Cambridge: The Latest Architecture and News
UPDATE: In honor of the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus, we’re re-publishing this popular infographic, which was originally published April 16th, 2012.
From the “starchitect” to “architecture for the 99%,” we are witnessing a shift of focus in the field of architecture. However, it’s in the education system where these ideas really take root and grow. This sea change inspired us to explore past movements, influenced by economic shifts, war and the introduction of new technologies, and take a closer look at the bauhaus movement.
Often associated with being anti-industrial, the Arts and Crafts Movement had dominated the field before the start of the Bauhaus in 1919. The Bauhaus’ focus was to merge design with industry, providing well-designed products for the many.
The Bauhaus not only impacted design and architecture on an international level, but also revolutionized the way design schools conceptualize education as a means of imparting an integrated design approach where form follows function.
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.”
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.
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.
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).
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.