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Radical Pedagogies: School and Institute of Architecture of Valparaíso (1952-1972)

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with Radical Pedagogies, an ongoing multi-year collaborative research project led by Beatriz Colomina with a team of PhD students of the School of Architecture at Princeton University, presenting a series of paradigmatic cases in architectural education. Today, Ignacio González Galán (Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University GSAPP) presents the most important —and living— example in architectural education in Latin America, the School and Institute of Architecture of Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso, led by architect Alberto Cruz with a group of artists: the poet Godofredo Iommi, the sculptor Claudio Girolla, and the architects Fabio Cruz, Miguel Eyquem, José Vial, Arturo Baeza, Francisco Méndez and Jaime Bellalta. The program's deep dialogue with poetry, arts and the craft of architecture is the main distinguishing feature of its pedagogy. Its ideals have been materialized in Open City, a space for architectural experimentation to the north of Valparaíso in which some professors and researchers live.

Starting in 1952, the Architecture School at Valparaiso offered simultaneously an elaboration of the intellectual project of modernity and a response to modern architecture as it had been institutionalized in Latin America. Led by Chilean architect Alberto Cruz and Argentinean poet Godofredo Iommi, its pedagogy bypassed architectural sources and turned to a wider set of references from the avant-garde in a quest for the “absolutely modern.”

The Barack Obama Presidential Center: Adjaye or Not Adjaye?

There has been much debate, speculation and excitement among architectural enthusiasts about who is on the shortlist to design the Barack Obama Presidential Center in Chicago. After spending an afternoon viewing “Making Place: The Architecture of David Adjaye,” now on at the Art Institute of Chicago, I’m more convinced than ever that Adjaye is the right person for the job.

Brooklyn Bridge Park: What a Design by O'Neill McVoy + NVda Says About the State of Architecture

In Mark Foster Gage’s essay “Rot Munching Architects,” published in Perspecta 47: Money, the Assistant Dean of the Yale School of Architecture strove to find meaning in the current design landscape. Taking the essay title from a larger stream of expletives spun across the facade of the Canadian pavilion as part of artist Steven Shearer’s installation at the 54th Venice Art Biennale in 2011, Gage found truth in the vulgarities, arguing that - in a very literal sense - “architectural experimentation has left the building” as the discipline has been made impotent under the hostage of late capitalist ambition.

Last summer, when Brooklyn Bridge Park unveiled 14 proposals as finalists for two residential towers at the park's controversial pier 6 site, you could be fooled into thinking that design is alive and well. A caveat of the park’s General Project Plan (GPP) was to set aside land for retail, residential and a hotel development, in order to secure funding and achieve financial autonomy. The plans had already fueled a decade of legal battles and fierce opposition from the local community, with arguments ranging from the environment, to park aesthetics, to money-making schemes, but last year a bright outcome appeared a possibility, when the park unveiled the competing plans including those by Asymptote Architecture, BIG, Davis Brody Bond, Future Expansion + SBN Architects, WASA Studio, and of particular interest, O’Neill McVoy Architects + NV/design architecture (NVda).

Harbor Pair and Pedestrian Bridge. Image Courtesy of O'Neill McVoy Architects View from Manhattan. Image Courtesy of O'Neill McVoy Architects Garden Spiral Tower. Image Courtesy of O'Neill McVoy Architects Brooklyn Waterfront. Image Courtesy of O'Neill McVoy Architects

AD Classics: Azadi Tower / Hossein Amanat

Commissioned to celebrate the 2500th anniversary of the Persian Empire, the Azadi Tower has been a site of celebration, unrest, and revolution. Despite its association with the deposed Shah, the tower has been embraced as a national symbol of Iran, playing host to both pro- and anti-government demonstrations, following the controversial 2009 Presidential elections.

Barberio Colella ARC Designs Pop-Up Home to Rebuild Nepalese Lives in "Just a Minute"

Disaster can strike a community at any minute. Following the most costly earthquake in their history in April, hundreds of thousands of Nepalese residents were rendered instantly homeless. To help these people reorganize and get back to a familiar way of life, Barberio Colella ARC has designed a temporary structure using local materials “to make a house that can be built quickly, lightweight and compactly, durably and economically.”

