The Greek pavilion for the 2012 Venice Biennale will focus on the particular dynamics of Athens during a period of economic meltdown by addressing the deterioration of Athenian urban space, plummeting standards of living, and the need to redefine the priorities of architectural design. Architects and creative groups have already begun to shape a new “common ground” within Athens. With the exhibition “Made in Athens”, the Greek pavilion aims highlight these positive forces emerging during this crucial present moment in an effort to foreshadow a better future for the city and its architecture.
Continue after the break to learn more about “Made in Athens”.
In celebration of the Nordic Pavilion’s fiftieth anniversary, thirty-two architects born after the year 1962 have been invited to present a model of a conceptual “house” that reflects their personal philosophy of architecture at the 2012 Venice Biennale exhibition “Light Houses: On the Nordic Common Ground”. Eleven architects from Finland and Sweden, along with ten architects from Norway will each respond to the sobering economic constraints and diminishing environmental resources that challenge architects today.
Contemporary Nordic architectural culture offers both exemplary approaches and significant constructed works addressing these challenging circumstances. The classic hallmarks of Nordic architecture – simplified form, frugal use of materials and sensitive treatment of daylight and the natural setting – embody the basic principles of responsible, sustainable architecture.
Continue after the break to learn more.
Wood has always been Finland’s preferred building material, as both nature and the forest has long provided a livelihood and enduring source of inspiration for Finnish artists and architects. Now, with the use of modern technology and new treatment methods, Finnish architects are pushing the boundaries of this conventional material to unleash new creative potential. To celebrate the reopening of the newly restored, Alvar Aalto-designed Finnish pavilion at the 2012 Venice Biennale, “New Forms in Wood” will highlight the work of young Finnish architects who have used wood inventively in their recent works.
Continue after the break to review the exhibition’s featured projects and architects.
Rumors are flying that Pritzker Prize winning architect Jean Nouvel has been selected to design the new National Art Museum of China (NAMOC) in Beijing. Although the official announcement isn’t due until November, Architectural Record has claimed that multiple, unidentified sources confirmed the news. If the reports are true, the French architect will have beat out fellow Pritzker Prize-winning architects Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid for the highly coveted commission.
In a post-2008 Olympics attempt to attract more visitors to the area, the massive, 1.3 million square foot structure will be built next to the Herzog & de Meuron-designed Bird’s Nest. It will be one of three buildings planned for the area – the others being a museum dedicated to arts and crafts and a Sinology museum.
Continue after the break to learn what may have given Nouvel the edge.
Salt Lake City is about to get a new, state-of-the-art performing arts center designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects (PCPA), in collaboration with HKS Architects. The 2,500-seat venue “will capture the spirit of its place” and serve as the region’s premier entertainment venue, while anchoring a vibrant arts district on the city’s main street downtown.
The selection committee of the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City chose the PCPA/HKS team from a competitive pool that included designers of some of the most prestigious theaters in the world. “We are honored to be selected to design the Utah Performing Arts Center,” said Cesar Pelli, senior principal of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. “Salt Lake City’s attractive downtown, vibrant cultural life, and wonderful views will all shape our design for what will be an important new venue for the entire city and state.”
The Utah Performing Arts Center will be designed to attract first-run touring Broadway shows and concerts, while providing an additional venues for Utah performance groups, such as Ballet West and Utah Opera.
Design of the project is expected to take about a year, with construction planned to begin in December 2013 and the opening of the theater projected for March 2016.
The Connecticut-based firm, PCPA, has extensive experience in designing world-class theaters, including the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, Overture Center for the Arts in Madison (Wisconsin), and the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall and Samueli Theater in Orange County (California).
Recent award recipient of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement and Portuguese master architect, Álvaro Siza, will be honored with an exhibition exclusively dedicated to his most personal aspects as one of the leading players in the international design scene at the 2012 Venice Biennale. The collateral event, “Álvaro Siza. Viagem sem Programa”, will feature an exclusive collection of 53 works, personally selected by the architect himself for this event, that were developed from travel notes and sketches. The exhibit will be organized in sequential order as a narration of Siza’s work in architecture and concept of life. It will be seen as “a succession of prospects, dreams, memories and the faces of unknown persons and friends encounters in that extraordinary “Journey without a plan”, which is life itself.”
Continue after the break to learn more.
