A competition for the interior renovation of the Alte Oper, one of the world’s most prominent opera houses in Frankfurt, has been won by German firm Buero Wagner, selected ahead of heavyweight runner-up Zaha Hadid Architects. The scope included the conversion of one of the building’s multipurpose foyers into a central social space, to be activated by the 450,000 annual visitors that attend the Alter Oper’s 400-plus concerts.
Earlier this year, the Global Seed Vault in Svalbard was flooded after record high temperatures over the winter caused some of the permafrost surrounding the vault to melt, reports The Guardian. The building's entrance tunnel was flooded and then froze to create conditions "like a glacier" for those trying to enter. Fortunately, the vault itself was not breached, meaning no harm came to the building's precious contents. However, the incident has raised questions about whether the building will be able to fulfill its purpose in the long term.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced 17 winning projects in the 2017 RIBA East Awards. Topped by Walters & Cohen Architects' Vajrasana Buddhist Retreat Centre in Suffolk which won the RIBA East Building of the Year Award, these 17 regional winners will go on to compete in RIBA's national awards, with the best in the national awards ultimately going forward to compete for the Stirling Prize.
"It was just fabulous to see the diversity and exceptional quality of buildings around the region," said RIBA East Regional Director Louise Todd. "The jury had a really difficult task in selecting the winners, which says a lot for the strength of the shortlist and the creativity of the architects involved."
In 1990, China, then a country with a population of just over 1.1 billion inhabitants, had only three metro systems—located in Beijing, Hong Kong and Tianjin. Fast forward a mere 27 years later and the number of urban transit systems has grown more than ten-fold.
“It’s a pretty amazing building. It’s a little like a spaceship landed” - Steve Jobs
WIRED has published an in-depth article exclusively detailing Apple’s new headquarters that has now opened in Cupertino, California. Coined as the “One Last Thing” Steve Jobs had envisioned prior to his death in 2011, journalist Steven Levy takes the reader through a step-by-step tour of the new Apple Park campus guided by design spearhead Jonathan Ive and head of facilities Dan Whisenunt. Designed in collaboration with Foster + Partners, the sprawling 75 acres hosts facilities ranging from a 100,000 square foot Wellness Center, a hilltop theater, a 755-foot entrance tunnel (tiled Apple white of course) and immense 4-storey glass doors that open up the Ring’s equally giant café to the elements.
Located in Tokyo's Sumida Ward, in which Sumida Hokusai (Katsushika Hokusai) was born and spent the majority of his life, this museum—completed in November 2016 to designs by Kazuyo Sejima—is a temple to the Japanese artist's work, including the likes of The Great Wave off Kanagawa and Red Fuji. Sejima, who was awarded the Priztker Prize in 2010, is commonly known as one-half of SANAA (alongside Ryue Nishizawa). This project, while seeking to celebrate Hokusai's work, has also been designed as a cultural beacon. In this photoset, photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu has turned his lens to the new cultural landmark.
Goettsch Partners has been announced as the winners of an international competition for the design of the new Optics Valley Center complex in Wuhan, China. Being developed by prominent developer Greenland Group, the project will consist of 3.4 million square feet (315,000 square meters) of mixed-use space across three buildings, including a landmark 1,312-foot-tall (400-meter-tall) office tower that will “symbolize the future vision of Wuhan as the perfect balance between modern development and the environment.”
Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, in collaboration with Holscher Nordberg Architects, has been selected to lead a 120,000-square-foot (36,000-square-meter) redevelopment of the new Carlsberg City district in Copenhagen. Located on the former site of the famous Carlsberg Brewery, the project will incorporate the area’s historic industrial elements in creating a new sustainable city district with inviting open spaces, public transportation, and a series of context-sensitive new buildings, including a 262-foot-tall (80-meter-tall) residential tower.
