During the 2012 World Architecture Festival, we had the opportunity to interview Chris Wilkinson and Jim Eyre, the directors of the UK firm Wilkinson Eyre Architects who received the World Building of the Year Award for their Cooled Conservatories at Gardens by the Bay.
Chris Wilkinson founded the firm in 1983, partnering with Jim Eyre in 1987. Since then, the practice has displayed their innovation through the informed use of technology and materials, applied to projects in areas as diverse as transportation, the arts, infrastructure, masterplanning, as well as commercial, industrial, retail, leisure, educational, cultural and residential buildings. The firm has also developed a tremendous expertise in bridge design, with more than 30 projects of this type.
A good example of their applied innovation is the Cooled Conservatories, where climate control for 20,000 sqm in a complex environment posed a tremendous challenge. The sustainable cooling strategy lead to the reduction of, with air conditioning, would have been an otherwise big carbon foot print.
For the 2012 Olympic Games, the firm designed the Basketball Arena, one of the biggest temporary venues erected for any Olympics, an iconic building that was the result of a tight budget and the requirement to recycle two thirds of the structure after the games.
More projects by Wilkinson Eyre Architects at ArchDaily:
“Assess: Chile at Columbia” is an initiative led by the Latin Lab at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation’s (GSAPP) of Columbia University that discusses, in several formats, the state of contemporary cities in the southern country by addressing the question: who cares for Chilean cities?
This project aims to raise questions and skip external, often patronizing understandings of Chilean practices. To do so, “Assess: Chile at Columbia” invites Chilean scholars who— closely in touch with both national practices and international debates in the fields of architecture, public space, and urban projects—are uniquely positioned to initiate a critical conversation.
Distinguished Chilean scholars Luis Eduardo Bresciani, Romy Hecht, and Rodrigo Pérez de Arce selected three projects to represent each of the aforementioned categories in the exhibition Answers form Architecture, Public Space and Urban Projects, to be held on the 100 Level of Avery Hall. This show will inform the Conference “Who cares for Chilean cities?,” at which renowned US-based scholars Saskia Sassen, Stan Allen, and Iñaki Ábalos will assess the topics and works presented by their Chilean peers, opening up a further discussion moderated by GSAPP faculty Clara Irazábal, Galia Solomonoff, and Enrique Walker.
A few days ago, we had the opportunity to talk with Toyo-san, the 2013 Pritzker Prize laureate. A short, but intense talk where Ito shares with us, using precise words, insights about his design process and what he thinks about architecture, everything connected to the human aspects of the profession, understanding and connecting to the people.
For you, what is architecture?
(Laughs) Hard question! Architecture is the relation between one person and another, something that can make people gather.
How did you feel, as an architect, facing the disaster after the 2011 earthquake in Japan?
As a person facing such a disaster, I had the responsibility to do something for the people who had lost their homes in the area, and by talking to the people in the disaster area I saw a similarity to the previous question, what is architecture. I think it was a very good opportunity to rethink, to start from zero what architecture really is fundamentally.
Fernando Romero is part of the new generation of young Mexican architects that have reshaped the profession in a country with a longstanding tradition.
Fernando studied at the Universidad Iberoamericana, and shortly after graduating went to Europe, ending up working at OMA where he became a project leader of the Porto House of Music (1996-1999). In 2000, he went back to Mexico where he established his own firm FR-EE which as of today has built more than ten million square feet, with offices in New York and Mexico City, and many on-going projects.
The practice has a strong focus on research, and the process of each building is the result of an integrated workflow with a multidisciplinary team. These processes are documented on a series of publications by the firm, including You Are the Context , launched at the Guggenheim a few months ago.
Some of his recent works include the G20 International Convention Center, the iconic Soumaya Museum and the Jumex Tower.
In this interview, Fernando shares with us his views on architecture, the role of the architect, and how he has setup this particular type of practice.
ArchDaily’s Architecture App Guide will introduce you to web and mobile apps that can help you as an architect: productivity, inspiration, drafting, and more.
