From Facades to Floor Plates & Form: The Evolution of Herzog & de Meuron

Herzog & de Meuron’s 1111 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, Florida, USA (2005-2008, realisation 2008-2010). Image Courtesy of Xavier de Jauréguiberry

The following is an essay that originally appeared in Australian Design Review as “Beyond the Wall, the Floor.” In it, Michael Holt and Marissa Looby describe the evolution of Herzog and de Meuron‘s work. Using numerous examples of recent projects (such as VitraHaus and 56 Leonard Street), they point out that have, increasingly, relied on the floor slabs of their buildings to suggest the building’s shape. By removing the façade’s prominence in favor of a more suggestive way of creating mass, they have turned their original design signature on its head. 

Simple adjustments, slight alterations, subtle illusions. These are not tagline descriptions of the 1111 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach project, or a synopsis for a body of work. Instead they operate as retroactively projecting the course of professional development in the works of Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron. The practice is known, from its earliest built projects, as a firm who produced artistically driven facade treatments where the vertical plane — the ‘nominal façade’ — would define form through the visually stimulating surface or skin. As the practice has evolved, it is argued here, they have crafted a new strategy: the horizontal plane as vertical facade generator.

In its progression the practice has deviated from facade ornamentation and fabrication towards the removal of the facade altogether; allowing for the floor plate — as a visual element — to operate as inadvertent facade and thus doubling its structural and visual importance. The placing of floor plates becomes the force creating the form – the ‘inverted structural skin’The stripped back architectural form does not remove the facade, but removes the idea of a facade, paradoxically creating a building mass almost by default.

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Sekiz Artı Wins Competition to Redesign Gallipoli National Park

Courtesy of Sekiz Artı

The Gallipoli Peninsula, at the Western end of Turkey, holds a particular significance for the country as the site of a major World War One battle in which the declining Ottoman Empire repelled an attempted invasion by British forces. Today, it is seen as one of the defining moments that contributed to the formation of modern day , and the site of the battle is commemorated by a national park which includes a series of monuments and memorials at the southern tip of the peninsula.

Aiming to consolidate these sites in to a more coherent whole, the Çanakkale government launched a competition to redesign the area, which was won by Istanbul-based practice Sekiz Artı. Read on after the break for more on their design.

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Artist Lucy William’s Remarkable Illustrations of 20th Century Modernism

Great Arthur House, 2014. Plexiglas, paper, cork, corrugated polystyrene, balsa wood, birch and walnut veneers, bronze colored card and acrylic paint on board. Image Courtesy of McKee Gallery

Neither photographs nor renders, all of the images in this post are actually the intricately handcrafted creations of British artist Lucy Williams, a skilled paper-cutter with an incredible amount of patience. Luckily for us architecture fiends, the stars of Williams’ mixed-media works are her 20th century modernist designs. Check out more of her amazing work after the break.

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Sarah Sze’s 2013 U.S. Venice Biennale Installation Coming Home

Wood, steel, plastic, stone, string, fans, overhead projectors, photograph of rock printed on Tyvek, mixed media at Triple Point (Planetarium), 2013. Image courtesy of Sarah Sze, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York, and Victoria Miro Gallery, London. Photograph by Tom Powel Imaging

Is that rock inside or outside? Wait, is it even a rock? If not, then what is it? As bizarre as these questions may seem, they are the exact ones Sarah Sze wanted people to ask themselves when visiting her Triple Point (Planetarium) exhibit in the United States Pavilion at the 2013 Venice Biennale. Sze, whose work tends to distort the viewer’s perception of reality, “transformed the U.S. Pavilion into a chain of immersive experiences through a series of interrelated installations.”

Although the project was specifically designed to engage the Neoclassical Pavilion, part of it will be on display at the Bronx Museum of the Arts from July 3rd through August 24th of this year. For more on the artist and the exhibit, keep reading after the break.

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A Provocative Possible Future for Moscow’s Failing Business District

What can you do with a business district that has an office vacancy rate of 40%, is completely separated from its surroundings and is facing increasing competition from business centers emerging throughout the city? These are questions that are increasingly being asked about Moscow‘s International Business District, the symbol of capitalism that was planned in 1992 after the fall of the Soviet Union, yet is still under construction today.

