World-Architects Daily News

      

Friday, July 31, 2015

Today's archidose #853

Here are some photos of Quinta de Lemos in Viseu, Portugal, by Carvalho Araújo Arquitectos, photographed by José Carlos Melo Dias.

Passos do Silgueiros, Quinta de Lemos, Carvalho Araujo

Passos do Silgueiros, Quinta de Lemos. Carvalho Araujo

Passos do Silgueiros, Quinta de Lemos. Carvalho Araujo

Passos do Silgueiros, Quinta de Lemos, Carvalho Araujo

Passos do Silgueiros, Quinta de Lemos. Carvalho Araujo

Passos do Silgueiros, Quinta de Lemos. Carvalho Araujo

Passos do Silgueiros, Quinta de Lemos. Carvalho Araujo

Passos do Silgueiros, Quinta de Lemos. Carvalho Araujo

Passos do Silgueiros, Quinta de Lemos. Carvalho Araujo

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Going SUMO


[All photos courtesy of deMx architecture's Facebook page, unless noted otherwise]

I just learned about SUMO (Sustainabile Urban MObility), an "electric, mechanized mobility service [that] is the Western Hemisphere's first car sharing service based on street-legal, low-speed electric vehicles (LEVs), thus one of the greenest forms of motorized mobility in the world," per their website. Appropriately, their new headquarters is located in a shipping container stuffed into the porte cochère of an old building in Fayetteville, Arkansas.



Specifically, the SUMO headquarters is located at West and Lafayette streets:

[Image courtesy of Google Maps]

Here is a photo of the building before it received the shipping container:


The project was designed by SUMO founders Bob Munger and Mikel Lolley with the assistance of Fayetteville's deMx architecture, which posted these photos to their Facebook page. It's one of the more creative uses of shipping containers I've seen in recent years, and it goes hand in hand with the mission of SUMO.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Book Review: OfficeUS Atlas

OfficeUS Atlas edited by Eva Franch i Gilabert, Ana Miljački, Ashley Schafer, Michael Kubo
Storefront for Art and Architecture, Lars Müller Publishers, 2015
Hardcover, 1,250 pages



The 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale was one of the most anticipated since it started in the 1970s. Rem Koolhaas served as director and he aimed to unify the various national pavilions under one theme: "Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014." In most years the national pavilions do their own thing, often exhibiting the work of native architects; that is already the case with 2016 for the United States, which decided to focus on Detroit even before Alejandro Aravena was named director. But Koolhaas demanded more time and got it so he could leverage a bit more control and make the Biennale a bit more unified. For the most part it worked, with for the most part each country covering 100 years of architectural production. For the U.S. Pavilion, curated by Eva Franch i Gilabert, Ana Miljački, and Ashley Schafer, the theme was OfficeUS, which focused on American firms building overseas.



The U.S. Pavilion was the equivalent of information overload, since just about every wall of the "U"-shape building in the Giardini was covered with papers on American architects that the curators researched. These architects ranged from the obvious, like SOM and KPF, to smaller firms that would seem to be less likely to build overseas. But given the time frame covered in the exhibition, OfficeUS followed a number of changes in overseas, or imperial, architectural production. What was a rarity 100 years ago is now common practice, given the ease of telecommunications, travel and collaboration.



OfficeUS Atlas follows OfficeUS Agenda, which was published as a catalog to accompany the exhibition. It is much slimmer (only 272 pages) and more theoretical, since it "frames the narratives that have projected the organizational structures and branded identity of U.S. architecture firms internationally from 1914 - 2014." OfficeUS Atlas, on the other hand, is a gargantuan book on par with the exhibition itself. Thankfully it is not the book equivalent of the exhibition's information overload, since the design and layout help to break up the book into more manageable chunks and make it easy to navigate. The book works in a chronological order with content divided between archive materials (articles from magazines mainly) and profiles of firms building overseas; the former has pages with black edges and the latter has white pages, resulting in a book with black-and-white stripes. The order of the book makes the changing conditions of overseas work obvious, while it also (inadvertently?) shows how architectural publishing changed over the same period. Not only are some magazines long gone, but the content has changed from more big-picture and critical stories to project-specific coverage.

The combination of archive material and firm bios (with many projects illustrated with postage stamp-sized images) make this book appealing from different angles. Unfortunately, for those interested in the book as an archive the design falters. Although a black border is given around each clipped article (partially visible in the other two images above), there is no matching border in the fold. In many cases this does not affect the readability of the old articles (it should be noted these are smaller than their original page sizes, but they are still big enough to be read easily), but in far too many cases the text and/or drawings gets lost in the fold. Not allowing a margin in the fold is an inexcusable but common occurrence in architecture publishing. I've learned to overlook it at times, but I expect more from Lars Müller, who published this book and is known for thoughtful design in his books. Perhaps there was a sense on the part of the editors/curators that the archives were there for effect, to show how much and what has been written about the theme they developed. But far too often I found myself sucked into an old article only to turn the page and be frustrated by lost words – one blemish on an otherwise excellent book and record of an ambitious exhibition.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Japan: Three Generations of Avant-garde Architects

An oldie but goodie: This documentary from 1989 profiles Japanese architects Kazuo Shinohara, Itsuko Hasegawa, Toyo Ito, Fumihiko Maki, Arato Isozaki, and Tadao Ando. The 56-minute film, directed by Michael Blackwood, is narrated by Kenneth Frampton.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Today's archidose #852

Here are some of my photos of Alloy Development's DUMBO Townhouses (2015) in Brooklyn, New York.

