One of Moscow’s most iconic pieces of architecture, the cylindrical home of avant-garde architect Konstantin Melnikov built in the 1920s, is reportedly showing signs of structural damage caused by rumbling from neighboring construction projects and is in danger of being demolished. The New York Times reports that preservationists including Docomomo have sounded the alarm that cracks have been forming in the structure and its foundation. Russian preservation group Archnadzor has filed an appeal to President Vladimir Putin in an effort to save the structure from potential collapse.
The American Institute of Architects has announced the winners of the 2013 Small Project Awards, a program dedicated to promoting small-project designs. Since 2003 the AIA Small Projects Award Program has emphasized the work and high standards of small-project architects, bringing the public’s attention to the significant designs of these small-projects and the diligent work that goes into them. This year’s ten winners are grouped into four categories: projects completed on a budget under $150,000, projects with a budget under $1.5 million, projects under 5,000 square feet, and theoretical design under 5,000 square feet.
While the future of the current Penn Station will be up in the air for some time, a theater group plans to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the original Penn Station’s destruction, which takes place on October 28. Taking place this fall, playwright Justin Rivers and director Barika Edwards will present The Eternal Space, a play that chronicles the demolition of the architectural monument and acts out debates over historic preservation that are still relevant today.
According to the play’s website, the set will transport the audience back in time: “Using the latest in projection technology, the photographs will speak for themselves making the audience feel as though they are sitting in the station itself.” Present photographs are also used to create the station in its current form and to show the passing of time.
Architecture and urban planning have taken center stage before in performances such as In the Footprint: The Battle over Atlantic Yards, Murder, Love, and Insanity: Stanford White and the Gilded Age, an opera about Robert Moses, and a series of plays by Moshe Safdie’s son Oren.
Koolhaas Controversy: OMA to Turn Venice Palazzo into a Department Store and Venue for the 2014 Biennale
After much controversy, Rem Koolhaas’ firm OMA has been granted permission to transform a historic Venice palazzo that is currently a post office into a department store and venue for the 2014 Venice Biennale. Fashion retailer Benetton bought the site, the Fondaco die Tedeschi, five years ago for more than $68 million.
Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto has been exhibiting his work for almost 25 years. With his latest work, Neto crocheted a netted pavilion shaped almost like a spider that is currently on view at the Sharjah Biennial 11 in the United Arab Emirates. The Biennial, titled Re:emerge, Towards a New Cultural Cartography and curated by Yuko Hasegawa, investigates the overlapping public and private life found in the historic Islamic architecture of the Sharjah courtyards.
Intrigued by parametric architecture but don’t know where to begin? Meet Mode Lab, an online network connecting creatives to everything architectural and design related including courses, talks, and workshops that help teach how to use advanced systems like Data Trees, Grasshopper, and Kangaroo. Other courses offer lessons in Organic Modeling to Parametric Pleating to Algorithmic Design. The group just launched their new website, with several upgrades that make taking courses even easier. Courses are now easily sortable by format, subject, or software; a growing community of instructors have joined the Mode Lab team; payment has been streamlines; and work by Mode Lab members is now featured on the site. Mode Lab’s growing online destination is transforming the way designers and architects interact, share, and gain the skills and knowledge to develop innovative ideas.
It’s been over three decades since the 3-D printer was invented, and to be sure, the technology has come a long way. Now, Dutch architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars is putting the technology to the ultimate test by proposing to print an enormous Möbius strip house with over 10,700 square foot of house. The Landscape House, as Ruijssenaars named it, will be a two-story structure replicating the natural form of a figure eight by using “one surface folded in an endless Möbius band” he says on his website, intending for the building to effortlessly fit into the natural world.
Brooks + Scarpa and KZF Design have designed a swooping, lakefront Interfaith Chapel proposal for the University of North Florida’s campus in Jacksonville. The 7,000-square-foot chapel is intended to serve a diverse array of students, faculty, and the surrounding community representing many religious beliefs. It’s unique shape, built with a complex bending wooden lattice, is designed as an allegory of Justice, Faith, Hope, Charity, Prudence, and Fortitude.
Stuck with the post-Sandy realization that buried waterfront highways are unlikely to be buried for fear of flooding, designers are looking to spruce them up, instead. The emerging “funderpass” movement hit Brooklyn last week, and now Manhattan’s Upper West Side has its own proposal, the leafy “Vine Line.”
Architect Laurence Tamaccio has proposed hiding, or rather masking, an elevated section of the West Side Highway between 61st and 72nd streets with a green scheme of vines and waterfalls. Plans had been on the table to bury the highway once and for all after a collapse in the 1970s and the contentious process of rebuilding it, but after Hurricane Sandy, that option seems in doubt. So far, Tamaccio’s plan, which also offers a grey water filtering system and a café, has been greeted with support from the community board and many local residents.
For five months a year Bangladesh endures a monsoon season, suffering from two floods yearly leaving millions of citizens living in river basins stranded without basic necessities. But a non-profit organization founded by an architect based in northern Bangladesh, Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha, has decided to build flood resistant schools that come to the homes of students. Health care facilities and homes are also being built to float by the non-profit.