The prestigious recognition of France’s Legion of Honour, was recently bestowed upon MVRDV’s Winy Maas. A French order established by Napoleon Bonaparte, on 19 May 1802, it is the highest decoration in France and was given to Mass by French Ambassador to the Netherlands Mr. Jean-François Blarel.
MVRDV has become active in France, currently part of a think tank – Atelier du Grand Paris (concerned with the future planning of Greater Paris) and a number of architecture projects throughout France including: the refurbishment of a Dijon Mustard laboratory into a call centre and incubator, Le Monolithe in Lyon, they are also working on Caen’s port refurbishment, and the Pushed Slab energy efficient office building.
About an hour car ride outside of Madrid, Spain, is a tiny rural village that just a few years ago had high hopes for an abundant housing market. Yebes is now an example of the economic crisis that has affected the growth of cities. With an excess of 250 row houses, of which only 50 are settled, bad debt has caused these new homes to fall into disrepair with concrete chipping off the buildings, stolen piping, radiators and doors and ghostly empty streets.
Read on for more information after the break. (more…)
Arup, the engineering firm behind dozens of architectural masterpieces [check out our coverage of ARUP here], has opened three new architecture offices, officially known as Arup Associates. Stretching to Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzehen, the overseas expansion marks the first of its kind for the 65 year old practice. These offices will employ about 15 architects and 12 engineers. While Arup’s London office has faced declined in the recent years, the Chinese offices are already thriving with the design of a campus for Nokia and an insurance building for Ding He in Shenzhen. Declan O’Carroll, Arup’s head of global architecture, told the British publication Building Design, “The traditional model of the Western international practice has been to have a shop window in developing countries but with the work executed back at home. We are looking at a much more fluid, unorthodox model.”
Looking back at the Easter Pilgrimage 2011 at Ruta del Peregrino, the most important event of the year, we are pleased to announce the final step of the second construction phase (you can check the complete project over here).
This year, for the first time, the pilgrims were able to use the finished viewpoint by HHF Architects, offering a new way to experience the site.
All images by Iwan Baan and you can check his website for the full coverage.
We received this tragic news from reader, Johan Nordstedt, concerning Stockholm’s School of Architecture at the Royal Institute of Technology. Early Wednesday morning, the roof of the lecture hall situated on Östermalmsgatan quickly filled with smoke. From 7.10 in the morning until 7.30 in the evening, fire fighters worked to contain the flames and prevent the building from collapse. More than 80 fire fighters were on call to put out the flames, yet due to the building’s old construction, the fire spread quickly.
The Architecture School, which measures approximately 600 students and 130 staff members, was evacuated from the affected buildings. “I am very pleased that no students or staff were hurt in the fire. We will now do our utmost to minimise the effect on the school’s activity,” the principal Peter Gudmundson said in a statement on Thursday. Meetings have been held to discuss how to proceed if a student’s work was lost in the fire. “That we have to discuss, there are a few months remaining. But we follow all the examination work and the events of today have to be taken into account. Our goal is that students should not be affected,” explained Leif Brodersen. Luckily, the university has reported that all servers are functional and all data has been backed up.
The fire damaged the lower part of the building and the upper stories have suffered damaged due to smoke and, to some extent, water. KTH has not yet been allowed access into the building, so there is no information regarding interior damage. The building has been voted as one of Stockholm’s ugliest buildings, so it will be interesting to see how the public reacts if it must be torn down with a new building taking its place. “If the building is heavily damaged the chances are it will be removed completely and the discussion is bound to crop up as it always makes the top of the list of Stockholm’s most hated buildings,” Martin Rörby of the Council for the Protection of Stockholm’s Beauty.
We are relieved no one was injured in the fire and wish the students luck with finishing their semesters.
Get your architecturally inclined taste buds ready for this! Coolhaus – a creative gourmet ice cream sandwich line served from a vintage mail truck – is currently roaming the streets of Manhattan. After beginning in LA and moving to Austin, the truck is now on the East Coast satisfying architecture lovers with their delicious all-natural creations such as the Mies Vanilla Rohe (Vanilla ice cream + Chocolate Chip Cookie) and the Frank Berry (Strawberry ice cream + Snickerdoodle cookie). The brain child of two women who share a love of architecture and of course, ice cream, this funky business is a triple entendre and a play on three factors: the Bauhaus as an influential modernist design movement of the 1920′s and 30′s, Rem Koolhaas who challenged the mantra “Form follows function”, and “Cool house” – an ice cream sandwich deconstructed into a cookie roof and floor slab with ice cream walls.
