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AD Interviews: SO-IL, Solid Objectives Idenburg Liu

During this summer SO-IL (Solid Objectives Idenburg Liu) took the stage.

First, the Brooklyn based firm won the P.S.1 Competition for this summer with Pole Dance, an interactive performing installation. Then a few weeks after we presented you Flockr, the main pavilion for the Get It Louder festival in Beijing.

We had the chance to meet and interview principals Florian Idenburg and Jing Liu at P.S.1 while Pole Dance was open. The interview went great. I highly recommend that you check out their response to our question regarding their experience starting and running a firm, just during the financial crisis.

The firm is currently involved in interesting projects abroad, which we look forward in featuring here at ArchDaily in the future.

Please find the rest of the interview below:

AD Interviews: Steve Dumez / Eskew+Dumez+Ripple

During the AIA convention in Miami we had the chance to interview Steve Dumez, Design Director at Nola-based firm Eskew+Dumez+Ripple, who received his FAIA during the event.

Steve is the “design guru” at EDR, overseeing the design of all projects from concept to construction documents, and according to the firm “his hand sketches in the early phases of design are invaluable”.

Steve, along side partners Allen  Eskew (FAIA) and Mark Ripple (AIA, LEED AP) have been focused their efforts in the NOLA area, not only with their buildings, but also taking part on the initiatives  to rebuild NOLA. Steve is also a Past-President of AIA Louisiana and AIA New Orleans.

EDR’s work portfolio includes projects in varies scales, such as the Prospect.1 Welcome Center (AIA Small Project Award 2010) or 930 Poydras Residential Tower, a 462,000 sqf project. On the videos below we discuss with Steve about their experience working on such different scales.

Other works by Eskew+Dumez+Ripple previously featured at AD:

… and more coming soon!

Enjoy the rest of the interview:

Multiplicity and Memory: Talking About Architecture with Peter Zumthor

Peter Zumthor - Courtesy of Marco Masetti
Peter Zumthor - Courtesy of Marco Masetti

This interview was completely conducted and translated by Marco Masetti, done as his bachelor’s degree thesis in Italy.

The idea of multiplicity is innate in Peter Zumthor’s projects since his very first works: works of art surrounding us put on various meanings, which do not always remain on parallel levels combining well with dialectical relationships. The vague is planned strictly, holding by the rules of the architectural language. Beauty is in the undetermined, the multiple, but it is obtainable only through precision. Multiplicity of objects is shown only when who is living with them can distinguish their single parts and, at the same time, can see the work in its wholeness. This throw back to the “unitary” character of architecture, in which every part is in relation with the others and together they give a sense to the project. Zumthor’s planning is pure: nothing is pointless. In this society, as the architect says, «architecture has to oppose resistance», and react to the naughtiness of shapes and meanings, and return to talk its own language. Original shape invention or particular composition doesn’t take to the truth. Between multiplicity and silence there’s a tense and vibrational relationship, and the concrete idea is in their equilibrium.

Things determine the spatial dimension of the world, and therefore its knowledge and usability to us. The project triggers a linking mechanism between things, so they can assume a meaning to the user, becoming an efficient tool to know of the world. Things, objects, the world of references, transform our sensations in remembrance. The pictures that come to mind enclose Zumthor’s research heart. Shape is the result, not the reason. Beauty doesn’t come out of the shape alone, but of the multiplicity of impressions, sensations and emotions that the shape has us to discover.

Video: Rem Koolhaas, Architecture's Man of the Year

Rem Koolhaas CNN interview mentioned by Karen on her previous article “Is China Architect’s New Dubai?”.

The Indicator: And the Award Goes to…

If you happen to find yourself in Los Angeles tonight be sure not to miss the AIA Design Awards Party at LACMA. As the email I recently received noted:

Join us for what will be a joyous celebration of architecture and design in the Los Angeles community.

These award bashes are always well-produced: nice venues, music, projection screens, hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, sumptuous buffet. Plus, who doesn’t like getting awards? Everyone being honored deserves the recognition, respect, and adulation of professional peers. The accomplishments of architects, firms and organizations like the Skid Row Housing Trust should be celebrated and honored. But what if they were honored more publicly?

More after the break.

AD Interviews: Philip Enquist, SOM

When I visited Chicago, I had to visit one of the key actors on shaping a city that breaths architecture, from big part of the skyline to the Millenium Park: SOM.

I have visited SOM before, to interview Craig Hartman at the San Francisco office, but Chicago was were it all started back in 1936 with Louis Skidmore and Nathaniel Owings, and John O. Merrill who joined in 1939.

This time I interviewed Philip Enquist (FAIA), the partner in charge of urban design and planning. Philip has been involved in development and redevelopment initiatives for college campuses, existing city neighborhoods, new cities, rural districts, downtown commercial centers, port areas and even in a master-plan for the entire nation of Bahrain.

It was amazing to hear from him on different processes that have been shaping the most important cities in the world, such as Beijing’s Central Business District or the master plan for the Millenium Park. But I was also surprised about a project we presented to you earlier, the vision for the Great Lakes area, a project that shows a lot of responsibility as an architect and an example that we still have a very important role in our society.

