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Us: The Latest Architecture and News

High Speed Rail in the US: Myth or Near-Future Possibility?

09:30 - 30 August, 2018
High Speed Rail in the US: Myth or Near-Future Possibility?, Courtesy of Flickr user Andrew Stawarz. ImageKing's Cross Station Concourse / John McAslan + Partners
Courtesy of Flickr user Andrew Stawarz. ImageKing's Cross Station Concourse / John McAslan + Partners

In Europe, Asia and much of the developed world, high speed rail is convenient and accessible. Whether for business or pleasure, travelers are served by an efficient and extensive rail network that connects passengers to the desired destination on time and with relatively little effort. Although these train systems can travel as fast as 350 kilometers per hour, speed is not the only important factor. Rail stations in Europe, for example, are an integral part of the historic urban fabric. These facilities are often perceived as civic destinations that play a fundamental role in the mobility system, providing a wide range of services for the larger collective; shopping, entertainment, commercial and civic uses are often paired with transit services as new stations are built and historic stations are retrofitted.

The Stadiums That Could Host the 2026 World Cup in the US, Canada, and Mexico

08:00 - 14 August, 2018
© <a href='https://pixabay.com/en/landover-maryland-fedex-field-89813/'>Flikr user ID12019</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/deed.en'>CC0 1.0</a>
© Flikr user ID12019 licensed under CC0 1.0

I hope you’ve caught your breath after this year’s FIFA World Cup. France’s win in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium marked the end of an era; the last World Cup with a classic format. After the 2022 Winter tournament in Qatar, the competition will be expanded to 48 teams (rather than the current 32).

© <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Metlife_stadium.jpg'>Anthony Quintano</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a> © <a href='https://es.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archivo:BC_Place_2015_Women%27s_FIFA_World_Cup.jpg'>GoToVan</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a> © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Le_Stade_Olympique_3.jpg'>Tolivero</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY 3.0</a> The Stadiums That Could Host the 2026 World Cup in the US, Canada, and Mexico  + 27

The Architect as Educator: Remembering Gunnar Birkerts

10:30 - 23 November, 2017

Gunnar Birkerts, Latvian-born architect and educator, passed away on August 15, 2017, at the age of 92. A passionate advocate of a creative process he called "organic synthesis," he leaves behind dozens of built works over three continents and influenced hundreds of architectural students and colleagues through his inquiry-based process and dynamic interactions. Eric Hill and John Gallagher, in their AIA Guide to Detroit, said of Birkerts’ architecture:

Each of his works seems to be approached as an opportunity to explore the essence of an architectural problem, resulting in a statement that often exceeds the immediate project.

Gunnar Birkerts in an undated photo. Image via The Republic Corning Fire Station, New York. Image© <a href=“https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brikerts_Corning_Fire_Station.jpg”>Unknown Wikimedia Author</a> licensed under <a href=“https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/“>CC BY 3.0</a> The Latvian National Library (2014). © <a href=“https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Riga_Petrikirche_Blick_vom_Turm_zur_Nationalbibliothek.JPG”>Wikimedia user Zairon</a> licensed under <a href=“https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/“>CC BY 4.0</a>. Image Courtesy of Wikimedia User Zairon ederal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, 1973, (now: Marquette Plaza), in its original configuration.. ImageVia <a href=“https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Marquette_Plaza.jpg”>Wikimedia Commons / Historic American Buildings Survey</a> licensed under <a href=“https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/deed.en“>CC0 1.0 (Public Domain)</a> + 4

4 MIT Architecture Courses You Can Take Online (Video Lectures Included)

13:30 - 13 October, 2017
4 MIT Architecture Courses You Can Take Online (Video Lectures Included), Louis I. Kahn during the lecture at the ETH Zurich. Photographs by Peter Wenger. Image © Archives de la construction moderne – Acm, EPF Lausanne
Louis I. Kahn during the lecture at the ETH Zurich. Photographs by Peter Wenger. Image © Archives de la construction moderne – Acm, EPF Lausanne

Learning doesn't have to formal, or expensive. As education becomes increasingly commodified the world over, here are four courses from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) exploring architecture and landscape, urbanism, photography, and the production of space that are—significantly—free of charge and available to all.

LACMA and Lincoln Center Reveal Divergent Plans

10:15 - 5 October, 2017
LACMA and Lincoln Center Reveal Divergent Plans, Exterior rendering of the LACMA renovation. Image © Atelier Peter Zumthor
Exterior rendering of the LACMA renovation. Image © Atelier Peter Zumthor

Two large-scale US cultural projects have, this week, announced major updates relating to the renovation of existing buildings – and both involve, to a greater and lesser extent, American business magnate, media mogul, and philanthropist David Geffen.

One—the Lincoln Center's Geffen Hall in New York City—has scrapped plans for a $500 million renovation to be led by Heatherwick Studio and Diamond Schmitt Architects, while another—Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), for which a renovation is being led by Peter Zumthor—has seen a pledge by Geffen of $150 million toward its $600 million price-tag.

