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Here's What Architect Andrew Tesoro Really Thinks of Donald Trump

13:15 - 28 September, 2016
Here's What Architect Andrew Tesoro Really Thinks of Donald Trump, Image of Donald Trump © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/80038275@N00/20548281849/sizes/h/'> Flickr user Michael Vadon</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a>. Inset via screenshot from Hillary for America campaign video
Image of Donald Trump © Flickr user Michael Vadon licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. Inset via screenshot from Hillary for America campaign video

The United States is currently embroiled in what is unquestionably one the most bizarre and unpredictable presidential races in its history. In this strange context, the world of architecture has unexpectedly found itself a hot political topic, with one architect at the center of the controversy: Andrew Tesoro.

Tesoro's involvement in the presidential race began with a video created by Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign. In the video, Tesoro tells a story of how Republican nominee Donald Trump "bullied" him and his architectural firm Tesoro Architects out of "many thousands of dollars" which were owed for their design services. Subsequently, Tesoro received something of a shout-out from Hillary Clinton in Monday's presidential debate as evidence that Trump's business experience does not qualify him to be president.

Given the nature of the campaign video, which was undoubtedly edited to paint Trump in a negative light, many have understandably questioned whether Tesoro's opinions and story were accurately portrayed. This skepticism was then reinforced by a "condensed and edited interview" published by Forbes, which suggested that Tesoro's opinion of Trump was much more forgiving than the one perpetuated by the Clinton campaign. Given the confusion around Tesoro's true opinions, ArchDaily decided to give the architect a chance to present his message unambiguously. What follows are Andrew Tesoro's responses to three simple questions about Donald Trump. These responses have not been edited by ArchDaily staff.

Frank Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial One Step Closer to Realization After Finally Receiving Family Support

15:45 - 20 September, 2016
Frank Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial One Step Closer to Realization After Finally Receiving Family Support, Rendering from the memorial's most recent iteration. Image © Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission
Rendering from the memorial's most recent iteration. Image © Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission

After years of steadfast disapproval of the proposed design for the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial in Washington, D.C., the Eisenhower family has finally voiced their support for the Frank Gehry designed park and monument – once a few more minor changes are made.

The 15-year-long process has already seen a multitude of design tweaks and revisions, but it appeared to have been decisively green-lit last summer following final approval by the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC). In the past year, however, the project has once again stalled, as the Eisenhower Memorial Commission has struggled to find private donors following the withdrawal of congressional funding for the project in 2013.

Architecture is Propaganda: How North Korea Turned the Built Environment into a Tool for Control

11:30 - 6 September, 2016
Architecture is Propaganda: How North Korea Turned the Built Environment into a Tool for Control, Workers' Party monument, a monument to the people showing the Hammer (builders), Sickle (farmers) and Paint Brush (scholars, an addition to the standard symbol of communism). Image © Alex Davidson
Workers' Party monument, a monument to the people showing the Hammer (builders), Sickle (farmers) and Paint Brush (scholars, an addition to the standard symbol of communism). Image © Alex Davidson

Architecture is propaganda. Throughout my two years of visiting and living in North Korea the country slowly revealed to me the details of this evolved and refined tool for totalitarian control of the country’s population. The West views the country with incredulity—surely this cannot be a functioning country where people lead “everyday lives?” Surely the country’s populace can’t possibly buy into this regime? But I assure you that they do. People have careers, they go to work on the bus, and those women crying over the death of their leader were doing so through their own initiative, if not out of genuine emotion. How is this possible? This is a carefully constructed regime which has, at its heart, an unprecedented understanding of how architecture and urbanism can influence and control people. Coming second only to the military on the list of party priorities, the design of the built environment has had an incalculable effect on reinforcing the ideologies of the North Korean regime and conveying these to the people.

