Category | architecture critic

Showing posts from category: architecture critic

Ok We Built It, Now How Does it Work?

Architecture has come a long way since 1885, when William Le Baron Jenney built what is widely considered the world’s first skyscraper. His eight-story Home Insurance Building in Chicago was designed with metal columns and beams instead of heavy masonry, leading the way for even taller constructions to come. In January 2010, SOM’s Burj Khalifa smashed the world record for tallest skyscraper in the world. The smooth steel stalagmite towers half a mile above Dubai, with its very tip often obscured by clouds.

These days, the claim of being the tallest building in the world is never held for too long. With skyscrapers going up at seemingly breakneck speeds, one would think that things have changed dramatically since Jenney’s architectural revolution in Chicago, and there is no doubt that they have. But Kate Ascher exposes the inner workings of these modern marvels in her new book The Heights: Anatomy of a Skyscraper, and it turns out that contemporary design solutions are sometimes more primitive than one would think. She sat down with Fresh Air host Terry Gross to answer a few questions, for instance, what happens when you flush a toilet on the top of the tallest building in the world? Click to learn more.

What Ascher immediately assured NPR listeners was that even after digging for dirt on these unbelievable feats of engineering, she feels safe taking the elevator to a triple-digit floor. But she does provide some intriguing food for thought for our next trip to an observation deck. For one, she told Gross that engineers purposefully design buildings to sway back and forth in order to alleviate pressure caused by wind currents. Even more jarring is the fact that there is no precise formula behind the amount of sway in a building but only a maximum fraction of the building that is permitted to sway (one-500th).

An excerpt from The Heights, via NPR.

She also explained how some skyscrapers are designed with large pools of water or some other material stored at the top of the building. These high-altitude tanks, called tuned liquid dampers, work to counter the sway from strong wind currents, functioning under basic laws of physics: when wind comes from one direction, the water will subsequently rush back in the other direction, working to keep the building in place.

As for the toilets thousands of feet in the air, we were told that flushing a toilet from the top of a skyscraper is not too different from flushing a toilet in a house. Water from toilets one or 100 floors above ground run into a septic system usually plugged into the city sewer systems, with the only real difference being the need for sophisticated twists and bends in the plumbing inside tall buildings to prevent waste from accelerating at terrifying speeds.

The most surprising fact was that despite the Burj Khalifa’s sophisticated design, the ultra modern high-rise is plugged into a city that has relatively outdated sewage infrastructure. Ascher remarked that for a number of Dubai’s skyscrapers, wastewater doesn’t deposit directly into the city sewer system. Instead, it gets trucked out to treatment plants and placed on a queue for sometimes up to 24 hours. The same goes for tall buildings in India and presumably other countries. Though Ascher foresees these countries investing in a more comprehensive, interconnected sewage system, right now it’s quite a paradox imagining a half-mile tall building requiring a half-mile long queue of wastewater-carrying trucks.
Source: Architizer Blog

architect, architects, architecture, architecture critic | | Comments Off on Ok We Built It, Now How Does it Work?

Inaugural Tri-State American Institute of Architects Conference Held in Atlantic City, N.J.

Richard Meier

World-Famous Architects, Richard Meier and Stanley Tigerman, Deliver Keynote Addresses – Four New Jersey Tri-State Design Award Winners Announced –

“Traditionalism versus modernity.” That was the theme at the first-ever American Institute of Architects (AIA) Tri State Conference, which was recently hosted by the AIA-New Jersey chapter, in conjunction with the AIA New York State and AIA Pennsylvania chapters, in Atlantic City, N.J.

With more than 300 attendees, including world-famous architects Richard Meier and Stanley Tigerman, who were the keynote speakers, the conference united members of the architectural profession and explored topics ranging from energy efficiency to public infrastructure to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) designations.

“This conference was the product of many years of collaboration between the state chapters,” said Michael Hanrahan, president of AIA-NJ. “The first-class caliber of our keynote speakers reflects the quality of the conference.”

The conference offered a great opportunity for architects of all levels of experience to learn collectively about the important trends and updates in architecture today, said Hanrahan.

