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Surface Mag Interviews Liz Diller on Architecture, Art, and Early "Aha" Moments

01:00 - 20 November, 2014
Surface Mag Interviews Liz Diller on Architecture, Art, and Early "Aha" Moments, © Ungano + Agriodima
© Ungano + Agriodima

Below is an excerpt of the cover story of this month’s Surface magazine: an in-depth interview with Elizabeth Diller, published online for the first time here on ArchDaily.

The 35-year career of Elizabeth Diller, a founding partner of the New York–based architecture studio Diller Scofidio + Renfro, is a study of contrasts: conceptual and pragmatic, temporary and permanent, iconoclastic and institutional. After graduating from Cooper Union in 1979, Diller started her practice mounting temporary installations with her partner and future husband, Ricardo Scofidio, their interests leaning closer to art and theory than conventional buildings and construction. Today the duo—along with Charles Renfro, who became a partner in 2004—is responsible for some of the most important architectural projects in the country. DS+R counts Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art (completed in 2006) and a makeover of New York’s Lincoln Center (finalized in 2012) among its highest-profile works. Especially influential, at least among architects and academics, has been the firm’s unbuilt Slow House (1991), a proposal for a residence on Long Island, New York, renowned for its examination of how we see in a media-saturated world. 

One notices sharp contrasts not just in the firm’s work history but in its public reception as well. Widely lauded for repurposing a dilapidated elevated railway into New York City’s beloved High Line park (the third phase opened in September), DS+R received heavy criticism this year for its involvement in a major expansion proposal for the Museum of Modern Art. The museum’s plans included the demolition of its little-guy neighbor, the American Folk Art Museum; despite efforts to work the idiosyncratic building into the design scheme, Diller’s studio, hired to lead the expansion, ultimately acknowledged that the structure couldn’t be saved.

Surface recently met with Diller at her office in Manhattan to speak about the ensuing controversy, as well as early career experiences that have influenced her firm’s recent commissions for cultural institutions, including the current exhibition “Musings on a Glass Box” at the Cartier Foundation in Paris (through Feb. 25, 2015), a collaboration with composer David Lang and sound designer Jody Elff. Diller, 60, is pensive and surprisingly relaxed for someone whose aides are constantly interrupting her to remind her of meetings she has to attend. She speaks with an erudite inflection befitting her academic credentials and professional accolades (she is, after all, a professor at Princeton and a MacArthur “genius grant” recipient), though she smiles with the ease of an affable neighbor.

Single Family House with Garden / DTR_Studio Arquitectos

01:00 - 20 November, 2014
Single Family House with Garden / DTR_Studio Arquitectos, © Javier Callejas
© Javier Callejas

© Javier Callejas © Javier Callejas © Javier Callejas © Javier Callejas + 18

  • Architects

  • Location

    Granada, Spain
  • Architect in Charge

    Jose Miguel Vázquez , Jose María Olmedo
  • Architects Collaborators

    Claudia Gutierrez, Alba Márquez
  • Area

    287.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

Bosco Verticale: The World's "Most Beautiful and Innovative Highrise"

00:00 - 20 November, 2014
Bosco Verticale: The World's "Most Beautiful and Innovative Highrise", Bosco Verticale, Milan / Boeri Studio. Image © Kirsten Bucher
Bosco Verticale, Milan / Boeri Studio. Image © Kirsten Bucher

Bosco Verticale by Boeri Studio has won the 2014 International Highrise Award, deeming it to be the “most beautiful and innovative highrise in the world." Selected from a competitive shortlist of towers by Rem Koolhass, Steven Holl and Jean Nouvel, the forested highrise was praised by the jury for bringing 800 trees and 14 thousand plants to the Milan skyline.

“The Vertical Forest is an expression of the human need for contact with nature,” stated jury president Christoph Ingenhoven. “It is a radical and daring idea for the cities of tomorrow, and without a doubt represents a model for the development of densely populated urban areas in other European countries.”

