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.
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!
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.
“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.
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.”
What is Architecture? (WIA), a small collection of interviews 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 Innsbruck, 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).
“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 New York and using architecture as a means for healing.
Watch the video about to hear Libeskind’s story.
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 cities.” 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.