Perkins+Will maintains a Precautionary List, an index of building materials that can harm the human body. While mercury and lead’s impacts may be well understood, those of one ubiquitous set of chemicals have not been: flame-retardant chemicals. They are common in many architectural materials, from upholstery to insulation, and they slow the spread of fire in otherwise flammable substances. However, they also tend to escape into the environment and become absorbed in the human body, where they don’t break down. What results is a “body burden”: a cache of chemicals that has been linked to cancer, loss of IQ, and
Fourteen years in the making, the imposing and controversial museum opened this fall. The Museum is located in the Forks, a large park adjacent to Winnipeg’s downtown. Rising more than three hundred feet in the Winnipeg skyline, the tower of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights aspired to be a “beacon for humanity.” But despite its inclusive goals, the massive building has proven to be as much a lightning rod as a beacon. Designed by Antoine Predock Architect, with Canadian firm Architecture 49 as executive architect, the museum was first conceived in 2000 by late Winnipeg media mogul Israel Asper.
The Art Institute looks to Chicago’s ambitious architectural and urban past to find new inspiration for the present. Installation view of Chicagoisms. If the story of 19th century America was industrialization and the birth of the modern metropolis, then the story of Chicago’s explosive growth resounds in almost every American city. In the 1830s Chicago was a meagre outpost of some 300 residents, yet by the 1870s it boomed with a population of 300,000. This city on the prairie exemplified the urban density, manufacturing power, and rail infrastructure that reworked the U.S. into an industrial power. The Chicagoisms exhibition at
This master bath breaks the mold of the traditional lavatory: not only is it uniquely integral to the success of its adjacent bedroom, it also contends with challenging site conditions. One would hardly suspect all that is at play here, thanks to a meticulous execution by Chicago-based Studio Dwell Architects.
Philip Beesley takes the same core idea as the point of departure both for his architecture and his otherworldly installations: the shared experience of public space. “How architecture makes a place fundamentally,” says Beesley, “and the collective experience of dwelling, encounter, and sharing stands at the core of both practices.”
For Andrés Jaque’s Office for Political Innovation, architecture is the social as well as physical infrastructure of society. Founded in 2003 by Jaque, the Madrid-based practice has employed a mix of architects, engineers, sociologists, interactive multimedia designers, and even anthropologists and marketing consultants in its various projects.