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February 27 2014


“Too Radical to Implement Yet Too Relevant to Ignore”: John Hejduk’s Kreuzberg Tower

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Robert Slinger, a founding partner of Berlin based practice Kapok, narrates the story of a building “too radical to implement and too relevant to ignore.” Having lived in John Hejduk’s Kreuzberg Tower for eight years, Slinger “came to understand how Hejduk’s architecture both flexibly accommodates and yet asserts a presence which resists any attempts to co-opt it. Whilst impressed by its powerful exterior presence, its austerity and frontal directness left a strangely cold impression upon me.”

“A house knows who loves it.” – John Hejduk

Read more about the building at Save John Hejduk’s Kreuzberg Tower (2010) and find out more about the Kreuzberg Tower on ArchDaily. This short film is part of Christian Burckhardt’s Architects in Love series.

References: Uncube

February 26 2014


VIDEO: Renzo Piano Pavilion at Kimbell Art Museum

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Arbuckle Industries, the producers behind the highly lauded documentary Archiculture, has shared with us a small teaser revealing Renzo Piano’s recently opened expansion at the Kimbell Art Center. Situated just 65 yards from Louis I. Kahn’s “signature cycloid-vaulted museum of 1972,” the single-story, colonnaded pavilion “stands as an expression of simplicity and lightness.”


The Berlage Archive: Rem Koolhaas + Kenneth Frampton (1998)

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ArchDaily has teamed up with the The Berlage to provide exclusive access to their newly digitized archive of lectures. The Berlage is a postgraduate international institute where some of the world’s most renowned architects, thinkers, designers, photographers and other professionals come to share, exchange and critically reflect upon their ideas. Over the last 23 years, The Berlage has built up an extensive lecture archive of seminal lectures. Thanks to this partnership now we can now share them with you. ArchDaily is committed to providing inspiration and knowledge to architects all over the world, so please look forward to monthly publications of these lectures during the coming year, which include talks by Rem Koolhaas, Jacques Herzog, Toyo Ito, and more.

This 1998 lecture reflects Rem Koolhaas’ desire to initiate a direct meeting of the critic and the architect, so it’s no surprise that the he called upon Kenneth Frampton to join him in conversation. (Koolhaas–with his tendency toward polemic, hyperbolic statements–even refers to Frampton as “maybe the only critic left.”) The two spend a significant time debating the role of the critic, often disagreeing and playfully challenging the other’s theories.

Recorded at a time when the Office for Metropolitan Architecture was working on the Educatorium, the Maison à Bordeaux and the recently completed De Rotterdam, the conversation also delves into discussions of China’s emergent urbanization (which was, in 1998, still relatively young) as well as “the star system.”  

February 23 2014


VIDEO: Solving the Mysteries of Brunelleschi’s Dome

A new hour long documentary for PBS’ series, Building the Great Cathedrals, explores the mystery of how, in the 15th century, Florentine architect Filippo Brunelleschi constructed one of the largest domes the world had ever seen. Winning what could be considered one of the earliest architectural competitions, Brunelleschi developed a unique system that allowed construction on the dome to occur while services were being conducted in the cathedral 100 metres below. The team in this episode model this freestanding structure in an attempt to understand just how Brunelleschi achieved such a feat of Renaissance engineering.

You can find out more about the film here. Please note that the film is only viewable through PBS within the USA. For those of you outside the USA, you can watch the 30 second preview above; for those in the USA, see the full video after the break…

February 22 2014


VIDEO: Liz Diller on the High Line, A Mile of Respite in the City that Never Sleeps

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Liz Diller, one of the three partners of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, discusses the history of the High Line and the active design decisions which led to its success.

The elevated railroad, which was designed to penetrate city blocks rather than parallel an avenue, saw its last delivery (of frozen turkeys) in 1980. By 1999, a “very strange landscape had formed, with a whole eco system around it,” says Diller. Advocacy for the site’s preservation began with two local residents, and culminated in its reclamation with the multidisciplinary collaboration of city officials and impassioned designers (namely James Corner Field Operations, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and planting designer Piet Oudolf). “The High Line project couldn’t have happened without the right people, the right time and the right administration.”

