Fincube / Studio Aisslinger

Based in Germany, Studio Aisslinger‘s new housing prototype is modular, sustainable and transportable.  The low energy house, named ‘’,  is comprised of thin horizontal “ledges” of locally grown wood that wrap the slightly bulging form.  This second facade layer provides privacy for the inhabitants and fuses the man-made structure with its natural surroundings.   The home provides 47 sqm of living space with a minimal CO2 footprint,  and can also be easily dismantled and rebuilt on a different site.  The supporting structure is made of local larch and the interior is a combination of larch and stone-pine.  Organized in a helical structure, the entrance area blends into a generous open kitchen with an adjacent living space, and around the corner rests the bedroom.

More images after the break. (more…)

KAT-Ohno / Cheungvogl

A few days ago, we featured Cheungvogl‘s Nunnmps project, and today we bring you their master plan, recently awarded first prize.  The plan includes a development site with 4 office buildings and an extension of a new forum to provide flexible spaces for training seminars, lectures, exhibitions, film screening.  The project focuses on an architecture that is less about mass and structure, “so more can happen.”  The architecture becomes less visible and less defined so in a symposium setting, speakers and audience can have spontaneous intellectual dialogue in one space.

More about the project after the break. (more…)

Abandoned Toyo Ito

© El Pais

Back in 2006, the Torrevieja Relaxation Park in was built to be a landmark in the City and a referent in contemporary architecture, but its actual state is just the opposite.

Thanks to Abitare I got into this article that shows how the building is already in ruins just 4 years after its realization. The original project contained three buildings in the coasts of Torrevieja, but the Coast management department stopped the project, leaving it to the disuse consequences. Now Torrevieja has a landmark, but was this what they expected?

Mobile Hospital / Hord Coplan Macht + Spevco

A new hospital typology has been designed by the team of Hord Coplan Macht + Spevco that eliminates the need for a standard hospital.  In their design, 58 trailers provide a fully operational, fully mobile 48-bed hospital.   The trailers include every aspect of a hospital – from waiting gift shops, to surgical suites with 4 O.R.s, pharmacies and labs.   The design is the future of how westernized health care will travel abroad.  It is a system that effectively transforms health care for entire regions and countries over time, letting the hospital and care come to the patient.

More about the mobile idea after the break.


OMA wins competition for the Beaux Arts Museum in Quebec expansion

Aerial view © OMA, render by Luxigon

OMA has been announced as the winner of the international competition for the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ) expansion. The CAD$90 million project was also consulted with local residents, with an 82% of approval.

A series of stacked boxes remind the programatic relations of Seattle’s Library, while generating an interesting grand hall facing the street with urban qualities.

Section © OMA

The three stacked galleries vary in size, as you can see on the axo and models included below: contemporary exhibitions (50m x 50m), the permanent contemporary collection (45m x 35m) and design / Inuit exhibits (42.5m x 25m). The cantilever over the street creates the grand hall, a 14m tall transparent space connected to the park, starting point of an ascending path trough the boxes.

“Our ambition is to create a dramatic new presence for the city, while maintaining a respectful, even stealthy approach to the museum’s neighbors and the existing museum. The resulting form of cascading gallery boxes enhances the museum experience by creating a clarity in circulation and curation while allowing abundant natural light into the galleries.”

- Shohei Shigematsu

The other four finalists of the competition were Barkow Leibinger (Germany) + Imrey Culbert (US), Allied Works (US) + Fichten Soiferman et Associés (), Nieto Sobejano (Spain) + Brière, Gilbert et Associés () and David Chipperfield (UK) + Groupe Arcop ().

The project is led by partners Rem Koolhaas and Shohei Shigematsu (who we interviewed before), and will be executed by OMA NY in collaboration with Provencher Roy + Associés Architectes. Construction is expected to be completed in fall 2013.

More images after the break:


To Become an Architect (a guide, mostly for women)

“In the profession of Architecture today women currently make up about 50% of Graduate students. However, in the profession itself, licensed women practitioners make up only about 15%. Why do you think we see such drastic percentage drops? Why don’t we, women, make it to the end?”

Under this premise, the WIA () fund looks to support women to become professionals and leaders in Architecture in America.

