Ten Buildings Which Epitomize The Triumph Of Postmodernism

Via Archive of Affinities. Image © Nils-Ole Lund

Being such a recent movement in the international architectural discourse, the reach and significance of post-modernism can sometimes go unnoticed. In this selection, chosen by Adam Nathaniel Furman, the “incredibly rich, extensive and complex ecosystem of projects that have grown out of the initial explosion of from the 1960s to the early 1990s” are placed side by side for our delight.

From mosques that imagine an idyllic past, via Walt Disney’s Aladdin from the 1990s, to a theatre in Moscow that turns its façade into a constructivist collage of classical scenes, “there are categories in post-modernism to be discovered, and tactics to be learned.” These projects trace forms of complex stylistic figuration, from the high years of academic postmodernism, to the more popular of its forms that spread like wildfire in the latter part of the 20th century.

AD Round Up: Mardi Gras Edition

W French Quarter / Nemaworkshop. Image © Michael Kleinberg

February 17 is Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday,” traditionally a Catholic holiday that celebrates the last night of indulging in guilty pleasures before participating in the penitential season of Lent. Celebrated around the world with elaborate parties, parades, dancing, and other frivolities, its festivities are most famously celebrated within the United States today in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, the site of the first American Mardi Gras.

In honor of this holiday, we’ve rounded up five projects built in New Orleans in the last few years that capture the mysterious spirit and embrace the history of the vibrant city. These inspired works include FLOAT House by Morphosis Architects and Frank Gehry’s duplex which were designed for Make It Right’s hurricane relief effort, Voorsanger Architects’ National World War II Museum, Rosa Keller Library by the 2014 AIA Architecture Firm Award recipient Eskew+Dumez+Ripple and its joint design with Nemaworkshop for W French Quarter. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Three Finalists to Develop Strategies for Vacant Land Reuse in New Orleans

NOLEX. Image Courtesy of VAI

Three finalists have been selected to move forward in the Van Alen Institute (VAI) and Redevelopment Authority’s (NORA) “Future Ground” open ideas competition. Each will be provided with a $15,000 stipend to investigate and develop long-term design and policy strategies for vacant land reuse in New Orleans.

“Too often, vacant land has been seen only as a remnant of or absence within the 20th century city,” described the VAI. “Today, with a critical mass of designers, policymakers, scholars, artists, activists, and residents creating pilot projects, thoughtful studies, and new kinds of urbanism on abandoned properties, it is possible to imagine this land as an integral part of the future city.”

Tulane Students Upcycle Traffic Signs into Shade Canopy

© David Armentor

Tulane City Center and a team of Tulane architecture students worked together with the Lousiana Outdoor Outreach Program to design a shade structure made from traffic yield signs for a challenge course in City Park. Drawing inspiration from the surrounding tree canopy and the structure of the ropes course, the design team crafted a faceted, curving aluminum canopy suspended by steel cables with an earthen berm for seating below. More about the pavilion, after the break.

Future Ground Competition Open for Registration

Courtesy of

What will New Orleans look like in one year? Ten years? Fifty years? The Future Ground design competition, hosted by the Van Alen Institute, is looking for multidisciplinary teams help shape the city’s future by answering these questions. The competition is specifically looking for teams to “generate flexible design and policy strategies to reuse vacant land in New Orleans, transforming abandoned landscapes into resources for the city.”

Request for qualification applications are due September 29, 2014 and the three winning teams will be announced the following month. These three teams will be awarded $15,000 to participate in a six-month research and design process alongside national experts and local stakeholders. The outcome of their research will be socially, economically, and ecologically sensitive solutions that the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA) can implement and other can replicate.

For more information, click here.

Arthur Andersson on Timeless Materials & Building “Ruins”

Tower House . Image © Art Gray

Material Minds, presented by ArchDaily Materials, is our new series of short interviews with architects, designers, scientists, and others who use architectural  in innovative ways. Enjoy!

