Who are our the world’s most sought-after starchitects? The documentary film, The Competition, follows quite a few: Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel, Zaha Hadid, Dominique Perrault and Norman Foster, as they all work to create a winning design for the National Museum for Art of Andorra.
Although many of us are familiar with each of the selected architects’ designs, aesthetics and structures, we are rarely given the chance to see the preparation that actually goes into designing a structure that will be innovative, and above all, selected to be constructed. The film’s trailer currently listed on Vimeo, explains that viewers are able to see the “intensely fascinating account of how some of the best architects in the world, design giants like Jean Nouvel or Frank Gehry, toil, struggle and strategize to beat the competition.”
In New York City, we are lucky to be in the presence of works by many of these architects, but we’re looking forward to seeing how these titans of industry brainstorm, collaborate and win projects world-wide. The Competition is slated to be released in late 2013.
New developments are always hot topic of conversation, and the past few days have been no different. Both the Wall Street Journal and New York Times ran stories about new residential developments in New York City, and the uniting theme is that smaller, boutique buildings — not the big guys — have a leg up right now. That’s mostly out of necessity. Like I told the New York Times, the hurdles that developers are facing include finding a development-ready site affordable enough to purchase, then financing a project’s acquisition and construction. Lenders are out there, but they are being significantly more picky about the margins they expect, and the developer who’s building the project.
But then again, this is New York City, and there will always be opportunities for projects to come along and change one of the world’s most famous skylines — and challenge pricing records. Even though there are more boutique projects being built, there are some larger projects in the pipeline.
……..in spite of a falling market. I contend that some of the most creative thinkers and innovators have come to the surface with their best work in times that seem dire. Some of history’s greatest works come at times that seem the most depressed. Art and commerce act independantly.
Axis Mundi has designed an alternative to Jean Nouvel design for the Hines site on 53rd Street next to MOMA. While it has received some unfounded criticism for trying to replace an already well conceived design , I applaud this work. This type of creative process is what pushes the boundaries of the ordinary and evokes ideas that will ultimately advance our status quo.
John Beckmann sent me this email today, and has graciously allowed me to post it here below. (more…)