Alberto Kalach Lecture

Vasconcelos Mexico Public Library by

Each year the Architectural League presents the work of significant international figures who powerfully influence contemporary architectural practice and shape the future of the built environment. Co-sponsored by The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union, the program kicks off this year with the Alberto Kalach lecture, which will highlight his current work. Cited as one of the most versatile and prolific architectural voices in Mexico City today, Alberto Kalach co-founded the firm Taller de Arquitectura X (TAX) in 1981. Kalach’s concern for the emerging problems of his vast native city has inspired projects at a range of scales, from his minimal $5,000 houses to housing developments and urban master plans. Kalach’s most ambitious speculative plan, México Ciudad Futura, is the largest project ever conceived for Mexico City. The lecture is taking place Monday, Octobr 15, at 7:00pm at Cooper Union in . For more information about the event, please visit here.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Showroom / Jaklitsch / Gardner Architects PC

© Scott Frances

Architects: Jaklitsch / Gardner Architects PC
Location: , NY,
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Scott Frances

Update: +Pool / Family + PlayLab

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Over a year has passed since we first introduced you to the ideas of Family and PlayLab for a floating riverpool in ’s East River.  Since that time, the proposal has generated a lot of interest, and reached major milestones, such as completing a primarily testing of the filtration membranes to find the most effective methods to provide clean and safe riverwater for the public to swim in.  With an opening date set for  2015, the ambitious project seeks to improve the city’s natural resources by taking advantage of clean water to safely create a new kind of urbanistic public haven.

Early last week, the team celebrated the beginning of a six-month campaign to raise the first $1 million toward swimming in a clean river.  The campaign funds will go toward the design and engineering of +POOL so that it can obtain the required city and state permits, as well as support a prototype and public pavilion to fully test the + POOL filtration system.

More after the break. 

Foster + Partners to design Manhattan’s next ‘Iconic’ Building

425 Park Avenue; Image by dbox branding & creative for 

Foster + Partners is about to break the mold of ’s static Park Avenue skyline, as they have been announced as winner of the highly publicized competition to replace the aging tower of 425 Park Avenue with a new world-class, sustainable office tower.

Lord Foster said: “I have a personal connection with New York, which has been a source of inspiration since my time at Yale, when the new towers on Park Avenue and its neighborhoods were a magnet for every young architect. Seeing first-hand the works of Mies van der Rohe, Gordon Bunshaft, Eero Saarinen and Philip Johnson was tremendously exciting then – I am delighted to have this very special opportunity to design a contemporary tower to stand alongside them. Our aim is to create an exceptional building, both of its time and timeless, as well as being respectful of this context – a tower that is for the City and for the people that will work in it, setting a new standard for office design and providing an enduring landmark that befits its world-famous location.”

Continue after the break to learn more about Foster’s winning proposal and to review the existing condition of 425 Park Ave.

modeLab Simulation Lab

Courtesy of

Taking place October 20-21, modeLab is putting on Simulation Lab, a two-day workshop on the topic of simulation with processing. In a fast-paced and hands-on learning environment, they will cover technical programming concepts such as syntax, control, and modularity. Utilizing a suite of libraries to extend processing’s functionality, they will explore and incrementally develop force-based, physics-based, and agent-based simulations. Additionally, they will examine strategies for visualizing the dynamic nature, unexpected tendencies, and behavioral effects present in our simulations. For more information, please visit here.

Architects in Conversation: Jeanne Gang + Paul Goldberger

Aqua Tower by Studio Gang / © gshowman via flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gshowman/

Visionary architect, MacArthur Fellow and National Academician Jeanne Gang joins Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and architecture critic Paul Goldberger as part of the Academy’s annual Architects in Conversation series. Together they will discuss Studio Gang’s past, present, and future projects, as well as Gang’s role within the important architectural tradition of Chicago. The talk will be on Wednesday, October 3, 2012, at 6:30pm at the National Academy Museum. For tickets and for more information, please visit here.

Battery Conservancy Americas Design Competition 2012: Draw Up A Chair

Courtesy of The Battery Conservancy

The Battery Conservancy Americas Design Competition 2012: Draw Up A Chair is a unique open call to design students and design professionals living in the North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Design an iconic, movable outdoor seating element for NYC’s 25-acre historic Battery Park, AKA The Battery. The winning design will be fabricated for use in The Battery, which annually welcomes six million visitors. They are offering an earlybird registration rate for all who register by this Sunday, Sept. 30. All design entries are due October 30. To register and for more information, please visit here.

AD Interviews: Reiser + Umemoto

Since it’s founding in 1986, Reiser + Umemoto, RUR Architecture P.C. has become a widely published, internationally recognized practice with a diverse collection of projects ranging in scale. On multiple occasions, the firm has been awarded for their contributions to architectural practice and theory – the most recent being The Cooper Union’s 2008 Presidential Citation and the 2011 John Hejduk Award – as they treat “each project as the continuation of an ongoing inquiry, delving into relationships among architecture, territory and systems of distribution.”

The -based practice is led by it’s founders, architect Jesse Reiser and designer Nanako Umemoto. Both partners have taught and lectured at a number of academic institutions throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Reiser is currently a Professor of Architecture and director of graduate studies for the M.Arch program at Princeton University’s School of Architecture.

More about ’s work:

Architecture and Design Film Festival

Life Architecturally, 2011; Director, Britt Arthur

Featuring more than twenty-five films from eleven countries, public programs, and an architectural driving tour of Lower , the fourth season of the Architecture and Design Film Festival is taking place October 18-21. Returning to Tribeca Cinemas, in City, the films in this year’s Festival consider a range of topics, including contemporary and historic visionary architects, the creative design process, architecture as cultural emissary, the creation of the High Line, and modernist architecture on the East and West Coasts, among other subjects. The Festival features two world premieres, two U.S. premieres, and numerous films shown in City for the first time. Tickets go on sale October 1. More information after the break.

