Jarmund / Vigsnæs Architects was the first Nordic practice we featured on ArchDaily after seeing their impressive Svalvard Center, a sharp copper-cladded volume that slowly ages and blends into the landscape.
Since then we have seen many more strong projects of different scales from the Norwegian firm. The firm was established in 1996 by Einar Jarmund and Håkon Vigsnæs, with Alessandra Kosberg who joined as a partner in 2004.
JVA’s projects range from small cabins in the woods and interiors, to large scale hospitality projects and urban plans. The firm has developed expertise in designing for the Nordic weather as well as creating connections between the buildings and the distinctive Nordic landscape. With the above as their focus, the practice constantly explores how to innovate through the use and experimentation of materials.
JVA projects at ArchDaily:
Pedro Gadanho is a Portuguese architect, curator, teacher and writer, appointed as the Curator for Contemporary Architecture at the MoMA in January last year.
Pedro is a prolific writer, who uses a blog as a laboratory for his ideas about architecture and urbanism (sharing his views on the current states of cities and how architecture can transform them), and will surely have an impact on what the Department of Architecture of the Museum focuses on in the future.
During this past year Pedro has been involved in the YAP (Young Architects Program), a platform to discover young architects and foster new ideas through installations at the MoMA PS1 (Queens, NY), the MAXXXI Museum (Rome, Italy), the Istanbul Modern Museum (Istanbul, Turkey) and with CONSTRUCTO (Santiago, Chile).
He also curated the exhibit “9 + 1 Ways of Being Political: 50 Years of Political Stances in Architecture and Urban Design” (open until Jun 9th, 2013; Architecture and Design Galleries, third floor), where his views of city and architecture come together in the form of a selection of fresh ideas and examples of architects who actively shaped our cities. The opening of the exhibit included the architectural performance “IKEA Disobedients” by Andres Jaque.
Pedro was also a jury for the 2013 Mies van der Rohe award.
In today’s world, where we have access to everything at the the tip of our fingers, the role of the curator becomes more and more relevant for us to understand our new context.
You can follow Pedro on Twitter @pedrogadanho.
“What do we mean by education?” “What is design?” “Can design be taught?”
These were some of the questions a small group of innovative pioneers – huddled in the attic of Le Corbusier’s Sanskar Kendra museum – asked themselves when they set about creating what would become the National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, India’s first design school. The year was 1962, and not only were there no designers in the country, the profession of design, for Indians, simply did not exist.
One of these pioneers – who would head the industrial design department, help formulate the school’s curriculum, and train its faculty members – was Kumar Vyas. Born in 1929, Vyas remained at NID for three decades, and continues to work from his office on the campus he helped create. His numerous articles and books were essential to establishing India’s current design-rich environment; two years ago, he received the prestigious Sir Misha Black Medal for Excellence in Design Education.
Vyas’ experience designing a design education is not only a fascinating journey, but also a source of inspiration – if architecture education took Vyas’ lessons to heart, and re-examined itself from square one, how would it be different? Read Victoria Lautman’s interview with Vyas after the break, and tell us what you think in the comments below.
Architects and students worldwide are highly anticipating the Monday premiere of Archiculture - a documentary that offers a unique glimpse into the world of studio-based, design education through the eyes of five architecture students finishing their final design projects at Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute. The film, directed and produced by two architect-turned-filmmakers Ian Harris and David Krantz of Arbuckle Industries, features exclusive interviews with leading professionals, historians and educators to help create a crucial dialog around the key issues faced by this unique teaching methodology.
Eager to learn more, we sat down with director Ian Harris for an exclusive interview. Read the interview and share your thoughts after the break.
Peter Williams is the founder and executive director of an organization whose goal is to improve global health, using design to create healthier environments as preventative measures for tuberculosis, AIDS and malaria. Architecture for Health in Vulnerable Environments, or ARCHIVE for short, has projects in countries all over the world, including Haiti, Cameroon, and Ethiopia. ARCHIVE identifies and addresses the causes of poor health in disadvantages communities and uses strategies related to housing design improvements to create environments that promote better health.
Yesterday, Iñaki Abalos was announced as the new Chair of the Department of Architecture at Harvard GSD; he will begin on July 1st, 2013.