With SXSW around the corner, many startups will be launching their new apps that can help you as an architect or productivity in general, and here is a glimpse. We introduce you Webnote by Hopin a free iPad/iPad Mini app that can help you during your creative process. Webnote is basically a browser, with added gesture functions to clip content and create visual notes from web pages, store it under your profile (with privacy settings), easily share theme on Facebook or Twitter and discover interesting contents or “notes” from people you follow.
A simple double tap on any part of a web page (image, text or video) will isolate that particular element and bring up a frame with a preview of the note, where you can adjust or pinch for zoom in/out. On that frame you will have the option to configure the sharing options, and another tap will bring a text area to describe what you are capturing or to make your own annotation.
All the contents that you save or share will be display for you to revive on a simple and visual sidebar where you can check your private notes, the notes that you shared and also the notes from people that you care about to follow, being also a great source of inspiration.
Within your side bar you can simply slide a note to the right to open the web page from where it was made. Or if you want to save a note for later, slide to the left and save it into your private area.
You can download Webnote at the App Store for free . More screenshots of Webnote after the break:
Architecture is bigger than itself.
The future will pose tremendous challenges to how architecture and cities are conceived, requiring comprehensive and scalable solutions, often found outside of what we traditionally call “architecture”. So after hundreds of interviews with architects that we’ve conducted, we realized that in order to confront these challenges we needed to expand our focus. For the first time, we invited to our office an “architect” of life, Andrew Hessel, co-chair of the Biotechnology and Bioinformatics Program at Singularity University and leader in the field of synthetic biology (the design of life through the use of information technology).
Andrew’s work focuses on designing viruses with the potential to cure cancer; however, he is fascinated by the ways in which genetic engineering could actually help human beings shape their environment, and how biotechnology will allow us to merge the natural and built worlds:
“We don’t live in nature any more – we put boxes around it. But now we can actually engineer nature to sustain our needs. All we have to do is design the code and it will self-create. Our visions today – if we can encapsulate them in a seed – [will] grow to actually fulfill that vision. [...] One day, who knows, maybe we’ll plant a seed and grow a sky scraper, that has all the nutrients it needs to stay warm, to literally react to our environment, maybe even keep an eye on us, protect us, nurture us. It’s just all in the design.”
What if we really could “plant” and “grow” a house? What if we could use modified trees as street lamps? Clearly, this disrupts the way we traditionally conceive of architecture, but it also opens many doors for a more sustainable future.
Andrew has recently joined Autodesk as a researcher for “creating platforms for imagining, designing, and creating molecular and living systems”. Autodesk is entering the nanoscale engineering business and exploring into software for printing tissue and 4D materials. So, if the company that produces the most used tools for the architecture industry is now exploring and making these new worlds accessible, why shouldn’t architecture embrace it?
The following article was featured on Fulcrum #67 “The End of Critique” and includes texts by Oliver “Olly” Wainwright (Architecture critic at The Guardian) and me, David Basulto (Founder and Editor in Chief of ArchDaily). Thanks to Jack Self for the invitation and for his thorough editing.
Towards a new architecture
Since the early 1900s, modern architecture has undergone incremental development, where each new iteration has been informed by previous findings and solutions designed by other architects. This process started at a very slow pace, when a young Le Corbusier went east and published his findings and observations in Vers une Architecture.
The book became very influential among his contemporaries, who, based on his observations, produced their own iterations, second, third and forth waves, very quickly. These architects then started to unite. CIAM is an instance of where this early knowledge was shared, replicated, and published, therefore advancing at a faster pace.
Since then, architectural knowledge pursued a steady curve of advancement, accelerated by architectural publications that made this knowledge available to different parts of the world. Ultimately, the Internet arrived, making the exchange rate of information so fast that new iterations of modern architecture are today accelerating this curve in unprecedented ways.
While in Mexico City, we had the chance to visit Michel Rojkind ’s office in La Condesa to interview him and jam on his recording studio hidden in the architecture workshop. We have been big fans of Michel’s work, the result of constant investigation and iteration pushed by by the collaborative character of his studio and multiplied by Michel’s passion for architecture.
