© Nigel Young
The dominating news of the week came courtesy of RIBA and IIT, with the two announcing this year’s laureates of the Stirling Prize and Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize, respectively. Foster + Partners were awarded RIBA’s Stirling Prize for their Bloomberg HQ in London. Said jury member Sir David Adjaye, “Bloomberg is a once-in-a-generation project which has pushed the boundaries of research and innovation in architecture.” The project has been a controversial choice, with some citing the tension between the building’s massive price tag and the current UK housing crisis.
On the other side of the pond, Barclay + Crousse received honors for their Edificio E, University of Piura in Peru. The project joins a list of winners that include SANAA’s Grace Farms and Herzog & de Meuron’s 1111 Lincoln Road. In the words of jury member Rodrigo
MPavilion 2018 / Carme Pinos. Image © John Gollings
After a season packed with significant architecture news, Melbourne has announced the opening of the 2018 MPavilion designed by Carme Pinós. The pavilion is widely considered to be the southern hemisphere’s answer to the Serpentine Pavilion, and has featured designers such as Rem Koolhaas, Bijoy Jain, and Amanda Levete.
This year’s design, from Spanish architect Carme Pinós, takes its inspiration from origami, with wings opening out to welcome the city into the pavilion itself. The roof, made of two distinct halves, is perched upon three mounds incorporating public seating.
Pinós explained: “In designing this year’s MPavilion, I wanted firstly to make a space for the people of Melbourne to feel connected to each other, to the city they live in, and to nature. We are all part of the
Courtesy MAD Architects. Image
The tale began with a simple idea - a toy that every child, regardless of age and ability, can play, dream, and learn with. But things turned out less than simple. Fights, lawsuits, and even a death all mark the road it took to make a now-ubiquitous toy a reality. The object in question? Lego.
It’s tales such as this one that Alexandra Lange explores in her new book, The Design of Childhood: How the Material World Shapes Independent Kids. Some may scoff at the seemingly trivial subject matter. Surely children, with their boundless imaginations and appetite for play, can discover ways to find fun in anything.
But it’s how those toys play a role in shaping the minds of those children - and ultimately those adults
Life in Space
Our dreams for life in space are crafted in fiction, with visions ranging from the romantic to the dystopian. But as science continues to buffer reality toward our dreams, these visions have started to take on a new significance. This week, the New York Times asked some of art and architecture’s leading voices to envision life on the moon. Perhaps the most enigmatic (and least feasible) proposal comes from Daniel Libeskind, who suggested turning the moon from a sphere to a cube by means of paint.
"My son Noam is an astrophysicist at the Leibniz Institute in Germany, and we did some calculations about how it could work...I get that it’s probably not the cheapest concept — our estimate is about $10 trillion for paint costs alone — but I like the way that it would transform the moon into a work of contemporary art. Think ofContinue reading "This Week in Architecture: Visions from the Future"
© HOUSE VISION. Photo: Nacása & Partners Inc China House Vision 2018 has opened with 10 futuristic residential designs by architects like Penda, Open Architecture and MAD. Located outside the Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing's Olympic Park, House Vision is a cultural research project initiated with the concept of “new life in the future”. Together with architects and enterprises, the exhibition aims to build cultural research around the future home at a 1:1 ratio. House Vision features a range of home designs, from a shelter for life on Mars to a Living Garden. Following Japan House Vision, this year's exhibition brings together 10 architecture studios with 10 companies. Coinciding with Beijing Design Week, House Vision includes work by Hara Design Institute, Yang House, Atelier Deshaus, Atelier FCJZ, Crossboundaries, GHAA and BLUE Architecture. The exhibition was hosted by the GWC Great Wall Association and begun with graphic designer and curator
Long Museum West Bund / Atelier Deshaus. Image © Laurian Ghintiou In a creative scene that is already bursting with talent and innovation, Atelier Deshaus' works in China stand out. Their projects, often renovations of existing spaces, do not follow particular rules of style set by others or even themselves. Yet they are united in their subtle and enigmatic take on the experience of space in the ever-changing urban environments in China.
Shanghai Modern Art Museum
From the architect: In retrospect, the design of the Modern Art Gallery is a risky endeavor. Industrial civilization acts as a vital part of Shanghai’s own modernity development. With the renewal of urban functions in the post-industrial age, many industrial buildings are facing the destiny of being demolished or transformed in some way, which becomes a meaningful topic.
