Archinect - News 2018-03-21T10:52:36-04:00 Planned demolition of SOM-designed JPMorgan Chase HQ draws criticism Alexander Walter 2018-02-22T13:48:00-05:00 >2018-03-05T19:09:23-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Earlier today, news broke that the De Blasio administration has hashed out a deal with JPMorgan Chase to demolish its existing headquarters at 270 Park Avenue, and replace the structure with a shiny new 70-story building. The deal was negotiated in the wake of the Midtown East rezoning, which loosened zoning regulations for the area in exchange for developers providing street-level and infrastructure improvements.</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>Not so fast! </em>said architecture critics and preservationists when news broke that the midcentury 270 Park Avenue tower in Manhattan's East Midtown, currently home of banking giant JPMorgan Chase, had quietly been selected&mdash;not for landmark designation&mdash;but for the chopping block.&nbsp;</p> <p>Designed by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">SOM</a>'s <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Natalie de Blois</a> as&nbsp;Union Carbide Building,&nbsp;the 50-story&nbsp;skyscraper was completed in 1961 and is considered an important example of female-led midcentury corporate architecture.</p> Columbia GSAPP launches the nation's first Ph.D in Historic Preservation Mackenzie Goldberg 2018-01-16T15:32:00-05:00 >2018-01-16T19:08:50-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>The Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Columbia GSAPP</a>) announced today that it will be launching a new Ph.D. Program in Historic Preservation&mdash;the first of its kind in the U.S. GSAPP has been a leader in the field of preservation education since it established the first Master in Historic Preservation program back in 1964. The introduction of the new program will set the standard for doctoral level education,&nbsp;provide intellectual leadership by training future generations of preservation scholars, and expand the discipline&rsquo;s range.</p> <p>"The Ph.D. in Historic Preservation recognizes the fact that the profession has matured into a vibrant discipline, with a specific body of theoretical and practical knowledge on how to learn from and intervene in historic buildings, cities and landscapes, such that they not only retain their values as historical documents but also serve as resources for designing the future" the school said in their&nbsp;<a href=";utm_campaign=a8c086ab52-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_01_11&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_term=0_d678d28bcf-a8c086ab52-318815357&amp;mc_cid=a8c086ab52&amp;mc_eid=1f0dd198eb" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">announcement</a>....</p> Brutalism and preservation: a look at the lucky (and unlucky) ones Alexander Walter 2017-12-18T13:53:00-05:00 >2017-12-18T13:54:47-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>As London&rsquo;s Robin Hood Gardens [...] is destroyed despite a high-profile campaign to save it, we look at some cherished examples of modernist architecture from the 50s, 60s and 70s</p></em><br /><br /><p>Last month, the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">V&amp;A announced</a> that it had acquired a three-story segment of the Robin Hood Gardens council estate, an iconic and not uncontroversial example of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">brutalist architecture</a> currently being demolished, to preserve a significant moment in history. <em>The Guardian</em> takes a look at other important buildings of the movement and their drastically varying degrees of preservation success.<br></p> One Leeds’ most iconic industrial buildings is being put up for auction for just £1 Mackenzie Goldberg 2017-11-27T18:57:00-05:00 >2017-11-27T18:57:20-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>Temple Works, a former flax mill in Leeds, has been listed for sale, in the Pugh auction on December 7th, with a starting price of just one pound according to the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Yorkshire Evening Post</a>. The&nbsp;Egyptian-influenced industrial building&nbsp;is one of the city's oldest and most cherished, and is the only Grade I listing in Holbeck.&nbsp;</p> <p>Completed in 1840, the building that once boasted one of the largest rooms in the world has since reached a parlous state. Last used commercially in 2004 by Kays Catalogues, the property was inherited by the Barclay family who own the Telegraph media group and are accused of leaving the building to rot.&nbsp;</p> <p>In 2008,&nbsp;one of the site's 18 lotus pillars collapsed, bringing down a section of the beautifully ornate wall as well. Along with some broken stonework and other damage, the&nbsp;10,948 square-meter mill has subsequently been featured among the&nbsp;Victorian Society&rsquo;s '10 most endangered buildings' and the&nbsp;site's condition has been listed as 'very bad' by the English Herita...