RE VIEW PRINCETON- school of ARCHITECTURE rumor- SPRING 2010 ---------------------------------------------
Rumor 01.02 MEGASTRUCTURAL LANDSCAPES: LINEAR CITY Jesse Reiser & Nanako Umemoto, Princeton University; Kuma Kengo, Tokyo University
Background It can be argued that Kenzo Tange’s Tokyo Bay project in 1960 is the last major piece of planning in Japan led exclusively by an encompassing architectural vision. The ambitions and scope of the Tokyo Bay project were necessarily large and comprehensive, ranging from the macro to the micro: from the effects of planning down to the specific architectural character (style) of the project itself. As such, it encompassed the full environmental, social, political, and aesthetic possibilities of which architecture is capable. Such a vision is utopian in the best sense of the word. The project embodies not a flight of fancy but rather a radical empiricist desire to project, in eminently concrete terms, a possible world. Today, Tokyo has a new set of urban challenges requiring a new set of solutions—these problems still deal with a lack of space, but are also accompanied by reduced densities, pollution, and an ongoing energy crisis. Landfill capacity is close to exhaustion due to space constraints and over four million tons of household waste is dumped into Tokyo Bay each year. Although the government has adopted a pro-incineration policy for decades, this has led to greater environmental problems. With over 2000 municipal incinerators, Tokyo is the current global leader in dioxin release, recently being cited as the producer of 40% of the world’s output. A new vision is needed for the future of Tokyo— one that can come much closer to Japan’s legacy of environmental respect and responsibility by using the ambitions of the Tokyo Bay project as a departure point for new speculations on the future of the city.
Linear City Within this new set of urban problems, the issue of the large public infrastructural project comes into question. The project site, the Kawasaki Artificial Platform and the Tokyo Bay Aqualine, is a bridge-tunnel combination across Tokyo Bay. It contains the world’s longest vehicular tunnel and was built at a cost of $11.2 billion. The Aqualine is a hybrid structure composed of a 4.4 km bridge and 9.6 km tunnel underneath the bay. At the bridge-tunnel crossover point, there is an artificial island with a rest area consisting of restaurants, shops and amusement facilities. In the middle of the tunnel, a tower uses the bay’s almost-constant winds as a power source to supply air to the interior. Since the nineteenth century, infrastructure has been overtly utilized as a model resulting in the amplification of systems of movement, distribution, and control. While the proliferation of these systems has necessarily been attendant to modernization, they are rarely questioned or seen as anything other than discrete components of a hierarchy no greater than its parts, circulatory systems for nodal aggregations of culture. The potential of designing new transportation technologies lies in the wider implications and effects of the system. The implementation of high-speed rail technologies creates a spectrum of possibilities and effects ranging from the global to the local, from the level of regional planning and development to the local structures that such technologies carry forward and promulgate.
STUDIO BRIEF Contrary to a more limited view which would understand the introduction of high-volume/ high-speed arteries as merely being able to provide a faster connection between point A and point B, these technologies will have unprecedented effects on urban and ex-urban development. The studio task is to develop new flexibility strategies, both locally and globally. These necessarily would link large-scale, top-down strategies with small-scale, bottom-up models of development. It is a supersystem containing many subsystems. In this context, the local is never merely local, but rather a coherent part of a greater whole. For a system to be truly flexible and adaptive it must arrive out of a logic of feedback between the general and the specific and viceversa. This methodology fundamentally develops infrastructural logics that allow for the playing out of a certain range of possible urban outcomes. Built into this model is the capacity to handle change over time, as opposed to more traditional planning strategies which only provide fixed templates for limited sets of desires. This new Linear City must move past the ideological stance of Metabolism (pure expansion) to more contemporary concerns of intelligent urban growth combined with sustainability or environmental necessities, such as power generation, refuse treatment, desalinization, bioremediation, urban regreening, or restoration of ecological habitats.
