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What If MOMA Had Expanded Underground (And Saved The American Folk Art Museum)?

01:00 - 28 April, 2014
What If MOMA Had Expanded Underground (And Saved The American Folk Art Museum)?, Sculpture Garden, MOMA. Image © Andrew Moore, http://andrewlmoore.com/
Sculpture Garden, MOMA. Image © Andrew Moore, http://andrewlmoore.com/

In January of this year, the latest work by Smiljan Radic, the Chilean architect chosen to design the next Serpentine Pavilion, opened to public acclaim. The Museum of Pre-Columbian Art (Museo de Arte Precolombino), located in Santiago de Chile, is a restoration project that managed to sensitively maintain an original colonial structure  - all while increasing the space by about 70%. 

Two days before the The Museum of Pre-Columbian Art opened, the Museum of Metropolitan Art (MOMA) in New York issued a statement that it would demolish the American Folk Art Museum (AFAM), designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, in order to accomplish its envisioned expansion. Two weeks ago, preparations for demolition began.

Some background: MOMA had hired Diller Scofidio + Renfro a year earlier to design the expansion. The office asked for a period of six months to consider the possibilities of integrating the American Folk Art Museum into the design. After studying a vast array of options (unknown to the public) they were unable to accommodate MOMA’s shifting program needs with the AFAM building. They proposed a new circulation loop with additional gallery space and new program located where the AFAM is (was) located.

What appears here is not strictly a battle between an institution that wants to reflect the spirit of the time vs a building that is inherently specific to its place. It represents a lost design opportunity. What if the American Folk Art Museum had been considered an untouchable civic space in the city of New York, much like the The Museum of Pre-Columbian Art is for the city for Santiago? Then a whole new strategy for adaptive reuse would have emerged.

Renovation of the Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art / Smiljan Radic. Image Courtesy of The Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art Diagrams of the plan for the renovation of the Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art / Smiljan Radic. Image Courtesy of Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino's Facebook Page Renovation of the Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art, in progress. Image Courtesy of Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino's Facebook Page Renovation of the Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art / Smiljan Radic. Image © Nico Saieh +15

Architecture Delivered To Your Inbox, Daily.

00:00 - 28 April, 2014
Architecture Delivered To Your Inbox, Daily.

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World's Fastest Elevator Coming Soon To Guangzhou

00:00 - 28 April, 2014
World's Fastest Elevator Coming Soon To Guangzhou, CTF Guangzhou / KPF. Image © KPF
CTF Guangzhou / KPF. Image © KPF

The days of elevator small talk could be coming to an end with Hitachi planning to deliver the world's fastest elevator by 2016. Capable of travelling at speeds of 72km/h (44m/h), the record-breaking lifts will be able to hoist passengers up 95 floors in less than 40 seconds. Khon Pedersen Fox's 530-meter Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre will be the first to house the super-speed elevators, amongst 13 other high-speed elevators and 28 double-decker elevators. Currently, the world's fastest elevator is by Toshiba and only capable of reaching speeds of 61km/h (38m/h) within Taipei 101. You can learn more about the super-speed elevators, here.

MAD Breaks Ground on Complex that Redefines Beijing’s “City Landscape”

01:00 - 28 April, 2014
MAD Breaks Ground on Complex that Redefines Beijing’s “City Landscape”, Site. Image © MAD
Site. Image © MAD

Construction has commenced on MAD’s Chaoyang Park Plaza within one of Beijing’s largest public parks and central business district. A continuation of Ma Yansong’s “Shan-Shui City” concept, which aims reintroduce nature into the urban realm, the mixed-use complex reinterprets natural formations illustrated in traditional Chinese paintings as contemporary “city landscapes.” 

“Like the tall mountain cliffs and river landscapes of China, a pair of asymmetrical towers creates a dramatic skyline in front of the park,” described MAD. “Ridges and valleys define the shape of the exterior glass facade, as if the natural forces of erosion wore down the tower into a few thin lines.” 

Farmhouse Renovation / Buero Philipp Moeller

01:00 - 28 April, 2014
Farmhouse Renovation / Buero Philipp Moeller , © Benjamin A. Monn
© Benjamin A. Monn

© Benjamin A. Monn © Benjamin A. Monn © Benjamin A. Monn © Benjamin A. Monn +39

  • Architects

  • Location

    Moorenweis, Germany
  • Architects in Charge

    Philipp Moeller, Spandri / Wiedemann, Elia Spandri
  • Area

    388.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

Rehabilitación de Edifico en la Calle Cervantes / Antonio Altarriba

01:00 - 27 April, 2014
Rehabilitación de Edifico en la Calle Cervantes / Antonio Altarriba, © Diego Opazo
© Diego Opazo

© Diego Opazo © Diego Opazo © Diego Opazo © Diego Opazo +17

  • Architects

  • Location

    Calle Cervantes, 06330 Valencia, Badajoz, Spain
  • Area

    391.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

Casa Lomas II / Paola Calzada Arquitectos

01:00 - 27 April, 2014
Casa Lomas II / Paola Calzada Arquitectos, © Jaime Navarro Soto
© Jaime Navarro Soto

