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Architectures-Achievements in Modern Architecture
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Wa Shan Guest House, a Mountain of Tiles on Elephant Hill [electronic resource]

The China Academy of Art allowed architect Wang Shu (Pritzker Prize, 2012) to work in total freedom. Made up of many elements, the Guest House is much more than just another gesture of today's "star architecture". Built upon the ruins of tradition, it bears the values that anchor it in the future.
2015; 2014

The National Dance Center [electronic resource]: Architectures-Achievements in Modern Architecture

A new place of culture, created in 2004, following the reconversion of a municipal venue and the abandonment of a political utopia. In the early 1970s, architect Jacques Kalisz was asked to build an administrative complex, grouping together under one roof a set of administrative, social and legal services (a court, a social security center, a police station, a tax center, a union headquarters, an unemployment pole, a morgue, kennels etc.). The Pantin Administrative Centre was then one gigantic, solid, concrete vessel, beached on the banks of the Ourcq Canal, on the Parisian suburban belt, known as the "Ceinture Rouge". 20 years later, the centre had been deserted, following the failure of a social utopia. Destroying the premises was deemed to be too costly, so it was decided to renov [...]
2015; 2012

Itimad Ud Daula, the Little "TAJ" [electronic resource]: Architectures-Achievements in Modern Architecture

Finished in 1627, the mausoleum of Itimad-Ud-Daula is considered to be the precursor of the Taj Mahal - on which construction started just a few years later, in 1631. This remarkable monument reigns over the city of Agra, in the Indian State of Uttar Pradesh.
2015; 2014

The Citadel de Lille [electronic resource]: Architectures-Achievements in Modern Architecture

Vauban's "Queen of the citadels" was the model for military constructions all over France. The Citadel of Lille was built between 1667 and 1673 at the request of Louis 16th of France, from plans drawn up by the engineer and military architect Sébastien de Prestre de Vauban. He designed its fortifications taking into accounts developments in the art of war. Although it no longer fulfils its original function, it has become a source of inspiration for major contemporary architects on account of its simple and exacting design.
2015; 2011

The van Nelle Factory at Rotterdam [electronic resource]: Architectures-Achievements in Modern Architecture

Designed by the architects Jan Brickman and Leendert Van der Vlugt, supervised by Kees Van der Leuw, the boss of Van Nelle, the factory is the most important and the most accomplished example of industrial architecture in the modern movement. The result of a cross between Taylorism and Bauhaus, the Van Nelle factory at Rotterdam, built between 1926 and 1931, is a gigantic factory in which, up to the 80s, they processed tobacco, coffee and tea. Rather than a simple building, picture a great machine, a huge liner clad in glass and metal. The completely glazed facades expose the internal structure of the buildings and allowed the employees to work by daylight. Every step through lift wells, staircases and bridges was visible thanks to their glass walls - transparency was both a touch of [...]
2015; 2013

The Glasgow School of Art [electronic resource]: Architectures-Achievements in Modern Architecture

Built at the dawn of the 20th century, the Glasgow School of Art is the masterpiece of the only British artist considered as a precursor of modernity, Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The most eminent practitioner of the "Glasgow Style", the equivalent of French Art Nouveau, Mackintosh devoted more than 10 years to fulfilling what is without doubt his most innovative architectural project, a masterwork that combines constructive rationality, Art nouveau subjectivism, obsessive attention to detail and decorative fantasy. 10 years of work during which the architect never once set foot on the building site. After many years in purgatory, the school has become a place of pilgrimage for generations of architects. Its influence is without parallel in early 20th century architecture.
2015; 2013

Disaster Utopia [electronic resource]: Architectures-Achievements in Modern Architecture

After the tsunami in Japan in March 2011, an architects' collective led by Tokyo Ito launched the project "Homes for All", communal buildings for the inhabitants of the devastated towns. Along with Toyo Ito, 3 young architects, Su Fujimoto, Kumiko Inui and Akihisa Hirata, build one of these homes in Rikuzentakata. Using trees from the destroyed forest, they create the image of a house with a pointed roof, pierced by 19 tree trunks. Running around the inner space is a promenade deck alternating stairs and terraces, facing the countryside: the rectangular street grid is the only trace left of the vanished town. Designed in 6 months, built in 5 months, the "Home" was awarded the Golden Lion at the 2012 Venice Biennale. The title is a reference to the phenomenon of mutual assistance and [...]
2015; 2013

Cologne Cathedral [electronic resource]: Architectures-Achievements in Modern Architecture

Started in 1247, Cologne Cathedral was completed in 1880 after a 300-year break in the work carried out on it. Via rib vaults and flying buttresses, the film explores Gothic architectural vocabulary and its construction methods. It also reveals the more recent metallic architecture. It shows how this cathedral, which embodies the unity of Germany, is both a Gothic archetype and a building of the 19th century.
2015; 2012

Royal Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans [electronic resource]

At the end of the 18th century, Claude Nicolas Ledoux built a monumental new salt factory for the King of France. It was an aesthetic revolution, an innovative industrial site and the structuring core for an ideal city that never came into being.
2015; 2003

The Reception and Congress Building in Rome [electronic resource]