</p> Philip Johnson's AT&T Building up for consideration as designated landmark Hope Daley 2017-11-27T17:15:00-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>Tomorrow, Nov. 28, NYC Landmarks <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Preservation</a> Commission&nbsp;will vote to consider calendaring Philip Johnson's AT&amp;T Building for a landmark designation hearing. 550 Madison Avenue, formerly known as the AT&amp;T Building or the Sony Tower, is an iconic postmodern skyscraper located in Manhattan. Upon succeeding in this first round of voting, a public hearing will follow at a later date.&nbsp;</p> “Starship Chicago” documentary tracks preservation battle of Thompson Center Hope Daley 2017-11-14T15:07:00-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Can Helmut Jahn's Thompson Center be saved?</a> A newly released short documentary, <em>Starship Chicago</em>, delves into the struggle and controversy around <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">preserving</a> the state of Illinois building. Some see the building as a unique representation of transparent government and Chicago's architectural spirit, while others see a rundown waste of space.&nbsp;</p> <p>"Chicago preservationists, along with the building&rsquo;s original champion, Governor James R. Thompson, are gearing up for a major battle to save the city&rsquo;s most provocative architectural statement" tells the director and producer Nathan Eddy. The documentary interviews the architect himself, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Helmut Jahn</a>, the governor whose name is on the building, James. R. Thompson, along with <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Stanley Tigerman</a> and other Chicago architects, critics, and historians.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p>Watch&nbsp;<em>Starship Chicago&nbsp;</em>below.&nbsp;</p> Three-story segment of Robin Hood Gardens acquired by V&A Museum ahead of demolition Alexander Walter 2017-11-09T15:38:00-05:00 >2017-12-18T15:41:09-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>A three-storey chunk of an east London council estate that is venerated and despised in almost equal measures has been acquired by the V&amp;A. The museum announced it had made one of the most unusual property deals in its history: rescuing an enormous chunk of the Robin Hood Gardens estate, complete with walkway and maisonette interiors.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Completed in 1972 and considered an icon of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">brutalist architecture</a> &mdash; representing the good and the bad traits of the movement, depending on the perspective &mdash; the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Tower Hamlets "Robin Hood Gardens" council estate</a> is being <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">demolished</a>. By salvaging an intact piece of the building designed by Alison and Peter Smithson, the V&amp;A seeks to preserve a significant moment in history. <br></p> Reagan Administation's widely popular Historic Tax Credit jeopardized by Trump's tax plan Mackenzie Goldberg 2017-11-06T16:20:00-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>As it&rsquo;s currently written, the bill would entirely eliminate the federal Historic Tax Credit program (HTC), which provides a 20 percent tax credit for the redevelopment of blighted buildings and renovation of notable architectural landmarks.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The Reagan Administration&rsquo;s Historic Tax Credit program, which helps fund historic renovation projects, is in jeopardy of being scrapped in the new tax plan unveiled in the House last week. According to <em>Architectural Digest</em>, the conservative idol's program has preserved more than 40,000 total structures and corralled $117 billion in private investment for such redevelopment work since the program began in 1983.</p> <p>The program incentivizes the&nbsp;reuse of historic structures with a 20 percent income tax credit that is paid out only once a project is finished. A 2015 economic impact report, carried out by the National Park Service and Rutgers University, found that the tax credit generated $1.20 in construction activity and tax revenue for every dollar of credit issued <em>and</em> generated an estimated 86,000 jobs that year.</p> <p>The reform is being criticized by developers, preservationists, and politicians such as Arkansas Representative Vivian Flowers and New York Senator Chuck Schumer, who fear tha...</p> PHOTOS: Gaudí's first house, the exuberant Casa Vicens, is opening to the public for the first time Alexander Walter 2017-11-03T18:42:00-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Brand Barcelona&rsquo;s comeback begins with a contribution from its heaviest hitter: Antoni Gaud&iacute;. Almost a century after his death, the architect of La Sagrada Familia is still synonymous with the city. On 16 November, Gaud&iacute;&rsquo;s first house, Casa Vicens, begun in 1883, will open permanently to the public for the first time.