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Preservation: The Latest Architecture and News

Neutelings Riedijk Architects and ARS Architectes Design Cité des Imaginaires and Grand Musée Jules Vernes in Nantes, France

Neutelings Riedijk Architects and ARS Architects Urbanistes have just won a competition to design the Cité des Imaginaires and Grand Musée Jules Verne in Nantes, France. Selected from 160 entries, their design seeks to revitalize the historic “Moulins de Nantes” mil, also known as CAP44. This industrial heritage site, notable for its unique Hennebique concrete structure, is set to be transformed into a sustainable structure within the Garden Extraordinaire. Additionally, the museum will celebrate the legacy of the renowned author Jules Verne, born in Nantes.

Lloyd Wright’s Historic Wayfarers Chapel Will Be Disassembled Due to Landslide Risk

The Wayfarers Chapel, known locally as "The Glass Church," was designed by Lloyd Wright, the eldest son of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and completed in 1951. Located in the Palos Verdes peninsula in Los Angeles, its design aimed to blend the lines between architecture and nature, with large-span glass panels opening up to space toward the redwood canopies. Last year, the structure was designated a national historic landmark. Now, due to “accelerated land movement” in the area, the structure, which has been closed off to the public since February, was announced to be disassembled to protect it from further damage.

Celebrating Creativity: We Design Beirut Announces Program Featuring Activations and Exhibitions Across the City

We Design Beirut, Lebanon’s four-day design experience will take place from May 23-26, 2024. This multidisciplinary event aims to showcase and celebrate design and creativity through a varied program, including showcases, installations, talks, and workshops. Founded by Mariana Wehbe in collaboration with industrial designer Samer Alameen, the event seeks to foster a global conversation on design and sustainability through programs in the fields of interior design, architecture, furniture, product design, functional art, ceramics, and home accessories.

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How the YIMBY-NIMBY Debate Worsened the Housing Crisis

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

For the past three decades, YIMBYs and NIMBYs have been fighting pitched battles across the U.S. for the heart and soul of future development, but the housing crisis has only grown worse, especially since the crash of 2008, which changed so many things on the supply side.

This was followed a dozen years later by 2020, the strangest year of our lifetimes, which made those supply-side challenges even more pronounced. The roots of the problem, however, go back further than that, with mistakes made as long as 75 years ago now being repeated by completely new generations. Failure to understand those errors—and even why they are errors and not good practice—will perpetuate and exacerbate today’s crisis into future generations.

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U-RE-HERIT Aims to Redefine Contemporary Cultural Preservation and Restoration in the Context of Ukraine

An International European cultural project, U-RE-HERIT, launched an initiative to protect Ukraine’s architecture, heritage, and memory. This wide consortium of architectural institutions came together to reach a common goal of preserving Ukrainian culture. With the ongoing crisis, the project aims to address heritage as a resource for cultural, social, environmental, and economic recovery. Moreover, the project hopes to redefine local cultural identity and rebuild the city with the sensitivity of collective memory.

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George Smart on Why Documentation Is Such a Powerful Preservation Tool

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

George Smart is an unlikely preservationist, almost an accidental one. The founder and executive director of USModernist, a nonprofit dedicated to the preservation and documentation of modern houses, Smart worked for 30 years as a management consultant. “I was doing strategic planning and organization training,” he says. “My wife refers to this whole other project as a 16-year seizure.” Recently I spoke with Smart about his two websites, the podcast, the house tours his organization conducts, and why documentation is such a power preservation tool.

On Community Preservation with Vishaan Chakrabarti in Urban Roots Podcast

Urbanist, architect, and professor Vishaan Chakrabarti talked in Urban Roots about preservation, his backstory, and his studio projects around the USA. Hosted by Vanessa M. Quirk, journalist, producer, and Deqah Hussein, historic preservationist and urban planner, in this episode, the founder of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism PAU discusses the seismic shift happening in preservation and planning: a move away from conserving historic buildings towards communities. The interview is part of a series of 15 episodes that deep dive into little-known stories from urban history to conceptualize what shaped our communities.

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6 Months of War in Ukraine: Preservation Initiatives, Temporary Shelters, and Fears of Nuclear Accidents

This week marks six months since Russia launched its war and invaded cities in Ukraine, causing detrimental destruction on a local and global scale. Since the beginning of the war, millions of Ukrainians have been internally displaced, losing their homes, businesses, and families. UNESCO has verified damage to 139 sites, including 62 religious sites, 12 museums, 26 historic buildings, 17 buildings dedicated to cultural activities, 15 museums, and seven libraries across Kyiv, Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhya, Zhytomyr, Donetsk, Lugansk, and Sumy.

To help mitigate the devastating repercussions of the war on Ukrainians and the country's heritage, several humanitarian, preservation, and economic initiatives have been put in place by NGO's and governments from across the world. 

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Community Uproar Preserves One of Kyiv's Most Famous Modernist Building Facades

Following news of Edelburg Development's plans to completely remodel the modernist facade of Dytiachyi Svit (Kids’ World), one of Kyiv's most notable modernist buildings from the Soviet era, and replace it with an "unrecognizable" vibrant and contemporary design, members of the community and activists protested against the intervention, forcing all parties to agree on a design competition to restore the historical facade. Dmytro Aranchii Architects was selected as the winner of the competition, with a proposal that "traces the transition from the original building to the new one" in a minimalistic and recognizable stylization, preserving the original facade and complimenting it with a contemporary intervention.

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From Festivals to Schools, Cathedrals, and Bomb Sites: The Story of Mid-Century Modernism in Britain

The term “mid-century modern” conjures up images of a sharp-suited Don Draper, slender teak cabinets, and suave chairs from Scandinavia. That is, at least, one perspective of the design movement and a view more of 1950s-era Manhattan offices than anything else. But in Britain, mid-century modernism manifested as something slightly different, coming in the form of schools, cathedrals, housing, and an era-defining festival, all eloquently described and illustrated by the prolific architectural historian Elain Harwood in Mid-Century Britain: Modern Architecture 1938-1963.

Why “Use Is the Best Form of Preservation”

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

"For more than a generation, federally funded historic tax credits (HTCs) have been instrumental in incentivizing developers to revive and reuse historic buildings and keep them economically viable, rather than replace them with shiny new objects. These credits create jobs, promote responsible development, and leverage billions in private investment to enable income-generating buildings". Read the interview between Justin R. Wolf and Meghan Elliott, founding principal of New History, a firm specializing in adaptive reuse.

UNESCO Removes Liverpool’s World Heritage Status and Spares Venice of In-Danger Designation

This month, UNESCO has announced a series of decisions concerning important heritage sites, giving rise to conversations around preservation and urban development. Last week, the World Heritage Committee decided to strip Liverpool of its heritage status, as the new developments are considered detrimental to the waterfront's integrity. These projects placed the city on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2012, a designation which Venice managed to avoid earlier this week, due in great part to the recent ban on cruise ships.

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Alvar Aalto’s Silo to be Transformed into Research Centre Promoting Architectural Preservation in Oulu, Finland

Skene Catling de la Peña and Factum Foundation are transforming Alvar Aalto’s iconic wood chip Silo into a research Centre promoting architectural preservation and re-use. The AALTOSIILO, a cathedral-like concrete structure “will become a point of focus for digitizing and communicating the importance of the industrial architecture of the north and – in turn - the impact industry has had on the environment”.