I enjoyed writing about Manuel Herz’s Tambacounda Hospital for Metropolis magazine’s August issue. The full article can be read online here, and an excerpt of the text can be found below:
“After bringing the first concept back to Tambacounda, Manuel Herz recalls hours of transformative discussions with detailed feedback from local authorities and hospital staff—from the director, Dr. Thérèse-Aida Ndiaye, to the doctors, midwives, and janitors—which helped round out the final design. Construction was conducted in close collaboration with local doctor and contractor Dr. Magueye Ba, who supervised the process, including the brickwork: Workers produced 50,000 bricks for the project, 100 per day, over 500 days, which follow the local typology of hollow bricks. The hospital expects to start receiving patients this summer.
Herz is now working on an additional project in the hospital complex for staff accommodation, allowing visiting doctors from the capital city of Dakar to extend their stays and bring their families. In the meantime, the signature brick pattern has taken on a life of its own, with Magueye Ba using it for other buildings in the surroundings. In this dynamic, Herz’s project begins to exist as part of a network—of stakeholders who become coauthors in the intervention, and of buildings themselves, as his extension touches upon existing structures and conditions new ones. “The project becomes not only an architectural intervention but a territorial intervention,” Herz says, noting the project’s economic impact in the area. “This kind of coherence is incredibly important to make sure the building really is accepted by the population.”“
The April 2017 issue of Metropolis Magazine includes my survey of independent groups blending research, activism and new approaches to practice in architecture â€“ what a pleasure to work with the Metropolis team! I was also lucky to talk to many amazing individuals while researching for this piece, from L+CC to Parasite 2.0, and from The Funambulist to Migrant Journal. The full piece is Â online at Metropolis, and a little excerpt can be found below.
The ways in which architects and designers are taking action attest to a future of the practice that will be multilayered and adaptable, responding to our intricate times with polyphonic vigor. However, the passion poured into these projects is tempered by the financial challenges of running many of these initiatives, and practitioners find themselves on a steep learning curve trying to reconcile their independence with a sustainable business model. For many, the uncertainty is constant, and there is no five-year plan. And yet it is precisely these challenging conditions that drive some of their best work: Why not risk everything when you have nothing to lose?
A profile of Jader Almeida in Metropolis, February 2015
Early in the year, I had the pleasure of interviewing Brazilian designer Jader Almeida, a 33-year-old industrial designer with an impressive career, and write a profile on him forÂ MetropolisÂ magazine.Â The promising young designer is one of the country’s top talents, with a singular approach and a remarkable, tenacious commitment to his craft. The full profile can be read over at the Metropolis website.
Casa das Artes, by Souto de Moura Arquitectos. Photo by Luis Ferreira Alves
With Eduardo Souto Moura’s surprising Pritzker win, I contributed a small post for the Metropolis blog trying to bring the architect’s work into context. Truth is, I really like his work, and lived around it for five years while in college. Here’s an excerpt:
In Porto, Portugal, where Souto Mouraâ€”we usually drop the â€œdeâ€â€”has lived, taught and worked for the last thirty years, the architect is quite a celebrity. The northern part of Portugal is where you can find most of his strongest body of workâ€”his houses.Â With each single family dwelling, Souto Moura has refined a style that is rigorous, grounded and muscular; minimalâ€”the influence of both Mies and Siza are feltâ€”but detailed in the way the volume is inserted into the landscape and the space unfolds within.