Wang Shu, Chinese architect and founder of Amateur Architecture Studio, has been just announced as the recipient of the 2012 Pritzker Prize.
The Pritzker Prize’s purpose is “to honor a living architect whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision, and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture”.
In my opinion Wang Shu’s architecture presents a contemporary and progressive approach that acknowledges the rich tradition of Chinese architecture. As the future generations of Chinese architects are influenced by his architecture, a generation that will be an active part of China’s growth, he will indirectly improve how millions will live in the next few years.
He calls his office Amateur Architecture Studio, but the work is that of a virtuoso in full command of the instruments of architecture — form, scale, material, space and light - Karen Stein, Pritzker Prize jury.
Works by Wang Shu:
More about the announcement:
We had the exclusive opportunity to interview Pritzker Prize Jury Alejandro Aravena about Wang Shu’s work and the reasons of his selection as the 2012 Pritzker Prize laureate, where he cites extracts of conversations with the Chinese architect.
Wang Shu’s outstanding architecture may be the consequence of being able to combine talent and intelligence. This combination allows him to produce masterpieces when a monument is needed, but also very careful and contained architecture when a monument is not the case. The intensity of his work may be a consequence of his relative youth, but the precision and appropriateness of his operations talk of great maturity.
Consider Ningbo Museum of History: it is so powerful, so overwhelming that it deserves to be called a masterpiece. You don’t visit the building; you are hit by the building. I remember having felt the same only a few times in my life, like when visiting Kahn’s Parliament in Bangladesh or his Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad. Being “hit” by a building happens very rarely in architecture, because that kind of impact tends to belong more to music or film, where the experience of a piece can be extremely moving and touching to the point of altering the mood in a deep positive way. Unfortunately this cannot be transmitted by photographs.
After two weeks and more than 30,000 nominations, we are proud to announce the finalists for the 2011 Building of the Year Award, a selection of the best projects made by our readers.
The shortlist for the awards includes 70 projects in 14 categories, a selection that shows the diversity of projects featured at ArchDaily during the past year. From small interiors to large scale buildings, designed by renowned practices and young architects, in different locations around the world.
I’d like to thank everyone who participated during the nominations round, as the finalists are outstanding.
You can vote for your favorite projects starting today and until March 6th at midnight EST (all the rules here):
Your votes will give you the chance to win an iPad, same as Annie Wang who just won one for voting during the nominations round.
Remember: the office of the project with most votes during the final round will receive an HP Designjet T2300 eMFP printer.
During the process we worked very hard to log and flag every attempt to abuse the voting system, removing fake accounts and automated votes, and we wil continue to do so during this stage.
And the finalists are:
Nearly two years after OMA was announced winner of a two-stage international competition, the construction of the new Taipei Performing Arts Center has commenced. This ambitious project, led by OMA partners Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten, generated a lot of debate among architects when it was announced back in 2009 due to its particular form. Morphed by a series of programatic operations, the form intersects three types of theater in order to accommodate a variety of performances.
The main theater, which seats 1,500, is expressed on the exterior as a large sphere while the two smaller theaters, each capable of seating 800, are represented as peripheric cubes. All the stage accommodations are brought together within the central cube, allowing for more flexibility as theaters can be used independently or combined, thus expanding the possibilities for experimental performances – an art which is very strong inTaiwan. At the same time, and in a similar way as OMA’s CCTV building in Beijing, China, a “public loop” channels circulation through the building, exposing the spaces that make the TPAC work, areas typically hidden from the public but are as revealing as the performances themselves.
In this aspect, the building is like a machine at work with its engine exposed, somehow reminding me of OMA’s Prada Transformer – a machine-like building (the anti-blob) that changed its configuration to host different types of events.
The 180 million dollar project is set to be completed in 2015. More details, including sections and updated renders, after the break:
Photographer Cristobal Palma shared with us the extended version of his video of the Xi’an Expo, a project by Plasma Studio + GroundLab that we saw during several stages, from the award winning entry in 2009, to conceptual design and opening, when it was visited by more than 200,000 people on the first weekend.
