In the latest of his provocative posts on Facebook, Patrik Schumacher has come out in defense of iconic design and star architects, arguing that the current trend of criticism is “superficial and ignorant,” and “all-too-easy point-scoring which indeed usually misses the point.”
Schumacher says that critics “should perhaps slow down a bit in their (pre-)judgement and reflect on their role as mediators between the discourse of architecture and the interested public.” In the 1,400 word post, he goes on to elaborate that so-called icons and the star system are inevitable results of this mediation, adding that “explanation rather than dismissal and substitution should be seen as the critics’ task.”
Read on after the break for more highlights from Schumacher’s argument
London-based design group Urban Systems Office has developed a work-flow system employed in their 180-meter “Bundle Tower” to redefine the office typology of the Bank of China. Informed by its specific site features, the mixed-use Bundle Tower creates an open floor plan that responds precisely to its surrounding conditions and unique site requirements.
Maya Lin, best known for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, together with Shepley Bulfinch has been chosen to redesign Smith College’s Neilson Library. Selected after an international search conducted by the school, Lin’s interdisciplinary approach coupled with Shepley Bulfinch’s extensive work with academic institutions ultimately brought them to the forefront. Construction is expected to begin in 2017 and last two years.
A Clockwork Jerusalem, the exhibition showcased in the British Pavilion at last year’s Venice Biennale, will make it’s UK debut at London’s Architectural Association (AA) next month. Commissioned by the British Council and curated by Sam Jacob, co-founder of FAT, and Wouter Vanstiphout, partner at Dutch practice Crimson Architectural Historians, the exhibition shines a light on the large scale projects of the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s by exploring the “mature flowering of British Modernism at the moment it was at its most socially, politically and architecturally ambitious – but also the moment that witnessed its collapse.”
The Milwaukee Bucks have just unveiled Populous‘ initial renderings of their downtown revitalization plan for Milwaukee’s sports and entertainment district, anchored by a multi-purpose arena. The first step in their vision, the arena hopes to be a modern expression of Wisconsin’s heritage and a vibrant cornerstone to the growth of downtown Milwaukee.
Marc Koehler Architects (MKA) has taken first-place in the Open Oproep 28 design competition to design a leisure center, dubbed “The Missing Link.” The competition challenged them to develop a community center, art center, and library for a municipality in Belgium. Located in suburban Edegem, the design strives to become the region’s cultural hub and form a cohesive connection between its established public spaces.
Grimshaw Architects has been asked to collaborate with New York-based Beyer Blinder Belle on a $10 billion masterplan that will modernize Washington DC‘s 1913 Beaux Arts Union Station. Along with the potential to triple passenger capacity, the plan aims to make the station more accessible and efficient, while integrate a new three-million-square-foot, mixed-use development by Amtrak and Akridge over its rail tracks.
“Washington DC deserves a station that serves the region on a practical level whilst celebrating the gateway to the nation’s capital,” said Grimshaw partner Vincent Chang.
Henning Larsen Architects has been selected over eleven finalists to design the new NORR – National Museum in Östersund, Mid-Sweden. Acting both as an extension to the existing Jamtli Museum and a new branch of the Swedish National Museum, the new building will feature a large and flexible exhibition hall, workshops, offices and a cafe.
“The new exhibition hall is designed as wooden sculpture with an easily recognizable silhouette against the sky. The roof is quite remarkable because the deep skylights filter the soft northern daylight directly into the exhibition space. This gives a very sensitive light as well as a view to the sky,” says Søren Øllgaard, partner at Henning Larsen Architects and design responsible for the project.