Monday, December 19, 2016

ARCHITECTURAL RECORD: Scrapped Plan for Guggenheim Helsinki Reveals Political Fissures

In a 53 to 32 vote on November 30, the Helsinki City Council rejected a proposal to build Paris-based Moreau Kusunoki Architectes’ design for a new Guggenheim satellite museum on the Finnish capital’s waterfront. The city council’s decision is the culmination of five years of fierce dispute, which has rattled Finnish politics and sparked debate within the architecture community.

Johanna Lemola, a spokeswoman for the Helsinki municipal government said the crucial meeting was “highly emotional.” Those in favor of the project, mainly from the political right, argued that the museum would increase employment and boost tourism as the Guggenheim’s Frank Gehry-designed satellite did for Bilbao. The political left and the populist Finns Party, meanwhile, objected to the use of public money to partially fund the $138 million museum. The meeting was so tense, according to Lemola, that it was even suggested that some councilors did not attend out of fear for their safety.


Monday, October 24, 2016

Architectural Record: Francis Kéré Envisions New Pyramid-Shaped House of Parliament for Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso

In late 2014, citizens of Burkina Faso revolted against the country’s dictatorial leader, President Blaise Compaoré, and set fire to the parliament house, leaving it a charred ruin in the capital city of Ouagadougou. Now, Berlin-based architect Diébédo Francis Kéré, who grew up in the West African nation and continues to work there, has conceived a master plan for a parliament complex that includes a new legislative building and a memorial for the destroyed one.


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Architectural Record: Architects Propose Facelifts for Two Major New York City Transit Hubs

Penn Station Proposal

The problems of Penn Station are well known. On September 27, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a plan to move up to 20 percent of the station’s operations across Eighth Avenue, to a new facility in the renovated James A. Farley Post Office building. Designed by Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill, it is expected to cost $1.6 billion and be completed in 2020.


Friday, September 30, 2016

ARCHITECTURAL REDORD: Yayoi Kusama’s 'Dots Obsession' Closes at Philip Johnson’s Glass House

Kusama Glass House

The Glass House is polka-dotted no more, as Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s month-long installation, Dots Obsession – Alive, Seeking for Eternal Hope, at the New Canaan landmark has drawn to a close.

From the beginning of the month through September 26, more than 1,200 red vinyl circles adorned exterior walls of the late architect Philip Johnson’s fully-glazed house—which, together with the other structures and buildings on the property, forms a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Dots Obsession coincided with the 10th season of tours at the Glass House and the 110th anniversary of Johnson’s birth—a fact that, according to staff, spurred some observers of the lighthearted work to comment that “the Glass House has its party hat on.”


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

ARCHITECTURAL RECORD: Ground Zero Art Center Design Revealed

Perelman Performing Arts Center

By the time Joshua Prince-Ramus was hired to design what is now called the Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center, Charcoalblue, a theater design firm with studios in New York and London, had already come up with a layout for the building's three performance venues.

Architects sometimes bristle at overly prescriptive consultants. “We told Joshua he could pull it apart and start over,” said Maggie Boepple, the director of the center. Prince-Ramus reported that he tried to do just that. But eventually, he says, he saw the strengths of the Charcoalblue scheme, and focused on giving it physical form.


Saturday, July 30, 2016

RESIDENTIAL ARCHITECTURE: 2016 Pritzker Laureate Alejandro Aravena Makes His Public Housing Designs Open Source

Villa Verde Housing in Constitución, Chile

Villa Verde Housing in Constitución, Chile

The 2016 Pritzker Architecture Prize laureate, Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena, has made the plans for four of his public housing projects available for free online, a move emblematic of an effort by his firm, Elemental, to design better social housing and to make it more widely available, particularly to underrepresented communities. The announcement was made during a press conference at the U.N. headquarters in New York, a day after the Pritzker awards ceremony there. The projects, all located in Chile, are Quinta Monroy Housing, in Iquique; Villa Verde Housing, in Constitución; Monterrey Housing, in Monterrey; and Lo Barnechea, in Santiago.


Monday, July 4, 2016

THE ARCHITECTS NEWSPAPER: Gould Evans transforms Brutalist library into community hub

With declining public interest in an outdated 1970s exposed concrete library in Lawrence, Kansas, Gould Evans worked closely with residents, downtown neighborhood groups, and the library to establish primary goals for a renovation that sought to cover a broad base of community interests. Out of this extensive dialogue, the project team identified a design concept that promoted better contextual awareness between the library and the city through a new main entryway, a more functional threshold between the library and the surrounding community, and improved energy performance.

