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Calvin Seibert Sculpts Impressive Modernist Sandcastles

“I always had an affinity for architecture which I attribute to growing up in a neighborhood and town that was constantly under construction. Our house was the first on the block. I think that in a way I was more interested in the abstractness of the foundations and the initial framing then in the completed structures themselves. Things I made back then had that incompleteness about them. As I became more aware of architecture in the wider world Brutalism was one of the styles of the moment. Looking at architecture magazines as a child and seeing hotels in French ski resorts (Marcel Breuer at Flaine) made of concrete suited my sensibility, I was hooked.”

For New York-based Calvin Seibert, sandcastles are more than just a fun summer hobby. Using a paint bucket, homemade plastic trowels, and up to about 150 gallons of water he creates spectacular modernist sandcastles. Read on after the break for an interview with Seibert and to see more photos of his work. 

© Calvin Seibert © Calvin Seibert © Calvin Seibert © Calvin Seibert

Archiculture Interviews: Marc Schaut and Dan Bucsescu

In a new segment of the Archiculture extras seriesArbuckle Industries interviews Pratt professors and architects Marc Schaut and Dan Bucsescu, who discuss the extent to which technology has transformed the teaching of architecture, and the necessities of a holistic architecture education. Watch the interview above, and delve into more Archiculture interviews here.

Archiculture Interviews: Bill Hellmuth

“If you look at just carbon emissions, what we do for a living—building buildings, running buildings, all that— is 50 percent of all the carbon emissions in the United States. […] Well that’s both sort of dreadful and wonderful at the same time. […] The opportunity is, because it’s so concentrated, a relatively smaller group of people can do something about it. ”

As a part of its Archiculture series, Arbuckle Industries has interviewed HOK president Bill Hellmuth on his experiences in architecture school and working in a large practice. In the interview, Hellmuth discusses his path in architecture school, how large firms allow for the creation of teams, and issues involving sustainability and livable cities.

Archiculture Interviews: John Cary

"There are far, far more basic things - health, education, housing, and so on - but the thing that we try to communicate [...] is that we need to better articulate how design can improve those truly basic human needs."

Archiculture Interviews: John King

"What I love about architecture is it really is the art form that we all encounter, it's larger than life, it's what you can't avoid." In this installment of Arbuckle Industries' Archiculture interviews, author and urban design critic John King dissects the role of the public in architectural practice and the mindset of those who get involved. He goes on to discuss the defining characteristics of successful, seasoned architects, and compares their mentality to that of emerging architects. Additionally, King touches on the subject of architectural criticism and how the profession came about.

Archiculture Interviews: Sway Calloway

"I think what you see visually in terms of how you live can definitely make a difference on how you view life."

The Robot Revolution: Coop Himmelb(l)au Founder Wolf D. Prix on the Future of Construction

With a recently released animation entitled “We Start the Future of Construction,” Coop Himmelb(l)au announced their intention to take digital fabrication to a radical new scale, demonstrating how technology is impacting almost every aspect of the architectural profession. The advent of building information modeling and other modeling software has transformed how architects and engineers navigate the construction process, allowing us to achieve increasingly complex forms that can be modeled with the aid of CNC machining and 3D Printing, but still there remains a wide gap between the technologies available to architects and those employed by builders. When it comes to a building’s actual construction we have been limited by the great costs associated with non-standard components and labor - but now, the automated practices that transformed manufacturing industries could revolutionize how we make buildings.

Last week, ArchDaily sat down with co-founder, Design Principal and CEO of Coop Himmelb(l)auWolf D. Prix for his thoughts on the future of construction and the role of the architect in an increasingly technological practice. Read on after the break to find out how robots could impact architectural design, construction, and the future of the profession.

Screenshot from Video. Image Courtesy of Coop Himmelb(l)au Screenshot from Video. Image Courtesy of Coop Himmelb(l)au Screenshot from Video. Image Courtesy of Coop Himmelb(l)au Screenshot from Video. Image Courtesy of Coop Himmelb(l)au

Sergei Tchoban on the Importance of Drawing and Details in Architecture

Berlin Art Link recently sat down with Russian-born, German architect Sergei Tchoban. In the interview above, he discusses his career, including working on the design for the Vostok Tower, Europe’s tallest skyscraper, and the recent opening of the Tchoban Foundation Museum for Architectural Drawing. This building houses his extensive personal works, as well as exhibitions by other artists.  “What is very important for me is the quality of all details, so you create a building from outline, from the silhouette, to the door lever. This building brings out a lot of our and my personal ideas about architecture and about details in architecture,” Tchoban said regarding his design for the Museum for Architectural Drawing. The exterior of the building expresses Tchoban’s devotion to draftsmanship-- the facade of the building is etched with a graphic pattern based on sketches from artists Angelo Toseli and Pietro di Gottardo Gonzaga. “I’m very active in drawings, as a draftsman myself.  Drawing is a result of our thinking process and our thinking process is not only a thinking process with the head, with the mind, but also the process where you think with the whole body.” 

Archiculture Interviews: David Byrne

“Architecture affects how we see ourselves fitting into a city, and how we relate to one another.” In this latest video from Arbuckle Industries following its release of Archiculture, David Byrne, known for his music, writing, and art, provides his perspective on some of the issues facing architecture today. In the interview, he addresses the need to rethink design practice as an all-encompassing approach, and advocates the tailoring of designs for their specific purposes. Byrne also discusses the problem of the “starchitect” phenomenon, the relationship of people with the built environment, and the resulting atmospheric effects that spatial and acoustic qualities can impart.

