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The Debate Over Making It Right in the Lower Ninth Ward

Ever since the New Republic published Lydia DePillis's piece entitled "If you Rebuild it, They Might Not Come" - a criticism of the progress of Brad Pitt's Make It Right Foundation - numerous blogs and journals have been in a uproar, defending Make It Right's efforts at rebuilding the vastly devastated Lower Ninth Ward and presenting a much more forgiving perspective on the progress of the neighborhood since the engineering disaster that exacerbated the effects of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  To date, 86 LEED Platinum homes have been designed and constructed by world-renowned architects including Frank Gehry and Morphosis, at a cost of approximately $24 million.  Make It Right has promised to build up to 150 such homes, but DePillis's article points out how amenities in the neighborhood are low and how the number of residents returning to the neighborhood is dwindling.  Make It Right has made a commitment and the debate that ensues questions whether it is going far enough in delivering its promise to rebuilding community.

Find out more after the break.

An Interview with Rocio Romero, Pre-Fab Pioneer

It's not everyday that Peter Goldberger, former New York Times architecture critic, says an architect's work stands out for its "clarity, simplicity, and grace.”

And it's even rarer that Goldberger would choose those words - not for a new museum, chapel, or university building - but for a small pre-fabricated house. However, the pre-fab homes of Rocio Romero are lightyears away from the Sears catalog homes of yore, and more than deserving of the high praise they've garnered.

Romero has been making headlines ever since she introduced the LV house, her line of affordable, modern pre-fabricated homes, over ten years ago. With pre-fab becoming everyday more mainstream, we decided to sit down with Romero to find out what inspired her to enter in the world of pre-fab, what sets her designs apart (and why they have garnered such a fervent following), and what she sees as the future of pre-fabricated design. 

Read the interview with Rocio Romero, after the break...

Tony's LVL House in Arizona. Image courtesy of Tony. The Original LV house in Laguna Verde Chile. Image © Julio Pereira Rocio Romero's LV House in Missouri. Image © Frank Di Piazza Siara and Oliver's LVL in Canada. Image courtesy of Oliver.

Video: Basket Apartments / OFIS architects

Located on a long and very narrow site, on the edge of Parc La Vilette in Paris’s 19th district, the major objective of the Basket Apartments was to provide students with a healthy environment for studying, learning and meeting. Designed by OFIS architects, their video gives viewers a look at the surrounding urban context, including the new Paris tram route passing along the site. The open corridor, gallery, and studio spaces are all illustrated here as the film takes you through a typical experience by its users.

2013 'Folly' Competition Winner: tree wood by Toshihiro Oki

Socrates Sculpture Park and The Architectural League of New York recently announced the selection of Toshihiro Oki architect for tree wood as the winner of this year’s “Folly” competition – an extraordinary opportunity for emerging architects and designers to experiment and build large-scale projects for outdoor exhibition. tree wood will be a rigid yet airy geometrical wooden structure placed within a grove of trees – a lush and dense area at Socrates Sculpture Park. Visitors will peer into the structure through the floor beams where a formal, ornate chandelier will be suspended. The installation creates a dialogue between built structures and systems with the irregular and organic. This winning project will open at Socrates Sculpture Park on Sunday, May 12th from 2-6pm. More information after the break.

'Up-Downtown' DawnTown's 2012 Competition Winning Installation

Up-Downtown, the prize-winning installation in DawnTown's competition for the creation of a temporary installation on the theme of the “Evolution of Miami", is taken literally to present an interactive story of Miami’s rise. “A city is a complex machine, where everything is interconnected and any movement affects the other,” said Manuel Clavel-Rojo, co-creator of the Up-Downtown team. The installation, exhibited at HistoryMiami, features a 10’ x 10’ x 10’ box structure using steel for supports. A mirror sits at its base, with blue and pink neon lights representing the water’s edge and roadways, creating a perimeter of the downtown area. More images and information after the break.

