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Bowlin' Out

Foster + Partners unveils Lusail Iconic stadium for 2022 FIFA World Cup
Foster + Partners revealed renderings of the much-anticipated Lusail Iconic Stadium, an 80,000-seat soccer venue that will house the opening and final games of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The project, commissioned by Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, will be situated within the center of the up-and-coming Lusail City, an under-construction modern metropolis set nine miles north of Doha. The British firm designed the centerpiece structure to mirror the ancient Arab craft of bowl weaving. It will feature a shimmery, gold palette wrapped around a slightly undulating exterior and a saddle-form retractable roof that will float above a concrete seating bowl.   According to the architects, the stadium will boast a highly-efficient energy saving system, a requirement for FIFA World Cup constructions. Since Qatar’s climate is so intense, the building will help cool players and fans. Solar canopies will also hover over the parking and service areas to produce energy for the stadium and power the surrounding buildings. With Lusail Iconic Stadium, Foster + Partners joins the star-studded roster of studios that have designed projects for the tournament, including Zaha Hadid Architects and its controversial stadium in Al-Wakrah, which is near completion. Fenwick Iribarren Architects, a Spanish firm, is building a modular, 40,000-seat stadium made of repurposed steel shipping containers. After the tournament, the arenas are expected to be reused by the cities in which they’re built. The seats within Lusail Iconic Stadium, for example, will be removed and the structure will be used as a community space with room for shops, cafés, athletic and education facilities, as well as a health clinic. The project is slated for completion in 2020.
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Tastes Like Heaven

Heaven Hill is the latest bourbon brand to expand its architectural appeal
Building for bourbon brands is all about storytelling. Over the two decades, some of the world’s top distillers have completed multimillion-dollar architectural projects and exhibitions in an effort to communicate the past, present, and future of whiskey culture through their own distinct stories. Since bourbon is one of Kentucky’s biggest tourist attractions, it’s no surprise that brands are turning to seasoned architects and designers to elevate their physical presence and style. Heaven Hill, the largest independent family-owned producer of distilled spirits in the United States, just announced a $65 million operations expansion that includes renovating its Bardstown, Kentucky, headquarters. Led by Louisville-based experience design firm Solid Light, the project will completely renovate the brand’s 14-year-old Bourbon Heritage Center and add 22,300-square-feet of space to the site along the famed Kentucky Bourbon Trail.    According to Solid Light President Cynthia Torp, Heaven Hill’s goal is to expand guests’ knowledge of the brand’s 83-year history, including the story of the Shapira family that owns the company. The brand also want to provide an immersive, hands-on experience with bourbon that can’t be found anywhere else in the state. “Our philosophy is that we want to connect visitors emotionally with the story of the brand,” Torp said. “Many people who visit the Bourbon Trail are looking to explore the details behind these brands, which is part of the whole mystique behind it. So we’re offering a bourbon education specifically through design.” The $17.5 million visitor center expansion is the latest project Solid Light has undertaken with Heaven Hill. In 2000, the firm helped design and build the structure, which it will now supplement with a brand new rooftop bar, enhanced tasting rooms, retail space, and the “You Do Bourbon” experience where guests will get to bottle their own bourbon. The full-service design and planning firm also completed the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience for Heaven Hill in downtown Louisville, one of the company’s flagship labels. Among its other well-known labels are Elijah Craig, Henry McKenna, Larceny, and Old Fitzgerald.   Christopher Quirk, Solid Light’s director of architecture, explained how this project is unlike some of the firm’s other commissions; they designed the Kentucky Derby Museum as well as the Sagamore Spirit Distillery Experience for Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank in Baltimore. He said that, normally, Solid Light is asked to work within the confines of an existing museum space, but due to a devastating fire that destroyed most of the brand’s plant in 1996, Heaven Hill wanted to reestablish its identity through a new structure built for 21st-century bourbon enthusiasts. “The architecture of the new building is an homage to the heritage of the site,” Quirk said. “The mashup between the older structure and the more modern one is an expression of Heaven Hill’s desire to mark on the future.” Further details behind the expanded structure have not yet been released as Solid Light is still in the schematic design phase of planning and aims to announce more information at a later date. Renovation work will begin on the existing site in January and is expected to be done in the middle of the summer. With this news, Heaven Hill joins a list of other Kentucky-based bourbon distillers that have recently completed or are currently renovating their facilities. Kentucky Owl just announced plans to create a 420-acre campus in Bardstown, designed by Shigeru Ban Architects, while Rabbit Hole just opened up a striking, metal-clad building in Louisville last May, dreamt up by pod a+d. In 2017, Bulleit Distilling Co. completed its headquarters in Shelbyville, Kentucky, while Wild Turkey opened an award-winning visitors center in 2014, designed by Louisville-based De Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop. Quirk noted that part of the Kentucky bourbon industry’s appeal as a big business is the successful promotion of not only its products but the experiences each brand offers customers at these various locations. “If you go to one visitors center and learn about the history behind one dynamic brand, you’re likely to drive down the road to another local brand to see how they’re different,” Quirk said. “There’s value in showcasing their individual identities and bringing people closer to their products. All have very unique stories to tell.”
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Pyramid of the Yearamid

