My recent posts at World-Architects

      

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The 'Definitive' Carlo Scarpa

Yesterday the Graham Foundation announced "over $560,000 in new grants to individuals around the world to support 72 innovative projects engaging original ideas in architecture." On my first skimming of the list of exhibitions, film/video/new media projects, public program, publications, and research, one award stood out above the rest: Francesco Dal Co's "definitive book on Carlo Scarpa."

The Italian architectural historian has authored books on Scarpa already, including his Complete Works (Rizzoli, 1986) and a case study of Villa Ottolenghi (Monacelli Press, 1998). Yet even with the numerous other monographs on the architect (most recently Robert McCarter's Carlo Scarpa published last year by Phaidon), Dal Co's forthcoming book from Yale University Press sounds very promising.

Carlo Scarpa - Tomba Brion
[Brion-Vega Cemetery, San Vito d'Altivole, 1978 | Photo: Francesco Maria Gabriele Vozza]

The description from the Graham Foundation website (my emphasis):
As the definitive book on Carlo Scarpa (1906–1978), this important study surveys the wide-ranging body of his architecture and design work, including buildings, works in glass, and exhibition designs. After graduating with a degree in architectural design, Scarpa began his multi-faceted career with an apprenticeship at the Murano glass factory, Cappellin & Co., while simultaneously embarking on his first architectural commissions. His commitment to craftsmanship and his evolving modernist style, which engaged in dialogue with his contemporaries, including Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Kahn, is exemplified by buildings ranging from the small Olivetti Showroom in Piazza San Marco, to the monumental Brion Tomb, outside of Treviso. Although Scarpa's work is concentrated in the Veneto region of Italy, it has become increasingly influential on the world stage. This sensitive account will be instrumental in correcting many long-held assumptions about Scarpa's work while illustrating how and why his designs continue to inspire.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A Peek Inside the Shed

A slideshow of photos from today's hard hat tour of The Shed designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and the Rockwell Group:
The Shed

And a video of the 100-foot-tall shed in action:

The Shed -- it's alive!

A post shared by John Hill (@therealarchidose) on


The building will open in 2019.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Cards of the Moment



A+T – publisher of books and magazines on public spaces, work places, renovations, and collective housing – has just released 50 Urban Blocks, a "set of cards containing 50 examples of how to design an urban block."



Unlike previous titles from a+t, the deck of cards are hypothetical designs rather than specific case studies. Each scenario is given the same rectangular area, so they can be compared and contrasted easily.



As in other a+t publications, the illustrations are accompanied by data, so each can be evaluated in terms of density, height, and other factors.



I could see the 50 Urban Blocks being particularly helpful for students as well as young architects in need of some ideas on how to move forward with a project. Although they might not be faced with such a straightforward block, the cards offer plenty of ways to think about solid/void, site coverage, and other considerations.

Monday, May 22, 2017

El Helicoide

Head over to World-Architects to read my recap of the small but illuminating El Helicoide: From Mall to Prison exhibition at the Center for Architecture. The show focuses on the El Helicoide building in Caracas, which was built as a mall in the late 1950s but never used as such; it now functions as a prison – an illegal one at that.



The exhibition will be joined in the summer by the book From Mall to Prison: El Helicoide's Downward Spiral, published by Urban Research; it will be celebrated with a book talk on July 13th at the Center. Further, a complementary program, Modern Architecture and Design in Venezuela, will be held with exhibition curator Celeste Olalquiaga and others at the Center on May 30th.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Storefront's ARTIFACTS

On Tuesday, May 23, the Storefront for Art and Architecture is holding its spring benefit, ARTIFACT, at Federal Hall in Lower Manhattan. Storefront will be honoring Denise Scott Brown and Murray Moss, and will be launching New Artifacts, specially commissioned pieces by Adam McEwen, LOT-EK, and Murray Moss with Lobmeyr.


[LOT-EK's LITE-SCAPES SF, 2017]

ARTIFACT takes place from 7pm to midnight at Federal Hall, 26 Wall Street. Tickets can be purchased here. Although it's the same evening as my book talk at the Skyscraper Museum, there's plenty of time to do both – that's my plan.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Descension

Anish Kapoor's Descension is on display at Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 1 until September 10th. I visited yesterday and made a short video of it (turn up the volume for best effect):

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Today's archidose #964

Here are some of my photos of Pierhouse and 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge by Marvel Architects.