Michel is part of a fantastic new generation of Mexican architects that brings fresh ideas to a context with a strong tradition. He started his architecture studies while also being the drummer of a well known Mexican rock band, graduating from the Universidad Iberoamericana in 1994. Between 1999 and 2002 he worked with Isaac Broid and Miquel Adriá on Adriá+Broid+Rojkind Arquitectos, and he started his own studio Rojkind Arquitectos in 2002.
Since then, the firm has been on a strong path of innovation and exploration of architectural programs and building techniques, successfully translating the complex forms of these new ideas into realities that can be built with local manufacturing skills.
Michel is very good at communicating his ideas, something very important to deliver the vision he has for his projects, but he is also very good at transmitting his passion, something that anyone who has been on his lectures will agree, inspiring young architects to demonstrate that it is possible to run the kind of studio that you want to run, despite all the problems and frustrations you will face along the way.
Recent projects by Michel Rojkind at ArchDaily:
Last year, Google founder Sergey Brin demoed Google Glass a new technology from the big G that puts an augmented reality display in front of your eye. The device is scheduled for early release to developers and creatives (in order to get feedback before the $1,500 product finds its way to the general public) in just a few weeks, but it has already been highly acclaimed by the media (including Best Inventions of the Year 2012 by Time).
On this video released by Google you can understand what all the hype is about. The 0.5″ display supported by a thin aluminium frame is placed in front of your right eye and thanks to its camera it serves as a two way interface with the Internet. As you can see on the video, natural language instructions (“Glass, take photo”, “Glass, record video”, “Glass, How long is the Brooklyn bridge?”) let you easily control the device and not only check emails or send messages, but also to display maps, definitions, and to share photos and videos in real time. In this aspect, the device opens a big door for architecture.
In our field, the experience is very important, and it is a dimension that hasn’t been able to be reproduced in its entirety through traditional media (plans, 2D or even 3D photos). Attempts to make immersive panoramas or the efforts of architecture photographers to embrace videos have extended the representation, but not in a significative way. And this is why travel is an important thing for the architect.
Imagine a tour broadcasted by the architects of the project, with the possibility of instant reader feedback to discuss a particular moment inside the building. Imagine finally experiencing the approach to the Parthenon like Le Corbusier did almost a century ago.
In this aspect, Google Glass will change the way we understand architecture media.
Back in January, I had the opportunity to be part of the jury for the Young Architect Award in Estonia, which was officially announced by the President of Estonia, Mr. Toomas Hendrik Ilves, the past Thursday Feb 14th in Tallinn, at the annual meeting of the Union of Estonian Architects .
The objective of the award is to encourage innovative and creative thinking by young minds, and it gives the winner the chance to travel anywhere in the world, giving the opportunity to expand their vision and contribute back to the development of the country.
During the process I had the chance to learn more about the new generation of Estonian architecture after reviewing the works and trajectory of the 8 shortlisted young architects, a generation with very diverse backgrounds and projects, but with one thing in common: a commitment to open up architecture and make it part of the larger public.
This year the ward went to Veronika Valk, who was recognized for her built work and her efforts to raise awareness around architecture (organizing international lectures, workshops, writing articles, and more). More about Veronika and the award after the break:
Over the last year ArchDaily has kept growing, reaching more than 280,000 daily readers and 70 million pageviews per month. But more important than these figures is our mission: to provide inspiration, knowledge and tools for the architects that will face the challenge of improving the quality of life of the next 3 billion people that will live in cities in the next 40 years.
After 70,000 votes we are happy to present the winners of the ArchDaily Building of the Year Awards, a peer based, crowdsourced, architecture award where a collective intelligence of thousands of architects filter and recognise the best architecture featured on AD during the past year.
This group of buildings is unique in several aspects, from their spatial qualities to their structures and materials, but also in terms of what they represent for society and their impact on local communities. Thanks for being a part of this amazing process, where the voices of architects from around the world unite into one, strong, intelligent, forward-thinking, single message.
You can learn more about the process and the physical award in this video.
The practice with most votes, and therefore winner of the HP Designjet T520 ePrinter is TYIN Tegnestue Arkitekter; the second practice with most votes and winner of the HP Designjet T120 ePrinter is Vo Trong Nghia. The winners of the iPad 4th Generation are Francesca Cattaneo and Laurie Sims.
