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Daniel Libeskind Reflects On Designing Buildings With 'Emotional Weight'

In an interview with Shaunacy Ferro for FastCo DesignDaniel Libeskind looks back over his built works and discusses the significant 'emotional weight' imbued in many of his projects, from the Jewish Museum in Berlin to his masterplan for Ground Zero in New York City. When asked why he continually returns to projects such as Holocaust memorials - with the Canadian National Holocaust Memorial currently underway in Ottawa - Libeskind stated: "It’s not something that I choose very lightly, because it’s very difficult, but I believe that it’s very important." For him, creating these monuments is part of the act of doing "something that moves us beyond just the darkness and gives us something positive. [...] Even when it comes to the memory, you can’t just dwell on the irreversibility of the tragedy. You have to have something hopeful."

Apartments Charlotte / Michels Architekturbüro

© Werner Huthmacher © Werner Huthmacher © Werner Huthmacher © Werner Huthmacher

David Chipperfield's "Sticks and Stones" Toys with Van Der Rohe's Bones in Berlin

© Gili Merin
© Gili Merin

In Berlin, Mies van der Rohe’s Neue Nationalgalerie has begun a new phase today with the opening of David Chipperfield’s intervention, a prologue to the imminent restoration which the famed British architect is about to undertake. Completed in 1968, the gallery was Mies’ last project and his final masterpiece; for nearly fifty years, nobody dared to touch it - until now. Marking this event is a large, site-specific installation, created by Chipperfield as an attempt to engage Mies in a spatial experiment (or perhaps a last, apologetic tribute to the 20th century master) moments before he is about to embark on a mission which will, inevitably, transform Mies’ ultimate legacy.

© Gili Merin © David von Becker © David von Becker © David von Becker

"Seoul: Towards a Meta-City" Exhibition Opens in Berlin

On Thursday, the Aedes Network Campus Berlin (ANCB) Metropolitan Laboratory hosted a symposium to mark the opening of the exhibition "Seoul: Towards a New City," in collaboration with the City of Seoul. The city has identified three key objectives to help them strike a balance between restoration and change when moving forward with future development: revival of history, restoration of nature, and renewal of people's lives. Seven projects that reflect these goals are on display at the exhibition. For more details, continue reading after the break.

CocaCola Headquarters in Berlin / NPS Tchoban Voss

  • Architects: NPS Tchoban Voss
  • Location: Stralauer Allee 4, 10245 Berlin, Germany
  • Architect in Charge: Sergei Tchoban, Architekt BDA
  • Project manager and partner: Philipp Bauer (service stage 1-2: Axel Binder)
  • Design Team: Christoph Heimermann, Anissa Landgraf, Kenan Ozan
  • Area: 10263.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Claus Graubner

© Claus Graubner © Claus Graubner © Claus Graubner © Claus Graubner

The Factory Berlin / Julian Breinersdorfer Architecture

  • Architects: Julian Breinersdorfer Architecture
  • Location: Berlin, Germany
  • Project Team: Corentin Héraud, Eric Wolfgang Eisenhut, Sarina Giffhorn, Minho Park, Roma Gadomska-Miles, Martino Pacchetti, Cameron Halls, Roberta D'Alessandro, Julian Breinersdorfer, Rekha Barry
  • Area: 10000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Werner Huthmacher

© Werner Huthmacher © Werner Huthmacher © Werner Huthmacher © Werner Huthmacher

"Lina Bo Bardi: Together" at the DAZ Berlin

If you are in Berlin in August, make sure to check out the exhibition “Lina Bo Bardi: Together” at The Deutsche Architecture Zentrum, dedicated to the legacy of the famed Italian-born Brazilian architect, and focusing on her “capacity to engage with every facet of culture and to see the potential in all manner of people.” More on the exhibition after the break.

No Wódka / KONTENT

  • Architects: KONTENT
  • Location: Pappelallee 10, 10437 Berlin, Germany
  • Architect in Charge: Monika Ryszka, Marcin Giemza
  • Area: 86.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Zajaczkowski Photography

© Zajaczkowski Photography © Zajaczkowski Photography © Zajaczkowski Photography © Zajaczkowski Photography

Housing at the Old City Wall Berlin / Sohrab Zafari

  • Architects: Sohrab Zafari
  • Location: Waisenstraße 30, 10179 Berlin, Germany
  • Collaborators: Thomas Zeissig, Daniel Behnke, Roger Mandel
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Christian Dammert, Aviel Avdar

© Christian Dammert, Aviel Avdar © Christian Dammert, Aviel Avdar © Christian Dammert, Aviel Avdar © Christian Dammert, Aviel Avdar

750 Cubic Meters of Extracted Concrete Turned This Nazi Bunker Into a Gallery & Home

In a cultural capital like Berlin, where ‘pop-up’ stores appear in abandoned warehouses, local brands emerge from stores over-run with squatters, and nightclubs rave in power plants,  it is only appropriate that an art gallery would find its home in a nearly indestructible concrete vessel. Such is the case with the “Berlin Bunker” in the heart of the fashionable “Mitte” district.