2018 was the year of the pyramid
Plenty of distinctive projects were announced or completed in 2018, but at The Architect’s Newspaper, no form so thoroughly captures our imagination as much as the pyramid. The primitive shape came up again and again in our reporting, and, acknowledging its (maybe Illuminati-masterminded) importance, we’ve collected the top pyramid stories of the year for easy consumption. January saw a clash of the titans play out on Facebook, as the Socially condensed fully-built enviromemes (SCFBE) page pitted some of history’s most famous pyramids against each other for the title of world’s greatest. Sixteen pyramids were paired off and users voted to eliminate one until only the strongest remained. Ever wonder if the Tyrell Corporation headquarters from Blade Runner is superior to BIG’s Via 57 West? Could the Bass Pro Shop at the Pyramid in Memphis beat the Great Pyramid of Giza in a fight? In April, the Tyrell Corporation headquarters squared off against North Korea’s Ryugyong Hotel in the final round, but the fictional office building lost out to Pyongyang’s “Hotel of Doom.” Of course, not all pyramid stories are happy. In July, the Gold Pyramid House in Wadsworth, Illinois, was gutted by a fire that caused over $3 million in damages and threatened to shutter the popular tourist attraction. The six-story home had been a fixture in Illinois since its completion in 1977, its strange shape an attempt by owners Jim and Linda Onan to channel magical energy (the building was originally clad in 8,000 24-karat gold plates until neighbors complained about the glare). The pyramid, which sits on its own private island surrounded by a moat and is guarded by a 55-foot-tall guard statue of Ramses II, was thought to have been lost, but the Onans have pledged to rebuild. Although it was still a burned-out husk in October, the couple opened their doors to the public for tours during a fall festival. Unfortunately, because zoning codes have changed since the pyramid was first built, it likely can’t be rebuilt as a home because it sits in a floodplain. The Ryugyong Hotel began construction in 1987, but it wasn’t until 2018 that the building finally came to life. The concrete mountain has been covered in LED panels, and as a video posted by the Facebook page North Korea Girls 북조선녀성 in August shows, it’s now used as a backdrop to display art and propaganda. Any video released to the public of the 105-story hotel has made it past North Korea’s hypervigilant sensors, and it remains uncertain whether the building will ever actually be completed or occupied. Rounding out the year was the announcement that Shigeru Ban Architects (SBA) had designed a trio of timber pyramids for Kentucky Owl bourbon in Bardstown, Kentucky. The pyramids, each wrapped in a diamond pattern, will anchor the new 420-acre Kentucky Owl Park and contain the campus’s distillery. The $150 million project will be integrated into the Kentucky Bourbon Trail when the campus opens in 2020.
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Holiday Parti

