Now open to the public, Zaha Hadid’s Italian Messner Museum is literally built inside a mountaintop

(Courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects)

(Courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects)

Zaha Hadid‘s Messner Mountain Museum Corones is perched 7,464 feet above sea level. The museum itself is embedded within Mount Kronplatz as if it was violently speared through the peak to overlook the breathtaking Dolomites region in the Italy. And you you can see the stunning views yourself now that the museum has officially opened to the public.

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Milan hops on the car-banning bandwagon with its own proposal to create zones of “pedestrian privilege”


(Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Milan is the latest city to join the ranks of Paris, Madrid, Brussels, and Dublin in expelling cars from its smoggy, often gridlocked city center. Unlike its more zealous counterparts, the city has opted for an incremental approach, with no proposed timeline and a gradual, virtually street by street implementation.

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Snøhetta brings a touch of modern design to the old cable car with this winning gondola in the Italian Alps

Bolzano Cable Car by Snohetta. (Courtesy Snohetta.

Bolzano Cable Car by Snohetta. (Courtesy Snohetta)

Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta has been selected as the winner of a competition to design a cable car that will take visitors to the top of Virgolo Mountain, near Bolzano, Italy, for the first time in 40 years. The mountain has been practically inaccessible since the city closed its historic cable railway in 1976. The new cable car transit system will take visitors to the top in just one minute.

Continue reading after the jump.

Q+A> Italian icon Mario Bellini on passion, the past, and the Kar-a-Sutra

Bellini's Kar-A-Sutra (1972) was exhibited as part of MoMA's Italy: New Domestic Landscapes. (Courtesy Mario Bellini Architects)

Bellini’s Kar-A-Sutra (1972) was exhibited as part of MoMA’s Italy: New Domestic Landscapes. (Courtesy Mario Bellini Architects)

Italian designer Mario Bellini is a master of many mediums: architecture, furniture, photography, and language. He was the editor of Domus in the 1980s and designed buildings all over the world, including the Department of Islamic Art at the Louvre in Paris. At 80, he’s intensely productive as ever. Recently, Humboldt Books published U.S.A. 1972, a book photographs he shot with his Hasselblad in the early seventies.

Bellini’s collaborative relationship with Cassina goes back decades and he’s created some of the furniture company’s most iconic designs. Cassina released several new pieces—a bed, a lounge—in the Cab family, the now-classic line he first began with a chair in 1977. To celebrate, Bellini embarked on a multi-city speaking tour. AN caught up with him at the Cassina showroom in Los Angeles.

Continue reading after the jump.

AC Milan football club soon to call “world’s most innovative stadium” home

(Courtesy AC Milan, YouTube)

(Courtesy AC Milan, YouTube)

Italian football giant AC Milan is relocating to what the club purports as “the world’s most innovative stadium” in the city’s Portello area. The new mixed-use facility will be slightly over half the size of the team’s current 80,000-seater San Siro stadium, which it shares with fierce rival Intel.

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Check out these five finalists named in the Mies van der Rohe Awards

Architecture, Awards, International
Thursday, February 26, 2015
Philarmonic Hall Szczecin. (Simon Menges)

Philarmonic Hall Szczecin. (Simon Menges)

Five projects have been short-listed in the 2015 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture—Mies van der Rohe Award. Over the next few weeks, jury members will visit each of the five buildings and a winner will be announced on May 8th at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona. You can take a look at the five finalists below.

View the finalists after the jump.

Bernard Tschumi’s First Project in Italy Blocked, Future Remains Uncertain

Architecture, International
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Anima's Exterior. (Courtesy Bernard Tschumi Architects)

Anima’s Exterior. (Courtesy Bernard Tschumi Architects)

Bernard Tschumi’s first project in Italy appears to be on hold—if it is not dead altogether. The regional Superintendence for Architecture and Landscape Heritage has blocked plans for the architect’s cultural center, called “ANIMA”, which was scheduled to open in Grottammare in 2017. The announcement about the plan’s fate was made the same day a retrospective on Tschumi’s work opened at the Pompidou Center in Paris—a retrospective that includes ANIMA, which stands for arts, nature, music, action.

