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Art: The Latest Architecture and News

Mexico City's Controversial Airport Project Could Be a Preservation Site for a Collection of Modernist Murals

This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "How a Small Mexico City Exhibition Fueled a Debate About Preservation and Power."

It’s a slate-gray day in Mexico City’s Colonia Narvarte neighborhood and mounting gusts signal imminent rain. Centro SCOP, a sprawling bureaucratic complex, rises sharply against this bleak backdrop. The building is a masterful, if not intimidating, example of Mexican Modernism, an H-shaped assemblage of muscular concrete volumes designed by architect Carlos Lazo, covered in an acre-and-a-half of vibrant mosaic murals.

At its peak, the building accommodated more than 3,000 workers for the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (SCT). Today, save a security guard in its gatehouse, it is empty.

As part of the Archivo exhibition, FR-EE has proposed relocating Centro SCOP's murals to the airport it is co-designing with Foster + Partners. Image Courtesy of FR-EE Fernando Romero Enterprises/ Archivo Diseño y ArquitecturaAn artist's rendering of Centro SCOP. Image Courtesy of Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes (SCT)/ Archivo Diseño y ArquitecturaAn image of Centro SCOP, shortly after it opened in the mid 1950s. Image Courtesy of personal archive of Carlos Lazo Barreiro / Archivo General de la Nación/ Archivo Diseño y ArquitecturaJuan O'Gorman's "Canto a La Patria (Parte 1)" (left) and "Independencia y Progreso" (right). Image Courtesy of Pablo López Luz/ Archivo Diseño y Arquitectura+ 26

How Art Can Use Architecture to Spill Beyond the Gallery Space

In their latest video from the Time-Space-Existence series, PLANE—SITE features acclaimed conceptual artist Lawrence Weiner and his ideas regarding the relationship between people and material objects, language as a gesture, and making art accessible to the public. Lawrence Weiner is known for his typographical art applied onto elements of the built environment, and he describes how architecture itself can become an alternative space to present art.

Rose F. Kennedy Greenway Mural, Boston 2015. Image© Geoff HargadonRocca Albornoziana, Spoleto, Italy 1996. Image© Aurelio AmendolaGaleria Alfonso Artiaco, Naples, 2016. Image© Luciano RomanoMilwaukee Art Museum, 2017. Image© John Magnoski+ 8

Tishk Barzanji's Illustrations Envision Complex Universes Inspired By Surrealism And Modern Architecture

It is rare to find artists who can instigate critical reflection on architecture by combining references such as 'The Red Wall' (La Muralla Roja) by Ricardo Boffil, with the complex illustrations of Giovanni Battista Piranesi and pop culture icons. But Tishk Barzanji, a London artist, is one who does.

Through his digital illustrations, he explores elements of modern architecture from a filtered view by using references that create a dreamlike and surreal universe, producing compositions that express an austere and somewhat disturbing atmosphere.

AD Classics: Arts United Center / Louis Kahn

© Jeffery Johnson
© Jeffery Johnson

In 1961, the architect Louis I. Kahn was commissioned by the Fine Arts Foundation to design and develop a large arts complex in central Fort Wayne, Indiana. The ambitious Fine Art Center, now known as the Arts United Center, would cater to the community of 180,000 by providing space for an orchestra, theatre, school, gallery, and much more. As a Lincoln Center in miniature, the developers had hoped to update and upgrade the city through new civic architecture. However, due to budget constraints, only a fraction of the overall scheme was completed. It is one of Kahn’s lesser-known projects that spanned over a decade, and his only building in the Midwest.

Bataan Chapel by Swiss Artist Not Vital Questions the Boundaries Between Art and Architecture

Art, in general, is produced to be seen or experienced by another, an interlocutor, who, in turn, establishes various relationships with the work. However, this does not appear to be the case with the Bataan Chapel, built by the Swiss artist Not Vital in the Philippines.

Punished by constant winds, the work rises on a hill in rural Bagac, a town of just under 30,000 inhabitants located about 50 kilometers west of Manilla. The remote location of the installation makes it difficult to access and makes the journey a task that takes on the air of pilgrimage—part of its grace lies precisely in its inaccessibility.

Hip-Hop Architecture Camps Use Rap Music to Inspire a Diverse Generation of Future Architects

Throughout the spring and summer of 2018, seventeen US cities will host “Hip Hop Architecture Camps,” an initiative founded by the Urban Arts Collective seeking to address the lack of diversity in America’s architectural community. As reported by CNET, the architecture camps will be sponsored by Autodesk, makers of the architectural software AutoCAD.

