in this interview with TheCoolist.com.
“Salvador Dalí was a monumental pioneer of twentieth-century art and this is perhaps the best collection of his work in the world,” said Weymouth. “Our challenge was to discover how to resolve the technical requirements of the museum and site in a way that expresses the dynamism of the great art movement that he led. It is important that the building speak to the surreal without being trite.” You can learn more about the building, here.
In this installment from the Berlage Institute, Toyo Ito opens a discussion on his traveling exhibition Blurring Architecture, the first iteration of which took place in Aachen. Explaining that architecture is often thought of as a very solid element, Ito meditates on the concept of distortion and shifts in contemporary ideas of architecture. Rather than considering architecture as static, he argues for an “ambiguous boundary” that is “not about form” but rather about the “conception of architecture.” Considering the effects of the economy and politics on architecture, Ito pushes deep into philosophical notions of what architecture is and does, and how inquiry shapes the physical form of designs.
Jean Prouvé’s Demountable House, a rare early example of a prefabricated housing concept, was fully assembled and on display to the public last week at Art Basel Miami 2014, just in time for the design’s 70th birthday. The display was part of Swiss luxury brand Bally’s tour of the original 1944 structure, with its next and final stop scheduled for Design Shanghai in 2015. This fascinating time lapse video reveals the full construction process and gives us an inside look into how each component of the house comes together, from the floor boards to the structure of the roof, to the final exterior cladding. Check out the video above to see Prouvé’s structure come together, or see images below of the completed structure.
While you might not recognize him, you know his work; much of today’s most famous buildings are being archived through the lens of Iwan Baan. As the go-to photographer for many of the world’s leading architects, Baan is constantly on the move and exploring new places. And, just as he describes in the NOWNESS video above, he has found that the best way to understand a new city is to “go up” and view it from above.
First inspired with a grand vision to transform Rio de Janeiro’s most notorious slum into a community united by color, artists Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn of Haas&Hahn have found an ingenious and stunning way to empower some of the world’s most impoverished communities through art.
Most of you by now have heard of their initiative, Favela Painting. Using the same improvised logic of growth as the slums themselves, Favela Painting has become a community-driven artistic intervention that has transformed slums and neglected neighborhoods, from Haiti to Philadelphia, into prideful works of art. And, just as Haas&Hahn describe in their TED Talk above, these transformations are impossible without the support of the community. Therefore at the start of each project, the two artists host a neighborhood barbecue, as they have learned that food is the best (and quickest) way to any community’s heart. Watch the TED Talk above to learn just how Haas&Hahn made the seemingly impossible, possible.
In a three day pilot workshop, students from the Architecture and Urbanism School of Mackenzie Presbyterian University in São Paulo took part in an introduction to architecture filmmaking. Coordinated by architects Gabriel Kogan and Pedro Kok, the group spent a day at Lina Bo Bardi‘s Glass House in São Paulo following theoretical and technical lectures.
The idea was to recreate – now in moving images – an iconic photograph of the site by exploring issues of representation, transparency, interior/exterior, promenades, ways of living and the tectonics of this architectural masterpiece.
“There are no real things. This is it. We are living in models and that’s how it will always be and has always been… Who has authorship of reality? Who is then real?”
In this new video from Louisiana Channel, Olafur Eliasson meditates on the deeply philosophical questions posed by his provocative exhibition, Riverbed. Discussing themes such as the currency of trust, the authorship of reality through choice of perception, and the intricate relationships between museum, art, artist, and viewer, Eliasson sits within his own artificial landscape and recounts the deep inquiries that drive his work. Describing his views on the complexity of trust in the foundational value of the museum as an institution, Eliasson argues for the empowerment of the public. “If an audience feels trusted,” he states, “then they dare to get involved.”
NOWNESS takes you inside Danish architect Knud Holscher’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.
“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.