Today, thirty-feet above the hardscape in the canopy of the New York City jungle, the High Line pauses for a meditative mile. “The high line, if it’s about anything, it’s about nothing, about doing nothing. You can walk and sit, but you can’t be productive,” comments Diller.

February 21 2014


VIDEO: The Endless Table

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When designing offices for creative companies, it’s important to strike a balance between an efficient workplace, a fun space to be in, and an attention-grabbing signature for the company itself. That’s exactly what Clive Wilkinson Architects did for the Barbarian Group, an advertising group in New York for whom they designed the Endless Table, a single desk which both seats all of their 125 staff members, but also defines spaces within the office, such as meeting rooms and cozy work nooks.

You can watch the video above where the Chairman and the CEO of the Barbarian Group give you a tour of their new home; the New York Times has also conducted an interview with Clive Wilkinson where you can see some great images and find out more about the inspiration behind the project.

February 20 2014


Video: MASS Design Group ‘Beyond The Building’

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MASS Design Group, the award-winning design group behind the Butaro Hospital and Umubano Primary School in Rwanda as well as other public-interest projects in Haiti, have launched a video series on a great topic that really resonates with us. “Beyond the Building” will look at the ways in which architecture, beyond buildings, impacts lives around the world, giving dignity back to the users. Check out the awesome video above (the first of the series) and join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #beyondthebuilding.

February 19 2014


VIDEO: What We Can Learn From Tall Buildings

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What do you think the North American, Asian and Western European tall building communities most need to learn from each other? This is precisely what the Center on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) sat down to ask five leading architects, whose responses formed an eclectic and meaningful overview on the state of tall building worldwide. As Rem Koolhaas noted, each region has their own journey that is worth understanding, such as the Arab world’s transition from “extravagance to rationality” or Asia’s hyper-focus on project realization. However, as James Goettsch points out, “not every building has to be something remarkable.” It’s alright for some buildings to be nothing more than “good citizens.”

Watch all five responses in the short video above.

February 15 2014


VIDEO: Elegance in Motion at Calatrava’s Liège-Guillemins Railway Station in Belgium

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We present you with a compelling video depicting the sublime interaction of light and space at Santiago Calatrava’s Liège-Guillemins railway station in Belgium. Inspired by Eadwards Muybridge’s 1886 short-film “Horse in Motion,” architectural photographer Yannick Wegner uses time lapse photography to uniquely portray the experience within and around this bustling building.

“Time lapse as a stylistic device offers new opportunities in acknowledging remarkable architecture,” describes Wegner. “The appearance of time through motion gives the impression of vitality and emphasizes the architecture.”

February 13 2014


VIDEO: Jean Nouvel on Arabic Architecture, Context and Culture

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In this powerful interview, Jean Nouvel explains his relationship to Arabic architecture. Discussing his various projects in Arabic countries – such as his office tower in Doha or the Louvre Abu Dhabi - Nouvel discusses how he is influenced by and integrates the abstraction and geometry of traditional Islamic architecture into his modern designs. He also espouses a strong opinion on the understanding of context in architecture, saying: “I’m a contextual architect, but for me the context isn’t only the site. It’s above all a wider historical context – a cultural context… each time, building is trying to continue a history, and to take part in this history.” His architecture, he says, is about listening: “The architect is not meant to impose his own values or his own sensitivities on such general plans.” Video via Louisiana.


Videos: Viewpoint / Finnish Architects

Designed by Helsinki-based practice AOR, Viewpoint is a peaceful respite floating on the canal in London’s Kings Cross. See how Erkko Aarti, Arto Ollila and Mikki Ristola explained the process and the relationship between the built and unbuilt in Kings Cross.

February 12 2014


Siza, Souto de Moura, Kuma Reflect on Their ‘Sensing Spaces’ Exhibitions

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As an accompaniment to their ongoing Sensing Spaces Exhibition in London, the Royal Academy of Arts has produced six wonderful films interviewing the architects involved in the exhibition, unearthing what motivates and inspires them as architects, and what the primary themes of their exhibition projects are.

