Although trained as a Control and Computer Engineer, Ali Alamedy has since turned his hand to manufacturing scaled, miniature dioramas. After being forced to leave his home in Iraq, he and his family are now based in Turkey – and it is here that he has honed a skill in constructing these tiny, intricate worlds from a broad range of ordinary materials. All scaled at 1:12, these complex and often hyper-realistic models are inspired by the environments around him, complemented by his experiences and, of course, his imagination. In this study of Alamedy's work, ArchDaily asks: how do you do it?
How satisfied are you with your city’s garbage service? Its parks? The way it handles pest control? What about homelessness? In the USA’s largest metropolis, which covers a total of 468.484 square miles (1,213.37 km2) and is home to over 8.5 million people, New Yorkers’ perception of their city and the services it provides reveals the “uneven distribution of New York’s opportunities,” according to a survey conducted by The New York Times.
The project also shows relative accord and satisfaction with fire and emergency medical services and agreement that use of tax dollars, public housing and traffic can be improved.
With 360 camera technology, the ability to transport people into a space through film has become all the more immersive. Viewers are able to turn the viewport in every direction to see the whole scene, or even to put on a headset for a more natural way of viewing a scene. Of course, this has important implications for viewing architecture, which many believe has become too image based, and therefore two-dimensional. 360 videos leave no corners conveniently hidden, as a traditional video or image would, perhaps providing a fuller picture of a place - could this perhaps open up a more human-scale understanding of space?
The New York Times have treated their Facebook followers to some great architectural insights through their Daily 360, getting more than their money’s worth out of their 360 camera equipment. Some of these must-see videos include a dance rehearsal taking place in the Guggenheim Museum’s rotunda, as well as an aerial view of La Paz, Bolivia. Read on to take a peek into the richness of earth’s urban spaces:
Changing Climate, Changing Cities: The New York Times Launches Series on the Urban Effects of Climate Change
Contrary to some beliefs, climate change is not simply some unidentifiable threat perpetually on the horizon, but a phenomenon that has already had real impact on real world places. To illustrate the effects of our changing environment, the New York Times has launched a new multi-media series called “Changing Climate, Changing Cities,” written by architecture critic Michael Kimmelman, that aims to expose how climate change is “challenging the world’s urban centers.
The first installment takes a look Mexico City, where environmental issues that have already wreaked havoc for centuries, such as water shortage and ground subsidence, are beginning to see their effects multiplied by the city’s changing climate. The piece explains the root of these problems, and their effect of an already fragile infrastructure and social fabric.
Last week, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a long-awaited and much-needed proposal for a makeover of Penn Station. Designed by SOM, the proposal for the new Penn Station–Farley Complex, to be completed in 2020, offers a pragmatic solution to the years of scrapped schemes and political stalling. However, The New York Times believes that Governor Cuomo’s proposal could be pushed further. The newspaper thus commissioned Vishaan Chakrabarti of PAU to come up with an alternative proposal to challenge Governor Cuomo’s plans.
This week's issue of The New York Times Magazine, the special New York issue with a theme of “New York Above 800 Feet,” takes a rather irreverent approach to the magazine’s design. Instead of being viewed in the traditional horizontal orientation, the periodical has been rotated 90 degrees and is meant to be viewed by turning the pages up. The long dimension, which is only 10.875 inches horizontally, becomes 17.875 inches vertically, and according to the magazine’s editor, Jake Silverstein, “‘[It] remains absurdly short for our subject, but it is in keeping with the striving spirit that has given New York City its distinctive skyline: This is as tall as it is possible for our magazine to be."
A new article by Chris Holbrook for The New York Times, "Airports, Designed for Everyone but the Passenger," points out a black sheep among architectural typology: the airport. Though built for one of the most delicate and stressful human situations, airports are notoriously hostile to the travelers that occupy them.
"During the Middle Ages, smell was the unspoken plague of cities," writes New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman. "Today it is sound." In his latest article, entitled "Dear Architects: Sound Matters," Kimmelman breaks down an often-overlooked element of architectural design, explaining how space shapes sound, and how sound shapes our experience of a space - and imploring architects to put more thought into the sonic environments created by their designs.
For a recent article in The New York Times, Derek Watkins examines "what China has been building in the South China Sea." Employing high resolution satellite imagery and diagrams, his article investigates why—and how—China have been dredging and dumping sand in a bid to construct inhabitable artificial islands. Political and diplomatic concerns aside, the article also touches upon the technical requirements necessary to reclaim land from the oceans.
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.
Looking towards the uppermost floors of the new Whitney Museum of American Art, thick clouds roll diagonally across the sky behind. Reflected in the ample window of the museum’s main gallery they dash in a different direction, while the building’s white facade flashes light and dark in response to the changing light conditions. Superimposed over this scene, bold all-caps lettering pronounces the title of an article: the simple but dramatic “A New Whitney.”