Arthur Andersson of Andersson-Wise Architects wants to build ruins. He wants things to be timeless – to look good now and 2000 years from now. He wants buildings to fit within a place and time. To do that he has a various set of philosophies, processes and some great influences. Read our full in-depth interview with Mr. Andersson, another revolutionary ”Material Mind,” after the break.

Eskew+Dumez+Ripple to Receive 2014 AIA Architecture Firm Award

Rosa Keller Library / Eskew+Dumez+Ripple. Image ©

Just two days after the passing of R. Allen Eskew, FAIA, the New Orleans-based architect’s practice, Eskew + Dumez + Ripple (EDR), has been announced as the recipient of the 2014 Architecture Firm Award. Presented by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the annual award is the highest honor bestowed by to a firm by the national institution. EDR is being recognized for “rigorously crafting Modernism to repair, restore, and enhance the exceptionally unique cultural and historic context of New Orleans.”

The Debate Over Making It Right in the Lower Ninth Ward

The Float House / Morphosis, Make It RIght © Iwan Baan

Ever since the New Republic published Lydia DePillis’s piece entitled “If you Rebuild it, They Might Not Come” - a criticism of the progress of Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation – numerous blogs and journals have been in a uproar, defending Make It Right’s efforts at rebuilding the vastly devastated Lower Ninth Ward and presenting a much more forgiving perspective on the progress of the neighborhood since the engineering disaster that exacerbated the effects of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. To date, 86 Platinum homes have been designed and constructed by world-renowned architects, including Frank Gehry and Morphosis, at a cost of approximately $24 million.  Make It Right has promised to build up to 150 such homes, but DePillis‘s article points out that amenities in the neighborhood are low and the number of residents returning to the neighborhood is dwindling.  Make It Right has made a commitment and the debate that ensues questions whether it is going far enough in delivering its promise to rebuilding community.

Read on for more on the Make It Right debate…

W New Orleans – French Quarter / Nemaworkshop

© Michael Kleinberg

Design Architects: Nemaworkshop
Architects of Record: Eskew+Dumez+Ripple
Location: New Orleans, , United States
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Michael Kleinberg

The FLOAT House – Make it Right / Morphosis Architects

© Iwan Baan

Architects: Morphosis Architects
Location: 1638 Tennessee St, New Orleans, LA 70117,
Project Year: 2009
Project Area: 88.0 sqm
Photographs: Iwan Baan

Rosa Keller Library / Eskew+Dumez+Ripple

©

Architect: Eskew+Dumez+Ripple
Location: , Louisiana, USA
Project Year: 2012
Project Area: 10,000 sqf
Photographs: Timothy Hursley

Make it Right Homes in NOLA

BiLD / Photographs © James Ewing/OTTO

Over the past five years, the Make it Right Foundation in New Orleans has been realizing its commitment to build 150 affordable, green storm resistant homes for families living in the Lower 9th Ward. The foundation, established by Brad Pitt, has completed seventy-five homes with the time and efforts donated by local and international architects such as Gehry Partners, Morphosis, Kieran Timberlake, Pugh+Scarpa, and McDonough+Partners.

Photographer James Ewing shared the documentation of his visit to the Make it Right Homes of New Orleans, citing the designs he most admired by Shigeru Ban, Adjaye Associates, Hitoshi Abe, and BiLD.

More on Make it Right and the homes after the break.