Architecture holiday cards are here
We are not big fans of holiday cards that feature new buildings by architects even if they are hidden behind photoshopped snow or holly. But we are making an exception for Studio Gang's Chicago boathouse. Though we kinda like Steven Holl’s card with the architect in a saffron robe blowing a body size Tibetan horn. Our favorites are an abstract silver pattern, inspired by the Chestnut trees of Malcantone, Ticino, printed on heavy brown paper stock from the Swiss Consulate, Rockwell Group's four-page Happy Holiday from Irving Berlin and Santa in a red truck from Cummings Printing. Here are our best from 2018 including the image of the Viaduct over the Polcevera, Red Zone, Genoa, by Emanuele Piccardo.  
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2018 Winding Down

Weekend edition: Women in architecture aren’t hiding but face challenges in the field
Missed some of this week's architecture news, or our tweets and Facebook posts from the last few days? Don’t sweat it—we’ve gathered the week’s must-read stories right here. Enjoy! Stop asking where all the female architects are; we’re right here Madame Architect editor Julia Gamolina weighs in on the tired, problematic question: Where are all the female architects? Design legend Murray Moss discusses the future of “anti-disciplinarity” The design legend gave two lectures and graduate-level workshops this past semester at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Architects rally behind Doriana Fuksas after prize snub This month two groups started a petition demanding that Doriana Fuksas be included in a lifetime achievement award given to her partner Massimiliano. San Francisco orders historic Neutra home be rebuilt after being torn down After an illegal demolition of one of the five remaining Richard Neutra–designed homes in San Francisco, the homeowner was ordered to build an exact replica. AN will be closed through Wednesday, December 26, but we will see you on Thursday!
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Low-res

What is Low-resolution architecture?

44 Low-resolution houses was an exhibition of 44 models of houses by 44 architects. It was organized by Michael Meredith and was on display at the Princeton School of Architecture’s North Gallery from September 11-November 9, 2018. Seemingly simple, the show is organized by a strong conceptual framework that puts these houses into dialogue with one another. In the show, “Low-resolution” (Low-res) is posited a way of seeing objects that are not slick surfaces or gridded plans, but rather aggregated, quotidian, and loosely composed. The exhibition is divided into three parts: “first, houses that vaguely resemble houses, using familiar elements like pitched roofs, etc.; second, houses that appear to be constructed, in that one can see the construction, joints, and materials (there is a sort of cheap, unfinished quality to the work); and third, houses that are composed of basic geometric primitives-squares, circles, triangles-arranged in a non-compositional or abstract manner.” In category 1, Montreal practice Atelier Barda’s Maison Gauthiera house that vaguely resembles a house— incorporates narratives of European stables, the gabled roof, arched gateway, vestibule, cathedral ceiling, deep light canyons, and morphological and formal characteristics of Ellsworth Kelly. All of these references were implemented to achieve desired effects while not immediately recognizable as such. Abstracted figural forms escape the cliche of the sign while still holding symbolic meaning, which is a theme of the low-res. In category 2, Ann Arbor firm T+E+A+M’s A Range Life, constructed so that one can see the construction, joints, and materials, creates a feedback loop between the physical and the digital, including printed graphics on the side of the house, but also with similarly weird material approximations such as fake stone bulkheads and foam rocks. The simulations constitute a construction logic that defies the high-tech detailing and material specificity of previous generations such as phenomenologists or the digital avant-garde, as well as big service firms. In category 3, the low-resolution organization (non-compositional or abstract) group, Columbus, OH–based Outpost Office describes their Upstate House as part of a body of work about "openness," or formal and organizational strategy that generates "open systems embedded with multiplicity and/or formal ambiguity." This ambiguity and plurality could provoke new and unexpected social forms.

