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Monocle 24's 'Section D' Explores Public Space in Bandung and Housing in Montreal

This edition of Section DMonocle 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft, travels to Indonesia’s third city Bandung, where former architect and current Mayor Ridwan Kamil "is transforming public space." The show also takes a tour of three early 20th-century apartment buildings in Montreal, and hears from Neri & Hu Design and Research Office in Shanghai.

The Architectural Lab: A History Of World Expos

The Universal Exposition of 1889. Image © Wikimedia Commons
The Universal Exposition of 1889. Image © Wikimedia Commons

World Expos have long been important in advancing architectural innovation and discourse. Many of our most beloved monuments were designed and constructed specifically for world’s fairs, only to remain as iconic fixtures in the cities that host them. But what is it about Expos that seem to create such lasting architectural landmarks, and is this still the case today? Throughout history, each new Expo offered architects an opportunity to present radical ideas and use these events as a creative laboratory for testing bold innovations in design and building technology. World’s fairs inevitably encourage competition, with every country striving to put their best foot forward at almost any cost. This carte blanche of sorts allows architects to eschew many of the programmatic constraints of everyday commissions and concentrate on expressing ideas in their purest form. Many masterworks such as Mies van der Rohe’s German Pavilion (better known as the Barcelona Pavilion) for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition are so wholeheartedly devoted to their conceptual approach that they could only be possible in the context of an Exposition pavilion.

To celebrate the opening of Expo Milano 2015 tomorrow, we’ve rounded up a few of history’s most noteworthy World Expositions to take a closer look at their impact on architectural development.

1964 New York World’s Fair . Image via People for the Pavillion website Buckminster Fuller's Dome. Image © Flickr user abdallahh Barcelona Pavilion. Image © Gili Merin Kiyonari Kikutake's Landmark Tower

AD Classics: German Pavilion, Expo '67 / Frei Otto and Rolf Gutbrod

The pivotal turning point in the late Frei Otto’s career – capped by last month’s Pritzker announcement – came nearly fifty years ago at the Expo ’67 World’s Fair in Montreal, Quebec. In collaboration with architect Rolf Gutbrod, Otto was responsible for the exhibition pavilion of the Federal Republic of Germany, a tensile canopy structure that brought his experiments in lightweight architecture to the international stage for the first time. Together with Fuller’s Biosphere and Safdie’s Habitat 67, the German Pavilion was part of the Expo’s late-modern demonstration of the potential of technology, pre-fabrication, and mass production to generate a new humanitarian direction for architecture. This remarkable collection at the Expo was both the zenith of modern meliorism and its tragic swan song; never since has the world seen such a singularly hopeful display of innovative architecture.

Form-finding study model. Image © Frei Otto Inside the German Pavilion during Expo '67. Image © Frei Otto © Frei Otto Nighttime inverted the flow of light through the canopy wells. Image © Frei Otto

Photographer Chris Forsyth on the Montreal Metro, Going Underground, and Overlooked Architecture

Montreal-based photographer Chris Forsyth doesn't see his city the way others do -- that much is evident from his body of work, which includes rooftop photos of the Montreal skyline, nocturnal shots taken from the arm of a crane and now, images from the underground. The Montreal Metro Project is Forsyth's latest series, documenting the often overlooked architecture of the urban subway since October 2014.

Composed of 68 stations, each designed by a different architect between the 60s and 70s, the Montreal Metro system is as diverse and idiosyncratic as the city it underpins. Forsyth captures the stations empty of passengers, highlighting their architecture and reframing them in a manner rarely experienced.  ArchDaily spoke to Forsyth about the series and the creative process behind it. Read his responses and view selected images from The Montreal Metro project after the break. 

Lasalle Station. Image © Chris Forsyth Radisson Station. Image © Chris Forsyth De La Savane Station. Image © Chris Forsyth Jarry Station. Image © Chris Forsyth

Upcoming Montreal Lecture: Brendan MacFarlane

This year's second installment of Index Design's Master Classe series will feature architect Brendan MacFarlane on March 24, 2015, from 6:00 to 8:00PM in Montreal. MacFarlane, co-founder of the internationally-acclaimed design firm Jakob + MacFarlane, will discuss his iconic and award-winning work, and his pursuit of creating architecture that "leaves nobody indifferent." To purchase tickets and for more information, visit masterclasses.index-design.ca.

Offices Broccolini Construction / Rubin et Rotman architectes

© Stéphane Brügger © Stéphane Brügger © Stéphane Brügger © Stéphane Brügger

Provencher_Roy Wins RAIC’s 2015 Architectural Firm Award

Montreal-based practice Provencher_Roy has been selected to receive the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s (RAIC) 2015 Architectural Firm Award. Chosen for their consistent, high quality work that spans 32 years, the 150-person firm was also praised by the jury for their dedication to mentorship. 

“Provencher_Roy was chosen for the breadth and consistently high quality of work over many years,” said the five-member jury. “They have worked with a broad range of clients and project types. The firm is recognized for its collaborative work and the excellence of its working and peer-learning environment.”

Holy Cross House / Thomas Balaban Architect

© Adrien Williams © Adrien Williams © Adrien Williams © Adrien Williams

Drolet Residence / NatureHumaine

© Adrien Williams © Adrien Williams © Adrien Williams © Adrien Williams

Maison De Gaspé / la SHED architecture

© Maxime Brouillet © Maxime Brouillet © Maxime Brouillet © Maxime Brouillet

Patisserie À La Folie / Atelier Moderno + Anne Sophie Goneau

© Stéphane Groleau © Stéphane Groleau © Stéphane Groleau © Stéphane Groleau

ATRIUM - Groupe Dynamite / Ædifica

  • Architects: Ædifica
  • Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
  • Area: 9800.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: François Descôteaux

© François Descôteaux © François Descôteaux © François Descôteaux © François Descôteaux

Prince Philip Residence / Thellend Fortin Architectes

© Charles Lanteigne photo © Charles Lanteigne photo © Charles Lanteigne photo © Charles Lanteigne photo

The Bibliothèque du Boisé / Consortium Labonté Marcil, Cardinal Hardy, Eric Pelletier architectes

  • Architects: Lemay
  • Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
  • Architects: Consortium Labonté Marcil, Cardinal Hardy, Eric Pelletier architectes
  • Presented by: Lemay
  • Area: 5000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Yien Chao

© Yien Chao © Yien Chao © Yien Chao © Yien Chao

SSENSE / Humà Design

© Adrien Williams © Adrien Williams © Adrien Williams © Adrien Williams

Competition Entry: Saucier + Perrotte Designs Glass Pavilion for Montreal Botanical Garden

Conceived as a natural extension of the existing pathways at Montreal’s Botanical Garden, Saucier + Perrotte architectes’ proposal for the “Espace Pour la Vie Glass Pavilion” competition was envisioned as an immersive glass shelter “eroded” within a lush landscape. The architects, who were also responsible for designing the garden’s 2001 First Nation Garden Pavilion, were among the competition finalists. You can learn more about their proposal, after the break. 

Le 205 / Atelier Moderno

© Stéphane Groleau © Stéphane Groleau © Stéphane Groleau © Stéphane Groleau