Her Majesty’s Pleasure / +tongtong

01:00 - 20 November, 2014
Her Majesty’s Pleasure / +tongtong, © Lisa Petrole
© Lisa Petrole

© Lisa Petrole © Lisa Petrole © Lisa Petrole © Lisa Petrole + 19

  • Architects

  • Location

    Toronto, ON, Canada
  • Architect in Charge

    John Tong
  • Area

    3000.0 sqm
  • Photographs

Noa Restaurant / Kamp Arhitektid

01:00 - 20 November, 2014
Noa Restaurant / Kamp Arhitektid, © Terje Ugandi
© Terje Ugandi

© Terje Ugandi © Terje Ugandi © Terje Ugandi © Terje Ugandi + 18

  • Architects

  • Location

    Tallinn, Estonia
  • Architect in Charge

    Peeter Loo, Jan Skolimowski, Kaspar Kruuse
  • Interior design

    PINK OÜ
  • Area

    544.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

Three OMA-Designed "Park Grove" Towers to Rise in Miami

01:00 - 20 November, 2014
© Bloom
© Bloom

OMA is set to realize their first commercial residential project in the US: Park Grove. Planned to rise alongside the Biscayne Bay in Miami’s Coconut Grove, in close proximity to BIG’s “Grove” residences at Grand Bay, the three-tower luxury residential project will be the last building allotted for the “walkable” Floridan neighborhood. 

© Craft © Hayes Davidson © Hayes Davidson © Bloom + 13

Chamber of Industry and Commerce / Wulf Architekten

01:00 - 20 November, 2014
Chamber of Industry and Commerce / Wulf Architekten, © Brigida González
© Brigida González

© Brigida González © Brigida González © Brigida González © Brigida González + 18

  • Architects

  • Location

    Jaeger Street 30, 70174 Stuttgart, Germany
  • Architect in Charge

    Prof. Tobias Wulf, Kai Bierich, Alexander Vohl, Stuttgart
  • Area

    16670.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

Hadid, Gehry, and Others Fight to Save Helmut Richter's Modernist Masterpiece

00:00 - 20 November, 2014
Hadid, Gehry, and Others Fight to Save Helmut Richter's Modernist Masterpiece, Science Secondary School in Kinkplatz, Vienna, Exterior. Image © Manfred Seidl
Science Secondary School in Kinkplatz, Vienna, Exterior. Image © Manfred Seidl

The Science Secondary School in Kinkplatz, Vienna is the work of late Modernist architect Helmut Richter. Considered to be his most iconic and enduring work, Richter’s school is now faced with partial demolition to make way for a conversion of the building’s use and architects from around the world are making an effort to prevent that demolition from happening. Influential individuals, from Zaha Hadid to Bernard Tschumi, have signed a petition voicing their dissent and demanding that Richter’s legacy be protected. See the details, and sign the petition, after the break.

Riverview House / Bennett and Trimble

01:00 - 20 November, 2014
Riverview House  / Bennett and Trimble, © Peter Bennetts
© Peter Bennetts

© Peter Bennetts © Peter Bennetts © Peter Bennetts © Peter Bennetts + 24

  • Architects

  • Location

    Riverview, Australia
  • Architects in Charge

    Marcus Trimble, Matthew Bennett
  • Collaborator

    Erin Field
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

Photography Studio / FT Architects

01:00 - 20 November, 2014
Photography Studio / FT Architects, © Shigeo Ogawa
© Shigeo Ogawa

© Shigeo Ogawa © Shigeo Ogawa © Shigeo Ogawa © Shigeo Ogawa + 18

  • Architects

  • Location

    Kanagawa, Japan
  • Architect in Charge

    Katsuya Fukushima, Hiroko Tominaga
  • Work Title

    Light Sheds
  • Area

    33.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

2014 World Bamboo Design Competition

01:00 - 20 November, 2014
2014 World Bamboo Design Competition , Courtesy of WBDC 2014
Courtesy of WBDC 2014

Architects, students and designers worldwide are being summoned to propose innovative design solutions centered around bamboo that explores the material's future potential. The competition, organized by World Bamboo and Damyang-Gun, hopes to “discover fresh ideas related to domestic and foreign industrialization of bamboo.” Architecture is one of three divisions in the competition. Winners will receive up to $10,000 in awards. Submissions are due November 30, 2014. You can learn more about the 2014 World Bamboo Design Competition, here

Will The Traditional Museum Survive?