Hip Hop Architecture Camps are geared towards students between the ages of 10 and 17, introducing students to architecture and urban planning by analyzing the structure and rhythm of rap music. By demonstrating a connection between music and architecture, the organizers hope to ignite a design flair in young students, helping to create a future where local communities have a stronger input into how urban areas are shaped or altered.

Carlo Ratti's Writing Robot Transforms Your Wall into an Artistic Canvas

Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA) has unveiled Scribit, a “writing robot” which draws images and text on any wall surface, turning office, living, and bathroom walls into a blank canvas for artistic expression. Using in-built engines, Scribit can draw, cancel, and re-draw new content an infinite number of times, allowing users to print different images, messages, or feeds every day.

Scribit is always connected to the internet, allowing users to download, upload or source any online content. Operating in real time, Scribit immediately reproduces any data sent to it by the user, be it a restaurant posting the day’s menu, a financial firm posting stock market updates in its lobby, or an art enthusiast projecting their own content on the living room wall.

Courtesy of Gary di Silvio and Giacomo MangiaCourtesy of Gary di Silvio and Giacomo MangiaCourtesy of Gary di Silvio and Giacomo MangiaCourtesy of Gary di Silvio and Giacomo Mangia+ 8

"Anti-Pavilion" Reframes National Sculpture Garden in Australia for NGV Triennal

Other Architects and Retallack Thompson designed a site-specific installation in the sculpture garden at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne for their inaugural NGV Triennial; an exhibition of international, contemporary art and design. Their concept? An "anti-pavilion."

Courtesy of Other ArchitectsCourtesy of Other ArchitectsCourtesy of Other ArchitectsCourtesy of Other Architects+ 17

Why Are Architects So Obsessed With Piet Mondrian?

In the 1920s, Dutch-born artist Piet Mondrian began painting his iconic black grids populated with shifting planes of primary colors. By moving beyond references to the world around him, his simplified language of lines and rectangles known as Neo Plasticism explored the dynamics of movement through color and form alone. Though his red, yellow and blue color-blocked canvases were important elements of the De Stijl movement in the early 1900s, almost a century later Mondrian’s abstractions still inspire architects across the globe.

But, what is it about these spatial explorations that have captivated artists and designers for so long?

This Curated List of Art Museums Showcases Buenos Aires’ Exhibition Architecture

Even in the age of instant information, museums enthrall us. Lining the tourist guidebooks of cities across the world, art museums are a must-see destination for visitors and locals alike. However, as our methods of communication and archiving change, driven by science and innovation, historic institutions such as art museums must keep up.

In cities around the world, art museums are redefining themselves to respond to the contemporary, experimental demands of the 21st-century. In Buenos Aires, the architecture of art museums showcases a diverse catalog of form, materiality and atmosphere, blending the instant, flexible demands of the modern age with a historic role of archiving some of humanity's most evocative works.

Below, we paint a picture of Buenos Aires' diverse art museums, showcasing the changing nature of exhibition architecture in one of the world’s most energetic cities.

New Images of MAD's "Spaceship" Lucas Museum Released as Construction Breaks Ground in Los Angeles

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, designed by MAD Architects, has broken ground in Los Angeles, California. Founded by “Star Wars” creator George Lucas, and standing at the gateway to the city’s Exposition Park, the scheme is envisioned as a “futuristic spaceship” landing on the site’s natural environment.

The building’s interior has been designed as an expansive, open cave, flooded with natural light from skylights above. At least $400 million worth of art will be housed in the museum, including over 10,000 paintings, illustrations and movie memorabilia. The first floor and roof will be designated as public areas for visitors to exercise, relax, and “directly experience nature in the urban environment."

Courtesy of MADCourtesy of Studio-MLACourtesy of MADCourtesy of MAD+ 5

Colored Windows in Ellsworth Kelly's Last Artwork Add Dramatic Lighting to a Secluded Space

This article was originally published on Metropolis Magazine as "Ellsworth Kelly’s Last Artwork Was a Building."

Ellsworth Kelly died in December 2015 at the age of 92, less than a year after he announced a gift of one of his most lasting creative contributions: plans for the artist’s only building, which had been sitting in his New York studio since 1986.

Titled Austin, this 2,715-square-foot work on the grounds of the Blanton Museum of Art on the University of Texas at Austin campus would be his final—and perhaps greatest—effort, an immersive space whose artistic value matches that of the marble panels and sculpture within. Unlike the Rothko Chapel in Houston, in Austin the artist and architect are one, says Carter E. Foster, the Blanton’s deputy director for curatorial affairs.

