Israel has unveiled its theme for the 2016 Venice Biennale: “LifeObject: Merging Architecture and Biology”. Their pavilion will be comprised of a large-scale sculptural installation and seven speculative architectural scenarios relating to Israel. The exhibition will focus on the relationship between biology and architecture, acting as a “research oriented platform.”
LifeObject: Israel Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale to Study the Relationship Between Biology and Architecture
Following “Brutal London,” Zupagrafika has released another collection of illustrated paper cut-out models, “Paris Brut," which portrays the Brutalist architecture of Paris from the late-’50s through the 1970s. The set features buildings from the city’s arrondissements and banlieues, the latter of which became a central locality for Habitation à Loyer Modéré, a type of public-private, rent-controlled housing in France.
Paris Brut is made up of six illustrated models to assemble: Orgues de Flandre, Les Choux de Créteil, Cité Curial-Michelet, Cité des 4000, Centre National de la Danse and Plan Voisin interpretation. The whole set is eco-friendly (printed on recycled paper and cardboard), and includes a short technical note on each building’s architect, year of construction, and exact location.
For this year’s US Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, curators Cynthia Davidson and Monica Ponce de Leon have chosen twelve teams to speculate on possible architecture projects for four sites in Detroit, in an exhibition titled: The Architectural Imagination. After visiting Detroit last fall for site visits, community meeting, and discussions with faculty and students at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, the teams have now released images for their projects. The curators hope to generate creative and resourceful work to address the social and environmental issues of the 21st century.
Bjarke Ingels is the recipient of the 2016 Louis Kahn Memorial Award, an annual prize established in 1983 to recognize "excellence in architecture" in honor of one of Philadelphia’s most influential architects. Ingels was honored at a ceremony on May 9th, hosted by the Center for Architecture and Design, where he delivered the annual talk that accompanies the award.
Speaking on the subject of Louis Kahn, who died the same year Ingels was born, in 1974, he remarked, “I wouldn't say that my work is linear of Louis' but I think that he rediscovered symbolism and designed super-functional architecture that's been lost and has been re-created by pragmatism." This fits into Ingels' own views on his practice, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), which he described as “pragmatic utopianism,” asserting a belief that architecture is “the art and science of turning fiction into fact.”
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.
Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects has been awarded first prize in the competition to design the Student Center and Library for the Wenzhou-Kean University in Wenzhou, China. Set on 500 acres of land in a rural mountainous region, the 25,000 square meter project will provide learning and living space for 8,500 students.
Wenzhou-Kean University is cooperatively run by Wenzhou University, in China, and Kean University, in New Jersey, USA, and aims to merge Chinese and American teaching methodologies. Thus, the new Student Center and Library is focused on embracing diversity, interaction, and the sharing of knowledge.
Losing Myself, a collaborative exhibition by Níall McLaughlin and Yeoryia Manolopoulou, will be presented at the Ireland Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale. Focusing on Alzheimer's Disease, the exhibition highlights the process of “designing and revisiting buildings for people who have dementia.” The exhibit contains two main components: a website that arranges a series of drawings, stories, and research on dementia; and an installation in the pavilion, which contains drawings that explore a building designed for people with dementia.
Construction is underway in Vancouver for the world’s tallest timber tower by Acton Ostry Architects. The 18-story Brock Commons Student Residence at the University of British Columbia, which began construction in November 2015, will be completed in the summer of 2017. At 53 meters tall, with housing for 404 students, it will be the tallest mass wood hybrid building in the world. The structure’s two freestanding concrete cores will be completed by the end of May, after which, the erection of the mass wood structure will take place.
Sketchfab has announced the release of Virtual Reality apps for Oculus, HTC Vive, Gear VR, and the company’s own Cardboard, as well as initial WebVR support. Making Sketchfab available on more headsets will initially allow viewers to access a curated showcase of models, eventually expanding to the company’s entire VR collection. Additionally, users will now have the option to view any of their own models in VR, just by uploading to Sketchfab.
