the world's most visited architecture website

Exhibition / Conceptions of Space: Recent Acquisitions in Contemporary Architecture

Focusing on recent acquisitions in MoMA’s Department of Architecture and Design, Conceptions of Space addresses how contemporary architects continue to embrace spatial creation as a fundamental focus of their work. The exhibition reveals how, beyond formal traits and functional needs, the conception and articulation of architectural space still defines architecture as an artistic endeavor, and a response to wider cultural issues.

Moon Ji Bang Wins Inaugural MMCA Young Architects Program in South Korea

The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 has announced a partnership with the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) in Seoul that has expanded the international Young Architects Program (YAP) to South Korea. Just as YAP presents opportunities for emerging architects to design and build temporary installations in New York, Chile, Rome and Istanbul, YAP Korea will offer the MMCA’s outdoor Museum Plaza as the summer installation site. 

Already, a winner has been chosen from 26 submissions to serve as the inaugural YAP Korea installation. With completion planned for July 8, winning team Moon Ji Bang (Threshold) is amidst the final preparations for mystical, mythology-inspired installation that will transcend visitors from the daily hustle into a cloud-like landscape of air balloon structures.

The Future of Brick: Biodegradable And Bacterial

MoMA’s PS1 exhibit in Queens is a showcase for young architects with lofty ideas. This year’s winning firm “The Living” designed "Hi-Fy" - a biodegradable brick tower. Although the idea might seem far-fetched for housing, the idea is gaining traction. North Carolina start-up bioMason, recently won the Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Challenge for their “biodegradable bricks.” So Kieron Monks at CNN had to ask the question, would you live in a house made of sand, bacteria or fungi? Find out the benefits of these modern bricks here.

What If MOMA Had Expanded Underground (And Saved The American Folk Art Museum)?

In January of this year, the latest work by Smiljan Radic, the Chilean architect chosen to design the next Serpentine Pavilion, opened to public acclaim. The Museum of Pre-Columbian Art (Museo de Arte Precolombino), located in Santiago de Chile, is a restoration project that managed to sensitively maintain an original colonial structure  - all while increasing the space by about 70%. 

Two days before the The Museum of Pre-Columbian Art opened, the Museum of Metropolitan Art (MOMA) in New York issued a statement that it would demolish the American Folk Art Museum (AFAM), designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, in order to accomplish its envisioned expansion. Two weeks ago, preparations for demolition began.

Some background: MOMA had hired Diller Scofidio + Renfro a year earlier to design the expansion. The office asked for a period of six months to consider the possibilities of integrating the American Folk Art Museum into the design. After studying a vast array of options (unknown to the public) they were unable to accommodate MOMA’s shifting program needs with the AFAM building. They proposed a new circulation loop with additional gallery space and new program located where the AFAM is (was) located.

What appears here is not strictly a battle between an institution that wants to reflect the spirit of the time vs a building that is inherently specific to its place. It represents a lost design opportunity. What if the American Folk Art Museum had been considered an untouchable civic space in the city of New York, much like the The Museum of Pre-Columbian Art is for the city for Santiago? Then a whole new strategy for adaptive reuse would have emerged.

Renovation of the Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art / Smiljan Radic. Image Courtesy of The Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art Diagrams of the plan for the renovation of the Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art / Smiljan Radic. Image Courtesy of Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino's Facebook Page Renovation of the Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art, in progress. Image Courtesy of Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino's Facebook Page Renovation of the Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art / Smiljan Radic. Image © Nico Saieh

MoMA PS1 YAP 2014 Runner-Up: Underberg / LAMAS

Wouldn't it be nice to save a little cold for when it’s hot (and maybe a little warmth for when it’s cold)? This was the premise of LAMAS’s MoMA PS1 runner-up proposal, UnderbergUnderberg is an urban iceberg. Though it isn't a native New Yorker, it has adapted to its new home in New York City and its crevasses take on the form of the avenues and streets of the gridiron. 

Underberg was one of five proposals shortlisted for the annual MoMA PS1 Young Architect’s Program (YAP) competition, which was won by the Living’s compostable brick tower. More on this proposal, after the break...