Eduardo Cassina and Liva Dudareva, founders of METASITU and researchers at the Strelka Institute, have proposed a provocative idea in response to this dilemma: envisaging the business district’s future in 2041, they imagine a scenario where the district is linked by underground metro to Sheremetyevo And Domodedovo airports in the North and South – forming the world’s first mega-airport, and the first one where it is possible to live in the terminal building without ever leaving.

Read on after the break for more explanation of idea

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Woods Bagot Excels at 2014 South Australia Architecture Awards

South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute / Woods Bagot. Image © Peter Clarke

The Australian Institute of Architects has announced the winners of its 2014 South Australia Awards. This year, the star of the show was the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) by Woods Bagot, which won a total of five awards: COLORBOND® Award for Steel Architecture, the Keith Neighbour Award for Commercial Architecture, the Robert Dickson Award for Interior Architecture, Jack McConnell Award for Public Architecture, and the Derrick Kendrick Award for Sustainable Architecture.

The jury commended Woods Bagot‘s project, saying that it “operates as a catalyst on multiple levels – a catalyst for the urban regeneration of the precinct; a catalyst and new exemplar for the city; and a catalyst for the state, evidencing step change in attitudes to both design and research.”

Read on after the break to see all the winners

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Shortlist Announced for the World Architecture Festival Awards 2014

The World Architecture Festival has announced the shortlist for its 2014 , with almost 300 projects competing in the world’s largest architectural program.

The shortlist includes the likes of Zaha Hadid ArchitectsOMAFoster + PartnersBIGWoods BagotKPFFarrellsPerkins + Will and Aedas, alongside many other smaller practices. Although the shortlist practices from over 50 countries, this year there is a noticable increase in entries from Asia – with the number of projects in ChinaMalaysia and Vietnam up by 87%, 71% and 140% respectively over last year.

The shortlisted projects will be presented live by the architects to international judging panels. After this, the winning projects in each of the 27 categories will go on for the World Building or Future Project of the Year award, judged by the festival’s ‘super-jury’: Richard RogersRocco YimJulie EizenbergEnric Ruiz Geli and Peter Rich.

This year’s festival, hosted once again at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, will take place from the 1st – 3rd of October, when the winning projects will be announced. You can book your festival pass here - and read on after the break for the full shortlist.

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ArchDaily Editors Select: Our Favorite Projects in the USA

Happy 4th of July! To celebrate the USA’s Independence Day, our editors have selected their favorite projects located in the USA, from architecture classics to extraordinary newcomers. Enjoy them all, after the break!

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C.F. Møller Selected to Design Vocational School in Denmark

Courtesy of C.F. Møller Architects

C.F. Møller Architects have won in an invited competition to design a new building for the Herningsholm Vocational School in HerningDenmark. The new building consists of three angular building volumes, brought together under a single sloping roof, which responds to its context among other buildings on the school’s campus by going from three stories on the Southern end to two in the North.

The architects describe the building as being “designed inside-out… as well as outside-in”, with a dual focus on providing optimal learning spaces inside but also on providing learning spaces in the three outside areas defined by the building’s volume.

More on the design after the break

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Team Led by ONZ Architects + MDesign Wins Second Place In Gallipoli National Park Contest

Kabatepe Conkbayiri. Image © ONZ Architects & MDesign

The Gallipoli Peninsula, at the Western end of Turkey, holds a particular significance for the country as the site of a major World War One battle in which the declining Ottoman Empire repelled an attempted invasion by British forces. Today, it is seen as one of the defining moments that contributed to the formation of modern day , and the site of the battle is commemorated by a national park which includes a series of monuments and memorials at the southern tip of the peninsula.

Aiming to consolidate these sites in to a more coherent whole, the Çanakkale government launched a competition to redesign the area. Today we bring you the second place entry, by ONZ Architects + MDesign + Lola + 24H Architecture. Read on after the break for more on their design.

