12 Projects Win Regional Holcim Awards 2014 for Latin America

GOLD: Articulated Site: Water reservoirs as public park (Medellin, Colombia) . Image Courtesy of the Holcim Foundation

Teams from Mexico and Colombia have received top honors in the 2014 regional Holcim Awards for Latin America, an award which recognizes the most innovative and advanced sustainable construction designs. Among the top three winner is a Colombian water reservoir turned public park and low-impact timber rainforest center in Costa Rica.

The 12 recognized projects share over $300,000 in prize money, with the top three projects overall going on to be considered for the global Holcim Awards awards, to be selected in 2015.

The full list of Latin American winners, after the break…

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The High Line’s Final Chapter is Complete; But Don’t Close the Book Just Yet

View looking west along one of the Rail Track Walks. Image © Iwan Baan, 2014 (Section 3)

With the opening of the final section of New York’s High Line last month, the city can finally take stock on an urban transformation that took a decade and a half from idea to reality - and which in the five years since the first section opened has become one of the great phenomena of 21st century urban planning, inspiring copycat proposals in around the globe. In this article, originally published by Metropolis Magazine as “The High Line’s Last Section Plays Up Its Rugged Past,” Anthony Paletta reviews the new final piece to the puzzle, and examines what this landmark project has meant for Manhattan’s West Side.

The promise of any urban railroad, however dark or congested its start, is the eventual release onto the open frontier, the prospect that those buried tracks could, in time, take you anywhere. For those of us whose only timetable is our walking pace, this is the experience of the newly opened, final phase of the High Line. The park, after snaking in its two initial stages through some 20 dense blocks of Manhattan, widens into a broad promenade that terminates in an epic vista of the Hudson. It’s a grand coda and a satisfying finish to one of the most ambitious park designs in recent memory.

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Emerging Voices: David Benjamin of The Living

In his lecture as one of winners of the Architectural League’s annual Emerging Voices awards, David Benjamin discusses his unique approach to environmental and computational design and how it manifests itself in the work of The Living, a firm he founded in 2006.

Throughout the lecture Benjamin discusses projects that are fundamentally linked to the natural environment and ideas related to sustainability. To introduce how the firm generates new ideas, Benjamin describes a method of experimentation developed in their practice called flash research: beginning with the idea that architecture could be dynamic and responsive, these are prototypes that operate under self-created constraints such as a budget of $1000 or less and a required time span of three months or less.

Read on after the break for further synopsis of the lecture.

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Video: Three Writers On Olafur Eliasson’s Riverbed

In this video from the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art‘s Lousiana Channel, three acclaimed writers – Sjón, James McBride and Daniel Kehlmann – talk about their experience of Olafur Eliasson’s Indoor Riverbed at the Danish museum. Sjón describes how he felt when he saw 180 tons of rock from his home country of Iceland filling the room, saying “It was like a moment in a dream, when you enter a room and something is not right, but familiar.”

The writers reflect on the role of art itself, as Sjón states ”If art is to give answers at all, it should be confusing answers.” Watch the full video to learn more about how the impacts its viewers and successfully blurs the lines between art and nature.

World Building of the Year: The Chapel / A21 studio

Courtesy of a21 studio

The 2014 World Architecture Festival () has culminated with A21 studio’s The Chapel  being named the Building of the Year. Each winner of the categories from day 1 and day 2 had the opportunity to present their projects in front of WAF’s ‘super-jury’, comprised of Richard RogersRocco YimJulie EizenbergEnric Ruiz Geli and Peter Rich. Following all of the presentations, the jury selected the Building of the Year.  The winners of the Small Project of the Year, Landscape of the Year and Future Project of the Year were also announced today, in addition to two new prizes: The Colour Prize (sponsored by AkzoNobel) and the Wood Excellence Prize (sponsored by American Hardwood Export Council).

Read on after the break for more information on the winning projects…

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AR Issues: Redefining Modulor Man for a New Era of Inclusivity

Courtesy of The Architectural Review

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this post, we take a look at AR’s September 2014 issue, which includes an examination of the sometimes difficult relationship between architecture and disability. Here, AR Editor Catherine Slessor argues that we should adapt our understanding of ’s Modulor Man to be more inclusive, asking “What happens when disability is not seen as a problem for architecture to solve, but as a potential generative impetus?”

From Vitruvius to Le Corbusier, the mathematical proportions of the human form have historically been used to shape and define architecture. Man is, essentially, the ultimate measure of all things. The famous Modulor Man was originally based on the height of the average Frenchman (1.75 metres, or 5 feet 9 inches) but was later increased to a more strapping 1.83 metres (6 feet) because of Corb’s penchant for English detective novels in which (literally) upstanding characters such as policemen, were always 6 feet tall.

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Reinier de Graaf: Mayors Should Not Rule The World

London City Hall, centre of operations for Mayor Boris Johnson. Image © Flickr CC User alh1

This weekend, the first planning session of the Global Parliament of Mayors took place in Amsterdam: a platform for from across the world, triggered by Benjamin Barber’s book: If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities.