Abalos is a renowned Spanish architect, with much experience in both the academy and the professional field. He started his career together with Juan Herreros at the highly acclaimed firm Abalos + Herreros (1984-2006), and has been working since 2006 with Renata Sentkiewicz at Abalos+Sentkiewicz.
His work always tries to find a balance between technical precision and the integration with the environment and landscape. This has evolved into the concept of “Thermodynamic Beauty”, a concept embodied in his buildings and constantly evolving throughout his academic efforts, which have included the authorship of several books and professorships at the ESTA Madrid, Harvard, Columbia, EPF Laussane, Princeton, Cornell and the BIArch Barcelona. At the GSD he was acting as Professor in Residence, leading studios, lectures, and seminars related to his focus on technology and history, the thermal properties of architecture and the integration of natural elements.
Abalos will soon lead one of the most influential architecture schools in the world, a tremendous responsibility given the challenges of architecture education, which we discuss in this interview. He also talks about how architects lost their authority after post-modernism, and suggests that we could get it back by cultivating a problem solving expertise on the world’s greatest challenges: climate change, the high density of the cities, and more.
The construction of the city is something that goes beyond architects and planners. It involves the government, the citizens and the private sector. For the ArchDaily Interview series we have interviewed many architects with very different backgrounds, and we have started to include people outside the field that have played an important role either for our profession or the city.
During our last trip to Moscow, we had the opportunity to interview Alexander Mamut, businessman and investor who is involved in projects such as the Pioner Cinema, the Waterstone book chain, the blogging service LiveJournal and other projects related to culture, media and the city. He is also one of the founders of the Strelka Institute, a post graduate school located at the Chocolate Factory in the heart of Moscow and using the city as a laboratory, with an ambitious plan to raise the quality of architectural education in the country.
The founders of Strelka (who also include Sergey Adonyev, Dmitry Likin, Ilya Oskolkov-Tsentsiper and Oleg Shapiro) invited Rem Koolhass to design the curriculum for this new school, who under the AMO research arm prepared the educational programme for Strelka, with a research agenda based on design, energy, preservation, public spaces and thinning. The institute brings together professionals from different disciplines to have a comprehensive approach to city and architecture, from architects to urbanists, writers, designers, scientists, and journalists.
The city of Moscow is facing tremendous challenges, due to the growth and changes it has undergone in the past few years, which will only accelerate as the result of its vibrant economy. The city is expected to double its population in the coming years, and many competitions, including the masterplan for the city’s expansion, are being held with this objective in mind.
In this scenario, architecture education is key in order to form the new generation of professionals that wil face the critical issues of contemporary Russia. And this is why we wanted to include Alexander Mamut, whose passion for the city led him to invest in the city in a particular way, in our interview series. He is a good example of what can be done from the private sector to develop cities with a long-term vision.
During the interview, we discuss with Alexander Mamut the future of Moscow, how education can improve the quality of life of its habitants, the importance of the private sector in the development of cities, and more.
When we see another Eiffel Tower, idyllic English village, or, most recently, a Zaha Hadid shopping mall, copied in China, our first reaction is to scoff. Heartily. To suggest that it is – once again – evidence of China’s knock-off culture, its disregard for uniqueness, its staggering lack of innovation. Even I, reporting on the Chinese copy of the Austrian town of Halstatt, fell into the rhetorical trap: “The Chinese are well-known for their penchant for knock-offs, be it brand-name handbags or high-tech gadgets, but this time, they’ve taken it to a whole other level.” Moreover, as Guy Horton has noted, we are keen to describe designers in the West as “emulating,” “imitating,” and “borrowing”; those in the East are almost always “pirating.” However, when we allow ourselves, even unconsciously, to settle into the role of superior scoffer, we do not just do the Chinese, but ourselves, a disservice: first, we fail to recognize the fascinating complexity that lies behind China’s built experimentation with Western ideals; and, what’s more, we fail to look in the mirror at ourselves, and trouble our own unquestioned values and supposed superiority. In the next few paragraphs, I’d like to do both. (more…)
It’s not everyday that Peter Goldberger, former New York Times architecture critic, says an architect’s work stands out for its “clarity, simplicity, and grace.”
