For the 2011 Xi’an International Horticultural Exposition, the Berlin-based landscape architecture office Topotek1 “dug” a hole to the other side of the world. From its edges visitors to this garden in China can peer into a real or imagined world at the end of the tunnel. Whether these are the cows from the pampas of Argentinas, commuters rushing among transit through New York City, the maritime life of Stockholm, and layers of history so audible among the streets of Berlin. These soundtracks pique the imagination of the visitors, transferring them away from China, away from the garden,” and into a far-off place.
This concrete, clover leaf-shaped structure, which was built in 1975, will likely suffer a fate common to many vacant and disused buildings. After approximately four years of vacancy, this Bertrand Goldberg-designed building will likely be demolished when ownership will revert to Northwestern University this year. Although Goldberg’s organic architectural designs – such as this one – were widely influential, none of his major Chicago works are protected by local landmark designation. Prentice Women’s Hospital was considered groundbreaking for its cutting-edge architecture, advanced engineering, and its progressive design approach to organizing medical departments and services. It received international press coverage and an award from Engineering News Record for its innovative tower and open floor-plate layout that eliminated the need for structural support columns. “You will not find the structural solution to Prentice, which is an exterior shell cantilevered off a core, anywhere else in the world” notes Geoffrey Goldberg, an architect and Bertrand Goldberg’s son. “Prentice was the only one in which this was achieved.”
Roll It, a cool experimental house, resulted from the collaboration among different institutes within the University of Karlsruhe. This cyclindrical design is a modular protype that provides flexible space within a minimum housing unit. Three different sections are dedicated to different functional needs: there’s a bed and table in section, an exercise cylinder, and a kitchen with a sink.
More images and more about the prototype after the break. (more…)
DesignByMany is a challenge based design technology community sponsored by HP and ArchDaily. Users post challenges to the community along with their design source files. The community can then post responses with their own source files to solve the challenge. They can also comment on the challenge and interact with other designers throughout the process.
Being that it’s summer time (at least for half of us) they decided to propose a more seasonal challenge. Whether you’re at the beach or in the desert, providing shade is an integral component of basic shelter and comfort. Traditional means of portable shading include umbrellas and beach tents, but they think there is an opportunity for a more contemporary design solution. A rapidly-deployable sun shade can provide quick, inexpensive, and temporary protection.
This challenge is to design a rapidly-deployable shade structure that could just as easily be deployed during a day at the beach or park, or while in a desert environment. More information and details after the break. (more…)
The Kanagawa Institute of Technology Workshop by Junya Ishigami is an elegant rectangular box with with floor-to-ceiling glass, enclosing an interesting interior space with 305 columns of various sizes supporting the stripped roof of skylights. The columns, although seemingly random, are specifically placed to create the sensation of zoned spaces, but their nonrestrictive quality provides a flexible layout to suit the changing needs of students.
Now you can get a better sense of this space by using Google Streetview to navigate the interior, as seen on the above image (just drag it). For a larger view just follow this link.
Via Spoon & Tamago.
The Royal Institute of British Architecture (RIBA) recently released the shortlist for this year’s Stirling Prize, the UK’s most prestigious architecture prize. Presented annually to the architects of the ‘building that has made the greatest contribution to the evolution of architecture in the past year’ this year’s six shortlisted projects range from the most expensive city academy school every built to a 1932 refurbished theater. The winner will be announced in October at the RIBA Stirling Prize dinner, held at the Magna Science and Adventure Centre in Rotherham, winner of the 2001 RIBA Stirling Prize.
Follow the break for the complete shortlist and more details about the RIBA Stirling Prize.
VINCI-FAYAT consortium has been selected as preferred bidder for the ‘Grand Stade de Bordeaux’ which includes designs by Herzog & de Meuron and landscape design by Michel Desvigne. Slated for completion in 2015 the ‘Grand Stade de Bordeaux’ will be located within the city’s existing green belt district. The design provides a natural sense of fluidity, with easy approachability beginning with the multiple staircases at all points of the stadium. Never loosing site of the stadiums location a large focus of the concept incorporates the surrounding environment blending with the building, as reflected in the concave roof which is supported by a series of spindly white columns, appearing like a forest of birch trees. Home field to the FC Girondins de Bordeaux, the ‘Grand Stade de Bordeaux’ will also host a variety of cultural events.
Additional renderings and a video can be found following the break. Be sure to take a look.