Pierhouse and 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
Pierhouse and 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
Pierhouse and 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
Pierhouse and 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
Pierhouse and 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
Pierhouse and 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
Pierhouse and 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
Pierhouse and 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
Pierhouse and 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
Pierhouse and 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Reminder: '100 Years, 100 Buildings' Book Talk

On Tuesday, May 23 I'll be giving a book talk at the Skyscraper Museum in Lower Manhattan. The event takes places from 6:30pm to 8pm and is free. Head to the Skyscraper Museum website to reserve a ticket.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Book Review: The Experience of Architecture

The Experience of Architecture by Henry Plummer
Thames & Hudson, 2016
Hardcover, 328 pages



Although usually overshadowed by form, material and technique when it comes to books on architecture, experience seems to be making a comeback. Recent years have seen a few books with an emphasis on experience: Architecture and Movement: the Dynamic Experience of Buildings and Landscapes by Peter Blundell Jones and Mark Meagher, The Space Within: Interior Experience as the Origin of Architecture by Robert McCarter, and Welcome to Your World: How the Built Environment Shapes Our Lives (review forthcoming) by Sarah Williams Goldhagen. Add to those Henry Plummer's The Experience of Architecture and there's a small-scale trend taking place, one where ideas from the 1970s are popular once again.


[Spread with Pierre Chareau's Maison de Verre]

This book being authored by Henry Plummer means "experience" is firsthand; as in all of his books, his own beautiful photographs accompany his words. It's clear that for Plummer the camera is a tool for capturing not only what he sees, but also how he experiences spaces. As the spreads from The Experience of Architecture here reveal, he trains his lens on details, paths, frames and vistas. To put it another way, he's not interested in overall shots of buildings or the images that make them recognizable; he'd rather hone in on the parts of buildings that people interact with: the paths they choose, the mechanisms they operate, or the steps they ascend or descend. More than his other books I've reviewed previously, the text and the photographs in The Experience of Architecture work together extremely well, only occasionally departing ways (his descriptions of buildings not accompanied by photos – and therefore not visited by Plummer – don't hold up as strongly in their arguments as those that share both words and images).


[Spread with traditional Japanese architecture]

Plummer's argument for designing what he calls "truly actionable spaces" – spaces that invite people to respond creatively and promote them from "patients" to "agents" – plays out across five chapters: "Floors of Agility" on the surfaces we traverse; "Mechanisms of Transformation" on the opening and closing of doors, windows and other membranes; "Spaces of Versatility" on ambiguous spaces that invite multiple uses; "Depths of Discovery" on residual spaces and layered surfaces that provoke our curiosity; and "Fields of Action" on "open forms" that open up possibilities. In each chapter the author-slash-photographer lays out his ideas on each theme and then presents in loosely chronological order some examples that fit. He moves from traditional precedents (towns of Greece and Italy, Japanese dwellings) to some fairly obvious names (Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis I. Kahn, Carlo Scarpa, Maison de Verre) as well as some surprising ones (Wharton Esherick, ) that crop up repeatedly. His frames of reference could be seen as fairly small, but it's hard to argue with the quality of the spaces he describes and depicts – some strong arguments for architects to enrich the spaces that people live, work, and play in every day.


[Spread with Carlo Scarpa's Ca' Foscari in Venice]

Friday, May 12, 2017

Today's archidose #963

Here are some photos of the Socio-Cultural Center of Costa Nova (2015) in Costa Nova, Aveiro, Portugal, by ARX Portugal. (Photographs: José Carlos Melo Dias)

Costa Nova, Centro Sócio-Cultural. ARX Portugal
Costa Nova, Centro Sócio-Cultural. ARX Portugal
Costa Nova, Centro Sócio-Cultural. ARX Portugal
Costa Nova, Centro Sócio-Cultural. ARX Portugal
Costa Nova, Centro Sócio-Cultural. ARX Portugal
Costa Nova, Centro Sócio-Cultural. ARX Portugal
Costa Nova, Centro Sócio-Cultural. ARX Portugal

To contribute your Flickr images for consideration, just:
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