Video: Gaetano Pesce on Architecture as Art

In this video from Crane TV, Italian architect and designer talks about his philosophy of art and architecture as an expression of reality. His philosophy raises the question of whether architecture itself should become symbolic of its time and place or express an idea in the way that art often can.  Beyond a symbolic nature, Pesce also suggests that architecture could be humorous or act as an extension of artistic expression. “Architecture is the king or queen of the arts,” he says, summarizing his beliefs.

Last week we brought you another video from Crane TV on Vito Acconci, which explored why the goal of architecture is not always a completed building.  As another architect who blurs the lines between buildings and art, Pesce’s unbuilt projects are an important tool through which he continually seeks new discoveries to prompt further design innovations.

Five Projects Awarded Prizes at the 2014 Media Architecture Biennale

The 2014 Media Architecture Biennale has drawn to a close in Aarhus, Denmark, and with it five projects have been awarded for “outstanding accomplishments in the intersection between architecture and technology.” Representing five different categories (Animated Architecture, Spatial Media Art, Money Architecture, Participatory Architecture, and Trends & Prototypes), these five projects are the ones that most represent the Media Architecture Biennale’s goal to advance the understanding and capabilities of media architecture.

The winners include a power plant with a shimmering chimney tower, an installation that creates “phantoms” with light, an interactive facade, a crowdsourced mapping system for transit in the developing world, and a kinetic “selfie facade.” See videos of all five winners after the break.

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Sam Jacob On The “Post-Digital Phase”

Eco Ruburb, a community hybrid of the rural and the urban (with Hawkins\Brown). Image ©

In an interview with Core77 Sam Jacob, formerly of FAT and now principal at Sam Jacob Studio, has “always pursued an idea of design practice as a combination of criticism, research and speculation that all feed directly into the design studio.” This approach has allowed his ideas to “cross-fertilize, find connections and directions that make the practice stronger, more agile and able to respond intelligently to the problem at hand.” Jacob, who is also a Visiting Professor at Yale and the University of Illinois at Chicago whilst simultaneously director of the Night School at London’s Architectural Association, recently saw one of FAT’s final projects to completion: the curation of the British Pavilion (alongside Dutch architect and academic Wouter Vanstiphout). In the UK, former partner Charles Holland is bringing a collaborative project with artist Grayson Perry to completion in Essex.

Read more and see some of Jacob’s drawings after the break.

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Can Well-Designed Hospitals Shorten Recovery Times?

The Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care, Bath / . Image © Craig Auckland

Comparing Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios’ Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care to a Scandinavian spa, Gizmodo author Lucy Maddox considers the healing potential of well-designed hospitals as she recounts one woman’s postpartum experience following the birth of premature twins. Natural light, calming materials and colors, a thoughtful layout and clever use of technology have all contributed to making patient recoveries in the new center outperform those in the old hospital’s corridors. “Essentially we want the building to be a great big nurse. A really good nurse,” says clinical psychologist Dr Mike Osborn. Read the complete article, here

Qatar Unveils Designs for Third World Cup Stadium

© Doha News

The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy has released images of the third 2022 World Cup Stadium planned for Qatar. Revamping an existing 40-year-old stadium at Gulf Cup in Riyadh, the Khalifa International Stadium will be expanded to accommodate 40,000 spectators and equipped with an “innovative cooling technology” that will allow players to compete at a comfortable 26 degrees Celsius.

Read on after the break for more on the design.

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KPF President Paul Katz Dies at 57

International Commerce Centre / . Image ©

Paul Katz, president and managing principal of Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF), has died at the age of 57. The “mastermind” behind some of the world’s tallest mixed-use buildings, such as the Shanghai World Financial Center and International Commerce Centre in Hong Kong, Katz was praised by colleagues for his attention to detail and ability to foresee a building’s impact on the larger urban scale. “For Paul, it was the entire assemblage, not triumphant individual pieces, that gave the project its urban value,” said KPF design director James von Klemperer, who will succeed Katz as president.