Super Jury May 10, 2010 Organizers
Jesse Reiser Princeton University Nanako Umemoto PennDesign/Pratt
Guest Critics Enrique Walker Columbia University Catherine Ingraham , David Ruy, Wiliam Mcdonald Pratt Christine Boyer , Hani Rashid, Carles Vallhonrat
Kengo Kuma Tokyo University Takashi Yamaguchi Osaka Sangyo University David Gouvernour , Ali Rahim , Hina Jamel PennDesign Xu Weiguo Tsinghua University
Tokyo University Architecture School PennDesign Landscape Architecture School Pratt Urban Design and Architecture School Princeton University School of Architecture Osaka Sangyo University Architecture School Tsinghua University Department of Architecture
Robert Cha, “Linear City for Tokyo Bay.”
RE RE VIEW VIEW PRINCETON- school of ARCHITECTURE rumor- SPRING 2010 ---------------------------------------------
Hard, Soft, Fast, Slow: Access and Mobility in 21st Century Cities
SPRING 2010 LECTURE SERIES recap: envelope conversations
10 feb — Borders — Richard Sennett, Professor, Department of Sociology, New York University and London School of Economics — Eyal Weizman, Architect; Director, Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, University of London — Teddy Cruz, Professor in Public Culture, Visual Arts Department, UC San Diego — Gerald E. Frug, Louis D. Brandeis Professor of Law, Harvard University
25 feb — Attachments — Bruno Latour, Professor and Vice-President for Research, Sciences Po, Paris — Greg Lynn, Principal of Greg Lynn FORM; o.Univ. Prof. Arch., University of Applied Arts, Vienna; Professor, UCLA — Axel Kilian, Assistant Professor, Princeton School of Architecture — Dr. Albena Yaneva, Manchester Architecture Research Centre, University of Manchester
24 mar — Global Technologies — Matthias Schuler, Engineer and CEO, Transsolar, Stuttgart; Adjunct Professor of Environmental Technologies, GSD, Harvard University — Saskia Sassen, Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology, Columbia University — Marc Simmons, Partner, Front, Inc. New York; Lecturer, Princeton School of Architecture — Ulrich Knaack, Engineer, Co-founder, Imagine Envelope, The Hague
29 mar — ENVELOPES — Jeffrey Kipnis, Professor, Knowlton School of Architecture, Ohio State; Visiting Professor, Princeton School of Architecture — Ben van Berkel, Principal, UNStudio, Amsterdam — Jesse Reiser, Associate Professor, Princeton School of Architecture; Principal, Reiser + Umemoto RUR Architecture P.C., New York — Alejandro Zaera-Polo, Visiting Professor, Princeton University School of Architecture; Partner, Foreign Office Architects, London
Zaera-polo: Rather than thinking of buildings as objects, the Princeton Envelope Group is interested in seeing buildings as “things” in the sense that they are attached to a much wider set of processes, or controversies. The envelope is the limit between public and private, inside and outside; these are limiting these milieus but at the same time they draw these attachments to them. What we are going to address today is the set of tools that enable architects to draw these attachments to the envelopes as “things,” points of convergence of different processes and points of debate and discussion between different forces and milieus.
Allen: Alejandro’s argument is double: on the one hand, he calls into question the naïve assumption that architects can make political boundaries disappear simply by wishing them away. He reminds us that the politics of the boundary and the architecture of the boundary never perfectly coincide. But it’s also a reassertion of a very specific aspect of architectural expertise: the suggestion here is that if architects are expert at anything, they are experts at limits and boundaries.
Latour: Networks have made the notion of the impenetrability of anything disputable. Networks allow redistribution of actions that were self-contained before and distribute their attributes around. When we are talking about the envelope we are not at all talking about a set of contained entities. On the contrary, we are talking about something that has largely been redistributed throughout different types of entities.
Sassen: How do we make the envelope more sustainable? Can we use the complexity of the city? What would it mean to bridge it with the multiple ecologies of nature? Rather than doing remediation and recycling, to really try to use all of the variety, all of those complexities, and then connect them with the multi-scalar capabilities of nature. The notion for me is bridging. Not reducing to some sort of common denominator where we can go at it with a concerted effort. No. Multiplying the bridges, re-deploying and opening up.
