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Performance: The Latest Architecture and News

The Urban Art of Social Distancing

Being in confinement has produced unconventional means of exploring architectural spaces and installations. Instead of putting everything on hold until life goes back to normal, designers and curators found inspiration from practices like performance arts and theatre, breaking down the walls between the subject and viewers but from a distance.

Ashley Bigham and Erik Herrmann of Outpost Office reimagined the theme of "mobility" by creating 1:1 scale drawings on the Ragdale campus using GPS-controlled field marking robots. Their unique urban installation, which addressed modern-day concerns such as public spaces, how we are engaging with them, and physicality, won first place in the 2020 Ragdale Ring competition.

© Erik Herrmann© Erik Herrmann© Erik HerrmannPhotogrammetry. Image © Erik Herrmann+ 6

An Online Exhibition Connects the Dots Between Performance and Architecture

Six months after the release of the namesake book during the latest installment of the biennial, PERFORMA has launched Bodybuilding, which features thirty-five architecture studios who engage with performativity.

Is architecture a period or a comma? Are built forms hermetic bodies or catalysts for action? PERFORMA curator Charles Aubin and architect Carlos Mínguez Carrascor, published Bodybuilding: Architecture and Performance, during the most recent installment of the PERFORMA 19 biennial in New York City last November. Noticing a lack of a comprehensive, multigenerational survey on the subject, the duo’s interest in investigating the ways architects engage with performance goes as far back as a symposium they co-organized at the Performa 17 Hub in 2017. The book, which features essays by Mabel O. Wilson and Bryony Roberts, Lluís Alexandre Casanovas Blanco, and Victoria Bugge Øye, seeded the fundamental approaches now deeply rooted in the online exhibition: the impact of movement on systematic urbanization, the body’s relationship to buildings and monuments, and architecture’s role in action, be it physical or sociopolitical.

BodybuildingBodybuilding, OMA, Prada Transformer, Seoul, 2009Bodybuilding, Alex Schweder and Ward Shelley, ReActor, 2016. Photograph by Richard BarnesBodybuilding, Bryony Roberts And Mabel O. Wilson, Marching On, Dancers, Marcus Garvey Park, 2017. Photograph By Jenica Heintzelman+ 14

Exploring Architecture through Performance, Photography and Fashion

© Miguel de Guzmán© Hey! Cheese© Imagen Subliminal© Dmitry Tsyrencshikov+ 53

The purpose of architectural photography is to show a design in the best possible way, with the artform often characterized by perspective correction and atmospheric lighting. However, few architectural photographers have experimented with other artistic disciplines. Miguel de Guzmán, Paul Vu and Jules Couartou are among those who have challenged the limits of this form of photography, generating an interesting crossover between architecture photography, fashion and performances. In their images, the relationship between space and the user is shown through a scene designed to register an effect on the viewer. The results are images which are full of creativity.

Lights, Camera, Architecture!: Where Set Design and Architecture Cross Over

What do Kanye West and Frank Gehry have in common?

As a first impression, not much. However, they have both engaged on stages with striking design details: the use of exaggerated scale and dimensions to manipulate visual perception, bulky concrete walls and slabs to emphasize heavyweight and grandiosity, visible scaffolding to create an industrial, unfinished feel... Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Deutschunde / Bettina Pommer. Image © Krafft AngererShe Loves Me / Rockwell Group. Image © Paul WarcholF*CK THE POLAR BEARS / Chiara Stephenson. Image Courtesy of Chiara StephensonDiamond Dogs Tour / Mark Ravitz. Image Courtesy of Mark Ravitz+ 14

An Inflatable Antepavilion Theater is Setting Sail Through London's Canals

The 2018 Antepavilion has opened in London, the second in an annual series. Designed and built by Thomas Randall-Page and Benedetta Rogers, the 2018 edition titled “AirDraft” sees an inflatable theater sitting atop a 19th-century barge, creating a floating venue for music and performance in trendy East London.

The scheme was chosen from 132 entries to the competition run by Shiva Ltd and the Architecture Foundation, which asked participants to engage with “the heritage of the Regent’s Canal in innovative ways.”

