At Cosentino’s launch of Dekton, AN had an opportunity to sit down with Daniel Libeskind. The world-renowned architect designed an outdoor sculpture, Off the Wall, made from the new material that weathers like stone but has manufactured advantages of specialized color, texture, and form, thanks to Cosentino’s particle sintering technology (PST) that simulates metamorphic rock formation at a highly accelerated rate. It originally debuted this spring at Salone del Mobile in Milan. AN: You studied music in Israel. Do you find any of your classical music training to inform your design and architecture work? Daniel Libeskind: Totally. Even though I was a virtuoso performer I continue to use that sense of my relationship to music very deeply in my work. Architecture and music are closely related in many ways. They’re both very precise: In music, even a vibration cannot be off by a single half note. And it’s the same with architecture; the geometry, the spatial character of a building must be accurate. And in the end, they’re very similar in the sense that despite their scientific basis and precision, they have to register emotionally. In other words, we don’t think about the music, or an atmosphere that affects us spiritually. From the way a score is written and has to be performed by an orchestra, an architect doesn’t build his building. Sometimes he is not apparently there; the architect is more like a conductor of a concerto. It’s full of closeness for me. To continue the musical analogy, would you say the style of your work is more traditional and evenly phrased like Mozart, or neoclassically experimental like Stravinsky? Music to me is not really in categories of classical or rap or rock or medieval or Gregorian. Really, it’s a universal language of rhythm, sound, and tempo. I would say each of my projects has its own musical quality. Acoustics themselves are so important in my work. In the Jewish Museum in Berlin, I designed an entire void for the acoustics. And let’s not also forget that our sense of balance isn’t in our eye but in our inner ear. All of these things converge on my set of interests. What are your impressions of the acoustic and/or technical qualities of Dekton? I think Dekton is a great material. First, it’s not just reusing old materials. It brings qualities of porcelain, glass, and quartz together through a new technique of creating the material. Which I think has a lot of incredible characteristics, both acoustical, visual, and also tactile. The sculpture you designed in Dekton for Cosentino has a spiral quality with intersecting corners that suggest an indoor/outdoor application. It’s a spiral, that organically grows but also uses the tectonic means of planes to ascend through movement toward light. Each face has a different quality of light and movement because of where it’s placed, so it is a sculpture but its also an architectural microcosm that suggests an ability to create spaces that are really fluid and very tectonic. Any ideal applications for Dekton, not just for your practice but for architects in general? I think in large-scale walls—because, you know, architecture contains walls—to create a beautiful sense of light and resilience with the material. It has great technical qualities—rigidity and imperviousness to water—and also aesthetically in terms of color, texture, and materiality. And for exteriors, because I’m working on buildings in mega scales, I think it’s a very good material because if you think of other cladding materials, you can’t really compete with this technical ability. The interior/exterior possibilities are also exceptional. Most of my buildings have a sculptural form. They’re never just a box; they’re spatial forms that most often have never been seen before. In that sense, the question of inside/outside is very important because in my work there’s no division like a cube where its very clear. Those buildings, like that spiral I’ve created for Cosentino, are both inside and outside simultaneously. It can be used in floors that merge into walls that merge into soffits and Dekton can achieve that seamlessly in large scales. Do you foresee Dekton playing a role in any of your future projects? Oh definitely. We’re working on a number of large-scale building projects around the world and I’m determined to use it because I love the material. For example we have a very large project in Sao Paolo that hasn’t been made public yet. We also have some creative opportunities in China and Singapore. Back to music, do you have a favorite band or album you’re currently listening to? I’m from the era of CDs—not records!—but not yet MP3s. On my table lays music that spans millennia: ancient Greece, the latest rap recordings, Helmut Lachenmann, one of the great composers from Germany. Music is always fantastic. A model of Libeskind's Off the Wall is on view at the Center for Architecture in New York, as part of the Surface Innovation exhibition that runs through the end of October.
