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First House Designed by Gaudí to Open as Museum

08:00 - 16 April, 2017
First House Designed by Gaudí to Open as Museum, Casa Vicens. Image © Eric Huang [Flickr], bajo licencia CC BY-ND 2.0
Casa Vicens. Image © Eric Huang [Flickr], bajo licencia CC BY-ND 2.0

It has been confirmed that the museum opening date for the Casa Vicens in Barcelona has been rescheduled for the second half of 2017. Originally scheduled for the second half of 2016, the reopening of Gaudi's first house was not able to be completed due to the complicated and labor intensive renovations. This will be the first time the house, declared World Heritage site, will be open to the public without it being a residential or private space.

The Casa Vicens, located on 24 Carolines Street, was the first house ever designed by Antoni Gaudí. In 1883 Manel Vicens, promoter of the project, commissioned the architect to build what would be his summer home. At that time Gràcia, now a cosmopolitan neighborhood, was a separate town. Therefore, the project did not contemplate the possibility of other buildings being built around it, and so to this day, it remains a completely freestanding building in a neighborhood characterized by its compact character, narrow streets, and high density of population.

Detalle de la Casa Vicens. Image © Ian Gampon [Flickr], bajo licencia CC BY-ND 2.0 Detalle de la Casa Vicens. Image © Ian Gampon [Flickr], bajo licencia CC BY-ND 2.0 Detalle de la Casa Vicens. Image © Ian Gampon [Flickr], bajo licencia CC BY-ND 2.0 Detalle de la Casa Vicens. Image © Ian Gampon [Flickr], bajo licencia CC BY-ND 2.0 +5

Should Airbnb Help Save This High-Tech Gem?

09:30 - 14 April, 2017
Should Airbnb Help Save This High-Tech Gem?, The Columbus Occupational Health Association could be an ideal candidate for a partnership between Airbnb and Columbus, Indiana. Image Courtesy of H3
The Columbus Occupational Health Association could be an ideal candidate for a partnership between Airbnb and Columbus, Indiana. Image Courtesy of H3

This article was originally published by The Architect's Newspaper as "Why Airbnb should help save an architectural icon."

If I had to guess, I would say that it has been forty years since Columbus, Indiana, was the hot topic of cocktail conversations at design-related get-togethers in New York City. In those days, it was the supercharged patronage of industrialist J. Irwin Miller and his relationships with designers like Eero Saarinen and Alexander Girard that spurred a wave of innovative and provocative architecture in the small Midwestern town. Columbus, with a population of 45,000, has a Robert Venturi fire station, a John Johansen school, a park by Michael Van Valkenburgh, and several buildings by Eliel and Eero Saarinen, including the younger’s iconic Miller House.

Spotlight: Peter Behrens

06:00 - 14 April, 2017
Spotlight: Peter Behrens, The AEG Turbine Factory. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Berlin_AEG_Turbinenfabrik.jpg'>Wikimedia user Doris Antony</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a>
The AEG Turbine Factory. Image © Wikimedia user Doris Antony licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

If asked to name buildings by German architect and designer Peter Behrens (14 April 1868 – 27 February 1940), few people would be able to answer with anything other than his AEG Turbine Factory in Berlin. His style was not one that lends itself easily to canonization; indeed, even the Turbine Factory itself is difficult to appreciate without an understanding of its historical context. Despite this, Behrens' achievements are not to be underestimated, and his importance to the development of architecture might best be understood by looking at three young architects who worked in his studio around 1910: Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius.

Spotlight: Richard Neutra

14:00 - 8 April, 2017
Spotlight: Richard Neutra, Lovell House, 1929. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lovell_House,_Los_Angeles,_California.JPG'>Wikimedia user Los Angeles</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a>
Lovell House, 1929. Image © Wikimedia user Los Angeles licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Though Modernism is sometimes criticized for imposing universal rules on different people and areas, it was Richard J. Neutra's (April 8, 1892 – April 16, 1970) intense client focus that won him acclaim. His personalized and flexible version of modernism created a series of private homes that were—and still are—highly sought after, making him one of the United States' most significant mid-century modernists. His architecture of simple geometry and airy steel and glass became the subject of the iconic photographs of Julius Schulman, and came to stand for an entire era of American design.

