pp. 576, $42.50
Nest" Stadium, Beijing, by Herzog & de Meuron, 2008
By Carter B. Horsley
This sixth volume of Philip Jodidio's
absolutely wonderful series on great architecture projects around the
world that have been completed in the preceeding year is chock full of
fabulous projects that are very mind-boggling and sensational.
The most famous and prominent project, of course, was Herzog &
de Meuron's great main stadium for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
They won the competition for the 91,000-seat facility in
2003. Mr. Jodidio notes that "the angled beams of the stadium
rise up in a pattern that is not predictable at close quarters, giving
a feeling of dynamism to the architecture," adding that "though the
forms of the architecture are powerfull, they open to vistiors in a way
that gives a sensation of freedom." The book contains many
photorgaphs of the facility including night shots and "a webbed
ceiling in a foyer space that echoes the
overall structure of the stadium" and is enormous.
Beijing, by Studio Pei-Zhu, control center for the 2008 Olympics in
Beijing, 2005-8, © Studio Pei-Zhu
from Herzog & de Meuron's great Olympic Stadium, Digital
a large, bunker-like structure erected to house the control center
for the 2008 Olympics games and then become a "virtual museum and
exhibition center for digital projects." It consists of four
with its most prominent one resembling an integrated electronics chip or
bar code as shown in the above photograph.
Building, by Barkow Leibinger Architekten, Seoul, Korea,
2005-6, © Corinne Rose
The book notes
that Barkow Leibinger Architeken, which designed the Trutec Building in
Seoul that won an honor award in 2008 from the American Institute of
Architets the "Digital Media City, where the project is located, is a
place 'where site, history or methods may be irrelevant, transitional,
or appropriated from other places." The building has a roof
garden and five underground levels of parking.
of stone wall of SGAE Central Europe, Antón García-Abril &
Ensamble Studio, Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain, 2005-7,
SGAE (Society of Authors and Publishers) Central Europe facility in
Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain, is a modern-day Stonehenge.
Designed by Antón Garcia-Abril & Ensamble Studio in
2005-7, it was developed and envisaged by Arata Isozaki.
According to García-Abril, the great stone wall can be thought
of as a monumental sculpture, constructed by the superposition
and repetition of prehistoric orders adapted to a Renasssance broken
composition." The book notes that a more discreet
"non-broken" wall faces the street.
Beach Café, by Heatherwick Studio, Littlehampton,West Sussex, U.K.,
2005-7, © Arcaid
Studio was asked in 2005 to design a café to replace an ice-cream kiosk
in the seaside town of Littlehampton in West Sussex, U.K. The
book notes that the long and narrow building, which seats 60 inside and
80 outside, is "sliced diagonally into ribbons that wrap up
and over the building, forming a layered protective shell, open to the
sea in front." The opening has glass doors and
roller shutters and the book notes that "in contrast to the
conventional white-washed seaside aesthetic, the building is raw and
weathered and the monocoque steel shell was developed with a computer
model and is smooth to the touch and a surface treatment allows any
graffiti to be easily removed. Thomas Heatherwick, the
architect, is quoted as stating that "our challenge is to build a
functional and durable structure on a tight budget, where
you eat a Mr. Whippy or drink Dom Pérignon." Will
someone please give Mr. Heatherwick, Coney Island and Yankee Stadium!
Glass Cube, by 3Deluxe Transdisplinary Design, Bad Driburg, Germany,
2004-7, © 3 deluxe
exhibition center for Glaskoch, a glass company in Westphalia, the
exhibition center known as the Leonardo Glass Cube by 3deluxe has
exterior paths made from cast white concrete elements related to the
structure, which is mostly underground.
Art Museum, Dafen Village, Shenzhen, China, by Urbanus Architecture
& Design, 2006-8, © Iwan Baan
Dafen Art Museum in Dafen Village, Shenzhen, China, was designed in
2006-8 by Urbanus Architecture & Design of which Liu Xiadou was
founding partner. The book said that Dafen Village "is well
China for its oil painting replica workshops that
export to Europe,
America and Asia." The architects said that
"the irony is that in a
place unimaginable for a typical art musem we hope it can host the most
avant-garde contemporary art shows and, at the same time can
include the local new vernacular pop art It should
be a highly mixed
building a hybrid container. The building is an extraordinary
real and outlined windows set at angles as if in some surrealistic "fun
house." The building has angles and ramps and a very low
fence harkening to Medievel battlements - a great children's playground
that happens to be an interesting commentary on contemporary
Museum, by Coop Himmelblau, 2001-7, © Leonard Finotti
Himmelblau won a competition in 2001 for this museum project, which
consists of the Crystal, the Gallery Box and the Roof Cloud.
