On the occasion of Wolf D. Prix’ 70th birthday, the Architekturforum Aedes in Berlin is devoting an exhibition to Coop Himmelb(l)au entitled “Wolf D. Prix & Partner: 7+ Projects, Models, Plans, Sketches, Statements”. The event began on December 12 and ends January 24. The event highlights 70 years, 7 projects, the 7 lives of an architect as the magical number 7 has been integrated into the exhibition concept in a variety of ways. This show, which opened just one day before the 70th birthday of Coop Himmelb(l)au founder Wolf D. Prix, begins with a backward glance at the founding year of 1968 and the theoretical roots of this architectural partnership. For more information, please visit here.
As Europe recovered from the death and destruction of World War II, countries got back to the business of rebuilding their communities and, of course, their churches. The need to make sense of the madness of the War was palpable - as was the need to express this modern-day spirituality in a form that broke from the past and embraced this new world.
The result was a bevy of European churches that - although often misunderstood by practitioners - represent some of our best-preserved examples of Modernist architecture. Photographer Fabrice Fouillet made it his mission to photograph these beauties in a series he calls "Corpus Christi." You can see the images - as well as Fouillet's description of the work - after the break...
The average age of the population in Western societies is rising steadily, sometimes faster than the age the individuals actually feel. Senior citizens, who are often full of vitality, have diverse conceptions of life. These are met by increasingly differentiated alternatives offering residential environments suitable for the later years of life. The designation of corresponding building projects as 50+ solutions can however give rise to a clash between the strategy of the housing industry and the target group’s perception of itself. Although the elderly generally wish to live in their own four walls for as long as possible, they tend to avoid considering the various available options.
The New York Public Library has a plan to save millions of dollars, improve efficiency, and reverse the cutbacks that have been plaguing it. How? By sending little-used resources off-site (after all, most people use the library for its online resources these days), the Library will consolidate three libraries into one Mid-Manhattan branch, renovating the building with a streamlined, efficient design - courtesy of Foster + Partners - to create "the largest combined research and circulating library in the country."
It sounds like a wonderful, modern solution. Ms. Alda Louis Huxtable would beg to differ.
The former New York Times architecture critic and current critic for the Wall Street Journalhas come out swinging against the plan. First, she builds on the critique that others have made, that by moving volumes off-site (to New Jersey, or "Siberia, as she puts it) to make room for more modern amenities, the library will devalue its primary purpose (making resources readily accessible). To put it another way, as Scott Sherman did in his article for The Nation, it would turn the library into “a glorified internet café.” Then, Huxtable makes her own argument: that removing the current, intricate system of stacks would be an enormously complex, expensive, and hopelessly misguided structural challenge.
But, ultimately Ms. Huxtable’s argument comes down to the intrinsic architectural and cultural value of this Beaux Arts Masterpiece: “You don't "update" a masterpiece.”
More on the Ms. Huxtable incendiary critique of The New York Public Library’s Central Plan, after the break...
Designed for a marine based company, the design by ACID (Advanced Construction Information Development Co., Ltd) + AaL (Advance Architecture Lab) + Studio méta- creates an iconic architectural representation of their day to day business. The architects were interested in a frozen expression of twisting water and the idea of this movement with relation to the core business of their client. More images and architects’ description after the break.