Connor Walker

GAD’s Serra Gate on Display for Istanbul Design Week

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GAD Architecture has installed their latest sculptural design, Serra Gate, in Istanbul’s Taksim Square, just in time for Istanbul Design Week. Named after the minimalist sculptor whose work inspired the design, the Serra gate’s steel form was created using cutting edge technology. The sinuous curvature was conceived through the software “Mathematica,” and was modeled using the latest 3D printing technologies.

GAD Principal, Gokhan Avcioglu, had this to say: “We are delighted that Serra Gate has been featured in Taksim, one of the most important squares of Istanbul. Being a ground-breaking structure, Serra Gate will make the residents of Istanbul question how public spaces have been defined by urban interventions.” Serra Gate will be displayed in a variety of venues throughout the year 2015. See pictures of this amazing structure, after the break.

Studio Origin Represents Seoul in the UIA 2014 World Congress

Interior View. Image © Studio Origin

This year’s UIA World Congress was held in Durban, South Africa, and saw the participation of many well-respected firms. Representing South were Kang Jun Lee and Yung A Kim of Studio Origin, whose pavilion highlighted the city of Seoul. Meant to herald the city as the host for the 2017 World Congress, their carefully arranged design offers space for a number of different promotional displays. See the details on this unique structure, after the break.

“Jellyfish Barge” Provides Sustainable Source of Food and Water

Exterior View. Image © Matteo De Mayda

With the earth’s population increasing at an exponential rate, sustainable agriculture and access to clean water are becoming desperately important. Cristiana Favretto and Antonio Giraridi of Studiomobile recognize this and have proposed a solution. Dubbed the Jellyfish Barge for its shape and translucency, this floating greenhouse is capable of growing its own food hydroponically and producing up to 150 liters of fresh drinking water per day. Even more beneficial is its low-cost, easy-to-assemble design that can be implemented in a variety of locations. Learn more about how this fascinating project works, after the break.

New Republic Honors Great Thinker Louis Kahn

© Robert C. Lautman

New Republic has presented a list of 100 great thinkers from the past 100 years. The list, as the magazine puts it, honors “people we believe have made the greatest intellectual contributions to the fields and causes that this magazine holds dear.” One of these fields is architecture, and ’s honoree for that category is the illustrious Louis Kahn. Kahn is famous for projects such as the Kimbell Museum and the Salk Institute. His work displays what architecture critic Sarah Williams Goldhagen describes as a “cognitively rich, metaphorically complex, multi-sensorial approach.” Curious to see who else made the list? See the full roster here!

Hadid, Gehry, and Others Fight to Save Helmut Richter’s Modernist Masterpiece

Science Secondary School in Kinkplatz, Vienna, Exterior. Image © Manfred Seidl

The Science Secondary School in Kinkplatz, Vienna is the work of late Modernist architect Helmut Richter. Considered to be his most iconic and enduring work, Richter’s school is now faced with partial demolition to make way for a conversion of the building’s use and architects from around the world are making an effort to prevent that demolition from happening. Influential individuals, from Zaha Hadid to Bernard Tschumi, have signed a voicing their dissent and demanding that Richter’s legacy be protected. See the details, and sign the , after the break.

Video: Ole Scheeren on Height and Density

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In this interview, conducted by the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, Ole Scheeren discusses the ideal height for sustainable buildings. Drawing reference from two of his projects, MahaNakhon and The Interlace, he speaks to the difference between height and density, and how those two interplay when creating livable spaces in urban areas. He goes on to talk about how large buildings such as skyscrapers can be made more open to the surrounding city, both visually through programming. Watch the full clip above!

Danish Embassy and University of Manchester Present “The Liveable City”

Courtesy of Kåre Gade

Imagine the ideal city—one where residents are happy, healthy, financially secure, and living in a community that is both beautiful and safe. How do we bring our own neighborhoods up to that standard? The Liveable City, a series of (free!) seminars and events starting this week at the University of Manchester, can offer a few answers. A collaboration between the University, the Danish Embassy in the UK, and RIBA North West, The Liveable City is an exploration in urban design and planning. It invites architects, businesses, and the general public to participate in dialogue that seeks to improve the quality of life in in the United Kingdom and in Denmark. The schedule of events runs from November 20th to the 27th, and will take place in the Benzie Building of the Manchester School of Architecture. See more details after the break!

HAEAHN and Haenglim Take Second Place in KOMIPO Power Plant Design Competition

Perspective View. Image Courtesy of HAEAHN

Claiming second place in a recent competition for Korea Midland Power (KOMIPO), HAEAHN Architects, in partnership with Haenglim, have put forth a daring new design that combines power plant and office building. The dual use structure, which will include a park and a restaurant, was conceived as a way of breaking the raw, industrial image of the traditional power plant. In keeping with this idea, the design would be built over and replace Danginlee, the first power plant ever constructed in South Korea. The architects intended for the new plant to commemorate the old, while at the same time attracting more local traffic to the area. See the details of this award-winning design, after the break.

Frank Lloyd Wright School Facing Loss of Accreditation

The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture’s Main Campus at West. Image © Flickr User: lumierefl

The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture is currently at risk of losing its accreditation. The school has been cited as no longer meeting requirements by the Higher Learning Commission, a non-profit group whose approval is a prerequisite for the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB)’s accreditation process. Founded in 1932 by Frank Lloyd Wright himself and still operating out of his campuses at Taliesin West and Taliesin, the school must now decide how best to meet HLC requirements, or risk losing the ability to confer Masters of Architecture degrees on its students.

