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Spotlight: The Latest Architecture and News

Spotlight: Geoffrey Bawa

03:00 - 23 July, 2018
A courtyard in Bawa's campus for the University of Ruhuna. Image © Harry Sowden
A courtyard in Bawa's campus for the University of Ruhuna. Image © Harry Sowden

Despite his late entry into architecture, Geoffrey Manning Bawa FRIBA, (July 23, 1919 – May 27, 2003), explored modernism and its cultural implications and created a unique, recognizable style of design which had a lasting impact on architects across the world. Well versed in Modernist theory, Bawa was one of the original proponents of Tropical Modernism, a design movement in which sensitivity for local context combines with the form-making principles of modernism. Bawa’s architecture led to the formation of a new architectural identity and aesthetic for many tropical environments, and won him recognition and awards, including the Chairman’s Award of the Aga Kahn Special Chairman’s Award for Architecture (2001) and the title Deshamanya, in recognition of his contributions to his country by the government of Sri Lanka.

Kandalama Hotel, Dambulla. Image © Harry Sowden Ena de Silva House. Image ©  Helene Binet The Sri Lanka Parliament Building. Image © Harry Sowden The Bentota Beach Hotel. Image © Harry Sowden + 15

Spotlight: Arata Isozaki

00:30 - 23 July, 2018
Spotlight: Arata Isozaki, Qatar National Convention Centre. Image © Nelson Garrido
Qatar National Convention Centre. Image © Nelson Garrido

Japanese architect, teacher, and theorist Arata Isozaki (born 23 July, 1931) helped bring Japanese influence to some of the most prestigious buildings of the 20th century, and continues to work at the highest level today. Initially working in a distinctive form of modernism, Isozaki developed his own thoughts and theories on architecture into a complex style that invokes pure shape and space as much as it evokes post-modern ideas. Highly adaptable and socially concerned, his work has been acclaimed for being sensitive to context while still making statements of its own.

Qatar National Convention Centre. Image © Nelson Garrido D38 Office. Image © Filippo Poli Ōita Prefectural Library, 1966, now Ōita Art Plaza. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/kentamabuchi/2937896268'>Flickr user kentamabuchi</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> Mito Art Tower. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mito_Art_Tower.JPG'>Wikimedia user Korall</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a> + 9

Spotlight: Buckminster Fuller

07:00 - 12 July, 2018
Spotlight: Buckminster Fuller, Montreal 1967 World's Fair, "Man and His World," Buckminster Fuller's Geodesic Dome With Solar Experimental House, 2012. Image © Jade Doskow
Montreal 1967 World's Fair, "Man and His World," Buckminster Fuller's Geodesic Dome With Solar Experimental House, 2012. Image © Jade Doskow

Pioneering radical Richard Buckminster "Bucky" Fuller (July 12, 1895 – July 1, 1983), an inventor, architect and the second president of Mensa, had a massive impact on the architecture and popular culture of the latter 20th century. Most famous for popularizing the geodesic dome, Fuller is also known as the father of sustainability, and was driven by his intention “to make the world work for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or disadvantage of anyone.”

Spotlight: Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown

09:30 - 25 June, 2018
Spotlight: Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, Franklin Court, Philadelphia. Image © Mark Cohn
Franklin Court, Philadelphia. Image © Mark Cohn

Through their pioneering theory and provocative built work, husband and wife duo Robert Venturi (born June 25, 1925) and Denise Scott Brown (born October 3, 1931) were at the forefront of the postmodern movement, leading the charge in one of the most significant shifts in architecture of the 20th century by publishing seminal books such as Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture (authored by Robert Venturi alone) and Learning from Las Vegas (co-authored by Venturi, Scott Brown and Steven Izenour).

Spotlight: Álvaro Siza

04:30 - 25 June, 2018
Spotlight: Álvaro Siza, The Building on the Water. Image © Fernando Guerra |  FG+SG
The Building on the Water. Image © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

One of the most highly regarded architects of his generation, Portugese architect Álvaro Siza (born 25 June 1933) is known for his sculptural works that have been described as "poetic modernism." When he was awarded the Pritzker Prize in 1992, Siza was credited as being a successor of early modernists: the jury citation describes how "his shapes, molded by light, have a deceptive simplicity about them; they are honest."

