ARCHITECTURE: looking back at Kevin Roche

Article: ARCHITECTURE: looking back at Kevin Roche

Kevin Roche, a man and his skyscraper
You might not think that any architect dubbed the darling of corporate America in the 1960s and 70s would also be well-respected by his colleagues and the greater architectural community, but Kevin Roche’s most notable designs had the unique ability to bring technological know-how, innovative design and the corporate workforce together in harmony. Roche won the Pritzker Prize in 1982 for his unflinching commitment to improve upon humdrum corporate architecture through modernity. In his mostly large-scale projects (he called it “the scale of the future”) he sought to create “more understandable environments” and happy, more productive workers by encouraging their interactions with nature in large, open, communal spaces.

Peter Zumthor will design the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion

Article: Peter Zumthor will design the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion

For the last decade the Serpentine Gallery in London has commissioned a different architect each year to design an outdoor event space for their annual summer pavilion, a three month-long symposium on architecture. The practice of designing, building and removing the pavilion – all of which happens within the space of six months – is an architectural experiment in itself and is always greatly anticipated. This year the Serpentine Gallery has enlisted the services of Swiss architect Peter Zumthor who designed a walled-in garden, currently under construction in Kensington Gardens.

Welcome to the Treehouse

Article: Welcome to the Treehouse

The idea for the Treehotel was born when Kent Lindvall, the owner, and three friends went on a fishing trip in Russia. One night, as they drank vodka around a campfire, Kent brought up the idea to his friends, who all happened to be architects. They embraced the idea immediately. Soon after, the group was walking through the woods in Harads, a small village in Northern Sweden. As they scouted for possible locations, it was important to find places where they wouldn’t need to cut down any trees to make room. “We made small paths that fit in perfectly with the forest without taking anything out, so when you come up here it’s absolutely untouched nature,” Kent explains.

Alice Studio, Architects of Space

Article: Alice Studio, Architects of Space

ALICE, the French acronym for Atelier de la Conception de L’Espace (don’t ask me how, you just have to take their word for it), is a group of architecture students from Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausaunne whose primary focus is creating environments that provide unique spatial experiences. You could say that about all architecture in general, too, but you won’t find ALICE designing museums, homes or offices. Rather, they build site-specific structures in distinct locations, like “Evolver,” which sits on the edge of Lake Stelli in Zermatt, Switzerland.

Making space for food

Article: Making space for food

Shitake logs on racks in the Mittagong mushroom tunnel. Photos by Nicola Twilley.
Last week GOOD Magazine began “Food for Thinkers,” a mini online festival/multi-site conversation about the way we think about food today. “Put another way, I want to know what happens when a music blogger thinks about food. What does a space archaeologist or an architect want to read and say about food? What kinds of things interest a science writer in food, and why?”

Coolest home offices

Article: Coolest home offices

I know your guest room-slash-office is pretty sweet, but compare it against these cool home offices highlighted by Inc, such as the one pictured above which is on a freakin’ tree! [Via]

Diller Scofidio + Renfro talk about their latest projects

Article: Diller Scofidio + Renfro talk about their latest projects

Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio (above) and the new Lincoln Center (below).
Right after the successful completion of the High Line and the redesign of Lincoln Center in NY, the architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro is back on the horse with two new and equally ambitious projects on the other side of the country, the Berkley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive and Eli Broad’s new contemporary art museum in downtown LA. The Architect’s Newspaper was able to pin down Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio long enough to talk about both these projects as well as the experience of working with Broad and what it means to be a ‘starchitect’ (spoiler alert: they don’t like that word).

Closer to God

Article: Closer to God

It almost makes too much sense that some of the most awe-inspiring architecture around the world today just so happens to be religious spaces. Whether that means a church, a synagogue or meditation center, the structures in Gestalten’s latest release, Closer to God, are anything but traditional. Gone are the high, vaulted ceilings and ornately embellished altars and alcoves that staunch Roman Catholics hold so dear. These spaces are clean and modern, with hardly a stained-glass window in sight.

Sou Fujimoto's Tokyo House

Article: Sou Fujimoto's Tokyo House

Iwan Baan snapped these photos of this apartment complex in Tokyo. It was designed by Sou Fujimoto and it consists of five housing units with each having two or three rooms shaped like a traditional house. In theory it looks cool how the rooms are connected by external stairs, but in practice getting from one…

New York's first passive house

Article: New York's first passive house

For the last two years architect Dennis Wedlick has been redesigning the cave. A cave, Wedlick explains, is the perfect metaphor for building a passive house: “One continuous material provides super insulation with only one energy-leaking opening.”

Just over a month ago, Wedlick raised the frame of his cave-inspired design, a 3-bedroom house on the Hudson, which, when completed, will be New York’s very first passive house. That’s kind of a startling figure, but “there are only about 10 certified passive projects in the entire country,” Wedlick says, “but something like 10,000 in Germany. That really tells you how far behind we are on sustainability.”

A glimpse of the World Trade Center train station

Article: A glimpse of the World Trade Center train station

Santiago Calatrava has been talking about his plans for the World Trade Center Transportation Hub for some a while now, dropping hints about the splendor of the station being akin to “the grandeur and sense of occasion offered by the great room of Grand Central, with its celestial roof and shafts of sunlight.” Although it’ll be at least another 4 years before his scaled-back, over-budget PATH station is completed, a new video rendering from The Wall Street Journal gives us an idea of what a $3.2 billion train station looks like.

Coolest residential swimming pool ever

Article: Coolest residential swimming pool ever

Andres Remy Architects designed this stunning residential for a family in Devoto, Argentina that leaves me green with envy at the kids and breathless at the pool’s inspired design. …the impact of the sun path was carefully studied, especially to place the swimming pool. One more time, water takes a big role in the creation…

52 architecture VIPs vote on the most important buildings and structures

Article: 52 architecture VIPs vote on the most important buildings and structures

Vanity Fair sent 52 of the “world’s leading architects, critics, and deans of architecture schools” a two part survey asking them first, their list of “the five most important buildings, bridges, or monuments constructed since 1980,” and second, what they considered to be “the greatest work of architecture thus far in the 21st century.” Among…

Another hub for affordable green homes: Corning, Iowa

Article: Another hub for affordable green homes: Corning, Iowa

If cost is no object, you probably look to the coasts for the latest in green building design. But when affordability is figured into the equation, the Midwest seems to be leading the pack: from Greensburg, Kansas to Reynolds, Indiana, the region’s turning into a laboratory of green building experimentation designed for the rest of us.

Brian McKee and the 2014 Olympics in Russia

Article: Brian McKee and the 2014 Olympics in Russia

15 new works by photographer Brian McKee open at the Vogt Bernal gallery in New York today. Called “The Power Suites,” these photographs track the progress of the building in Sochi, Russia for the upcoming 2014 Olympics, with a focus on the impact on the natural environment. Currently one of the largest construction projects in the world, the Sochi countryside is being leveled in order to create an entire city and infrastructure to support the Olympics and the tourism it will bring to the small, coastal city.

Album covers and architecture

Article: Album covers and architecture

Inspired by a TED talk by Talking Heads singer and RISD alumnus David Byrne on the role and relationship between architecture and music, Architizer has an interesting short read on album covers that highlight this connection. It includes one of my favorite albums, Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot cover art which features Bertrand Goldberg’s “corn cob”…

I.M. Pei's Terminal 6 set for demolition

Article: I.M. Pei's Terminal 6 set for demolition

The first thing you notice when you enter Terminal 6 at JFK is the sheer amount of space and a freedom of movement not typically associated with crowded airports. But I. M Pei’s design was carefully constructed to give a hectic space a light and airy feel. To do this he used huge expanses of glass uninterrupted from floor to ceiling by the use of glass mullions, or glass frames, instead of metal ones – an unprecedented innovation. He and his team also developed a new kind of drainage system that feeds in through the building’s exterior concrete columns instead of the typical indoor method that would have marred the otherwise glorious view of his glass walls. Still more important is the way Pei’s design managed congestion, which was becoming an issue as consumer travel increased in the late 60s. Up until the construction of Terminal 6 all airports grouped the space for arriving and departing travelers together, creating traffic jams and confusion. It seems absurdly simple now, but by separating the two Pei’s terminal was vastly quieter, calmer and more organized – and all airports built since then have adopted it.

