In 1945, the United States dropped 2 nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. While the act devastated and destroyed these two Japanese towns, it also created an entirely new political climate, one based on apocalyptic fears. As tensions with Soviet Russia heightened, and the United States entered an age of potential nuclear destruction, the landscape itself adapted in response – becoming littered with bunkers and fallout shelters, the “concrete responses to the political social and existential anxieties of the atomic age.”
Fast-forward nearly seventy years, and we’re currently faced with a new apocalyptic scenario of our own. Assuming you’re reading this, we have all survived the Mayan Apocalypse. Congratulations. However, that’s not to say that out apocalyptic fears, and its resultant architecture, have come and gone. Our apocalypse is more based on the fear of natural disaster – hurricane, tornado, viral disease, even infected-zombie-people – than nuclear attack, and our apocalyptic architecture is less of the bunker variety, and more of the vertical farm/fortress kind. Let’s call it ESD: Extremely Sustainable Design.
More on apocalyptic architecture of the 21st century, after the break…
Every three months, the publication CLOG takes on “a single subject particularly relevant to architecture now.” It’s not a quick look at something trendy, but rather an in-depth look at the issues that are affecting – and will continue to affect – architecture as we know it today.
CLOG: Rendering is, in my opinion, the best issue yet. Through dozens of fascinating, concise articles and a handful of illustrative, quirky images, it takes on an enormous question often over-looked in the architectural world: what is a rendering? An alluring device to win over a jury or public? A realistic depiction? Or perhaps it’s an entity unto itself…
Rendering examines how the rendering has become a means of deception – not just for the public, but for ourselves – becoming an aesthetic end-product rather than the representation of an idea in-progress. But at the same time, the rendering is our best tool for entering into the “real” world, for communicating what we do to the public at large.
Is there a way to marry these opposing characteristics? What should the future of rendering be? CLOG takes these questions head-on. More after the break…
NEX recently won the Cadogan Café design competition, organized by Malcolm Reading Consultants. The £2 million project for a new café, which will sit near the entrance to the Saatchi Gallery in Duke of York Square in Chelsea, is an organic coiled form. Their design features a roof terrace and incorporates an ingenious glass wall that rises and falls depending on the weather. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Designed by Tomas Ghisellini Architetto…, the proposal for the new “Malga Fosse” refuge, which won an honorable mention, chooses the language of the rough and simple local construction scattered among the mountains. In doing so, their design builds up
New Crematorium in the Hörnli Cemetary Competition Entry / Josep Ferrando, David Recio, Rafael Aliende
The proposal by Josep Ferrando, David Recio, and Rafael Aliende… for the new crematorium in the Hörnli cemetery respects the identity of the protected existing building while establishing a void between it and the upper street level, an
Christmas has come early for the international community of architects and preservationists, as an anonymous benefactor has saved the endangered David and Gladys Wright House in Phoenix, Arizona. Culminating a six month saga, the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy is proud to announce that it has facilitated the purchase of the historic property through an LLC owned by an anonymous benefactor. The transaction closed today, December 20, and is no longer a demolition threat.
The Wright home will now be transferred to the hands of an Arizona not-for-profit organization responsible for the restoration, maintenance and operation of the structure. The change in ownership guarantees the house will survive and be preserved. Landmark status is expected to follow shortly.
More information on the David Wright House after the break…
While doing a search for architects doing politically-engaged work, or work that encompasses a political or ethical agenda, I stumbled upon Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility. The group, as it turns out, has been around for thirty years. Despite their long history I got the sense that many people in architecture, as well as in mainstream culture, don’t know anything about them.
ADPSR was founded in Berkeley California in the early eighties as a community-based social action group. At that time their mission centered on opposition to the proliferation of nuclear arms and government policies they believed favored the military over the public good.
In essence, if the military budget were smaller then more government resources could be invested in projects and policies that benefit the general public. So, in a sense, they were continuing the fight against what Dwight D. Eisenhower, in his 1961 farewell address called the military-industrial complex.