Architecture Blog Post Roundup for Week of June 11

Modern masterpieces. Talkitect looks at five of the greatest modern buildings in the world. The following very different architectural masterpieces, all with a unique story, are explored.

- The Eden Project, UK, by Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners - Sydney Opera House, Australia, by Jørn Utzon - Church of Light, Osaka, Japan, by Tadao Ando - Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA, by Frank Lloyd-Wright - Kammermusiksaal, Berlin, Germany, by Hans Scharoun and Edgar Wisniewski

Written by Francesca (who writes for McCormick Architecture)

Reclaiming the streets. At least 2,000 residents of Brussels, Belgium, had a picnic in the streets, taking a unique approaching to rethinking their Streets as Places last weekend.

The picnic, which blocked traffic for several hours, was kick-started by Philippe Van Parijs, a philosophy professor connected to the universities of Louvain-La-Neuve and Oxford. He recently published an opinion piece on the need of more public space for pedestrians and cyclists in several local media outlets.

Via Polis, Written by Laurent Vermeersch

Parks and pavilions. The Dirt blogs about the new issue of Architype Review which focuses on parks, the spaces designed to explored on foot, and pavilions, the spots from which visitors can take a moment to sit and enjoy the landscape.

“Pavilions are an important part of getting people outside. Landscape architects place these shelters to entice people to walk to them, and they are often sited to afford wonderful views to the landscape beyond. Pavilions provide a place to rest along the way, as well as shade to shield us from too much exposure to the sun. They are designed to be accessible, so that all ages and abilities can enjoy a wonderful outdoor setting.” -- Susan Hatchell, ASLA President, FASLA

Interview with Greg Lynn. Lynn, a Studio Professor at UCLA’s School of Architecture and Urban Design and owner of Greg Lynn Form, works among multiple fields and has partnered with companies such as BMW, Boeing, Disney and Imaginary Forces. He recently delivered the 2012 Sally Walsh Lecture at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

“I think that most of the built environment is a backdrop to daily life and I am all for that. I want people to feel comfortable and I want them to have an affection for being in, on, or around anything I design. In order to have an affection for something it has to be noticed. I find vernacular design a little creepy and obsequious. I prefer a direct greeting over a stalker.” – Greg Form

Via Offcite, Written by: Scott Cartwright and Jenny Lynn Weitz Amare-Cartwight

Architects and Blogging. A panel at last month’s AIA Convention offered a behind the scenes look at a few architects who blog. Panelist Bob Borson writes the Life of an Architect blog and shared his presentation slides and notes with his readers.

“Have I been successful? Depends on how you define success. If you define it as whether or not people have been coming to my site, I’d have to say the answer is yes … but that’s only if that’s your goal – which it wasn’t for me. I was simply trying to learn something new, and in the process, discovered that there is more than one way to communicate with people.”

Weekly Roundup for Week of May 7

2012 AIA Convention. The American Institute of Architecture (AIA) National Convention and Design Exhibition will be held May 17-19 at the Walter E. Washington Center in Washington, D.C. This year’s convention theme “Design Connects” celebrates the uniqueness of design as the synthesis of theory and practice, the relationship of the built and natural environments, and the aspiration of architecture to serve the broader goals of humanity.” Highlights of the convention include keynote presentations given by a recipient of two Pulitzer Prizes and an architect who currently serves as a Cabinet Secretary. There will also be a special tribute honoring six architects involved in the rebuilding and memorials following September 11.

Related: If you have attended #AIAchat on Twitter in the past, be sure to check out the TweetUps while you are at the convention and connect with your Twitter contacts in person:

  • Thursday, May 17, 5:30–6:30 p.m. Emerging Professionals Lounge, Washington Convention Center
  • Friday, May 18, 3–4 p.m. AIA Town Hall, Washington Convention Center

Andrew Hawkins (@HawkinsArch), a friend of both the #AIAchat and the #AECSM chat, will be presenting Twitter best practices – don’t miss it!

If you haven’t registered, you can still RSVP via Twitter using the hashtag #aia2012.

(Walter Communications is disappointed to be missing the AIA Convention this year.)

Welcome Transparency. A New York Times architecture review says that Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s new visitor center features high-contrast oppositions between growing and built.

A lot can go wrong when you try to conceal a building, or even part of one. People are clever; throwing some plants on a roof is unlikely to fool us. But Weiss/Manfredi, perhaps aware of the peril, shaped its roof with care. Even now — when the grasses and flowering bulbs are just beginning to grow in — the new construction, seen from various points in the garden, succeeds in deleting itself from the composition just enough. – Philip Nobel

Fort Mason Contest. Twenty renowned firms from four continents have been invited to participate in a design competition seeking “creative and practical design concepts” on thirteen acres of prime waterfront real estate at the historic Fort Mason Center in San Francisco.

Local invitees include Hood Studio (Oakland), EHDD Architecture  (SF), Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects (SF), CMG Landscape Architecture  (SF) and SWA Group (SF) who may compete with big firms such as James Corner Field Operations, SANAA, Studio Gang Architects and BIG.

Via Arch Daily

Prestigious Arts Prize. Spanish avant-garde architect Rafael Moneo, known for the use of light in his building designs to create diaphanous spaces, was named as this year's recipient of the Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts.

The jury hailed the universal quality of Moneo's work, saying it enriches urban spaces "with an architecture that is serene and meticulous" adding that Moneo is an acclaimed master who combines aesthetics with functionality, "especially in the airy interiors that act as impeccable settings for great works of culture and the spirit."

Via Fox News Latino