Going Green in Ghana: Mario Cucinella’s One Airport Square

Friday, July 22, 2011
One Airport Square in Accra, Ghana. (Courtesy Mario Cucinella Architects)

One Airport Square in Accra, Ghana. (Courtesy Mario Cucinella Architects)

Of Sand and Stone. On September 8th, Milan-based architect Mario Cucinella will break ground on his One Airport Square project in Accra, Ghana’s capital city. The 230,000 square foot structure of irregular cantilevered floor plates embraced by a web of diagonal concrete supports meant to evoke traditional African patterns. Plans call for a dynamic pedestrian plaza with shops and cafes topped with commercial space. Solar panels are integrated among cantilevered terraces with indigenous fauna to protect the building from the scorching sun.

Check out a video and gallery after the jump.

Quick Clicks> Music Under Foot, Village Underwater, Carmageddon On Bike, & Destruction Online

Daily Clicks
Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Chimecco Bridge (via Gizmodo)

Chimes Bridged. It seems there’s something to making music while we walk. First a Swedish architect designed piano stairs and now an artist has created a musical bridge. Blending the sculptural, auditory, and kinetic, artist Mark Nixon designed a whimsical bridge that “sings.” Chimes hidden below the span are activated as visitors walk across, Gizmodo says. The musical creation was last displayed at Sculpture by the Sea, an exhibition in Aarhus, Denmark.

Village Uncovered. Villa Epecuen, a town located on Lake Epecuen, southwest of Buenos Aires, was flooded in 1985, but now after more than two decades, the water is receding. Photographs by The Atlantic uncover a strange, haunting landscape: aerial views expose the original street layout of the town, while others reveal original trees and cars visible amid the rubble.

Carmageddon Averted. For two days last weekend, the busiest stretch of highway in America—the 405 Freeway in LA—was shut down for construction. While many feared disastrous traffic jams bringing life in LA to a halt, it turns out that life went on without incident, according to the LA Times. During the traffic-non-event, JetBlue offered to fly residents between two of the city’s airports in Burbank and Long Beach, sparking a challenge from cyclists who said they could make the trip faster. As reported in Slate, it turns out the bikes were right, making the trip nearly an hour-and-a-half faster than by plane.

Destruction Archived. Information Aesthetics points us to the “Hiroshima Archive” which documents the extensive societal and structural devastation the atomic bomb caused 66 years ago. Using Google Earth’s virtual globe, the digital archive exhibits topographical maps, contemporary building models, photographs, and personal accounts from the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, the Hiroshima Jogakuin Gaines Association, and the Hachioji Hibakusha (Atomic Bomb Survivors) Association.

EVENT> “History of Design” Author Talk: Thursday, July 14

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Co-authors Jeff Byles and Anne Ferebee will spotlight NYC in talk on "A History of Design," July 14.

Thursday, July 14 (tomorrow!)



200 Hudson Street

Anne Ferebee and Architect’s Newspaper alum Jeff Byles discuss their new book A History of Design from the Victorian Era to the Present (W.W. Norton, 2nd ed), turning a  spotlight on New York City as a “roiling epicenter of modern design innovation, with a focus on architecture and urbanism stretching from that Victorian-era paragon of poetry in stone and steel—the Brooklyn Bridge—to Mies van der Rohe’s sublime corporate style and a new generation’s minimalist marvels on the Bowery.” (Not since e.e. cummings has NYC sounded so good!)

Tickets $16, purchase online at www.92Y.org.


On View> 194X–9/11: American Architects and the City

Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Mies van der Rohe's Museum for a Small City Project, 1942 (Courtesy MoMA)

Mies van der Rohe's Museum for a Small City Project, 1942 (Courtesy MoMA)

194X–9/11: American Architects and the City
The Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53rd St.
Through January 2

Prompted by the United States’ entrance into World War II in 1942, Architectural Forum magazine commissioned pioneering architects to imagine and plan a postwar American city. At the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, 194X-9/11: American Architects and the City features the plans, renderings, and sculpture of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Louis Kahn, Paul Rudolph, and Rem Koolhaas and their ideas for cities of the future. Rarely displayed works, such as Mies van der Rohe’s collage Museum for a Small City Project (1942), above, reveal plans for cultural centers and urban life in uncertain times.

On View> The American Style: Colonial Revival and the Modern Metropolis

Monday, July 11, 2011


The American Style:
Colonial Revival and the Modern Metropolis
Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Avenue
Through October 30

Following the U.S. Centennial of 1876, architecture in New York City was defined by what was known as “the American style,” a visual language referencing both the nation’s nostalgia for its beginnings and its progressive aspirations. A new exhibition reveals the impact of Colonial Revival on the cityscape through vintage photographs and objects like a 1926 mahogany settee by the Company of Master Craftsmen, whose volutes reflect a resurgence in classicism that is the trademark of the Colonial.

More images after the jump.

