Search results for "wHY"

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Artsy Monopoly

Why everybody’s mad at Anish Kapoor
Anish Kapoor has everyone grumbling these days. The knighted artist is known for his intellectual preoccupation with blood, female anatomy, nothingness, and obtuse-yet-high-drama installations—like his 2017 piece Descension in Brooklyn, an infinitely spinning whirlpool. Descension explores, Kapoor said, “negative space,” a concept which is arguably the crux of his work. His pieces can, on one hand, appear benign and purely decorative, like Blood Mirror (a concave bowl of arresting, reflective red) while some are severe in their violent ugliness, like Internal Object in Three Parts (a series of three meat-textured reliefs that, some would argue, are disarming in their vulgarity). Much of that vulgarity comes from his dogged pursuit of extreme materiality: he strokes his whimsy by making art that is desperately large in scope and overwhelming in its concentration of color. His work also often inevitably segues into his favorite topic: The Void.

A post shared by Anish Kapoor (@dirty_corner) on

Enter Vantablack: the blackest synthetic material on Earth. It absorbs almost all the light and radiation that hits its surface (99.96 percent of it) and was originally developed by British researchers in 2014 for aerospace, engineering, and optics. Vantablack, which is a substance made of “vertically aligned carbon nanotube arrays” (hence, “Vanta”), is “grown in a forest” of carbon nanotubes and is hydrophobic—absorbing no water. It makes everything around it look cartoonish against its unsettling lack of dimension. When sprayed on, it causes an optical illusion that flattens features and forms to render objects into a two-dimensional void. It’s so black that Surrey NanoSystems (the company that manufactures Vantablack) notes on its website that “it is often described as the closest thing to a black hole we’ll ever see.” If there is any living artist with the clout, savvy, and the Nietzschean impulse to monopolize the closest incarnation of a black hole, it's to no one’s surprise (and to many people’s chagrin) that the person would be Kapoor. He bought an exclusive license to use the material—making it impossible for other artists to access and experiment with it. Immediately, painter Christian Furr told the Daily Mail, “I’ve never heard of an artist monopolizing a material. This black is like dynamite in the art world…. It isn't right that it belongs to one man.” But it is not, as Wired notes, the first time an artist claimed rights on a color (artist Yves Klein famously patented his own hue of blue), nor did Kapoor actually create anything himself. Technically speaking, Kapoor did not monopolize the color black. Vantablack is not a paint or a color. It’s a material. It’s commercially unavailable. It’s engineered. It’s untouchable; the surface fades away when those microscopic nanotubes are disturbed. And it can only be applied by professionals. Surrey NanoSystems chose Kapoor as their highest-value bidder “because we didn’t have the bandwidth to work with more than one—we’re an engineering company—we decided Anish would be perfect,” Ben Jensen, the CTO at Surrey NanoSystems, told Wired. “His life’s work had revolved around light reflection and voids.”

Up yours #pink

A post shared by Anish Kapoor (@dirty_corner) on

All this caused a visceral irritation in the art world, at least on social media, and something else was afoot. Amid the high tempers over the ethics of access arrived Stuart Semple, a British artist nearly half Kapoor’s age who had a real problem with this whole situation. Semple, who creates and sells pigments on his website, showed up with his little bottle of fluorescent pink—or as he labeled it, The Pinkest Pink. Semple called Kapoor a “rotter” in a YouTube video because he refused to “share the black” and thus inspired social media warfare with its seminal tool: the hashtag #Sharetheblack became a trending topic. So did Stuart Semple’s website, which disparagingly addresses Kapoor’s monopoly and also states a legal caveat about The Pinkest Pink’s purchase:
Purchasers of PINK will be required to make a legal declaration during the online checkout process though, confirming that: “you are not Anish Kapoor, you are in no way affiliated to Anish Kapoor, you are not purchasing this item on behalf of Anish Kapoor or an associate of Anish Kapoor. To the best of your knowledge, information and belief this paint will not make its way into that hands of Anish Kapoor. If you order some I hope you love it. And please if you get a chance tell @anishkapoor_art to #ShareTheBlack
Semple bagged both empathy and sales. If Twitter and Instagram commentaries were any indication of the general feeling of discontent, they also mobilized a marketing campaign for Semple, who sold not only oodles of color but perhaps a philosophy—or maybe a protest against monopoly.

