Archinect - News 2017-08-20T00:20:15-04:00 New Fairy Tale Architecture in Places Journal Places Journal 2016-12-22T16:46:00-05:00 >2016-12-23T23:27:04-05:00 <img src="" width="650" height="650" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>How many architects, young and old, have been inspired by a hero or heroine who must imagine new realms and new spaces &mdash; new ways of being in this strange world?&nbsp;This project presents a line of flight into architecture as a fantastic, literary realm of becoming.</p></em><br /><br /><p>This week,&nbsp;our series on Fairy Tale Architecture returns with four new designs by Sn&oslash;hetta, Ultramoderne, Smiljan Radi&#263;, and Bernheimer Architecture. Each one explores&nbsp;the relationship between the domestic structures of fairy tales and the imaginative realm of architecture. But&nbsp;don&rsquo;t expect a light escape into fantasy. These fantastical worlds draw their power from engagement with the real.</p><p><br><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Tiddalik the Frog, designed by&nbsp;Sn&oslash;hetta</a></p><p><br><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Flatland, designed by&nbsp;Ultramoderne</a></p><p><br><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Gripho, designed by&nbsp;Smiljan Radi&#263;</a></p><p><br><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Seven Ravens, designed by&nbsp;Bernheimer Architecture</a></p> Living in Mies van der Rohe's Lafayette Park Places Journal 2012-10-04T15:45:00-04:00 >2012-10-08T18:35:10-04:00 <img src="" width="525" height="349" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The ability to observe the private lives of strangers from the windows of my home is one reason why I&rsquo;ve chosen to reside within a dense urban fabric. I am not a voyeur: I do not receive sexual satisfaction from watching the daily lives of others. But I do like to imagine the many meaningful &ldquo;relationships&rdquo; I have created with people that I will never meet or even recognize on the street.</p></em><br /><br /><p> When architect Melissa Dittmer moved from New York City to Detroit, her reaction was a "year-long panic attack." Where, she wondered, were the people? "Where was the density, the sense of connection with strangers?" But then Dittmer and her family bought a townhouse in Lafayette Park, the modernist development created in the early '60 by Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig Hilberseimer and Alfred Caldwell &mdash; a place where the design itself encourages "a shared sense of intimacy that fosters community." On Places, she writes about how the architecture and landscape design of Lafayette Park conspire to create a sense of ordered exhibitionism, in a chapter from the new book&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><em>Thanks for the View, Mr. Mies.</em></a></p> The Housing Question Places Journal 2012-06-25T13:48:00-04:00 >2012-07-09T16:40:47-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="439" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Foreclosed is controversial because it suggests that the state, or the public sector &mdash; conceived along with civil society in terms of multiple, overlapping, virtual and actual publics &mdash; might play a more active, direct and enlightened role in the provision of housing and, by extension, of education, health care and other infrastructures of daily life in the United States.... Simply put, can we no longer imagine architecture without developers?</p></em><br /><br /><p> Earlier this year <em>Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream</em> opened at MoMA in New York. The exhibition quickly became controversial, with some decrying it as elitist and paternalistic, others defending it as powerful and ambitious. On Places, Reinhold Martin, co-organizer of Foreclosed, and Raphael Sperry and Amit Price Patel, of Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility, continue the debate &mdash; in a virtual roundtable &mdash; along with fellow Liz Ogbu and urban planner Tom Angotti of Hunter College.</p> Design's Invisible Century Places Journal 2012-04-23T14:17:00-04:00 >2012-04-23T14:21:44-04:00 <img src="" width="525" height="525" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>All human artifacts and activities &mdash; not just our objects and architecture, but also our organizations and operations, policies and procedures, systems and infrastructures &mdash; have been designed, and too many of the most critical have been badly done by professionals and politicians who didn&rsquo;t know the first thing about design. While we cannot blame them for what they didn&rsquo;t know or couldn&rsquo;t see, the stakes have gotten too high for us to continue in this way.