A powerful and expressive design it itself, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin is still admired as a concrete, steel, and glass landmark today. Dedicated to culture and the fine arts, the building will be going through a major renovation, which will be overseen by British architect, David Chipperfield who has recently worked extensively in Berlin, finishing work on the war-ravaged Neues Museum on the Museum Island complex in 2009. The renovation will start in 2015 and last three years, during which time the museum will be closed. The building, completed in 1968, is Mies van der Rohe’s only work in Germany after World War II and is in need of thorough modernization after 40 years. Restoration of the glass facade, stone terrace and concrete and steel structure, along with new security and fire technology are included in the project.
A complementary and mutual beneficial partnership, Hong Kong and Shenzhen will join the globalization as an integrated image and get benefit. With intimate collaboration, the proposal for the Hong Kong-Shenzhen boundary control point by WAU Design will serve as a symbol of close communication. The scheme concept comes from “link”: many single units can be twisted into a solid and integrated form. This scheme, a twisted link, indicates multi-level and deep cooperation between Hong Kong and Shenzhen on economic, cultural, and multi-faceted levels. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Mecanoo architecten, in cooperation with local partner Cafer Bozkurt Architecture, shared with us their proposal, one of the competition’s three winning proposals, in an international design competition for Yenikapı Transfer Point and Archaeo-Park Area in Istanbul, Turkey. Yenikapı, ‘New Gate’, consists in a railroad and maritime transfer centre that connects Europe with Asia, as well as the inner city with the surrounding megapolis and the rest of the country. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Despite being awarded the 2011 Pritzker Prize, Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura has admitted difficulty in finding work. In a recent interview with El Mundo, the 59 year-old, Porto-based architect stated that he would prefer to work in his homeland, or even nearby in Spain, but the current economic crisis has him extending his search to other parts of Europe, mainly Italy and France.
Currently immersed in the worst crisis in recent history, Portugal became the third country within the 17-country eurozone in need of financial rescue to avoid bankruptcy, following Greece and Ireland. In February, the country’s unemployment rate reached new heights at 15 percent. Meanwhile, as Souto de Moura pointed out, Spain seems to be struggling even more with the possibility of becoming the fourth member of the eurozone in need of a bailout. Spain’s astonishing 23.6 percent unemployment rate has Bloomberg Businessweek referring to it as the greatest European country in danger. Continue reading for more.
Architects: Yalin Architectural Design – Ömer Selcuk Baz + Denge Architecture – Emine Didem Durakbasa
Location: Osmangazi, Bursa, Turkey
Design Consultant: Walter Stelzhammer
Collaborators: Structure, Probi Project; Mechanic, Öcen Project; Electric, Öneren Engineering
Client: Central Bank of Turkish Rupublic
Completion: December 2011
Total Construction Area: 5,500 sqm
Photographs: Cihan Pocan
Trahan Architects have proposed a 4.3 million square-foot mixed-use development in the historic city center of Zhengzhou, China – the capital and largest city of the Henan province, with a population of 8.6 million. The concept is part of a broad scale master plan for redeveloping Zhengzhou through ecological and infrastructure development. Continue after the break for more images and the project description.
The Beaty Biodiversity Center and the Aquatic Ecosystems Research Laboratory are located on Main Mall, the central north/south spine of the University of British Columbia. Together they form a complex of related environmental science functions; a new campus precinct organized around a generous exterior courtyard space which is bisected by new cross-campus pedestrian and bicycle connections.
The principal exhibition space of the museum located within the Beaty Biodiversity Center is a glass “lantern” featuring an enormous skeleton of a Blue Whale creating a public face for the complex towards the Mall. Follow the break for drawings and photographs.
Pedro E. Guerrero: Photographs of Modern Life at Woodbury University Hollywood Gallery (WUHO) is on view through April 25. The show is the first extensive exhibition on the West Coast of Guerrero’s career as an architectural photographer. Curated by Anthony Fontenot and Emily Bills, JSI director, Pedro E. Guerrero: Photographs of Modern Life will highlight the diversity of Guerrero’s subjects taken over seven decades. During that time, he captured the architecture of Marcel Breuer, Philip Johnson, Edward Durell Stone and Eero Saarinen. His wide ranging work included portraits of architects as well as commercial work for House & Garden, Vogue, the New York Times Magazine and Architectural Record. He is perhaps best known for his close relationship with Frank Lloyd Wright. The exhibition will feature Guerrero’s illuminating portraits of Wright, including twelve photographs of the architect’s hands demonstrating the difference between organic and conventional architecture at the Plaza Hotel in New York. Continue reading for more.
Amanda Burden has been making a big impact on the City. As Chair of the New York City Planning Commission and Director of the Department of City Planning, Ms. Burden’s efforts to revitalize New York have resulted in the preservation of the High Line, the creation of the East River Waterfront Esplanade, and the future development of Freshkills Park – a former landfill in Staten Island, to name a few. Both on an architectural and urban level, and also from a sustainability policy viewpoint, Ms. Burden’s years as Chair has effectively “raised the quality of design in our city and our expectations about design and city life.”
This week, Ms. Burden has been recognized by the Architectural League of New York and has been awarded their highest honor, the President’s Medal. Such an award is rightly deserved as Ms Burden’s impact on architecture and planning initiatives has shaped the public spaces that have grown to define New York. The President’s Medal is an honor that is awarded by peers from an organization that is independent of any professional or policy agenda, and with this recognition, Ms. Burden joins recent recipients such as Massimo and Lella Vignelli, Hugh Hardy, Richard Meier, Ada Louise Huxtable, Robert A.M. Stern, Kenneth Frampton, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, and Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown.
More about the award after the break.
Post-occupancy surveys and/or interviews are a common tool used in architecture to evaluate the success of buildings. They can be very useful and should be implemented as long as architects do not expect or claim too much from them. Much has been said of their benefits, but it is concerning to see some architects present them as some kind of scientific proof of a design’s success or failure. Although I am a strong advocate for post-occupancy surveys, I think a little pushback is necessary. A brief review of their methodological weaknesses should make any architect pause before claiming a survey has vindicated their ideas.