28 apr — Faciality — Jeff Koons, Artist, New York — Sylvia Lavin, Director of Critical Studies and MA/PhD Programs and Professor of Architectural History and Theory at UCLA — Elizabeth Diller, Architect, Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, New York; Professor, Princeton School of Architecture
Above: Alejandro Zaera-Polo; left: Jeff Koons; below: lecture notes, “Global Technologies,” Marc Simmons; bottom: Sylvia Lavin, surprise guest Frank Gehry, Jeff Koons, and Liz Diller.
van berkel: I believe that is important to use the envelope as an apparatus, as a tool, whereby we can use it as instrumental for the way we can produce an architecture. Maybe in that sense, I wish I could go much deeper into the term apparatus.... Maybe the apparatus is the best description of the way we have approached the idea of the surface and spatial organization.
Koons: The envelope is about power. It’s about wanting to exercise power and at the same time it’s about giving up power. The envelope is about serving or being served. It’s about control—having control and giving up control.
The Center for Architecture Urbanism and Infrastructure has invited leading scholars, researchers, and thinkers to present and discuss ideas about the changing infrastructural needs of urban mega-regions in the coming decades. Led by Tom Wright, Executive Director of the Regional Plan Association and Visiting Professor at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School, and CAUI Director Mario Gandelsonas, this workshop will consider the possibilities opened up by the growing trends of regional commuting and personal digital technology. The themes of the workshop will be addressed broadly in order to reconsider the effects of an urban monoculture of highways amidst the increasing influence of mobile communications technology. How do soft systems of communication— smart phones, social media, GPS—change our understanding of existing, hard systems of transportation—roads, rails, airplanes? How can a slow infrastructure respond to the immediacy of tele-media communications and encourage variety, diversity, and new patterns of use that enhance the urban environment? The attendees of the workshop represent a broad field of expertise. With our combined perspective, we can re-imagine urban futures that leverage technologies to generate new configurations of urban space and form. On April 9th and 10th, the Center for Architecture, Infrastructure, and Urbanism held a workshop that brought together scholars, designers, and policy experts. Organized by Tom Wright (Regional Plan Association and Woodrow Wilson School) and Mario Gandelsonas, the workshop focused on issues of transportation planning facing cities in the near future. The Friday evening keynote speech was given by Chris Ward, the Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, who assessed his department’s challenges with the World Trade Center Site and reflected on the issues surrounding unglamorous problems like the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Ward’s respondents, Prof. Kenneth Jackson (Columbia), Dean Marilyn Taylor (University of Pennsylvania), and Dean Stan Allen, focused respectively on history, planning, and architecture. In Saturday’s first panel, Tom Wright moderated a discussion on automobile transportation. Aaron Woolf presented his documentary film on Detroit’s auto industry describing the effects of car-focused urban planning. Prof. Owen Gutfreund (Hunter College) offered a historical perspective on highway planning in the U.S., and illustrated the importance of transportation policy in a world that separates work, leisure, and living spaces. Jon Zeitler (Zipcar) discussed Zipcar’s model for auto transport that benefits from existing infrastructure while decreasing auto use. Representing a perspective from architecture, Paul Lewis presented speculative design projects from his office, Lewis Tsurumaki Lewis,
Keynote speaker Christopher O. Ward, Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
that addressed the interaction between cars and cities. The second panel looked at rail infrastructure and its impacts on urban and regional planning. The panel’s moderator, Petra Todorovich (Regional Plan Association), began the session by presenting the Regional Plan Association’s America 2050 plan. Frederik Pretorius (University of Hong Kong) discussed the special case of Hong Kong’s high urban density and how the government manages rail line expansions. Ariella Masboungi (state architect/ planner, France) discussed how sprawling cities in Europe are responding with new modes of transportation like light rail and dedicated bus lines to reinforce density. Wu Jiang (Tongji University, Shanghai) described China’s network of high speed rail lines as a compliment to their highway planning program. Dana Cuff (UCLA cityLAB) explained her idea for postsuburban mobilities in Southern California, and described the challenge creating ‘smart growth’ in post-suburban landscapes. Cuff also suggested that a strong vision for design is what drives good policy, linking two of the main themes of the workshop. The third panel on digital technologies’ overlaps with transportation, moderated by Mario Gandelsonas, offered new ways to consider transportation questions. Joanna Berzowska (Concordia University, XS Labs) presented her work with new technologies embedded in wearable items that encourage more sensual interaction with the digital. Kristen Purcell (Pew Research Center) described her
Partial prototype of concept car design— Axel Kilian, Peter Schmitt, Patrik Kuenzler, Enrique Garcia, MIT Media Lab 2005.
