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Smoke and Flames pour out of Oscare Niemeyer’s Latin America Memorial in São Paulo, Brazil (joviannysierascky / Instagram)
While Americans trampled over each-other for the latest consumer electronics, flames tore through the late Oscar Neimeyer’s landmark Latin America Memorial complex (1987) in São Paulo, Brazil on Friday. Inaugurated in 1989, the complex was built to promote the social, cultural, political and economic integration of Latin America. Eighty-eight firefighters were reportedly dispatched to contain the blaze that consumed portions of the 909,000 square foot complex for up to five hours.
Do you dream of a world in which your touch-screen could touch back? Where you can shape digital models with your hands, physically reach out to friends hundreds of miles away, and once again tangibly interact with the people and objects around you?
The Tangible Media Group at MIT’s Media Lab has begun to probe this future of 3D interactive interfaces with their latest creation: inFORM. Functioning similarly to the metal pinscreen toy, inFORM combines a state-of-the-art table-mounted “screen” of 900 movable “pixels,” a hacked Microsoft Kinect, projector, and nearby computer to transmit palpable content back-and-forth between the digital and physical realms.
The design is allegedly based upon the Dhow, a type of Arabian fishing boat. (Courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects)
Zaha Hadid Architects has unveiled its design for a 40,000-seat soccer stadium to rise in the Arabian kingdom of Qatar. The project is slated to be complete in time for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and is only one of several such facilities that the oil-rich nation plans to build—in addition to miles of roads, a seaport, airport, and a rail system—in a $140 billion spending spree to lay down the infrastructure necessary to support the event and the international crowds it attracts.
Hadid’s office has stated that the design of the stadium is derived from the dhow, a type of fishing vessel that is common among the peoples of the Arabian Peninsula. Several commentators have pointed out, however, that the renderings more closely resemble the mounds, folds, and cavities of a certain very private part of the female anatomy.
Located in Clemson, South Carolina, an idyllic college town halfway between Atlanta and Charlotte, and serving as the only School of Architecture in the state, the leadership of the school has historically created a curriculum that balances service to its home state and connections to the wider world. In fact, the “Fluid Campus” has become a hallmark of the institution with almost all of the students, undergraduate and graduate, spending at least one semester at one of three urban satellite campuses: Genoa, Italy; Barcelona, Spain; and Charleston, South Carolina.
“Southern Roots + Global Reach,” a year of events commemorating this spirit, culminated with the Centennial Symposium: “The Architecture of Regionalism in the age of Globalism.” Organized by Director of Graduate Studies, Peter Laurence, with the support of Kate Schwennsen, former AIA president and chair of the School of Architecture, the event sought to deepen our definition of critical regionalism in an era of expanded global diversity.
SOU FUJIMOTO’S OUTLOOK TOWER (COURTESY GA: SOU FUJIMOTO – RECENT PROJECT)
Tokyo-based architect and creator of this year’s Serpentine Pavilion, Sou Fujimoto, has recently unveiled his latest rendering of Outlook Tower and Water Plaza, a proposal that’s part of his master plan development for the coastal resort district of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. His proposed 473,612-square-foot structure is based on a vernacular type of Islamic architecture and mirrors the shape of Bedouin tents. Seen from afar, their silhouettes are designed to form the shape of a mirage-like gateway linking the mainland to the sea.
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.