All over the country – all over the world, in fact – cities are building new art museums, or enlarging the ones they have.
more stories like this
A surge of new buildings like this, all of a single kind, doesn’t occur very often. What our blizzard of museums reminds you of is the Middle Ages in Western Europe, when every city and town seemed to be erecting a cathedral.
And indeed, it can be argued that the art museum, too, is a place where we gather with our neighbors to engage in something rather like worship. As the philosopher Nietzsche famously said, God is dead, and all we have left is art.
Museums now are like movies or celebrities. There’s a hot new performer every year. The current media darling is the Bloch Building, a new wing of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, which is the major art museum in Kansas City. The architect is Steven Holl, of New York, best known in Boston for his amazing, sometimes controversial Simmons Hall dormitory at MIT. The Bloch is amazing too, but it isn’t controversial. It’s been just about everybody’s pick as the best American building of 2007.
Another museum that’s a work of art – The Boston Globe.
A conceptual design for a skyscraper that can do ‘everything a tree can do except replicate’ will be one of the highlights of the inaugural World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi next month.
William McDonough – recognised by Time magazine as a ‘Hero for the Planet’ – was commissioned by Fortune magazine to come up with a design for a skyscraper office tower that would anticipate a 100 percent positive impact on people and place. Since his firm of architects embarked on the project, he has been approached by numerous companies keen to turn the idea into reality.
‘We’re really excited,’ said McDonough in an interview, ‘because everyone in the building world that has seen it has said ‘can we do this together?’ So we are now looking for a patron to help us bring this to reality.’
Design visionary to present futuristic ‘building for today’ at Abu Dhabi World Future Energy Summit | World Future Energy Summit (WFES).
Moscow planners have approved Lord Foster’s design for the world’s biggest building – likened by critics to an alien spacecraft and a “dahlia stuck in a string bag”. The British architect’s £2bn “city within a city”, Crystal Island, will be built on the banks of the Moscow river, with a total floor area of 2.5m square metres, making it the largest enclosed space ever to be constructed.
Crystal Island’s steel mega frame is to feature a “smart skin” to buffer against extreme temperatures and is expected to contain 3,000 hotel rooms, 900 apartments and a school for 500 pupils. Its 620m-wide base will taper to a spire almost 500 metres high, giving it the form of a vast transparent wigwam.
Moscow rises to Foster’s space-age vision | Art & Architecture | Guardian Unlimited Arts.
In Hong Kong, where land for construction is scarce and commerce has long ruled, preservation has usually given way to a tide of urban development. Few of the British expatriates and Chinese immigrants who came to the city with the moniker “borrowed place, borrowed time” saw it as a permanent home. But since the territory was returned to Chinese rule from Britain in 1997, its local identity has come to the forefront and heritage conservation has taken on the overtones of a populist struggle.
Rendering of the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s proposal for the Central Police Station (inset) and Victoria Prison
Recently battles have been waged over buildings that in most cities would have little historical appeal. In the past year, the demolition of two 1950s ferry terminals to make way for a highway and commercial property developments spurred demonstrations, hunger strikes and arrests.
“These recent heritage battles represent a desperate search for a cultural anchor,” says Lee Ho Yin, director of the architectural conservation program at the University of Hong Kong. “It’s part of Hong Kong people seeking their own identity and roots.”
A Borrowed Place on Borrowed Time – WallStreetJournal.com.
Philadelphia has a new sound. Home to the Declaration of Independence and the famous Liberty Bell, the city now hosts an installation of bell-like public sculpture by conceptual artist Dennis Oppenheim. Wave Forms is spectacular, featuring six, 20 foot, bell shapes made of aluminum tube and perforated aluminum, in open-air courtyards adjacent to a new apartment complex at the University of Pennsylvania.
Oppenheim refined his proposal in consultation with the landscape architect Sara Peschel. The work was engineered, transported and installed by La Paloma Fine Art of Sun Valley, California.
Artdaily.org – The First Art Newspaper on the Net.