Miller House, 1938. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/28238346@N00/338006894/'>Flickr user IK's World Trip</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a> Cyclorama, Gettsyburg. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gettysburg_Cyclorama_Neutra_PA3.jpg'>Wikimedia user Acroterion</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a> Lovell House, 1929. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/aseles/6149131597'>Flickr user aseles</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-ND 2.0</a> Kaufmann House, 1947. Image © Barbara Alfors 2000 <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kaufman_House_Palm_Springs.jpg'>via Wikimedia</a? licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a> +7

11 Architecture, Design and Urbanism Podcasts to Start Listening to Now

07:15 - 5 April, 2017
11 Architecture, Design and Urbanism Podcasts to Start Listening to Now

It can sometimes feel as if the world is divided into two camps: those who do not listen to podcasts (probably because they don’t know what a podcast is) and those who listen to podcasts, love podcasts, and keep badgering their friends for recommendations so they can start listening to even more.

Unlike other media, it’s notoriously difficult to discover and share podcasts – even more so if you’re looking for a podcast on a niche subject like architecture, design or urbanism. To help you in your hour of need, Metropolis’ Vanessa Quirk (author of Guide to Podcasting) and ArchDaily’s James Taylor-Foster (whose silvery tones you may have heard on various architecture and design audio stories) have come together to compile this list of eleven podcasts you should subscribe to.

Spotlight: Hans Hollein

11:30 - 30 March, 2017
Spotlight: Hans Hollein, Büro + Fabriksgebäude, Tainan, Taiwan, 2005-2008. Image © Atelier Adam Chen
Büro + Fabriksgebäude, Tainan, Taiwan, 2005-2008. Image © Atelier Adam Chen

Described by Richard Meier as an architect whose "groundbreaking ideas" have "had a major impact on the thinking of designers and architects," Austrian artist, architect, designer, theoretician and Pritzker Prize laureate Hans Hollein worked in all aspects of design, from architecture to furniture, jewelry, glasses, lamps—even door handles. Known in particular for his museum designs, from the Abteiberg Museum in Mönchengladbach to the Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt to Vienna's Modernism.

Büro + Fabriksgebäude, Tainan, Taiwan, 2005-2008. Image © Atelier Adam Chen VULCANIA Centre Européen du Volcanisme, Auvergne, Frankreich, 1994-2002. Image © Atelier Hans Hollein / Sina Baniahmad Kerzengeschäft Marius Retti, Wien, Österreich, 1964–1965. Image © Franz Hubmann Haas Haus, Geschäftshaus, Wien, Österreich, 1985-1990. Image © Atelier Hans Hollein / Sina Baniahmad +47

Inside Philip Johnson's Underappreciated Glass House in Manhattan

09:30 - 25 March, 2017

The architectural legacy of the Rockefeller family in Manhattan is well-known, most obviously demonstrated in the slab-like Art Deco towers of the Rockefeller Center and the ever-expanding campus of the MoMA. But in a city that is filled with landmarks and historic buildings, it's easy for even the most remarkable projects to go unrecognized. Philip Johnson's Rockefeller Guest House in Manhattan was completed in 1950, just one year after the construction of his better known Glass House in New Canaan. The Glass House is an obvious cousin to the later guest house: both feature largely empty glass and steel boxlike forms, where structural work is exposed and celebrated.