</p></em><br /><br /><p>With tourism considerably down due to mass demonstrations and political unrest, Catalonia's capital <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Barcelona</a> is hoping to lure more visitors back when a stunning architectural gem in the Gr&agrave;cia district opens to the public on November 16: Casa Vicens, a summer house for wealthy industrialist Manel Vicens i Montaner, was the first important commission that the young, and then-unknown, architect <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Antoni Gaud&iacute;</a> received in 1883 &mdash; and it would shape the trajectory of all his architectural work to come. <br></p> <p>Learn more about Casa Vicens, and the meticulous restoration that took place over the past months, on its official <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">website</a>. <br></p> <p>Scroll on for more photographs of the gorgeous building.<br></p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>&copy; Pol Viladoms</figcaption></figure><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>&copy; Pol Viladoms</figcaption></figure><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>&copy; Pol Viladoms</figcaption></figure><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>&copy; Pol Viladoms</figcaption></figure><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>&copy; Pol Viladoms</figcaption></figure><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>&copy; Pol Viladoms</figcaption></figure><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>&copy; Pol Viladoms</figcaption></figure><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>&copy; Pol Viladoms</figcaption></figure><p><em>All images courtesy of Casa Vicens Gaud&iacute;.</em></p> The peculiar history of New Haven's 'amputated' Marcel Breuer building Alexander Walter 2017-10-09T14:09:00-04:00 >2017-10-09T14:21:32-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Fifteen years after IKEA demolished part of it for a parking lot, a Marcel Breuer-designed office building in New Haven has become a stage for art. [...] Now, Burr is building on those explorations in his current show, Body/Building. Spread out over the first floor of Breuer&rsquo;s gutted local icon, the show uses objects that weave together a story about himself, the site, and his city.</p></em><br /><br /><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Tom Burr / New Haven, Phase 1, 2017, installation view, Bortolami, New Haven</figcaption></figure><p>New Haven-native, and now New York-based, artist Tom Burr tells the story of one of the city's most iconic, and controversial, buildings in his current show <em><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Body/Building</a></em><em></em>, now on display inside the gutted belly of the 1960s brutalist Marcel Breuer-designed Long Wharf building.&nbsp;</p> <p>"I&rsquo;m interested in the fact that it&rsquo;s amputated," Burr revealed, hinting at the partial demolition that the current owner, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">IKEA</a>, saw necessary in 2003 to provide surface parking for its new store on the site.</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Tom Burr / New Haven, Phase 1, 2017, installation view, Bortolami, New Haven</figcaption></figure><p>The show can still be visited until November 11 and is free of charge but requires an <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">appointment</a>.</p> Chartres Cathedral restoration stirs up debate about historic authenticity Alexander Walter 2017-09-05T17:35:00-04:00 >2017-09-05T17:37:54-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>The restoration aims not only to clean and maintain the structure, but also to offer an insight into what the cathedral would have looked like in the 13th century. Its interior was designed to be a radiant vision, as close to heaven on earth as a pilgrim might come, although many modern visitors have responded more with shock than with awe. The architecture critic Martin Filler has described the project as a &ldquo;scandalous desecration of a cultural holy place.&rdquo;</p></em><br /><br /><p>The decade-long restoration of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Chartres' grand cathedral</a> (rebuilt in its current Gothic style between 1194 and 1220) isn't going over without controversy: is the dirt that's currently being scrubbed off its walls, ceilings, and even Madonna statues, part of the building's history or merely melancholic kitsch that prevents the structure from radiating in its intended airy brightness?<br></p> In order to avoid historic listing, developer destroys Jacobean ceiling Mackenzie Goldberg 2017-09-01T14:19:00-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>In order to avoid being listed by Historic England, a developer recently demolished an ornate Jacobean pendant ceiling at one of their sites. Previously a hotel and bar, the owners,&nbsp;&nbsp;Midas Properties/G&amp;E Baio Ltd, had a planning application to subdivide and convert the building into student flats that was currently under review.