Architecture Now! 5

by | 23. Aug 2012



Now in its fifth installment, the Architecture Now! series is an ongoing project documenting the work of the most innovative and influential architects across the globe.

Architecture Now! volume 5 features famous names and newcomers alike, and this time around a number of designers are also included, reflecting the new ways in which design and architecture are coming together. Since architecture also extends beyond walls, landscape architecture makes its appearance as well.

In a period that privileges transience, architecture is curiously still prized for its durability. With the thunderous collapse of the World Trade Center Towers, it may be, though, that the 21st century will be more a time of superficiality and ruin than of new and lasting monuments to the spirit. Or might there be more hope for the future than this dark picture may suggest? The heavy stones of other eras have already given way to lightness both in form and concept, often obviating the need to last a lifetime or more – the usually unstated hope of any client, to leave a mark for new generations to admire.
/Philip Jodidio

Among the featured architects and projects are:

architecture_now5_2.jpgPhoto © Fernando Alda. Emilio Ambasz. House of Spiritual Retreat (2003 – 05). Seville, Spain.

The house consists, simply, of a large continuous space, contained by sinuous walls, with different areas confined by smooth cavities excavated into the floor and echoed by the ceiling above.
/Emilio Ambasz

Photo © Makoto Yoshida. Atelier Tekuto. Lucky Drops House (2004 – 05). Setagaya-ku. Tokyo, Japan.

The tiny Lucky Drops House makes use of its narrow lot in an innovative fashion.
Local zoning rules required a 50-centimeter setback of the external walls of the house from adjacent buildings. This rule did not apply to underground spaces, so the main living spaces are below grade.


Photo © Peter Aaron/Esto. Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. Apple Store Fifth Avenue (2003 – 2006). New York, NY

Although the actual retail space is located below grade, the most spectacular element of the design is the entrance volume.

The glass cube is self-supporting through the integration of a taut glass skin, vertical glass fins and a grid of glass beams.
/Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Photo @ Doug Chiang. Doug Chiang. Robota.


As a film production designer, I thrieve to suspend disbeliefand inspire awe and amusement with my designs. They need to be visually plausible in order to convince the viewer it exists when in fact it doesn’t.
/Doug Chiang

architecture_now5_6.jpgPhoto © Thomas Mayer. Frank Gehry. Hotel Marques de Riscal (2003 – 06). Elciego, (Alava) Spain. 
A series of rectilinear elements, clad in sandstone, combined with sweeping panels of gold and pink titanium, and mirror finish stainless steel.

Photo © Toyo Ito. Toyo Ito. Meiso No Mori. Municipal Funeral Hall (2005 – 06). Kakamigahara. Gifu, Japan

Toyo Ito is known for the lightness of his architecture. The undulation of the roof of this crematorium assumes a natural configuration, with images such as slowly drifting clouds coming to mind.


Photo © Morphosis. Morphosis. Phare Tower (2006 – 12). Paris, France.


There’s a fluidity, a sensuousness, a softness to the form as it reaches to the sky. Moving around the tower, it appears to shift continually, distinct from different vantage points – not a single image, but a dynamic structure that responds to its site, environment, and performance requirements.
/Thom Mayne


Photo © Leonardo Finotti. Oscar Niemeyer. Ibirapuera Auditorim (2004 – 05). Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The new editorium is essentially a large white wedge, set among the other buildings designed by Niemeyer in the Ibirapuera Park 50 years ago. The red tongue of the main entrance stands out from the white, concrete building.


Photo © arcspace. SANAA. Glass Pavilion. Toledo Museum of Art (2003 – 06). Toledo, Ohio

One of the things we wanted to achieve with this project was to create an intimate relationship between the inside and the outside, giving visitors the feeling of walking under the trees…feeling the green atmosphere of the garden.

As always, easy-to-navigate illustrated A-Z entries include current and recent projects, biographies, contact information, and website addresses.