Seeing the Building for the Trees by Sarah Williams Goldhagen

Metropol Parasol © Javier Orive

This article, recently seen on The New York Times, was kindly shared with us by the author Sarah Williams Goldhagen.

A REVOLUTION in cognitive neuroscience is changing the kinds of experiments that scientists conduct, the kinds of questions economists ask and, increasingly, the ways that architects, landscape architects and urban designers shape our built environment.

This revolution reveals that thought is less transparent to the thinker than it appears and that the mind is less rational than we believe and more associative than we know. Many of the associations we make emerge from the fact that we live inside bodies, in a concrete world, and we tend to think in metaphors grounded in that embodiment.

Video: Memory Museum / Estudio America, by Cristobal Palma

Photographer Cristobal Palma shared with us a dynamic view of the Memory Museum in Santiago, Chile, by Brazilian firm .

More about the museum here.

More videos by  at ArchDaily:

Courtesy of ZAPS

National and University Library NUK II Competition

The Chamber of Architecture and spatial planning of Slovenia (ZAPS) is currently putting on a competition for public, project, open, anonymous, single-stage, architectural design for the selection of the most appropriate expert solution for the structure and external arrangement of…

Extension Of A Barn / PPA

© Philippe Ruault

Architects: PPA
Location: ,
Area: 70 sqm
Year: 2010
Photographs: Philippe Ruault

Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics, Brown University / Architecture Research Office

Courtesy Michael Moran

Architects: Architecture Research Office (ARO)
Location: Providence, , USA
Project Team: Stephen Cassell, Principal; Kim Yao, Associate/Principal; Neil Patel, Project Manager; Gustavo Colmenares
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 18,100 sqf (GSF)
Photographs: Michael Moran

Sea Tree / Waterstudio.NL

© Architect Koen Olthuis of

As a response to urban density, Waterstudio.NL has created a floating Sea Tree that would restore environmental value in crowded metropolises.  The Sea Tree, a multilayered tower-esque structure, would inhabit the harbors and rivers surrounding major cities, such as , as a way to provide an opportunity for flora and fauna even when land is sparse.

More about the Sea Tree after the break.

Courtesy of Guillaume Sardin

Bumbogo Project / Guillaume Sardin

Africa is currently building its urban culture, in a global context of clusterized cities, of insularized space. Urbanism shouldn’t be just about numbers. Although Africa is currently strongly lacking infrastructure, its needs cannot always be quantified. Urbanism should reflect culture,…

Poly Prep Lower School / Platt Byard Dovell White Architects

© Jonathan Wallen

Architects: Platt Byard Dovell White Architects
Location: 50 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, New York,
Cost: $20 million
Completed: 2007
Client: Poly Prep Country Day School
Landmark Status: Park Slope Historic District
Original Architect: Montrose Morris, Romanesque Revival Hulbert Mansion
Project Team: Samuel G. White, FAIA, Design Principal; Serena Losonczy, Project Manager; Matthew Mueller, Job Captain; Leonard Leung; Marie Marberg; Charles Melansen; Tomo Tsujita; Julie Janiski, LEED AP
Photographs: Jonathan Wallen

Transit Oriented City – Dongtan Central Business Master Plan / Ojanen Chiou Architects + SWA Group

Courtesy of + SWA Group

Designed by SWA Group with Ojanen Chiou Architects LLP, the 157 hectare Dongtan Central Business Master Plan is at the heart of Dongtan City: a new urban center located just 30 km south of in South Korea. The development zone is situated on a former agricultural plain that had been taken over by various industrial uses. Bounded by a river to the west and mountainous terrain to the east, this zone is bisected by a major transportation corridor connecting with the southern reaches of the country. At the core of the development is a transit center that will accommodate high-speed and metropolitan rail stations connecting with a bi-modal (bus + tram) transit system, and long-distance and city buses, establishing Dongtan City as a major regional transit hub. More images and architects’ description after the break.

The Avenue / Sheppard Robson

© Hufton+Crow

Architect: Sheppard Robson
Location: ,
Project Manager: Gardiner & Theobald
Structural Engineer: Capita Symonds
M&E Engineer: Grontmij
Quantity Surveyor: Mooney Kelly
Main Contractor: Lend Lease
Client: Allied London Properties
Project Area: 5,000 sqm
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Hufton+Crow

Forumtorget / White Architects

Courtesy of White Architects

White Architects was recently named the winner of the competition for the Forumtorget project in , . The proposal, with its subdued paving, expressive sofa and generous plateau, is powerful, substantive and empathetic. Here, the people of have a natural meeting place and an open breathing space within the built-up business district. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Buildings A, B and D / Pearce Brinkley Cease + Lee

© JWest Productions

Architects: Pearce Brinkley Cease + Lee
Location: Raleigh, ,
Client: Wake Technical Community College, Northern Wake Campus
Project Team: Jeffrey Lee, Douglas Brinkley, Marni Rushing, David Hill, Matt Bitterman
Size: 209,570 SF
Photographs: JWest Productions, Tom Arban

