Architect Michael Graves considers the Portland Building one of his top achievements even though the building is still controversial. mdler thinks "this thing is a POS" and elletoman commented "gross". Donna Sink disagreed arguing "I love the Portland building and most important I love that this building happened.
For the latest Showcase Archinect talked to Iranian-Canadian creative director and photographer Sam Javanrouh. He provided two images of Daniel Libeskind's Crystal for the Royal Ontario Museum; one titled Jumping Girl, the other portrays the space without people. So we asked, him "What are your thoughts about including people in your photos? Is it important to photograph a building in use, or by itself?" and he replied "It really depends on the subject and the mood I'm trying to convey. Sometimes showing a structure alone with nothing else to distract is most powerful, and sometimes including people in the shot is what makes the photo. A good example of that is the Jumping Girl photo that I shot in ROM's Crystal. I have a photo of the same exact interior with no people in it, and it has a completely different feeling and it doesn't have the same energy. If I have the luxury of shooting the photos with and without people and choosing later I try to do that."
For CONTOURS: Sherin Wing looked at a couple of university research programs including; Portland State University’s Green Building Research Laboratory which has created the Green Roof Energy Calculator and Michigan State University’s Green Roof Research Program. Both of these programs has sought to use data to make the case for the enhanced performance of green roofs over their competitors. Read more on Designing the Green Roof.
On Feb 22nd President Obama attended the ground breaking ceremony on the site of the Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum is planned to open on the National Mall in 2015. Micah McKelvey lamented "it's a shame that washington is running out of room and instead of choosing a proposal that reflects the dynamic and innovative nature of african american history, the smithsonian chose a safe design that replicates the stiff brutalism of d.c. there is so much influence that could be pulled from both the context and the program and yet the result in this museum is nothing interesting or new for the city. this museum deserved better."
Daniel Toole a Seattle-based architect who was recently awarded a travel fellowship by a local American Institute of Architects branch, presented his reasons Why Alleys Deserve More Attention. Check out his book Tight Urbanism. Archinector, Reginaldtabor agreed that "I am reminded of a recent trip to Shanghai and the Lilong/Longtang “traditional” lane neighborhoods there. The urban form is also referred to as Hutong in Beijing. I imagine the form was exported to cities outside China as immigrants created Chinatown communities in familiar forms within their new hometowns. Unfortunately, these types of urban neighborhoods are rapidly disappearing in China and elsewhere."
Architect Michael Graves considers the Portland Building one of his top achievements even though the building is still controversial. mdler thinks "this thing is a POS" and elletoman commented "gross". Donna Sink disagreed arguing "I love the Portland building and most important I love that this building happened. It's ungainly-looking, now, but when it came out it was groundbreaking and super risky. I like how it relates to the park and to the County building across the park from it (which came later - nice job, ZGF!). I also like how colorful it is, and it led directly to other Portland buildings becoming more colorful and interesting on the skyline."
facdat wrote that Spanish architect Luis Moreno Mansilla a founding partner of Mansilla+Tuñón, who passed away at the age of 53, was a "very kind soul, something difficult to find these days in this business".
The fact that Swiss architect Lukas Lenherr has taken home the $15,000 First Prize at the Bab Al Bahrain Open Ideas Competition with the proposal "Pearl Dive" led Guerra to wonder if "maybe now the swiss will build more minarets"?
As part of their Master of Architecture Thesis, at the School of Architecture and Planning at the University at Buffalo, Matthieu Bain and Andrew Perkins purchased a small single-family house on Buffalo’s East side, for $800.
LITS4FormZ at University of Houston who is working on a MArch thesis whose goal will be to develop an architectural solution to migrant worker housing in China which will be: inexpensive, modular construction and governed by real world parameters . He is currently trying to pick between two different sites in Chongqing. He also posted a first draft, abstract statement wherein he outlines his proposal "this project will create the framework and design for a permanent community that caters to the needs of migrant workers within the urban focus area in the municipality of Chongqing. This community will provide affordable housing, healthcare service, educational opportunities, eldercare, agricultural production, microfinance loans among other services. The design intent will be carried out with input from the actual intended residents."
Work Updates/Firm Updates/Blogs
New Orleans Chapter AFH-NOLA (and their project for the Louisiana Rehab Subcode) has been submitted to the Venice Biennale, the most prestigious architecture event in the world with 170,000 visitors in 2011.
Dru Schwyhart posted images from the summer of 2006 when he attended, Ghost 8 a two week design-build seminar at his own farm along the southern Nova Scotian coast, led by Canadian architect Brian MacKay-Lyons.
Over at Thread Central, Phillip Crosby posted a link to a clip from the show Up with Chris Hayes, which ftd a long segment with architect Michael Bell talking about the Foreclosed exhibition at MoMA... Phillip felt "it was pretty cool to see architecture being discussed on a mainstream news show..."
blehrer asked Does anyone have any thoughts on practicable ways to rearrange interiors on the drop of a dime, with acoustic and visual integrity? nerink replied "Gregory Ain was masterful at transforming interior spaces with inexpensive movable panels, doors transforming 1, 2 or 3 smaller spaces into larger ones." For his part alexander.samuel.davis went the other direction and replied "When thinking about this subject of 'mobile form' the first question that came to my mind, is why move the building when the users can. Lets say for a second that the building remains static and the users are the unit of mobility...User customizability [in my opinion] is something that should exist only at the micro level in a plug-and-play type configuration." then suggested the need to retain a higher degree of architectural authorship. wurdan freo just posted an image of a Mobile Office Space.
Over at the New Inquiry, Jesse Darling presented her thoughts on the contemporary gated web of Facebook, Tumblr, other cyber communities and their similarity to the suburban junkspace of her youth, in an essay: Arcades, Mall Rats, and Tumblr Thugs. Rather than lament the loss of a mythologized idea of a cyberflâneur Darling argued that "if space is a practiced place, then collective navigation produces the commons. Like mall rats flipping tricks in a parking lot, users exhibit a feral fluency in the use (and transgression, as it is reimagined daily) of this common timespace: we tune out the ads and get on with the serious business of flirting, hustling, hanging out and talking shit. We know that this serious business is affective labor which produces capital for the custodians of netspace; indeed, meme culture (including but not limited to YouTube parody, stock photo art, cut-ups and image macros) can be seen as the user asserting a subjectivity that exists and thrives despite (and beyond) her status as targeted marketing demographic. Like the Occupy movement, these activities amount to a kind of politics of the public (virtual) body in (virtual) space."