Keynote speakers Meier and Tigerman offered anecdotal information from their respective practices – Meier, with more of a modernist approach; and Tigerman, with more of a traditionalist approach.

Meier, who was born in Newark, N.J., talked about a handful of his projects, while showcasing them through a slide show.

“Architecture is the mother of the arts,” Meier said. “I like to believe that architecture connects the present with the past and the tangible with the intangible. I believe that architecture has the power inspire, to elevate the spirit to feed both the mind and the body. For me, it’s the most public of the arts.”

Meier went on to explain his infamous stark white building designs.

“White is the most wonderful color because within it you can see all the colors of the rainbow,” he said. “The whiteness of white is never just white; it is almost always transformed by light and that which is changing — the sky, the clouds, the sun and moon.”

Stanley Tigerman

Tigerman’s also showed examples of his work and historical precedents. His remarks focused around his lifelong search for meaning in his work, and spoke of the plans for his buildings — not the walls, but the void contained within.

“In many cases these spaces became sacred, like the sacred space of a monastic cloister,” he said. “In form and elevation, the fabric of buildings appears to be torn apart, revealing the space within.”

It was an acceptance of transience, or “Wabi Sabi,” as he put it, that compelled him; a search for the ineffable.

“Nothing lasts,” said Tigerman. “Nothing is perfect. Nothing lasts forever. I don’t know the answers, I am seeking that too.”

And, when questioned as to how one could put these thoughts into practical terms on other projects, Tigerman replied, “First you have to believe in what you are doing before you have any hope of being able to convince others.”

The conference also featured the Tri-States Design Awards, for which each state chapter selected state winners that were submitted for the tri-state design competition. There were 24 winners in the categories of Special Initiatives, Residential Architecture, Non-Residential Architecture, Regional and Urban Design, Interior Architecture, Historic Preservation and Unbuilt.

“The conference attracted the best from all over the region, and through the design awards the best work from the past year was showcased for all to see,” Hanrahan said.

The New Jersey design winners included Minervini Vandermark Architecture of Hoboken, N.J., who won a merit award in the Residential category for its 33 Willow Terrace project in Hoboken, N.J.; Payette Architect of Boston, Mass., in collaboration with the design architecture firm Hopkins Architects of London, England, who won an honor award in the Non-Residential category for its Frick Chemistry Lab project in Princeton, N.J.; Kohn Pederson Fox Associates of New York, N.Y., who won a merit award in the Non-Residential category for its Centra at Metropark project in Iselin, N.J.; and Wallace Roberts & Todd LLC of Philadelphia, who won a merit award for its Roosevelt Plaza project in Camden, N.J.

The conference offered event-goers a choice of over 25 courses, all of which counted toward continuing education credits. Attendees were able to obtain 12 of these credits during the conference. The subject matter of the courses fell within the theme of the conference, and the courses catered to all levels of the profession.

About AIA and AIA New Jersey
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is the professional organization that helps architects serve the public’s needs and builds awareness of the role of architects and architecture in American society. The organization, which was founded in 1857, recently celebrated its 150th anniversary. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., its 300 plus local chapters represent 86,000 licensed architects and associated professionals. AIA New Jersey, based in Trenton, is the local chapter of AIA. In 2000, it celebrated its 100th anniversary. AIA New Jersey has about 2,000 members in six regional sections. For more information, please visit www.aia-nj.org.

aia, architects, architecture, architecture critic | , , | Comments Off on Inaugural Tri-State American Institute of Architects Conference Held in Atlantic City, N.J.

Hong Kong: Worst Architecture in the World?

Mathias Woo has this bit of tough love for Hong Kongers: You don’t appreciate good design.

“Everything just looks the same,” Mr. Woo, an architect and co-director of artist collective Zuni Icosahedron, said. What about the Frank Gehry apartments under construction, or Norman Foster’s work in West Kowloon? “It’s like design is only for the rich,” Mr. Woo said.

He hopes to change that with a mix of history, theater and a so-called puppet electronic musical, all part of his “Architecture Is Art” festival. It starts Saturday and runs to Dec. 11.

