Photo note: The artist, Alfredo Jaar, in a 2006 interview, regarded Terragni’s Casa del Fascio as the “perfect memorial to Gramsci.” Jaar used the building’s blank right facade (originally left uninterrupted for propaganda) as a canvas for projecting a sequence of images about Gramsci. As Jaar noted: “Here, the fascist building is transformed into Gramsci’s grave. My trip is thus complete, the circle closed, and Gramsci’s indomitable faith in humanism and the hegemony of intellect is still alive. People were, I think, touched and empowered by my concept of transformation of the former headquarters of Fascism in Como into a commemoration and celebration of Gramsci. It was hopefully a true manifestation of everlasting resistance to tyranny and death.”
The Indicator is back!
In reading Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks I am struck by his lack of irony and pretense. It is not a resistance to humor per se. It is a restraint. A will to power that puts everything in the urgent light of sincerity.
Thus, stylistically, it reads as somehow awkward and formal in our post-post times. It has me thinking about how we write about architecture…how we write architecture.
True. He was writing from prison. But it’s more than that. He was writing what he believed. There is no escape valve of irony in his text. He was, and is when you read him now, in your face, holding you and daring you to veer away. What he is writing is not to be taken with a wink. He commands humor in his language but the humor drives a sustained sincerity, a concern for humanity—including his own humanity.
German architect Johann Bierkandt has shared with us his second-place winning proposal in the Classic Siftung Weimar international competition for the New Bauhaus Museum. His concept was praised by the jury for its clever integration into Weimarhallenpark through a series of small-scale pavilions that differentiates the museum from the surrounding context. Bierkandt‘s proposal is one of the final four designs still competing in the two-stage competition. The jury is expected to announce the winning design this summer. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Architects: Mecanoo Architecten
Location: Texel, The Netherlands
Client: Maritiem & Jutters Museum, Oudeschild
Museum design: Kossmann.dejong, Amsterdam
Project management: ABC Management Groep, Assen
Builders: Pieters Bouwtechniek, Utrecht
Installations consultant: Peter Prins, Woerden
Contractors: Bouwcombinatie De Geus & Duin Bouwbedrijf, Broek op Langedijk
Installations: ITBB, Heerenveen
Project Area: 1,200 sqm
Project Year: 2010-2011
Photographs: Courtesy of Mecanoo
Many of you may already be aware that Paul Rudolph’s iconic Orange County Government Center is at risk of being demolished. Leaky roofs and a damaging flood have convinced Orange Country executive director Eddie Diana to favor this dreadfully mundane neo-colonial office building over Rudolph’s Brutalist landmark. Cost is not an issue, as the price tag for the new building exceeds the cost to renovate the historical icon, and many understand the immense cultural value of preserving a legacy; however, this battle is nearing a loss and only solidarity will save it.
The World Monuments Fund (WMF) has launched a petition to oppose the demolition. With the Orange County Legislature deciding the fate of Rudolph’s building next month (May 3), it is important you sign the petition now. WMF needs to collect 20,000 signatures. Sign the petition here.
Based on 2010 Census results, the nation’s most densely populated urbanized area is Los Angeles/Anaheim/Long Beach, California, with nearly 7,000 people per square mile. Surprised? Not only did the Los Angeles area rank first, but of the ten most densely populated urbanized areas, nine are in the West, with seven of those in California. Continue reading for more.
Architects: AGI Architects
Location: Kuwait City, Kuwait
Design Team: Joaquin Pérez-Goicoechea, Nasser B. Abulhasan, Gwenola Kergall, Georg Thesing, Lucía Sánchez Salmón, María Eugenia Díaz, José Ángel del Campo, Daniel Muñoz Medranda, Hanan Alkouh, Nicolás Martín
Photographs: Nelson Garrido
While Seoul celebrates cutting-edge architecture modelled after Western aesthetics, Seoul-based architecture firm AND promotes traditional housing with a twist. In a quest to remain true to its roots, AND combines traditional elements with eco-sustainable design. Founder Yeob Jeong and researcher Tae Lee whisk us away to view Villa Topoject, one of the firm’s most renowned projects located in rural Gyeonggido, just an hour away from the city.
To combat the harsh reality of the extreme air pollution caused by urban sprawl in Tehran, CAAT Architecture Studio… proposed building up, locating massive skyscrapers within the city to house masses of residents centrally. Demolishing unimportant old buildings will create
Martin Klaeschen & Carl Ray Miller… shared with us their first place winning proposal for the Noble Square Park in the Eckhart Park Design Competition. Their design focused on a donor recognition wall with an earthen mound that would act
Architects: Estudio Guto Requena + Atelier Marko Brajovic
Location: 579 Luiz Dumont Villares Avenue, São Paulo, Brazil
Collaborators: Vinicius Capella, Alberto Gomez, Henrique Stabileand Paulo de Camargo
Installation Coordinator: Carmela Rocha
Visual Identity and Graphic Project: Estudia Design
Photographs: Fran Parente
Oyler Wu Collaborative, in collaboration with Michael Kalish, shared with us their video, reALIze, which documents the development and fabrication of the 2011 reALIze installation, a tribute to the life and cultural significance of Muhammad Ali. The project is aimed at exposing a new generation to this larger than life character by building an appreciation for the nuanced emotional, aesthetic, and technical principles that collectively form experience – a concept that holds true as much for human persona as it does for architecture.
The monograph 2G presents a new way of approaching Chilean architecture. In the wake of the interesting publications of Mathias Klotz (2G 26, 2003), Smiljan Radic (2G 44, 2007) and Cecilia Puga (2G 53, 2010), now comes that of Pezo von Ellrichshausen, a firm that has proven itself around the world for its consistently outstanding, contemporary works (you can see some examples here).