&nbsp;</p> <p>The property&mdash;15 Small Street&mdash;is located in <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Bristol</a>, a town best known for its examples of Georgian and Victorian architecture though having been a medieval and 17th-century city as well, there are fine examples of Jacobean works deserving of preservation. Bristol's Conservation Advisory Panel had applied last week for the building to become spot-listed.&nbsp;</p> <figure><figure><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=""></a></figure></figure><figure><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"></a>Historic England was in the process of assessing the building, but had been unable to arrange access with the owners, who were also deferring scheduled site visits by Bristol City Council planning officers. In the interim, the developer was able to demolish the almost 400-year old ceiling.</p><p><br></p><p>Historic England d...</p></figure> Redevelopment of Detroit's Michigan Central Station slowly gaining momentum Alexander Walter 2017-07-24T13:54:00-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Talk about redeveloping the long-vacant Michigan Central Station in Detroit's Corktown area heated up again Thursday during an announcement about this year's Detroit Homecoming, which will hold the first significant private event in the 104-year-old train station since the mid-1980s. [...] "(Redevelopment of) the depot is going to take a marathon, but we're not at the beginning of the race, we're a few miles into it," said Matthew Moroun, whose father, Matty, bought the building in 1995.</p></em><br /><br /><p>"I said, 'there's one thing: Every time I read a damn national story about Detroit, there's a picture of the train station with the holes in the windows as the international image of the city's decline,'"&nbsp;Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is quoted saying, recalling his conversation with billionaire businessman &mdash; and the building's owner &mdash;&nbsp;Matthew Moroun.&nbsp;"I said, 'I want you to put windows in the train station. And if you do that, everything else will be just fine.'"</p> <p>Renovation costs for the 104-year-old train station &mdash; once the tallest rail station in the world and the city's pride but sitting vacant and in an increasingly derelict state since Amtrak service ceased in 1988 &mdash; are estimated to exceed $100 million.</p> Ho Chi Minh City′s historic architecture is quickly disappearing Alexander Walter 2017-06-12T17:38:00-04:00 >2017-06-12T17:42:30-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Others are concerned the demolition of its famed French architectural gems will render Ho Chi Minh City indistinguishable from other Asian megacities. "In the 1960s and 1970s it was very much French, but now it's very Americanized, McDonald's on every corner," said Hiep Nguyen, born in Ho City Minh City and author of several books on its architectural history.&nbsp; "A streetscape without a story has no value," he added.</p></em><br /><br /><p>"City officials are now writing a nine-point plan to classify buildings and mark some for protection," <em>DW</em> writes, "but admit such a huge task could take years to be implemented."</p> BNIM restores Kansas City's century-old Westport Presbyterian Church Justine Testado 2017-06-06T20:11:00-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>Completed in 1905 in one of Kansas City, Missouri's oldest neighborhoods, the Westport Presbyterian Church was in dire need of repair after suffering from a catastrophic fire in 2011. Undertaking all the technical challenges that come with a project of this nature, architecture practice <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">BNIM</a> worked with the congregation to successfully preserve the Church's most sacred elements while creating a new, dynamic space for the community.</p><p><img alt="" src=""><em>Photo &copy; Michael Robinson.</em></p><p>The church's exterior limestone shell survived the fire, while its roof structure, interior structure, and finishes were destroyed. Following an analysis of the existing 27,000 square-foot building, BNIM restored the most significant elements in the original structure: the sanctuary, chapel, second floor, and basement. On the other hand, a second building first grafted to the church's east side in 1916 had to be fully reconstructed.&nbsp;BNIM also redesigned the storefront facing Westport Road to be more welcoming and easily&nbsp;accessible....</p> The Parker Center is set for demolition, what other midcentury icons are next? Mackenzie Goldberg 2017-05-22T20:12:00-04:00 >2017-05-22T20:12:20-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>The Parker Center, depending on who you ask, is either a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">midcentury</a> icon, or a powerful symbol of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Los Angeles</a>' racist past. Located downtown, the building was home to the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">LAPD</a> up until 2009 when they relocated due to expensive retrofits needed on the site. Designed by Welton Becket&mdash;the architect behind some of LA's greatest identifiers such as the Capitol Records Building, the Theme Building and the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Cinerama Dome</a>&mdash;the former LAPD headquarters is seen by historic preservationists, particularly the LA Conservancy, as a historical landmark due to its midcentury stylings. However, beyond being an architectural landmark, the building, as home to the LAPD during an era of racist policing, also serves as a sobering reminder of LA's troubling past. The land upon which the center was constructed had been seized from Japanese property owners less than a decade after Japanese Internment and William H. Parker himself, whom the building was named after, was associated with ushering in policies of...