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Interviews: The Latest Architecture and News

"I Would Rather Be Known as an Architect of Elegant Restraint": Interview with Belmont (Monty) Freeman

Belmont (Monty) Freeman (b. 1951) founded his New York-based, currently eight-person practice, Belmont Freeman Architects in 1986. Its active projects are half institutional and half residential, with a special focus on adaptive reuse, predominantly in New York and nearby states. Among the firm’s most exemplary projects are the LGBT Carriage House on the University of Pennsylvania campus, a series of restorations at the Four Seasons restaurant in the Seagram Building, renovations at the Yale Club in Manhattan, and the renovation of the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, designed by Kevin Roche. Current projects include an expansive but minimalist residential compound on Martha’s Vineyard, branch library renovations in New York City, and redevelopment of a former meatpacking building into a new Innovation Hub for Columbia University’s Business School.

KOWALEWSKI RESIDENCE. Image © Christopher WesnofskeTHE FOUR SEASONS. Image © Jennifer Calais SmithKOWALEWSKI RESIDENCE. Image © Christopher WesnofskeEZRA AND CECILE ZILKHA GALLERY. Wesleyan University . Image © Christopher Wesnofske+ 20

"The Art of Pattern is the Legacy of our Grandparents": Koen Mulder on the Brick Bond as a Composition Tool

"Welcome to this strange book. With all the drawings, it might appear like a manual, but it isn't. The book is as much about joints as it is about pieces. Above all, it seeks the order that is inherent in things". These words are part of the introduction to Koen Mulder's book, "The lively surface: Masonry associations as a pattern art and tool of composition". Available in German, the 160-page manual, rigorously illustrated, presents a universe of possible pattern variations that can be created when you start designing.

We interviewed Koen to find out what inspired him to talk about this topic and to understand how he managed to gather all this information, while also figuring out the impact that this type of study can have on architecture students and architects.

“Architecture Stands Out Because It Has Something to Say to its Context”: In conversation with Mario Botta

Swiss architect Mario Botta is known for his geometrically imposing, spatially captivating structures that are invariably dressed in zebra-like horizontal stripes in either black and white or red and white combinations. These both traditional and strikingly modern villas, chapels, wineries, schools, libraries, museums, company headquarters, banks, and residential blocks are scattered throughout towns and mountainous villages in the architect’s native Ticino region in southern Switzerland, extend all over Europe and can be encountered in places as far away as China, India, South Korea, Japan, and the USA.

Riva San Vitale. Image © Marco D'AnnaCasa Rotonda. Image Courtesy of Vladimir BelogolovskyChurch San Giovanni Battista. Image Courtesy of Vladimir BelogolovskySecurity Forces Centre. Image © Marco D'Anna+ 20

Architect Michel Rojkind on the Social Responsibility of Design

In a Design and the City episode - a podcast by reSITE on how to make cities more liveable – Mexican architect Michel Rojkind talks about running, coming from a musical background, and the responsibility of architects to create buildings that can “give something relevant” back to the community. The interview delves into Rojkind’s philosophy of making sure that architectural conversations are not insular, but instead conversations that take place within a multi-disciplinary context.

© Jamie NavarroCourtesy of Rojkind ArquitectosCourtesy of Rojkind Arquitectos© Jamie Navarro+ 11

Psychoanalyzing the Space: Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine Discuss the Ordinary Aspects of Urban Life

Rare are the fields, from arts and culture, that have so many things in common with architecture, as film does. Acknowledging that this is far from new, this topic has been debated by theorists and authors from both fields ever since the beginning of the 20th century. Architecture has been trying to embody subtle and poetical features from film while cinema has historically served as a means to discuss, represent, and denounce topics tightly related to architecture and cities.

An interesting example of this overlapping can be found in the contemporary production of French-Italian film company Bêka & Lemoine, whose works show a sensible look towards the details and the simplicity of the architecture and urban spaces. Currently encompassing thirty feature films, Ila Bêka's and Louise Lemoine's portfolio casts light on the everyday life of different cities around the world, revealing an attentive gaze to the most trivial aspects of human existence in the urban realm.

The Infinite Happiness. Courtesy of Bêka & LemoineTokyo Ride. Courtesy of Bêka & LemoineMoriyama San. Courtesy of Bêka & LemoineKoolhaas Houselife. Courtesy of Bêka & Lemoine+ 33

10 Inspiring Interviews of Women In Architecture

In the midst of International Women’s Day which was on March 8th, this year features a week-long curation of articles and editorials by ArchDaily, seeking to dissipate the gender disparity that exists in the world of architecture. In highlighting women's voices in architectural conversations - the following are 10 interviews from ArchDaily’s archived Youtube playlists that feature inspiring women figures in the world of architecture.