In celebration of the 100th Bauhaus anniversary, the Foundation Bauhaus Dessau has announced plans to construct a new Bauhaus Museum in Dessau. As part of a competition “preannouncement” published on the museum’s site, an open two-phased international competition will challenge architects to design a museum for the foundation’s “outstanding collection” under the “best possible conservation conditions.”
Co-promoter of the competition, the City of Dessau-Roßlau is currently searching for possible sites that will allow the Bauhaus Museum Dessau to be integrated into the city’s central City Park. It is hoped that the museum and park will “strengthen and complement each other and enrich the location as a cultural centre.”
A breakdown of key competition dates, after the break.
A contemporary museum set within the oldest settlement in the Louisiana Purchase, Trahan Architects’ Louisiana State Sports Hall of Fame and Regional History Museum is distinguished for its sculpted interior and contrasting copper facade. Watch the short film above as Spirit of Space tours through the building, capturing the museum’s historic context and central pathway.
“Having spent several days in the space observing the museum patrons and their experiences, it is clear that the museum’s architecture is an exhibit itself. And while visitors point at and caress the exquisitely crafted cast stone, they are simultaneously guided by it without the need for any signage or wayfinding devices,” says Adam Goss of Spirit of Space. “This is a space about movement. In cinematic form, this film attempts to capture that fluid experience, and at the same time, to illustrate how the past can complement and inspire compelling and forward-thinking architecture.”
Follow Spirit of Space on Instagram to stay up-to-date with their work.
The Bengal Foundation has begun work on its Contemporary Arts and Crafts Museum, Bangladesh’s first private museum of its kind. The ambitious complex will house multi-media works from the organization’s founder Abul Khair’s private collection, pieces by local artists, a sculpture garden, and a boat museum to celebrate the various cultural arts of local residents.
Learn more about the museum’s design, after the break.
National libraries, often monumental in scale and “dominated by nationalistic ambitions and overwhelming architectural details,” will be the subject of a new exhibition opening later this month at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD). Icons of Knowledge: Architecture and Symbolism in National Libraries seeks to examine why national libraries are amongst the most symbolic icons of modern day countries. Amidst the global milieu of the “rapid digitisation of print,” this exhibition aims to shed light on why nations are “vehemently investing resources in the construction of buildings that will project their cultural legacy and house the most precious treasures of their written history.”
In an article for The Observer, Rowan Moore visits Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery (1908), a compact museum which has now undergone a comprehensive restoration and extension by MUMA (McInnes Usher McKnight). The practice, who won the job against 130 other bids for the project, worked with a budget of £15million in order to realise an ambitious brief. Their interventions and innovations, many of which are modest and unseen, have not only reconnected the building with its surrounding parkland but also elevated the interior rooms into world-class exhibition spaces. For Moore, their work is striking but muted: “the virtues of the new Whitworth – sustainable, accessible, sensitive, thoughtful – could all be synonyms for ‘dull’ or at least ‘worthy’. But, thanks to its pleasures of light and material, it is not. It is a job very well done.”
Spanish firm Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos has been selected to receive the 2015 Alvar Aalto Medal. Awarded every three years, the Alvar Aalto Medal recognizes an office or architect “with outstanding merit in creative architecture.” Nieto Sobejano and its founders – Fuensanta Nieto and Enrique Sobejano—were commended by the jury for their profound understanding of the local cultures where they work.
“Nieto and Sobejano were key names in the new wave of Spanish architecture, which emerged in the late 1970s. The roots of their architecture lie in Spain, and its multi-layered history and culture,” the jury wrote. “Their works speak a silent language, proving that the precondition of meaningful architecture is an in-depth understanding of local culture and the context of the design brief.”
The south west French city of Libourne may soon get its own pop-up Pompidou. Reports indicate that the Libourne satellite outpost would be similar to the one currently underway in Malaga, Spain (soon to open in March 2015). If the deal is passed, the city would host the museum outpost in a former 40,000-square-meter military academy, though renovation costs are excepted run high - nearing €6 million. The city’s mayor Philippe Buisson is reaching out to regional and national authorities requesting financial assistance.
The Smithsonian is considering opening its first international exhibition space in “Olympicopolis” – London’s former Olympic park that is to be transformed into a world-class cultural hub by 2021. Should the self-financed proposal be approved, it will be the first time in the institution’s 168-year history to build a public venue outside of the United States.
“We see this as an unprecedented opportunity to show the breadth of the Smithsonian in one of the most diverse cities in the world,” stated Smithsonian acting secretary Al Horvath.
Concerns regarding the environmental sensitivity of George Lucas’ proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Chicago has caused the project to halt, and may even prevent it from being realized. According to a suit filed against the museum by the Friends of the Parks, environmentalists believe that the “mountainous” lakefront proposal, designed by MAD Architects, will disrupt the site’s ecosystem.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, Lucas’ hasn’t given up on Chicago yet. However, considering that Lucas wants to see the museum built within his lifetime, the 70-year-old Star Wars director is starting to reconsider a University of Southern California (USC) campus site in Los Angeles.
