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Mimi Zeiger

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How Two Getty Initiatives Are Saving Global Modernist Heritage

10:00 - 2 June, 2019
How Two Getty Initiatives Are Saving Global Modernist Heritage, Courtesy Joe Belcovson for the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. ImageIn 2012, the Getty Conservation Institute founded its Conserving Modern Architecture Initiative (CMAI), with the Getty Foundation’s Keeping It Modern grant following two years later. Working synergistically, the two programs are dedicated to supporting new methods and technologies for the conservation of Modernist buildings. Louis Kahn’s Salk Institute for Biological Studies (1965) in La Jolla, California, has been the beneficiary of both CMAI and Keeping It Modern.
Courtesy Joe Belcovson for the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. ImageIn 2012, the Getty Conservation Institute founded its Conserving Modern Architecture Initiative (CMAI), with the Getty Foundation’s Keeping It Modern grant following two years later. Working synergistically, the two programs are dedicated to supporting new methods and technologies for the conservation of Modernist buildings. Louis Kahn’s Salk Institute for Biological Studies (1965) in La Jolla, California, has been the beneficiary of both CMAI and Keeping It Modern.

This Article was originally published on Metropolismag.com.

The Conserving Modern Architecture Initiative (CMAI) and Keeping It Modern grant are dedicated to supporting new methods and technologies for the conservation of Modernist buildings.

Why Architects Need to Get Dirty to Save the World

09:30 - 22 October, 2018
Courtesy of the Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller
Courtesy of the Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller

This article was originally published on Metropolis Magazine as "Why Architects Need to Get Dirty to Save the World."

Of all the terrarium-like experiments included in Lydia Kallipoliti’s The Architecture of Closed Worlds: Or, What Is the Power of Shit? (Lars Müller/Storefront for Art and Architecture), Biosphere 2 is the most infamous. A steel-and-glass structure baking in the Arizona desert, it represents the hope and hubris of re-creating Earth on Earth. The project was launched by an alternative living group with a taste for theater, and tanked by disastrous management by Steve Bannon (yes, him). As such, it illustrates the risky arc that courses through Kallipoliti’s 300-page volume—visions of utopia bending toward ultimate failure.

How a Retired 88-Year-Old Solar Design Pioneer Became one of 2017's "Game Changers"

09:30 - 2 February, 2017
How a Retired 88-Year-Old Solar Design Pioneer Became one of 2017's "Game Changers", Knowles’ research into environmental conditions and theories about solar envelope zoning prefigured the parametric tools architects and planners use today. This scheme for an L.A. row-housing project demonstrates how dense developments—both low- and high-rise—could still provide equity in terms of natural sunlight. Image Courtesy of Ralph Knowles
Knowles’ research into environmental conditions and theories about solar envelope zoning prefigured the parametric tools architects and planners use today. This scheme for an L.A. row-housing project demonstrates how dense developments—both low- and high-rise—could still provide equity in terms of natural sunlight. Image Courtesy of Ralph Knowles

This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as part of their 2017 Game Changers issue. You can read about all of their 2017 Game Changers here.

I meet architect and educator Ralph Knowles on an unseasonably warm autumn day, even for Southern California. He greets me in shirtsleeves (his shirt is a tropical pattern of vines and branches) and leads me to a seat on the balcony of his condo. The building—a retirement community—is fairly new, but mature oak trees line the quiet street. As we talk about his career, the California oaks form a poignant backdrop. For more than five decades, Knowles, 88, has argued for an architecture that hews closely to nature’s forces and rhythms.

Why "Darling" Architects Who Came Up Under Recession Are Doubling Down on Budget

09:30 - 8 January, 2017
Why "Darling" Architects Who Came Up Under Recession Are Doubling Down on Budget, The new Manetti Shrem Museum at the University of California, Davis. Image © Iwan Baan / SO-IL and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
The new Manetti Shrem Museum at the University of California, Davis. Image © Iwan Baan / SO-IL and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "The Build Up."

This November, the Manetti Shrem Museum on the University of California, Davis, campus opened to the public. Designed by New York City–based SO-IL with the San Francisco office of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, the museum pays homage to the agricultural landscape of California’s Central Valley with an oversize roof canopy. The steel members of the 50,000-square-foot (4,650-square-meter) shade structure, nearly twice the size of the museum itself, reference the patterning of plowed fields and create a welcoming outdoor space for visitors. It is both expressive and practical, but getting that balance wasn’t easy.

SO-IL, founded by Florian Idenburg and Jing Liu in 2008, has a portfolio filled with smaller projects, installations, and exhibition-related work. The Manetti Shrem Museum is easily the firm’s largest work to date, demanding a rigorous design-build process while maintaining a strong conceptual vision. In short, it required architecture.