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Metropolis: The Latest Architecture and News

Documentary Film Explores How Architects Can Help Reform the Criminal Justice System

06:30 - 11 July, 2019
Documentary Film Explores How Architects Can Help Reform the Criminal Justice System, Frank Gehry and a student model from one of his studios on prison design. Image © Frank Gehry: Building Justice
Frank Gehry and a student model from one of his studios on prison design. Image © Frank Gehry: Building Justice

This article was originally published in Metropolismag.com.

Set to screen at the ADFF:NOLA festival, Frank Gehry: Building Justice showcases how Gehry-led student architecture studios developed proposals for more humane prisons.

Thanks to initiatives like the Art for Justice Fund, Open Society Foundations, and a slew of insightful reporting, the American criminal justice system has been under great scrutiny and pressure to reform. Some of these changes have been quite prominent—such as the increasingly-widespread decriminalization of pot and pending major federal legislation—and have faced opposition from the powerful lobbying of the private prison corporations. However, despite the depth and breadth of criminal justice reform, one critically important element has remained mostly overlooked: the design of correctional facilities.

New Plan Aims to Revamp Midtown Detroit, the City’s Cultural Hub

04:00 - 28 June, 2019
New Plan Aims to Revamp Midtown Detroit, the City’s Cultural Hub, © Agence Ter, Akoaki, rootoftwo, and Harley Etienne
© Agence Ter, Akoaki, rootoftwo, and Harley Etienne

© Agence Ter, Akoaki, rootoftwo, and Harley Etienne © Agence Ter, Akoaki, rootoftwo, and Harley Etienne © Agence Ter, Akoaki, rootoftwo, and Harley Etienne © Agence Ter, Akoaki, rootoftwo, and Harley Etienne + 12

A team composed of international and local studios and individuals—Agence Ter, rootoftwo, Akoaki, and Harley Etienne—was recently chosen to revitalize the 83-acre area.

Over the course of the 20th century, across a series of administrations and economic contexts, Midtown Detroit grew into one of America’s largest (or densest) cultural districts, with over 12 major institutions, such as the Detroit Institute for the Arts (DIA) and the College for Creative Studies. But you wouldn’t know it, even if you were there—the nine-block, 83-acre area is a mish-mash of styles spanning Beaux Arts, Modernism, and Brutalism, and has a certain sense of placelessness. The area feels architecturally disjointed, illegible, and fails to translate the vibrancy of each institution into the broader public space.

How Herman Miller's GreenHouse Inspired the Construction of Sustainable Buildings in the US

08:30 - 24 June, 2019
How Herman Miller's GreenHouse Inspired the Construction of Sustainable Buildings in the US, Herman Miller GreenHouse (interior), William McDonough, Holland, Michigan, 1995. Image Courtesy of Herman Miller Archives
Herman Miller GreenHouse (interior), William McDonough, Holland, Michigan, 1995. Image Courtesy of Herman Miller Archives

While the United Statesgreen-building industry was still relatively slow in the early 1990’s, Herman Miller, who are known for their architectural experimentation, decided to construct a new facility for Simple, Quick, Affordable (SQA), a company that bought used office furniture to refurbish them and sell them to smaller businesses. To do so, they chose to build sustainably, a design approach that was not yet utilized in the region.

Designed by New York architect William McDonough, the 295,000 sq ft building (approx. 90,000 sqm) was built in Holland, Michigan in 1995. The facility’s design qualities, such as storm-water management, air-filtering systems, and 66 skylights, helped set the standards for the U.S. Green Building Council LEED Certification.

How Two Getty Initiatives Are Saving Global Modernist Heritage

10:00 - 2 June, 2019
How Two Getty Initiatives Are Saving Global Modernist Heritage, Courtesy Joe Belcovson for the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. ImageIn 2012, the Getty Conservation Institute founded its Conserving Modern Architecture Initiative (CMAI), with the Getty Foundation’s Keeping It Modern grant following two years later. Working synergistically, the two programs are dedicated to supporting new methods and technologies for the conservation of Modernist buildings. Louis Kahn’s Salk Institute for Biological Studies (1965) in La Jolla, California, has been the beneficiary of both CMAI and Keeping It Modern.
Courtesy Joe Belcovson for the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. ImageIn 2012, the Getty Conservation Institute founded its Conserving Modern Architecture Initiative (CMAI), with the Getty Foundation’s Keeping It Modern grant following two years later. Working synergistically, the two programs are dedicated to supporting new methods and technologies for the conservation of Modernist buildings. Louis Kahn’s Salk Institute for Biological Studies (1965) in La Jolla, California, has been the beneficiary of both CMAI and Keeping It Modern.