The Expo embodies the idea of transformation as the site was formerly a sandpit where the water was severely degraded during the 1980s. Efforts over the past two decades have restored the ecosystem and now the Expo is able to demonstrate what can be accomplished through the use of the most advanced technology, ideas, and materials, as seen on the video. As we reported earlier, the 37 ha complex includes three buildings that are interconnected with a dynamic landscape of unfolding paths and networks of water, circulation and foliage.
More videos by Cristobal Palma at ArchDaily:
The year 2011 was a great one for ArchDaily, and all thanks to you. In terms of web traffic, in our network we grew to more than 200,000 daily readers who viewed 350 million pages during 2011. Our social media reach has grown to nearly 500,000 Facebook fans, more than 60,000 followers on Twitter and an ever growing presence on Flickr, Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest, all connecting with architects around our passion: Architecture.
ArchDaily is more than big numbers. It is recognized as the ultimate source of inspiration for thousands of architects around the world, who are covering new ground in architectural discussion, and generating new opportunities by being part of the world’s largest architecture network. During 2011, we participated in important events, such as the Pritzker Prize ceremony in DC, the AIA National Convention in New Orleans, among others, and visiting architects all across the US, in the UK, Switzerland, Israel, Brazil, Chile and Argentina. We’ve had the chance to interview renowned architects such as Steven Holl, Renzo Piano, Richard Meier, Peter Eisenman, and a long list of people who are advancing this profession. We spoke at the AIA Arkansas Convention, Harvard GSD, along with other events and schools. We launched our first local version, ArchDaily Brasil (more to come during this year!) and introduced our first tool to help architects collect and order information: My ArchDaily. We will continue to work very hard during 2012, with all our passion, to keep you connected to everything that is happening in the architecture world and help you with tools, as you will be the responsible of the noble task to shape our built environment.
Since 2009 we have held the Building of the Year Awards, an instance in which all of you make your voice heard by nominating and voting for the best projects featured on ArchDaily during the year. This is a peer based award that recognizes firms of all sizes, trajectories and locations. You can check the results of the previous editions here: 2009 and 2010.
Once again we have partnered with HP to present the 2011 Building of the Year Awards, starting today Feb 7th, 2012 at the following link:
The nomination stage will run for 2 weeks until Feb 21st, 2011. All buildings featured under the available categories during 2011 are elegible for this round. You can nominate one building (in one category) per day.
Like last year, we will authenticate the votes with the My ArchDaily platform, so we can assure that the nominating and voting processes are conducted by the community. You can nominate once per day, so you can propose your favorite projects from Feb 7th to Feb 21st, after which 5 buildings per category will continue to the voting round, between Feb 22nd and Mar 6th. The winners will be announced on Mar 7th, 2012.
Given that you are in charge of the selection process, we have decided to give away 2 custom engraved iPads 2 during the nominating/voting stages (more details on the rules below). Also, the most voted firm will receive an HP Designjet T2300 eMFP printer (MSRP US$8,000).
Once again I’d like to thank all our readers for your support in 2011, and rest assure that we are working on new ways to improve ArchDaily in 2012. Our inbox is always open, so feel free to leave your feedback, recommendations and support on the contact page.
Rules after the break:
The Water Cathedral is a large, horizontal urban nave for public use. The structure is made up of numerous slender, vertical components, which hang or rise like stalactites and stalagmites in a cave, varying in height and concentration. The project incorporates water dripping at different pulses and speeds from these hanging elements, fed by a hydraulic irrigation network. When filled with small amounts of water, the stalactite components act as interfaces out of which water droplets gradually flow and cool visitors below. The stalagmites topography provides elements of shade, along with plants and water that collect under the Water Cathedral’s canopy.
Last week, the MoMA and the PS1 announced HWKN as the winner for the 2012 YAP in NY.
More videos by Cristobal Palma at ArchDaily:
BIG has just been announced as the winner of the competition for the new Kimball Art Center in Park City, Utah. The non-profit community center for the visual arts, which started in 1976, invites people to experience art through education, exhibitions and events. The aging historic building (dated from 1929) was in need of restoration and an addition that could allow the organization to increase their educational outreach and enhance the quality and scale of the exhibitions, while maintaining free admission to the public.
The competition’s shortlist included some of the (in my opinion) best firms in the US these days: BIG (actually Danish, but with an office in NY, which in a way “landed” in the US with several ongoing projects), Brooks + Scarpa, Sparano + Mooney Architecture, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects, and Will Bruder + Partners LTD.
