Conference Addresses Performativity of Architects

© SHoP Architects

Local architect Gregg Pasquarelli of SHoP Architects recently gave a speech at the . He addresses numerous issues that are currently being debated within the profession where the theme of the three-day seminar was “Performative Practices.” The roles of the architect and builder, the architect and engineer, etc. The roles of architects as instruction makers who outsource to specialists in façade or fabrication may not be as clear as in previous generations. His own firm is prime example of the shifting of roles. SHoP has branched off with its own SHoP Construction subsidiary that is managing the fabrication of their design for the new Barclays Center rusted steel skin. More details after the break.

22tops / HOLODECK architects

© Paul Ott

Architect: HOLODECK architects
Location: Wolfsberg, , Austria
Project Team: Arch. Marlies Breuss, Arch. Michael Ogertschnig, Di. Manuel Garcia Barbero, Di. Christine Schmauszer, Di. Gernot Köfer
Construction Engineer: Oberressl Kantz ZTGmbH, Klagenfurt
Construction Physics: DI Röhrer, Korneuburg
Construction Survey: KFW/Vorstädtische Kleinsiedlung, Klagenfurt
Heating, Cooling and Electricity: KELAG Consulting, Klagenfurt
Construction Coordination: Bau&Plan
Photograph: Paul Ott

A.M.A. Headquarters / Rafael de La-Hoz Arquitectos

© Duccio Malagamba

Architects: Rafael de La-Hoz Arquitectos
Location: , Spain
Client: Bouygues Inmobiliaria
Project Area: 10,000 sqm
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Duccio Malagamba, Javier Ortega

University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law Renovation / Gould Evans

© Roland Bishop

Architect: Gould Evans
Location: ,
Project Year: 2008
Client: University of Arizona
Project Cost: $21M
CMAR: Hensel Phelps
Landscape Architect: Wheat Scharf
Structural Engineer: Paragon Structural Design
Mechanical/Electrical/Plumbing Engineer: Bridgers & Paxton
Technology Consultant: The Sextant Group
Photography: Roland Bishop


The Alsop High School / 2020 Liverpool

Courtesy of 2020

Alsop High School is a popular mixed comprehensive with nearly 1800 pupils, including over 300 in the sixth form. It is the largest secondary school in Liverpool. Prior to development, the arrangement and condition of the existing buildings were severely restricting the school’s progress. The school playground was mostly tarmac with no green space for student play or social interaction. The main school building was built in 1926 and had little flexibility for modern teaching and the curriculum. Temporary dining accommodation was in use and the school were using more than 30 ‘portacabin’ type classrooms which were in desperate need of repair. Unfortunately, these cabins were not only a poor setting for education, but also terrible eyesores for the immediate community of the Village conservation area who overlooked the site.

Architect: 2020 Liverpool
Location: Walton, Liverpool, England
Collaborators: Morgan Sindall
Project Area: Site area: 31,222 sqm, Gross Floor area: 5853 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of 2020 Liverpool

The Delicate Balance of Hosting the Olympic Games

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Global events such as the Olympic Games have the potential to enrich the city in which they are held, both economically and socially. The in particular promote cultural and social development. However, the effort and economics that the city invests is only advantageous when the event leaves a lasting trace. It is a delicate balance, warns Richard Sennett. The balance rests in the sustainability of the economic and social development of the city at the conclusion of the global event. The investment and design and planning strategies should be thought of in regards to long-term development and flexibility for twenty years down the road when the grounds can be acquired for other uses by the city. In 2012, London will be hosting the Olympic Games and it seems promising that the development of the grounds will bring continued social and economic profit to the area at the end of the games.

More on this discussion after the break.

Cassia Antica / JM Architecture

Courtesy of

This remodeling project of a 1960s villa, is located in a residential complex along the historic consular roman road which neighbors with the Veio natural park, at the north end of the italian capital. The villa, organized on three levels, has been redesigned in order to accommodate very different functions on every level.

Architect: JM Architecture
Location: , Italy
Photographs: Courtesy of JM Architecture

The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

© Pedro Moura Pinheiro

To visit the , a 30-kilometer ring that surrounds the nuclear plant, is a haunting, sobering experience. Located north of Kiev, on the border between the Ukraine and Belarus, is the site of the worst nuclear power plant disaster in history. The disaster occurred in 1986, and since then the power plant and Exclusion Zone surrounding it have been off-limits for human inhabitants. But earlier this year, Ukraine opened the Exclusion Zone to tourists, highlighting the interest in this area and the possibilities it provides for rebuilding. More on the Exclusion Zone after the break.

Kukrit Institute / De‐Sign Science

Courtesy of

Architects: De‐Sign Science
Location: , Thailand
Project leader: Dr. Rapit Suvanajata
Design Team: Jakwida Juntanawarangkul, Kanokwan Innara
Project Area: 3,500 sqm
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Courtesy of De‐Sign Science

Heydar Aliyev International Airport / RSA Design Group

© RSA Design Group

The existing airport in currently serves both international and domestic flights. The local airport authority is currently in the process of building a new international terminal building. RSA Design Group was asked to submit a proposal for the renovation of the existing building. The renovated structure would be repurposed as a domestic terminal, with all international flights passing through the new terminal building. More about the Heydar Aliyev International Airport after the break.

Architect: RSA Design Group
Location: Baku,
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: RSA Design Group

Alma’s Story: Sometimes you just know

© Fotolia

We just left off with Budget Is What Budget Does… well this posting will help with any clarifications.

