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Vladimir Belogolovsky

Founder of the New York-based non-profit Curatorial Project. Trained as an architect at Cooper Union in New York, Belogolovsky has written nine books, including New York: Architectural Guide (DOM, 2019), and Conversations with Architects in the Age of Celebrity (DOM, 2015).

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"I Wanted to Look at Places in a New Three-Dimensional Way": In Conversation with Daniel Libeskind

Jewish Museum Berlin. Image © Hufton+Crow
Jewish Museum Berlin. Image © Hufton+Crow

Daniel Libeskind (b. 1946, Lodz, Poland) studied architecture at Cooper Union in New York, graduating in 1970, and received his post-graduate degree from Essex University in England in 1972. While pursuing a teaching career he won the 1989 international competition to design the Jewish Museum in Berlin before ever realizing a single building. He then moved his family there to establish a practice with his wife Nina and devoted the next decade to the completion of the museum that opened in 2001. The project led to a series of other museum commissions that explored such notions as memory and history in architecture.

Jewish Museum Berlin. Image © Hufton+CrowVilnius Museum. Image © Hufton+CrowRoyal Ontario Museum. Image © Alex FradkinDenver Art Museum. Image © BitterBredt+ 20

Architects Can Act More Like DJs: In conversation with Cino Zucchi

Residential buildings in the ex Mercato Navile area, Bologna, Italy, 2014. Image Courtesy of Courtesy of Cino Zucchi Architetti
Residential buildings in the ex Mercato Navile area, Bologna, Italy, 2014. Image Courtesy of Courtesy of Cino Zucchi Architetti

Architect Cino Zucchi (b. 1955) grew up and practices in Milan, Italy. He was trained at MIT in Cambridge and the Politecnico di Milano, but claims to be largely self-taught, although influenced by such of his countrymen as Aldo Rossi and Manfredo Tafuri. He is internationally known for diverse projects across Europe. Many are both abstracted and contextual residential complexes in Italy, particularly in Milan, Bologna, Parma, Ravenna, and, most notably, in Venice. Zucchi’s D residential building in Giudecca, attracted international attention and praise when it was completed in 2003. I met Cino Zucchi last year during the Venice Architecture Biennale; that meeting led to an extensive interview that we recently engaged in over Zoom between New York and the architect’s sunlight and books-filled Milan studio.

Cascina Merlata Social Housing, Milan, Italy, 2021. Image Courtesy of Courtesy of Cino Zucchi ArchitettiG1-G2 residential building, ex Junghans area, Venice, Italy, 2003. Image Courtesy of Courtesy of Cino Zucchi ArchitettiResidential buildings in the ex Ceramica Laveno area, Laveno, Italy, 2017. Image Courtesy of Courtesy of Cino Zucchi ArchitettiSubsidized residential tall buildings, Nuovo Portello, Milan, Italy, 2008. Image Courtesy of Courtesy of Cino Zucchi Architetti+ 13

“Architecture is a Captivating Journey Through the Revived World of Drawing” In Conversation with Sergei Tchoban

Sergei Tchoban (b. 1962, Saint Petersburg, Russia) graduated from the Repin Institute for Painting, Sculpture and Architecture at the Russian Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg in 1986. He started his practicing career in Russia but left for Germany in 1991, becoming a managing partner of nps tchoban voss in Berlin in 1995. Since 2006, he also heads SPEECH, one of the leading architectural offices in Moscow. Apart from building his successful career of a practicing architect, he is a collector of architectural drawings, publisher, and museum owner.

"We Still Have Not Built that City of the Future Where I Once Lived": In Conversation with Nishan Kazazian

What follows this short introduction is my unusually personal interview with a Lebanese-American architect and artist Nishan Kazazian. His work is inspired by numerous sources that come from many directions such as Kintsugi, the Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together, primary color geometric abstractions evocative of Russian Constructivism, as well as paintings by Piet Mondrian and Paul Klee. Yet, a stronger inspiration comes from his memories of home and family history. Layering and superimposition of cultures and languages were constantly present in his life since childhood and remain guiding forces to Kazazian, who is both a licensed architect and a professional artist.

