Contemporary architecture as hot topic

Below, a selection of architectural work by Harry Teague, Stephen Dynia and Ricardo Legorreta–three of the seven panelists at the Jeff Harnar Contemporary Architecture Symposium that I moderated at the new Thornburg campus Saturday. A Robert Reck photo that he kindly lent for the event is also included here, so that blog readers may get a small look at what was shown.  Ill be adding more new things on contemporary architecture over the days and weeks.

Thornburgs new campus by Ricardo Legorreta is important new architecture. (If I can upload my Instinct phone photos to my Imac, Ill show you snaps this week.) As  a building type of corporate headquarters, a work environment, a display of green architecture, and a volume that uses the site intelligently and maximizes Mr. Legorretas intense pattern language, the building works on all levels. The Saturday symposium was attended by close to 300. Mexico Citys Ricardo Legorreta, Harry Teague of Aspen, Stephen Dynia of Jackson Hole, Suby Bowden, Steve Oles, Robert Reck and Linda Durham all dialogued with me and each other on contemporary architecture issues.

The world we live in is global, the architects agreed. Teague argued for sensitivity to local conditions without falling into sentimentality. He considers authenticity a high architectural value. Teague, incidentally, is the Aspen architect of record working with Pritzker Prize winner Renzo Piano on Pianos first residence–a house for the Pritzkers in Aspen. Well be following.

Critical regionalist Kenneth Frampton has argued strongly against architecture of restrictions. Said Legorreta in support of new architecture, “When someone dies, you do not replace (him) with a dead person but with a baby.” Our subject overall was excellent contemporary architecture in a regional context. Genius of place. The architects themselves made selections of buildings they consider exemplary the world over. Im going to put in just one YouTube selection so you can see Renzo Pianos Tjibaou Cultural Center in New Caledonia. Teague picked this one as exemplary.[youtube=] It is based on the Kanak grass huts that had to devise natural ventilation. Glass louvers open and shut as an interior system behind the gorgeous wooden forms.

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