Given that you’re reading The Architect’s Newspaper right now, there’s a very good chance you’re an architect. If that’s true, then dressing up as an architect on Halloween would be a pretty lame costume idea. That is, unless you went as one of The Greatsâ€”we’re not saying you’re not one of them…but, you know what we mean.
AsÂ AN recently reported, theÂ Guggenheim Foundation hasÂ unveiledÂ more than 1700 proposals for its planned campus in Helsinki.Â All of these submissions have been kept anonymous and madeÂ available to the public through an online gallery which displays two renderings and a brief description for each plan. Given the amount of proposals the Guggenheim received, the gallery can be a littleâ€”let’s sayâ€”hard on the eyes. If you’re not up for scrolling through all of it, we picked outÂ some interesting renderings thatÂ stood out to us. Yes, we undoubtedly missed some good ones in the processâ€”there are 1,700 after all.
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Photoengraved concrete connects past and present in Montreal student housing.
Though the site on which KANVA‘s Edison Residence was recently constructed stood vacant for at least 50 years, its emptiness belied a more complicated history. Located on University Street just north of McGill University’s Milton gates, the student apartment building lies within one of Montreal‘s oldest neighborhoods. Photographs dating to the mid-19th century show a stone house on the lot, but by 1960 the building “had disappeared; it was erased,” said founding partner Rami Bebawi. Excavation revealed that the original house had burned to the ground. Prompted by the site’s history, as well as an interest in exploring cutting-edge concrete technology, the architects delivered a unique solution to the challenge of combining old and new: a photoengraved concrete facade featuring stills from Thomas Edison’s 1901 film of Montreal firefighters.
The Everyman Theatre in Liverpool, Englandâ€”a cultural institution with a democratic spirit and a history of producing thespian talentâ€”has topped the competition including Zaha Hadid and won the much sought-after 2014 Stirling Prize from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The new building, designed by Haworth Tompkins, a London-based firm boastingÂ of more than a dozen theater projects, replaces Everymanâ€™s former home in the shell of Hope Hall, a 19th century dissenterâ€™s chapel.
[Editor's Note:Â The Venice Architecture Biennale is still on through November 23 and it's still proving to be controversial. Professor Peter Lang shares his thoughts on Rem Koolhaas' event here.]
A Tale about the Magician Koolhaas who plays Prospero, lives on an island in the Venetian Laguna, and brings a Tempest to the Venice Biennale.
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in’t.
â€”William Shakespeare,Â The Tempest, Act V, Scene I, ll. 203â€“206
(Aldous Huxley quoted this line from the Tempest for the title of his dystopian novel Brave New World published in 1931)
In choosing to take a different perspective on the 14th edition of the Architecture Biennale in Venice directed by Rem Koolhaas, I decided to skip the standard blow-by-blow critique, and instead confront what I believe is the greatest enigma behind this controversial event. Up till now, the majority of critics taking a look at this yearâ€™s exhibition find fault with Koolhaasâ€™ method, not so much with his madness. But the key to the exhibition is not in its studied aloofness, but in its insubordinationâ€”Koolhaas is determined to shake up the Biennale institution by any means possible.
As weâ€™ve mentioned before, the biggest competition in town is not in the United States. Virtually every design firm in California and everywhere else has entered the competition for the Guggenheim Helsinki. Proposals were due on September 10, and Eavesdrop received a secret picture of the storeroom where they are being kept. Letâ€™s just say it is FULL. There appears to be several hundred submissions. Only six of the proposals will advance to stage two of the competition, a list that will be announced later this fall. The winning entry will eventually be chosen next June. So stay tuned, thereâ€™s plenty of Guggenheim madness left! (And why doesnâ€™t the Guggenheim open a branch in Los Angeles already?!)
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Prismatic pyramid evokes desert mirage by day, Aurora Borealis by night.
Given that their pyramidal acrylic installation at this summer’s Burning Man was inspired in part by Pink Floyd‘s Dark Side of the Moon album cover, it seems safe to say that the architects at Red Deer “get” the festival’s vibe. “We try to get very intimate with our sites, so it was interesting to approach one that we hadn’t been able to visit,” said founding director CiarÃ¡n O’Brien. “Some of the primal forces we could see at play there were the heat of the desert and the way people interact with structures. Specifically, for us it was about light in all its forms.” The UK firm worked closely with the structural engineers at Structure Mode to design a transparent six-meter-tall structure comprising interlocking equilateral triangles, while New York Institute of Technology professor Charles Matz contributed an integrated light display based on the Aurora Borealis. “All kinds of imagery came to mind that held to the desert landscape,” said O’Brien. “By day, the concept evoked a mirage; by night, a kaleidoscope. One is ephemeral, a non-place; the other is specific, a beacon.” Read More
The Architectâ€™s Journal reported, somewhat melodramatically, that a â€œrowâ€ has broken about between MVRDV and the British firm LDA over the redevelopment of the Hammer and Sickle Factory in Moscow. MVRDVâ€™s competition winning scheme, which respected the existing historic factory buildings, has been dumped in favor of LDAâ€™s swoopier Shanghai/Dubai/Where-am-I scheme. Hurt feelings aside, MVRDV might have dodged a dictatorial bullet. Russia isnâ€™t exactly the most stable or desirable or reputation-burnishing place to work these days.