In this exhibition, these loose, cool compositions are displayed in a highly choreographed, rigorously designed exhibition by New York-based Studio Lin. All-white, 100-pound Bristol paper models at ¼”=1’0” scale with simple AutoCAD hatch patterns showing materials gives each house an equal footing to be compared with others. his is the paradox evident in all of Meredith’s work, where a “Low-res,” nonchalant attitude is hidden deep beneath a refined, clean aesthetic. It is likely what allows him and his practice MOS to have such a distinctive hegemony over young practices today. The problem with this approach for the exhibition is that in architecture, hardcore formalism and the way it strips away material and site sort of undermines the theoretical rigor and novelty of the exhibitions’ content, which relies on more than just massing and abstracted material representations. While this could be read as “Low-res” exhibition design, where only part of the information is available and we get the point, just not in great detail, this would be generous in its reading. IMHO, the conceptual framework of “Low-resseems to be more productive than Meredith’s previous attempt to understand this generation, “indifference.” In Log 39, he wrote an essay “Indifference, Again,” claiming that today's practitioners operate in a condition similar to those in the McCarthy era, and he cited a 1977 Artforum article. This questionable reading of today's political context and the citation of an Artforum article of that vintage left the critical judgment of "indifference" stillborn. However, the shift to the “Low-res” makes more sense in today's neoliberal, late-capitalist world where cultural production is strained by commodification and strained labor. For a group of designers who avoid conflict, “Low-res offers a way to discuss the work that can begin to categorize, understand, and create dialog between the works, rather than simply let the designers off the hook, or veer into nihilistic multivalence like indifference.

Low-res” offer a formal project that becomes extremely productive in part because of the flexibility that arises from the independence of building parts, such as walls and a roof that can be tuned to the needs of program and site, rather than a strict parti of a continuous surface, which can inhibit the finer details of plan and section. The “Low-res” architectural project shares characteristics with certain practices and efforts in both art and product design. Under a broader umbrella of "low"—in the sense of  a "low" production, not necessarily a "low" culture—we can see common threads about how to expose the process of construction or production in the avoidance of what the artist Hito Steyerl describes as "high-end economies of film production were (and still are) firmly anchored in systems of national culture, capitalist studio production, the cult of mostly male genius, and the original version, and thus are often conservative in their very structure."

We can also see this in contemporary art today in the attitude of COMP USA Live, "The original live desktop theater internet television show." The producers created a custom software that allows for a completely anarchic and disorganized aesthetic. Filmed in front of a live studio audience, the show takes place inside of a Windows 2000 desktop. While the technology behind the show is advanced, and the artists are skilled, the show comes off as something more “low-resolution,” as members of the cast are/appear unprepared. They fight with each other, and the low production value is expressed in every sense, from costumes to props and the stage itself. For Meredith, the three categories of “Low-res” point to a similar condition in architecture, one that rejects the futures where virtuosic technology is the answer—the techno-dystopias we see unfolding before us, such as gender-recognition technology—and points to attitudes that make their own ideas about how the world should be: a compositional, material, and organizational “Low-res,” where columns and parts are left articulated in construction, much like the video effects and software glitches (a result of a looseness about color-selection tolerances within the green-screen technology) are left on display in COMP USA Live.

https://vimeo.com/289594891

44 Low-resolution houses showcases some of the best designers in the world, but in the wrong hands, low-resolution seems to have the potential to devolve—or be co-opted—into a techno-dystopian uber-shabby-chic aesthetic, like in District 9, one where the sheddings of capitalism—cheap materials and trash—are recast into aesthetic objects infused with a realism and an almost survivalist fashionability. Given enough space, this kind of formal looseness starts to absorb other loose-nesses in the world, bordering on the ad-hoc or informal. For example, at the 2016 Venice Biennale, curator Alejandro Aravena, a Chilean Aristocrat born of the Post-Pinochet neoliberal order, seemed to suggest that the whole world learns from the practices of the developing world, and build cities out of trash that is disposed of by the machinations of global materialism. The Low-resolution (Low-res) project is not complete, but this show in Princeton’s gallery was a successful attempt to define a set of characteristics and conditions that define contemporary practice for these architects. And this is not easy these days. The remaining question is what causes one to be “Low-res?” How can an entire set of practices be working in this way? It could be that the aesthetics of virtuosity—perfect Grasshopper models—have been absorbed into institutions so deeply that all that is left is some new rethinking of parts as a way to slow down attention but at the same time speed up production, reducing the time spent on generating form and spending more of it looking at material and construction details. Comparing this to Aravena’s Biennale (the aesthetic project of collecting pieces, as well as the social one of helping others), we can see some similarities. Both had dramatic, hi-fidelity exhibition design. While Aravena's Biennale was first a social project that directly attempted to offer solutions to problems, Low-resolution is not. Rather, it grows from conditions underlying the context in which it is produced. Most notably, both are post-digital, Aravena's seeking low-tech solutions that might fill in where the promise of the digital utopia has fallen short, while Meredith's assessment of today's elite design practices arises from a similar condition, probably one where our experience of the digital is less about tools such as Grasshopper, and more about digital space and the feedback loop between online culture, identity politics, and the cut-paste culture of the internet, where anyone can easily piece together an online persona with some clicks of a mouse. Overall, 44 Low-resolution Houses is an important show that could serve as the start of understanding more about how we make architecture today.