How Chicago’s Tribune Tower Competition Changed Architecture Forever

16:00 - 3 October, 2017
How Chicago’s Tribune Tower Competition Changed Architecture Forever, © Steve Hall
© Steve Hall

This article was originally published on the blog of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, the largest platform for contemporary architecture in North America. The 2017 Biennial, entitled Make New History, will be free and open to the public between September 16, 2017 and January 6, 2018.

The Tribune Tower has stood at the heart of Chicago’s cultural heritage for almost a hundred years. Like the spire of a secular cathedral, it still symbolizes the rise of the “city of big shoulders” and its defining role in the American Century. But the building is more than a Chicago icon. The story of its origin has proved to be one of the most enduringly influential narratives in 20th Century architecture, key to understanding the skylines of cities all over the world.

The “late entries” included fantastical designs by Helmut Jahn, Judith Di Maio, Arquitectonica, and Robert A.M. Stern. Image Courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial Blog (Consortia) Some of the more radical proposals for the Tribune Tower by Walter Gropius and Adolf Meyer; Max Taut; Adolf Loos; and Bruno Taut, Walter Gunther, and Kurz Schutz. Image Courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial Blog (Consortia) For nearly a century, Chicago’s Tribune Tower has stood at the heart of the city’s cultural heritage. Image Courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial Blog (Consortia) A reconstruction of Loos’ proposal (center) accompanies new towers by an international group of young architects. Courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial. Image © Steve Hall + 8

2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial's "Labyrinth" Demonstrates Novel Approaches to Design and Cities

10:20 - 27 September, 2017

On the ground floor of the Chicago Cultural Center, Labyrinth—a cluster of installations and exhibitions occupying a warren of rooms as part the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial—serves as the visitor's introduction to participants' responses to the theme, Make New History. In this short film, architects including Jürgen Mayer H., Freek Persyn (51N4E) and Philip F. Huan (Archi-Union) present their projects and reflect on their work, process, and involvement in North America's largest architectural event.

How Architects in Chicago Are Making New History

10:20 - 26 September, 2017

"We are at a moment of great cultural transition," Jorge Otero-Pailos argues. "The kinds of objects that we look to to provide some sort of continuity in that transformation is often times architecture, [...] one of the most stable objects in culture." This short film, in which an number of participants of the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial reflect on their work and those of others, tackles the theme conceived by artistic directors Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee: Make New History.

In "Horizontal City," 24 Architects Reconsider Architectural Interiors at 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial

10:20 - 25 September, 2017

Horizontal City is one of two collective exhibitions (the other being Vertical City) at the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial. 24 architects were tasked by artistic directors Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee to "reconsider the status of the architectural interior" by referencing a photograph of a canonical interior from any time period.

Their challenge was in considering the forms and ways that their selection "might extrapolate out from the cropped photographic frame into a spatial and lifestyle construction across a larger, horizontal site" – in this case, a field of plinths, the size and positioning of which is a direct reference to the footprint of Mies van der Rohe's 1947 plan for the IIT Campus in Chicago.

15 Must-See Installations at the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial

12:00 - 22 September, 2017

With the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial in full swing and open to the public until January 7, 2017, we've scoured the galleries, halls and corridors of the Chicago Cultural Center to bring you our favorite fifteen installations. Documented through the lens of Laurian Ghinitoiu and assembled by our Editorial Team on location, this selection intends to shed light on the breadth, scope and preoccupations of Make New History – the largest architecture event in North America.

© Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu + 45

Curators Johnston Marklee Introduce the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial, "Make New History"

10:15 - 15 September, 2017

As the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial prepares to open its doors, curators Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee (Johnston Marklee) introduce Make New History – the theme of the second edition of North America's largest architecture and design exhibition.

Understanding the trace of history is more important than ever. Maybe now it's a good time to take stock and reevaluate to see what architecture could do better, and there are certain issues that other disciplines address better than architecture itself.

In "Vertical City," 16 Contemporary Architects Reinterpret the Tribune Tower at 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial

19:55 - 14 September, 2017
© Laurian Ghinitoiu
© Laurian Ghinitoiu

In a large-scale, central installation at the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial, the likes of 6a architects, Barozzi Veiga, Kéré Architecture, MOS, OFFICE KGDVS, and Sergison Bates—among others—have designed and constructed sixteen five meter-tall contemporary iterations of the renowned 1922 Chicago Tribune Tower design contest.

© Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu + 56

SO-IL with Ana Prvački Debut Musical-Spatial Performance at 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial

23:00 - 13 September, 2017
SO-IL with Ana Prvački Debut Musical-Spatial Performance at 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial, L'air pour l'air / SO-IL and Ana Prvacki. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu
L'air pour l'air / SO-IL and Ana Prvacki. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu

Today SO-IL, in collaboration with Ana Prvački, debuted L’air pour air on the occasion of the press preview of the second edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. The performance explores the art of performing behind a filter in an age where many cities suffer from the environmental impact of human habitation. Described as "part installation and part musical performance," the creators have drawn inspiration from abundant plant life and the interconnectedness of people and nature.