Mathias Woo

“Architecture doesn’t really exist here. We need to remind people that architecture is not just building and not just investment,” Mr. Woo said. “We need an aesthetic sense.”

To get residents thinking more about the spaces where they live, the festivalkicks off with a lecture Saturday on modern Chinese architecture, followed by exhibit on railway architecture over the last 100 years, on view at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre starting Nov. 18. “Architecture is a more honest way of looking at history than politics,” Mr. Woo said.

The stage productions address the festival’s avant-garde theme, with “Looking for Mies,” about German modernist architect Mies van der Rohe, at the Centre’s Grand Theatre on Dec. 2 and 3. “Bauhaus Manifesto,” the puppet show, focuses on the influential German design school and runs Dec. 9 to 11.

An exhibit called “Habitat City” aims to raise awareness of housing issues, a flash point in densely populated Hong Kong. It features poems and videos at Cattle Depot Artist Village, a former slaughterhouse in the To Kwa Wan area of Kowloon that now is home to several artists, and highlights the neighborhood as model for sustainable growth.

Other festival events include a panel discussion on the future of Hong Kong’s housing policy.

Mr. Woo said he hopes to reach the public at large, not necessarily practicing architects. “Architects are more cynical, and they’re too busy, working on their firms. They have no time to think,” he said. “But I hope we can improve. Hong Kong is the worst, in term of architecture among world cities.”

Source: WSJ

architects, architecture, architecture critic | , , | Comments Off on Hong Kong: Worst Architecture in the World?

A Modern Masterpiece, No Longer Used, Will Soon Disappear at Kennedy Airport

While ABC has conspicuously begun to celebrate the early jet age, the Port Authority has begun to tear it down.

Terminal 6 at Kennedy International Airport — a crisp island of aesthetic tranquillity by the master architect I. M. Pei — is being demolished. The boarding gates are already piles of rubble.  The main pavilion, whose white steel roof seems to float ethereally over  cascades of diaphanous green glass, is expected to come down by the end  of October.

Though the demolition has long been planned, the timing now is  unintentionally paradoxical. With the recent debut of the ABC drama “Pan Am,”  it seems safe to say there has never been so much popular interest in  the jet-set era of the 1960s and early ’70s. National Airlines, perhaps  best remembered for christening its jetliners with women’s names and  inviting the public to “fly me,” opened Terminal 6 in 1969 as the  Sundrome.

Within it, Mr. Pei tried to create an environment for travelers that  was serene, generous, clear, spacious, simple and dignified, said Henry N. Cobb, a colleague at Pei Cobb Freed & Partners in New York. To an extent that remains discernible today, he succeeded.  And by its horizontality, Terminal 6 still keeps open a welcome segment  of sky in the ever-more-congested central terminal area at Kennedy.

“It’s very sad,” Mr. Cobb said on Tuesday about the demolition. “The whole thing is very sad.”

Many architects speak of creating transparent spaces. Mr. Pei pulled  it off.

Sophisticated, subtle engineering made this transparency possible.  The main pavilion of Terminal 6 has a deep roof truss that rests on 16  enormous cylindrical concrete columns. That eliminated the need for  load-bearing walls, which allowed Mr. Pei to design a pioneering  all-glass enclosure. One can look straight through the building and out  the other side. Rain is drained off the roof through the columns,  eliminating the need for any visible ductwork.

In its classical restraint, Mr. Cobb said, Terminal 6 splendidly  complements the expressionistic bravura of Eero Saarinen’s landmark  Trans World Airlines Flight Center next door, which has been preserved and rehabilitated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, at a cost of more  than $20 million, and is to be incorporated into a hotel and conference  center planned on the site.

Mr. Cobb said the Terminal 6 pavilion is “structurally sound and has proved highly adaptable to changing demands throughout four decades of use” by National, which was acquired in 1980 by Pan American World Airways; by T.W.A., as an annex to the Saarinen terminal; and, finally, by JetBlue Airways, which moved into its own terminal in 2008.

