Solar panels are often an added bonus in design, becoming a means to an end. But why shouldn’t they be the star of the show? A recent article in Metropolis Magazine shows off the Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar Power Plant, the largest solar facility in Japan. A symbolic response to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, the power plant is but one project in Japan’s transition into one of the fastest growing solar markets in the world. Check out the full story here.
Crossrail, “the largest infrastructure project in Europe, costing more, for example, than the London Olympics“, has been slowly winding it’s way beneath London for years. Getting access to the labyrinthine collection of underground tunnels and volumes, Rowan Moore of The Observer says that – despite the superficial furore surrounding it – this £5 billion undertaking will eventually be worth it: alongside the tunnels and tracks will be three million square feet (“or about six Gherkins“) of commercial development, and one million square feet of ‘public realm’.
Archiving documents is serious business, though it often becomes a headache for those involved. When a project is finished, where do the specifications, drawings, and the rest of the data go? Luckily, Shaun Bryant, in his article for Lineshapespace, has tips for designers and architects on how to effectively go about the archiving process – giving insight on everything from the security of storage spaces to the legal demands of archiving. Check out his archiving tips here.
As part of the CA Group’s lecture series, “Architour,” principal of OFIS architects, Rok Oman, will lecture on December 7th at the Tongji Architectural Design Co. in Shanghai. For 2013 through 2015, “Architour” has as its theme “New Force of Architecture – Leading Young Architects”: each year, the CA Group will select nine young, global leaders in architecture (four from Asia and five from the West) to lecture on topics that cross typologies and disciplines, from architectural design, urban planning to interior design. Sou Fujimoto and Hirata Akihisa were the series’ first speakers.
At the end of each year, an exhibition will be mounted; and at the end of the three years, the contents of the lectures will be published as a book.
The Women in Architecture Survey, which is sponsored by UK magazine Architect’s Journal, is open to both men and women and aims to track the perceptions of gender equality in the workplace. It’s already yielded significant results – the survey last year revealed large pay gaps between male and female architects, as well as interesting perceptions of work/life balance of the different genders. Research goes towards the Architect’s Journal’s Women in Architecture campaign, whose goal it is to promote the status of women in the industry. You can find the survey here.
After the Wolfson Economics Prize announced a challenge to deliver new garden cities in the UK for the 21st Century, Feargus O’Sullivan of Atlantic Cities responds, calling the attempt to bring back garden cities “misguided”. His article gives a comprehensive rundown of why garden cities were popular during the 20th century, why they are becoming popular again and, ultimately, why they are a bad idea that will not succeed this time around – finishing with some ideas from The Netherlands and Sweden that would be much more appropriate. You can read the full article here.
This article on Line/Shape/Space by Jeff Yoders discusses how BIM can be used to good effect by bringing different professionals together early on in a design project. By utilizing the shared BIM model over the cloud – or even by providing a dedicated “Computer-Aided Visual Environment” or “BIM CAVE” (seriously) – clashes can be detected early, design priorities can be more balanced, and ultimately the time and cost requirements of a project can be significantly reduced. You can read the full article here.
The challenge of converting a sea of parking lots, that so often riddles auto-dependent suburbs, is in densification. Architects are introducing compact urban living models to small towns all across the country, retrofitting single-use zoning into more walkable, diverse and connected communities. Perhaps nowhere is this evolution more evident than Seattle’s Northgate neighborhood, home to the country’s oldest shopping malls. Learn how the town became denser and greener, transitioning to a transit-oriented development, “Gray, Green, and Blue: Seattle’s Northgate.”
In this article for The Guardian, Oliver Wainwright reviews Chobham Academy, a new school built as part of East London’s Olympic Legacy by architects AHMM. While he finds the school impressive and ambitious, Wainwright questions whether the campus, which acts as the ‘fulcrum’ between the poverty-stricken streets of Leyton and the high end flats of the former Athlete’s Village, will be able to bring the two parts of this community together. You can read the full article here.
