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How the Architectural League's "Emerging Voices" Award Predicted 30 Years of Architectural Development

Tarlo House, Sagaponack, NY, 1979 by Tod Williams Associates (EV 1982). Image © Norman McGrath. Courtesy Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects
Tarlo House, Sagaponack, NY, 1979 by Tod Williams Associates (EV 1982). Image © Norman McGrath. Courtesy Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects

For over 30 years, the Emerging Voices prize given by the Architectural League of New York has offered the architecture world a glimpse into the future, showcasing radical ideas from architects at a crucial stage in their career development. In this excerpt, the opening to her essay "Idea: Claiming Territories" in the newly-released book "Thirty Years of Emerging Voices: Idea, Form, Resonance," Ashley Schafer discusses how the prize has acted as a litmus test for architectural culture, with laureates often presaging trends and sometimes even singular projects years or decades before they occurred in the profession at large.

Lasater Ranch, Hebbronville, TX, 1986 by Lake | Flato Architects (EV 1992). Image © Lake | Flato Architects Stair, Sand Point Arts and Cultural Exchange, Seattle, WA, 2003 by Lead Pencil Studio (EV 2006). Image © Lead Pencil Studio Rubadoux Studio, Nova Scotia, Canada, 1989 by Brian MacKay-Lyons Architecture Urban Design (EV 2000). Image © Brian MacKay-Lyons Architecture Urban Design. Photo James Steeves Bridge of Houses, New York, NY, proposal, 1979 by Steven Holl (EV 1982). Image © Steven Holl Architects

A Peek Into Reiser + Umemoto's Latest Book

The O-14 building in Dubai, the subject of Reiser + Umemoto's latest book
The O-14 building in Dubai, the subject of Reiser + Umemoto's latest book

"I have always harbored the naïve idea that architecture brings people together – that its effects, however dependent on special expertise, move us in direct and elemental ways. The anxious crowds from the film Independence Day, like speakers of Esperanto, share a hope of solidarity beyond parochial or national interests in the face of an overwhelming alien presence. However clichéd this ‘Family of Man’ scenario is, it never ceases to fascinate; for it becomes clear that architecture, especially good architecture, is, like the aliens– alien. Indeed it is otherness, indifference as opposed to any humanist impulse, that illuminates something universally shared and felt, which paradoxically is more fully human than those ‘humane’ projects delivered with the best of intentions."

This paragraph, by Jesse Reiser of Reiser + Umemoto, is the first of an excerpt from O-14 Projection & Reception (AA Publications 2012). Through exhaustive documentation of O-14's design and construction, the book delves into the complex interrelationships between technology, expression and politics in the context of the ‘nowhere place’ of the global city. Both an account of a design’s realization and a manifesto, Projection & Reception contains Jesse Reiser’s explanatory and theoretical texts on the tower as well as critical essays by Brette Steele, Sanford Kwinter, Sylvia Lavin and Jeffrey Kipnis. Read the rest of the chapter "Independence Day" from O-14: Projection & Reception after the break...

Reiser + Umemoto's Taipei Pop Music Center Breaks Ground in Taiwan

Reiser + Umemoto, RUR Architecture PC's Taipei Pop Music Center breaks ground today at the center’s site on the edge of Taipei, Taiwan. Challenging the limitations of traditional performances spaces, the center consists of several mixed-use spaces woven together into a dynamic, multi-purpose venue that reflects and supports the evolving culture of pop music. Three monumental elements—the Main Hall, Hall of Fame, and Industry Shell—symbolize the principal uses and attractions of the complex, making it a powerful representation of Taiwan’s pop music industry worldwide.

More on the new Taipei Pop Music Center after the break…

4 Architects Among Recipients of $50,000 USA Fellowships

Although the amount may be nowhere near a MacArthur "genius grant," the $50,000 Prizes awarded by United States Artists are given on the same, awesome premise: no strings attached. 

This year's 50 recipients included visual artists, dancers, musicians - and 4 architect/designers. Check out the lucky 4, after the break...

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.”

Video: Manhattan Memorious / Reiser + Umemoto

Created by Reiser + Umemoto for the Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale, “Manhattan Memorious” explores what Manhattan could have been. The film visualizes several unrealized projects from Manhattan, including Buckminster Fuller’s dome over Midtown, Rem Koolhaas’ City of the Captive Globe, RUR’s East River Corridor, Paul Rudolph’s Eastside Redevelopment Corridor, Morphosis’ West Side Yard and others.

Kaohsiung Port Terminal / Reiser + Umemoto

© Reiser + Umemoto.
© Reiser + Umemoto.

Check out Reiser + Umemoto’s latest win for the Kaohsiung Port and Cruise Service Center in southern Taiwan. Working with Taipei-based Fei and Cheng and Associates, New York-based Ysrael A. Seinuk, PC and Hong-Kong based Arup, the new development exploits its waterfront placement as tumbling organic wave-like volumes cascade out toward the waves. More about the winning proposal after the break.

1st Prize at Taipei Pop Music Center Competition / Reiser + Umemoto

Reiser + Umemoto RUR Architecture PC along with joind tenderer Fei & Cheng Associates received first prize at the Taipei Pop Music Center Competition.

With the Taipei Pop Music Center, Reiser + Umemoto and ARUP have fundamentally rethought the live music and entertainment venue to meet the challenges and opportunities of pop music and digital media in the 21st century.

More images and full architect’s description after the break.

In progress: 0-14 tower by Reiser + Umemoto

Architect: Jesse Reiser + Nanako Umemoto Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates Design Team: Mitsuhisa Matsunaga, Kutan Ayata, Jason Scroggin, Cooper Mack, Michael Overby, Roland Snooks, Michael Young Assistants & Interns: Tina Tung, Raha Talebi, Yan Wai Chu Structure: Ysrael A. Seinuk , PC, New York, NY General Contractor: Dubai Contracting Company (DCC), Dubai, UAE Client: Creekside Development Corporation, Dubai, UAE Site area: 3,195 sqm Constructed Area: 31,400 sqm Project year: 2006 Construction year: 2007-2009 Photographs: Reiser + Umemoto