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Architectural Criticism in the Age of Twitter / Paul Goldberger

Paul Goldberger © James Callanan
Paul Goldberger © James Callanan

There’s a saying that goes “Those who can’t do, teach.” But many could also claim: “Those who can’t do, critique.” Criticism, particularly Architecture Criticism, tends to get a bad rap for being subjective, impenetrable, and - ultimately - useless. But Paul Goldberger, a champion of the craft, would disagree.    

In his acceptance speech for the Vincent Scully Prize earlier this month, Goldberger, the long-time architecture critic for The New York Times and current contributor to Vanity Fair, suggests that Architectural Criticism isn’t just vital - but more important than ever before.

With the advent of visually-oriented social media like Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr, it’s never been easier for the architectural layman to observe, share, and consume architecture. However, in the midst of this hyper-flow of image intake, Goldberger argues, meaning gets lost. 

That’s where the critic comes in.

Guest House / doisamaisv arquitetos

  • Architects: doisamaisv arquitetos
  • Location: Araçoiaba da Serra, São Paulo, Brasil
  • Design Team: :Fabiana Cyon, Ana Paula de Castro, Vito Macchione Ferreira
  • Area: 3,400 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Fran Parente

© Fran Parente © Fran Parente © Fran Parente © Fran Parente

New Institute Building for FOM / J. Mayer H. Architects

Designed by J. Mayer H. Architects, the new, modern college seminar building for FOM Hochschule für Oekonomie & Management University of Applied Sciences gGmbH will include approximately 1,400 student seats, office units, underground parking and a spacious, green campus. The innovative building also features an extraordinary exterior façade with curved cantilevered balconies. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Update: Nasher Sculpture Center Controversy

© Tim Hursley
© Tim Hursley

As an update to the article we posted several months ago regarding the disputed ‘hot spot’ in Dallas between Renzo Piano‘s Nasher Sculpture Center and the adjacent residential tower, the controversy is still a hot issue. The reflection caused by the sculpture center is still something they have not been able to solve. Any solution will be costly and difficult. The Nasher people have recommended louvers covering the tower’s south face. The tower people say that this will require a computer-generated engine for every window, about two years to study, even more time to install. And it may not work. More information after the break.

Market Square Cover Competition Entry / Michael Labory & Bertrand Schippan

Designed for the market square cover competition, the ‘flying carpet’ proposal by Michael Labory & Bertrand Schippan is a modular and sustainable cover with the goal for the efficient arrangement of the functional facilities. This is attained by putting them along the site border thus maximizing the space to be used for market. They revive the dull facade of the neighboring building by bringing the volume of the facilities into the shape of its skyline. Among all other things, it contributes to the increase in urban density as windowless facade becomes a part of lively market place. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Confederación Hidrográfica del Miño-Sil Office Building Proposal / VAUMM + Taperstudio

Located where two rivers come together, the Confederación Hidrográfica Miño and Sil office building will be protected by the official use the building serves. Designed by VAUMM + Taperstudio, their compact and geometrically absolute design aims to turn the new equipment into a reference able to articulate that piece of city. Its pyramidal shape is due to programmatic, functional and corporation itself requirements. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Video: 1111 Lincoln Road / Herzog & de Meuron

One of the centers of cultural and civic life, the 1111 Lincoln Road project by Herzog & de Meuron is featured in the video above, made by Elizabeth Priore. This project was chosen as it has changed people’s perception about what a utilitarian structure can be; and has ignited conversations worldwide about its design and use. This garage has reshaped the urban fabric of the city and people are going there to get married, relax, and enjoy a cocktail. The video is a Semifinalist in the $200,000 FOCUS FORWARD Filmmaker Competition and is in the running to become the $100,000 Grand Prize Winner. More information after the break.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum / Ateliers Jean Nouvel

Courtesy of Ateliers Jean Nouvel
Courtesy of Ateliers Jean Nouvel

The Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum, designed by Ateliers Jean Nouvel, aims at creating a welcoming world which associates lights and shadows as well as shimmers and calm places in a serene atmosphere. Its objective is to belong to its country, to its history, to its geography, avoiding being either a dull translation of this reality or a pleonasm meaning boredom and convention. It also aims at emphasizing the fascination generated by rare encounters. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Forget the Rankings, the Best US Architecture Schools for 2013 Are...