Nine months ago, Mr. Cobb pleaded for a “reversal of this death sentence” from David Barger, the president and chief executive of JetBlue. “Conserved and reanimated, the Terminal 6 pavilion would further strengthen the distinctive identity of JetBlue as a sponsor of design excellence and an effective advocate for a sustainable future,” Mr. Cobb wrote. “I. M. Pei joins me in thanking you for your consideration of this request.”

No reprieve was forthcoming. “While I share your passion for classic terminal designs, I have concluded the time has passed for the pavilion building to serve any functional purpose,” Mr. Barger wrote back. He thanked Pei Cobb Freed “for your influence on JetBlue’s first decade” and promised to champion a “permanent display of the pavilion photographs and other architectural artifacts so future generations can continue to appreciate the beauty of Terminal 6.”

National took out a full-page ad in The New York Times of Dec. 2, 1969 to announce the opening of the terminal.

The Port Authority said the Terminal 6 site must be cleared to make room for “improvements that will better serve travelers and help reduce delays,” meaning additional boarding gates and aircraft parking spots for JetBlue’s Terminal 5. Ron Marsico, a spokesman for the authority, said that maintaining a vacant Terminal 6 was costing the authority $600,000 a year.

Given Mr.Pei’s stature — he is perhaps best known for the pyramid-crowned addition to the Louvre — the demolition of Terminal 6 may rank as the most significant loss of a transportation building in New York since Pennsylvania Station was razed in the 1960s.

Source: The NYT

architects, architecture, architecture critic | , , | Comments Off on A Modern Masterpiece, No Longer Used, Will Soon Disappear at Kennedy Airport

Design News

People to Buildings: Don’t Waste Your Energy
Almost 40 percent of the energy consumed in the United States is used by buildings, a fact that inspired the Center for Architecture’s fall exhibition, “Buildings = Energy,” a walk through the various ways designers, planners, and engineers can reduce energy consumption through smart design. In that vein, the center will also present a mini-exhibition called “Smarter Living—The 2,000-Watt Society,” sponsored by ThinkSwiss, about the city of Zurich’s attempt to shrink its per-capita energy use from 6,500 watts to 2,000 by 2150. Both are on view at the Center’s La Guardia Place headquarters, so save your own energy and check them out together (536 La Guardia Pl., nr. Great Jones St.; “Buildings = ­Energy,” 10/1–1/21; “Smarter Living, 10/1–10/31”; M-F 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Sa 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; 212-683-0023

Image Above:
A rendering of One Building=Many Choices, designed by Perkins+Will for the “Buildings = Energy” exhibition. (Photo: Perkins+Will )

architects, architecture, architecture critic | | Comments Off on Design News

White House Appoints Teresita Fernández to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts

President Barack Obama has appointed Teresita Fernández, a MacArthur Award winning visual artist, to serve on the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, a federal panel that advises the President, Congress and governmental agencies on national matters of design and aesthetics. Fernández lives and works in New York and is represented by Lehmann Maupin Gallery.

Members of the arts panel play a key role in shaping Washington’s architecture by approving the site and design of national memorials and museums; advise the U.S. Mint on the design of coins and medals; and administer the National Capital Arts and Cultural Affairs program, which benefits non-profit cultural entities that provide arts programming in Washington. Seven commissioners appointed by the President serve four-year terms.

Past members have included architects, landscape architects and artists, including Daniel Chester French who sculpted the statue of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial and landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., whose projects include the National Mall, Jefferson Memorial and the White House grounds.

Teresita Fernández (b. 1968) is a visual artist best known for her prominent public sculptures and unconventional use of materials. Fernández’s work is characterized by an interest in perception and the psychology of looking. Her experiential, large-scale works are often inspired by landscape and natural phenomena as well as diverse historical and cultural references. She is a 2005 MacArthur Foundation Fellow and has received many prestigious awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Louis Comfort Tiffany Biennial Award, an American Academy in Rome Affiliated Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Artist’s Grant.

Fernández’s large-scale commissions include a recent site-specific work titled Blind Blue Landscape at the renowned Benesse Art Site in Naoshima, Japan. She is the youngest artist commissioned by the Seattle Art Museum for the recently opened Olympic Sculpture Park where her permanently installed work Seattle Cloud Cover allows visitors to walk under a covered skyway while viewing the city’s skyline through optically shifting multicolored glass.