Painting atom bombs - photo: Nadia Amura, 2014

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It would make sense that an artist with the fame, street cred, and agency of Kapoor would be the first to get his hands on Vantablack. And it’s little surprise that Kapoor got his hands (or, more precisely, his middle finger) on something else, despite the ban against him: Semple’s Pinkest Pink. He proceeded to post an image on Instagram with his middle finger dipped in the powder with a caption “up yours #pink,” sparking outrage. It probably doesn’t help that, aside from his Instagram post, Kapoor has remained mum on the topic. When asked for comment, his representatives responded with scientific information on Vantablack—deftly stating that “Vantablack is not a paint, it’s a material.” (Fair. Point noted.) On Semple and Kapoor’s Instagram accounts, users provide support and drama, respectively. Comments on Semple’s Instagram read generally like this: Comments on Kapoor’s Instagram, on the other hand, are far less wholesome. Here are some PG examples:
  • Pine_straw_mtn: "You bought exclusive rights to this paint, and the only thing you did with it is make a hole? The guy who invented this stuff literally has an example of a hole illusion in the tests, and you just copied that? You couldn't think of anything more creative? You are the cancer of the art world."
  • mcd: "A real artist would not need a color or lack thereof all to them selfs you are far from a true artist"
  • io: "Capitalist scum"
  • Awkwardjosie: "You're not a bad artist, but you're a shitty person. Imagine how your fan base and exposure could grow if you have up the rights. Just a thought."
It’s unclear what Kapoor will try to do with Vantablack, aside from post on Instagram and create a predictable circle on the floor. It’s also unclear why Kapoor won’t talk about any of this, especially if—given his pink-dipped finger—he knows what’s happening.

A post shared by Anish Kapoor (@dirty_corner) on

Is the reactionary conversation surrounding this—which many may call petty and some may call productive and ethical—exactly the point? Did Kapoor play his cards this way on purpose as a piece of performance art? Or was that Semple’s idea in using Kapoor’s name and a philosophy of artistic access as “brand” for his product? You’d think the beef would die down after Semple got his big boost, but just last week, the drama once again reignited with Semple’s release of Phaze, a color changing paint that goes from purple to The Pinkest Pink, and Shift, a color-changing rainbow paint. His video posts on Instagram included a link to buy the products, and of course, the hashtag #sharetheblack. One wonders whether those involved in this conversation speak out of moral obligation, or from a place of altruism, or whether this whole thing is really a matter of attacking the Kapoor and his power. By the way, not only has Kapoor ticked off artists, it seems, but also his neighbors. His recent decision to add a floor extension to his London home caused his neighbors to create a petition to “to help try to stop Anish Kapoor [from] blocking our precious light & view, a valuable thing in our crowded city.” The plea continues: “You'd think Anish Kapoor would understand the value of light, colour, and social responsibility.”
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As Of Rite

wHY converts old masonic temple into 110,000-square-foot art gallery

The much-anticipated Marciano Art Foundation by Los Angeles– and New York–based architecture firm wHY debuted May 25.

The 110,000-square-foot gallery, created by Paul and Maurice Marciano of Guess Jeans fame, has taken over the abandoned Scottish Rite Masonic Temple on Los Angeles’s Wilshire Boulevard, bringing life to an old neighborhood eyesore. The midcentury-modern structure was built in 1961 by architect and artist Millard Sheets, and has been renovated to display works from the Marciano Art Foundation collection, which has a deep focus on Los Angeles–based contemporary artists.

In remarks made at a preview of the building, wHY principal Kulapat Yantrasast explained that rather than craft a traditional museum, the firm sought to create something “more like an artists’ playground—a place where people can make mistakes, do something new, and experiment.” The architect added, “It’s an interesting challenge to turn something that is very closed-in and secretive and make it something public, open, and welcoming.”

The three-story steel-framed structure is organized loosely and flexibly in order to accommodate a diverse collection. A wide balcony level provides vantages of the ground floor galleries, which have been curated to highlight the thematic tastes of the collectors. The building’s second gallery is located on the top floor in a former ballroom. An old meeting room on that same floor now houses sculptures by artists Mike Kelley and Sterling Ruby.

The building, as generative as it is showcasing, also features a collection of site-specific murals installed throughout, including a naturalistic site installation by sculptor Oscar Tuazon in an exterior courtyard.

Marciano Art Foundation 4357 Wilshire Boulevard Los Angeles Architect: wHY

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More is More

Why is Maximalism taking over the world?

Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari’s maximalist vision of domestic bliss involves saturating every corner with color, texture, and pattern. Their traveling installation of housewares by Seletti, in collaboration with their magazine TOILETPAPER (mounted this past December by Fondation Beyeler in Art Basel Miami Beach as Maze of Questions, and in New York’s Cadillac House this spring as TOILETPAPER Paradise by Visionaire), covers a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen with images that are both seductive and absurd—blood-red nail polish on disembodied women’s fingers, cloudlike kernels of popcorn floating through space, and large-scale spaghetti noodles—on ostensibly every available surface, embracing both an Italian postmodernist and a 1950s American-housewife nostalgia.

The installation coincided with Norwegian artist Bjarne Melgaard’s dystopic department store installation, The Casual Pleasure of Disappointment, a February “happening” in collaboration with Red Bull, the lifestyle brand formerly known for its energy drinks. Melgaard created a derelict department store and stuffed it not only with clothes designed in reference to a few of his favorite things (Bash Back!, a pro-queer activist group, for example, or Chris Kraus’s landmark novel I Love Dick) but also with selections from his own wardrobe, piled like heaps of garbage for the public to take, Hunger Games-style.

Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., Yayoi Kusama’s ongoing Hirshhorn Museum retrospective features an array of her iconic Infinity Mirror Rooms, in addition to The Obliteration Room, a seminal 2002 work in which viewers are given dot stickers of various colors and sizes to cover the interior of an all-white home—refrigerator, tables, chairs, sofa, and all. Over the course of the exhibition, the interior becomes an increasingly vibrant, pulsing collage.