Other notable projects influenced by Katz include Tokyo’s Roppongi Hills, London’s Canary Wharf redevelopment, and the masterplan of ’s Hudson Yards. You can read his complete obituary here on the New York Times.

Skanska and Foster + Partners Collaborate on World’s First 3D Concrete Printing Robot

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Global construction company is teaming up with Foster + Partners and the engineers at Loughborough University (LU) to create the world’s first commercial 3D concrete printing robot. The company has signed an agreement with LU, who has been working on the project since 2007, to partake in an 18-month initiative with a consortium of partners focused on developing a robot capable of printing complex structural components with concrete.

A video about LU’s research on 3D concrete printing and Foster + Partner’s involvement, after the break.

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Thomas Heatherwick Opens Up About His Design For Pier 55

© Pier55, Inc. and Heatherwick Studio

Last week, Thomas Heatherwick unveiled his fairytale-like designs for what will hopefully be New York‘s latest and most ambitious park, Pier 55 (with apologies to the High Line, New York’s last ”next big thing” in the public park arena). Envisaged as an undulating artificial landscape on a cloud of mushroom-like supports, Pier 55 has the internet buzzing. In this interview with FastCo Design, Heatherwick discusses the inspirations behind his latest project, explaining how everything including New York’s street grid, the ruins of Pier 54 and yes, even the city’s other recent global green space phenomenon, have manifested themselves in his latest madcap creation. Read the full article here for more.

Moleskine And Adobe Creative Cloud Join Forces To Smooth Workflows

Courtesy of Moleskine / Adobe

As part of their quest to synchronise our digital and analogue worlds, sketchbook designer Moleskine have joined forces with the Adobe Creative Cloud platform to “simplify workflows” for illustrators, designers and architects. Suggesting that the initial stages of the creative process often occur offline, out of the studio or in transit, the team behind the collaboration note that as a portable, uncomplicated object, the Moleskine notebook “can be used anytime, anywhere and especially on the move. Sketching on paper is immediate, and can even be done on a crowded train.”

Now users with a Creative Cloud subscription, combined with a special Moleskine sketchbook, can capture images of their drawings with the associated app (iOS only). These are then converted into smooth vector files which are automatically synchronised to desktop programs such as Photoshop (as a .jpeg) or Illustrator (as a .svg).

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Jahn Proposes Concert Hall with Musically-Inspired Screen for Beethoven Festspielhaus Competition

Exterior. Image ©

Designing an architectural homage to someone like Ludwig Van Beethoven is no easy feat. Yet that’s exactly what architecture firm Jahn has attempted to do. Their design is a submission for a privately-funded competition being held for Bonn, Germany’s new “Beethoven Festspielhaus.” Chosen from a group of over 50 candidates, Jahn’s project was among ten advanced to the second round of consideration. The proposal, a glass exterior encapsulating a interior, exhibits “Beethoven’s own dual character which is described as both extroverted and introverted,” as described by the firm. Learn more about this inventive design, and the competition, after the break.

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U-R-A Chosen to Redesign Moscow’s Novoperedelkino Subway Station

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More than 300,000 Moscow citizens have chosen U-R-A | United Riga Architects to redesign the Novoperedelkino metro station. Aiming to revive the tradition of unique designs for Moscow metro stations, the winning scheme plans to illuminate the underground station with a series of lighted metal panels perforated with archetypal Moscow motifs.

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Salvaged Stadium: Harvard GSD Student Yaohua Wang’s Proposal for Post-Olympic Adaptation

© Yaohua Wang

Olympic host cities around the world are increasingly facing issues of post-event sustainability, with many stadiums and arenas falling into disuse and dilapidation mere months after the games. The soaring costs associated with constructing Olympic facilities have plagued organizers for decades, resulting in an all-time low number of bids from host cities for the 2022 Winter Olympics, according to the International Olympic Committee. Yaohua Wang is a recent architecture graduate of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a native of China - where facilities constructed for the 2008 Beijing Olympics are slowly being converted to new post-Olympic uses, typified by the transformation of the Watercube into the city’s newest waterpark. Wang’s thesis project, Salvaged Stadium, delves into the afterlife of Olympic facilities, providing a solution for arena reuse with potential for application worldwide.