And it’s even rarer that Goldberger would choose those words – not for a new museum, chapel, or university building – but for a small pre-fabricated house. However, the pre-fab homes of Rocio Romero are lightyears away from the Sears catalog homes of yore, and more than deserving of the high praise they’ve garnered.
Romero has been making headlines ever since she introduced the LV house, her line of affordable, modern pre-fabricated homes, over ten years ago. With pre-fab becoming everyday more mainstream, we decided to sit down with Romero to find out what inspired her to enter in the world of pre-fab, what sets her designs apart (and why they have garnered such a fervent following), and what she sees as the future of pre-fabricated design.
Read the interview with Rocio Romero, after the break…
During the 2012 World Architecture Festival, we had the opportunity to interview Chris Wilkinson and Jim Eyre, the directors of the UK firm Wilkinson Eyre Architects who received the World Building of the Year Award for their Cooled Conservatories at Gardens by the Bay.
Chris Wilkinson founded the firm in 1983, partnering with Jim Eyre in 1987. Since then, the practice has displayed their innovation through the informed use of technology and materials, applied to projects in areas as diverse as transportation, the arts, infrastructure, masterplanning, as well as commercial, industrial, retail, leisure, educational, cultural and residential buildings. The firm has also developed a tremendous expertise in bridge design, with more than 30 projects of this type.
A good example of their applied innovation is the Cooled Conservatories, where climate control for 20,000 sqm in a complex environment posed a tremendous challenge. The sustainable cooling strategy lead to the reduction of, with air conditioning, would have been an otherwise big carbon foot print.
For the 2012 Olympic Games, the firm designed the Basketball Arena, one of the biggest temporary venues erected for any Olympics, an iconic building that was the result of a tight budget and the requirement to recycle two thirds of the structure after the games.
More projects by Wilkinson Eyre Architects at ArchDaily:
“The architect has to continue doing what he or she has done for the last 5,000 years, which is to make objects of great beauty, which uplift the spirits of whoever commissions them or occupies them or sees them. But, increasingly, [the architect] has to take on two other things, which is: to make things in such a way that they are part of an environmental whole; but also to be much more conscious of what the social impacts are of the decisions the architect may make. [...] The architect, unless they want to wipe themselves out and become aesthetes, has to deal with these big issues.” – Ricky Burdett
As the world becomes increasingly urbanized, there lies an important question ahead of us. There can be no doubt that cities will grow, but how can we make sure that they grow sustainably and – what’s more – equitably?
To get to the bottom of these important questions, we spoke with Ricky Burdett, a professor of Urban Studies at the London School of Economics (where he directs the program LSE Cities), the author of The Endless City, and one of the world’s leading experts in urban planning. Not only was he the Chief Advisor of Architecture and Urbanism at the London 2012 Olympics, but he is also a founder of the Urban Age Project, an interdisciplinary investigation into the future of cities. We caught up with Burdett while he was in Chile, invited by CREO Antofagasta to advise on the development of Chile’s sprawled-out city of Antofagasta.
Burdett had so much to share about his varied experiences that we’ve decided to split this AD Interview into two. Part I (above) covers Burdett’s conception of what architecture is/should be; the London Olympics; and his strong opinion on the state of architecture in England today.
The second part of this interview, which you can see after the break, explores Burdett’s work studying urban environments – including the Urban Age project; the secrets to sustainable, equitable growth (for more on Burdett’s take on this, read Jared Green’s article “The Rise of the Endless City“); and how architects and policy makers must work together if we are to design cities that serve the greater social and environmental good.
Architecture begins with ideas—and, for Will Alsop, sometimes with a painting. This interview is the first in a series of conversations with internationally prominent architects conducted by Sanam Samanian and Alex Bozikovic. The British iconoclast gives an overview of his creative process: why he’s bored by the details of building; why we shouldn’t think of architecture as a “profession”; and why we should think of architecture as a way to make life more joyous.
Read the captivating interview with Will Alsop, after the break…
A few days ago, we had the opportunity to talk with Toyo-san, the 2013 Pritzker Prize laureate. A short, but intense talk where Ito shares with us, using precise words, insights about his design process and what he thinks about architecture, everything connected to the human aspects of the profession, understanding and connecting to the people.
