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Preservation

Call for Papers: Society of Architectural Historians 72nd Annual International Conference

16:00 - 4 April, 2018
Call for Papers: Society of Architectural Historians 72nd Annual International Conference

The Society of Architectural Historians is now accepting abstracts for its 72nd Annual International Conference in Providence, Rhode Island, April 24–28. Please submit an abstract no later than 11:59 p.m. CDT on June 5, 2018, to one of the 34 thematic sessions, the Graduate Student Lightning Talks or the Open Sessions. SAH encourages submissions from architectural, landscape, and urban historians; museum curators; preservationists; independent scholars; architects; scholars in related fields; and members of SAH chapters and partner organizations.

Thematic sessions and Graduate Student Lightning Talks are listed below. The thematic sessions have been selected to cover topics across all time periods

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Selected in Competition for Redevelopment of Riga Historic Quarter

14:25 - 22 March, 2018
The office building was inspired by the arches of the historic brewery. Image Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
The office building was inspired by the arches of the historic brewery. Image Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

Danish firm Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects has been selected to design the redevelopment of Kimmel Quarter, a historic district in the heart of the Latvian capital of Riga, after an international competition. The 19th-century Kimmel Brewery complex, now mostly abandoned, will be transformed into a mixed-use center featuring a new office building, hotel, and an array of public facilities. Schmidt Hammer Lassen was one of eleven participants, with firms such as Henning Larsen and Zaha Hadid invited to the open competition.

The proposal for the 120,000-square-foot (11,500-square-meter) district manifests as a vibrant, public-orientated program, including a gym, child care center, café, food court, and spa. A series of courtyards and plazas are laced throughout the scheme, connecting old and new in a “timeless, classic appearance that is also uniquely contemporary.” The design took 2nd place in a competition in which no first place winner was selected, as the jury felt that no entry fully met the competition criteria. As the highest-placing entry, the competition organizers have committed to begin negotiations with Schmidt Hammer Lassen to refine the design.

Surfaces and facades are constructed from recycled brick. Image Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects Conceptual sketch. Image Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects Office terrace. Image Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects Courtyards offer a connection between old and new. Image Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects + 19

Watch Robert A M Stern Make the Case for Preserving Philip Johnson's AT&T Building

09:30 - 24 February, 2018
Watch Robert A M Stern Make the Case for Preserving Philip Johnson's AT&T Building, Rendering of Snøhetta's renovation plans for the AT&T Building. Image © DBOX
Rendering of Snøhetta's renovation plans for the AT&T Building. Image © DBOX

In a recent film published by Metropolis Magazine, New York-based architect Robert A M Stern explains why we should care about Philip Johnson’s controversial AT&T building. As landmark designation hearings to protect the buildings external facade continue, demolition of the lobby of this iconic Postmodern New York City skyscraper has already completed.

The designs by Snøhetta for the renovation of the building at 550 Madison Avenue have launched the building to the forefront of the debate about the preservation of Postmodern heritage. The plans include replacing the stone facade with undulating glass in order to transform the building's street presence. Should plans progress, the once prominent arched entry will sit behind fritted glass and stone covered columns will be unwrapped to create a hovering datum.

Futuristic Illustrations Show What Architecture and Construction Will Look Like in 2030

08:00 - 18 February, 2018
Futuristic Illustrations Show What Architecture and Construction Will Look Like in 2030, via MIT Technology Review
via MIT Technology Review

In a world where technology is at the forefront of our lives, it’s hard to imagine that many of the jobs that are available now did not exist 10 years ago; uber drivers, social media managers, app developers and even the job of an ArchDaily writer would have seemed an abstract concept! As technology advances further, even more job positions will be created and others left behind, leaving it open to speculation as to what will come next.

It is almost impossible to predict the future, but digital agency AKQA and Mish Global have attempted the impossible and envisioned several potential jobs in the design and construction industry in 2030 following inspiration from several panels they attended at the World Economic Forum. With the speed of changes over the last decade, they don’t seem too far from reality either.

Demolition Begins on Lobby of Philip Johnson's AT&T Building

08:00 - 16 January, 2018
Demolition Begins on Lobby of Philip Johnson's AT&T Building, Demolition is now underway on the lobby interiors. Image © DBOX
Demolition is now underway on the lobby interiors. Image © DBOX

While the exterior of Philip Johnson’s iconic AT&T awaits its fate in an upcoming New York City landmarks designation hearing, demolition of its granite-clad interior lobby has already begun.