</p> Blair Kamin calls restoration of Frank Lloyd Wright's Unity Temple "triumphant" Alexander Walter 2017-05-22T14:29:00-04:00 >2017-05-22T14:30:00-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Frrank Lloyd Wright was never one to fret about meeting deadlines, sticking to budgets or roofs that leaked. So there is something fitting about the delayed, but altogether triumphant, restoration of Wright's Unity Temple, [...] the finest public building of Wright's Chicago years and home to one of the most beautiful rooms in America. Instead of finishing on schedule last fall, the $25 million project is wrapping up just in time for the 150th anniversary of Wright's birthday, June 8.</p></em><br /><br /><p>"Success, it's often said, has many fathers, and so it is with here," Kamin writes. "A team of consultants led by Chicago's <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Harboe Architects</a> has lavished exacting care on every aspect of this project, from the restoration of jewel-like art glass to the recreation of textured plaster walls."</p> Thousands protest in Moscow against planned demolition of Soviet-era housing blocks Alexander Walter 2017-05-15T14:46:00-04:00 >2017-05-15T15:02:04-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>An interactive map of the former Soviet Union&rsquo;s Constructivist architectural heritage went online just days before the city of Moscow published a list of 4,500 apartment buildings proposed for demolition as part of a plan to relocate up to 1.6 million residents. Describe by many residents as a property grab [...] the demolition plan has proven so unpopular that thousands turned up for a demonstration against it in Moscow on Sunday 14 May carrying signs with slogans like &ldquo;My house is my castle&rdquo;.</p></em><br /><br /><p>"The plan has also alarmed preservationists," <em>The Art Newspaper</em> writes. "Initially described as an effort to upgrade residents from <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">pre-fabricated mass housing</a> built under Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, the architectural targets have broadened and fears are mounting that it has become a carte-blanche for developers to destroy any building that stands in their way."</p><p><em>The Guardian</em>'s Alec Luhn <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">calls the demolition plans</a> "the most extensive Russian resettlement project in half a century," and some compare them to the forced collectivization of property under Stalin.</p> Saving Modern buildings, one hashtag at a time: World Monuments Fund kicks off #ModernCentury Instagram campaign Alexander Walter 2017-04-27T15:04:00-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>The World Monuments Fund (WMF) launched its first Instagram campaign [...] to draw attention to the plight of the world&rsquo;s Modern buildings, an increasing number of which are at risk because of the lack of regulations or political will needed to protect them. The fund kicks off the programme with a list of 30 sites nominated by architects, experts and students posted on its website and is appealing to the public to add to this list by submitting nominations via Instagram.</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>"The list will be sent to an advisory council formed of architects, including Annabelle Selldorf, designers and critics, who will advise the WMF on the next phase of the Modern Century programme."</em></p><p>The sites included on the initial list of 30 nominees are:</p><p><strong>Hall of Nations</strong> (pictured in the cover photo above, demolished on April 23, 2017),&nbsp;New Delhi, India</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><strong>Thompson Center (State of Illinois Building)</strong>,&nbsp;Chicago, Illinois, USA (Photo:&nbsp;Mobilus In Mobili, Flickr)</p><p><strong>Algiers Polytechnic School of Architecture and Urbanism</strong>,&nbsp;Algiers, Algeria</p><p><strong>Hiraoka City Hall</strong>,&nbsp;Hiraoka, Japan</p><p><strong>Honduras National Congress</strong>,&nbsp;Tegucigalpa, Honduras</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><strong>SESC Pomp&eacute;ia</strong>,&nbsp;Sao Paulo, Brazil (Photo:&nbsp;Markus Lanz, Flickr)</p><p><strong>Sirius Building</strong>,&nbsp;Sydney, Australia</p><p><strong>Alexandria Zoo</strong>,&nbsp;Alexandria, Egypt</p><p><strong>South Humber Park Pavilion</strong>,&nbsp;Toronto, Canada</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><strong>Spomen Dom</strong>,&nbsp;Kola&scaron;in, Montenegro (Photo:&nbsp;Boban Scepanovic)</p><p><strong>Restaurante Panor&acirc;mico de Monsanto</strong>,&nbsp;Lisbon, Portugal</p><p><strong>Scala Theater</strong>,&nbsp;Bangkok, Thailand</p><p><strong>Painted Desert Community Complex</strong>,&nbsp;Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona, ...