In this book the current political system and its leaders is dismissed as dysfunctional. Defined by borders and with an inevitable focus on national interests, they are not an effective vehicle to govern a world defined by interdependence. Mayors, presiding over with their more open, networked structure and cosmopolitan demographics, so the book argues, could do it better.

It is of no surprise that this book has been welcomed by the same political class as the one it praises: mayors. As was apparent during the first planning session of the GPM: a conference about mayors, for mayors, attended by mayors, moderated by mayors and hosted by a mayor, all triggered by a book about mayors.

I recognize many of the book’s observations. Many mayors are impressive figures and time appears to be on their side. Nation states (particularly the large ones) have an increasingly hard time and, in the context of a process of globalization, cities, and particularly small city-states, increasingly emerge victorious. Cities have first-hand experience with many of the things that occur in globalization’s wake, such as immigration and cultural and religious diversity, and are generally less dogmatic and more practical in dealing with them.

So far so good.

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World Architecture Festival Announces Day 1 Winners

The 2014 World Architecture Festival (WAF) officially kicked off in Singapore today, and the first group of award winners were unveiled, with Vo Trong Nghia Architects and AECOM among the 16 announced winners.

The winners of the remaining 11 categories will be announced tomorrow, and the festival will culminate on Friday with the World Building of the Year and Future Project of the Year , which will be selected by the festival’s ‘super-jury’: Richard RogersRocco YimJulie EizenbergEnric Ruiz Geli and Peter Rich.

The winners of day 1 were selected from a shortlist that included practices from over 50 countries, and among the judges was ArchDaily’s very own David Basulto.

This year’s festival is taking place from October 1-3, featuring three days of talks, key-note speakers and networking opportunities.  With “Architects and the City” as the overarching theme for this year’s main conference sessions, the festival will focus on the contributions architects can make to cities and how they affect – and are affected by – , infrastructure, planning communities and technology.

Click here to view the full shortlist and read on after the break for the full list of WAF’s day 1 winners.

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David Chipperfield’s “Sticks and Stones” Toys with Van Der Rohe’s Bones in Berlin

© Gili Merin

In Berlin, Mies van der Rohe’s Neue Nationalgalerie has begun a new phase today with the opening of David Chipperfield’s intervention, a prologue to the imminent restoration which the famed British architect is about to undertake. Completed in 1968, the gallery was Mies’ last project and his final masterpiece; for nearly fifty years, nobody dared to touch it – until now. Marking this event is a large, site-specific , created by Chipperfield as an attempt to engage Mies in a spatial experiment (or perhaps a last, apologetic tribute to the 20th century master) moments before he is about to embark on a mission which will, inevitably, transform Mies’ ultimate legacy.

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First Look: MVRDV Completes Largest Covered Market in the Netherlands

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Rotterdam’s very own, MVRDV has completed the Netherlands’ first covered market: the Markthal Rotterdam. Unlike any other market in the world, the Markthal presents a new urban hybrid that unites a market hall with housing.

Within the hollow core of the 228-unit, “horseshoe-shaped” residential building is an expansive, 40-meter-tall public market, offering 96 fresh food stalls, 8 restaurants and supermarket. Colorful murals cover the arch’s vaulted interior, peering through the largest single glazed cable net facades in Europe, which enclose the market.

This sense of transparency and openness was key, as the Markthal is the driving force to the rejuvenation of the Laurenskwartier area and hopes to attract thousands of visitors each year.

A look inside, after the break.

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“Briefly”: a Documentary About Design’s Least Significant Piece of Paper

When we evaluate the work of architects and other designers, we often treat it as if the design was created in a vacuum. It’s easy to forget that the vast majority of designs emerge from a collaboration between the designer and their client, and when it comes to the design’s success the input of the client can often be as important as the work of the designer. This creative relationship can be a difficult one to navigate, yet it is usually held together by a single document: the brief.

Released today, this half-hour  by director Tom Bassett entitled Briefly takes a long hard look at the brief, with architects Frank Gehry and David Rockwell, industrial designer Yves Béhar, illustrator and author Maira Kalman, marketing executive John C Jay and creative executive John Boiler all pitching in their experience with creative briefs, and recounting stories where, for better or for worse, the brief had a major effect on their work.

More on the documentary after the break

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MASS Design Group’s Latest Video: Design That Heals

In their sixth Beyond the Building video, “Design That Heals,” MASS Design Group explores how architects can improve the lives and health of people everywhere. The video reveals how the work of MASS operates on various scales from everything to designing better furniture to influencing national policies. Their approach to humanitarian architecture begins by empowering the local community to take ownership of new projects, and in turn, bring about significant improvements in the quality of life in places that have previously been overlooked.

For example, talking about MASS Design Group‘s Butaro Hospital, Rwanda‘s Minister for Health Dr. Agnes Binagwaho says: “There’s this idea of equity to put a hospital, state of the art, in the middle of nowhere. It was not nowhere for everybody, because there are 300,000 people living there.” Watch the video above and get involved in the conversation on how architecture can go #beyondthebuilding.

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Interactive Infographic: How Much do Architecture Graduates Earn?

The median total lifetime earnings of architecture graduates (highlighted red) compared to all other majors (excluding with graduate degrees). Image Courtesy of the Hamilton Project at The Brookings Institution

Using information collected from the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the Hamilton Project at The Brookings Institution has created a set of interactive infographics comparing the lifetime earning potential of graduates of 80 majors. With so much debate over the earning potential of architects, the tool provides us with an invaluable insight into the long-range outlook for members of our profession, charting the both the total lifetime earnings of architects and their average earnings per year over a 42-year career.

Read on after the break for analysis of what the  tell us

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How Three Colleges Brought Modernist Design to the US

Entries to the Chicago Trinbune Competition, such as this one by Gropius and Meyer, may have sparked debate about in the US, but lost to a more traditional design. However, a decade and a half later, for three colleges revived the debate. Image via thecharnelhouse.org

Though modernism was developed in the 1920s, and was popular among many architects by the time the 1930s arrived, in many places it took years for the style to gain favor among clients. In the USA, people often point to the 1922 Chicago Tribune Tower Competition as a turning point, the winning entry was actually a neo-gothic design. In this article, which originally appeared on Curbed, Marni Epstein looks at another potential turning point: three high-profile competitions in the late 1930s where modernist designs were (sometimes controversially) successful.

The Great Depression of the 1930s hit everyone, and hard—even architects and draftsmen found themselves out of work as development and construction dried up amid vanishing capital. They found a partial solution in the Historic American Buildings Survey and Historic American Engineering Record, two programs of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration that involved surveying and cataloging the country’s existing infrastructure. These programs, however, were a long way from the prestige, creativity, and financial rewards that came with new architectural commissions. The work available was limited, and what work existed was focused on the architecture of the past, not designs for the future.

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AD Interviews: Peter Cook / CRAB Studio

Having taught architecture for almost fifty years, Sir Peter Cook has seen generations of architects go from student to high-profile practitioner. In almost half a century, though, architecture education has not particularly moved on: “I don’t see the general situation as being any more progressive than it was when I was a student,” he says.

Cook tells ArchDaily that instead of focusing on curriculum, structure and countless other preoccupations of many schools, “my experience is that doesn’t matter, it depends who’s teaching and how enthusiastic they are and whether they understand people,” adding that “a really good architecture school is like a village,” with tutors who simply don’t go home because they are enjoying it so much (or perhaps for other, less innocent reasons).

In addition, Cook also explains that there is potential for a radical shift in the understanding of , so that we think of it not only as a route into an architectural career, but rather as a route into a whole host of other jobs. ”I know people who have science degrees but they actually organize railways,” he says. “There’s a role for a wing of architectural education at a certain point to take off and say, ‘that person is never going to design buildings, but a certain form of architectural education can enable them to look at the world in more depth.’”

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Travel Diary: Álvaro Siza and Carlos Castanheira by Fernando Guerra

About one month ago, three major figures in Portuguese architecture – Pritzker Laureate Álvaro Siza, architect Carlos Castanheira and one of today’s most prominent architectural photographers, Fernando Guerra -  began an uncommon adventure.

During 22 days the architects traveled through many Asian countries inaugurating buildings, visiting new projects and meeting other architects like Pritzker Laureate Whang Shu. At the end of their trip, the trio visited the “Shadow of light – a portrait of Álvaro Siza” exhibition opening and vernissage, in Macau, realized by .

We were able to follow this intimate journey through the images taken by Guerra and published every day in his Instagram – a careful, spontaneous and delicate photographic narrative that shows a little bit of what were these weeks with Siza and Castanheira were like. Back in Portugal, Fernando Guerra published an interesting report on those last weeks and generously shared with us both his writings and his beautiful pictures.

Read the text and enjoy Guerra’s photographs after the break.

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AR Issues: The Secret Lives of Buildings Beyond the Lure of Awards

Courtesy of

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this post, we take a look at AR’s August 2014 issue, which examines the tension between the often idealised world of the architecture media and the messy complexity of real-world buildings. Here, AR Editor Catherine Slessor meditates on “the uneasy relationship between reductivist beauty contests and architecture’s nuanced narratives and complexities.”

The recent announcement of the RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist has stoked up the usual feverish debate about what constitutes ‘good’ architecture and what should or shouldn’t win. But an scheme that can pit the Shard against the Everyman Theatre, thus perilously straddling an engorged spectrum of style, scale, client, context, user and urban contribution, is a fundamentally impossible proposition when you get down to it. One former editor of The Architects’ Journal despairingly remarked that judging the Stirling was like trying to compare a cookery book with a slim volume of poetry. Apart from both being printed on paper, they have nothing else in common. So do you plump for cookery or poetry?

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New BIG-Designed Neighborhood to Activate Aarhus’ Waterfront

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BIG has unveiled plans for Bassin 7 (BSN7), a new civic-minded, mixed-use neighborhood in ’s second largest city. The phased development will “breathe life into the harbor front,” placing importance on the public realm by organizing the site’s seven residential buildings with a series of recreational and cultural activities, including a beach zone, swimming pools, theater and cafe, along a public promenade.

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