Get a bitesize overview of the week’s headlines and events with Icon’s round-up
BUILD THE SEA-WALL
Greece’s minister for migration and asylum, Notis Mitarakis, has defended proposals for a 2.7km anti-migrant barrier off Lesbos in the Aegean Sea. ‘It will send the message that we are not a free-for-all place where anything goes,’ Mitarakis told a local radio; the government also plans to increase deportation. It has yet to be announced who will head the barrier’s design.
TIME FOR A RETHINK
Architect Marina Otero Verzier has been appointed the new head of the MA Social Design at Design Academy Eindhoven (DAE), where she replaces Jan Boelen in September. Otero comes from Rotterdam’s Het Nieuwe Instituut, where she served as Director of Research. ‘The Masters,’ explains Otero, ‘will be a space for weaving structures of creativity and solidarity, a place where we won’t be looking for solutions but for higher resolutions through which to rethink what society is and could be.’
BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD
In the week that Boris Johnson gave the HS2 scheme the go-ahead and is also considering resurrecting his idea for a bridge between Scotland and Norther Ireland, London has seen the likelihood of two other contentious projects diminish. First, mayor Sadiq Khan created a £350,000 ‘war chest’ to contest any appeals by The Tulip, a 305.3m folly tower designed by Foster + Partners and quashed last summer. Then, Westminster Council unanimously voted to reject David Adjaye and Ron Arad’s plan for a Holocaust Memorial near the Houses of Parliament.
Liverpool’s Philharmonic Dining Rooms has become the first pub in Britain to be granted Grade I listed status by Historic England: the highest level of heritage protection afforded to structures in Britain, equivalent — to the horror of Daily Telegraph readers everywhere — to Buckingham Palace. Designed in 1898 by the locally-based architect Walter W. Thomas, the pub has an exuberant late Victorian interior, with stained glass chandeliers, leather armchairs and marbled urinals.
Villa Majorelle, Nancy
Best known for his art deco expansion of the La Samaritaine department store in Paris, the Rouen-born architect Henri Sauvage was also a prolific designer of housing. In 1898, after establishing himself as a designer, he was commissioned by the designer Louis Majorelle to construct a villa in the eastern French city of Nancy. The result – now regarded as a masterpiece of art nouveau – propelled him to international regard. After a period of restoration, it is now open to the public.
Modernism Week, Palm Springs. California
The Southern Californian resort city of Palm Springs boasts an incredible wealth of mid-century modern architecture, from luxurious villas to roadside motels. Now in its 15th year, the 11-day Modernism Week comprises some 350 events across the sprawling town, including self-driven and bus tours, opportunities to enter normally closed-off private residences lectures and talks on the subject of modernism. Daniel Libeskind is this year’s keynote speaker. Until 23 Feb.
Carbon Counts, FCBStudios, London
Last spring, a coterie of Britain’s most esteemed architectural practices established Architects Declare, a commitment to comprehensively change their working efforts to forestall climate change. 875 practices have since signed up. In responding to the manifesto, co-founders Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios have advocated a greater understanding of the carbon cost of the construction, and a movement toward low embodied carbon. Carbon Counts, a new exhibition in FCB’s Fitzrovia headquarters, enumerates the carbon footprint of ten commonly used materials, from aluminium – which produces a staggering 26,650 kgCO2 per m3 – to CLT, which causes a -600 kgCO2 per m3 reduction. Until 6 Mar.
Kuala Lumpur Architecture Festival: Beyond Celebration, Kuala Lumpur
Spread over four sessions through the year, the 2020 KLAF programme aims to go beyond, presenting architecture and design at the extremes of their possibilities. The first instalment, Beyond Celebration, features a traditional Chinese New Year party at the Malaysian Institute of Architects’ humongous PAM Centre, a sketching walk around Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown, and Preloved is Loved recycling market, amongst other delights. 15 & 16 Feb.
Steve McQueen, Tate Modern, London
Not quite a full-scale retrospective or a survey of recent work, the Tate Modern’s critically acclaimed Steve McQueen gathers 14 of the artist-cum-director’s major works in film, photography and sculpture. Often bracing in its directness, McQueen’s art addresses racism, social injustice, bodily violence and the decline of political optimism with quicksilver intelligence. Until 11 May.