Unveiled> BIG Joins the Supertall Ranks in China with Rockefeller Center-Inspired Tower

International
Monday, July 2, 2012
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Many details of BIG's supertall tower in Tianjin are still shrouded in mystery. (Courtesy BIG)

Many details of BIG's supertall tower in Tianjin are still shrouded in mystery. (Courtesy BIG)

Bjarke Ingels, architect of mountains, now has set his eyes on Everest. The New York and Copenhagen-based architect’s firm BIG has been tapped by the Rockefellers to design one of the world’s tallest buildings at 1,929 feet for a new commercial development in Tianjin, China, a city of nearly 13 million people. Ingels revealed a cryptic, fog-shrouded rendering of the tower on his web site—indicative of the scarcity of detail yet released on the tower—but this being the information age,  AN found more information and views of the tower on a clear day.

Continue reading after the jump.

Ending Soon> Architecture for Humanity’s “I Love Architecture” Auction

International
Friday, June 29, 2012
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Detail of Richard Meier's painting of the Getty Center.

Detail of Richard Meier's painting of the Getty Center.

You’d better hurry if you want to snag some artwork from your favorite starchitects like Bjarke Ingels, Richard Meier, or Daniel Libeskind, there’s only a few hours left to bid on items in Architecture for Humanity’s fundraising acution, “I Love Architecture,” which ends tonight at 7:00 p.m. The organization, which coordinates sustainable development projects, is dedicated to design that “creates lasting change in communities.” Architecture for Humanity acknowledges that many are not able to afford the expertise of an architect yet the help of an architect could contribute greatly to their community. The organization aims to raise $150,000 auctioning sketches donated by notable architects. Among the 60 contributors who have provided original sketches to be auctioned are Renzo Piano, BIG, Michael Graves, SHoP, Paolo Soleri, and Fumihiko Maki. To learn more about the contest visit the organization’s website or view the sketches.

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On the Ground in Venice, An Update on the 13th Biennale of Architecture

International
Thursday, June 28, 2012
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Former AN Associate Editor Jaffer Kolb in Venice.

Former AN Associate Editor Jaffer Kolb in Venice.

In the cafe of the wonderfully elegant Palazzo Cà Giustinian on Venice‘s Grand Canal I had a chance to catch up with former AN associate editor Jaffer Kolb. Kolb has gone on to bigger and better projects and is currently the man on the ground in Venice for David Chipperfield as they prepare for the 13th Biennale of Architecture.

Continue reading after the jump.

Álvaro Siza Wins The Golden Lion

International, Newsletter
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
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Álvaro Siza Vieira to receive the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement . (Courtesy Álvaro Siza office)

Álvaro Siza Vieira to receive the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement . (Courtesy Álvaro Siza office)

Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza Vieira has been awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement of the 13th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale. The announcement was made today by Biennale board director Paolo Baratta and director David Chipperfield, who noted Siza’s authority on designing with bold forms, shaping light, and creating reflective compositions. “Secured by his isolated location, he exudes worldly wisdom. Experimenting with forms of extreme geometry he manages to produce buildings of great rigor. Developing an architectural language that is uniquely his, he seems to speak to all of us. While his work exudes the security of judgment, it is clearly intensified through cautious reflection. While we are dazzled by the lightness of his buildings, we feel the seriousness of their substance,” Baratta and Chipperfield said in a statement.

View a gallery of Siza’s work after the jump.

On View> MVRDV Reconsiders Rapid Urbanization with a Vertical Village

International
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
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(Courtesy MVRDV)

(Courtesy MVRDV)

As East Asian cities continue to modernize and densify, monotonous and dehumanizing blocks tend to replace the finely-grained, small-scale architecture and urbanism such as Beijing’s Hutong, Tokyo’s small wooden houses, and Singapore’s traditional villages. These “urban ecologies that have evolved over the course of centuries,” as Dutch firm MVRDV explains, foster a social interconnectivity in these communities, forming the basis for a new exhibition currently on view in Seoul, South Korea.

Continue reading after the jump.

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Projecting the Social Life of Small Urban Stoops

International
Monday, June 25, 2012
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Oh.No.Sumo's "Stairway Cinema" in New Zealand. (Simon Devitt/Courtesy Oh.No.Sumo)

Oh.No.Sumo's "Stairway Cinema" in New Zealand. (Simon Devitt/Courtesy Oh.No.Sumo)

New Yorkers like to believe that they’ve perfected stoop sitting culture, but half a world away in Auckland, New Zealand, experimental design collaborative Oh.No.Sumo has taken stoop sitting a step higher. As part of St. Paul Street Gallery‘s 2012 exhibition program of curatorial practice, Oh.No.Sumo created a small-scale tactical intervention forming an unexpected theater on a small stoop where the steps are the seats. Responding to the intersection’s lack of social life and the public’s retreat into smart-phone isolation, the Stairway Cinema creates a communal node and conversation piece.

