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When Life Gives You Passenger Cars...

Indian Railways converts old train cars into coronavirus quarantine coaches
While convention centers, stadiums, multi-purpose arenas, and other plus-sized venues the world over are being converted into makeshift medical facilities in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, India is taking a different approach by turning decommissioned passenger train cars into isolation wards. In an effort to halt the spread of the virus, Indian Railways suspended all service until April 14. Taking full advantage of the unprecedented pause, the government-operated rail service—the oldest in Asia and the fourth largest in the world­—is now transforming up to 20,000 old coaches into emergency care units that can be deployed to remote and hard-hit areas of the country experiencing a shortage of hospital beds. As the Ministry of Railways elaborated in a statement, the coaches are “being prepared only as a contingency and to supplement the efforts of the Ministry of Health.” As reported by The Tribune, each retrofitted train car—a proper quarantine coach—can accommodate up to 16 patient beds along with a nurse’s station, doctor’s cabin, and ample room for supplies. It’s worth noting that the modified cars lack air conditioning, as newer, air-conditioned carriages are being held for regular passenger use when service resumes. Five thousand coaches with the capacity to accommodate 80,000 patients are currently being readied in all 16 of India Railways’ service zones. Per the Indian Express, half of those have already been fully completed, with an average of 375 converted per day since the scheme was first announced. “In times of lockdown, when manpower resources are limited and have to be rationalised and rotated, different zones of Railways have almost done an impossible task of so many conversions in such a small span of time,” said the Ministry of Railways. The Indian Express detailed the resourceful, rapid-fire modifications:
“Two of the four toilets have been converted into bathrooms. The middle berth on one side in each cabin has been removed while the lower berth there will act as the patient bed. “Each cabin has been separated with proper plywood covering and every patient area has medical-grade plastic curtains to give the coach the look of a proper isolation ward. There are cabins for a doctor as well as other medical staffs. More electrical sockets for medical instruments, more bottle holders to act as holders of intravenous drip stands etc., have been provided. It also has provisions for connecting to an external electric supply.”
While there’s been no indication that Indian Railways won’t resume service on April 14, the converted carriages will be ready to go regardless in the event that infection numbers start to spike. India currently has 4,778 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 136 deaths. While this isn’t a tiny number by any means, for a nation of over 1.3 people billion people it’s astonishing. By comparison, India falls directly behind Oakland County, Michigan (population: 1.25 million ), and Nassau County, New York (population: 1.37 million ), in its number of reported deaths, and trails Denmark and Chile in confirmed cases. Still, India, a country with a dearth of hospital beds and fragile public health infrastructure that varies wildly from state to state, is very much not out of the woods yet. Converting thousands of trains into emergency isolation coaches may seem like an overly complicated, non-obvious solution to extreme potential hospital overflow. One can imagine what it would look like if Amtrak got into the healthcare business. But in India, a country where its national railway system is also its largest employer and where rural areas are largely unequipped for a public health crisis at his magnitude, the idea is something of a no-brainer as far as emergency back-ups go. As CNN notes, Indian Railways currently operates 125 non-train-based hospitals across the country. The agency has also been running the Lifeline Express, a mobile hospital equipped with an operation room, private treatment areas, recovery wards, and accommodations for medical staff since 1991 when it was launched in collaboration with the Impact India Foundation and the Indian Health Ministry.
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Saul Together

Pace Gallery presents an online exhibition of Saul Steinberg’s interior illustrations
With venues in six cities across the world, Pace Gallery seems to have easily found a seventh home online. For Imagined Interiors, one of the gallery’s inaugural Online Viewing Room exhibitions, independent curator Michaëla Mohrmann mounted a solo exhibition of drawings, photographs, and collages by Romanian-American artist Saul Steinberg that depict architectural interiors and the accumulation of domestic objects. "My purpose is to transform an idea that I had into a drawing. I am not so preoccupied by the outside world,” Steinberg once admitted. “I’m preoccupied with my own inside world." Steinberg, who trained as an architect in 1930s Italy, often depicted the domestic interior as a place of productive boredom, where one keeps busy arranging and intermixing prized belongings with temporary junk. The artist often neglected to draw the bounding box of the room, allowing the objects to define the limits of the interior. The few renderings of cityscapes are animated by interior furnishings scaled up to impossible degrees. For instance, Chest of Drawers Cityscape (1950) fashions a clothing organizer into a skyscraper with little embellishment, in a gesture that either expands the interior or shrinks the outside world. Read the full show preview on our interiors and design website,
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History, erased

Large section of Berlin Wall demolished to make way for condos
Just several short months after the 30th anniversary marking the fall of the Berlin Wall, a nearly 200-foot remaining section of the concrete blockade was razed to make way for a luxury condo development in the northeastern borough of Pankow. While not particularly touristy compared to wall remnants found in central Berlin such as the East Side Gallery, this particular stretch of graffiti-clad wall embankment, hidden away in suburban Pankow, was one of the largest surviving sections of the 96-mile-long Berlin Wall and one of the last pieces of the Hinterlandmauer, or inner wall, remaining in the once-divided German capital. As Artnet notes, the Hinterlandmauer was built in the 1970s, a decade after the main wall, as a reinforcement barrier with the Pankow section running parallel to a now-shuttered railroad line that connected Berlin to the Polish border city of Szczecin. While not protected as a historical site, Smithsonian Magazine noted that the Berlin Wall Foundation did reveal plans to preserve part of Pankow’s overlooked inner wall—which stood about 11 feet high and was erected roughly 1,600 feet from the main wall—last fall ahead of the city’s reunification anniversary celebrations. An October article published in weekly magazine Berliner Woche directly mentions the potential preservation scheme, while also noting proposed plans to turn the disused stretch of railway tracks adjacent to the inner wall into a “cycling highway.”
“Today the hinterland wall is surrounded by trees and bushes. This part of the former border security system is only known to residents and obviously a number of graffiti sprayers. The Berlin Wall Foundation and the DDR Museum are currently working to ensure that this section is maintained. The chances are pretty good because the property is already owned by the state.”
As Der Tagesspiegel reported, the Berlin Wall Foundation and other historical groups were unaware of plans to demolish the 196-foot-long section of inner wall. Upon learning the news, they were left “horrified.” “The partial demolition of the continuous piece of hinterland wall on the Dolomitenstraße is a clear loss of original wall remains,” Manfred Wichmann, a curator with the Berlin Wall Foundation, explained to German daily Der Tagesspiegel. “This was a testimony to how deeply the border regime of the GDR intervened in the everyday life of the people in East Berlin.” City officials, however, seemed largely unsympathetic to the outrage of historians and preservationists. “No protected status was determined by the monument authorities; the foundation had obviously campaigned too late to preserve it,” City Building Councilor Vollrad Kuhn told Tagesspiegel. Der Tagesspiegel also noted that just months earlier Wichmann and others had stressed the vital importance of preserving more obscure remaining sections of the wall. Sören Marotz, exhibition director of the DDR Museum, also played up how the upcoming bike path could help to meaningfully increase exposure to Pankow’s inner wall. “This shows that such historical locations and new usage concepts go well together,” he said. Wichmann noted that just under a mile-and-a-half of original Berlin Wall segments are still standing in Berlin proper and although the demolished stretch in Pankow was not part of the main wall, it was a significant loss nevertheless. “They are disappearing more and more,” said Wichmann. As noted by ABC News, a plan to demolish the famed East Gallery in 2013 to make way for a luxury high-rise development along the Spree River was “met with outrage and public protest.” Still, some segments of the East Gallery were ultimately removed.