© Jaime Navarro Soto  © Jaime Navarro Soto  © Jaime Navarro Soto  © Jaime Navarro Soto  +44

"Lebbeus Woods - Architect" Returns to NYC

00:00 - 27 April, 2014
"Lebbeus Woods - Architect" Returns to NYC, Unified Urban Field. Image Courtesy of Estate of Lebbeus Woods
Unified Urban Field. Image Courtesy of Estate of Lebbeus Woods

This summer, the drawings, theories and works of architect Lebbeus Woods are headed to the city that Lebbeus considered home. After a five-month stay at SFMOMA, the exhibit "Lebbeus Woods - Architect" will be at the Drawing Center in SoHo, Manhattan until mid-June. The following story and overview of the exhibition, by Samuel Medina, originally appeared at Metropolis Magazine as “Coming Home".

It’s all too biblical an irony that Lebbeus Woods—architect of war, catastrophe, and apocalyptic doom—died as strong winds, rain, and waves barreled down on Manhattan, his home for some 40-odd years. Woods passed the morning after Hurricane Sandy flooded Lower Manhattan, almost as if the prophet had succumbed to one of his turbulent visions. But this apocryphal reading is just one way to view Woods’s work, which, as often as it was concerned with annihilation, always dared to build in the bleakest of circumstances.

STM School of Technology and Management / MONTENEGRO Architects

01:00 - 27 April, 2014
STM School of Technology and Management / MONTENEGRO Architects , © FG+SG Fotografia de Arquitectura
© FG+SG Fotografia de Arquitectura

© FG+SG Fotografia de Arquitectura © FG+SG Fotografia de Arquitectura © FG+SG Fotografia de Arquitectura © FG+SG Fotografia de Arquitectura +75

VIDEO: Paris in Motion

00:00 - 27 April, 2014

In this four-part, stop-motion series, Mayeul Akpovi presents a new perspective on the City of Lights. Filmed with manual camera movements and composed of more than 30,000 photographs, the videos enable a unique, otherwise-unattainable experience of Paris’ sleepless urban spaces by ceaselessly attenuating the passage of time. 

Watch part one (above), and continue after the break for the remaining series...

Tele2 Arena / White arkitekter

01:00 - 27 April, 2014
© Åke E:son Lindman
© Åke E:son Lindman

© Åke E:son Lindman © Åke E:son Lindman © Åke E:son Lindman © Åke E:son Lindman +21

"Death in Venice" to Showcase Architecture's Relationship with Mortality

00:00 - 27 April, 2014
"Death in Venice" to Showcase Architecture's Relationship with Mortality, Death in Venice will focus partially on the changing design of hospitals, places that many people die in every year. Image Courtesy of The Wellcome Library
Death in Venice will focus partially on the changing design of hospitals, places that many people die in every year. Image Courtesy of The Wellcome Library

This year’s Venice Architecture Biennale focuses on the fundamentals of architecture, and the theme of "absorbing modernity." Official exhibitions will highlight the basics of modern building, but one exhibition (unaffiliated with the official biennale) will take a unique approach to the term. Architects Alison Killing and Ania Molenda will devote their installation to the most fundamental quality of all: death.

Titled Death in Venice, this presentation will focus on how architecture has facilitated the act of dying during the past 100 years. All of the funding for the exhibition materials has been provided by the Fund for Creative Industries NL, but to transport the show to Venice, Killing and Molenda have started a Kickstarter campaign.

Brooklin House / Galeria Arquitetos

01:00 - 27 April, 2014
Brooklin House / Galeria Arquitetos, © Pedro Kok
© Pedro Kok

© Pedro Kok © Pedro Kok © Pedro Kok © Pedro Kok +16

  • Architects

  • Location

    São Paulo, Brazil
  • Architect in Charge

    Fernanda Costa Neiva
  • Collaboration

    Julia Pinheiro Ribeiro
  • Area

    166.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2008
  • Photographs

Tammo Prinz Architects Propose Platonian Tower in Lima

01:00 - 27 April, 2014
Tammo Prinz Architects Propose Platonian Tower in Lima, © Tammo Prinz Architects
© Tammo Prinz Architects

Tammo Prinz's competition entry for a new residential tower in Lima, Peru, proposes the use of platonian bodies to generate dramatic interior and exterior spaces.

The concrete dodekaeder structure drives the form of the design whilst smaller cubic shapes are strategically placed within this to generate spaces for everyday living. The relationship between these two spatial qualities, of interior and exterior, reveals a series of unique spaces that can be used as an extension of the interior, or as a balcony-like outdoors area. 

The Story of Maggie's Centres: How 17 Architects Came to Tackle Cancer Care

01:00 - 27 April, 2014
The Story of Maggie's Centres: How 17 Architects Came to Tackle Cancer Care, Dundee, Scotland, 2003 by Frank Gehry / Courtesy of Maggie's Centres. ImageThe third center was designed by Frank Gehry, a close friend of Maggie's. “Frank gave us so much publicity, and allowed us to raise the money,” Jencks says. Each center is self-financed through donations.
Dundee, Scotland, 2003 by Frank Gehry / Courtesy of Maggie's Centres. ImageThe third center was designed by Frank Gehry, a close friend of Maggie's. “Frank gave us so much publicity, and allowed us to raise the money,” Jencks says. Each center is self-financed through donations.

