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Renzo Piano: The Latest Architecture and News

Stefano Boeri-led Team Wins Competition for the Parco del Ponte in Genoa

Stefano Boeri Architetti, Metrogramma Milano and Inside Outside have won the competition for the Parco del Ponte in Genoa, Italy. The urban project is located under the new bridge, designed by Renzo Piano to replace the Morandi Bridge that collapsed in August 2018.

Stefano Boeri Architetti, Metrogramma Milano, Inside Outside | Petra Blaisse- Aerial View of the project area . Image © The Big Picture, courtesy by SBA Stefano Boeri Architetti, Metrogramma Milano, Inside Outside | Petra Blaisse- Wind Tower and the new Station . Image © The Big Picture, courtesy by SBA Stefano Boeri Architetti, Metrogramma Milano, Inside Outside | Petra Blaisse- The Riverfront and the Green Factory . Image © Renovatio design, courtesy by Metrogramma Stefano Boeri Architetti, Metrogramma Milano, Inside Outside | Petra Blaisse- Polcevera Park, East side: Sport Park and "Genoa in the Wood" . Image © The Big Picture, courtesy by SBA + 14

23 Buildings You Shouldn’t Miss in Chicago

On August 12, 1833, the Town of Chicago had roughly 200 inhabitants. Four years later, in 1837, it was upgraded to The City of Chicago – an interesting fact given that there are still 19 incorporated towns in Illinois. The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 killed 300 people, destroyed about 3.3 square miles (9 km2), and left more than 100,000 residents homeless. However, by that time Chicago had become the world’s fastest-growing city and its population had risen over 300,000 inhabitants. The fire meant these ambitious citizens had to start again.

© BallPark via Wikimedia Commons © Virginia Duran © Daniel Schwen via Wikimedia Commons © Will Taubert via Wikimedia Commons + 25

With admirable strength, the city was reborn from the ashes and some of Chicago’s best architecture was constructed immediately after. Structures like the Rookery Building (1888, Frank Lloyd Wright), the Auditorium Building (1889, Louis Sullivan) and the Monadnock Building (1893, Burnham & Root, Holabird & Roche) are a few examples of the high standards the city was aiming for.

Since then, Chicago has only continued adding value to its urban grid and new buildings have been progressively enhancing the city’s beautiful skyline. This year Chicago celebrates the 2019-2020 Biennial and the city has plenty to offer. But, where to start?

If you love architecture, here is a list of buildings – old and new – that will help you understand, internalize and love Chicago’s built environment.

Shall we begin?

Renzo Piano Designs "Floating" Seaside Residences for Monaco's New Eco-District

Renzo Piano Building Workshop has designed a series of ‘floating’ seaside residences for a new eco-district in Monaco. Dubbed Portier Cove, the eco-district will be a new extension of the Principality’s existing coastline from the Grimaldi Forum to the Formula One tunnel. RPBW is working on the construction of the Grand Immeuble and the Port d’Animation, which will occupy the west side of the offshore extension of Monaco. The floating residences will rise above a seaside promenade on caissons along the coast.

Portier Cove. Image Courtesy of Renzo Piano Building Workshop Portier Cove. Image Courtesy of Renzo Piano Building Workshop Portier Cove. Image Courtesy of Renzo Piano Building Workshop Portier Cove. Image Courtesy of Renzo Piano Building Workshop + 11

Tower of London Competition 1890

© Descriptive illustrated catalogue of the sixty-eight competitive designs for the great tower for London compiled and edited by Fred. C. Lynde
© Descriptive illustrated catalogue of the sixty-eight competitive designs for the great tower for London compiled and edited by Fred. C. Lynde

While the Eiffel Tower was negatively received at first for its utilitarian appearance, it soon became a major attraction for Paris, France in the late 19th century. It represented structural ingenuity and innovation and soon became a major feat, rising to 300 meters of7,500 tons of steel and iron. Just three years after its unveiling, London sponsored a competition for its own version of the tower in 1890. The Tower Company, Limited collected 68 designs, all variations of the design of the Eiffel Tower. Proposals were submitted from the United States, Canada, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Austria, Turkey and Australia. Many of the designs are bizarre interpretations of utilitarian structures, following the aesthetics of the Eiffel Tower, only bigger and taller.

Join us after the break for more on the story of the Tower of London.

“Beaubourg is a Ship in Genoa Harbor!”: In Conversation with Renzo Piano

The following is an excerpt from our 1.5-hour conversation at the busy Renzo Piano Building Workshop in New York, right across from Piano’s 2015 Whitney Museum that may not be as inventive as his earlier projects, but still, this battleship of a building pulls you in again and again to discover something new with every visit, both within and in the surrounding city from its open decks and connecting stairs. We discussed some of the architect’s current and earlier projects, while he reflected on beauty, intuition, imagination, and, of course, the necessity of a protest.