Adalberto Libera was a pioneer of architectural modernity and a die-hard fascist.Unlike the Nazis, Mussolini made an alliance with the modern movement, which became for architecture, the official style of fascism. In 1937, the regime launched one of its most ambitious projects - the E 42. The idea was to create a new monumental city embodying the new Imperial Rome, for the International Exhibition of 1942. Libera won the competition for the Reception and Congress Building. Launched amidst great pomp and circumstance in 1938, the work initially made rapid progress. When Italy entered war, the work pace became sluggish and was abandoned altogether in 1944. The E 42 quarter was to remain a wasteland, until 1950 when the Italian Christian Democrats decided to resume work on it. This film [...]
2015; 2006

The Convento of la Tourette [electronic resource]

Built between 1954 and 1961 at Evreux, near Lyon, by Le Corbusier, the legendary Convent of La Tourette was designed as a dwelling and a place of prayer and study for 100 Dominican monks, but after turmoil over Vatican II and the '68 student uprisings left only one student, the Domenicans allowed the convent to become a conference center. Le Corbusier's architectural principles are evident in the convent's design, placement and attention to geometry and light. La Tourette is considered one of the most important buildings of the late Modernist style.
2015; 2002

The Villa Dall'Ava [electronic resource]

Rem Koolhaas's Villa dall'Ava, built between 1985-1991, became a fantastical imaginative enterprise in the bourgeois Paris suburb of Saint-Cloud. The narrow sloping site contains two glass and aluminum buildings united by a rooftop pool. Despite the anti-modern site surrounded by traditional stone homes, the architect managed to meet the clients' requirements for privacy and independence while opening the house to the garden.
2015; 1995

Jean Prouve's House [electronic resource]

French designer Jean Prouvé sought to create houses as beautiful and rational as planes or cars. His vision of mass production in housing took a hit when he lost his factory. This film looks at the house he built for himself in 1953, and how it put into practice his architectural ideals; the house incarnates his most innovative ideas.
2015; 2004

The Saint Pancras Station [electronic resource]

This film discusses the architecture behind the train shed and hotel at the Saint Pancras Station in London, built between 1855 and 1863. The hotel was a Gilbert Scott's neo-Gothic statement in the ongoing battle in Victorian England between neo-Gothic and neoclassical. The train shed was William Barlow's creation; he created the world's widest and tallest ceiling.
2015; 1999

La Maison de Verre [electronic resource]

From 1928 to 1932, the avant-garde decorator and furniture maker, Pierre Chareau, constructed the Paris House of Glass for Dr. Dr. Dalsace in the early modern style of architecture. The house's design emphasized three primary traits: honesty of materials, variable transparency of forms, and juxtaposition of "industrial" materials and fixtures with a more traditional style of home décor. It is a machine to be lived in, full of surprises and strokes of inspirations.
2015; 2004

Nemausus I [electronic resource]

Jean Nouvel's 1986 block of public housing apartments in Nîmes recalls an ocean liner - and turns social housing clichés on their heads. Nouvel used prefabricated industrial materials and concrete to keep costs down and allow him to build multilevel, spacious apartments, open to light and air. Despite the architect's requirement that the buildings remain examples of 1980s non-decorated, industrial architecture, the tenants have creatively individualized their spaces.
2015; 1997

Roissy 1 [electronic resource]

Roissy 1 embodied the aspirations of modern architecture. It was built during the initial era of mass travel, a pre-crisis era that revered progress and dreams of high speed and that witnessed the first appearances of airport architecture. People would come to Roissy 1 to admire, no longer the planes, but the architecture. Paul Andreu was the main player in this revolution. He was 29 years old at the time. It was his first construction and the very beginning of a long series of about fifty platforms throughout the world that were to make him into one of the greatest 20th century airport architects.
2015; 2008

The House of Sugimoto [electronic resource]

The Sugimoto house is a large town house, comprising over 15 rooms, with a complex organization, linked to the family's activities. Built in 1743 it has no walls or windows; rooms are placed side by side. The house belongs to the Sugimoto family that made its fortune trading material for kimonos. The building contains a shop, family living quarters and employees' living quarters. A strict hierarchy presides over the layout, determined by the nature of the ground and the cardinal points. The walls are made from openwork wooden panels with paper frames that slide along grooves in the floor. The furniture defines the space and each space can change function. This fluid and flexible design is one of the inspirations of contemporary architecture.
2015; 2007

The Yoyogo Olympic Gymnasium [electronic resource]

Architect Kenzo Tange was one of the post-war leaders of the modern movement in Japan. The style of this movement includes structural elements being exposed on the outside of buildings, a lack of exterior design, and the use of construction materials. The Kofu building is emblematic both of the influence of the modern movement, and of the architectural ambitions of the Metabolist Movement which aspired to building mega-structures - freed from the ground (and ruins) vast extensible cities can develop boundlessly. Its construction material, its concrete (Brutalism) and its futuristic communication technologies programme make it a not only a turning point, but also a masterpiece of transition.
2015; 2006

The Igualada Cemetery [electronic resource]

What should we do with our dead? Incinerate them? Bury them? Make them disappear? Keep them nearby and visit them? A memorial spanning 20th century architecture and inspired by Le Corbusier and Richard Long, the Igualada Cemetery merges into the countryside near Barcelona. As in the rest of Spain, the dead are not buried, but rather piled into niches, superimposed tombs. Designed by Catalan architects Enric Miralles and Carme Pinos at the start of their careers, it features oblique concrete facades, river-like pathways, and an underground chapel. The unfinished project combines building and thoroughfare elements, and is intended to return to the earth.
2015; 2011