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Eye, Robot

Contemporary art gallery provides robot-assisted tours to beat stay-at-home orders
In an effort to remain in business while providing content for those under stay-at-home orders, museums and galleries around the world have expanded their online presence with offerings including high-resolution imagery, archival videos, and experimental programming. Hastings Contemporary, a small gallery on the southern coast of England, has gone one step further than its peers by offering videoconferencing robots in the space that allow up to five “visitors” at a time to roam its halls, participate in live exhibition tours, and take in views of the English Channel just beyond the gallery walls. The typical museum experience, Hastings Contemporary contends, can be nearly replaced by a camera sitting atop four small wheels. “The gallery is delighted that through its adoption of this technology it will be able to continue to support families, children and older visitors alike, offering opportunities to enter the gallery space from the comfort of a sofa, bed or kitchen table,” the gallery’s website reads. The program also has the potential to become a more interactive and immersive alternative to the virtual museum experiences offered by Google Arts & Culture, which are limited to the photographs taken by 360-degree cameras. The ‘telepresence’ offered by the robots, developed by Double Robotics, allows Hastings Contemporary to not only provide a service to those currently self-isolation to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus but also members of the disabled community that are physically unable to visit the space. “Barriers to accessing art are huge in many places in the cultural sector, and far precede this health crisis, and I’m proud to say that Hastings Contemporary has very worked hard, since its inception, to be disability-friendly and accessible to all,” Liz Gilmore, Director of Hastings Gallery, expressed in a press statement. The gallery developed the concept in collaboration with Disability and Community (D4D) and Accentuate UK, two local research programs investigating novel methods by which disabled people can engage in public settings. Members of Hastings Contemporary are now able to request reservations for robot-assisted tours of its two current exhibitions: Anne Ryan: Earthly Delites, and The Age of Turmoil: Burra, Spencer, Sutherland
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Brit and Determination

Completed in nine days, massive NHS Nightingale hospital opens in London
NHS Nightingale Hospital London, an emergency medical facility dedicated to treating patients infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), opened late last week within the normally conventioneer-stuffed halls of the ExCeL London exhibition center following a super-expeditious retrofit. Thanks to a herculean collaborative effort carried out by the National Health Service (NHS), the British Armed Forces, the Royal Engineers, the facilities management team at ExCeL London, private contractors, and international architecture firm BDP, the 1-million-square-foot convention center in the docklands of East London has been transformed in just over a week into what’s not only the largest hospital in the United Kingdom but, per CNBC, the largest critical care unit in the world. BDP project leads Paul Johnson, architect director, and James Hepburn, engineering principal, described the process in a statement as “a monumental team effort which has been intense and exhausting.” The makeshift facility has room for 4,000- to-5,000 ventilator-equipped beds spread out between 78 different wards, each named after a famed British healthcare figure, as well as two morgues according to The Evening Standard. The hospital is currently operating with 500 beds and will expand as needed. “It’s nothing short of extraordinary that this new hospital in London has been established from scratch in less than a fortnight, said Sir Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, in a press statement. “The NHS, working with the military, has done in a matter of days what usually takes years.” Prince Charles, who is currently in Scotland recovering after he tested positive for COVID -19 at the end of March, opened the NHS Nightingale London via Skype on April 3. He noted: “In this dark time, this place will be a shining light.” At the time of writing, there have been 48,440 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United Kingdom and 4,934 known deaths. In addition to Prince Charles, other prominent British figures who have contracted the virus include Prime Minister Boris Johnson and a growing handful of film and television personalities, athletes, and beloved cultural icons. London's makeshift mega-hospital is the first of what are to be several NHS field hospitals spread out across England with others soon to open in Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, and Harrogate, Yorkshire. All will uniformly carry the Nightingale name in honor of trailblazing hygiene evangelist and Crimean War nurse extraordinaire, Florence Nightingale. Outside of England, NHS-operated pop-up hospitals are also in the works for Glasgow, Belfast, and Cardiff. ExCeL London’s Abu Dhabi-based owner was originally set to charge the NHS a hefty monthly sum for use of the space but has since reconsidered. While ExCel London certainly isn’t the first convention center or arena in Europe or elsewhere to be repurposed into a temporary hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic, the staggering size of the conversion and the speed at which it was completed are, as noted by Prince Charles, remarkable. Also remarkable is the all-hands-on-deck approach instituted at Nightingale London and future NHS field hospitals. In addition to helping to build-out the facilities, military personnel have been enlisted by the NHS to join civilian first responders in ferrying patients via ambulance to the hospitals. Furloughed cabin crew members with airlines easyJet and Virgin Atlantic—many of them first aid-trained and security-cleared—have also been summoned by their employers to change beds and perform non-clinical support tasks at NHS Nightingale London and other NHS field hospitals. As for the conversion of ExCeL London into the world’s largest critical care facility, Manchester-headquartered BDP has been eager to share its adaptive design approach in hopes that it can be replicated elsewhere if need be. To help illustrate how it was done, the firm has published a poster-sized, IKEA-esque instruction manual. “Delivering emergency hospital facilities in conference and exhibition centres is unprecedented, so we have been drawing on our previous experience of designing large-scale healthcare facilities including very large intensive-care units in super-speciality tertiary hospitals like Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham,” said BDP's Hepburn in a statement. “However, it is the scale, timeframe and purpose of this emergency facility that distinguishes it from any previous healthcare projects.” The firm elaborates on the nuts and bolts of the rapidly implemented design its website:
“The bed heads and service corridors were constructed from a component system that is usually used to construct exhibition stands and there was some simple reinforcement to allow services to be fitted to the walls. Minimal building intervention enabled maximum use of the building's assets. “Clinical flows determined the circulation strategy within the building. The wards are linked with a temporary tunnel across a boulevard which allows connection to the diagnostics area. Staff move from the boulevard to and from the ICU wards via the don and doff rooms, allowing PPE to be donned and doffed, which is key to infection control.”