The winners of the ArchDaily 2012 Building of the Year Awards have been announced!
Once again we want to congratulate our readers, as the process has been outstanding. From close to 3,000 projects, the collective intelligence behind ArchDaily has been able to filter a list of amazing finalists, buildings from all over the world, by firms of all sizes and trajectories, with a strong common denominator: good architecture that can improve people’s lives.
As the world enters into the hyper urbanization era, our profession becomes crucial. We are proud to be the channel to spread architectural knowledge around the world and, with your help, recognise the buildings that raise the bar in the built world.
In this short video we wanted to share the spirit of the award, the judges and the wooden ArchDaily building crafted with salvaged wood from the deep south of the world, the award that will be sent to all the winning practices as in the previous years .
Thanks to all the practices that share their work with us, and thank you for being part of this amazing process.
Today, the Serpentine Gallery announced the architect that will design the 13th edition of the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion. Every year the gallery invites a renowned international architects who have 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. The list of architects for the past editions includes several Pritzker laureates. More info of this program at our Serpentine Gallery Pavilion infographic.
The Japanese architect based in Tokyo established his firm Sou Fujimoto Architects back in 2000. He graduated from the Department of Architecture at the University of Tokyo in 1994, and has been a lecturer at Kyoto University since 2007. With a solid trajectory in residential and cultural projects, the firm has consistently shown a unique and innovative approach to the spatial qualities within his buildings, exploring new ways of housing design, space and materials. Sou was also part of the team that won the Golden Lion at the 13th Venice Biennale, with “Architecture, possible here? Home-for-All”, the Japan pavilion.
About the design of the pavilion Sou stated: “For the 2013 Pavilion I propose an architectural landscape: a transparent terrain that encourages people to interact with and explore the site in diverse ways. Within the pastoral context of KensingtonGardens, I envisage the vivid greenery of the surrounding plant life woven together with a constructed geometry. A new form of environment will be created, where the natural and the man-made merge; not solely architectural nor solely natural, but a unique meeting of the two.
The Pavilion will be a delicate, three-dimensional structure, each unit of which will be composed of fine steel bars. It will form a semi-transparent, irregular ring, simultaneously protecting visitors from the elements while allowing them to remain part of the landscape. The overall footprint will be 350 square-metres and the Pavilion will have two entrances. A series of stepped terraces will provide seating areas that will allow the Pavilion to be used as a flexible, multi-purpose social space.
The delicate quality of the structure, enhanced by its semi-transparency, will create a geometric, cloud-like form, as if it were mist rising from the undulations of the park. From certain vantage points, the Pavilion will appear to merge with the classical structure of the Serpentine Gallery, with visitors suspended in space.”
We are big fans of Sou’s work, and we are very excited to see this project being built at Hyde Park. As usual, expect a complete coverage of this project. You can watch our interview with Sou after the break:
Ole Bouman is an influential figure in the world of Architecture. As an architecture historian, editor, curator, teacher and lecturer, Ole has been heavily involved in contemporary architectural discourse, working for organizations such as Volume Magazine and the Archis Foundation. But it was his role as the director of the NAi – Netherlands Architecture Institute (2006-2012) where Ole played a critical role.
The NAi (which since 2012 has been fused with the Netherlands Institute for Fashion and Design, and the Knowledge Institute for E-Culture into The New Institute) has been a platform to put the challenges of our times into the agenda of architecture. Under “Architecture of Consequences”, part of the innovation agenda of the NAi directed by Bouman, the institute has (in the form of lectures and debates in the Netherlands and abroad) focused on explaining how value creation, social cohesion, energy, space, and food, among other issues that the world is facing, are part of our field’s purview.
This interview was filmed at the rooftop of the Dutch Pavilion during the 13th Venice Biennale.
Back when I was an architecture student I was very impressed by the early works of French architect and urban planner Edouard François, which introduced new ways to understand the relation between nature and architecture.