A recent residential tower block, containing apartments for scientists and teachers. Image © Koryo Tours courtesy of Alex Davidson Arch of Triumph. Image © Alex Davidson Pyongyang's new science and technology center. Image © Koryo Tours courtesy of Alex Davidson The view from Kim Il Sung Square, in front of the Grand People's Study House, looking towards the Juche Tower. Image © Alex Davidson +22

The Demolition of Plovdiv’s Tobacco Warehouse Demands a New Response from Citizens

09:30 - 22 March, 2016
The Demolition of Plovdiv’s Tobacco Warehouse Demands a New Response from Citizens, The Tobacco Warehouse before demolition. Image © Open Arts Foundation
The Tobacco Warehouse before demolition. Image © Open Arts Foundation

The public of Plovdiv, and of Bulgaria, woke up on Monday the 7th March—after their national holiday celebration—with a national cultural monument and a key piece of the city's identity on the ground in pieces. The building was one of the standout structures of “Tobacco Town”—a complex of former tobacco industry warehouses. The demolition by its owners began despite a promise made by Mayor Ivan Totev in September that the entire complex would be renovated as an urban art zone as part of the preparations for Plovdiv European Capital of Culture 2019.

Plovdiv, a city in the south of Bulgaria with its 7 hills, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Europe. The Thracians, Romans, and Ottomans all employed its strategic location, and today it is Bulgaria’s second largest city. The title of cultural capital is well deserved, and perhaps even well overdue. With its arrival, there was hope that major parts of the city's history lying in disrepair may finally have a standing chance, and then this… another building, gone.

Everybody's heart is heavy. They are in disbelief. The questions are the same as the ones that have been asked many times before: “How did this happen?” “Who did this?”

UNESCO and Italy Form Task Force to Protect Cultural Heritage in Conflict Areas

08:00 - 2 March, 2016
UNESCO and Italy Form Task Force to Protect Cultural Heritage in Conflict Areas, Destruction by the Islamic State of the Temple of Baalshamin in Palmyra (Syria) in August 2015. Image © Wikipedia licensed under CC BY 2.0
Destruction by the Islamic State of the Temple of Baalshamin in Palmyra (Syria) in August 2015. Image © Wikipedia licensed under CC BY 2.0

Italy and UNESCO have signed an agreement to create a special Italian task force to protect art, cultural sites, and ancient artifacts that are located in areas of war or conflict around the world. They will also form a center in Turin to train cultural heritage experts. The agreement arose from a proposal presented by Italy last October that was backed by 53 countries and the UN Security Council. 

Conceived as the cultural version of the Blue Helmets --  the UN’s peacekeeping forces -- the group will initially be composed of 30 police detectives specializing in art theft, and 30 archeologists and art restorers and historians, who “are already operational and ready to go where UNESCO sends them,” said Dario Franceschini, the Italian Minister of Culture, during the ceremony to sign the agreement.

Fela Memorial Force HQ: The Architecture of a Leftist Police Force

13:13 - 16 February, 2016
Fela Memorial Force HQ: The Architecture of a Leftist Police Force

This architecture exhibition deconstructs the traditional Police Station in Nigeria from an autocratic building into a leftist social infrastructure that allows symbiotic relationship between People and Police. Triggered by political events, the building is named after human rights campaigner and musician, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti and hosts protests, concerts, fora and fitness walks. Because of the social infrastructure that it is, Fela Memorial becomes a vehicle to transform the nodal Obalende, Lagos into a smart, accessible district.

Developer Pulls Planning on Renzo Piano's Controversial Paddington Tower

12:00 - 1 February, 2016
Developer Pulls Planning on Renzo Piano's Controversial Paddington Tower, Rendering of the scrapped Paddington tower. Image © RPBW
Rendering of the scrapped Paddington tower. Image © RPBW

Protestors have prompted developer Sellar Property Group to pull plans on the Renzo Piano-designed skyscraper sited in London's Paddington area. The 72-story "skinny Shard" has been harshly criticized by locals and Historic England for "blighting views" of the capital and being out-of-place, hence its popular nickname - the "Paddington Pole."

“London’s skyline is unique, iconic and loved. It has to be managed sensitively and with proper planning,” Historic England chief executive Duncan Wilson told The Guardian. “Tall buildings can be exciting and useful, but if they are poorly designed, or in the wrong place, they can really harm our cities. We trust that the revised plans for Paddington Place will take the area’s unique character into account.”