After an extensive energy modeling and analysis on the existing structure by Syska Hennessy Group, it was discovered that the building lost significant energy and lacked adequate levels of daylight due to the arrangement of exposed concrete fins that acted like a giant radiator during hot days.


Friday, July 1, 2016

DEZEEN: George Lucas abandons Chicago museum proposal in favour of California

Lucas museum by MAD

Filmmaker George Lucas has confirmed that he is pulling his MAD-designed museum from Chicago and plans to move the proposal to America's West Coast.

The Star Wars creator announced last week that he is ending his bid to build the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art on a lakefront car park in the Illinois city, after an ongoing lawsuit attempting to block the building.

The injunction has threatened the project since it was filed in November 2014 by organisation Friends of the Parks, which argues that the museum is a private development on public land and would spoil the area.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST: 10 Eye-Catching Buildings by Richard Meier

richard meier architecture 01

One of the New York Five, the famed group of progressive modernist architects, Richard Meier gained international recognition—not to mention a Pritzker Prize in 1984—for his abstract geometric designs, masterful use of light, and signature gleaming white buildings. After studying architecture at Cornell University, he worked for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and then for Marcel Breuer before striking out on his own. He first attracted worldwide attention for the Getty Center in Los Angeles, the sprawling museum complex completed in 1997. Works such as the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art and City Hall for The Hague, Netherlands, as well as various residential projects, have affirmed his status as one of the most visionary architects of our time. Here, Architectural Digest rounds up some of his most celebrated projects, recognized for their inspiring designs and unparalleled contribution to the world of modern architecture.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

AD: Tel Aviv’s Gran Mediterraneo Tower Could Transform the City’s Skyline

A rendering of the Gran Mediterraneo’s exterior.

Tel Aviv is well known for its concentration of Bauhaus buildings—three-and four-story homes collectively nicknamed the White City. Though clusters of high-rises have sprouted up over the years along the beach and in business districts, the city has stayed mostly true to this low-slung scale. But as in most busy urban areas around the world, Tel Aviv’s housing and infrastructure demands don’t always align with its architectural history.


Saturday, March 26, 2016

AD: This is What Miami’s Skyline Will Look Like in 2018

The curving balconies of Arquitectonica’s Auberge Miami will offer picturesque vistas of the Biscayne Bay and surrounding cityscape.

In the midst of a building boom, Miami is currently dotted with scaffolding-clad towers and soaring construction cranes. AD has the first glimpse of what the city’s skyline will look like in 2018, when work on many of the high-profile projects is set to be completed. Soon, the 60th-floor pool terrace of Arquitectonica’s upcoming luxury tower, Auberge Miami, will overlook some of the city’s most acclaimed architectural icons, both old and new. Residents of the tower will have direct views of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts (completed in 2006 by César Pelli) and the Pérez Art Museum (a 2013 Herzog & de Meuron–designed gem); plus, they’ll be a stone’s throw from the American Airlines Arena, home of the Miami Heat.


Thursday, March 24, 2016


Huge Japanese architecture firm Nikken Sekkei and Barcelona studio Pascual i Ausió Arquitectes have been selected to renovate the Camp Nou stadium, home of FC Barcelona.

Dubbed the New Camp Nou, the proposal from the two architecture firms will see significant alterations to the stadium in Barcelona, Spain, which was originally designed in 1957 by Spanish architect Francesc Mitjans Miró.

The triple-tier structure will remain, but the third tier will be extended and a roof covering more than 47,000 square metres will be added to make sure all seats are sheltered from the weather.

The capacity will be increased from 99,350 to 105,000. One of the main requirements of the brief was for all of the seats to have a good view of the pitch.


Sunday, February 7, 2016

ARCHITECTURAL RECORD: Minsheng Contemporary Art Museum

Minsheng Contemporary Art Museum

At 985 feet long, an abandoned Panasonic television factory in Beijing offered tantalizing potential as a cultural space—and huge challenges. Set at the northern edge of Factory 798, the buzzing arts district that has developed in a cluster of mostly defunct industrial facilities during the past 20 years, the building was a logical site for China Minsheng Bank to create a museum to anchor its expanding presence in the contemporary art world. (The bank already had a museum in Shanghai, founded in 2008.) But converting the derelict leviathan in China’s capital, with its vast acreage of generic space, into a humanely scaled place for art would not be easy.


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