Madrid is unfathomable. If the city itself is immense, it´s examples of interesting architecture are overwhelming. For over a half a century, Madrid has been an experimental laboratory for modern and contemporary architecture in Spain. With numerous examples of innovative and experimental architecture, as well as many failures, few of which are valued and recognized. This selection seeks to show archetypal examples of architecture that have transcended time; it does not intend to be an exhaustive list of the city´s architectural works. Many will think that the list lacks important buildings and personally, I couldn´t agree more. That is perhaps the beauty of Madrid: there is a diversity of opinion, there are thousands of sites to see, the city surprises you with every step you take.
Herzog And De Meuron
We look for materials which are as intelligent, versatile and complex as natural phenomena, in other words materials which don't just appeal to the eyes of the astounded art critic, but are also really efficient and appeal to all our senses.
– Jacques Herzog
Like several other works of architecture by Herzog & de Meuron the Forum Building, known since the 2012 relocation of Barcelona's Museu de les Ciències Naturals as the Museu Blau, is remarkable for its sensitive use of materials. A triangular mass of gray-blue concrete punctured and split in places to reveal the contrasting use of reflective planes, the building is a hard one to ignore, especially for an architectural photographer.
Herzog & de Meuron, in collaboration with Michel Desvigne Paysagiste, Inessa Hansch and executive architect Gensler, have revealed designs for a new “Scholars’ Campus” for global think tank the Berggruen Institute to be located in the Santa Monica Mountains overlooking the city of Los Angeles.
Inspired by the designs of traditional monasteries and hilltop villages, the scheme is rooted in the restoration and appreciation of the landscape. Along with the series of structures containing the Institue’s residence, meeting and study spaces, over 90% of the 447-acre site will be preserved as natural open space.
One of last year’s most long-awaited buildings may have just met its match in terms of complexity – and it comes in the form of its own LEGO replica.
Created by LEGO sculptor Brick Monkey, the LEGO version of Herzog & de Meuron’s spectacular Elbphilharmonie was constructed from more than 20,000 individual LEGO pieces, featuring point perfect scaled versions of the concert hall’s signature features, including the building’s elevated public terrace, glass facade and sail like roof, made up of hundreds of precise umbrella shaped elements. But most impressively, the model can be opened in half to reveal a detailed recreation of the structure’s main concert hall.
The UK’s postals service company, the Royal Mail, has launched a new special stamp series celebrating 10 buildings “that represent the renaissance of contemporary architecture in the UK of recent years,” including Zaha Hadid Architects’ London Aquatics Center, Herzog & de Meuron’s Switch House addition to the Tate Modern and Mecanoo’s Birmingham Library.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced 49 exemplary projects as winners of the 2017 RIBA National Awards. This year’s list features projects from a wide range of typologies and leading architecture firms including Herzog & de Meuron, Foster + Partners, WilkinsonEyre, and Caruso St John Architects.
Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei Examine the Threat of Surveillance on Public Space in New Installation
The latest collaboration between architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron and artist Ai Weiwei may be called Hansel & Gretel, but it brings to mind just as much another literary classic: George Orwell’s 1984.
The immersive, site-specific installation, located within the expansive Wade Thompson Drill Hall at New York’s Park Avenue Armory, places visitors in a darkness-cloaked environment, where your every move is tracked and monitored by motion sensors, image captures and a team of surveillance drones. The work is a not-so-subtle interpretation of the expanding role of surveillance in modern-day society and the changing dynamics between the public and private realms.
Completed in 2015 at the northern periphery of Madrid, the BBVA Headquarters by Herzog & de Meuron employs a complex network of passages, courtyards, and gardens to create a new corporate campus for the Spanish banking giant. Responding to local climatic needs, the building is recognized for its custom undulating brise-soleil along its facade and pebble-like central tower.
In this photoset, photographer Rubén P. Bescós turns his lens toward the new institutional landmark, capturing the building within its urban context.
Architecturally-trained designer KXIV has envisioned a custom pair of adidas UltraBOOST sneakers, inspired by the architecture of Herzog & de Meuron’s 2008 Beijing Olympics stadium, commonly referred to as the “Bird’s Nest.”
KXIV’s design features a unique lacing system that wraps around the sneaker, held in place with a series of 3D-printed double-loop cinch locks. Underneath, a lycra texture is covered with lace-like lines made from abrasive-resistant polyurethane, giving the shoe a layered look similar to that of the stadium. To get it to hold its form, the upper lace layer the upper lace layer was baked at 300 degrees, creating a structure that is both supportive and elastic.
