“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, RUR Architecture PC‘s Taipei Pop Music Center (TPMC) breaks ground today on the edge of Taipei, Taiwan. Challenging the limitations of traditional performance space, the center will consist 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…
This year’s 50 recipients included visual artists, dancers, musicians – and 4 architect/designers. Check out the lucky 4, after the break…
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 New York City-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 Reiser + Umemoto’s work:
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.
Jesse Reiser, Principal of Reiser + Umemoto, explains; “Before a city becomes a thing of steel, concrete and glass it is a theater of visions in conflict. As a city ages, the visions do not die but come up against the physical and ideological resistance of the place and its people. The city we see today is the direct result of radical visions, gradually changing the way the future is realized. This is an account of a Manhattan that could have been – might have been. A phantasmagorical Manhattan where the visionary meets the everyday – the absurd and the sublime. The island as we know it is but a pale reflection of a city designed by visionaries – a city of mad, incongruous utopias.”
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.
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