What Happened in March

Greetings to everyone from "What Happened in" as another month ends. Let’s review the highlight of March.
  • Miralles Tagliabue EMBT has been selected to design the Shenzhen Conservatory of Music, which is one of the “Ten Cultural Facilities in New Era” funded by the Shenzhen Municipal Government. The masterplan offers a well-balanced dialogue with its built and natural surroundings. The design promotes the relationship between the inside and outside spaces from every part of the buildings.
  • Snøhetta’s proposal for the world’s first full-scale ship tunnel in Norway has approved to be built in 2022. Snøhetta was commissioned in 2016 to design the entrances of a new tunnel which will improve the navigability and safety of maritime transport around Stad. The Stad Ship Tunnel will be 1,7 kilometers long, 37 meters tall, and have a width of 36 meters. The studio also has revealed the renewal proposal of New Kon-Tiki Museum. The revitalization of the existing building and its new expansion will set to open in 2025.
  • Atelier Van Lieshout has unveiled BRUTUS, a neighborhood design including residential units, offices, and services for artists in Rotterdam. BRUTUS will be crowned by three apartment blocks with a combined total of 750 residential units. Lieshout is well known for his provocative sculptures. You can reach the project documents here.
  • WXY has published Davenport 2030: A Resilient City, a ten-year vision for the downtown with a focus on creating stronger connections to surrounding communities, developing talent locally, and gaining quick wins through interim improvements and activations. The strategic master plan includes a growing residential market, robust small business growth, and a thriving arts and entertainment scene.
  • Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM) and TnS Studio have been selected to create an incubator for small businesses and entrepreneurs in the city’s Englewood neighborhood. Englewood Connect will expand upon recent neighborhood investments to create local commerce and culinary ecosystem, greater connectivity and pedestrian access, and flexible public spaces. 
  • Herzog & de Meuron’s M+ building in Hong Kong has completed. M+ is a cultural center for 20th and 21st-century art, design, architecture, and the moving image. As such, it embraces the entire spectrum of spaces, means of display, and activities related to exhibiting and viewing these media.
  • Foster + Partners’ House of Wisdom is completed in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. The House of Wisdom conceptualizes the library as a social hub for learning, supported by innovation and technology. The will be the catalyst for a new cultural quarter in the city.
  • Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s first Australian project The Susan Wakil Health Building is completed. The building consolidates clinical, teaching, and research functions serving as a new model for health facilities, unifying education and practice.
  • Luma Arles Tower designed by Frank Gehry has been set to open on 26 June 2021 in the southern French town of Arles. Gehry stated that they wanted to evoke Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ with the twisting iridescent tower.
  • West 8 and DTAH have released the images of Parlament Slip to revitalize the Toronto waterfront. The West 8+DTAH joint venture won the international competition of the Central Waterfront Innovation Design project in 2006 to transform the waterfront.
  • Tonic Housing will open the U.K.’s first LGBT+ retirement community in Foster + Partners’ London towers Bankhouse
  • The City of Boston announced Stoss & Urban Canopy Works as firms selected to develop Boston’s first urban forest plan. The 20-year plan will set citywide goals for canopy protection, be responsive to climate change and development, and enhance the quality of life for all Bostonians.
  • The Gateway Foundation has published the first hotel in space named Voyager Station. The construction in 2026 and the hotel will welcome its first passengers in 2027. You can make a reservation here already.
  • Technology startup ICON’s 3D-printed single-family homes will be America’s first 3D-printed homes for sale in Austin, Texas. Co-founder and CEO of ICON Gary O’Dell says “We want to change the way we build, own, and how we live in community together”.
  • Louis Vuitton reopened its Ginza Namiki store with a newly designed facade by Jun Aoki and interiors by Peter Marino. The shiny and curvy 7-storey-tall glass facade has a 3D effect.
  • Architecture firm Marvel has published a conceptual design of open-air theatre by transforming shipping containers into Covid-safe outdoor stages In New York. Famous theatre district Broadway has been closed since March 2020 and is expected to remain shuttered until June 2021. The pop-up stages and socially-distanced seats might be a solution during pandemic until theaters are open again.
  • The Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG), the oldest public art gallery in Western Canada, reopened to the public with a new exhibition space Qaumajuq designed by Michael Maltzan Architecture containing the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world.
  • The Art Preserve designed by The Tres Birds will open to the public in June 2021. The Art Preserve’s three-storey building will provide exhibition space, visible storage, and preservation of more than 25,000 works of art by over 30 artists in the John Michael Kohler Arts Center’s world-renowned collection of artist-built environments. Artist-built environments are an art form created by people who often transform their homes and yards into multifaceted works of art.
  • The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has temporarily covered Philip Johnson’s name in the exhibition of Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America since seven artists, architects, and designers featuring in the exhibition demands so.
  • AIA Chicago, the collective voice of 4,000 architects in Chicago, has named Jen Masengarb, a 20-year architecture veteran, as executive director. New leadership comes among AIA Chicago’s efforts to develop a new strategic plan that will guide the chapter for the next several years.
  • Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal have been selected as the 2021 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureates. As Lacaton stated architecture should not be demonstrative or imposing, but it must be something familiar, useful and beautiful, with the ability to quietly support the life that will take place within it.

