Karen Cilento

SLEEPBOX / Arch Group


Arch Group shared their innovative design with us.  Intended to provide a comfortable night sleep, the mobile 3.75 m2 unit can be located anywhere people need a place to rest or relax such as airports, train stations, shopping centers, or even in the middle of the streets. “We believe that urban infrastructure should be more comfortable for people,” explained the architects.  Rented for between fifteen minutes and several hours, the provides moments of quiet sleep and rest from the city as clients can rest on foamed polymer beds, which are equipped with an automatic system that changes bed linen once the client leaves. But a bed is not the only accommodation the provides.  The unit is also equipped with a ventilation system, sound alerts, built-in LCD TV, WiFi, sockets for a laptop, charging phones and space for luggage.   After clients feel refreshed and leave the unit, the automatic change of bed linen starts and the quartz lamps turn on.   Clients can pay for the time spent in the unit at a shared terminal, which provides the client with an electronic key.

More images after the break.

Prism Gallery / PATTERNS

Microsoft Word - 102009_Sunset Press Release.doc

PATTERNS has designed a new three story cultural center for West Hollywood, .  The center, known as Prism, will become a cornerstone of artistic experimentation, carving a new niche for the arts in Southern .   The facade will be the first in the nation to be constructed entirely out of a resin based composite polycarbonate. Inspired by automotive design supple forms, streamlined detailing and plastic finishes; the façade has a dual aesthetic performance associated to its plastic materiality and responsive to the lively energy of its context: it behaves as a reflectively glossy surface during daylight and as a translucent skin at night.

More about Prism after the break.

Vadabus Square and St. Paul Church / Ginseng Chicken


Ginseng Chicken Architecture P.C. has proposed a renewed identity for the St. Paul Church and Vadabus Square in Rakvere, by attempting to integrate three disparate elements of the site into a cohesive design strategy for a main concert hall.   With Arvo Pärt’s musical legacy and contribution to the genre of minimal music in mind, non-organization and non-sequentiality became the main driving force behind the design of the annex and were then translated into an architectural language.

More images and further project description after the break.

Yeosu Expo 2012 / Nicoletti Associati


’s design for an oceanic placed third in the Yeosu Expo.  The , which was conceived as a Great Blue Whale hurling itself out of the port, intends to represent the Expo’s theme: The Living Ocean and Coast. The draws attention to the fundamental influence of the planet’s oceans and coasts resources, and how dangerous it is for such a fragile ecosystem, to ignore them. The jury added that the has “a strong and powerful form that would become instantly recognizable. The theme of the Expo is symbolically represented with a shape drawn from marine life. The image of the is consistent with the theme of the ocean. Its fluid shape celebrates the nature of water and the marine life that has adapted to it. It makes a very simple but powerful metaphorical relationship. The exhibition space is very practical for post-use.”

More images of the pavilion after the break.

Urban Renovation / A3+ Architects


A3+ Architects recently finished an urban renovation project in , for an international competition.  The project is situated in Porta Nuova, where the historical center of the city is connected to the sea by an urban road and an archeological park.

More images and more about the project after the break.

Tucson Mountain Retreat / DUST design build

South Terrace

Jesus Robles, Dale Rush and Cade Hayes from DUST design build have designed a mountain retreat for a small family of three in .  The home attempts to preserve as much of the land as possible as a way to hold on to the “history and mysteries of the Sonoran Desert.”  Users must walk through a dense forest of saguaros, ocotillo and Paloverde trees before seeing the house unfold in the landscape and ultimately arriving at the sculptural entry stairs.

More about the home after the break.

The Studio of Bark Design Architects


Bark Design Architects, a small Australian practice, have designed a studio for themselves that showcases their philosophy of design and provides a great space to work.  The “workhouse”, an elevated steel, glass and plywood studio, “explores the notion of a mixed work / house typology.”  The architects intended for the project to expresses lightness in its modular structural form, transparency, texture, and a seamless indoor to outdoor connection.

More about the studio after the break.

Taiwan Pop Music Center / Visiondivision


Visiondivision’s latest entry for the competition aims to “transcend its visitors into a total escapism of pop.”  With different districts that use the effect of the main tower and specific angles of light,  the whole building expands dramatically in appearance, from a rather low key building in the distance to a spectacular body of light once approached.

More about the project including images and a further project description after the break.

Mirror Tower / LAN Architecture


LAN Architecture’s contains more than 30,000 identical facets that reflect 14 of the city’s monuments and are orientated to produce smooth transitions between these panoramic viewpoints.  “The starting point of the project was to imagine Beirut in all its complexity. We have imagined the city as an ‘un-finished’ superposition of histories, contexts, architectures and situations; Our project was conceived as an interface, an algorithm that generates new connections and that creates new view axis, ways of observing the history, the present and the future,” explained LAN architects.   The building’s complex envelope reflects changes in surroundings, the seasons and light.  The reflective façade works by globally defining the orientation of each facet of the cylinder’s surface to create the desired reflection.  With the help of specialists, produced an automated 3D tool that allowed the team to visualize different instances of the facade by changing viewpoints at will, both the reflective area and the position of the reflected images on the tower.

More about the tower and more images after the break.

