“only an idiot would have said no”
July 30, 2008, 3:10 pm
Filed under: Architecture, Asia, Politics

Jacques Herzog on choosing to build in China:

Only an idiot — and not a person who thinks in moral terms would have turned down this opportunity — would have said no. I know that there are architects who now claim that they would never have even considered building in China. This is both a naïve and arrogant position, one that reflects a lack of knowledge of and respect for the incredible cultural achievements this country has continuously provided over the last 5,000 years and still provides today.


making the plan
July 30, 2008, 8:50 am
Filed under: Architecture

Nice feature on plans on Archinect:

Often overlooked and recently playing supporting actor in the age of the section, the plan is ripe for rethinking. More recently, plan drawing has been absorbed into representation systems of mapping, diagramming, and indexing, therefore relegating plan drawings simply to plan-making. Frequently assigned the role of orientation device, the plan is subjected to quantitative scrutiny while the section is permitted qualitative indulgence. The conventional system of architectural plan-making predominately presents itself as evidence of area, structure, and territory. But as with all orthographic drawings, plans can never be experienced as such. Demanding near omnipresence, a plan drawing cannot be easily occupied as it privileges a view our vision cannot replicate. Plans are vehicles for transpositional experiences. To overcome the inaccuracy of plans, architects are often asked to “walk us through the plans.” Therefore, though underequipped for the task, plans are employed to act as spatial machines.

Future of the Bird’s Nest
July 30, 2008, 8:47 am
Filed under: Architecture, Asia, Urban Design

From China Daily:

After the Games, the stadium will be redeveloped to include hotels, restaurants, supermarkets and shopping malls, he said.

The reconstruction will cost at least 300 million yuan and after it, commercial buildings will cover about 35 percent of the entire compound.

Wonder what Herzog de Meuron thinks about this. . . .

Rem Cares
July 30, 2008, 7:35 am
Filed under: Architecture

OMA is currently designing a 300-sq-meter Maggie’s Centre in Glasgow. Started by and named after Charles Jencks’s wife, Maggie, the centers provide care for cancer patients.

New MoMA design curator
July 25, 2008, 9:19 pm
Filed under: Architecture, Design

Via ArtInfo:

NEW YORK—MoMA announced that Juliet Kinchin has joined the department of architecture and design as curator. Kinchin has held curatorial positions in decorative arts at Glasgow Museums and Art Galleries and at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. She has also held faculty positions in the history of art and design at the Glasgow School of Art, the University of Glasgow, and the Bard Graduate Center for Study in the Decorative Arts.

Zaha in Chanel
July 24, 2008, 2:42 pm
Filed under: Architecture

From the New York Times:

Called Mobile Art, the structure itself was designed by the renowned London architect Zaha Hadid and will occupy the Rumsey Playfield, midpark at 70th Street, from Oct. 20 to Nov. 9. (It is Ms. Hadid’s first New York building, albeit temporary, an has already made stops in Hong Kong and Tokyo and is headed later for London, Moscow and Paris.)

Yet beyond its artistic mission, the pavilion is a provocative advertisement. Chanel, the fashion brand, commissioned Ms. Hadid to create the traveling structure to house works by about 15 hot contemporary artists. Each was asked to create a work that was at least in part inspired by Chanel’s classic 2.55 quilted-style chain handbag, so named because it was first issued in February 1955.

In an interview in her London office, Ms. Hadid said that even though she has not yet designed a permanent building in New York, she liked the idea that the pavilion “lands, creates a buzz and disappears.”

The challenge, she said, was to create a pavilion that was both visually compelling and could be easily transported. Each piece had to fit together like a giant jigsaw puzzle.

Using computer software Ms. Hadid designed a 7,500-square-foot doughnut-shape structure with a central courtyard. Its lightweight panels can be packed in 51 shippable containers; no panel is wider than 7.38 feet.

Skylights admit natural light, and computer-generated lighting casts a rainbow of colors around the base of the exterior that glows day and night.

Visitors entering the pavilion will be given MP3 players. On a track created by the sound artist Stephan Crasneanscki they will hear the French actress Jeanne Moreau discussing everything from sex and love to the secrets at the bottom of a woman’s handbag.

Its transitory nature, everyone agreed, will be part of the allure. “It’s like an alien spacecraft that lands in the park and, before you know it, takes off again,” Mr. Benepe said.

John Maeda at Philip Johnson’s Glass House
July 23, 2008, 8:30 pm
Filed under: Architecture

RISD head John Maeda visits the Glass House for a conference and conveniently brings a film crew.