The week on the net - September 08 - Page 3 Print E-mail
Sunday, 28 September 2008 19:00

Earlier this month...

The broken heart of east Greenwich
BDonline
Maybe because of the unusually good showing in last month’s Olympics, it seems we’re already starting to forget about the space behind the 2012 fence — the Lea Valley, with its derelict industries and strange wildlife. That of course is the point: the fences are supposed to efface what was there before until the shiny new buildings arrive. So walking past a fenced-off London “regeneration site” recently, I was taken aback to see “Greenwich District Hospital was here” scrawled on the bright blue fence. Oh, so that’s what used to be here. I had almost forgotten.

Lakehead sets high standard. First phase of campus will meet platinum environmental benchmark
By COURTNEY WHALEN, THE PACKET AND TIMES
Forget gold. Orillia's Lakehead University is going for the platinum. The design of the first building and the name of the architecture firm behind it was unveiled Wednesday. The university campus will be the first in Canada to attain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum standards. "We anticipate as the campus builds out, it should be a model -- a North American model," Lakehead president Fred Gilbert said of its design and environmental standards. Architectural firm Moriyama and Teshima will take the lead on the project after being selected from seven candidates. The Torontobased firm has worked on projects including the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa City Hall, Ontario Science Centre and Casino Rama, as well as several universities.

Talking with Rem Koolhaas, the architect behind the Central Library
By Mark Rahner
Mark Rahner talks to architect Rem Koolhaas, who designed the Central Library. The Seattle Public Library celebrates the completion of its "Libraries for All" building program Saturday.
The genius of downtown's awe-inspiring Central Library is that members of the former East German women's swim team would feel every bit as much at home there as the cast of "Logan's Run." A little something for everyone. Four years after the once-controversial project's completion, Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and his creation are a key part of the Seattle Public Library's celebration Saturday of the conclusion to its decadelong "Libraries for All" building program.

Asylum recently completed a new bookstore in Jakarta that they hope will bring new life into the realm of bookstore design.
By frame digital.com
Asylum has dubbed the project ‘a mad house’ of creative types. What does that mean exactly? Let’s take a closer look. Hoping to define the way the average patron experiences a bookstore was the main driving factor behind the project. Gone are the traditional boring aisles of bookshelves of yesterday. The Times flagship store in Jakarta, from first sight, is clearly not your average bookstore. The bookstore is housed in a large glass cube featuring a complete glass façade. The store is centred around a theme of ‘A Garden of Discovery’. This theme takes the approach of welcoming visitors to meander through the carefully placed maze like aisles, encouraging users to discover and interact with the books.

Of mini-Big Bang birth chambers, server farms, neo-cathedrals and Virgil's Tenth Circle of Hell
Alexander Trevi in Pruned
While everyone is waiting for the first high-energy collision of CERN's Large Hadron Collider sometime next month, might we interest you meanwhile with our previous posts on this mega-machine? In our first, we wondered if all those scientists working at CERN — after having successfully mapped out the landscape architecture of reality, of course — would want to reconfigure The Machine so that it could levitate a grove of trees.
 


The broken heart of east Greenwich
BDonline
Maybe because of the unusually good showing in last month’s Olympics, it seems we’re already starting to forget about the space behind the 2012 fence — the Lea Valley, with its derelict industries and strange wildlife. That of course is the point: the fences are supposed to efface what was there before until the shiny new buildings arrive. So walking past a fenced-off London “regeneration site” recently, I was taken aback to see “Greenwich District Hospital was here” scrawled on the bright blue fence. Oh, so that’s what used to be here. I had almost forgotten.

Lakehead sets high standard. First phase of campus will meet platinum environmental benchmark
By COURTNEY WHALEN, THE PACKET AND TIMES
Forget gold. Orillia's Lakehead University is going for the platinum. The design of the first building and the name of the architecture firm behind it was unveiled Wednesday. The university campus will be the first in Canada to attain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum standards. "We anticipate as the campus builds out, it should be a model -- a North American model," Lakehead president Fred Gilbert said of its design and environmental standards. Architectural firm Moriyama and Teshima will take the lead on the project after being selected from seven candidates. The Torontobased firm has worked on projects including the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa City Hall, Ontario Science Centre and Casino Rama, as well as several universities.

Talking with Rem Koolhaas, the architect behind the Central Library
By Mark Rahner
Mark Rahner talks to architect Rem Koolhaas, who designed the Central Library. The Seattle Public Library celebrates the completion of its "Libraries for All" building program Saturday.
The genius of downtown's awe-inspiring Central Library is that members of the former East German women's swim team would feel every bit as much at home there as the cast of "Logan's Run." A little something for everyone. Four years after the once-controversial project's completion, Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and his creation are a key part of the Seattle Public Library's celebration Saturday of the conclusion to its decadelong "Libraries for All" building program.

