When applying “major surgery” to a beloved, 20th century “masterpiece”, you’re going to face some harsh criticism. Such is the case for Norman Foster, as the legendary British architect has been receiving intense backlash from New York’s toughest critics for his proposed renovation to the New York Public Library. First, the late Ada Louise Huxtable exclaimed, “You don’t “update” a masterpiece.” Now, the New York Time’s architecture critic Michael Kimmelman claims the design is “not worthy” of Foster and believes the rising budget to be suspect.
More on Kimmelman’s critique and Foster’s response after the break…
On the advice of English Heritage, architecture minister Ed Vaizey has listed Norman Foster’s first major public building: the 1977 Sainsbury Centre at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, in the United Kingdom. According to BDOnline, the popular public art museum, which houses the collection of Lord and Lady Sainsbury, was granted grade II* protection for its innovative engineering, fine design, historic association, flexibility and group value. Its revolutionary design features an innovative, prefabricated modular structure that is cleverly designed to allow for subsequent extension.
Vaizey described: “Norman Foster’s design for the Sainsbury Centre is recognized around the world as a high point of the British ‘high-tech’ movement and, by any standards, a modern classic.”
Read Foster’s response after the break.
The New York Public Library (NYPL) has unveiled the details of their controversial plan to renovate the 20th century, Carrère and Hastings “masterpiece” on 5th Avenue. Designed Foster + Partners, the $300 million dollar proposal is a response to the cultural shift from traditional stacks to online resources, as the library has experienced a 41% decrease in the use of collections over the last 15 years.
Sensitive to concerned critics, the renovation promises to preserve the building’s legacy as it integrates a new, state-of-the-art Circulating Library into its flagship Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on 42nd Street. Foster’s “library within a library” will transform seven floors of stacks, currently occupying the back of the building, into an aesthetically, technologically and environmentally advanced public space that meets the needs of our 21st century society.
“We need to be respectful of the beloved, iconic building and to create a new inspiring space,” Anthony W. Marx, the library’s president, said in an interview with the New York Times. “At a time when people wonder about the future of libraries, we’re going to create the greatest library the world has ever seen.”
Learn all the details and see the renderings after the break…
I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Oscar Niemeyer. He was an inspiration to me – and to a generation of architects. Few people get to meet their heroes and I am grateful to have had the chance to spend time with him in Rio last year.
A few months ago we informed you about a competition to re develop the massive “wedding-cake” style building at 425 Park Ave in NY, near Mies’ Seagram Building and SOM’s Lever House. The objective of the developer, L&L Holding, was to turn this project into the next iconic building of the city, and for that they invited a group of eleven renowned practices, including ten Pritzker laureates.
The shortlist was announced in October, and included OMA, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Zaha Hadid Architects and Foster + Partners, which was later announced as the winner of the competition a few weeks ago.
Over the last days, the presentations of the architects to the clients appeared on YouTube, and now we have the opportunity to see these interesting group of architects doing a fundamental part of their work. In the videos we see each architect using their own presentation style, either a PPT, video or just physical boards, connecting it to the practice’s research and discourse, projecting their passion about certain features of their projects and engaging with the client around their main objective: to turn this into an iconic project.
Four videos that take us further into how we understand projects, showing insights that we often don’t have access to, turning the competition into a particular moment of architecture this year.
Zaha Hadid Architects, OMA and Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners presentations after the break:
As we announced in early October, British powerhouse Foster + Partners have been declared as winner of the six-month long, all-star competition to design the next “landmark” high rise on the prime site of 425 Park Avenue in New York City. The tapered, steel-frame office tower is planned to rise 687 feet to claim a spot on the New York City skyline by 2017. Upon competition, the world-class high rise is expected to achieve LEED Gold status and serve as an exemplar for sustainable office design.
Foster’s concept succeeded visions from Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid and Richard Rogers (view all the proposals here). Construction is expected to begin in 2015, shortly after the completion of Foster’s first U.S. residential high rise, which broke ground this week in New York.
Details of 425 Park Avenue after the break…
The newly constructed Astrup Fearnley Museet, designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop in collaboration with Narud-Stokke-Wiig, has opened on a stunning waterfront site in the Tjuvholmen neighborhood of Oslo. The €90 million, 7000 square meter structure provides space for the museum’s collection, temporary exhibitions, a gift shop and cafe. Slender steel columns support the sail-form, glass roof that provides shelter to the weathered timber cladding, while illuminating the interior’s extensive collection of contemporary art with a soft, natural light.