The AIA New Orleans welcomed a record number of entries for the 2011 Design Awards, 100 Years of Excellence in Design. The categories included Interior Architecture, Master Planning, Divine Detail, Project, Architecture, Adaptive Reuse, and Juror Favorite. A complete list of the 2011 AIA New Orleans Design Awards and jurors comments following the break.
The AIA New Orleans chapter will offer three volunteer outreach opportunities for the upcoming 2011 AIA National Convention attendees and supporters. Convention-goers and the interested public can volunteer prior to and after the Convention, which is scheduled for May 12th – 14th. The three organizations include Hand On New Orleans, the Preservation Resource Center’s Rebuilding Together New Orleans program, and New Orleans Operation Helping Hands. If you are interested in volunteering more information can be found here.
As you may know, an earthquake has destroyed most of the Christchurch City Centre and many of the surrounding suburbs. We want to rebuild with a plan for a sustainable future but we need help getting there. Put simply: We need advice, experience, know-how, and designs on the best ways to implement sustainable change. We have the energy of the people and support of the government with $15 billion earmarked for the rebuild. But we lack visions for how a sustainable city will look and function. We know solutions exist and invite the contributions and experience of designers from around the world. A socially, economically and environmentally sustainable city is not beyond our capacity. Can you help us get there?
It is my hope that collaborations between local and global communities will have the power to enact change. We are using Reddit as our central meeting place. Reddit is an online community that has gained notoriety for its ability to solve real-world problems. Can our local community and the reddit community work together to design solutions? Can we tap the greater global wisdom to address our community’s needs? Specifically we are asking for proposals. These can be submitted to our page on reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/projectChristchurch/ or emailed directly to (projectChristchruch@gmail.com).
Green roofs, artificial mountains and geological forms; buildings you can walk on or over; networks of ramps and warped surfaces; buildings that carve into the ground or landscapes lifted high into the air: all these are commonplace in architecture today. New technologies, new design techniques and a demand for enhanced environmental performance have provoked a re-consideration of architecture’s traditional relationship to the ground. Some of today’s most innovative buildings no longer occupy a given site but instead, construct the site itself.
The book Landform Building sets out to examine the many manifestations of landscape and ecology in contemporary architectural practice: not as a cross-disciplinary phenomenon (architects working in the landscape) but as a study of the new design techniques, formal strategies, and technical problems that are emerging in the discipline.
Stan Allen will present his new book Landform Building along with the participation of Iñaki Ábalos, Michael Jakob, Josep Lluís Mateo, and Lars Müller, on Saturday April 30th at 12:30 pm in the Auditorium of La Pedrera. The event, organized by the Barcelona Institute of Architecture – BIArch, offers a unique opportunity for participants to analyze and discuss the relationship between landscape and architecture.
The San Francisco chapter of the American Institute of Architects, announced the winners of the 2011 AIA San Francisco Design Awards program.
At the gala, winners were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the built environment in the categories of Energy + Sustainability, Excellence in Architecture, Historic Preservation and Innovation in Rehabilitation, Integrated Practice, Special Achievement, Unbuilt Design, and Urban Design in the Bay Area. Each of these award categories was divided into three subcategories-Honor, Merit, and Citation.
All the winners, after the break.
Check out this charming twist we spotted on childhood classics such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears and The Three Little Pigs. This new take, by Steven Guarnaccia, modifies the beloved tales into a new architecture-infused storyline complete with new protagonists [Philip Johnson, Frank Gehry and Frank Lloyd Wrighth] and the Big Bad Wolf “huffing and puffing” to blow down Fallingwater. We enjoyed the humorous graphics and hope you do too! Guarnaccia is the chair of the illustration department at Parsons the New School for Design in New York City.
More graphics after the break. (more…)
Construction is underway for the sustainable landmark CITIC Bank headquarters tower. Foster + Partners design for the 100 meter high skyscraper in Hangzhou, China intends to establish and iconic presence for the Bank in a prominent location within the new central business district situated adjacent to the Qian Jiang River.
Resonating with elements of traditional Chinese culture, the tower’s form draws inspiration from the shape of the ancient ‘dou’ or ‘ding’ vessel, a traditional symbol of wealth, dignity and stability. The facade of the diagonally-braced structure pulls inwards near the base to form a symmetrical V-shape across the south-facing elevation. Wrapped in a diagrid lattice, the floor plates widen as the tower rises expanding to provide panoramic views of the river and the surrounding public plaza.