After the break, the usual questions a bonus with what’s a good city, and some photos of the office.

8 House / BIG

© Jens Lindhe
© Jens Lindhe

Celebrating its third project with the same development team in the maturing neighborhood of Orestad, the construction of the 61,000 sqm 8 House has come to an end, allowing people to bike all the way from the street up to its 10th level penthouses alongside terraced gardens where the first residents have already moved in.  Follow the break and you can find images of 8 House at night, interiors, gardens, and diagrams along with a more detailed project description and quotes from the architects.

You can also check our previous feature on the construction of this amazing project.

Architect: BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group Location: Copenhagen, Denmark Collaboration: Hopfner Partners, MOE & Brodsgaard, KLAR Partner-In-Charge: Bjarke Ingels, Thomas Christoffersen Project Leader: Ole Elkjaer-Larsen, Henrick Poulsen Project Manager: Finn Norkjaer, Henrik Lund Project Team: Dennis Rasmussen, Rune Hansen, Agustin Perez Torres, Annette Jensen, Carolien Schippers, Caroline Vogelius Wiener, Claus Tversted, David Duffus, Hans Larsen, Jan Magasanik, Anders Nissen, Christian Alvarez Gomez, Hjalti Gestsson, Johan Cool, James Duggan Schrader, Jakob Lange, Kirstine Ragnhild, Jakob Monefeldt, Jeppe Marling Kiib, Joost Van Nes, Kasia Brzusnian, Kasper Broendum Larsen, Louise Heboell, Maria Sole Bravo, Ole Nannberg, Pablo Labra, Pernille Uglvig Jessen, Peter Rieff, Peter Voigt Albertsen, Peter Larsson, Rasmus Kragh Bjerregaard, Richard Howis, Soeren Lambertsen, Eduardo Perez, Ondrej Tichy, Sara Sosio, Karsten Hammer Hansen, Christer Nesvik, Soeren Peter Kristensen, Lacin Karaoz, Marcello Cova, Luis Felipe González Delgado, Janghee Yoo, SunMing Lee Client: St. Frederikslund Holding Project Area: 61,000 sqm, 476 residences Project Year: 2010 Photographs: Dragor Luft, Jens Lindhe, Ty Stange

Autodesk AutoCAD for Mac video tutorials

As we told you earlier, Autodesk for Mac is now shipping and you can download a free trial.

After the break you will find more videos to get started on this new version. Happy drafting!

The Indicator: Happy National Boss’s Day

As stupid as this sounds, it’s National Boss’s Day in the US and Canada. But, you may ask, isn’t every day your boss’s Day? Technically yes. But today is that one special day when you can express your gratitude openly…and maybe score some extra points. But, of course, it isn’t about that. If you don’t have this holiday in your country, you should lobby for it—maybe even make it a day off!

For architects, National Boss’s Day means celebrating the good work done by your principals, thanking them for their leadership excellence. After all, in this economy, principals are having a hard time and are under a lot of stress. You may have noticed them age, much like Obama has in the last two years.

AD Interviews: Bradley Khouri / b9 Architects

Urban Canyon, © William Wright Photography
Urban Canyon, © William Wright Photography

Sustainability has become one of the main issues when designing for any architecture practice around the world, and not only thinking in technological aspects but also in the quality of the community environment. Awarded with the Young Architect Award by AIA Seattle, b9 Architects creates innovative, sustainable, modern architectural solutions utilizing open, connective spaces and maximizing access to natural light. Working through a comprehensive design process, they translate initial concepts into form through text, drawing and modeling, utilizing rhythm and pattern in order to create moments of contrast and difference. Through thoughtful site planning, energy considerations, daylighting and material choices, b9 Architects are committed to working towards achieving carbon neutrality in our built environment.

With this introduction, we would like to present an interview we made to Bradley Khouri, AIA, the Principal and founder of b9 Architects inc. Their work focuses on creating positive change in the urban environment through innovative place-specific modern architecture. Supporting sustainable, transit oriented, walkable communities, b9’s completed works include urban single- and multi-family housing projects, live-work dwellings and commercial interiors.

The Indicator: There Must be a Better Way

Execution in France, 1929 via New York Times
Execution in France, 1929 via New York Times

Recently, two firms I know of laid off groups of employees. One victim was a veteran of over ten years. Another was a junior employee being mentored by one of the best people in the office. They were all valuable employees the firms had invested in and benefited from.

If you can believe it, when I was laid off I actually felt sorry for the leaders who had to drop the guillotine. There I was with my neck under the blade and I was saying things like, “I know this must be difficult for you” and “So sorry you have to pull the lever.” Even after the blade came down I kept saying this, a talking head without a body. And here I am, still a talking head!

Leadership is undoubtedly in a difficult situation. After chopping someone’s head off they probably go back to their desks, pull out their little metal flasks of whatever they prefer and take a swig. Think of the emotional damage this does. I wonder if this makes it difficult for management to carry on in their leadership roles to help their firms weather the storm. Can a captain who throws crew members overboard still function as a good captain? I suppose that is for the historians to determine. And what does the rest of the crew think?