The Building on the Water. Image © Fernando Guerra |  FG+SG Expo'98 Portuguese National Pavilion. Image © Flickr user Pedro Moura Pinheiro Fundação Iberê Camargo. Image © Grazielle Bruscato Leça Swimming Pools. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Swimming_Pool_Piscinas_de_Mar%C3%A9s_Le%C3%A7a_da_Palmeira_by_%C3%81lvaro_Siza_foto_Christian_G%C3%A4nshirt.jpg'>Wikimedia user Christian Gänshirt</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 4.0</a> + 15

Spotlight: Antoni Gaudí

00:00 - 25 June, 2018
Spotlight: Antoni Gaudí, La Sagrada Familia's passion facade. Image © Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada  Família
La Sagrada Familia's passion facade. Image © Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada Família

When Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (25 June 1852 – 10 June 1926) graduated from the Barcelona Architecture School in 1878, the director of the school Elies Rogent reportedly declared: "Gentlemen, we are here today either in the presence of a genius or a madman!" [1] Well over a century later, this tension is still evident in Gaudí's work; though he is widely regarded as a genius architect, his distinctive style stands as a singularity in architectural history—simultaneously awe-inspiring and bizarre, never fitting into any stylistic movement, and never adapted or emulated, except by those still working to complete his magnum opus, Barcelona's famous Sagrada Família.

Casa Milà. Image © Samuel Ludwig Parc Güell. Image © Samuel Ludwig Colònia Güell. Image © Samuel Ludwig Casa Batlló. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/srboisvert/306517767'>Flickr user srboisvert</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a> + 10

Spotlight: Benedetta Tagliabue

04:30 - 24 June, 2018
Spotlight: Benedetta Tagliabue, Santa Caterina Market. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/ligthelm/8271776325'>Flickr user ligthelm</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>
Santa Caterina Market. Image © Flickr user ligthelm licensed under CC BY 2.0

Benedetta Tagliabue (born 24 June 1963) is an Italian architect known for designs which are sensitive to their context and yet still experimental in their approach to forms and materials. Her diverse and complex works have marked her Barcelona-based firm EMBT as one of the most respected Spanish practices of the 21st century.

Santa Caterina Market. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/ligthelm/8271776325'>Flickr user ligthelm</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a> Copagri Pavilion ‘Love IT’. Image © Marcela Grassi Scottish Parliament Building. Image © Dave Morris The Spanish Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai Expo. + 9

Spotlight: Alejandro Aravena

09:30 - 22 June, 2018
Innovation Center UC - Anacleto Angelini. Image © Nico Saieh
Innovation Center UC - Anacleto Angelini. Image © Nico Saieh

As founder of the “Do Tank” firm ELEMENTAL, Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena (born on June 22, 1967) is perhaps the most socially-engaged architect to receive the Pritzker Prize. Far from the usual aesthetically driven approach, Aravena explains that “We don’t think of ourselves as artists. Architects like to build things that are unique. But if something is unique it can’t be repeated, so in terms of it serving many people in many places, the value is close to zero.” [1] For Aravena, the architect’s primary goal is to improve people's way of life by assessing both social needs and human desires, as well as political, economic and environmental issues.

Spotlight: Alison and Peter Smithson

03:00 - 22 June, 2018
The Economist Building. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/seier/5426468934/'>Flickr user seier</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>
The Economist Building. Image © Flickr user seier licensed under CC BY 2.0

Wife and husband pair Alison (22 June 1928 – 16 August 1993) and Peter Smithson (18 September 1923 – 3 March 2003) formed a partnership that led British Brutalism through the latter half of the twentieth century. Beginning with a vocabulary of stripped down modernism, the pair were among the first to question and challenge modernist approaches to design and urban planning. Instead, they helped evolve the style into what became Brutalism, becoming proponents of the "streets in the sky" approach to housing.

