Umimirai Library is a public library in the western part of Kanazawa, a slow 20-minute drive from the city center. Designed by Coelacanth-K&H Architects, an architecture firm based in Tokyo, and opened in June 2011, the three-story self-described “cake box” was intended to invigorate this sleepy area of town, a low-lying neighborhood of dreary houses and big box stores that lacked any hubs of activity or real public space. But ask the man on the street about it and you’ll most likely encounter a blank. We inquired at the Tourism Center for directions and even they had to google it. Apparently, not much happens in this part of town — not yet at least, which is sort of the point of the library.
The building is a large white box perforated with hole-punched windows that light up the interiors naturally in the day and at night glow out like portholes of a giant ship. There is a maritime feel to the place, probably unintended, or maybe since it was designed by a firm whose name evokes the ancient deep sea the contrary feelings of floating and drifting and being submerged are all by design. We could easily imagine how much we’d love coming here if this were our local, an airy place with soft, diffused light that lends room to learn, daydream, and to remember. Song lyrics echo in the mind: “…and our friends are all aboard / many more of them live next door…” It’s a peaceful, sublime place, this literary submarine.
The main reading room with its 40-foot ceilings provides a grand scale that all great libraries have, from the NYPL on Fifth Avenue to Suzzallo on the University of Washington campus. In fact, we liked Umimirai so much more than that other notable library in Seattle — Rem Koolhaas’ central library — a dazzling structure, no doubt, but a place that’s more like a puzzle than a place to retreat. Once you get past the spectacle of its punctured skin, the Umimirai Library is a comfortably traditional place. It’s no wonder the library is filled with young children, the elderly, and students — a library’s most loyal patrons. Sure there are modern features like glassed-in cellphone booths and self-service checkout stations. But we were most envious of the spacious newspaper reading room — an old man’s joy — with its canted desks, localized lighting, and drawers full of past days. Japan is a nation where the newspaper is still very much a part of everyday life, and that Coelacanth-K&H Architects featured this reality underscores the success of its design and their intent to insinuate the library into the community’s daily activities.
For us, so much about Japan feels like a bizarro alternate reality where — like with the newspaper that’s disappearing everywhere else — the rest of the world moves right while Japan turns left. This library feels no different. These days, investing in a new library seems like a counter-intuitive act where, at least in the U.S., branch libraries close one-by-one and already meager budgets continue to be slashed. It’s impossible, laughable even, to imagine our cramped Chinatown branch being replaced by the gleaming Umimirai Library … which says everything about this library and this town and why we love Japan so much. It feels like a luxury that a space like this was newly built, a sign that that the city believes in its people, that believes the act of reading is worth investing in, that believes these things will continue to matter in the future and that it’s important for these people and activities to come together in an inspiring and provocative space.
With 144 impressive tree trunks, British architect David Chipperfield transformed the museum’s open glass hall in the fall of 2014 into a densely filled hall of columns. The installation also engaged with the architecture of the Neue Nationalgalerie and served as a prologue to the renovation of the museum in line with the guidelines of landmark conservation, which has been underway under the direction of David Chipperfield Architects since the start of 2015.
The video shows the relationship between the architecture and the environment, the nature that surrounds it, the context in which it is located and how it reacts to different weather conditions.
It was filmed in India in July 2012 with a Canon 5D Mark II, and was part of the exhibition of the BSI Swiss Architectural Award 2012, which opened in September at the Academy of Architecture in Mendrisio (Switzerland).
Architect: Studio Mumbai
Architecture: Palmyra House
Tuesday, March 8, 2016 2:00pm
Introduction by Jeffrey Inaba
Toyo Ito, Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects
Kazuyo Sejima, S A N A A
Sou Fujimoto, Sou Fujimoto Architects
Akihisa Hirata, Akihisa Hirata Architecture Office
Junya Ishigami, Junya Ishigami + Associates
Kenneth Frampton, Ware Professor of Architecture, Columbia GSAPP
Jeffrey Inaba, Adjunct Associate Professor, Columbia GSAPP
Offering a panorama of internationally-acclaimed and up-and-coming architects from Japan, the panel will present past and current projects and discuss shared architectural themes that extend across the three generations of practitioners.