Commissioned for a large-scale event in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, Edoardo Tresoldi in collaboration with Design Lab Experience have constructed a vast indoor "piazza" of architectural fragments. Accommodating a 7000sqm event space, each "Classical" element is built entirely from wire mesh and comprises domes, arches, colonnades, columns, and imitations of sacred spaces (namely Italian basilicas). Together they create a translucent and ephemeral sequence of indoor rooms – all layered by a strikingly contemporary aesthetic.
New renderings of Herzog & de Meuron’s upcoming luxury hotel have been released, showing the 28-storey tower’s updated interiors at its location at 215 Chrystie Street in Manhattan’s Bowery District. Constructed of raw concrete, the 370 rooms are capped with eleven open-plan luxury residences and is set to open to the public in June.
“To introduce a sense of scale and to further foster the expression of each individual floor, each column is slightly inclined,” explained Jacques Herzog with the announcement of the project back in 2014. “The prominent corner of the building facing Chrystie Street is where the two geometries of the inclined columns meet. Rather than giving one direction priority, the two directions are braided together. The result is a sculptural corner column that becomes the visual anchor for the entire building.”
One of the most highly regarded architects of the 20th century, Walter Gropius (18 May 1883 – 5 July 1969) was one of the founding fathers of Modernism, and the founder of the Bauhaus, the German "School of Building" that embraced elements of art, architecture, graphic design, interior design, industrial design, and typography in its design, development and production.
The Herzog & de Meuron-designed global corporate headquarters for pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has topped out in Cambridge, UK, as the building pushes forward to a series of opening dates beginning in 2018. Developed alongside AstraZeneca researchers and executive architect/lead consultant BDP, the scheme consists of a ring-shaped volume containing a series of open laboratories and transparent glass walls intended to foster the company’s principle of collaboration across disciplines.
Small Projects, Wide Reach: Hilary Sample on the Benefits of Maintaining a Purposefully Small Office
In the seventh episode of GSAPP Conversations Amale Andraos speaks with Hilary Sample, an academic and co-founder of MOS Architects alongside her partner Michael Meredith. They discuss the lasting influence of ORDOS 100—a collection of villas built in Inner Mongolia by emerging and renowned practices—on the firm’s thinking, the role of representation, and how Sample's practice pursues an inclusive way of working and thinking – while maintaining a purposefully small office.
In major cities around the world, buildable land is at a premium. At the same time, a continued trend of urban migration has led to a shortage of houses, inspiring a wealth of innovative solutions from architects and designers. Swedish firm Manofactory have literally taken housing solutions to a new level, questioning why we need to build at ground level at all.
Many animals, including birds, build their nests in trees, under roof tiles or in rock crevices above the ground. Humans already build simple nesting boxes for birds to live in, causing Manofactory to question why we can’t build nesting boxes for ourselves – a simple house with several rooms, windows, and climate protection. Pointing to the numerous cliff walls in cities across northern Scandinavia and elsewhere, Manofactory have designed the Nestinbox – a small wooden house with a steel structure to be mounted on sheer cliff faces.
WaPo's New Augmented Reality Series Begins With a Virtual Look at the Ceiling of Herzog & de Meuron's Elbphilharmonie
The Washington Post (WaPo) has launched a new architectural augmented reality series that will provide readers with an in-depth look at the details behind some of the world’s most innovative new buildings. For its first edition, architecture critic Philip Kennicott narrates an AR projection of the unique ceiling of the main concert hall at Herzog & de Meuron’s recently completed Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Germany.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced the first wave of their 2017 RIBA Regional Awards, beginning with the West Midlands region. Six projects were selected as winners from the region, which includes the city of Birmingham and its surrounding area.
“This year's winning projects prove that a good architecture should allow its user a space and time to absorb and to reflect,” commented Regional Jury Chair, Natalia Maximova. “The selected designs frame our experience of the buildings and spaces rather than dictate it. They highlight the fact that there is no true architecture without a clear vision and a strong concept. Originality remains a highly valued commodity and a source of inspiration for others and therefore should be recognised.