The museum has launched with To Be With Art Is All We Ask, an exhibition of selected works from the Astrup Fearnley Collection by some of the world’s most innovative contemporary artists. Continue after the break to learn more.
Norman Foster is undoubtedly one of the most influential architects of our time. Since establishing his award-winning practice in 1967 – originally titled Foster Associates – the Pritzker Prize laureate has grown Foster + Partners into an international powerhouse, with project offices in more than twenty countries.
The Manchester native has become known for contributing well-designed, imaginative solutions to complex design problems, while remaining sensitive to the environment and embracing the highest technological standards. His diverse portfolio ranges from urban masterplans, public infrastructure, airports, civic and cultural buildings, offices and workplaces to private houses and product design.
As stated in the 1999 Pritzker Jury Citation, “Sir Norman Foster’s pursuit of the art and science of architecture has resulted in one building triumph after another, each one in its own way, unique.”
Foster + Partners has received nearly 500 awards and citations for excellence and has won more than 86 national and international competitions. Some of Foster’s greatest achievements include receiving the 21st Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1999, the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal for Architecture (1994), the Royal Gold Medal for Architecture (1983), and the Gold Medal of the French Academy of Architecture (1991). In 1990 he was granted a Knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honors, and in 1999 was honored with a Life Peerage, becoming The Lord Foster of Thames Bank.
Check out the latest projects and news from Foster + Partners here on ArchDaily.
For the 13th Venice Biennale, Norman Foster was invited to create two exhibitions. On the one hand, there’s Central Pavilion, “Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank HQ”, specifically commissioned by David Chipperfield, which presents how a public space, created by physically lifting a tower to make a space at its base, has been used by people over time.
On the other hand, we find“Gateway.” Located at the beginning of the Arsenale, it is one of the first spaces the public encounters at the Biennale. In this installation, viewers are presented with an intense dose of images and words, representing different types of buildings and spaces, criss-crossed with the names of the architects, designers and planners that have influenced our built environment over the years.
We had the chance to interview Norman Foster, who tells us more about “Gateway” in this video. Full interview coming tomorrow!
More about this exhibit after the break:
The Challenge: Convert Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu Stadium into “an architectural icon for Madrid and an internationally-recognized exemplar of sports infrastructure.”
The Contenders: Three teams, each made up of two all-star firms (one Spanish, one not).
Find out which other famous Architects are the competition, after the break.
Cuban ballet star Carlos Acosta has selected Norman Foster to redevelop one of Fidel Castro’s unfinished spaces – the School of Ballet on the outskirts of Havana. Acosta studied ballet at the Cuban National Ballet School and has danced with the Royal Ballet since 1998.
The stunning, derelict building was never completed during the Cuban revolution, as the design and architects of the Cuban National Art Schools (las Escuelas Nacionales de Arte, or ENA) were deemed irrelevant in the prevailing political climate. However, in March 1999, the three architects – Ricardo Porro, Vittorio Garatti and Roberto Gottardi – were called to lay out a budget to preserve the languished schools. These preservation efforts include the School of Ballet, whose cluster of domed volumes, designed in 1961 by Italian Vittorio Garatti, are connected by an organic layering of Catalan vaults that follow a winding path.
As reported on bdonline, Norman Foster told the Sunday Times: “Carlos is a great dancer who is inspiring the regeneration of an iconic ruin of early modernism outside Havana.”
Steven Holl and Norman Foster have been chosen to design the next two Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centers in the United Kingdom. As reported by bdonline, Foster will design in his hometown of south Manchester at the Christie hospital, while Holl will design at the St. Bartholomew’s (Barts) hospital in London. This will be Holl’s second UK project, following the Glasgow School of Art.
Continue reading for more information.
The 2012 RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship has been awarded to Thomas Aquilina of Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, part of the University of Edinburgh. He will be granted £6,000 to develop his proposal, ‘Material Economies: recycling practices in informal settlements along African longitude 30ºE’ , which takes the scholarship’s theme of resources and addresses recycling in informal African settlements. More information on the award after the break.
