Mark #41 Dec 2012/Jan 2013

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There’s no sign of slow down for Montpellier, with the French boom town awash in big-name architects and major projects.

From Jean Nouvel’s city hall, to a school of management by Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas, and a library by Zaha Hadid, we profile a city with an eye for tomorrow. From Venice, eight architects – from Norman Foster to Kumiko Inui – give us their thoughts on the Architecture Biennale’s best and brightest. Finally, Adjaye Associates inject spirit into Washington D.C.’s design scene with a pair of libraries in low-income neighbourhoods.

Cross Section

New work by: SFOSL, Roz Barr, Buehrer Wuest, Helen & Hard, Studio Pacific, Hofman Dujardin, Lautner + Kirisits, V-Architekten, Tato, Joho, HHF, Patrick Tatopoulos, BDG, Mecanoo, Pohl Architekten, Juan Agustin Soza, Périphériques and Berranger & Vincent, Alex Chinneck, TDA, Churtichaga+Quadra-Salcedo, and Powerhouse Company

Perspective: Montpellier

  • Introduction: Three new buildings for administrative, educational and cultural purposes endorse Montpellier’s ambitious vision of the future.
  • Ateliers Jean Nouvel: In a time marked by cutbacks in public expenditures, Jean Nouvel’s City Hall sends a message of belief in tomorrow.
  • Studio Fuksas: Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas turned their school of hotel management into a fluid aluminium sculpture.
  • Zaha Hadid Architects: Zaha Hadid’s building in Montpellier is a symbol of civic pride.

Long Section

  • Mass Studies: The new Daum complex seems to have been carved from Jeju Island’s geological formations.
  • Architecture Biennale: Eight architects share their experiences at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale.
  • Koji Tsutsui & Associates: Koji Tsutsui’s Case Study House explores ways in which communities can grow without growing apart.
  • Slides: A recent surge of architectural slides makes one wonder what the designers were thinking.
  • Tomas Koolhaas: Tomas Koolhaas is working on a film about his father, Rem.
  • Adjaye Associates: Adjaye Associates realized two exemplary libraries for the enrichment of low-income communities in Washington, DC.
  • Tino Schaedler: The commercial for Kia’s budget car, Soul, inverts the role of the architect.
  • Gerardo Broissin: The Roberto Cantoral Cultural Center in Mexico City takes us back to mid-century modern.
  • Deborah Borda: The Los Angeles Philharmonic asked Frank Gehry and Jean Nouvel to design opera sets.
  • BRT Architects: Hadi Teherani of BRT Architects has built an oasis of learning on the edge of the Abu Dhabi Desert.
  • Blair Kamin: Blair Kamin thinks all good journalistic critics are activists.

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