AD Classics: Gallaratese Quarter / Aldo Rossi & Carlo Aymonino

11:15 - 14 March, 2017
AD Classics: Gallaratese Quarter / Aldo Rossi & Carlo Aymonino, © Gili Merin
© Gili Merin

As the dust settled following the Second World War much of Europe was left with a crippling shortage of housing. In Milan, a series of plans were drafted in response to the crisis, laying out satellite communities for the northern Italian city which would each house between 50,000 to 130,000 people. Construction the first of these communities began in 1946, one year after the end of the conflict; ten years later in 1956, the adoption of Il Piano Regolatore Generale—a new master plan—set the stage for the development of the second, known as 'Gallaratese'. The site of the new community was split into parts 1 and 2, the latter of which was owned by the Monte Amiata Società Mineraria per Azioni. When the plan allowed for private development of Gallaratese 2 in late 1967, the commission for the project was given to Studio Ayde and, in particular, its partner Carlo Aymonino. Two months later Aymonino would invite Aldo Rossi to design a building for the complex and the two Italians set about realizing their respective visions for the ideal microcosmic community.[1]

© Gili Merin © Gili Merin © Gili Merin © Gili Merin +17

AD Classics: Master Plan for Chandigarh / Le Corbusier

05:30 - 2 March, 2017
AD Classics: Master Plan for Chandigarh / Le Corbusier, © Laurian Ghinitoiu
© Laurian Ghinitoiu

On August 15, 1947, on the eve of India’s independence from the United Kingdom, came a directive which would transform the subcontinent for the next six decades. In order to safeguard the country’s Muslim population from the Hindu majority, the departing colonial leaders set aside the northwestern and eastern portions of the territory for their use. Many of the approximately 100 million Muslims living scattered throughout India were given little more than 73 days to relocate to these territories, the modern-day nations of Pakistan and Bangladesh. As the borders for the new countries were drawn by Sir Cyril Radcliffe (an Englishman whose ignorance of Indian history and culture was perceived, by the colonial government, as an assurance of his impartiality), the state of Punjab was bisected between India and Pakistan, the latter of which retained ownership of the state capital of Lahore.[1] It was in the wake of this loss that Punjab would found a new state capital: one which would not only serve the logistical requirements of the state, but make an unequivocal statement to the entire world that a new India—modernized, prosperous, and independent—had arrived.

© Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu +59

Spotlight: Lúcio Costa

11:30 - 27 February, 2017
Spotlight: Lúcio Costa, The monumental axis central to Costa's plan. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Monumental_axis.jpg'>Wikimedia user Limongi</a> Licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY 3.0</a>
The monumental axis central to Costa's plan. Image © Wikimedia user Limongi Licensed under CC BY 3.0

Brazilian planner, preservationist and modernist thinker Lúcio Costa  (27 Feburary 1902 – 13 June 1998) is best known for his 1957 plan of Brasília that shaped the Brazilian capital into a monument to utopian modernism. A resolute and often controversial figure in the Brazilian establishment, Costa’s contributions to Brazilian architecture helped to shape the distinctive modernism that was practically Brazil’s official style until the 1980s.

The original pilot plan. Image Courtesy of O Espaço Lúcio Costa © Imagens AMB The monumental axis central to Costa's plan. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Monumental_axis.jpg'>Wikimedia user Limongi</a> Licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY 3.0</a> The Asa Sul district of Brasília. Image Courtesy of Portal da Copa +8

The Man Who Designed the Future: Norman Bel Geddes

12:25 - 16 February, 2017
The Man Who Designed the Future: Norman Bel Geddes, Photo of B. Alexandra Szerlip by Adam Keker
Photo of B. Alexandra Szerlip by Adam Keker

B. Alexandra Szerlip gives a free, public talk about her new book, The Man Who Designed the Future: Norman Bel Geddes and the Invention of Twentieth-Century America (Melville House).

A ninth-grade dropout who found himself at the center of the worlds of industry, advertising, theater, and even gaming, Norman Bel Geddes designed everything from the first all-weather stadium to Manhattan’s most exclusive nightclub, to Futurama, the prescient 1939 exhibit that envisioned how America would look in the not-too-distant sixties.