Archiculture Interviews: Mary Woods on “Roarkism” and Market-Driven Nature of US Architecture

Cornell University professor and historian Mary Woods is one of over 30 influential practitioners that was interviewed during the filming of Arbuckle IndustriesArchiculture documentary. Beyond her explanation of “Roarkism,” a term inspired by Ayn Rand’s protagonist Howard Roark in The Fountainhead that is used to describe the architect as an “uncompromising individualist,” Woods explains the market-driven nature of the profession and how the US government has historically been reluctant to embrace the arts and architecture.

Archiculture Interviews: Shigeru Ban

“An earthquake doesn’t kill people, the collapse of a building kills people.” In Arbuckle Industrieslatest interview released following their world premiere of Archiculture, architect humanitarian Shigeru Ban clearly delineates “natural” disasters as a product of mankind, rather than nature. Hear the Pritzker laureate’s thoughts on designing for minorities, disasters, and the importance of travel in the video interview above. 

The Avery Review: Insightful Critical Writing Online

The Avery Review (AR), a new online journal dedicated to thinking about books, buildings and other architectural media, seeks to utilise the potential in the critical essay and repackage it for the digital realm. A project of the Office of Publications at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, the AR's responsive website (designed by Nothing in Common) perfectly matches the exceptional quality of the content. Featuring essays from Owen Hatherley and Amale Andraos, among others, the overarching aim of the review is to "explore the broader implications of a given object of discourse" whether that be "text, film, exhibition, building, project, or urban environment."

Find out more from editors Caitlin Blanchfield and James Graham after the break.

Galvanizing a Legacy: FAT's Final Built Work is Unveiled

The scaffolding has come down, revealing the first glimpse of FAT's extraordinary A House For Essex. Designed in collaboration with British ceramic artist Grayson Perry and commissioned by Alain de Botton’s alternative holiday rental project Living Architecture, the house will be the final built work that FAT complete. The bejewelled two bedroom dwelling, topped with a shimmering golden copper alloy roof and clad in glinting green and white tiles, sits in the rolling landscape of Essex - Charles Holland (FAT) and Perry’s home county. Adorned with sculptures integrated into a wider narrative that spatially recounts the life of a fictional character called Julie, the barn-like shape, bold colours and decoration has not simply garnered widespread attention but has also captured people’s curiosity.

Find out more about the project in an interview with the architect after the break.

Sculptures by Grayson Perry. Image © FAT/ Living Architecture Section. Image © FAT/ Living Architecture Under Construction (August 2014). Image © Dave King / Channel 4 Television Aerial View. Image © FAT/ Living Architecture

Video: Inside Steven Holl's Reid Building at Glasgow School of Art

Steven Holl Architects, in collaboration with Spirit of Space, have created two short films of the recently completed Seona Reid Building at Glasgow School of Art. The film series explores the complementary contrast of the new Reid Building and Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s 1909 building (which recently suffered a devastating fire), where "each work of architecture heightens the integral qualities of the other."

The first film takes the viewers on a "poetic climb" up and through the building's social circuit, which "purposefully encourages inter-disciplinary activity, with the hope to inspire positive energy for the future of art." The second film unpacks the design of the Reid Building in a conversation with design architects Steven Holl and Chris McVoy.

Video: Charles Jencks on the 2014 Venice Biennale

In this extended interview by the Architectural Review, Charles Jencks provides an in-depth description of the 2014 Venice Biennale and critiques his former student Rem Koolhaas' overall curation and theme: Fundamentals.

Arguing that the previous thirteen Biennales have, "more or less, tried to predict what is going to happen over the next five years," "Rem Koolhaas has changed the paradigm:" Rem's Biennale is about "the past of the present". Jencks, who describes Koolhaas as "the Corbusier of our time", suggests that his Biennale is about analysis rather than total synthesis. He has, however, "shown that research can be creative."

Sam Jacob & Wouter Vanstiphout on Curating "A Clockwork Jerusalem"

The British Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale takes the large scale projects of the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s and explores the "mature flowering of British Modernism at the moment it was at its most socially, politically and architecturally ambitious but also the moment that witnessed its collapse." The exhibition tells the story of how British modernity emerged out of an unlikely combination of interests and how "these modern visions continue to create our physical and imaginative landscapes." To those who know the UK's architectural heritage, this cultural and social history is delivered in a way which feels strangely familiar, whilst uncovering fascinating hidden histories of British modernity that continue to resonate in the 21st century.

We caught up with Sam Jacob, co-founder of FAT Architecture (of which this exhibition is their final project), and Wouter Vanstiphout, partner at Rotterdam-based Crimson Architectural Historians, outside the British Pavilion to discuss the ideas behind, and significance of, A Clockwork Jerusalem.

© James Taylor-Foster
© James Taylor-Foster

Video: Alvaro Siza Denounces Architecture's "Hyper-Specialization"

In this video, produced by Hugo Oliveira, Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza denounces the "hyper-specialization" of architecture, outlining its academic roots as well as its practical implications for practice. Siza mentions how, in Portugal, a law was considered to limit architects to their specific specialities - exterior architects could not design interiors, for example. According to Siza, this tendency towards "hyper" or over specialization is unfortunate, as it gives rise to the segmentation of the discipline into subcategories - interior architecture, exterior architecture, landscape architecture, etc. - that undermine collaboration and team work. 

Also make sure to check out the first part of this interview, where Siza discusses the obsolescence of buildings. 

"Design Mind" Witold Rybczynski Discusses His Latest Work

While most of the profession looks forward, author Witold Rybczynski is focused on the past. Named 2014's “Design Mind” by the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum earlier this month, Rybczynski writes about historical buildings to give a better understanding of modern architecture. In a recent interview with the New York Times, Rybczynski talks about his latest book “How Architecture Works: A Humanist’s Toolkit,” the dangers of “celebrity” architecture, and his favorite non-designer chair. Check out the full interview here.