You can check BIG’s proposal previously featured at ArchDaily, a project that stood out not only in formal aspects, but because of its connection with the history that the Kimball Art Center has represented.
Today, the Serpentine Gallery announced the team that will design the twelfth edition of the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, a special edition that will be part of the London 2012 Festival, the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad.
Every year the gallery invites a renowned international architects who has not built yet in the UK, to design a temporary pavilion that hosts public activities in at the Gallery’s lawn, in London’s Hyde Park between June and October 2012. The list of architects for the past editions includes several Pritzker laureates. More info of this program at our Serpentine Gallery Pavilion infographic.
This years teams includes Pritzker laureate architects Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, and Chinese artist Ai Weiwei (runner up of TIME’s 2011 Person of the Year). The trio has worked together in projects such as ORDOS 100 in the Mongolian desert and the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympic Games. As a trio they don’t have any built projects in the UK, but Herzog & de Meuron have been involved in several, including the Tate Modern renovation and its current expansion.
Their design will explore the hidden history of the previous installations (more info), with eleven columns under the lawn of the Serpentine, representing the past pavilions and a twelfth column supporting a floating platform roof 1.5 metres above ground. Taking an archaeological approach, the architects have created a design that will inspire visitors to look beneath the surface of the park as well as back in time across the ghosts of the earlier structures.
Recently we had the chance to visit Allied Works office in NY to interview the firm’s founder Brad Cloepfil. It was a great interview, and I really liked the atmosphere of the office: A young team, many abstract study models, beautiful drawings on the boards, and a subtle music playing in the background, it was like seeing the inside of a creative machine at work.
Established in 1994 by Brad Cloepfil, Allied Works Architecture is an awarding-winning practice known for their expressive design and pristine detailing. Portland, Oregon hosts the firm’s headquarters and maintains a close, interdependent relationship with the New York City office. Together the 50-person practice has completed a number of influential public, institutional, commercial, and residential projects worldwide.
Allied Works’ strong reputation started with the Maryhill Overlook in the Columbia River Gorge, followed by the Wieden + Kennedy Agency Headquarters. Currently Allied Works is involved in a variety of commissions, including the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver, Colorado, the National Music Centre of Canada, and the Vancouver Community Connector in Washington.
Architectural historian and critic, Sandy Isenstadt, describes Cloepfil’s work as “aiming to create oases of legibility, spaces that can look out upon the simultaneous contrasts of the modern world to appreciate them from a place no less complex, but one that unfolds over time, with repeated visits, rather than at the speed of a camera shutter, thereby rewarding continued occupation rather than just dazzling the eye.”
Allied Works projects at ArchDaily:
- Clyfford Still Museum
- Maryhill Overlook
- Wieden + Kennedy Headquarters
- Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts
- Dutchess County Residence – Guest House
- University of Michigan Museum of Art
- National Music Centre (Competition, 1st prize)
- New Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts (Competition entry)
- Musée National des Beaux Arts du Québec (Competition entry)
Using a magnetic plastic compounds, magnets and simple gravity, Jólan gives birth to the Gravity Stool, an expressive piece of furniture that is like a frozen moment of physics exposing the forces in action. You can see the full process on the above video by Miranda Stet.
The Gravity Stool thanks its unique shape to the cooperation between magnetic fields and the power of gravity.
Departing from the idea that everything is influenced by gravitation, a force that has a strongly shaping effect, I intended to manipulate this natural phenomenon by exploiting its own power: magnetism. The positioning of the magnetic fields in the machine, opposing each other, has largely determined the final shape of the Gravity Stool.
Through our interview program, I’ve had the chance to meet with some of the world’s most renowned architects, while creating a moment to share their views about the profession with our readers.
During the 2011 AIA National Convention, I had the chance to meet Kengo Kuma, one of Japan’s most recognized architects, whose work I admire. His recent works use subtle elements with a powerful structural expression, and interesting spatial results for different programs of various scales.
Established in 1990, Kengo Kuma & Associates have become known for their expressive use of materiality and deep connection with nature. The mid-sized firm is involved in a wide spectrum of work, ranging from private residences, to Buddhist temples and art museums. Kengo Kuma & Associates consist of two offices located in Tokyo and Paris.