MoMA PS1 YAP 2014 Runner-Up: Mirror Mirror / Collective-LOK

© Collective-LOK
© Collective-LOK

A vision by Jon Lott (PARA-Project), William O’Brien Jr. (WOJR), and Michael Kubo (over,under)Collective–LOK’s compelling proposal to reimagine MoMA PS1’s triangular courtyard with a billowing “urban mirror” was one of five finalists shortlisted for the annual competition’s 15th edition. Though the Living’s compostable brick tower was ultimately crowned winner, the Collective-LOK’s Mirror Mirror was an intriguing proposal that transcended the boundaries of the site. 

Dear MoMA, Couldn't the Nouvel Tower Save the American Folk Art Museum?

In this Metropolis Magazine post on MoMA's planned demolition of the American Folk Art Museum, Karrie Jacobs asks a strangely unasked question: How has the Nouvel Tower - in its day the most controversial of MoMA's expansion plans - not been brought into the debate? The Jean Nouvel-designed tower was predicated up a circulation plan that, by necessity, ignored the (then occupied) Folk Art Museum entirely. Why is this plan no longer possible? Read the fascinating argument here.

Behind "Hy-Fi": The Organic, Compostable Tower That Won MoMA PS1's Young Architects Program 2014

This article, published by Metropolis Magazine as "Behind the Living's "100% Organic" Pavilion for MoMA PS1", goes behind the plans for this year's MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program's winning design, "Hy-Fi" - looking at the compostable eco-bricks which make the design possible.

"It all starts on local farms with waste corn stalks," says Sam Harrington of Ecovative, who will help build this year’s winning entry for the MoMA PS1 Young Architect’s Program. Hy-Fi, designed by the New York-based firm The Living, will be made of bricks that are entirely organic and ultimately, compostable. A good chunk of that material is corn stalks, stained clay-red with an organic dye from Shabd Simon-Alexander and Audrey Louisere . The rest is mycelium—mushroom roots to you and me—that will hold the corn stalks together as they cohere into a molded shape. The technology, developed by Ecovative in 2007, has so far been used as a packaging material. "But we love the chance to try something bold, and that’s what PS1 is all about," Harrington says.

Read more about the bricks behind Hy-Fi after the break

MoMA to Preserve Folk Art Facade

Though it has been confirmed that Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s Museum of Modern Art expansion will result in the demise of Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects' American Folk Art Museum, the New York Times has confirmed that the beloved copper-bronze facade will be preserved. 

“We will take the facade down, piece by piece, and we will store it,” Glenn D. Lowry, the director of the Museum of Modern Art, said in an interview. “We have made no decision about what happens subsequently, other than the fact that we’ll have it and it will be preserved.”

A Master Architect's Surprising Obsession

Frank Lloyd Wright—perhaps the most influential American architect of the 20th century—was deeply ambivalent about cities. For decades, Wright was seen as the prophet of America's post-World War II suburban sprawl, yet the cities he imagined were also carefully planned, and very different from the disorganized landscapes that were often developed instead. Paradoxically, Wright was also a lifelong prophet of the race for height (think skyscrapers) that played, and continues to play, out around the world.

Glenn Lowry on American Folk Art Museum: The Decision Has Been Made

Yesterday, Glenn Lowry, director of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and Elizabeth Diller, principal of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, presented their plans for the MoMA expansion to an audience in New York City, insisting  - once again - that they require the demolition of the American Folk Art Museum

The presentation was part of a larger event, "A Conversation on the Museum of Modern Art’s Plan for Expansion," presented by The Architectural League, the Municipal Art Society, and the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter. After Lowry and Diller reiterated their case, a panel of experts - including the editor of Architectural Record, Cathleen McGuigan, and critic Nicolai Ouroussoff - gave their opinions on the subject (some panelists spousing particularly anti-MoMA sentiments). ArchDaily was there to catch the conversation; read on after the break for the highlights. 

