With Melbourne’s contentious elevated rail project starting construction, an independent group has taken the opportunity to critique the way that this key piece of infrastructure is engaging with the public. The project, leftunder, is a platform for alternate, community driven proposals for the public space being made available adjacent to this new infrastructure, that which might normally be overlooked and undermaintained. Run by not-for-profit OFFICE, the project has recently culminated in an exhibition at The National Gallery of Victoria's Design Week.
Lead ArchitectsSimon Knott, George Huon
One of the most public and politically relevant debates about spatial borders, that of the United States and Mexico, has been probed in a project currently being exhibited at the London Design Biennale. Helmed by Fernando Romero and his team at fr*ee, "Border City" puts forward the idea of a binational city on the border, a place where cultures "both clash and blend to create something altogether unique."
The states along the border of these two countries now have a population of over 100 million people - ample to facilitate the introduction of a new city. fr*ee explained: "Border City is the first integrated masterplan for a binational city conducive to both sides of the border, employing tools of enterprise such as special economic zones to argue for its viability." The masterplan is unrolled in detail at the London Design Biennale, as seen in the video below. The exhibition is open from the 7 – 27 September.
Explore the Fascinating Overlap of Architectural Styles Throughout History With "The Piranesi Project"
Driven by an intrigue in the ruination of Roman architecture, Brazilian architect, and photographer Olympio Augusto Ribeiro has undertaken a fascinating comparative analysis of Giovanni Battista Piranesi's architectural etchings and the scenes as they stand today. Travelling to each of the Italian sites brought to life in Piranesi's drawings, Ribeiro has managed to recreate the original angle and shot, eventually compositing them together to create collages which cross time periods.
Piranesi's drawings show different architectural styles side by side, and it was this coexistence that urged Ribeiro to investigate what has changed in Rome and Tivoli since their conception. The project, officially dubbed "Piranesi Project (In search of Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s Rome, 1720-1778)" took Ribeiro two months to photograph, meticulously recreating the images across Rome, Villa Adriana, and Tivoli.
Cross-continental architecture practice KOSMOS Architects have revealed the full design intent for their HelloWood 2016 installation. The wooden structure, dubbed "Thread," subverts the conventional notion of the wall as a divider of space, reinventing it as a new zone of inclusivism and human engagement. Their entire design and construction process was guided by Maslow's hierarchy of human needs, leading to a structure that brings people together and fulfills them in different ways, level by level.
Danish firm Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects has lead a team comprised of COBE, Sted, and Rambøll in the design of a brand new island in Copenhagen's harbor. Situated in the Kronløb water basin in Nordhavn, the monolithic presence of the Kronløb Island references the geological processes by which the topography of Denmark was formed. The floating new district will include parking facilities, housing, and public spaces.
Urban Agency and OUALALOU+CHOI have drawn heavily from local inspiration for the design of a new adult education center in south-west Morocco. The isolated site is set against a harsh environmental backdrop, and in response the proposal only uses 10 000 of the allocated 22 000 square meters to create a compact building centered around an internal courtyard. This will allow it to be expanded upon in the future, as the building fulfills its intent as a world class education facility.
The project uses the traditional "Medersa" (first universities) as precedent, incorporating a dynamic internal courtyard and a simple exterior envelope. The Medersa, known for their "social, cultural and climatic ingenuity," not only foster communal activity in their internal spaces but are protected from harsh sun, winds and sandstorms, creating a climatically controlled interior zone.
A department store in Shenzhen, China, is currently undergoing a major transformation into what the architect describes as an "a new sustainable and iconic design for the city." Designed by Aedas, the Shenzhen Luoho Friendship Trading Centre will include a new skyscraper and a "vibrant and porous" 7-story retail podium. Integrated landscaping and green balconies turn the development into an "urban oasis" in the heart of the city.
Slangen+Koenis Architects, in collaboration with Cordeel-Farys-Hellebrekers, have been selected transform a historic site in Temse, Belgium, into a new public pool and fitness center. The complex is situated in the Scheldepark, a scenic English landscape garden that once hosted a castle, and more recently a mid-century pool that has now fallen into disrepair.
