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Just Two of Us by Katharina Grosse is a sculptural landscape of color in downtown Brooklyn. (Courtesy Public Art Fund / Flickr )
Amidst the trees of MetroTech Commons in downtown Brooklyn, a vibrant architectural terrain has been formed. In an installation piece called Just Two of Us, Berlin-based artist Katharina Grosse has situated eighteen large, multi-colored sculptural forms in the wooded public space. Sponsored by the Public Art Fund, the work creates a surprising show of colors and a form that walks the line between sculpture, architecture, and painting.
A never-before-built Frank Lloyd Wright house has been painstakingly constructed on its original site at Florida Southern College. The 1700-square-foot Usonian house, designed by Wright in 1939 as modest faculty housing, is the 13th structure by the renowned architect to be built on Florida Southern’s campus, but the first since Wright’s death in 1959.
The next in line to fight for its survival is a set of Paul Rudolph buildings in Buffalo, New York. Tomorrow, November 6, at 8:15 a.m., the Buffalo City Planning Board will convene to decide the fate of five buildings included in Rudolph’s 9.5-acre Shoreline Apartment complex.
Above ground, Santiago Calatrava‘s bird-like transit hub at the World Trade Center is just beginning to take flight, but underground, the first section of the project is already soaring. Officials cut the ribbon on Calatrava’s West Concourse tunnel connecting the World Trade PATH Station and Brookfield Place (formerly the World Financial Center). Comprised of sculptural steel ribs set against pristine, highly-polished white marble, the new space makes taking transit feel almost like a religious experience.
OBR Open Building Research, Right to Energy. (Courtesy OBR Open Building Research)
One of the most curious artifacts in the current exhibition, Energy: Oil and Post-Oil Architecture and Grids, currently running through November 10, is the one you run into just outside the entrance doors to Rome’s MAXXI museum. It’s one of those ubiquitous mini AGIP filling stations, of the kind you normally would find curbside in any one of Italy’s many town centers. The look is ultra modern, with a cantilevered steel structure sheltering a smartly-constructed metal-and-glass shed designed for the gas station attendant and his stock of replacement windshield wipers and engine oils. Next to one of the pumps is AGIP’s bright yellow icon featuring a black, six-legged, fire-breathing dog. The filling station wouldn’t seem so odd if it were not for where it sits: on the pavement just under one of Zaha Hadid’s flying concrete viaducts. The architecture of Hadid’s MAXXI suggests a series of highway overpasses crashing into one of the remaining buildings preserved on the former barracks site. The miniature service station with all its loaded petro-symbolism seems to fit perfectly under the shadows of this massive Ballardian road wreck.
Curbed Detroit drew our attention to that city’s Fist National Building and its year-long renovation. The Albert Kahn-designed building opened in 1930. Its interiors have fallen into disrepair, including the original plaster ceiling.
The Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has completed its latest cultural offering in its homeland: the Danish Maritime Museum in the city of Helsingør. Located a mere 1,600 feet from the historic Kronborg Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the setting of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the museum honors Denmark’s historic and contemporary role as a leading maritime nation. Faced with the challenge of establishing a fitting facade while preserving the views from the nearby castle, BIG principal Bjarke Ingels tucked the 65,000-square-foot museum 23 feet below grade by carving out space around an existing, decommissioned dry dock.
Renzo Piano has unveiled renderings for the new Palais de Justice, positioned on the northern edge of central Paris in the urban expansion area of Clichy-Batignolles, which will provide space for and unite numerous judicial services presently scattered throughout the city. The law courts complex appears as a slender, translucent, 525-foot-tall tower comprised of four stacked rectangular masses diminishing in size as they ascend. The structure includes extensive fenestration to blend the division of the interior and exterior, in addition to two exterior glass elevators offering expansive views of the city.
Left: Daniel Libeskind (Ilan Besor); Right: Off the Wall (courtesy Cosentino)
At Cosentino’s launch of Dekton, AN had an opportunity to sit down with Daniel Libeskind. The world-renowned architect designed an outdoor sculpture, Off the Wall, made from the new material that weathers like stone but has manufactured advantages of specialized color, texture, and form, thanks to Cosentino’s particle sintering technology (PST) that simulates metamorphic rock formation at a highly accelerated rate. It originally debuted this spring at Salone del Mobile in Milan.
AN: You studied music in Israel. Do you find any of your classical music training to inform your design and architecture work? Daniel Libeskind: Totally. Even though I was a virtuoso performer I continue to use that sense of my relationship to music very deeply in my work. Architecture and music are closely related in many ways. They’re both very precise: In music, even a vibration cannot be off by a single half note. And it’s the same with architecture; the geometry, the spatial character of a building must be accurate.
At 72 years old, the accomplished architect might be expected to rest on his laurels. But Ito said his entire approach began to change during the 1990s. “I used to pursue architecture that is beautiful, aligned with modernism,” he said through an interpreter during a talk with Korean artists Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho; Yusaku Imamura, director of Tokyo Wonder Site; and artist Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle. Instead, he said, he began to ask what elements of a building make it livable.
Taking her sleek, space-age forms to the sea, Zaha Hadid has teamed up with Hamburg, Germany–based master shipbuilders Blohm+Voss to launch a fleet of signature superyachts. Together they have created The Unique Circle Yacht, a family of five distinct 90m yachts based on the design philosophies and sculptural contours of a 420-foot master prototype that was recently displayed in an exhibition of Hadid’s work at the David Gill Gallery in London. The web-like design of the yachts’ distinctively-Zaha upper exoskeleton was supposedly informed by fluid dynamics, underwater ecosystems, and the structural systems of marine organisms, while the hull was the result of intense hydrodynamic research.
Jean Nouvel’s Design for new National Art Museum of China. (Courtesy Atelier Jean Nouvel)
Over a star-studded semi-finalist list of Western architects, Pritztker-Prize winning French architect Jean Nouvel has been awarded the commission to design the world’s largest art museum: the new National Art Museum of China in Beijing. The 130,000 square meters NAMOC building is intended to exhibit works by 20th-century and traditional artists from worldwide. The Financial Times reported earlier this year that Jean Nouvel’s design idea as that of a single ink brushstroke, a concept of traditional Chinese art and calligraphy. With sweeping glass and a reflective facade, the museum’s exterior takes obvious inspiration from the art visitors will encounter within its walls.