Architecture of Independence – African Modernism

FIDAK – Foire Internationale de Dakar, Dakar (Senegal), by Jean Francois Lamoureux & Jean-Louis Marin, 1974. Image © Iwan Baan

From February 20 the Vitra Design Museum will host “Architecture of Independence – African Modernism,” an exhibition curated by architect and author Manuel Herz. Featuring numerous photographic contributions by Iwan Baan, “Architecture of Independence” explores the experimental and futuristic architecture produced in 1960s Central and Sub-Saharan Africa during the region’s period of newfound independence.

Harvard GSD To Host Exhibition Exploring ‘Dualisms’ In Architecture

© Justin Knight

A new at the Harvard Graduate School of Design by Iñaki Ábalos and  (Ábalos+Sentkiewicz) will explore Dualisms in architecture: the notion that most historic architecture takes its “composite tension from two theoretically incompatible morphological organisations that correspond to different disciplines or languages.” Suggesting that these organisations can possess elements of “compatibility and incompatibility” simultaneously, the appearance of “a kind of hybrid ‘Frankenstein’s monster’” is characterized by dualism in architecture. For the curators, Dualisms act not only performatively, but also in a creative and composite way. “They are, at once, constraints and formative opportunities.”

Video: ZAO/standardarchitecture’s Zhang Ke on “Contemplating Basics”

In conjunction with “Contemplating Basics,” the 35th Aedes Architecture Forum’s exhibition of work by Beijing-based ZAO/standardarchitecture, Reframe presents an interview the firm’s founder, , and Dr Eduard Kögel, an Urban Planner and critic from Berlin.

Since its establishment in 2001, ZAO/standardarchitecture has produced a diverse portfolio of projects responding to the specific nature and local culture of their sites, and mediating between traditional values and contemporary means of production. Keenly engaged with social issues, Ke recognises the importance of designing in a manner that is cognisant of broader context and bridges the gap between tradition and modernity.

“Every generation of course needs to go back to the original questions… ‘Okay, what architecture can grow out of this place in our time, and with our interaction with the local people and local techniques?’” he asks, “The results could be striking but the departure point is basic.”

ZAO/standardarchitecture has been responsible for large urban museums and small scale rural interventions alike, adopting in all cases this democratic approach to design.

“I learnt neither to look up nor to look down,” Ke said, “But to look straight in the eye, which means that you truly respect the culture.”

Harvard GSD To Host Exhibition Exploring The Architecture And Symbolism Of National Libraries

National libraries, often monumental in scale and “dominated by nationalistic ambitions and overwhelming architectural details,” will be the subject of a new exhibition opening later this month at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD). Icons of Knowledge: Architecture and Symbolism in National Libraries seeks to examine why national libraries are amongst the most symbolic icons of modern day countries. Amidst the global milieu of the “rapid digitisation of print,” this aims to shed light on why nations are “vehemently investing resources in the construction of buildings that will project their cultural legacy and house the most precious treasures of their written history.”

MOMA Partners with Instagram for Largest-Ever Latin American Architecture Exhibition

Iglesia del Cristo Obrero, Atlántida, Uruguay, Eladio Dieste. Image ©

MoMA’s largest-ever Latin American architecture exhibition will feature an official partnership with Instagram. The project invites the Instagram community to share their photos of buildings as part of the Latin America in Construction: Architecture 1955–1980 exhibition.

One of the year’s most awaited exhibitions,  Latin America in Construction: Architecture 1955–1980 will display key architectural works for understanding in Latin America, featuring remarkable buildings from all over the continent, designed by prominent architects like Oscar Niemeyer, Clorindo Testa, Luis Barragán, Vilanova Artigas and Eladio Dieste.

HOT TO COLD: BIG’s “Odyssey of Architectural Adaptation” Opens at the National Building Museum

© Matt Carbone

Circle the globe in 800-feet at the National Building Museum’s latest exhibition HOT TO COLD. BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group’s first North American exhibition, HOT TO COLD takes viewers on an “odyssey of architectural adaptation” from the “hottest to the coldest parts of our planet to explore how ’s designs are shaped by their cultural and climatic contexts.”

More than 60 architectural models of BIG’s most recent projects, including 20 premiering for the first time, are being suspended from the second floor of the museum’s historic Great Hall. Each project is interpreted through Iwan Baan‘s “masterful” photography, films by Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine, and the Grammy Award-winning graphic artist Stefan Sagmeister’s design for the accompanying catalog by Taschen.

A word from Ingels, after the break.