Inspired by the great potential of advanced information technology providing architectural solutions, the Russian pavilion of the 2012 Venice Biennale will feature the innovation city of Skolkovo. Skolkovo is one of the largest, most innovative Russian projects of today and has been worked on by many international architects, including Biennale director David Chipperfield. The exhibition will allow visitors to enter into the world of innovation city and use the newest IT-technologies to contribute to the research. Over the Biennale’s three month period, participants will be able to watch the exhibit’s virtual city of Skolkovo evolve as each international visitor leaves their mark.
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Shenzhen officials are currently searching for the next curator of the 2013 “Urbanism\Architecture Bi-City Biennale” (UABB). Established in 2005, the bi-city biennale has explored the interdependent relationship between architecture and urbanism. Last year, chief curator Mr. Terence Riley attracted over 150,000 spectators with his exhibit “Architecture creates cities. Cities create architecture.” And now, you might have the same opportunity! Curator candidates are invited to develop their unique biennale theme based on the general idea of “Urban Boarder”. The final deadline for the proposal submission is September 24th, 2012. Read on for more details.
With their early work inspired by Russian Suprematism, Zaha Hadid Architects’ pays homage to the historical lineages of collective research that has led to the major works of today’s contemporary architecture at the 2012 Venice Biennale with the installation ‘Arum’. The pleated metal structure is derived from the work of German architect Frei Otto, who paved the way for material-structural form-finding processes. This installation is a response to David Chipperfield’s belief that the theme of ‘Common Ground’ is meant to “reassert the existence of an architectural culture, made up not just of singular talents but a rich continuity of diverse ideas united in a common history.”
Continue after the break for the architect’s project description.
As previously announced, the Portuguese architects behind “OCO – Ocean & Coastline Observatory” have won Habitat for Humanity’s Open Architecture Challenge: [UN] RESTRICTED ACCESS 2011. Over 500 teams from 74 countries submitted innovative solutions for the recovery and reuse of disabled and abandoned military sites. These submissions were filtered down to 13 finalists by a jury of 33 esteemed professionals. The Lisbon-based architects of OCO claimed grand prized with their vision to redevelop a desolate military site, that once defended the coast of Trafaria in Portugal, into a civic space that promotes coastal preservation.
Continue after the break for more.
In January of 1975, Buckminster Fuller sat down to deliver twelve lectures that made up the 42-hour series Everything I Know. The entire event was captured on video, with the most advanced, bluescreen technology of the time. Fuller discusses an array of topics, from “architecture, design, philosophy, education, mathematics, geometry, cartography, economics, history, structure, industry, housing and engineering”, to all his major inventions and discoveries, along with “his own personal history in the context of the history of science and industrialization”.
The embedded video above is recompiled and edited version of the series. You may download the entire 42-hours (for free!) from the Internet Archive. The Buckminster Fuller archive has also made transcripts of Everything I Know - “minimally edited and maximally Fuller” – freely available.
Continue after the break for links to the remaining lectures.
After controversy struck when critics blamed “bad design” for inconvenient ticket refunds, the success of Zaha Hadid’s design for the London Olympic’s Aquatics Center was validated by the overwhelming approval from spectators. According to a survey conducted by the University of Westminster, 95% of the Aquatics Center spectators were satisfied with their experience and 85% thought the venue captured the “true spirit” of the Olympics.
Researchers from Westminster and University of South Australia surveyed spectators about their experiences at the Aquatics Centre, Greenwich Park and Wimbledon. Greenwick Park received a 92% approval and Wimbledon received 88%, while 88% of those surveyed believed the events could not have been staged in a better venue.
“Our preliminary analysis suggests positive outcomes for London 2012 organisers. Those attending the events were very satisfied with their experiences and impressed with the venues,” stated Andrew Smith, city tourism lecturer at the University of Westminster. But he added, “We should remember that these results were derived from research undertaken in the positive afterglow of an event.”
Where you at the 2012 London Olympics? Tell us about your experience in the comment section.
German-born and Beijing-based architect Ole Scheeren will reconstruct the wooden Archipelago Cinema within the old harbor basin Darsena Grande of the Arsenale, Venice’s historic shipyard, as an official collateral event for the 13th International Architecture Exhibition. This unique, floating architectural experience became wildly popular when it was first conceived for the Film on the Rocks Yao Noi festival in Thailand.
Serving as a mobile stage for public events, the modular outdoor theater will feature a world premiere of the film Against All Rules. Continue after the break to learn more.
