The exhibition “Warsaw 1945-1949: Rising from Rubble” took place this year at the Museum of Warsaw, exploring the postwar reconstruction and rebuilding process that took place after the war. After the Second World War, Warsaw’s entire urban fabric, architecture, and social and economic status had to be rebuilt from the ground up. Curated by Adam Przywara, the exhibition “offered a new perspective on the myth of the postwar reconstruction of the Polish capital city and one of the most interesting pages in its history.”
Reconstruction: The Latest Architecture and News
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.
From Costa Rica, architect Bruno Stagno not only reflects on how responses to the environment can be the main basis for inspiration and identity in architecture but also proposes going a little further, with contemporary tropical architecture for an entire latitude.
What happens when these limits are extended? What happens when these motivations escape outside of the tropical context? Bruno Stagno presents here the project "A Mangrove for Berlin", his participation in the 1995 competition for the Reconstruction of the Berlin Academy of Architecture, "Berliner Bauakademie", an emblematic work of the architect Friedrich Schinkel.
“Before the Future:” The Pavilion of Ukraine Seeks Resiliency and the Possibility of Reconstruction at the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale
For the 18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, the Pavilion of Ukraine presents an exhibition titled “Before the Future,” focusing on the paradox of “building a future from a collapsing present.” The intervention reimagines two spaces, one in Arsenale and one in Giardini, to evoke protective structures that have become emblematic of feelings of safety while under threat for Ukrainian society. The curatorial team, composed of Iryna Miroshnykova and Oleksii Petrov, of the Kyiv-based architectural office ФОРМА, and Borys Filonenko, independent curator, art critic, and lecturer, set out to work with specialists from numerous fields to further explore the theme “Laboratory of the Future.”
Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), the new American Buddhist Cultural Society Temple, also known as the San Bao Temple, has broken ground in San Francisco, California. Located on Van Ness Avenue, the new six-story facility will include a community center, a Buddhist shrine, and a meditation room on the upper levels, along with three levels of private dormitories for visiting monastics and volunteers. In the center of the building, a light-filled atrium offers additional amenities, such as a public art gallery, bookstore, teahouse, and community gathering hall. The temple is expected to open by the end of 2024.
Norman Foster Foundation and Arup office in Berlin schemed a master plan for Kharkiv, Ukraine, to guide future urban regulations and prepare professionals for the city's reconstruction. In collaboration with a local advisory board, the outline is defined by a series of pilot projects to develop aspects such as heritage, infrastructure, and rivers. The initiative follows a request from the Kharkiv Mayor to the Foster Foundation through the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, weeks after the Ukraine War started in February 2022.
Home to architectural styles spanning almost three hundred years, the is no city like New Orleans. The meld of French, Spanish, and Caribbean architectural influences, in conjunction with the demands of the hot and humid climate, has impacted the urban fabric as much as the culture itself. Located along the Mississippi River and close to the Gulf of Mexico coast, the construction of ports, NOLA’s trading history, and forceful natural phenomena like Hurricane Katrina in 2005 illustrate how water has shaped the city.
Following Hurricane Katrina, Orleans adapted its values to respond to the changing needs of its recovering community. Although reconstruction is not only architectural responsibility, New Orleans public architecture has contributed to revitalizing and reinhabiting the city after the disaster. Museums, parks, and churches, each of these places connects people to each other in ways that define and support community.
Emerging Ukrainian architecture firm NOVA - New Office of Vital Architecture- designed the new Mariupol City Hall as a proposal to reconstruct the city, almost devastated during the current war in Ukraine. The project seeks to open the discussion on urban democracy and civic life through architecture by replacing traditional hierarchical schemes with an open and accessible government building.
Displaced in Lviv, the Kharkiv School of Architecture Continues its Ukraine-Focused Educational Program
When war started in Ukraine, the faculty and students of the Kharkiv School of Architecture (KhSA) were forced to flee from their city. After three weeks of being scattered across Ukraine and Europe, they decided to reconvene in Ukraine and continue their work. The school relocated to Lviv, one of the safest cities in Ukraine, in order to restart their in-person education. Various platforms and institutions in Lviv, like the Lviv National Academy of Arts, are hosting the dislocated institution and providing continuous support. The KhSA is also looking for financial support to help keep the school open.
Today’s cities have been substantially reshaped to correspond with environmental and social needs or to reconstruct themselves after natural disasters or war. Whereas master plans and regulations take years, millions of people remain trapped in the crossfire and urgently need aid in their cities. With this pressing issue in mind, WZMH Architects developed a prefabricated- modular system for salvaging thousands of structures across Ukraine that have been partially or fully destroyed during the war. This system aims to integrate building technology into new buildings to create more sustainable communities.
Notre Dame cathedral in Paris is on course to reopen to worshipers and the public in 2024, according to Culture Minister Rima Abdul Malak’s statement on Thursday, almost three years after the devastating fire. In the statement, she noted that the clean-up phase of the restoration project is now completed, allowing rebuilding work to get underway. The 12th century cathedral is being restored to its previous design, including the 96-meter spire designed by architect Eugene Viollet-le-Duc in the mid-1800s, for which new timber has been selected.
Annabel Karim Kassar's Installation at the V&A Museum in London Explores the Reconstruction of Beirut's Architecture
As part of the London Festival of Architecture, French-Lebanese architect Annabel Karim Kassar and her award-winning studio AKK have unveiled a new installation at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London titled The Lebanese House: Saving a home, Saving a city. The installation explores the aftermaths of the Beirut explosion, and the rebuilding of the city with a life-size replica of a typical Lebanese home, one of the few remaining classic Ottoman-Venetian houses left in old Beirut, along with documentary films.
In 2014, a home reconstruction program called "Dream home" was launched in China, inviting architects and interior designers to redesign some old houses that have problems. Some of these homes are oddly shaped, some are tiny, and yet others have extremely inadequate lighting. The design concepts conveyed by the designers together in this program are respect for people, understanding human relationships, and the definition of home. These renovations or reconstructions are not just home updates for clients, but a reinterpretation of "home" that gives them a new life with dignity.
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.
Chile is a country used to natural disasters as much as to the reconstruction process. However, the frequency of these cycles has increased over the years. According to the Ministry of Interior (Homeland), 43% of all natural disasters recorded in Chile since 1960 happened between 2014 and 2017. In fact, the government is already involved in several reconstruction processes across the country.
Notre Dame Update: Restoration Work Advances and US Students Rebuild One of Its Roof Trusses Using Medieval Techniques
With three more years to go until the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics and the re-opening date announced by French President Emanuel Macron, Notre Dame's restoration work progresses. After a long safety phase and months of work interruption last year due to the pandemic, all burned timber from the roof has been removed, and scaffolding has been installed inside the cathedral. As a homage to the heritage structure and "the collective effort to rebuild Notre Dame", the Catholic University of America is building a replica of one of the cathedral's roof trusses in Washington D.C., using medieval techniques.