BLUEPRINT: Curated by Sebastiaan Bremer and Florian Idenburg & Jing Liu of SO – IL

BLUEPRINT is the latest exhibition on display at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in . Curated by Sebastiaan Bremer, Florian Idenburg and Jing Liu, the exhibition features 50 blueprints from participating artists and architects, ranging from as far back as 1961 to 2013.

Aedes Architecture Forum Highlights ZAO/standardarchitecture

Niyang River Visitor Center / Standardarchitecture + Zhaoyang Architects. Image © Chen Su

’s Aedes Architecture Forum will mark the beginning of its 35th Anniversary Program by continuing its focus on Asia and China. With the architect Zhang KeofZAO/standardarchitecture from Beijing, Aedes presents one of the most promising protagonists of a young group of Chinese architects and urban planners with the  营造 Contemplating Basics. This follows on from the 2001 exhibition TU-MU, in which Aedes presented for the first time, and with global success, the first generation of independent architects in China. At that time, the architects and artists introduced in the exhibition – Yung Ho Chang, Liu Jiarkun, Ai Wei Wei, Wang Shu, Lu Wenyu – were fully unknown in the West, while some have since gone on to become Pritzker Prize winners or internationally renowned artists.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Exhibition To Open Next Month In London

Design For A House For An Art Lover (1901). Image © Library

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) have announced that a new exhibition exploring the Scottish designer and artist’s celebrated, but difficult, career is to open next month in Mackintosh Architecture will be the first exhibition solely devoted to his architecture, offering the opportunity to view over sixty original drawings, watercolours and perspectives spanning the entirety of his working life. Seen together, they “reveal the evolution of his style from his early apprenticeship to his later projects as an individual architect and designer.” Drawings on display will also show his collaboration with the accomplished artist and designer Margaret Macdonald, his wife.

Treatise: Why Write Alone?

Alex Maymind, "100 Drawings," 2012-13. Archival inkjet print. 25 x 25 inches. Courtesy of the artist

inspiration from Steven Holl and William Stout’s brainchild Pamphlet Architecture, a new collaborative project, Treatise: Why Write Alone?, unifies fourteen design firms to examine the architectural treatise as a method of exploring theoretical questions and sparking discussion. The project was developed by designer Jimenez Lai of Bureau Spectacular in response to receiving a grant from the Graham Foundation. His unconventional ideas on the architectural process made him wonder, “Why write? And, why write alone?” The resultant collection of publications delves into these questions, both collectively and individually, with a collaborative piece as well as submissions from each firm.

Explore the Land of the Upright People in Grant Smith’s “Upright and Educated”

© Grant Smith

Through January 31, The Building Centre is hosting Upright and Educated, a photographic exhibition documenting the work of charitable organization Article 25 in Burkina Faso. Captured by award-winning photographer Grant Smith, the images chart the construction and use of a school in Gourcy, in the country’s north.

Founded in 2006, Article 25 worked with local builders, craftspeople, and fellow UK charity Giving Africa to construct Bethel Secondary School, allowing up to 1100 children access to enhanced education and vocational training facilities. Learn more about the project and view selected images from the exhibition after the break.

Hélène Binet: Fragments of Light

Firminy C, architecture by Le Corbusier, 2007, digital b-w silver gelatin print. Courtesy of ammann gallery. Image © Hélène Binet

In the wake of her selection as the recipient of the Julius Shulman Institute Excellence in Award for 2015, Hélène Binet‘s work will be exhibited at the Woodbury University Hollywood (WUHO) Gallery in Los Angeles, . The exhibition, entitled Hélène Binet: Fragments of Light, will be open from February 28, 2015 to March 29, 2015, showcasing the highlights of the artist’s career as a renowned architectural photographer. The exhibition will be initiated with an opening reception and award ceremony on February 28, 2015 to honor Binet for her achievements. 

“Narratives of History, Climate, Culture and Place” Abound in David Adjaye Retrospective

Courtesy of Adjaye Associates

Starting January 29th, Munich‘s Haus der Kunst will host “Form, Heft, Material,” a major retrospective of the work of British architect David Adjaye. Co-curated by Okwui Enwezor and Zoe Ryan, the exhibition’s broad catalogue reflects Adjaye’s diverse career and portfolio, including architectural projects alongside material experiments, research, and furniture design. Through sketches, models, prints, drawings, 1:1 building fragments, film, and text, “Form, Heft, Material” foregrounds Adjaye’s work against the rich geographical and social context that frames his design approach.

“The exhibition shows my work within the framework of a wider cultural and socio-political trajectory,” Adjaye said. “It marks an important moment in my career, as I increasingly seek to find ever new architectural scenarios for our fast-changing world, that nonetheless resonate with the powerful narratives of history, climate, culture and place.” “Form, Heft, Material” will be on display until May 31.