In Progress: Multi-functional Sports Hall / SADAR + VUGA

© Ziga Cebasek
© Ziga Cebasek

Architect: SADAR + VUGA Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia Consultant: KSS – London Structural engineers: Atelier One – London, Gradis, Elea iC Mechanical engineers: Lenassi, Jelen & Završnik Electrical services: Elprojekt, Utris, Genera Fire engineers: EKOsystem Traffic & Site engineers: LUZ Building area: 14,100 sqm Total floor area: 35,500 sqm Project Year: 2010 Photographs: Ziga Cebasek, Barbara Jakse Jersic

© Ziga Cebasek © Ziga Cebasek © Ziga Cebasek © Ziga Cebasek + 31

Mercedes Benz Museum / UN Studio, photos by Michael Schnell

© Michael  Schnell
© Michael Schnell

Ten kilometer south from the Porsche Museum we featured last week, we find the Mercedes Benz Museum, designed by dutch architects UN Studio and photographed by Michael Schnell.

The 35,000sqm project designed by UN Studio between 2001-2006, includes also a restaurants, stores, offices and an auditorium.

The design is based on the geometry of a clover, with the spaces connected between two helical ascending ramps, around a central atrium.

According to Ben van Berkel, joint founder and director of UNStudio “The Mercedes‑Benz Museum sets up an interface for a series of radical spatial principles in order to create a completely new typology”.

And by this, he refers to how visitors experience the museum: They do not begin their visit to the exhibition at a conventional entrance at the base of the building. They are transported by lift to the top floor. Here they have the choice of two tours, during which they descend through the building. The paths of each tour meet on each floor, enabling visitors to switch between tours – the Collections tour and Legend tour – should they wish to do so.

After this project was completed, several tried to imitate it and these kind of circulations became a cliché among architects (and students).

You can see more details of the lift system at NotCot.

More photos by Michael Schnell after the break:

In Progress: Beekman Tower / Frank Gehry

© David Assael - Arch Daily
© David Assael - Arch Daily

Our director, David Assael, took some shots of Gehry’s latest creation – a wavy residential tower clad in undulating metal panels. While still in the construction phase, it is easy to get the overall idea of the structure. In person, the tower demands attention as its presence, due both to scale and materiality, is unmatched within its context. Throughout the day, the light plays upon the curves making the hard metallic color almost glisten. Some of Assael’s photos capture the tower in the early evening – the perfect time of day to see the reds and oranges of the setting sun against the building. What do you think of Gehry’s skyscraper?

More of Assael’s photos after the break.

Kolumba Museum / Peter Zumthor

© Jose Fernando Vazquez © Jose Fernando Vazquez © Jose Fernando Vazquez © Jose Fernando Vazquez + 38

Köln, Germany
  • Architects: Peter Zumthor
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2007
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: HESS TIMBER

Automobile Museum in Nanjing / 3Gatti Architecture Studio

© 3Gatti Architecture Studio
© 3Gatti Architecture Studio

“The house is a machine for living in.”

- Le Corbusier

With this statement, Le Corbusier acknowledges the relation between technology/mass production and the new ways of living that the modern movement tried to materialize. For him the house was a static car, a designed functional object that could be mass produced. When the Villa Savoye was completed in 1929, 5.3 million cars were produced in Detroit.

Car designed by Le Corbusier (1929)
Car designed by Le Corbusier (1929)

From this point forward, architecture and car started a long lasting relation, with examples such as Albert Kahn’s buildings for Ford, Giacomo Matte-Trucco’s FIat Factory in Turin, Archigram’s Drive-In House concept, the Mecedes Benz Museum by UN Studio and the recent Lincoln Rd 1111 parking by Herzog & de Meuron.

Along this line we find the new Nanjing Automobile Museum by 3Gatti Architecture Studio, which was awarded with the first prize on an international invited competition. The project not only shows the car in an unusual way, but it also lets you to experience the museum by car:

Update: Pole Dance / SO-IL, by Iwan Baan

© Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

We are sure that SO-IL‘s PS1 installation, Pole Dance, will be a hit this summer. On Friday we had a preview by Alan R Tansey and today, we found at Iwan Baan’s website another view on the installation. We hope you’ll be able to visit the project in person sometime.

Complete photoset at Iwan’s website, some photos after the break:

Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health / Frank Gehry

© Matthew Carbone, Photographer
© Matthew Carbone, Photographer

A few weeks ago we introduced you one of the latest built projects by Frank Gehry, the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas. The center is supported by Keep Memory Alive, and it is planned to become a national resource for the most current research and scientific information for the treatment of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington ‘s Diseases, and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) as well as focusing on prevention, early detection and education.

The two buildings together, along with the Reflection Garden © Matthew Carbone, Photographer
The two buildings together, along with the Reflection Garden © Matthew Carbone, Photographer

On our previous feature we got a glimpse of the project, which at first sight might look like just another Gehry project. And now, thanks to these new photos by Matthew Carbone, we can get a better look at it.

The center features three main spaces: