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Ideas, References, and Provocations from Taubman College, University of Michigan

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    Lecture: Benedetta Tagliabue 03.26.2012

    Live Blogging #2

    Before we get the show on the road, I'm pretty excited to see the recent work of Benedetta Tagliabue. I must say, probably similar to most architecture students, I am most familiar with the work of EMBT, an office which greatly effected us as students [at Florida International University at the time]. Should be great!

    Monica Ponce de Leon introducing Tagliabue as Dinkeloo lecturer

    Focus on the Italian, Spanish, Catalan cultures

    Her work shows special  dedication to context.

    ::introduction::

    Tonight, we're taking you around a little tour of buildings most significant to us, with a focus on how we do them.

    Office is a playful place where we try to involve the creativity of everybody

    ::plays video of Disney project with scenes from EMBT studio::

    Trying to get the situation, the material [characters, cartoons], and transform it, to get an answer

    Wish to make a space joyous 

    [Santa Caterina Market]

    We did this because we were very egoistic

    Making the market the new market, changing the situation of the surroundings

    This part of Barcelona was always really dense, really complicated

    Site was previously burial ground, church, monastery

    We were the first ones to dig in the site

    The application of the roof was as if we were continuing a project that started many years ago

    [Gas company project, Barcelona]

    Project attempts to mingle with the surroundings

    Tried our best to make the building part of the context, the geometry breaks so much because of its echoing of the surroundings

    Building is very much grounded on the floor, always changing because of its complex geometry

    35 meter cantilever helps the volume seem fragmented

    Building is not excluding, usually highrises have trouble relating to the city around it, here, we're trying to make the city go through, no fence, division, between private and public space. This project is very "Barcelona."

    [Barcelona Park Project]

    At the time, Barcelona wanted to develop a very industrial area.

    Mix between private operation and, as a result of the project, a very large public space given to its neighbors

    Sometimes, architecture is public space in itself

    [Academic campus in Vigo, Spain]

    Buildings acting as though they are part of the topography

    Mountain is a hostile place, but moving through, under the mountain, we have possibility to change the shape of the mountain, creating places for people to meet and come together

    [Scottish Parliament]

    We thought first to make a movement of the landscape, then on top, we could have another movement of the building itself

    Inside each of the buildings is a new piazza.

    New building not dedicated to the politician, but to the people

    Very complex geometry as a means to limit hierarchy

    Inside:chambers, Outside:New public space, confrontation of history, with public feeling of accessing the building freely, participating in the decisions of the politicians

    Wanted to show that this was not a specific place to Scotland

    We are symbolically in a boat, where they [politicians] can feel that no one side is winning

    Did not want to make it an institutional space

    [Project in Hamburg, still in progress]

    Public space project

    Hamburg has second biggest harbor in Europe

    Old harbor was to become part of the city again

    Water is a fantastic thing to watch when at a harbor, at the same time, very dangerous

    Remove the image of danger, replacing it with image of friendship, through steps becoming benches, lights, different pavings, 

    Harbors have many things going on

    We wanted a lot of materials, a lot of shapes, shadows, in a space dedicated to the people

    This place is part of the city that is not very well known, therefore you have to teach, you have to attract

    ::showing images of people sleeping on platforms:: "This is Barcelona" ::laughs:

    Sometimes, we have the feeling we are "tourist architects"

    With cultural exchange, we try to have a richness with what we design

    [Winning competition entry for New School of Music in Hamburg]

    Building wraps around one large tree on site, making a playful game of making places, making music visible

    Project at a time when PM Merkel wanted to give energy to the people with fast projects

    New, large auditorium took the place of original plaza

    We were destroying the old building with something new

    Named the building Miralles Saal 

    [Project for Merce Cunningham, artist, choreographer]

    Dance was to open at his 90th birthday. 

    My present to him was a crystal, has lots of symbols, changes light, is eternal

    Volume had to sustain 10 people

    Piece would move around like a clock, heavy structure, which we wished looked light

    Building was a big effort, Cunningham was collaborating with fantastic artists

    At his age, he wanted to collaborate with people he didn't know

    On top of this new structure, there would be ten musicians, with dancer dancing on top

    Cunningham wanted a last play with all of the arts working together, he named the piece "Nearly 90," I think he was looking at the end of his life, for something concrete.

    [Spanish Pavilion in Shanghai]

    We won the competition unexpectedly

    Our proposal was not literally explaining anything about Spain, What can you explain about Spain?! ::laughter::

    Project uses very special material not usually used in architecture (wicker)

    Expo was called, "better city, better life."

    Technique of handmade basket is the same, similar process all over teh world. We felt the langage wi=as communivated

    Japanese collaborator asks, "How can we make a project out of wicker." I respond, I don't know! But when we get the project, we will think about it when we win the project.

    We needed the wicker panel to be transportable [2x1], and needed to find 3 dimensional possibility within the panel

    Top of pavilion has hidden wit 

    Furniture trying not to break fluidity of the space.

    Photographs of the finished project mimic an animal with a mind of its own

    [Project Zhang Da Cian]

    Project is 3,000 sm dedicated to him on the site where he was born

    Pavilions allow you to look at the art inside at the same time as the surroundings, great site on a mountain with much vegetation

    Pavilion has to be a place where you can invent, explain the life of the painter, and the beauty of the landscape

    He was in love with gardening, loved to work on gardens of his houses

    We are trying to give soehting, but we get a lot back.

    [project for park in an expo]

    Lines of a painting of Zhang Da Cian become the lines in plan for the project

    Park was missing the flowers of Cian's painting, this was a different type of garden

    [Shenzen Tower]

    We thought maybe the geometry had to be special, but not too difficult to build

    Used bamboo as a starting point for its geometry

    Building changes shape from every point of view, is a monolithic volume, but constantly changing

    Podium space is primarily used for shopping, where ground of building becomes more public

    From one view, looks like a stiff person, from up close looks rather different

    Though we did renderings, we much prefer to work with physical models, with materiality, process

    [Rudan University Project]

    Soft limit to space dedicated to students, and space used by the city

    Bridge become public space, both underneath, and on top

    [Project, Interior in Milan, to portray my Domesticity]

    Collage of my life in a room, transforming my life into portable 

    Merging of one thing into the next

    Nice experiment in making my family transportable

    We try to make our family more familiar to those who are using our projects

     

     
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About this Blog

This blog likely arises from an over-abundance of architectural theory courses this semester. There are far too many thoughts ruminating in the atmosphere at Taubman College to not transcribe somewhere.

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