Thursday, October 21, 2010

Gunnar Birkerts' National Library in Riga, Latvia

My story on Gunnar Birkert's Latvian National Library ran in the news section of Architectural Record's web page this week, and appears in the October issue. Mr. Birkerts is 85, and this may well be his most original and compelling design yet. It is set for completion in time for Riga's date as European Cultural Capital in 2014.

A Decades-Old Project Finally Gets Built
Architectural Record, October 2010, page 30.
Web page news section, October 18, 2010

Image from the National Library of Latvia web page.

A new monograph on Birkert's career is available:
Gunnar Birkerts--Metaphoric Modernist
Edition Axel Menges, Stuttagrt, 2009.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

FAD Winners 2010

As I announced in July, the winners of the annual FAD Awards were presented this month in Barcelona.

The Architecture Prize went to the Grupo Aranea (Francisco Leiva and Marta García) for their High School in Rafal, Alicante (featured in a photo in my July post).

José María Sánchez received a Special Mention for his Sports Center in Guijo de Granadilla, Cáceres, a project I have published several times.

The prize for Public Spaces was awarded to Carlos Ferrater and Xaxier Marti for their Beachfront Promenade in Benidorm, also in the province of Alicante.

In the category of Interior Design, a bar in Oviedo, Spain, I+DRINK. by Merche Alcalá and Marion Dönneweg,was recognized, and in the category of Ephemeral Spaces, Weltliteratur, an exhibition in the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon designed by Francisco and Manuel Aires Mateus.

Among the Prizes of Opinion awarded by the public attending the ceremony, Jordi Baas received two, one
in the category of Architecture for his Museum Can Framis in Barcelona, which I published earlier this year, and another for his CP House in the category of Interiors.

Photo: Beachfront Promenade, Benidorm by Carlos Ferrater and Xavier Marti. Photo © Alejo Bagué/Ascer.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bucky Lands in Madrid

Norman Foster and Luis Fernández-Galiano have organized a show in Madrid titled "Bucky Fuller & Spaceship Earth" that includes a full-size replica of the Dymaxion Car -- only three prototypes of the original vehicle were made in 1933-34.

The show is at Ivory Press & Books, a bookstore and publisher housed in a space designed by Foster and run by his wife, Elena Ochoa. They've also edited a handsome book on the vehicle. I've found some of the previous ventures by the Press a bit precious, but this is something else, a luxury in every sense of the word.

Foster's interest in Fuller goes back to his student days at Yale, and he collaborated with him on projects in the 1970s. His comments on the show are on the Foster and Partners' press office web page.

The show is open through this month.

Ivorypress Art+Books
Ivorypress Ltd.
Comandante Zorita, 48
28020 Madrid

In coordination with the show, AV Monográfías 143 is dedicated enitely to Fuller,with texts by Foster, Fenández-Galiano, Allegra Fuller Snyder and many others, in Spanish and English. See Table of Contents.