HENN Wins Competition to Design Wenzhou High-Rise

©

HENN has been selected to design a 160-meter, mixed-use tower for a new Central Business District in the eastern metropolis of Wenzhou. Located in close proximity to the Ou Jiang river, on the district’s southern edge, the Wenzhou Tower hopes to serve as the gateway to the new city development.

(more…)

Mexico City Shortlists Seven Architects for Major Airport Expansion

Zagreb Airport Competition Proposal / ZHA © Zaha Hadid Architects

Zaha Hadid, Norman Foster and Richard Rogers are among seven international practices listed to compete for a 5,000 hectare expansion that hopes to “alleviate severe congestion” at the Mexico City airport. With each team led by Mexican firms, the shortlisted architects, which also include SOM, , Pascall+Watson and Teodoro González de León with Taller de Arquitectura X, have been asked to envision a 70-gate, phased expansion capable of hosting 40-million passengers per year. A schematic masterplan has been provided by Arup. Completion of the first phases is tentatively planned for 2018. 

(more…)

Williamson Chong to Receive RAIC’s Emerging Practice Award

Frogs Hollow / . Image © Bob Gundu

First an Emerging Voices recipient, now a laureate of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s (RAIC) ; Toronto’s Williamson Chong Architects has proved themselves to be one of Northern America’s most promising firms. Founded just three short years ago, the seven-person practice has been chosen to be the RAIC’s second Emerging Practice Award recipient for “consistently producing innovating projects that contain quality detailing and craftsmanship.”

(more…)

Herzog & de Meuron to Design One of Denmark’s Largest Hospitals

© Herzog & de Meuron

Herzog & de Meuron and Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects have been announced as winners of an international competition to design one of ’s largest hospitals: Nyt Hospital Nordsjælland. Selected ahead of six other practices, including BIG and C.F. Møller, Herzog & de Meuron’s nature-inspired proposal will provide the New North Zealand Hospital with a 124,000 square meter facility that serves 24 medical departments and provides over 660 beds. 

“The hospital organically reaches out into the wide landscape. Simultaneously its soft, flowing form binds the many components of the hospital,” described the architects. “It is a low building that fosters exchange between staff and patients, and it has a human scale despite its very large size.”

(more…)

Round-Up: Floating Architecture

Courtesy of NLÉ architects

If a Ted Talk by Koen Olthius, this article in the Guardian, and Brazil‘s pioneering plan (currently in the pipeline) are anything to go by, now may be the time for futuristic, floating cities to become a reality. With that in mind, we’ve taken the opportunity to gather the best examples of floating architecture already constructed, including: a low-cost floating school in Lagos; an entire floating neighborhood in Ijburg, Amsterdam; a trio of cultural buildings in Seoul‘s Han River; a set of hotels in a remote area of Cisnes, Chile; and finally a beautiful home on Lake Union in Seattle. Enjoy!

In Detail: Chipperfield’s Nobel Centre for Stockholm

View towards Nybrokajen. Image ©

As we announced earlier, David Chipperfield Architects’ modest proposal for the Nobel Center’s new home in has been announced as the winning submission of the Nobel Foundation’s prestigious international competition. Lauded by the jury for its “lightness and openness,” Chipperfield envisioned the glass and stone proposal to “convey dignity” and embody the ideals of the Nobel Prize so it may serve as inspiration for generations to come.

Detailed drawings, images and quotes from the architect, after the break… 

(more…)

MVRDV Exhibits Furniture Series “Vertical Village” at Milan Design Week

Vertical Village in Milan. Image © Gili Merin

, in cooperation with the Belgian furniture label Sixinch, have designed a playful furniture series that imagines an antidote to the sprawled, generic urban growth of East Asia’s mega-cities. Each of the 77 large cushions in “Vertical Village” – currently on display at Milan’s Design Week – take the form of small, densely-packed houses, colorful alternatives to the horizontal, block-like residential buildings that currently dot East Asia’s skylines. From the :

“The Vertical Village – observation of the uncontrolled growth of Asian cities, which has lead to the disappearance of urban villages on a human scale, prompts the designers to develop a livable city model that promotes upward growth: a vertical village composed of small residential nuclei that ensure human relationships and, at the same time, leave room for green areas and gathering places. The installation is composed of 77 large cushions in the form of small houses, all different.”