Courtesy of Barberio Colella ARC Deployment System. Image Courtesy of Barberio Colella ARC Courtesy of Barberio Colella ARC Components. Image Courtesy of Barberio Colella ARC

AR Issues: How Residential Development is Destroying London's Schools

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this introduction to the October 2015 issue, Editor Christine Murray uses their recent school awards as incentive to discuss the plight facing London schools and (in timely fashion) asks "are we going to battery farm our children now?"

My son’s postwar school won’t win any awards for its design. I’d like to think that’s why they plan to demolish it. But the school faces a more sinister fate.

Hackney has its eyes on rising land values in this fast gentrifying London borough. It plans to demolish three primary schools, carving up the plots to build private homes for sale on designated education land. New schools will be rebuilt on a fraction of the original sites, some with twice as many pupils squeezed in.

Baubotanik: The Botanically Inspired Design System that Creates Living Buildings

Timber buildings are regularly praised for their sustainability, as carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere by the trees remains locked in the structure of the building. But what if you could go one better, to design buildings that not only lock in carbon, but actively absorb carbon dioxide to strengthen their structure? In this article, originally published by the International Federation of Landscape Architects as "Baubotanik: Botanically Inspired Biodesign," Ansel Oommen explores the theory and techniques of Baubotanik, a system of building with live trees that attempts to do just that.

Trees are the tall, quiet guardians of our human narrative. They spend their entire lives breathing for the planet, supporting vast ecosystems, all while providing key services in the form of food, shelter, and medicine. Their resilient boughs lift both the sky and our spirits. Their moss-aged grandeur stands testament to the shifting times, so much so, that to imagine a world without trees is to imagine a world without life.

To move forward then, mankind must not only coexist with nature, but also be its active benefactor. In Germany, this alliance is found through Baubotanik, or Living Plant Constructions. Coined by architect, Dr. Ferdinand Ludwig, the practice was inspired by the ancient art of tree shaping.

Willow tower after completion. Image © Ferdinand Ludwig Connection detail 2012. Image © Ferdinand Ludwig Test field with inosculations. Image © foto chira moro Plane cube: view from south-west directly after completion. Image © Ludwig.Schönle

LOBBY #3: Meaningful Defiance in a Disengaged Culture

© Anna Andersen / Regner Ramos
© Anna Andersen / Regner Ramos

'Defiance' manifests itself in many forms: riots in Baltimore, makeshift housing in Rwanda, Pink Floyd in Venice and plants growing where they ought not sprout. To defy the norm is an act of rebellion and in architecture, doubly so. In the third issue of LOBBY, the burgeoning magazine from London's Bartlett School of Architecture, the notion of defiance and its incarnations are investigated in a collection of essays, interviews and discussions with leading and emerging thinkers in urbanism and architecture. From Swiss master Mario Botta to Carme Pinós, former partner to Enric Miralles, this latest LOBBY investigates the act of defiance as a core tenet of architectural practice.

© Anna Andersen / Regner Ramos © Anna Andersen / Regner Ramos © Anna Andersen / Regner Ramos © Anna Andersen / Regner Ramos

A Brief History of Rome's Luminous Rotundas

With its hundreds of churches, Rome has a developed a rich history of domes. Inspired by this heritage, Jakob Straub has photographed the city's most remarkable rotundas from the ancient Pantheon up to Pier Luigi Nervi's modern sports arena. His neutral photo perspective, taken looking upwards from the center of the rotunda, opens a new view for the underlying concepts where the architecture yearns for the firmament. For Elías Torres, these “zenithal-lit” spaces constitute an important method for daylight architecture, where the exterior is also transformed into a fascinating distant reality.

Torres has analysed numerous strategies for lighting architecture effectively with daylight from above. In his book “Zenithal Light,” illustrated with an abundance of striking photos, he came to the conclusion that “Amongst the representations of the sky in the interior of architecture, the one that depicts the sun shining from above with a circular form has been the favoured one for many cultures.”