Robin Hood Gardens. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevecadman/2361183115/'>Flickr user stevecadman</a> licensed under <a href=https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> Garden Building, St Hilda's College, Oxford University. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevecadman/3414623599/'>Flickr user stevecadman</a> licensed under <a href=https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> The Economist Building. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/seier/5427505450'>Flickr user seier</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a> Robin Hood Gardens. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/98115025@N00/3058342144'>Flickr user stevecadman</a> licensed under <a href=https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> + 8

Spotlight: Smiljan Radić

09:30 - 21 June, 2018
Spotlight: Smiljan Radić,  The Winery at VIK. Image © Cristobal Palma / Estudio Palma
The Winery at VIK. Image © Cristobal Palma / Estudio Palma

Mainly known outside of his home country for his design of the 2014 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, architect Smiljan Radić (born June 21, 1965) is one of the most prominent figures in current Chilean architecture. With a distinctive approach to form, materials, and natural settings, Radić mostly builds small- to medium-sized projects that flirt with the notion of fragility.

2014 Serpentine Pavilion. Image © Danica O. Kus Copper House 2. Image © Smiljan Radic Mestizo Restaurant. Image © Smiljan Radic Zwing Bus Stop. Image © Yuri PALMIN + 13

Spotlight: Pier Luigi Nervi

03:00 - 21 June, 2018
Spotlight: Pier Luigi Nervi, Palazzetto dello sport. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/ihavegotthestyle/221174130'>Flickr user ihavegotthestyle</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>
Palazzetto dello sport. Image © Flickr user ihavegotthestyle licensed under CC BY 2.0

Known as both an architect and an engineer, Pier Luigi Nervi (June 21, 1891 – January 9, 1979) explored the limitations of reinforced concrete by creating a variety of inventive structural projects; in the process, he helped to show the material had a place in architecture movements of the coming years. Nervi began his career in a time of technological revolution, and through his ambition and ability to recognize opportunity in the midst of challenge, he was able to have an impact on several disciplines and cultures.

Spotlight: Kevin Roche

09:30 - 14 June, 2018
Spotlight: Kevin Roche, College Life Insurance Company Headquarters. Image © KRJDA
College Life Insurance Company Headquarters. Image © KRJDA

Known for his progressive aesthetics and vast body of work, 1982 Pritzker Prize laureate Kevin Roche (born June 14, 1922) has headed numerous projects of varying program and scale as the design principal of his firm Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates. In 1980, shortly before the death of Roche's business partner John Dinkeloo, the firm was described by critic C. Ray Smith in 1980 as "the most aesthetically daring and innovative American firm of architects now working."

Spotlight: Emilio Ambasz

06:00 - 13 June, 2018
Spotlight: Emilio Ambasz, Fukuoka Prefectural International Hall (1995). Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/kentamabuchi/5920306109/'>Flickr user kentamabuchi</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a>
Fukuoka Prefectural International Hall (1995). Image © Flickr user kentamabuchi licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

As early as the 1970s, Emilio Ambasz (born 13 June 1943) initiated a discussion on sustainability through his work with green spaces and buildings which is arguably more important today than ever, and contributed to theoretical and design discourse outside of architecture through his wide variety of interest and career pursuits. Ambasz’s work has crossed several disciplines; he has been a curator, a professor, an industrial designer, and an architect, and is highly regarded in all of these varied pursuits.

Fukuoka Prefectural International Hall (1995). Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/kentamabuchi/5920306109/'>Flickr user kentamabuchi</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> Cordoba House (1975). Image © Michele Alassio Banca dell’Occhio (2008). Image Courtesy of Emilio Ambasz Lucile Halsell Conservatory at the San Antonio Botanical Garden (1988). Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/joevare/2995227809'>Flickr user joevare</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-ND 2.0</a> + 8

Spotlight: Frank Lloyd Wright

05:00 - 8 June, 2018
Spotlight: Frank Lloyd Wright, Fallingwater House. Image © Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
Fallingwater House. Image © Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

In 1991, the American Institute of Architects called him, quite simply, “the greatest American architect of all time.” Over his lifetime, Frank Lloyd Wright (June 8, 1867 – April 9, 1959) completed more than 500 architectural works; many of them are considered masterpieces. Thanks to the wide dissemination of his designs and his many years spent teaching at the school he founded, few architects in history can claim to have inspired more young people into joining the architecture profession.

