With a short career of only thirteen years, Italian architect Giuseppe Terragni (1904-1943) left an important legacy of built works that are now used as classic references of modern and rationalist architecture.
We traveled to Como and Milan to visit Terragni's emblematic works that clearly reflect his style. These projects are based on the organized configuration of architectural elements that individually appear clean, pure, and expressive, but together also form a harmonious whole.
These are: Novocomum, Casa Rustici, Asilo Sant'Elia, Casa Giuliani Frigerio and Casa Lavezzari.
Hiding out from the gentle Bogotá rain, a cat with turquoise eyes and a black and white coat prowls along the ledge of an office hidden in the midst of lush vegetation. A large window with a wooden frame filters the light and illuminates the interior: a desk, hundreds of books, manila folders, and backlit pictures. Sitting comfortably in his chair, 91-year-old Colombian architect Germán Samper takes a pencil, presses it to the surface of a sheet of paper, and begins to explain everything he is saying by drawing for us in the most clear and simple manner possible.
Whether he's giving instructions on taking a taxi in Bogotá or explaining the recent modifications to the historic Colsubisdio citadel, Samper -- a master of Colombian architecture -- can express ideas on paper with an ease that makes us think that drawing might be very simple, but it's really just a great trick.
Perseverance is key and Samper knows this from experience. "I don't understand why architects don't draw more if it is truly a pleasure," he ponders.
After the break, a conversation with Germán Samper and a series of unedited sketches by the Colombian architect.
The first woman to receive the Pritzker Prize in 2004, Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid tells newspaper El País that she was fortunate as a child to have traveled with her parents and seen some of the world’s most impressive works of architecture and engineering feats.
Awed by the Mosque of Cordoba, Hadid says that the contrast between the darkness and the marble of the central church left a lasting impression, making this one of her favorite works to this day.
Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret built sublime works amidst the unique landscape of Chandigarh, at the foothills of the Himalayas. They gave the city a new order, creating new axises, new perspectives and new landmarks. Built in the 1950s and early 1960s, the buildings form one of the most significant architectural complexes of the 20th century, offering a unique experience for visitors.
Architect and photographer Fernanda Antonio has shared photos with us from her journey throughout the city, capturing eight buildings and monuments, with special attention given to Le Corbusier’s Capital Complex. View all of the images after the break.
As an unavoidable art form, “architecture is one of humanity’s most visible and long-lasting forms of expression,” writes Complex Media. Within the past 150 years—the period of modern architecture—a distinct form of artistry has developed, significantly changing the way we look at the urban environments around us. To highlight some of the key figures in architecture over the past 150 years, Complex Media has created a list of “25 Architects You Should Know,” covering a range of icons including Zaha Hadid, Ieoh Ming Pei, Philip Johnson, Oscar Neimeyer, SOM, Daniel Libeskind, and more. Read the full list to learn more about each iconic architect, here.
The Getty Foundation has selected 14 modernist buildings from across the globe to receive grants under its Keeping It Modern initiative, which seeks to help conserve 20th century architecture by putting a focus on conservation planning and research.
“The use of concrete, while visually striking and radical for its time, has created a unique set of challenges for conserving some of the world’s most important modernist structures. Our new grants offer an excellent opportunity to advance research and conservation practices for this material. The accumulated knowledge that will result from the projects will be of tremendous benefit to the field," states the Getty Foundation.
As preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics escalate, so do concerns regarding the preservation of the city’s heritage; and more specifically, according to Tomas Maier, Japan’s modernist architecture. The Bottega Venneta creative director recently embarked on an “urgent visit” to Japan in an effort to evaluate the city’s risk of loosing its modernist icons. With special consideration for the overlooked and threatened Hotel Okura, Maier believes that this Yoshiro Taniguchi-designed landmark is just one of many structures at risk of falling to "progress.”
Watch the video above and learn more about how you can help preserve the Hotel Okura, here.
Although construction was never completed, "El Helicoide" ("The Helix") in Caracas is one of the most important relics of the Modern movement in Venezuela. The 73,000 square meter project - designed in 1955 by Jorge Romero Gutiérrez, Peter Neuberger and Dirk Bornhorst - takes the form of a double spiral topped by a large geodesic dome designed by Buckminster Fuller. It was characterized by a series of ascending and descending ramps meant to carry visitors to its variety of programmatic spaces - including 320 shops, a 5 star hotel, offices, a playground, a television studio and a space for events and conventions.
Today, Proyecto Helicoide (Project Helix) seeks to rescue the urban history and memory of the building through a series of exhibitions, publications and educational activities. More details on the initiative, after the break.
It was no surprise to Nikos Salingaros and Michael Mehaffy, who have investigated why modern architecture thrives despite its inability to live up to any of its longstanding promises -- aesthetic, social or utilitarian.
"Space, lines, light and sound" are the essential components of the experience of architecture and the most profound buildings have captured these moments through thoughtfully orchestrated design. Recently, architects that have designed churches with these primary elements in mind have come under criticism by the Vatican for diverting from the traditional form and iconography of churches. According to a recent article in The Telegraph, Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas' design for a church in Foligno, Italy has been labeled as problematic by the parish and Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Vatican's Pontificial Council for Culture for its resemblance to a museum instead of a place of worship - based on traditional Catholic values placed on the altar and imagery. Regardless of the Vatican's criticism of the aesthetic approach of architects that break with tradition, this seems more of an issue of miscommunication between the architects and the congregations that have commissioned the projects that are being criticized.
Architecture is inseparable from planning, and the huge challenge for the current generation is the growth and shrinkage of cities. Some cities, mainly in the Southern Hemisphere, are growing at exponential rates, while former global hubs in the northern are turning into countrysides. In the south, populations are still growing a lot, while populations are dwindling in Europe, Russia and North East Asia. The dream of the Bilbao effect was based on the hope that there might be a quick fix to both of these problems. Well, there is not.
A decade ago, few people even recognized this was a real issue and even today it is hardly ever mentioned in a political context. As a politician, you cannot say out loud that you have given up on a huge part of the electorate, or that it makes sense for the national economy to favor another part. Reclaiming the agricultural part of a nation is a political suicide issue whether you are in Europe or Latin America. And investing in urban development in a few, hand-picked areas while other areas are desolate is equally despised.
The one person, who is consistently thinking and writing about this problem, is Rem Koolhaas, a co-founder of OMA.
A collage of materials amongst the trunks of countless birch trees in the Finnish landscape, the Villa Mairea built by Alvar Aalto in 1939 is a significant dwelling that marks a transition from traditional to modern architecture. Built as a guest house and rural retreat for Harry and Maire Gullichsen, Aalto was given permission to experiment with his thoughts and styles, which becomes clear when studying the strangely cohesive residence.