Radical Pedagogies: Institute of Architecture and Urban Studies of Tucumán (1947-1952)

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with Radical Pedagogies, an ongoing multi-year collaborative research project led by Beatriz Colomina with a team of PhD students of the School of Architecture at Princeton University, presenting a series of paradigmatic cases in architectural education. In this article, Horacio Torrent (Full Professor at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile School of Architeture) presents the example of the Institute of Architecture and Urban Studies of the National University of Tucumán in Argentina, led by Jorge Vivanco with a group of invited Italian professors. The Institute's key radical approach was in the real materialization of their architecture, including actual commissions and clients, with the university's own campus being the most important of these projects.

In 1947, Italian professors Ernesto Rogers, Cino Calcaprina, Luigi Piccinato, Enrico Tedeschi and civil engineer Guido Oberti were invited to teach at the School of Architecture, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán. Jorge Vivanco, the school’s Dean, contacted the group of professors after attending the 6th Congrès internationaux d’architecture moderne (CIAM) in Bridgwater, England. Vivanco also appointed the Argentinian architects Eduardo Sacriste, Horacio Caminos, Hilario Zalba, José Le Pera, Rafael Onetto, and Jorge Bruno Borgato. Together, these professors took part in one of the most radical and short-lived experiences in architectural teaching in Latin America at the time.

The Architecture of Thrill: How Hitchcock Inspires Spatial Effects

Since the 2007-2008 academic year, the Ethics class at the School of Architecture (UIC Barcelona, Spain) has analyzed the cinematographic works of Alfred Hitchcock through the lens of architectural planning. In the following analysis by the class's two professors -- art theorist and historian Alfons Puigarnau and architect Ignacio Infiesta -- space is thought of as scenography, and the visual strategy is analyzed in relation to the script and the soundtrack with the intention of creating a deliberate atmosphere of suspense.

Geared for third year architecture students, this class studies the film director's vision as if it were one of the instruments guiding an architect's design. It's part of an analogy between the camera lens, which uses light, and the architect's pencil, which makes use of outlines. In fact, Hitchcock always emphasized the visual over the dialogue [1]. 

Learn more about the work of the students at the School of Architecture UIC after the break.

Psycho: Marta Delgado. Image Courtesy of Ethics Course, School of Architecture UIC Psycho: Lea Credidio. Image Courtesy of Ethics Course, School of Architecture UIC Psycho: Moises Shabot. Image Courtesy of Ethics Course, School of Architecture UIC Psycho: Sergi Viñals. Image Courtesy of Ethics Course, School of Architecture UIC

Critical Round-Up: AHMM's Stirling Prize Success

Another year, another RIBA Stirling Prize winner that seemingly nobody expected. In spite of being the unanimous favorite of the RIBA's Stirling Prize jury, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM)'s Burntwood School won out over the BBC people's choice, MUMA's Whitworth Gallery and ArchDaily readers' own favorite, Heneghan Peng Architects' Greenwich University (although AHMM came in second place with 21% of the vote), as well as Reiach and Hall's Maggie's Lanarkshire, Níall McLaughlin's Darbishire Place, and RSH+P's NEO Bankside.

But despite the apparent surprise, was AHMM's Burntwood School a suitable winner of British architecture's highest award? Read on to find out what the critics thought.

Pezo von Ellrichshausen Unveils Design for Chile’s LAMP Art Museum

Pezo von Ellrichshausen has unveiled the designs for Chile's new LAMP museum. To be located in the city of Concepción, the museum will host a collection of 2,000 paintings, 500 sculptures and 1,800 books of Chilean artist Eduardo Meissner and painter Rosemarie Prim. The museum will take shape at the foot of the Caracol hill in the city’s Ecuador park, with construction expected to start in 2016. 

While the architects describe the project as “a generic spatial structure for a specific condition,” Meissner wrote in an open letter that “the collection will occupy a diaphanous and convincing new building, full of flowers, birds, maidens and spheres, replete with life and air. A building that I imagine floating, with you inside, facing the Biobío river.”

Learn more about the proposal after the break. 

150 Weird Words That Only Architects Use

For most students of architecture, the first few years of learning involve a demanding crash course in architectural jargon. From learning terms as obscure as "gestalt" to redefining your understanding of ideas as simple as "space," learning the architectural lexicon is one of the most mind-bending processes involved in becoming a designer.