Through a revisiting of Zaha Hadid's MAXXI Museum of Art in Rome and Heyder Aliyev Center in Baku, as well as the practice’s exploration of materiality and composition, Boffi_Code Kitchen is a custom kitchen island created by Zaha Hadid Design and Boffi, an Italian furniture company founded in 1934.
“Boffi_code offers customization to the highest standards, tailoring individual solutions with selected materials, finishes and cabinetry,” explains Zaha Hadid Design. “The Boffi_Code Kitchen by Zaha Hadid Design marries exceptional detailing and design with functionality, carefully chosen materials, and traditional craftsmanship.”
Seeking to liven up their town and make a splash in the realm of tourism, the small village of Kampung Pelangi, Indonesia, has undergone a vivid, multicolored transformation. The brainchild of 54-year-old junior high principal Slamet Widodo and inspired by similar efforts in other Indonesian towns, the entire repainting was done for just 300 million Indonesia Rupiah (about $22,500 USD).
The Architectural League of New York has announced the recipient of its 2017 President’s Medal: His Highness the Aga Khan, the 49th hereditary Imam (Spiritual Leader) of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Aga Khan Award in Architecture – an annual award established to celebrate building concepts that have successfully addressed the needs of Muslim communities from around the world.
The Architectural League’s highest honor, the President’s Medal is awarded annually to recognize individuals for an extraordinary body of work in architecture, urbanism, art, or design. The medal will be presented by League President Billie Tsien at a May 18 dinner in New York.
The University of Chicago has unveiled new renderings of its planned David M. Rubenstein Forum that show major changes to the buildings’ form and relationship to the site. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the new scheme shows a more homogeneous structure featuring a uniform zinc and glass facade that will help to better signify the distinct “neighborhoods” located within the 8-story tower.
ELEMENTAL, led by Pritzker Prize laureate Alejandro Aravena, has been selected as the design team for the Art Mill project in Doha, Qatar. Following a 26-strong longlist and a shortlist of eight internationally renowned practices, including Atelier Bow-Wow and the Renzo Piano Building Workshop, the Chilean practice have been lauded by the jury for developing "a serene artwork, [in which] the structure is the architecture." Once complete, the project will join two other nearby cultural heavyweights: the Museum of Islamic Art, designed by I.M. Pei, and the National Museum of Qatar designed by Jean Nouvel.
A vibrant pavilion has arrived to grace the boardwalks of California’s Santa Barbara waterfront. The pavilion entitled Runaway has been designed by SPORTS, an architecture and design collaboration of Greg Corso and Molly Hunker, recently selected as one of the Architectural League of New York’s emerging young practices for 2017. Blending a bright, colorful character with functional modernity, Runaway was installed on the Waterfront of Santa Barbara in March 2017, one of several locations the pavilion will travel to throughout the year.
The American/Turkish architecture firm Eray Carbajo has unveiled Urban Rural, a new typology of urban living set to become a benchmark for future development in Istanbul, Turkey. The vision behind Urban Rural is for a hybrid model of living, combining close proximity to urban centers with the lush landscape of rural life. Challenging the status quo of typical residential typologies, the scheme will consist of modular hexagonal units with triangular gardens, forming an active façade designed to become a future landmark for the city.
With decaying infrastructure and a lack of viable public amenities, Hong Kong’s popular yet problematic waterfront is the focus of the latest undertaking by James Corner Field Operations, aiming to transform the site into an attractive tourist and local destination. Home to Hong Kong’s Avenue of Stars (the equivalent of Hollywood’s Walk of Fame), the Tsim Sha Tsui (TST) waterfront is in need of severe revitalization, with areas requiring demolition if not reinforced within the decade.
The landscape architecture firm’s vision incorporates new seating, shading and green space to reinvigorate the promenade while offering panoramic views of the city’s skyline as it guides visitors towards the harbor, allowing visitors to get closer to the harbor than ever before. Trellises will provide 800 times more shade than what is currently offered, while seating will increase 325-fold to encourage public engagement and interaction with each other and the space.