Patrik Schumacher: “The Denunciation of Architectural Icons and Stars is Superficial and Ignorant”

’ Heydar Aliyev Center. Image © Hufton + Crow

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

Dinamarca 399 / Joaquín Velasco Rubio

© Aryeh Kornfeld

Location: Valparaíso, Valparaíso, Valparaíso Region,
Area: 985.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Aryeh Kornfeld

Urban Systems Office’s Bundle Tower Reimagines the Bank of China

The tower forms a new landmark within this fast developing city in . Image Courtesy of Urban Systems Office

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 and Shepley Bulfinch to Redesign Smith College’s Neilson Library

Neilson Library. Image © Flickr CC user chipmunk_1

Maya Lin, best known for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, together with Shepley Bulfinch has been chosen to redesign ’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.

Crossed House / Clavel Arquitectos

© David Frutos Ruiz

Architects: Clavel Arquitectos
Location: La Alcayna, Murcia,
Architect In Charge: Manuel Clavel Rojo
Collaborators: Robin Harloff, David Hernández Conesa
Area: 232.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: David Frutos Ruiz

FAT And Crimson’s ‘A Clockwork Jerusalem’ To Be Exhibited In London

Electric Pastoral. Image © FAT Architecture / Sam Jacob

A Clockwork Jerusalem, the showcased in the British Pavilion at last year’s Venice Biennale, will make it’s debut at London’s Architectural Association (AA) next month. Commissioned by the British Council and curated by Sam Jacob, co-founder of FAT, and , 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.”

Matchbox Elementary School Sports Hall / Jovan Mitrović

© Relja Ivanić

Location: Obrenovac,
Area: 1100.0 sqm
Year: 2015
Photographs: Relja Ivanić

Grorudparken / LINK arkitektur

© Tomasz Majewski

Architects: LINK arkitektur
Location: Oslo,
Area: 119000.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Tomasz Majewski

Jordan Road Restaurant & Bar / CAA

Courtesy of

Architects: CAA
Location: Yunnan,
Area: 400.0 sqm
Year: 2015
Photographs: Courtesy of CAA

LHM Kindergarten / Moriyuki Ochiai Architects

© Atsushi Ishida

Architects: Moriyuki Ochiai Architects
Location: ,
Year: 2015
Photographs: Atsushi Ishida

BSG Sales Gallery / Eowon Designs

© Teh Weng Jen

Architects: Eowon Designs
Location: Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, 10450 , ,
Area: 22004.0 ft2
Year: 2015
Photographs: Teh Weng Jen

First Renderings of Populous’ Downtown Milwaukee Stadium

View from Entertainment District Live Block. Image Courtesy of Populous

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.

Burwood Highway Frontage Building / Woods Bagot

© Peter Bennetts

Interior Designers: Woods Bagot
Location: Deakin University, Melbourne Campus, 221 Highway, VIC 3125, Australia
Architect In Charge: Sarah Ball
Project Architects: David Ley, Karl Engstrom
Area: 17000.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Peter Bennetts

Marc Koehler Wins Competition to Design Edegem Community Center and Library

Courtesy of

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 to Masterplan Washington DC’s Union Station

Existing Washington Union Station. Image © beautifulcataya

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.

Odontology Teaching and Research Center / Philippe Gazeau

© Philippe Ruault

Architects: Philippe Gazeau
Location: 63100 , France
Area: 10000.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Philippe Ruault, Christophe Camus

Henning Larsen Designs New Branch of Swedish National Museum

Courtyard. Image © Henning Larsen Architects

Henning Larsen Architects has been selected over eleven finalists to design the new NORR – National Museum in Östersund, Mid-. 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 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.

Trousdale Estates Contemporary Home / Dennis Gibbens Architects

Courtesy of

Architects: Dennis Gibbens Architects
Location: , CA, USA
Architect In Charge: Dennis Gibbens
Project Architect: Oren Dothan
Area: 5600.0 ft2
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of Dennis Gibbens Architects