Per the NHS, 33,000 beds in existing hospitals have been freed up to accommodate an influx of COVID-stricken patients. This is the equivalent of opening 50 new hospitals, although this comparison, as some have pointed out, is a bit weak. “These measures mean that capacity still exists in hospitals to deal with coronavirus, with the Nightingales standing ready if local services need them beyond that,” explained the NHS.
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Prospective Future

Campaign to save Derek Jarman’s Prospect Cottage blows past its goal
A small and humble cottage, set on the southeastern English coast in Dungeness, Kent, has been the unlikely subject of an arts crowdfunding campaign that exceeded its goal of $4.28 million (£3.5 million) after receiving more than 7,300 donations from around the world. Prospect Cottage was once a place of refuge for the late Derek Jarman, an English artist, gay rights activist, stage designer, and film director behind notable works including Sebastiane (1976), Caravaggio (1986), and Glitterbug (1994), as well as music videos for the likes of the Sex Pistols, Patti Smith, and the Smiths. The artist lived in the home until his passing in 1994, after which it was maintained and opened to the public by his long-time companion Keith Collins. Following Collins’ passing in 2018, Prospect Cottage has been at risk of being sold privately and withheld from the public. The fundraising campaign was first launched ten weeks ago by Tilda Swinton, a close friend of Jarman's. “When we first launched this appeal,” the actress told The Guardian, “we were throwing ourselves into the void in the hope and faith that others might feel, as we do, that seeds planted with love make for a resilient and sustaining garden, even one grown amongst stones.” Artist Tacita Dean received word of Swinton's initiative and enlisted support from The Art Fund, a London-based independent charity invested in the acquisition of artworks for the nation. The Art Fund determined a fundraising goal of £3.5 million would be necessary “to purchase Prospect Cottage and to establish a permanently funded programme to conserve and maintain the building, its contents and its garden for the future,” according to a press statement, and developed an innovative partnership with Creative Folkestone and Tate to enable public access to the grounds. “Prospect Cottage is a living, breathing work of art, filled with the creative impulse of Derek Jarman at every turn,” said Art Fund Director Stephen Deuchar. “It’s imperative we come together to save the Cottage, its contents and its extraordinary garden as a source of creative inspiration for everyone.” Artists including Michael Craig-Martin, Jeremy Deller, and Wolfgang Tillmans produce limited-edited artworks as rewards for public donations, and David Hockney provided a substantial personal donation that tipped the scales. Additionally, the sale of a single suit, signed by a cadre of celebrities including Scarlett Johansson, Brad Pitt, and Leonardo DiCaprio, fetched an additional $19,600. The success of the campaign ensures that Creative Folkstone will oversee the cottage’s long-tern care and maintain its programming, while Jarman’s belongings will be made available for public access at Tate Britain. Maria Balshaw, the director of Tate, told The Guardian that “the success of the campaign to save Prospect Cottage raises our spirits in these difficult times. It is testament to the profound impact of Derek Jarman’s originality, energy and activism and his influence on generations of artists and actors who came after him.”