Liz Diller on MoMA Expansion: We'd Be Against Us Too "If We Didn’t Know All the Details That We Know"

In a must-read interview with Christopher Hawthorne of the Los Angeles Times, Liz Diller defends her firm, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and their design of the MoMA expansion.

Hawthorne asks some great, insightful questions: from whether or not architecture should be considered ephemeral to whether or not idiosyncratic architecture is more vulnerable to change. Diller responds with some fascinating points, claiming that if DS+R's ICA museum in Boston faced demolition, she'd understand because of the possibility that "at a certain point [a building] takes on another identity." But perhaps the most poignant response is the one that she gives regarding the maelstrom of negative criticism surrounding the demolition of the Folk Art Museum, saying, "We would be on the same side if we didn’t know all the details that we know." To learn more about those "details," read on for excerpts from the interview...

Critical Round-Up: Reaction to the Folk Art Museum's Demolition, MoMA's Expansion

The flurry of criticism that erupted when MoMA announced its plans to demolish the American Folk Art Museum (in its new plans for expansion, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro) has yet to settle. After the break, we offer a more complete round-up of the critics' reactions - including Paul Goldberger's of Vanity Fair, Michael Kimmelman's for The New York Times, and more...

YAP 2013: bam! Debuts ‘He’ at MAXXI

He has made his debut in the MAXXI piazza. As the winner of the Young Architects Program (YAP) in Rome, Turin-based studio Bam! Bottega di Architettura metropolitan has transformed the concrete facade of the Zaha Hadid-designed museum into a visual spectacular with the installation of a yellow, translucent and aerostatic prism. 

MoMA Enlists Six Architect Teams to Develop Proposals for Expanding Megacities

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has collaborated with Vienna’s Museum of Applied Arts (MAK) to launch a 14-month initiative that will examine new architectural possibilities that address the rapid and uneven growth of six global metropolises: New York, Rio de Janeiro, Mumbai, Lagos, Hong Kong, and Istanbul. 

Organized by Pedro Gadanho, Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities enlists six interdisciplinary teams of international architecture and urbanism scholars, experts, and practitioners to participate in a series of workshops, with each team focusing on a specific city. 

AD Classics: The Museum of Modern Art

The entrance to the Museum of Modern Art is tucked beneath a demure facade of granite and glass in Midtown Manhattan. Its clean, regular planes mark Yoshio Taniguchi's 2004 addition to the MoMA's sequence of facades, which he preserved as a record of its form. Taniguchi's contribution sits beside the 1984 residential tower by Cesar Pelli and Associates, followed by Philip Goodwin and Edward Durell Stone’s original 1939 building, then Philip Johnson’s 1964 addition. Taniguchi was hired in 1997 to expand the Museum’s space and synthesize its disparate elements. His elegant, minimal solution presents a contemporary face for the MoMA while adhering to its Modernist roots.

53rd Street entrance. Image © Timothy Hursley The Atrium. Image © Timothy Hursley View of the gallery complex from 54th Street. Image © Timothy Hursley Sequence of facades on 53rd Street. Image © Timothy Hursley

In Pursuit of Architecture: A Conference on Buildings and Ideas

To mark its 10th anniversary and 29th issue, Log presents In Pursuit of Architecture, a conference featuring recent built work selected from an open, international call for submissions. Join architects and critics for a daylong discussion of architectural ideas, what it takes to build them, and how we measure the cultural value of architecture.

MoMA's Le Corbusier Exhibit is Must-See, Says Critic Alexandra Lange

Although critiquing the exhibit for some "critical flaws" - namely the choice of theme and the lack of explanatory text - Alexandra Lange's review for The New Yorker praises the MoMA's Le Corbusier exhibit, “An Atlas of Modern Landscapes,” as a "must-see" thanks to its varied displays, which show "the terrific span of Le Corbusier's career in time, space, and scale [...] If current architects take anything from the exhibition [...]  it should be the power of those big, gestural drawings, where visual and verbal argument vividly come together." Read the rest of Lange's critique at The New Yorker.