Monolithic and symmetrical, decorated only by thin strips of vertical windows on its four identical facades, this former Nazi air-raid shelter stands as a relic of Germany’s past.  Yet a closer look beyond its sharp-edged cornice reveals something unexpected: luscious green gardens and a luxurious penthouse, completed in 2007. This is the home of Christian Boros, the art collector whose private collection is stored and exhibited in the depths of the fortified bunker below.

© NOSHE Work by Thomas Ruff. Image © NOSHE © Ailine Liefeld for Freunde von Freunden © NOSHE

New Soundcloud Headquarters / KINZO Berlin

  • Architects: KINZO Berlin
  • Location: Berlin, Germany
  • Responsible Partner: Karim El-Ishmawi, Martin Jacobs
  • Area: 4000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Werner Huthmacher

© Werner Huthmacher © Werner Huthmacher © Werner Huthmacher © Werner Huthmacher

Exhibition: Lebbeus Woods, ON-line

The Museum for Architectural Drawing presents Lebbeus Woods, ON-line, an exhibition of the finest works of architectural theorist, draftsman, educator and architect, Lebbeus Woods (1940–2012). Curated by his longtime friend and partner Christoph a. Kumpusch, the exhibition brings together a collection of Woods’ visionary works that have never been exhibited before. The intensely rendered architectural and urban environments produced early on in Woods’ career are exhibited together for the first time. These ink and pencil drawings cover a wide range of Woods’ research and re-imagination of cities both real and fictive and support Woods’ longstanding desire to show the capacity of architecture as a transformative and eloquent force.

AD Classics: Wohnhaus Schlesisches Tor (Bonjour Tristesse) / Álvaro Siza Vieira + Peter Brinkert

Bonjour Tristesse is a social housing project designed by Portuguese Architect Álvaro Siza Vieira. Located in Berlin, the project was Siza’s first built work outside of his native country.  Siza’s design offers a meaningful precedent in urban densification, demonstrating a delicate balance between contextual awareness, creative freedom, and progressive vision.

Project site before construction. Image © Flickr user Hen's March © Flickr user Humberto Marum © Flickr user lortnoc © Flickr user jaime.silva

Gehry's Berlin Skyscraper May Be Too Heavy for Alexanderplatz

After winning the design competition for Germany's tallest apartment tower in January, Frank Gehry's project for the building on Alexanderplatz has already run into problems over fears that the 150-metre building could be too heavy for its site. The German edition of the Local is reporting that Berlin's Senate has placed the plans on hold because of the building's proximity to the U5 branch of the U-Bahn tunnel, which it fears could be crushed under the weight.

More on the story after the break

10 Fires That Changed Architecture Forever

With no casualties, last week's fire at the Glasgow School of Art, which caused significant damage to parts of the building and gutted Charles Rennie Mackintosh's canonical library room, will be remembered as a tragic event that robbed us of one of the best examples of Art Nouveau of its time. The intention of the Glasgow School of Art is to restore the building in the hope that in generations to come, the fire will be all but forgotten, a strategy which has been largely well received by the profession. 

However, in the case of other fires things have not gone so smoothly: for millennia, fire has played a big role in determining the course of architectural history - by destroying precious artifacts, but often also by allowing something new to rise from the ashes. Read on after the break as we count down the top 10 fires that changed the course of architectural history.

10 Fires That Changed Architecture Forever The Hagia Sophia. Image © Flickr CC User Collin Key The Reichstag. Image © Flickr CC User Sebastian Niedlich Chicago. Image © Flickr CC User Brad Wilke

Tempelhof Airport Plans Denied by Berlin Voters

A plan to build 4,700 homes on the site of Berlin's Tempelhof Airport was blocked by voters this weekend. The airport, which was built in the 1920s and has a long history as a key site during World War Two and the Cold War, was closed in 2008 and there has since been a debate over what to with the vast site, including a 2011 competition to transform it into a park and other facilities, and an outlandish unofficial plan in 2009 to create a 1km high mountain on the site.

However perhaps the the most popular idea has also been the simplest: in 2010, the airport was opened to the public without any changes, and become an impromptu urban park popular with kite-flyers and roller-bladers who circle the site's runways.

Read on for more on the story

GRAFT + Kleihues+Kleihues Design Work/Live Housing in Berlin

GRAFT and Kleihues+Kleihues has teamed up with Genossenschaft für urbane Kreativität (Cooperative for urban Creativity) to realize a complex of five towers centered around working and living in Berlin, Germany. Titled “Eckwerk,” the new complex is set to rise within the confines of an existing viaduct, whose shape and materiality served as the project’s main source of inspiration. 

J. Mayer H. Wins Competition to Design Berlin "Experience Center"

J. Mayer H. has won an invited competition to design “Volt Berlin,” a new “shopping and urban experience” center near Berlin’s Alexanderplatz. The winning scheme offers a variety of experiential offerings, including multi-brand shopping, an indoor skydiving and event space, and a 7,500 square meter hotel, all within a single cubed complex whose organization is based off an uneven grid. 

  • Architects: J. Mayer H. Architects
  • Location: Alexanderplatz, 10178 Berlin, Germany
  • Architect in Charge: Jürgen Mayer H.
  • Competition Team: Christoph Emenlauer, Simon Kassner, Bart van den Hoven, Mehrdad Mashaie, Mael Kang, Paul Angelier, Julien Sarale
  • Area: 29500.0 sqm
  • Photographs: J. Mayer H.