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In the Tank

OPEN Architecture transforms an abandoned Shanghai industrial site into a contemporary art park
Along with a vast number of cultural institutions around the globe, Tank Shanghai, a sprawling urban art environment situated along the Huangpu River in China’s most populous city, has been closed to the public and upped its virtual presence in the midst of the country’s coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Just a little over a year old, this singular adaptive reuse-centered art space centered around—and located within—a quintet of massive decommissioned fuel waste tanks is back open now, and apparently ready to show off. A newly released series of photos details the transformative project, which was designed by multi-disciplinary design studio OPEN Architecture and spearheaded by karaoke-loving contemporary art collector Qiao Zhibing. Completed over the course of six years (with some significant delay), Tank Shanghai wholly transformed a formerly industrial plot adjacent to Shanghai’s old Longhua Airport while retaining five hulking tank structures that were left standing at the once-blighted 12-acre riverside site in the museum-stuffed West Bund area. Per OPEN, Tank Shanghai is one of the “world’s rare examples of the adaptive reuse of aviation fuel tanks.” Described as a “sanctuary for both people and nature” that aims to “dissolve conventional ideas of site limitations and demarcations,” Tank Shanghai’s open space-meets-contemporary-art-center approach has already proven to be popular with the public. Showing now is Chicago-based installation artist Theaster Gates’ Bad Neon, which transforms one of the tank-bound gallery spaces into a roller skating rink. For most, the art is indeed a main draw but Tank Shanghai’s park setting also attracts joggers, picnickers, and the like. “By introducing new audiences to the traditionally closed-off space of the art center, Tank Shanghai has brought unprecedented energy to the formerly industrial neighborhood and to the southwest banks of the city at large,” explained OPEN. The five tanks are connected by a lushly landscaped “Super Surface” which serves as a natural pedestrian corridor between the different major sections of the park, including an “Urban Forest, a grassy open meadow for large gatherings, and a “stepped waterscape.” By linking the site with busy Longten Avenue, the Super Surface also opens up public access to the revitalized riverfront. As for the tanks themselves, each has been retrofitted to serve a unique purpose and accommodate different programming. The first is home to a two-story nightclub featuring live music and bar; the second is a restaurant complete with an outdoor roof deck; the third is a cavernous, raw space left mostly unchanged in order to mount large installations; the fourth has been converted into a more traditional gallery space spread across three levels, each connected by a spiraling ramp, and the fifth has been converted to include two large, sheltered stages that each face sloping lawns for visitors to congregate for al fresco concerts, performances, and such. “It is an art center without boundaries, and as it continues to assimilate into the life of the city more largely,” wrote New York-founded OPEN. “Tank Shanghai will continue to facilitate and inspire the creation of more inclusive and collective cultural spaces.”
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Designing Divination

Westworld’s production designer drew from global architecture to realize 2058
Dr. Robert Ford, Anthony Hopkins’ character in the HBO television series Westworld, offered this insight to a child looking over his shoulder after rendering a snake inanimate with a gentle wave of his finger: “Everything in this world is magic, except to the magician.” The show, now in its third season, revolves around a highly advanced Western-style theme park built in the near future and the humanoid robots that come to escape its perimeter to discover the real world beyond it. The impossibly lustrous, moody, pristine built environments of that world are the stuff of magic to the millions of viewers watching at home, while the hundreds of people responsible for that aesthetic—including visual effects supervisors, costume designers, cinematographers, and set decorators—perform as their magicians. For the last two seasons, Howard Cummings has been the show’s production designer, matching the complex narrative with arresting visual storytelling. AN spoke with Cummings to learn how his team selected the buildings and fabricated those that do not yet exist to create the spellbinding background of the series. AN: The show mostly takes place in Los Angeles in the year 2058. How did you determine the look and feel of the city nearly four decades from now?  Howard Cummings: We made sure to essentially do the opposite of the original Blade Runner (1982), which depicted the Los Angeles of the future as dystopian and dilapidated. Jonah Nolan, the co-creator of Westworld, wanted the city to look more advanced than it is now, as though climate change had been eliminated through carbon-catching towers, which are sometimes visible throughout the show. Public plazas are elevated, transportation is mostly below ground, and the use of personal cars is drastically reduced. But we were also able to take advantage of the recent building boom in the city, offering glimpses of newly completed buildings, such as the [Diller Scofidio + Renfro–designed] Broad Museum.  Aerial views of downtown Los Angeles also depicts fictional buildings next to currently existing skyscrapers. How was the design for those fictional buildings determined? The downtown skyline is infilled with CGI buildings that were inspired by the city of Singapore. its vertical greenery provided the look we were going for, which is partially mandated by the government. We would shut down sections of L.A. roadways to bring in planters, seating, and different types of green surfaces to make the city look a lot more green than it really is. We assembled a kit of roadway disguises that appear to accelerate the city’s current initiatives to become greener and more pedestrian-friendly. You may notice we also ‘completed’ the L.A. River project in some flyover shots, turning it into a fully functional river. I heard that the Danish architect Bjarke Ingels was an informal consultant for the latest season. How did he become involved, and what input was he able to provide? Bjarke sent a message expressing interest in the show before we shot the latest season. Because I was already familiar with his work, I wanted to invite him to visit before we shot the third season and he stayed for several hours to see how we film and design our sets. I then had him meet Jonah Nolan, and I learned that they were oddly alike in personality, so much so they even ended up going on sight-seeing trips together When it came to designing futuristic buildings for the third season, Bjarke offered to help by giving us the digital models of a bunch of projects of his own firm that were never realized. If you look at some of the aerial shots, his buildings can be seen sprinkled throughout.  