While the Eiffel Tower was negatively received at first for its utilitarian appearance, it soon became a major attraction for Paris, France in the late 19th century. It represented structural ingenuity and innovation and soon became a major feat, rising to 300 meters of7,500 tons of steel and iron. Just three years after its unveiling, London sponsored a competition for its own version of the tower in 1890. The Tower Company, Limited collected 68 designs, all variations of the design of the Eiffel Tower. Proposals were submitted from the United States, Canada, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Austria, Turkey and Australia. Many of the designs are bizarre interpretations of utilitarian structures, following the aesthetics of the Eiffel Tower, only bigger and taller.
Join us after the break for more on the story of the Tower of London.
As we shared with you earlier last month, Danish architectural firm, CEBRA, in partnership with Ski Travel Agency Danski, is working on a new project of epic proportions: the world’s largest Skidome. Skidome Denmark will be shaped rather like a snow-flake, with three 700m, criss-crossing arches (the tallest one reaching 110 m high). While a structure that size is hard to wrap one’s head around, this cool new video gives a great idea of the Skidome’s awesome scale.
More info and images of the World’s Largest Skidome, after the break…
The GSA has announced that Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill have been selected as the architects of the new Los Angeles Federal Courthouse, which will house the U.S. District Court, Central District of California, and the U.S. Marshals Service. The architects beat out 3 other shortlisted teams to win the $318 million project.
According to the GSA, ”The new 550,000-square-foot building will be a sustainable, cost-effective, state-of-the-art court facility that includes security upgrades that are not available in the current 312 North Spring Street courthouse.”
The site, located at 107 South Broadway (down the street from Morphosis’ Caltrans building, LA’s City Hall, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall) has been dormant since 2007; although a $1.1 billion design by Perkins + Will was selected soon after, it was abandoned when Congress slashed the GSA’s construction budget. The GSA considers the approval of the new redevelopment plan a “major milestone.”
More info and images, after the break…
The Independent reports that nearby construction (which visibly moves the ground the building sits on) has weakened the 83-year-old foundations dangerously. Konstantin Melnikov’s grand-daughter (and current resident of the house), Ekaterina Karinskaya, further told The Independent that, due to broken heating pipes, the wooden house spent more than 50 days without heating in what were often sub-zero temperatures.
Although there have been interests expressed to turn the house into a museum, a tense legal debate between Ms. Karinskaya and a developer has put any plans on stand-still. Meanwhile, time is running out for the architectural icon.
More on the Melnikov House debate, after the break…
Welsh industrial designer Ross Lovegrove interviews Japanese artist Mariko Mori ahead of her first exhibition in London in 14 years. The exhibition, at the Royal Academy of Arts, will showcase previously unseen pieces from the past 11 years as well as new work. Both Lovegrove and Mori share a futuristic aesthetic – with much of their work also inspired by nature and history. Speaking in Lovegrove’s studio, the pair discuss themes in Mori’s upcoming exhibition, the links between science and art and the nature of our future.
The Sketch, Script, Score. Figures of Architectural Thinking event is a conversation between Wiel Arets, Peter Wilson and Cino Zucchi presenting the “Inspiration and Process in Architecture” Moleskine book series. The event takes place at ANCB The Metropolitan Laboratory in…
While known as the extraordinary city which Niemeyer built, Brasilia is not without its problems. As a recent BBC article noted, while Niemeyer’s architecture is certainly appreciated by its residents, the city itself (designed for the car) lacks a human-scale, mixed neighborhoods, and the vibrant street life which so defines Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo. The city is in need of a face-lift, but who should be responsible for Brasilia’s new face?
Well, if the debates and arguments at the XXIV Pan American Congress of Architects (XXIV CPA), which took place this November, are anything to go by, it certainly should not be those who have just been given the job.
Brasilia’s Government has contracted consulting company Jurong, based in Singapore, with designing a new Masterplan known as “Brasilia Plan 2060.” The move, which was taken with no outside participation or input, was criticized (loudly) – not only by Brazilian architects and urban planners, but by the majority of American and European professionals present at the XXIV CPA.
More details on this controversial move, after the break…
Singapore-based DP Architects has played a significant role in shaping Orchard Road’s present form. Since the practice’s establishment in 1967, it has designed, retrofitted and reworked nearly thirty projects on Orchard Road, oftentimes reinterpreting the same building several times over a period spanning two or three decades. These projects cumulatively represent over one million square metres of mixed-use commercial space – a rare example of the comprehensive, long-term influence of a single design firm on an urban centre.
The proposal by Joan Alomar…, of Estudio Lunar, presents a building that completes the urban block and blends in to the neighborhood of Casablanca. This concept leads the architecture that mimics the events at it’s surroundings, the nature, vernacular