The provision of three new pools; a leisure pool, a combination pool and a competition pool as well as a fitness centre, an indoor playground and a restaurant will turn the complex into the epicenter of activity within the park. Slangen+Koenis explained in a press release that "the aim of the design is to combine functions and activities creating a vibrant place during both day and night."
Using an array of programs available for public use, a group of young architects called ADAPt have designed and realized a unique free-form brick structure in Iran. The complexity of the structure is broken down into several layers and elements, all guided by the analysis and output of their digital toolbox. This iteration, titled "FaBRICKate" is the first in what is intended to be a series of investigations of this contemporary design method.
Petras Architects has revealed their third-prize winning entry in the competition to design a new cultural center in Paphos, Cyprus. The brief called for "spaces for the production of ideas and art," to provide new cultural infrastructure in the expansion of the village. Along with the new buildings, existing buildings were to be adapted to suit the new program, which was to include a school of fine art, workshops, and spaces for communal activity.
While most cities strive for a sustainable level of urban density, there are limitations at play that can restrict the amount of upwards growth. In Mexico City, for example, height restrictions guide the growth outwards rather than upwards, and often the preservation of historic low-rise architecture halts expansion plans. In an attempt to mine the possibilities for alternative expansion, Kurt Kohlstedt from 99% Invisible has presented a round-up of the different ways in which architecture can instead grow below the ground surface.
HASSELL has unveiled a contemporary new addition to the Geelong Performing Arts Centre in Geelong, Australia. Just over an hour south-west of Melbourne, the complex is a significant hub for the growth and promotion of the arts in regional Victoria. Over its illustrious 35 year life, it has built a reputation as one of the premier performing arts spaces in the state, and the $38.5 million upgrade will cement its prominence.
Never-before-heard Audio Gives us Insight to the Creativity of Prominent Architects and Reveals Forgotten Bauhaus Secrets
In two intriguing new podcasts, the team over at 99% Invisible uncovered some never-before-heard audio and forgotten secrets about elements of architectural history. In the first, The Mind of an Architect, producer Avery Trufelman explores the audio archives of the Institute of Personality Assessment and Research (IPAR), where a study undertaken in the late 1950s mapped the personalities of prominent architects. Eero Saarinen, Philip Johnson, and Richard Neutra were among the study group, and the data came to some interesting conclusions about the role of ego and the presence of creativity.
In the second, Photo Credit; The Negatives of the Bauhaus Sam Greenspan explores the misattribution of credit for some of the most prolific images of the Bauhaus. Taken in the 1930s by German photographer Lucia Moholy, the historic images paint one of the clearest pictures of life at the Bauhaus. In the turmoil of the war, her negatives were lost, and absorbed by the school's collection, denying her the credit she deserved.
The world's tallest timber tower has topped out this week, standing 53 meters high in the Vancouver skyline. The 18 story building, designed by Acton Ostry Architects, began construction in November 2015 and has since opened the floodgates for a new wave of mass timber towers. The building, which has been erected at record speed, will house 404 students as the Brock Commons Student Residence at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Offsite-production and the careful coordination of trades saw it rise at a rate of two floors per week, with the official completion set for mid-2017.
An innovative new housing model dubbed ReGen Villages (short for regenerative) has been developed in response to some of the world's most pressing environmental, social and economic issues. Helmed by Dutch holding firm ReGen Villages B.V. and Copenhagen-based architecture firm EFFEKT, the new model facilitates off-the-grid, self-sustaining communal neighborhoods that can be deployed across the globe. The first project site will be in Almere, the Netherlands, with work starting this year.
Satellite Architects have designed a pixelated facade for Designjunction temporary exhibition space at Cubitt House in Kings Cross, London. The facade combines natural and artificial elements by wrapping a reflective, gridded screen on top of a second screen of trees and bushes, allowing the foliage to peek through.
A team comprised of Chinese architects Hang Guo and Shanshan Li have used the history of theatre and circus to drive their proposal for a new Moscow Circus School. The design, dubbed Dome and Circus, was developed for the recent Architectural Competition Concours d'Architecture (AC-CA) competition, which encouraged participants to consider the ways in which their design could generate discussion about the relationship between architecture and culture.