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.
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’ 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.
Designed by EAA–Emre Arolat Architecture, the 199-room hotel in Antakya, Turkey, features prefab modules slotted into a massive network of steel columns.
The urban surfaces we walk on, planed sidewalks cleared of debris or asphalt streets kept in good repair, are simply the topmost layers of human-churned earth extending sometimes hundreds of feet belowground. In some cities, digging downward exposes dense infrastructure networks, while in others—Antakya, Turkey, for one—construction workers can’t turn over a rock without uncovering priceless relics. The newly opened Antakya Museum Hotel, designed by the firm EAA–Emre Arolat Architecture, has turned one such discovery into a bold new strategy for historic preservation.
Innovation and technology are often presented as inextricably linked ideas. Yet, when it comes to solving today’s urban problems, technology does not always represent the best way forward.
Innovation instead should come from a thorough understanding of the city’s functions and processes, including its municipal government and other local organizations. Technology can help, yes, but cannot be used as a panacea.
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.
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.
Nike's New York flagship store, primely located on Fifth Avenue, is perhaps the closest thing to a temple in the digital age. At a massive 68,000 square feet, it commands attention and symbolically dwarfs even its skyscraper surroundings. The exterior facade features a grid of undulating glass that casts glimmering shadows both inside and out. Inside, a tractor-beam type installation hangs from the ceiling, giving the space-age flavor. There's no set ritual or tradition like in the temples of old, but sneakerheads might certainly feel they've found their heaven on earth.
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.
There’s something striking about the command center of America’s largest private real estate development, Hudson Yards, in that it’s actually pretty boring. The room—technically known as the Energy Control Center, or ECC for short—contains two long desks crammed with desktop computers, a few TV monitors plastered to the wall, and a corkboard lined with employee badges. The ceiling is paneled; the lighting, fluorescent. However, New York’s Hudson Yards was once billed as the country’s first “quantified community”: A network of sensors would collect data on air quality, noise levels, temperature, and pedestrian traffic. This would create a feedback loop for the developers, helping them monitor and improve quality of life. So where is the NASA-like mission control? Data collection and advanced infrastructure will still drive parts of Hudson Yards’ operations, but not (yet) as first advertised.
The public will soon have the opportunity to experience the vulnerability and awe of briefly inhabiting an animal domain at the “Reverse Zoo,” LABIOMISTA. Translating to “mixture of life,” the 60-acre project is spearheaded by Belgian artist Koen Vanmechelen and is set to open in 2019.
“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.”
https://www.archdaily.com/910725/the-insignificance-of-aesthetics-an-exhbition-at-vitra-design-museum-adds-a-context-of-urgency-to-the-works-of-victor-papanekAlison J. Clarke
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”.
London architecture today, for all the big-hitters that dominate the headlines (Foster, Rogers, Heatherwick), finds its richness in small studios. Peter Barber leads one such studio, where for the past 30 years he has led the development of some of the city’s most sensitive housing and housing developments.
On a small strip of land between the Emscher River and the Rhine Herne Canal in Germany sits a rest stop whose colorful appearance belies its radical purpose. The structure’s artful design consists of pipes leading from two toilets and the Emscher (the most polluted river in Germany) that converge at a small community garden and drinking fountain. The garden is, in fact, a manmade wetland that collects, treats, and cleans the effluence from the toilets and river—making it drinkable.
Hokkaido-born Sou Fujimoto’s breakout masterpiece, the playful and cloud-like 2013 Serpentine Pavilion says a lot about who Fujimoto is and how he thinks about architecture. But even more so do the 100-plus sometimes painstakingly refined, sometimes roughly executed exploratory models that dot the minimalist gallery space of Japan House Los Angeles. This, his retrospective show, Futures of the Future, neatly reflects on Fujimoto’s career, which began when he opened his own Tokyo-and-Paris-based firm in 2000.
Johnston Marklee has rapidly become one of the US’ most exciting practices. After years of completing sensitive and complex domestic-scaled works in Los Angeles, the office vaulted to prominence after being selected to curate Chicago’s 2017 architecture biennial. Since then they’ve completed and embarked on numerous significant projects - none more so than the Menil Drawing Institute.