Paint company AkzoNobel has announced plans to fund a global research project by OMA which will investigate the link between color and economic development. The project is part of AkzoNobel's wider 'Human Cities' initiative, which they say "highlights our commitment to improving, energizing and regenerating urban communities across the world."
Architecture for Humanity, the non-profit responsible for propagating designers and designs around the world that "give a damn," has named its latest Executive Director. After co-founders Kate Stohr and Cameron Sinclair announced their decision to step down in September of last year, the organization began a global search for the person who would replace them. Today, the Board of Directors has announced the appointee: Eric Cesal, an experienced designer and author of the memoir/manifesto Down Detour Road: An Architect in Search of Practice who first joined Architecture for Humanity in 2006 as a volunteer on the Katrina reconstruction program and later established and led Architecture for Humanity’s Haiti Rebuilding Center in Port-au-Prince from 2010 to 2012.
A team of students from Eindhoven University are to build a forty metre high model of Antonio Gaudí'sSagrada Familia. The project, which follows the completion of the world's biggest ice dome last year, will be constructed from pykrete and reinforced with wood fibres. Impressively, the 1:4 scale model will be built in only three weeks. Thin layers of water and snow will be sprayed onto large, inflated molds. The pykrete (water mixed with sawdust) will be immediately absorbed by the snow before freezing. According to the organisers, "the wood fiber content makes the material three times as strong as normal ice, and it’s also a lot tougher." Find out more about the project here.
David Chipperfield has been selected by Selfridges to remodel their flagship London store, creating a new 4,600 square metre accessories department and creating a new entrance to the Eastern side of the building. The additions by Chipperfield are part of the store's larger 5-year, £300 million project which also includes work by Gensler to better connect the original 1909 building by Daniel Burnham with the later addition behind.
Chipperfield's addition will aim to improve the store's presence on Duke Street, which will act as a secondary entrance to the building's primary public face on Oxford Street, with the new accessories department planned to open in 2016.
Asymptote Architecture has been commissioned to design a park with a collection of cultural buildings on the outskirts of Peccioli, Italy. Called the “Parco Degli Angeli," Italian for Park of Angels, this urbanized complex will be carefully grafted into the picturesque Tuscan countryside to create a dialogue with the surrounding farmland and historical sites. The park will include museums, interactive sculpture installations, and an amphitheater that can host 800 people.
The Parrish Art Museum is pleased to present Soft Footprints: Works by SO – IL as the fourth installment of Architectural Sessions—an ongoing series co-presented with AIA Peconic that explores the connection between art and architecture, and how both disciplines elicit conversation about space, form, materials and aesthetics. On June 6, host architect Maziar Behrooz, AIA, will moderate a discussion with SO – IL co-founders Florian Idenburg and Jing Liu about their design philosophy, inspiration, and interdisciplinary approach to architecture and designing spaces for art.
In Radical Cities,Justin McGuirk travels across Latin America in search of the people and ideas shaping the way cities are evolving: "after decades of social and political failure, a new generation has revitalised architecture and urban design in order to address persistent poverty and inequality. Together, these activists, pragmatists and social idealists are performing bold experiments that the rest of the world may learn from." The following is an excerpt from Radical Cities on PREVI - the great, but all-but-forgotten experimental housing project in Lima that counted James Stirling and Aldo van Eyck among its contributors.
In a northern suburb of Lima is a housing estate that might have changed the face of cities in the developing world. Its residents go about their lives feeling lucky that they live where they do, but oblivious to the fact that they occupy the last great experiment in social housing. If you drove past it today, you might not even notice it. And yet the Proyecto Experimental de Vivienda – PREVI for short – has a radical pedigree. Some of the best architects of the day slaved over it. Now it is largely forgotten.
With the first weekend of the Venice Biennale in the books, over the past few days reviews from critics have been flooding in. Each is eager to dispense their opinions on what has been one of the most highly anticipated Biennales in recent memory, and it seems that the event has not disappointed. From reviews of the festival as a whole to individual takes on the National Pavilions, read on after the break as we take a look at some of the most intriguing reviews so far.
In an interview with Julia Ingalls Paul Goldberger, former architecture critic of the New York Times and forthcoming biographer of Frank Gehry, discusses the critical relevance of architecture in what he dubs the "new media age." According to Ingalls, Goldberger has thrived "by writing informed narratives that examine not just the trendy cladding of a building, but the deep historical, social, and political environments that invariably give rise to it." Goldberger is a writer who has embraced Twitter, using it as a platform for discussion and debate just as, in prior years, his writings in print media would act as less immediate provocations.
The £1.2 billion Shell Centre development in London, masterplanned by Squire & Partners, has been awarded planning permission after being called in for review by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles. Featuring 8 towers of up to 37 storeys which will sit alongside the existing 27-storey Shell Tower, the scheme was granted permission by the local council last year but was called in for review over fears that it could threaten the UNESCO Heritage status of the area around Westminster.
However, despite being awarded planning once again, opponents of the scheme have said they will continue to fight it, and have threatened to mount a judicial review of the scheme.
Read on after the break for more on the controversy