This weekend, we had the opportunity to attend the Open Studio event at MoMA’s PS1. As we mentioned earlier, this project posed the daunting question of how to re-think, re-organize and re-energize the concept of an American suburb in the wake of the foreclosure crisis. As MoMA’s Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design, Barry Bergdoll explains, “Projects will aim to challenge cultural assumptions concerning home ownership and associated settlement patterns, such as suburban sprawl, and assist the public in contemplating a potentially different future for housing and cities. The workshop and exhibition are premised on reframing the current crisis as an opportunity, an approach that is in keeping with the fundamental American ethos where challenging circumstances engender innovation and out-of-the-box thinking. It is our hope that new paradigms of architecture and regional and transportation planning become the silver lining in the crisis of home ownership.” The five multidisciplinary teams chose five different American suburbs to explore, and this Saturday, we jumped from Oregon to Florida, to Illinois, to California and New Jersey, to observe their five quite different solutions.
Check out our preview of the teams’ work-in-progress projects which will be exhibited at the MoMA this February.
Mile Hi Church in Lakewood, Colorado has added a new dome to their campus. The expanding congregation commissioned Fentress Architects to create a new Sanctuary to accommodate their growing needs for space. The design is a contemplative space with attentive consideration for the church’s needs and the campus history influencing the design.
Man transforms the environment, interferes with nature producing spaces that harbor their daily activities. This is done by provoking change,building objects, and inserting devises into the the natural environment. This intervention, a design by Estúdio 41, suggests a reflection on the relationship between nature and artifice, proposing buildings that build: artifacts and landscape, cover and relief, shelter and open space. As the 1st place prize winner, their design creates a place where working means life quality, surrounded by leisure facilities, designed for outdoors experience. A place to exchange experiences, to learn, teach and meet. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Over the last 18 months, Trans_City architecture and urbanism…, has developed a comprehensive plan for the reconstruction of Jacmel, Haiti based upon the concept of satellite cities located at the edge of the existing, earthquake-ravaged city center.(A concept developed
Inspired by the existing lattice pylon originally designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield RA in 1927, New Town Studio…, who was recently shortlisted for the Pylon Design Competition, uses a lattice steel framework to create a vertical structure which retains
“Architecture is not just one thing. It is not just an art. … It has to deal with the real situation; it has to do something good for the society. Architecture can provide a better life for people. Urbanization is the most current thing happening in China and it does greatly affect Chinese life.”
This interview, presented by Design Indaba, is based on the “What Can Design Do?” Conference in Amsterdam with Xiaodu Liu of Urbanus. The theme of the conference is improving the lives of people migrating to urban environments. Liu discusses various possibilities in addressing low income housing, one of which involves colonizing old vernacular works of architecture such as a Tulou build housing that has a strong communal focus.
Liu also discusses the issues of urban living, especially in regards to migrant workers that come to the city to work while building a home in the countryside where they live. The waste of resources involved and the contaminants that they produce contribute to the state of the air quality in developed Chinese cities. This lifestyle is not exclusive to Chinese cities like Shenzhen or Beijing. Many Americans work in large cities and live in suburbs, commuting for hours everyday.
Liu talks about possible solutions to how architecture and committed urban planning can reduce the burden that a booming population can have on a city – improving the quality of life while maintaining the density of urban life. He talks about REAL and PRACTICAL solutions to urbanization and the environmental issues associated with it.
He concludes with, “If you want to be really environmentally sustainable to Earth, you build as less as possible.” Perhaps this means that as architects and designers it is important to look at what has already been built, what can be reappropriated for other uses rather than razing land and building anew.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Historic Park Inn Hotel in Mason City, Iowa, has recently undergone an extensive $18 million restoration. The hotel, designed in 1910 for two lawyers features 42 hotel rooms, two-story banking room, basements shops below and office space above. It was the last hotel designed by FLW in the world, thus the group of preservationists who have undertaken the task of bringing it back to its original vision are very excited. Some of the distinctive elements that the renovation restored include the exterior brick and terra cotta façade and the art glass windows. This Prairie School building is now open to the public and taking reservations.
Storefront for Art and Architecture is pleased to present Manifesto Series 06: Finding Formless curated by Julian Rose and Garrett Ricciardi [principles of formlessfinder] on Friday, September 23rd, 2011 from 6:30 to 9pm.
Impulses toward the formless, alternately understood as…
The Polonsky Academy of Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences, designed by Chyutin Architects, is part of the Van Leer Institute campus at Jerusalem. Situated on the cliff facing south towards the Jerusalem Theater, its northern side faces the main garden court which will function as the heart of the campus in the new master plan. This court has two levels, with a one storey differential between them which makes it possible to create two entrances to the structure on different levels: main entrance near the Van Leer Institute and secondary entrance near the Council for Higher Education. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Architects: LEVS Architecten
Location: Den Helder, The Netherlands
Client: Rijksgebouwendienst (Dutch Government Building Department)
Project Year: 2006
Project Area: 14,500 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of LEVS Architecten
Architect Paul Laurendeau shared with us his competition proposal for the Saint-Michel Soccer Stadium in Montréal, Québec, Canada. Playing on the contrast between black exterior and wood interior, the stadium’s simple form makes it stand out from its context. More images and brief project description after the break.
VAUMM architects… shared with us their proposal for the Interpretation and Visitors Center of the Technology Development Plant for Co2 Geological Storage. The Energy City Foundation plans to build an Interpretation Center to publicize the project of Geological Storage of
Bottega di Archiettura Metropolitana aka BAM! recently won a Bjarke Ingalls-judged urban design competition for proposing to deal with the Venice, Italy’s rising water problem… with giant concrete bowl islands!
Sure, the scheme neither addresses how the existing city should retrofit itself nor does it work out some key technical concerns–how does one move from one bowl to another? what happens when the bowls fill with water?–but with renderings so incredibly beautiful why besmirch oneself with such trivialities?
Read more at FastCo. Design