This challenge is clearly a universal experience as well: when we asked our readers last month to suggest their picks for the "weirdest words that only architects use," we were inundated with suggestions - including 100 comments on the post itself and over 400 comments on our first Facebook post. Perhaps even more striking, though, was the fact that in all of these comments, there was remarkably little overlap in the words and phrases people were suggesting. The huge variety allowed us to select a list of 150 words - just a fraction of the total suggested.

AD Classics: Bank of London and South America / Clorindo Testa + SEPRA

The Bank of London and South America (Banco de Londres y América del Sud, or BLAS) in Buenos Aires defies convention and categorization, much like the architect primarily credited with its design, Clorindo Testa. A unique client relationship, guided by the bank’s staff architect Gerald Wakeham, and a supportive collaboration with the firm Sánchez Elía, Peralta Ramos and Agostini (SEPRA) resulted in a building that continues to evoke surprise and fascination.

ArchDaily Readers Debate: Stirling Prize Politics, Santiago Calatrava and More

In the past two weeks on ArchDaily there have been plenty of stories to provoke discussion: from the Stirling Prize (or more accurately the protests over the shortlisting of RSH+P's NEO Bankside) to the Solar Decathlon, and from Santiago Calatrava's European Prize for Architecture to Perkins+Will's appointment to design a new "airport city" in Istanbul.

In the second of our new series highlighting the best recent comments on our stories, our readers had discussions on politics in architecture, color in kindergartens and urban development in Turkey. Read on to find out what they had to say.

Subversive Methods Make A Skyscraper in Michael Ryan Charters and Ranjit John Korah's "Unveiled"

Night View. Image Courtesy of Michael Ryan Charters and Ranjit John Korah
Night View. Image Courtesy of Michael Ryan Charters and Ranjit John Korah

In a Los Angeles Times article last December, “The future is in the past: Architecture trends in 2014,” acting critic Christopher Hawthorne sought to make sense of a year that included Koolhaas’s Venice Biennale, Smiljan Radic’s Serpentine Pavilion, and periodicals like Log 31: New Ancients and San Rocco 8: What’s Wrong with the Primitive Hut? Through these examples and others, Hawthorne concluded that it was a year of overdue self-reflection, where in order to determine architecture’s future it was necessary to mine the past.

Building on these precedents, Hawthorne predicted that after years of baroque parametricism, in 2015 architects would use last year’s meditations on history as a practical foundation for new projects and proposals. An example of this can be found in the work of Michael Ryan Charters and Ranjit John Korah, a duo who recently shared the top-five prize for the CAF led ChiDesign Competition (part of the Chicago Architecture Biennial) for their project Unveiled. In a brief that called for “a new center for architecture, design and education,” and with lauded jurors including Stanley Tigerman, David Adjaye, Ned Cramer, Monica Ponce de Leon, and Billie Tsien, Charters and Korah proposed what could casually be summarized as a terracotta framework over a multi-story crystalline form of wooden vaults, but is actually something much more complex.

Lower Half of Vault "Aggregate". Image Courtesy of Michael Ryan Charters and Ranjit John Korah Maglev Elevator Bisecting the Vaults. Image Courtesy of Michael Ryan Charters and Ranjit John Korah Day View. Image Courtesy of Michael Ryan Charters and Ranjit John Korah Chicago City Model with Skyline Visible in the Surroundings. Image Courtesy of Michael Ryan Charters and Ranjit John Korah

Bringing Design to a Broad Audience: The 7th New York Architecture and Design Film Festival

October has become a busy month in the design world. If you’re living in the United States, New York specifically, it means Archtober: a portmanteau that means the city is flooded with architecture activities, programs and exhibitions, piled onto an already rich design calendar. One of these events is the New York Architecture & Design Film Festival, which started on Tuesday night and runs through Sunday October 18th, and will screen 30 films from around the world in 15 curated, themed programs.

This week, I was able to visit the festival to absorb the atmosphere and speak to the festival's director Kyle Bergman, to learn the ins and outs of this year’s festival, how things got started, and where it will go in the future.