The Cooper Union
School of Architecture

Presented in Co-sponsorship with the Architectural League of New York.

Five lectures from the 2003–04 annual lecture series of the Architectural League were co-sponsored by the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union. The series focused on the theme "Architecture as Catalyst." In recent years, new architecture has been seen as a way for cities and institutions to reinvent themselves and revitalize their surroundings. The lecture series sought to explore this way of thinking about architecture in two directions: in its relationship to program, and in its relationship to site and location. How has architecture and architectural thinking been used by institutions or cities to reconceptualize their missions, their activities, their relationship to the globalization of economies and culture? How have attempts to raise an institution's or city's profile and economic condition through the use of iconic architecture fared? 

October 23, 2003

Recent work includes a concert hall and exhibition complex in Rouen and the Florida International University School of Architecture in Miami. Currently in construction are the New Acropolis Museum in Athens, an athletic center in Cincinnati, and a watch factory for Vacheron-Constantin in Geneva.

November 11, 2003

Iñaki Abalos and Juan Herreros seek to design a timeless, "simple, universal, felicitous, cheap and intense architecture." Projects in their home town of Madrid include a public library, and a city-dump recycling plant. Other work includes the municipal hall and main square, Colmenarejo, and a building for the University of Extremadura, Mérida.

November 20, 2003

Pritzker Prize winner Tadao Ando's work blends the traditions of Japanese and western architecture. Recent projects in the U.S. include the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, St. Louis and the Museum of Modern Art, Fort Worth. Ando is currently designing an expansion for the Sterling & Francine Clark Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Co-sponsored with the Clark Institute.

December 4, 2003

The work of the British firm Alsop Architects aims for "joy in every sector of the work." Fluid forms and innovative engineering characterize their projects, which currently include new town visions for Yorkshire, numerous regeneration and infrastructure projects in London, and a new building for the Ontario College of Art & Design, Toronto.

Co-sponsored with the Van Alen Institute.

January 26, 2004

A principal of the Rotterdam firm MVRDV, Winy Maas is trained as a landscape architect, architect, and planner. The firm's architecture has been shaped by their ongoing exploration of density and the informational processes involved in design. Their work includes urban design, civic projects and housing projects in Amsterdam, The Hague, Vienna, and Madrid.