Dear ArchitectureWeek Readers,
Coop Himmelb(l)au designed Central Los Angeles High School #9 for the Visual and Performing Arts for a site on the northern edge of downtown Los Angeles, California. Photo: Duccio Malagamba/ Courtesy Prestel
HS#9 BY COOP HIMMELB(L)AU
by Sylvia Lavin
"Revolution 9" is a song recorded by the Beatles and
released on The White Album in 1968, that heady year
when students were demonstrating across Europe, the
Vietnam War was at a fever pitch, and Coop Himmelb(l)au
was founded in Vienna. The song has been described as
the best-known work of avant-garde music and the most
disliked moment of any Beatles album.
Key to the work's Jekyll and Hyde reputation is that
unlike most Beatles songs, with their sweetly
straightforward lyrics and comparatively unencumbered
sound, "Revolution 9" is frustratingly difficult to
For some, this suggests a connection to musique
concrète and opens the Beatles up to more than
just a pop music legacy. For others, however, the song's
sampling of bits of music by Sibelius and Beethoven
opens the Beatles up to accusations that they abandoned
their audience and the band's obligation to make
listeners feel good.
The result has been a mash-up of interpretations and
misinterpretations, the most famous being the one
celebrated by conspiracy theorists who listen to the
song backwards and claim that when John Lennon repeats
the words "number nine, number nine," he is confirming
— in secret code intelligible only à la
Leonardo da Vinci, in reverse — that Paul
McCartney had died and had been replaced by a
doppelgänger in 1966.
It is uncanny how much of this description applies to
Coop Himmelb(l)au's High School #9. And I don't just
mean the uncanny coincidence of the number nine itself,
but of the trauma of interpretation and value that the
two number nines have produced.
Like the song, the building has been both celebrated for
its radical form and chastised for its apparent
abandonment of its obligation to its audience who are
used to and therefore may still want conventional school
buildings. Indeed, of all of the relatively recent
public commissions in Los Angeles, from Frank Gehry's
Disney Concert Hall to the Caltrans Headquarters by
Morphosis and Renzo Piano's Broad pavilion at LACMA, the
high school is the most classically avant-garde.
RTKL has revealed its competition-winning design for the Zhangjiagang Twin Towers in Zhangjiagang, China. Image: © RTKL
People and Places
by Nancy Novitski
RTKL in Zhangjiagang, China
Leo A Daly in Boca Raton, Florida
Woods Bagot in Bendigo, Australia
Atelier Bow-Wow with Fiedler Marciano Architecture in New York, New York
Böge Lindner K2 Architekten in Hamburg, Germany
ZGF Architects in Portland, Oregon
International architecture firm RTKL has revealed its winning design for the Zhangjiagang Twin Towers in Zhangjiagang, China. RTKL's competition entry included architectural design for the first phase of the project, which encompasses twin towers 268 meters (879 feet) and 188 meters (617 feet) tall, respectively, connected by an elliptical atrium, along with a master plan for the second phase of the project, which covers four retail and 16 residential buildings. The taller building will contain a hotel and serviced apartments. The atrium will provide social gathering space, and is also part of a multilevel, 60,000-square-meter (650,000-square-foot) retail, dining, and entertainment center.
Set to open by the end of 2015, the development is part of a larger urban planning effort to shift the center of the city to Ren Min road. The developer is Jiangsu Shagang Group Hongrun Real Estate Development, a subsidiary of a major steel conglomerate in China's Jiangsu Province.
Tanner Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects designed a graceful apartment addition to the owner's existing studio space in a former paint factory. Photo: © Stan Musilek, Sharon Reisdorph
San Francisco Rooftop Apartment
by Julio Fajardo
This apartment, within an old paint factory in San
Francisco, was created when the owner decided to add a
home to his studio. It was important to separate the
work area from the personal, which occupies a new level
built atop the original rectangular structure. Tanner
Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects designed the addition and
A mezzanine containing the kitchen, bathroom, and storage space connects to the upper level, which holds the living room, dining room, and bedroom.
Each successive level enjoys better illumination, beginning with the darker studio and culminating on the top floor where large windows and a terrace offer impressive views of San Francisco and the bay.
The sliding doors, installed upon the metallic structure to which floor-to-ceiling windows are fixed, separate the various sections of the upper level. The absence of walls emphasizes the feeling of spaciousness and allows light to pass from one area to another.
The kitchen and bathroom occupy a level slightly below the rest of the residence, although visually they are connected to the top floor. The abundant light from the terrace illuminates this intermediary level, which acts as a transitional space between the work area below and the home area above.
It's fast, easy, private, and secure.
Tools and Downloads
ANSI/BHMA Standard for Materials and Finishes
The Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA) is
offering a free download of ANSI/BHMA A156.18-2006, useful when
specifying hardware on a wide range of project applications. The
standard establishes finish test methods and code numbers for
finishes on various base materials.
White Paper on Anchoring Dimension Stone
Download a general guide from the Marble Institute of America
for tradespeople on the practice of mechanically anchoring
dimension stone, offering insight about how stone-anchorage
devices interface with stone panels and the building structure.
The bulletin also discusses common anchorage devices and gives
guidance on appropriate anchor devices in different situations.
GstarCAD Software Integrates with iPad - AECCafe.com, 2011.0810
New USB 3.0 Spec Could Deliver Up to 100 Watts - News Factor, 2011.0810
iPhone 5: iOS 5 Beta Version Issued to Developers. - Christian Science Monitor, 2011.0808
NEC MultiSync EA232WMi Monitor - Cadalyst, 2011.0804
Autodesk Building Design Suite Premium 2012 - Cadalyst, 2011.0804
Inaugural Revit Technology Conference 2011 in the US - AECbytes, 2011.0804
Product News - Modified Wood
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For what building is Charles Garnier (1825-1898) most famous?
Connect each of the following pre-Columbian sites with the
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B. Chichen Itza
C. Monte Albán
4. Zapotec and Mixtec
Classic Home 059 — Urcel Daniel house, by Gregory Ain, Architect
"This house was built in Los Angeles in 1939 on an extremely steep site. The foundation is an 8- by 20-foot (2.4- by 6.1-meter) concrete caisson with rigidly braced 4- by 4-inch (10- by 10-centimeter) posts, 4 feet (122 centimeters) on center. The exterior construction is stucco on metal lath. A large window on the south looks out over an adjacent lot, which is considerably lower. Otherwise, the main windows do not face the street or adjacent property....
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