NEWS REVIEW
small WAN logo 27 August 2013
Issue 449
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Drawing on experience: SPEECH completes Architectural Graphics Museum
Russian firm SPEECH has seen its design for the Architectural Graphics Museum come to life in Berlin. Designed to exhibit the collections of the Sergei Tchoban Foundation alongside temporary
displays from overseas institutions such as the Sir John Soane's Museum (London) and the Art School (Paris),
the concrete and glass form rises through five storeys, each of which is offset from those above and below. The new museum is situated in an up-and-coming cultural destination in the Prenzlauer Berg district with neighbours including the AEDES architecture gallery, a modern art gallery and artists' workshops. Externally the Architectural Graphics Museum has a neutral-toned façade etched with sketches of building designs; a taste of the work displayed within. The Sergei Tchoban Foundation was created in 2009 to celebrate the art of drafting in a world so dependent on technology. Committed draftsman Tchoban is a German architect of Russian descent and is one of two founders of SPEECH, the architects behind the Architectural Graphics Museum. Four concrete volumes are topped... Read more
Top stories this week
1 House of Dust, Rome, Italy
Architect Antonino Cardillo has shared his latest private residence project with WAN. The 1,076 sq ft abode is a modest scheme in Rome, Italy and has inspired two additional artworks in the form of a short film and poem. The poem is included below and has been penned by Antonino Cardillo himself while the film, also below, was devised by Pasquale Marino, Valentina Belli and... Read more
2 Fogo Island Inn, Back Western Shore, Newfoundland, Canada
In June a secluded fishing village in Newfoundland welcomed an influx of international visitors by opening a striking 4,500 sq m hotel on its coastline. Sandwiched between Joe Batt's Arm and Barr'd Islands, the Fogo Island Inn was designed by Saunders Architecture and Sheppard Case Architects... Read more
3 Supercube, Rotterdam, Netherlands
After thirty years of vacancy, Supercube, Piet Blom's well-known cube complex in Rotterdam, has undergone a major transformation project by Personal Architecture. Under the guidance of the Exodus foundation the Cube has now been inhabited by 20 delinquents in the final stage of their detention. Since its completion in 1982 the Supercube has... Read more
4 The Hive, Worcester Library, United Kingdom
Grant Associates, the celebrated architects behind the Cooled Conservatories and Supertrees projects in Singapore, have seen their landscape designs for The Hive, Worcester Library come to life. The UK scheme designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley is the first in Europe to offer a joint university and public library and opened in July 2012... Read more
5 QueensWay, Queens, NY, United States
The Trust for Public Land and Friends of the QueensWay announced today that WXY Architecture + Urban Design and dlandstudio have been selected to lead a design and feasibility plan to turn a 3.5 mile stretch of abandoned railroad in Queens, NY into the new QueensWay park. The firms were chosen from 29 proposals from as far away as China... Read more
WAN Facade of the Year Award: Shortlist and Commendations
Sleeping the faith: Mies gets a hotel makeover in Chicago
For many Modernist masterpieces, 'the future' toward which their sleek designs propelled us came much sooner than even their creators could have imagined, leaving us to answer the question, 'What do we do with them now that the future is here?' Mies van der Rohe's last project and a late entry in the Modernist canon, the 52-story IBM Building in Chicago, dedicated in 1972, was well ahead of its time in many aspects.

Winning the first Midwest Excellence Award for Energy Conservation from the Federal Energy Commission, it was among the first curtain-wall designs to employ thermal breaks, and used tinted double glazing to cut UV rays and match its bronze-anodized aluminum cladding. Despite these features and its deployment of all the classic Mies moves - travertine marble, expressive gridlines, a Spartan, high-ceilinged lobby, column-free floorplates - the fast-changing needs of the American company most synonymous with 'modernity' in the 20th Century meant the pristine spaces were first subdivided, then gradually emptied and, only 33 years on, abandoned entirely.

The legendary skyscraper was tossed around like a hot potato between numerous owners from 1996 to 2008, who floated various plans ranging from multi-tenant offices to condominiums to hotels, which resulted in the clearance of several floors before the 2008 financial crisis stopped work. Hope sprang anew when Langham Hotel Group acquired the first 13 floors and announced plans to install a new luxury hotel in the vein of its successful London flagship. The move apparently inspired others; the turning point for the tower came when the upper office floors were taken by the American Medical Association in December 2012. The building is now on the eve of its Sept. 3 rededication as AMA Plaza, and the Langham Hotel Chicago at its base has just opened.

Purists would probably never be satisfied with any redesign of a Mies building but Langham has produced a bronzed beauty so gorgeous you can forgive it for being 'unfaithful'. A team of designers - Richmond International on upper-floor public spaces and guestrooms, van der Rohe's grandson Dirk Lohan on the ground-floor lobby, David Rockwell on resto-bar detail and Goettsch Partners as architects of record – has produced a winning and consistent experience in tune with the spirit of our times, if not the letter of Mies'.

Read more
1914 'Wonderground' map of
London stations to go on display
Smith|Allen completes 3D printed
pavilion in 150-acre redwood forest
MacDonald 'Max' Gill, the slightly less well-known brother of sculptor and typographer Eric, is to be celebrated in a colourful showcase of artworks more than 60 years after his death. Born in 1884, Gill was an eminent designer, illustrator and architect, although he was later rather overshadowed by his successful brother. Out of the Shadows: MacDonald Gill
Young architect and sculpture duo Smith|Allen have 3D printed the largest structure of its kind in the dappled light of a redwood forest in Gualala, California. Entitled Echoviren, the pavilion-style structure took 10,800 hours to print more than 500 panels via 7 desktop 3D printers and was assembled onsite in only 4 days. Presented by the designers as 'the world's first
(20 September - 2 November) is a free retrospective at the PM Gallery in Ealing, London, an extension to the Sir John Soane-designed Pitzhanger Manor. The exhibition will put a number of rarely-viewed original artworks on display to the general public, giving a prime opportunity to explore the streets of London some 100 years ago. A selection of the artworks included in the exhibition were uncovered by the nephew of Gill's second wife when he inherited their family home in the 1980s. Rolled up in chests under... Read more 3D printed, full-scale architectural installation', the structure measures 10ft x 10ft x 8ft and was erected as part of the Project 387 Residency which supports visual artists and performers. Smith|Allen describe their project thus: "A graft within the space of the forest, Echoviren is a space for contemplation of the landscape, of the natural, and our relationship with these constructs. It focuses on the essence of the forest not as a natural system, but as a palimpsest. "The hybridized experience within the piece highlights... Read more
Interview: Gavin Thompson, Buro Happold
In light of the Buro Happold Effectiveness Award hosted by WAN, we spoke to Chairman at Buro Happold Gavin Thompson about the importance of tracking the effectiveness of building design across the industry.

There are a growing number of evangelists for effective building design, why do you think this is?
Buildings are largely built rather than manufactured, those involved in the closed loop nature of refinement through feedback that lies at the heart of product design and manufacturing would find the process of building reckless given its inherent lack of feedback around effectiveness.

Inevitably the economic recession has forced introspection in the interests of economy, and perhaps this has forced more questions around whether what is being designed for the built environment is as effective and efficient as it can be. More likely is the shift in availability of data in society, by the day it become easier to question and validate the effectiveness of what we do, the built environment is no different.

A building that really works well must shine a very positive light on the role of the architect behind it, and presumably helps them win new work?
The easiest way of building work winning relationships is to retain the ones you already have! Effective buildings mean happy clients who are likely to want more or who will recommend your work to others.

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