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Cambridge

MIT Press to Make Landmark Architecture Books Freely Accessible Online

16:00 - 30 April, 2018
A selection of out-of-print books are soon to be made available by MIT Press. Image © Niall Patrick Walsh
A selection of out-of-print books are soon to be made available by MIT Press. Image © Niall Patrick Walsh

The MIT Press, in collaboration with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is set to digitize landmark out-of-print architecture and urban studies books published by the MIT Press, making them freely accessible online for discovery and research. Aided by a $157,000 grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, MIT Press are enabled to digitize a collection of “image-rich and intellectually prized architecture and urban studies titles” complete with the commissioning of new forewords for the works. Following the project’s completion, MIT Press intends to distribute a minimum of 25 titles for free on several platforms, including its own ebook service.

Among the titles to be released are Francoise Choay’s “The Rule and the Model: On the Theory of Architecture and Urbanism,” which links modern theory with classical and Renaissance architecture, and John Templer’s “The Staircase,” regarded as the first theoretical and historical analysis of the elemental stair. Books on the subject of famous architects will also be released, such as Donald Leslie Johnson’s “Frank Lloyd Wright vs. America: The 1930s” and Grant Hildebrand’s “On Leon Battista Alberti: His Literary and Aesthetic Theories.”

Power on Campus - Harvard Energy Facility Showcases the Beauty of Infrastructure

08:00 - 15 March, 2018
Power on Campus - Harvard Energy Facility Showcases the Beauty of Infrastructure, Night view. Image Courtesy of Leers Weinzapfel Associates
Night view. Image Courtesy of Leers Weinzapfel Associates

On a prominent, highly visible site within Harvard University’s Allston Campus, a celebration of the beauty of infrastructure is beginning to take shape. Designed by Boston-based Leers Weinzapfel Associates, the 58,000 square foot Allston Campus District Energy Facility (DEF) represents a new, highly efficient infrastructure typology, delivering electricity and water for the campus, whilst simultaneously showcasing the intricate complexity of engineering and design.

Night view. Image Courtesy of Leers Weinzapfel Associates View across the river. Image Courtesy of Leers Weinzapfel Associates Daytime view. Image Courtesy of Leers Weinzapfel Associates East elevation. Image Courtesy of Leers Weinzapfel Associates + 4

Leading Cambridge School / Chadwick Dryer Clarke Studio

05:00 - 11 February, 2018
Leading Cambridge School  / Chadwick Dryer Clarke Studio, © Richard Chivers
© Richard Chivers

© Richard Chivers © Richard Chivers © Richard Chivers © Richard Chivers + 38

Border Ecologies Exhibition at Harvard GSD

16:00 - 25 November, 2017
Border Ecologies Exhibition at Harvard GSD, Overlapping border fluctuations Israel, Palestine from 1040 BCE to present day from Atlas of the Conflict. Israel-Palestine by Malkit Shoshan.
Overlapping border fluctuations Israel, Palestine from 1040 BCE to present day from Atlas of the Conflict. Israel-Palestine by Malkit Shoshan.

Borders shape and consolidate relations between states, people, jurisdictions, political entities, and territories. While some borders are stable, others are in a constant flow. The demarcation of borders is a body politic. It regulates economic relations and people’s access to places, resources, and rights. Borders are powerful instruments that determine the way our surroundings are organized, inhabited and controlled, and the ways communities relate to one another—while some break through borders to survive, others fence themselves off.

Cambridge To Oxford Connection: Ideas Competition Reveals Gallery of Finalists

08:00 - 21 October, 2017
Cambridge To Oxford Connection: Ideas Competition Reveals Gallery of Finalists, © Shortlisted Teams and Malcom Reading Consultants
© Shortlisted Teams and Malcom Reading Consultants

The National Infrastructure Commission and Malcolm Reading Consultants have revealed an online gallery of the four final design concepts for The Cambridge to Oxford Connection: Ideas Competition.

The competition, which launched in June, focuses on the 130-mile corridor connecting Cambridge, Milton Keyes, Northampton, and Oxford. It acknowledges the presence of world-leading universities, highly skilled workers and tech firms, but also the corridor’s failure to function as a connected economic zone.

© Barton Willmore and Malcolm Reading Consultants © Tibbalds Planning & Urban Design, Mikhail Riches, Featherstone Young, Marko and Placemakers, Expedition Engineering & Khaa and Malcolm Reading Consultants © Mae and Malcolm Reading Consultants © Fletcher Priest Architects and Malcolm Reading Consultants + 11

Cambridge To Oxford Connection: Ideas Competition Announces Shortlist

12:00 - 26 August, 2017
Cambridge To Oxford Connection: Ideas Competition Announces Shortlist, © Wikimedia Commons Users: Cambridge - Bob Tubbs, Oxford - Toby Ord (CC-BY-SA-2.5)
© Wikimedia Commons Users: Cambridge - Bob Tubbs, Oxford - Toby Ord (CC-BY-SA-2.5)

The National Infrastructure Commission and Malcolm Reading Consultants have announced the shortlist for The Cambridge to Oxford Connection: Ideas Competition. The free-to-enter competition focuses on integrating placemaking with infrastructure in one of the UK’s leading growth regions: 130-mile Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford corridor. The region is home to 3.3 million people and hosts some of the country’s most successful cities, as well as the world-leading Oxbridge universities. Launched in June 2017, the first stage encouraged entries from teams with a range of backgrounds - made up of urban designers; architects; landscape designers, planners and community specialists (to name a few).