Presented in collaboration with the Department of Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
The exhibition A Japanese Constellation: Toyo Ito, SANAA, and Beyond is open March 13- July 4, 2016
Special thanks to Sachi Hoshikawa and Akihisa Hirata for coordination and organization in support of this event.
The Infinite Happiness is a highly unusual architectural experience. The film takes us to the heart of one of the contemporary housing developments considered to be a new model of success: the giant “8 House” designed in 2009 by Danish architects BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group in the suburbs of Copenhagen.
Ila Bêka & Louise Lemoine recount their month-long immersion inside this experiment of vertical village, nominated “World best residential building” in 2011.
As a Lego game, the film builds up a collection of life stories all interconnected by their personal relation to the building. Drawing the lines of a human map, the film reveals the building through an inner and intimate point of view. By showing the surprising results of this innovative social model, the directors question the architecture’s ability to create collective happiness.
“An ode to the social power of architecture!” Der Standard
““So original, so vivid and witty. Beka and Lemoine bring the gods down to earth.” Der Tagesspiegel
“Wonderful! Blessedly free of the customary documentary trappings.” Chicago Tribune
More information on the project:
On the run up to the Stirling Prize, 2016, The Architect’s Journal takes a look into the six nominated buildings, with interviews from the architects.
Made up of 235 tenure-blind, high-quality homes of which 25% are affordable dwelling. The project transforms the built environment whilst respecting the history of neighbouring buildings. Trafalgar Place is a flagship housing project for Lendlease and is a part of their wider redevelopment of the Elephant and Castle.
The transformation of the former Heygate Estate enriches the qualities of the area, creating a thriving, desirable place to live, work and visit. Separate buildings are integrated within an open green landscape characterised by mature trees and diverse new planting. A new public realm within the historic fabric of the neighbourhood is created.
Students from the Harvard Graduate School of Design discuss their work and experiences during the Fall 2013 Studio Abroad taught by architect Rem Koolhaas at the OMA offices in Rotterdam, Netherlands. They reflect on the research and concept design they are preparing for the exhibition “Elements of Architecture” presented in the Central Pavilion at the 2014 International Architecture Exhibition in Venice, Italy.
Learn more about the GSD’s Studio Abroad Program: gsd.harvard.edu/studioabroad
レム・コールハースの指導のもと、2014年のヴェネチア・ビエンナーレでの展示「Elements of Architecture」の制作に参加したハーバード大GSDの学生たちの記録。
Design genius Thomas Heatherwick has completed the transformation of an historic mill into the new distillery and visitor centre for Bombay Sapphire gin.
The film was originally produced in Stereoscopic and we set up a 3D cinema on site at the distillery for VIPs.
We completed an animation which follows a white dove flying in and around the complex of restored Georgian and Victorian buildings flanking the River Test in Hampshire. The film provides a tour of the complex including the beautiful copper stills, the tasting bar and also the two new glass houses designed by Heatherwick for growing the famous botanicals used to flavour the gin – including juniper, angelica, coriander and cassia.
“Quality is an attitude of mind.” The great architectural mastermind of our time Norman Foster, who turned 80 in June 2015, here reflects on a long and prosperous career – and life – with prominent buildings and more than 1,000 employees all over the world.
Foster has always considered technology to be an ally. As a child he was immensely excited by machines and their speed – he spent many hours making sketches of and reading about them. He left school at age 16, did National Service for two years, worked different jobs to earn money, but never abandoned his private world of drawing and dreaming. When he discovered that he as an architect could actually do the things that had always excited him, it simply didn’t feel like work.
Respecting the structure of a city or a place is essential: “I’ve realized the important links between individual buildings and infrastructure.” Architecture has to address the bigger issues and make a difference to the world we live in. Architects can’t solve every problem in the world, but what they can do, however, is to contribute by turning the complex into something simple via shape as well as material and being aware of the “urban glue” that binds everything together: “We have rethought, redesigned, reinvented. We have questioned and gone back to basics.”