They recently published the book “To Become an Architect (a guide, mostly for women)”, a guide for new students, and interns, along with personal insight from Angie Brooks (Pugh+Scarpa), Anne Fougeron (Fougeron Architecture), Dawn Merkes (Group 4 Architecture) and more, to raise money for this fund.

You can buy the book right here.

National Museum of Qatar / Jean Nouvel

, Artefactory, © Ateliers Jean Nouvel

Jean Nouvel‘s new National Museum of Qatar utilizes technology to create a thoroughly new institution.  Entire walls become cinematic displays and hand-held mobile devices guide visitors through the thematic displays of the collections.  Located on a 1.5 million-square-foot site at the south end of Doha’s Corniche, it will be the first monument travelers arriving from the airport will set their eyes upon.  Conceived as growing out of the ground, the building uses rings of low-lying, interlocking pavilions, to encircle a large courtyard area and encompass 430,000 square feet of indoor space.  Tilting, interpenetrating disks define the pavilions’ floors, walls and roofs,  and the exterior in a sand-colored concrete.  Nouvel likens it to a “bladelike petal of the desert rose, a mineral formation of crystallized sand found in the briny layer just beneath the desert’s surface.”

More images after the break. (more…)

Hometta’s virtual town coming this summer

We’ve told you before what Hometta is. This summer Hometta presents a virtual neighborhood modeled after its collection of small, modern house plans. H-Town will help fans further experience the designs in an interactive way. Through avatars, visitors will be able to explore, socialize with others through chat, and participate in self-guided tours of the houses.

More information on Hometta’s official website.

Nunnmps / Cheungvogl

For their latest project, an IT security and service office, Cheungvogl worked to create a deep connection with the site.  The office, Nunnmps, borders Lake Michigan in an area of that is close enough to the city center yet rests on the outskirts in an undeveloped site with vast views of the skyline.   “The design development grew as naturally as the terrain overtook the site in the absence of human inhabitation over the years. Through uninterrupted silence, the site is covered with layers of shimmering grass and matured trees. We want to retain and capture the natural quality of silence,” explained the architects.

More about the project after the break. (more…)

Rising Currents at MoMA

Organized by MoMA and PS 1 Contemporary Art Center, the Rising Currents exhibit cannot be missed by architects, ecologists, or green enthusiasts…let alone any New Yorker.   The exhibit is a cohesive showcase of five projects which tackle the lingering truth that within a few years, the waterfront of the New York harbor will drastically change.  Dealing with large scale issues of climate change, the architects delve into a specific scale that we can recognize and relate to.  The projects are not meant to be viewed as a master plan, but rather each individual zone serves as a test site for the team to experiment.   The projects demonstrate the architects’ abilities to look passed the idea of climate change as a problem, and move on to see the opportunities it presents.  Barry Bergdoll, the Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at ,  explained, “Your mission is to come up with images that are so compelling they can’t be forgotten and so realistic that they can’t be dismissed.”

More about each zone after the break.


Austrian Pavilion for Shanghai Expo Update

Almost a year ago, we featured the Austrian designed by Vienna based firms SPAN and Zeytinoglu Architects for Shanghai World Expo 2010. Now, the pavilion is almost complete. See more images of the construction after the break. (more…)

Porta Volta Fondazione Feltrinelli / Herzog & de Mueron

Expected to be completed in 2013, Herzog & de Meuron’s new redevelopment project in , will include the headquarters for the Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli.  The Feltrinelli Group considers the site as an ideal environment for the foundation’s multiple activities and the overall masterplan for Porta Volta will consist of the Fondazione, two new office buildings, and a generous green area.   “This undertaking by the Feltrinelli Group has an important urban dimension in that it strengthens and reinforces the city.”

© Herzog & de Meuron

More about the project and more images after the break.


Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2010: Jean Nouvel

© Ateliers

French architect Jean Nouvel has been selected to design this years Serpentine Gallery Pavilion.

Since 2010, the Serpentine Gallery has commissioned world’s most renowned architects to design a temporary structure to host summer events. The list includes Zaha Hadid, Frank Ghery, Rem Koolhaas, Toyo Ito, Daniel Libeskind, Oscar Niemeyer, Alvaro Siza + Souto de Moura, SANAA (previously featured at AD), danish artist Olafur Eliasson, and several collaborations with Cecil Balmond and ARUP.