For you, what is architecture?
(Laughs) Hard question! Architecture is the relation between one person and another, something that can make people gather.
How did you feel, as an architect, facing the disaster after the 2011 earthquake in Japan?
As a person facing such a disaster, I had the responsibility to do something for the people who had lost their homes in the area, and by talking to the people in the disaster area I saw a similarity to the previous question, what is architecture. I think it was a very good opportunity to rethink, to start from zero what architecture really is fundamentally.
Fernando Romero is part of the new generation of young Mexican architects that have reshaped the profession in a country with a longstanding tradition.
Fernando studied at the Universidad Iberoamericana, and shortly after graduating went to Europe, ending up working at OMA where he became a project leader of the Porto House of Music (1996-1999). In 2000, he went back to Mexico where he established his own firm FR-EE which as of today has built more than ten million square feet, with offices in New York and Mexico City, and many on-going projects.
The practice has a strong focus on research, and the process of each building is the result of an integrated workflow with a multidisciplinary team. These processes are documented on a series of publications by the firm, including You Are the Context , launched at the Guggenheim a few months ago.
Some of his recent works include the G20 International Convention Center, the iconic Soumaya Museum and the Jumex Tower.
In this interview, Fernando shares with us his views on architecture, the role of the architect, and how he has setup this particular type of practice.
Architecture is bigger than itself.
The future will pose tremendous challenges to how architecture and cities are conceived, requiring comprehensive and scalable solutions, often found outside of what we traditionally call “architecture”. So after hundreds of interviews with architects that we’ve conducted, we realized that in order to confront these challenges we needed to expand our focus. For the first time, we invited to our office an “architect” of life, Andrew Hessel, co-chair of the Biotechnology and Bioinformatics Program at Singularity University and leader in the field of synthetic biology (the design of life through the use of information technology).
Andrew’s work focuses on designing viruses with the potential to cure cancer; however, he is fascinated by the ways in which genetic engineering could actually help human beings shape their environment, and how biotechnology will allow us to merge the natural and built worlds:
“We don’t live in nature any more – we put boxes around it. But now we can actually engineer nature to sustain our needs. All we have to do is design the code and it will self-create. Our visions today – if we can encapsulate them in a seed – [will] grow to actually fulfill that vision. [...] One day, who knows, maybe we’ll plant a seed and grow a sky scraper, that has all the nutrients it needs to stay warm, to literally react to our environment, maybe even keep an eye on us, protect us, nurture us. It’s just all in the design.”
What if we really could “plant” and “grow” a house? What if we could use modified trees as street lamps? Clearly, this disrupts the way we traditionally conceive of architecture, but it also opens many doors for a more sustainable future.
Andrew has recently joined Autodesk as a researcher for “creating platforms for imagining, designing, and creating molecular and living systems”. Autodesk is entering the nanoscale engineering business and exploring into software for printing tissue and 4D materials. So, if the company that produces the most used tools for the architecture industry is now exploring and making these new worlds accessible, why shouldn’t architecture embrace it?
While in Mexico City, we had the chance to visit Michel Rojkind ’s office in La Condesa to interview him and jam on his recording studio hidden in the architecture workshop. We have been big fans of Michel’s work, the result of constant investigation and iteration pushed by by the collaborative character of his studio and multiplied by Michel’s passion for architecture.
Michel is part of a fantastic new generation of Mexican architects that brings fresh ideas to a context with a strong tradition. He started his architecture studies while also being the drummer of a well known Mexican rock band, graduating from the Universidad Iberoamericana in 1994. Between 1999 and 2002 he worked with Isaac Broid and Miquel Adriá on Adriá+Broid+Rojkind Arquitectos, and he started his own studio Rojkind Arquitectos in 2002.
Since then, the firm has been on a strong path of innovation and exploration of architectural programs and building techniques, successfully translating the complex forms of these new ideas into realities that can be built with local manufacturing skills.
Michel is very good at communicating his ideas, something very important to deliver the vision he has for his projects, but he is also very good at transmitting his passion, something that anyone who has been on his lectures will agree, inspiring young architects to demonstrate that it is possible to run the kind of studio that you want to run, despite all the problems and frustrations you will face along the way.