Norman Robert Foster (b. 1935) is an English architect and designer, who is considered one of the most prolific architects of his generation. He is the founder of Foster and Partners (1967) and responsible for renowned buildings such as London City Hall and Millennium Bridge (London), Reichstag (Berlin), Bilbao Metro, Hearst Tower (New York), Hong Kong International Airport, Beijing Capital International Airport and Apple Spaceship Headquarters (est. 2016). Foster, who is a Fellow of the Chartered Society of Designers and winner of the society’s highest award, The Minerva Medal, has received several awards such as the Pritzker-prize in 1999 (often referred to as the Nobel Prize of architecture), the Stirling Prize in 1998 and 2004, as well as the Aga Khan Award for Architecture – the biggest architectural award in the world – for the University of Technology Petronas in Malaysia (2007). He was knighted in 1990, and in 1999 he was created a life peer, as Baron Foster of Thames Bank, of Reddish in the County of Greater Manchester.
Norman Foster was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner in his home near Geneva, Switzerland in April 2015.
Camera: Mathias Nyholm
Edited by: Kamilla Bruus
Music: ‘Draw a Blank’ by Søren Dahl Jeppesen (from Find the Tune)
Produced by: Marc-Christoph Wagner
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2015
Supported by Nordea-fonden
Frank Lloyd Wright, legendary American architect and genius mind behind the Organic Architecture philosophy, once said :
« The mother Art is Architecture. Without an Architecture of our own we have no soul of our own civilization. ”
This quote resonated within me while I explored the city of Chicago in the summer of 2014. Wandering those streets with my camera and a tripod, I felt a sort of peacefulness that I wasn’t expecting to find in this temple of concrete and corporate business. I witnessed a natural harmony between the architecture, the environment, and the human beings spread across the city. It was summer; the beaches that line Lake Michigan were packed like seaside resorts and Chicagoans were sunbathing on their boats or playing volleyball on the sand. Everything looked surreal and so very different from the Chicago I expected to encounter. But just a few blocks away from the lakefront was the heart of the Loop—Chicago’s downtown and financial district—where lawyers, stock traders, and office workers walked alongside tourists beneath the mythical tracks of the elevated transit lines. The ‘L’, as those lines are called in the Chi, runs through and around the Loop, next to the city’s tallest buildings, which stand strong, high, and proud. That’s one thing that struck me in the Windy City—each edifice had its own style and identity, yet they combined to form blocks and tableaux that made you feel the genuine soul emanating from each neighborhood. Using the 2.35 aspect ratio and perspective, I tried to frame these endless skyscrapers and towers as if they were part of original sketches, and by doing so I hope to pay tribute to the great architects and designers behind some of the most iconic buildings in Chicago.
Directed, Shot & Edited by Kevin Couliau
Color Grading : Fred Fleureau
Motion Design : Charly Jacquette
Sound by Benzene Music
Music by Rawman
Sound Design & Mix by Loic Canevet
Supervision : Benjamin Desplanques
Location Scout : Caroline Blaise
Shot on a Canon 5D Mark III with a 17-40mm f4 and a 70-200mm 2:8 IS II on a Manfrotto 190CX Pro 3 tripod.
– In Order of Appearance –
1. Tribune Tower / John Howells & Raymond Hood, 1925
2. Aon Center / Edward Durell Stone, 1973
3. Bp Bridge / Frank Gehry, 2004
4. John Hancock Center / Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, 1969
5. Aqua / Studio Gang, 2009
6. The Loop / CTA, 1895
7. Lake Point Tower / Schipporeit-Heinrich Associates, Graham, Anderson, Probst & White, 1968
8. The Parkshore / Barancik Conte, 1991
9. Navy Pier Ferris wheel / George Washington Gale Ferris Junior, 1983
10. 500 Lake Shore Drive / Solomon Cordwell Buenz, 2013
11. South Pond Pavilion / Studio Gang, 2010
Learn more about architects Álvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura, whose work appears in the Royal Academy exhibition ‘Sensing Spaces: Architecture Reimagined’.