The University of Chicago has chosen Bing Thom Architects to design a new home for the Chicago Booth Asia Executive MBA Program in Hong Kong. The center will begin construction in October 2014 on Mount Davis, a heritage site that was originally used as a military encampment for the British Army in the 1940s and then a detention center.
To commemorate its Bicentennial, the Chilean government has launched an initiative called “Bicentennial Legacy” to regenerate, revitalize, and consolidate the public spaces, heritage sites, and urban icons of the country.
As part of this program, Chile’s President, Sebastian Piñera, has proposed the “Plan Parque Metropolitano 100 Años”, which outlines projects that are to be developed within the Metropolitan Park of Santiago. This urban park is the principal public space within the city and is located on San Cristobal Hill, the geographical/metaphorical heart of the city.
One of these projects is the construction of a tower that will consolidate the numerous antennas currently located throughout the hill into a single infrastructure.
Architecture for Humanity Denver (AfH) and Open Tech Forever (OTF) are demonstrating that it is possible to build an open source, compressed earth block (CEB) house that meets the Living Building Challenge 2.1 standard.
They invite you to join the international call to action. Enter the contest and help them design a CEB home that they will build in the Spring of 2014 on their 40 acre site in Denver, Colorado.
They will document each home design and the systemic body of knowledge that informs this process, so that anyone in the world can both learn from and contribute to the project. This is an open source house for the world. The Forever Home. For more information, please click here.
Building Trust is a non-profit charity founded in 2010. Last month, we featured one of the schools they have worked on in Thailand, and they now have a number of sustainable design and build projects in Cambodia during 2014, including a health center, a school, a wildlife conservation project and housing.
They are offering hands on participatory workshops where you will gain experience in sustainable building techniques and understand more about humanitarian design while building worthwhile projects that will have a huge benefit to the local community and local wildlife. Due to the fact they will have a number of projects on the ground you will gain an insight into a number of building techniques and architectural styles.
For more information please click here.
Young architects and designers are invited to submit work to the annual Architectural League Prize Competition. Projects of all types, either theoretical or real, and executed in any medium, are welcome. The jury will select work for presentation in lectures, digital media, and an exhibition opening in June 2014. Winners will receive a cash prize of $1,000. A catalogue of winning work will be published by The Architectural League and Princeton Architectural Press.
Established in 1981 to recognize exemplary and provocative work by young practitioners and to provide a public forum for the exchange of their ideas, the Architectural League Prize is organized by The Architectural League and its Young Architects + Designers Committee.
For submission requirements, eligibility and more details, please click here.
In an exclusive interview with TIME, Zaha Hadid has finally responded to the claims – voiced most notably by Jon Stewart - that her design for the Al Wakrah Stadium (what will be Qatar’s stadium for the 2022 World Cup) resembles female genitalia (Stewart in fact called Hadid the “Georgia O’Keeffe of things you can walk inside“).
“It’s really embarrassing that they come up with nonsense like this. What are they saying? Everything with a hole in it is a vagina? That’s ridiculous.” Hadid also goes on to suggest that “if a guy had done this project,” these “lewd” comparisons would not have been made. Read the full story at TIME.com.
This ambitious and far-reaching exhibition across The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia and NGV International presents the various ways in which visual artists and creative practitioners profoundly contribute to the society in which we live, and to Melbourne as a city with a unique and dynamic cultural identity.
Melbourne Now is a collaborative, cross-disciplinary project that has involved staff from all areas of the NGV, as well as a team of guest curators and artistic collaborators whose expertise and networks represent the excellence and diversity of Melbourne’s cultural community.
Complete information about the artists and projects can be found here.
Title: Exhibition: Melbourne Now
Organizers: National Gallery of Victoria
From: Fri, 22 Nov 2013
Until: Sun, 23 Mar 2014
Venue: National Gallery of Victoria
Address: 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has commissioned Herzog & de Meuron to design their new Global R&D Centre and Corporate Headquarters. Planned for the Cambridge Biomedical Campus on the southern outskirts of the city, the new £330m project will be home to one of the company’s three global strategic research and development centres as well as its corporate headquarters.