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Bilbao (Prison) Effect?
Frank Gehry to teach “The Future of Prison” course at SCI-Arc
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The Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) announced last winter that architect Frank Gehry would be teaching one of the school’s elective vertical studios for the spring 2017 semester. According to an image promoting the studio on the university’s Instagram, the studio is titled “The Future of Prison” and “calls on emerging architects to break free of current conventions and re-imagine what we now refer to as ‘prison’ for a new era.”
Could Gehry and his students re-imagine the carceral system the way his firm did with tourist-driven arts destinations? Perhaps the class could propose new designs for the Metropolitan Detention Center in Downtown Los Angeles, the 757-bed jail located just one mile from the SCI-Arc campus. The jail is due to be replaced sometime between 2027 and 2030 under the auspices of the city’s new Civic Center Master Plan. If rebuilt elsewhere, planners would be wise to look to Gehry’s SCI-Arc studio for ideas and inspiration.
Is the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi dead?
Abu Dhabi remains committed to developing an innovative cultural destination on Saadiyat Island for Abu Dhabi's residents and visitors. Louvre Abu Dhabi is set to open this year, and together with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, we are unquestionably progressing with the development of Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. The programme and collection of the Museum have been progressing for the past years and we have recently launched The Creative Act: Performance, Process, Presence, the second exhibition of artworks from the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi collection. Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority is continuing the development of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi's curatorial narrative, collection and educational outreach with the expertise of the curatorial team to bring this museum to life.
Point and Shoot
Photographer Todd Eberle wins the Julius Shulman Institute's 2017 Excellence in Photography Award
Todd Eberle: Empire of Space Opens at WUHO May 4, 2017 Curator: Audrey Landreth May 4 to June 25, 2017 Opening Reception: May 4, 2017, 6 to 8 pm
Check your Mailbox!
Take a sneak peek at our AN Interior 6! (Includes calendar of great architecture and design events)
We couldn't be more proud of our latest installment of AN Interior, our magazine that showcases the best in interiors from around the world.
This issue includes a wide variety of featured projects:
- A vibrant apartment that the architects behind breakout firm Pedro&Juana designed for themselves. (Image seen above.)
- A sleek coffee shop from Dallas-based OFFICIAL that goes from day to night thanks to a craft cocktail bar tucked in the back.
- A minimal—but far from plain—home in Seattle’s Capitol Hill inspired by art galleries and designed by Heliotrope Architects.
- An office in San Francisco designed by Studio O+A for wealth management company that's modern but still conveys traditional business values.
...and there's plenty more, from stunning architectural models at Columbia University's GSAPP to a conversation with Marsha Meredith, creative director of Aesop. In addition to the teaser image above, we've included the issue's calendar below. Spring always brings a new round of exhibitions and festivals that will help welcome the warmer months. Several high-profile traveling exhibitions are also making stops in new locations, so watch out for these shows:
Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium Art Institute of Chicago 111 S Michigan Avenue, Chicago Through May 7
This is the first U.S. retrospective of one of the most influential postwar Latin American artists, Brazilian master Hélio Oiticica. The show traces the evolution of his work from dynamic abstract paintings meant to break free of the flat plane to sculptural artworks and large-scale installations that critique political and social problems (most notably, Brazil’s military dictatorship.) Oiticica’s direction helped inspire Tropicália, a widespread activist art movement taking strong positions against conservatism and fighting for a purely Brazilian art.
Architecture of Independence-African Modernism Center For Architecture 536 LaGuardia Place, New York Through May 27
Exploring the legacy of modern architecture and nation building in 1960s and 1970s Africa, Architecture of Independence shines a light on a time when Sub-Saharan countries, having just gained their independence, looked to bold new architecture to express their national identities. The show, which features photography by Iwan Baan and Alexia Webster, looks at astounding designs like the Independence Arch (1961) in Accra, Ghana, by the Public Works Department, the Hotel Ivoire (1962-1970) in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire by Heinz Finches and Thomas Leiterdorf, and the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (1967-1973) in Nairobi, Kenya.
Decoding Asian Urbanism Architecture + Design Museum Los Angeles 900 East 4th Street, Los Angeles April 21–June 23
This comprehensive exhibition explores the architecture and urban interventions that are creatively transforming the spatial landscape of Asian cities. It also illustrates the complex principles that underlie these interventions, such as sustainability, density, and regional culture. Featured projects include Hong Kong’s web of interlinked, raised walkways; South Korea’s Sejong City, a municipality recently built from scratch; and Shanghai Tower, the tallest skyscraper in China and the second-largest building in the world.