Posts tagged with "Center for Architecture":
A new exhibition helps a New York-based firm explore indoor and outdoor applications of a new building material.Cosentino is celebrating Architecture Month with Surface Innovation, a multi-media exhibition at the Center for Architecture in New York that presents innovative applications of its new Dekton material. A combination of raw, inorganic materials found in glass, porcelain, and natural quartz, the new indoor/outdoor surfacing material is made with particle sintering technology (PST) that recreates the natural process of stone formation. The company invited six local architecture firms to design unique projects featuring the material, including SOFTlab, a design/build firm known for its mix of research, craft, and technology in large-scale installations and building projects. For SOFTlab, working with a product that could be used for both interiors and exterior applications was an opportunity to reconcile the growing inverse relationship between the skin and volume of large buildings. “We came up with the idea of building something a little more dense than a single story or residentially scaled building, where Dekton may be used,” said Michael Svivos, founder and director of SOFTlab. “We went to a larger scale building, that blurs the inside and outside.” Starting with the idea of a vertical atrium, which often includes biophilic elements like water features and indoor gardens, the SOFTlab design team envisioned an ATRIUn, a uniquely shaped building feature that uses the durability of Dekton’s stone-like properties to bring the outdoors in. ATRIUn is sponge shaped, and breaches the structure’s exterior at various points. “It forms an interior plaza in a building, not as something that’s flat, but spans the height, width, and depth of the building,” Szivos said. The form was generated in Maya. After inserting the apertures along the quadrilinear volume, the physics simulation plug-in generated the smooth, sinuous surface across various levels. For its larger projects, Szivos says the firm typically solves engineering challenges with Arup through an advanced finite software analysis software program. Those optimized, large designs are then sent to Tietz-Baccon, their long-time local fabricator. However for smaller projects where SOFTlab fabricates its own models and project components, the physics tool provides a close approximation of Arup’s services. To generate a model of ATRIUn’s design for the exhibition, the designers translated the Maya drawing into Rhino with Grasshopper to feed to their in-house laser cutter. Since the design was modeled in paper, four sided shapes were fabricated. If the design was realized in Dekton, triangular shapes would be necessary to achieve the complex curvature of the ATRIUn skin. The set volume was 24 by 24 by 36 inches, scalable for a building between 10 and 12 stories. ATRIUn and Surface Innovation is on view at the Center for Architecture in New York through October 31.
Taking the podium at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, New York City Representative Nydia M. Velázquez introduced new legislation, called the "Waterfront of Tomorrow Act," to protect and fortify New York City's 538-miles of coastline. The bill would instruct the Army Corps of Engineers to come up with an in-depth plan to stimulate economic growth and job creation, update the ports, and implement flood protection measures. Sandwiched between Red Hook Container Terminal and One Brooklyn Bridge Park, a large residential development, the pier was an appropriate place for the Congresswoman to announce legislation that addresses the city's needs to bolster its shipping industry while also taking steps to mitigate flooding and ensure the resiliency and sustainability of its residential neighborhoods, parkland, and businesses. "I think the part [of the bill] that was the most exciting was about protecting New York City from future floods, and most importantly talked about hard and soft solutions. Different parts of NYC will need different solutions," said Rick Bell, Executive Director for AIA New York Chapter Center for Architecture. "This whole announcement talked about multifaceted approach." The bill is divided into four sections that propose flood protection and resiliency measures, a national freight policy, and "Green Port" designations and a grant program to promote the environmental sustainability of the shipping ports. The Army Corps of Engineers, in collaboration with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, will be charged with coming up with a strategy to protect the waterfront from severe weather patterns and rising tides, including tide gates, oyster reef restoration, and wetland restoration. "Whether it is commerce, recreation, transportation, or our local environment, New Yorkers' lives are inextricably linked to the water that surrounds us," Velázquez said at the announcement. "Investing in our ports, coasts and waterfronts can improve our City and local communities." The timing of this bill is up in the air, but it will likely enter the conversation in September when Congress returns from the August District Work Period to discuss new legislation aimed at enhancing the nation's waterways.
