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Interviews: The Latest Architecture and News

OMA's Ellen van Loon Discusses the Firm's New Danish Architecture Center

16:00 - 3 May, 2018
OMA's Ellen van Loon Discusses the Firm's New Danish Architecture Center, Courtesy of Louisiana Channel
Courtesy of Louisiana Channel

Louisiana Channel has released a new video interview with Ellen van Loon, the Dutch “design duchess” of OMA. In the interview, available to watch below, van Loon discusses the concept of “architectural contamination” behind OMA's new mixed-use "BLOX" scheme, home of the Danish Architecture Center in Copenhagen.

Van Loon discusses the process of “re-invention” needed for the scheme’s realization, in terms of both function and location. Situated on an old brewery site, the scheme seeks to embed architects and visitors in their own field of study, “placing them in the center of the building, which meant they would contaminate all other functions.”

O-office Discusses How Refurbishment Projects Reveal Untold Stories

19:00 - 11 March, 2018
SZ-HK Biennale-Silo Reconversion. Image© O-office & Maurer United
SZ-HK Biennale-Silo Reconversion. Image© O-office & Maurer United

Guangzhou-based multidisciplinary firm O-office Architects specializes in refurbishment projects. Founders Jianxiang He and Ying Jiang are known for exploring what architecture can do within the contemporary Chinese context, including a recent project in which they transformed an abandoned Shenzhen factory into a dynamic cultural and community center.

In this interview with ArchDaily, the founders of O-office speak about their philosophies regarding refurbishments and the current state of architecture in China.

SOHO China Property Mogul Zhang Xin on the Chinese Economy and Her Changing Business Model

08:30 - 3 January, 2017
SOHO China Property Mogul Zhang Xin on the Chinese Economy and Her Changing Business Model, Galaxy Soho / Zaha Hadid Architects . Image © Iwan Baan
Galaxy Soho / Zaha Hadid Architects . Image © Iwan Baan

German magazine Der Spiegel has conducted an interview with Zhang Xin, billionaire real estate mogul and founder of SOHO China—the company behind such well-known buildings as Zaha Hadid Architects' Galaxy SOHO and Wangjing SOHO. In the interview, Xin discusses the Chinese economy, her changing business model, digitalization, the symbolic value of buildings, and more. Learn more about Xin’s take on success and change in China by reading the full interview here.

AD Interviews: Zhang Ke / standardarchitecture

06:00 - 21 April, 2016

Zhang Ke is the founder and partner of standardarchitecture, an architecture firm based in China. Still relatively new, the firm has roughly 40 staff members, half of which are from China. Despite their status as a fledgling office, standardarchitecture has already completed a varied range of projects, including urban interventions in the iconic hutongs of Beijing and tourism infrastructure in the Nepal region. In 2015, Zhang Ke and his firm were the focus of an exhibition at the AEDES Gallery in Berlin, titled “Contemplating Basics.” In this interview, Zhang Ke talks about the importance of learning at different schools, as well as his own beliefs about the duty of an architect, the importance of context and his desire to tell stories in architecture.

Peter Zumthor: “There’s Nothing I’m Not Interested In”

12:00 - 30 November, 2015

The Louisiana Channel recently made a trip to the hometown of Peter Zumthor for an extensive and rare video interview on the Swiss architect's life journey, passion for learning, and how "different kinds of silence" help him reach his potential.

Architectural Photographers: Rodrigo Dávila

08:00 - 14 November, 2015
Architectural Photographers: Rodrigo Dávila, Memory, Peace and Reconciliation Center / Juan Pablo Ortiz. Image © Rodrigo Dávila
Memory, Peace and Reconciliation Center / Juan Pablo Ortiz. Image © Rodrigo Dávila

As part of our Architectural Photographers interview series, we spoke with Rodrigo Dávila, an architecture photographer based in Bogotá. When he was a teenager, Dávila inherited a Rolleiflex medium-format camera from his grandfather and never looked back. After working as an architect for two years and taking pictures of landscapes in his free time, Rodrigo moved to Melbourne, Australia to study photography at RMIT University. Back in Colombia, Dávila established a photography business through which he expresses his passion for design, Scandinavian architecture and contemporary buildings.

“Architectural photography works in the opposite way of designing a building. Instead of projecting in order to construct a building, a photographer analyzes the image in order to deconstruct the building and understand the architect’s intention," explained Dávila.

Read the complete interview after the break.