Ground Zero Master Plan / Studio Daniel Libeskind

WTC Site Night, Silverstein Properties, © Silverstein Properties

With last year’s opening of the 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero and the near-completion of the World Trade Center One, Daniel Libeskind’s vision for the World Trade Center site is close to presenting the future of NYC’s downtown financial center, 11 years after the attacks. was selected to develop the master plan for the site in 2003, and since has been coordinating with NYC’s numerous agencies and individual architects to rebuild the site. The project, in Libeskind’s words, is a “healing of New York”, a “site of memory” and “a space to witness the resilience of America”.

Follow us after the break for more on the elements and progress of the master plan.

Two Architects investigate the Evolution of #OWS

Liberty Plaza © Jonathan Massey and Brett Snyder

Our friends at Design Observer’s Places Journal have shared with us two fascinating articles, written by architects Jonathan Massey and Brett Snyder, that explore the physical and virtual evolution of Occupy Wall Street (#) as it transformed from the privately owned public space of Zuccotti Park into the bustling micro-city of Liberty Plaza sustained by online media.

To learn how OWS has influenced architecture and urbanism, Massey and Snyder asks the following questions: What’s the layout of this place? What are its rules, and who owns it? How does its design shape possibilities for individual and collective action?

modeLab Data Lab

Courtesy of

Data Lab, a two-day workshop put on by modeLab September 29-30, focuses on advanced topics and data structures in grasshopper for rhinoceros. In a fast-paced and hands-on learning environment, they will cover the fundamental concepts of data structures as well as strategies for working with lists, sequences, and data trees in the newly released version of Grasshoppper 0.9. They will engage a series of design problems which highlight the limitations of standard parametric design workflows and serve as catalysts for discussions related to best practices, linear versus non-linear design processes, and the re-use of files. Each design problem will require either the specific use and manipulation of data structures or the extension of Grasshopper through add-ons. To register and for more information, please visit here.

The Shard: A Skyscraper For Our Post-9/11 World?

, by Renzo Piano, towers over the skyline.

When the Twin Towers came down 11 years ago (almost to the day), the world was struck numb. Even New Yorkers, who felt the trauma rumble through their veins, couldn’t get past the initial disbelief: how can this be happening? How can something so big, so invincible, actually be so vulnerable?

Hundreds of comments have been hurled at Renzo Piano’s “Shard,” the massive, reflective skyscraper that hulks over the London skyline – it’s big, no, huge; it’s out of the context of its Victorian neighborhood; its exclusive price tag could only be footed by Qatar royalty (as it is) – but few, beyond writing off the tower as a symbol of arrogance or hubris, have stopped to consider its impetus.

For that, we must look at the Shard in the context of 9/11. Only then can the Shard be understood for what it is: the amplification and perfection of the glass tower Piano began in post-9/11 New York, a utopian vision that stands defiantly in defense of the city itself.

Robins Way / Bates Masi Architects

Courtesy of Bates Masi Architects

Architects: Bates Masi Architects
Location: , New York,
Photographs: Courtesy of Bates Masi Architects

modeLab Data Lab

Courtesy of modeLab

Taking place September 29-30, Data Lab is a two-day workshop, put on my modeLab in , on advanced topics and data structures in Grasshopper for Rhinoceros. In a fast-paced and hands-on learning environment, they will cover the fundamental concepts of data structures as well as strategies for working with lists, sequences, and data trees in the newly released version of Grasshoppper 0.9. They will engage a series of design problems which highlight the limitations of standard parametric design workflows and serve as catalysts for discussions related to best practices, linear versus non-linear design processes, and the re-use of files. Each design problem will require either the specific use and manipulation of data structures or the extension of Grasshopper through add-ons. For more information, please visit here.

 

Todd Saunders Lecture at Cornell University

Fogo Island, Long Studio © Saunders Architecture

, founder of Saunders Architecture, will be delivering a lecture at Cornell University on the topic of ‘Architecture in Northern Landscapes’ on October 15. Bringing together dynamic building and material experimentation with traditional methods of craft, the Bergen, Norway–based practice has worked on cultural and residential projects in Norway, as well as England, Denmark, Italy, Sweden, and Canada. Led by a strong contemporary design sensibility, the studio believes that architecture plays an important role in creating place, using form, materials, and texture to help evoke and shape memory and human interaction. Fore more information on the event, please visit here.

National September 11 Memorial Museum / Davis Brody Bond

WTC Memorial & Museum © Joe Woolhead

To honor the memory of those who tragically lost their lives in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, -based Davis Brody Bond has been commissioned to design the National September 11 Memorial Museum at the heart of the former World Trade Center site in New York. Serving as a complement to the National September 11 Memorial, the museum will tell the story of through multimedia displays, archives, narratives and a collection of monumental artifacts, while commemorating the life of every victim of the 2001 and 1993 terrorists attacks.

Continue after the break to learn more.

National September 11 Memorial / Handel Architects with Peter Walker

North Pool looking South © Joe Woolhead

Today in Lower Manhattan, thousands of visitors are crossing a landscaped plaza of oak trees towards two black granite, sculptural voids, carved deep into the earth, to commemorate the victims of September 11, 2001. Designed by Michael Arad of , the National September 11 Memorial has transformed the last remnants of the former World Trade Center (WTC) towers into a power civic space for contemplation and healing. Here, the painful memory of is preserved and honored, while the necessary bustle of everyday life is able to move forward.

Continue after the break for more images and information.