Emergency Children Surgery Center, Entebbe, Uganda The Shard, London_2000-12 Emergency Children Surgery Center, Entebbe, Uganda California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, USA, 2000-08. Image + 24

Who Has Won the Pritzker Prize?

The Pritzker Prize is the most important award in the field of architecture, awarded to a living architect whose built work "has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity through the art of architecture." The Prize rewards individuals, not entire offices, as took place in 2000 (when the jury selected Rem Koolhaas instead of his firm OMA) or in 2016 (with Alejandro Aravena selected instead of Elemental); however, the prize can also be awarded to multiple individuals working together, as took place in 2001 (Herzog & de Meuron), 2010 (Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA), and 2017 (Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem, and Ramon Vilalta of RCR Arquitectes).

The award is an initiative funded by Jay Pritzker through the Hyatt Foundation, an organization associated with the hotel company of the same name that Jay founded with his brother Donald in 1957. The award was first given in 1979, when the American architect Philip Johnson, was awarded for his iconic works such as the Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut.

The Pritzker Prize has been awarded for almost forty straight years without interruption, and there are now 18 countries with at least one winning architect. To date, half of the winners are European; while the Americas, Asia, and Oceania share the other twenty editions. So far, no African architect has been awarded, making it the only continent without a winner.

Renzo Piano's Academy Museum Nears Completion in Los Angeles

The Academy of Motion Pictures Museum by Renzo Piano Building Workshop is nearing completion along the Miracle Mile in Los Angeles. Piano’s design consists of the renovation of the May Company department store located at the corner of Fairfax and Wilshire, as well as a new glass sphere addition that will house the 1,000-seat David Geffen Theater. Set for opening this year, the project aims to become the world’s premier institution dedicated to movies.

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Image © Joshua White JW Pictures, Courtesy Academy Museum Foundation Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Image © Joshua White JW Pictures, Courtesy Academy Museum Foundation Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Image © Joshua White JW Pictures, Courtesy Academy Museum Foundation Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Image © Joshua White JW Pictures, Courtesy Academy Museum Foundation + 14

a+u 18:01 Feature: Recent Projects

This edition of a+u introduces the 23 recent works of architecture and technology that emerged from their relationship with the urban structure or the development history. In this issue, we focus our attention on the process of conceiving and realizing the projects driven by various motivations and tactics. We invite readers to look beyond the confinement of a single building and examine the works on their possibilities to be in use for a long time.

Renzo Piano’s Renovation of the Harvard Art Museums is, Years On, a Quiet, Neighbourly Triumph

On the surface, designing a new art museum for Harvard University is a brief so straightforward that it sounds like part of university curriculum itself. The program lends itself to the type of light and airy spaces architects dream of creating; the campus site promises both steady and engaged traffic. But, for all the apparent advantages, the road to realizing Harvard’s Art Museums was a deceptively complex one - one that ultimately took six years to see realized.

© Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu + 21

Renzo Piano Designs New Genoa Bridge after Disaster

One of the most tragic events in Europe in 2018 was the collapse of the Morandi Bridge in Genoa, Italy on August 14th, claiming 43 lives. In the aftermath of the disaster, Genoa-born architect Renzo Piano offered to donate the design of a bridge to replace the old one, having been deeply affected by the tragedy.

In a positive development before the year ends, Genoa’s mayor has announced that Piano will lead a 200-million-euro ($230 million) project for the bridge’s replacement, inspired by Genoa’s historic maritime prominence.

Johnston Marklee's Menil Institute is a Quiet Triumph for a Quiet Art

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.

China's Mega Industrial Regeneration Project has Lessons for the World

Across the world, developed cities are rebelling against heavy industry. While some reasons vary depending on local circumstances, a common global drive towards clean energy, and the shifting of developed economies towards financial services, automation, and the gig economy, is leaving a common trace within urban centers. From Beijing to Detroit, vast wastelands of steel and concrete will stand as empty relics to the age of steel and coal.

The question of what to do with these wastelands, with defunct furnaces, railways, chimneys, and lakes, may be one of the major urban questions facing generations of architects to come. What can be done when the impracticality of industrial complexes, and the precious land they needlessly occupy, collides with the embodied energy, memories, and histories which few would wish to lose?