Moholy-Nagy: Future Present Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art 5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles Through June 18
Moholy-Nagy: Future Present, which traveled from the Guggenheim Museum in New York, examines the career of one of the most diverse, influential designers in history, László Moholy-Nagy. The Hungarian-born pioneer worked as a painter, photographer, sculptor, filmmaker, and writer as well as a graphic, exhibition, and stage designer. He was also an influential teacher at the Bauhaus, and later the founder of Chicago’s Institute of Design. The exhibition includes more than 250 works from collections across Europe and the U.S., from paintings to 35mm films.
Liam Young: New Romance Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery Columbia University 1172 Amsterdam Avenue, New York March 30–May 13, 2017
Architect, artist, and filmmaker Liam Young uses film as an architectural tool, experimenting with cutting-edge technologies. His breathtaking works, on display at Columbia’s Arthur Ross Gallery, employ autonomous drones, laser scanning, and architectural renderings to create surreal visions of the future. Examples include In the Robot Skies (2016), Where the City Can’t See (2016), and the debut of Renderlands (2017). The show also contains a selection of props, materials, and research for each undertaking.
Design Week Portland Various locations Portland, Oregon April 15–21
A weeklong, citywide series of programs exploring the process, craft, and practice of design across all disciplines. Events include lectures, panels, exhibitions, workshops, studio open houses, home tours, dinners, films, music, and, of course, the opening and closing parties. Highlights include Snøhetta’s exhibition, People Process Projects, at the Center for architecture; a hike through Maya Lin and Confluence’s restored Sandy River Delta; Adobe’s Creative Jam tournament; a three-hour design charrette competition; and a table tennis tournament for Portland’s designers and architects.
Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture Kimbell Art Museum 3333 Camp Bowie Boulevard Fort Worth, Texas March 26–June 25
Organized by the Vitra Design Museum, The Power of Architecture showcases the work of one of the greatest architects of the 20th century. (The Kimbell itself is one of Kahn’s masterpieces, making it an ideal venue.) In addition to encompassing a wide array of drawings, models, photographs, and films, the exhibition contains many of Kahn’s watercolors, pastels, and charcoal drawings, a 12-foot-tall model of his City Tower in Philadelphia, as well as interviews with Frank Gehry, Renzo Piano, Peter Zumthor, and Sou Fujimoto.
Their work demonstrates an unyielding commitment to place and its narrative, to create spaces that are in discourse with their respective contexts. Harmonizing materiality with transparency, Aranda, Pigem and Vilalta seek connections between the exterior and interior, resulting in emotional and experiential architecture. Mr. Pritzker remarks: “The jury has selected three architects who have been working collaboratively for nearly three decades. Mr. Aranda, Ms. Pigem and Mr. Vilalta have had an impact on the discipline far beyond their immediate area. Their works range from public and private spaces to cultural venues and educational institutions, and their ability to intensely relate the environment specific to each site is a testament to their process and deep integrity.” Mr. Aranda, Ms. Pigem and Mr. Vilalta represent the first time that three architects together are honored with the prize. Their intensely collaborative way of working together, where the creative process, commitment to vision and all responsibilities are shared equally, led to the selection of the three individuals for this year’s award. As the winners of the 39th edition of the Prize, it is the second time that laureates hail from Spain, following Rafael Moneo who received the award in 1996. In response to being named the 2017 Laureates of the Pritzker Prize, Ms. Pigem states: “It is a great joy and a great responsibility. We are thrilled that this year three professionals, who work closely together in everything we do, are recognized.” The locally-based architects evoke universal identity through their creative and extensive use of modern materials including recycled steel and plastic. “They’ve demonstrated that unity of a material can lend such incredible strength and simplicity to a building,” says Glenn Murcutt, Jury Chair. “The collaboration of these three architects produces uncompromising architecture of a poetic level, representing timeless work that reflects great respect for the past, while projecting clarity that is of the present and the future.” As such, an early 20th century foundry has become their office, Barberí Laboratory (2007), and many remnants of the original building have remained, blended with highly contrasting, new elements, which were added only where essential.Last year, Alejandro Aravena won the prize. The Chilean architect, widely accoladed for proposing half houses in his home country that inhabitants completed, was known for his socially-minded approach to architecture. 2015, however, saw the Pritzker judges take a different approach. Instead of choosing a relatively young, innovative architect, Frei Otto from Germany was rewarded for his life's work, notably his tensile structures. Otto died later that year, meanwhile, Aravena, went on to direct the Venice Biennale after receiving his award, capping off a stellar year for him. Other past winners include Zaha Hadid, Norman Foster, Peter Zumthor, SANAA, Rem Koolhaas, Richard Meier, Frank Gehry, Richard Rogers and Phillip Johnson who won the first ever Pritzker Prize. The Prize has been running since 1979. The full announcement is available here.