Colombia: Transformed/Architecture=Politics Center for Architecture 536 Laguardia Place New York, NY Through October 26 Colombia: Transformed/Architecture=Politics, on view at the Center for Architecture through October 26, examines 11 recently built, socially-mindful developments designed by six leaders in contemporary Colombian architecture: Daniel Bonilla and Giancarlo Mazzanti from Bogotá, and Felipe Mesa, Juan Manuel Pelaez, Felipe Uribe and Orlando Garcia from Medellín. The projects in the show embody the change occurring in Latin America today and reveal themes of social inclusion in addition to inventive architectural forms and spaces. They include daycare centers, schools, a sport complex, and library, among others. Through photographs, slides, drawings, models, and film footage, the works commemorate how the public uses these projects and how lifestyles have been improved and uplifted as a result. The exhibition was curated by Vladimir Belogolovsky, founder of the New York City–based Intercontinental Curatorial Project, and Fernando Villa, associate principal of Magnusson Architecture & Planning.
The English architectural editor, author, and founder of the London Festival of Architecture, Peter Murray, is also a devoted urban bicycle activist. Murray always arrives at events in London with a bicycle helmut under his arm because it's the only way he moves around the city. He believe's that "cyclised cities are civilised cities" and has organized group rides around Britain and Europe to publicize the need for cities to become more bicycle friendly. To demonstrate that commitment and to promote cycling, Murray and a group of peers are taking a 4,347 mile ride. But starting on April 27th, Murray will lead a group of 15 architects, designers, and urbanists (including for a time Richard Rogers; Norman Foster—as his diary permits—and, in New York, Bill Pedersen) on a bicycle trip from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine and then to Portland Place in London—home to RIBA. They plan to link up with the architectural community en route and learn from what American cities are doing—or not doing—to accommodate cyclists. They will present their findings at the Center for Architecture in New York on July 1 and on August 2 at the London Cycling Summit. The group is encouraging people to join them for parts or their ride and their website lists where they will be on a daily basis. The Architect's Newspaper will be a media sponsor for the trip and we'll be posting regular dispatches from the group as they pedal across the country from West to East and newspaper staff will join them from Princeton, New Jersey to New York City.
Today when designing a building, an architect is responsible for more than just the "making a building." He or she must consider the kind of transformative effect a building will have on a neighborhood while simultaneously addressing various organizational, spatial, and technical issues as well. Additionally, when opening up a new practice there is a milieu of constantly changing technological, geographic, political, and economic factors that an entrepreneur must bring into careful consideration. Join tonight’s panel of architects, creative directors, and business professionals in a discussion on the impending challenges architects face in designing buildings and in opening new forms of practice. The RE: Think / Profit – Architecture in the Age of the Entrpreneur will take place at the Center for Architecture at 6:00 p.m.
Join AN this Friday, January 11 at the Center for Architecture for the next Cocktails & Conversations discussion between AN's Editor-in-Chief William Menking and Snøhetta principal Craig Dykers. The program pairs a leading architect with a critic, journalist, or curator for an evening of conversation. Bartender Toby Cecchini will be preparing special cocktails inspired by the unique architecture of Snøhetta. We're guessing it might be called the Fjord with a shot of Blue Curacao and big, craggy mountains of ice.
Edgeless School: Design for Learning Center for Architecture 536 LaGuardia Place Through January 19, 2013 Edgeless School investigates how technology is changing education and how architecture itself is changing as a result. The exhibition takes a look at 19 newly completed schools throughout the country (eight are in New York City and the majority of the rest are in the Pacific Northwest) and sorts them by their degree of “edgelessness.” The Ethical Culture Fieldston Middle School in the Bronx, for example, softens the distinction between the built environment and nature by embracing outdoor space and using a connection with nature as an educational tool. The L.B. Landry High School in New Orleans, LA, on the other hand, blurs conventional distinctions between constituencies by encouraging students, educators, parents, and architects to work together to create a building that is designed to further the school’s pedagogical goals.