research on teens’ internet and cell phone use. Axel Kilian reframed how we think about technologies of mobility, from shoes to sedan chairs to eliminating the idea of waiting. Prof. Christine Boyer was skeptical about the newness of new media, and suggested that what might be new was the invisible layer of information that overlays space today. Overall, the workshop brought together many interesting presentations from different fields that found common points for discussion, and highlighted the challenges facing design and planning disciplines in the future. —Sara Stevens
9 april keynote
— Christopher O. Ward, Executive Director, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey — Stan Allen, Dean and Professor, Princeton University School of Architecture — Kenneth Jackson, Professor in History and the Social Sciences, Columbia University — Marilyn Taylor, Dean and Professor, University of Pennsylvania School of Design
10 april Interfacing with Existing Hard Infrastructure
— Tom Wright, (moderator) Executive Director, Regional Plan Association; Visiting Lecturer, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
— Aaron Woolf, filmmaker — Owen Gutfreund, Associate Professor of Urban Affairs and Planning, Hunter College — Jon Zeitler, Executive Vice President for Corporate Development, Zipcar — Paul Lewis, Assistant Professor, Princeton School of Architecture; principal, LTL Architects, New York New Life for Hard and Fast Infrastructure
— Petra Todorovich, (moderator) Director of America 2050, Regional Plan Association — Frederik Pretorius, Associate Professor, Department of Real Estate and Construction, University of Hong Kong — Ariella Masboungi, State Architect-Planner , France — Wu Jiang, Vice President, Tongji University, Shanghai — Dana Cuff, Professor of Architecture and Urban Design, UCLA; Founding Director, cityLAB Soft Infrastructure & The Digital
— Mario Gandelsonas, (moderator) Professor, Princeton School of Architecture; Director, CAUI
— Joanna Berzowska, Associate Professor of Design and Computation Arts, Concordia University; Research Director, XS Labs — Kristen Purcell, Associate Director for Research, Pew Research Center — Axel Kilian, Assistant Professor, Princeton School of Architecture — Christine Boyer, Professor of Architecture and Urbanism, Princeton School of Architecture
FACulty PRINCETON- school of ARCHITECTURE rumor- SPRING 2010 ---------------------------------------------
Water Proving Ground Rising Currents—Projects for New York’s Waterfront, MoMA
Team Leaders: Paul Lewis, Marc Tsurumaki, David J. Lewis; LTL Architects Team Members: Aaron Forrest, Megan Griscom, Perla Dis Kristinsdottir, Yasmin Vobis
PRINCETON- school of ARCHITECTURE rumor- SPRING 2010 ---------------------------------------------
FACulty PRINCETON- school of ARCHITECTURE rumor- SPRING 2010 ---------------------------------------------
PRINCETON- school of ARCHITECTURE rumor- SPRING 2010 ---------------------------------------------
Michael Graves: 2010 Topaz Medallion Winner
In a ceremony held in New Orleans in March, Michael Graves, the Robert Schirmer Professor of Architecture Emeritus at Princeton’s School of Architecture was awarded the 2010 Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education. The Topaz Medallion is awarded jointly by the American Institute of Architects and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, and Graves will also be honored at the AIA National convention in June. The Topaz recognizes an extraordinary 40 years of teaching at Princeton. From 1962 to 2002 Michael Graves was a charismatic presence in the design studio. The dialogue between his own creative practice and his commitment to architecture as a visual art influenced generations of architects and educators. Significantly, since 1976 when Princeton Professor Jean Labatut was awarded the first Topaz Medallion, only three others have received both the AIA Gold medal—the highest award given to a practitioner—and the Topaz. Michael is indeed the consummate architect/educator. In addition to Labatut and Graves, Princeton alumni and faculty to have won the Topaz include: Robert Geddes, Charles Moore, Donlyn Lyndon and Alan Balfour. This is a great honor for Graves and the School, and we will celebrate Michael’s achievement with a gathering of former students and colleagues at the School May 28th. One of the keystones of Michael’s years teaching design at Princeton was the short exercise based on Gunnar Asplund’s 1918 Villa Snellman, which was introduced in the early 1970s (long before Asplund was ‘discovered’ by the rest of the