Recent projects by Michel Rojkind at ArchDaily:
Ole Bouman is an influential figure in the world of Architecture. As an architecture historian, editor, curator, teacher and lecturer, Ole has been heavily involved in contemporary architectural discourse, working for organizations such as Volume Magazine and the Archis Foundation. But it was his role as the director of the NAi – Netherlands Architecture Institute (2006-2012) where Ole played a critical role.
The NAi (which since 2012 has been fused with the Netherlands Institute for Fashion and Design, and the Knowledge Institute for E-Culture into The New Institute) has been a platform to put the challenges of our times into the agenda of architecture. Under “Architecture of Consequences”, part of the innovation agenda of the NAi directed by Bouman, the institute has (in the form of lectures and debates in the Netherlands and abroad) focused on explaining how value creation, social cohesion, energy, space, and food, among other issues that the world is facing, are part of our field’s purview.
This interview was filmed at the rooftop of the Dutch Pavilion during the 13th Venice Biennale.
Back when I was an architecture student I was very impressed by the early works of French architect and urban planner Edouard François, which introduced new ways to understand the relation between nature and architecture.
Edouard has always been an innovator, experimenting with green façades and constantly challenging the housing typology, making architecture a response of the times (which otherwise, as he mentions, would be just construction). These aspects, how to push innovation with clients and into the market, are discussed with Edouard in this interview, recommended to young architects who could learn from his experience running his practice.
Edouard studied at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris and the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, and has taught around the world. His work and career have been highly recognized, being appointed with the RIBA International Fellowship in 2011 and Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture in 2012.
Works by Edouard François at ArchDaily:
While we were in Beijing, we had the opportunity to visit an architect who we have been following for quite some time: Ma Yansong, founder of MAD.
Ma Yansong graduated from the Beijing Institute of Civil Engineering and Architecture, and went to Yale thanks to the AIA Scholarship for Advanced Architecture Research, where he received his masters degree in Architecture in 2001. Afterwards, Ma Yansong worked at Zaha Hadid’s office in London, and started MAD in 2004.
His strong research background is mixed with a deeper understanding and interpretation of traditional Chinese architecture, inspired by urban typologies such as the hutong and the siheyua. This can be seen in projects such as the Hutong Bubble, the Wooden Sculpture Museum (under construction) and the recently opened Ordos Art & City Museum. MAD’s vision for Beijing 2050 is a bold proposal that opens up debate, challenging what the future of the CBD (Central Business District, an area populated by tall generic buildings) could be.
Another interesting project is his Absolute Towers in Canada (2006-2012). Not only did the project make Ma Yansong the first Chinese architect to build abroad, it also put his practice on the map.
Projects by MADat ArchDaily:
We were excited about this interview, as I have been very interested on WOHA’s work after featuring them extensively at ArchDaily, given their approach to the important issues of density and sustainability in South Asia, mixing particular programmatic needs with the local identity.
The Singaporean firm was started in 1994 by Wong Mun Summ (Architect from the National University of Singapore) and Richard Hassell (Architect from the University of Western Australia), and has been involved in projects that range from tall residential towers, to hotels, commercial buildings, transport infrastructure, and also urban research projects such as their vision for Singapore 2050.
In this interview Richard digs deeper into how WOHA operates and his views about the profession.
WOHA’s work has been recognized with important awards, including the RIBA Lubetkin Prize (2011), several RIBA International Awards (2010 and 2011), the World Architecture Festival Awards (2009 and 2010) and the prestigious Aga Kahn Award for Architecture (2007).
WE Architecture is a young firm based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Started by partners Marc Jay and Julie Schmidt-Nielsen in 2009, the practice is focused on public competitions and consultancy, along with teaching at the Royal Danish Academy. The partners studied in Denmark, but shaped their professional career working abroad in New York and Barcelona.
The firm maintains a young spirit, working with architect from around the world, never more than 12 people. WE Architecture acknowledges the role of the architect in a collaborative and diverse society, incorporating not only architecture on their practice, but also planning, logistics, engineering, and economy. With this multi disciplinary approach, the firm provides services that go from construction management on maintenance operations to advising families who have recently bought a house.
Interview by Soledad Undurraga.
Projects by WE Architecture at ArchDaily: