Archinect - News 2015-11-30T23:06:47-05:00 What a starchitectural skyline means for the future of New York Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-09-14T14:25:00-04:00 >2015-09-14T18:25:47-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="289" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The latest explosion of Manhattan development has fully and passionately embraced the phenomenon of the global starchitect. [...] As it turned out, the future would be pure real estate ... The future was the privatisation of the sky and a transfer from corporate power to individual wealth, the visual manifestation of the 0.1 per cent. It was a catwalk of anorexic skinnyscrapers by the equivalents of haute-couture designers ... global names with which to sell real estate.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> ClickHole's magnificent spoof on starchitects' unbuilt buildings Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-07-24T17:44:00-04:00 >2015-08-08T18:41:44-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="289" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>&ldquo;a barbershop, a beautiful barbershop formed by curves of alabaster stone. It would resemble an albino slug that&rsquo;s eating a pile of white towels. Instead of sitting on swivel chairs during your haircut, you&rsquo;d rest on a big egg that rises out of an indoor reflecting pool. [...] Every day, I open the phone book and call a handful of random barbershops to see if anyone is interested, but I have yet to find a barber with the vision and bravery required.&rdquo; &ndash; Zaha Hadid</p></em><br /><br /><p>I had dreamed of the day when the visionary and hysterical ClickHole would lampoon starchitects. Now that day has come, and the resulting listicle does not disappoint.</p><p>Here's Frank Gehry's lost project for the "Evil Concert Hall":</p><p>"Instead of holding music, the evil hall would just house endless screaming and clanking chains, establishing an intriguing duality that exists not just in the Disney universe but throughout the entirety of the cosmos. The Disney family only approved the good building.&rdquo;</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>And poor Santiago Calatrava, disappointed to realize his design wasn't so original after all:</p><p>&ldquo;My best design ever was actually the Taj Mahal, but I found out that it had already been made. It was extremely humiliating, because I learned that while pitching it for a museum in Barcelona. When I unveiled the model, the clients said, &lsquo;This is the Taj Mahal. India has one,&rsquo; and I told them I was pretty sure they didn&rsquo;t, because I had just invented it. We looked up the Taj Mahal, and sure enough, it...</p> Van Alen auctioning a hot-tub roundtable, helicopter rides, birdwatching with famous architects for spring fundraiser Justine Testado 2015-05-11T09:40:00-04:00 >2015-05-11T12:57:40-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="257" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>The <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Van Alen Institute</a> and online auction platform Paddle8 recently opened up their 2015 Auction of Art + Design Experiences that lets eager (and wealthy) bidders opt for basically hanging out with some of today's famous architects and designers.</p><p>This year's auction boasts an international list of activities with 24 leading creatives, like sitting in a hot-tub roundtable with Charles Renfro in his beach house, biking through downtown L.A. with Michael Maltzan on his daily route, birdwatching with Jeanne Gang, flying in a helicopter with Norman Foster over the River Thames, and testing the smoke ring generator at Copenhagen's waste-to-energy power plant with Bjarke Ingels and BIG partner Jakob Lange.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""><img title="" alt="" src=""><img title="" alt="" src=""><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>After bidding closes on May 20, proceeds will support Van Alen's ongoing cross-disciplinary research, public programs, and design competitions. Additionally, Van Alen will host their annual <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Spring Party</a> on May 13 at The Surrogate's Courthouse in Lower Manhattan, New York City.</p><p>Check out the...</p> Patrik Schumacher takes to Facebook "In Defense of Stars and Icons" Nicholas Korody 2015-04-10T14:59:00-04:00 >2015-05-07T21:30:01-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="310" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Earlier today, Patrik Schumacher of Zaha Hadid Architects <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">posted</a> a nearly 1,400 word polemic on Facebook denouncing contemporary architecture criticism and defending the &ldquo;star-system&rdquo; that has been instrumental in his firm&rsquo;s success in the last few decades. Instead of &ldquo;seeing conspicuity and success merely as a red cloth and occasion to knock down icons (and to teach the virtues of the ordinary, obscure and underappreciated),&rdquo; Schumacher suggests that the role of the architecture critic should be to explicate and defend the work and status of successful architects to an ignorant public.</p><p>Schumacher sets out some &ldquo;heuristic principles&rdquo; that he hopes could guide his proposed role for the architecture critic. &nbsp;He states that so-called &ldquo;iconic architecture&rdquo; is the invention of critics rather than &ldquo;the architects&rsquo; discourse,&rdquo; which &ldquo;serves the purpose of filling the explanatory gap that inevitably opens up because the methodology and motivation behind the unusual appearance of a radically ...</p> Learning from Las Vegas: a look at the Strip through urban planning lenses Alexander Walter 2015-02-10T14:07:00-05:00 >2015-02-11T22:47:03-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="308" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Al describes CityCenter as the product of &ldquo;the Bilbao effect: the notion that buildings designed by celebrity architects bring in tourists, and in particular a higher-end type of visitor&rdquo;. MGM&rsquo;s version was to bring in name-brand architects such as Daniel Libeskind, Helmut Jahn and Norman Foster [...]. &ldquo;It goes against the casino design convention,&rdquo; Al says, &ldquo;by having towers that let in natural light and meet the street the way buildings do in other cities&rdquo; &ndash; with retail spaces, not gaming.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Architecture’s New Age Alexander Walter 2014-11-07T13:56:00-05:00 >2014-11-07T17:17:20-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="342" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>IS THE NEW ARCHITECTURAL century still stuck in the end of the last one? Yes, but not for long. Asked to take stock of their discipline, architects largely agree that one era is winding down and another is beginning. [...] &ldquo;The time of the grand sculptural building is over,&rdquo; says Mr. Sauerbruch, looking back on what he calls architecture&rsquo;s &ldquo;Mannerist period,&rdquo; symbolized by figures such as Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Mexico City’s new and vivacious architecture Nam Henderson 2014-08-26T13:41:00-04:00 >2014-08-27T08:51:27-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="343" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>They would lead me and two friends through a collection of new and old galleries, museums, neighborhoods, institutions and restaurants, as well as buildings of their own designs, to give me a sense of what stands out to Mexico City architects when they turn their gaze toward home.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Sam Lubell visited Mexico City recently, and was led on tours of the city's architecture (old and new) by&nbsp;Fernando Romero and&nbsp;Michel Rojkind.</p><p>Also see previous -&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The chromatic feats...</a>, wherein&nbsp;Guy Trebay rediscovers&nbsp;Mexico City and the houses of the great Mexican architect&nbsp;Luis Barrag&aacute;n.</p> Weekly News Round-Up for August 11, 2014: Monumental politics, smart homes and GSAPP's new dean Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2014-08-18T12:53:00-04:00 >2014-08-20T02:00:26-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="344" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p><strong>Friday, August 15</strong></p><ul><li><p><a title="Farewell to the Old Okura" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Farewell to the Old Okura</a>: The famous Hotel Okura, built in the 1960s in a distinctive fusion of modern and traditional Japanese styles, is closing in response to prohibitive earthquake retrofits and larger, newer hotels in the area.</p></li><li><p><a title="Samsung Acquires SmartThings, A Fast-Growing Home Automation Startup" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Samsung Acquires SmartThings, A Fast-Growing Home Automation Startup</a>: SmartThings, an aggregator for all "smart" internet-connected devices in the home, cost Samsung an estimated $200 million &mdash;chump change in comparison to Google's $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest.</p></li></ul><p><strong>Thursday, August 14</strong></p><ul><li><a title="One ridesharing app to rule them all: Ridescout moves into the competitive world of rideshare" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">One ridesharing app to rule them all: Ridescout moves into the competitive world of rideshare</a>: Ridescout aggregates hundreds of ridesharing services to compare trips, and will now include "carpool" options that can help users share trips. The announcement comes after last week's news that Uber and Lyft are now both offering carpooling services.</li><li><a title="Revisiting the American Folk Art Museum controversy, through comics" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Revisiting the American Folk Art Museum controversy, through comics</a>: A thoughtful and diplomatic look at AFAM's histo...</li></ul> Editor's Picks #380 Nam Henderson 2014-08-13T20:11:00-04:00 >2014-08-16T08:52:40-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="303" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>For the latest edition of <strong>Student Works: </strong><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Justine Testado</a>&nbsp;spoke with project architect, Duncan Baker-Brown, about T<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">he Waste House</a>,&nbsp;designed/built by faculty and students from the Faculty of Arts and <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">City College Brighton &amp; Hove</a>.</p><p><strong>&nbsp;Olaf Design Ninja_</strong> &nbsp;did some quick math "<em>The numbers tell quite the average of 8 people per work week day for the 15 month project duration. Compared to an equivalent wood frame house in the US that could be an entire subdivision. This should tell you how far industry has to go to do the right thing</em>".</p><p>Plus, elementary school librarian, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Jennette Neville</a>, shared her <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">top 15 recommendations of architecture books for young children</a>.</p><p><br>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>News</strong></p><p>The NYT published a letter <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">To the Editor: Less Ego in Architects</a>&nbsp;by Peggy Deamer, a partner in Deamer Architects and professor at the Yale School of Architecture. Editors saw an opportunity to start a Sunday Dialogue,&nbsp;and <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">a week later published responses and a rejoinders</a>.&nbsp;<strong>davvid</strong> had a thought "<em>Architecture firms are alrea...</em></p> The ‘Starchitect’ Image Alexander Walter 2014-08-11T13:17:00-04:00 >2014-09-19T19:13:58-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="514" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Readers respond to a letter by Peggy Deamer, an architect, calling for less arrogance and more collaboration in architecture. [...] It is not only the public that is fed up with this idea of The Architect, but also the profession itself. Having watched ourselves increasingly backed into the corner of aesthetic elitism, we are now more interested in models of practice that do away with the egos and the glamorous buildings they are associated with.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Previously:</p><ul><li><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">NY Times Enters the "Starchitect" Debate</a></p></li><li><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Invitation to a Dialogue: Less Ego in Architects</a></p></li></ul> Invitation to a Dialogue: Less Ego in Architects Archinect 2014-08-04T11:34:00-04:00 >2014-08-13T18:24:49-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="652" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Frank Gehry once said that if we didn&rsquo;t have starchitects, architects (and architecture) wouldn&rsquo;t be in the media at all. But this kind of coverage, even when positive, we don&rsquo;t need. It perpetuates a Howard Roarkian image that makes most of us architects cringe &mdash; not the least because of the uber-capitalist, Ayn Rand alignment &mdash; and also deflates a more productive optimism within the profession that sees these arrogant acts as old school.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> NY Times Enters the "Starchitect" Debate Nicholas Korody 2014-07-30T13:58:00-04:00 >2014-08-05T19:43:44-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="590" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Witold Rybczynski, the architect and emeritus professor of urbanism at the University of Pennsylvania, complained recently about &ldquo;starchitects&rdquo; who often work in cities they are unfamiliar with, creating buildings that are out of sync with their surroundings. In an interview, he argued in favor of local architectural talent, or &ldquo;locatecture.&rdquo; Are superstar architects ruining city skylines?</p></em><br /><br /><p>In this "Room for Debate" at <em>the New York Times,&nbsp;</em>Allison Arieff, Vishaan Chakrabarti, Beverly Willis, and Angel Borrego Cubero all provide their opinions on the much-used and controversial portmanteau.&nbsp;</p> The Competition: a documentary that exposes how 'starchitects' really work Archinect 2014-05-08T15:04:00-04:00 >2014-05-13T02:25:20-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="319" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The Competition, which has its UK premiere at the Barbican tonight, follows the trials and tribulations of five stellar practices competing in a doomed bid to build a new national museum for Andorra, back in 2009. As the global financial crisis hit rock-bottom, no job was too small for architects whose dreams of dotting Middle Eastern deserts with their snazzy signatures had been revealed as a hopeless mirage.</p></em><br /><br /><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p> Homes of the starchitects recreated in Milan Archinect 2014-03-06T12:29:00-05:00 >2014-03-10T21:19:53-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="342" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Curator Francesca Molteni filmed each architect's home, and interviewed them about their lives and careers. Working alongside fellow architect and set designer Davide Pizzigoni, Molteni has recreated the private residences of Hadid and co., &ldquo;by means of real-life videos, images, sounds, comments and reconstructions. The result is an interactive exhibition space that unveils the architects&rsquo; visions of living, their choices and their obsessions.&rdquo;</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Miami's new vice – an addiction to star architects Alexander Walter 2013-12-03T16:46:00-05:00 >2013-12-03T17:04:15-05:00 <img src="" width="460" height="276" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The city has become a drop-off point for the migrant tribe of global super-rich, who feel the need to keep homes in London, New York, perhaps Moscow or an Asian city, and now Miami. [...] At times, Miami seems to be following a London formula: property speculation + contemporary art + restaurant boom + cultural diversity = dynamic world city. It is easy to see where it all gets a bit shallow, starting with the sudden mania for collecting big-name architects.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Museums may be his most lasting legacy Nam Henderson 2013-11-11T11:43:00-05:00 >2013-11-11T11:43:04-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="327" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>&ldquo;It is amazing,&rdquo; said Mr. Piano...&ldquo;Looking back, I counted, and I said, &lsquo;Is this true?&rsquo; &rdquo;</p></em><br /><br /><p> Ted Loos sat down with Renzo Piano to discuss his firm's design for an expansion to the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, opening on Nov. 27. They also discussed the firms history of 25 major museum projects either underway or built, and how Piano has seemingly become the go to "starchitect" for museum commissions.</p> The ‘Starchitect’ Stereotype Quilian Riano 2013-10-10T12:08:00-04:00 >2013-10-14T20:20:50-04:00 <img src="" width="402" height="402" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Articles like &ldquo;A Star Architect Leaves Some Clients Fuming&rdquo; shouldn&rsquo;t make us architects defensive about our work. It gives a deserved death blow to the &ldquo;starchitect&rdquo; and all the unhelpful stereotypes that come with it.... The image that architecture is done by a single genius has never conformed to reality, but particularly in today&rsquo;s practice &mdash; relying as it does on extended technical expertise &mdash; it is ridiculous to attribute the design to a single genius.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Starchitect and Love for the Portmanteau Orhan Ayyüce 2013-08-08T14:41:00-04:00 >2013-08-14T11:56:01-04:00 <em><p>There may be better terms but it seems we are going to be stuck with &ldquo;starchitect&rdquo; until everybody with a keyboard agrees to retire it.</p></em><br /><br /><p> <img alt="" src=""></p> <p> Guy Horton tackles the subject of starchitect mechanism in a Metropolis article where he quotes some other critics on the subject including yours truly.&nbsp;</p> Architecture with capital letter A Archinect 2013-04-24T18:38:00-04:00 >2013-04-29T18:17:22-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="363" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Architecture with capital letter A is a short movie, featuring Architects who might have shaped the concept of Architecture itself in the last decade. The movie combines excerpts of their interviews, speeches or documentaries over the last 70 years. This accumulation of scenes expresses somehow the condition of Architecture today - its moments of Glory and Misery.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> The Irrational Exuberance of Rem Koolhaas Places Journal 2013-04-03T14:44:00-04:00 >2013-04-10T02:07:26-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="381" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>"Irrational exuberance" seems to me an apt introduction to an understanding of Rem Koolhaas in the '90s and beyond; it foregrounds his great success in navigating the intersection of the pragmatic corporate sector, on the one hand, and the &ldquo;delirious&rdquo; and volatile realm of desire and possibility, on the other. ... Koolhaas has encouraged his followers to shed the crippling shackles of critical theory and pick up a surfboard upon which to ride the shock waves of the new economy.</p></em><br /><br /><p> For decades Rem Koolhaas has been not only a leading global architect but also a restless provocateur. On Places, in a chapter from the forthcoming book <em><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Architecture and Capitalism</a>,&nbsp;</em>Ellen Dunham-Jones explores Koolhaas's protean career, from the early fantastical projects to the big books and bigger buildings of recent years. It's a career that has come to embody, she argues, "the inevitable contradictions in trying to marry art and capitalism, radicalism and pragmatism, icon-making and city-making."</p> The emergence of architect-branded property development Archinect 2012-11-27T11:34:00-05:00 >2012-12-03T18:59:51-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="272" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Like Gehry, Ingels relies on the expertise of Packes, SLCE and Durst in his quest to rethink a played-out product. Design, Ingels said, is more than &ldquo;coming up with stuff. We translate specific expert knowledge into a response that addresses given conditions in a new way.&rdquo; That ought to be an obvious approach. I hope other developers take notice.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Boldface Buildings in the Cold Light of Now Nam Henderson 2012-03-09T14:38:00-05:00 >2012-03-12T09:57:04-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="294" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>&ldquo;The city is better for the starchitect phenomenon,&rdquo; said Jonathan J. Miller, the president of the appraisal firm Miller Samuel, &ldquo;because it enhanced the mystique of New York&rsquo;s residential housing market. But during the frenzy, those buildings were marketed as if they had inherent greater value, and the jury is still out on that.&rdquo;</p></em><br /><br /><p> Vivian S Toy examines how in this current, post recession residential&nbsp;marketplace, starchitect buildings are providing an opporunity to test the value of a name.</p> Starchitects risk losing lustre Archinect 2011-09-07T18:33:49-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="402" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Charlie Hussey of Edinburgh-based firm Sutherland Hussey, which has 75 per cent of its work in China, believes that architects are often singled out. &ldquo;Whenever ethics in China is brought up, architects are always picked on,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;But we&rsquo;re all trading with China. If Joe Bloggs buys a TV, he&rsquo;s trading with China. Architects just deal with bigger pieces. There isn&rsquo;t a single person in the UK who hasn&rsquo;t traded with China&rdquo;.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Architecture of the Absurd Archinect 2011-07-22T19:07:53-04:00 >2011-07-22T19:07:53-04:00 <img src="" width="200" height="167" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Star architects such as Koolhaas, Frank Gehry, and Daniel Leibiskind have created sensations with singular, unconventional designs that look (and sometimes are) unbuildable. John Silber thinks that&rsquo;s a problem. He&rsquo;d like to see our buildings showing less individualism, more standards. Silber is the former president of Boston University and the author of Architecture of the Absurd: How &ldquo;Genius&rdquo; Disfigured a Practical Art.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Starchitects Design Glamorous Prisons for Manhattan’s Elite Archinect 2011-07-22T13:37:08-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="574" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Shigeru Ban, known for his paper tube structures and disaster relief projects, as well as several ground-breaking homes in Japan, has produced a small minimum security prison. Just eight blocks north of the Americano, the Shutter House opens and closes it&rsquo;s tightly perforated metal shutters as the warden sees fit.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html>