Mies van der Rohe's Tower in London That Never Was

07:00 - 6 February, 2017
Mies van der Rohe's Tower in London That Never Was, Vizualisation. Image Courtesy Drawing Matter, REAL foundation. Image © John Donat
Vizualisation. Image Courtesy Drawing Matter, REAL foundation. Image © John Donat

In the 1960s James Stirling asked Ludwig Mies van der Rohe why he didn’t design utopian visions for new societies, like those of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Broadacre City or Corbusier’s Cité Radieuse. Mies replied that he wasn’t interested in fantasies, but only in “making the existing city beautiful.” When Stirling recounted the conversation several decades later it was to the audience of a public enquiry convened in London – he was desperately trying to save Mies’ only UK design from being rejected in planning.

It couldn’t be done: the scheme went unbuilt; the drawings were buried in a private archive. Now, for the first time in more than thirty years, Mies’ Mansion House Square will be presented to the public in both a forthcoming exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)—Mies van der Rohe and James Stirling: Circling the Square—and, if it is successful, a book currently being funded through Kickstarter by the REAL foundation.

Vizualisation. Image Courtesy Drawing Matter, REAL foundation. Image © John Donat Interior vizualisation. Image Courtesy Drawing Matter, REAL foundation. Image © John Donat Urban plan. Image Courtesy Drawing Matter, REAL foundation. Image © John Donat Vizualisation. Image Courtesy Drawing Matter, REAL foundation. Image © John Donat +5

The Record Company Headquarters that Revived 1950s Hollywood with Iconic Architecture

09:30 - 28 January, 2017
Courtesy of TASCHEN
Courtesy of TASCHEN

This essay by Alan Hess about the iconic Capitol Records building in Los Angeles was originally published as "The Architecture of the Capitol Records Tower." It is part of the book 75 Years of Capitol Records, published by TASCHEN, which is scheduled for release in February.

The president of Capitol Records was certain that a serious company could not operate out of a building that looked like the stack of records in a jukebox. So when Welton Becket, the new headquarters’ architect, showed him a model of the multistoried circular tower, Wallichs was annoyed. It would look like an advertising gimmick, Wallichs said, in a city where hot dogs were sold out of buildings shaped like hot dogs. Becket countered that the circular floor plan was more cost-efficient for the amount of usable space than a standard rectangular office building. Unimpressed, Wallichs told Becket to go back and design a conventional building.

The myth that a stack of records inspired the Tower has never died, though. As soon as the building opened, Hollywood columnist Bob Thomas wrote about it as “a monstrous stack of records.” Wallichs went on a public offensive from the start: “There was no intentional relationship between the shape of phonograph records and the circular design of the Tower” he insisted to the Chicago Tribune.

The Unexpected Stories Behind 10 Skyscrapers That Were Actually Built

04:00 - 24 January, 2017
The Unexpected Stories Behind 10 Skyscrapers That Were Actually Built, Torre Velasca. Image © José Tomás Franco
Torre Velasca. Image © José Tomás Franco

As long as there have been buildings mankind has sought to construct its way to the heavens. From stone pyramids to steel skyscrapers, successive generations of designers have devised ever more innovative ways to push the vertical boundaries of architecture. Whether stone or steel, however, each attempt to reach unprecedented heights has represented a vast undertaking in terms of both materials and labor – and the more complex the project, the greater the chance for things to go awry.

Ryugyong Hotel. Image © José Tomás Franco Robot Building. Image © José Tomás Franco CCTV Headquarters. Image © José Tomás Franco Cayan Tower. Image © José Tomás Franco +21

Skopje 2014 is a Controversial Project Aimed at Remodeling the European City

14:00 - 1 January, 2017
Skopje 2014 is a Controversial Project Aimed at Remodeling the European City, Courtesy of © Wikimedia user Pudelek licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
Courtesy of © Wikimedia user Pudelek licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

After the earthquake in Skopje in 1963, a slew of foreign architects worked to change the capital into an architecturally dynamic urban landscape. Now, that vision may be obsolete.  In Architects of Modernist Skopje Decry Retrograde Remodel, Bojan Blazhevski investigates the overwhelming number of buildings enduring "Skopje 2014" — a remodeling of existing buildings in the capital city. More than 20 modernist buildings have already been made over. Described as "kitsch" by a hostel manager in the city, the project, which aims to draw in more tourists and regain historical elements, has culminated in a neo-classical display. The imitation buildings, however, have produced controversy, with opinions divided on the aesthetic quality of the project. 

