MVRDV has won a competition to transform an abandoned elevated highway next to Seoul‘s Central Station into a 938 meter-long skygarden. The ambitious project, dubbed the “Seoul Skygarden,” aims to “build on the city’s ambition to be greener, more attractive and more user-friendly,” while acting as a catalyst for the surrounding neighborhoods. 254 species of trees, shrubs and flowers will take over the overpass, creating a unique “library of plants” organized according to the Korean alphabet. Even more, the skygarden will cut pedestrian commutes to the station by more than half, reducing the walk from 25 to 11 minutes.
Where the Panamerican Route passes along Rancagua, Chile, it does so in a seemingly interminable straight line, intersecting with the H-35 toward the Pacific and the Andes. At this junction between two of Rancagua’s arterial roads German practice raumspielkunst has envisioned “The Cloud,” a new form of self-sufficient gas station.
Responding to the nature of its site as a meeting point between the industrial and the touristic, the environmentally efficient gas station would cater for thousands of commuters each day.
Imagine a future in which all the Earth’s divisions are removed: countries abolished, borders dissolved, and governments overthrown. Such is the version of planet Earth for which “Civilization 0.000″, the 2013 master’s thesis project by Dimo Ivanov of RWTH Aachen University, is designed. Envisioning a future free of “unnatural division” and where the earth’s resources are measured and meted out according to human need, the project proposes a series of interlinked skyscrapers or “0.000 Units” that harness local earth resources. Each of the units assumes one of 6 key functions: living space, education, resource management, production, energy storage, and electricity generation. Functions are determined by the environment in which the units are sited.
A team from UNStudio, led by Ben van Berkel, has launched an interactive new work station inspired by the health advantages associated with standing while working. Dubbed the StandTable, the innovative office furniture is designed to support numerous working positions and fosters interaction and collaboration within the work place.
Kiruna, Sweden’s northernmost town, made international headlines last year when it was announced that the entire town would be relocated two miles to the east due to mining operations by the state-controlled company. Now, the first phase of the Kiruna square redevelopment is set to commence with a design by Stockholm-based Kjellander + Sjöberg for an urban block of housing units around the town’s central square.
Kjellander + Sjöberg, along with development group Skanska, won a competition held by Kiruna Municipality for the square’s regeneration. Under the moniker Fjällbäcken, the urban block responds to the idiosyncratic subarctic climate in a manner the architects describe as “sustainable in the long term.” When realized, the 2000m2 housing development will have 90 apartments and feature a host of sustainable solutions. Onsite rainwater management facilities are incorporated into the project’s planning, alongside provisions for green space and ecofriendly heating and cooling systems.
Learn more about the project and view selected images after the break.
Servicing up to 10,000 cruise ship passengers a day, the New Keelung Harbor Service Building by Neil M. Denari Architects (NMDA) is set to become a bustling hive of activity in Taiwan’s Port of Keelung. The project takes a two-phase approach that unites a public plaza and service base with a restaurant and the terminal proper, using an office building to mediate between the two.
Occupying 117,000-square-meters and with a construction budget of TWD $5 billion, the project is slated for completion by December 2017.
Read more about the project and view selected images after the break.
Italian architects Studio Fuksas have been selected, along with Canberra-based Guida Moseley Brown Architects, to design the Australia Forum, a new national convention centre in Canberra, Australia. Located at one apex of Central Canberra’s Parliamentary Triangle, Studio Fuksas describe their design as a “completely transparent and permeable” volume which is “in constant dialogue with the urban context and the environment,” integrating into the surrounding hills and the nearby Lake Burley Griffin by reflecting their presence in its skin.
It’s a beach shelter like you have never seen before: meet Albang, the relaxation pod of the future, an oval space with a flexible interior plan optimized for sleeping, socializing, or relaxing. In Albang, located in Gangwon-do province on South Korea‘s coastline, aerodynamics, vivid colour, and clever design meet minimalist futuristic architecture. Realized by Korean firm Yoon Space Design, Albang was designed to replace traditional means of temporary habitation, blending the functionality of pod hotels with the efficiency of a simple tent for camping.