One of the main idea’s behind the 2012 Venice Biennale’s “Common Ground” theme, as stated by director David Chipperfield, is “to reinforce our understanding of architectural culture, and to emphasize the philosophical and practical continuities that define it”. With the exhibition “Culture Under Construction | The Collectivity of Cultural Space”, Mexico aims to develop an understanding of the distinct contribution that architecture can make to define the collectivity of cultural spaces while strengthening the connection between existing buildings and emerging architecture.
Mexico will exhibit thirteen projects that reveal the significance of contemporary Mexican culture of architecture in one of the most emblematic buildings in Venice, the Church of San Lorenzo, which they will restore as a contribution to Venice’s built heritage.
Continue reading to learn more.
A national landmark and one of the busiest multimodal transportation hubs in the country, Washington Union Station, designed by Daniel Burnham, is about to undergo some significant changes. The 1907 station is currently operating beyond capacity, serving 100,000 passenger trips per day on Amtrak and commuter trains, Metrorail and buses. Over the next 15 to 20 years, passengers are expected to triple and the number of trains will double, so change is necessary in order to accommodate this growth.
HOK, in collaboration with Amtrak and Parsons Brinckerhoff, have unveiled a plan to revitalize the station and bring it up to 21st century standards. Continue after the break for more.
The social issues of today has changed the course of architecture. Once “good” architecture spawned from untouched sites and endless budgets; now, the trend is shifting more towards affordable and sustainable alternatives, such as adaptive reuse. As the epidemic of vacant buildings continues to flourish, the creators of the Dutch pavilion for the 2012 Venice Biennale continuously work to evolve their understanding of these desolate spaces and offer an array of possibilities that can successfully reanimate them.
Curated by Ole Bouman, Director of the Netherlands Architecture Insitute (NAi), the Dutch exhibition Re-set, Inside Outside / Petra Blaisse will remain in constant flux as a “mobile, tactile intervention” visually transforms the 1954 vacant building of the Dutch pavilion throughout the entire length of the Biennale.
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BoomSPDesign is at it again! Now in its fifth addition, the creative design, architecture and art forum has quickly become known for attracting elite creatives from around the globe to share their passions in this unique, Sao Paulo forum. Centered around all things creative, the three day event will commence on August 22nd at the Centro Universitario Belas Artes de Sao Paulo.
Curator and cultural promoter Roberto Cocenza stated: “This year we are connecting, via Sao Paulo, two continents, Old World with the New World: We have the German Juergen Mayer H. bringing the sophistication of European thought and sensibility, with his intricate architectural patterns, and then we have Fernando Romero, a young talent from Mexico that with his rambunctious Sumaya Museum quickly entered the pantheon of iconic contemporary architecture.”
Continue after the break to learn more!
Grimshaw Architects have released submitted a proposal for a major commercial office development planned above the Crossrail station at Paddington in London. The 15-story structure, located at the junction of Bishop’s Bridge Road and the Grand Union Canal, will also provide retail space, a grand colonnade along the canal frontage, and a new entrance to the Hammersmith & City and Circle Line stations below.
Grimshaw Associate Director Declan McCafferty said: “We are delighted to be working once again with Crossrail on what is an exciting and challenging project. We have utilized all of our experience in both the commercial and transport sectors to create a scheme which will provide significant public realm improvements, while integrating the new station entrance and taxi ramp into a coherent and dramatic piece of commercial architecture.”
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The American Institute of Architects, California Council (AIACC) has announced the 2012 Design Award Recipients. Since 1982, AIACC has recognized excellence in architecture and design through the AIACC Design Awards Program. An esteemed Design Awards jury has selected these award winners out of 300 submittals. Continue after the break to review the projects!
Although the UK has not shortage of architectural talent,Venice Takeaway: Ideas to Change British Architecture responds to David Chipperfield’s ‘Common Ground’ theme for the 2012 Venice Biennale by seeking out imaginative responses to universal issues worldwide in an ambitious global research project. The British Council sent ten architectural teams around the world to research inspiring places and subjects that could generate discussion on what is great architecture while injecting new ideas into the UK. The Venice Takeaway exhibition charts the course of these teams and shares the ideas they discovered throughout Argentina, Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Russia, Thailand and the USA.
Continue after the break to learn more.
Two friends, the photographers of The Seventh Movement, gave themselves one week to photograph as much of Paris as possible. Unsure of where this would lead, the ambitious project turned out to be larger than they could ever imagine. After an intense week in Paris and spending countless hours editing, organizing and re-editing thousands of photographs, they settled on this time-lapse production – a synthesis of their best work. It is a bit long, but well worth the watch.