Posts tagged with "Deconstructivism":

Placeholder Alt Text

Griffin Enright Architects’ Birch Residence tracks the sun with a jagged skylight

While curmudgeonly critics lament the return of pomo styling in architecture schools, it can be easy to forget that in Los Angeles, few architectural modes ever go fully out of style. A case in point is the Birch Residence, designed by Griffin Enright Architects (GEA), which was not specifically conceived as a deconstructivist work, but bears the movement’s expansive and explosive feel. From the street, the home’s erupting components—smooth white stucco boxes, projecting and frameless windows, and a central light well—stand out amid the surrounding suburban tract houses. Though situated on a mostly flat site, the main level, containing entertainment-focused kitchen and living areas, is elevated several steps above grade due to an underground garage. As a result, the home spreads from setback to setback, allowing for inventive uses of the tight urban lot. The home’s boxy volumes push and pull against a jagged two-story skylight that runs through the center of the building and divides its constituent parts with glass, steel, and freeform refractive panels. The slinking, canted skylight is topped with an angular shade designed to track the sun from east to west on its daily journey. A clear glass bridge bisects the light well, providing access between the two bedroom wings on the second floor. Below, splayed living spaces and a sculptural stair further accentuate the light well’s vertical orientation. According to Margaret Griffin, principal at GEA, the skylight “brings a seasonal component to the house” while also creating a promontory from which to catch views of the nearby Hollywood sign. The skylight, a tour de force of structural engineering, construction detailing, and exacting handiwork, folds down over the back facade of the house, where a single sheet of canted glass meets a polished travertine floor that spills out onto a backyard patio and reflecting pool. “We try to bring particular innovations that transform the way people live,” said Griffin, explaining the dark-colored paneling that wraps the living room ceiling as well as the main kitchen areas. “We realized that a dark ceiling makes space feel bigger than it really is, so one plane is darker to give a greater depth of space as well as a more expansive feeling to the home.”
Placeholder Alt Text

A new Manhattan exhibition creates a dialogue between two generations of architects

Architectural rendering and design today is filtered through digital platforms that define contemporary production. It is rare to see an architecture that breaks out of this design template, whether the architect asserts environmental, stylistic, or urban design as the impulse behind the form. But Re-Constructivist Architecture: A Call From Rome, a carefully crafted exhibition at Ierimonti Gallery in Midtown, purposefully tries to avoid this new international style. Curated by Jacopo Costanzo and Giovanni Cozzani with Giulia Leone, the exhibit presents the work of thirteen, mostly Italian, architects born in the 1980s and sets them the task of generating “a debate between two generation of architects”; principally those presented in the 1988 MoMA show Deconstructive Architecture and of that show's generation. The Deconstructivists, the curators argue, "destabilized a certain kind of relationship with the design theory" and the architects in this exhibit want to rediscover a thoughtful dimension behind the architectural subject. This new work is more about place, specific local issues, and conditions, and operates from an Italian perspective, much as the manifesto of postmodernism did in 1980. The Architect’s Newspaper is sponsoring a special preview of the exhibition next Tuesday, February 7 from 6:00 to 8:30 at the gallery. It will feature short comments from Kenneth Frampton, Morris Adjmi, Umberto Napolitano from LAN and Enrique Walker. Ierimonti Gallery is located at 24 West 57 Street, suite 501.
Placeholder Alt Text

Eavesdrop> Gehry Over Greek

If elected, can we expect a deconstructivist foreign policy from Hillary Clinton? Apparently so!

In Benjamin Bratton’s newly released book The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty, he recalls when Clinton, in a recent address to the UN Security Council, evoked Frank Gehry’s work as analogous to contemporary, decentralized global politics, stating: “We need a new architecture for this world, more Frank Gehry than formal Greek... Where once a few strong columns could hold up the weight of the world, today we need a strong mix of materials and structures.”

Getting way ahead of the criticism a pluralistic Clinton foreign policy might evoke, she went on the clarify some of the fundamental aspects of the architect’s oeuvre, explaining, “Some of his work might appear haphazard, but in fact it’s highly intentional and sophisticated.”

Send haphazard political positions and angry tweets to eavesdrop@archpaper.com

Placeholder Alt Text

Gunter Behnisch, 1922-2010

Word spread yesterday that Dresden-born, Deconstructivist-inspiring architect Günter Behnisch had died. His son's firm, which had taken on much of his work, sent around the following announcement today. There will be a memorial service tomorrow in Stuttgart, Behnisch's long-time home.
Professor Günter Behnisch passed away in the early morning hours of July 12th at the age of 88. A good three years ago he retreated from professional life. Since then he has lived, weakened by several strokes, in his home in Stuttgart-Sillenbuch, where his family cared for him. His practice in Stuttgart-Sillenbuch, which he founded in 1952 (from 1966 onwards called Behnisch & Partner with partners Fritz Auer, Winfried Büxel, Erhard Tränkner and Carlo Weber; later with Winfried Büxel, Manfred Sabatke and Erhard Tränkner) existed until 2008. In the last years of the practice he worked with Manfred Sabatke in the Sillenbuch office. Günter Behnisch stood for the architectural expression of Germany’s transformation into a democratic, freer, and more social society. As an architect active in the years of Germany’s reconstruction he shaped the appearance of schools and universities. Architectural critics described his buildings and facilities for the 20th Olympic Games in Munich, as well as his buildings for the German Parliament in Bonn, as symbols of the “open democracy” of the “Bonner Republik,” and these buildings found widespread international recognition. As an educator Günter Behnisch had a decisive influence on several generations of architects. Through their work and their daily practices his teachings will no doubt, in the years ahead, continue to manifest themselves in a decidedly freer approach to architecture. Through a permanent questioning of the architectural uniformity of the, as he once put it, “self-opinionated” Berlin Republic and its particular definition of architecture, he eventually realized, after a time and energy-consuming planning process, his last project, the Academy of the Arts in Berlin, in 2005. Acknowledging that he would be unable to complete his last successful competition winning entries, Günter Behnisch entrusted his son Stefan with a number of projects—the “Haus im Haus” for Hamburg’s Chamber of Commerce and the Ozeaneum in Stralsund. […Stefan has his own firm, Behnisch Architekten, which had been working in concert with Behnisch & Partner for a number of years. …] During the years of collaboration projects such as the St. Benno Gymnasium in Dresden, the “Museum der Phantasie” for the Buchheim collection in Bernried, the State Insurance Agency Schleswig-Holstein in Lübeck, the service center for the Landesbank Baden-Württemberg in Stuttgart and the office and exhibition building for VS in Tauberbischofsheim were realised. Today many of the staff employed by Behnisch Architekten were previously either students of Günter Behnisch in Darmstadt, where he was a professor, or they worked with him as interns in his office in Stuttgart-Sillenbuch. Günter Behnisch’s approach to architecture, in particular with respect to his ‘idea of man,’ continue to influence our daily activities.