Ms. Fernández’s works are included in many prominent collections and have been exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Modern Art Museum of Ft. Worth, the Castello di Rivoli in Turin, Italy, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC, the Centro de Arte Contemporaneo in Malaga, Spain, and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia. Fernández is currently on the board of Artpace, a non- profit, international artist’s residency program.

She received her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and her BFA from Florida International University.

For further information please contact Bethanie Brady at 212 254 0054, [email protected], or visit our website www.lehmannmaupin.com.


Read more: http://broadwayworld.com/article/White-House-Appoints-Teresita-Fernndez-to-the-US-Commission-of-Fine-Arts-20110919#ixzz1YVmSsR6a

architects, architecture, architecture critic | , | Comments Off on White House Appoints Teresita Fernández to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts

First Look: Rem Koolhaas’ Architecture For Architects At Cornell University

Cornell University’s new Milstein Hall for architecture studies, designed by Rem Koolhaas
It’s not entirely finished yet, and it’s been under the radar in terms of press coverage. But Rem Koolhaas’ new Milstein Hall, tucked behind the Arts Quad at Cornell University, has opened for the new school year, providing much-needed studio space and meeting areas for students in Cornell University’s architecture program.

This highly anticipated, 47,000-square-foot facility is part of a sudden burst of starchitects on the Ithaca campus: I.M. Pei, Richard Meier and Thom Mayne, all Pritzker Prize winners, are helping to shape my alma mater for the 21st century.

The I.M. Pei firm’s mostly underground addition to the Johnson Art Museum opens next month. You can get a sneak peak at its exterior at the beginning of my video, below, which focuses chiefly on the Koolhaas project.

Meier’s massive, Lego-like life sciences building, Weill Hall, opened in 2008. It strikes me, both inside and out, as antiseptic, almost hospital-like, unrelieved by the graceful curves that make other Meier buildings (including those at the Getty Center) more enticing:

Continue reading

architecture, architecture critic | , , , | Comments Off on First Look: Rem Koolhaas’ Architecture For Architects At Cornell University

Living Architecture in Europe

How Tomorrow Is Built Today

As Europe continues to battle economic and environmental gloom and doom, nations across the continent are re-evaluating how to build the cities of tomorrow with tight budgets and green mindsets. “We are at a key moment, where we as architects must become activists. We must innovate and help to find new solutions for how people can live well and do well,” says Enric Ruiz-Geli, founding principal of Cloud9 architects in Barcelona.

To get a glimpse of what’s being built around Europe, we took a look at four cities known for their architectural relevance—London, Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Barcelona—and spoke to four firms making waves in their cities and beyond. Some are shaping new landmarks, others are just making their mark, but each is seeking to create buildings that impact how we live. From the residential to the commercial, concrete to conceptual, key figures behind these firms talk about where European architecture stands today, where they’d like to see it go and how they plan to help it get there.

Continue reading at The Wall Street Journal

architecture, architecture critic | | Comments Off on Living Architecture in Europe

20 Educational Architecture Books Anyone Can Enjoy

You don’t have to be an architectural expert to appreciate a building that has been impeccably designed and built. From the medieval cathedrals of Europe to the engineering feat that is Burj Khalifa in Dubai, there are architectural gems aplenty to ogle no matter where you are in the world. For those who want to learn more about these gems, whether you’re an architecture studentjust learning the ropes of your trade or simply a casual admirer of all things architecture, there are plenty of books out there perfect for introducing the practices and theories of architecture in a way that isn’t too technical for the layman to understand. Here, we’ve chosen 20 such books that will let you appreciate the ideas, artists and processes behind the great architectural work of the world, whether you know a little or a lot about architecture.