Citing the fact that the lobby had already been altered in the 1990s – including the removal of the “Golden Boy” statue – when the building switched tenants from AT&T to the Sony Corporation, the Landmarks Preservation Commission decided last month that the interiors were not deserving of landmark status.

Carmody Groarke's Transparent Pavilion Will Allow for the Preservation of Historic Hill House by Charles Rennie Mackintosh

14:30 - 6 December, 2017
Carmody Groarke's Transparent Pavilion Will Allow for the Preservation of Historic Hill House by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, The temporary pavilion will cover Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Hill House for preservation work. Image Courtesy of Carmody Groarke
The temporary pavilion will cover Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Hill House for preservation work. Image Courtesy of Carmody Groarke

London-based firm Carmody Groarke and the National Trust for Scotland have announced plans for a major project to conserve one of Scotland’s most important buildings: the Hill House in Helensburgh, designed by Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. 

The temporary pavilion will cover Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Hill House for preservation work. Image Courtesy of Carmody Groarke The structure will be maximally transparent as to preserve the house's relationship to its context. Image Courtesy of Carmody Groarke Viewing platforms will allow the house to be seen from new vantage points. Image Courtesy of Carmody Groarke Hill House as it stands today © Flickr <a href='http://https://www.flickr.com/photos/hisgett/36698087814/in/photolist-XUThXY-um4aM-YAQuC3-5vCauR-5vGtMS-fUBHod-UHynxs-um2PQ-fGBnhp-ukYEt-um3io-ukYBH-um5ve-um2Hf-um432-ukXqe-5vCag8-um2mj-um2AV-um6Lw-YWQJv5-ukYq7-um3sz-um1by-XYkMYc-YZAHZK-XYJgNX-um6WY-YZAFna-um5M8-ukZtS-YWQF9q-um5YP-ukZ5o-um2eo-um2tW-um3VD-um6aZ-VZVDbr-XYkEGi-um3C3-ukZ8W-ukXY9-nqPNRC-um3M5-um7oB-5vCacT-ukX5z-um4iK-ukZjc'>user hisgett</a>. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 + 4

Facing Major Renovations, Philip Johnson’s AT&T Building Gets Hearing for Landmark Designation

14:45 - 28 November, 2017
Facing Major Renovations, Philip Johnson’s AT&T Building Gets Hearing for Landmark Designation, Renovation plans would significantly alter the building's street presence. Image © DBOX
Renovation plans would significantly alter the building's street presence. Image © DBOX

Facing plans for a major renovation that would significantly alter the street presence of the building, Philip Johnson’s Postmodern icon, 550 Madison (formerly AT&T Building) has now cleared the first stage in the process of becoming a designated New York City landmark.

Today, an application to schedule a hearing to landmark the building was approved unanimously by the city’s Landmarks and Preservation Commission (LPC). In a few months time, the LPC will hold a public forum for the building, followed by a deliberation on whether or not the tower deserves official landmark status.

Why the Restoration of the Southbank Undercroft Is a Landmark for Both Architecture and Skateboarding

09:30 - 10 November, 2017
Why the Restoration of the Southbank Undercroft Is a Landmark for Both Architecture and Skateboarding, Artist's interpretation of the restored Undercroft. Image © Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
Artist's interpretation of the restored Undercroft. Image © Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

The Southbank Undercroft, which lies beneath the Queen Elizabeth Hall along the River Thames in London, has been the subject of much debate in recent years following a proposed closure and redevelopment in 2013. Long Live Southbank, an organization born out of this threat of expulsion, gave the diverse community who call the space home a voice. After 17 months of campaigning, they were successful in ensuring the Undercroft was legally protected and fully recognized as an asset of community value. Since then, the group of activists has begun another groundbreaking journey.

In partnership with Southbank Centre, Long Live Southbank recently launched a new crowdfunding campaign to restore the legendary Undercroft. The restoration project will cost £790,000 and is set to open in 2018, improving Londoners’ access to free creative spaces in the heart of the City. These types of space are becoming increasingly rare and the restoration effort reflects a desire to celebrate the authentic cultural sites that make London the vibrant landscape it is.

© Nicholas Constant © Nicholas Constant © Nicholas Constant © Nicholas Constant + 11

Falling Masonry Kills Tourist in Florence's Deteriorating Basilica di Santa Croce

17:15 - 19 October, 2017
Falling Masonry Kills Tourist in Florence's Deteriorating Basilica di Santa Croce, © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/37873897@N06/5035043739'>Flickr user Flavio~</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>
© Flickr user Flavio~ licensed under CC BY 2.0

A Spanish tourist has been killed by a piece of falling masonry in the Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence, Italy. As reported by The Guardian, the 52-year old victim was hit by "a piece of decorative stone that fell from a height of 20 metres (66 ft) as he visited the religious building with his wife." Reports suggest that the fragment was around 15cm by 15cm (6 by 6 inches) in size; according to Yahoo, the fragment "had supported a beam in the right transept of the Basilica."

