M u s i n g s

Most of us equate architecture with the idea of permanence; after all, it’s one of the three precepts espoused by the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius – durability, utility, and beauty – that have propelled builders since antiquity. But a new phenomenon, “pop-up” architecture (also known as “temporary” architecture, or even “urban interventions”), has shaken that idea to its very — excuse the pun — foundations.

The scale of the concept ranges from huge to small, from boutiques and grocery stores to entire neighborhoods. The current London Olympics fall full-force in the supersized category, where the imposingly impermanent includes the Basketball Arena (detail shown above), which was intended as a temporary site since inception, with almost two-thirds of its building materials destined for reuse or recycling. The facility’s textured shell and portal frame will eventually travel to Brazil for the 2016 Games.

The realities of difficult economic times have played a…

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