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J. Mayer H. Architects


Excerpt: Conversations with Architects in the Age of Celebrity

CCTV Headquarters in Beijing by OMA. Image © OMA / Philippe Ruault
CCTV Headquarters in Beijing by OMA. Image © OMA / Philippe Ruault

No matter what you think of it, these days there is no denying that a celebrity culture has a significant effect on the architecture world, with a small percentage of architects taking a large portion of the spotlight. Questioning this status quo, Vladimir Belogolovsky's new book "Conversations with Architects in the Age of Celebrity" interrogates some of these famous architects to find out what they think of the culture which has elevated them to such heights. In this excerpt from the book's foreword, Belogolovsky asks how we got into this celebrity-loving architectural culture, and what it means for the buildings produced.

Not to be confused with other kinds of stars, the most popular of architects are identified as “starchitects.”* Is this a good thing? The notion of starchitecture is hated wholeheartedly by most of the leading architectural critics. They run away from addressing the issue because they think it has nothing to do with professional criticism. But what do the architects think? One of the architectural megastars, Rem Koolhaas, was astonishingly self-effacing in an interview for Hanno Rauterberg’s 2008 book Talking Architecture:

“I think what we are experiencing is the global triumph of eccentricity. Lots of extravagant buildings are being built, buildings that have no meaning, no functionality. It’s rather about spectacular shapes and, of course, the architects’ egos.”

AD Round Up: Awesome Airports

AD Classics: Dulles International Airport / Eero Saarinen. Image © MWAA
AD Classics: Dulles International Airport / Eero Saarinen. Image © MWAA

If there is a universal truth, it is that nobody likes spending time in an airport. This article from the Financial Times corroborates this fact, pointing out that, no matter how well-designed a terminal is, people make every effort to leave it as soon as possible. While the novelty of air travel has worn off since its inception in the 20th century, the work devoted to designing airports has only increased. We’ve collected some of our favorite terminals we'd actually love to get stuck in, including works by Eero Sarinen, SOM, Fentress, J. Mayer H., KCAP, Paul Andreu, bblur architecture and 3DReid, Corgan Associates, De Bever, and Studio Fuksas. Enjoy!

J. Mayer H. Designs Interactive Playscape for Children

An expansion to their permanent Level Green exhibition at Volkswagen Autostadt visitor’s center in Wolfsburg, J. MAYER H. has completed a “playful learning landscape”  of inhabitable solid wood sculptures that allow children to explore various aspects of sustainability. From the “issue of mobility” to cooking courses, the “MobiVersum” is designed to challenge children’s motor skills and imagination. 

J. Mayer H. Chosen to Design Karlsruhe's Anniversary Pavilion

In a design competition hosted by the German city of Jubilee, J. Mayer H. Architects and Rubner Holzbau have won the commission for a temporary event pavilion which will be erected in Castle Park in March of 2015 to celebrate the 300th Anniversary of the founding of the city of Karlsruhe.

Hasselt Court of Justice / J. Mayer H. Architects + a2o architecten + Lens°Ass architecten by Hufton+Crow

The Hasselt Court of Justice will be one of the two high-rise buildings that are part of the restructured former railway station. The site will include a park, public buildings, offices, hotels and urban residential blocks. Designed by J. Mayer H. Architects, along with a2o architecten and LensºAss architecten, the courthouse references in the design process refer both to the image of the “tree”, the hazelnut trees in the City of Hasselt’s coat of arms, and steel structures in the once industrial- and Art Nouveau-influenced area.

Hufton+Crow have shared with us these amazing photos of the project. More after the break.

© Hufton+Crow © Hufton+Crow © Hufton+Crow © Hufton+Crow

Ols House / J. Mayer H. Architects

  • Architects: J. Mayer H. Architects
  • Location: Stuttgart, Germany
  • Architect in Charge: AB Wiesler, Michael Gruber, Stuttgart
  • Design Team: Juergen Mayer H., Marcus Blum, Sebastian Finckh, Paul Angelier, Hugo Reis, Julian Blümle
  • Structural Engineer: Gunter Kopp, Leutenbach, Nellmersbach
  • Service Engineers: IB Funk und Partner, Leutenbach
  • Area: 488.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2011
  • Photographs: David Franck

© David Franck © David Franck © David Franck © David Franck

New Institute Building for FOM / J. Mayer H. Architects

Courtesy of J. Mayer H. Architects
Courtesy of J. Mayer H. Architects

Designed by J. Mayer H. Architects, the new, modern college seminar building for FOM Hochschule für Oekonomie & Management University of Applied Sciences gGmbH will include approximately 1,400 student seats, office units, underground parking and a spacious, green campus. The innovative building also features an extraordinary exterior façade with curved cantilevered balconies. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Seeing the Building for the Trees by Sarah Williams Goldhagen

© Javier Orive
© Javier Orive

This article, recently seen on The New York Times, was kindly shared with us by the author Sarah Williams Goldhagen.

A REVOLUTION in cognitive neuroscience is changing the kinds of experiments that scientists conduct, the kinds of questions economists ask and, increasingly, the ways that architects, landscape architects and urban designers shape our built environment.

This revolution reveals that thought is less transparent to the thinker than it appears and that the mind is less rational than we believe and more associative than we know. Many of the associations we make emerge from the fact that we live inside bodies, in a concrete world, and we tend to think in metaphors grounded in that embodiment.

J. Mayer H. Architects' Metropol Parasol opening this Sunday

© Angel Vilches
© Angel Vilches

We’ve told you before about “Metropol Parasol”, the Redevelopment of Plaza de la Encarnación in Sevilla, designed by J. MAYER H. Architects. March 27 marks the opening, while the final completion of the project is scheduled for April 2011. More images and complete press release after the break.

Update: Metropol Parasol / J. Mayer H. Architects

© J. Mayer H. Architects
© J. Mayer H. Architects

Spring 2011 marks the opening of “Metropol Parasol”, the Redevelopment of Plaza de la Encarnación in Sevilla, designed by J. MAYER H. Architects. After finishing the concrete works in 2008, the parasols are under construction now. Visiting the site at the moment gives an impressive imagination of the final dimension and appearance.

The project becomes the new icon for Sevilla, – a place of identification and to articulate Sevillas role as one of Spains most fascinating cultural destinations. “Metropol Parasol” explores the potential of the Plaza de la Encarnacion to become the new contemporary urban centre. Its role as a unique urban space within the dense fabric of the medieval inner city of Sevilla allows for a great variety of activities such as memory, leisure and commerce. A highly developed infrastructure helps to activate the square, making it an attractive destination for tourists and locals alike.

RE.FLECKS exhibition

The RE.FLECKS exhibition presents panels J. MAYER H. has derived from data-protection patterns. Developed by chance in print shops around 1900, the patterns were used as an envelope lining to protect the confidential content inside.

Sonnenhof by J. MAYER H. Architects ready for Construction

© Courtesy of J. MAYER H. Architects
© Courtesy of J. MAYER H. Architects

A ceremony on April 16th marked the official groundbreaking of “Sonnenhof”, a landmark development designed by J. MAYER H. Architects consisting of four new office and apartment buildings extending over several allotments in the historic center of Jena, Germany.