House of Music / Coop Himmelb(l)au


Coop Himmelb(l)au’s House of Music in Aalborg, is a  shared hybrid space that becomes a center of inspiration, “both of the shared-synergetic behavior and of the form and expression of the architecture..” Cultural and educational functions are interspersed between shared public and performance spaces, creating a network of interaction among the public, artists, students and educators.  Situated in a dynamic urban grid, the House of Music becomes a full extension of the  city, linking the character of the city with the new opportunities the Music Hall provides.

Integrated Teaching Building, Chinese University of Hong Kong / URBANUS

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URBANUS was awarded with the 1st prize on the competition for the new integrated teaching building at the in Hong Kong.  Entitled “Windows on Community,” the building strives the link the two parts of the campus together, while also providing a visual connection with those who approach.  Through the implementation of a Moebius Strip, the design mixes the inner circulation of the building with the exterior circulation of the streets.  “This loop of circulation and urban internal street for us is not only a vertical linkage but more the heart of the college-a lively community space at the center of it all,” explained the architects.

More about the University after the break.

97 Winners for the International Architecture Awards

CENTER FOR SUSTAINABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES; Ningbo, People’s Republic of China; Architects: MCA Mario Cucinella Architects srl; Associate Architects: Ningbo Architectural Design and Research Institute

Ninety seven projects and urban schemes have been recognized as part of this year’s International Architecture Awards program.   For the 2009 Awards, the jury received a record number of entries, from firms in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and the Americas.  The International Architecture Awards has “become a global event of an unprecedented scale—an important barometer for the future direction of new architectural design and thinking today—celebrating, recognizing, and highlighting the world’s foremost architectural solutions for the designs of new skyscrapers, corporate buildings, institutions, arts facilities, airports, private homes, industrial structures, and urban planning projects from London to Singapore.”

Out of the 97 projects awarded, the United States received the highest number of thirteen awards, followed by China with eight, Japan and Great Britain with each seven and Germany having six awards. The Netherlands, , , Canada won four awards each.  The winning projects all an innovative approach to design while providing buildings that attempt to respond to the problems of environment, social context, improving quality of life, and sustainability.

More images of the winning projects after the break.

Namba Parks / The Jerde Partnership


The Jerde Partnership’s , in , Japan, was just named one of the winners of the Urban Land Institute’s 2009 Awards of Excellence: Asia Pacific competition.  When asked to create a gateway to redefine ’s identity, the architects responded with this project that would become a natural intervention in ’s dense and harsh urban condition.  The rooftop park offers a sloping park plane that is “bifurcated by a sinuous, open-air ‘canyon’ path that reinforces the connection with nature while forming the primary circulation pattern.”

More about the park after the break.

Weilburg Terraces / ACME


The city council of Weilburg, , a dense medieval city, organized a design competition upon the demolition of an existing parking structure.  ACME’s terrace design is a contemporary spin on the Baroque terraced-landscape building typology found nearby in the Weilburg Castle Gardens.  The form becomes an integrated part of the landscape, allowing the project to blend into the surrounding context while inviting inhabitation and managing to create “specific urban character towards some if its city context”.

This project won the first prize from the voting public and the second prize from the professional jury.

More images and more about the project after the break.

Paineiras Hotel Complex / Hepner, Cossia, Payar, Brych, Gonçalves & Messano


A young firm from São Paulo, Brazil received an Honorable Mention for their Paineiras Hotel Complex design in Rio de Janeiro.   The architects, , Denis Cossia, , Rafael Brych, Ricardo Gonçalves, and environmental design consultant Ricardo Messano, designed a complex that would be functional and “allow perfect fruition of the beautiful panoramic view and the close contact with nature.”   The strategy reflects “the intention of harmonizing the intervention with the existing context, thought without denying the contemporary character of such intervention nor hiding its presence among the surrounding forest and the old hotel building.”

More about the hotel after the break.

Emerging Landscapes / KLab Architecture

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The flexible mixed use design of KLab architecture’s allows the project’s function to change as the seasons progress.  The project is a small convention center for the winter months, and switches to become a summer camp for children during the second half of the year.

More about the project after the break.

Slit House / EASTERN Design Office

© Koichi Torimura
© Koichi Torimura

Designed for an 80 year old woman, EASTERN Design Office’s , a reinforced concrete residential project,  “presents her both a life space with a soft light and an interesting experience of scale unlikely in a house.”  Situated in an old Japanese city on a site 50 meters by 7.5 meters, the home has long slits that run along a 22 centimeter thick wall, making the interior space open, while providing enough privacy.

More about the home and more images after the break.

Vertical Village / Graft Lab


Graft Lab’s latest addition to , entitled Vertical Village, is a cluster of mix-use buildings that emphasize reducing solar gain and maximizing solar production.  The buildings are self-shaded on the northern side and on the east-west axis to reduce long-angle sun penetration.   Solar collectors on the south end automatically pivot to maximize solar-energy aggregation.   The multi-use building, which is expected to earn a LEED Gold Certificate, offers an appealing aesthetic which will easily make its mark 0n ’s dynamic skyline.  The “futuristic” angular forms create a shared central space with large pools, while the compositional assemblage of the individual buildings form a cohesive whole.

More images after the break.