The National World War II Museum / Voorsanger Mathes LLC

© Thomas Damgaard

Architects: Voorsanger Architects PC, New York, NY
Location: 945 Magazine Street, New Orleans, ,
Owner/Client: The National World War II Museum Foundation, Inc.
Design Principal: Bartholomew Voorsanger
Lead Design: Martin Stigsgaard, Masayuki Sono
Museum Consultant: Peggy A. Loar
Design Team: Peter Miller, James Macdonald, Radoslaw Krysztofiak,Andrea Wiedemann, Mark Wagner, Reema Pathak, Van Hsin-Hung Tsao, Issei Suma, Won Jun Jung, Anastasiya Konopitskaya
Additional Competition Staff: Chieko Takahashi, Yoonkee Hong, Sabrina Schollmeyer, Victor Viera, Omar Renteria
Associate Architect: Mathes Brierre Architects, New Orleans, LA
Co-Chairman: Edward C. Mathes
Project Team: Peter Priola, Tony Alfortish, Nichole Chauvin, Scott Evans, C. H. Palm Jr., Frank Herdliska, Joyce Bergman, Johannah Fernandez, Vivien Yu, Vicki Cusimano, Robert Swan, Jim Opitz
Exhibition Design: Gallagher & Associates
Structural Engineer: Weidlinger Associates, Inc.
MEP Engineer: Altieri Sebor Wieber LLC
Landscape Architect: Olin Partnership
Programming: Lord Cultural Resources
Photographs: Thomas Damgaard

3 American Cities: Future Forecasting

© Wikimedia Commons / Jonik

The recently published a reprint from the National Associates Committee journal Forward by author Wellington Reiter, FAIA. The hot topic essay goes into great detail discussing how three U.S. cities – Detroit, Phoenix, and – are serving as examples of the impacts of adverse planning and general continuation of unsustainable behavior.  While in times past these cities have flourished, and grew on the assumption that the trend would continue inevitably, they are sharp reminders of the consequences of naivety in regards to long term sustainability. More after the break.

Bayou-Luminescence Installation / ISSSStudio + PATH

Courtesy of + PATH

Bayou-luminescence, one of ten site-specific installations commissioned by the chapter of the American Institute of Architects, was a collaboration between Igor Siddiqui, the principal of the Austin-based design practice ISSSStudio and Matt Hutchinson, the principal of San-Francisco-based firm PATH. The project was included as a part of DesCours, the annual architecture and art event on view at various locations in city from December 2 through 11, 2011. More images and architects’ description after the break.

DesCours: A Presentation of AIA New Orleans

Courtesy of

DesCours is a free, public, ten-night architecture and art event now in its fifth year, held December 2-December 11 in New Orleans.

This event invites internationally renowned architects and artists to create architecture installations within ‘hidden’ locations in the heart of New Orleans, including private courtyards, rooftops, abandoned buildings and walkways, all locations normally unseen, inaccessible or unused by the public.

More information on the event after the break.

Richardson Memorial Hall Green Renovation Plans

Courtesy of

Fundraising is now underway for a $23.9 million green makeover of Richardson Memorial Hall, the century old home of the Tulane University School of Architecture.

The renovation will include maximizing the light and airiness of the building, installing solar panels and cisterns to collect rainwater for irrigation and, possibly, plumbing use, and many other sustainable strategies. Additionally, IBM Smart Building technology will monitor and adjust the building’s water consumption, lighting and other systems to optimize their performance while lowering the building’s carbon footprint. More information on the project after the break.

URBANbuild / Tulane University

YouTube Preview Image

Check out a preview we spotted on PublicInterestDesign of ’s School of Architecture URBANbuild program, a total collaborative effort of “individuals, organizations, and businesses committed to revitalizing ’ rich cultural and architectural heritage.” Working with Professor Byron Mouton, Make It Right and Neighborhood Housing Services of , students have designed and built several LEED-certified homes such as URBANbuild 04 featured in the clip.  This particular residence is situated in Central City of and completely breaks with the traditional “shotgun homes” that line the streets.  The young homeowner, Tami, appreciates the students’ talents and abilities to go beyond what the neighborhood, and even the city, is comfortable with to create a new urban identity.  Challenged by Mouton to introduce new ideas, the students have created a beautiful residence that they can certainly be proud of and one that Tami loves   View her story and a bit of the project’s journey in the video.