This is the sight that greeted readers of Michael Kimmelman’s review of the Whitney in The New York Times last Sunday. Scroll down just a little, and the first thing you encounter is a list of credits: Jeremy Ashkenas and Alicia Desantis produced the article; graphics were contributed by Mika Gröndahl, Yuliya Parshina-Kottas and Graham Roberts; and videos by Damon Winter (the editor behind the entire endeavor, Mary Suh, is not mentioned).
Before even reading the article’s opening words, one thing is clear: this is not your average building review. As a matter of fact, it might even be the most important article in recent architectural memory.
In an interview with Erika Allen for The New York Times, Michael Kimmelman discusses "architecture criticism and the dangers of demolition." Kimmelman, the NYT's architecture critic, has built a reputation as someone who advocates for buildings under threat, his most well known "fight" being against renovation plans drawn up by Foster + Partners for the New York Public Library in Manhattan. Referencing his latest column, in which he shows support for the threatened Orange County Government Centre, Kimmelman elaborates on his critical position and why he believes that speaking out for buildings at risk is "necessary."
Earlier this month the New York Times published an editorial written by Steven Bingler and Martin Pederson in which the two discuss how and why architects need to reevaluate the profession. The article centers on how today’s architecture can adequately meet the needs of its intended users without acknowledging their input and asks “at what point does architecture’s potential to improve human life become lost because of its inability to connect with actual humans?”
As with any commentary on the very nature of contemporary architecture, criticism abounds and has prompted a scathing response by Architect Magazine writer Aaron Betsky, who claims that the New York Times ought to be above such "know-nothing, cliché-ridden reviews of architecture" and ridicules certain excerpts of Bingler and Pederson's text, saying "I am not making this up." Betsky takes the opportunity to argue instead that “Architecture... is either the dull affirmation of what we have, or it is an attempt to make our world better."
Read on after the break for more on the New York Times article and the opposing views
The people behind Frank Gehry's Fondation Louis Vuitton (FLV) in Paris, which is set to officially open on the 27th October 2014, recently invited a band of architecture critics to take a look around and pen their thoughts. Gehry's bold approach to architectural form, most evident in buildings like the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA, matches the foundation's aim to "promote and support contemporary and artistic creation" in France. According to their website, they in particular embody "a passion for artistic freedom." How, then, has the enormous sailed structure, challenged by local opposition from the outset, settled into its Parisian parkland surroundings?
See what The Guardian's Oliver Wainwright, The Observer's Rowan Moore, Vanity Fair's Paul Goldberger, The LA Times' Christopher Hawthorne, as well as the Architectural Digests' Mayer Rus, had to say about Gehry's latest completed building after the break.
In an article for the New York Times, Alexandra Lange discusses a number of US projects which are "transforming, but not disrupting," their respective communities. In this vein, she cites Mecanoo and Sasaki Associates' new Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building in Roxbury, Boston, as a prime example of a new kind of architecture which "comes from understanding of past civic hopes, redesigning them to meet the future." Examining some of the key concepts that make for successfully integrated community buildings, such as the creation of spaces that actively forge personal connections, Lange concludes that perhaps it is now "time for strategic architecture."
In an article for the New York Times Rachel Donadio examines Masterworks vs. the Masses. From the Louvre in Paris to London's British Museum, Florence's Uffizi to the Vatican Museums, the increasing surge of visitors to these international cultural nodes "has turned many museums into crowded, sauna-like spaces." Balancing everyone's right to be "nourished" by cultural experiences with protecting and preserving the works of art in question is a very real problem. According to Donadio, "even when the art is secure, the experience can become irksome." With some museums seeing annual visitors of up to 6.7 million visitors (British Museum), addressing the issues faced by institutions that are a victim of their own success is becoming more and more pressing. Read the article in full here.
The idea of “star architects” or “starchitects” is, if nothing else, polemic. Frank Gehry has expressed his hatred for being labeled with the term, and in 2013 we received a letter from a reader urging us to ban the phrase as it “undermines serious discourse regarding architecture and urbanism.” Now, the “starchitect” debate has reached the opinion section of the New York Times.
Following recent comments by Witold Rybczynski that “starchitects” -- often unfamiliar with the cities they are designing for -- are designing buildings that don’t fit into their surroundings, the NYT has posed the question: Are superstar architects ruining city skylines? Weighing in on the topic are Allison Arieff, an architecture and design writer for the NYT, Vishaan Chakrabarti, an associate professor at Columbia and a partner at SHoP Architects, Angel Borrego Cubero, a Madrid-based architect, and the director and producer of "The Competition," a documentary about architectural competitions, and Beverly Willis of the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation.
Although previously unknown except in his native Chile, architect Smiljan Radic has recently received international attention for his design of this year’s pavilion for London’s Serpentine Galleries. His latest and largest undertaking yet, a winery outside of Santiago, has been featured in this article by the New York Times. And now, his Mestizo Restaurant has been named one of the seven most outstanding 21st century projects in the Americas. If you're unfamiliar with Radic's unique works, we’ve compiled a round-up of some of our favorites for you to explore, including his Serpentine Pavilion, Copper House 2, the Mestizo Restaurant, a bus stop for the town of Krumbach, Austria, and his renovation of the Chilean Museum for Pre-Columbian Art. Enjoy!