(more…)

The Pritzker-Profit Connection: Shigeru Ban’s Works Gaining Value in NYC

Image © Karsten Moran for The New York Times

A recent article from The New York Times confirms something we’ve all long-suspected. A Pritzker translates into big bucks. Demand for ’s Manhattan buildings has soared since his awarding of the prize. The New York Times reports that page views of the Metal Shutter Houses, for example, have quadrupled on the listings site Streeteasy.com. Why? The Pritzker name carries weight:

“In this second age of high-flying real estate, brand-name architecture and globe-trotting wealth, the identity of a designer has taken on ever-increasing value to ensure that a project’s multimillion-dollar homes stand out. Anyone can install waterfall showers and Wolf ranges. A Pritzker is harder to come by.”

“Though Mr. Ban’s Pritzker could make it costlier to hire him in the future, some developers find a laureate worth the expense. ‘You can save a lot on plans, because you only have to change 10 percent of the project, instead of 90 percent; the vision is just so complete,’ the developer Aby Rosen said. ‘And you also save a ton on the marketing. People want to write about these Pritzker projects, and an article is way better than an ad.’”

But what does it mean when architecture – particularly the architecture of a socially-conscious designer like Ban – becomes a brand-name item? As Laura Ilonemi writes, “the Pritzker Prize begins to perpetuate an environment that is unhealthy to architecture: too strong a divide is created between winners and non-winners of the same calibre. [...] Sought-after commissions, and other opportunities perhaps better suited to other candidates, may well go to Pritzker Prize winners, helping to reinforce the trend of ‘designer buildings’ in much the same vein as designer label consumer goods and products. ”

As one real estate agent, representing a resident of the Metal Shutter Houses, put it: “It’s like buying an Hermès bag but better.” Is, in the end, the Pritzker nothing more than a branding tool? Should it be more? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

David Chipperfield Architects To Design Nobel Prize’s New Home

David Chipperfield Architects has won the prestigious competition to design Stockholm’s new Nobel Centre in the Blasieholmsudden peninsula. The firm’s proposal – named Nobelhuset - beat out those by Swedish shortlisters Wingårdhs Arkitektkontor and Johan Celsing Arkitektkontor; the three had been selected from 12 high-profile entries (including the likes of BIG, OMA, and SANAA) in November of last year.

The jury unanimously chose Chipperfield’s design for the new headquarters, which will include exhibition spaces, meeting rooms, a library, restaurant, shop and a large auditorium where the annual Nobel Prize award ceremony will take place. Jury chair and Nobel Foundation executive director Lars Heikensten noted: “The jury finds the lightness and openness of the building very appealing and consistent with the Nobel Foundation’s explicit ambition to create an open and welcoming Centre for the general public.”

The Centre is planned to open in 2018. More images of Chipperfield’s winning proposal here.

VIDEO: In Boston, Reclaiming the Craft of Brick

YouTube Preview Image

Our friends at Mecanoo have shared a fascinating mini-documentary exploring the complex brickwork on display in their latest project in Boston’s Dudley Square, the Dudley Municipal Center(nearing completion). Called “Boston Bricks with a Dutch Touch,” this documentary features interviews with everyone involved in the project – from workers to architects – and focuses on the difficulty of using brick in this elaborate manner. Enjoy the video above and check out some fantastic images after the break.

(more…)

Happy Birthday Jørn Utzon

Jørn Utzon in front of the Opera House during , 1965. Image Courtesy of Keystone/Getty Images

Pritzker Prize winning architect Jørn Utzon, who died in 2008 aged 90, was the relatively unknown Dane who, on the 29th January 1957, was announced as the winner of the ‘International competition for a national opera house at Bennelong Point, Sydney’. When speaking about this iconic building, Louis Kahn stated that:

The sun did not know how beautiful its light was, until it was reflected off this building.

Unfortunately, Utzon never saw the Sydney Opera House, his most popular work, completed. Learn of his fascinating story, after the break.

(more…)

Support GA Collaborative’s Earthbag Projects in Rwanda: Building Community Through Creative Construction

Following the success of their first Masoro Village Project house, the non-profit design group GA Collaborative (GAC) has released a video and crowdfunding campaign for their latest prototype in . Like the previous GAC project, the first of its kind in , it too will be built of earthbags, providing the crew further experience with a low-cost and durable technique.

