It is now just over a year since the unveiling of Zaha Hadid’s Al-Wakrah Stadium in Doha, Qatar, and in the intervening twelve months, it seems like the building has never been out of the news. Most recently, remarks made by Hadid concerning the deaths of construction workers under Qatar’s questionable working conditions created a media firestorm of legal proportions. Hadid’s stadium has been widely mocked for its ‘biological’ appearance, not to mention the fact that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, for which the stadium will be built, has encountered a storm of controversy all of its own.
The criticism surrounding Al Wakrah has prompted us to look far and wide for the world’s most debated buildings. Could Al Wakrah be the most controversial building of all time? Check out ArchDaily’s roundup of nine contenders after the break.
Find out which buildings top our controversial list after the break
With their latest cover, The New Yorker is addressing the tragic unrest in Ferguson which has followed Monday’s decision not to indict the officer who shot Michael Brown in August, using an image of Eero Saarinen’s iconic Gateway Arch. The image, designed by Bob Staake, shows the arch divided, black on one side and white on the other in reference to the racial tensions that underpin the dispute. “At first glance, one might see a representation of the Gateway Arch as split and divided,” says Staake, “but my hope is that the events in Ferguson will provide a bridge and an opportunity for the city.” To read more about the ideas behind Staake’s design, visit The New Yorker’s website.
For the past few weeks, events in Ferguson, Missouri have prompted many debates over what can or should be done to ease tensions in this suburb of St Louis. But Bob Hansman, a professor at the Washington University in St Louis, is taking a different approach: understanding it first. This interview with Hansman, originally published on the Washington University in St Louis Newsroom, unearths a few of the issues that have made some areas of St Louis so severely dispossessed.
“Today isn’t this,” he growls. “Get ready.”
Discover more about the work of Hansman after the break.
As a student of architecture, the formative years of study are a period of wild experimentation, bizarre use of materials, and most importantly, a time to make mistakes. Work from this period in the life of an architect rarely floats to the surface – unless you’re Zaha Hadid or Frank Gehry, that is. A treasure trove of early architectural drawings from the world’s leading architects has recently been unearthed from the private collection of former Architectural Association Chairman Alvin Boyarsky. The collection is slated to be shown at the Kemper Art Museum, Washington University, St. Louis, as a part of the exhibition Drawing Ambience: Alvin Boyarsky and the Architectural Association from September 12th to January 4th, 2015.
Take a look at the complete set of architects and drawings for the exhibition after the break.
Back in September 2013, we told you about PXSTL. Organized by the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts and the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, PXSTL challenged US artists, architects and designers to propose a small-scale intervention for a vacant lot in the St. Louis Grand Center cultural district that could possibly spark large-scale urban transformation. Freecell Architecture was announced as the winner of the competition, with their proposal “Lots”.
Today, the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts announced an open call for community program proposals that respond to “Lots”. The structure will be open from May 9 to October 5, 2014, during which several curated events will be taking place. Up to $1,500 will be granted to individuals, community groups or organizations whose proposals help in engaging the community exchange at the site. For more information regarding criteria, site, and submission guidelines, please click here.
Freecell Architecture has been announced as winner of the urban design-build competition, PXSTL. Organized by the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts and the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, PXSTL challenged US artists, architects and designers to propose a small-scale intervention for a vacant lot in the St. Louis Grand Center cultural district that could possibly spark large-scale urban transformation.
Among 60 candidates and three shortlisted finalists, Freecell’s winning proposal “Lots” was selected for its “innovative design and approach to the space as a gathering catalyst, hosting social and cultural activities to bring focus on activities of people unifying a community.” The project intends on activating audience engagement by hosting a series of concerts, dance performances, community celebrations, film screenings, and art exhibitions.