  1. A History of the Future by Donna Goodman: Architects have long been imagining what the buildings of the future will look like, sometimes with concepts that seem strange to us today. In this book, Goodman examines both its impact in the 20th century, as technology and design merge, and how the first Renaissance city planners imagined a better, more perfect city.
  2. 10 x 10 (Architecture) by Editors of Phaidon Press: Collecting 100 different architects, this book features some of the most iconic minds working in architecture today, with insightful essays accompanied by breathtaking photos.
  3. BLDGBLOG Book by Geoff Manaugh: This book companion to the popular blog will let you read essays on the future of architecture and the built environment, which even the casual reader can understand and enjoy.
  4. The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard: Have you ever really thought about how the space of your home, office and city impacts your life? This book will ask you to do just that, offering up a philosophical take on the humans’ relationship with the spaces we occupy.
  5. Vitruvius: The Ten Books Of Architecture by Vitruvius: There aren’t many works to survive from antiquity, and even fewer on architecture. In fact, there’s just this one, which may arguably be the most important works on architecture in the Western world. As such, it’s a must read from any armchair architect.

Continue article at source.

architecture, architecture critic | | Comments Off on 20 Educational Architecture Books Anyone Can Enjoy

Goettsch Partners Wins Master Plan Competition for Guangzhou, China

A master plan by Chicago-based architecture firm Goettsch Partners has been selected as the winning scheme in the design competition for a prominent site in the new Pazhou district in Guangzhou, China. Three urban parcels form the triangular site, which is planned for seven buildings totaling 428,000 square meters. Set along the Pearl River Delta, the Pazhou district anchors the city’s expansion to the east. The winning master plan establishes a framework for the three-parcel site as a vibrant and iconic commercial destination that merges the new riverfront with the larger urban fabric.

The client and developer is Poly Real Estate (Group) Co., Ltd., one of China’s leading state-owned real estate companies.

Project Description from the Architects:

A nautilus-like spiral defines the organizing concept for the complex, with its physical center providing a direct visual link to the city’s historic pagoda. The centerpiece of the development is a large public piazza, which helps unify the three urban parcels while clearly segregating pedestrian and vehicular activity. Sustainable design initiatives start with a series of elevated bridges that provide unobstructed breezeways and shade for the ground level.  These bridges also house indoor social spaces linking the towers and are topped with habitable garden spaces that minimize the urban heat-island effect.

A landmark tower at the northeast corner of the site anchors the development in the skyline, positioned for maximum visibility and presence. The six other buildings encircle the piazza and are designed with podium-level retail and dining venues that activate the public spaces. Sky bridges between buildings define the perimeter of the piazza and link the complex, while maximizing views to the riverfront and adjacent canal.  These elevated structures also form gateways that lend an overall permeability to the complex.

In the piazza, a terraced court rises from the site’s lower-level pedestrian access, passing beneath the development’s main connecting roadway. Lined with retail and restaurants, this court features a series of distinct landscaped amenities and terminates at a jewel-like exhibition facility, intended to be an educational and cultural venue. This entire network of pedestrian pathways also has a direct link to the area’s subway lines, providing convenient and intuitive access to the development.

Identified by a larger plan as parcels 4, 5 and 10, the three urban plots each includes a mix of commercial functions. Parcel 4 totals 210,000 square meters, featuring the landmark office and hotel tower, as well as a separate serviced apartment tower; the two are organized in a semicircular arrangement fronting the main piazza. Parcel 5 comprises 100,000 square meters, with three office towers triangulated on the development’s southernmost portion and configured around a secondary public plaza. Parcel 10 totals 118,000 square meters, including an office tower and a hotel, aligned along the adjacent canal. While each building will have its own unique identity, collectively, the buildings will form an ascending spiral, defining a singular urban gesture for the complex.

The Pazhou project represents GP’s fourth major assignment with Poly Real Estate. Other projects include a 159,000-square-meter mixed-use development in Deyang, including hotel, office, conference, and cultural functions; a 200-meter-tall office building in Shunde; and a two-tower, 150,000-square-meter office complex in Chengdu. As one of the largest real estate developers in China, Poly Real Estate operates 119 subsidiaries across 35 cities nationwide.


Source:  Bustler

architecture, architecture critic | , , | Comments Off on Goettsch Partners Wins Master Plan Competition for Guangzhou, China

Share with your colleagues!

Follow by Email
Visit Us
Follow Me
New Jobs