Spotlight: Ray Eames

Ray and Charles Eames. Image Courtesy of Eames Office

Ray Eames (December 15, 1912-August 1988) is best known for her personal and artistic collaboration with Charles Eames, and together, their innovative designs shaped the course of modernism. Although Charles often gave the firm its public face (particularly in the male-oriented world of mid-century design), the two designers are almost always discussed as a couple and every project that their office pursued was in fact a team effort. When asked about any particular piece of furniture, for example, Ray always maintained that she contributed to the details of the design in a “million ways” and considered the overall form of each project in a critical fashion, emphasizing the collaborative nature of not just their partnership, but their entire office.

DO Architects Develop “Rolling Homes” Prototype for Lithuania

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According to DO Architects, cylindrical housing is the way of the future. Proposed for a seaside site near the Baltic Sea in Svencelė, the Lithuanian practice has developed an experimental neighborhood of 12 single family “rolling homes” that promise seclusion, an uninterrupted connection to nature and three stories of efficiently laid out modern interiors.

Adidas Selects COBE to Design “Rhombus-Shaped” Flagship Building in Germany

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Danish architects COBE have won an international competition to design the Adidas Group’s “Meet & Eat” flagship building at their “World of Sports” headquarters in . The 11,000-square-meter “rhombus-shaped” structure is envisioned as a “distinctive landmark” that will provide the campus with a “flexible and user-friendly” public conference center, employee restaurant and showroom.

“The adidas brand has always been known for technique and functionality, and we have designed a building that reflects and encapsulates these values,” says Dan Stubbergaard, Founder and Creative Director at COBE. “Adidas Meet & Eat will house many functions, both internal and public, and therefore we have created a design that above all is multifunctional and flexible. A design that allows for the building to change and adjust to the different social contexts that the building will house.”

SCAPE and Rogers Partners Design New Public Gateway for Mississippi River Waterfall

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SCAPE / Landscape Architecture and Rogers Partners have envisioned a new public gateway for the Mississippi River’s “one true waterfall” – St. Anthony Falls in downtown . Named after being the city’s original site for its 19th-century water supply and fire-fighting pumping stations, “Water Works” is designed to “weave” together heritage ruins, local ecology, and recreational systems into a “coherent civic space” on four-acres of Central Riverfront. 

FR-EE / Fernando Romero EnterprisE Reveals Latin American Art Museum for Miami

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On the heels of President Barack Obama’s recent decision to reform US immigration policy, FR-EE / Fernando Romero EnterprisE has released designs for a new Latin American Art Museum (LAAM) in . The four-story museum, characterized by elongated, cantilevering terraces and sculpture gardens, hopes to become “the most significant institution for displaying Latin American art in America.” Continue reading to learn more.

Designs Unveiled for Foster + Partners’ “Health Education Campus” in Cleveland

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Foster + Partners has submitted plans for a new “Health Education Campus” in , Ohio. The 485,000-square-foot quadrangle building is designed to foster collaboration between the students of Case Western Reserve University and the Clinic on the medical campus’ existing 11-acre parcel at East 93rd Street between Euclid and Chester Avenues.

Farshid Moussavi on Style, Function, and Physical Space

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In an era in which architectural style is constantly recycled and reinterpreted, how do we know which ideas are original and which characteristics reveal deeper functions? In a recent article by Rowan Moore from The Guardian, architect Farshid Moussavi discusses fashion, function, and physical space as they relate to the concepts of her latest book The Functions of Style, which examines style in architecture beyond external appearance with a belief that style is rooted in a building’s organizational ideas. Consequently, says Moore, each of Moussavi’s works are unique and do not rely on repeating trademark artistic moves. To learn more about how Moussavi’s philosophy is embodied in her most recent works, along with her belief in the power of physical space in a virtual world, read the full article on The Observer here.

1024’s “Vortex” Installation Unites Environmental Analysis and Art

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Paris-based firm 1024 architecture has created Vortex, a generative light sculpture located within the Darwin Ecosystem Project’s green building in Bordeaux, France. The “architectural fragment” consists of scaffolding, raw wood, and twelve lines of LED light. With colored LED lights appearing to shoot across the structure, a new spatial experience is created, which also informs viewers about energy consumption within the building.

Learn more about the structure and 1024 architecture after the break.

Video: Gaetano Pesce on Architecture as Art

In this video from Crane TV, Italian architect and designer talks about his philosophy of art and architecture as an expression of reality. His philosophy raises the question of whether architecture itself should become symbolic of its time and place or express an idea in the way that art often can.  Beyond a symbolic nature, Pesce also suggests that architecture could be humorous or act as an extension of artistic expression. “Architecture is the king or queen of the arts,” he says, summarizing his beliefs.

Last week we brought you another video from Crane TV on Vito Acconci, which explored why the goal of architecture is not always a completed building.  As another architect who blurs the lines between buildings and art, Pesce’s unbuilt projects are an important tool through which he continually seeks new discoveries to prompt further design innovations.