Courtesy of CCTN Design Courtesy of CCTN Design Courtesy of CCTN Design Courtesy of CCTN Design + 20

Spotlight: Renzo Piano

Architecture is art, but art vastly contaminated by many other things. Contaminated in the best sense of the word—fed, fertilized by many things.
– Renzo Piano

Italian architect Renzo Piano (born 14 September 1937) is known for his delicate and refined approach to building, deployed in museums and other buildings around the world. Awarded the Pritzker Prize in 1998, the Pritzker Jury compared him to Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Brunelleschi, highlighting "his intellectual curiosity and problem-solving techniques as broad and far ranging as those earlier masters of his native land."

Pathé Foundation. Image © Michel Denancé Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Image © Nic Lehoux Harvard Art Museums Renovation and Expansion. Image © Nic Lehoux Menil Collection. Image © D Jules Gianakos + 24

Renzo Piano Donates New Genoa Bridge Designs following Disaster

Renzo Piano has offered to donate the design of a bridge to replace the one which tragically collapsed in Genoa on 14th August. Piano, who was born in Genoa, said he has been deeply affected by the tragedy which claimed the lives of 43 people.

The project, reported by Reuters, was announced following a discussion between the architect and the governor of Liguria, who accepted Piano’s offer.

Nike Unveils Air Max Edition Inspired by the Centre Pompidou

Nike has announced that it will release a special edition of its Air Max 1 range, inspired by the iconic Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. The special edition pays tribute to the Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano-designed structure, which is credited by designer Tinker Hatfield as the inspiration behind his original Air Max 1 range.

Two upcoming editions of the Air Max 1 will honor the building, with colored tubes appearing along the seams and lines of the fabric, as well as the sole. A large P logo on the translucent sole offers a further tribute to the controversial structure, opened in 1977.

© Nike via Sneaker News © Nike via Sneaker News © Nike via Sneaker News © Nike via Sneaker News + 12

Renzo Piano Building Workshop Presents Concept Designs for Series of Hospitals in Greece

The Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW) has presented their preliminary design approaches for three hospitals in Greece. Part of a €200 million ($240 million) healthcare initiative launched by the Greek government, RPBW will produce designs for a General Hospital of Kromotini, a Children’s Hospital in Thessaloniki, and the Evangelismos Hospital in Athens which will also form part of the University’s Faculty of Nursing.

The three schemes are united by a “people-centric” approach, with each project seeking to integrate into their natural environments with an emphasis on natural light. The projects will follow the design ethos of the Stavros Niarchos Foundational Cultural Center by RPBW, completed in 2016.

© Marilena Katsini Preliminary architectural design for the new General Hospital of Komotini . Image © Marilena Katsini © Marilena Katsini © Marilena Katsini + 9

Updates Released of Renzo Piano's First Residential Project in the United States

New details have been released of Renzo Piano Building Workshop’s first residential building in the United States; a landmark luxury condominium scheme on Miami’s North Beach. Designed in collaboration with interior architects Rena Dumas Architecture Intérieure (RDAI) and landscape firm West 8, the 66-unit scheme seeks to embrace both the ocean and adjacent 35-acre park, with a fluid design to “blur the line between imagination and craftsmanship.”

The architectural concept behind the scheme, titled “Eighty Seven Park,” was to create a “coastal sanctuary” floating above the lush landscape of North Shore Park. Though simple in form and motif, Piano’s design prioritizes an intricate attention to detail; “the belief in perfecting every element of its design and construction.”

Courtesy of Terra Courtesy of Terra Courtesy of Terra Courtesy of Terra + 16

On Jørn Utzon's 100th Birthday, 11 Prominent Architects Pay Tribute to the Great Architect

© <a href=''>Flickr user seier</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY 2.0</a>
© Flickr user seier licensed under CC BY 2.0

Today marks what would have been the 100th birthday of the leading Danish architect, Jørn Utzon. Notably responsible for what could be argued to be the most prominent building in the world, the Sydney Opera House, Utzon accomplished what many architects can only dream of: a global icon. To celebrate this special occasion, Louisiana Channel has collaborated with the Utzon Center in Aalborg, Denmark to put together a video series to hear prominent architects and designers talk, including Bjarke Ingels and Renzo Piano, about their experiences with Utzon and his work—from his unrivalled visual awareness of the world, to his uncompromising attitude that led him to create such strong architectural statements.

Unlike many architects around at the time of Jørn Utzon, who as modernists rejected tradition in favour of new technologies and orthogonal plans, Utzon combined these usually contradictory qualities in an exceptional manner. As the architects recount, he was a globalist with a Nordic base, that has inspired the next generation to travel the world and challenge their concepts. Many of them compare his work to Alvar Aalto’s, as both shared an organic approach to architecture, looking at growth patterns in nature for inspiration. Utzon even coined this approach "Additive Architecture," whereby both natural and cultural forms are united to form buildings that are designed more freely.