“There was an intense flowering of experimental and futuristic architecture in the 1960s and 70s, which the young African countries used to express their national identities,” says [Swiss architect Manuel] Herz, who has curated an exhibition of more than 80 buildings from sub-Saharan Africa, showing at the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany, until May. “But we simply don’t know about it... we wanted to show this incredible cultural wealth that also exists.” — The Guardian
Usually the projects of African "big man" leaders, the modernist buildings were often constructed for propagandistic purpose and tended to be designed by European architects. Noted architectural photographer Iwan Baan took many of the photographs in Herz's exhibit.
Long accustomed to basing its reputation on the grandeur of its old buildings, the city now finds it almost impossible to agree on how to build new ones.
In recent months, traditionalists have blocked efforts to introduce contemporary architecture in the historic core [...]. Modernists are rolling their eyes at new buildings that copy traditional styles, arguing that they pervert a record of architectural progress long documented in mortar and stone. — nytimes.com
The restoration of the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin will cost an estimated €101m [...]. This masterpiece by the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, which opened in 1968, was closed in early January.
David Chipperfield Architects has been entrusted with the refurbishment project, having found international acclaim for its work on rebuilding the Neues Museum on Museum Island in Berlin. The British architect pledged to “keep as much Mies as possible” at a symposium in late November. — theartnewspaper.com
Sérgio Bernardes was a star of 60s Brazil, a brilliant architect and a mesmerising man. And then almost forgotten. His grandson has made a film to discover what happened — theguardian.com
In a warren of rooms inside a 400-year-old townhouse on the Essex-Suffolk border, a counter-revolution against the most dramatic rebuilding of the London skyline in decades is gathering strength.
Eschewing computer power for sharp pencils and tracing paper, father and son architect team Quinlan and Francis Terry are drafting classically inspired designs for some of the capital’s most prominent sites in a fightback against plans for hundreds of new skyscrapers. — theguardian.com
Two nights before New Year’s Eve, more than a thousand Macedonians gathered in the snow to hold hands and form a ring around a large shopping mall in the capital city of Skopje. That may sound like the beginning to some strange joke, but the crowd was assembled in earnest, to express its love of the modernist building known as GTC, and to protest a government plan to give it a new, baroque façade. — hyperallergic.com
... in a city whose architecture is mostly modernist, all of the Skopje 2014 building is being done in a strictly neoclassical style, from a brand new triumphal arch to a towering sculpture of a man on a horse — presumably, but not explicitly, Alexander the Great — atop a column adorned with...
The undoing of the master narratives of modernism should not be taken as an opportunity for an architecture of spectacle and fantasy, but instead one that, utilizing the lessons of the past, speaks to the complexities of the present and the forces that shape us. It is crucial to deconstruct the idea that design can be universal and instead, to think in terms of an architecture that derives inspiration from the specificity of geography, culture and place. — huffingtonpost.com
The architect, who implicitly exempted himself from that 98%, might have been arrogant, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t right.
[...] many if not most buildings are the work of contractors, not architects, and that this has been and will likely always be the case. Unfortunately, architectural education and criticism tends to focus on important buildings at the expense of the common and ordinary. — forbes.com
With the holiday season now officially upon us, the annual gift shopping panic has quickly picked up steam — and knowing how notoriously hard architects and designers are to shop for, doesn't make things any easier.One of our favorite gift ideas 'tis season are the adorable architectural toddler...
A hundred and some years ago, an aesthetic force called the City Beautiful movement professed the theory that grand public buildings, lovely civic palaces, could inspire Americans to become good citizens. [...]
Since the 1960s, though, it seems as if great civic architecture has become an embarrassment. Politicians who love to cut ribbons find it hard to justify paying for beautiful on top of functional. The result is a style I call Sunbelt Stalinism [...]. — latimes.com
Hundreds flocked to downtown Palm Springs Sunday for the grand opening of the Palm Springs Art Museum's Architecture and Design Center, an ode to the city's unique — and timeless — mid-century modern designs.
The center opened with "An Eloquent Modernist," an intimate depiction of the work of E. Stewart Williams, the acclaimed architect whose designs defined desert modern style in Palm Springs throughout the 1950s, '60s and '70s. — desertsun.com
The Finnish Committee for the Restoration of the Viipuri Library with the Central City Alvar Aalto Library in Vyborg recently won the 2014 World Monuments Fund/Knoll Modernism Prize for restoring Alvar Aalto's historic Viipuri Library in Vyborg, Russia. Established in 2008, the prize is awarded biennially for an innovative architectural or design solution that has preserved or enhanced a modern landmark or group of landmarks. — bustler.net
The biennial Knoll Prize will be presented at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City on December 1, followed by a free public lecture from the winners. The prize includes a cash award of $10,000 and a limited edition Mies van der Rohe-designed Barcelona Chair from Knoll.The Viipuri Library, c...
Spanning dozens of acres, the structures provided everything the park staff and visitors would need: a gas station, restaurant, community building, maintenance shop, housing, even a two-room elementary school. The National Park Service entrusted the design to prominent architects Richard Neutra and Robert Alexander ahead of the agency’s 50th birthday, and it’s the only project of theirs still standing within the Park Service. — seattlepi.com
Through the free-flowing talent of Costa, Niemeyer, Burle Marx and Athos Bulcão, Brasília—the only city built in the 20th century that is listed by Unesco—has captivated the world since 1960. But the federal capital has not made Modernism sacred in the country as a whole and the protection of Modern architecture is still in its infancy. — theartnewspaper.com
Outside a few rare examples such as Ronchamp, I sense that Modernism has failed to deliver an architecture that connects with most Catholics and other traditional Christians. Much of this has to do with fact that Modernism as a cultural movement is inherently atheistic as it is based on a secular materialist philosophy. — newgeography.com
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