So you want to win the MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program? This year's champs Matthias Hollwich and Marc Kushner of HollwichKushner (HWKN) shared some insight about their strategy with AN. The competition started with an invited portfolio submission from about 20 young architects. After being selected by the MoMA PS1 panel as one of three finalists, HWKN started in with rigorous research into past winners and the selection process. "We made a book about every entry," Hollwich said. This study provided in-depth knowledge of the different approaches and forms which have won, and also those that have not been successful. The next step was a brainstorming session with their project team that produced 100 ideas. Those 100 were trimmed to 10, and then cut to three, but then Wendy, a striking scheme for a neon blue star, was added, making four. Once the final choice was made, a retroactive analysis helped to assure that they made the right choice and that the design had all the elements they were looking for. "It was not a linear process, but design never is," Kushner said. Wendy is a formal departure from recent winners. MOS' afterparty in 2009, Pole Dance by Solid Objectives - Idenburg Liu (SO - IL) from 2010, and Interboro's Holding Pattern from 2011 all worked as canopy-like structures spanning the courtyard, providing shade by creating spaces with overhead elements. Wendy is an object, and is more autonomous and isolated than previous entries. "I am interested in volume more than surface," Hollwich explained. The competing teams worked together in an unusual way. During the competition process, HWKN was in contact with the other teams regarding site information, which they felt helped create an even playing field between the competitors. As the only team from New York, HWKN assisted out of town firms with measurements and other on-site information. Upon being named winners, the other architects called to congratulate the HWKN team, said Hollwich. But then things got real. "High-speed architecture and prototyping have many hurdles. We are glad that we were already able to jump a couple of them," Hollwich explained. There was some unexpected drama when the question of ambulance access arose, requiring a column to be moved breaking the 3-D grid of scaffolding, but making for an interesting moment in Wendy's final form. A shout-out goes to the intern at HWKN who successfully convinced the leaders of the project to go with the name "Wendy." One late night in the studio, Hollwich received a long email detailing the reasons the name fit. He liked it, but figured Kushner would hate it. Kushner liked it, but thought Hollwich would hate it. "We think of Wendy as a kind of perfect storm, and every perfect storm is named for a woman." Personifying the building breaks with conventional architectural naming, and, the team hopes, invites visitors to fall in love. Construction begins May 15, and is set to be completed June 27th.
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The Italian website Tafter reports that the finalists are 6mu6 (Turin, Italy), Rural Boxx (Sacile, Italy), Urban Movement (New York, USA / Rome, Italy), and Yellow Office Yellow Office (Milan, Italy), and a team composed of John A. Salvator Liotta, Matteo Belfiore with Taichi Kuma and Yuta Ito (Naples, Italy / Tokyo, Japan). The winner will be announced early in 2012, with the installation opening at the MAXXI in June simultaneously with New York's YAP installation at MoMA PS 1. In bocca al lupo!
Walk much? Personal urban transportation devices has found a new friend in the Skatecycle. This hubless, self-propelled riding machine may require some serious agility, balance, and style to master but its sleek body and lightweight components has earned it the Core77 2011 Design Award in the transportation category. What's next, wheels in our shoes? Reiner & Lautner. Designer, manufacturer, and lover of modernist architecture, Kenneth Reiner, died recently in Long Beach, CA. Reiner will be forever remembered for his decade-long collaboration on Silvertop, one of John Lautner's modernist masterpiece homes in Los Angeles. Chicago Tribune tells the story. By bike or by mule. The arrival of the new pedicab transportation system in New Orleans has been met with fanfare and reluctance. Mule-drawn carriage drivers are concerned that this cheaper mode of transit will deter from the experience and authenticity of motor-less travel in the French Quarter. However, Forbes reported that they are not about to throw in the reigns. 3 days in LIC. 72 Hour Urban Action, a culturally aware, civic minded architectural design outfit is set to bring their festival to Long Island City in 2012. They have a year to prepare and coordinate for a 3 day building process. Inhabitat has more.
YAP to the Max. MoMA PS 1 and the MAXXI open exhibits of the now-transatlantic Young Architects Program, featuring the winners (whose concepts are now installed in New York and in Rome, above) and the finalists. Made of Glass. Designer Piero Lissoni utilized Glas Italia's prime material to expand the high-end manufacturing company's headquarters in Macherio, Italy. Azure reports that the new minimalist building is completely constructed out of glass, and looks best at night when the translucent structure becomes an illuminated box. Blight on the London Skyline. The phallic silhouette of the skyscraper, which won the 2004 Sterling prize, continues to generate controversy. The Telegraph records Ken Shuttleworth, a former associate at Norman Foster & Partners and the designer widely credited for 30 St Mary Axe, a.k.a. “the Gherkin,” expressing regret for his design of the tower. French Flat Iron. Architectures completes the Ministère de la Culture’s coveted Biscornet commission: a modern residential building amid Paris’ Haussmannian stock. Architecture Lab notes that the trapezoidal-structure perfectly fits the slightly set back site on the Place de la Bastille, facing both the Gare de Lyon and the Bassin de l’Arsenal. The facade’s pleated metal panels shift to reflect the light and the time-of-day, emanating a golden shadow on the historic location.