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Four Freedoms Park: Louis Kahn’s “Ancient Temple Precinct” in NYC

Aerial Rendering Prior to Completion. Image Courtesy of Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, LLC

Built four decades after Louis Kahn’s death, New York City’s Four Freedoms Park - the architect’s posthumous memorial to Franklin D. Roosevelt and his policies – is becoming one of the architect’s most popular urban spaces. In a recent article for the GuardianOliver Wainwright investigates what he describes as perhaps Kahn’s ”best project”. Wainwright’s spatial description of the monument is interweaved by fragments of Kahn’s personal history, building up a picture of a space with “the feel of an ancient temple precinct” and “a finely nuanced landscape”. Although Gina Pollara, who ultimately realised the plans in 2005, argues that Four Freedoms Park ”stands as a memorial not only to and the New Deal, but to Kahn himself”, can a posthumous project ever be considered as an architect’s best? Read the article in full here.

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Mexico’s 2014 Public Interest Design Award Winners

Participatory design and community construction of a microregional center for technological innovation. Image Courtesy of PID

Effective, excellent, inclusive, impactful, systematic, and participatory – these were the six criteria jurors considered when selecting the winners of this year’s Public Interest Design Mexico . On September 11th and 12th in Mexico City, the six winning projects will be presented to the public. To learn more about these exemplary projects that serve the public realm, keep reading after the break.

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Ten in Shortlist to Redesign Moscow’s Sokolniki Park

© Flickr CC User Puno 3000

Competition organizers Archpolis have announced an international shortlist of ten practices that will go on to compete for the chance to redesign Moscow’s Sokolniki Park. The park, which at 515 Hectares is the largest park in Moscow, is an important part of ’s Heritage, having first been used for recreation as a site for falcon hunting in the 15th century.

During the 19th century, the park was officially established, and bestowed with a distinctive radial design.The winner of the competition will be expected to work within this framework, as in 1979 the park became a protected monument of garden-park design from the 17th through 19th centuries.

Read on after the break for the shortlist

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Call for ArchDaily Interns: Fall 2014

 is in need of a select group of awesome, architecture-obsessed Interns to join our team for Fall 2014 (August- December)! If you want to spend your days researching/writing about the best architecture around the globe – and find out what it takes to work for the world’s most visited architecture website – then read on after the break…

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Revised Design Unveiled for Toronto’s Mirvish+Gehry Towers

Courtesy of Mirvish Enterprises, , LLP and Projectcore Inc.

Frank Gehry and Developer David Mirvish have revealed the latest design iteration in their embattled plan to build a set of mixed-use skyscrapers in Toronto. The new design reduces the number of towers, from three to two, however the remaining towers are taller than before, with one at 82 stories and one at 92.

The buildings will house apartments, a new art gallery and space for OCAD University as previously planned, but the decision to use two towers instead of three means that three of the five existing buildings can be retained – including the Princess of Wales Theatre, and two designated heritage warehouses – sidestepping some of the criticisms of the previous scheme.

Read on after the break for Frank Gehry’s take on the design

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Özer/Ürger Architects + ON Design Take Third Place in Gallipoli National Park Competition

Courtesy of Özer/Ürger Architects

The Gallipoli Peninsula, at the Western end of Turkey, holds a particular significance for the country as the site of a major World War One battle in which the declining Ottoman Empire repelled an attempted invasion by British forces. Today, it is seen as one of the defining moments that contributed to the formation of modern day , and the site of the battle is commemorated by a national park which includes a series of monuments and memorials at the southern tip of the peninsula.

Aiming to consolidate these sites in to a more coherent whole, the Çanakkale government launched a competition to redesign the area, in which the team led by Özer/Ürger Architects and ON Design came in third place. Read on after the break to find out about their design.

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App Review: Arrette Scale – Precision Scale Drawing

Part of an increasing trend of apps which allow precision scale drawing, Arrette Scale seeks to provide designers with a simple, familiar drawing environment usable by anyone comfortable with traditional drawing tools. Allowing users to digitally review work by sharing ideas and drawings, Arrette’s platform welcomes incremental design changes and collaboration on  without the need for printing reams of paper.

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Call for Pilots: Storefront TV

Storefront TV is an online channel focused on the communication of contemporary art and architecture ideas with an emphasis on experimentation with a live TV format.

After the exciting inaugural Storefront TV season in Fall 2013, Storefront for Art and Architecture announces the launch of a second season with a Call for Pilots, inviting proposals of original television programs and web series. All selected pilot programs will be taped at in front of a live studio audience and broadcasted online. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis through August 20, 2014.

Interested parties should submit a proposal using this form on or before August 20, 2014.