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.”
The Dallas Holocaust Museum and Center for Education and Tolerance has officially gone public with plans to build a new permanent home in the city’s West End, across from the museum’s current location. Preliminary designs, by Texas-based Omniplan Architects, indicate a modest concrete and weathered steel structure with expanded galleries that would be built on parcel bound by Ross Avenue, Houston Street and the Dallas Area Rapid Transit light.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) has released plans for an ambitious $450 million expansion that will transform it into one of the largest art campuses in the US. The 14-acre masterplan will include three new buildings – one by Texas-based Lake|Flato Architects and two others by museum aficionado Steven Holl Architects - connected by a pedestrianized landscape of reflecting pools and gardens.
The first scheduled to break ground (this year) is the Steven Holl-designed, 80,000-square-foot new home for the Glassell School of Art. The L-shaped, pre-cast concrete structure will, as MFAH describes, pride itself as an extension of the campus landscape, featuring a stepped amphitheater that leads up to a walkable, trellised roof garden.
There are 207 branch libraries in the city of New York, each providing a number of services to city residents. From the simple lending of books to adult technical literacy classes, these institutions are as vital as they were before the advent of the internet, and their attendance numbers prove it. Between the years of 2002 and 2011, circulation in the city’s library systems increased by 59%. Library program attendance saw an increase of 40%. In spite of this, library funding was cut by 8% within this same timeframe, which has made it difficult to keep many of the system’s buildings in good repair. To spark interest and support from city leaders, The Architectural League, in collaboration with the Center for an Urban Future, instigated the design study Re-Envisioning New York’s Branch Libraries.
Sponsored by the Charles H. Revson Foundation, the study is the effort of five design teams chosen by the League. These teams – including MASS Design Group and SITU STUDIO - were charged with proposing exciting new library designs that follow the League’s themes of “integrating libraries into the city’s housing and community development goals, reconfiguring libraries to meet community needs, and developing new ideas for expanding the impact of branch libraries.” The teams presented their work at a January 4th symposium. See each of the proposals, as well as video footage of that symposium, after the break.
London’s National Maritime Museum is looking for an architect to revamp its West Central Wing building. As the Architects’ Journal first reported, the 1807 Daniel Asher Alexander-designed structure will be given £2 million to upgrade its facilities and establish new galleries, as well as connect the West Central Wing to the museum’s BDP and Rick Mather-designed Neptune Court podium via a bridge. All requests to participate are due January 20, 2015. Find more details, here.
Work has begun on the demolition of the UK city of Birmingham’s former Central Library, designed by home-grown Brutalist architect John Madin. The move by Birmingham Council to not retain the structure of the library, in spite of ideas and petitions put forward by numerous public groups (including one titled Keep The Ziggurat), has been widely met with disappointment among the architectural community. The BBC recently compiled some of the most interesting ideas for reuse which included, among others, transforming the concrete structure into a new English Parliament, an international trade centre, and an enormous space for rock climbing.
Madin, who passed away in 2012, had at least three of his major Modernist projects demolished during his lifetime. His design for Birmingham Library had been met with criticism from the likes of the city’s Director of Planning and Regeneration of the time who described it as a “concrete monstrosity.” Prince Charles famously described it as “looking more like a place for burning books than keeping them.”
See photographs of the former library under construction and in use after the break.
Of the four locations that are under consideration to host the future Barack Obama presidential library, two have released visions of what could be if their sites were selected – the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and the University of Hawaii at Honolulu (UH). UH, who’s offering a stunning oceanside site on Waikiki Beach, paired Snøhetta, MOS, and Allied Works Architecture with local architects to draw up proposals, all of which share a deep connection to nature. UIC, on the other hand, has proposed an idea that reinterprets the library as a systemized network of public infrastructure focused on revitalization.
View all four proposals, after the break.
Steven Holl Architects has been selected to design a new extension to one of India’s oldest museums, the Mumbai City Museum, also known as the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum. Selected over OMA, Studio Mumbai Architecture, Zaha Hadid and four others, Holl is now the first architect ever to be chosen through an international competition to design a public building in Mumbai.
Continue reading to learn more about Holl’s winning design.
The question of whether the traditional museum survive in the digital age has been bounced around since the dawn of digital art and archiving. In an article for The Independent, Christopher Beanland examines the issue of a global “museum boom” (especially in China where a new one opens every day), and how this is having an undoubtedly positive impact on people’s quality of life. For Beanland, it’s curious that “we don’t splash out on council houses or universities or hospitals any more – but we do build museums and galleries.” Perhaps it’s because they are “a reliquary for our collective memories” and “a triumph of our collective will” or, in most cases, because they employ excellent PR and branding strategies. He notes that “despite being swamped by possessions, we’ve changed our views towards those things. In the second half of the 20th century, people defined themselves by what they had. But today people increasingly define themselves by what they do.”