It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the massive production of architecture today. Scroll through ArchDaily for more than a minute and even we'd forgive you for losing track of it all. But what seems like an endless scroll of architectural production doesn't quite fit with the popular movements surrounding resource sharing and community.
Hidden among the mass production that has defined architecture in the last century is a germ - one that seems to be marching to the forefront of practice today. More and more designers seem to be taking on locally-focused and/or adaptive reuse works. Award shortlists today highlight not icons by recognizable names, but sensitive international works that are notable for their process as much as their product.
The common image of the architect may be of one obsessed with ego and newness, but practice today doesn't bear that out as much as it used to. This week's news touched on issues of reduction, reuse, and a radical rethink what architecture is in the 21st century.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has selected Kulapat Yantrasast and wHY Architecture to renovate its Michael C. Rockefeller wing. With arts produced in Africa, Oceania and the Americas, the 40,000-square-foot wing is located on the southern side of the Fifth Avenue museum. The $70 million project aim is showcase the collection of arts and artifacts from sub-Saharan Africa, the Pacific Islands, and the Americas.
Adjaye Associates, working with local firm AB3D, envisioned the museum as a social incubator, a welcoming and porous space where people could be brought together through a variety of formal and spontaneous interactions. The jury found that the proposal’s distinctive silhouette would give the museum a strong presence within its context of planned commercial and residential developments, and that is orientation and materiality showed a keen awareness of the vernacular and cultural contexts.
The design proposals of seven shortlisted finalists for the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Design Competition have been released by the competition’s organizer, Malcolm Reading Consultants. Located in the capital city of Riga, the funding for the €30 million project is a public private partnership with support from from the ABLV Charitable Foundation and the Boris and Ināra Teterev Foundation, which co-founded the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation. The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia and the Museum’s Foundation signed a memorandum of intent regarding the museum and building on 30 October 2014. The competition, organized in 2015 with 25 first-stage participants, will announce a jury-selected winner in mid-June.
As part of its 50th anniversary celebrations, the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco has announced major renovation and expansion plans by wHY Architecture. The practice is expected to design a new 12,000-square-foot exhibition pavilion, reconfigure the Museum’s existing galleries, and modernize its education and public programming spaces. Work will begin in 2017.
"The new pavilion will underscore San Francisco’s cultural diversity, create one of the nation’s premier exhibition spaces dedicated to Asian art, and increase the number of special exhibitions on view for visitors," says the Museum.
Four teams have been chosen to move on to the second stage of the Pershing Square Renew competition. Aiming to transform downtown Los Angeles' oldest park, the finalists will now refine their schematic proposals in preparation of a second review in March 2016. The winning scheme will potentially be the five-acre park's sixth iteration, replacing Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta and landscape architect Laurie Olincurrent design that first opened in 1994.
The four teams and their preliminary ideas, include:
"You cannot bullshit with concrete." - Kulapat Yantrasast
Kulapat Yantrasast is the latest to be featured on NOWNESS' In Residence series. Set within Yantrasast's home in Venice Beach, the Thai architect and founder of wHY shares his thoughts on how to create meaningful architecture, from the "process of making" to designing with a "sense of play" and how the building can form an "engaging" relationship with its user.
Chicago’s Jackson Park is expected to see some big changes in the coming years. Nonprofit organization Project 120 is working to revitalize the park, restoring many of the design aspects implemented by its landscape architect, the famous Frederick Law Olmsted. Alongside this restoration, the park will also receive a new Phoenix Pavilion, homage to Japan’s gift to the US for the 1893 Columbian Exposition. An outdoor performance space will be added to the park, as will an installation funded by musician and activist Yoko Ono. See the details, after the break.
UPDATE: Three teams have been selected to move forward in the competition: Allied Works Architecture (Portland/New York), Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects (New York), and the team of Patkau Architects (Vancouver, B.C.) and Fong & Chan Architects (San Francisco). The finalists will present their proposals April 3 and a winner will be announced shortly after.
Seven high-profile teams have been shortlisted to design a new research, museum and performing arts center for the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). Planned for a stunning site overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the $32 million project is intended to be “an innovative educational experiment” that will “blur the lines between disciplines to beautiful effect.” The shortlist ranges from Steven Holl to Tod Williams Billies Tsien. The complete list of competitors, after the break.
Portal to the Point is a design project initiated to honor the completion of renovations to Pittsburgh’s most visible National Historic Landmark, Point State Park. wHY Architecture is one of five finalists selected to redefine the space beneath the Portal Bridge that leads into 36-acre park.
Continue reading for more project information and renderings.
wHY architecture shared with us their proposal for the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Quebec (MNBAQ) international competition, which was won by OMA. See more images and architect’s description after the break.
wHY Architecture has shown us their expertise on cultural projects at different scales: the Grand Rapids Art Museum (the first LEED Gold certified museum) on the large scale in one side and the Royal/T Gallery on a smaller scale, among other cultural projects shown on their website.
And now they share with us a cultural project on the infrastructure scale that I had the chance to see when I visited their office early this year, which got green light and enters construction phase in 2010: the Art Bridge.
The project is located over the Los Angeles river and it’s very related to it, as most of its structure will be built from trash salvaged from the river itself. This project will achieve what many have been looking for, and that is to reconnect with the river that crosses LA. And I think that it will make it.