</p> The Neutra VDL House Celebrates its National Historic Landmark Status Nicholas Korody 2017-04-26T13:13:00-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>Built in 1932, the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">VDL Research House</a> designed by Richard Neutra is one of Southern California&rsquo;s modernist gems. Now it has been named a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior following the tireless work of its owners, the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Cal Poly Pomona</a> Foundation and, in particular, the VDL House director and chair of the architecture department at Cal Poly, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Sarah Lorenzen</a>. The effort was assisted by Los Angeles Congressman Adam Schiff, who helped celebrate the designation last Sunday.</p><p>Neutra&rsquo;s third building in the United States, and his own private home, the House is said to encapsulate his ideas. For the famed Austrian-American architect, the role of contemporary architecture was to shape life in the modern world, marked by new technologies and new lifestyles. According to the U.S. Department of the Interior, the House is &ldquo;the only property where one can see the progression of his style over a period of years and is among the key properties to understanding the nation...</p> Vietnam's architectural past is being erased by new economic forces Julia Ingalls 2017-03-09T12:42:00-05:00 >2017-03-09T12:42:11-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>What's the value of history? It's a question that keeps coming up around the world as new projects displace older architecture. In Vietnam, many of Ho Chi Minh City's distinctive (and, in many cases, French-colonial-era) structures are being dispatched to memory in favor of newer developments meant to stimulate the economy. As this article in <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">USA Today</a> notes:</p><p><em>Preservationists say developers and government officials are&nbsp;intent on making&nbsp;this city&nbsp;modern and care little for the vestiges of its colonial past. But destroying so many historic buildings, they warn, makes the city less livable and less attractive to tourists &mdash; which could undercut&nbsp;economic growth the government hopes to foster.</em></p> Researchers develop a new solution to protect deteriorating marble Nicholas Korody 2017-02-13T17:32:00-05:00 >2017-02-13T17:32:50-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>Princeton University researchers have announced the development of a low-cost, nontoxic coating that can preserve iconic stone structures from decay. Comprised of hydroxyapatite, a calcium compound that can be found in bones and teeth, the solution seeps into the stone&rsquo;s surface, binding cracks. According to the press release, the result is a stronger, more resilient work of art.</p><p>The researchers developed the solution for the stone monuments that populate the Certosa di Bologna cemetery in Italy. Made of marble, the stones have started to deteriorate. Apparently, the major innovation at hand is finding that the nontoxic solvent used in the solution, water, can seep deep into the cracks, causing a reaction within 24 hours.</p><p>Now researchers are working towards further improving the hydroxyapatite treatment by adding alcohol as well as electric currents.</p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Via Princeton</a></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p> The Department of Interior announces 24 new National Historic Landmarks Nicholas Korody 2017-01-12T21:02:00-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>Earlier today, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced 24 new National Historic Landmarks. Defined as &ldquo;historic properties of exceptional value to the nation [that promote] the preservation efforts of federal, state, and local agencies and Native American tribes, as well as those of private organizations and individuals,&rdquo; the designation comes with technical assistance, recognition, and funding. Notably, the Neutra Studio and Residence (<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">VDL House</a>) in Los Angeles, which has hosted several Archinect events in the past, was added to the list.</p><p>&ldquo;These 24 new designations depict different threads of the American story that have been told through activism, architecture, music, and religious observance,&rdquo; said Secretary Jewell. &ldquo;Their designation ensures future generations have the ability to learn from the past as we preserve and protect the historic value of these properties and the more than 2,500 other landmarks nationwide.&rdquo;</p><p>Here are the new historical landmarks, with des...