Barriers or freshwater wetlands? New building codes? What about porous pavements or floating city blocks? These were just a few of the ideas batted around at AIANY’s discussion and fundraiser, “Designing the City after Superstorm Sandy,” at the Center for Architecture last Thursday evening. The panel, moderated by Michael Kimmelman, architecture critic for The New York Times, consisted of the city’s leading designers, architects, scientists, and government officials. While each panelist came to the conversation with a different approach and set of strategies, all agreed that change is necessary and new solutions urgent. “There’s a certain consensus about taking steps in the long-run,” said Kimmelman. The participants on the panel included Cynthia Barton, Housing Recovery Plan Manager at the NYC Office of Emergency Management; Howard Slatkin, Director of Sustainability and Deputy Director of Strategic Planning for the city; Dr. Klaus Jacob, a geophysicist and Special Research Scientist at Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory; Stephen Cassell, principal architect at ARO; Donna Walcavage, landscape architect and urban designer; and Robert M. Rogers, partner of Rogers Marvel Architects. The design solutions are part of a larger and more complex issue that call for us to “re-frame the ways we engage with the water,” said Cassell whose ideas helped to spearhead the Rising Currents exhibit at MoMA in 2010. And as Kimmelman pointed out in his introduction, will force us to decide, “what parts of the city are necessary to change, salvage and develop and what parts we cannot.” Cassell and Walcavage advocate for what they term “soft solutions” such as freshwater wetlands and upland parks that won’t disrupt the balance of the ecosystem as oppose to the much talked about barriers. Dr. Jacob referred to himself as a “barrier skeptic.” He hasn’t completely ruled them out, but believes that other preventive measures should be considered, including regulations and large-scale regional planning with New Jersey, Connecticut, and New York. The solutions were at once specific and lofty, and Kimmelman challenged the panelists during the Q&A session when he asked: “Who will legislate and have authority? Why will something change now?” Many of the participants argued that Hurricane Sandy is a turning point, and there’s simply too much at stake. Rogers pointed out that New York City is a “grid of real estate” and the significant investment in waterfront property will prompt developers and the city to be pro-active whether that means implementing new codes and regulations or altering the landscape by creating saltwater marshes to act as buffers against rising sea levels and storms. A few panelists suggested that an improved version of Robert Moses would lead the way or joked that perhaps a benevolent god would appear. Even though Kimmelman remained ambivalent and questioned why strong and cohesive leadership would emerge now to help facilitate change, it looks like the city is already taking action. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has asked the Urban Green Council to launch a Building Resiliency Task Force, which will consist of leading professionals in New York City real estate. In an announcement last week, Urban Green said that the Task Force’s main objective is “to take an in-depth look at how to better prepare our buildings for future storms and infrastructure failures.” A list of recommendations will be released in summer of 2013.
We let you know about the exhibition, and now this year’s AIANY New Practices New York lecture series is kicking into gear following formlessfinder’s presentation late last month and a winner’s roundtable Monday night. The discussion was moderated by Dan Wood and Troy Therrien and included New Practices honorees Christian Wassmann, Amanda Schachter of SLO Architecture, Emily Abruzzo of ABRUZZO BODZIAK ARCHITECTS, Julian Rose of formlessfinder, and David Benjamin of The Living. The lecture series, featuring a presentation and discussion of each firm’s work, is held at the Axor/Hansgrohe showroom in the Meatpacking District and will continue through January. First up was formlessfinder, the team of Garrett Ricciardi and Julian Rose. Ricciardi earned his BFA from Cooper Union and Rose received a BA from Harvard in Art and Architectural History before both receiving Masters of Architecture from Princeton. The team has a critical approach to architecture that reflects their academic backgrounds, exploring the fundamental relationships between form and material. The name, since you’re wondering, derives from the philosopher Georges Bataille’s notion of the formless and his critique of the limiting and imposing nature of form. Formlessness describes a conception of architecture that is not limited by the historical and symbolic weight of materials; put simply, says Ricciardi, “architecture shouldn’t have to look like architecture.” The team investigates the physical limitations