Herzog & de Meuron have completed construction of their latest project, a high-rise luxury residential skyscraper on 56 Leonard Street, New York City. Conceived as a stack of individual houses resembling a Jenga tower, the building is the tallest in its Tribeca neighborhood. With its tall and slender silhouette, 56 Leonard Street is the latest in a series of contemporary skyscrapers punctuating Manhattan’s skyline.
New renderings of Herzog & de Meuron’s upcoming luxury hotel have been released, showing the 28-storey tower’s updated interiors at its location at 215 Chrystie Street in Manhattan’s Bowery District. Constructed of raw concrete, the 370 rooms are capped with eleven open-plan luxury residences and is set to open to the public in June.
“To introduce a sense of scale and to further foster the expression of each individual floor, each column is slightly inclined,” explained Jacques Herzog with the announcement of the project back in 2014. “The prominent corner of the building facing Chrystie Street is where the two geometries of the inclined columns meet. Rather than giving one direction priority, the two directions are braided together. The result is a sculptural corner column that becomes the visual anchor for the entire building.”
The Herzog & de Meuron-designed global corporate headquarters for pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has topped out in Cambridge, UK, as the building pushes forward to a series of opening dates beginning in 2018. Developed alongside AstraZeneca researchers and executive architect/lead consultant BDP, the scheme consists of a ring-shaped volume containing a series of open laboratories and transparent glass walls intended to foster the company’s principle of collaboration across disciplines.
Led by Jacques Herzog (born 19 April 1950) and Pierre de Meuron (born 8 May 1950), most descriptions of Herzog & de Meuron projects are almost paradoxical: in one paragraph they will be praised for their dedication to tradition and vernacular forms, in the next for their thoroughly modern innovation. However, in the hands of Herzog & de Meuron this is no paradox, as the internationally renowned architectural duo combine tradition and innovation in such a way that the two elements actually enhance each other.
From the publishers. The March 2017 issue of a+u is a special issue dedicated to the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg by Herzog & de Meuron. We invited the architects as guest editors to collaborate with us in documenting the entire process from the very beginning, in 2001, up to the opening concert in January 2017.
A simultaneous celebration of their cultural iconicity and distillation from their various contexts, Beautified China is a photographic essay by Kris Provoost (one-half of the vlogging duo behind #donotsettle) that tracks the evolution of Chinese architectural landmarks over the course of the past 7 years. Beginning his investigation with the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, Provoost considers a decade of architecture proposed for China by the profession’s biggest names, many of which have been built now with monumental reputations in rising cities.
“Most ‘starchitects’ had their chance to build, or to fulfill their wildest dreams,” explains Provoost. “Some of them became landmarks: CCTV headquarters by Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren or the Bird’s Nest/National Stadium by Herzog and de Meuron for example. Others have turned a suburb into a new center, or have established a new city on its own.”
Residents of London's Neo Bankside residential building—a luxury complex of apartments designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners—have launched a legal bid against the Tate Modern to close one side of a public viewing platform, designed by Herzog & de Meuron and completed in 2016, which overlooks their properties. As reported by the Architects' Journal, "the applicants say that their human rights are being breached due to ‘near constant surveillance’ from visitors to the neighbouring attraction." The claim goes as far to argue that visitors to the Southbank gallery "constantly view their flats through binoculars, and post photographs and film of their homes on social media sites."
In one of his 1922 travel essays for the Toronto Star Ernest Hemingway wrote, in a typically thewy tone, of “a small, steep country, much more up and down than sideways and all stuck over with large brown hotels built [in] the cuckoo style of architecture.” This was his Switzerland: a country cornered in the heartland of Europe and yet distant from so much of its history. A nation which, for better or worse and particularly over the course of the 20th Century, has cultivated and become subject to a singularly one-dimensional reputation when it comes to architectural culture and the built environment.
Renderings have been revealed for Herzog and de Meuron’s new luxury loft residences in Miami, designed in collaboration with local developer Robert Wennett. In contrast to the firm’s acclaimed parking garage located nearby, which capitalized on Miami’s surrounding views, 1111 Lincoln Residences will be a far more inwardly-focused endeavor, with the 2,115-square-foot lofts opening onto a series of rooftop courtyards.
Located near the city’s bustling intersection of Alton and Lincoln, the complex accommodates a multi-level parking garage, over 100,000 square feet of interior office space, dedicated event space on the seventh floor, as well as 11 selected retailers on the ground floor. Notable tenants include Alchemist, Jo Malone, Rosetta Bakery, and Chotto Matte, in addition to the various restaurants available to residents along Lincoln Road.