Synergic Landscapes, 2018. Image Courtesy of Nishan KazanianArizona House, Flagstaff, Arizona, 1994. Image Courtesy of Nishan KazanianSpeculative Zoo with Satellite Imagery & Holograms, Hudson River, New York, 2019~2020. Image Courtesy of Nishan KazanianAmphibian Concert Hall Son et Lumière, Non Site Specific, 2018. Image Courtesy of Nishan Kazanian+ 25

"I Would Rather Be Known as an Architect of Elegant Restraint": Interview with Belmont (Monty) Freeman

Belmont (Monty) Freeman (b. 1951) founded his New York-based, currently eight-person practice, Belmont Freeman Architects in 1986. Its active projects are half institutional and half residential, with a special focus on adaptive reuse, predominantly in New York and nearby states. Among the firm’s most exemplary projects are the LGBT Carriage House on the University of Pennsylvania campus, a series of restorations at the Four Seasons restaurant in the Seagram Building, renovations at the Yale Club in Manhattan, and the renovation of the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, designed by Kevin Roche. Current projects include an expansive but minimalist residential compound on Martha’s Vineyard, branch library renovations in New York City, and redevelopment of a former meatpacking building into a new Innovation Hub for Columbia University’s Business School.

KOWALEWSKI RESIDENCE. Image © Christopher WesnofskeTHE FOUR SEASONS. Image © Jennifer Calais SmithKOWALEWSKI RESIDENCE. Image © Christopher WesnofskeEZRA AND CECILE ZILKHA GALLERY. Wesleyan University . Image © Christopher Wesnofske+ 20

"I Want My Places to Come Alive": In conversation with Brian Mac

American architect Brian Mac grew up near Detroit. He graduated from the Architecture School at the University of Detroit in 1988 and for the next five years worked for a preservationist firm, Quinn Evans Architects in Ann Arbor. There he learned to love historic architectural detailing, and, while working at the firm, in 1992, became a licensed architect. Then followed a short period of disillusion with the profession and moving to Ohio to work in a residential treatment center for adolescent felony offenders.

Lathhouse, Sagaponack, New York, 2020. Image © Michael MoranLathhouse, Sagaponack, New York, 2020. Image © Michael MoranLathhouse, Sagaponack, New York, 2020. Image © Michael MoranLathhouse, Sagaponack, New York, 2020. Image © Michael Moran+ 24

"I Am Always Inside the Architecture that I Design": In Conversation with Toyo Ito

Examining the work of Tokyo architect Toyo Ito (b. 1941) – particularly his now seminal Sendai Mediatheque (1995-2001), Serpentine Gallery (London, 2002, with Cecil Balmond), TOD's Omotesando Building (Tokyo, 2004), Tama Art University Library (Tokyo, 2007), and National Taichung Theater (2009-16) – will immediately become apparent these buildings’ structural innovations and spatial, non-hierarchical organizations. Although these structures all seem to be quite diverse, there is one unifying theme – the architect’s consistent commitment to erasing fixed boundaries between inside and outside and relaxing spatial divisions between various programs within. There is continuity in how these buildings are explored. They are conceived as systems rather than objects and they never really end; one could imagine their formations and patterns to continue to evolve and expand pretty much endlessly.

Tod's Omotesando Building_interior. Image © Nacasa & PartnersSilver Hut. Image Courtesy of Toyo Ito & Associates, ArchitectsSendai Mediatheque. Image Courtesy of Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects'Minna no Mori' Gifu Media Cosmos. Image © Kai Nakamura+ 13

30 Technology-Driven Projects Point to Our Future: In Conversation with Francisco Gonzalez-Pulido

Vladimir Belogolovsky talks with Mexican-American architect Francisco Gonzalez-Pulido on his exhibition 30 Projects/30 Years/30 Stories now on view at the Museo Metropolitano in Monterrey, Mexico.30 Projects/30 Years/30 Stories, a large retrospective on the work of Mexican-American architect Francisco Gonzalez Pulido, was opened on June 18 at the Museo Metropolitano in Monterrey, Mexico. The exhibition will remain on view until September 21.

Courtesy of FGP AtelierCourtesy of FGP AtelierCourtesy of FGP AtelierCourtesy of FGP Atelier+ 22

“Architecture Stands Out Because It Has Something to Say to its Context”: In conversation with Mario Botta

Swiss architect Mario Botta is known for his geometrically imposing, spatially captivating structures that are invariably dressed in zebra-like horizontal stripes in either black and white or red and white combinations. These both traditional and strikingly modern villas, chapels, wineries, schools, libraries, museums, company headquarters, banks, and residential blocks are scattered throughout towns and mountainous villages in the architect’s native Ticino region in southern Switzerland, extend all over Europe and can be encountered in places as far away as China, India, South Korea, Japan, and the USA.

Riva San Vitale. Image © Marco D'AnnaCasa Rotonda. Image Courtesy of Vladimir BelogolovskyChurch San Giovanni Battista. Image Courtesy of Vladimir BelogolovskySecurity Forces Centre. Image © Marco D'Anna+ 20

"I Wanted to Dance Here!": In Conversation with Antoine Predock about Bahías, a Community of 13 Houses in Costa Rica

Vladimir Belogolovsky speaks with Antoine Predock about the soon-to-be-built Bahías, a community of 13 houses in Costa Rica, inspired by a vision of manmade foliage.

