On Track. The mayor of Chicago holds sway in a big way. That's why we're keeping an eye on the ballot, and, as of today, Rahm Emanuel is back in business, reports The Chicago Tribune. Emanuel has stated that one of his first priorities is to expand Chicago Transportation Authority's Red Line. Street price. Speaking of getting around town, a new coalition called the Sustainable Transportation Campaign is reviving the idea of congestion pricing for New York City, reports Andrea Bernstein at Transportation Nation. Change of Hearth. Curling up by a roaring fire sounds idyllic on a snowy day, but do the realities of a fireplace outweigh the romance? We're still debating the subject following this piece in The New York Times. Bookmark it. MoMA's Design Store book sale is in full swing, says Curbed NY. Architecture and design classics and new releases over 50% off! Visit the stores in New York or online.
Posts tagged with "The Museum of Modern Art MoMA":
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
Jean Nouvel feels like his MoMA Tower has been put under the guillotine. The starchitect behind the lopped-off Midtown Manhattan proposal told CBS News this weekend that "It's very French to cut the head, eh?" His 75-story tower would have rivaled the Empire State Building for supremacy over the New York skyline, standing 1,250 feet tall, but met significant opposition from neighbors worried the tower would drown their street in shadow. City Planning Commission officials voted earlier this year to allow a shortened version of the tower - chopping off 200 feet of the Pritzker Prize winner's design. Nouvel's vision has been sent back to the drawing boards, but he says it's "not in his character" to feel discouraged. Be sure to check out AN's cameo appearance at the end of the interview.
Well, this is embarrassing: the MoMA and the Yale Center for British Art have nearly simultaneously come out with exhibitions on the same subject. In museum-world, isn't that like two girls showing up to a party in the same dress? Nevertheless, it’s an interesting enough topic that the repetition hardly matters. The Yale Center's "Art For All: British Posters For Transport," on view through August 15, and the MoMA's "Underground Gallery: London Transport Posters 1920s-1940s," on view through February 28, 2011, both offer a fascinating look at London’s innovative campaign to bring art into the Underground and create a strong civic identity. The two exhibits' slightly different focuses also help reduce the redundancy. The larger Yale exhibit features over 100 posters, really giving a sense of the diversity of artistic schools represented in the Underground campaign, ranging from Cubism, to post-impressionism, to Japanese woodblock prints. The MoMA show is a smaller installation, with only 20 posters, but the curators have chosen carefully to capture the zeitgeist of the city of London during those years -- its culture, its entertainment, and its fears of war.
Admittedly, we've been pretty darn obsessed with this year's P.S.1 Young Architects Program, Pole Dance. But after last week's party, the enthusiasm appears to have been justified. Not because this is the first one ever with its own interactive component, where you can log-on to the Pole Dance site and manipulate its sound (also a first) with your phone, or watch visualizations, or upload your own pictures. Not because of all the beautiful and architecturally famous people who came out, as our photos clearly document. No, this may just be the best damned pavilion in the program's decade-long history because it's the most damn fun. Your proof is after the jump.
AN has a first look at MoMA’s upcoming architecture exhibition, Small Scale, Big Change: New Architectures for Social Engagement, which will include eleven projects from four continents. The show examines how architects working on small budgets can “bring a positive impact to social conditions,” according to curator Andres Lepik. All the included projects are exemplary for their level of community engagement, which often includes developing the skills of local people. For Lepik, this level of community engagement sets these projects apart from what he calls “charity architecture” or “parachute architecture.” While the American architects are fairly familiar, among them Michael Maltzan, the Rural Studio, and the Estudio Teddy Cruz, many of the international examples will be new to the MoMA audience. Lepik was also quick to stress that the projects are also beautifully designed, keeping it in line with the Modern's history. "Many of these architects are tired of architectural utopias. They're not interested in politics particularly, rather they are interested in addressing specific problems," he said. "Even with a very low budget, you can achieve a very high aesthetic standard." Small Scale, Big Change opens on October 3, 2010.
UPDATE: Get the full story, including renderings, on our main page. Well into its second decade, P.S.1 and MoMA's Young Architect's Program looked just south of its Queens home for this year's winner, selecting Brooklyn's SO-IL Solid Objectives Idenburg Liu to design the now famous summertime pavilion in the P.S. 1 courtyard. They beat out two fellow Brooklynites, Freecell and Easton + Coombes, Cambridge's William O'Brien, Jr., and a dark horse Danish contender BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group. Renderings will be released at a MoMA event tomorrow, but a press release describes their entry thusly:
Conceived as a participatory environment that reframes the conceptual relationship between humankind and structure, Pole Dance is an interconnected system of poles and bungees whose equilibrium is open to human action and environmental factors. Throughout the courtyard, groups of 25-foot-tall poles on 12 x 12-foot grids connected by bungee cords whose elasticity will cause the poles to gently sway, creating a steady ripple throughout the courtyard space.While still young, SO-IL is no stranger to success. The firm recently completed a new atelier for Derek Lam above his SANAA-designed showroom on Crosby Street in Soho, and plans are in the works for a trippy green roof not far from P.S. 1 in Sunnyside, Queens. Idenberg's best known work is with another museum, however, as he was the project manager on the New Museum.