 The demolishing is a decision of easiness and short term. It is a waste of many things—a waste of energy, a waste of material, and a waste of history. Moreover, it has a very negative social impact. For us, it is an act of violence.

  • The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I. Kahn, known as the first monograph on the American architect, will be reissued by Designers & Books. The original copy issued in 1962 by Richard Saul Wurman and Eugene Feldman. The official website for The Louis I. Kahn Facsimile Project gives the details about the exact reproduction of the architect’s monograph.
  • The University of Arkansas announced Deborah Berke Partners (DBP) and Miller Boskus Lack (MBL) of Fayetteville as architecture teams leading Fine Arts Center restoration. The Fine Arts Center is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Cranbrook Academy of Art intends to stop the admission process for the graduate architecture program this fall semester in 2021 to reimagine the Architecture department at the Academy.
  • Richard Ingersoll passed away at 72 due to COVID-19 related complications. He was a renowned architectural critic, author, and educator.
  • Furniture and interior designer Zeev Aram passed away at 89. He was known for self-financing plenty of modernist and emerging designers at his own design store.
  • Hugh Newell Jacobsen passed away at 91 due to  COVID-19 related complications. He studied under Louis Kahn and Philip Johnson.
  • British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor has built an underwater museum consisting of six monumental sculptures of split human faces off the coast of Cannes, France. Taylor explains that the six artworks are based on portraits of members of the local community, covering a range of ages and professions. For example, Maurice is an 80-year-old fisherman and Anouk is a 9-year-old primary school student.
  • Es Devlin designed a mirror surfaced labyrinth called Forest of Us for Every Wall is a Door which is the name of the inaugural exhibition opening at Superblue Miami. As she wrote under her Instagram post:

The Forest of Us takes as its starting point the striking visual symmetries between the structures within us that allow us to breathe and the structures around us that make breathing possible: the bronchial trees that exchange oxygen for carbon dioxide within our lungs and the trees which exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen within our environment.

  • March’s trending topic was definitely NFTs (non-fungible tokens). According to BBC, NFTs are one-of-a-kind assets in the digital world that can be bought and sold like any other piece of property, but they have no tangible form of their own. American artist Beeple has sold his artwork called Everydays: The First 5000 Days for over $69 million at auction. The artwork is a collage of images all done from start to finish every day by Beeple himself. 
  • The first entirely virtual house NFT called Mars House by artist Krista Kim has sold for more than $512,000. During the COVID 19 quarantine, Krista was inspired to create a healing atmosphere using her visual DNA.
  • Alexis Christodoulou has become the latest 3D artist to sell his Instagram-famous architectural renderings online as part of an NFT auction. The sale includes nine looped, animated videos of different dreamscapes that unite the built and natural environment.
  • Studio Roosegaarde has launched URBAN SUN, the World’s first light which cleans public spaces of the coronavirus for better human gatherings. The studio is inspired by the light of the sun. Urban Sun shines a large circle of far-UVC light into public spaces to sanitize those spaces of the coronavirus. The project aims to inspire hope. It tackles the negative impact of social isolation by promoting cultural gatherings, sporting events, public squares, and schoolyards.
  • Aether Eyewear has launched its first series of audible glasses. The brand synthesizes refined audio eyewear with innovative audio technology for the next-generation listening experience. Aether will allow people to take calls and listen to music through their sunglasses.
  • After a decade, Peugeot has released a new logo of a lion head resembling its 1960s logo. This is the 11th logo of the brand’s history.
  • BMW collaborates with movie composer Hans Zimmer for the upcoming electric iX car featuring interactive soundscape instead of traditional engine sounds. BMW head of design Domagoj Dukec defined the soundscape as a completely new symphony.
  • Heatherwick Studio has revealed concept sketches for an electric car. The studio is designing a new car and charging station for IM Motors.
  • Adidas has produced the longest shoe in the world in collaboration with rapper Tommy Cash. It is mismatched-colored a meter-long version of Adidas’ classic Superstar trainers. The unique trainers have 40 rows of eyelets.

Meet me at the next month’s What Happened In !

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