These four distinct artists share a common aspiration for the absolutely maximal, which, contrary to the abstract, discrete gestures of minimalism, creates an extremely personal alternative physical landscape. Art bleeds into the design sphere, taking into account the space in which it is shown: in all of these cases, the familiar environments of the domestic or commercial space.

Both museums and non-art brands alike have caught on to the allure of maximalism, its immersiveness and, perhaps more importantly, its interactivity; more than ever, viewers are invited to do the unthinkable and lay their hands on the art. Social media is also certainly complicit in this maximalist resurgence, thanks to Instagram and the prevalence of the #artselfie. Apart from its widespread free publicity and appeal to sheer vanity, the #artselfie offers a kind of tactility in the digital age. Visitors physically insert themselves into the composition of a work and take its visual properties home with them to keep. Particularly in an era in which two-dimensional work is readily available on screens, it’s the maximal that encourages the public to make a physical, often emotional, connection to a work of art.

The other function social media serves for the rise of maximalism is its inherent ability to widen one’s worldview. For younger artist and designers who grew up as so-called digital natives, the internet offers both infinite surface area for their mood boards and instant access to the visual history of the world, regardless of era or location. “For them, history is a treasure trove,” Chicago Architecture Biennial cocurator Mark Lee said in a recent Artforum interview. “They don’t feel shame or guilt to retrieve from it.”

Two young designers experiencing a meteoric rise (and who happen to share a studio) are Misha Kahn and Katie Stout, whose respective practices—both rough-hewn, eccentric, and often displayed within textured, oozing, psychedelic environments—mix kitsch and pop culture with astute art-historical references. When naming his sources of inspiration, Kahn often takes out his phone as a visual aid, naming Eskimo carvings, Gwen Stefani, and Pee-wee’s Playhouse among them. And for Stout, Dolly Parton, Raymour & Flanigan, and Charlotte Perriand are equally influential on her body of work. The world of maximalism embraces imperfection and provocation, banishing isolation and passivity on both the part of the work and the viewer. The source material is both art history and personal history, untidily accumulated and repackaged—once more, with feeling.

