In Hybrid Highrise Beatrice Galilee writes about Wandel Hoefer Lorch & Hirsch new building in Tbilisi, Georgia. The 2008 Russia-Georgia war left the project in an incomplete state.
“The building with its main structure, its façade, and its technical equipment was finished – just the inner partitions were missing. The partition of the office building became a long process, and actually a process that will never really stop since the user structure will be constantly changing.”
In Forms of Energy #8, Marialuisia Palumbo, looks at the Terlizzi project by the Pica Ciamarra office an example of attempted urban redevelopment which she writes “is certainly a positive point for the Puglia region, which has become the most significant political laboratory in Italy in recent years researching an alternative to the oil-based culture“. The project is an attempt to weave together residential, post-industrial, business spaces and solar energy production into a new urban district.
Also, published recently was a great Op-Ed by Brian Kuan Wood, entitled Gated Communities, it explores the idea of autonomous communities. From new “contract cities” managed and serviced by multinational corporation like CH2M HILL, to modern day Tory dreams of a Big Society. Or the indigenous Croa community in Brazil’s remote state of Acre.
Brendan McGetrick travels to Songjiang to visit The Giant Interactive Group Campus by Morphosis. I was surprised to read this passage, give the size and scale, even contemporary nature of the work; “These thoughtful “third places” comprise one of the campus’s defining features and suggest the existence of a soft, compassionate core beneath the headquarters’ hard exterior.”
Alona Martinez Perez interviews Lord Rogers in A Design Community. Lord Rogers, at one point notes that he has always opposed “the concept that planning is different to architecture. They’re the same, just different surfaces: one horizontal and one vertical.”
Laura Bossi reports in from Bamako, Mali with Diébédo Francis Kéré., in Francis Kéré. See Africa. As noted in earlier posts on Francis one of the most interesting aspects of his projects is the effort he puts into incorporating the community. Even as far as teaching them design-build skills and using them as workers. Yet, Laura seems to indicate that this involvement stems as much from economic necessity as social agenda “the scope of work always faces rock bottom economic resources and humble materials. His creative practice is accompanied by a busy teaching schedule. In order to build his schools, he trains masons who are often people he grew up with, digging and cutting the laterite – layers of clay found in nature, even in the vicinity of his construction sites – in order to transform this material with zero kilometer impacts and costs.”
Two houses by João Vilanova Artigas, explores the houses for Olga Baeta and Rubens de Mendonça which belong to the second phase of the work of João Vilanova Artigas the most important modernist architect of São Paulo. Lauro Cavalcanti concludes, that ‘The Baeta and Mendonça houses demonstrate how the pursuit of spontaneity brought Artigas to the conclusion that buildings must “renounce their immediate function, in favour of expressing that which is richest and most extraordinary about humankind, that is to say, the poetic vision of space”.’