Galerie Jochum Rodgers‘ exhibition Interiors Palazzo Scalini travels to the era of the Liberty style, where remarkable interior objects by Italian Art nouveau designer, ceramicist and visionaire Galileo Chini in collaboration with architect Carlo Spiccianl, will be on show. Chini’s fascination with cultures took him around the world, most notably to Siam, where he became inspired by Eastern aesthetics. He later incorporated these details into highly decorative furniture pieces, most notably for the joint commission with Spiccianl for the redesign of Palazzo Scalini. Upholstered leather chairs in striking red and gold are some of the works from this collaboration, which are on display for the first time in the exhibition. The parallel presentation of design innovation – Light by Stilnovo, Italy 1950-1960, documents lamps from the early production of the iconic lighting studio Stilnovo – with numerous models from the manufacturers’ 50’s and 60’s heyday.
Social, political, economic and cultural issues are increasingly being framed and contested in the public realm, and consequently city dwellers are demanding their say in the decisions affecting these public spaces. DEMO:POLIS – The Right to Public Space, the Akademie der Künste’s major spring exhibition is an ambitious inquiry into these timely issues surrounding public space. Through an exhibition format, programme of special events, interactive discussions, symposiums, and a publication DEOM:POLIS addresses the options the public has in shaping its own cities – asking questions – how can we reclaim public space and tactically use it? And how do we imbue it with new meaning? The exhibition, curated by the architect Wilfried Wang, who is the deputy director of the architecture section of the Akademie der Künste, shows spatial designs and urban planning that affects small squares to entire strips of coast. Additionally, there is documentation from demonstrations, protests and art interventions that were known to ‘safeguard’ public space, such as White American Flags by Wermke/Leinkauf. Also part of the exhibition are profiles on projects La Ventana al Mar in San Juan by Puerto Rican architect Andrés Mignucci and Sports Park Stožice in Ljubljana by Sadar + Vuga, which amongst others, are deemed extraordinary examples of negotiating Neoliberalization versus Democratization. And artists’ observations of transforming cities and the ‘future city’ also feature, as seen in the work of Michael Ruetz (Timescape) Michael Najjar (Netropolis) and Nuno Cera (Futureland). Every Tuesday the “Urban Parliament” opens a forum for debates, in which, among other aims, activists from city initiatives and visitors will prepare the “Berlin Urban Rights Charta”. During a 36-hour conference “Public Space: Fights and Fictions” from 19 to 21 May, a cooperation with the Goethe-Institut, participants from around the world will discuss the developments and threats to public space; www.adk.de/demopolis.
As the population increases so has our need to understand the architecture that caters to this – Nuno Cera is an artist known for this surveillance of urban development, and this can be seen in his multi-channel video installation Symphony of the Unknown, currently on show at the Kunstraum Botschaft, a new venue founded by the The Portuguese Embassy and the Camões Institute. Fascinated by the complexities and relationships between architectural clusters, the film captures the original visionary forces, utopian ideas and the unknown vertigo qualities of three post-war architectural complexes: Les Espaces d’Abraxas (Ricardo Bofill + Taller de Arquitectura, 1978-1983, Noisy-le-Grand, France), Barbican (Geoffry Powell, Peter Chamberlin + Christof Bon, 1965-1982, London, UK) and Quinta da Malagueira (Álvaro Siza Vieira, 1977-1998, Évora, Portugal). The work examines the history that imbues these buildings, whilst also looking at their present function and reality. Cera’s work can also be seen in DEMO:POLIS – The Right to Public Space, a major exhibition on design possibilities for public space at the Akademie der Künste.
In an extensive call for projects, DAM Deutsches Architekturmuseum has collected various examples of refugee housing projects and actual solutions that have been built in response to an acute need for housing in Europe. Since October 2015, some 35 examples have been collated – forming an ongoing comprehensive research database presented on makingheimat.de. With a particular focus on modular wooden structures, the spectrum of projects also ranges from temporary lightweight containers, comprising fitted interiors designed by architects, to low-cost long-term housing projects. Identifying the long-term sustainability of varying housing models, the database has gathered initiatives from different funding backgrounds – with efforts by citizen groups to projects backed by private benefactors in response to the continent’s existing housing shortage. The database will be open for submissions throughout the Biennale and guidelines stipulate that projects must be commissioned, in construction or already built. The launch marks the first official stage of Making Heimat: Germany, Arrival Country, the proposal for the German Pavilion at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition 2016 – La Biennale di Venezia. The exhibition in Venice will use findings from the database, along with journalist Doug Sanders’ thesis on ‘Arrival Cities’ (living environments within urban structures that are integral to one another, but do not intermix) in order to define the necessary conditions and housing solutions for tomorrow’s integrative urbanism.
The Kunstmuseum Basel, the world’s oldest municipal art collection, which houses over 4,000 paintings and sculptures, as well as 300,000 drawings and prints from seven decades is about to become richer in space. The main building (opened 1936) and the Kunstmuseum Basel | Gegenwart (opened 1980 and is sited in close vicinity on the banks of the Rhine) are to be complemented by the new building. The 2.740 square metre extension has been designed by renowned Basel-based architects Christ & Gantenbein and is primarily dedicated to the museum’s special exhibition programme. The extension is connected to the main building across the street by an underground passageway, and through many of its elements, it cites the rich architectural language of the main building. This is manifested in the monumental stairway with a central circular skylight, the sgraffito in the open areas of the foyer and the staircases. References to the historical building are also present in the colour qualities of the brick facade as well as the highly refined details in the materials used. Despite homage to the old building, the new extension is a standalone building with its own contemporary architectural identity. The polygonal ground plan comprises a series of well-proportioned rectangular exhibition halls. Particularly impressive are the expansive hallways (around five metres in height) that make up the basement level of the building. The new building blends harmoniously into the heterogeneous structure of Basel’s St. Alban quarter and radiates, quite literally, through the LED frieze woven into the facade, out onto the city. To coincide with the opening of the new building, the inaugural exhibition Sculpture on the Move 1946-2016 will take place. The extensive survey, curated by Bernhard Mendes Bürgi., will map the dynamic evolution of the sculptural form – from its antiquated beginnings to its contemporary context, with works by Alberto Giacometti, Ellsworth Kelly, Richard Serra, Katharina Fritsch, Félix González-Torres and Oscar Tuazon on display.