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Seven Teams

Adjaye Associates, BIG, wHY, and others, unveil designs for Ross Pavilion in Edinburgh
Back in March, The Architect's Newspaper reported that seven teams (from a pool of 125) had been shortlisted for the Ross Pavilion International Design Competition, an effort to reimagine the city's prominent West Princes Street Gardens. The winning team will get the chance to replace an existing 1935 bandstand located in the gardens, as well as make "subtle updates" to the grounds themselves, according to a press release. The jury is now appealing to the public for input—U.K. residents and the international community alike, according to the competition organizers, Malcolm Reading Consultants. Edinburgh’s City Art Centre will exhibit the design concepts—free to the public—from June 21 to July 30. You can also find the designs online here, along with an email address where you can send comments. The winner will be announced this August 2017, “The revival of this, one of Edinburgh’s best and most prominent sites, is a hugely exciting prospect and we now have seven fascinating design concepts from some of the world’s most in-demand creative minds," said Norman Springford, chairman of the Ross Development Trust and competition jury chair, in a press release. Images of each design concept are available in the slideshow above, while you can find short project descriptions below. Once a winner has been selected, construction is planned to start in 2018. Adjaye Associates with Morgan McDonnell, BuroHappold Engineering, Plan A Consultants, JLL, Turley, Arup, Sandy Brown, Charcoalblue, AOC Archaeology, Studio LR, FMDC, Interserve and Thomas & Adamson Adjaye Associates’ proposal for the new Ross Pavilion and the reimagined West Princes Street Gardens is a celebration of Edinburgh as a cultural capital and a reflection of the site’s unique topography and location on the verge between the Old and the New Towns. Our scheme honours the legacy and architectural language of the original bandstand that was once the beating heart of the Gardens in the late 19th century, reinterpreting its function and iconography within the contemporary context. The result is a garden temple responding to the modern-day city, a pleasure pavilion conceived as a sculptural intervention, which serves as a flexible performance space, a community hub and a new icon for Edinburgh. The Pavilion is the focal point of a system of stone-clad outdoor, indoor and in-between public spaces, discreetly embedded into the landscape. Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) with JM Architects, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, GROSS.MAX., Charcoalblue, Speirs + Major, JLL, Alan Baxter and People Friendly At the meeting between the old and the new, the West Princes Street Garden occupies a central location – geographically, historically, and culturally – in Edinburgh. The existing bandstand, in the heart of the Gardens, paradoxically has the feeling of a leftover space that divides rather than unites. We propose to enhance and reconnect the abundant qualities of the Gardens with a pavilion sculpted by its context: its gently undulating canopy reflects the movement of the terrain below and the light of the sky above. Visual transparency at ground level allows for uninterrupted enjoyment of the Gardens. From within, it will frame the context of Edinburgh Castle and its dramatic setting. The rejuvenated bandstand provides momentum to reconsider the Gardens at-large by updating the planting regime, opening up key views, and improving access and connectivity throughout. A refreshment of the historic Gardens that roots its future in the heritage of its past. Flanagan Lawrence with Gillespies, Expedition Engineering, JLL, Arup and Alan Baxter The Gardens form a topographical and visual division between the Old and New Towns, whilst also uniting the people of Edinburgh; a place for people to gather and appreciate the thrilling topography of the city. The sinuous landforms of the Performance Space and Visitor Centre reflect the Garden’s natural landscape in contrast with the angular built form of the Old and New Towns. Our proposals aim to make the Gardens more connected to the city with a dramatic and accessible sense of arrival for all at the Visitor Centre. This is a project of contrasts; between the New and Old Towns and the Gardens that separate them and between quiet tranquil days in the Gardens and vibrant large-scale public events. Our concept is based on creating an architecture that can perform equally well with each of these contrasting modes of behavior. Our design solution is based on understanding how our interventions can be both introverted when the gardens are quiet, and extroverted during the celebrations and events. Page \ Park Architects, West 8 Landscape Architects and BuroHappold Engineering with Charcoalblue and Muir Smith Evans Princes Street Gardens, linking the New Town to Old, is a landscape for viewing the spectacular setting, a garden of commemoration, and a garden to enjoy. The lengthy flower bank to Princes Street is world unique. Our strategy is simple: we leave this alone. Splendid new entrances, self-evident way-finding, and a re-visioned ‘Blaes’ area provide for contextual augmentations to a new Ross Pavilion which includes a combined visitor center and performance venue. In Classical garden tradition, there is a typology of a grotto fed by springs for assembly, marriage, song, and dance—the Nymphaeum. In imagining the new Ross Pavilion we have carved into the landscape such a grotto. A stage at the foot of the ‘Castle Rock’; marking the memory of the old ‘Nor Loch’, lined in pillars of decorated stone echoing the ‘modern henge’ Royal Scots memorial and surmounted with a golden copper roof in the spirit of the ‘Ross Fountain.’ Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter with GROSS.MAX., AECOM, Charcoalblue, Groves-Raines Architects and Forbes Massie Studio How can the Ross Pavilion offer a new world-class cultural venue not just for Edinburgh, but the whole of Scotland? The Ross Pavilion will be the focal point of the city of Edinburgh and its many visitors, but it can also be a symbolic place for all of Scotland as well. The intervention into the Gardens is therefore conceived as a facility for the entire nation, indeed it is a project that has the potential to capture the imagination of people across the country. For the Ross Pavilion, we propose a public asset that can not only perform as a modern performance venue, but a visitor experience that explores the varied landscapes and histories of the Gardens and the terrains of Scotland beyond. A simple but bold design allows us to propose a venue that can host the wide variety of functions the pavilion calls for. Furthermore, it offers us the flexibility to propose a wider range and intensification of human activities in the Gardens and unleash the incredible potential the site has for Edinburgh. For that matter it can tap into the long history the city’s backdrop has had for inspiring some of mankind’s highest achievements in the arts, literature, philosophy, and science. Our approach to the architecture and landscape has been that of sensitive interventions into the historic fabric of the Gardens. Elements are formed from their context and crafted from quality and timeless materials, and completed with water terracing that recalls the Nor Loch. wHY, GRAS, Groves-Raines Architects, Arup, Studio Yann Kersalé, O Street, Stuco, Creative Concern, Noel Kingsbury, Atelier Ten and Lawrence Barth with Alan Cumming, Aaron Hicklin, Beatrice Colin, Peter Ross, Alison Watson and Adrian Turpin Butterfly / Pavilion The word ‘pavilion’, from the Old French for butterfly (papillion), parsed through the pictogram of a highly-decorated tent, evokes the fluttering canvas and heraldry of a field campaign with a glorious connection between nature and humankind. The butterfly is unity of symmetry and organic form, whose lines can be traced and followed, eagerly denoting meaning. Occasionally alighting, it is of the air but connects with the ground. It delights and draws you in. And so it is with this new ‘pavilion’. Pleasure will be drawn from rock and fold, from seam and segue. There are glimpses of history and the promise of a performance. People will connect through their common story and shared song. There is music in the air. Light, space, sound, and poetry. Castle, rock, garden, and fountain. Without nature, the city is lifeless. This is a place for people and their perpetual delight. William Matthews Associates and Sou Fujimoto Architects with BuroHappold Engineering, GROSS.MAX., Purcell and Scott Hobbs Planning A PLACE FOR PEOPLE These four words defined both the brief and our response—a place for people to gather and celebrate the performing arts in one of the global capitals of culture. The inspiration for the project came from Celtic spirals, the remarkable stone circles of Orkney and the circular forms of the original Bandstand, the Ross Fountain and the Royal Scots memorial. They were reinterpreted to create a new typology of pavilion and viewing platform for the West Princes Street Gardens. The proposal is a powerful landmark symbolizing the unity of Edinburgh: its history, originality, art, and culture. The rings offer new panoramic views of the important heritage sites of the city. They connect the New Town, the Castle and the Old Town without disturbing the existing axial paths of the Gardens. Contrasting with the light and floating spiral are the Visitor Centre and the Performance Space. They blend into the urban context of Princes Street on one side and the Gardens on the other, ready to come alive for the cultural events for which Edinburgh is famous.
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Delayed

