Editor's ChoiceBuilding Transformed Into Giant Rubik’s Cube
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Architect In Charge: Ivaylo Andreev
Design Team: Angel Savlakov
Area: 660 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of Conveyer
Italian architect Pier Carlo Bontempi has been selected as the 12th recipient of the Richard H. Driehaus Prize at the University of Notre Dame. Lauded for his “lifelong contribution to the human city and classical tradition,” Bontempi has dedicated much of his work in the “search for common ground between the classical and the modern; the two most powerful architectural ideas of our century,” as jury member Demetri Porphyrios described.
From the window of an airplane it’s all too plain that apartheid has been deeply written into the South African landscape. Even the smallest town appears as two distinct towns. One features a spacious grid of tree-lined streets and comfortable houses surrounded by lawns. The other, its shriveled twin, some distance away but connected by a well-traveled road, consists of a much tighter grid of dirt roads lined with shacks. Trees are a rarity, lawns non-existent. This doubling pattern appears no matter the size of the population: here, the white town; over there, the black township. — Lisa Findley, “Red & Gold: A Tale of Two Apartheid Museums.”
There are few systems of government that relied so heavily upon the delineations of space than the Apartheid government of South Africa (1948-1994). Aggressively wielding theories of Modernism and racial superiority, South Africa’s urban planners didn’t just enforce Apartheid, they embedded it into every city – making it a daily, degrading experience for South Africa’s marginalized citizens.
When Nelson Mandela and his party, the African National Congress, were democratically elected to power in 1994, they recognized that one of the most important ways of diminishing Apartheid’s legacy would be spatial: to integrate the white towns and the black townships, and revive those “shriveled twin[s].”
As we remember Mandela – undoubtedly the most important man in South Africa’s history – and ponder his legacy, we must also consider his spatial legacy. It is in the physical, spatial dimensions of South Africa’s towns and cities that we can truly see Apartheid’s endurance, and consider: to what extent have Mandela’s words of reconciliation and righteous integration, truly been given form?
The progressive digitalization of social and economical relationships is transforming lots of huge factories into useless empty boxes waiting for re-functionalization and new purpose. Nute Partecipazioni ltd deals with revamping and enhancing valuable but disused industrial buildings. Such firm owns a disused factory in Quarto Inferiore (Granarolo, Bologna). Nute’s CEO is currently aiming to transform the disused 15.000 m2 industrial park into a space for leisure time, culture and arts.
What kind of architecture could be proposed in order to host cultural and entertainment activities?
This is a chance to rethink a disused industrial place and transform it in a lively space for culture, art and public relationships. Wide and versatile open spaces are meant to provide local citizens and tourists a modern cultural / leisure time activities centre.
This call focuses on temporality and spatial custom-tailoring. Nowadays modern technology is capable of boosting communication and information. This feature shall lead designers to propose flexible system made of dynamic / modular / equipped spaces. More information after the break.
In a brilliant article for Der Spiegel, “The New Monuments to Digital Domination,” writer Thomas Schulz not only rounds up our reigning tech giants’ oddly-shaped offices – from Apple’s “spaceship” to Amazon’s “biodomes” – but also pinpoints what they have in common: horizontality. And why? Because an “open creative playground” without boundaries (like floors or walls) is “the perfect ideas factory: the ideal spatial environment for optimally productive digital workers who continuously churn out world-changing innovations.” And while this means that privacy has gone out these workspaces’ proverbial windows, Schulz isn’t too surprised – after all, “people have no right to a private life in the digital age.” Check out this must-read article here.
Formlessfinder, the New York-based architects, designers and outside-the-box thinkers won this year’s commission to build the entrance to Design Miami/. Tent Pile is a balancing act of aluminium and sand, the latter is often seen as an obstacle to overcome in architecture rather than the solution. But that’s the way these guys roll.
Since the initiation of its architectural curriculum in 1867, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has consistently broken new ground in the education of architects. Like the School’s founder Nathan Ricker, we look beyond current fashion, striving to leverage technical virtuosity in the service of performative design, aesthetic expression, and service to society.
More after the break.