Architects are often driven by forces which are stronger than aesthetics or even client whims and desires. To some extent we’re captive to the tools and materials we use, and the legal limitations placed on us as architects. Today a new code definition has changed one type of building in all of the ways architects usually control.
From city master plans to pocket-sized products, Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) have explored architectural formalism through innovative digital design methods. In 2006, the collaboration with furniture-makers and fashion houses led to the creation of Zaha Hadid Design that served both as an iterative process for and a resultant of ongoing architectural design.
A pop-up exhibition, located suitably on the ground floor of ZHA's renowned condominium along the High Line in New York City, features a scale model of the building itself on display. To honor and present the work produced by the firm in the last four decades, the Zaha Hadid Gallery showcases a series of projects in a wide range of mediums including the six 'Silver Models' that represent eight of the firm's key works.
Architecture, unlike other aspects of culture (such as fashion or music), can only really be experienced and understood in person. For highly branded companies, designing a new building can be a prime opportunity to signal taste and values - but also creates an interesting architectural conundrum. While the buildings will be inhabited (nearly 24/7) by company employees, they’re also very much populated by the imaginations of people across the globe. What is it like to be in these places?
This article was originally published on ArchDaily on 13 February 2018.
The City of Toronto has a long, fraught relationship with development and vacancy. The map of the initial Toronto Purchase of 1787 between the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation and the British Crown, which would later establish the colonial territory that became Toronto, conceives of the landscape as a single, clearly defined vacant lot anxious for development. Or, as artist Luis Jacob better described it, “signifying nothing but an empty page waiting to be inscribed at will.” Over two-hundred years later, as housing availability, prices, and rental shortages drive vertical condominium developments in the city, the politics of the vacant lot have never felt so palpable.
In 1948, the architect Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, better known as Le Corbusier, released one of his most famous publications titled Modular, followed by Modular 2 (1953). In these texts, Le Corbusier expressed his support of the research that Vitrubio, DaVinci, and Leon Battista Alberti started centuries before: to find the mathematical relationship between human dimensions and nature.
The research of the previously mentioned authors also represents the search to explain the Parthenon, the temples, and cathedrals built according to exact measurements that reference a code of essentiality. Knowing what instruments were used in finding the essence of these buildings was the starting point, instruments that at first glance seemed to bypass time and space. It wouldn't be farfetched to say that the measurements came from essence: parts of the body such as the elbow, the finger, thumb, foot, arm, palm, etc. In fact, there are instruments and measurements that carry names alluding to parts of the human body, an indication of architecture's proximity to it.
Architecture is all about context, either as a way to find harmony with it's surroundings or as a reaction against them. But what happens when you take context out of the picture entirely?
Designer Anton Reponnen, in his Misplaced photo series, has taken 11 of New York's most iconic landmarks, ranging from the Empire State Building to Renzo Piano's Whitney, and transplanted them in deserts, tundras, and plains. With the buildings placed in a "wrong" condition, viewers are challenged to evaluate the architecture in a different way. In Reponnen's eyes (and in the stories that accompany the images), each structure is as alive as we are, and their new location is mystery with motives to uncover.
Architecture, Form, and Energy is a documentary series featuring 6 interviews with architects and intellectuals from the United Kingdom, United States, Malaysia, and Mexico. The series seeks to disseminate information that inspires contemporary architectural evolution, from the impact of climate on a place, finding inspiration in nature, the relationship between form and energy, selecting the right materials, and appropriate technological application.
As Burning Man 2018 comes to a close, snapshots and glimpses of the event have begun to emerge in the mediasphere. The most recognizable among these is, perhaps, BIG's Orb, a hovering sphere representing a scaled version of the earth itself.
https://www.archdaily.com/901298/the-best-structures-of-burning-man-2018AD Editorial Team
What do dance and architecture have in common? It's difficult to explain how our experiences of dance are stored in our bodily memory, but central to our recollection of a performance is the architectural space that it inhabited. Although dance may have been the central focus, the site is integral to its experience. Both disciplines are fundamental when exploring the ways we navigate and create cities and urban spaces.