</p></em><br /><br /><p> On Places, Thomas Fisher, dean of the Minnesota College of Design, argues that the 21st century is poised to become the "invisible century of design" (rivaling the last hundred years, the invisible century of science). Who will be the Einstein and the Freud of the new design century? We need a revolutionary thinkers to identify and solve critical structural problems.</p> The Last Pedestrians: Albert Kahn, Edsel Ford, Diego Rivera Places Journal 2012-04-10T17:12:00-04:00 >2012-04-10T18:37:51-04:00 <img src="" width="525" height="516" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The story of the automobile &mdash; like the story of the city of Detroit &mdash; is a tale of unwitting eternal returns. At every turn the inventors of modern life &mdash; of its machines, its aspirations &mdash; seemed unable or unwilling to grasp the meaning of what they were in the process of creating and unleashing, and what they were thus undoing and destroying.</p></em><br /><br /><p> On Places, historian Jerry Herron traces the intersecting lives of architect Albert Kahn, industrialist Edsel Ford, and artist Diego Rivera&nbsp;and examines their roles in shaping the mythology of Detroit as an industrial powerhouse.</p> Reyner Banham on the Road Places Journal 2012-03-19T16:44:00-04:00 >2012-03-19T19:15:31-04:00 <img src="" width="600" height="279" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>If you drove far enough, from Maine to Georgia, from the Midwest to Southern California, or simply from one end of Los Angeles to the other, you would start to notice that there were different ecologies, and that some were geographical and some were cultural, but that they intersected and collaged to form a vast, sprawling, layered network whose patterns were discernible only if you took the long view and just kept driving.</p></em><br /><br /><p> In an essay for Places, Gabrielle Esperdy (of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">American Road Trip</a>) follows architectural critic Reyner Banham out of Los Angeles and out onto the open road, placing him in the tradition of European travelers, from de Tocqueville and Dickens to Alistair Cooke and Stephen Fry, whose observations tell us Americans "something important about ourselves."</p> UPSTATE at Syracuse University Places Journal 2012-03-15T16:04:00-04:00 >2012-03-15T17:07:07-04:00 <img src="" width="525" height="477" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>UPSTATE was created [as a] framework for sustained collaboration with the community and the city&mdash;in our case a post-industrial city in upstate New York that's been grappling with a shrinking population, eroding tax base, crumbling infrastructure, underfunded schools, cash-strapped services. The challenges aren't new&mdash;they're the challenges of cities all across the rust belt&mdash;but they're real, and they're intensifying.</p></em><br /><br /><p> Continuing a series on university design centers, Places editor Nancy Levinson interviews Julia Czerniak and Joe Sisko of UPSTATE at Syracuse University.</p> <p> The slideshow features work by&nbsp;Koning Eizenberg Architecture, Cook+Fox, ARO and Della Valle Bernheimer, Onion Flats, the Near West Side Initiative, and others.</p> Architecture School 1990-2012: The Future That Is Now Places Journal 2012-03-12T16:32:00-04:00 >2012-03-19T05:03:51-04:00 <img src="" width="640" height="426" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>It is possible to say without too much exaggeration that we now inhabit a version of the future William Gibson first described 25 years ago.... an accumulation of smaller changes, the consequences of which are subtle and all-pervasive as technology has increasingly lodged in unanticipated aspects of our lives. As Gibson has observed, the actual future is often more nuanced and unexpected than the imagined future.</p></em><br /><br /><p> In a chapter from the new book&nbsp;<a href=";tid=12869" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><em>Architecture School</em></a> (MIT Press), edited by Joan Ockman, Princeton School of Architecture Dean Stan Allen traces the history&nbsp;of architecture education over the past two decades&nbsp;&mdash; as he says, a volatile period during which "rapid technological and social changes presented complex challenges to practice and education."</p> Demedicalize Architecture Places Journal 2012-03-06T12:51:00-05:00 >2012-03-06T18:55:58-05:00 <img src="" width="525" height="349" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Contemporary architecture and urban planning seem to address uncritically the conditions and context in which this discourse on health is developing. In most cases, the design disciplines rely on an abstract, scientific notion of health, and very literally adopt concepts such as &ldquo;population,&rdquo; &ldquo;community,&rdquo; &ldquo;citizen,&rdquo; &ldquo;nature,&rdquo; &ldquo;green,&rdquo; &ldquo;development,&rdquo; &ldquo;city&rdquo; and &ldquo;body&rdquo; into a professionalized, disciplinary discourse that simply echoes the ambiguities characteristic of current debate.