Renzo Piano Defends London's Skyscraper Boom

12:00 - 27 October, 2015
Renzo Piano Defends London's Skyscraper Boom, © Michel Denance
© Michel Denance

"Cities face a choice of building up or building out," says Renzo Piano, according to a recent article on the Daily Mail. Responding to backlash led by the Skyline Campaign, a campaign spearheaded by architect Barbara Weiss that "aims to stop the devastation of London by badly designed and poorly placed tall buildings," Piano is defending London's controversial skyscraper boom by saying it's giving the one thing the city needs most: "space on the ground."

New York City Mayor Threatens to Remove Times Square

14:46 - 26 August, 2015
New York City Mayor Threatens to Remove Times Square, Times Square in 2014. Image © Flickr CC User MK Feeney
Times Square in 2014. Image © Flickr CC User MK Feeney

Frustrated with the congestion of panhandlers, Mayor Bill de Blasio has shocked New York City dwellers by threatening to remove their beloved Times Square. As New York Times' architecture critic Michael Kimmelman reports, this comes at a time when dwellers fear that quality of life is declining in the city: "Entertaining the demolition of the plazas, the mayor sends a message that New York can’t support the sort of great pedestrian hubs that thrive in competing cities around the globe." Blasio said he will look into the "pros and cons" of returning Times Square to traffic. Read Kimmelman's full report on Blasio's threats, here

The Mayor Who Used Small Steps to Transform Bogotá for the Better

04:00 - 19 August, 2015
The Mayor Who Used Small Steps to Transform Bogotá for the Better, Mimes ridiculing bad-behaviour on the roads in Bogotá
Mimes ridiculing bad-behaviour on the roads in Bogotá

In a recent article for The New York Times Antanas Mockus, the former Mayor of Bogotá who served two terms in office between 1995 and 2003, discusses what he learnt to be "the art of changing a city." Mockus, a professor of philosophy by vocation, was at times pressured to wear a bullet-proof vest — which he wore with a heart-shaped hole cut over his chest as a "symbol of confidence, or defiance, for nine months." His article discusses how his government tackled Bogotá's "chaotic and dangerous" traffic through a thumbs-up, thumbs-down card system performed by mimes, how they dealt with water shortages, and how they persuaded 63,000 households to voluntarily pay 10% more tax.

The Legacy of Dictatorial Architecture in our Cities

04:05 - 14 August, 2015
The Legacy of Dictatorial Architecture in our Cities, Moscow State University: one of the 'Seven Sisters'. Image © Tinou Bao
Moscow State University: one of the 'Seven Sisters'. Image © Tinou Bao

For the latest edition of The UrbanistMonocle 24's weekly "guide to making better cities," the team travel to Moscow, Portugal and Hong Kong to examine how "architecture has always been the unfortunate sidekick of any dictatorial regime." In the process they ask what these buildings actually stand for, and explore the legacy of the architecture of Fascist, Imperial and Brutalist regimes from around the world today. From the Seven Sisters in Moscow to António de Oliveira Salazar's Ministry of Internal Affairs in Lisbon, this episode asks how colonial, dictatorial and power-obsessed architecture has shaped our cities.

Richard Rogers Speaks Out Against Japan's Decision to Scrap Zaha Hadid Stadium

13:10 - 13 August, 2015
Richard Rogers Speaks Out Against Japan's Decision to Scrap Zaha Hadid Stadium, © Japan Sport Council
© Japan Sport Council

Last month, Japan officially scrapped plans for the controversial Zaha Hadid Architects-designed National Stadium that was intended to be the centerpiece of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Since the decision, ZHA released a statement that denied responsibility for the project's ballooning costs, saying the Japan Sport Council (JSC) has been approving the project's design and budget "at every stage."

Now, British architect Richard Rogers, who served on the jury that selected ZHA's stadium design, has joined the conversation claiming Japan has "lost their nerve" and warning that their decision to "start over from zero" will harm Japan's "reputation as a promoter of world-class architectural design."