discipline). Michael’s 1975 article “The Swedish Connection” is at once a masterpiece of close formal reading and a gentle manifesto for a new way of thinking about architecture. He argues for experience and meaning over plan and organization— a recovery of architecture’s symbolic capacity. He emphasizes the presence of the perceiving, embodied subject, which finds its analogue in the framed view of nature through the vertical window. Finally, he calls attention to the tactile quality of materials and surfaces, and nudges students toward a solution where a “juxtaposition of elements making comment on the original may enrich the meaning of the old relative to the new.” As Peter Carl points out, the choice of Asplund as an emblem for a ‘return to history’ is a canny one. The Villa Snellman prefigures the complex synthesis of tradition and modernity that would mark Asplund’s later career; this same synthesis in turn became the hallmark of Michael’s Graves’ own immense contribution to both teaching and practice. —Stan Allen
Christian Zapatka, model, Asplund Villa Snellman exercise, 1986.
Peter Carl on michael graves I am certainly honoured to help celebrate Michael Graves’ eminently deserved Topaz award— he might consider these remarks a small expression of gratitude for his generosity and for the wisdom of his teaching. During the late 60s and early 70s, when Walter Gieseking’s rendering of Debussy’s Preludes alternated with Bob Dylan and Cream, and when architecture seemed exposed to a similar range of possibilities, I served as a sounding-board for themes Graves was exploring. It was only when Stan Allen reminded me of my involvement in the origins of the Villa Snellman exercise which Graves used for teaching that I recognised how emblematic it was of the state of play in architecture at the time. The title of Graves’ article on the exercise, “The Swedish Connection,” alluded to the famous movie, suggesting an alternative to certain French addictions. Both these addictions and the openness to Asplund carried the authority of Colin Rowe, as well as a procedure for reading architectural plans since the Renaissance as if produced yesterday. However, it was Michael who recognised in Asplund’s Villa Snellman—which I had never before seen— a vehicle for maintaining a dialogue with the Corbusian inheritance whilst at the same time (continued on p.08)
Faculty jury in a graduate studio directed by Charles Gwathmey, New York City, 1968. Faculty: Michael Wurmfeld, Kenneth Frampton, Michael Graves, Charles Gwathmey; students: Chris Chimera, Russell Swanson, Michael Sena.
travel ogue PRINCETON- school of ARCHITECTURE rumor- SPRING 2010 ---------------------------------------------
mm500 proseminar—India SPRING 2010 travelogue
During the twentieth century, several new capitals were built from scratch, for economic and political reasons. Two of these—Brasília and Chandigarh—share several traits, partly due to the impact of Le Corbusier. In these new cities, the full force of modern architecture was put to the test. This spring a graduate-level seminar taught by Professors Beatriz Colomina (School of Architecture) and Esther da Costa Meyer (Art and Archeology) was dedicated to reassessing these two capitals which are both turning 50 this year. In the seminar, the original projects have been examined from different and often conflicting perspectives, with particular attention paid to the role of popular and professional media in the global promotion and circulation of the new cities. The seminar explored the transformations that have taken place during the last half century, including
the dramatic change from a nationalistic to a transnational globalized perspective, and from a city built after the end of colonization to a city flourishing in our current age of postcolonial critique. The highlight of the seminar was travelling to Chandigarh this spring to see the works in person, interview some of the living protagonists and to gather archival material on site. With Vikram Prakash, Professor at the University of Washington, a native of Chandigarh, and son of one of Le Corbusier’s project managers, the class was able to not only study the Capital Complex designed by Le Corbusier, but also the progressive housing projects of Jane Drew and Maxwell Fry, the public infrastructure of Pierre Jeanneret, and the urban plan developed by Corb and Albert Mayer. In the next months Esther, Beatriz and some of the students will continue to collaborate on an ongoing discussion about Chandigarh’s urban and architectural legacy as part of a Media and Modernity project.