The new Los Angeles U.S. District Courthouse is located downtown midway between City Hall and the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and it’s a worthy companion to those exemplary civic landmarks. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) won the competition four years ago with a simple yet powerful design: A cube of folded glass that seems to float above a recessed base. The nine upper floors are suspended from a multi-dimensional roof truss system supported on four structural cores—a strategy that halves the amount of steel a conventional building requires and makes it more resistant to a blast than one supported on columns. Architects and the Clark Construction Group collaborated on a design-build program that brought the building to completion in 40 months, and it expects to secure LEED Platinum rating.
Few buildings achieve so much, so quickly, and SOM has made a significant contribution to the renaissance of Downtown L.A., which is still a work in progress. A park designed by OMA and Mia Lehrer + Associates will occupy the long-vacant block fronting City Hall, and a Frank Gehry–designed mixed-use complex, repeatedly delayed, may soon begin construction to the west across from Disney Concert Hall.
As SOM design partner Craig Hartman explained, “We began with the concept of a courthouse that had the appropriate scale and massing and strengthened the civic axis of First Street. The facades had to achieve transparency and clarity of expression, qualities that express what Americans hope to get from the justice system.”
To exploit the drop of 25 feet from Hill Street to Broadway, the building was raised so that—as Hartman noted—the topography flows under it and it stands apart, accessed by steps on three sides and by ramps that slice up through gardens to either side of the entry. Steel bollards provide an unobtrusive security perimeter. The downtown grid is 38 degrees off from a true north-south orientation, which complicated the architects’ task of protecting the facades from solar gain. Rather than rotate the building, they folded the glass. About 1,600 chevron-shaped units of high-performance, blast-resistant glass were craned into place, and nearly all of them have an inner baffle on the side that receives direct sunlight. That cuts solar gain by half, and a rooftop array of photovoltaic panels further reduces energy consumption. The elegance of the detailing at the corners and along the upper and lower edges is the product of intensive research by SOM, which constructed full-scale mock-ups and worked closely with curtain wall manufacturer Benson Industries.
The upper stories are cantilevered 28 feet over an entry plaza, shading people who are waiting to pass through the security barrier inside the glass doors. From there, they emerge into a soaring atrium with south-facing baffles that channel light down to all 10 levels, including the 24 courtrooms on floors five through ten. “The whole building is about light,” said José Luis Palacios, design director at SOM with Paul Danna. The courtrooms are lit from clerestories facing in and out to achieve a harmonious balance. United States Marshals deputies share the third floor with the holding area for the accused. The 32 judicial chambers occupy the periphery with sweeping views of the city. Artworks, including a multi-level work by Catherine Opie, enhance the minimalist interior.
The public has free access to the upper floors and to a tree-shaded patio in back, which is flanked by low, meticulously detailed glass wings. Jurors gather in one and a cafe occupies the other. Many cases are settled by mediation, even on the day scheduled for a trial, and there are breakout areas with comfortable seating on three upper levels to accommodate these encounters. Only a small amount of artificial light is required and this is provided by energy-efficient LEDs.
The architects’ main client was the General Services Administration, whose Design Excellence Program has done much to enhance the quality of federal architecture country-wide. But SOM also worked with a committee of judges, headed by Justice Margaret M. Morrow, who enunciated 10 guiding principles for the design of the courtrooms. “Decorum, fairness and equality are the essentials and those haven’t changed very much over the years,” explained Hartman. “But judges have different opinions on how to express those qualities and it’s surprising how much latitude there is in the layout. Judge and jury need to see the face of a witness, but where are they all to sit?”
To refine its design and win approval from the judges, SOM did a full-scale mock-up of their courtroom, which groups all the parties closely together. Sidewalls clad in ribbed gypsum reinforced plaster assure good acoustics, for audibility is the highest priority of all. A tilted ceiling diffuses the natural light, and every position—including the raised dais of the judge—is wheelchair accessible.
“America’s civic buildings offer a permanent record of our democracy’s values, challenges, and aspirations,” declared Hartman at the opening. Though the SOM courthouse is a demonstration of these ideals, the reality is that ever fewer Americans can afford a day in court, given the dizzying rise of legal costs. That’s the next big case for judges and legal associations to ponder.