Joris Laarman for MX3D Is Artificial Intelligence (AI) the doom of the architecture profession and design services (as some warn) or a way to improve the overall design quality of the built environment, expanding and extending design services in ways yet to be explored? I sat down with my University of Hartford colleague Imdat As. Dr. As is an architect with an expertise in digital design who is an assistant professor of architecture and the co-founder of Arcbazar.com, a crowd-sourced design site. His current research on AI and its impact on architectural design and practice is funded by the US Department of Defense. Recently we sat down and talked about how this emerging technology might change design and practice as we now know it—and if so, would that be such a bad thing? This article was originally published as "Doom or Bloom: What Will Artificial Intelligence Mean
Courtesy of Es Devlin
It’s well understood that a sense of place is an essential value for people, architecture, and cities. Everyone from designers to planners to city governments speak breathlessly of the power of places to transform cities for the better - but it’s not clear what placemaking really means.
Even more frustratingly, the term is often wielded to defend opposing styles or approaches in architecture. For some, making a place can mean creating an architecture of singular identity; for others, it means understanding and blending into existing context. The power of place is commonly extolled in advertisements for massive private development; it’s proven an equally valuable watchword for local preservation and community efforts. This week's stories touched on a range of definitions of placemaking. Read on for this week's review.
The Two Extremes
Hangzhou Neobio Family Park / X+Living. Image © Feng Shao It's no secret that post-modernism has, in recent years, experienced something of a revival. The much-maligned movement's exhuberant and joyful take on architecture is perhaps a solace in difficult moments. Or, for the more jaded among us, perhaps it simply lends itself to Instagram. That said, it's not quite the postmodernism that took off in the 60s. Post postmodernism is also concerned with history and context, but with contemporary spins made possible by new technologies. Installations and other temporary typologies also bring with them a fresh perspective, preserved forever on the internet for our vicarious enjoyment. But perhaps most crucially, it is no longer so wholly a reaction against the hegemony of modernism; something that the original postmodernists were fixated with. Today's postmodernism can be at once joyful and reserved, vernacular and high-tech.
Vilamajó (Uruguay, second from left) with various members of the Board of Design Consultants for the UN Headquarters Building in 1947, including N. D. Bassov (Soviet Union), Gaston Brunfaut (Belgium), Ernest Cormier (Canada), Le Corbusier (France), Liang Seu-cheng (China), Sven Markelius (Sweden), Oscar Niemeyer (Brazil), Howard Robertson (United Kingdom), and G. A. Soilleux (Australia), as part of the Board of Design Consultants for the U.N. Headquarters Building in 1947. Image Courtesy of Courtesy the Facultad de Arquitectura Diseño y Ubranismo Montevideo, via Metropolis Magazine Uruguay's architecture scene has long taken the backseat to those of its more popular neighbours. Brazil, to the north, has a modernist history that rivals (if not shades) that of its European peers; Chile, to the west, boasts an innovative climate for architecture unparalleled in the world today. With friends like these, it's perhaps no surprise that Uruguay is a bit overshadowed. But two
© Denise Scott Brown
Robert Venturi - and the postmodernist movement he helped to form - was occasionally a divisive figure. For hardcore modernists, the referencing of prior styles was an affront to the future-facing architecture they had tried to promote. For traditionalists, the ebullient and kitschy take on classicism was an insult to the elegance of the past.
But on closer examination, post-modernism is not about contradiction, but of mixing. It combines the best of both modernism and classicism: it is pragmatic and functional, exhuberant and thoughtful about the past. Venturi was keenly aware of the active role architecture plays in our lives, but rather than intellectualizing it in abstraction encouraged us all to think in more honest terms. Do you love it? Do you hate it? Minimalism is not necessarily a marker of quality; less can indeed be a bore.
This week, we cherish a figure who shone
© Rollin LaFrance / VSBA Robert Venturi, famed-postmodernist and icon of American architecture, passed away Tuesday at the age of 93. Among Venturi’s many accolades were the 1991 Pritzker Prize, a Fellowship from the American Institute of Architects, and an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Institute of British Architects. He started his firm in 1964, running it with his partner and wife Denise Scott Brown from 1967 until 2012. His legacy lives on as the firm continues under the name VSBA (Venturi Scott Brown Associates).
The co-author of Learning From Las Vegas and Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, Venturi is widely credited with kickstarting the postmodernist movement and is one of the most important postmodern theorists of the 20th century. Through both their built work, academic output, and written texts Scott Brown and Venturi helped to spark a
© Anton Reponnen Architecture is all about context, either as a way to find harmony with it's surroundings or as a reaction against them. But what happens when you take context out of the picture entirely?
