Thursday, April 16, 2009

Peter Zumthor - 2009 Pritzker Prize Winner

Peter Zumthor - 2009 Pritzker Architecture Prize Winner
In honor of Peter Zumthor's award of the Pritzker Architecture Prize this year, we grabbed this extensive slide show of Flickr photos from Zumthor's studios and from fans around the world who have sought out and photographed his work. "His architecture expresses respect for the primacy of the site, the legacy of a local culture, and the invaluable lessons of architectural history," commented the judges.

Washington Post, architecture and design critic, Phillip Kennicott, wrote of Zumthor, "He is one of the least flashy of architects ever honored by the Pritzker jury. Zumthor's work, much of it built in Switzerland, is remarkable for its visual simplicity, its reliance on pure and sensuous materials, including wood and local stones, and for its careful integration into the natural or urban landscape."

Frances Anderton, noted design and architectural critic, offered this: "many (have) argued that an ideal architecture for our times would fuse environmental and social responsibility with wondrous design. I would say that Zumthor's work, especially the Vals spa -- built for the well-being of local villagers as well as visitors at the adjoining hotel; made largely with local materials utilizing local craft; and at once very simple and utterly luxurious -- exquisitely embodies that convergence."

For 30 years, Zumthor has worked in the remote Swiss mountain village of Haldenstein.

Thermal Baths in Vals, Switzerland

30 seconds : MoMA Shorts

We thought we would share a video feature of MoMA's redesigned website. Members get a :30 shot at describing their ideas and experiences in and around the museum. Here is the link providing an exceptional point of view on MoMA. It was created for MoMA by the Swiss filmmaker/artist, Thilo Hoffman.

MoMA's new site anticipates the growing use of social media and offers opportunities for people from around the world to respond and inform through the site.

Art Babble

ArtBabble offers a tremendous relief from the millions of videos flooding the world with mindless piffle. For keeping up with a wide spectrum of the art and design world in a video medium, don't miss it. Art Babble offers a concentration of illuminating work, interviews with notables such as Robert Irwin and Chuck Close, and video essays on current works of creators such as architect/artist Maya Lin. We like it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Eco-Refit : Empire State Building

New York's most iconic building has announced a $20 million eco-refit in addition to its $500 million renovation efforts to attract new tenants. It is projected that the energy refit will save $4.4 million a year with a 38% energy savings.

According to the U.S Department of State, buildings account for an estimated 36 percent of overall energy use, 65 percent of electricity consumption, 30 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions and 12 percent of water use in America, exemplifying a major area of interest for ecologists.

The Green Business Council is forecasting that the market for green architecture and buildings will reach $60 billion in the US by 2010, up from $7 billion in 2005. But this latest trend in investment in existing buildings provides a new challenge in the architecture society, and a welcome economic opportunity.