The above video features both Álvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura, who both designed their Sensing Spaces exhibits with the other in mind. Siza explains his preoccupation with the joints between the natural and the man-made through his Leça Swimming Pool complex, and the way the rock formations informed his interventions. He also introduces his one-time protégé Souto de Moura’s Braga stadium as expressing the same understanding of the natural and man-made.

See videos from the 5 other Sensing Spaces participants after the break

Grafton Architects

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Grafton Architects take us through their Stirling Prize-nominated University of Limerick designs, explaining how they set out to create spaces which would alter the way students viewed their own education, encouraging them to be more active and engaged rather than passive consumers of information. For their Sensing Spaces exhibit, light was the driving force, as they occupy the space overhead.

Diébédo Francis Kéré

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Diébédo Francis Kéré describes how architecture functions in his native Burkina Faso, as a community-based activity which continues to have life after the project is constructed, as the continual appropriation and adaptation of buildings there is key. He tries to bring this understanding to the RA with his interactive and colorful installation which encourages visitors to leave their own mark on the structure.

Kengo Kuma

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Kengo Kuma explains his understanding of architecture as a full bodily experience, focusing on the Japanese concept of “void”. On a personal level, he describes how smells such as tatami can remind him of his childhood home; in this sense, his aromatic exhibit is a very personal shared experience.

Li Xiaodong

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Li Xiaodong‘s primary concern is how traditional Chinese architecture can adapt to the onslaught of Western ideals, and how it might incorporate contemporary living. His walls of twigs were a very contextual element in his LiYuan Library, however he reuses them in Sensing Spaces to psychologically remove visitors from the space in London, so they can fully comprehend the Zen Garden at the center of his maze.

Pezo von Ellrichshausen

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Pezo von Ellrichshausen show how their Cien house in Chile makes use of the everyday, the neutral and even the mundane to root people in the space and make them comfortable there. Their installation at Sensing Spaces reflects these ideas, encouraging people to see the space of the RA in ways they had never experienced before; enhancing the understanding of the pre-existing space rather than creating a definitively new one.

See all the Sensing Spaces exhibitions here.

February 08 2014


VIDEO: Inspired by Archigram, A Humanoid Walking City

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Walking City: Architecture + Evolution + Movement” is an awesome new video from Universal Everything that we came across on Fast Co.Design. In it, the humanoid figure, a literal “Walking City,” shape-shifts: one moment like the Plug-In City, another like Bucky Fuller‘s geodesic domes.

For another awesome project inspired by Ron Herron’s The Walking City, check our popular post on Manuel Dominguez’s “Very Large Structure.” And check out the fun gif of “Walking City: Architecture + Evolution + Movement” after the break.

February 02 2014


VIDEOS: ArchiLab 2013 Discusses “Naturalizing Architecture”

This past September marked the commencement of ArchiLab 2013 at the newly completed FRAC Centre in Orleans, France. Forty architects, designers and artists gathered for the annual architectural exposition and conference’s ninth edition to discuss the deepening overlap between digital architecture and the sciences, particularly molecular biology. Under the theme “Naturalizing Architecture,” two international symposiums took place which provided the opportuntiy for architects and scientists to present, and debate, the latest research revolving this subject and its ever-evolving role within the living world.

To encourage the continuation of discourse, we have complied a video list of all the discussions from the symposium for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy them, after the break, and feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Discussion: Marie-Ange Brayer, Cloud de Grandpré and Frédéric Migayrou – Introduction

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Discussion: Claudia Pasquero & Marco Poletto, ecoLogicStudio – META-folly: Ecology Beyond Nature

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Discussion: Marcos Cruz & Marjan Colletti, marcosandmarjan – Novel Beautesque

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Discussion: Kristina Schinegger, soma – Multiple Natures

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Discussion: Anouk Legendre, X_TU Architects – Hybridations Urbaines

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Discussion: Alisa Andrasek, Biothing – Open Synthesis: Increased Resolution Fabric of Architecture

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Discussion: Michael Hansmeyer – Digital Grotesque

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Discussion: Philippe Morel, EZCT Architecture & Design Research

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Discussion: Formalisation

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Discussion: Achim Menges – Performative Morphology, Integrative Machine and Material Computation

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Discussion: Theodore Spyropoulos (Minimaforms, UK) – Enabling Frameworks: Adaptive Models of Communication

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Discussion: Marc Fornes (MARC FORNES & THEVERYMANY tm) -Computational Skinning: Tests, Trials, Errors

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Discussion: Material Behaviors 

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For more on ArchiLab 2013, check out ArchDaily’s exclusive coverage and interviews with the architects.