</p> Take a look at KAAN Architecten's new offices inside a 1950s-era Rotterdam building Nicholas Korody 2016-11-23T12:27:00-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>Just steps away from the iconic Erasmus Bridge, a new office for <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">KAAN Architecten</a> has joins the crowd of notable buildings in the heart of the Dutch city of Rotterdam. The project transformed 1,400 square meters of a site with a storied history. Designed by Henri Timo Zwiers in the mid-fifties, the structure was built on the grounds a former synagogue that was destroyed in the Second World War. Originally the premises of De Nederlandsche Bank, the building&rsquo;s bright open spaces and rectangular floor plan lend itself well to an architecture office.</p><p>KAAN restored the industrial concrete structure, and counterbalanced the rough concrete with dark walnut. &ldquo;The harmonious interaction between the warm comfort of the wood and the pre-existing concrete structure, envelopes the atmosphere in a graceful yet monumental feeling,&rdquo; writes KAAN Architecten.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>&ldquo;The notion of sharing of knowledge is at the core of the division of spaces and the interior design of the new office. This rough space has the ...</p> Architecture Research Office to update the Rothko Chapel Nicholas Korody 2016-10-25T14:09:00-04:00 >2016-11-04T00:17:47-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>The Rothko Chapel in Houston, a masterpiece of midcentury architecture, houses 14 panels by the revered artist Mark Rothko. But the Chapel is in need of some TLC, from fixing the HVAC system to improving the lighting. The New York-based office Architecture Research Office (ARO) has been selected to oversee the renovations.</p><p>In addition to bringing the mechanics of the Chapel up-to-date, ARO will retool the entrance vestibule and renovate the Chapel&rsquo;s skylight. They will also design a master plan, which will include modifications to an outdoor plaza and a reflecting pool that contains the Barnett Newman sculpture &ldquo;Broken Obelisk&rdquo;. The master plan also includes several nearby bungalows.&nbsp;</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>ARO has a proven track record when it comes to light-weight, highly-sensitive restoration projects. Back in 2013, they renovated a 19th century cast-iron warehouse used by Donald Judd as his studio and home until his death in 1994. While extensive renovations were required, ARO updated the building with ...</p> Austria flip-flops over future of Hitler's birth house Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2016-10-19T13:13:00-04:00 >2016-10-24T22:35:01-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>A day after the Austrian government said it was planning to tear down the house where Adolf Hitler was born, the interior minister now says it is likely to be redesigned. The idea is to prevent the property from being a pilgrimage site for neo-Nazis. [...] "the new plan comes after members of a government-appointed commission on the future of the house suggested that erasing the house would give the impression Austria was trying to erase its past."</p></em><br /><br /><p>The tricky business of architectural preservation:</p><ul><li><a title="Plans unveiled to save Aberdeen home of Mitsubishi founder" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Plans unveiled to save Aberdeen home of Mitsubishi founder</a></li><li><a title="RIP: Bruce Goff's Bavinger House demolished" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">RIP: Bruce Goff's Bavinger House demolished</a></li><li><a title='No guarantees for historic residential architecture in "real-estate limbo"' href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">No guarantees for historic residential architecture in "real-estate limbo"</a></li><li><a title="The price of keeping Britain's 'Downton Abbeys' from crumbling" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The price of keeping Britain's 'Downton Abbeys' from crumbling</a></li><li><a title="Preserving Central Asia's ancient architecture through code" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Preserving Central Asia's ancient architecture through code</a></li></ul> A new beginning for Rosa Parks' Detroit home Justine Testado 2016-10-05T18:11:00-04:00 >2016-10-05T18:12:10-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>[Rosa Parks' home] on South Deacon Street had become blighted and faced demolition in recent years, but its fortunes have since changed. The home&rsquo;s facade has been removed and will be refashioned into a replica-style artwork that will be shown in museums across Europe...&ldquo;She loved the city, but I don't think the city loved her very much back,&rdquo; [Parks' niece Rhea] McCauley said. &ldquo;This house should have been preserved here. But we live in a world where every other project takes precedence.