Nouvel proposes a vivid red metal structure, which trough the reflection of its materials (steel, glass, fabric, polycarbonate) remind of classic british icons, such as the phone box or the London buses, while contrasting with the green of the park. A free standing 12m tall wall marks the presence of the .

More images after the break.

Parametric Design to Fabrication Workshop

This workshop will introduce participants to the cultural, technological, and tectonic domain of parametric design and digital fabrication in a fast-paced and hands-on learning environment. Over the course of two days, the workshop will involve iterative prototyping and associative design strategies capable of incorporating and embracing an array of material and fabrication constraints. Participants will explore and construct highly articulated material assemblies through computer-aided manufacturing, mold making, and casting.

This workshop is the result of a collaborative effort between Studio Mode and Point.B Design and will provide participants with direct access to a full suite of manual tools for wood, metal, and plastics fabrication in addition to a 3-Axis CNC Mill. Instruction will be provided in the construction of molds, the proper handling of materials and casting, file preparation for working with the mill, as well as a series of parametric design strategies with supporting content.

For more details on the workshop, please click here.

Altis Belém Hotel / RISCO Architects


RISCO Architects‘ new 5-star Altis Belém Hotel contains 50 rooms and a number of facilities intended to support water sports.  The hotel is designed in a way as to not constitute a visual obstacle along the axis between the Belém Tower and the Monument to the Discoveries.  The hotel is a very narrow structure composed of a rectangular platform and “pockets” that hold different entities, such as a restaurant, to provide privacy.  Above this platform, a larger green space opens for the guests to enjoy.  On the exterior of the hotel, what appears to be an elaborate surface is actually a system of shutters that guests can open or close to reveal their larger balconies.

More photos by Fernando Guerra FG + SG after the break. (more…)

Monaco Pavilion for Shanghai World Expo 2010 / NAÇO Architecture

Designed by NAÇO Architecture, ’s Pavilion for Shanghai World Expo 2010 will feature a movie that will take visitors on a lap of Monaco Grand Prix and show a luxury ecological car prototype of the new Venturi Volage.

The 2,000-square-meter pavilion will invite visitors to explore the evolution of casr, city transformation and KERS system from Monaco Grand Prix’s beginning in 1929 in a special area dedicated to Formula One. The Monaco leg is the only city in the world to have a circuit inside it. Upon entering the pavilion, visitors will see a six-minute animation movie “Monaco, a rock for eternity” exclusively produced for the Expo. An extraordinary adventure will be unfolded, which will send visitors back to prehistoric times.

The cinema can accommodate 250 people and will be equipped with a high definition screen of 56 meters. A walk along typical old streets of Monaco will allow visitors to discover the city and its flora and fauna. More images after the break. (more…)

Cave Home / The Sleepers

Lars Tunbjork
In an interesting article from the New York Times this week, different families completed not so typical renovations.  A few years ago, the Sleeper family moved from their crowded ranch house when they saw an eBay offering for three acres with an empty sandstone cave in Festus, .   The initial idea to build a larger home on the land was soon abandoned as the family realized the potential the former quarry offered.  With 15,000 feet of naturally insulated space, the Sleeper family took up a new residence – inside the cave.   The older family members helped add more “home” touches to the cave and since the cave’s bare walls shed sand,  placed interior roofs or umbrellas over areas like the kitchen that need to stay sand-free.   Other than that, the family truly enjoys the natural feel of the space and have created a comfortable home.  “The inside of the house feels like you’re outdoors without the discomfort of hot or cold,” Mrs. Sleeper states.

More images after the break. (more…)

Residence / NeoStudio Architekci

NeoStudio Architekci shared their completed design for a residence in Garby near Poznan, .  Located on a sunken site, the building rests on a steep southern slope.  With the client’s desire for a double height, two-level living room, the home takes its form around that central room.    The back of the home has been fitted to the existing slope and makes the form read as ”soaking into the surroundings” as an attempt to make the form dissolve into nature.   The house also includes the standard amenities for a family of four, such as a kitchen, dining area and bedrooms.

More images after the break. (more…)