Why hasn’t the U.S. Department of State announced the U.S. Pavilion for the Venice Architecture Biennale?
When is the U.S. Department of State going to announce the commissioners of the 2018 American pavilion for the Venice Biennale of Architecture? It’s full year away from opening but, in fact, it's getting late in the process to create, fund, and install the exhibition. The American pavilion was for many years (the Biennale of Architecture began in the 1970s) a casual affair and officials would sometimes wait until last minute and simply call Philip Johnson and ask him for a theme—and to help fund the pavilion. In 2008, the State Department, the federal agency that organizes and partially funds the pavilion, began to systematize the pavilion's creation by implementing a traditional RFP process to select a theme and curators. The Department asked the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to organize a jury of peers to select the pavilion for Venice and, it was hoped, other national art and architecture exhibitions like Istanbul and Cairo. This has been the system since 2008 and has helped make the process more democratic and easier to organize. But what is up with the State Department announcement for 2018? We understand that the exhibition has been funded (by both the State Department and the NEA) and the NEA has passed on their recommendation of the top two applications. However, the deputy secretary at the State Department seems to be sitting on the announcement? One source claims that at least one of the finalists has been told they are in the running and the non-finalists informed (there were apparently a record number of recommendations this year) but at least one of the groups that submitted a proposal has not been contacted. Is this inaction a result of the Trumpian incompetence that we hear is spreading all over Washington or is there is simply no interest in having a pavilion at Venice in 2018?
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Short Stack

New renderings released for wHY’s play-work hybrid in L.A.
Los Angeles– and New York City–based wHY has released a new batch of renderings for the firm’s ambitious 2nd & Vignes development in the Los Angeles Arts District. The new renderings come in advance of a Los Angeles City Planning Commission review meeting for the planned 190,165-square-foot mixed-use complex, which is seeking a General Plan Amendment, a Zone Change, a Height District Change, and Master Conditional Use approvals. The project aims to add a private membership club, ground floor retail, a gym, and new office space to the bustling neighborhood, which has recently seen a slew of high-profile proposals from international firms like Herzog and de Meuron and Bjarke Ingels Group. With the wHY project, the architects will aim to adaptively reuse and greatly expand an existing two-story warehouse structure by topping the existing building with a new, glass-clad structure. The six-story addition—articulated via a structural steel skeleton and clad in curtain wall glazing—is set back from the existing building’s primary facades, creating an L-shaped rooftop terrace overlooking the street. Inside, the structure will contain an automated 241-stall parking garage sandwiched between the mix of programs. Retail uses will be located on the lowest floors and on the terrace level, while the remaining portion of the ground floor will be dedicated to arrival and lobby functions. According to the plans, a gym will share the terrace level with the storefronts. A set of offices will be located above the automated parking component, with the whole complex topped by the private membership club. According to the new renderings, that rooftop level will contain a terrace component and rooftop swimming pool. The new renderings showcase clearer and more articulate views of the project’s varied components, especially the new portion of the building. The new building mass is shown with exaggerated proportions, including structural detailing, cross-bracing elements, and exposed structural steel components. The renderings also indicate that the new, boxy tower portion of the building connects to the existing via a wavy curtain wall-clad wedge. A preliminary timeline for the project estimates completion of the project in early 2019, with construction expected to start in the third quarter of 2017.
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Edinburgh

BIG, Adjaye, and wHY among seven shortlisted teams for Ross Pavilion Design Competition
This article was originally published on ArchDaily as "BIG, Adjaye Among 7 Shortlisted for Ross Pavilion Design Competition."

The Ross Development Trust, in collaboration with the City of Edinburgh Council and Malcolm Reading Consultants, has announced the seven finalists teams that will compete for the design of the new Ross Pavilion in the heart of Edinburgh, Scotland. Located in West Princes Street Gardens below Edinburgh Castle and at the intersection of the UNESCO World Heritage recognized Old and New Towns, the £25 million project will feature a landmark pavilion to replace an existing bandstand, a visitors center with cafe, and a subtle reimagination of the surrounding landscape. The new pavilion will host a range of cultural arts programming.

From an entry pool of 125 teams, the following seven were unanimously selected to continue on to the second stage of the competition:

  • Adjaye Associates (UK) with Morgan McDonnell, BuroHappold, Turley, JLL, Arup, Plan A Consultants, Charcoalblue and Sandy Brown Associates
  • BIG Bjarke Ingels Group (Denmark) with jmarchitects, GROSS. MAX., WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, Alan Baxter Associates, JLL, Speirs + Major, Charcoalblue, and People Friendly Design
  • Flanagan Lawrence (UK) with Gillespies, Expedition Engineering, JLL, Arup, and Alan Baxter Associates
  • Page \ Park Architects (UK) with West8, BuroHappold, Muir Smith Evans, and Charcoalblue
  • Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter (Norway) with GROSS. MAX., AECOM, Groves-Raines Architects, and Charcoalblue
  • wHY (USA) with GRAS, Groves-Raines Architects, Arup, O Street, Creative Concern, Noel Kingsbury, Yann Kersalé Studio, Lawrence Barth, Stuco, Alan Cumming, Aaron Hicklin, Alison Watson, Peter Ross, Adrian Turpin, and Beatrice Colin
  • William Matthews Associates (UK) and Sou Fujimoto Architects (Japan) with GROSS. MAX., BuroHappold, Purcell, and Scott Hobbs

“We were absolutely delighted by the response of designers from around the world to the competition’s first stage. The quality of the 125 teams on the longlist sent a strong signal that the international design community regards this as an inspirational project for Edinburgh that has huge potential to reinvigorate this prestigious site,” said The Chairman of the Ross Development Trust and Competition Jury Chair, Norman Springford.