</p></em><br /><br /><p> In its latest exhibition and book, <em>Imperfect Health</em>, the Canadian Centre for Architecture critiques what curators Mirko Zardini and Giovanna Borasi call a &ldquo;new moralistic philosophy: healthism.&rdquo; Zardini and Borasi trace the long relationship of environmental design to shifting social and political concepts of well-being, from 19th-century urban parks to 20th-century sanatoria to the "healthy buildings" of today. And they ask: would it be possible to &ldquo;demedicalize&rdquo; architecture &mdash; to replace the prescriptive solutions of &ldquo;cure&rdquo; with the more expansive goals of &ldquo;care&rdquo;?</p> How to Be an Architecture Critic Places Journal 2012-03-01T15:50:00-05:00 >2012-03-04T14:15:36-05:00 <img src="" width="525" height="350" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>We are rarely roused by the day-to-day, brick-by-brick additions that have the most power to change our environment. We know what we already like but not how to describe it, or how to change it, or how to change our minds. We need to learn how to read a building, an urban plan, a developer&rsquo;s rendering, and to see where critique might make a difference.... We need more critics &mdash; citizen critics &mdash; equipped with the desire and the vocabulary to remake the city.</p></em><br /><br /><p> Places features an essay from Alexandra Lange's new book&nbsp;<em>Writing About Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities&nbsp;</em>(Princeton Architectural Press, 2012).</p> <p> Lange takes on a classic text by Ada Louise Huxtable &mdash; a review of SOM&rsquo;s 1967 Marine Midland Bank Building &mdash; and shows us why it's so good and what we can learn from it by following in the footsteps of a master.</p> What Is It About Cuba's National Art Schools? Places Journal 2012-02-28T04:28:00-05:00 >2012-02-28T11:01:07-05:00 <img src="" width="525" height="350" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>After I mentioned attending a screening of the new documentary film, Unfinished Spaces, about the National Art Schools in Havana, [my dinner companion] burst out: &ldquo;What is it about the Art Schools? Why do foreigners love them so much? There&rsquo;s nothing Cuban about those buildings. They&rsquo;re ridiculous architecture for Havana and I always hated them.&rdquo;</p></em><br /><br /><p> On Places, architect Belmont Freeman reconsiders the National Art Schools in Havana&nbsp;&mdash; the subject of John Loomis's groundbreaking book <em>Revolution of Forms</em>, as well as a new documentary film and an opera, and a cult favorite among architecture buffs. Does the North American obsession with the art schools carry a whiff of latent colonialism, or even racism? Freeman argues that the dramatic saga of the art schools has obscured the larger narrative of post-revolutionary Cuban architecture.</p> Chicago Public Housing after Cabrini-Green Places Journal 2012-02-20T13:08:00-05:00 >2012-02-25T10:12:39-05:00 <img src="" width="525" height="351" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The saga of Cabrini-Green compels us to engage some hard and fundamental questions. It is not enough to ask: who benefits from public housing redevelopment? We must also ask: how we measure such benefits and who gets to do that measuring?</p></em><br /><br /><p> When the last of the Cabrini-Green towers was demolished by the Chicago Housing Authority a year ago, where did the residents go? Urban historian Lawrence Vale looks at the politics and policies of subsidized housing in the city and interviews the developer of the mixed-income "village" that replaced the old public housing projects (and excluded many of their residents).</p> <p> In a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">related feature</a>, sociologist David Schalliol documents this transition in a slideshow featuring photographs of CHA projects and sites.</p> Housing and the 99% Places Journal 2012-02-14T21:07:00-05:00 >2014-06-30T16:01:09-04:00 <img src="" width="525" height="451" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>How should the state pursue the goal of making decent housing affordable and accessible to all its citizens? How can we mobilize our collective resources in the service of social justice? In what other ways might we imagine living together? What is a house?</p></em><br /><br /><p> On Places, architectural historian Jonathan Massey puts Occupy Wall Street and the 99 Percenters into the historical context of housing in America. Walking us from the 1920s to the present day, he&nbsp;explores how governmental and banking policies have worked to promote the ideal of home ownership &mdash; and lately to endanger it.