Welt, by Coop Himmelblau, Munich, 2001-7, © Christian Richters
Frank O. Gehry is not the
world's only master of dramatic and very unusual building forms as
evidenced by the two highlighted projects in this book by Coop
Himmelblau, the sophisticated Akron Art Museum and the very flamboyant and
fluid BMW Welt in Munich. The former stays within the norms of
traditional forms in its own charming jumbled way, but the latter is a
very dynamic, energetic and almost ominous concatenation of explosive
and very new forms with a curved skybridge and a metallic glass
component that looks as though it successfully survived and was
transformed sensationally by a kitchen blender. It may not
slice and dice but it surely inspires a fascinating new and
very complex beauty.
beneath the Brooklyn Bridge by Oliafur Eliasson, 2008, © Bernstein
Photography, courtesy by Public Art Fund
spectacular and very wonderful architectural works are very rare in New
York City and two of the greatest in recent memory were extremely
temporary, a terrible indictment of the city's political and cultural
One was the recreation in lights of the demolished World
Trade Center with very powerful floodlights shooting upwards toward the
stars on the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attracks.
The lights were infinitely better than the fiasco that
has followed and resulted in basically nothing but the waste of
billions of dollars.
The second was less visible, especially for Manhattan
residents. It was Oliafur Eliasson's wonderful waterfall
benearth the Manhattan Tower of the Brooklyn Bridge facing the river.
It was in place only from June 26 to October 13, 2008.
It was actually one of four similar waterfalls in the 2008
project One was between piers 4 and 5 in Brooklyn, another at
Pier 35, and one on Governors Island. The only one that
really counted, however, was beneath the bridge as it gave a
very rich and symbolic transformation to the bridge and did so with
great grace and simplicity. It should be reinstallled and
kept up for alternate years so as not to offend too many preservation
purists but enchant the rest of the world who sees Manhattan through
the special eyes of Brooklyn, which lost the great Dodgers years ago
but has begun to make a significant comeback in its rebuiillding.
of Fashion and Design, by Jakob + MacFarlane, Paris, 2007-8, © Nicola
Snaking along the Seine across from
the Gare Lyon, the City of Fashion and Design by Dominque Jako and
Brendan MacFarlane is located on the quai d'Austerlitz and trasnforms a
1907 industrial concrete warehouse with a light-weight glass
construction system known as "plug-over." The green-glass
facade has been added to the older building's Seine side facade and is
an example of the new "bold and chunky" aesthetic" that is increasingly
Strasbourg, Ekbolsheim, Strasbourg, France, by Massimiliano Fuksas,
2003-7, © Morena Maggi
Fuksas won an international competition in 2003 for this 10,000-seat
rock music venue in Strasbourg, France. The book provides the
following quotation from Fuksas about the project:
"The building is to be
understood as a single, unifying and autonomous sculpture. By layering and rotating the ellipsoid
metal facade structure the design receives a very dynamic character.
This is underlined with the translucent textile membrane,
which covers the steel frame and creates magnificent light effects."
The first Zenith "hall" was created in 1984.
"Make it Right/Pink
Project," curated by Brad Pitt for Graft, New Orleans, Louisiana,
2007-, © Tomio Ohashi
it Right/Pink Project" is a very interesting initiative by Brad Pitt,
the actor, to focus attention on the Lower Ninth Ward that was
devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Graft, which was
founded in 1998 by Lars Kruckeberg and Wolfram Putz collaborated with
William McDonough + Partners and Mr. Pitt, Reed Kroloff, and the Lower
Ninth Ward Community Coalition to design low-cost houses for
the area. They invited other architects such as Morphosis,
MVRDV and Shigeru Ban and in 2007 Mr. Pitt presented 13 proposals and
he and Steve Bing, a film producer, have promised to match up
to $10 million in donations. One of the more interesting
designs by Graft was a house with an open garage next to a "grand"
stair entrance to living quarters with an angled overhang.