© BINYAN, courtesy of Peninsula Papagayo© BINYAN, courtesy of Peninsula Papagayo© BINYAN, courtesy of Peninsula Papagayo© BINYAN, courtesy of Peninsula Papagayo+ 14

“Architecture is Like Writing a Song”: In conversation with Rick Joy

Vladimir Belogolovsky speaks with American architect Rick Joy about his early inclinations towards architecture, what kind of architecture he likes to visit, and about designing his buildings as instruments. 

Catalina House / Studio Rick Joy. Image © Wayne FujiSun Valley House / Studio Rick Joy. Image © Joe FletcherPrinceton Transit Hall and Market / Studio Rick Joy. Image © Jeff Goldberg / ESTOBayhouse / Studio Rick Joy. Image © Jeff Goldberg / ESTO+ 18

“We Produce Nothing; We Package a Dream": In Conversation with Totan Kuzembaev

Vladimir Belogolovsky speaks with Russian architect Totan Kuzembaev about flexibility in buildings, the freedom in design, and that even after leading a successful practice for almost twenty years, he still keeps searching for how to make architecture.

House K / Totan Kuzembaev. Image © Ilya IvanovHouse of Totan Kuzembaev near Moscow / Totan Kuzembaev. Image © Ilya IvanovManor Klaugu-Muizha / Totan Kuzembaev. Image © Ilya IvanovManor Klaugu-Muizha / Totan Kuzembaev. Image © Ilya Ivanov+ 15

“Most Importantly, I Can Stimulate Processes": In conversation with Christoph Hesse

Vladimir Belogolovsky speaks with Christoph Hesse over Skype between New York and his office in Korbach, Germany to discuss his pioneering projects and why working in the countryside is relevant.

The Thompson Center: A Building Facing Demolition Threat in Chicago

Every city has its odd building. Paris has Centre Pompidou. London –Lloyd’s of London. New York –the Guggenheim. Naturally, Chicago, the architectural capital of the world, has one too. Here it is –James R. Thompson Center, named so in honor of four-term Illinois Republican Governor (1977-91) who was brave enough to get it built in 1985. Home to offices of the Illinois state government the building is unlike anything you have ever seen before.

“You Open Your Dwelling’s Door and You See the Mountains”: In conversation with Li Xinggang of Atelier Li Xinggang

Vladimir Belogolovsky speaks with Chinese architect LI Xinggang of Beijing-based office Atelier Li Xinggang about the particularities of working within a design institute, the architect’s philosophy referred to as “poetic scenery and integrated geometry,” and his role in the design of the Bird’s Nest and why he thinks it is the most important piece of contemporary architecture in China.;

“Limitations are as Important as Possibilities”: In conversation with Atelier Alter's Yingfan Zhang and Xiaojun Bu

Vladimir Belogolovsky speaks with architects Yingfan Zhang and Xiaojun Bu, co-founders of Atelier Alter, about architecture in motion, their faith in tabula rasa, and the widespread rapid urbanization process in China.

Museum for Qujing Culture Center / Hordor Design Group + Atelier Alter. Image © Atelier AlterBIT Sports Center / Atelier Alter Architects. Image © Weiqi JinYingliang Stone Archive / Atelier Alter Architects. Image © Atelier AlterWuliEpoch Culture Center / Atelier Alter Architects. Image © Highlite Images+ 18

"The Truth is in The Tension of Possibilities”: In conversation with Eric Owen Moss

Even though Eric Owen Moss’ buildings are easy to spot it is hard to categorize them. They constitute a clash of forms and surfaces that collide, break, contort, superimpose onto themselves, bend, split, melt, and explode seemingly out of control –all to avoid being subscribed to anything that may even remotely evoke a design methodology of any kind.

Beehive / Eric Owen Moss Architects. Image © EOMASamitaur Tower / Eric Owen Moss Architects. Image © EOMAUmbrella / Eric Owen Moss Architects. Image © EOMAWaffle / Eric Owen Moss Architects. Image © EOMA+ 27

“A Vase May Give a Shape to a Room”: In conversation with John Wardle

John Wardle (b. 1956) founded John Wardle Architects in Melbourne, Australia, in 1986. His early interest in architecture started with encountering objects and precious bits and pieces of demolished buildings at the demolition yard owned by his father’s friend.

Wardle studied architecture at RMIT, acquiring his bachelor’s degree in 1981. Wardle returned to his alma mater to acquire his master’s almost 20 years later, when he was already a seasoned practitioner, leading his own successful office. He now heads a large practice of over 90 employees with studios in Melbourne and Sydney.