</p> An interview with Jacques Herzog Places Journal 2012-02-09T11:14:00-05:00 >2012-02-12T23:38:22-05:00 <img src="" width="525" height="350" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>In this uniformity, I see a tendency among architects to respect and maintain the status quo, and a consensus about what architecture is and can do for our society. That&rsquo;s the expression of a decorative understanding of architecture, even if it expresses itself in a subtle, modernist language. (Jacques Herzog)</p></em><br /><br /><p> On Places, Jacques Herzog discusses the recent work of Herzog &amp; de Meuron and the challenges of maintaining a creatively vital practice, in an interview with Hubertus Adam and J. Christoph Burkle.</p> The Midwestern Maybeck Places Journal 2012-02-07T05:46:00-05:00 >2012-02-07T16:37:47-05:00 <img src="" width="640" height="480" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>A dandy bedecked in flashy all-white outfits and a pince-nez, chain-smoking custom-made cigarettes that he ordered from a New York manufacturer in lots of 10,000... an early devotee of the motorcar, president of the local Automobile Club, and a notably fast and reckless driver... He paid his rent in gold coins, before moving to an opulently furnished, Oriental-themed downtown Kansas City apartment/studio building of his own design.</p></em><br /><br /><p> Why is Louis Curtiss so much less celebrated than Bernard Maybeck?</p> <p> On Places, Keith Eggener examines the career of the Kansas City architect, "designer of some of the earliest buildings in the world to employ caisson foundations, rolled steel columns and glass curtain-walls," who nonetheless remains a relatively obscure figure, well outside the canon of architectural history.</p> Is There a Jewish Architecture? Places Journal 2012-02-02T20:13:00-05:00 >2012-02-03T08:16:28-05:00 <img src="" width="525" height="413" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Within the parameters of the building art there cannot be artists like Saul Bellow and Philip Roth or like Sidney Lumet and Woody Allen, who in books and movies probe the excruciating details of the Jewish encounter with American capitalism and lifestyle. Architecture cannot tell stories about one&rsquo;s Jewish mother or one&rsquo;s Jewish nose. Especially in the era of high modernism, architecture possessed limited expressive resources for detailed cultural critique.</p></em><br /><br /><p> Is there a type of Jewish architecture that unifies the work of Louis Kahn, Peter Eisenman, Frank Gehry, and Daniel Libeskind?</p> <p> Architectural historian Mitchell Schwarzer reviews Gaven Rosenfeld's ambitious book, <em>Building After Auschwitz: Jewish Architecture and the Memory of the Holocaust</em>, and comes away unconvinced.</p> URBANlab at California College of the Arts Places Journal 2012-01-19T17:47:00-05:00 >2012-01-19T17:57:06-05:00 <img src="" width="650" height="677" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Academic institutions have a mandate to contribute to public knowledge, but the structures that support the transfer and dissemination of research, and the application of research within urban design practice, are often weak. There is a widening gap between what happens within the academy and what happens on the ground in cities &mdash; often a retrograde, generic and ad hoc agglomeration of politically or financially motivated initiatives.</p></em><br /><br /><p> Places interviews Ila Berman, director of architecture at the California College of the Arts, and Mona El Khafif, project coordinator of&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">URBANlab</a>, about research + design initiatives at the lab. The feature includes a slideshow of faculty and student work, including design proposals for projects in the San Francisco Bay Area, Jerusalem, and Tianjin.</p> <p> This is the second installment in an ongoing series of profiles of university-based design centers. Previously: <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Stephen Luoni and the University of Arkansas Community Design Center</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> Lessons from the Front Lines of Social Design Places Journal 2012-01-16T15:56:00-05:00 >2012-01-18T16:49:04-05:00 <img src="" width="600" height="399" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>In the last decade, much has been written about architecture for the greater good, and it would seem that the field, as a whole, is invested in bringing design to underserved communities. Yet all of this talk &mdash; at conferences, in the press, at universities &mdash; has focused hardly at all on how to put together a career in social design.