Monocle 24 Travels to Tokyo, Vienna and Melbourne Examining 'Quality of Life'

04:00 - 26 June, 2015
Monocle 24 Travels to Tokyo, Vienna and Melbourne Examining 'Quality of Life', 'The Urbanist' travels to Tokyo. Image Courtesy of Monocle
'The Urbanist' travels to Tokyo. Image Courtesy of Monocle

For this week's editions of Section DMonocle 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft, and The Urbanist, their weekly "guide to making better cities," the Monocle team travel across three continents exploring the seemingly illusive question of 'quality of life.'

In this week's edition of The Urbanist, and to coincide with Monocle's annual Quality of Life survey, Andrew Tuck examines why Tokyo is at the forefront of an urban-garden revolution, how the Austrian capital is planning on self-facilitating its development as a major business hub, and talks to Robert Doyle, Lord Mayor of Melbourne, about the apparent cultural boom currently taking place in his city. In Section D, Josh Fehnert transports listeners to the UK's "post-industrial heartland" to talk to the people behind this year's Sheffield Design Week, plus more.

Listen to both episodes after the break.

nendo Designs Leather Bag for Architects

16:15 - 25 June, 2015
nendo Designs Leather Bag for Architects, via nendo
via nendo

Designed with the architect in mind, nendo has created a morphable Architect Bag for TOD's. "In the extended form," says nendo, "the bag holds a full-size A3 drawing as well as samples with quite a bit of length. Folding it into half creates two spaces where you can store A4 size drawings and documents, and the middle part of the flex section houses rolled-up drawings, heavy catalogues or books and samples of construction materials. With the ability to store away the two handles, you can turn it into a clutch bag when you have fewer things to carry." Take a closer look, after the break. 

Snøhetta Designs New Public Market for Portland

14:38 - 25 June, 2015
Snøhetta Designs New Public Market for Portland, © Snøhetta
© Snøhetta

Snøhetta has unveiled plans for a flagship public market in Portland - the city's first in over 70 years. Named after a famous chef and Portland native who helped initiate the fresh food movement in the US, the James Beard Public Market will showcase Oregon's best cuisine within an "ambitious civic hub" that will reenergize an underutilized site in Downtown Portland. 

"Linking the city to the river, the market will be an asset for residents and visitors alike," says Snøhetta. The market will feature more than 60 permanent vendors, 30 day tables, full-service restaurants, a teaching kitchen and event space.

Japan Stands Behind Plans to Build Zaha Hadid's Tokyo Stadium

13:44 - 25 June, 2015
Japan Stands Behind Plans to Build Zaha Hadid's Tokyo Stadium, © ZHA
© ZHA

Despite harsh criticism for being too large and costly, Tokyo's 2020 Zaha Hadid-designed National Stadium will be realized. As USA Today reports, the Japanese government has announced its decision to move forward with the design, saying any major modifications would lead to construction delays. 

The 80,000-seat stadium has already undergone some design changes, due to backlash led by Pritzker laureates Toyo Ito and Fumihiko Maki; it's most recent design is said to be more "efficient, user-focussed, adaptable and sustainable." However controversy continues as the city and central government must now decide how to split the stadium's estimated $2 billion bill.

ASF Announces Winners of Inaugural International Awards

12:00 - 25 June, 2015
Espacios de Paz (Spaces for Peace) / PICO Estudio & Movimiento Por la Paz y la Vida. Image Courtesy of ASF International Awards
Espacios de Paz (Spaces for Peace) / PICO Estudio & Movimiento Por la Paz y la Vida. Image Courtesy of ASF International Awards

Architecture Sans Frontières has announced the winners of their inaugural ASF International Awards, which aim to recognize “efficient solutions developed by architects globally to the many social, environmental and economic challenges facing the built environment.” 

From 68 submissions, three winners were selected: PICO Estudio & Movimiento Por la Paz y la Vida’s Espacios de Paz (Spaces for Peace) project in Venezuela; ASF France’s La Passerelle in Saint-Denis, France; and Building Trust International for their work in Asia and Africa.

Learn more about the winning projects after the break.

Spotlight: Antoni Gaudí

10:30 - 25 June, 2015
Spotlight: Antoni Gaudí, La Sagrada Familia's passion facade. Image © Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada Família
La Sagrada Familia's passion facade. Image © Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada Família

When Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (25 June 1852 – 10 June 1926) graduated from the Barcelona Architecture School in 1878, the director of the school Elies Rogent reportedly declared: "Gentlemen, we are here today either in the presence of a genius or a madman!" [1] Well over a century later, this tension is still evident in Gaudí's work; though he is widely regarded as a genius architect, his distinctive style stands as a singularity in architectural history - simultaneously awe-inspiring and bizarre, never fitting into any stylistic movement, and never adapted or emulated, except by those still working to complete his magnum opus, Barcelona's famous Sagrada Família.

