Posts tagged with "Berlin":

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Chipperfield to Revamp Mies’ Neue Nationalgalerie

Stirling Prize winner David Chipperfield will renovate of Mies van der Rohe’s Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, beating out more than 20 competing proposals. The museum, which houses the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation’s modern art collection, has not undergone any major renovation since it was completed in 1968. The foundation’s president Hermann Parzinger stated the Neue Nationalgalerie would be “in safe hands” with Chipperfield, whose firm is renowned for its consideration of architectural heritage in renovations such as the recent Neues Museum (also in Berlin). In addition to restoring the aging surfaces, which includes the building’s stone terrace, glass facade, and concrete and steel structure, Chipperfield will create new cafe and shop spaces. Renovation will begin in 2015 and complete in 2018.
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Facing Threats BMW Guggenheim Lab Swerves Away from Berlin

While the commercialization of museums raises eyebrows in some circles in America, in Germany such criticism is much more forceful and threatening. Activist groups have derailed the planned May 24th opening in Berlin of the BMW Guggenheim lab, according to Bloomberg News. They  argued that the mobile lab--which debuted in New York and is traveling the globe, all bankrolled by the German luxury carmaker--would accelerate the gentrification of the Kreuzberg district. The Guggenheim has faced criticism for its sponsors and activities many times before, so this episode is not likely to spur much institutional reflection. According to the report, the Museum is currently shopping for a new host city.
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Quick Clicks> Fun in the Sun, Sun-Filled Fast, Transit Trending, and LEGO Gate

Solar-Powered Fun. New York City’s first solar merry-go-round just opened at the South Street Seaport, offering free rides to kids through September 7th. GE's Carousolar is powered by 100 solar panels made of ultra thin semiconductors able to withstand extreme humidity and UV ray exposure. The green fun isn't just for kids—GE also provided solar-powered cell phone charging stations for adults around the carousel, reported Inhabitat. Sun-Filled Fasting. According to Dubai’s top cleric Mohammed al-Qubaisi, residents of the Burj Khalifa, world’s tallest skyscraper, will have to wait a few extra minutes to break their fast during Ramadan. Muslims living above the tower's 80th floor should fast two additional minutes after dusk while those above the 150th floor wait an additional three minutes, The Guardian reported. Al-Qubaisi explained that just like early Muslims living in the mountains, the residents of the highest floors must adjust their fast due to the extended visibility of sunlight. #ThingsNotToDoOnPublicTransportation. Public Transportation is trending on Twitter and the end result is a humorous user guide to transit etiquette. Transportation Nation rounded up some of their family-friendly favorites. LEGO Gate. While not yet officially announced, European blogs have been abuzz that the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin will be the next in LEGO's Architecture line of miniature real buildings. Unbeige revealed the series’ designer Adam Reed Tucker developed the Brandenburg model, representing the 2nd building outside of the US (the first was SOM’s Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai).
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Hejduk Saves Face?

We recently reported on the defacement of John Hejduk’s Kreuzberg Tower and Wings in Berlin, the architect’s poetic 1988 project built as part of the IBA program. After an international outpouring of angst over the developer’s “renovation” of the building—in just two weeks, more than 3,000 people signed an online petition, with testimonials penned by architects including Peter Eisenman, Steven Holl, Thom Mayne, and others—the building’s managers, BerlinHaus GmbH, have now said they will meet with the design community to take public opinion into consideration, and perhaps rethink their plans. Hejduk’s daughter Renata, who has helped lead the charge to save the structure, told AN in an email that Berlin officials will soon take the matter under official consideration:
The Berlin Senate has convened a special “baukollegium” to look into the specific matter of my father’s building and the general matter of guidelines and stewardship of the IBA ’87 buildings. I’m flying to Berlin on Friday to meet with the Senate members who are now on this special commission and, apparently, the architect for the developer, the developer, as well as myself (with a couple of the architects from Save Hejduk posse) will be presenting at this meeting.
Thus far, representatives from the Berlin Senate have personally expressed their support for the Hejduk building, and the broader international response has had a major impact. “The support of the international architectural community has been astounding for all involved, and has definitely been a major factor in shifting the discussion,” Robert Slinger, an architect and one of the preservation campaign’s advocates, told AN. Among those rallying to the tower’s cause was Michael Sorkin, who wrote an appreciation of the structure with characteristic verve. “The good news of the renovation of John Hejduk’s wonderful Berlin Tower is betrayed by the whimsical vandalism of its ‘restorers,’” he said. “What next? Perhaps the Blue Mosque would be more satisfying in pink.”
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Defacing Hejduk

The late John Hejduk, dean of Cooper Union, a member of the Texas Rangers, and an influential member of the New York Five, built very few buildings, preferring to leave architectural ideas on paper. But he did build several housing projects in Berlin as part of the influential IBA program, and now one of his finest projects, the Kreuzberg Tower from 1988, is being defaced by its new owners in the name of “improvement.” Kazys Varnelis sends word that a petition is being created to protest this destruction. The effort is being led in part by Hejduk’s daughter Renata, an architectural historian who urged the new owners to halt the work, but apparently received a rude response. According to architectureinberlin, Renata explained: “I tried everything I could to get them to stop and at least consult with the Estate and other architects who were interested in helping to preserve them. They were completely uninterested and felt their facade changes would be much better than the original.”  Help save the tower by spreading the word, signing the petition, and putting pressure on the new owners to reconsider their actions. You can see the terrible plans after the jump.
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The Banality of Fashion

First the cracks, and now this? Sure, Peter Eisenman's Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin has seen its fair share of controversies over the years, but it doesn't get much worse than a fashion shoot for an in-flight magazine. According to the New Statesman's scoop, easyJet had no idea the Holocaust memorial had been used as the backdrop for a bunch of models because its magazine is produced by an outside company. That company has yet to speak up about the matter, so it remains unclear whether the fine folks at INK publishing are ignorant or just stupid. Looks like Hannah Arendt is right once again. UPDATE: Ink Publishing, the company behind the offending shoot responds, and it's worse than we thought:
Ink Publishing sincerely apologises to anyone who may have been offended by the fashion shoot in the November issue of easyJet inflight, in which a model is photographed in front of Berlin's Holocaust Memorial. Far from trivializing the Memorial, on the contrary the intention was to encourage passengers to visit for themselves. The aim of each monthly shoot is to highlight an easyJet destination and tell a relevant narrative. The shoot was intended to not only promote local design talent and the city itself, but to raise awareness. From an educational perspective, it is of the utmost importance that visitors to Berlin see the Jewish Museum (who gave us written permission to shoot in their grounds) and Holocaust Memorial first hand. We absolutely regret any offence caused.
We're speechless yet again.
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Megastructures Reload

A derelict old German mint in Berlin has been taken over until November 2 by Megastructure Reloaded an exhibit of  1960's visionary architecture drawings, models, and films. Descending into the mint’s basement/bunker Archigrammer Dennis Crompton has created an installation that includes Yona Friedman’s la Ville Spatiale, a film of the Archigram guys walking around The Centre Pompidou with Cedric Price, and a toy-like model of a Constant Nieuwenhuijs skyscraper. The dilapidated ground floor has series of interpretations of the themes by young megatsructuralists like New Yorkers Tobias Putrih and Katrin Sigurdardottir. A weekend symposium with young architects and activist planners took place in an inflatable bubble by raumlabor_berlin who provided wonderful waffles with fresh figs and pomegranates.  Planners serving waffles in their own inflatable, transportable bubble. Something funny is happening in Berlin.