I ran into a colleague of mine recently and he shared with me a story about a client that I was interviewed by 6 months earlier.  Let’s call her Alma. At the time of our initial meetings, I knew that I wanted the job because of its style demands, yet I knew that I really didn’t want the job.  Sometimes you just know.  For one, and one reason only, she was going to be very difficult.  Like the sign at the auto mechanics for hourly rates:

Price for labor

Price for labor if you watch

Price for labor if you help

She had remodeled her own home, and it looked like it. An eclectic combination of eras, worldly styles, and personal touches that was all placed into an original stucco box at the beach. Not one room had any rhyme or reason nor any relation to any other room in the entire house. The outside had fresh paint over facia that was held together by termite snot. Pretty picture, huh. But her perceived knowledge of construction was the one thing that would ultimately isolate her from ever being able to achieve her goal. She thought she knew more than me.  Sometimes you just know.  And this was one of them.

Architectural Workshop by Will Alsop

Courtesy of University of Science and Technology

Ajman University of Science and Technology announced that there will be an architectural workshop by the renowned architect Will Alsop to be held at the university itself (AUST), UAE, during the period of September 20-24, 2011.

There will also be an exhibition and public lecture by Mr. Alsop in the Dept. of Architectural Engineering at AUST.

To register online, please visit their website here.

Jaffa Apartment / Pitsou Kedem Architect

© Amit Geron

The 100 square meter residential home is located in Old Jaffa. Its location is unique in that it is set above the harbor, facing west with all of its openings facing the majestic splendor of the Mediterranean Sea. Whilst it is difficult to determine the buildings exact age, it is clear that it is hundreds of years old. Over the years, it has undergone many changes and had many additions made that have damaged the original quality of the building and its spaces.

Architect: Pitsou Kedem Architect
Location: Old Jaffa, , Israel
Project Team: Pitsou Kedem, Raz Melamed, Irene Goldberg
Project Area: 105 sqm
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Amit Geron

Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero / Steven Spielberg

Tune into the Discovery Channel tonight at 8 E/P for executive producer Steven Spielberg’s .  This two part 6-hour documentary (the second installation will run September 1st) will take viewers on the journey of the process and struggles behind constructing One World Trade Center.  As George Pataki, former New York governor, explains, the construction site is vastly different from any other site as it is hallowed land.  Working to keep the memory of those fallen alive, and provide a symbol of strength, the rebuilding process continually faces challenges as the complex’s four skyscrapers, transportation hub, museum and memorial are “all being constructed at the same time and on the same location.”  Watching this short clip we spotted on The Hollywood Reporter gave me chills – especially the part about “Big Red” and its fallen ones.   Let us know what you think of the documentary this evening; we are sure it won’t disappoint!

Kent Bellows Studio and Center for Visual Arts / Randy Brown Architects

© Farshid Assassi

Architect: Randy Brown Architects
Location: Omaha, , United States
Project Team: Randy Brown, Brian Kelly, Neil Legband, Nathan Vanzuidam, Workshop – RBA student summer design/build paid internship
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Farshid Assassi

Artist Kent Bellows left a legacy of artwork behind after his early death in 2005. The Kent Bellows Studio and Center for Visual Arts protects his memory and creates opportunities for his work to be inspiration for generations to come. Randy Brown Architects has adapted Bellows’ former studio into a place to respect his memory, and to continue his legacy through future generations of Omaha artists.

Busan Metropolitan Opera House Competition Proposal / INDEX Architecture


The Busan Metropolitan Opera House competition provides an opportunity not only to develop a new performing arts hub for south-eastern Korea, but also to re-consider the icon in architecture and its presence in the 21st century city. The contemporary understanding of the opera house is as a monumental object that is detached from the city, and designed to be appreciated through selected vistas. In the opposite of this, ‘Intermezzo’, designed by INDEX Architecture, seeks to adopt a language of continuity with its context. More images architects’ description after the break.

Seismic Considerations in New York City and Washington DC

Courtesy of Washington National Cathedral (1)
Courtesy of Washington National Cathedral

The U.S.G.S. recently reported that an earthquake struck the Washington, D.C. area with a preliminary magnitude of 5.8 (later updated to 5.9). Initial reports of damage are minor however the National Cathedral’s central tower sustained some damage. “It looks like three of the pinnacles have broken off the central tower,” spokesman Richard Weinberg said of the tower, the highest point in Washington, D.C.

Update: The Cathedral has sustained some substantial damage due to the earthquake, and experts are currently assessing the structural and aesthetic damage. For a video of the Cathedral damage, or to help join the efforts of preserving the Cathedral click here.

Update: You can also see the effects of the earthquake on a building in Virginia here.

Felt in Philadelphia, North Carolina, Boston, , Martha’s Vineyard, and even , West Virginia, the tremor raises questions of the importance of seismic considerations particularly in New York City.

Although earthquakes are not something a typical New Yorker would have cross their mind in comparison to other parts of the world such as Japan (8.9 magnitude in 2011) and Chile (8.8 magnitude in 2010), the overal size and density of NYC puts it at a high risk for extensive damage.

More photographs of the Washington National Cathedral and discussion regarding seismic considerations following the break.

Courtesy of Washington National Cathedral (2) Courtesy of Washington National Cathedral (14) Courtesy of Washington National Cathedral (12) Courtesy of Washington National Cathedral (10)

Wexford County Council Headquarters / Robin Lee Architecture

© Andrew Lee

Architects: Robin Lee Architecture
Location: , Ireland
Project Year: 2008
Project Area: 11,500 sqm
Photographs: Andrew Lee