Following the incident, the attraction has been closed to visitors indefinitely.

Call for Submissions: 2018 Fitch Funding

17:32 - 13 October, 2017
Call for Submissions: 2018 Fitch Funding, Featured work of Fellows past and present (clockwise from top left): Kress Fellow Tim Frank (2015), Blinder Awardee Rebecca Ward (2014), and Fitch Fellow Paul Kapp (2017).
Featured work of Fellows past and present (clockwise from top left): Kress Fellow Tim Frank (2015), Blinder Awardee Rebecca Ward (2014), and Fitch Fellow Paul Kapp (2017).

Since 1989, the James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation has been in the vanguard of historic preservation practice and theory. The mission of the Fitch Foundation is to support professionals in the field of historic preservation, and to achieve this we provide mid-career grants to those working in preservation, landscape architecture, urban design, environmental planning, materials conservation, decorative arts, architectural design and history, and allied fields.

Iconic and Revered, Notre Dame de Paris Faces an Uncertain Future

12:00 - 9 October, 2017
Iconic and Revered, Notre Dame de Paris Faces an Uncertain Future, Courtesy of Livioandronico2013
Courtesy of Livioandronico2013

Broken gargoyles and fallen balustrades replaced by plastic pipes and wooden planks. Flying buttresses darkened by pollution and eroded by rainwater. Pinnacles propped up by beams and held together with straps.

According to the Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris, the iconic Parisian cathedral is in "desperate need of attention." Perhaps more concerningly, the holy site and French national monument is also in "a worrisome state of preservation." Built of limestone—a material notoriously susceptible to erosion—the building is in an accelerating state of wear-and-tear, demanding renewed funding efforts and expertise to secure its immediate and long-term future. From the lead roof to the stone buttresses, the world-renowned gargoyles to the stained glass windows, every inch of the structure requires differing levels of attention. 

How a Novel Saved Notre-Dame and Changed Perceptions of Gothic Architecture

09:30 - 5 September, 2017
How a Novel Saved Notre-Dame and Changed Perceptions of Gothic Architecture, © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/kosalabandara/17395160431/'>Flickr user kosalabandara</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>
© Flickr user kosalabandara licensed under CC BY 2.0

This article was originally published by Common Edge as "It’s a Book. It’s a Building. It’s a Behavioral Intervention!"

A few years ago, while visiting, or rather exploring, Notre-Dame, the author of this book found, in an obscure corner of one of the towers, this word carved upon the wall:

'ANÁΓKH

These Greek characters, black with age, and cut deep into the stone with the peculiarities of form and arrangement common to Gothic calligraphy that marked them the work of some hand in the Middle Ages, and above all the sad and mournful meaning which they expressed, forcibly impressed the author.

Demolition is Underway on Alison and Peter Smithson's Robin Hood Gardens in London

15:05 - 29 August, 2017
Demolition is Underway on Alison and Peter Smithson's Robin Hood Gardens in London, via <a href='http://https://twitter.com/saverobinhood/status/900359306658369536'>Twitter user @saverobinhood</a>
via Twitter user @saverobinhood

Demolition has officially commenced on East London housing development Robin Hood Gardens, bringing to an end any chance of a last-minute preservation effort for the Brutalist icon. Designed by British architects Alison and Peter Smithson and completed in 1972, plans for the site’s clearing and redevelopment have been in the works for more than five years, before government indecision and a spirited protest campaign led by architects including Richard Rogers, Zaha Hadid, Robert Venturi, and Toyo Ito put those plans in doubt.

Bauhaus Among 12 Modern Buildings to Receive Conservation Grants from the Getty Foundation

16:30 - 31 July, 2017
Bauhaus Among 12 Modern Buildings to Receive Conservation Grants from the Getty Foundation, Bauhaus Dessau © Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, Photograph: Yvonne Tenschert, 2011. Image Courtesy of Getty Foundation
Bauhaus Dessau © Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, Photograph: Yvonne Tenschert, 2011. Image Courtesy of Getty Foundation

The Getty Foundation has selected 12 significant 20th century buildings to receive 2017 grants as part of its Keeping It Modern initiative, which aims to advance the understanding and preservation of modern architecture through a focus on conservation planning and research. Since its founding in 2014, the program has supported the preservation of 45 projects from around the globe.