Esther da Costa-Meyer (left); Professor Vikram Prakash (far right), University of Washington— Seattle, son of Aditya Prakash who worked with Le Corbusier in Chandigarh; and S.D. Sharma (second from right), who worked with Le Corbusier and Jeanneret in Chandigarh; with local students.
Princeton University School of Architecture Princeton, NJ 08544 ---------------------------------------------
ISSUE 01.02 spring 2010 ---------------------------------------------
RUMOR is a new Princeton School of Architecture newsletter. RUMOR appears three times a year with news and reviews of the many activities at the School of Architecture: studios, classes and reviews; lectures events, conferences and faculty updates. RUMOR is by definition fragmentary and incomplete: a quick snapshot of the life of the School, telegraphic and immediate.
From left: (front row) Kevin Hayes, Phoebe Springstubb, Beatriz Colomina, Esther da Costa-Meyer, Sam StewartHalevy; (in the opening) Osnat Tadmor, Federica Vannucchi, Matthew Clarke; (back row) Tamicka Marcy, Christina Papadimitriou, Marc Britz, Vanessa Grossman. Photos: V.Ragunath, architect/photographer.
(continued from p.06) opening a challenge to the limitations of ‘form’ and ‘space’. The article situated this challenge in the problem of decorum, and in the reciprocity between the body of the building and Merleau-Ponty’s corporeal scheme. Asplund’s villa was not imported whole, but was trimmed of its more blatantly vernacular aspects. For example, Asplund’s foreground one-storey wing was replaced with a garage in the same place as that of Le Corbusier’s Villa Stein-et-Monzie at Garches (incidentally creating a garage endowed with a fireplace). Moreover, the original idea was that the villa be disposed on a suburban plot somewhere west of Princeton, shaded by Maxfield Parrish trees (including a deciduous version of the tree before the facade of Garches) and furnished with an opulent driveway obeying American turning-radii. Accordingly, the students were presented with an extraordinarily ambiguous object. From their point of view, the American predilection for European iconography could refer back via Swedish vernacular Classicism to the northern European Romanticism of, say, Schinkel or Weinbrenner. Equally, it was possible to imagine this latent Garches as the seed of a fully modernist configuration. Lurking between these alternatives was an Emilian farmhouse as depicted by Morandi. Most prominently, the adaptation retained the original villa’s play between the supple body of the building and the slightly estranged windows and ornament which paradoxically gave great authority to the exterior walls and turned them into paper. Similarly, the interior order seemed poised between a return to poché and an anticipation of Corbusian fragments. In its isolation, the building managed to be both proud and humble, opulent and austere, sober and witty, bearingwall and balloon-frame, an anticipation of modernism and the last thump of falling masonry from ancient Rome. More pittura metafisica than Venturi, the curious building compelled the students to ask fundamental questions. Aldo Rossi’s version of typology, evidently communicating directly with several centuries of architectural treatises, subsequently appeared to clarify such ambiguities. However, Rossi’s inspiration for both Graves and the E.T.H. suggests a victory for the ambiguities. If Graves’ Villa Snellman exercise deserves credit in the history-books for its prescience, the enduring lesson is the attunement to decorum, as the motive which cuts through the logomachy and the references, orienting interpretation about the wit and dignity of dwelling. —After completing his undergraduate degree at Princeton in 1968, Peter Carl received a Master of Architecture from the School in 1973 and the Rome Prize the following year. He is currently Professor of Architecture at London Metropolitan University.
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