It's no surprise that many choreographers explore both disciplines: dance and architecture. These pieces question how our bodies navigate through built environments. However, it is important to note that this experimentation is not merely contemplative but speaks to the way specific groups of peoples and cultures operate in their surroundings. In the words of the philosopher Marina Garcés: "The body is no longer what is and binds us to a place, but it is the condition for every place. It is the zero point of all the spatialities that we can experience, and at the same time, all the links that constitute us, materially and psychically."
Working life as an architect is notoriously difficult. Unreasonable demands from clients, be they about budget, deadlines, or design (not to mention uncompromising personal standards) make the job tough, particularly as architecture continues to be seen as a product. And while it's no reason to accept low (or unequal) pay, troubling mental health, or any of the myriad issues architecture seems beset with, architects anywhere will tell you: you do it because you love it.
In Europe, Asia and much of the developed world, high speed rail is convenient and accessible. Whether for business or pleasure, travelers are served by an efficient and extensive rail network that connects passengers to the desired destination on time and with relatively little effort. Although these train systems can travel as fast as 350 kilometers per hour, speed is not the only important factor. Rail stations in Europe, for example, are an integral part of the historic urban fabric. These facilities are often perceived as civic destinations that play a fundamental role in the mobility system, providing a wide range of services for the larger collective; shopping,entertainment, commercial and civic uses are often paired with transit services as new stations are built and historic stations are retrofitted.
While cemeteries have long served as a place in which we can honor and remember our loved ones, they are also often places that showcase architecture, and landscape design. In the late 19th century, cemeteries evolved from overcrowded and unsanitary urban spaces into rural, park-like social centers. In cities that lacked public parks, cemeteries became popular destinations for picnics, holidays, and other family gatherings.
At a new corporate headquarters in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood, there’s a double-height lobby filled with green walls and massive art installations. Travel to its top floor roof deck and you’ll find a cozy fire pit next to a fitness center and bar (happy hours are on Thursday). Elsewhere, stair-seating terraces face floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the Chicago skyline. This vertical campus settles in peaceably among its tony Randolph Street neighbors—Michelin stars, tech giants, and boutique hotels. At first glance, it’s refined and tasteful enough to be any one of these.
Thirty years after the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, the traces of the regime seem increasingly few and far between. Among the still existing monuments, conditions are mixed: some remain pristine, others are worn away after years of exposure to the elements.
Australia loomed large in the news this week following the announcement for the continent's tallest tower in Melbourne. The competition, which was won by a joint bid from UNStudio and Cox Architecture, boasted designs from some of the world's best-known firms including MVRDV, OMA, MAD, and BIG.
In the last global survey undertaken by the United Nations in 2005, there were an estimated 100 million people who were homeless around the world and 1.6 billion who lived without adequate housing. This number has escalated in recent years; unaffordable housing has become a global norm, making it increasingly difficult for the disadvantaged to seek out permanent, or even temporary shelter.
As housing becomes a means of accumulating wealth rather than fulfilling its fundamental goal of shelter, well-intentioned architects have attempted to solve the homelessness crisis through creative ideas and innovative design. But is architecture really the solution?
James Stirling (1926-1992) was a British architect who is considered by many as the premier architect of his generation and an innovator in postwar architecture. Some of his most famous projects include the Sackler Museum, No 1 Poultry, and the Neue Staatsgalerie. Through the influence of his teacher Colin Rowe, Stirling had a deep understanding of architectural history, yet never adopted a singular doctrine. His career began with designs that were more aligned with what would later be labeled as the deconstructivist style, but evolved into buildings that were a series of dynamic and often colorful arrangements. Stirling’s aesthetic tropes ultimately gave the final push that broke architecture free from the clutch of post-war European Modernism as he turned the Modernist canon of “form follows function” into a hyperbole by celebrating the expression of a building’s program with his over-the-top details. Stirling’s work is still largely influential, and the recursive wave of history has shown that the underlying implications of his oeuvre remains somewhere in all architectural practice of the present day.