Emergency Floor: Help Refugees Worldwide "Get Off the Ground"

08:00 - 25 June, 2015
Emergency Floor: Help Refugees Worldwide "Get Off the Ground", Floor Module in Shelter. Image Courtesy of Emergency Floor
Floor Module in Shelter. Image Courtesy of Emergency Floor

Millions of refugees across the globe, due to global conflict or natural phenomena, are forced to leave their homes and live in low-quality, temporary housing. The majority of these shelters lack a fundamental component of safety and well-being: floors. Emergency Floor is an initiative developed by Sam Brisendine and Scott Key to solve this problem, and bring safety to refugee shelters and the people in them. With their new Indiegogo campaign, Emergency Floor is working to provide efficient, inexpensive flooring that is directly geared towards assisting relief agencies.

Learn more about Emergency Floor after the break. 

Underutilized Wood Pallets. Image Courtesy of Emergency Floor Module on Wood Pallet. Image Courtesy of Emergency Floor Floor Module Connection. Image Courtesy of Emergency Floor Unsafe Living Conditions in Refugee Camp. Image Courtesy of Emergency Floor +11

English Heritage Launches Competition for "Structurally Daring" Bridge Design

04:30 - 25 June, 2015
English Heritage Launches Competition for "Structurally Daring" Bridge Design, Courtesy of English Heritage / Malcolm Reading
Courtesy of English Heritage / Malcolm Reading

The ruins of Tintagel Castle, one of English Heritage's most visited sites, has been announced as the site for a new two-stage international ideas competition. The castle, which is linked to the legend of King Arthur, is located in north Cornwall (in the south of the UK) and is built on a rocky outcrop connected to the mainland by a narrow, now eroded, land-bridge. English Heritage require a new footbridge which will be 28 metres higher than the current one, spanning a total distance of 72 metres, with an estimated budget of around £4million (around $6.3million).

Spotlight: Álvaro Siza

02:30 - 25 June, 2015
Spotlight: Álvaro Siza, The Building on the Water. Image © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG
The Building on the Water. Image © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

One of the most highly regarded architects of his generation, Portugese architect Álvaro Siza (born 25 June 1933) is known for his sculptural works that have been described as "poetic modernism." When he was awarded the Pritzker Prize in 1992, Siza was credited as being a successor of early modernists: the jury citation describes how "his shapes, molded by light, have a deceptive simplicity about them; they are honest."

Goettsch Partners Design 605-Foot "Park Tower" for San Francisco

16:07 - 24 June, 2015
Goettsch Partners Design 605-Foot "Park Tower" for San Francisco , © GP
© GP

Goettsch Partners (GP) has been commissioned to design a 605-foot-tall "Park Tower" for San Francisco. Planned to rise in the SOMA district, on the corner of Howard and Beale streets, across from the new Transbay Transit Center, the new building will feature a variety of office space, flanked by a series of outdoor terraces - "mini-parks in the sky," hence the tower's name. 

SageGlass Unveils Latest Developments in Smart Glass Technology

15:30 - 24 June, 2015
SageGlass Unveils Latest Developments in Smart Glass Technology, Courtesy of SageGlass
Courtesy of SageGlass

With the demands of sustainability today placing tight restrictions on performance metrics such as how airtight a building is, one of the sacrifices that often has to be made is user control. Windows are often no longer openable; shades and blinds often replaced with non-openable louvers. In recent years new technology such as smart glass (sometimes called "switchable glass) has promised a modicum of compromise, allowing windows to be tinted on demand. But smart glass is limited - it's either on or off, clear or tinted.

Until now, that is. At the AIA convention in MaySageGlass revealed a range of innovations that greatly increase the options available to designers when specifying smart glass.