With this year’s Swiss Grand Award for Art / Prix Meret Oppenheim, the Federal Office of Culture (FOC) has honoured three outstanding Swiss cultural practitioners: the curator Adelina von Fürstenberg, conceptual artist Christian Philipp Müller and architect and author Martin Steinmann. For the second time, The Prix Meret Oppenheim will run in parallel to Art Basel, together with the Swiss Art Awards 2016 exhibition. At this time, an exhibition with portraits of the winners will be on show, and a Prix Meret Oppenheim 2016 publication will also launch, which comprises interviews between Samuel Schallenberg and Adelina von Fürstenberg, Philip Ursprung and Christian Philipp Müller, and Daniel Kurz and Martin Steinmann. The Swiss Grand Award for Art / Prix Meret Oppenheim was initiated in 2001 to honour artistic and architectural creativity. The awards distinguish artists, architects, curators and researchers, whose methods and approaches have exerted a lasting influence on our perception and have stimulated cultural dialogue in Switzerland and beyond.
Passengers on the Düsseldorf Metro will be able to journey through the city in an entirely new way come 20 February – the Wehrhahn link, a new underground line, will open its doors after 15 years of planning and construction. The task was carried out by netzwerkarchitekten from Darmstadt and the artist Heike Klussmann. Since 2001, they have worked with architects and artists along with city authorities to realise and devise an overall design concept for the six stops on the new route. The idea was to use the line as a site where art and architecture are inseparably bound – intersecting, inspiring and complementing one another and leaving a strong collective stamp on the space. Remarkably, there will be no advertising in any of the stations across the entire line. The artists commissioned for the series are Ralf Brög (Heinrich-Heine-Allee), Ursula Damm (Schadowstraße), Manuel Franke (Graf-Adolf-Platz), Enne Haehnle (Station Kirchplatz), Thomas Stricker (Benrather Straße), and Heike Klussmann (Pempelforter Straße). Instagram: @wehrhahnlinie
Since the 1960s the Dreischeibenhaus has defined Dusseldorf’s skyline with its height of 94 meters. It is among the most significant examples of post-war modernist International style and a symbol of the so-called Wirtschaftswunder in West-Germany. Located in Düsseldorf’s city center, the sleek steel and glass building forms an ensemble with the Schauspielhaus and the Kö-Bogen. It´s unusual silhouette is shaped by three slim construction blocks, featuring curtain wall façades made of aluminum and glass, and narrow sides cladded with stainless steel. The building has now been completely refurbished by HPP Hentrich-Petschnigg & Partner with the intention to preserve and highlight its original character from the 60s, which is particularly visible in the iconic lobby with a dark green marble floor, high steel walls, colorful risers, Barcelona-styled chair furniture and even a glass phone box. Beside measures to maintain the old charm, new features were also added to the building, including terraces on the rooftop and the new restaurant Phoenix on the ground floor, hosted by the building owner Patrick Schwarz-Schütte and designed by Etienne Descloux and Irina Kromayer.
The Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM) has been chosen to curate the German Pavilion at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale in 2016 presenting the exhibition “Making Heimat. Germany, Arrival Country”.
The current refugee situation is part of a massive worldwide flow of migrants. It leads people from the countryside into cities. What are the challenges facing cities with incoming refugees and migrants? Where in Germany are the preferred “arrival cities” located? How do newcomers become socially integrated citizens? And how can architecture and urban design contribute to this process? Taking as a starting point the hypotheses put forward by the Canadian journalist Doug Saunders in his best selling non-fiction book ‘Arrival City’, the DAM team – comprising Peter Cachola Schmal, general commissioner and director of the DAM, Oliver Elser, curator at DAM and the project coordinator Anna Scheuermann, with Saunders as advisor, examines these questions in the exhibition “Making Heimat” in the German Pavilion. How, in the future, can Germany’s “arrival cities”, such as Offenbach am Main respond and hypothetically shape the conditions that create a good ‘Arrival City’? The 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia runs from May 28 – November 27, 2016.
Following the two major exhibitions “Return of Landscape” in 2010 and “Culture:City” in 2013, Berlin’s Akademie der Künste is now working on their next project coming up in spring 2016 titled, “Demo:Polis”. This exhibition is dedicated not only to the future of public space but the right to this real, physical space. While the Internet simulated a virtual public sphere, its promise was disappointed by Wikileaks and Edward Snowdon’s revelations. In contrast to this, people are again voicing their views with relative anonymity by demonstrating in real public spaces. Today, social media and real public space are the new framework for self-determination. Neo-liberalism has made the real public sphere a target for commercial interests: from advertising, sponsored events and the sale of publicly owned property, almost every public privilege and property have been sold. As cities grow denser, building projects encroach more and more on public space, an issue in which citizens demand to have a greater say in. As an ambitious endeavor on a highly complex issue, always close to failure – just like the constant fight over the right to setting the rules for the meaning and use of public space – “Demo:Polis” will include an exhibition, a catalogue and a series of conferences and parliaments, bringing together multiple approaches and working principles.