© Ellsworth Kelly Foundation, courtesy Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin© Ellsworth Kelly Foundation, courtesy Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at AustinWhile not officially designated a chapel, the building's 14 black-and-white marble panels we're partially inspired by religious themes, said Kelly. Image © Ellsworth Kelly Foundation, courtesy Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at AustinKelly wanted the space to be for contemplation, telling the New York Times, "Go there and rest your eyes, rest your mind... Enjoy it". Image © Ellsworth Kelly Foundation, courtesy Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin+ 9

The Bizarre Brutalist Church that Is More Art than Architecture

© Denis Esakov
© Denis Esakov

Located on a hill in Mauer, on the outskirts of Vienna, the Wotruba Church was the culmination of sculptor Fritz Wotruba’s life (the project’s architect, Fritz G. Mayr, is often forgotten). Constructed in the mid-1970s, Mayr completed the project one year after Wotruba’s death, enlarging the artist’s clay model to create a functional walk-in concrete sculpture. As can be seen in these images by Denis Esakov, the result is a chaotic brutalist ensemble that toys with the boundaries between art and architecture.

© Denis Esakov© Denis Esakov© Denis Esakov© Denis Esakov+ 27

These Delicate Illustrations Turn Images of Urban Density into Art

The Layered City. Image Courtesy of Alina Sonea
The Layered City. Image Courtesy of Alina Sonea

Trained in Architecture, Urban Design, and Theory, Alina Sonea illustrates the complex and often paradoxical nature of the cities we inhabit. The Feldkirch-based artist and architect has, since 2013, completed a series of detailed illustrations that employ graphic yet delicate black lines to render dense images of fantastical metropolises.

Density. Image Courtesy of Alina SoneaArchiTEXTURES - The Renaissance. Image Courtesy of Alina SoneaFeldkirch. Image Courtesy of Alina SoneaIllusions. Image Courtesy of Alina Sonea+ 9

Burning Man Selects Design for 2018 Temple

The design of the main temple at Burning Man 2018 has been revealed: Galaxia by architect Arthur Mamou-Mani.

Designed using 3D parametric software, the pavilion is formed from 20 timber trusses that spiral in toward a central point the reaches toward the sky. Starting on the ground, the triangular trusses span large enough distances to create a series of spiraling paths toward the center of the structure, where a giant 3D-printed mandala will be displayed. The spaces in between the truss members will also be large enough to serve as alcoves.

via Burning Man Journalvia Burning Man Journalvia Burning Man Journalvia Burning Man Journal+ 5

Federico Babina's IKONICITY Takes You Around The World In 21 Illustrations

The clever Italian artist, Federico Babina is at it again, and this time he's taking us around the world in 21 animated illustrations. Hear the ringing of Big Ben, sirens in New York, seagulls of Amsterdam, and Havana drums as you find yourself adding to your travel bucket list. You'll have to watch this animation more than once to catch all of the details Babina captures about an entire city culture in one illustration. Or view each illustration individually below.

Monochrome and Polychrome Collide for Art Basel Miami Beach

As part of Art Basel in Miami Beach, a modern and contemporary art fair that highlights galleries and the newest developments in the visual arts, Carsten Höller created an installation piece for the Fondazione Prada. The installation, “The Prada Double Club Miami” is only open for a few days as part of Art Basel and is a fully-functioning nightclub.

The Prada Double Club Miami / (c) Casey Kelbaugh. Image Courtesy of Fondazione PradaThe Prada Double Club Miami / (c) Casey Kelbaugh. Image Courtesy of Fondazione PradaThe Prada Double Club Miami / (c) Casey Kelbaugh. Image Courtesy of Fondazione PradaThe Prada Double Club Miami / (c) Casey Kelbaugh. Image Courtesy of Fondazione Prada+ 11

Cities Intricately Captured in Thin Line Illustrations

Architect and illustrator, Marta Vilarinho de Freitas has yet again enchanted us with her intricate drawings of cities in thin-line-pen on paper. The Portuguese architect has been exercising her passion in drawing through a series of drawings entitled, Cities and Memory - the Architecture and the City.

Fascinated by cities, Marta’s illustrations express her connection with architecture while still capturing the romantic and qualitative aspects of each city, its patterns, colors, atmosphere, and light.

Marta Vilarinho de Freitas combines fantasy with detailed accuracy in her compositions of stacked building facades, roof pitches, plans and sections along with elements distinct to the city depicted such as Dutch windmills, boats, books, and instruments.The process of creating these drawings is cyclical in that they continue to inform Marta of the spirit of each city as she draws each art piece.

Courtesy of Marta Vilarinho de FreitasCourtesy of Marta Vilarinho de FreitasCourtesy of Marta Vilarinho de FreitasCourtesy of Marta Vilarinho de Freitas+ 12