SelgasCano's Serpentine Pavilion / Images by Laurian Ghinitoiu

14:00 - 24 June, 2015
SelgasCano's Serpentine Pavilion / Images by Laurian Ghinitoiu, Serpentine Pavilion 2015 designed by selgascano. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu
Serpentine Pavilion 2015 designed by selgascano. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu

Take a peek into SelgasCano's Serpentine Gallery Pavilion—which opened on June 22—through the lens of Romanian photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu

ABI Rebounds into Positive Territory

12:15 - 24 June, 2015
ABI Rebounds into Positive Territory, via CalculatedRiskBlog.com
via CalculatedRiskBlog.com

After two months of a decreasing demand for design services, the US Architecture Billing Index (ABI) has bounced back into positive territory. As the American Institute of Architects (AIA) report, May's ABI score was 51.9, up from a mark of 48.8 in April. The new projects inquiry index was 61.5, up from a reading of 60.1 the previous month. This growth was lead by a growing demand for new schools, hospitals, cultural facilities and municipal buildings.

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.

Gianandrea Barreca Receives the NewSchool's Global Design and Innovation Award

11:30 - 24 June, 2015
Gianandrea Barreca Receives the NewSchool's Global Design and Innovation Award, Bosco Verticale, Milan Boeri Studio. Image © Kirsten Bucher
Bosco Verticale, Milan Boeri Studio. Image © Kirsten Bucher

The NewSchool of Architecture and Design has awarded Gianandrea Barreca their Global Design and Innovation Award for his extensive and creative work. Barreca co-founded Boeri Studio (now recognized as Barreca & La Varra and Stefano Boeri Architetti), and is known for putting an emphasis on both human interaction and public art.

Spotlight: Benedetta Tagliabue

10:30 - 24 June, 2015
Spotlight: Benedetta Tagliabue, Santa Caterina Market. Image © Flickr CC user Rick Ligthelm
Santa Caterina Market. Image © Flickr CC user Rick Ligthelm

Benedetta Tagliabue (born 24 June 1963) is an Italian architect known for designs which are sensitive to their context and yet still experimental in their approach to forms and materials. Her diverse and complex works have marked out her Barcelona-based firm EMBT as one of the most respected Spanish practices of the 21st century.

Winners of Boston Living with Water Competition Announced

08:00 - 24 June, 2015
Winners of Boston Living with Water Competition Announced, ReDeBOSTON 2100; Architerra. Image Courtesy of Boston Living with Water
ReDeBOSTON 2100; Architerra. Image Courtesy of Boston Living with Water

The winning projects of the Boston Living with Water competition have been announced. The competition “sought design solutions envisioning a beautiful, vibrant, and resilient Boston that is prepared for end-of-the-century climate conditions and rising sea levels.” Out of 50 teams, three were selected, each for separate sites—one for a building, one for a neighborhood, and one for a significant piece of city infrastructure—in addition to one honorable mention. Each of the winners will receive a $13,000 prize funded by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management and the Barr Foundation.

The Boston Living with Water competition was organized by the City of Boston, The Boston Harbor Association, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, and the Boston Society of Architects. As Mayor Martin J. Walsh honored the winners, he noted that “competition ideas and strategies are already informing Boston’s future, including revisions to building plans and zoning codes, and influencing ‘Imagine Boston 2030.’” Winning projects will be on display at BSA Space through June 2015. Learn more about the winners, after the break.

AZURE Announces AZ Award Winners

06:00 - 24 June, 2015
AZURE Announces AZ Award Winners, Best Residential Architecture – Single Family: Haffenden House / PARA-Project . Image Courtesy of AZURE
Best Residential Architecture – Single Family: Haffenden House / PARA-Project . Image Courtesy of AZURE

AZURE has announced the winners of its fifth annual AZ Awards, which recognize excellence in design and architecture worldwide. The 19 winners were chosen from a shortlist of 66 projects. 

The jury included Winka Dubbeldam of Archi-Tectonics (New York), architect Brendan MacFarlane of Jakob + MacFarlane (Paris), designer Anwar Mekhayech of the Design Agency (Toronto), landscape architect Janet Rosenberg of Janet Rosenberg & Studio (Toronto) and designer Philippe Malouin (London).

View all of the winning projects after the break. 

Images Released of Beyer Blinder Belle-Designed U.S. Diplomacy Center

18:00 - 23 June, 2015
Images Released of Beyer Blinder Belle-Designed U.S. Diplomacy Center, © U.S. Diplomacy Center
© U.S. Diplomacy Center

The Washington Post has published renderings of the new U.S. Diplomacy Center currently under construction at the State Department in Washington DC. "A shimmering pavilion," as architecture critic Philip Kennicott describes, the new center will serve as a welcoming public entrance to the Department of State's headquarters and be the nation's first museum and education center devoted entirely to the "history, practice and challenges of US Diplomacy. 

Designed by architect Hany Hassan of Beyer Blinder Belle, the glass pavilion will house a museum and an underground cafe, bookstore and event space, providing a new destination just two blocks from the National Mall.