The Xi’an Expo 2011 has officially opened and, as expected, the international horticultural event has attracted a staggering 200,000 in just the first weekend! We’ve been covering the Expo beginning with Plasma Studio + GroundLab’s conceptual design, and we have been featuring updates about the project over the course of the last few months. The Expo embodies the idea of transformation as the site was formerly a sandpit where the water was severely degraded during the 1980s. Efforts over the past two decades have restored the ecosystem and now the Expo is able to demonstrate what can be accomplished through the use of the most advanced technology, ideas, and materials. As we reported earlier, the 37 ha complex includes three buildings that are interconnected with a dynamic landscape of unfolding paths and networks of water, circulation and foliage.
More images after the break. (more…)
Writers’ Theatre recently announced the hiring of Studio Gang Architects to design a new home in Glencoe, Illinois. The award-winning Chicago firm (architects of the impressive Aqua Tower) will provide research and development concepts for the theatre’s current site located in downtown Glencoe. A Writers’ Theatre committee comprised of artists, board and staff conducted a thorough search for an architect, including local, national and international firms, for the project.
“After a rigorous process, we found in Jeanne an architect who embraces, understands and celebrates Writers’ Theatre. We look forward to working with Jeanne and her team to develop ideas of what Writers’ Theatre could be. We are confident that working with Studio Gang is the right match for the organization and for our community,” said Artistic Director Michael Halberstam. “Jeanne has a vision of architecture that is derived from her own equivalent of the word and artist: the material and the environment. It is my belief that Studio Gang offers the opportunity for people to arrive encountering a world class piece of architecture and leave having experienced a world class evening of theatre.”
Created in 1988 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Japan Art Association and to honor the late Prince Takamatsu, the Praemium Imperiale awards recognize lifetime achievement in the arts in categories not covered by the Nobel Prizes.
A complete list of the 2011 Praemium Imperiale Laureates can be found after the break.
With over a million people watching Atlantis’ trip to the International Space Station, today marked the 135th and final lift off of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. A monumental occasion or as NASA commentator said, a “sentimental journey into history”, the end of America’s 30-year shuttle program also opens the door to ask, what is next for the future of space travels?
We are sharing with you Foster + Partners design for The New Mexico Spaceport Authority Building, currently under construction and set for 2011 completion. Winning an international competition in 2006 with team members URS Corporation and SMPC Architects, Foster + Partners created a design concept fit for the first private spaceport in the world. A sinuous shape, the building morphs from the landscape creating interior spaces that seek to capture the drama and mystery of space flight itself, articulating the thrill of space travel for the first space tourists.
Renderings and construction photographs following the break.
The Architectural Association and Foster + Partners are pleased to announce the award of the Foster + Partners Prize, which is presented annually to the AA Diploma student whose portfolio best addresses the themes of sustainability and infrastructure. The recipient is selected jointly by the AA and Foster + Partners at the end of each academic year. This year’s prize has been awarded to Aditya Aachi, of Diploma Unit 7, for his project Haiti Simbi Hubs. The project proposes sanitation infrastructure for Haiti and draws on the unprecedented need for cooperation between the Haitian Government and NGOs to combat cholera outbreaks. Read more at Foster + Partners.
Log 22: The Absurd gets serious about the seemingly irrational side of architecture. Guest edited by Michael Meredith of MOS, this special thematic issue identifies the funny, ugly, contradictory, and more fuzzy realms of architecture, disavowing the purported orderliness of disciplinary presumptions to uncloak the implausibility at its core (maybe even its origin) and present new possibilities for experimentation. Sketches, tweets, a book of exorcisms, a comic, and a special DVD are presented alongside critical and provocative essays on hoarding, disaster, failure, and bowlers (as in hats).
Log 22 features: Sylvia Lavin on architecture’s accommodation of hoarding; Jacques Rancière on the conundrums of art and life; and Lucia Allais on Superstudio’s “Salvages of Italian Historic Centers,” a 1974 project presented here for the first time in English. Also in the issue: Mark Jarzombek on Bruno Taut’s attack of seriousness; David Foster Wallace on Kafka’s funniness; Amanda Reeser Lawrence on the self-influence of James Stirling; Caroline O’Donnell on Karl Rosenkranz’s aesthetic of ugliness; and K. Michael Hays and Marrikka Trotter on fictions in recent architecture.
Plus: a comic by Jimenez Lai; a spectrum of social orderliness by Jeffrey Kipnis; an overlooked Donald Judd project; machines by François Roche; tweets from the Bauhaus; a DVD by MOS; and much more. Please visit www.anycorp.com for further information and a complete list of contributors.
The 2011 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion by Pritzker laureate Peter Zumthor was unveiled today. A design that ‘aims to help its audience take the time to relax, to observe and then, perhaps, start to talk again – maybe not’, the materials are significant in aiding the design which emphasizes the role the senses and emotions play in our experience of architecture.
