Zaha Hadid’s recently-opened Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku caught fire today. Flames started in the ceiling and, according to the Emergency Situations Ministry and Azerbaijani Prosecutor General’s Office, were successfully prevented from spreading throughout the inner parts of the museum. Thankfully, no one has been hurt.
It hasn’t been long since the architecture world was sadden by a fire that caused extensive damage to Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation in Marseilles.
Architect: Sami Rintala
Landscape Architects: Eedo Space Architectural Design, Seúl, Republic of Korea
Location: Anyang Park, Anyang, Seúl, Republic of Korea
Materials: Steel, Wood, Concrete, Gravel, Glass
Construction: October-December 2005
Finish: January 2006
Constructed Area: 72sqm
Client: Anyang City / Public Art Project
Collaborators: John Roger Holte, Artist, Norway; Finnforest, Wood
Photography: Park Wan Soon, Emil Goh
There is no other comic saga more influenced by architecture than Batman. Gotham, and the fictional architects that built the city, have been main characters since the first plots. Writer and architect Jimmy Stamp describes in these essay the fascinating architectural references and metaphors that have filled Batman stories for the last 60 years.
Batman, Gotham City, and an Overzealous Architecture Historian With a Working Knowledge of Explosives
By Jimmy Stamp
New York, Dubai, Tokyo, Moscow, Gotham. Every city in every atlas—real and fictional— has a unique character shaped by history and geography. More than a mere sense of place derived from architecture and planning, cities have a feeling that pervades the consciousness of those who live there until themselves become a a piece of the urban fabric, a fractional embodiment of the city itself. Perhaps more than any other person—real or fictional—Batman is integrally linked to his city, the city he has sworn to protect. In every sense of the word, he is a true avatar of Gotham. And Gotham City itself is an avatar, not only of the dreams of its fictional architects, but of our collective urban paranoia.
Read the full post after the break
The Royal Institute of British Architecture (RIBA) has released the shortlist for this year’s Stirling Prize, the UK’s most prestigious architecture prize that is presented annually to the ‘building that has made the greatest contribution to the evolution of architecture in the past year’. This year’s six shortlisted projects range from seemingly simple yet highly innovative London Olympic Stadium to the thoughtful and intimate Maggie’s Cancer Centre in Glasgow. The winner will be announced in October at the RIBA Stirling Prize dinner.
Follow the break for the complete shortlist and more details about the RIBA Stirling Prize.
This year’s Venice Biennale will kick off on August 29th and run through November 25th and for the first time, the Institut Ramon Llull will be presenting an exhibition dedicated to Catalan and Balearic architecture entitled “Vogadors”, featuring nine projects from nine different architects that epitomize the contemporary and avant-garde works from the regions. The exhibition is inspired by the Mediterranean Sea, which is the main geographical feature of the regions, and by the words of Jorge Oteiza, “He who forges ahead creating something new does so like an oarsman, moving forward but back-paddling, looking behind him, towards the past, towards what exists, so as to be able to reinvent its underpinnings.”
Follow us after the break to see the projects to be featured at the exhibit.
OMA announced today that they have been appointed as the masterplanners and lead architects of a mixed-use development in London. Morden Wharf, a 19 acre regeneration site on Greenwich Peninsula, will become a 2 million square foot “premier entertainment zone.”
Reinier de Graaf, the partner who will be leading the project with Ellen van Loon, said, “Our Vision for Morden Wharf adds value to an already impressive site through regeneration of existing buildings and infrastructure which will attract visitors and residents to the sites cultural, residential, leisure, and commercial offerings. We look forward to the development of an innovative proposal which will enhance Morden Wharf’s exceptional character.”
Check out OMA’s press release after the break…
To coincide with the London Festival of Architecture and the London 2012 Olympics, Gallery Libby Sellers is currently holding an exhibition entitled Games. The show laterally interprets its title and the theme of ‘play’ by focusing on chess, other games and their accessories, with pieces designed by Rolf Sachs, Aberrant Architecture and Studio Frith, among others. We interview Simon Hasan about his Slice chess set and Paul Kelley on his games table and try to understand why chess is such a perennial form of entertainment, whilst Libby Sellers herself takes us through the inspiration for the exhibition.
The June ABI has proven that we still have not been able to shake the weak activity of May - the score capped out at 45.9 from 45.8, marking the third month in negative territory. The market continues to show a drop in demand across all design services, in all regions. The poor conditions suggest upcoming weakness in spending on nonresidential construction projects, as each sector of construction shows negative growth commercial/industrial 46.9, institutional 46.0, and mixed practice 45.9. “The downturn in design activity that began in April and accelerated in May has continued into June, likely extending the weak market conditions we’ve seen in nonresidential building activity ,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “While not all firms are experiencing negative conditions, a large share is still coping with a sluggish and erratic marketplace.”
Sorry for such harsh news to start the work week – but if it is any consolation, there’s always next month….and, the Olympics begin Friday.
This summer, New York artist Kurt Perschke brought his celebrated art project RedBall to the UK. Co-produced by Torbay Council and The Dartington Hall Trust, it arrived on the streets of the English Riviera in Torbay in June before touring to Plymouth, Exeter, Weymouth & Portland and London, finishing the tour at Dartington Hall and popping up in a total of 20 sites. The project engaged thousands of people on its tour of alleyways, underpasses, high streets, town squares, heritage sites and bridge arches across the country. Alongside the tour, the RedBall UK education project worked with hundreds of young people and staff in 5 schools to raise the aspirations and achievements of Year 6 pupils. Text Courtesy of Danny Cooke. For more information on RedBall UK, please visit here.
Raimund Abraham (1933-2010), who would have turned 79 today, was far from your typical architect. A striking figure – usually sporting a black fedora, thick moustache, and cigar – Abraham was a radical thinker who believed passionately in the sacred importance of architecture.
For Abraham, architecture existed just as legitimately in the mind as on the ground; as he put it: “I don’t need a building to validate my ideas.” In fact, many of his visionary drawings were exhibited as art, including in the MOMA. Although most of his designs were never actually built, those that were gained critical acclaim.
He was best known for the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York City, a 24-story, “guillotine-like” building curiously squeezed onto a plot only 25 feet wide. Architectural historian Kenneth Frampton called it “the most significant modern piece of architecture to be realized in Manhattan since the Seagram Building and the Guggenheim Musuem of 1959.”
To celebrate this great mind, we present you his final work, Musikerhaus (House for Music or Musician’s House), as photographed by Thomas Mayer. The House, a former NATO missile base turned artists’ residence/exhibition gallery (you can see the latest exhibition “The Reality of the Unbuilt” in the photos below), will be completed next year.
More photos & quotes, after the break…
Architects: Bureau Alexander Brodsky
Location: Gorky Park, ул. Крымский Вал, 9, город Москва, Russia, 119049
Design Team: À. Brodsky, N. Korbut
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Yuri Palmin…
© Yuri Palmin