“Selecting the shortlist with our partners from City of Edinburgh Council was an intense and demanding process. We’re thrilled that our final shortlist achieved a balance of both international and UK talent, emerging and established studios. Now the teams will have 11 weeks to do their concept designs – and we’re looking forward to seeing these and sharing them with the public.”

Finalists will have until June 9, 2017, to complete concept designs for the pavilion, visitor’s center, and site, which will need to fully integrate into the existing Gardens, which are of outstanding cultural significance and operated and managed by the City of Edinburgh Council as Common Good Land. A public and digital exhibition will follow in mid-June, with a winner expected to be announced in early August. Construction is expected to begin in 2018.

For more information, visit the competition website, here.

News via Malcolm Reading Consultants. Written by Patrick Lynch. Want more from ArchDaily? Like their Facebook page here. Archdaily_Collab_1
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Morpholio

The resurgence of illustration in architecture and why it’s critical
Morpholio Trace’s Joey Swerdlin and architect Jim Keen have teamed up to discuss the art of illustration in architecture and how it impacts the communication of design to our peers, clients and ultimately the public. With the inundation of photo-realistic representations of architecture, it seems that far too often we lose focus on what is important in design and what needs to be conveyed at the early phases of a project. "These high fidelity images lend credibility to a project vision, but draw more attention to surfaces and details when the argument should be forming around space, place, and use," said Joey Swerdlin, Morpholio community director. It would not surprise many in our field that when asked, several architects admitted spending more time representing their work than actually designing it. There has always been a fine line between process and presentation, one feeding the other, but have we gone too far? Have we forgotten some of the most powerful tools in our storytelling arsenal and how they operate to filter and convey meaning? Morpholio Trace + Jim Keen from Morpholio on Vimeo. Jim Keen would say yes to this proposition. A seasoned architect with an extensive portfolio of built work, Keen ultimately turned his focus back toward illustration, where he finds the most satisfaction. His professional experience provided insight on the delicacy required to communicate a persuasive yet open-ended view of a space or project. According to Jim, “Today, computer renderings have lost their impact, leading the client to obsess over carpet colors or door handles meanwhile losing sight of the overall design. Hand drawings and sketches return the conversation to the design of space by focusing on architecture, form, and people.” Morpholio, a software company founded by architects, seeks to create tools that bridge the gap between the vitality of hand drawing and the intelligence of digital workflows. Jim’s work provides a fascinating case study for such experimentation and is a telling example of the desires that have shaped one of their most widely used apps, Trace Pro. The app replicates trace paper and the tools architects use to sketch, draft, and render. This new kind of interface for design is something in which Keen finds not only creative comfort, but also artistic freedom. “When I work through a design illustration with a client, I need software that 'disappears' and allows me to concentrate completely on the work." Keen’s work powerfully demonstrates that the act of illustration by hand can return the focus to that which should be central in architectural communication by editing out extraneous details, especially in the early concept phase. The diagrammatic nature of the images seems to leave room for evolution, and interpretation, thereby encouraging concepts to be further probed for new and perhaps even more novel possibilities. With the gift of the touchscreen, architects would be crazy not to find ways to integrate analog and digital methods of designing, taking advantage of the intuition and delight that working by hand is known to amplify. Furthermore, it is an opportunity to advance a discipline and language that was honed for centuries into the next era of style, culture, and craft. Reincorporating the hand drawing into a seamless digital workflow is fundamental for the post-digital architect, something that Jim Keen has found by drawing in Trace. Download Trace here. To see more of Jim's work, or request an illustration, please visit his website here.
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Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene

Why is ETFE the material of choice for U.S. stadia?

"Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene" doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. Thankfully "E-T-F-E" does. The material—commonly referred to by its acronym—is all the rave within the architecture world right now, mostly notably seen in contemporary stadia design.

A Project Engineer at New York firm, Thornton Tomasetti, Alloy Kemp spoke to The Architect's Newspaper about the material's key role in stadia projects such across the U.S. These included: the Banc of California Stadium (for the Los Angeles Football Club, MLS) and the U.S. Bank Stadium (for the Minnesota Vikings).

With regard to the latter example, the stadium makes use of a 240,000-square-foot transparent ETFE roof—the largest of its kind in the country. Here, transparency facilitates clear views outside and bathes the playing field in natural light. This also aids climate control within the space, a key factor when growing pitch-perfect grass. While the ETFE system facilitates solar gains, excess heat vents at the stadium's peak supplement ventilation requirements.