Interview with Neil Durbach: “You Don't Want to do the Same Thing Again; You Want to do Better!"

09:30 - 14 December, 2016
Interview with Neil Durbach: “You Don't Want to do the Same Thing Again; You Want to do Better!", Holman House (2004). Image © Peter Bennetts
Holman House (2004). Image © Peter Bennetts

Alongside Camilla Block and David Jaggers, Neil Durbach of Durbach Block Jaggers has carved out a unique place in Australian architecture. Known primarily for their carefully sculpted modernist houses, the firm's architecture is simultaneously rich in architectural references and thoroughly original. In this interview, the latest in Vladimir Belogolovsky's “City of Ideas” series, Durbach explains the true inspirations behind their work, why these inspirations have little to do with the public descriptions of their projects, and why for him, the intention of all of his architecture “is to win Corb’s approval.”

Vladimir Belogolovsky: You came to Australia while the Sydney Opera House was still under construction. Does this mean you were here even before going to the US?

Neil Durbach: Yes, I first came to Australia as an exchange student while still in high school.

VB: So you have seen the Opera under construction then. How special was that? Did that building change anything in particular in you?

ND: Well, at that time I wanted to be an artist. A friend took me on a boat to see it. It was kind of staggering... And I thought – you know, this is much more interesting than art. And I felt – maybe architecture is what I should pursue.

Commonwealth Place (2002). Image © John Gollings North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club (2013). Image © John Gollings Roslyn Street (2009). Image © Anthony Browell UTS Thomas St Building (2014). Image © Anthony Browell +42

AD Classics: Trylon and Perisphere / Harrison and Fouilhoux

04:00 - 11 December, 2016
AD Classics: Trylon and Perisphere / Harrison and Fouilhoux, Courtesy of Flickr user Richard under CC BY 2.0
Courtesy of Flickr user Richard under CC BY 2.0

With the onset of the Great Depression in the 1930s, the great World’s Fairs that had been held around the globe since the Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1851 lost much of their momentum. With the specter of another global conflict looming like a stormcloud on the horizon in the latter half of the decade, prospects for the future only grew darker. It was in this air of uncertainty and fear that the gleaming white Trylon and Perisphere of the 1939 New York World’s Fair made their debuts, the centerpiece of an exhibition that presented a vision of hope for things to come.

Image via MetMuseum.org (Public Domain) A quarter section of the Perisphere reveals its steel skeletal structure. ImageImage via nyworldsfaircollections.tumblr.com (Public Domain) Image via nyworldsfaircollections.tumblr.com (Public Domain) The Helicline connected the Trylon and Perisphere and allowed visitors to make their way back to the ground from six stories up +8

AD Classics: Space Needle / John Graham & Company

04:00 - 7 December, 2016
Courtesy of Wikimedia user Rattlhed (Public Domain)
Courtesy of Wikimedia user Rattlhed (Public Domain)

The opening of the Century 21 Exposition on April 21, 1962 transformed the image of Seattle and the American Northwest in the eyes of the world. The region, which had been known until that point more for its natural resources than as a cultural capital, established a new reputation as a center of emergent technologies and aerospace design. This new identity was embodied by the centerpiece of the exposition: the Space Needle, a slender assemblage of steel and reinforced concrete which became—and remains—Seattle’s most iconic landmark.[1]

The Space Needle under construction before its opening in April 1962. ImageCourtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives (Public Domain) Courtesy of Wikimedia user Cacophony (Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0) A 1962 cutaway drawing of the Space Needle's tophouse. ImageCourtesy of Flickr user James Vaughan (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) This sketched rendering of the Space Needle dates to April 1961 – one year before its opening. ImageCourtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives (Public Domain) +7