Edouard has always been an innovator, experimenting with green façades and constantly challenging the housing typology, making architecture a response of the times (which otherwise, as he mentions, would be just construction). These aspects, how to push innovation with clients and into the market, are discussed with Edouard in this interview, recommended to young architects who could learn from his experience running his practice.
Edouard studied at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris and the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, and has taught around the world. His work and career have been highly recognized, being appointed with the RIBA International Fellowship in 2011 and Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture in 2012.
After two intense weeks, with 40,000 nominations, the collective intelligence formed by the readers of ArchDaily has scrutinized close to 3,000 projects, creating the shortlist that now moves into the final voting stage.
As in previous years, we have to congratulate our readers, as the finalists are outstanding. Buildings from all over the world, by firms of all sizes and trajectories, ranging from social buildings with no budget to state of the art buildings. But they all have something in common: good architecture that can improve people’s lives.
The winners of the iPad Minis that we are giving away during the nomination process are: Sunil Bald and Susana Carls (you’ll receive an email shorty). And remember that we are giving away two iPads during the final voting round!
Meet the finalists:
While we were in Beijing, we had the opportunity to visit an architect who we have been following for quite some time: Ma Yansong, founder of MAD.
Ma Yansong graduated from the Beijing Institute of Civil Engineering and Architecture, and went to Yale thanks to the AIA Scholarship for Advanced Architecture Research, where he received his masters degree in Architecture in 2001. Afterwards, Ma Yansong worked at Zaha Hadid’s office in London, and started MAD in 2004.
His strong research background is mixed with a deeper understanding and interpretation of traditional Chinese architecture, inspired by urban typologies such as the hutong and the siheyua. This can be seen in projects such as the Hutong Bubble, the Wooden Sculpture Museum (under construction) and the recently opened Ordos Art & City Museum. MAD’s vision for Beijing 2050 is a bold proposal that opens up debate, challenging what the future of the CBD (Central Business District, an area populated by tall generic buildings) could be.
Another interesting project is his Absolute Towers in Canada (2006-2012). Not only did the project make Ma Yansong the first Chinese architect to build abroad, it also put his practice on the map.
Video available at Youku for our Chinese readers.
For the 4th consecutive year, we are proud to announce the Building of the Year Awards. During the past year we continued to grow, reaching over 280,000 daily visitors and close to 70 million page views per month. We also expanded our ever-growing network of architects on social media: 640,000 fans on Facebook, 105,000 followers on Twitter, 40,000 followers on Instagram and more than 100,000 photos contributed to our Flickr group.
But ArchDaily is more than numbers. The world faces fundamental problems, related to health, energy, climate, and more. And almost all these problems are related to the built environment.
We launched ArchDaily Mexico this year, which joins ArchDaily, ArchDaily Brasil and Plataforma Arquitectura in our mission to improve the quality of life for the 3 billion people who will live in cities in the next 40 years. How can we do this? By providing the inspiration, tools and knowledge to the architects who will face this challenge. By connecting the traditional hot-spots of architectural production with emerging economies (where a lot of innovation is happening). We believe that, in this way, the constant iteration of architecture will accelerate and result in better and faster solutions to the world’s issues.
That’s why the Building of the Year Awards are so important for us. It is a peer-based award process that identifies and recognizes projects with impact. It will be up to you, the architect, to nominate and choose the winners for each category. It will be up to you to be a part of a collective intelligence that will judge more than 2,700 projects – a scope we think is unprecedented in the world of architecture.
For the next 4 weeks, you’ll be in charge of nominating buildings for the shortlist, and then voting for the winners. We will give away iPad Minis and 4th Generation iPads for voters, and will include amazing plotters (courtesy of our friends from HP) for the firms behind the two projects with the most votes.
Rules at a glance: During the nominating stage, each registered user of the My ArchDaily platform will be able to nominate once per day for their favorite projects (published between Jan 1st 2012 and Dec 31st 2012), the counter resets at midnight EST. This stage starts on Jan 15th and ends on Jan 29th at 11:59PM. After this, five projects per category will move into the voting stage, starting January 30th and ending on February 13th. The winner will be announced on February 14th. Start voting here.
You can review last year’s awarded projects in our free iPad App.
Detailed rules after the break: