Good Architecture is the result of great teamwork. Michelle Howard has spent the better half of her career collaborating with some of the most important Art and Architecture practices in the world. Notably she spent 6 years collaborating with the Renzo Piano Building Workshop in both the Genoa and Paris office working on projects as diverse as the Auditorium Santa Cecilia in Rome and the Cite International in Lyon. She then led the project with for the IMAX Cinema complex, part of the Potsdamer Platz urban ensemble in Berlin with her colleague Patrick Charles. In the next 6 years she led two seminal projects for the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, the Dutch embassy in Berlin and the Casa da Musica in Porto. With Artists such as Monica Bonvicini on the only publicly commissioned sculpture for the London Olympics of 2012. Collaboration is also a social and political act, Michelle is an active member of wirmachendas, originally 100 women from the worlds of art, academia and public life united by the common goal of facing up to the challenge of worldwide migration with humanity and expertise.
The Netherlands Embassy is a disciplined cube with equally disciplined irregularities which aims to facilitate a better understanding of Berlin, confronting divergent ideas about how the city, with its complexity, heaviness, opacity, and beauty, should build / rebuild. Traditional planning guidelines of the former West Berlin demanded that new buildings in the neighbourhood (the Roldandufer in Mitte) reflect the local 19th century architectural style. Planning officials in the former East Berlin were more open to innovation. As a result, OMA combined an obedient approach (strictly fulfilling the block's perimeter) with a disobedient one (building an isolated cube).
Rather than struggle with the inescapable acoustic superiority of this traditional shape, the Casa da Musica attempts to reinvigorate the traditional concert hall in another way: by redefining the relationship between the hallowed interior and the general public outside. It stands on a new public square in the historic Rotunda da Boavista. It has a distinctive faceted form, made of white concrete, which remains solid and believable in an age of too many icons. Inside, the elevated 1,300-seat (shoe box-shaped) Grand Auditorium has corrugated glass facades at either end that open the hall to the city and offer Porto itself as a dramatic backdrop for performances. Revealing its contents without being didactic and casting the city in a new light.
Handball Plaza Light Art Commission May 2010
Exactly 10 years ago the title of my solo show was: RUN - TAKE one SQUARE or two. The intended association was with the Velvet Underground song „Run Run Run “(take one drag or two): the video installation included this song mixed/deconstructed with „Running Dry“by Neil Young and acoustically slashed by an endless-C-note from Bruce Nauman’s „Playing a Note on the Violin while I Walk Around the Studio. Three nine-meter-high letters RUN which seem all of polished stainless steel during the daytime reveal the mirrored illuminated depths of their faces as evening begins. A glowing necklace of internal convex mirrors and LED lighting convey the impression of a deep night-club interior.
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