A while ago, we had the chance of interviewing Richard Meier. During the interview, Meier told us about the importance of white in architecture. Now, we want to know your opinion. For you, what is the importance of white in contemporary architecture? Leave us your answer in the comments below, and among all the registered users who comment we will give away three signed copies of the book by Richard Meier and Associate Partner – Reynolds Logan.
Become a registered user right here, share with us your comment and next Wednesday, May4 we’ll announce the three winners! You can see more photos by and a short review of “Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona” after the break.
Richard Meier’s importance of white:
Revealed earlier this month in Milan, Sawaya & Moroni‘s New Collection 2011 includes pieces from high profile architects Daniel Libeskind, Zaha Hadid, and Dominique Perrault. William Sawaya and Paolo Moroni, founding partners of Sawaya & Moroni, focus the production of their furniture on contemporary designs intertwined with differing cultural backgrounds, resulting in unique pieces and a selective group of architects and artists.
Ben van Berkel of UNStudio also presented new furniture this month in Milan.
More about the chairs after the break.
MONU – magazine on urbanism is a unique bi-annual international forum for artists, writers and designers that are working on topics of urban culture, development and politics.
Each issue collects essays, projects and photographs from contributors from all over the world to a given topic. Thus MONU examines topics that are important to the future of our cities and urban regions from a variety of perspectives.
They have just released their latest issue on the topic of “Editing Urbanism”. You can see more about the articles on their official website. Also, you can browse the entire issue #14 on YouTube (video after the break). (more…)
Heliotrope Architects’ North Beach Residence, a new home located on Orcas Island’s North shore, has received a 2011 AIA National Housing Award. Featured previously on ArchDaily, the North Beach Residence is situated among the trees directly between the beach and the meadow, with walls of glass opening out to both. While actual shelter is provided, the experience is of nearly complete openness to the environment, with a minimized structure meant to disappear from view.
The jury commented that, “Its sensitivity to the site is paramount: its orientation, the lightness with which it sits on the site, the compact nature of project, and its artful reference to vernacular typologies.”
The AIA’s Housing Awards Program was established to recognize the best in housing design and promote the importance of good housing as a necessity of life, a sanctuary for the human spirit and a valuable national resource.
Romanian Lighting Convention 2011 is a cultural, scientific, but mostly social meeting of architecture, design and lighting specialists in South Eastern Europe. It was created as a privileged communication area for those who regard light as a source of inspiration and who use light to emphasize and place value on the public space.
Recipient of the Pritzker Prize 2006 – Paulo Mendes da Rocha, the “nonconformist” architect-designer Gaetano Pesce and the most awarded Canadian-Romanian architect, Dan Sergiu Hanganu, are arriving in Bucharest for the 19-20th May event which is going to approach lighting in all its forms of manifestation – architectural, urban, daylight, road, office etc.
Romanian Lighting Convention 2011 comprises several events within its structure, tailored both for the experienced professionals and the new faces in this field: 3 conferences, 3 contests, one of which dedicated to students – LED DESIGN Contest, and 3 exhibitions (flagship products, LED luminaires, contests’ award winning papers).
At 82 Frank Gehry shows no sign of slowing down. Working on 20 projects at any given time, the Pritzker Prize winning architect’s latest completed work New York by Gehry had its formal opening just last month. In this interview Gehry shares how he was inspired by ice hokey, that Gian Lorenzo Bernini is one of his greatest influences, and what he has always wanted to design.
More following the break.
Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects are continuing to move forward assisting those who have been displaced following the Japan earthquake and tsunami. The Ex-Container Project, which we featured just last week, is one affordable design solution offering easy transport and installation without compromising quality.
Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects are providing daily updates, via their Twitter account, about the reconstruction progress in the disaster areas.
Further details about the project and how you can offer support can be found here.
The RAIC Awards of Excellence recognize distinction in the field of architecture. Awarded categories include Green Buildings and Innovation in Architecture as well as the Architectural Firm Award which was given to Montgomery Sisam Architects. Members of the jury included: Peter Busby, Teresa Coady, Stephen Pope for Green Buildings and Enzo Gardin, Dan Hanganu, Gregory Henriquez for Innovation in Architecture.
Recipients and Honorable Mentions for 2011 RAIC Awards of Excellence following the break.