Ole Scheeren Discusses Contemporary Workspaces at “What Can Design Do” Conference

06:00 - 8 October, 2015

Participating in the What Can Design Do conference in Amsterdam, Ole Scheeren took time, along with several other creators, to discuss the impact of the working environment. Playfully dubbed, “Pod Sessions,” each talk takes place in De Vorm’s contemporary Pod chair, the PET plastic improving acoustics and signature Dutch felt providing comfort. In his Pod Session, Ole Scheeren, founder of Buro OS and lead designer on the CCTV Building in China, talks about the nature of a transitional workplace, the importance of collaboration, offices as a creative tool and the necessity of having a personal presence in a project. Having participated in projects across the world, Scheeren frequently moves to the site of his latest projects, as was the case with the CCTV Building.

In-Depth Interviews With Jonathan Meades and Thomas Heatherwick, Plus More

07:00 - 11 August, 2015
In-Depth Interviews With Jonathan Meades and Thomas Heatherwick, Plus More, Jonathan Meades. Image © Martha Warner
Jonathan Meades. Image © Martha Warner

Following the conclusion of a new radio series featuring in-depth interviews with inspirational names in global politics, business and the arts, we've picked out and compiled four of our favourites for you to listen to. Thirty minutes each, Monocle 24's collection of Big Interviews have heard from the likes of London-based designer Thomas Heatherwick, architectural critic, writer and broadcaster Jonathan Meades, plus developers and hoteliers Ian Schrager and André Balazs.

How "Heroic: Concrete Architecture and the New Boston" Hopes to Reclaim America's Concrete Heritage

08:30 - 26 June, 2015
Paul Rudolph, Government Service Center (1962-71). Image © Mark Pasnik
Paul Rudolph, Government Service Center (1962-71). Image © Mark Pasnik

In 2007, when the late Mayor Thomas Menino announced his intentions to demolish Kallmann, McKinnell and Knowles' iconic Boston City Hall, he gave voice to a tragic but all-too-common popular discomfort with midcentury concrete architecture. Concerned that this threat was only the latest symptom of a pervasive misunderstanding of the significance of the concrete tradition, three architects - Mark Pasnik, Chris Grimley, and Michael Kubo - joined forces shortly thereafter to launch "The Heroic Project" and share their appreciation for this unfairly maligned chapter of architectural history. In addition to creating an internet web archive, Pasnik, Grimley, and Kubo jointly authored a forthcoming historical survey, Heroic: Concrete Architecture and the New Boston, scheduled to be released by The Monacelli Press in October 2015, which recasts the cultural and political story behind America's concrete heritage.

I.M. Pei & Partners and Araldo Cossutta, Associated Architects, Christian Science Center (1964-73). Image © Mark Pasnik Kallmann, McKinnell, & Knowles, Boston City Hall (1962-69). Image © Mark Pasnik Paul Rudolph, Government Service Center (1962-71). Image © Mark Pasnik Marcel Breuer & Associates, Madison Park High School (1966-77). Image © Mark Pasnik + 12

Norman Foster: Striving for Simplicity

14:35 - 1 June, 2015

“Quality is an attitude of mind.” - Norman Foster

In honor of Norman Foster's 80th birthday, we bring to you this extensive video interview by Louisiana Channel that gives an in-depth look into the life and career of the prolific English architect. Throughout the 40-minute interview, Foster reflects on his childhood obsession with technology, the evolution of his work, and his constant "strive for simplicity."

AD Interviews: Elizabeth Chu Richter / 2015 AIA President

19:00 - 14 May, 2015

In the midst of the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) 2015 National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, we had the chance to sit down with Elizabeth Chu Richter, CEO of Richter Architects and the AIA President for 2015 to discuss some of the important issues facing the architecture profession today.

Archiculture Interviews: Roger Hart

17:00 - 10 May, 2015

In Arbuckle Industries' latest Archiculture interview, Roger Hart, an environmental psychology professor at New York’s City University, discusses the relationship between people and their surroundings. He analyzes the effects of environmental factors on both behavior and health, and advocates that the physical environment and its occupants be regarded as symbiotic entities. Additionally, Hart discusses the shifting relationship between environmental psychology and architecture, and explains how a closer collaboration between these disciplines in the design process can produce a healthier and more humanized built environment.

Archiculture Interviews: Bill McDonough

14:00 - 27 March, 2015

"What I'm trying to look at is how do we make humans supportive of a natural world, in the way that the natural world is supportive of us?" In the latest installment of Arbuckle Industries' Archiculture interviews, architect, educator, environmentalist, and author Bill McDonough discusses some of the challenges and themes he has seen in our built environment. He focuses on environmentalism in architecture through the lens of carbon neutrality and the problems with that principle. He goes on to address some of his solutions, including a Cradle to Cradle design approach which changes the way environmental problems are tackled.

