LocationHerbert-von-Karajan-Straße 1, 10785 Berlin, Germany
This article was originally published on May 25, 2015. To read the stories behind other celebrated architecture projects, visit our AD Classics section.
Before the impossibly “super-thin” tower became ubiquitous on the Midtown Manhattan skyline, Raimund Abraham’s Austrian Cultural Forum challenged the limits of what could be built on the slenderest of urban lots. Working with a footprint no bigger than a townhouse (indeed, one occupied the site before the present tower), Abraham erected a daring twenty-four story high-rise only twenty-five feet across. Instantly recognizable by its profile, a symmetrical, blade-like curtain wall cascading violently toward the sidewalk, ACFNY was heralded by Kenneth Frampton as “the most significant modern piece of architecture to be realized in Manhattan since the Seagram Building and the Guggenheim Museum of 1959.” 
This article was originally published on November 25, 2014. To read the stories behind other celebrated architecture projects, visit our AD Classics section.
Architects have never enjoyed a position of such supreme prominence as they did in the worldview of Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller. To him, architects alone were capable of understanding and navigating the complex interrelationships of society, technology, and environment as viewed through the comprehensive paradigm of systems theory. Architecture, in this model, was intended to exist in close contact with both mankind and nature, playing civilization’s most critical role in elevating the state of humanity and promoting its responsible stewardship of the environment. Emerging from the ethical positivity of postwar modernism, this melioristic perspective marks perhaps the zenith of optimism’s ascent in mid-twentieth century thought, and gave Fuller a uniquely moral blueprint for his revolutionary designs.
Transborder has announced their estimated completion date of 2020 for the extension to Oslo's Center for Studies of the Holocaust and Religious Minorities. The building, Villa Grande, was once the residence of the leader of the Norwegian Nazi Party during the invasion years. "This faceted legacy where important contributions to the appearance of the villa arose from a dark and hateful ideology, demanded a critical adaptation of the extension where one had to have a conscious attitude to historical layers of the building."
The late British architect Will Alsop was noted for his exuberant and irreverent attitude that took material form in his expressive, painterly portfolio of educational, civic, and residential works. At the ripe age of 23, he was awarded second place in the 1971 Centre Georges Pompidou. From there, he went on to work for the ever humorous Cedric Price before establishing his practice with John Lyall, and eventually many others, in the early 1980s. With a career spanning almost fifty years, here are ten iconic works from an architect who never missed an opportunity to play.
Louis Sullivan's Pilgrim Baptist Church Will be Renovated Into the Nation's First National Museum of Gospel Music
When architects were asked to re-imagine Chicago’s neglected buildings for an exhibition, Dirk Lohan designed a revitalization plan for Louis Sullivan's Pilgrim Baptist Church. Soon Sullivan’s landmark building will become the nation’s first National Museum of Gospel Music, complete with a cafe, retail store, event space, research and listening library, and a 350-seat auditorium.
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.
The new images show how some of the cultural venue’s interior spaces will look, including the galleries and the vast event space created when the wheeled steel structure is rolled out to its furthest extents. This space will be known as “the McCourt,” named after businessman Frank McCourt Jr, who donated $45 million to the project.
Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group, the 200,000-square-foot cultural center was envisioned as a spiritual successor to Cedric Price’s visionary “Fun Palace,” a flexible framework that could transform to host different types of events.
In response to the overwhelming growth of cities and neighborhoods in China, architects from Atelier Archmixing’s Shanghai office, have developed a series of proposals that seek to return value to sensitive interior spaces and improve the user’s quality of life through design.
The project consists of an interesting light fixture; a bamboo structure similar in shape to an umbrella, that lets natural light and fresh air into the building.
The Olympic Museum and Hall of Fame (USOM) has broken ground in downtown Colorado Springs, Colorado. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the 60,000-square-foot building will be dedicated to the celebration and education of “the Olympic and Paralympic athlete and the unique human spirit that creates Olympians,” displaying the artifacts, media, technology and stories of American athletes and the historical power of the Olympic Games.
The New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT), in collaboration with the Chinatown Partnership and Van Alen Institute today launched Gateways to Chinatown, an initiative seeking innovative proposals to plan, design, and construct an iconic contemporary neighborhood marker at the nexus of Manhattan’s Chinatown and the southern entrance to Little Italy’s historic Mott Street. Straddling art and architecture, symbolism and function, the new structure and public space aims to become a vibrant place of exchange at the center of one of New York City’s most dynamic and historically rich areas.
The overarching goal of Gateways to Chinatown is to provide
The architectural competition for Kulbroen (the Coal Bridge) is on and teams can now apply for the pre qualification. Please note that the material is in Danish, so if foreign teams want to sign up it would be a good idea to find someone here that master the language.
In 2015, after the catastrophic earthquake in Nepal, Maria da Paz invited Joao Boto Caeiro from RootStudio to design and build a model house in Nepal. Using local and accessible materials, they built two prototype houses out of bamboo and partitions, via a collaboration between locals and volunteers that came to the region.
The prototypes respond to the need for housing that is able to be built quickly with the goal of providing independence and immediate shelter, while at the same time introducing basic building techniques using bamboo and bricks. In doing so, they're able to create a set of tools that allow for future construction that the community can make themselves.
The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) and the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) have awarded Montreal’s Bibliothèque du Boisé with the annual Green Building Award for 2017. Designed by the trio of Consortium Labonté Marcil, Cardinal Hardy and Eric Pelletier architectes, the library is situated in the city’s Saint-Laurent district, and received the distinction as an example of “buildings that are environmentally responsible and promote the health and wellbeing of users.”
"The library offers a variety of beautifully lit and welcoming spaces throughout, maximizing daylight and views and the use of natural elements, such as wood, to create an environment that contributes to health and wellbeing,” said the jury. “Their approach to high-performance building through whole systems design and strategy has resulted in an impressive achievement.”
Vo Trong Nghia Architects (VTN Architects), has revealed plans for a remote resort located on a private beach on a tiny island in the Ca Ba Archipelago of Vietnam. The exclusive resort will consist of a series of structures constructed of the firm’s trademark material, bamboo, and will accommodate up to 160 guests. The resort will be located 2 hours from the nearest airport and accessible only by boat, ensuring visitors will be treated to an exclusive experience within the island’s tropical environment.
MVRDV has released new renderings and a flythrough of their competition-winning design for a new cultural center in the city of Zaanstad in the Netherlands. Borrowing architectural motifs from the historic Zaan House, the design flips the traditional form inside out to create a new living room for the city. Inside, the building will become the new home of a film house, a library, a performing and visual arts centre, a pop music centre, a music school, a centre for design and a local radio station.
Check out the video below.
Steven Holl Architects has revealed plans for a new Cultural and Health Center to be located in Shanghai’s Fengxian District. Set into the public landscape, the two buildings will serve as a “social condenser” aimed at integrating the community of surrounding housing blocks together into a park along the Punan Canal.
OMA’s first major public building in the UK has been granted planning approval. Known as “Factory,” the groundbreaking new cultural center will serve as a the new home of the Manchester International Festival (MIF) and as a year-round concert and arts venue.