Title: : Form Heft Material
Website: http://www.hausderkunst.de/
Organizers: Haus der Kunst
From: Thu, 29 Jan 2015 10:00
Until: Sun, 31 May 2015 20:00
Venue: Haus der Kunst
Address: Haus der Kunst, Prinzregentenstraße 1, 80538 München, Germany

Sto Werkstatt to Showcase World’s Best “Building Images”

Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center / Hufton and Crow. Image © Hufton and Crow

Modern times have seen the rise and proliferation of architectural media, allowing people to remotely experience spaces and buildings without ever physically entering them. As such, the importance of the architectural image has never been greater.

Opening on January 15 at London’s Sto Werkstatt and organized in conjunction with Arcaid Images, Building Images celebrates the “power and impact of on the way we sense and experience spaces.” Described by Arcaid Images co-founder Lynne Bryant as having “long been the means of communicating architecture,” is a medium that has grown inseparable from the notion and creation of the architectural image. Learn more and view selected images from the , after the break.

Cedric Price Exhibition Opens In Maastricht

. Potteries Thinkbelt. fonds, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal. Image Courtesy of CCA

A new exhibition and accompanying digital documentary on Cedric Price, a British architect, writer and educator who had a formative influence on architects such as Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers, and Bernard Tschumi, is open in The Netherlands. The exhibition, curated by members of Bureau Europa, introduces the work of Price by “presenting a cross-section of the elements of his inventive and singular practice” through sketches, project drawings, recorded talks, and first-hand accounts by staff, colleagues and friends. In addition, a series of selected projects present his “innovative models for industry, education, government, tourism, ecology and the house.”

Meet the Film Industry’s Most Successful Architect in Deutsche Kinemathek’s Latest Exhibition

Design of "Fort Knox" for Goldfinger, GB/ 1964, Directed by Guy Hamilton. Image © Sir Ken Adam, Deutsche Kinemathek – Ken Adam Archive

Although his name may not appear in most architectural history books, Sir Kenneth Hugo Adam has influenced architecture for over fifty years. Better known as Ken Adam, he has been responsible for the production design of over 70 films in his career, most notably for his work on the James Bond franchise. The architect of Fort Knox in Goldfinger, the Zero Gravity Satellite in Moonraker, and Super-Tanker Liparus in The Spy Who Loved Me, Adam has shaped architectural design in film since the 1940s.

Adam is the recipient of two British Film Academy Awards, including one for Dr. Strangelove, and in 2003 became the first film production designer to receive a knighthood. He has been at the helm of some of the world’s most well-known and influential films – from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to Crimes of the Heart – and his drawings are now on display for the first time. In 2012, Sir Adam donated his entire body of work to the Deutsche Kinemathek in his home city of Berlin, where the first retrospective of his work is now on display, entitled ‘Bigger Than Life: Ken Adam’s Film Design.’ 

Find out more about Adam’s vast body of work after the break

Mies Meets Modesty in Joachim Brohm’s ‘Vernacular & Modern’ Exhibition

Mies Model Study IV, (Black & White), 2013 . Image © Joachim Brohm

On the surface, Mies van der Rohe‘s minimalist linear designs have little in common with the kitsch of vernacular architecture in the German countryside. Enter Joachim Brohm, who rose to prominence in the 1980s as one of the first European architecture photographers to work in colour, and now in a current exhibition draws an unexpected parallel between van der Rohe’s designs for the unrealized Krefeld Golf Club in Germany and the rudimentary constructions of vernacular post-war architecture.

In “Vernacular & Modern,” the latest exhibition at London‘s Grimaldi Gavin gallery, two of Brohm’s photo series are juxtaposed to create a new narrative on architectural context. In Typology 1979, Brohm documents a series of vernacular houses in Ruhr, Germany; while in Mies Model Study, Brohm enters the temporary installation of van der Rohe’s unbuilt golf club through a life-size model. Together, the two series contrast the highly aestheticized minimalist world of Mies van der Rohe with highly functional buildings of necessity in the German countryside.

Find the connection between vernacular and van der Rohe after the break

Video: Time Lapse Construction of Jean Prouvé’s Demountable House

YouTube Preview Image

Jean Prouvé’s Demountable House, a rare early example of a prefabricated housing concept, was fully assembled and on display to the public last week at Art Basel Miami 2014, just in time for the design’s 70th birthday. The display was part of Swiss luxury brand Bally’s tour of the original 1944 structure, with its next and final stop scheduled for Design Shanghai in 2015. This fascinating time lapse reveals the full construction process and gives us an inside look into how each component of the house comes together, from the floor boards to the structure of the roof, to the final exterior cladding. Check out the above to see Prouvé’s structure come together, or see images below of the completed structure.