In response to the mounting criticism of Qatar’s ability to host the 2022 World Cup, the “tiny Gulf Arab state” is considering developing floating hotels, luxury villas and a water park off the coast of Doha called Oryx Island to house the influx of visitors that will need accommodation during the games. As stated by the WSJ, the island would be developed by Barwa Real Estate Co, a local firm partly-owned by the government, at a cost of $5.5 million.
The title “intern” should be banished from the profession of architecture. It’s about time. It has run its course. It’s outmoded and contributes to a culture of exploitation in the guise of opportunity. Frankly, it makes us look so nineteenth century.
More importantly, I’m tired of seeing articles decrying the state of interns every summer when “intern season” kicks in. Can we just be done with this? It’s depressing. Don’t exploit the interns! Pay the interns! No free labor! Class action lawsuit! Solidarity! FU pay me! All very well and good. However, if labor laws and ethics have not fixed the problem, maybe getting rid of the title will. It’s just a title, but it sets a bad precedent.
Currently on display until January 31, 2014, the ‘Pretty Vacant’ installation by design and research studio Rietveld Landscape encourages visitors to take a fresh look at the empty spaces of the Centraal Museum in The Netherlands. The blue window literally and figuratively sheds a new light on the space and complements the architecture of this medieval chapel. More images and architects’ description after the break.
In the latest episode of his 99% Invisible podcast, Roman Mars bravely takes on a very sensitive topic: the design of prisons which contain execution chambers or house prisoners in solitary confinement. More specifically, the podcast discusses whether architects have a moral duty to decline these commissions and whether, as a profession, architecture should have a code of ethics which prevents registered architects from participating in such designs.
He compares architecture to the medical profession, where the American Medical Association imposes an ethical code on its members which all but forbids them from taking part in execution by lethal injection, based on medicine’s general aim of preservation, rather than destruction of life. The American Institute of Architect’s ethical code is both generic and meager in comparison: “Members should uphold human rights in all their professional endeavors.”
The IE Master in Architectural Design as part of the Lecture Series 2013 in conjunction with the Círculo de Bellas Artes presents “Lugar, tiempo y materia. Obra reciente, 2010 – 2013″, by Josep Lluís Mateo.
In this lecture he will manifest his continuing interest in demonstrating the links between construction, research, intellectual development and the pragmatism required to make architecture a reality, as expressed in his recent work.
Josep Lluís Mateo is currently Professor of Architecture and Projects, ETH-Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule/ Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (2002-present). Academic Advisor, IE Master in Architectural Design, IE School of Architecture and Design (2012-present). Vice President of Arquiberia (International Association of Spanish Architects) (2011-present). Founder member of the Cercle de Cultura (Culture Circle) in Barcelona (2010). Visiting lecturer, Princeton, Columbia University, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, ABKStuttgart, UP8 Paris, OAF, Oslo and ITESMMexico.
Young Australian designers, Nic Gonsalves and Nic Martoo from leading architecture firm Conrad Gargett Riddel, have won an international award for their innovative emergency shelter design for victims of natural and man-made disasters. Showcased in Brisbane’s King George Square last year and having recently toured to Melbourne’s Federation Square last month, their design provides ease of fabrication without the use mechanical tools; a place to house both occupants and their belongings; and the ability to control the level of engagement with the outside world through a flexible skin of solid, translucent and transparent shingles. More images and the designers’ description after the break.
UPDATE: Israeli architect Rafi Segal appears to have abandoned his case to be reinstated as designer of the National Library of Israel. This decision comes after the client announced that it had signed a contract with Pritzker Prize-winning practice Herzog & de Meuron, who was initially chosen in April and triggered Segal’s demand to be reinstated. Now that the Swiss duo has officially signed onto the project, Segal has requested a withdrawal without prejudice. Before the hearing scheduled for September 12, 2013, Segal asked the court to withdraw the case. The court overruled his objections and granted HyperBina a compensation of fees and costs.
Official statement from the National Library Construction Company:
‘Rafi Segal, whose competition entry was disqualified for failure to meet the terms of the competition and who was therefore removed from being the “preferred architect”, is now trying to compel his selection through the courts. Notwithstanding his failure to meet the conditions of the competition by way of establishing his full and exclusive rights in and to the plan he submitted, and having conducted himself in ways that have resulted in his loss of credibility in the eyes of the client.
‘In December 2012, The Jerusalem District Court denied his request for an ex parte temporary injunction barring the selection of another architect for the project. The evening before the date of the hearing on the request for an injunction, Segal withdrew his petition – following submission of the Company’s reply. Segal also filed a lawsuit asking the Court to declare him the “Winning Architect”. The court denied Segal’s requests to expedite the process and set a preliminary hearing for May 2013.
‘In April, following a three months process, an international selection panel chaired by Prof. Luis Fernandez-Galiano, selected the 2011 Pritzker Prize winners Herzog & de Meuron to design the new Library building.
‘In the preliminary hearing on 8 May, Segal asked to add Herzog & de Meuron as a respondent in what seems to be an attempt not to lose legal grounds for his claim. Herzog & de Meuron have no involvement in the saga and have no obligation to defend their award.’
Just when it seemed that Herzog & de Meuron was the final choice for the design of the new National Library of Israel in Jerusalem, the initial competition winner, Israeli architect Rafi Segal, has launched a legal challenge against the project backers’ decision in hopes of being reinstated.
“Space, lines, light and sound” are the essential components of the experience of architecture and the most profound buildings have captured these moments through thoughtfully orchestrated design. Recently, architects that have designed churches with these primary elements in mind have come under criticism by the Vatican for diverting from the traditional form and iconography of churches. According to a recent article in The Telegraph, Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas’ design for a church in Foligno, Italy has been labeled as problematic by the parish and Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Vatican’s Pontificial Council for Culture, for its resemblance to a museum instead of a place of worship – based on traditional Catholic values placed on the altar and imagery. Regardless of the Vatican’s criticism of the aesthetic approach of architects that break with tradition, this seems more of an issue of miscommunication between the architects and the congregations that have commissioned the projects that are being criticized.
More on this after the break.
“Even though I wished for her attention, I was scared of it.”
These words, spoken by Frank Gehry about the inimitable Ada Louise Huxtable, may be his alone, but you can be sure that their sentiment was – at some point or other – shared by almost every person in the architecture world.
Huxtable’s writing walked that unusual, and oh so difficult line, between impassioned opinion and critical voice. As a result she managed to achieve the holy grail of architecture criticism: respect from architects and the general public alike. She for ever changed the world of architecture criticism, and as her successor Paul Goldberger, said of her in 1996: “She has made people pay attention. She has made people care. She has made architecture matter in our culture in a way that it did not before her time.”
Blogger for The New York Times Arts Beat, Danny Dunlop attended Huxtable’s “memorial tribute” this past Tuesday at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; his post provides a lovely summary of those who attended and spoke in honor of Ms. Huxtable, from Gehry to Goldberger. You can find it here.
And 5 articles that, according to HyperAllergic, best show Huxtable’s critical prowess (all well worth reading) here.
Three graduate architecture students at Columbia University have developed a revolutionary notebook designed specifically for architects. “A:LOG is not just a nifty architect’s notebook,” they say. “It is a thoughtful collection of design and architectural standards packaged into a minimal soft-cover notebook with beautiful dotted paper for drawing. It’s an architectural reference guide that you can bring with you on the go, in the office, or at meetings.”
Learn more about A:LOG after the break!