John Puttick Associates' competition-winning scheme for the Youth Zone neighboring the Preston Bus Station has undergone a major design change, opting for a standalone structure instead of one that directly connects to the station building. “The [Youth Zone] combines the lightness of a pavilion-like design with the gravitas required of any building with a significant community role constructed adjacent to the powerful forms of the Bus Station,” say the architects.
The station building, designed by BDP and completed in 1969, is now a Grade II listed structure. The new design of the Youth Zone seeks to preserve original BDP strategy, creating a spatial unity with satellite structures, what the architects call “a sequence of sculptural objects adjacent to the main [station] building.” The 2,600 square meter (28,000 square foot) Youth Zone will provide sports, arts, and performance spaces to young people in Preston.
The Islington Council, in collaboration with the Royal Institute of British Architects, is hosting a design competition for the new Finsbury Leisure Centre on the Bunhill ward site in south Islington, London. Five firms -- Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Grimshaw, Hawkins\Brown, Pollard Thomas Edwards, and Henley Halebrown Rorrison -- have been shortlisted to present their proposals to the public.
The Swedish exhibition, “The Forests of Venice,” has been selected as a Collateral Event for the 2016 Venice Biennale. Initiated by Kjellander + Sjöberg and Folkhem; and curated by Jan Åman, the exhibit highlights wood as a sustainable material, while looking at "the interaction between nature and the man-made human habitat in order to respond to climate change and limited resources."
Louis Kahn’s Yale Center for British Art has reopened to the public after a multi-year restoration project led by Knight Architecture, LLC. The building, which began construction in 1969 and was completed after Kahn’s death in 1977, was designed to house Paul Mellon’s gift of British art to Yale University. According to the museum, “this was the most complex building conservation work undertaken at the Center to date, comprising the entire structure, from roof to basement. It renews the Center’s public galleries, internal systems, spaces, and amenities, and has provided an opportunity to reimagine and reinstall the Center’s renowned collections of more than five centuries of British art—the largest outside of the United Kingdom.”
A little over a month since Rotterdam-based practice MVRDV announced a new temporary urban structure—a 180-step staircase, 29 meters tall and 57 meters long—for the heart of city of Rotterdam, the project has been officially opened. Those who ascend the staircase will find a temporary observation deck looking over Rotterdam Centraal, a rooftop bar, and the temporary reopening of the Kriterion cinema that was last active in the 1960s.
The Burj Kahlifa has been the world’s tallest building since 2009, and last year the Dubai-based supertall broke another record by implementing the world's largest LED-illuminated facade. Building on these accomplishments, Minus5 Architects in collaboration with Studio Mr. White, has proposed using LED technology to create scale silhouettes of architectural monuments from around the world on the facade, including the Empire State Building, Beijing's CCTV Tower, London's Shard, Toronto's CN Tower, Taipei 101, the Petronas Towers, and others.
Foster + Partners, in collaboration with Heller Manus Architects, has received permission from the San Francisco Planning Commission for Oceanwide Center. The 2.3 million square foot (215,000 square meter) development is part of the Transbay development plan, to provide increased density to the city’s South of Market district (SOMA). The plan calls for two buildings, the 605-foot Mission Street Tower, with a hotel and residences, and an 850-foot office and residential tower along First Street. In addition, the project creates new public spaces and pedestrian connections at the base of the towers, simultaneously restoring and revitalizing two historic buildings on the site.
Design firm WXY architecture + urban design has released plans for a reconnection of nearly 50 acres of public space between downtown Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Bridge in New York. Called The Brooklyn Strand, the project seeks to create a more appealing and accessible waterfront, while transforming the quality of public space in the area.
Aedas has unveiled their design for the new Tebrau Waterfront Residences, located in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. The new two million square-meter waterfront community will combine villas and high-rise residential towers with a variety of commercial programs and a hotel.