Just when we thought the season of giving was behind us, Bernard Tschumi has brought out one last gift for MoMA. The architect announced yesterday that he would donate 43 of his father’s architectural drawings to the museum, making it the only non-European institution with a collection of Jean Tschumi originals. According to the NYT, the donated pieces range from drawings done during the Swiss-born architect's time as a student in 1920s Paris to those of his work on the Nestlé headquarters in Vevey, Switzerland, the project that would be his last, and many would say his best, work. Most of Jean Tschumi's drawings are housed in the Archives of Modern Construction at Lausanne Polytechnique, which he helped found, and in the Basel headquarters of pharmaceutical company Novartis, for which he designed several buildings in Switzerland and France. MoMA's collection already contains pieces by Tschumi the younger that include The Manhattan Transcripts Project and his winning entry for the Parc de la Villette competition. Last year's publication of Jacques Gubler's Jean Tschumi: Architecture at Full Scale went a long way toward highlighting the architect's career as part of the Deconstructivist movement, albeit one that was cut short with his untimely death in 1962 at the age of 57. Though ultimately he followed in his father's footsteps, Bernard Tschumi has said he had little interest in architecture while his father was alive and regrets never discussing the subject with him—a comment that underscores the challenge of understanding the man whose name we recognize largely because of his son's work. In a review of Gubler's book for AN (#18, 11.04.2009), critic Thomas de Monchaux wrote, "One of the detective mysteries of the book is what might have been." Now the mystery promises to deepen as, like the projects discussed in the monograph, MoMA's new acquisition grants insight into the elder Tschumi's world, and into what can be learned from it today.
PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARDS Who among us hasn’t been following the pruning at our beloved Condé Nast? “Cold,” we gasped as the swag was packed up and shipped to the catacombs under 4 Times Square. “Just plain mean!” we stammered when Gourmet was euthanized. Cold and mean are economic realities across the board these days, so we soldier on. Recently, however, we learned of a totally out-of-character editorial move at Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter sent letters, via FedEx, to 80 architects, critics, historians, and others asking them to contribute to an “opinion survey” from which the “five most important” buildings or works of engineering or infrastructure since 1980 would emerge. Respondents were then asked to name, in their opinion, the single most important work completed thus far in the 21st century. The letter went on to promise a lavishly illustrated feature, including interviews with the winning architects. This is not the way we evaluate art, design, and architecture. This is the way we pick the best corned-beef sandwich in town. One of the esteemed invitees opined that if the survey went out to all the usual suspects, then we can expect the winners to be the usual and suspect as well. Another cynic pointed out that the survey relieves the magazine from having to pay a real writer. (Forbes did something similar in 2002, but its search was for the ugliest.) Yet another voter suggested that the article be a roundup of architects who have designed showrooms or headquarters for *Vanity Fair advertisers: Koolhaas, Marino, Koolhaas, Pawson, Koolhaas. BACK TO THE FUTURE Eavesdrop is giddy about the opening of Bauhaus 1919–1933: Workshops for Modernity at MoMA. Much to see and do. And yet, we’d like to draw your attention to a footnote, one of those insider’s jokes with historical significance beyond its visual impact. Think back to 1975. Arthur Drexler, MoMA’s director of architecture and design, had just mounted *The Architecture of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, which many thought was an anachronistic exhibition for a modern museum. As an ironic joke, Suzanne Stephens, now deputy editor at Architectural Record, and Susana Torre, a practicing architect in Spain, designed a “bring back the Bauhaus” button for the 1975 opening. Both Stephens and Torre, alumnae of MoMA’s Architecture and Design Department, wanted to acknowledge the shock value of presenting a show based on a 19th-century academy. According to the package notes, when offered a button at the opening, Drexler refused but by the end of the evening he was caught up in the spirit of the occasion. We are happy to announce that now that MoMA has indeed brought back the Bauhaus, the button has been reissued. Go buy one before someone introduces “bring back the Beaux.” Send Anni Albers rugs and Breuer club chairs to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHINS UP FOR CHARLIE The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Grace Rainey Rogers auditorium (cap. 708) was overflowing with New Yorkers wishing to bid farewell to Charles Gwathmey, who died on August 3. And as impressive as the spoken tributes were by son Eric Steel, director Steven Spielberg, fashion designer Ralph Lauren, and anchor Brian Williams, not to mention by Peter Eisenman and Robert A.M. Stern, the real jaw-dropping detail was that Charlie could do 1,300 sit-ups in 10 minutes. We all knew he was dedicated to ideal proportions, but only suspected he was made of steel. He didn’t need to be made of such solid stuff to earn a permanent place in our admiration. A CASE OF TURRETS SYNDROME There is no more bizarre history of residential hubris than the multi-generational tale of overreaching at the 10-acre oceanfront parcel variously known as Chestertown, Dragon’s Head, Elysium, and now Calvin’s place, in the dunes of Southampton. In 1929, renowned antiques collector, horticulturist, and decorator Henry Francis du Pont completed the dignified, whitewashed brick, Colonial Revival manse designed by the equally dignified New York firm of Cross and Cross. It might have been preserved for posterity like