Had Hansel and Gretel stumbled across one of these sugary structures, they may have taken off in the opposite direction. Dark, gloomy, and foreboding, the confectionary architecture would have made quite the impression on Jack Skellington, however. The project, by food artist Caitlin Levin and photographer Henry Hargreaves, is clearly indebted to the gothic mise-en-scène of the latter’s expressionistic underworld, a dreary, but whimsical land where one might half expect to find a twisted (gumball) doppelganger of the Tate Modern or Zaha Hadid’s MAXXI.
Find out more about the process behind this sweet project after the break
In this article for Fast Company, Boyd Cohen counts down the top 8 smart cities in Latin America. Using publicly available data and his own comprehensive framework to evaluate how smart a city is, he has generated a list which even he admits features a couple of surprises in the top spots. To see the list and discover what each city has achieved to deserve its ranking, you can read the full article here.
Strangely enough it has become almost unremarkable that an office such as New York-based MOS Architects would find itself designing an orphanage for a small community in Nepal. Now under construction in Jorpati, eight kilometres north-east of the capital, Kathmandu, is the Lali Gurans Orphanage and Learning Centre, which finds itself at the intersection of any number of tangential trends: the rise of international aid and non-governmental organisations, the seeming annihilation of space by global communications networks and the latent desire of architects to use their designs to effect appreciable social change. Emphasizing simple construction techniques and sustainable design features, the building hopes to serve as a model for the surrounding communities, as an educational and environmental hub, the provider of social services for Nepalese women and as a home for some 50 children.
MOS Architects, founded in 2003 by US architects Michael Meredith and Hilary Sample, is not a practice known for its involvement in humanitarian projects. Its work is often experimental and, at times, willfully strange. Alongside its architecture, MOS makes films, teaches studios, designs furniture and gives lectures on its work. It was after one lecture in Denver, Colorado in 2009 that Christopher Gish approached Meredith and Sample to ask if they would be interested in designing an orphanage.
DOCOMOMO US invites submissions for the first annual Modernism in America Awards. The awards celebrate the documentation, preservation and re-use of modern buildings, structures and landscapes built in the United States or on U.S. territory. The Awards recognize those building owners, design teams, advocacy and preservation organizations that have made significant efforts to retain, restore and advocate for the aesthetic and cultural value of such places.
The Institute without Boundaries (IwB) is seeking curriculum partners for Connecting Divided Places, a project that investigates social, economic, environmental, and cultural divisions in cities. They are calling out to municipalities, not-for-profit organizations, and companies interested in working with them to address the wicked problems dividing their cities and regions. They are looking for organizations interested in collaborating on design solutions that make for more balanced, healthier, and resilient city-regions of the future. They want to know what challenges your city is facing.
In Joshua Tree, California, artist Phillip K Smith III has completed Lucid Stead: an optical illusion/installation that modifies an abandoned 70-year-old homestead with mirrors in order to make it appear transparent. The cabin was also fitted with LED lighting to “extract the distilled experience of how light changes over time — how a mountain can be blue, red, brown, white, purple, and black all in one day.” As Smith stated, the project is about light, shadow, and tapping into the quiet of the desert. Check out more images and a video of the cabin after the break!
In this interesting report in the Ottawa Citizen, Maria Cook exposes the plan to renovate the Arthur Erickson-designed Bank of Canada Building in Ottawa. The existing building, which features a public atrium complete with a tropical garden, is being extensively remodeled to improve security and building performance, although arguably at great cost to the design. Cook exposes how the bank turned down a prestigious design award in 2011 as it was already at that point privately considering the changes, and explains how its privileged position - related to the government but not controlled by it - effectively means that the bank has nobody it has to answer to who might stop these plans. You can read the full article here.
The Rockefeller Foundation has named the first group of cities selected in the “100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge.” Each city has been chosen for demonstrating “a commitment to building their own capacities to prepare for, withstand, and bounce back rapidly from shocks and stresses.” More than 1,000 registrations and nearly 400 formal applications from cities around the world were submitted. After careful review of each city's challenges, these 33 where chosen:
For his thesis project, Javier Lloret turned a building into a giant, solvable Rubik's Cube. Making use of the media facade of the Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria, he projected the world's most famous handheld puzzle onto a huge scale - inviting passers-by to solve the puzzle. In the process, Lloret transformed the nearby area, showing that (when used correctly) technology can make the urban environment more fun.
According to John Gallagher of the Detroit Free Press, Detroit may soon be removing one of its downtown freeways, the I-375, and converting the trench-like road into a more pedestrian friendly surface level street. The change could be a boon to residents of nearby areas such as Lafayette Park and Eastern Market, which were cut off when the road was built in 1964, and follows a wider trend of cities removing freeways in order to regenerate downtown areas. The city government is currently working with major stakeholders to investigate the potential effects of the change, with a proposal due for summer 2014. You can read the full article here.
Building Trust International is very pleased to announce their 5th Design Competition. The challenge is to design a health facility that can easily be relocated. This could be in response to a natural disaster, or to inoculate and educate in areas with specific medical emergencies or outbreaks, it will also help aid agencies that don't have the funds or means to purchase land, offering short term leasing opportunities.
Herzog & de Meuron just celebrated the grand opening of the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), alongside the commence of the Art Basel in Miami Beach. Located on a waterfront site overlooking the Biscayne Bay, near the MacArthur Causeway, the three-story museum’s low-profile seems to almost disappear into its surroundings - a pleasant contrast to the ornate and often form-based architecture that is typically found throughout the city. This lack of form, as Jacques Herzog described, is all about “permeability.”
“Miami is known for its iconic art deco district – in fact art deco was about decorated boxes with no great relationship and exchange between inside and outside,” Herzog continued. “The greatest thing, however, that makes Miami so extraordinary is its amazing climate, lush vegetation and cultural diversity. How can these assets be fully exploited and translated into architecture? That’s the way we tried to go with our design for the new art museum in Miami.”
Continue reading for a sneak peak inside the Museum...
Eight international teams have been shortlisted to design a 100-meter tall Observation and Broadcast Tower for the historic city of Çanakkale. The competition, now in its second stage, has required each team to develop their schematic designs before submitting them to the jury in February.
As stated by the competition brief, “competitors are strongly recommended to consider the technological requirements of the broadcasting tower and recreational potentials of a public entity with equal emphasis.” Once complete, the forested hilltop site will be transformed into a public destination, offering exhibition spaces, recreational facilities and observation decks, in addition to an “iconic antenna tower.”
In the wake of the destruction of Typhoon Haiyan, architects were asking: "couldn't we have avoided this?" Technically, yes. But while the opportunity to build better exists, such measures are often expensive - and in poverty-stricken areas like the Philippines - cost-prohibitive. A recently published article by Carey Dunne on Co.Design breaks down why disaster-proof construction is such a complex challenge.