Rare Interview with Buckminster Fuller on the Geodesic Life

12:10 - 17 March, 2015

"I must reorganize the environment of man by which then greater numbers of men can prosper,” says Buckminster Fuller in this rare interview on the Geodesic Life with Studs Terkel (recorded in 1965 and 1970). Animated by Jennifer Yoo and produced by Blank and Blank, this interview has been brought to life as the first of “The Experimenters” mini-series that features rare interviews with Bucky, Jane Goodall, and Richard Feynman focusing on science, technology and innovation.

Archiculture Interviews: Ted Landsmark

14:00 - 1 March, 2015

"...In many of our architecture schools [...] we're finding that the students themselves are asking for a more socially-conscious and a more environmentally-conscious kind of architecture, a kind of architecture that really serves human needs." In the latest Arbuckle Industries' Archiculture interview, former Boston Architectural College President Ted Landsmark discusses his experience in the industry. He delves into the demographic trends that make up the field of architecture today, and the influence these have on the work that is being done. He also touches on the "privileged" ideology associated with architecture, and how the shifting global demands and client preferences are abandoning this mentality.

Team Of Interviewers Ask: 'What Is Architecture?'

00:00 - 13 November, 2014

What is Architecture? (WIA), a small collection of interviews with influential architects from around Europe, seeks to "provide clear and concise information about architecture", thereby "forming a panoramic view of today's architectural thinking." Set up by three students of architecture residing in Innsbruck, the WIA team have interviewed the likes of Patrik Schumacher (Zaha Hadid Architects), Sir Peter Cook (CRAB Studio), Jacob and Nathalie van Rijs (MVRDV), and Ben van Berkel (UNStudio). Their collection, though small, is continually expanding.

See a selection of WIA's interviews after the break (or see the entire collection here).

Rem Koolhaas Sheds Light on Lagos

00:00 - 24 August, 2014

In this interview conducted by the Brigtje van der Haak maker of the documentary Lagos Wide & Close, Rem Koolhaas discusses his research on the urbanization of Nigeria's largest city, Lagos. While this research is as yet unpublished, Koolhaas discusses external influences on the city’s architecture, how his visits have affected his view of the profession, and Lagos’ future potential. The documentary by van der Haak, released on DVD in 2004, is an interactive exploration of Lagos from a multitude of scales. Now, it has been adapted for the web, and can be viewed in its entirety here!

Yesterday's Future, Today: What's it Like to Work as an Architect in North Korea?

01:00 - 22 August, 2014
Yesterday's Future, Today: What's it Like to Work as an Architect in North Korea?, A silk co-operative clad with acres of PV solar panels, one of several illustrations exhibited at the Korean Pavilion in Venice. Image Courtesy of Koryo Tours
A silk co-operative clad with acres of PV solar panels, one of several illustrations exhibited at the Korean Pavilion in Venice. Image Courtesy of Koryo Tours

Originally published on Metropolis Magazine as "The Future of Architecture, According to a North Korean Architect," this interview with Nick Bonner, Curator of the North Korean Portion of the Venice Biennale's Korean Pavilion, delves into the realities of architectural work in one of the world's most secretive countries.

There's good chance you'll never step foot in North Korea, which isn't the same as saying you can't. Interest in the socialist state is increasingly high, a fact reflected by a rise in tourists eager to discover the sites and spectacles of Pyongyang. Nick Bonner, founder of Koryo Tours, has been bringing visitors to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) for over two decades. He recently curated a small exhibition in the Korean Pavilion at this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale.

For “Utopian Tours” Bonner commissioned designs from an unidentified North Korean architect, asking him to envision a whole new infrastructure for accommodating larger and larger groups of tourists. The resulting handdrawn illustrations are fascinating: the future of architecture—at least in North Korea—looks a lot like yesterday's future, where tourists travel in hovercraft RVs, and workers live in ziggurat-shaped hotels inspired by mountains and trees.

Metropolis asked the trained landscape architect to give us a tour inside the present architecture scene of one of the world’s most isolated countries today.

A resort hotel at Mount Kumgang. Image Courtesy of Koryo Tours Mountain Conical Hotels, connected at various points by ski runs. Image Courtesy of Koryo Tours A riverside development at the foot of Mount Kumgang. Image Courtesy of Koryo Tours The Bird's Nest Villa. Image Courtesy of Koryo Tours + 12