P.S. 1 and the Museum of Modern Art have just announced that Brooklyn-based urban design and planning firm Interboro Partners are the winners of the 2011 Young Architects Program. Now celebrating its 12th year, the honor means designing what by now is widely recognized as the liveliest party space of the summer, the outdoor plaza of P.S. 1 in Queens. “Simple materials that transform a space to create a kind of public living room and rec room are trademarks of this young Brooklyn firm,” said Barry Bergdoll, MoMa’s Philip Johnson chief curator. “Interboro is interested in creating elegant and unpretentious spaces with common materials. Their work has both a modesty and a commitment quite at odds with the luxury and complex computer-generated form that has prevailed in the city in recent years.” The firm has also been selected this year as one of the eight firms participating in the Emerging Voices series at the Architectural League. Much of their work focuses on urban challenges, from completing a neighborhood development plan for Newark, the first in decades, to a temporary park at Canal and Varick streets, Lent Space, with mobile trees, seating and walls. Meanwhile, in Rome, a companion program called YAP_MAXXI in an outdoor space at the entrance of the new Zaha Hadid-designed museum, was also launched. Roman architects, stARTT, have been selected as the first-up in a partnership between MoMA P.S. 1 and the overseas institution, a model of a collaboration that could easily expand to other countries in no time. StARTT’s entry “Whatami” appears to be a series of discrete and turf-covered hillocks with Hadid-like curves constructed of various recyclable materials including straw, geo-textiles, and plastic. Recycling, in fact, was a key theme this year as Interboro also canvassed local libraries, greenmarkets, senior and daycare centers to see who might be able to use the rope and other materials when summer is over.
The prestigious Young Architects Program put on by the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA P.S.1 in New York has announced that it's teaming up with Rome's National Museum of 21st Century Arts, or MAXXI, to host a second outdoor installation at the new Zaha Hadid museum. MoMA’s chief curator of architecture and design, Barry Bergdoll who was on his way out of town for a vacation in Ethiopia before he takes up his post at Cambridge University to deliver the prestigious Slade Lectures, gave AN a call from Paragon Sporting Goods to describe the new initiative: “It’s something I have wanted to do for a while. When I went to MAXXI for their opening last year, we talked about what we could do together. You have a courtyard, I said, and while it’s not surrounded by a wall it is a big open space and they are doing programming much like what’s happening at PS1. They immediately said they wanted to do it. To use our name in the collaboration, they will be following all our guidelines and procedures. I see this as the first of several for Young Architects Programs that MoMA could get involved with globally. I want it to be localized; we are not exporting architects but trying to help grow young local talent. The five finalists in New York and in Italy will all be exhibited in both places, with just one or two judges from one group joining the other. Apart from that, the curating will remain within the home institutions. And they’ll open simultaneously.” A New York jury already announced the finalists for the MoMA P.S.1 exhibition in Queens, New York. The short list includes firms from Brooklyn, Boston, and London. A separate jury in Rome has chosen the finalists for the MAXXI installation from across Europe. Both juries consisted of MoMA, MoMA P.S.1, and MAXXI officials, but in an effort to lend a local flavor to the exhibitions, each was responsible for their own geographic area. Finalists for the Young Architects Program at the MAXXI:
- Raffaella De Simone e Valentina Mandalari – Palermo, Italy
- Ghigos Ideas – Lissone, Italy
- Asif Khan – London
- Langarita Navarro Arquitectos – Madrid
- stARTT – Rome
Over the weekend, we happened to be biking by the (newly renamed) MoMA PS1 in Long Island City when we noticed something unusual, familiar, even. It was SO-IL's Pole Dance, this year's Young Architects pavilion, taking shape. The museum was closing, so we only snapped one furtive, washed-out photo (let's call it arty) on our cellphone before security made us leave. Fortunately, Frederick Fisher cut some slats in the imposing concrete wall he created as part of the museum's 1997 redesign, so we managed to capture a little bit more of the installation, emphasis on little. Still, it looks like it'll be fun, and we can't help but notice how close it is to the renderings, as you can see after the jump.