Continue reading after the jump.

A Film About Rem By his Son and OMA

Eavesdroplet, International
Monday, June 25, 2012
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CCTV Building. (Courtesy Tomas Koolhaas)

CCTV Building. (Courtesy Tomas Koolhaas)

The film My Architect, the story of Louis Kahn’s son on a mission to discover and understand his father, won over the hearts and praise of even the lay-est of architectural laypersons. The effects of which—a fresh spotlight on the work and life of a brilliant designer—did not fall on blind eyes. Tomas Koolhaas is making a film about his father, Rem Koolhaassee the Facebook page!—called REM set to debut in 2013. It also appears from rough clips that the CCTV building in China will play a central role in the story. Awesome! We can’t wait to see this quaint little film about a humble and modest architect and his role in designing the media headquarters for political oppression and censorship in China. We’ll get the popcorn!

Teaser clips from Tomas Koolhaas after the jump.

¡Perfecto! Williams Tsien & DBB to Design US Embassy in Mexico City

International
Friday, June 22, 2012
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Tsien and Williams accepting Architectural League's Presidents medal in 2004. (Courtesy Architectural League)

Tsien and Williams accepting Architectural League's Presidents medal in 2004. (Courtesy Architectural League)

The U.S. Department of State has announced that Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects and Davis Body Bond will team up to design a new Embassy Compound in Mexico City. The husband and wife team has been riding an enormous wave of praise for their recently opened Barnes Foundation Museum in Philadelphia, but just when you thought the last of the praise was proffered, in comes Martin Filler’s rave in this week’s New York Review of Books (“wholly unexpected,” “ravishing,” “dazzling”).

That should give critics a breather till the duo’s University of Chicago Logan Center opens this fall. In the mean time, the next twenty months will be focused on working with Davis Body Bond designing the new embassy, with a construction contract to be awarded in 2015. The selection is the first under the State Department’s new Design Excellence program.

Unveiled> Bjarke Ingels Builds an Arch Filled With Culture for Bordeaux, France

International
Friday, June 22, 2012
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Rendering of MÉCA as seen from Bordeaux. (Courtesy BIG)

Rendering of MÉCA as seen from Bordeaux. (Courtesy BIG)

Bjarke Ingels has again thrown us for a loop, this time in Bordeaux, France. Ingels’ firm BIG has revealed its latest competition-winner called the Maison de l’Économie Créative et de la Culture en Aquitaine, or, for the rest of us, MÉCA. As AN noted in April, BIG won the commission working with Paris-based FREAKS freearchitects, beating out the likes of SANAA and Toulouse-based W-Architectures, but the renderings have been kept under wraps until now. Ingels’ explained the design using his signature diagram-based narrative as an array of three visual and performing arts agencies arranged around a 120-foot-tall arch-shaped building.

Continue reading after the jump.

The World’s Best Tall Buildings Combine Curves and Sustainability

International, Newsletter
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
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Doha Tower façade (Jean Nouvel)

Doha Tower façade (Jean Nouvel)

On June 13th the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) announced their choices for this years best tall buildings in the world. The CTBUH, an international not-for-profit association, picked four regional winners, including the Absolute Towers in Mississuaga, Canada for the Americas; 1 Blight Street, Sydney for Asia and Australia; Palzzo Lombardia, Milan, representing Europe; and Doha Tower, Doha, Qatar for the Middle East and Africa. These four buildings were recognized for making “an extraordinary contribution to the advancement of tall buildings and the urban environment, and for achieving sustainably at the broadest level,” according to a statement from the CTBUH. Additionally, the Al Bahar tower in Abu Dhabi won the first ever Innovation Award for its high-tech computerized sunshade.

Continue reading after the jump.

Architecture and Design Exhibitions by the Numbers

International
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
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Animal Superpowers, an interactive game by Chris Woebken and Kenichi Okada. (Courtesy MoMA)

Animal Superpowers, an interactive game by Chris Woebken and Kenichi Okada was part of MoMA's Talk to Me exhibition. (Courtesy MoMA)

If your interested in how many people viewed Christian Marclay’s The Clock exhibition at the Centre Pompidou (6,996 for its three day run) in 2011 then The Art Newspaper‘s yearly round up of the top exhibitions makes great reading. This year the list breaks out Architecture and Design exhibitions and New York’s MoMA is the clear winner.

Check out the top 10 exhibitions after the jump.

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Richard Meier Retrospective to Debut in Mexico City

International
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
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High Museum, courtesy Richard Meier and Partners

Richard Meier Retrospective
The Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil
Revolución 1608, San Angel, Álvaro Obregón
Mexico City
Through August 26

The Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil will present a retrospective of the Richard Meier’s most emblematic works. The exhibition includes artifacts from throughout Meier’s career, including models, original sketches, renderings, and photographs. Iconic projects such as the Smith House, The Getty Center, and the High Museum of Art will be exhibited. Read More

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