Zumthor added that ‘the concept for this year’s Pavilion is the hortus conclusus, a contemplative room, a garden within a garden. The planted garden enclosed by this dark structure was conceived by the influential Dutch designer Piet Oudolf.
The building acts as a stage, a backdrop for the interior garden of flowers and light. Through blackness and shadow one enters the building from the lawn and begins the transition into the central garden, a place abstracted from the world of noise and traffic and the smells of London – an interior space within which to sit, to walk, to observe the flowers. This experience will be intense and memorable, as will the materials themselves – full of memory and time.’
More info after the break:
The Academy of Art University, the nation’s largest private accredited art and design university, continues to grow their Landscape Architecture program. Earlier this year the University announced the addition of the School of Landscape Architecture with an accredited Associate’s (AA) and Bachelor’s (BFA) degree programs as well as continuing art education courses. Now the Academy of Art will additionally launch both a 3-year and 4-year MFA degree program. For more information about the new MFA program click here.
The New York City Design Commission held the 29th Annual Awards for Excellence in Design earlier this week at the recently renovated Museum of the Moving Image. Eleven public projects received this honor of distinction, which range from an animal shelter and a salt shed to a children’s museum and a library. Selected by an 11 member jury from hundreds of submissions the recipients ‘exemplify the highest standard of design’. A complete list of winners can be found following the break.
“You’re not going to find any of Ai Weiwei’s work being shown in Beijing”, said each Beijing gallery representative. That’s because the artist and agent provocateur has been detained for 80 days now was released today, from what the government is saying was based on “economic charges”. The name “Ai Weiwei” has joined a long list of sensitive words in this country, and associating yourself with the artist has become tantamount to asking for trouble. Just ask the Chinese curator who was questioned by authorities after putting Ai Weiwei’s name under a blank wall in Beijing’s Incident Art Festival.
While Beijing’s lively art scene might currently be scrubbed clean of Ai Weiwei’s work, there’s one thing that’s a little difficult to “harmonize” away, as it’s known here. In 1999, Ai Weiwei began moving into the world of architecture, establishing his own architecture studio called FAKE design four years later. So Ai Weiwei’s artistic vision continues to stand in the form of buildings across the nation’s capital. The most concentrated of these is the artist district of Caochangdi, a few kilometres north of the more commercial art district called 798. It’s also the location of the artist’s studio and where he headed straight to after his release.
More after the break. (more…)
Check out this crazy project we found headed by Armin Blasbichler with 21 students from the School of Design and Crafts at the University of Innsbruck. The task challenged the students (known as Blasbichlers Twentyone) to analyze a local bank and exploit the bank’s weaknesses by planning a robbery. According to Blasbichler, planning this robbery builds upon key aspects of an architectural mind such as the ability to constantly re-imagine and re-think. In a broader scope, the project questions the value of this kind of immaterial architecture to see whether “architecture itself [is] of any monetary value.”
Back in February we shared with you that part of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address focused on highlighting future plans for making American businesses more energy efficient. The Better Buildings Initiative (BBI) that the President proposed would invest in innovative clean energy technologies, aiming to increase energy efficiency in commercial by 20 percent in the next ten years.
The recently released analysis from the USGBC along with their partners Real Estate Roundtable and the Natural Resources Defence Council concluded that indeed President Obama’s BBI will create over 114,000 jobs. 77,ooo of these new jobs would be a direct result from a tax incentive encouraging building retrofits. The analysis also concluded that there would be the potential for business to save $1.4 billion dollars in energy bills due to the retrofit projects that are spurred by the tax incentive.
For the full report of the analysis from released by the USGBC click here.
Honk Kong – Shenzhen Boundary Crossing Point and Passenger Terminal Competition: Vote for your favorite!
In September 2008, HKSARG and SMPG jointly announced the implementation of a new BCP at Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai in the north-eastern New Territories of Hong Kong and Luohu in Shenzhen to serve the cross-boundary goods vehicles and passengers travelling between Hong Kong (HK) and Shenzhen (SZ) East. The new BCP will connect with the Shenzhen Eastern Corridor and provide an efficient access across the boundary to the SZ East, Huizhou, various cities in Guangdong East, and the adjacent provinces such as Fujian and Jiangxi.
The Competition was launched and started registration since 21 December 2010, and the submission of entries was closed on 21 March 2011. A total of 159 valid entries from various countries and regions were received, comprising 86 Professional Group entries and 73 Open Group entries. To invite the public to express their preference among the finalist entries, the finalist entries are exhibited in the roving exhibition in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, and are displayed in the competition website from 1 June to 5 July 2011.
The Jury in the 2nd adjudication will consider the public opinion when selecting the awarded entries. Click here and vote for your favorite!