Soft Thresholds: Projects of RMA Architects, Mumbai

16:59 - 25 August, 2017
Soft Thresholds: Projects of RMA Architects, Mumbai, Entrance to the Visitors Center at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), formerly known as the Prince of Wales Museum, Mumbai. Photo: Rajesh Vohra
Entrance to the Visitors Center at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), formerly known as the Prince of Wales Museum, Mumbai. Photo: Rajesh Vohra

As a point of entry and exit, a threshold has a dual coding in society as both a physical and symbolic marker of separation and connection. Thresholds are often explicitly hard-edged or even brutal in their expression, demarcating rigid boundaries, as in the definitive lines of walls, barricades, and security checkpoints in buildings, around cities, or across larger territories. Too often, thresholds also divide human activity or communities according to social, ethnic, national, or economic characteristics. Architecture and planning can unwittingly contribute to these different forms of physical separation, especially in ways made visible through their practitioners’ interpretations of culture, religion, or legislation. As the academic disciplines that inform spatial practices, architecture and planning are themselves often similarly separated by disciplinary thresholds, inhibiting porosity between fields of research. By definition, an individual discipline necessarily is organized around a self-referential center of discursive production, but this often happens at the expense of the richness found at the intersection of multiple disciplinary perspectives. Is architecture, in its compulsive drive to create the autonomous object, inherently hardening the thresholds separating it from other disciplines and, by extension, reproducing those schisms within the built environment? Can architecture and planning intentionally construct soft thresholds―lines that are easily traversed, even temporarily erased―thereby allowing for multiple perspectives across different modes of research and practice and catalyzing disciplinary and social connections? What, then, is the physical expression of a soft threshold―a space that is visually and physically porous, plural in spirit, encompassing of its context, and yet rigorous in its expression?

A New Train Station in Cambridge Has Sparked Controversy Among Mathematicians

09:30 - 3 June, 2017

A new train station in Cambridge is getting a lot of attention from a surprising audience: mathematicians. Cambridge North Station is clad in aluminum panels with a geometrical cutout design. The architecture firm, Atkins, originally claimed that the pattern was derived from Cambridge alumnus John Conway’s “Game of Life,” but eagle-eyed mathematicians soon realized that was incorrect. As the above video points out, the design is in fact based on a mathematical rule studied by Stephen Wolfram, an Oxford alumnus, much to the dismay of rival university Cambridge. Though the firm’s website still references Conway, a Senior Architectural Designer at Atkins, Quintin Doyle, has since confirmed that it was, in fact, Wolfram’s Rule 30 that they used in the design.

Herzog & de Meuron's AstraZeneca R&D Headquarters Tops Out in Cambridge

14:30 - 17 May, 2017
Herzog & de Meuron's AstraZeneca R&D Headquarters Tops Out in Cambridge, © Herzog & de Meuron. Courtesy of Astrazeneca
© Herzog & de Meuron. Courtesy of Astrazeneca

The Herzog & de Meuron-designed global corporate headquarters for pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has topped out in Cambridge, UK, as the building pushes forward to a series of opening dates beginning in 2018. Developed alongside AstraZeneca researchers and executive architect/lead consultant BDP, the scheme consists of a ring-shaped volume containing a series of open laboratories and transparent glass walls intended to foster the company’s principle of collaboration across disciplines.

Courtesy of BDP © Herzog & de Meuron. Courtesy of Astrazeneca © Herzog & de Meuron. Courtesy of Astrazeneca + 8

Call for Papers: MIT Thresholds #46

18:30 - 1 February, 2017
Call for Papers: MIT Thresholds #46

Thresholds 46: SCATTER!
Editors: Anne Graziano and Eliyahu Keller

From treatises to TED talks; postcards to propaganda; etchings to drawings, films, and blogs, architecture moves in diverse and curious ways. It is these currencies, which give architecture its agency, its authority and life. And yet, despite the varied modes of its circulation, the majority of architecture’s discursive knowledge reaches only a familiar audience. While contemporary means of information production and dispersal continue to exponentially grow and quicken, the circle of professional and discursive associations remains confined. Circulation, distribution, and access to knowledge are not exclusive matters of the discipline. Rather they extend past architectural limits to catalyze inquiries into hidden geographies and infrastructure, restricted access, and equity.

Architecture Cruises

16:45 - 21 June, 2016
Architecture Cruises, Image courtesy of the Charles Riverboat Company.
Image courtesy of the Charles Riverboat Company.