How does real-world architecture factor into the show, and how did you decide which real-world buildings to include? The first two seasons were almost entirely set within fictional settings. Viewers could generally only see the Westworld landscape [mostly filmed at Melody Movie Ranch, a Western-style film studio in Santa Clarita, California] and the all-glass, “behind-the-scenes” production spaces that were built for the show. When the Westworld characters venture out of the theme park in season two, we felt it was a good opportunity to showcase significant buildings around the world.  We were able to use Frank Lloyd Wright’s Millard House in Pasadena in the second season because the house was currently on the market during filming, and we had been looking for Wrightian houses at the time. This season, we wanted to go back to the house, but we weren’t allowed back because it had just been sold. Shooting in the actual house was quite difficult anyway because it’s small and highly protected, so at some point, it became more reasonable to rebuild it as a set.  For the third season, we also scouted locations in and around BarcelonaWhile there, we chose Santiago Calatrava’s City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain as the headquarters for the Delos Corporation because it felt like a good setting for a tech campus.  Bjarke happened to be in the city when we were there, and Ricardo Bofill’s home, La Fábrica, was considered as a filming location. The building was originally cement silos fabricated using poured concrete. Bofill added some touches that included gothic-style archways; his work of the 1970s was so postmodern, and to me it was a weirdly timeless design that for me was the opposite of the Westworld labs which are all black and glass. Bjarke connected us with Carlos Bofill, Ricardo Bofill’s son, who allowed us to tour inside the home. Jonah fell in love with it, and we eventually got permission to use it as a laboratory. Though there were a lot of restrictions, we got to film using several of the actual living quarters. But because we only had one day to film in there, we also had to build some interiors that were designed with Bofill’s original design in mind.  It seems that the buildings of the future are depicted as either rough-hewn concrete or from a white, plastic-like material. Exactly. We felt that concrete provides a real atmosphere and texture to modern buildings. It can be formed into anything; it’s got incredible fluidity while still being foreboding. We’re trying to incorporate the concept of 3D printing into the show, as well as buildings that could be imagined as [being] 3D printed. Each episode takes about two weeks to produce, and with an average of 35 locations per episode, there were limitations regarding the use of 3D printing and scouting for concrete buildings. Fortunately, we were able to find plenty of areas in Los Angeles, Singapore, and Spain to match this aesthetic. In the first episode of season three, for example, you see a concrete house that was supposed to be off the coast of China. That house is designed by Wallace E. Cunningham in Encinitas [near San Diego]. We were initially hoping to use the Salk Institute in La Jolla but ended up falling in love with this house with a texture that almost blends into the rocks beneath it.
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Clear Your Calendar, Again

Here are the major design events that have moved to 2021
When AN first compiled our list of events, fairs, and shows that had been postponed at the end of February due to the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the situation on the ground was very different than at the time of writing. With much of the world practicing social distancing or under orders not to leave the house, and the possibility of a protracted battle to contain the disease’s spread looming, some of the world’s largest design events have now rescheduled even further out and will take place next year. Below is just a selection of what’s been rescheduled to 2021; we’ll update this list as more information becomes available. The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo Although much fanfare was made over the eight new venues, including Kengo Kuma’s timber Olympic Stadium, originally slated to host activities throughout the summer games, the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will now take place in summer of 2021. The regular games will now be held from July 23, 2021, through August 8. Similarly, the Paralympics will now take place from August 24, 2021, through September 5. As it’s been noted, this leaves only six months between the end of the summer games and the start of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing on February 4, 2022. The Tokyo Olympics have already radically changed the city, and the reorganization went far beyond the construction of new stadiums. As Atelier Bow Wow documented at Manhattan’s Japan Society last year in Made in Tokyo: Architecture and Living, 1964/2020, the capital flowing into the city primed it for a mass redevelopment, much as it did during the 1964 Summer Olympics. Everything from housing to transportation has been affected, but for international travelers, it may be quite some time before you can see that shift firsthand. Salone del Mobile.Milano Salone del Mobile in Milan—the world’s largest furniture trade show—was originally pushed from April 2020 to June, but last week news broke that the show will take place in April of 2021 instead. Citing “medium-term uncertainties” at a time when Milan is still under lockdown (although Italy’s weekly death toll is reportedly dropping due to the strict distancing measures imposed by the government), Salone’s organizers emphasized that a 2021 show would be extra special, given that it would be the 60th anniversary. The show will now overlap with several other trade festivals, and, in a press statement, organizers said that they hoped this confluence would jumpstart Milan’s economy:
“This single, great sector-wide trade fair will represent a fresh opportunity to pull together to revitalise our businesses, the entire supply chain that works in synergy with the Salone, and Milan.”
