How to think about today’s architecture, captured in the pragmatic flows of changing society? Can architecture once more be captivating, romantic, humanistic, visionary, and everyday at the same time? It appears that today’s architecture is becoming increasingly complex and ambiguous, and thus increasingly manipulative. It is lost in the cloud of the everyday. But how can architecture be seen again in its elementary correlations, geometry, form, use? To be derived from the specific, idiosyncratic, everyday, and face the timeless, resistant level. How to find the vertical of the everyday? The everyday that makes sense only if it is reflected in the sublime.
More from exhibitor Metamak – Architectural Collective after the break.
Architects: gmp Architekten
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Design: Meinhard von Gerkan and Jürgen Hillmer
Design Team: Klaus Lenz, Sebastian Flatau, Ingo Beckmann, Kai Beckmann, Markus Carlsen, Christian Dahle, Henning Fritsch, Ben Joscha Grope, Markus Helmin, Matthias Holtschmidt, Silke Jessen, Eduard Kaiser, Raimund Kinski, Prisca Marschner, Rouven Oberdieck
Project Leaders Susanne: Winter, Reiner Schröder
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Marcus Bredt
Yes, it could begin this way, right here, just like that, in a rather slow and ponderous way, in this neutral place that belongs to all and to none, where people pass by almost without seeing each other, where the life of building regularly and distantly resounds. What happens behind the flats’ heavy doors can most often be perceived only through those fragmented echoes, those splinters, remnants, shadows, those first moves or incidents or accidents that happen in what are called “common areas,” soft little sounds damped by the red woolen carpet, embryos of communal life which never go further than the landing. The inhabitants of a single building live a few inches from each other, they are separated by a mere partition wall, they share the same spaces repeated along each corridor, they perform the same movements at the same times, turning on a tap, flushing the water closet, switching on a light, laying the table, a few dozen simultaneous existences repeated from storey to storey, from building to building, from street to street. They entrench themselves in their domestic dwelling space—since that is what it is called—and they would prefer nothing to emerge from it; but the little that they do let out…
- Georges Perec
The Ministry of Information and Culture of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, in collaboration and sponsorship with the Government of the United States of America and the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, has awarded AV62 Arquitectos first prize for the National Museum of Afghanistan Competition. The Spanish team was selected over 72 other design proposals from 31 countries.
A second and third prize winner, along with three honorable mentions, were also recognized at the awards ceremony in Kabul. More details after the break.
ARCHITECT Magazine has released their fourth annual ranking of the most “powerful, philanthropic, talented and profitable” architecture firms in the United States. Don’t be fooled, this doesn’t necessarily mean the biggest firms, as the survey uses the broadest possible criteria to allow practices, both small and large, the opportunity to compete and be recognized.
Firms are ranked by profitability, sustainability and design quality. For the first time this year, the survey included pro bono work and water modeling in response to the challenging realities of the economy, natural disasters and drought.
Additionally, the survey revealed that 66% of the firms reported an increase in their net revenue from 2010 to 2011. No surprise there, when considering the slow, overall improvement of the ABI (check out the latest ABI report here).
And now, the Top 50 US Firms are…
In collaboration with Veuve Clicquot, British-Japanese designer Keiichi Matsuda created multimedia sculpture ‘Prism’ in one of the V&A’s best kept secrets. The cupola at the top of the museum was transformed into a 47-panel geometrical construction feeding into London’s pool of readily available data. Anything from energy use at 10 Downing Street to a live route map of TFL’s transport network highlight the Internet’s force as the all encompassing source of information. Whilst Prism reflects the intricate networks of the virtual world, the cupola gives visitors a 360 degree view of real-time London.
From the architects:
The Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank was designed by Norman Foster in 1979. At the core of the project is the attempt to create a civic space, a piece of common ground for the city. Though the building’s design went through many variations – culminating in the final scheme, completed in 1985 – the common denominator throughout was a desire to create a public arena by lifting the building up to ensure a flow of pedestrian movement across the site. This covered space is lit naturally by an external “sunscoop”, which reflects sunlight down through the glazed “underbelly” of an atrium at the heart of the building. Through the medium of models, sketches, drawings, and photographs, this exhibition shows the evolution of the design of the space and the tower that defines it.
Designed by Space Group + Superunion Architects, their winning proposal for Ruten competition reflects the city of Sandnes’ development and establishes Ruten as a natural center and Sandnes as a future city with strong roots and a proud local history. The proposal, titled ‘Lysning’, consists of a ring that connects and creates the new transport hub and public space below for an attractive unifying roof. As the Central Park in New York was built before the Manhattan grid was condensed around it, Ruten has remained as a buffer in the urban development in anticipation of something bigger. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Designed by MAD Architects… for the 2011 international competition for a new national museum in Beijing, their proposal aims at being a city-sized museum where the public space is the greatest good. Situated on the central axis of the 2008