Maggie's Centres are the legacy of Margaret Keswick Jencks, a terminally ill woman who had the notion that cancer treatment environments and their results could be drastically improved through good design. Her vision was realized and continues to be realized today by numerous architects, including Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, and Snøhetta - just to name a few. Originally appearing in Metropolis Magazine as Living with Cancer,” this article by Samuel Medina features images of Maggie's Centres around the world, taking a closer look at the organization's roots and its continued success through the aid of architects.

It was May 1993, and writer and designer Margaret Keswick Jencks sat in a windowless corridor of a small Scottish hospital, dreading what would come next. The prognosis was bad—her cancer had returned—but the waiting, and the waiting room, were draining. Over the next two years until her death, she returned several times for chemo drips. In such neglected, thoughtless spaces, she wrote, patients like herself were left to “wilt” under the desiccating glare of fluorescent lights.

Wouldn’t it be better to have a private, light-filled space in which to await the results of the next bout of tests, or from which to contemplate, in silence, the findings? If architecture could demoralize patients—could “contribute to extreme and mental enervation,” as Keswick Jencks observed—could it not also prove restorative?

Highlands, Scotland, 2005 by Page\Park Architects / Courtesy of Page\Park Architects. ImageA collaboration between Page\Park and Charles Jencks, Maggie's Centre Inverness at Highlands weaves together building and landscape in a unified composition. The design invokes the formal properties of mitosis or cell division; scaled up, they are manifested in the swirling landscape mounds and the center's spiraling form. "The cell is the unit of life: dynamic, really exciting, a factory of life itself, and I thought it was time to celebrate the cell," Jencks has said in the past. Fife, Scotland, 2006 by Zaha Hadid Architects / © Werner Huthmacher. ImageAll sharp angles and painted a sinister black, Zaha Hadid's Fife center isn't the first thing you'd expect from a Maggie's Centre. The exterior invited comparisons to a bunker, despite the airy, humane spaces within. "Zaha got a lot of criticism and her building is bloody good," Jencks says of his former student's design. The building was the architect's first in the UK. Manchester, England, 2016 by Fosters + Partners / Courtesy of Fosters + Partners. ImageThe next center is set to open in Manchester, where Norman Foster was born and raised. “Norman came to us, and I was waiting because he is an old friend of mine,” Jencks says. “He had cancer, and because of his own experiences, he was really interested in doing this. He’s got everything he’s ever wanted in this building.” Aberdeen, Scotland, 2013 by Snøhetta / © Philip Vile . ImageThe center's cocoon-like shell packs a big, Niemeyer-esque punch despite its modest proportions. The interiors, however, reveal a Scandinavian influence, with extensive timber coverings and exquisite stone accents. The building has been nicknamed "the Pebble" by locals. +11

HASSELL, COX Architecture, HKS To Design Australia’s Largest Sporting Precinct

00:00 - 26 April, 2014
HASSELL, COX Architecture, HKS To Design Australia’s Largest Sporting Precinct, Burswood Peninsula Master Plan. Image Courtesy of Government of Western Australia
Burswood Peninsula Master Plan. Image Courtesy of Government of Western Australia

The West Australian government has confirmed, HASSELL, COX Architecture and HKS will collaborate to design Australia’s largest ever stadium project. The $900million project will see Perth’s Burswood Peninsula transformed into a world-class sporting precinct by 2018. Included in the master plan is a new stadium that will hold some 60,000 spectators, a public tennis facility, significant transport infrastructure upgrades, such as a new train and bus station, and large public parklands. As negotiations continue between the firms and the West Australian Government, we should expect to see detailed drawings of the scheme by at least July with construction expected to begin by the end of this year.

Culturehouse in Arnhem / Neutelings Riedijk Architects

01:00 - 26 April, 2014
© Scagliola, Brakkee © Neutelings Riedijk Architects
© Scagliola, Brakkee © Neutelings Riedijk Architects

© Scagliola, Brakkee © Neutelings Riedijk Architects © Scagliola, Brakkee © Neutelings Riedijk Architects © Scagliola, Brakkee © Neutelings Riedijk Architects © Scagliola, Brakkee © Neutelings Riedijk Architects +26

Venice Biennale 2014: Paraguay to Submit Tensile Water Structure

00:00 - 26 April, 2014
Venice Biennale 2014: Paraguay to Submit Tensile Water Structure, Courtesy of Javier Corvalan + Colectivo Aqua Alta
Courtesy of Javier Corvalan + Colectivo Aqua Alta

Paraguay means “water that flows toward the sea” in the language of the country’s indigenous Guarani people. It is no surprise, then, that Paraguay’s entry for the 2014 Venice Biennale uses water as the primary structural member. Titled “Aqua Alta,” the Paraguayan pavilion responds to the Biennale’s focus on modern fundamentals by stating that modern architecture must achieve more with less.