This year $1.66 million in grants were awarded to recognizable projects including the Walter Gropius-designed Bauhaus Building in Dessau; the Melnikov House in Moscow (the first Russian project to receive a grant); and Frank Lloyd Wright’s only skyscraper, Price Tower. 

See all 12 grantees below.

The Melnikov House. View from the courtyard. 2015. Photo © Pavel Kuznetsov. Image Courtesy of Getty Foundation Boston - City Hall Plaza. Image credit: Naquib Hossain/Dotproduct Photography. Image Courtesy of Getty Foundation View of MASP on Avenida Paulista, 2016. Photo: Eduardo Ortega. Image Courtesy of Getty Foundation Price Tower. Photo: Jessica Lamirand, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. Image Courtesy of Getty Foundation + 13

Sydney’s Brutalist Sirius Building Saved from Demolition after Court Ruling

16:30 - 25 July, 2017
Sydney’s Brutalist Sirius Building Saved from Demolition after Court Ruling, © <a href='http://www.flickr.com/photos/andreas/2951113717'>Flickr user andreas</a>. Licensed under CC BY 2.0
© Flickr user andreas. Licensed under CC BY 2.0

In a major victory for preservationists, one of Sydney’s few examples of brutalist architecture, the Sirius Apartment Building, has been saved from the wrecking ball after court ruled against the government’s attempt to deny it a place on the State Heritage Register.

Little-Known Floating Concert Hall Designed by Louis Kahn Faces Demolition

16:00 - 19 July, 2017
Little-Known Floating Concert Hall Designed by Louis Kahn Faces Demolition, © <a href='http://https://www.flickr.com/photos/spablab/3789270610/in/photolist-6LR18U-6fVSsc-6HZDsy-6LLR7H-6HZrQ7/'>Flickr user spablab</a>. Licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0
© Flickr user spablab. Licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

One of Louis Kahn’s most unique and lesser-known projects, the floating concert hall known as Point Counterpoint II, is at risk of demolition, reports the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

Built from 1964 to ’67  as part of celebrations for the American Bicentennial, the 195-foot-long vessel has since been used as the waterborne home of the American Wind Symphony Orchestra (AWSO), allowing the group to take their own venue places as far away as Paris, France and St. Petersburg, Russia. Along with circular doorways and portholes, the structure features a 75-foot-wide stage that can be opened and closed using a hydraulic lift system.

Summer School: MOYTIRRA 2017 Sketch design for deep-sea mining labour's housing

11:49 - 18 July, 2017
Summer School: MOYTIRRA 2017 Sketch design for deep-sea mining labour's housing, Moytirra
Moytirra

DINÂMIA’CET-IUL is delighted to announce the 1st Summer School on the Island of São Miguel in Azores.

“Moytirra 2017, Sketch design for deep-sea mining labour’s housing” includes Master-Classes, studio sessions and field trips, led by lecturers and researchers from ISCTE-IUL and University of Azores (Portugal), Northeastern and Dartmouth College (USA), Kuwait University (Kuwait) and University of Waterloo (Canada), with the support of local architectural offices. On 5th day, the final results of the workshop will be presented and discussed with the local community.

Iranian Case Study: Can We Build For The Future Without Forgetting About The Past?

09:30 - 2 May, 2017
Iranian Case Study: Can We Build For The Future Without Forgetting About The Past?, © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/novecentino/512652036/'>Flickr user novecentino</a> licensed under <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">CC BY-SA 2.0</a>
© Flickr user novecentino licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Taking a taxi from Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport into the city, one cannot help but look at the seemingly random distribution of buildings along the road; an array of mismatched concrete blocks, worlds away from the images of Sheik Lotfollah Mosque that typically adorn the covers of Iran travel guides. “My observations about architecture in Iran are like that of many other countries that have changed in terms of architectural characteristics; Iran has changed too,” says Tehran-based architect, M. Reza Karfar. “Now we are in a time where everything is mass produced and we are just using and using, but not making memories with anything. That sense of belonging will, of course, go away. You see a 50 or 60, or 200-year-old house that just gets demolished and replaced by a 4 or 5-story building, and in 5 years they will demolish that 4 to 5-story building too.”

Not to say that Iran should be an exhibit for tourists, only consisting of beautiful tiled buildings, but this fear of memories fading in disappearing public spaces is one that, despite the numerous historical sites preserved around the country, is noticeable in Iran’s big cities. And while the subject is particularly pertinent in Iran, as Karfar points out this phenomenon is not unique to just one country. As a result, Iran might offer something of a case study for other countries around the world.