Mayor Eric Garcetti is among the leaders who will preview dramatic changes in urban living at FutureBuild 2014. On January 28 ULI Los Angeles, a District Council of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), presents this high-level, interactive event. Mayor Eric Garcetti will give the lunch keynote event – a preview of a sustainably designed future Los Angeles. Other topics will include 3D printed homes, driverless vehicles, micro power grids, the 21st-century office, instant parks and urban farms, healthy places, new uses for old buildings and other radical reinventions
By Michael Webb
All the usual suspects and several unfamiliar names are rounded up in this ambitious bilingual catalog of recent work by about sixty Chilean architects, working alone or on collaborative ventures. Essays by Miquel Adriá, Horacio Torrent, and Pablo Allard provide a historical background, explain how architecture has flourished in Chile over the past two decades, and introduce some of the leading players. Each architect or team is represented by one or more buildings—the prolific Mathias Klotz has eight—shown in plans and photos with brief factual descriptions.
It started with a letter. You see, for the last quarter century or so, Japan has been one of Carl Hansen & Son’s biggest markets. Eager to work with a Japanese designer, especially one whose designs reflected a spirit akin to the great Hans Wegner’s, the firm reached out to Pritzker Prize–winning architect Tadao Ando to gauge his interest in collaborating. His answer was quick and affirmative.
If you’ve spent any time exploring LA, you’ve seen a dingbat. They’re everywhere—boxy apartment buildings with names like The Palms or The Tropics. Over the years, architects have had something of a love/hate relationship with them. On the one hand, “their relentless efficiency,” as architect Thurman Grant calls it, is noteworthy, while their grim aesthetics (out of step with the romance their monikers conjure up) have not helped their reputation.
Think Dutch: Conceptual Architecture and Design in the Netherlands. Bilingual text by Jeroen Junte and David Keunig. Daab/Frame Publishers. $175.
A third of the Netherlands lies below the present sea-level and the first priority is to live with, above and even on water. So it’s appropriate that this provocative survey should begin with a focus on water. Here are inventive bridges, a floating mosque, and a half-submerged tax office, as well as water purification devices.
The subtitle of the book is misleading: these are all concrete solutions, not blue-sky ideas, and perpetuate a centuries-old tradition of problem-solving. In his introduction, editor Robert Thiemann sees the financial collapse of 2008 as a decisive turning point for architecture. “The young designer of today is not, and has no wish to be, a star architect, but rather an anonymous team-player in a collective association of people in search of the correct moral and aesthetic attitude,” he writes. That may be true for idealists, and the spirit of collaboration in the profession is strong, but one suspects that many team players covet the success of OMA, MVRDV, and UN Studio, who have parlayed fame into global practices. A financial crisis doesn’t change human nature, and established firms that took a hit in 2008 are bouncing back.