Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We use cookies to personalise your experience; learn more in our Privacy and Cookie Policy. You can opt out of some cookies by adjusting your browser settings; see the cookie policy for details. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies.

AR May 2018 on Intensity

Allies and Morrison | John McAslan + Partners | Mossessian Architecture | Andreas Gursky | Urbz | Terry Farrell | Ingenhoven Architects | Urban-Think Tank | PRODUCTORA | Moshe Safdie | Frank Gehry


This month’s AR explores architectural intensity in all its forms, from the density and energy of the city to fleeting spectacle and cycles of transient inhabitation.

As the Venice Biennale repopulates the Arsenale and Giardini for another year, we examine the temporary city of Burning Man and the jaw-dropping influx of pilgrims to the sacred Islamic site of Makkah which is proving to be both its making and its undoing. Catherine Slessor mourns the death of the pleasure garden and the ‘typology of intensity’ – fairgrounds, markets, pilgrimage sites, carnivals, nightclubs, sports stadiums and places of frenetic but transient inhabitation.

Examining the Kinetic Cities of India, Rahul Mehrotra and Felipe Vera re-envisage the city as ‘ephemeral landscapes’ shaped by temporal patterns and cycles of change. The ancient Aztec pyramids of Teopanzolco in Mexico are joined by PRODUCTORA’S cultural centre – a dramatic landscape that comes to life with every performance.

The intensity and diversity of uses, people and social interaction is perhaps most visible in cities, in vast mixed-use schemes like Ingenhoven Architects’ Marina One in Singapore and in transformational masterplans such as Msheireb Downtown Doha which includes buildings by Allies and Morrison, John McAslan + Partners and Mossessian Architecture.

Terry Farrell sets out his manifesto for the 21st-century city while Will Self ponders the gravitational draw of the urban and Owen Hatherley laments the squeeze on public green spaces as the first casualty of profit-driven housing renewal.

Revisiting Moshe Safdie’s 1967 model for urban density at Habitat 67 in Montreal reveals that it has stood the test of time, while the most recent housing prototypes by Urban-Think Tank challenge the standard housing model across Khayelitsha, the second biggest township in South Africa.

And this month’s Reputations lifts the shimmering, mutating lid on Frank Gehry whose iconic architecture is ‘in your face evidence’ of the world we live in.

Click here to visit The Architectural Review’s online store

If you are a subscriber, click here to sign in and read digital editions of the magazine – they are under My Account