After months of demolition scares, Paul Rudolph‘s Orange County Government Center in Goshen, New York may just be in the clear. Gene Kaufman, a partner at Gwathmey Siegal Kaufman Architects, has offered to buy and repurpose the building. To learn more about his fascinating proposal, head to The New York Times.
“Embassies and consulates serve as the front door for US diplomacy. The safety and security they provide to our personnel are the first priority, but they must also reflect our national values of openness and ingenuity. Embassies and consulates must exemplify the best of American architecture, environmental stewardship, and innovation.” – Secretary of State John Kerry on the US Department of State’s Design Excellence program, November 2013
As the meeting point for diplomacy, embassies serve as the face of America abroad. Embassy location and architectural design have the potential to promote inclusion and openness, but when tucked behind tall fences and bunker-style architecture they can convey exclusion and hostility.
While protecting diplomatic personnel is critical, conveying core American values such as transparency, openness and equality is also key. But how do you balance security and openness? Does a focus on design put safety at risk?
These questions are currently at the center of debate, as the State Department’s embassy Design Excellence program is facing criticism for being too costly and jeopardizing security.
The designs of the Nordstrom Tower in New York, the world’s tallest residential building at 1,775 feet tall, have been revealed to New York YIMBY by an anonymous tipster close to the project. The project at 225 West 57th Street by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture will be one foot short of 1 World Trade Center, and with its 1,451 high roof will finally reclaim the title of United States’ tallest roof from Chicago‘s Willis Tower.
More on the Nordstrom Tower after the break
Although construction was never completed, “The Helix” in Caracas is one of the most important relics of the Modern movement in Venezuela. The 73,000 square meter project – designed in 1955 by Jorge Romero Gutiérrez, Peter Neuberger and Dirk Bornhorst – takes the form of a double spiral topped by a large geodesic dome designed by Buckminster Fuller. It was characterized by a series of ascending and descending ramps meant to carry visitors to its variety of programmatic spaces - including 320 shops, a 5 star hotel, offices, a playground, a television studio and a space for events and conventions.
Today, Project Helix seeks to rescue the urban history and memory of the building through a series of exhibitions, publications and educational activities. More details on the initiative, after the break.
English Heritage has announced that the RMC headquarters building designed by Edward Cullinan Architects in 1990 has been listed at grade II*, preventing a plan to demolish the building and replace it with a terraced housing scheme. The listing comes after a campaign to protect the building which was orchestrated by Cullinan Studio and the 20th Century Society, and supported by a a number of high profile architects including Nicholas Grimshaw, Richard Rogers, Peter Clegg (Feilden Clegg Bradley) and Sunand Prasad (Penoyre & Prasad).
Read more about the building and the listing decision after the break
Two Dutch designers, collectively known as HUNK-design, have transformed their 19th century top floor apartment into a “unique city paradise.” Architect Bart Cardinaal and artist Nadine Roos, who have lived in parts of the house in central Rotterdam since their student years, have created a large outdoor terraced space amid the rooflines of a built up area. By demolishing the existing pitched roof, they have constructed what they describe as their “Cabrio apartment.”
Architects: Vincent Coste
Location: Aix-en-Provence, France
Photographs: Toulon Azur