00:00 - 20 November, 2014
Will The Traditional Museum Survive?, Caruso St. John's Remodelling of the Tate Britain (London, 2014). Image © Helene Binet
Caruso St. John's Remodelling of the Tate Britain (London, 2014). Image © Helene Binet

The question of whether the traditional museum survive in the digital age has been bounced around since the dawn of digital art and archiving. In an article for The Independent, Christopher Beanland examines the issue of a global "museum boom" (especially in China where a new one opens every day), and how this is having an undoubtedly positive impact on people's quality of life. For Beanland, it's curious that "we don't splash out on council houses or universities or hospitals any more – but we do build museums and galleries." Perhaps it's because they are "a reliquary for our collective memories" and "a triumph of our collective will" or, in most cases, because they employ excellent PR and branding strategies. He notes that "despite being swamped by possessions, we've changed our views towards those things. In the second half of the 20th century, people defined themselves by what they had. But today people increasingly define themselves by what they do."

Emerging Objects Invents Earthquake-Proof 3D Printed Column

00:00 - 19 November, 2014
Emerging Objects Invents Earthquake-Proof 3D Printed Column, Courtesy of Emerging Objects
Courtesy of Emerging Objects

A team of California-based designers have invented an earthquake-proof column built of 3D printed sand, assembled without bricks and mortar to withstand the harshest seismic activity. The 'Quake Column' is comprised of a pre-determined formation of stackable hollow bricks which combine to create a twisting structure, optimized for intense vibrations in zones of earthquake activity. Created by design firm Emerging Objects, the column's sand-based composition is one of many in a series of experimental structures devised by the team using new materials for 3D Printing, including salt, nylon, and chocolate. The column can be easily assembled and disassembled for use in temporary and permanent structures, and was designed purposefully with a simple assembly procedure for novice builders.

Find out how the Quake Column works after the break

Creativity within Clear Frames / White arkitekter

01:00 - 19 November, 2014
Creativity within Clear Frames / White arkitekter, © Ivan Brodey
© Ivan Brodey

© Ivan Brodey © Ivan Brodey © Ivan Brodey © Ivan Brodey + 26

  • Architects

  • Location

    Oslo, Norway
  • Design Team

    Thomas Landenberg, Karin Jakobsson, Karin Sjödin, Jeroen Matthijssen, Lars Zackrisson, Christian Wahlström, Lena Osvalds, Mikaela Åström Forsgren, Daniel Hultman
  • Area

    7200.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

October ABI Reveals Decrease in Demand for Design Services

01:00 - 19 November, 2014
October ABI Reveals Decrease in Demand for Design Services , October ABI. Image via CalculatedRiskBlog.com
October ABI. Image via CalculatedRiskBlog.com

Demand for design services in the US has slowed. According to the latest Architecture Billings Index (ABI) reported by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the October ABI score was 53.7, down from a mark of 55.2 in September, and the new projects inquiry index fell to 62.7. Despite this, the demand is still considered “healthy” with the South showing the strongest regional conditions.

“Though it has been slow in emerging, we’re finally seeing some momentum develop in design activity for nonprofits and municipal governments, and as such we’re seeing a new round of activity in the institutional sector,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “It will be interesting to see if and how the results of the mid-term Congressional and gubernatorial elections impact this developing momentum.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.

Red Bull's New York Offices / INABA

01:00 - 19 November, 2014
Red Bull's New York Offices / INABA, © Greg Irikura
© Greg Irikura

© Greg Irikura © Naho Kubota © Greg Irikura © Naho Kubota + 23

  • Architects

  • Location

    New York, NY, United States
  • Architects in Charge

    Jeffrey Inaba, Ostap Rudakevych, Yoichiro Mizuno, Alan Kwan
  • Area

    16800.0 ft2
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

V+D SET / BAK arquitectos

01:00 - 19 November, 2014
V+D SET / BAK arquitectos, © Inés Tanoira
© Inés Tanoira

© Inés Tanoira © Inés Tanoira © Inés Tanoira © Inés Tanoira + 26

  • Architects

  • Location

    Mar Azul, Argentina
  • Design and Project Management

    María Victoria Besonías, Luciano Kruk
  • Collaborators

    Florencia Testa
  • Area

    414.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

House in Sayo / Den Nen Architecture

01:00 - 19 November, 2014
House in Sayo / Den Nen Architecture, © Eiji Tomita
© Eiji Tomita

© Eiji Tomita © Eiji Tomita © Eiji Tomita © Eiji Tomita + 17

  • Architects

  • Location

    Sayo, Japan
  • Architects in Charge

    Naohiro Sumi、Shuhei Morita
  • Area

    141.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs