The Berlage Archive: Toyo Ito (1999)

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.

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Video: Time Lapse Construction of Jean Prouvé’s Demountable House

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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 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 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 above to see Prouvé’s structure come together, or see images below of the completed structure.

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Iwan Baan: Going Up

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  above, he has found that the best way to understand a new city is to “go up” and view it from above.

TED Talk: How Painting Can Transform Communities / Haas&Hahn

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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,  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.

Video: The Glass House / Workshop “filming architecture”

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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.

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The Top Places To Watch Architectural Lectures Online

Louis I. Kahn lecturing at the ETH Zurich (Switzerland). Image © Peter Wenger

As we enter December and the holidays draw nearer (and we might be looking forward to a little extra time on our hands), we’ve gathered together some of our favourite sources for watching architectural lectures online. Ranging from Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel’s famous American Architecture Now  with Frank Gehry in 1980 and Robert Venturi and Denise Scott-Brown in 1984, to Sir Peter Cook speaking at Frankfurt’s Staedelschule in 2012, these open-source films provide invaluable insights into architects and architects throughout recent history.

Check out our favourite sources after the break.

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Video: Olafur Eliasson Discusses the Authorship of Reality in “Riverbed” Exhibition

“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, RiverbedDiscussing themes such as the currency of trust, the authorship of reality through choice of perception, and the intricate relationships between museum, , 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.”

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In Residence: Knud Holscher

NOWNESS takes you inside Danish architect ’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.

Video: A Conversation with the Architects of the 9/11 Memorial Museum

“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.

Video: Ole Scheeren on Height and Density

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In this interview, conducted by the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, Ole Scheeren discusses the ideal height for sustainable buildings. Drawing reference from two of his projects, MahaNakhon and The Interlace, he speaks to the difference between height and density, and how those two interplay when creating livable spaces in urban areas. He goes on to talk about how large buildings such as skyscrapers can be made more open to the surrounding city, both visually through programming. Watch the full clip above!

Koolhaas’ Career in Film: 1,2,3 Group

1,2,3 Group: , Rem Kolhaas, Frans Bromet, Rene Daalder, Jan de Bont. Image courtesy of Rene Daalder. Via The Architecture Foundation

Before studying architecture at the Architectural Association in London, Rem Koolhaas embarked on a short but fruitful career in film as a member of 1,2,3 Group, a youthful band of five who shared different roles in front of and behind the camera in a kind of anti-auteur cinema.

The first film produced by the group came from the longtime friendship between Rem and scriptwriter and director Rene Daalder, who along with Jan de Bont, Frans Bromet and Samuel Meyering produced 1,2,3 Rhapsody (1965), a short film which featured Koolhaas as an actor in some scenes and a cameraman in others.

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Video: Leibar&Seigneurin on their “Sculptural” Social Housing Project in Anglet

Based in Bordeaux and Bayonne, architecture studio Leibar&Seigneurin has created a new video to introduce their social housing project in Anglet. Last week we brought you their video on their project in Bordeaux in which they revealed the ways in which film can represent the fabric of architecture better than photography alone. In this video, they discuss the ways in which the white monolithic form of their project in Anglet takes on a sculptural quality, with various elements animating the façade and looking out onto a courtyard.

The project mixes smaller collective housing units with individual housing units in addition to providing spaces that are a combination of the two. A variety of outdoor furniture was designed specifically for the project, to provide outdoor functions for people of all ages.

Video: Snøhetta on Designing the 9/11 Memorial Museum Pavilion

“So in some ways I think that this tragedy gave a sense of purpose to people that was very positive, and we tried to translate that feeling into this building.” In this video from the Louisiana Channel, Craig Dykers of Snøhetta describes how his own experience with the events of 9/11 and the positivity of the spirit of people around him helped inspire the design process of the 9/11 Memorial Museum Pavilion.

