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Before Ikea introduced cheaply made Swedish-designed furnishings to dorm rooms across the globe, there was Swedish architect and designer Greta Magnusson Grossman, an often overlooked founding figure of Swedish modernism. For the first retrospective of her work, the Pasadena Museum of California Art presents Greta Magnusson Grossman: A Car and Some Shorts, which showcases designs that chronicle Grossman’s remarkable career. Her work fuses Scandinavian minimalism with California modernism, as illustrated by her well-known and widely replicated Grasshopper and Cobra lamp designs.
As the northeast is slowly getting back on its feet, non-profit Architecture for Humanity is already commencing its plans for rebuilding and recovery. While it’s still early, the organization, which is partnering with AIA chapters in the hardest hit regions, is starting first with impact assessment. Generally working in hard hit areas around the world, this is the first time their New York chapter has had to respond locally, pointed out Jennifer Dunn, New York Chapter Leader. AFH is not only looking to re-build, but to re-build better. “We don’t just want to help build back the coastline but create more resilient communities that can withstand future disasters,” said co-founder Cameron Sinclair in a statement.
Architecture for Humanity is looking for support in the form of donations or volunteers. Donations can be made online here, while volunteers should email email@example.com. Flood repair strategies are posted here. Further updates will appear on the Architecture for Humanity website as soon as they are available.
The Red Square, The Black Square – Superkilen, Copenhagen. (Torbin Eskerod, Courtesy Superfex)
An inventive new park in Copenhagen’s Norrebro district, “Superkilen,” designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Superflex, and Topotek 1 serves as a sort of cultural collage of artifacts sourced from 60+ nationalities. Superkilen slices its way through the center of the city, soaking up and flaunting its inhabitants’ diverse cultural backgrounds along the way. The kilometer-long wedge of urban space, completed this summer, is divided according to use into three distinct color-coded zones and sports bike paths linking directly to Copenhagen’s cycling highways.
Somewhere in the world right now, drivers and passengers are cursing their city’s traffic. The automotive snarls common in today’s metropolis are accepted as a symptom of modernity, but the traffic jam—as well as the battle between wheeled and foot traffic on city streets—is probably as old as the city itself. In fact, our forbearers dealt with it in many of the same ways that we’re attempting to now. To alleviate congestion in Rome, Julius Caesar implemented a version of road space rationing, forbidding carts and chariots to enter the city center before late afternoon. For bustling 15th century Milan, Leonardo da Vinci sketched an idea for road sharing system that separated pedestrian from wheeled traffic.
But the stakes of moving through the city were dramatically changed in the early 20th century with the debut of the car, a shift that provoked well-founded anxiety. “With all their speed forward, they may be a step backward in civilization,” Booth Tarkington wrote of automobiles in The Magnificent Ambersons, his 1918 novel that follows the beginnings of car culture. The multi-layered cost of cars and the infrastructure they require have come under intense scrutiny almost 100 years later, but one automotive company is hoping to be a leader in the conversation about what’s next. 2012 marks the second cycle in Audi’s Urban Future Award, a biannual competition that invites young architecture firms to contemplate what “mobility” could mean for cities in the year 2030.
In honor of the Day of the Dead (and to raise some money), LA’s MAK Center is hosting an auction of some amazing lamps this Friday from 7 to 10pm at its Fitzpatrick-Leland House. Those designing pieces for Light My Way, Stranger include Ball-Nogues, Hitoshi Abe, Coop Himmel(l)au, P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S, Hodgetts + Fung, Ehrlich Architects, B+U and many more. We can’t do these objects justice with words, so check out the slideshow. Enjoy!
A new sports stadium designed by Lebanon’s MZ Architects, though experimental, differs from the glitz and glam we’ve become accustomed to seeing from Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Instead of showing off with dramatic curves and shiny glass, the proposed “Rock Stadium” would be buried in the Al Ain desert and will work with the natural elements, being concealed by the its rocky landscape.
The famous clipper ship Cutty Sark was recently rehabilitated by Grimshaw Architects, who also built an exhibition hall around the vessel. The project, which opened in April, has just received the dubious distinction of winning Building Design’s 2012 Carbuncle (a.k.a. “ugliest building”) Cup award. Parked in Greenwich, England and categorized as a World Heritage site, the ship now floats on a blue glass base intended to suggest water. But the resulting effect is more bateau-en-gelée, prompting BD executive editor Ellis Woodman to write that the project had “the best of intentions and yet has tragically succeeded in defiling the very thing it set out to save.”
But in anticipation of Warren and Wetmore‘s Grand Central celebrating its centennial next year, the Municipal Art Society (MAS) asked three firms—SOM, WXY, and Foster+Partners—to re-envision the Beaux-Arts masterpiece and its surrounding midtown neighborhood with an eye toward the train station’s next 100 years. The results of the Grand Central…The Next 100 project were unveiled at this year’s MAS Summit for New York City, which wrapped up on Friday and included both down-to-earth and fanciful visions for the future of Manhattan.
Dubai’s Meydan Bridge, left, and LA’s Sixth Street Viaduct, right. (Elia Locardi and HNTB)
We could’t help noticing that LA’s new Sixth Street Viaduct, which is being designed by a team led by HNTB, bears a striking resemblance to Dubai’s Meydan Bridge, the royal VIP entrance to the Meydan racetrack where the prestigious Dubai World Cup is held annually. The bridge was featured in the recent film, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, but sits empty for most of the year. Of course there are differences between the two: Meydan’s arches are made of steel, not concrete, it’s not cable-stayed, and its upper arches don’t touch the ground, but they’re still very close in all their wavy glory.
Foster’s final winning design will be presented at the Municipal Arts Society’s Summit for New York City, which begins on Thursday, October 18 (Foster will present on Friday at 9 a.m.). Also during the two day summit, an exhibition displaying the work of all four finalists’ designs will be on view.
Parsons The New School of Design has recently completed a new pool pavilion called Splash House for Highbridge Pool and Recreation Center. Led by students in the School of Constructed Environments at Parsons, Splash House was designed and developed pro bono by students in partnership with NYC Parks & Recreation as an addition to the WPA-era Highbridge Pool and Recreation Center.
Fernando Romero, founder of architecture firm FREE, kicked off the morning with a tour of his facade work, from the hexagonal network of mirrored steel tiles enclosing the Museo Soumaya in Mexico City, to IIT’s McCormick Tribune Campus Center just two blocks from the conference hall. Romero worked on the McCormick Center while at OMA, but had never before visited the completed structure. Walking through the building after his talk, delivered on his 41st birthday, the architect said it was a gift to finally visit.