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Building Bridges

Renzo Piano reveals replacement for collapsed Genoa Bridge
The Italian government has sped up plans to rebuild the Morandi Bridge that collapsed in Genoa this August, and taken up the Genoa-born Renzo Piano on his offer to design the replacement for free. Salini Impregilo, the country’s largest contractor, and Fincantieri, a state-run shipbuilding company, have been chosen to build the new bridge and will be forming a new conglomerate, “PERGENOVA” to do so. During a heavy storm on August 14, the concrete-and-cable-stay Morandi Bridge was hit by lightning and collapsed, killing 43 and injuring dozens more. The bridge originally opened in 1967 to span the Polcevera Viaduct and connected the coastal area with Genoa’s port. The Renzo Piano Building Workshop leaned heavily on steel for the replacement bridge, and Piano claimed in September that, “This will last for a thousand years and will be built of steel,”  and would “have elements of a boat because that is something from Genoa.” The final design seems to bear that out. A 3,600-foot-long main steel deck will run across 20 spans, supported by 19 concrete piers. For the most part, the piers will be spaced out in 164-foot increments, except for a pair that has been placed 328 feet apart on either side of the Polcevera River. The bridge will literally be a shining beacon, as it’s expected to reflect sunlight during the day and use stored solar energy to power its lights at night. Fincantieri will be building the structure’s steel elements at its Genoa-Sestri Ponente shipyard and may spread the work to its other shipyards if necessary. The steel deck will be assembled in parts and welded together on-site to reduce costs and speed up construction. The project is estimated to cost $229 million, and construction is expected to take 12 months once the site is cleared.
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Are You Leddy For It?

2018 Best of Design Awards winners for Adaptive Reuse
2018 Best of Design Award winner for Urban Design: San Francisco Art Institute at Fort Mason Designer: Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects Location: San Francisco Located on the edge of San Francisco Bay, Fort Mason Pier 2 has been transformed from a historic army warehouse into a satellite campus for the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI). This adaptive reuse project preserves the industrial integrity of the landmark concrete-and-steel structure while supporting the school’s pedagogical goals. The iconic shed was restored with an integrated sustainable building system, working with the existing building structure and materials. A photovoltaic solar system was mounted on the building’s gabled roof. The design interweaves the historic and contemporary, preserving the dramatic, light-filled industrial structure to create 160 studios, workshops, flexible teaching spaces, public galleries, and a media theater. Honorable Mentions  Project Name: Empire Stores Designer: S9 Architecture Location: Brooklyn, New York Project Name: Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep Designer: JGMA Location: Waukegan, Illinois
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Big Names, Small Stuff

Woodbury launches Small Scale Architecture Store in time for the holidays
If you have some holiday shopping left to do, you're in luck. The Woodbury University School of Architecture in Los Angeles has launched a Small Scale Architecture Store just in time for the holidays. Located at the university's WUHO Gallery in Hollywood, the store features products and furniture pieces created by thought-provoking designers including Bureau Spectacular, DOT DOT DOT, Jenny Wu, New Affiliates, Ryan Tyler Martinez, ver|texx, and Yeh Studio. The store aims to "celebrate and sell the work of designers who push the boundaries of architecture and object, function and assembly, material and product, to produce indispensable objects to wear, utilize, adorn, carry, occupy, enlighten, and beautify" according to a press release. Included in the products that are up for sale are city-themed plates from NotNeutral, the product arm of RCH Studios, a faceted pendant light from DOT DOT DOT, fiberglass chairs from LA Forum and Modernica, and a Helicoid planter by Paul Anvar, among many others. Proceeds from the sales of the work will fund Woodbury University School of Architecture student scholarships. The store will run until December 23. See the WUHO Gallery website for more information.
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CMY-Play