Gund Hall (home of the Graduate School of Design) during Harvard Graduation. Year 2007. Photo CC Wikimedia User Tebici.
Gund Hall (home of the Graduate School of Design) during Harvard Graduation. Year 2007. Photo CC Wikimedia User Tebici.

Every year, when DesignIntelligence’s latest rankings of the Best US Architecture Schools comes out, most of the anticipation is centered around one question: who’s number 1? 

But despite our laser-focus on the rankings, the report is actually much more. It is also a survey of hundreds of design educators and professionals, an invaluable insight into the current state of architecture and architecture education today.

So with this in mind, and with the rankings aside, which universities are really producing students best equipped (and most marketable, in this competitive market) for the architecture profession today? When you look at the data, only two Universities stand out from the pack.

Read more to find out which two Universities are best preparing students in 2013, after the break...

Juniper Networks / Valerio Dewalt Train Associates

  • Architects: Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
  • Location: Bridgewater, New Jersey, United States
  • Design Team: Louis Ray, Matt Gamache, Kurt Volkman
  • Contractor: SJP Properties
  • Client: Juniper Networks
  • Area: 16,000 ft2
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Matt Wargo

© Matt Wargo © Matt Wargo © Matt Wargo © Matt Wargo

Nest & Cave House / Idis Turato

  • Architects: Idis Turato
  • Location: Opatija, Croatia
  • Collaborators: Ana Staničić, Ida Križaj, Ivan Arbanas (structural engineer)
  • Site Area: 1771 sqm
  • Area: 393.5 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Sandro Lendler, Ivan Dorotić, Želimir Gržančić

© Sandro Lendler © Sandro Lendler © Sandro Lendler © Sandro Lendler

JDS Shortlisted For Master Plan in Lexington, Kentucky

Town Branch Commons bird's eye view. Photo © Urban Collage, via Kentucky.com
Town Branch Commons bird's eye view. Photo © Urban Collage, via Kentucky.com

JDS Architects and 4 other national/international firms have been shortlisted to design a Master Plan for Town Branch Commons in Lexington, Kentucky.

The Competition, which attracted over 23 proposals, poses an interesting challenge: to bring the Town Branch Creek, which has been underground for over 100 years, to the surface (an idea originally proposed in 2011 by architect Gary Bates and the Norway-based firm Space Group), and redesign the Commons as a two-mile linear stretch of green space to connect the eastern and western sections of downtown Lexington.

Lexington's Downton Development Authority and the dean of University of Kentucky's College of Design, Michael Speaks, were floored by the quality of the proposals they received - a fact Speaks attributes to Jeanne Gang's influence; the well-known architect has designed two plans in Lexington and lectured there recently. As Speaks told  Kentucky.com, "Firms have heard that Lexington is friendly to good design, that the mayor is knowledgeable and wants good design."

Find out which other firms have been shortlisted, after the break...

Habitation TSL / adn Architectures

© Filip Dujardin © Filip Dujardin © Filip Dujardin © Filip Dujardin

Klyde Warren Park / The Office of James Burnett

© Dillon Diers Photography Courtesy of The Office of James Burnett Courtesy of The Office of James Burnett Courtesy of The Office of James Burnett

Villa préfabriqué in Collonges / Pierre-Alain Dupraz

Villa préfabriqué in Collonges / Pierre-Alain Dupraz Villa préfabriqué in Collonges / Pierre-Alain Dupraz Villa préfabriqué in Collonges / Pierre-Alain Dupraz Villa préfabriqué in Collonges / Pierre-Alain Dupraz