For more information on the exhibition see www.royalacademy.org.uk/sensingspaces
ロンドンのロイヤル・アカデミー・オブ・アーツの展覧会「Sensing Spaces: Architecture Reimagined」のために制作された、アルヴァロ・シザとエドゥアルド・ソウト・デ・モウラの作品とインタビューの動画。
Exploring American architect and educator Ray Kappe’s 4,000-square foot treetop abode in California for the latest In Residence.
Read the full feature on NOWNESS: bit.ly/1tkhSp7
A film by Matthew Donaldson matthewdonaldson.com
Music been removed momentarily due to Copyright negotiations.
First Episode of new Architecture Film Collection focus on Japanese 50 to 80’s Architecture Masterpieces.
Project : Yoyogi National Gymnasium – 1964
Architect : Kenzo Tange
Location : Yoyogi, Shibuya, Japan
Filmed & Edited by : Vincent Hecht
Music : —
Equipments : Canon 5D MkII + 24mm TS-E f/3.5 + 50mm f/1.4 + 100mm f/2.8/+ Konova Slider
Six celebrated architects, including Bjarke Ingels, Liz Diller and Daniel Libeskind, here talk about what it’s like to build architecture that both matters and works in the iconic city of New York – from Ground Zero to The High Line.
“A building should not look like Lady Gaga,” says American architect Robert A.M. Stern (b. 1939), who feels that the city is made up of background and foreground buildings, and that it is important to learn how to let the buildings work together instead of isolating them.
Danish architect Bjarke Ingels (b. 1974) stresses how important it is to care about and understand the people one is designing for: “Architects need to re-insert architecture as something that people are interested in – not just architects – something that is important for society.”
“In a sense it was a non-site without ground to stand on.” American architect and founding partner of Snøhetta, Craig Dykers (b. 1961), talks about the challenging experience of building the 9/11 Memorial Museum Pavilion at Ground Zero.
According to American architect Thom Mayne (b. 1944), architecture is essentially “a way of thinking, exploring, inventing, making and participating in the world.”
American architect Liz Diller (b. 1954) discusses her fascinating project The High Line, which is a public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated plus 30 feet above the streets of Manhattan’s West Side.
“People stopped me: ‘Thank you Mr. Libeskind. You delivered what you promised’. They didn’t say anything else. They shook my hand. I thought that was the best compliment I could get.” Polish-American architect Daniel Libeskind (b. 1946) shares his personal story of getting to work on such a poignant project as Ground Zero.
The interviews can be watched in full length at channel.louisiana.dk/topics/architecture
All interviews by Marc-Christoph Wagner, Kasper Bech Dyg and Jesper Bundgaard/Out of Sync.
Produced by: Marc-Christoph Wagner
Edited by: Klaus Elmer
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2016
In central Arizona there exists an experimental town called Arcosanti. It’s built on the principles of arcology, which combines architecture and ecology to envision a city that works in tandem with the Earth’s resources. In this short documentary, The Atlantic goes inside this distinctive urban space to understand how Arcosanti plans to reconstruct how humans envision cities.
Postmodernism is the notoriously slippery subject tacked by the V&A’s exhibition, ‘Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970-1990’. This fast-paced film features some of the most important living Postmodern practitioners, Charles Jencks, Robert A M Stern and Sir Terry Farrell among them, and asks them how and why Postmodernism came about, and what it means to be Postmodern.
Andrew Logan: Post modernism – yes, I still really don’t understand what post modernism is. I’ve been told many times and it’s been explained to me many times and I still am bewildered. But perhaps that’s part of the movement – bewilderment.
Malcolm Garrett: I don’t think I really know too much about what post modernism actually is. For me, it’s primarily an architectural movement.
Robert A M Stern: Post modernism was a kind of style and it was kind of outrageous style at that.
Zandra Rhodes: I think we’re originals, but it wasn’t until I got spoken to by the V&A that I thought about anything that was post modern.
The way I worked I described as retrievalism.
Charles Jencks: The Independent said do use the word ‘post modernism’ because it means absolutely nothing and everything.
Malcolm Garrett: I called myself a new futurist for a while. So that’s a term I would use rather than post modernism.
Andrew Logan: Well, I suppose I had a very post modernist occurrence – I took acid. Normal things suddenly turned into something extraordinary.