Read on after the break to find out why the school faces this risk, and their plans to combat it

Rem Koolhaas Sheds Light on Lagos

In this interview conducted by the Brigtje van der Haak maker of the documentary Lagos Wide & Close, Rem Koolhaas discusses his research on the urbanization of Nigeria‘s largest city, . While this research is as yet unpublished, Koolhaas discusses external influences on the city’s architecture, how his visits have affected his view of the profession, and Lagos’ future potential. The documentary by van der Haak, released on DVD in 2004, is an interactive exploration of Lagos from a multitude of scales. Now, it has been adapted for the web, and can be viewed in its entirety here!

Thomas Phifer and Partners Wins Competition to Design Museum of Modern Art Warsaw

View inside the Forum. Image ©

The Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw has announced that Thomas Phifer and Partners will be designing their new gallery space, after winning a competition against eleven other selected practices. The new museum, the largest cultural project in recent Polish history, will also house the TR Warsawa Theatre. The proposal consists of two separate buildings housing the theater and museum, joined by a common forum that will serve both as entrance and public multi-use space.

Prisoners Designing Prisons: Restorative Justice in Action

Courtesy of CLOG

The design of prisons is a controversial topic for architects, but Deanna VanBuren takes a novel approach to the subject. Designing for a judicial system that advocates “restorative justice,” VanBuren works with felons, victims, and other architects to create spaces where everyone can undergo a healing process following a crime. In a recent profile, the L.A. Times documents one of her design workshops with prisoners, demonstrating how this form of outreach can change the lives of those inside. Read the full story here. Also, be sure to check out our interview with Deanna VanBuren here!

Studio CTC Imagines Terraced Twin Skyscrapers in Hong Kong

© Studio CACHOUA TORRES CAMILLETTI

Skyscrapers have developed a typical form language over the past century—many of them are large, rectangular, and sheathed in glass, but Studio CACHOUA TORRES CAMILLETTI is changing that. Working with the notion that even superstructures should be as varied as the cities they’re built in, the Mexican design firm has created a spectacular vision for a skyscraper in Hong Kong. With two curvilinear towers that support rice paddies on their terraces, the proposal includes cultural context in the very structure of the building.

St. Petersburg Calls for New Pier Design Submissions

St Petersburg’s pier as it is today. Image © Flickr CC User Robert Neff

The city of St. Petersburg, Florida is once more seeking candidates for the design of its new pier. The call comes two years after a pier design by Michael Maltzan Architecture was selected over rival schemes by BIG and West 8, but was eventually turned down after significant public criticism. To avoid a repeat of that incident, the current selection process for candidates and their subsequent proposals will incorporate more community input.

More on the competition after the break

Should China put Design Restrictions on New Developments?

Apartments in Shenzhen. Image © Neville Mars under a CC licence

China may be at a turning point in urban design: a recent article in Australian points out that over 50 million apartments in Chinese (about 22.5 percent) are unoccupied. This problem springs from the ongoing Chinese construction boom, prompted by developers looking to stimulate urban economic growth as quickly as possible. However, Ma Yansong of MAD Architects believes these empty apartments are a sign that buyers find them unsuited to their needs, and that China should begin to enforce good design principles on these rapidly-constructed complexes. Read the full article here.

Jiminez Lai and Bureau Spectacular Present: Flipping Properties

© Kevin Pazik

Designed for a laneway inside the Little Portugal neighborhood of Toronto, Flipping Properties tests the boundaries between architecture and furniture. The exhibition, created by Jiminez Lai and his team, Bureau Spectacular, unravels the traditional pentagonal shape of a house to create ‘super-furniture.’ Super-furniture is defined by Lai as “too big to be furniture and too small to be architecture.” The large installation pieces are meant to encourage dialogue on unused urban spaces in , while creating a novel way to interact with those spaces. Despite their size, the pieces can be rearranged within the laneway, allowing for a variety of assemblages to be created.  Flipping Properties opened July 11th, and will be in place until September 14th in the laneway between Sheridan Avenue and Gordon Street in . Admission is free to the public. See the full gallery of exhibition photos, after the break.

KPF Obtains Planning Permission for London’s “New Bondway”

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After months of planning and preliminary design, it is expected that architecture firm KPF will be given permission to proceed with their New Bondway project in Vauxhall, London. This residential complex is sited in the Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea Opportunity Area, in close proximity to the new US embassy. The property was previously to be the site for the Octave Tower designed by Make architects, until the proposal was rejected by the Secretary of State.

PAR Awarded AIA LA’s Presidential Emerging Practice Award

Taichung Cultural Center- Park View. Image by Luxigon. Image Courtesy of

Design firm Platform for Architecture + Research (PAR) has been awarded AIA Los Angeles’ Presidential Emerging Practice Award. The award, which reflects “notable, innovative achievements in design and service to the profession,” is the highest honor given by LA each year. This year, in response to Los Angeles’s continued urban evolution, the award jury nominated those firms who “take leadership roles in advancing the profession and thus, the City.” PAR fit the bill, both for their research-based design approach, and their commitment to improving public life through design.  See some of their latest work, after the break!