Imagine that Eurasia has been brought to absolute destruction - by wars over religion, ethnicity or countries, or maybe even nuclear destruction. Cities, towns and villages across the super-continent are left in rubble or abandoned; all forms of organization are a fairy tale from a bygone era. Thousands of years of culture and civilization, gone.
What if a new Eurasia could arise from the remnants of this destruction? What artifacts and memories would remain, to seed the creation of a new Eurasia? Imagining New Eurasia, commissioned by Asia Culture Center in Gwangju, South Korea, invites anyone living in, or from Eurasia to submit their ideas, in the form of drawings, sketches, text, artwork, found objects, photographs, maps, memorabilia or any other kind of artifact, on how the future of a New Eurasia may pan out.
On the northern bank of Portugal’s Tagus River lies Miguel Arruda Arquitectos Associados’ Vila Franca de Xira Municipal Library. Dubbed the “Factory of Words” because of its location on the site of a former rice mill, the white building is marked by a triangular slit that runs through its floors. This video, by Sara Nunes from Building Pictures, features different perspectives of the library juxtaposed with an interview with the architect, where he explains the building’s connection with the city and the river as well as how they sought to create a library program that incorporates a broader use of the public space.
This May, visitors were allowed into Havana's long-defunct Tallapiedra electric plant for the first time since it was shuttered in the 1960s. They could climb the grated stairs to the plant's nave, see how the light glinted off unchipped white and green tiles set in place in 1915, how tiny, stalky trees had grown out of clumps of dirt where machinery once sat, how the high, church-like central space and the split-level, open workspaces on one side might be adapted to any number of uses. The opening—for locals and some of the thousands of tourists in Cuba for the Twelfth Havana Biennial—was the work of Claudia Castillo and Orlando Inclán, and their eight-year-old think tank, Habana Re-Generación.
First-year architecture and urban planning students at the Estonian Academy of Arts have designed and created READER, a shelter based on the concept of removal from daily life, and focusing on oneself. Passers-by are invited to enter the shelter and “escape from the real world of problems into the fictional world of books.” And for those who don’t have a book on hand, the structure is meant to evoke the pages of a book through its ribbed wooden structure.
It’s hard to miss the On Leong Tong Chinese Merchants building on the corner of Mott and Canal Streets. With its pagoda façade and ornamented balconies, this iconic building designed by Chinese American architect Poy Gum Lee reveals the distinct hybrid modern architectural style often referred to as “Chinese modern.” Through Poy Gum Lee’s body of work in Chinatown and in China, guest curator of "Chinese Style: Rediscovering the Architecture of Poy Gum Lee, 1923-1968", Kerri Culhane illuminates Lee’s influence on the architectural aesthetics in Chinatown, the cultural and political impulses behind this architecture style, and the role of the built environment as an expression of identity.
Farmland prices hitting new records, self-identified “climate refugees” fleeing the droughts in the southwest for verdant Oregon, rising water temperatures killing fish —the warming climate is already changing the Willamette Valley. Things will look very different here for farming, urban livability, and ecosystem health.
To ponder this rapidly evolving ecosystem, the John Yeon Center for Architecture and the Landscape will present four leading thinkers on the Willamette Valley and its future. What lies ahead for Oregon’s primary population center, breadbasket, garden, natural landscape, and playground? Moderated by Yeon Center director Randy Gragg, the conversation will explore the research that has been done, the successes and shortcomings of programs in place, what kinds of initiatives might be developed to shape a warmer, more populous valley to benefit its urban and rural populations, industries, and ecological health.
In the latest video on architecture and urbanism from 32BNY, Steven Holl and his associate Dimitra Tsachrelia sit down with Elia Zenghelis, a founding partner at OMA and former lecturer at the Architectural Association in London. After forty-five years in architecture, Zenghelis has come to a series of conclusions, including a long-standing belief that men obstruct the design potential of their female colleagues, creating an imbalance in the professional landscape. "Women are much better architects than men," proclaims Zenghelis, former professor to Steven Holl, Rem Koolhaas and Zaha Hadid (as well as a former collaborator of the latter two). Sitting in Holl's New York office, Zenghelis argues that women have a certain intuition that proves essential to the creation of great design. "It's men that dominate the scene - something has to happen," he says.
Just two weeks after the Japan Sport Council launched a second call for New National Stadium proposals, Zaha Hadid Architects and partner Nikken Sekkei have withdrawn from the competition. Although the duo promised to develop a "cost-effective" design that strictly adhered to the new competition's scaled down brief, they were unable to secure a contractor and therefore were forced to step down from the competition.
"It is disappointing that the two years of work and investment in the existing design for a new National Stadium for Japan cannot be further developed to meet the new brief through the new design competition," said ZHA in a press release.