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    ArchitectureWeek Notes No. 576
    Dear ArchitectureWeek Readers,

    ArchitectureWeek No. 576 is now available on the Web, with these new design and building features, and more.


    The Sendai Mediatheque, in Sendai, Japan, designed by Toyo Ito. Photo: © Nacasa and Partners Inc.

    Toyo Ito Pritzker Prize
    by ArchitectureWeek

    Toyo Ito is the 2013 recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. The outspoken 71-year-old Japanese architect has designed a body of varied work, with each successive building seeming to share little stylistically in common with its predecessors.

    Of these many buildings, in an ArchitectureWeek interview, Ito identified the Sendai Mediatheque, in Sendai, Japan, as a favorite:

    "It changed the whole way I think about architecture and society. Before that project I didn't think society actually expected much from architects. My idea was that we didn't really have much of a social impact. But after that project, I actually watched what happened at the Mediatheque, and the people who used that space really enjoyed that building and it changed their behavior."   >>>

    posting & images continue online  

    So far away in place & mind as to seem alien, and at the same time, so strongly evocative. Photo: Lisa Ross

    Living Shrines of Uyghur China
    by Lisa Ross

    These photographs by artist Lisa Ross were taken at mazârs, Muslim sacred burial sites, in Uyghur China—known variously to different peoples as Xinjiang, East Turkestan, a stop on the Silk Road, Chinese Central Asia, or Uyghuristan.

    This region has long been one of the world's great crossroads, with a cultural distinctiveness built from a history of hybridity. Indeed the vernacular, often-spontaneous sites that Ross has photographed suggest an experiential in-betweenness and a semblance to things and places found just beyond the expanse of the Taklamakan Desert: prayer flags from Tibet, wishing trees in Mongolia, and even the mundane, mass-produced acrylic silks littering China's towns.

    On closer inspection, however, the distinctions of these mazârs—and those of Ross's work—begin to come into focus. — Beth Citron

    The story of my relationship to mazârs (holy sites) is one of fate and possibly faith. With each step I took, another door opened. When people ask me, "How did you choose this?" the most suitable answer is: "It chose me." The truth is I had been feeling very drawn to deserts.

    In the three years prior I had visited the Sahara twice and Sinai once. Often an artist will arrive at a place and it becomes their home, somewhere all of the channels open up and they find they can create freely without hesitation. The Taklamakan Desert and its surrounding oasis villages and cities became this for me.

    An Early Visit

    Shao Ma was Hui, Chinese Muslim. He had begun to have a feeling for the kinds of landscapes that interested me, even though we had no language in common. He was quiet and thoughtful. He pointed into the desert. There seemed to be a footpath in the sand, forged by use over time. Following his nod, I walked in, over small sand dunes and then a large dune. Colors began to reveal themselves. In the distance I could see what looked like wooden cribs or rafts, cresting on dry land, animated by colored flags beating in the wind.   >>>

    full story online (20 images, 10 free)  

    Engineer Richard Steiff is credited with designing the strikingly original Steiff Factory Building, built in 1903 in Giengen, Germany. Photo: Courtesy Margarete Steiff GmbH

    Translucent Glass Curtainwall in 1903 - The Steiff Factory Building
    by Scott Murray

    Due to its inherent relationship with the perception of manipulated light, the condition of translucency in architecture is often associated with primarily subjective aims: the creation of spectacle, affect, or atmosphere.

    Translucency also has the potential to address practical issues of function and technical performance in buildings of certain usage which may require, for instance, specific lighting conditions or degrees of privacy or publicity.

    The incorporation of translucent materials in the design of a building skin may therefore be related to program as much as (if not to the exclusion of) spectacle or aesthetic expression, phenomena which become by-products of the main intent.

    In these types of buildings, the enclosure system may be read as an embodiment, or crystallization, of rational programmatic concerns, reflecting the fundamental importance of light in the activities taking place within and often accompanied by a prioritization of materiality and performance over form.

    Steiff Factory Building

    Among the many influential industrial buildings that contributed to the rise of modern architecture in the early twentieth century, the lesser-known Steiff Factory Building of 1903 stands out for its stunningly inventive translucent double-skin glass enclosure.

    This three-story loft structure, still standing today in Giengen, Germany, was built by the Steiff Company, a manufacturer of dolls and other toys, for purely utilitarian purposes: to provide flexible spaces for manufacturing with abundant natural light and a comfortable interior environment.   >>>

    full story online (10 images, five free)  

    Pulling back a partition wall in this kitchen allowed it to be expanded and opened up to the living area. Photo: Mick Hales

    Staying Put in Style: Opening Up a Condo Kitchen
    by Duo Dickinson

    Selectively removing a nonbearing wall connects a viewless, internal kitchen to living and dining spaces. Simple, standard detailing was used to create custom cabinets at an affordable cost.

    Tall elements — range hood, refrigerator, and upper cabinets — were kept away from the opening to allow better connection. The height of the wall allows for a visual separation of whatever is on the countertop from those in the living room.