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They'll be Missed
Who we lost in 2016
Construction Might Start 2018
New timeline for long-stalled Gehry Partners towers across from Broad Museum
Agent of Change
From affordable housing to parks, inside the versatile Fort Lauderdale-based Glavovic Studio
When Miami clients want a high-profile designer, they often bring in architects from New York and London simply because marketing demands signature international brand names. The developing streetscape of Wynwood, Miami’s Art District, has buildings by scores of important architects from every city but Miami.
But the city has its own, often-underappreciated talent. For example, there is Fort Lauderdale-based Glavovic Studio and its founding principal Margi Glavovic Northard, who has the resume of an architect one would usually find practicing in New York or Los Angeles: She was educated at SCI-Arc, taught at UCLA, and worked for Smith-Miller+Hawkinson in New York before opening her own practice. In Los Angeles, Northard met Robert Mangurian who told her to “go to a place where you can make a difference.”
Taking this advice, she started her Florida firm in 1999. The local projects she cobbled together make her someone who should be better known outside Florida. Northard, who is from South Africa, brings a global perspective and ambition into her practice that attempts to link local ideas, traditions, and needs with a broader international perspective. She said she admires the way Canadian Frank Gehry arrived in California and worked with the local vernacular to create truly revolutionary designs.
But, unlike Herzog & de Meuron, for example, who practice in the small city of Basel and won the prestigious Miami Art Museum (now Pérez), she does not just pitch glamorous cultural projects. “We are part of the local community that wants to be part of a larger conversation, and we are able to connect them to a global conversation,” she said. Indeed the firm focuses on local public housing, community centers, parks, and libraries because Nothard believes architects are, as she put it, “cultural change agents and facilitators.” She made the conscious decision to design affordable housing because she believes affordability is a broader notion than just low income.
At one affordable housing project, Kennedy Homes, Nothard claimed to have expanded the discussion “from affordable to affordability.” The design work, she asserted, is about “creating change” with a commitment to design buildings that are “direct experiences.” She said that she was asked to design a gazebo and “ended up doing an artist center for the community” that has enriched the town and region. It would be a sign of Miami’s maturity as a design center, something boosters point to, for her to be given a project in Wynwood, Brickell, or on Collins Avenue.
Young Circle Arts Park Hollywood, Florida
This 10-acre cultural center is located in downtown Hollywood, Florida. Its park immerses visitors in native landscapes and offers visual and performing arts programming and community activities. Two buildings include the Visual Arts Pavilion, which provides classrooms, a glass blowing studio, metal studio, painting studio, exhibition program, and support facilities, as well as the Performing Arts Pavilion, which contains a stage and lawn seating.
Kennedy Homes Affordable Housing Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Kennedy Homes is a 132-unit LEED Gold affordable housing project poised at the gateway to the City of Fort Lauderdale. Its living spaces are spread into eight residential buildings, with three community buildings housed in renovated structures, providing a gymnasium, library, and meeting and leisure rooms. The 8.5-acre site is developed as an expanded green space within an urban landscape.
Girls' Club Collection Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Located on a quiet street on the northern edge of downtown Fort Lauderdale, Girls’ Club is an artist studio, a gallery, a foundation, and a quasi-public space. The 1984 masonry building has a reconfigured facade layered with light, color, landscape, and enigmatic materials that employ local craft techniques and industrial references.
Sunset Hammock Tamarac, florida
Sunset Hammock, a public art project in Tamarac’s Sunset Point Park, renders moments in time through increasing intensity and color. It explores the expansiveness of the Everglades through the study of wetland topographies and tectonic forms.
“Starchitecture Doesn’t Trump our Heritage”
L.A. Conservancy sues City of Los Angeles over Frank Gehry project
"The Helsinki Effect"
Helsinki rejects Guggenheim outpost
The awarded entries hardly acknowledge the unique historical narrative, character, and quality of Helsinki, or the adjacency of the neoclassical part of the city. All the awarded projects are self-centered in various ways, and lack an understanding of and respect for urban traditions, which altogether belong to the most valuable heritage of culture. All the winning entries are rather detached from the context and have little, if any, meaningful interaction with their neighbors.Speaking to The Architects' Journal, Pallasmaa described the venture as a "ruthless business presented as a cultural project," calling for taxpayers money to better spent on furthering Finnish artistic culture. Finnish politician Anders Adlercreutz, contrasting the Guggenheim Helsinki with Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Bilbao, said "I simply can’t feel any excitement when viewing the winning proposal... It feels like a lost opportunity altogether, an entry that does very little to enhance the whole harbor area, that doesn’t contribute to the public space around it and that frankly looks quite out of place."