Do houses dream?

Article: Do houses dream?

Inspired by the thought “How it would be, if a house was dreaming,” this video projection installation at the Kunsthalle in Hamburg by Daniel Rossa is absolutely mind blowing. Watch as it conveys the illusion of a building facade that is infinitely transmogrifying. 555 KUBIK | facade projection | from urbanscreen on Vimeo.

Australia goes 3D at the Venice Biennale

Article: Australia goes 3D at the Venice Biennale

With 93% of its citizens living in cities, Australia is among the most urbanized continents in the world, and its entry in the upcoming Venice Architecture Biennale, “NOW + WHEN” reflects the growing need for a retooling of its biggest cities. The NOW part highlights 6 of Australia’s “most interesting” urban and rural areas, but the WHEN part is clearly the focus, with 17 proposals that anticipate or fantasize (you be the judge) about the state of Australia’s cities in 2050, many of which are presented in 3D stereoscopic for extra wow factor.

Square root table

Article: Square root table

In a venn diagram of the modern architecture and design magazine Dwell and Mathematica Journal, this coffee table shaped like a square root symbol would sit in that diagram’s overlap area. The designer Josh Tuminella explains: It was inspired by the mid-century bent ply tables. One of its key features – the magazine rack –…

The new Pompidou: big hit or big flop?

Article: The new Pompidou: big hit or big flop?

Image courtesy Jean de Gastines Architects
The new branch of the Centre Pompidou that opened earlier this month in Metz has little in common with its Parisian counterpart aside from the name and the art collection, of course. In terms of appearance, however, it owes nothing to Renzo Piano and Richard Roger’s famous ‘exposed’ exterior that generated quite a bit of debate before it was deemed genius. I’m not sure if I can predict the same fate for the Metz structure, designed by Shigeru Ban, Jean de Gastines and Philip Gumuchdjian.

Richard Meier's Model Museum

Article: Richard Meier's Model Museum

Multi-award-winning American architect Richard Meier is best known for his mostly white, supremely modern buildings like the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, the Indiana Athaneum and most famously, the Getty Center in Los Angeles. It is not so well known that he is one of very few architects working today who still uses physical models and not the more popular 3D models generated by a computer. But not only does Meier use models during his design process, he uses multiple, intricately rendered models of varying scale made mostly of wood.

Architect creates 24 rooms in a 344 square foot apartment

Article: Architect creates 24 rooms in a 344 square foot apartment

Hong Kong based architect Gary Chang designed a stunning and inspiring multi-purpose home that maximizes every inch of space available in his 344 square foot apartment. What he calls his “domestic transformer,” his apartment can be reconfigured into 24 different rooms and uses, including a screening room with a hammock. This is accomplished by creatively…

The Rise of Wall Street

Article: The Rise of Wall Street

Vertical Wall Street: every building from Broadway to Pearl over the course of 5 eras.
Guess how Wall Street got its name? Yeah, that’s right. Before it was a street it was a wall, built to mark the edge of town in colonial times. Over time original row-houses were replaced by banks and then by financial buildings that only got higher and higher. In fact, many of the buildings on Wall Street today are vertical expansions of sites first erected as many as 150 years ago. In an optimistic turn of phrase, The Skyscraper Museum (don’t worry, I’d never heard of it either) will open “The Rise of Wall Street,” an exhibition with a focus on the good ol’ days of American business, namely the 1850s, when architects set their sites as high as their clients’ financial speculations.

Tampa's skyline gets modern

Article: Tampa's skyline gets modern

The museum at night, lit by a wall of color-changing LEDs. When the Tampa Museum of Art realized its growing collection of classic and contemporary art was outgrowing the museum itself they called in architect Rafael Vinoly, but his $76 million proposal was passed over in favor of the $26 million plan designed by the…