    Keeping the kitchen essentially where it was and simply opening it up saved money, and the chaos of construction was limited to a single area of the condo.   >>>

    full story online (five images, five free)  
    P&P Image

    Japanese architect Toyo Ito is the 2013 winner of the Pritzker Prize in architecture. Photo: Courtesy Pritzker Foundation

    People and Places
    by ArchitectureWeek

    Toyo Ito Pritzker PrizeBritish Columbia Wood Design AwardsBNIM - Kansas City Ballet Brooks + Scarpa - Solar High School in Los AngelesRalph Rapson & Palladio in VicenzaVJAA Addition to Breuer's AbbeyDream of a Science PopeLeo A. Daly - High School in Los AngelesRIBA Video Highlights 2012 Olympics ArchitectureCZWG - Vermillion Housing in London — Ralph Rapson & I.M. Pei in Hong Kong

    Toyo Ito Pritzker Prize
    While Ito's career to date has spanned some 40 years, completion of the Sendai Mediatheque in 2001 seems to have been a career catalyst. Since 2001, the architect has designed noteworthy projects including a Serpentine Gallery; the Taichung Metropolitan Opera House, in Taichung, Taiwan; a crematorium, in Kakamigahara, Japan; and two flashy mid-rise buildings in Tokyo: Tod's Omotesando and Mikimoto Ginza 2.

    Pritzker Jury Comments

    "Whoever reviews Ito's works notices not only a variety of functional programs, but also a spectrum of architectural languages. He has gradually developed and perfected a personal architectural syntax, which combines structural and technical ingenuity with formal clarity. His forms do not comply with either a minimalist or a parametric approach. Different circumstances lead to different answers.

    "From the outset, he developed works that were modern, using standard industrial materials and components for his lightweight structures, such as tubes, expanded meshes, perforated aluminum sheeting and permeable fabrics. His later expressive works have been formed using mostly reinforced concrete. In a truly extraordinary way, he is able to keep structure, space, setting, technology, and place on equal footing.

    "Although the resulting buildings seem effortlessly in balance, they are the result of his deep knowledge of his craft and his ability to deal with all the aspects of architecture simultaneously. In spite of the complexity of his works, their high degree of synthesis means that his works attain a level of calmness that ultimately allows the inhabitants to freely develop their activities within them."   >>>

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    Press Release - Forum Studio Appoints Scott Lumsden as Principal

    Forum Studio announces the appointment of Scott Lumsden as principal. Lumsden will provide project and management leadership with key responsibilities in directing the firm's Technical Assistance Group (TAG). The appointment underscores Forum Studio's commitment to servicing each client and their unique design challenges with multi-disciplinary practices and integrated delivery.


     Technology Update

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    Zaha Hadid Architects App
    The official app of Zaha Hadid Architects is available for iOS (iPhone and iPad versions). This free app allows users to browse through the practice's current portfolio of design and architecture. The app will also offer users interactive guides to be used when visiting several of the firm's award-winning projects. 
    Master Guide Specification Software
    BSD SpecLink®-E is a master guide specification writing, management, and production system. The software is designed to produce documentation for all types of projects and for all phases of a project, from programming all the way through construction administration. One database of over 600 sections can be expanded or collapsed to provide outline, short form, and full construction specs, without the need to start over at each phase of a project.

    Aeronautical Software Completes a 130-Year-Old Architectural Puzzle - Fast Company, 2013.0312

    Presetting the Surfer's Zoom Distance in AutoCAD Electrical - Terminal AutoCAD, 2013.0308

    Binding a Raster Image in AutoCAD... - Being Civil, 2013.0308

    Sketch Option: Add Dimension - CATI Tech Notes, 2013.0308

    Compare DWG File Changes in AutoCAD - Between the Lines, 2013.0307

    New Passive House Monitoring Solution from PowerWise - PR Newswire, 2013.0228

    New Product


    Product News - Aqua2use® Greywater Diverter

    The Aqua2use® greywater diverter collects gray water from showers, lavatory sinks, laundry, and baths and diverts it for use in lawn and garden irrigation. Its four-stage filtration system is contained in a 21-gallon (70.5-liter) high-density polyethylene (HDPE) tank measures 24 x 15 x 20 inches (61 x 38 x 51 centimeters). An integral control box activates the pump when the tank is full, distributing water to irrigation lines...

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    Contents, RSS, and Surface of the Week

    Metal shutters, louvers, and sash on an 18th century industrial building (WI-179)


    Architecture Quiz this week's new question...

    Rotary-cut wood is used mostly for producing what kind of lumber product?

    Architecture Answer for last week's quiz...

    If a vandal threw a rock at your window, would the window be more likely to survive if the glazing were tempered safety glass or laminated safety glass?



    Classic Home 069 — "Naked House," by Shigeru Ban

    "This small house in Kawagoe, Japan was designed for a family of five, including two children and the owner's elderly mother. At the owner's request, the house is as open as possible to foster an atmosphere of closeness among family members. The only permanent partitions enclose the bathroom suite, which can be further subdivided with sliding doors and nylon curtains. Movable nylon curtains define laundry and dressing areas adjacent to the bathroom and a small kitchen along the north wall. Four large wood boxes on casters serve as bedrooms. Open on two sides, these boxes can be moved throughout the main interior open space and even outside through the western wall.... "


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