© Jim Stephenson© Jim Stephenson© Jim Stephenson© Jim Stephenson+ 20

New Images Show Steven Holl's Expansion of the Kennedy Center Under Construction

The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts has released new photographs as construction continues on the Steven Holl Architects-designed expansion project in Washington DC. Due to open in September 2019, the REACH expansion project aims to “provide artists and visitors new and wide-ranging opportunities to fully interact and engage with the Center.”

The project features 72,000 square feet of interior space across a 4.6-acre site, resulting in a 20% increase in public areas, and a doubling of outdoor space.

Courtesy of Field ConditionsCourtesy of Field ConditionsCourtesy of Steven Holl ArchitectsCourtesy of Steven Holl Architects+ 13

AD Classics: Arts United Center / Louis Kahn

© Jeffery Johnson
© Jeffery Johnson

In 1961, the architect Louis I. Kahn was commissioned by the Fine Arts Foundation to design and develop a large arts complex in central Fort Wayne, Indiana. The ambitious Fine Art Center, now known as the Arts United Center, would cater to the community of 180,000 by providing space for an orchestra, theatre, school, gallery, and much more. As a Lincoln Center in miniature, the developers had hoped to update and upgrade the city through new civic architecture. However, due to budget constraints, only a fraction of the overall scheme was completed. It is one of Kahn’s lesser-known projects that spanned over a decade, and his only building in the Midwest.

BIG Unveils Bow-Shaped Design for National Theatre of Albania

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has released images of its bow-shaped National Theatre of Albania, responding to a thriving performance art scene in the nation’s capital. Situated in the cultural heart of downtown Tirana, the scheme seeks to create new urban gathering places for a pedestrian-focused district, while casting the theater as a performer in its own right.

Situated on a cultural axis, adjacent to public landmarks such as Skanderbeg Square, the National Opera, and the National Art Gallery, BIG’s scheme will replace the existing theater while adding three new performance spaces, a rooftop amphitheater, and a covered public space underneath the building.

Courtesy of BIGCourtesy of BIGCourtesy of BIGCourtesy of BIG+ 6

The Science Behind the Next Generation of Wood Buildings

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At a time when engineers, designers, and builders must find solutions for a resource-constrained environment, new wood technology, materials, and science are accelerating efforts to enhance safety and structural performance.

International Building Code requires all building systems, regardless of materials used, to perform to the same level of health and safety standards. These codes have long recognized wood’s performance capabilities and allow its use in a wide range of low- to mid-rise residential and non-residential building types. Moreover, wood often surpasses steel and concrete in terms of strength, durability, fire safety, seismic performance, and sustainability – among other qualities.

Choreographed Performance at Farnsworth House Explores “Queer Space” in the Work of Mies van der Rohe

This article was originally published on the blog of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, the largest platform for contemporary architecture in North America. The 2017 Biennial, entitled Make New History, will be free and open to the public between September 16, 2017 and January 6, 2018.

“Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” This famously misattributed analogy has floated through the arts world for decades as shorthand for the difficulty of imposing the gestures of one creative discipline onto another. But why should dance and architecture get lost in translation? Isn’t there an inherent poetry to the movement of bodies navigating the built environment?

© Bradley Glanzrock, LStopMedia.com. Courtesy of Gerard & Kelly© Bradley Glanzrock, LStopMedia.com. Courtesy of Gerard & Kelly© Bradley Glanzrock, LStopMedia.com. Courtesy of Gerard & Kelly© Bradley Glanzrock, LStopMedia.com. Courtesy of Gerard & Kelly+ 10

SO-IL with Ana Prvački Debut Musical-Spatial Performance at 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial

Today SO-IL, in collaboration with Ana Prvački, debuted L’air pour air on the occasion of the press preview of the second edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. The performance explores the art of performing behind a filter in an age where many cities suffer from the environmental impact of human habitation. Described as "part installation and part musical performance," the creators have drawn inspiration from abundant plant life and the interconnectedness of people and nature.

IAAC Barcelona Summer Workshops

The BCN Summer Workshops is a revolutionary program by IAAC, designed to connect some of the most pioneering minds of Barcelona with like-minded creatives from all around the world. Our 4-day workshops will take place in the Valldaura Estate, located inside the Collserola Natural Park, 30 minutes away from Barcelona. The program will start on July 24th with an inaugural speech from the world-acclaimed chef, Ferran Adriá (date TBC).