OMA appoints Shohei Shigematsu as Partner

The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) has appointed Shohei Shigematsu as partner of the OMA Holding company. Mr. Shigematsu is currently director of OMA*AMO PC in New York.

Mr. Shigematsu is currently in charge of Cornell University’s new building for the College of Architecture, Art and Planning in Ithaca, NY, a Mixed-use High-rise Building in Jersey City, NJ, and a Residential Tower with CAA (Creative Artist Agency) screening room on 23 East 22nd Street in Manhattan amongst other projects.

SOURCE: OMA.eu – OMA appoints Shohei Shigematsu as Partner.

Foriegn firms aren’t just in India for the cash

The Times of India looks at foreign firms in India and talks about

Be it a slum redevelopment project in congested Mumbai or Kolkata’s new museum of modern art, the global imprint on the country’s fast-changing urban landscape is evident. Made in India but designed by a clutch of foreign architects looking to cash in on the country’s real estate boom.

This is true of many developing nations (UAE, China, India, Vietnam, Tanzania,) that when the first major projects such as airports, museums, galleries, opera houses are slated for design and then construction many foreign firms are issued the contracts. And as the article speaks about it has a lot to do with star marketing power but often it has more to do with the experience of designing and building large scale projects and finalising them within a short time frame(eg Olympic, Commonwelath Games Venues).

The author refers to RMJM, Foster and Partners, HOK, who all have experience in large scale projects but also have offices all around the world so they understand what it takes to open a new office in a developing nation and to make it work.

Having international firms design infrastructure, civic and residential projects is not all bad, the country benefits from projects being seen on the world scale an example is the Olympic Stadium (bird’s nest) in Beijing many people have known about this building years in advance of the Olympics. The main benefit to the developing country is that many of these large firms employ local workers and train them in the international standard of design, engineering and detailing which they can then take to a local firm or move on and open their own firm. This is true of many of the major cities in China where over the last 15 years foreign firms have opened offices and worked on large scale projects and local firms have learnt from their successes and failures (in design and business) and now compete quite successfully against foreign firms.

Most of all it is up to local firms, schools and governments to educate the current and future designers of India so that they can compete and win against foreign firms not just from North America and Europe developed Asian countries but their developing neighbors such as China.

SOURCE of Original Article: Times of India – Foreign hands building India – Author: Neelam Raaj

San Antonio’s McNay Art Museum Reopened After $33.1 Million Expansion

The McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, the oldest modern art museum in Texas, has officially reopened after doubling in size. The 45,000-square-foot expansion — named the Jane and Arthur Stieren Center for Exhibitions — allows the museum to host larger, critically-acclaimed exhibitions and enables it to show more of its collection, with distinctive additions such as a beautiful outdoor sculpture garden to showcase the museum’s growing sculpture collection. The $33.1 million Stieren Center re-opened on June 7, 2008.

Jean-Paul Viguier, a French architect who has designed several modern-day Paris landmarks, served as the museum’s lead architect. TBG, Texas’ largest landscape architecture and planning firm, was responsible for designing the new outdoor sculpture gardens and other exterior features.

SOURCE: SunHerald.com –  San Antonio’s McNay Art Museum Reopened After $33.1 Million Expansion.

Foster and Partners announce installation for 2008 London Festival of Architecture

Foster + Partners is designing and then erecting, with the help of the public, a special installation to mark the launch of the 2008 London Festival of Architecture (LFA) on Saturday 21 June. Part of the LFA’s Kensington, Chelsea and Knightsbridge Hub, the structure will be constructed and dismantled on Exhibition Road in a single day.

The design will be revealed at the event and Foster + Partners is delighted to announce that the installation will incorporate a new eight channel site specific sound sculpture by artist Bill Fontana.

The temporary structure will rise to over ten metres in height, feature tensile components and involve public participation. Members of the public will be invited to assist between 10.00am to 12.00pm and then help to raise the structure at 2.00pm. Situated adjacent to Imperial College, visitors will be able to experience the interior of the installation and the specially commissioned sound piece until 6.30pm.

Bill Fontana lives and works in San Francisco, exhibits internationally and is represented in London by Haunch of Venison. He has spent more than thirty years creating installations that use sound to transform the visitor’s experience of art and architecture.

Credits:
Designer: Foster + Partners, Sound artist: Bill Fontana, Engineer: Buro Happold Technical installation: ESS Projects

With support from:
Architen Landrell Creative Technologies, Imperial College, Keim Paints, Medico, Rope & Marine Services, SheetFab , Showstars , Stage One

Sustainabilty NOW – Virtual Conference

1st – 2nd July 2008

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