2018 Best of Design Awards winners for Young Architects
2018 Best of Design Awards winner for Young Architects: Runaway Designer: SPORTS Location: Santa Barbara, California Runaway is a mobile pop-up pavilion first developed by SPORTS for the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara. With the goal of bringing art to underrepresented neighborhoods, three self-similar, open-structure objects were designed to reference the foggy and hazy climate of California’s coastal region. The collection’s orientation and composition is intended to be rearranged at different sites. In each deployment, the project generates public space and arts programming for underserved communities. Runaway illustrates the potential for small architectural objects to add a robust and ephemeral layer to urban centers—one that repositions the city as a series of small episodic moments rather than grand architectural interventions. Honorable Mentions Project name: Noodle Soup Designer: office ca Location: Lake Forest, Illinois Project name: Malleable Monuments Designer: The Open Workshop Location: San Francisco
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MIT Mini-storage

MIT to consolidate its architecture school in a warehouse revamped by DS+R
MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P) is currently scattered all over the school’s Cambridge, Massachusetts, campus, but not for much longer. The university announced on December 14 that it had tapped New York’s Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) to convert the historic Metropolitan Storage Warehouse into a central design hub. The idea of renovating the Metropolitan Warehouse, which was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1986, has been kicking around since June of this year. At the time, SA+P dean Hashim Sarkis expressed the desire to consolidate the physical design and research components of the school into one location. The proposed changes would preserve the warehouse’s distinctive red brick facade (likely because of its historical significance). DS+R will be partnering with Boston’s Leers Weinzapfel Associates, no strangers to academic work, to bring 200,000 square feet of classrooms, galleries, workshops, studio spaces, and an auditorium to the former warehouse. A makerspace, accessible to the entire campus, will also be installed under the administration of Project Manus, a group responsible for integrating and updating such spaces at the school. The selection of DS+R began with a long list of potential architects that was put forth by MIT’s Office of Campus Planning (OCP). Representatives from every department of SA+P, Project Manus, and OCP then whittled the list down to four finalists. The remaining studios were invited to give private presentations in October, and feedback on each was taken from SA+P students and faculty, as well as representatives from the city. “A project of this scale and complexity,” said Sarkis, “which demands a design sensibility informed by both art and technology—along with a deep understanding of architecture education as well as the role of public space—is made for a firm like DS+R.” No estimated completion date for the project has been given yet, nor has a budget estimate, though MIT says that the school is in productive talks with alumni about fundraising to pay for it.
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To Live is to Learn

2018 Best of Design Awards winners for Education
2018 Best of Design Award for Education: Daniels Building Designer: NADAAA Location: Toronto

The University of Toronto’s Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design (DFALD) tapped NADAAA to design a new, 155,000-square-foot center that could incorporate studio spaces, fabrication workshops, classrooms, and offices. The school wanted the new building to also operate as a working sustainability prototype. The facility is connected to the adjacent landmark Knox College building, an existing 19th-century structure that features Gothic spires and edges. Though significantly different in style and detail, the historic building creates the ideal foil for the contemporary, boxlike facility. The folds of the roof aim to capture daylight while the glazing maximizes northern views. A Miesian curtain wall complements the building’s sober yet bold concrete and steel structure.

Honorable Mentions Project Name: UCSB San Joaquin Student Housing Designer: Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects Location: Santa Barbara, California Project Name: Sherman and Joyce Bowie Scott Hall at Carnegie Mellon University Designer: OFFICE 52 Architecture Location: Pittsburgh