He speaks of the journey of healing and understanding as central to the design and experience of the building itself. “As you move through these cycles, you realize one day that you are alive, and you that have to present the strength of being alive to those around you, and this building is meant to be a part of that cycle…to allow you to see yourself, at a moment in time.”

Watch the video above to learn more about the challenges of designing a memorial museum fully integrated within an essentially nonexistent site. 

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Video: Robert A.M. Stern on Designing Background Buildings and The Limestone Jesus

“We have lots of silly buildings being built, in my opinion. The buildings should not look like Lady Gaga,” stated Robert A.M. Stern in the latest installment by the Louisiana Channel.

Fifteen Central Park West, what many know to be the “world’s most powerful address,” was designed by Stern with one intention: to fill in the wall of Central Park West with a single, well articulated “background building” rather than a “twisting and turning isolated” structure. As Stern describes in the video above, the building, known as the “Limestone Jesus,” is praised in the real estate world for it’s high-priced apartments.

“Almost every building that is new has a built-in history. We are architects that build on the shoulders of the past. I think is is much more exciting to enter into a dialogue with the past and also to take things from the past and restudy them, their theme and variation. Architecture is made up of many languages in my view and if we have a modern language that is evolved but it doesn’t mean that the other languages can’t also continue to be spoken.”

Interviewers Ask: ‘What Is Architecture?’

What is Architecture? (WIA), a small collection of with influential architects from around Europe, seeks to “provide clear and concise information about architecture”, thereby “forming a panoramic view of today’s architectural thinking.” Set up by three students of architecture residing in , the WIA team have interviewed the likes of Patrik Schumacher (Zaha Hadid Architects), Sir Peter Cook (CRAB Studio), Jacob and Nathalie van Rijs (MVRDV), and Ben van Berkel (UNStudio). Their collection, though small, is continually expanding.

See a selection of WIA’s interviews after the break (or see the entire collection here).

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Video: Daniel Libeskind on Masterplanning Ground Zero

“Its an adventure, because it’s a highly political, highly emotional, highly complicated process, to get something built on the site which is about memory,” explains Daniel Libeskind. “It’s a day that changed the world… and architecture responds in constructing something that has sense for people, that has spirit.”

In this latest installment by the Louisiana Channel, Daniel Libeskind recounts his involvement and intentions behind the Ground Zero master plan. Rejecting the idea of building mega structures and exploiting the site’s real estate, Libeskind focused his efforts on the people of and using architecture as a means for healing.

Watch the video about to hear Libeskind’s story.

Video: Leibar&Seigneurin on their Social Housing Project in Bordeaux

Based in Bordeaux and Bayonne, architecture studio Leibar&Seigneurin created a video to introduce their newest project in . They believe that film can represent the fabric of architecture better than photography alone because it captures life and the passage of time. Throughout the video, they discuss their conceptual approach to dealing with this building’s context.

Characterized by high-rise blocks, the challenge in designing a new building for social housing was allowing it to connect with the surrounding “soft” environment of a park. With curving white loggias rising above the street and a gabion wall at the ground level, the design attempts to establish a new relationship within its context. Other goals included transforming the traditional dynamic of apartment housing in which you do not know or interact with your neighbors, into more friendly and communal experience. Carefully juxtaposed materials bring new life to the design of the façade, creating a subtle and coherent connection with the city streets.

Video: Bjarke Ingels on the Power of Architecture

This past month at WIRED by Design, Bjarke Ingels gave a rundown of his most ambitious projects, highlighting one underlining theme: BIG’s mission to “create social infrastructure for resilient .” From their Manhattan “BIG U” storm proofing plan, recently awarded $400 million in federal funds, to their “ski slope” waste-to-energy plant currently underway in Copenhagen, the Danish practice is undoubtedly fulfilling their mission in a BIG and infectious way.

Watch Ingels’ 20-minute talk above and see just how he hopes to realize the world of our dreams with the power of architecture.