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Milan In Review> Interiors & Environments Push the Salone del Mobile Beyond Furniture


Light is Time installation for Citizen watches at the Triennale in Milan. (Courtesy Citizen)

It’s easy to get overwhelmed at the Salone del Mobile and the dozens of related events during Milan Design Week. Luckily there are plenty of visual palate cleansers in form of immersive environments, from new showrooms by Pritzker Prize–winning architects to dazzling installations by up-and-coming designers. There is more to Milan Design Week than just great looking furniture! At the Triennale design museum, for instance, Paris-based DGT architects created a light-catching installation for Citizen watches called Light is Time (above), featuring space dividing curtains made of tens of thousands of watch plates.

Continue reading after the jump.

Pier Carlo Bontempi and Ruan Yisan accept Driehaus awards for classicist architecture and preservation

Place Toscane in Val D'Europe, France by Bontempi.

Place Toscane in Val D’Europe, France by Bontempi.

Italian architect Pier Carlo Bontempi and Chinese preservationist Ruan Yisan last weekend received the highest honors in the world of classicist design—a school of though that AN previously examined alongside the more widely known Pritzker Prize.

The 2014 Richard H. Driehaus Prize went to Bontempi, an architect from Parma, Italy whose work includes a block recovery plan for that city’s historic center, as well as the Place de Toscane and the “Quartier du Lac” resort in Val d’Europe near Paris.

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Pier Carlo Bontempi Named 2014 Driehaus Laureate

Friday, December 6, 2013

La Masone Maze in Fontanellato, Parma, Italy by Bontempi.

The Italian classicist architect Pier Carlo Bontempi has been named the 2014 Driehaus Laureate.  A native of Parma, Bontempi’s work in Italy and France re-imagines the traditional city with projects like a master-planned block in Parma and the Quartier du Lac outside Paris.

“His buildings, seamlessly woven into their urban environments, demonstrate principles of the new classicism and urbanism,” said Michael Lykoudis, dean of the school of architecture at the University of Notre Dame, in a statement. “Their durable construction, adaptive interior spaces and sensitive siting make them exemplars of architecture as an art of conservation and investment as opposed to consumption and waste.”

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Review> LOT-EK Designs the Exhibition, Erasmus Effect, On the Past and Future of Italian Architecture

International, On View
Friday, December 6, 2013
(Cecilia Florenza)

(Cecilia Florenza)

The Erasmus Effect: Italian Architect’s Abroad
MAXXI Museum
Rome, Italy
Through April 6, 2014

The architecture and urbanism of Italy has long been an inspiration to architects from other parts of the world. From the grand tours of Lord Burlington and Thomas Jefferson to the establishment of the American, French, and British Academies, Robert Venturi’s lessons learned from Rome, and the enormous influence of Manfredo Tafuri, Italy has been important to how we view architecture and livable cities. But now an exhibition, The Erasmus Effect: Italian Architect’s Abroad, opening today at Rome’s MAXXI Museum details how the world is enriched when Italian born and educated architects emigrate and find success abroad.

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On View> “UNESCOitalia: Italy’s World Heritage Sites” Opens December 6th in San Francisco

On View, West
Thursday, December 5, 2013
The Cloisters of St. Andrea Cathedral. (Luciano Romano)

The Cloisters of St. Andrea Cathedral. (Luciano Romano)

UNESCOitalia: Italy’s World Heritage Sites in the Works of 14 Photographers
Mueso Italo Americano
Fort Mason Center, Building C
San Francisco
December 6 to January 26, 2014

In celebration of 2013: The Year of Italian Culture in the United States, the Museo Italo Americano, in partnership with the Italian Cultural Institute and the Consulate General of Italy in San Francisco, will be showcasing a collection of images of Italy’s UNESCO World Heritage sites as seen through the lenses of 14 prominent Italian photographers.

Continue reading after the jump.

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