How many ways can architects engage with the communities and wider world around them? Here are some randomly selected news stories from the last month: • Rising temperatures and climate change are already here, contributing to the current extremes of droughts, wildfires, heat waves, and floods that are devastating regions of our country. • A botched execution by lethal injection in Oklahoma caused obvious suffering to the inmate, who then died of a heart attack. • French economist Thomas Piketty's runaway bestseller, Capital in the Twenty-First Century—which posits that global economic inequality will widen with disastrous results, unless governments intervene
New architecture's impact on the urban realm, from Los Angeles to Glasgow to Rio In the pages of RECORD, we like to explore a work of architecture not only for the strength of its design but for the impact on its surroundings. In this issue, we look at several new cultural projects that are having a profound effect on urban sites. Steven Holl's controversial addition to the Glasgow School of Art, opposite Charles Rennie Mackintosh's early 20th-century masterpiece, brings a sense of lightness—with its luminous translucent glass skin—to that gritty Scottish city, where it rains more than half the year.
Twenty years ago, Rem Koolhaas published a fat doorstop of a book, S, M, L, XL, which included his manifesto on Bigness: “Bigness is ultimate architecture,” he wrote. “Only Bigness instigates the regime of complexity that mobilizes the full intelligence of architecture and its related fields.”
Not every work of architecture has to compete for our attention Building a new museum is like making a movie with a big cast of characters. There's the architect as director, the board of trustees (the producers), the curators with a story to tell in the galleries (the screenwriters), and a horde of technical consultants. Looming in the background is the reality of the budget'if value engineering is too severe, it's like canceling an Alpine location to shoot on a soundstage with fake snow. And just as Hollywood rushes to release movies before the end of the year'to be eligible
Young architects deploy new tools to advance common values Design Vanguard, our annual look at the best emerging architectural practices, is a window into the future, a glimpse of where the profession is heading. This year, two of our 10 winning firms are from Spain (despite the country's damaging recession) with work that demonstrates a powerful materiality, such as Venecia Park by Héctor Fernández Elorza Architects, featured on our cover. Other international winners come from Mexico, Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong. We're pleased, as well, to honor four U.S. practices—though young American architects have often had less opportunity to build
The end of an era in New York—and a new future for cities and technology. Two years ago, RECORD published an award-winning feature devoted to the evolution of New York City in the decade since 9/11. We gave much of the credit for the city's newfound vibrancy to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, under whose administration exemplary urban design and architecture have flourished. The vast enhancement of the public realm—hundreds of acres of new parks, especially on the waterfronts; miles of bike lanes; pedestrian plazas; handsome new civic and cultural buildings—have created a dynamic and alluring urban environment for residents and tourists,