</p></em><br /><br /><p> On Places, Virginia Tech graduate Will Holman gives an honest report of his experiences volunteering, studying and working at Arcosanti, Rural Studio, and Youth Build. Does the architecture profession need to do more to support young architects who take this path?</p> On Detroit and Ruin Places Journal 2012-01-12T15:53:00-05:00 >2012-01-13T22:46:03-05:00 <img src="" width="620" height="464" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The truth I&rsquo;m trying to present is one about site-specific forgetting. If our history is a history of forgetting how to remember the past, as I am arguing, then the city of Detroit is the engine of our conflicted deliverance. It&rsquo;s the machinery we&rsquo;ve used for particular acts of forgetting, each connected to the place and time where the forgetting got done.</p></em><br /><br /><p> This week on <em>Places</em>, two features by Detroit residents contextualize the city's ruins.</p> <p> In "<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Forgetting Machine: Notes Toward a History of Detroit</a>," Jerry Herron reflects on the decline of Hudson's and the improbable hopefulness of the retrofitted car park in the Michigan theater. He critiques two recent books of ruin photography and offers an alternate reading of the city as a machine for forgetting.</p> <p> In "<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Detroit Re-Photography</a>," Dave Jordano presents a slideshow of Detroit buildings and landscapes photographed in the early 1970s and in 2010.&nbsp;Photo editor Aaron Rothman notes that Jordano's then-and-now images "implicate us in the changes they depict," and work as a kind of antidote to the cool aestheticism of ruin porn.</p> The House on Chicken Feet Places Journal 2011-12-22T14:23:00-05:00 >2012-11-02T16:56:13-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="460" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>We were able to meet the Grimms&rsquo; strict design requirements by employing a slender tower design of vertical cylindrical stems that are joined by intermittent outrigger beams with a reinforced space at the very top for Rapunzel&rsquo;s long captivity.</p></em><br /><br /><p> This week, Places has a holiday series on fairy tale architecture.&nbsp;Participating firms &mdash; Bernheimer Architecture, Leven Betts, and Guy Nordenson and Associates &mdash; have selected favorite tales and produced works exploring the intimate relationship between the domestic structures of fairy tales and the imaginative realm of architecture.</p> <p> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Baba Yaga's Hut, by Bernheimer Architecture</a></p> <p> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Jack's Beanstalk, by Leven Betts with Bret Quagliara</a></p> <p> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Rapunzel's Tower, by Guy Nordenson and Associates</a></p> The Evil, Evil Grain Elevator Places Journal 2011-12-12T14:49:35-05:00 >2011-12-13T19:23:30-05:00 <img src="" width="525" height="525" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>In landscape, legible intent is different for forms we perceive to be buildings than for forms we perceive to be sculptures, since in most cases (Gehry is the exception) before we ask, what is the architect&rsquo;s purpose, we ask, what is the building&rsquo;s purpose? This may be the single most profound difference between architectural and sculptural presence in landscape.</p></em><br /><br /><p> David Heymann analyzes the very different ways in which works of sculpture and works of architecture occupy the landscape. And he looks closely at a grain elevator, and shows how a form which we usually experience as a familiar and even neighborly presence can come to seem evil.</p> <p> The final installment in a series of three essays on Places,&nbsp;following "<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Landscape Is Our Sex</a>" and "<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">A Mound in the Wood</a>."</p> Occupy: The Day After Places Journal 2011-12-08T16:02:26-05:00 >2011-12-11T13:21:04-05:00 <img src="" width="525" height="349" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>For if there is one abiding historical certainty it is that, eventually, things change. And they can be made to change. There is no such thing, however, as a revolutionary architecture. Nor does history ever simply start from scratch. Instead, post-revolutionary questions can be posed in advance to infrastructures that already exist.... to reinvent what used to be called housing, schools, hospitals, factories, and farms in a way that asks: What else must change for these changes to be possible?</p></em><br /><br /><p> Reinhold Martin argues that architects must plan for post-revolutionary conditions. A follow-up to his earlier essay for Places, "<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Occupy: What Architecture Can Do</a>."</p>