“Jellyfish Barge” Provides Sustainable Source of Food and Water

Exterior View. Image © Matteo De Mayda

With the earth’s population increasing at an exponential rate, sustainable agriculture and access to clean water are becoming desperately important. Cristiana Favretto and Antonio Giraridi of Studiomobile recognize this and have proposed a solution. Dubbed the Jellyfish Barge for its shape and translucency, this floating greenhouse is capable of growing its own food hydroponically and producing up to 150 liters of fresh drinking water per day. Even more beneficial is its low-cost, easy-to-assemble design that can be implemented in a variety of locations. Learn more about how this fascinating project works, after the break.

Defining Place: Alternative Urban Futures from The Neighbourhood

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3D printing technology is quickly emerging as a technology that could be applied at the scale of the built environment. But could we use 3D printed to create engaging urban spaces that are constantly changing? Creative communications agency, The Neighbourhood, has imagined speculative architecture based on 3D printed materials.

SANAA’s First US Commission Since Pritzker, “The River” Underway in Connecticut

Exterior view of The River. Image Courtesy of Grace Farms and SANAA

“The River,” SANAA’s first US commission since winning the 2010 Pritzker Prize, is currently underway in Connecticut. Designed by the Japanese practice in collaboration with OLIN, the meandering and almost transparent building will be built on a 75-acre preserve as a multi-use platform for events and initiatives put on by the community of and non-profit Grace Farms Foundation.

“We are thrilled that Grace Farms will begin welcoming the public in autumn 2015,” Sharon Prince, president of the Grace Farms Foundation stated. 

Three OMA-Designed “Park Grove” Towers to Rise in Miami

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OMA is set to realize their first commercial residential project in the US: Park Grove. Planned to rise alongside the Biscayne Bay in ’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.

Weddle Gilmore, West 8 and Colwell Shelor Selected to Redesign Arizona’s Mesa City Center

Context. Image © Colwell Shelor, West 8 and Weddle Gilmore

Weddle Gilmore black rock studio, West 8 and Colwell Shelor Landscape Architecture have been selected to transform 19 acres surrounding Arizona’s City Hall into a unique civic space that will “capture and enhance the urbanizing momentum of ’s downtown core.” Unanimously selected by the City of , over finalists Woods Bagot + Surface Design and Otak + Mayer Reed, the winning scheme plans to activate the public space with a series of flexible plazas and garden spaces centered around a distinct cooper shade structure.

More about the design and competition, after the break.

Video: Robert A.M. Stern on Designing Background Buildings and The Limestone Jesus

“We have lots of silly buildings being built, in my opinion. The buildings should not look like Lady Gaga,” stated Robert A.M. Stern in the latest installment by the Louisiana Channel.

Fifteen Central Park West, what many know to be the “world’s most powerful address,” was designed by Stern with one intention: to fill in the wall of Central Park West with a single, well articulated “background building” rather than a “twisting and turning isolated” structure. As Stern describes in the video above, the building, known as the “ Jesus,” is praised in the real estate world for it’s high-priced apartments.

“Almost every building that is new has a built-in history. We are architects that build on the shoulders of the past. I think is is much more exciting to enter into a dialogue with the past and also to take things from the past and restudy them, their theme and variation. Architecture is made up of many languages in my view and if we have a modern language that is evolved but it doesn’t mean that the other languages can’t also continue to be spoken.”

BIG Reveals 20-Year Restoration Plan for Washington DC’s Smithsonian Campus

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Nearly a year-and-a-half since the announcement of their selection, BIG has unveiled plans for a massive, 20-year-long overhaul for the Smithsonian’s southern campus in the center of . With an overarching goal to unite the site by dissolving the notable impediments and discontinuous pathways that plague the area, BIG plans to also expand visitor, education and gallery spaces, while updating aging and inefficient building systems. 

“Where today each museum is almost like a separate entity, in the future, it’s going to be a much more open, intuitive and inviting campus to meander around,” Bjarke Ingels explained.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory Develops 3D Printing Process at the Mircoscale

This electron backscatter diffraction image shows variations in crystallographic orientation in a nickel-based component, achieved by controlling the 3-D printing process at the microscale. Image Courtesy of ORNL

3D printing technology continues to advance, developing new applications which are particularly promising for the world of architecture. Now, researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have demonstrated a new manufacturing process that can create 3D printed metal components with an unprecedented degree of precision. For architecture, this could mean greater control over the customization of the smallest components in buildings, as well as more carefully engineered properties of the larger ones.

The new technique involves an additive process in which successive layers of material are laid down with computer control and fused to create an object of almost any shape. As technology has progressed, printers have been able to progressively increase their resolution, enabling the creation of smaller parts with smoother surfaces. ORNL has developed a process that precisely manages the solidification of metal parts in each layer on a microscopic scale. This enables them to better control local material properties, which can have a profound impact on the strength, weight, and function of 3D printed metal components.

Read on to learn more about how this manufacturing process could shape the future of .

Two Universities Win NCARB Award for Merging Practice and Education

“The Dean of : Design Education Must Change” (click image for article). Image Courtesy of Metropolis Magazine

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards () has awarded Parsons The New School for Design and Clemson University the 2014 NCARB Award to aid the development of innovative programs that merge practice and education.

“The award honors innovative ways for weaving practice and academy together to address real-world architecture challenges,” says NCARB CEO Michael J. Armstrong. “The winning proposals for 2014 explore new paradigms of practice and move students from the theoretical to applied practices working with licensed practitioners.”