Principle Architect Kengo Kuma is a professor at the Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Tokyo. His goal is to recover traditional Japanese design and reinterpret it for the 21st century. Inspiration of light and nature guides the design process and influences his unique explorations with glass, wood, concrete and stone. Kuma strives to create architecture that coexists with the natural environment and works in harmony with the human body.
Kengo Kuma has won a multitude of competitions and received many awards, including the prestigious Architecture Institute of Japan Award (1997) and most recently the Spirit of Nature Wood Architecture Award (2002) and the AIA Honorary Fellowship (2011). Major works include the Kirosan Observatory, Water / Glass, Toyoma Center for Performing Arts, Stone Museum and Bato-machi Hiroshige Museum. Recent works include the Mesh / Earth terrace house, the Yusuhara Wooden Bridge Museum and the Suntory Museum of Art.
Projects by Kengo Kuma & Associates at ArchDaily:
A few months ago I had the chance to visit and interview Architecture Research Office (ARO), just after they were announced as the recipients of the prestigious 2011 Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Architecture.
I was eager to meet this practice and share their projects at ArchDaily, especially because of the diversity of their work. Not only do they work at different scales (from master plans and institutional buildings, to a small recruiting station in Times Square), but they also strongly focus on research, with projects such as Rising Currents or Five Principles for Greenwich South -projects that invited other firms in a collaborative effort to share ideas for a strategic development of Manhattan- moving between a design practice and a research lab.
The firm was founded in 1993 and has become very influential in the NY area. It is led by Stephen Cassell, Adam Yarinsky and Kim Yao. I had the chance to sit down with the three of them for this interview, where they tell us about recent and ongoing projects. They share their views on innovation, collaboration and how to run a practice which is both what we know as the traditional practice, and a laboratory.
ARO projects at ArchDaily:
- Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics, Brown University
- Hudson River Education Center And Pavilion
- R House
- Princeton Architecture School
- MV House
And more to come in the next days!
Credits: JC Labarca (camera), JP Barrera (editing).
Video: Pabellon Ultraligero Centrifugo / Clavel Arquitectos at the Shenzhen Biennale, by Cristobal Palma
Architectural photographer Cristobal Palma shared with us another clip of the Pabellon Ultraligero Centrifugo installation by Clavel Arquitectos, on view at the Shenzhen Civic Square. This is part of a series of installations for the 2011 Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-City Urbanism / Architecture Biennale, open until February 18th, 2012.
More videos by Cristobal Palma at ArchDaily:
During these days we have received close to a thousand seasonal greetings from architects, photographers and editorials around the world. We are very grateful to have collaborated with an amazing group of professionals, who mixed creativity and humor on their e-cards.
Enjoy a selection of these e-cards, including this nice Ginger Bread Vitra Haus, along with Snøhetta, SOM, Richard Meier, BIG, CEBRA, and more!
Architectural photographer Cristobal Palma has shared with us this video of the Chilean Pavilion at the 2011 Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture.
“Gimme Shelter!”, designed and curated by Sebastián Irarrázaval and Hugo Mondragón, features projects and architectural innovations developed by local architects during emergencies and natural catastrophes in the last years.
The poetic expression of these emergency landscapes has also oriented the construction of the Chilean pavilion. To achieve this, we chose to overturn the conventional relationships of the elements that comprise it: mattresses positioned vertically become screens for projecting images; security cones and water bottles, cut up and then reassembled, become lamps; emergency tape and water bottles become tensors and counterweights. Once this mechanism was set in motion, we provocatively introduced certain conventionally used forms: a massive bed with mattresses placed in the center of the pavilion, and a window display with large water drums and dispensers at the far end of the pavilion, promising visitors a bit of rest and relief.
For the exhibition, we selected architectural works, visual pieces and technological innovations that experimented with the concept of the essential and the ingenious in precarious contexts. On the other hand, and in keeping with the project mechanism put into action through the formalization of the pavilion, we also decided to select projects that exhibited a certain degree of disruption to some element of the cultural or material patrimony of Chile.
More videos by Cristobal Palma at ArchDaily:
Architecture photographer Fernando Guerra (FG+SG) posted this short video of the renowned Portguese architect and Pritzker laureate (1992) Alvaro Siza, while working and singing to The Beatles. He looks quite inspired!