This Article was originally published on Metropolismag.com.

The Conserving Modern Architecture Initiative (CMAI) and Keeping It Modern grant are dedicated to supporting new methods and technologies for the conservation of Modernist buildings.

The Good Metropolis: From Urban Formlessness to Metropolitan Architecture

11:50 - 21 May, 2019
The Good Metropolis: From Urban Formlessness to Metropolitan Architecture

From the Publisher:
The book presents the first historical analysis of the productive tension between the city and the architectural form. It introduces 20th-century theories to construct a historical context from which a new architecture-city relationship emerged. The book provides a conceptual framework to understand this relationship and comes to the conclusion that urbanization may be filled with potential, i.e. be a Good Metropolis.

The Impact of the "Happiness Industry" on Architecture

10:00 - 19 May, 2019
The Impact of the "Happiness Industry" on Architecture , "Lava dwellers” in Kalapana State Wayside Park on the island of Hawaii. Image © John Sanphillippo
"Lava dwellers” in Kalapana State Wayside Park on the island of Hawaii. Image © John Sanphillippo

Although The Architecture of Happiness did not gain momentum after its publication in the mid-2000s, the ideology of architecture and well-being has remained a topic of intrigue until today. To further explore this ideology, the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA), with the curation of Francesco Garutti, have put together an exhibition that explores how the “happiness industry” has controlled every aspect of contemporary life after the 2008 financial crash.

Our Happy Life, Architecture and Well-being in the Age of Emotional Capitalism is a non-archival show that exhibits work from architects, artists, and photographers. Metropolis’ Samuel Medina spoke to Garutti to discuss the notion behind the exhibition, social media, and architecture’s new spaces of meaning.

10 Buildings That Helped Define Modernism in New York City

08:00 - 18 May, 2019
211 East 48th Street, Midtown East, William Lescaze, 1934. Image © Mark Wickens
211 East 48th Street, Midtown East, William Lescaze, 1934. Image © Mark Wickens

Greater Refuge Temple, Harlem, Costas Machlouzarides, 1966. Image © Mark Wickens Monsignor Farrell High School, Staten Island, Charles Luckman Associates, 1962. Image © Mark Wickens The “Bubble House” (1969) on East 71st Street is one of the city’s most idiosyncratic Modern buildings. Its convex apertures are surprisingly operable, swiveling open from the side. Image © Mark Wickens Tribeca Synagogue, William N. Breger, 1967. Image © Mark Wickens + 12

This Article was originally published on Metropolis Magazine here.

The story of architectural Modernism in New York City goes beyond the familiar touchstones of Lever House and the Seagram Building.

Eighty-five years on, the little white town house on East 48th Street by William Lescaze still startles. With its bright stucco and Purist volumes, it pulls the eye away from the do-nothing brownstones on one side and the noirish sub-Miesian tower on the other. The machined rectitude of its upper floors, telegraphed by two clumsily large spans of glass block, is offset by the freer plastic arrangement of the bottom levels. Le Corbusier’s five points are in evidence (minus the roof garden), suggesting an architecture ready to do battle. Built in 1934 from the shell of a Civil War–era town house, this was the first Modernist house in New York City, and its pioneering feeling for futurity extended to its domestic conveniences. (A skeptical Lewis Mumford noted its central air-conditioning.)

Los Angeles' Hospitality Industry is All About Adaptive Reuse

06:00 - 12 May, 2019
Los Angeles' Hospitality Industry is All About Adaptive Reuse , Imperial Western Beer Company . Image Courtesy of Jessica Sample via Metropolis
Imperial Western Beer Company . Image Courtesy of Jessica Sample via Metropolis

Los Angeles’ booming hospitality industry has provoked many designers to develop fresh, state-of-the-art spaces that fascinate citizens and visitors of the contemporary city. However, some designers are experimenting with abandoned structures, merging historic buildings with contemporary features. The relatively new design trend of adaptive reuse, which was a novelty in the early 2000’s, has now become an in-demand practice in LA, standing front and center in the restaurant / hotel industry.

To dig deeper into why Los Angeleshospitality industry is embracing historic buildings, Metropolis Magazine spoke with key hospitality designers and developers in the city such as Historic Resources Group, 213 Hospitality, and Design, Bitches, to learn more about their take on adaptive reuse.

