Recently, Shanghai organized an international competition for the new Art Museum of Pudong. The site of the project is located at a prominent spot on the tip of Pudong’s Lujiazui CBD area directly below the Oriental Pearl Tower. Looking across Huangpu River from the Bund, the iconic skyline of Lujiazui has been such a symbolic image of modern Shanghai that any addition or alteration to this image is extremely sensitive. So the site has been deliberately left vacant for years, awaiting a significant cultural institute and meaningful contribution to the urban life at the megapolis.
The New Museum is the product of a daring vision to establish a radical, politicized center for contemporary art in New York City. With the aim of distinguishing itself from the city’s existing art institutions through a focus on emerging artists, the museum’s name embodies its pioneering spirit. Over the two decades following its foundation in 1977, it gained a strong reputation for its bold artistic program, and eventually outgrew its inconspicuous home in a SoHo loft. Keen to establish a visual presence and to reach a wider audience, in 2003 the Japanese architectural firm SANAA was commissioned to design a dedicated home for the museum. The resulting structure, a stack of rectilinear boxes which tower over the Bowery, would be the first and, thus far, the only purpose-built contemporary art museum in New York City.
Lasting for close to two decades now, the annual Serpentine Gallery Pavilion Exhibition has become one of the most anticipated architectural events in London and for the global architecture community. With this year’s edition featuring not just one pavilion but four additional “summer houses,” the program shows no sign of slowing down. Each of the previous sixteen pavilions have been thought-provoking, leaving an indelible mark and strong message to the architectural community. And even though each of the past pavilions are removed from the site after their short summer stints to occupy far-flung private estates, they continue to be shared through photographs, and in architectural lectures. With the launch of the 16th Pavilion this month, we take a look back at all the previous pavilions and their significance to the architecturally-minded public.
In this article, written by Christian Dimmer and illustrated with photographs by Max Creasy, the post-earthquake and tsunami coastal architectural landscape of the Japanese Prefectures of Aomori, Iwate and Miyagi are presented and studied.
Few disasters were as complex and their implications as hard to grasp as the compound calamity of earthquake, tsunami, nuclear meltdown that hit the North-East of Japan on March 11, 2011. While over 500 kilometers of coastline were devastated, the disaster unfolded in each of the hundreds of towns affected differently depending on local topographies, urban morphologies, existing landscape formations, collective memory of past disasters and preparedness, and the social ties within the communities.
Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) hosts a conversation among five of the most influential contemporary Japanese architects: Toyo Ito, Kazuyo Sejima, Sou Fujimoto, Akihisa Hirata and Junya Ishigami. Moderated by Columbia GSAPP professors Jeffrey Inaba and Kenneth Frampton, the conversation aims to explore the relationships and creative exchanges among this prominent group of architects and designers.
Grace Farms by SANAA perfectly illustrates the firm’s sinuous, elegant style, combining their understanding of glass and structure to create spaces so fluid that they’re hard to believe from just a photo. A new time lapse by Work Zone Cam shows the construction of this project in HD, capturing a period between September 2013 and October 2015. Work Zone Cam worked with Project Manager, Paratus Group, to document Grace Farms’ construction, including its central piece “The River”: a ribbon-like roof that blends seamlessly with the landscape. Watch the entire construction of the project in just 180 seconds after the break.
"SANAA’s goal was to make the architecture of the River become part of the landscape without drawing attention to itself, or even feeling like a building, with the hope that those who are on the property will have a greater enjoyment of the beautiful environment and changing seasons through the spaces and experience created by the River," described the architect.
Photographer Paul Clemence of ARCHI-PHOTO has shared with us images of SANAA's latest completed work, Grace Farms in New Canaan, Connecticut. Known as "The River" for the way it flows through the site across a level change of almost 44 feet (13.4 meters), the building was conceived to "become part of the landscape without drawing attention to itself, or even feeling like a building" in order to give visitors a greater appreciation of the surrounding natural space that will be preserved by the Grace Farms Foundation. The building itself, meanwhile, will be made available to Grace Community Church and other nonprofit and community groups for a wide range of community and cultural events. Read on for Paul Clemence's full photoset.
Easy to overlook behind Kazuyo Sejima’s celebrated control of spatial and material effect is her emphasis on program and its role in the ratiocinated process of form-finding. In this 2002 lecture on her “Recent Work,” Sejima delves into the methodology that informs her work, beginning with two ongoing (and since-heralded) projects: the Theatre and Art Centre at Almere and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art at Kanazawa.
In both of these projects, Sejima ruminates on the intrigue of the microunit, the autonomously coherent spatial cogs that accumulate to participate in the purposeful machine. First within the irregularly-intervaled grid of the Theatre (as studios and staging areas), and second within the cytoplasmic circumscription of the Kanazawa Museum (as exhibitions), individual programmatic components with discreet performative roles seem to float, untethered to each other, in voluminous seas of circulatory space. By segregating elemental blocks within these projects, Sejima exaggerates their apparent autonomies in order to paradoxically draw attention to their spatial interconnectedness.
Tokyu Corporation has unveiled a new skyscraper planned will rise adjacent to Tokyo's Shibuya Station. A collaborative design by Japanese firms Kengo Kuma, SANAA and Nikken, the 230-meter mixed use tower will feature an unprecedented, 3,000-square-meter public sky deck that promises "views of Mt. Fuji" (on a clear day).
Fernando Schapochnik’s 1 minute series – a set of four videos of iconic buildings in Europe – aims to create a sensory interaction with the spaces. Filmed using only a cellphone, the videos rely on textures, sounds, rhythms and varying speeds to narrate the viewer's relationship with the spaces, letting the senses guide the experience. Journey through Le Corbusier’s Ronchamp, Antoni Gaudí’s Park Guell, SANAA’s Rolex Learning Center and OMA’s Kunsthal after the break.
SANAA and Snøhetta have been jointly awarded first prize in a restricted competition to build a "New National Gallery - Ludwig Museum" in Budapest's 200-year-old Városliget (City Park). Lauded for their "equally outstanding" proposals, the winning teams will now meet with the jury to be judged "on professional and financial considerations."
Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos and the joint proposal of Balázs Mihály's Architect Studio and the Faculty of Architecture of Budapest University of Technology and Economics were awarded second prize.
The competition is part of a larger cultural project that aims to renew the city's Városliget by 2018 with five new museum buildings built inside the expanded park area.
A closer look at the winning schemes, after the break.