This 90-minute tour, co-sponsored by the BSA Foundation, hosted by Charles Riverboat Company, and led by Boston By Foot guides offers spectacular views of historic and contemporary Boston architecture while providing fascinating information about many renowned architectural landmarks, including the Hancock Tower, Marriott’s Custom House, and Rowes Wharf, as well as cutting-edge contemporary buildings by today’s top architects.

MIT Celebrates Centennial of Cambridge Campus with Two Architecture Installations

14:00 - 7 May, 2016
MIT Celebrates Centennial of Cambridge Campus with Two Architecture Installations, Photomontage of the Memory Matrix installation at night in front of the Wiesner Building, MIT campus. Image credit: Photomontage by Azra Aksamija, 2016. Original photo of the MediaLab by Steve Mann. Image Courtesy of Resnicow and Associates
Photomontage of the Memory Matrix installation at night in front of the Wiesner Building, MIT campus. Image credit: Photomontage by Azra Aksamija, 2016. Original photo of the MediaLab by Steve Mann. Image Courtesy of Resnicow and Associates

In honor of the centenary of MIT's move to the Cambridge Campus, the university has carried out a series of public events this spring, including the installation of two innovative architecture and design projects: Memory Matrix and Biaxial Tower.

Installed in the iconic arch of MIT’s Wiesner Building (designed by Pritzker Prize winner and MIT alumni I.M. Pei), Memory Matrix is a giant screen made of intricate pixel-like Plexiglass elements, arranged to form larger matrix-like screens that reveal an image of the recently destroyed Arch of Triumph in Palmyra. The image is only visible during the day through the movement of wind and light, and at night, through the illumination of the pixels. Spearheaded by Azra Aksamija, Memory Matrix will be on display from April 23 through May 7.

RDH Architects to Convert a Historic Canadian Post Office Into a Digital Library

08:00 - 10 April, 2016
RDH Architects to Convert a Historic Canadian Post Office Into a Digital Library, © RDH Architects
© RDH Architects

RDH Architects has unveiled the plans for its Old Post Office Idea Exchange, a restoration project in Cambridge, Canada. The post office project will completely restore the existing historic building and transform it into a new space through the use of new glass additions that will increase usable space and improve accessibility.

Platform 8: An Index of Design & Research

19:04 - 1 April, 2016
Platform 8: An Index of Design & Research, Harvard GSD. Platform 8: An Index of Design & Research.
Harvard GSD. Platform 8: An Index of Design & Research.

Platform 8 catalogs a curated selection of work generated in the past year at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Alongside final products of design education, Platform 8 places particular emphasis on collecting and documenting the people and artifacts that shape research-driven design practices. Here, design is presented both as process and as a final product. Indexical structure, punctuated with a collection of portraits, presents a comprehensive picture of the school. Platform 8 shows the intention, direction, and passion seen and experienced every day at the GSD.

Cambridge Science Festival Family Design Day: Imagine Boston with LEGO® Bricks

18:08 - 1 April, 2016
Cambridge Science Festival Family Design Day: Imagine Boston with LEGO® Bricks, Image: Mike Lawrie.
Image: Mike Lawrie.

As part of the Cambridge Science Festival, discover the art and science of architecture and city planning. Find out what Boston might look like in 2030, and imagine new modes of transportation and vibrant places for “live, work, and play”! Explore how architects and urban planners apply notions of sustainability, transportation, housing, parks, and open space in their work, and share your thoughts on how to make the city more beautiful, resilient, and equitable. Lastly, bring your own fantastic ideas to life using LEGO® bricks, and present them to your design buddies.

Designing A Place for Inventing the Future: The MIT Campus, Then, Now, Next

16:00 - 14 March, 2016
Designing A Place for Inventing the Future: The MIT Campus, Then, Now, Next

This two-day symposium is co-sponsored with the MIT 2016 Committee and the MIT Department of Architecture. It will examine architecture and cultures at MIT and their influences on education and student life on campus. Speakers, including David Adjaye and Hashim Sarkis, will explore the prescient design of the original buildings and the interdisciplinary, innovative research that they fomented, as well as imagine the teaching and maker spaces of the future.

One Main Office Renovation / dECOi Architects

12:00 - 21 December, 2015
One Main Office Renovation / dECOi Architects, © Anton Grassl
© Anton Grassl

© Anton Grassl © Anton Grassl Courtesy of dECOi Architects © Anton Grassl + 63

'A New Charter of Athens': a lecture by Professor Richard Sennett

14:30 - 17 October, 2015
'A New Charter of Athens': a lecture by Professor Richard Sennett

'Next year sees the opening of Habitat III, the environmental congress held every twenty years by the United Nations. For this event, a manifesto is being prepared about the design of cities. It aims to replace the guidance given by Le Corbusier and others nearly a century ago, in document they called "The Charter of Athens." The new Charter of Athens addresses issues emerging in the 21st Century about environmental crises, the uses of technology and big data, and the challenge of social inclusion. The lecture serves as an introduction to this modest proposal.'