Will Cedric Price’s “Fun Palace” Finally be Realized in Berlin?

Although, that might well be a misnomer. My new favorite weekly, “Building Design” has a great story about what seems to be an otherwise little-publicised event in old East Berlin. The conference, “Fun Palace 200X”, was held in the partially demolished Palast der Republik, the former East German Parliament Building, and attended by architects, anthropologists and social geologists. (I’m assuming they first removed all gutter punks and squatters)

The conference takes its name from Cedric Price’s Fun Palace project, (1961-4) a building “conceived as a highly serviced fun fair.” Users are able to tailor the building to their specific needs, a feature inviting architects to consider the Fun Palace as a possible model for 21st Century Cultural Center. Potential exists for the Palast to become a sort of architectural ready-made, whose monumental structure could served as a frame for a new, unpredictable building type.

I’ve been to this building, and it. is. enormous. and awesome. (thats my professional opinion) Gutting it would create what i’m sure would be a truly sublime space – especially once new ad-hoc structures begin appearing within it. Alas, methinks it will never happen.

The Annual McGraw-Hill Promotes Itself Awards…

The results are in for the annual Architectural Record/Business Week Awards (sponsored by those young upstarts at the AIA )…I know you’ve all been on the edge of your seats for months over this.

The awards are bestowed upon architects and clients who ” best utilize good design to achieve important objectives for organizations” Better business through architecture. For the most part, the recognized projects are pretty safe. Nothin groundbreaking or revolutionary…thats not to say they’re bad, of course.

Personally, I think MoMAQNS is one of the greatest new New York Buildings in recent memory, and deserves all the attention it gets. It was built quickly, it meets the needs of the museum, (although the space is limited) its versatile, and its iconic. The blue exterior and huge graphic signage read from the subway, and pasted across the entrance gave the museum a much-needed image overhaul. Not only that, but the QNS location seems to have encouraged growth among the local art community.

Bravo Michael Maltzan.

Charles Gwathmey is a scary, scary man…

If i have to wait until I’m this old to be a rockstar architect, there’ll be hell to pay.

Here, the corpse-like Charles Gwathmey, of Gwathmey Siegel & Associates, stands stoically atop his new vomit-inducing “Sculpture for Living” in Astor Place. New York Magazine uses the under-construction building to speculate on the future of “condo-couture,” in an article that reveals which architect “favors tweed blazers with elbow patches and ties with prints of crickets and rhinos, often the work of his good friend Ralph Lauren…”

Oh, and “sculpture” apparently now means “out-of-scale, boring, repeating slabs with curved edges.”

Condo-Couture…I’m can’t decide if I love that phrase or hate it.

umm….Love it.

update: is this photoshopped? no hard hat? different lighting conditions?


For Lease: 400 sq ft. Martian studio

It would appear that those crazy kids at MIT have been caught up in the “Mars or Bust” tidal wave that swept through the country ealier this year. The Mars Homestead Project has been formed with the goal of designing the most efficient dwelling unit capable of sustaining life on Mars. What will these houses be made of, you ask? Glass and Steel geodesic forms? New space-age alloys and polymers? Sadly, no. The Martian home of the future will be made of…..brick.

check out this article at wired.com to find out why.