Read on for Roger's full statement:

Monocle 24's 'The Urbanist' Investigates the Influence of Politics in the City

04:55 - 24 July, 2015

For this edition of The UrbanistMonocle 24's weekly "guide to making better cities," the team investigate politics in global "power cities." Visiting Brussels, capital of Belgium and administrative capital of the European Union, they explore how politics have changed the city over the last four decades. Further south, they travel to Vienna which, "diplomatically remains very important and wields power." Yet even though the UN have an outpost there, is the Austrian capital still a stage for international diplomacy? The episode also makes a quick stop at Embassy Row in Washington D.C. to examine the architecture of diplomatic design.

Frank Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial Wins Final Approval

12:23 - 13 July, 2015
Frank Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial Wins Final Approval , © Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission
© Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission

The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) has awarded Frank Gehry's controversial Eisenhower Memorial final approval during a meeting held on July 9. This means all agencies overseeing the project has (finally) agreed on the design, which has taken 15 years and many design revisions to achieve. The project, now a joint venture between Gehry and AECOM, was initially granted preliminary approval last October. 

"The resulting Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial design satisfies the goals of the seven design principles established for this site in 2006 by the NCPC to preserve and enhance the unique character of this site and establish a new green space within the context of L’Enfant’s plan for Washington D.C.," said the NCPC in their final report. You can read the report in full, here

Japan Stands Behind Plans to Build Zaha Hadid's Tokyo Stadium

13:44 - 25 June, 2015
Japan Stands Behind Plans to Build Zaha Hadid's Tokyo Stadium, © ZHA
© ZHA

Despite harsh criticism for being too large and costly, Tokyo's 2020 Zaha Hadid-designed National Stadium will be realized. As USA Today reports, the Japanese government has announced its decision to move forward with the design, saying any major modifications would lead to construction delays. 

The 80,000-seat stadium has already undergone some design changes, due to backlash led by Pritzker laureates Toyo Ito and Fumihiko Maki; it's most recent design is said to be more "efficient, user-focussed, adaptable and sustainable." However controversy continues as the city and central government must now decide how to split the stadium's estimated $2 billion bill.

Two New Books Claim Le Corbusier was a "Militant Fascist"

13:00 - 19 April, 2015
Two New Books Claim Le Corbusier was a "Militant Fascist", Le Corbusier, by Willy Rizzo. Photos via Le Journal de la Photographie. Image © Willy Rizzo
Le Corbusier, by Willy Rizzo. Photos via Le Journal de la Photographie. Image © Willy Rizzo

Shocking allegations have surfaced in two new books that claim Le Corbusier was a “militant fascist.” Although the architect’s connections with a collaborationist regime in France have been known for some time, the authors claim new evidence reveals the depths of his sympathy toward Nazi activity.

A Look at China's "Nail Houses"

15:00 - 17 April, 2015
A Look at China's "Nail Houses", © Reuters / Image via The Atlantic
© Reuters / Image via The Atlantic

China's rapid growth has led to some unusual situations; shocking images of so-called "nail houses" continue to circle the internet, depicting defiant homeowners refusing to give up their homes for low compensation in the name of "progress." Standalone homes, and even some graves, are being surrounded by high-rise development and roadways, as land disputes play out in court. The Atlantic has just published a fascinating round-up of these peculiar situations. You can view them all, here.  

David Chipperfield Disowns Milan's Museum of Culture Over "Floor War"

16:00 - 7 April, 2015
David Chipperfield Disowns Milan's Museum of Culture Over "Floor War", © Oskar Da Riz Fotografie via MUDEC
© Oskar Da Riz Fotografie via MUDEC

The poor quality and laying of stone flooring in Milan's newly completed Museum of Culture has led its architect, David Chipperfield to dissociate himself with the building. Blasting officials for skimping on materials, the British architect is demanding his name be removed from the project, claiming the building is now a "museum of horrors" and a "pathetic end to 15 years of work" due to the low quality flooring. 

On the contrary, Milan's council says the material decision was made in the "interests of the taxpayers," further claiming that, according to councillor Filippo del Corno, Chipperfield has been "unreasonable and impossible to please."