Asylum recently completed a new bookstore in Jakarta that they hope will bring new life into the realm of bookstore design.
By frame digital.com
Asylum has dubbed the project ‘a mad house’ of creative types. What does that mean exactly? Let’s take a closer look. Hoping to define the way the average patron experiences a bookstore was the main driving factor behind the project. Gone are the traditional boring aisles of bookshelves of yesterday. The Times flagship store in Jakarta, from first sight, is clearly not your average bookstore. The bookstore is housed in a large glass cube featuring a complete glass façade. The store is centred around a theme of ‘A Garden of Discovery’. This theme takes the approach of welcoming visitors to meander through the carefully placed maze like aisles, encouraging users to discover and interact with the books.

Of mini-Big Bang birth chambers, server farms, neo-cathedrals and Virgil's Tenth Circle of Hell
Alexander Trevi in Pruned
While everyone is waiting for the first high-energy collision of CERN's Large Hadron Collider sometime next month, might we interest you meanwhile with our previous posts on this mega-machine? In our first, we wondered if all those scientists working at CERN — after having successfully mapped out the landscape architecture of reality, of course — would want to reconfigure The Machine so that it could levitate a grove of trees.

The New Museum of Contemporary Art to Expand, Figure Where Everything Goes Later
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
Apparently all that good initial press has done well by the New Museum of Contemporary Art, as they've just announced that they're set to buy the 47,000 square foot building adjacent to them for $16.6 million with further expansion plans in mind. The still reborn museum (it was founded over three decades ago, but likely hasn't gotten the press it has, combined over those thirty years, that it has once it landed in its fancy new space), wants to use the new expansion for just extra administrative space for the time being while it figures where it wants to go from here on out (meaning "the most positive growing pains possible," thinks we).

The Problems with Green Architecture Go Beyond Anything a LEED Award Can Solve
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
We think we have a new crush and she goes by the name Cathleen McGuigan. Her piece, "Bad News About Green Architecture," in the upcoming issue of Newsweek, is a terrific calling out of how much further the green movement, particularly in regard to design, has to go. Granted, this is not particularly new, as we were reporting on the negative co-opting of the term "green" by marketers across the globe, but McGuigan puts a nice spin on it by complaining that just because something takes home some flashy LEED award (we're looking at you, China), that doesn't mean that anything involved with the building even remotely follows the tenants of greenness (e.g. the "Green McMansion" or the greening of Vegas hotels). But she comes full circle and explains that these transitions are all part of the initial growing pains into something new and hopefully, people like Renzo Piano (she really likes his new California Academy of Sciences building), will help save us all from ourselves, eventually leading to "green" becoming bland and ordinary from hyper-familiarity.

Questioning Architecture Schools in the Middle of an Industry Downturn
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
An interesting point/counter-point between architect Tim Ronalds and architecture school head, Richard Hayward called "Are Architecture Schools Turning Into Factory Farms?" over at Building Design. The point of the piece is obvious, based off the title, of course. Ronalds says yes, explaining that there are more students, fewer teachers, and instruction so rigid as to not allow for much originality. Hayward says no, saying that schools still do foster creativity, but does accept that there's a problem within the industry as a whole. Beyond just their talk, it's an interesting discussion considering all of the financial woes the architecture business has found itself in, and in reading reports like in yesterday's Irish Business News that thousands of architects are expected to lose their jobs this year. And if that's just in Ireland, which is just now coming out of one the biggest economic booms in the whole of Europe, you can imagine the dire situation all over.

The Adaptive City
Dan Hill in cityofsound
A few months ago, Scott Burnham kindly asked me to contribute to the exhibition catalogue for Urban Play, a project he conceived and then developed with Droog Design. It is being sponsored by the city of Amsterdam and is premiering there this September. In Scott's words, "Urban Play is about placing the individual at the heart of the city’s development and encouraging creative interaction between the individual and the physical city". You can also find out more at the Experimenta site. Scott's posting up focus pieces on some of the interventionists featured in the exhibition, starting with the quite brilliant work of Gilberto Esparza, a Mexico City-based artist who creates 'Urban Parasites', "small robotic creatures made from recycled consumer goods which wander, climb, crawl and explore the marginal areas of the city." (Check the videos at Scott's site.)

The Art of Unveiling
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
On the triangular site formed by Gansevoort, West 13th and Hudson Streets on the edge of Manhattan's Meatpacking District junya.ishigama + associates renovated a one-story brick building into a boutique for Yohji Yamamoto. The austere yet clever design splits the existing building into two -- shop at the tip and storehouse in the back -- via a walkway linking Gansevoort and 13th and providing an entry to the shop. While I find the design appealing, and actually planned on featuring the project eventually, I was particularly intrigued by the wrapper that enclosed the project until its opening. These shots captured by Diane show the opening night of the Yohji Yamamoto store back in February. The "skin" is a wood-frame structure covered with stretched translucent plastic. This layer curves up and over the brick building(s) in an embrace that even conceals the project from those trying to sneak a peek from neighboring buildings.



Last Updated on Saturday, 11 October 2008 03:37
 
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