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Futurism: The Latest Architecture and News

Futuristic Architecture of the 70s: Photographs of a Modern World with a Twist of Science Fiction

Bolwoningen / Dries Kreijkamp (1980-1985). Image © Stefano PeregoIlinden / Makedonium / Jordan Grabuloski + Iskra Grabuloska (1974). Krushevo, Macedonia. Image © Stefano PeregoPart of a Casa Futuro / Matti Suuronen (1968). Image © Stefano PeregoKihoku Tenkyukan / Takasaki Architects (1995). Kanoya, Japan. Image © Stefano Perego+ 8

The Manifesto of Futurism, written by Italian poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti in 1909, was the rallying cry for the avant-garde movement driven by the writers, musicians, artists, and even architects (among them Antonio Sant'Elia) in the early 20th century. After the manifesto's publication, Futurism quickly came to the forefront of public conscience and opened the way for many other cutting edge movements in the art world and beyond.

While the movement would undergo a significant decline in the years following World War II, it reinvented itself decades later during the Space Age, when faith in technology and industry were at a fever-pitch and the world's powers were racing to put humans on the Moon. All of a sudden, humanity had a new cultural panorama that inspired every facet of society--from musicians, to scientists, to architects. With the combination of engineering and art, not to mention the bountiful scientific achievements of the time, works of architecture turned into works of science fiction. 

Spotlight: Jan Kaplický

Radical neofuturist architect Jan Kaplický (18 April 1937 – 14 January 2009) was the son of a sculptor and a botanical illustrator, and appropriately spent his career creating highly sculptural and organic forms. Working with partner Amanda Levete at his suitably-named practice Future Systems, Kaplický was catapulted to fame after his sensationally avant-garde 1999 Lord's Cricket Ground Media Centre and became a truly innovative icon of avant-garde architecture.

AD Classics: TWA Flight Center / Eero Saarinen

This article was originally published on June 16, 2016. To read the stories behind other celebrated architecture projects, visit our AD Classics section.

Built in the early days of airline travel, the TWA Terminal is a concrete symbol of the rapid technological transformations which were fueled by the outset of the Second World War. Eero Saarinen sought to capture the sensation of flight in all aspects of the building, from a fluid and open interior, to the wing-like concrete shell of the roof. At TWA’s behest, Saarinen designed more than a functional terminal; he designed a monument to the airline and to aviation itself.

This AD Classic features a series of exclusive images by Cameron Blaylock, photographed in May 2016. Blaylock used a Contax camera and Zeiss lenses with Rollei black and white film to reflect camera technology of the 1960s.

© Cameron Blaylock© Cameron Blaylock© Cameron Blaylock© Cameron Blaylock+ 26

Vincent Callebaut Architectures Creates a Futurist "Metamorphosis" of Luxembourg's Hotel Des Postes

Vincent Callebaut Architectures has released details of their competition-winning “Metamorphosis of the Hotel Des Postes” in Luxembourg City. The Paris-based firm’s proposition centers on propelling the historic site into a contemporary era, and to “reveal the intrinsic heritage qualities of the building.”

The scheme, which centers on the historic stone and concrete Hotel Des Postes designed by State Architect Sosthène Weis between 1905 and 1910, will be transformed by the addition of a domed “chrysalis” volume in the heart of the building’s courtyard.

Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut ArchitecturesCourtesy of Vincent Callebaut ArchitecturesCourtesy of Vincent Callebaut ArchitecturesCourtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures+ 26

Life on Mars? Foster + Partners to Showcase Extra-Terrestrial Habitats at UK's Goodwood Festival

Foster + Partners will detail its vision of life on Mars and the Moon at the UK’s Goodwood Festival of Speed 2018. Forming part of the festival's Future Lab event, the vision will be presented through a range of models, robotics, and futuristic designs exploring the future of life in space.

The firm's showcase will include a virtual reality experience, allowing visitors to explore the inside of a proposed state-of-the-art habitation pod.

The Man Who Designed the Future: Norman Bel Geddes

B. Alexandra Szerlip gives a free, public talk about her new book, The Man Who Designed the Future: Norman Bel Geddes and the Invention of Twentieth-Century America (Melville House).

A ninth-grade dropout who found himself at the center of the worlds of industry, advertising, theater, and even gaming, Norman Bel Geddes designed everything from the first all-weather stadium to Manhattan’s most exclusive nightclub, to Futurama, the prescient 1939 exhibit that envisioned how America would look in the not-too-distant sixties.

AD Classics: Space Needle / John Graham & Company

Courtesy of Wikimedia user Rattlhed (Public Domain)
Courtesy of Wikimedia user Rattlhed (Public Domain)

The opening of the Century 21 Exposition on April 21, 1962 transformed the image of Seattle and the American Northwest in the eyes of the world. The region, which had been known until that point more for its natural resources than as a cultural capital, established a new reputation as a center of emergent technologies and aerospace design. This new identity was embodied by the centerpiece of the exposition: the Space Needle, a slender assemblage of steel and reinforced concrete which became—and remains—Seattle’s most iconic landmark.[1]

The Space Needle under construction before its opening in April 1962. ImageCourtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives (Public Domain)Courtesy of Wikimedia user Cacophony (Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)A 1962 cutaway drawing of the Space Needle's tophouse. ImageCourtesy of Flickr user James Vaughan (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)This sketched rendering of the Space Needle dates to April 1961 – one year before its opening. ImageCourtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives (Public Domain)+ 7

Photographer Raphael Olivier Explores the Suspended Reality of North Korea’s Socialist Architecture

North Korea is one of the few countries still under communist rule, and probably the most isolated and unknown worldwide. This is a result of the philosophy of Juche – a political system based on national self-reliance which was partly influenced by principles of Marxism and Leninism.

In recent years though, the country has loosened its restrictions on tourism, allowing access to a limited number of visitors. With his personal photo series “North Korea – Vintage Socialist Architecture,” French photographer Raphael Olivier reports on Pyongyang’s largely unseen architectural heritage. ArchDaily interviewed Olivier about the project, the architecture he captured, and what he understood of North Korea’s architecture and way of life.

The Workers Party Foundation Monument . Image © Raphael OlivierPyongyang International Cinema House. Image © Raphael OlivierPyongyang Ice Rink . Image © Raphael OlivierOverpass. Image © Raphael Olivier+ 21

What Will Become of America's Big Box Stores?

© flickr user walmartmovie. Licensed under CC BY 2.0
© flickr user walmartmovie. Licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Walmart Supercenter is generally considered one of the great antagonists of architecture around the world – the hulking behemoth who sold its integrity for the consumer convenience of having everything in one place. Though the first Walmart Supercenter didn’t open until 1988, big box stores have existed in some form since the 1960s, luring in shoppers with low prices and curbside loading lanes. For all the user psychology design that goes into them, the original designs of these buildings rarely pay much mind to their architectural or urban consequences, excluding a few notable exceptions.

Regardless, for the past 20 years big box stores have continued to prosper, prompting tenants to leave their homes and move on to even larger structures, leaving behind giant, open frameworks – for sale on the cheap. In a recent essay for 99% Invisible entitled Ghost Boxes: Reusing Abandoned Big-Box Superstores Across America, author Kurt Kohlstedt explores the architectural potential of these megastructures, drawing inspiration from the architects and communities that have successfully converted them into valuable assets.