Architects can’t predict the future; why the fad for avant-garde architecture?

Abu Dhabi has recently announced plans to turn itself into a sort of Arabian Left Bank, with cultural venues designed by Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry, and Jean Nouvel. Beijing, meanwhile, is completing the giant steel bird’s nest of Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron’s Olympic Stadium, and also has Paul Andreu’s titanium-egg National Theater, and Rem Koolhaas’ unusual state television headquarters, which locals have dubbed “the twisted donut.” An obscure sheikhdom on the Gulf and the world’s largest Communist dictatorship have unexpectedly become the latest hotbeds of avant-garde architecture.

Read more @ SLATE.com – Architects can’t predict the future; why the fad for avant-garde architecture? – By Witold Rybczynski

Romp with architecture mixes styles, results at Crown Hall

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s principles of free-flowing, flexible space were in full view during a first-time collaboration between Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and Illinois Institute of Technology architecture students over the weekend.

The German-born modernist architect, who designed IIT’s Crown Hall in the 1950s with the idea of opening up the interior for multiple uses, may not have had dance performances in mind. But the interplay between settings created by the school’s aspiring architects and filled in by dancers at Crown Hall underscored Mies’ belief that an efficient structure can be endlessly transformed.

Read more @ chicagotribune.comRomp with architecture mixes styles, results at Crown Hall by Lucia Mauro

Urban Design Competition site choosen in Dallas

464-acre site south of downtown Dallas has been chosen as the study area for the sixth annual ULI (Urban Land Institute,USA) Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition, an ideas competition for university students created to honor the legacy of urban development pioneer Gerald D. Hines, chairman of the Hines real estate organization and a laureate of the Urban Land Institute J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development.

Read more at ULI: Testing a New Generation

Cities join WWF to cut carbon use

Shanghai and Baoding have become the first cities to take part in a new WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) initiative to research less carbon-intensive paths to urban development in China, the international environmental organization said.

The Low Carbon City Initiative will initially focus on energy efficiency in buildings, renewable sources of energy and the manufacturing of energy-efficient products.

“Cities are an important part of China’s economic development, but many face problems such as low energy efficiency and degraded environmental quality,” Li Lin, head of conservation strategies at WWF-China, said.

Read more @ Chinadaily.com – Cities join WWF to cut carbon use by Sun Xiaohua (China Daily)

Architect calls for tens of thousands of ‘green’¬†buildings

R.K. Stewart: Sustainable design really is designing in such a way that we utilize resources effectively and efficiently to preserve future opportunities for future generations.

Stewart was 2007 president of the American Institute of Architects.

R.K. Stewart: We need to design in a different way that lowers the amount of energy that we use. Our goal is to cut that utilization of fossil fuels by 50 per cent by the year 2010 and then continue to ratchet those reductions up in such a way that we can continue to have a high quality of life.

Read more @ Earth & Sky – Architect calls for tens of thousands of ‘green’ buildings  or Listen

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