&rdquo;</p></em><br /><br /><p>You would think that the Detroit home of Rosa Parks would have more easily garnered local support for its preservation in the present day. But as Parks' niece Rhea McCauley described, her aunt was still treated with hostility when she moved into the city in 1957, two years after she refused to give up her bus seat. That attitude seems to have carried on as McCauley struggled to find a backer to preserve the home, saying that &ldquo;Doors have been slammed in [her] face&rdquo;.</p><p>Luckily, McCauley was able to get help from artist <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Ryan Mendoza</a>, who will transform the house's facade into a replica-style art piece that will tour museums across Europe. Why Europe?&nbsp;Mendoza, who acknowledged that he isn't even from Detroit, says it's &ldquo;a statement about the lack of interest in preserving the home in the city where it actually existed&rdquo;.</p><p>h/t <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Quartz</a></p><p>More on Archinect:</p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Carrying a racist legacy, highways today play a central role in civil rights activism</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">That new Texas Confede...</a></p> Closer look: Zaha Hadid's new “floating” Port House in Antwerp Justine Testado 2016-09-23T18:07:00-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>The glistening Port House in Antwerp is Zaha Hadid's latest project to be completed posthumously. But the glass building isn't mere folly. Built atop a disused historic fire station, the striking landmark operates as the new headquarters for the Port of Antwerp, Europe's second largest port.</p><p>ZHA was selected to design the new extension following a competition, in which the main objective was to preserve the original fire station, according to Port of Antwerp president Marc Van Peel. All five shortlisted competitors proposed a new structure above the building, but the Port deemed Zaha's design as &ldquo;the most brilliant&rdquo;.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""><br><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>At 111 meters long and 21 meters high, the new glass extension &ldquo;floats&rdquo; above the old fire station. &ldquo;Like the bow of a ship, the new extension points towards the Scheldt, connecting the building with the river on which Antwerp was founded,&rdquo; ZHA describes.</p><p>The building&nbsp;also shows off a glazed facade of transparent and opaque triangular facets that allow sufficient natural l...</p> The fight for Sydney's brutalist public housing landmark continues Alexander Walter 2016-09-23T14:13:00-04:00 >2016-09-27T23:39:34-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Protesters gathered in Sydney&rsquo;s historic Rocks district on Saturday to rally against the New South Wales government&rsquo;s plans to sell off the Sirius building &ndash; which contains 79 social housing tenants &ndash; to developers for more than $100m. The 1970s Brutalist building was nominated for heritage listing by the NSW National Trust in 2014 but the government has refused to grant it, saying the proceeds from the sale are needed to build more public housing elsewhere in Sydney</p></em><br /><br /><p>Quartz also <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">reported</a> that Australia&rsquo;s largest construction union Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) and the Unions NSW have called their members to refuse any participation in demolition work of the structure.</p><p><em>&ldquo;The Sirius building is not only an important piece of architectural history&mdash;it is one of the last areas of public housing in the district,&rdquo; explained Rita Mallia, president of the CFMEU in a Sept 16 statement.</em></p><p>Learn more about the case in this <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"> petition</a> and on the cause's website <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"></a>.</p><p>Previously in the Archinect news: <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Just add balconies? Sydney deliberates future of brutalist housing landmark</a></p> Saddam Hussain's architectural heritage—and what to do with it Alexander Walter 2016-09-13T18:30:00-04:00 >2016-09-18T22:37:17-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>During his time in power, as head of state and as leader of the all-powerful, secularist Ba&rsquo;th party, Saddam would oversee an unprecedented program of monumental development across the historic city of Baghdad. This was not limited to monuments of war and hollow bronze shells, but enormous palatial complexes, museums, art galleries, and civic squares [...] marshal it, awkwardly, unevenly, into the post-industrial age, a modern city shaped by the aspirations and egotistical tastes of a despot.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Related stories in the Archinect news:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Iraq honors Zaha Hadid with commemorative stamp &mdash; which features rejected Tokyo stadium design</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Destruction of Iraq&rsquo;s oldest Christian monastery by ISIS militants went unreported for 16 months</a></li></ul>