This building, a two-story structure for shared kitchen and toilet facilities, will be constructed this summer by the newly-formed builders’ cooperative Association Icyerekezo (“New Vision”). Donations to the project will help towards additional material tests, equipment rentals, wages for fifty workers and four student interns ($2.00/day/person), site infrastructure, and travel and temporary accommodation for one GAC member. For even more incentive to donate, the designers have paired up with StitchWorks, who are offering a series of bold textiles inspired by African fabric designs to donors.

Learn more in the video above, and support the Masoro Project here (more images after the break).

(more…)

15 Practices Shortlisted for Russian Cultural Center Competition

Project Site

Fifteen of 100 hopeful practices have been chosen to move forward in the second stage of the international “Russian Character” competition. Challenged to design a multi-functional Culture & Education Center for the newly developed Butovo Park residential district, the applicants will now begin to envision their proposals for the new venue. Once complete, the center will provide space for lectures, film screenings, indoor (and outdoor) concerts and master classes, as well as various outdoor sports activities and a museum that will showcase exhibitions on the the area’s history. The 15 shortlisted practices are…

(more…)

Dwell on Design Convention To Showcase Modern Living

Google Glasses DOD LA. Image Courtesy of Media LLC - PST

Dwell on Design, an immersive 3-day design exhibition at the Los Angeles Convention Center from June 20-22, will feature over 400 exhibitors and 90 presentations on ‘new ideas for modern living.’

(more…)

Brooks + Scarpa Design Park-And-Ride Plaza for Seattle Rail Station

© Brooks + Scarpa

Brooks + Scarpa has won a competition to design a new park-and-ride plaza for the future Angle Lake light rail station in . As part of the 1.6-mile South 200th Link Extension, which will connect Angle Lake to the and downtown area by 2016, the $30 million complex will provide the station’s anticipated 5,400 passengers with a pedestrianized plaza, drop-off and retail area, as well as a 1,050-stall parking garage and 35,000 square feet of reserved space for future transit-oriented development.

(more…)

What’s the Reality of Architectural Labor in the US? Take the Survey Now

Courtesy of The Architecture Lobby

The Architecture Lobby has released a seventy-question survey that seeks to gather a broad range of data about architectural work–from firm standards and policies to worker satisfaction–which will provide open-source information about the realities of architectural labor in the US. We will publish the results in the coming months; in the meantime you can aid in the project by taking The Architecture Lobby survey here (open through April).

Canada’s Raymond Moriyama Launches $100k Pritzker Rival

Architect Raymond Moriyama, founder of -based Moriyama and Teshima Architects, has collaborated with the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) to launch an international CAD $100,000 prize open to architects with “outstanding” work or non-architects who have had an “exceptional contribution to architecture.”

With an aim to raise the stature of the RAIC and “inspire all Canadians and Canadian architects to aspire higher,” as Moriyama stated, the biennial Moriyama RAIC International Prize has the potential to rival the Pritzker as one of the world’s largest, and expectantly most “prestigious” cash prizes in architecture. 

However, based on the ideals of “Moriyama’s passion for humanistic architecture that transforms society through an emphasis on values such as social justice, equality and inclusivity,” the Prize is expected to set itself apart from Pritzker’s focus on lifetime achievement.  

(more…)

Buy a Piece of the Royal Academy’s Sensing Spaces Exhibition

Eduardo Souto de Moura’s Square Arch. Image © James Taylor-Foster

London’s Royal Academy of Arts (RA) is selling off parts of their blockbuster architectural exhibition, Sensing Spaces. The Great Architecture Fair will see the seven practices behind the enormous installations select objects and from the exhibition to be repurposed as beautiful, unique items available to buy. In addition to these, the RA are offering members of the public the chance to experience the spaces out-of-hours “to give you your own exclusive moment in the exhibition.” 

Ranging from a top step from Chilean architects Mauricio Pezo and Sofia von Ellrichshausen’s gargantuan installation for £450, to a bag of pebbles (plus certificate) from Li Xiaodong’s Zen Garden for £10, slices of one of the world’s most accessible architecture exhibitions in recent years are up for grabs.

(more…)