Check out this beautiful documentary by First Run Features highlighting Norman Foster’s architectural inspiration, theories and products of his premier global practice. As an architect who is constantly challenging the rules of the system, Foster’s career has produce magnificent structures from his iconic skyscrapers to the world’s longest bridge. The film “documents the way that great architecture is created, but does not flinch from the disappointments, and the set backs, and even the failures that come with it.” The film will be released on DVD and is having a limited theatrical release. Enjoy the trailer!
Foster + Partners, Halcrow and Volterra, the team behind the Thames Hub proposal, welcomed reports yesterday that the government will be considering a Thames Estuary Airport when it launches its consultation to discuss options for retaining the UK’s aviation hub status. The proposal, which includes a comprehensive environmental management strategy, is capable of being privately funded and built within 16 years. Estimations for the capital costs include: a new £20 billion, 150 million passenger estuary airport; £20 billion, four track orbital rail line and utilities spine; £6 billion barrier crossing and tidal power generation that will power the airport with green energy; and an additional £4 billion for improving infrastructure.
On behalf of the team, Norman Foster stated, “We welcome reports that the government is considering the case for an estuary airport, and the extra airport capacity that it can provide, when it consults in March on options for retaining the UK’s aviation hub status as part of the nation’s aviation strategy.”
Continue reading for more on this update.
Our friends from architectural videos told us about this video of Norman Foster‘s Humanitas, Oxford University Lecture which took place on November 28th. The lecture considers ‘Heritage and Lessons’ where Foster encourages us to imagine how differently we might understand the modern world if we could travel back in time. We would discover that the cathedrals, the castles and the viaducts that form our ‘heritage’ were once new themselves and were seen as quite alien at the time; and that many of the landscapes we revere as ‘natural’ were in fact shaped subtly by man — some the outcome of the Industrial Revolution itself. We would also find that many of the challenges we face now have been met before.
Thames Hub continues to make progress since Foster + Partners revealed the proposal in early November. The £50bn project includes a £20bn high-speed Orbital Rail line around London; a new £6bn Thames Barrier and crossing; and a £20bn international Estuary Airport, with annual capacity for 150 million passengers. Comprehensive environmental management strategies have been made in order to minimize the impact of development and create significant opportunities for new wildlife habitats.
Continue reading for more details.
The future potential to build and realize the concepts of the human mind lie just there, within the potential of the human mind. For years the architectural world has been struggling to keep up with the ability of pen-to-paper and the recent advents in NURB surface computer modeling, algorithmic and parametric architecture. This in-return has led to the building and technology industry playing catch-up with the recent advances in 3D architectural visualizations. In fact, as computer-aided design invaded these practices in the 1980s, radically transforming their generative foundations and productive capacities, architecture found itself most out-of-step and least alert, immersed in ideological and tautological debates and adrift in a realm of referents severed from material production.
Norman Foster has launched proposals for the Thames Hub as “An Integrated Vision for Britain”. The self-funded collaboration between Foster + Partners, Halcrow and Volterra has produced a detailed, holistic vision for Britain’s future development of infrastructure.
The rapidly population growth and evolving global economy has put pressure on UK’s aged infrastructure. The study describes the Spine, which will combine rail, energy, communications and data throughout the entire length of the UK. The Spine is supported by the proposed Thames Hub, introducing a new river barrier and crossing, an international airport, and a shipping and rail complex.
The Thames Hub plans to maximize Britain trade links with the rest of world, stimulate job creation, and boost the economies of the Midlands and the North by providing direct connections to the cities and markets of Europe.
Continue reading for more detailed information and images.
In the summer of 2009, we shared Foster + Partners and URS Corporation spaceport project in New Mexico. The structure, which is the first spaceport in history, will host commercial operations by private space travel companies, such as Virgin Galactic. Today, we are sharing an update of the project as the Spaceport enjoyed its dedication ceremony a few days ago. Designed to meet LEED certification, The 110,000-plus square foot facility will feature energy-efficient techniques such as earth-tubes that will pre-condition the air to reduce HVAC costs by 50-70%. The architects explained, “The sinuous shape of the building in the landscape and its interior spaces seek to capture the drama and mystery of space flight itself, articulating the thrill of space travel for the first space tourists.”
More images after the break.
The emergence of China on the global economic stage has been discussed at nauseum in myriad publications. But this emergence has had an impact on the world of architecture, providing a testing ground where architects can experiment with new ideas about sustainability and urban growth. These new ideas have been realized in recently completed structures, and more are just beginning construction or have been proposed for the future. More on these new buildings after the break.