ArchiWEB Explorer: Columbia University

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Spotlight: Kengo Kuma

Asakusa Culture and Tourism Center. Image © Takeshi Yamagishi Asakusa Culture and Tourism Center. Image © Takeshi Yamagishi

Kengo Kuma (born 8th August, 1956) is one of the most significant Japanese figures in contemporary architecture. His reinterpretation of traditional Japanese architectural elements for the 21st century has involved serious innovation in uses of natural materials, new ways of thinking about light and lightness and architecture that enhances rather than dominates. His buildings don't attempt to fade into the surroundings through simple gestures, as some current Japanese work does, but instead his architecture attempts to manipulate traditional elements into statement-making architecture that still draws links with the area in which it's built. These high-tech remixes of traditional elements and influences have proved popular across Japan and beyond, and his recent works have begun expanding out of Japan to China and the West.

Milstein Center Nears Completion

This week I'm busy with, among other things, preparing for a "critic's tour" of Barnard College and Columbia University that I'll be giving during next week's AIA Conference on Architecture. With that, here are some photos I took last week of the newest building on the two campuses: Barnard's Milstein Center, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. The building is set to open in October.

Kenneth Frampton on His Early Career and Appreciating Architectural Talent From Around the Globe

Housing for Mahouts and their Elephants, by RMA Architects, who Frampton names as a practice doing exceptional work in Asia. Image © Carlos Chen Housing for Mahouts and their Elephants, by RMA Architects, who Frampton names as a practice doing exceptional work in Asia. Image © Carlos Chen

In a recent interview with Metropolis Magazine, Kenneth Frampton answered questions about his existing architectural influence and his opinion as it relates to the direction of architectural theory and criticism. Frampton has long been a prominent voice in the world of architectural theory and writing. He has taught at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) since 1972, all the while publishing a large collection of critical essays and books on the topic of 20th-century architecture—the most notable of those being his 1983 essay “Towards a Critical Regionalism: Six Points for an Architecture of Resistance.”

Four Finalists Announced for Harvard's 2018 Wheelwright Prize

© Felipe Gomes © Felipe Gomes

Harvard University Graduate School of Design (Harvard GSD) has announced the four finalists for the 2018 Wheelwright Prize, a $100,000 travel research-based grant available to early-career architects worldwide. 

Selected from over 125 applications from nearly 40 countries worldwide, the four finalists are from Belgium, Mexico, Brazil, and the United States. This year’s jury includes 2014 Wheelwright Prize Winner Jose Ahedo, Edward Eigen, Frida Escobedo, K. Michael Hays, Mark Lee, Mohsen Mostafavi, and Michelle Wilkinson. A winner will be named in April. 

Read more about the four finalists below: 

Aude-Line Duliere: “Crafted Images: Material Flows, Techniques, and Reuses in Set Construction Design”

Top five architecture and design opportunities include roles at Büro Ole Scheeren and Columbia University

The best new architecture and design roles available via Dezeen Jobs this week include positions with Büro Ole Scheeren in Beijing, Columbia University in New York and Cousins & Cousins Architects in London. Read more

Closing Soon

A trio of exhibitions I visited last week: three of them are closing within the next week, while the third one closes next month. All are worth the effort.



Closes Monday, January 22
falkeis.architects: active energy building

Austrian Cultural Forum New York
11 East 52nd Street
Open M-F 3-5pm by appointment only (via email in link)



There's a double appeal to this small exhibition: learning about the design, research, and construction of the Active Energy Building in Lichtenstein, designed by Austrian architects Anton Falkeis and Cornelia Falkeis-Senn; and seeing the 11th floor of Raimund Abraham's Austrian Cultural Forum. Instead of walking inside the building and taking a few steps to the public galleries on the lower floors, one must take an elevator ride to see the drawings, model, and photos of the Active Energy Building. Tucked in the building's tapered section between the ACFNY's offices and the apartment of ACFNY director Christine Moser, it's a trip most people will never take.

Architectural Origins, Educations and Risks; A Conversation with Steven Holl and Ed Weinstein, Part 2


[Steven Holl and Ed Weinstein, photo by BUILD LLC]

Last summer, BUILD sat down with Steven Holl and Ed Weinstein in Seattle’s Pike Place Market to discuss their humble beginnings, their common educational paths, and the life experiences that produced two distinctively successful architecture practices. For part 1 of the conversation, hop over to ARCADE Magazine, Issue 35.3, available in print and on their website.