Zandra Rhodes: Well, in 1977 punk was just starting to happen and I thought why not do tears that actually look like tears and then got safety pins and beaded round them like 12 years before Versace.
Malcolm Garrett: I had access to the first photocopier and I was able to modify and change the look of the image using a photocopier.
Peter Saville: And, of course, in the 70s and into the 80s the record cover was this incredibly important, vital medium of visual information. There were the music papers and occasionally the Sunday Times colour supplement might just do something about Andy Warhol in New York and that would be about it.
Paula Scher: In the 70s when I first started designing there was a predominance of the international style where the ultimate goal was to be clean and I always felt that that was like trying to clean up your room. So I was looking for ways of designing typography that could be more expressive, that were not about creating order but were about creating spirit.
Robert A M Stern: Times Square was where we were in charge – the whole revitalisation of Times Square is a very interesting, complicated story, but it does show the difference between the modernist point of view of how to redevelop or to develop a city and what we were able to do …
Charles Jencks: Post modern architecture is really to do with pluralism. You’ll find its depth, all of the great post modernism, the philosophy and now in literature, is about pluralism, pluralism, pluralism.
Robert A M Stern: To say, no, no, it’s a mess, in fact we ought to make it more of a mess. The world comes to Times Square not for tidykins, but for mess.
Charles Jencks: It’s accepting that the modern world with Freud, Marx, Henry Ford, mass production, is positive, but it can be radically improved.
Robert A M Stern: We studied the signage in Times Square and then we set minimums, minimums for sizes of signs, minimums for brightness of signs. What we were legislating in a way the capitalist impulse. Once you tell an entrepreneur that his or her sign can only be this big, he will be satisfied, he will agree with it. But if you say it can be this big or bigger or brighter, well everybody wants to compete in a capitalist society.
Charles Jencks: So you have to be on the one hand ironic about failures, probably the beginning of a new depression, another crisis of modernism, modernisation, modernity. What’s going to get us out of this? We have to re-think the modern movements in all the arts and in society and post modernism is the umbrella term for re-thinking.
Robert A M Stern: We knew 42nd Street was an incredible success when the Consolidated Edison Company called the State of New York and said, you know our grid is zapped out.
Peter Saville: In the case of, particularly, Joy Division and then New Order, they could never exactly agree amongst themselves. There was no hierarchical structure, particularly in New Order after the end of Joy Division, after Ian Curtis had died. The responsibility for the covers came to me and so they were about what I was interested in, they were about in a way beginning to learn the canon.
Carol McNicoll: The thing that I was doing was I was using slip casting. A lot of the Leach tradition and minimalist things also had that idea of expressing the deep, inner, mystic qualities of clay. And I thought that was a load of complete rubbish. And I thought what was wonderful about clay was the fact that you could make it look like anything else.
V&Aの展覧会「Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970-1990」に合わせて収録された、ポストモダニズムの実践者たちへのインタビュー集。チャールズ・ジェンクス、ロバート・A・M・スターン、ザンドラ・ローズ、ピーター・サヴィルなど。
Crystal Houses, designed by MVRDV and located on P.C. Hooftstraat 94 in Amsterdam is a flagship store with a replica façade made entirely out of glass. The 630 m2 of retail and 220 m2 of housing was commissioned by investor Warenar Real Estate. Crystal Houses won the category award for Shopping at the Word Architecture Festival as well as the Glass Innovation Award and the Public Award at the Dutch Design Awards. Crystal Houses, the movie was created by Robert Jan Westdijk for Warenar with the help of people and companies involved in creating Crystal Houses.
8-House is located in Ørestad on the edge of Copenhagen. 8-House offers homes for people in all of life’s stages: the young and the old, singles, families that grow and families that become smaller. Instead of dividing the different functions of the building – for both habitation and retail – into separate blocks, the various functions have been spread out horizontally. The apartments are placed at the top while the commercial program unfolds at the base of the building. As a result, the different horizontal layers have achieved a quality of their own: the apartments benefit from the view, sunlight and fresh air, while the commercial merges with life on the street.