The latter meanwhile uses the material expose the structure as a roof clad with 190,000 square feet of ETFE film reveal long-span cantilevers. Kemp pointed out that the material lets a full spectrum of UV light through, something "which aids in plant growth." She also cited the material's "high span to weight ratio" and "its ability to warp" that allow "lighter and sparser structure," as a main reason for its selection. Additionally, kemp added that a low friction coefficient means with regular rainfall, it is capable of cleaning itself with little maintenance necessary.

Another stadium, this time for the LA Rams team, also makes use of ETFE. The stadium, designed by New York–based HKS, features a giant triangular roof supported by thick columns and made of the material. This super-roof also spans across an adjacent outdoor lobby called “champions plaza” to be used as a communal gathering spot for game day spectators. For year-round events, the stadium features a transparent ETFE canopy covering nearly 19 acres. The canopy allows all sides of the building to remain open to the air, allowing natural breezes to pass through while protecting the up to 80,000 patrons from inclement weather.

Alloy Kemp will be speaking at the next Facades+ conference in New York on April 6 There she and Edward Peck of Forum Studio will discuss ETFE's use in the LA Football Club and Minnesota Vikings stadiums as well as in the DS+R's Hudson Yards Culture Shed. Seating is limited. To register, go to facadesplus.com.

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Making the Gradient

A closer look at wHY’s custom reflective materials at Louisville’s Speed Museum
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The Speed Art Museum, located in Louisville, Kentucky is the state’s oldest and largest art museum; it is a major cultural repository for the region. wHY’s concept to carefully and precisely intervene on the existing museum, described by the firm as “acupuncture architecture,” set the project apart from other proposals solicited by the museum’s international search for an architecture firm to develop a comprehensive strategy for the museum’s growth and expansion.
  • Facade Manufacturer Cristacurva (glass); Kawneer (skylights); McGrath (metal panels)
  • Architects wHY; K. Norman Berry Associates Architects (architect of record)
  • Facade Installer F.A. Wilhelm Construction (general contractor)
  • Facade Consultants Thornton Tomasetti (structural design)
  • Location Louisville, KY
  • Date of Completion 2016
  • System Steel frame w/ curtain wall & metal panels
  • Products Flashing and sheet metal by Firestone Building products; Curtain wall by Cristacurva & Kawneer; EIFS by STO Corporation; Masonry by CIP Concrete Walls (F.A. Wilhelm)
While the interior work on the 200,000-square-foot project has been celebrated for enhanced connectivity and openness, the exterior simultaneously works to reflect the immediate surroundings of the site, which is embedded within a network of Frederick Law Olmsted–designed parks and parkways, as well as opposite a residential neighborhood and university. The most prominent component of the project is a 60,000-square-foot north pavilion, formed by stacking three shifted volumes sheathed in fritted glass and folded aluminum panels. This materiality emulates the classical moldings of the original museum building and produces a dynamic change in response to the natural light. The project team produced five modules of zig-zagged panels that are combined in a random order across the facade. These panels are incorporated into a concealed-fastener rainscreen system, attached to a secondary steel frame and Centria thermal insulation panels. Coloration and reflectivity parameters were extensively tested on site with the owner prior to final selections. In addition to folded metal panels, glazing panels in the curtain wall feature a custom frit material. The patterning consists of a staggered gradient pattern composed of small half-inch rectangles, dissolving from 99% coverage at the roof line to zero percent at ground level for transparency at eye level. The frit is mirrored on the outside, and matte on the inside, a combination which Andrija Stojic, design director at wHY, says was challenging to achieve, but an essential component of the project: “It doesn’t create a barrier, and produces a very different effect when you’re standing outside compared to inside. It was very difficult to achieve this because we were unable to find a US manufacturer willing to produce a dual-coated frit.” This led wHY’s team to a successful collaboration with Mexico-based Cristacurva, who were able to work together on design and production of the highly specific finish. Stojic concludes, “The point for us is to detail in a manner that looks so clean and simple that it will almost disappear. How the metal panel meets the glass, or the continuation of one panel to another. We try to make these moments as simple as possible. Detailing this project was a challenge for us, but also one of the most exciting aspects of the project.” wHY opened an office in Louisville as a result of the project and continues to deliver projects in the region from this location. This adds a midwest office to wHY’s presence on both coasts (Los Angeles and New York City).
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Big art. Big space.

Find out one reason why this year’s Armory Show had record-breaking attendance

The result of seven month’s work, involving copious amounts of organizing, planning, scheduling, revising, assembling, testing and eleventh-hour tweaking, culminated in a five-day art frenzy: The Armory Show 2017. Held on Piers 92 and 94 in New York City, this year's fair hosted 200 galleries from 30 different countries—a significant reduction from the previous year's showing (230). However, Bade Stageberg Cox Architects (BSC) designed the layout of the show and the New York firm was on hand to remind visitors how effective the Miesian principle, "less is more" can be.

"We're always playing with scale," said Jane Stageberg, a principle at BSC who showed The Architect's Newspaper around. "The art is big, so the space must be big!" One way to get more space is to have fewer galleries, argued Stageberg, who added that on the flip side, this afforded galleries more floor space to work with themselves. The result was a more fluid and dynamic experience of The Armory Show.