In Lake|Flato’s Eco-Conservation Studio, Sustainability and Education Go Hand-in-Hand

04:00 - 5 May, 2019
In Lake|Flato’s Eco-Conservation Studio, Sustainability and Education Go Hand-in-Hand, Known primarily for their ranch houses, which combine modern forms and rich local material traditions, Lake|Flato Architects have also developed an architecture of “eco-conservation.” An example is their Big Bend Fossil Discovery Exhibit in the middle of Texas’s Chihuahuan Desert.. Image © Casey Dunn
Known primarily for their ranch houses, which combine modern forms and rich local material traditions, Lake|Flato Architects have also developed an architecture of “eco-conservation.” An example is their Big Bend Fossil Discovery Exhibit in the middle of Texas’s Chihuahuan Desert.. Image © Casey Dunn

This article was originally published on Metropolis Magazine.

Green building was always part of the firm's DNA, though a little more than ten years ago Lake|Flato formed an internal studio that would focus on landscape and resource management.

For over three decades, San Antonio’s Lake|Flato Architects have advanced the cause of critical regionalism in South Texas. Founding partners David Lake and Ted Flato met in the office of O’Neil Ford, an early Texas Modernist whose work combined structural innovation with local building traditions. When they started their own practice in 1984, Lake and Flato carried this germ with them, turning out a series of ranch houses that garnered attention for their deft blending of modern modes of living, indigenous materials, and agro-industrial vernacular.

WeWork is Transforming the Way Architects Use Data in Design

07:00 - 10 March, 2019
Courtesy of WeWork via Metropolis Magazine
Courtesy of WeWork via Metropolis Magazine

Data-driven design has been a holy phrase in architecture for some time now. The ability to refine and apply information on any range of topics, from movement to sun paths to air quality, hold enormous potential to positively impact design not just for one party but for all. Decisions can be made faster, buildings can be built better, inhabitants can be made more comfortable.

The Unfamiliar History of an Expressionist, Crafty Bauhaus

08:00 - 16 February, 2019
The Unfamiliar History of an Expressionist, Crafty Bauhaus, The African Chair, designed in 1921 by Gunta Stölzl and Marcel Breuer. Image Courtesy of Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin, photo: Hartwig Klappert/© 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
The African Chair, designed in 1921 by Gunta Stölzl and Marcel Breuer. Image Courtesy of Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin, photo: Hartwig Klappert/© 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Every famed design movement has an interesting story of how it managed to influence architecture and design through the years. Despite their impact, not all movements began with the same principles they managed to ultimately lead with, and Bauhaus is no exception. The clean-cut modernist archetype, which has pioneered modern architecture for a century now, was once an experimental design institution of expressionism, unbound creativity, and handcraft, bridging the styles of Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts with Modernist designs.

The Insignificance of Aesthetics: An Exhibition at Vitra Design Museum Adds a Context of Urgency to the Works of Victor Papanek

07:00 - 5 February, 2019
Victor Papanek. Image Courtesy of donation from Nicolette Papanek/Victor J. Papanek Foundation
Victor Papanek. Image Courtesy of donation from Nicolette Papanek/Victor J. Papanek Foundation

This article was originally published on Metropolis Magazine as "Design Provocateur: Revisiting the Prescient Ideas of Victor Papanek".

“Today industrial design has put murder on a mass-production basis,” declared Victor Papanek, design provocateur and critic, from the podium of a design-activist happening in 1968. “By designing criminally unsafe automobiles that kill or maim,” he roared, “by creating a whole new species of permanent garbage to clutter up the landscape, and by choosing materials and processes that pollute the air we breathe, designers have become a dangerous breed.”

Art Will Save Architecture, According to Steven Holl

09:00 - 29 December, 2018
Courtesy of Yudi Ela
Courtesy of Yudi Ela

Award-winning architect Steven Holl has expressed his dismay of modern-day architecture to Metropolis Magazine. Although Steven Holl Architects (SHA) have recently won the design competition of a gateway building at University College Dublin, and have completed new buildings in London, Houston, Virginia, and Richmond this past year only, the architect is convinced that regardless of all the success, “it’s not a great moment, there are a lot of bad architects”.

OMA's Latest Fails to Live Up To Its Own Pedagogy

09:30 - 21 December, 2018
OMA's Latest Fails to Live Up To Its Own Pedagogy, The first tower of OMA's Norra Tornen project. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu via Metropolis Magazine
The first tower of OMA's Norra Tornen project. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu via Metropolis Magazine

This article was originally published on Metropolis Magazine as "In His Latest Residential Building, OMA's Reinier de Graaf Doesn't Practice What He Preaches".