Ses Alzines / Javier Mantolán Seguí

  • Architects: Javier Mantolán Seguí
  • Location: Menorca island. Spain
  • Architect in Charge: Javier Mantolán Seguí
  • Collaborators: Lorenzo Seguí Triay
  • Quantity Surveyor: Montserrat Jori Gomila
  • Main Contractor: Construcciones Fernández Nájera, S.L.U.
  • Area: 28008.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Javier Mantolán Seguí

Courtesy of Javier Mantolán Seguí Courtesy of Javier Mantolán Seguí Courtesy of Javier Mantolán Seguí Courtesy of Javier Mantolán Seguí

INVERSION Installation at INTERNI Magazine’s Hybrid Architecture Exhibition

As part of INTERNI’s Hybrid Architecture Exhibition event, Steven Holl Architects will be opening their 'INVERSION' installation tomorrow, April 9th, in Milan. In addition, Steven Holl will deliver a lecture in the Aula Magna of the Università degli Studi di Milano at 10am. Shown in the Cortile 700 of the Università degli Studi di Milano, the installation features six void-cut, 21 million year old limestone blocks, which frame a sheet of water. The process, beginning with a 5”x7” watercolor sketch in New York City, which is transformed into a 3D file and then sent to Lecce, required no working drawings. More information on their installation after the break.

Municipalidad de Utebo Sports Center / Basilio Tobías

© Pedro Pegenaute © Pedro Pegenaute © Pedro Pegenaute © Pedro Pegenaute

Faculty of Cellular and Genetic Biology / Héctor Fernández Elorza

© Montse Zamorano © Montse Zamorano © Montse Zamorano © Montse Zamorano

Municipal Leisure Center In Tordesillas / ENTREARQUITECTURA

  • Location: 47100 Tordesillas, Valladolid, Spain
  • Architect in Charge: Javier Arias Madero, Susana Garrido Calvo
  • Construction Company: CONTRATAS Y OBRAS ENRICAR S.L.
  • Area: 56825.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2010
  • Photographs: Courtesy of ENTREARQUITECTURA


City Point / COOKFOX

City Point is a proposed 1.8 million square foot, multi-phase, mixed-use development designed by New York-based practice COOKFOX for the center of the rapidly transforming Downtown Brooklyn. The project will create an iconic presence by acting as a cornerstone for the Brooklyn skyline and establishing a critical mass of new growth. The three distinct phases of City Point encompass retail space, affordable and market-rate housing, office space and a market hall, which together create a strong base for growth and integration in the core of Brooklyn. City Point will foster a multi-use urban environment, connect subway commuters with green spaces, and create a vibrant heart in the downtown area.

More about City Point after the break...

2G House / S-AR stación-ARquitectura

  • Architects: S-AR stación-ARquitectura
  • Location: San Pedro, Nuevo Leon, Mexico
  • Team: César Guerrero, Ana Cecilia Garza, María Sevilla, Carlos Flores
  • Engineering: Jesús González Sáenz
  • Technical Supervision: S-AR stación-ARquitectura + Gonzalo Taméz
  • Construction: Gonzalo Taméz, Enrique López, Jesús Galván
  • Area: 350.0 m2
  • Year: 2011
  • Photography: Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal

© Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal © Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal © Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal © Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal

C House / Sommet & Asociados

© Sebastián Fernández de Córdova Frerking
© Sebastián Fernández de Córdova Frerking
  • Architects: Sommet & Asociados
  • Location: Santa Cruz, Bolivia
  • Architect in Charge: Sommet & Asociados
  • Design Team: Sebastián Fernández de Córdova Frerking
  • Area: 520.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Sebastián Fernández de Córdova Frerking

© Sebastián Fernández de Córdova Frerking © Sebastián Fernández de Córdova Frerking © Sebastián Fernández de Córdova Frerking © Sebastián Fernández de Córdova Frerking

88 Jerez Dwellings / Daroca Arquitectos

  • Architects: Daroca Arquitectos
  • Location: Av. Rey Juan Carlos I, Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
  • Project Architect: José Luis Daroca Bruño
  • Building Engineer: Roberto Ales Mendez
  • Construction Company: COPISA
  • Year: 2013
  • Photography: Jesus Granada

© Jesus Granada © Jesus Granada © Jesus Granada © Jesus Granada