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February 2019 on Failure

Jørn Utzon | Case Design | Rotor | Minoru Yamasaki | Oscar Niemeyer | Foster + Partners | 6A | CTA | Haworth Tompkins | Assemble | ZUS | Typology: Power Station

1458 cover ar failure

1458 cover ar failure

Click here to view the digital edition of the AR Failure issue

This issue is not about bad buildings, or tragic collapses, or ruin-porn. Projects considered as masterpieces often conceal thorny backstories such as the ones Gerard Reinmuth investigates at Sydney’s Opera House and Mallorca’s Can Lis, as well as London’s National Theatre. When buildings approach their expiry date, we are confronted with dilemmas of architectural preservation, for example San Diego’s Museum of Contemporary Art, explored by Izzy Kornblatt, and faced with new opportunities for adaptive reuse. Owen Hatherley assesses south London’s transformation with recent interventions by 6a, Assemble, Carl Turner Architects and Haworth Tompkins.

What do we keep, what do we destroy, and what is the impact of these decisions? Keller Easterling reflects on the importance of lateral thinking to avoid absurd mistakes in this month’s keynote, while Timothy Brittain-Catlin fights against taste-makers and champions the ‘losers in his Outrage columnEddie Blake’s short history of deconstruction reveals we have replaced spectacular, explosive demolitions with piecemeal removal – a reflection of the shameful loss of wider social ideals? or so he posits. Yet the remains shouldn’t make us feel ashamed, as proved by Rotor’s productive reusing and recycling of salvaged building components. As ever, there is hope, or as Jan de Vylder puts it in his sketched observations which close the issue “There is no failure. There is only chance.”

The full table of contents is available here

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