Last month in Stockholm, OMA partner Reinier de Graaf took a not-so-sly swipe at Bjarke Ingels: “I’m not a reincarnation of Harry Potter,” he said to a packed lecture theater at Stockholm’s KTH University.

The Famed and Forgotten Works of Uruguay's Modernists

16:00 - 23 September, 2018
Vilamajó (Uruguay, second from left) with various members of the Board of Design Consultants for the UN Headquarters Building in 1947, including N. D. Bassov (Soviet Union), Gaston Brunfaut (Belgium), Ernest Cormier (Canada), Le Corbusier (France), Liang Seu-cheng (China), Sven Markelius (Sweden), Oscar Niemeyer (Brazil), Howard Robertson (United Kingdom), and G. A. Soilleux (Australia), as part of the Board of Design Consultants for the U.N. Headquarters Building in 1947. Image Courtesy of Courtesy the Facultad de Arquitectura Diseño y Ubranismo Montevideo, via Metropolis Magazine
Vilamajó (Uruguay, second from left) with various members of the Board of Design Consultants for the UN Headquarters Building in 1947, including N. D. Bassov (Soviet Union), Gaston Brunfaut (Belgium), Ernest Cormier (Canada), Le Corbusier (France), Liang Seu-cheng (China), Sven Markelius (Sweden), Oscar Niemeyer (Brazil), Howard Robertson (United Kingdom), and G. A. Soilleux (Australia), as part of the Board of Design Consultants for the U.N. Headquarters Building in 1947. Image Courtesy of Courtesy the Facultad de Arquitectura Diseño y Ubranismo Montevideo, via Metropolis Magazine

Uruguay's architecture scene has long taken the backseat to those of its more popular neighbours. Brazil, to the north, has a modernist history that rivals (if not shades) that of its European peers; Chile, to the west, boasts an innovative climate for architecture unparalleled in the world today.

The Top 10 Design Cities of 2018, As Revealed by Metropolis Magazine

06:00 - 18 August, 2018
The Top 10 Design Cities of 2018, As Revealed by Metropolis Magazine, Bund Finance Centre / Foster + Partners and Heatherwick Studio. Image © Laurian Ghintiou
Bund Finance Centre / Foster + Partners and Heatherwick Studio. Image © Laurian Ghintiou

For this year's annual city listings, Metropolis Magazine took an unusual approach: they took the analysis to the streets, surveying nearly 100 design professionals across the globe to get their opinions. The result? A list that boasts not just the cities you'd expect (Milan, London, Berlin) but the under the radar powerhouses you might not have anticipated.

Reinventing a Superblock in Central Seoul - Without the Gentrification

09:30 - 13 August, 2018
Reinventing a Superblock in Central Seoul - Without the Gentrification, Courtesy Kyoung Roh, via Metropolis Magazine
Courtesy Kyoung Roh, via Metropolis Magazine

This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "A Once-Maligned Concrete Megastructure in Seoul is Revitalized - Sans Gentrification".

Upon its completion in 1966, Sewoon Sangga, designed by prominent South Korean architect Kim Swoo-geun, was a groundbreaking residential and commercial megastructure consisting of eight multistory buildings covering a full kilometer in the heart of Seoul. Like other futuristic projects of the decade, it was conceived as a self-contained city, complete with amenities that included a park, an atrium, and a pedestrian deck. But construction realities crippled Kim’s utopian vision, compromising those features. By the late 1970s, Sewoon Sangga had shed residents and anchor retail outlets to newer, shinier developments in the wealthy Gangnam district across the river. Between Sewoon’s central location and plunging rents, the building became a hub for light industry—as well as illicit activity.

Today's Rising Stars in Design: Metropolis Magazine Reveals their Picks

16:00 - 4 August, 2018
Today's Rising Stars in Design: Metropolis Magazine Reveals their Picks, © Laurian Ghinitoiu, via Metropolis Magazine. ImageThe Institute of Sports Sciences at the University of Lausanne / Karamuk Kuo
© Laurian Ghinitoiu, via Metropolis Magazine. ImageThe Institute of Sports Sciences at the University of Lausanne / Karamuk Kuo

Architecture has always been multidisciplinary, demanding new expertise for each project and challenging designers to remain nimble. This seems more true now (and more embraced) than ever, with architects turning their eye towards technology, agriculture, data science - even to Mars.