In 2016, Pier 94 had three aisles of circulation, whereas this year two were employed, facilitating a much smoother and more logical route up and down the pier. This also allowed BSC to create what Stageberg called "town squares." For an experience that had the potential to feel like a head-spinning cavalcade of art, the open spaces offered visual relief and acted as convenient meeting points. They also housed "big" public art, making them handy tools for way-finding. Saying "meet by the red and white polka-dotted mushrooms" (or to the more sophisticated "Yayoi Kusama's 2016 work, Guidepost to the New World") made for an easy-to-find reference point. Or, if that didn't take your fancy: the champagne bar by the hanging piano (Sebastian Errazuriz's 2017 piece, The awareness of uncertainty).

"Our goal was to open up the plan and create sight-lines, carving away corners to create diagonal views," Stageberg explained. "The galleries realized that this was good for them too as it meant more exposure. Their goal is to sell art and that's our goal too." The risk paid off, though, as galleries did well. “We sold an enormous amount,” said Sean Kelly, whose Chelsea gallery can be found on 475 10th Avenue.

Additionally, Stageberg said that the bones (especially the roof) of Pier 94 itself were also exposed to acknowledge the site's industrial past. In a refined environment predominantly comprised of white gallery walls, the juxtaposition of evident decay seen on the roof and odd bits of wall was a welcome sight.

On Pier 92, this was less the case, but the inclusion of generous amounts of daylight made possible by numerous windows, supplemented the sense of place BSC strove for. Around these areas of fenestration was more "public space." (This year, public space made up more than a third of the square footage allocated to galleries.) In a setting where square footage and wall space are prime real estate for galleries, the decision to do so was justified as visitors came in record numbers (65,000 over five days—the most ever). In addition to this, the show's busiest days over the weekend were gloriously sunny. Light shimmered off the Hudson and the pier—which is roughly 30 feet narrower than its neighbor—felt open and breathable.

Another advantage of this was simply being able to see where you were in the scope of the city. Be it views of BIG's Via 57 or simply Pier 94, the windows aided orientation and provided a pleasing change of focus. This was particularly the case in the VIP Lounge on Pier 92 where a large window punched through the end of the pier was the highlight of the show’s premium venue.

BSC has been working The Armory Show since 2011 when the firm began designing the 2012 edition of the fair. Between then and now, two directors (Paul Morris and Noah Horowitz) have come and gone, but this year marked the second year BSC had been working with its current director, Ben Genocchio.

For the 2017 show, Genocchio wanted Piers 92 and 94 to be in greater unison. Curatorial programming at previous shows had created a disconnect between the two piers, a phenomenon amplified further due to their differences in elevation (Pier 92 is almost one story higher than its neighbor) resulting in tricky circulation. To challenge this, both modern and contemporary galleries could be found on the two piers and emphasis was placed on the corridor that linked them.

It wasn't all smooth sailing on the water, however. While an oversized floating concrete block (Drifter, by Studio Drift) did well to draw visitors to the connecting stairwell, traveling between the two piers was still awkward. This problem, though, may be impossible to solve. Stageberg was disappointed in the food outlet "Mile End" at the end of Pier 94. "It felt like a dead-end space," she said. Likewise, it's hard to see how such an issue will be resolved without sacrificing more gallery space.

Stageberg, though, took this as a positive. "We're learning what we can do next year," she said. “We’re very pleased with how the public spaces in general turned out, they were really needed.” In the end, it's the piers' quirks that make The Armory Show what it is. There are few, if any, places where you can gaze over millions of dollars worth of art amid expertly organized chaos, all under one, slowly dying roof in the middle of New York.

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Something Old, Something New

wHY to cap existing Los Angeles warehouse with automated parking garage
A California Environmental Quality Act submittal by Los Angeles and New York City-based architects wHY and British real estate firm Est4te Four Capital indicates that plans are in the works for a large-scale overhaul of the former Challenge and Creamery Butter Association Building (CCBA Building) in Downtown Los Angeles’s Arts District neighborhood. Information contained within the report details plans for an innovative 190,165-square-foot mixed-use complex that would bring housing, a private membership club, ground floor retail, and office space to the neighborhood. According to renderings included in the report, the complex, located on a 0.68-acre site, will be made up of a mix of old and new building components, with a new office, club, and parking block located directly on top of an existing warehouse structure originally built in 1926. The two-story existing warehouse will accommodate 17 live-work artists’ lofts as well as parking access and commercial spaces in new square footage located on the side, beside the existing structure. One innovative component of the project includes the stacked parking structure located above the existing building. That four-story mass is actually designed as an automated parking garage with 241 automobile and 40 bicycle stalls. The parking area is contained within a large, four-story volume that does not contain traditional floor plates but instead is made up of large racks of stacked parking stalls. The floors above the parking areas are due to house office and event space as well as the 71,000-square-foot membership club. That aspect of the program is planned to contain private terraces, offices, a restaurant, and lounge areas. The team behind the project is pursuing a General Plan Amendment, Zone Change, Height District Change, Master Conditional Use permits for the project. A timeline released by the developers of the project indicates that it is to be built over the course of 18 months starting in the third quarter of 2017 with an estimated completion date of early 2019.