Read on for more about “Lots”…
Freecell Architecture‘s proposal for the PXSTL Competition was recently announced one of the three finalists by the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts and the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University. Participants were asked to reimagine a vacant lot in St. Louis’ Grand Center cultural district while exploring the critical role arts and culture play in creating vibrant, growing communities. The competition aims to demonstrate how small-scale interventions can spur large-scale urban transformation, and Freecell’s proposal was selected for their ability to visualize Grand Center’s long-term vitality, emphasizing community engagement, interactive elements, and cross-disciplinary collaboration among St. Louis’ many cultural organizations. More images and information after the break.
Taking place this coming Tuesday, April 2nd at 6:30pm, Daniel Libeskind, one of the most celebrated architects working today, will be delivering the ‘Future of Cities’ lecture as part of the Assembly Series at Washington University in St. Louis. His presentation, sponsored by the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts and the Architecture Student Council, is free and open to the public and will take place in Graham Chapel. Well known for his Jewish Museum in Berlin, the museum’s radical, strikingly asymmetrical design, is a true icon for the city and the country of Germany. He has received numerous awards including the 2001 Hiroshima Art Prize – an award given to an artist whose work promotes international understanding and peace, never before given to an architect. Fore more information, please visit here.
Taking place February 8-9, the Building Pulitzer Colloquium, which is free and open to the public, will bring together key participants in the design and construction of this iconic building. The colloquium will provide unique insight into the extraordinary collaboration and dedication required to realize this project. Hosted by the The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts and Washington University in St. Louis, the event focuses on how this building, designed by an internationally recognized architect, was completed. Topics will include the working structure between Tadao Ando’s office and the St. Louis-based team, the realization of Ando’s design intent through the translation of American methods of construction, and the creation of a work environment that fostered construction excellence. More information on the event after the break.
Terrace View Café has a special location within downtown St. Louis, Missouri’s newest urban park, Citygarden. Studio | Durham Architects was invited into the Citygarden project to design a café building and a maintenance building on the site. The café by Studio | Durham appears equally as notable and successful as the pieces of art within the sculpture park, but distinguishes itself as a building among art.
The Early Childhood & Parenting Education Center at Harris Stow State University is an architectural anomaly in this area of St. Louis, Missouri. The building, by LuchiniAD, stands out among the brick buildings with its bright white roof and sloping shape. LuchiniAD designed the graceful, contemporary building in response to another condition all too present in St. Louis and other midwestern cities, the vacant lots. More on the building after the break.
Material Landscapes is an exhibition that recently opened at the Sheldon Art Gallery in St. Louis, Missouri. The show is curated by Liane Hancock, Assistant Professor at Louisiana Tech University. It features materiality in contemporary landscape architecture through projects by a group of national and international landscape architects.
At a screening of The Pruitt-Igoe Myth: An Urban History in New York City, a man in front of me wondered aloud “Do you think there are more urban planners, or St. Louis people here?” The film’s crowd drew heavily from both and also attracted people with interests in social housing, modernism, racial tensions, architecture, and documentary films. Prior to the screening, the crowd was easily divided into two groups: those with an interest in Pruitt-Igoe as a case study, and those with a personal connection to St. Louis city’s triumphs and struggles. By the end of the show, The Pruitt-Igoe Myth left every viewer knowledgable about the city’s past, as well as invested in St. Louis’ future. More after the break.
The Missouri Botanical Garden presents a photographic exhibition documenting many of St. Louis’s most architecturally impressive structures. View “American City: St. Louis Architecture” on display Friday, June 10 through Sunday, Aug. 21 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily in the Garden’s Ridgway Visitor Center. The exhibit is included with Garden admission.
“American City: St. Louis Architecture” features over 70 large-scale color images by award-winner architectural photographer William Zbaren, including the iconic Linnean House conservatory and Museum Building at the Missouri Botanical Garden.
The images are from the new architectural monograph, “American City: St. Louis Architecture: Three Centuries of Classic Design,” by Zbaren and architectural writer Robert Sharoff. The book – the first new monograph on the city since the 1920s – depicts 50 of the city’s most architecturally significant structures and is available at the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Garden Gate Shop.
For more information on the exhibition please click here. And check “Seven Amazing Structures You Kidn’t Know Were In St. Louis” images after the break.