It’s not often that a major design project by a bevy of superstar architects is forgotten to history. But this seems to be what happened in the 1980s, when Italian designer Cleto Munari commissioned a stable of world-famous architects to design a new jewelry collection. The (unashamedly PoMo) results were documented in a now almost forgotten book by Barbara Radice called simply “Jewelry By Architects,” which included interviews with each designer. Originally published by Monica Khemsurov of Sight Unseen, this article shows off just some of the contents of this fascinating work.
Until about six months ago, there was only one Munari we idolized: Bruno, one of our favorite 20th-century designers and design theorists. (If you haven’t read Design As Art, we suggest you hop to it!) But then, one fateful day this past spring, we were wandering aimlessly around the internet when we stumbled upon the biggest editorial coup we’ve scored in years, and thus began our love affair with Cleto Munari. The Italian designer—who, as far as we can tell, is unrelated to Bruno—commissioned a dream-team of architects like Ettore Sottsass and Peter Eisenman in the early ’80s to create a jewelry collection for his eponymous company, and the project had almost no coverage anywhere on the web. After immediately snapping up a copy of the incredible out-of-print book that documented it, which we’re excerpting a small portion of here, we set about doing more research on Munari himself. Turns out he’s a bit of a Sight Unseen patron saint, who dreamed up all kinds of cross-disciplinary projects for the precious metals–focused design brand he founded in the ’70s with Carlo Scarpa. “It is most interesting to me to have a poet design a table, a painter design a credenza, and an architect design a spoon,” Munari told the Huffington Post in an interview two years ago.
The Telegraph reports that a new inflatable concert hall dubbed “Ark Nova,” created by the British sculptor Anish Kapoor and Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, is to tour the region of northern Japan that was most affected by the 2011 Tsunami. The hall, which will host world-class concerts, events and workshops, has a single skin membrane that can be easily inflated or deflated as well as seating constructed from local, tsunami-damaged cedar. The opening will take place this week in the coastal town of Matsushima. Learn more about the hall here.
Designed by Arata Isozaki and Andrea Maffei, the Citylife Tower represents the future business and shopping district of CityLife in Milan (a subsidiary company of the Generali Group and in which Allianz has a shareholding), which is progressing quickly. By 2015 it will reach a height of 207 meters, with 50 floors of offices, and will be the tallest skyscraper in Italy. The foundation bed, which has just been built, is formed of a continuous block of concrete covering a total of 4,260 cubic meters and required 42 hours of continuous work. More images and architects’ description after the break.
If you are a regular ArchDaily reader you know that we have been providing ongoing coverage of Eli Broad’s Broad Museum in Los Angeles. Nearly 120,000 sqf and $130 million dollars, invitations were given to six top architects to submit designs for the new museum. Rem Koolhaas, Herzog and de Meuron, Christian de Portzamparc, Ryue Nishizawa and Kazuyo Sejima, Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Foreign Office Architects competed and in August we informed you that Diller Scofidio + Renfro garnered the commission.
Today, the design for the Broad Museum has been released. Situated adjacent to Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall and Arata Isozaki’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the museum has become a key part of the Grand Avenue redevelopment project that has been losing steam.