DUMBO Townhouses

DUMBO Townhouses

DUMBO Townhouses

DUMBO Townhouses

DUMBO Townhouses

DUMBO Townhouses

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

More of André Chiote's Architectural Illustrations

A couple years ago I featured some of the illustrations created by André Chiote, an architect who also dabbles in creating "a set of images in which the aim is to simultaneously outline the emblematic and distinctive side of the building while creating a graphic composition whose expression could speak out beyond the building itself." Earlier today he sent me some illustrations of the work of Brazilian architect João Batista Vilanova Artigas, who would have been 100 years old in June. His most well known work is the FAU Center at University São Paulo, a large concrete building with a skylit gathering space at its center.




Other notable buildings include the Jaú Bus Terminal:


And the Louveira Residential Complex:


See more of André Chiote's illustrations on his website and Facebook page.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Today's archidose #851

Here are some photos of the Investcorp Building (2015) at St Anthony's College, Oxford, by Zaha Hadid Architects, photographed by Iqbal Aalam.

Middle East Centre, St Anthony's College, Oxford by Zaha Hadid 3

Middle East Centre, St Anthony's College, Oxford by Zaha Hadid 4

Middle East Centre, St Anthony's College, Oxford by Zaha Hadid 2

Middle East Centre, St Anthony's College, Oxford by Zaha Hadid 1

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Magazine of the Moment: Kimbell Art Museum – Drawing Collection




This one is hard to resist: the 538th issue of a+u is devoted to Louis I. Kahn's Kimbell Art Museum, presenting drawings as well as some photographs and essays by Lawrence Speck and Carlos Jimenez.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Book Review: World Atlas of Sustainable Architecture

World Atlas of Sustainable Architecture: Building for a Changing Culture and Climate by Ulrich Pfammatter
DOM Publishers, 2014
Hardcover, 584 pages



The back cover of this hefty book purports a total of 333 projects in its nearly 600 pages. With so many projects, the question in any book is how to structure them. The words "world atlas" in the title, as well as the weather map image on the cover, point to a geographical structure, but that is not the case. Instead the projects are arranged thematically in a complex, nested array of sections, chapters, subchapters and sub-subchapters. It's a very logical structure that responds to, if anything, how architects work on projects, particularly in regard to site planning and other "big picture" areas. Nevertheless it's a bit unwieldy at times, such that sometimes the structure seems to overwhelm or take priority over the content.



Let's look at one portion from Section 1, Genius Loci - Unique Places in a State of Change (the other sections are Building in Extreme Situations; Space, Structure and the Climate Change; the Nature of Materials - and the Future of Materials Technology; and architectural Memory: Industrial Culture and Transformation Strategies). The Genius Loci section is broken down into three chapters that are numbered 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3, each of them further broken down into three subchapters. So chapter 1.2, Contextual Building Typologies in a Changing Culture and Climate, has 1.2.A, 1.2.B, and 1.2.C. But it doesn't stop there, since 1.2.A, Atria of the Future, to take one example, has three further sub-subchapters: 1.2.A/1, 1.2.A/2, and 1.2.A/3.



The sub-subchapter 1.2.A/1 is titled Atria as Communication Spaces and has two projects within, each of them numbered: 1.25 is the Genzyme Center in Cambridge, MA, and 1.26 is the Centraal Beheer office building in The Netherlands. To take Behnisch, Behnisch & Partner's Genzyme Center as an example, we see that within its description the project is keyed to another part of the book (3.3.A/1), meaning the project is found in more than one section (I'm not sure if the 333 projects are all standalone projects or involve repetitions). Given that each spread gives the section, chapter, and subchapter in the top-right corner (note that the spreads shown here don't coincide with the pages I'm discussing here), it should be easy to find the Genzyme Center. But the sub-subchapter is not indicated, so it takes a little bit of effort to find it. Given that each project has a number (1.25 for Genzyme, again), why not reference the project number rather than the section? Which is more important, the project or the thematic structure? All signs point to the latter.

Since some projects are found in more than one place, the text and illustrations for them are different, catered to the appropriate thematic section. This certainly makes sense, but if somebody wants to know as much as possible about a single project it should be a bit easier to do so. Instead it's cumbersome and, at times, frustrating. But if readers are more interested in focusing on atria as new communication spaces, for example, then the book works well for them.



 You may be asking, "With all this talk about the structure of the book, how about the content?" I'd have preferred giving more attention to the latter, but my use of the book was stymied by its structure. Nevertheless, I found the descriptions capable but a bit cursory. Those wanting to delve deep into projects of sustainable architecture (a fairly loose definition in the case of what is included here) might be frustrated in discovering information they already know about, but those who are less familiar with the projects in the book will find much to discover and appreciate; the latter is definitely the target audience, though I wish each project entry had references as a launch pad for the former.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Today's archidose #850

On the occasion of being named the director of the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, here are some photos of buildings by Alejandro Aravena/Elemental culled from the archidose Flickr pool. The Biennale will run from May 28 to November 27, 2016.

UC Innovation Center - Anacleto Angelini:
CENTRO DE INNOVACIÓN UC - ANACLETO ANGELINI

CENTRO DE INNOVACIÓN UC - ANACLETO ANGELINI

CENTRO DE INNOVACIÓN UC - ANACLETO ANGELINI

CENTRO DE INNOVACIÓN UC - ANACLETO ANGELINI

Siamese Tower:
Untitled

Untitled

Chile 143 of 245

Torres Siamesas

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