Climbers embrace their own type of architecture. Between barn doors, mantels and multi-pitch routes, rock climbing and bouldering take on a range of surfaces, materials and structures, whether outside or indoors. Today, more recreational centers and sports facilities are including climbing walls as the sport grows in popularity. As spaces to build strength and unwind, climbing gyms are built as their own interior worlds to explore.
"We all have to change our way of thinking now. I want to change my architecture to be even more kind to nature," says Kengo Kuma in this Louisiana Channel interview, where he shares his thoughts on the pandemic's impact on architecture and the environment. The architect discusses the collective responsibility towards nature and the importance of designing buildings and cities that allow for and encourage outdoor activities.
In the last few weeks, a number of reactionary architectural commentators have come out of the woodwork to denounce what they see as the currently negative direction of contemporary architecture. They claim that architecture needs to be “rebuilt” or that it is “imploding.” From their indications, architecture is on life-support, taking its last breath. The critique they offer is that contemporary architecture has become (or always was?) insensitive to users, to site conditions, to history—hardly a novel view. Every few years, this kind of frontal assault on the value of contemporary architecture is launched, but the criticisms this time seem especially shallow and misplaced. Surveying the contemporary global architecture scene, I actually feel that we’re in a surprisingly healthy place, if you look beyond the obvious showpieces. We’ve escaped from the overt dogmas of the past, we’ve renewed our focus on issues of the environment and social agency, we’re more concerned than ever with tectonics and how to build with quality. But the perennial critics of contemporary architecture appear not to have examined that deeply, nor that thoughtfully either. And unfortunately the various rebuttals to their critiques, ostensibly in support of modern and experimental architecture, have been ham-handed and poorly argued.