Every June 21st since 2003, Go Skateboarding Day has rallied skateboarders around the globe – in skateparks and public plazas, downtown nooks and parking lots – to grind, ollie, and kickflip it with the best of them.
If I didn’t lose you at “ollie,” you’re probably wondering: what the heck does this have to do with architecture?
Well, I could talk about the architectural challenge that a skate park, as an interactive public space with specific topological requisites and social implications, offers architects. I could show you some cool testaments to the fact, such as the Architecture for Humanity-sponsored projects in Afghanistan and Manhattan, opening today.
But, rather selfishly, I’m more interested in what skateboarding has to offer us beyond skateparks. A skater, unlike your typical pedestrian, experiences space just as intensely and consciously as an architect himself, albeit in a different way. He/she is alive to the possibility of space, not in its totality, as an architect would be, but as a collection of tactile surfaces to be jumped on, grinded, and conquered.
The skater offers a revolutionary perspective for the architect: one that allows you to see buildings beyond what they were intended to be, to see (and design) buildings as “building blocks for the open minded.”
We continue our coverage of the Architecture Billings Index with a not-so optimistic report for May. The economic indicator showed a substantial drop in the Index (which had previously been inching upward over the past five months). In fact, all regions reported a decline in demand for design services and all regions fell below 50 (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The official report for May was 45.8, with the regional breakdown as follows: Northeast (48.6), West (47.6), Midwest (46.8), South (46.1). “For the second year in a row, we’re seeing declines in springtime design activity after a healthy first quarter. Given the ongoing uncertainly in the economic outlook, particularly the weak job growth numbers in recent months, this should be an alarm bell going off for the design and construction industry,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “The commercial/industrial sector is the only one recording gains in design activity at present, and even this sector has slowed significantly. Construction forecasters will have to reassess what conditions will look like moving forward.”
We will keep you updated and hope for some different news for June.
Projects Review offers an overview of the AA’s 2011/12 acadamic year. On display are hundreds of drawings, models, installations, phogographs and other materials documenting the diversity and experimental nature of the AA School.
‘At the AA architecture is pursued as a form of cultural knowledge, across year-long design projects and portfolios. We believe that truly great schools don’t just nurture and support architectural talent: they build audiences for experimentation, out of which new architectural ideas, visions and projects emerge. Please join us as part of this audience, which the AA remains committed to promoting at the cutting edge of architectural cuture, practice and learning.’
The access to this Friday event required invitation but will be free the rest of the days until 14th July.
More images after the break
Safdie Architects was recently selected to design a new mixed-use development in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The 69-storey mixed-use project will be the first for Moshe Safdie in Sri Lanka, and is expected to be the tallest residential building in Colombo when it is completed. The design includes expansive family and community space amenities such as community gardens, shared outdoor spaces within the upper levels of the building, and individual roof gardens or terraces for every residence, a hallmark of Safdie’s design philosophy to provide access to outdoor spaces in high density urban housing. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The proposal for the Ajoodaniyeh Tower by Kamvari Architects seeks to use traditional design within Iran as a means of addressing performance criteria within a high-rise. With the intention of analyzing unique aspects of traditional architecture specific to the region, they combine these with advanced design methods to produce a novel proposal for the site and our client. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Despite all of the preconceived notions about New York City being overpopulated, noisy and constantly bustling, there are numerous pockets within the five boroughs that offer respite from the city. This design strives to be one such pocket – or island. Governors Island has a long military history that dates back to 1776. It was controlled by the U.S. Government first for the U.S. Army and later for the Coast Guard. In 2002 the island was “sold” to the people of New York and declared a national monument. In 2010, Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Paterson agreed on the future operations, planning and redevelopment of the island through the Trust for Governors Island. Since then, the island has been open during the summer months for visitors to enjoy the unique seclusion offered by the the old military grounds. But the Trust had bigger plans. Choosing a team of architects, urban planners, designers and landscape architects that include Rogers Marvel Architects, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Mathews Nielsen and led by West 8, plans began to unfold that would reimagine the island as a getaway for New Yorkers. Playing up to its isolation, its abundance of lawns and trees, and the views that it offers, the first phase of the plans have officially broken ground and are scheduled for completion in Fall 2013.
Check out what’s in store for Governors Island after the break.
Last week, thanks to the courtesy of Lars Müller Publishers, we gave you the chance to win a copy of two of Steven Holl’s latest publications: Color Light Time and Scale. To participate, we asked you to answer the following question:
Steven Holl uses watercolors. With all the technology available today, what are the advantages or benefits of the analogue process of creating architecture?
After more than 100 comments, we now have the winners: Daniel Whitcombe, Dylan Gould, John Noble, Stephanie Rinehart, Chad Harding, and Cari Ann Siemens. Congratulation to the winners, you will be contacted through your emails. Thanks everyone for participating and stay alert… more giveaways to come!
Italian designer and architect Matteo Thun talks to Crane.tv in his studio in Milan about his illustrious career. Famed for being one of the co-founders of the Memphis Group, a collective that helped shape design and its style in the 80s, Thun is also the chair of product design and ceramics at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, and has worked as Creative Director of Swatch. Here, Thun tells us about why building a church in the mountains is next on his to-do list.
If you love architecture, this is one auction you won’t want to miss! Architecture for Humanity has launched their highly anticipated I Love Architecture Charity Auction, featuring over 70 sketches from 50 of the world’s top architects and designers. The time to start bidding is now, as the auction will close on June 29th. All proceeds will support Architecture for Humanity.
Contributions from: Frank Ching, DJ Spooky, Jeanne Gang, Frank Gehry, Michael Graves, Fumihiko Maki, HWKN, J. Mayer H., Steven Holl, Bjarke Ingels, Michelle Kaufmann, Kengo Kuma, Daniel Libeskind, Andrew Luck, Richard Meier, Renzo Piano, Alysia Reiner, Kevin Roche, Richard Rogers, Moshe Safdie, SHoP Architects, Paolo Soleri, Michael Van Valkenburgh, Tod Williams + Billie Tsien, Zoka Zola and many more.
UPDATE: In an e-mail to ArchDaily, a Sr. PR Manager at OMA told us that while Victor van der Chijs expressed his hopes that Turkey will host the Olympics in an interview with an Anatolia news agency earlier this month, OMA is not planning on opening an office in Turkey any time soon.
OMA, the Rotterdam-based, Dutch architecture and urban development firm, has its eyes set on
the location of its next office: Turkey.
think it’s a safe bet hope that Turkey will edge out both Madrid and Tokyo for the 2020 Summer Olympics.
As Victor van der Chijs, a partner at OMA, told Anatolia: “We believe that Turkey will win the Olympics.
In our opinion it is almost certain [...] Comprehensive investments in sports facilities, infrastructure services and transportation will be needed. That is why we want to take part in urban master planning and projects to prepare for the Olympics.”
Could OMA, who have offices in New York, Beijing, and Hong Kong (and considered having one in Brazil), be starting a new trend? With “legacy” being the new Olympic buzzword (see: our 3-part Olympic City Guide) and smart urban-planning and architecture a necessary part of the Olympic bid, could Architects begin cashing-in on (and perhaps ensuring) Olympic Glory, even before the Games are bestowed?
If so, it seems the torch starts here.
Story via Hürriyet Daily News.