Designer Anton Reponnen, in his Misplaced photo series, has taken 11 of New York's most iconic landmarks, ranging from the Empire State Building to Renzo Piano's Whitney, and transplanted them in deserts, tundras, and plains. With the buildings placed in a "wrong" condition, viewers are challenged to evaluate the architecture in a different way. In Reponnen's eyes (and in the stories that accompany the images), each structure is as alive as we are, and their new location is mystery with motives to uncover.
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Try as we might to inure ourselves to the opinions of others, recognition is a powerful thing. It brings with it a captive (and expectant) audience, not just of admirers but of kingmakers - or, cynically, those who see an opportunity to capitalize. For architects, this can be both a blessing and a curse. Many practices start with the motivation to pursue an idea or concept; as recognition becomes diluted to labels it becomes harder to understand what was distinguishing in the first place. This week saw the announcements of a numerous significant awards - and an interview with a practice determined to shake off the labels that come with recognition. Read on for this week’s review.
RIBA announced their four finalists for their International Prize. A biennial award open to any qualified architect in the world, the International Prize seeks to name the world’s “most inspirational and
Church of the Light. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/hetgacom/22029029686'>Flickr user hetgacom</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> As the recipient of the 1995 Pritzker Prize, Tadao Ando (born 13 September 1941) is highly regarded for his unparalleled work with concrete, sensitive treatment of natural light, and strong engagement with nature. Based in Osaka, Japan, Ando's ascetic yet rich version of modernism resonates with the traditional Japanese conception of architecture, and has caused him to be regularly referred to as a "critical regionalist."
After briefly working as a truck driver and a professional boxer, Ando embarked on a largely self-taught architectural education that included apprenticeships, night classes, and visits to renowned buildings across the world. He opened his office in 1969 in Osaka and achieved fame quickly,
Courtesy of Plompmozes UNStudio has shared a prototype vision for a hyperloop transfer hub, intended to ultimately connect cities such as Amsterdam and Frankfurt in less than an hour. The project, done in collaboration with Hardt Hyperloop, was announced at a summit in Utrecht dedicated to exploring future transit in Europe. The station prototype focuses on a tessellated module that can expand or contract to adapt to a variety of contexts. This flexibility is intended to allow ease of development in a variety of contexts, be it in a city center, suburb, or as an attachment to an existing transit hub. Rather than simply forcing cities to commit to new developments to accommodate these future transit options, modularity in this scheme is considered key to easy contextual integration.
Modularity of the station design is not just an urban strategy; it forms the basis of the
© Nina Vidic Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena and founder of ELEMENTAL has been named the 2018 laureate of Royal Institute of British Architect's (RIBA) Charles Jencks Award. The prize is given in recognition of an individual's exceptional contributions to the field of architecture, both in built and theoretical works. Aravena will receive the prize and give a lecture at RIBA's London headquarters on 15 October. "Aravena’s work covers a great deal of ground, from production of a respectable body of published work via bespoke projects for traditional patrons such as universities, as well as an approach to incremental housing which can grow with the occupying family (or families)," explained RIBA Director of Education, David Gloster. "Working creatively across polarities of architectural expression and interest means that his work is unpredictable, diverse, and unafraid to explore the unfamiliar."
Born in Santiago de Chile, Alejandro Aravena graduated from
Zaha Hadid Architects have released images of their latest project, a sculptural billboard named for its location in Kensington, London. The project, a collaboration between the late Zaha Hadid and partner Patrik Schumacher, marks the firm’s first direct foray into advertising.
Designed for advertising giant JCDecaux, the billboard comprises a digital screen embedded within a twisting double-ribbon of stainless steel. The screen is a stunning 26 metres (86 feet) wide and six metres (20 feet) high, and curves to provide better visibility from the street.
Pedestrians walking behind the billboard experience it instead as a piece of public art; lighting ensures continued illumination both of the sculpture and of the path.
“Both a civic gesture and a promotional medium, the intertwined, looped ribbon design expresses the dynamism of pedestrian and vehicle traffic movements that intersect at this important London junction,” explained Melodie Leung,
Courtesy of Safdie Architects
Safdie Architects have released their design for ‘Quorner’, a new residential tower to be built in Quito, Ecuador. The 24-storey structure, a collaboration with Ecuadorean construction firm Uribe & Schwarzkopf, is to be one of Quito’s largest buildings and Safdie’s first in Ecuador.
The project occupies a small site adjacent to the city’s La Carolina park, and stacks staggered residential units to create both indoor and outdoor private spaces. The north facade features a cascading green wall that visually connects the building to the neighboring park.
The “fractalized” tower is topped with an outdoor pool, offering views out to the city and a shared gathering space for residents of the tower.
“We pride ourselves on developing projects unique to the place and program, and at the same time, incorporating principles that have long