Find out how Wang re-evaluated the Olympic development problem after the break

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Call for ArchDaily Interns: Spring 2015

 is in need of a select group of awesome, architecture-obsessed interns to join our team for Spring 2015 (January – June)! 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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Artworks by Architects to be Auctioned for Maggie’s Centres

For its annual Charity Christmas , this year London‘s Anise Gallery is planning to raise money for Maggie’s, the cancer care charity which has commissioned high profile buildings from architects such as Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, OMA, Richard Rogers and Snøhetta. The Anise Gallery’s auction features works by both artists and architects, including four architects who have contributed Maggie’s Centres themselves: Ted Cullinan, Chris Wilkinson of Wilkinson Eyre, and Piers Gough of CZWG, responsible for the Newcastle, Oxford, and Nottingham Centres respectively.

Others featured in the auction include architects Alison BrooksPeter Murray, Jack Pringle, Christophe Egret, Rab Bennetts Je Ahn and Stuart Piercy, alongside artists including Ben Johnson, Norman Ackroyd and Jeanette Barnes. Until the auction on December 6th, all the works are on display at the Anise Gallery, however online bidding opens on November 26th here - alternatively, check out a selection of the available lots after the break.

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Is Heatherwick’s Garden Bridge “Nothing But A Wasteful Blight”?

Courtesy of Arup

After a fortnight of highs and lows for Thomas Heatherwick and British celebrity Joanna Lumley’s campaign for a garden bridge stretching across London’s River , Rowan Moore of The Observer has meticulously described the project as “nothing but a wasteful blight.” Although he acknowledges that support for the bridge “has been overwhelming,” he argues that Heatherwick – though an “inventive and talented product designer” – has a past record in large scale design which “raises reasonable doubts about whether his bridge will be everything now promised.”

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JAJA Wins Second Prize for Swedish Housing and Market Hall Hybrid

Mainstreet . Image ©

JAJA Architects has won second prize in an open competition for a combined affordable housing and market hall in the heart of Katrineholm, Sweden. Designed for a site currently occupied by an arcade and bus stop, the hybrid proposal, known as “Torghallen,” focuses on reconnecting two open plazas by devoting the ground floor to the public. 

The jury, which selected JAJA’s design ahead of 135 other proposals, stated: “The clear concept of a light building that touches the ground in few points creates a strong connection and transparency between the surrounding urban spaces.”

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Critical Round-Up: Renzo Piano’s Harvard Art Museums

© Nic Lehoux

With the opening of the Harvard Art Museums a week ago today, Renzo Piano was able to finally complete on a project which, in various guises, has been in progress for seventeen years. The relationship between Piano and Harvard began with a 1997 plan to build a new branch of the Fogg Museum on the Charles River and ended, after objections from locals and then the 2008 recession, in the decision to consolidate the university’s three museums (The Fogg, Busch-Reisinger and Arthur M Sackler Museums) under one roof.

With its long history, restricted space, the listed facade of the original Fogg Museum and the ultimate difficult neighbor in Le Corbusier’s Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, the Harvard Art Museums project was inevitably going to cause a fuss on completion. So how did Piano do? Find out what the critics said after the break.

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Video: Vito Acconci on Why Unbuilt Projects Are as Important as Built Ones

In this video from Crane TV, writer, poet, artist, and architect Vito Acconci discusses why his goal is not always to have his projects realized. Beginning his career with an education in creative writing from the University of Iowa, Acconci expresses his longtime desire as an artist for art to become “part of the world,” explaining that this eventually  him to extend his creativity beyond words and artworks. Architecture was the perfect vehicle for this because, unlike art, it is inescapable: “there isn’t any place you can be where you aren’t in the middle of architecture,” he says.

However, unlike many architects, his projects push beyond the constraints of realistic structures, and he estimates that only 10 percent of Acconci Studio’s proposals are realized. To some architects this would seem like a failure, but to Acconci it means that his creative ideas are unprecedented, perhaps paving the way for what architecture could be in the distant future.