and possibilities of raw matter as architectural tool, using feedback from material tests to explore and inform structure. formlessfinder exploits building material with an understanding of sustainability that approaches building as inherently environmental. Rose explains, “sustainability leaves no surface safe,” and the symbolic appeal of a “green” material like bamboo is outweighed by the environmental cost of shipping it across the globe. Their short-listed PS1 pavilion proposed arches made from an inexpensive erosion-control geotextile that are filled with gravel at the bases and foam cubes curving above, an intentionally inefficient use of material, but can be almost entirely sourced close to the site. Monday’s roundtable discussion, held at the Center for Architecture, involved a short introduction from each of the firms followed by group discussion about the firms’ multidisciplinary outlooks, manipulation of technology, and metrics of success. Many of the works presented were speculative investigations of material and form, such as formlessfinder’s aforementioned material tests and ABRUZZO BODZIAK’s Peaks & Valleys shading system. Of the built works presented, most were small-scale and more research-oriented than purely architectural, such as The Living’s Living Light canopy in Seoul that displays real-time information about the city’s air quality. SLO researched environmental and social impacts of development along the Bronx River, creating a model of the watershed from reclaimed material that includes historical ecology and infrastructure, then ferrying it up the river with kayaks. While the lack of larger-scale commissioned work is an effect of the commercial climate, all firms have high ambitions; in defining success, Christian Wassman said, "I don't want to be a big architect, I want to be an influential one." AIANY will continue New Practices New York programs with several guided exhibition tours in July and August, while the lecture series will return September 27 with SLO Architecture and run through January. Below is the complete lecture schedule. We’ll see you there! Presentation and Conversation with SLO Architecture Thursday September 27th, 2012, 6-8 PM, Axor NYC Presentation and Conversation with HOLLER architecture Tuesday October 16th, 2012, 6-8 PM, Axor NYC Presentation and Conversation with ABRUZZO BODZIAK ARCHITECTS Thursday November 15th, 2012, 6-8 PM, Axor NYC Presentation and Conversation with Christian Wassmann Thursday December 13th, 2012, 6-8 PM, Axor NYC Presentation and Conversation with The Living January TBA, 2013, 6-8 PM, Axor NYC
On June 14, 2012, the AIA New York will showcase six of the seven winning firms from the 4th biennial New Practices New York 2012 competition, promoting new and promising firms in New York, at a party at the Center for Architecture. This year, the winning firms contended with over fifty entries to earn the designation. The New Practices New York contest was limited to firms founded after 2006 and located within New York City’s five boroughs, but despite the restrictions, the competition was open to multidisciplinary firms, widening the variety of the work being submitted. To the design enthusiast’s delight, the exhibition will showcase work varying from architectural models to projections and installations. Along with the exhibition, a symposium will be arranged to further enlighten its visitors. An opening party for the exhibition will take place Thursday, June 14th from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Center for Architecture. A panel discussion will follow shortly after on July 16th at 6:00 p.m. with presentations from the winning firms: ABRUZZO BODZIAK ARCHITECTS, HOLLER architecture, The Living, SLO Architecture, formlessfinder and Christian Wassmann. All free and open to the public, the exhibition and scheduled symposiums will last till September 8th, 2012.
Newly Drawn: Emerging Finnish Architects The Center for Architecture 536 LaGuardia Place Through April 30 A shift is occurring in Finnish architecture as a new generation of firms is emboldened by a unique competition culture that allows anonymous submissions from young and established architects alike. Helsinki is undergoing a major process of renewal with the transformation of former industrial and harbor areas to new uses; as such, large-scale commissions are available to otherwise inexperienced practices with new approaches to the city, such as Kilden Performing Arts Center by ALA Architects (above) and Kuokkala Church by Lassila Hirvilammi (below). As the 2012 World Design Capital, the city of Helsinki will stage events and initiatives that seek to examine the ways design can improve our lives. The AIA New York presents a collection of work by young Finnish designers in collaboration with the Architectural League of New York, the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York, the Consulate General of Finland in New York, and the Museum of Finnish Architecture.