Apple's Steve Jobs Theater Set to Take Center Stage Ahead of New Product Launch

12:00 - 8 September, 2017

Ahead of the official launch of the Steve Jobs Theater, a 1000-capacity auditorium at the heart of the new Apple Campus in Cupertino, California, new details about its design and construction have been revealed. According to Bloomberg, the entrance to the venue stands beneath “a silver disc,” whose supporting—and structural—glazed panels lend it the appearance of floating 20 feet above ground.

a+u 2017:05 Feature: Emerging Architects in USA

03:00 - 15 August, 2017
a+u 2017:05 Feature: Emerging Architects in USA

The May 2017 issue of a+u uncovers six teams of emerging architects in USA: Andrew Kovacs, Bureau Spectacular (Jimenez Lai & Joanna Grant), The LADG (Andrew Holder & Claus Benjamin Freyinger), Ellie Abrons, Mark Foster Gage, and Young & Ayata (Michael Young & Kutan Ayata).

AD Classics: The Entenza House (Case Study #9) / Charles & Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen & Associates

04:00 - 14 August, 2017
AD Classics: The Entenza House (Case Study #9) / Charles & Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen & Associates, Case Study House No. 9. (1950) / Julius Shulman Photography Archive. Image © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2004.R.10)
Case Study House No. 9. (1950) / Julius Shulman Photography Archive. Image © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2004.R.10)

Nestled in the verdant seaside hills of the Pacific Palisades in southern California, the Entenza House is the ninth of the famous Case Study Houses built between 1945 and 1962. With a vast, open-plan living room that connects to the backyard through floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors, the house brings its natural surroundings into a metal Modernist box, allowing the two to coexist as one harmonious space.

Like its peers in the Case Study Program, the house was designed not only to serve as a comfortable and functional residence, but to showcase how modular steel construction could be used to create low-cost housing for a society still recovering from the the Second World War. The man responsible for initiating the program was John Entenza, Editor of the magazine Arts and Architecture. The result was a series of minimalist homes that employed steel frames and open plans to reflect the more casual and independent way of life that had arisen in the automotive age.[1]

Case Study House No. 9. (1950) / Julius Shulman Photography Archive. Image © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2004.R.10) Case Study House No. 9. (1950) / Julius Shulman Photography Archive. Image © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2004.R.10) Case Study House No. 9. (1950) / Julius Shulman Photography Archive. Image © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2004.R.10) Case Study House No. 9. (1950) / Julius Shulman Photography Archive. Image © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2004.R.10) + 28

AD Classics: Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library / Gordon Bunshaft (SOM)

07:00 - 1 August, 2017
AD Classics: Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library / Gordon Bunshaft (SOM), © <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beinecke_Rare_Book_%26_Manuscript_Library#/media/File:Beinecke-Rare-Book-Manuscript-Library-Yale-University-Hewitt-Quadrangle-New-Haven-Connecticut-Apr-2014-a.jpg">Wikimedia Commons user Gunnar Klack</a> licensed under <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/">CC BY 4.0</a>. Image Courtesy of Gunnar Klack
© Wikimedia Commons user Gunnar Klack licensed under CC BY 4.0. Image Courtesy of Gunnar Klack

Cloistered by a protective shell of stone, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library is one of the world’s foremost collections of rare manuscripts. Opened in 1963, the library is renowned for its translucent marble façade and the world-renowned glass book tower sheltered within – a dramatic arrangement resulting from the particular requirements of a repository for literary artifacts. This unique design, very much in the Modernist lineage but in contrast to the revivalist styles of the rest of Yale’s campus, has only become appreciated thanks to the passage of time; the same bold choices which are now celebrated were once seen as a cause for contempt and outrage.

© Ezra Stoller/Esto © Ezra Stoller/Esto © Ezra Stoller/Esto © Ezra Stoller/Esto + 15

Chicago Architecture Biennial Special Projects To Inhabit a Series of Architectural Landmarks

10:00 - 19 July, 2017
Chicago Architecture Biennial Special Projects To Inhabit a Series of Architectural Landmarks, Farnsworth House. Image Courtesy of Flickr CC user Jonathan Rieke. (Licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0)
Farnsworth House. Image Courtesy of Flickr CC user Jonathan Rieke. (Licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0)

The Chicago Architecture Biennial and it's artistic directors, Johnston Marklee, have revealed a collection of Special Projects designed to harness the curatorial vision of the event—entitled Make New History—and bring it to a number of significant landmarks in the city and in it's surrounding area. Featuring a SO-IL and Ana Prvački collaboration, a Francois Perrin installation, a new performance artwork by Gerard & Kelly at the Farnsworth House, photographs by James Welling, and films by Gerard & Kelly, the projects will inhabit some Chicago's greatest "architectural gems."