Expo 2020 Dubai While the much-hyped Expo 2020 Dubai, a worldwide showcase for innovative design, is still technically scheduled to open on October 20, 2020, that may soon change. Three days ago, the festival’s organizers gathered for a conference call and recommended that the expo be delayed for a year. “The UAE and Expo 2020 Dubai have listened. And in the spirit of solidarity and unity, we supported the proposal to explore a one-year postponement at today's Steering Committee meeting,” said Reem al-Hashimy, director general for Expo 2020 Dubai. According to Aljazeera, the United Arab Emirates has already spent upwards of $8 billion on infrastructure projects related to the expo, but with international travel currently locked down, it’s looking increasingly unlikely the event can proceed as planned. Elements of the show have already been partially installed, such as Asif Khan’s 70-foot-tall trio of entrance gateways. The final decision of whether to postpone or not will come in June, at the behest of Paris’s Bureau International des Expositions, who administers the international expo.
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trapezoidal formwork

Barozzi Veiga’s Tanzhaus Cultural Center borders the riverbank with tiers of concrete
Brought to you with support from
The Tanzhaus Cultural Center is located on the banks of the Limmat River in the center of Zürich, Switzerland, surrounded by a diverse assemblage of historic and post-war structures of varying scales. An intervention in such a setting has the potential to both improve public lands adjacent to the riverfront and strengthen the overall streetscape, and Barcelona-based architectural practice Estudio Barozzi Veiga rose to that challenge with a tiered concrete structure partially burrowed within the riverbank. Barozzi Veiga was awarded the project following an international competition in 2014, a response to the prior home of the Tanzhaus Cultural Center being destroyed by fire. The project, by virtue of the site, maintains a narrow rectangular footprint and is just over 16,000 square feet.
  • Facade Manufacturer Liapor MLG Metall und Planung AG
  • Architect Barozzi Veiga
  • Facade Installer LeanCONSag
  • Facade Consultant GKP Fassadenplanung AG
  • Structural Engineer Pöyry Schweiz AG
  • Location Zurich
  • Date of Completion 2019
  • System Structural concrete
  • Products Liapor insulated concrete
From the Limmat River, the cultural center rises as a two-tiered structure built of Liapor insulating concrete—a material chosen for its thermal performance and structural strength. The finish, light-grey in shade and smooth in texture, is similar to large blocks of stone ashlar assembled in a quasi-rampart format. Barozzi Veiga’s drive towards contextualization is furthered through the trapezoidal arrangement of the concrete formwork, which is an interpretation of traditional load-bearing pillar and beam construction. Throughout the design process, the design team and manufacturer collaborated closely to develop the structural facade, testing an array of cement types and visiting a number of prior projects built by Liapor. The project, and its public-facing design within a difficult urban context, is in line with the Barcelona-based studios larger body of work. “Within this working framework, our aim has been to try to dignify what is public as a collective space and to define an architecture that is specific to its environment,” said the design team. “The project is defined as a simple volume of space, integrated into the slope and connecting the existing intertwining itineraries at different levels along the bank.” Repetition is key to the eye-catching effect of the trapezoidal piers; openings at the entrance level range in width from five-and-a-half feet to just over one foot at the highest point while those at the first level are three-and-a-third feet to just under one foot. All of the piers are over a foot in depth, with aluminum-and-glass glazing bays inset deep within each opening. The window systems, custom-developed by MLG Metall und Planung, can also be converted into doorways.