S.C. Johnson and Son Administration Building. Image © Jeff Dean Unity Temple. Image © Sean Marshall Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/57537089@N00/198494302/'>Flickr user gomattolson</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> Taliesin West. Image © <a href='https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:TaliesinWest2010.JPG'>Wikimedia user AndrewHorne</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY 3.0</a> + 25

Spotlight: Carlo Scarpa

07:00 - 2 June, 2018
Spotlight: Carlo Scarpa, Museo Castelvecchio. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/andreaosti/4505639981/'>Flickr user andreaosti</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>
Museo Castelvecchio. Image © Flickr user andreaosti licensed under CC BY 2.0

One of the most enigmatic and underappreciated architects of the 20th century, Carlo Scarpa (June 2, 1906 – November 28, 1978) is best known for his instinctive approach to materials, combining time-honored crafts with modern manufacturing processes. In a 1996 documentary directed by Murray Grigor, Egle Trincanato, the President of the Fondazione Querini Stampalia for whom Scarpa renovated a Venetian palace in 1963, described how "above all, he was exceptionally skillful in knowing how to combine a base material with a precious one."

Brion Tomb and Sanctuary. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/batintherain/8192243875'>Flickr user batintherain</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> Garden at the Querini Stampalia. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/dalbera/8142985275'>Flickr user dalbera</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a> Olivetti Showroom. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/dalbera/8068024216'>Flickr user dalbera</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a> Central Pavilion in the Giardini at the Venice Biennale. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/dalbera/10160349164/'>Flickr user dalbera</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a> + 10

Spotlight: Norman Foster

03:00 - 1 June, 2018
Spotlight: Norman Foster, Spaceport America. Image © Nigel Young
Spaceport America. Image © Nigel Young

Arguably the leading name of a generation of internationally high-profile British architects, Norman Foster (born 1 June 1935)—or to give him his full title Norman Robert Foster, Baron Foster of Thames Bank of Reddish, OM, HonFREng—gained recognition as early as the 1970s as a key architect in the high-tech movement, which continues to have a profound impact on architecture as we know it today.

Queen Alia International Airport. Image © Nigel Young / Foster + Partners The Gherkin . Image © Nigel Young Hearst Tower. Image © Chuck Choi Beijing Airport. Image Courtesy of Foster + Partners + 46

Spotlight: Toyo Ito

00:00 - 1 June, 2018
Spotlight: Toyo Ito, Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2002 / Toyo Ito + Cecil Balmond + Arup. Image © Sylvain Deleu
Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2002 / Toyo Ito + Cecil Balmond + Arup. Image © Sylvain Deleu

As one of the leading architects of Japan's increasingly highly-regarded architecture culture, 2013 Pritzker Laureate Toyo Ito (born June 1, 1941) has defined his career by combining elements of minimalism with an embrace of technology, in a way that merges both traditional and contemporary elements of Japanese culture.

Tower of Winds. Image © Tomio Ohashi Tama Art University Library. Image © Iwan Baan Sendai Mediatheque. Image © Nacasa & Partners Inc. Taichung Metropolitan Opera House. Image © Lucas K. Doolan + 16

Spotlight: Frei Otto

05:00 - 31 May, 2018
Spotlight: Frei Otto, Munich Olympic Stadium. Image © Atelier Frei Otto Warmbronn
Munich Olympic Stadium. Image © Atelier Frei Otto Warmbronn

German architect and structural engineer Frei Otto (31 May 1925 – 9 March 2015) was well known for his pioneering innovations in lightweight and tensile structures. Shortly before his death in 2015 he was awarded the Pritzker Prize and prior to that he was awarded the RIBA Royal Gold Medal in 2006. Much of his research in lightweight structures is as relevant today as when he first proposed them over 60 years ago, and his work continues to inform architects and engineers to this day.

German Pavilion, Expo ’67. Image © Atelier Frei Otto Warmbronn Diplomatic Club Heart Tent. Image © Atelier Frei Otto Warmbronn Aviary at the Munich Zoo. Image © Atelier Frei Otto Warmbronn Japan Pavilion, Expo 2000. Image © Atelier Frei Otto Warmbronn + 11