January 31 2014


VIDEO: Angles on the View with Parametric Design

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This two-minute video with NBBJ’s Andrew Heumann highlights a valuable capability of parametric design; whereby the architect can optimize the shape and orientation of a building to appropriate a variety of viewing conditions at the client’s request.

The aptitude for quick, cost-effective variation and the capacity for intuitive visual re-presentation of scripting plug-ins like this one (Grasshopper for Rhino) is a gold star for parametric design.

January 25 2014


Construction Story: Carlos Arnaiz Discusses the Church of 100 Walls

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When commissioned to design a church in Cebu, the oldest urban center of the Philippines, Carlos Arnaiz of CAZA hoped to create a “scared place that embodied the contemporary search for meaning.” Inspired by the world’s diversity, Arnaiz, together with his colleagues, envisioned the Chapel of San Pedro Calungsod, the “Church of 100 Walls.” Symbolic of “commonality and difference,” the church represents the many paths one may take through life and invites visitors to explore its many, distinct spaces made up of 100, uniquely-sized walls.

January 24 2014


TED Talk: Manhattan’s Past, Present and Future

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When it comes to global cities, New York City may be one of the most prominent – but it is also relatively young. Just 400 years ago, Manhattan island was mostly covered in forests and marshes. In his talk at TEDx Long Island City, Eric Sanderson discusses the city’s radical changes in land use over the past four centuries, and begins to contemplate what the next four might look like. How can we take a city like New York and make it as efficient as the forest it replaced? In a bid to uncover the ideas that might make this possible, he introduces Manhatta 2409 – an online tool which maps/compares the historic and current land use of Manhattan and allows users to propose new uses. Learn more in the video above.

January 20 2014


VIDEO: “If You Build It” Trailer

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If You Build It is a documentary following the story of high school students in Windsor, a small and downtrodden rural town in Bertie County, North Carolina. In this setting, architects Emily Pilloton and Matt Miller started Project H, an educational initiative designed to not only improve the education of these disadvantaged young people, but also to reach out to the wider community and make real change.

Read on for more about Project H and the If You Build It documentary

As Emily Pilloton explains in her 2010 TED Talk, their relocation to Bertie County was driven by a three-part mission to improve education and community spirit in the area: the first two parts of consisted of designing better spaces for teaching, and in designing systems which allowed the school to become a pillar for the community to rally around; the third, and perhaps most radical, involved becoming teachers themselves. Students were taught how to identify areas of need in Windsor, and designed and built a farmers’ market which addressed these needs.

It is this third part of the mission on which the documentary focuses. The students, many of whom were jaded by a standard education, were given a reason to go to school each day – and the community saw real, positive change in a town that had been slowly deteriorating for years. See the film’s website for more information, including screening locations and dates.

January 19 2014


VIDEO: Thom Mayne Talks the Cooper Union Building

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In honor of Thom Mayne’s birthday today, we’re sharing this video interview from Danish Website Louisiana. In it Thom Mayne introduces his building at 41 Cooper Square by saying “I wanted to produce something that was off, and was not at all systematic in any normal architectural sense.” Ultimately, the form of the building is, he says, an attempt to engage with New York City, understanding Cooper Union as a key part of the city’s incredible intensity of intellectual creative capital. He also discusses how the building – despite its avant garde form - won over the local community. Enjoy!

January 18 2014


‘Hacked’ Offices: The Future of Workplace Design?

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What does the workplace of the future look like? Shawn Gehle, of Gensler, explains in this TEDx Talk that with over 10 billion square feet of existing office space in North America, we may not even need to envision new buildings. Rather, by “hacking” existing buildings, architects can transform them into something completely new. For more on Gensler’s “hacker” philosophy, read our article here.

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