Family House In Kraluv Dvur / OV-A

© Tomas Soucek

Architects: OV-A
Location: , Czech Republic
Head Architects: Jiri Opocensky, Stepan Valouch
Structural Engineering: Jan Pohl
Completion: 2009
Site area: 1212 sqm
Built area: 225 sqm
Total floor area: 188 sqm
Photographs: Tomas Soucek

Learning from Ricardo: an unpublished recent talk with Ricardo and Victor Legorreta by Carlo Ezechieli

San Antonio Library, Texas / Photo by John W. Schulze via flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/gruenemann/

In memory of Ricardo Legorreta (May 7, 1931 – December 30, 2011), Carlo Ezechieli (Ph.D., Adjunct Professor of Architecture Politecnico di Milano, Principal of CE-A Architects) has shared with us his story of discovering Ricardo Legorreta’s work and his recent interview with Ricardo and his son, Victor Legorreta.

The first time I came in contact with Ricardo Legorreta’s work, was back in 1998. Of course I was familiar with his name, particularly due to Kenneth Frampton’s “Critical Regionalism” writings, but I actually did not know much about his architecture. One day I happened to visit the Camino Real Hotel in D.F. which, according to my hosts, it was something that had to be seen, although none of us was really knew what architect had designed it. I was totally amazed. The entrance, an extraordinary space, was filled up by the sound and movement of an unconventional fountain that resembled the ocean waves. The interior was a huge, astounding introverted and essential translation of Pre-Hispanic monumental spaces. I was surprised to learn, later on, that this very contemporary building dated back to 1968 and was completed when Legorreta was not even 40.

I did not have many chances to meet Ricardo privately, nevertheless I believe that the few meetings we had, were sufficient to learn something really important from him in terms of ethics, approach to work and, eventually, attitude towards life in general. Ricardo Legorreta was the author of incredible works and was a great innovator exactly because he was able to move and orient himself, with complete freedom, within the coordinates of a culture and a tradition that he knew deeply and to which he felt he belonged totally. He did this always avoiding “architect’s” bizarre and unneeded brain-waves and remembering “not to take oneself too seriously”. A set of values, too often forgotten, that emerge from his narration in this interview and which finds full continuity in his son Victor. His death, last December 30, leaves a deep sense of sorrow and loss.

Continue reading for Ezechieli’s exclusive interview with Ricardo and Victor Legorreta. 

See Through Townhouses / Suzane Reatig Architecture

© Robert Lautman & Suzane Reatig

Architects: Suzane Reatig Architecture 
Location: 506 O Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Year Completed: 2006
Photographs: Robert Lautman & Suzane Reatig

   

Tanum Karl Johan Bookstore / JVA

Courtesy of JVA

Architects: JVA
Location: Karl Johans gate, ,
Client: Tanum AS
Size: Bookstore ca. 750 sqm, Offices ca. 225 sqm
Completion: 2011
Consultants: RISS AS, Linda Knoph Vigsnæs/LYSSTOFF
Primary architects: Einar Jarmund, Håkon Vigsnæs, Alessandra Kosberg, Siv Hofsøy, Ane Sønderaal Tolfsen, Paul Henri-Hann, Jens Herman Næss
Photographs: Courtesy of JVA

   

Kimball Art Center Shortlist

Proposal - Courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group

In 1976, art enthusiast Bill Kimball transformed the 1929 Kimball Bros automotive garage into a non-profit community center for the visual arts, now known as the Kimball Art Center. Located in the heart of downtown Park City, , the non-profit center serves as a gathering place for individuals to experience art through education, exhibitions and events. The aging historic building is in need of restoration and an addition that will allow the organization to increase their educational outreach and enhance the quality and scale of the exhibitions, while maintaining free admission to the public.

BIG, Brooks + Scarpa, Sparano + Mooney Architecture, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects, and Will Bruder + Partners LTD are the five architects selected to submit final proposals for the transformation of the Kimball Art Center.

Continue after the break to watch each firm’s introductory presentation.

Mine Plug: Didactic Subterranean Architecture

© Brandon Mosley

The Mine Plug proposal, by recent Louisiana Tech graduate Brandon Mosley, explores an innovative technique for appropriating a now defunct mine shaft in the once thriving city of Picher, Oklahoma. The city which peaked at a population of almost 20,000 during the mining boom of the 1900’s, has since suffered the inevitable after effects of such environmentally destructive activities. Designated as a superfund site in 1981 by the EPA, the state of Oklahoma began offering buyouts for residents to relocate in 2005. The remnants from years of lead and zinc mining have left mountains of waste called “chat” on the peripheries of the town, as well as contaminated water and over 14,000 underground voids that threaten the stability of the town above. Read more after the break.