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Canadian Cut-Outs

Michael Maltzan Architecture reveals variegated new dorms for the University of Toronto
The University of Toronto (UT) recently unveiled a proposal for the Harbord Residence, a 10-story graduate dorm building designed by Los Angeles-based firm Michael Maltzan Architecture, with local firm architectsAlliance serving as the architect of record, for the St. George campus north of Downtown Toronto. Currently pending approval from the University Council, the proposal would provide housing for over 200 graduate students as well as much-need social and study spaces for the 180-acre campus. “One of the things we wanted the architect to do for us was to have the ground plane be a more welcoming place for the broader community—for our neighbours and other U of T community members to come in,” said Anne Macdonald, the university’s assistant vice-president of ancillary services, according to a press statement. “As you go up the building, there are different levels of community-building, with shared spaces and private spaces upstairs.” The ground floor would contain a food court and retail space, while the upper floors would host common lounges, meeting spaces, and quiet study rooms which, according to the university, would be designed to accommodate group work. While clad in red brick to blend into its relatively squat surroundings (representing a rare deviation from the firm’s penchant for all-white facades), the Harbord Residence is also designed to stand out, most notably through the addition of a gestural window layout on its narrowest elevation that contrasts the overall rectilinear geometry. The building will be further integrated into the campus by physically sharing its amenities with those of The Graduate House, a neighboring dorm building completed by the Los Angeles-based Morphosis in 2000, via an underground pedestrian tunnel and a sky bridge on the third level. If approved, construction on the Harbord Residence would break ground this fall and be completed by the end of 2022. The firm was commissioned to design the dorm as a part of the university’s ‘Four Corners' strategy,’ which intends to add approximately 2,500 units of housing to the campus over the next 15 years.
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A Most Curious departure

RIBA president Alan Jones temporarily steps down after only seven months
Northern Irish architect Alan Jones has temporarily and rather unexpectedly abandoned his post as the relatively newly instated president of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). As reported by The Architects’ Journal, news of this “shock decision” broke on March 31 when Jones emailed members of the RIBA Council, saying that a “matter had arisen” in his personal life that would require him stepping down from his duties. “I appreciate this comes at a time when there are extraordinary demands on everyone and I can only ask that you reinforce your support to our staff and senior officers during this period,” Jones went on to write in his letter. Per the Journal, a second email was also dispatched to all RIBA staff clarifying that Jones would be unreachable for “four to six weeks.” It did not, however, offer any further insight into what sort of circumstances had prompted the swift departure. The email also announced that RIBA honorary secretary Kerr Robertson would be “overseeing presidential responsibilities” in Jones’s absence. Jones, a graduate of and current professor at the School of Architecture at Queen’s University Belfast, assumed his responsibilities as RIBA’s 77th president in September 2019, taking over for Ben Derbyshire of London-headquartered HTA Design. Previously serving as RIBA’s vice president of education, Jones was elected to serve a two-year presidential term in August 2018, beating out fellow top contenders Elsie Owusu and Phil Allsopp in a closely watched race. Projects by Jones's eponymous, Country Antrim-based firm, Alan Jones Architects, have received numerous awards from RIBA and twice been shortlisted for the coveted Stirling Prize. Only one day after the news of Jones’s unexplained departure broke, the plot already began to thicken. On April 1, Building Design reported that RIBA had submitted a “serious incident report” involving Jones to the Charity Commission, a non-ministerial government agency that regulates registered charities in England and Wales. What that “serious incident” might be has not yet been disclosed. A spokesperson for the Charity Commission, however, confirmed receipt of the report: “The RIBA has acted in line with our guidance, by submitting a serious incident report to the commission in connection with the recent stepping down of the charity’s president. We are currently assessing information provided by the charity. We are unable to comment further at this time.” “I can confirm that we are aware of a personal issue in relation to the president,” Robertson, acting as RIBA’s interim president, added in prepared remarks. “This is a confidential matter and therefore it wouldn’t be appropriate for the RIBA to comment further at this stage.” AN reached out to RIBA for additional insight into this evolving story, and was provided with a statement from the organization's chief executive, Alan Vallance:  “We will be working as hard as ever during the President’s time away to ensure minimum disruption to the RIBA business. The RIBA is led by a team of dedicated senior trustees and expert staff, who will continue to support our members and represent their interests at the highest levels.”