a Newport “cottage,” but instead it passed through a few benignly neglectful hands before financier-turned-scofflaw-turned-tax-evading-felon Barry Trupin snatched it up in 1979 for $330,000. With Southampton architect Vello Kampman playing Dr. Frankenstein, the owner changed the name to Dragon’s Head, stripped the remaining original details, and enlarged the house (without benefit of permit) to 55,000 square feet, complete with 50-foot turrets, 16th-century Norman pub, and a shark tank. When Trupin went bankrupt in 1992, he sold the bloated castle to WorldCom’s Francesco Galesi for $2.3 million, who felled the turrets, renamed the white elephant Elysium, and put it back on the market for $45 million. Enter fashion mogul Calvin Klein, who snapped it up in 2003 for $30 million. This year, Klein performed a community service by razing du Pont’s ravaged remains. After working with British architect John Pawson for a while with no visible results, he turned to New York architect Michael Haverland, who has designed a much smaller replacement out of stucco and steel, but thoroughly Kleinian in sleekness. Smaller it may be in size, but it is no less imperious than the others in ambition. For at the moment, there’s a full-scale, plywood mock-up on the site with life-size plywood furniture, apparently built to provide a virtual-reality experience for Klein prior to building for keeps. If he’s looking for a new name for the joint, perhaps he’ll consider Fata Morgana. Send full-scale martinis and fresh shark bait to email@example.com
There is a lot to like about Chicago's Quincy Court, an alley turned public space outside the Mies van der Rohe-designed Dirksen Federal Building that opened this summer. The General Services Administration (GSA) initiated the project to help beef up security around the federal campus, and they can certainly be praised for hiring a design firm to reimagine the space, in this case Rios Clementi Hale of Los Angeles, instead of just bolting a bunch of bollards into the ground. And while the design has a certain whimsy, which may appeal to some, we're having a hard time getting over the giant plastic palms. According to the press release the "sculptural grove" mediates between the monumentality of federal campus and the smaller scale of State Street. The seating and tables are nicely detailed and the project's Pop sensibility is sure to change the way people think about this alley way. But in this age of ecological crisis, and in a city that has made sustainability one of its hallmarks and has worked hard to green the Loop, the plastic palms seem like the wrong message for the GSA to send. Real deciduous trees, after all, provide shade in the hot summer and loose their leaves in the fall when sun is welcome. Ken Smith's artificial rooftop garden at MoMA, which boasts fake rocks, plastic plants, and few environmental benefits, seems like a similar missed opportunity, a one liner that provides intriguing views for neighbors but does little to improve the hardscape environment of midtown Manhattan. Are we being too rigid in our thinking? Should we loosen up and go shopping for some silk flowers?
A group of Midtown residents and concerned citizens, many from the West 54th/55th Street Block Association, have been the leading opponents of Jean Nouvel's MoMA tower. They have been very vocal during hearings at Landmarks and, just a few weeks ago, City Planning Commission. Now, The Coalition for Responsible Midtown Development, as the group is calling itself, have launched a website, no2moma.com. There, they succinctly recast their previous opposition to the project--light & shadows, traffic & congestion, out-sized & ugly--as well as presenting a six minute documentary that makes the group's best case yet. Our favorite part is the clip above, where the Nouvel tower rises, Frankenstein-like, from "a lot no bigger than a McDonald's drive-thru." The full video is after the jump, but, given statements made by some commissioners during a meeting Monday, all this flash and frustration may be too little too late. At the very end of Monday's scheduled City Planning Commission meeting, the commissioners held an impromptu discussion of the project they were presented at the hearing two weeks ago. Impromptu because the full discussion, and likely the vote, will all come at the next scheduled meeting on the matter September 9. Still, the commissioners are clearly struck by this project, it's Pritzker Prize-winning architect, its heavyweight patron, its skyline-altering design. But as before, the discussion centered on the design and not its surrounding impact, which is the overwhelming concern of the tower's opposition. Asked by fellow commissioner Kenneth Knuckles how she would be voting on the project, chair Amanda Burden gamely demurred, saying she was withholding judgment until the actual vote. And yet at the same time, she seemed to be leaning strongly in favor of the project. "We're an optimistic city, we're a skyscraper city, so this project would not be out of place" Burden said. "It must be iconic, it must be distinguished. To get to that height in the sky, it's got to be great. I don't have a problem with the height. But let's see it, and see where it falls with the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building and if it deserves it." Burden added, underscoring the commission's concern with preserving the building as designed over other issues, "It's very important how we memorialize and freeze critical design elements." This way, the commissioners believe, and the applicant, Hines, seems to agree, Nouvel's tower and nothing else would or even could be built there. It's a valid concern (see: Frank Gehry, Atlantic Yards), but for the building's neighbors nowhere near the top of the list. Perhaps the coalition should have brought this video with them last month, as it might have helped sway the commission in its favor. Then again, there's always the City Council, where Speaker Christine Quinn, in whose district the project lies, has yet to take a position. Perhaps she's more of a cinephile than Burden. The coalition had better hope so.