On View> Blinky Palermo: Retrospective 1964-1977

Monday, July 11, 2011


Blinky Palermo: Retrospective 1964-1977
Dia: Beacon/CCS Bard
3 Beekman Street/18 West 86th St.
Beacon, NY/New York, NY

Though October 31

Dia: Beacon and the Bard Center for Curatorial Studies have co-organized a comprehensive exhibition of the post-war German artist Blinky Palermo. Palermo’s works on paper (1963–1973) are on view at Bard, while his Metal Pictures and later works (1973–1977) are displayed in Dia: Beacon’s expansive galleries. A student of Joseph Beuys, Palermo’s work dealt with the relationship of color and space, and in Europe he gained notice for his abstract large-scale murals. Inspired by a trip to America in the early ‘70s, Palermo created the To the People of New York series, above, based on the colors of the East German and West German flags.

Another painting after the jump.

Kimmelman Bags NY Times Archi-Critic Post

International, Shft+Alt+Del
Tuesday, July 5, 2011


An internal New York Times email, acquired by AN today, announced that Michael Kimmelman would start this fall as the New York Times’ new chief architecture critic. Citing Kimmelman as “one of the paper’s great writers”, Jonathan Landman, deputy managing editor, wrote how Kimmelman started at the paper of record as a music critic and “swiftly morphed into an art critic.” And now after four years as a foreign correspondent, he will fill out his all-purpose critic portfolio as architecture critic.

Continue reading after the jump.

On View> Architecture in Uniform: Designing and Building for the Second World War

Friday, July 1, 2011
(Courtesy CCA)

(Courtesy CCA)

Architecture in Uniform: Designing and Building for the Second World War
Canadian Centre for Architecture
1920, rue Baile
Montréal, Québec, Canada
Through September 18

How did World War II impact the built environment? This new exhibit curated by Jean-Louis Cohen explores how 20th century architects contributed to the war efforts and how their work ultimately led to the modern structural and technological innovations that make some of today’s complex designs possible. WWII was an accelerator of technological innovation, and from 1937 to 1945 architects were frequently pressed to pursue the most modern solutions, which often meant the most cutting edge. Designed by New York-based WORKac, the exhibit is comprised of drawings, photographs, posters, books, publications, models, historical documents, and films that reveal how contemporary architecture left its mark on the landscapes of both the Axis and the Allied powers. Organized thematically, the exhibition focuses on wartime activity as well as architects and their projects in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, the United States, and the USSR. Architecture in Uniform is part of a larger project at the CCA that examines the various roles of architecture from the Second World War to today called On the Natural History of Destruction.

Mark Handforth Sculptures at Chicago MCA “Big” Deal

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mark Handforth Plaza Project
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
220 East Chicago Avenue
July 8 through October 10

The formality of the plaza and entrance that Josef Paul Kleihues designed for the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago has always stood in contrast to the institution’s experimental spirit. This summer the Miami-based artist Mark Handforth will debut four playful sculptures on the plaza and west facade of the building, including a giant brass coat hanger (above) hand bent by the artist. Other pieces, which mine Surrealism even more explicitly, include a giant streetlamp coiled like a snake, a monumental bone with a telephone handset hanging off the top, and a massive crumpled traffic cone topped with an English bobby’s hat.

On View> Pipilotti Rist: The Tender Room

Wednesday, June 29, 2011
(Courtesy Wexner Center)

(Courtesy Wexner Center)

Pipilotti Rist: The Tender Room
Wexner Center for the Arts
The Ohio State University
1871 North High St.
Columbus, Ohio
Through July 31

Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist makes her debut in Columbus with a new site-specific project drawn from the artist’s latest inspirations. The lush multimedia environment promises visitors a full-body experience, featuring kaleidoscopic colors, lulling soundtracks, and whimsical lighting, along with lounge chairs for taking in the sights and sounds. As usual, Rist takes a familiar starting point, such as the body, and plays with it (altering colors, speed, and sound) until it becomes unfamiliar and even fascinating. Drawing inspiration from her first feature-length film, Pepperminta (2009), Rist complicates the visitors’ environment, blurring the boundary between fantasy and reality. The exhibition also features Rist’s single-channel video Open My Glade (Flatten) (2000) outside the Wexner Center’s east entrance.

Architects Offer a Glimpse into the Future

East, International
Monday, June 27, 2011

WORKac's Infoodstructure Brooklyn uses food to create new infrastructures

Glimpses of New York and Amsterdam in 2040 at the Center for Architecture (through September 10) is a clarion call for designers to redefine sustainability in architecture. Though it didn’t start with this intention, the visions of 10 young architecture firms imagining future landscapes of New York and Amsterdam raise questions about what changes are imminent for urban development and what part architects can play. The projects suggest both practical and fantastical interventions to improve the prospect of urban growth in the face of ecological, geographic, and demographic shifts.

Continue reading after the jump.

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