Enter Albang’s flexible and colourful ovoid pods after the break
Nestled into the coastal landscape of Calais on the northern coast of France, Arte Charpentier Architectes have unveiled their design for the Calais Congress Centre, a hub for cultural and social activity in the bustling city. Located along the English Channel, the centre will provide remarkable views of the water and ships entering the city’s commercial port. The curvilinear centre will mimic the lush green landscape while echoing the energy of the city with an asymmetrical, ethereal design which includes flexible public space, exhibition halls, meeting rooms, and two hotels all shrouded by an elegant curtain of glass.
Enter the Calais Cultural Centre with images and info after the break
Architect and MIT Lecturer Cristina Parreño has created this new prototype for a self-supporting glass facade, entitled “The Wall.” The design is the first in Parreño’s “Tectonics of Transparency,” a series of planned prototypes that will “explore the relationship between formal design, spatial perception, structural efficiency and systems of fabrication.”
More details about Parreño’s prototype after the break
Architecture for Humanity Vancouver Chapter has unveiled the winners of “NEXT BIG ONE,” an open call for design solutions to high-magnitude earthquake and tsunami events that plague cities around the world. Project teams were challenged to propose a solution that ”can mitigate natural disasters while simultaneously providing community permanence.”
A jury comprised of leading architects and professionals from Architecture Research Office (Stephen Cassell), Perkins + Will (Susan Gushe), Bing Thom Architects (Eileen Keenan), Scott & Scott Architects (David Scott), and the City of Vancouver (Doug Smith) evaluated the projects. Entries were evaluated based on three key criteria: the exemplification of innovation in disaster design, promotion of community resiliency before and after disasters, and compliance with multi-hazard parameters for worst-case disaster scenarios.
Upon the announcement of the imminent demolition of 5 Pointz, the internationally renown graffiti mecca in Long Island City, New York, a group of young designers - Arianna Armelli, Ishaan Kumar, David Sepulveda and Wagdy Moussa – joined together to form DEFACED, “a theoretical project designed to ask the question of whether an organization for the preservation of cultural relics of New York and cities around the world can be formed and implemented.” The group focuses on the gentrification of New York City’s cityscape and its accompanying sociopolitical issues, along with the protection of cultural landmarks and districts around the world.
Antarctic icebergs morph into a sprawling multi-functional hub for research, transport and accommodation in one of the latest projects to come out of Zaha Hadid’s Studio at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. Designed by architecture student Sergiu-Radu Pop, the project hypothesizes a point of arrival for the world’s final frontier of development. The project employs biomimicry as a primary design tool, replicating the jagged asymmetrical edges of ice formations along the coast of the southern ocean.
Enter the Transformable Antarctic Research Facility with more photos and info after the break
Forty years ago, the Expo ’74 World’s Fair opened in Spokane, Washington to great fanfare as the world’s first environmentally themed Expo. Perhaps equally as momentous, the former Soviet Union participated for the first time since World War II, and 5.6 million people attended throughout the course of the six month long Fair. This year, Olson Kundig Architects, led by design principal Tom Kundig, partnered with the City of Spokane to reinvent the original park with new concept designs for its structures, program, and facilities.
Holm Architecture Office and AI - along with landscape architects Kragh Berglund – have been named shared winners of the Eco City Binhai Master Plan. Located outside Tianjin in Northern China, the project will consist of a new Central Business District and five new cultural buildings. Learn more about this plan after the break.
In Borders: A Very Short Introduction, Hagan Diener writes, “…every border has a story. Every line on a map, every maker in the landscape, was derived from some complex negation of power and culture.” It is this potency of meaning that makes the physical and conceptual border such a fascinating site. The 2013-2014 ACSA administered and AISC sponsored Steel Design Student Competition challenged students to design a border crossing station addressing the complex factors of cross-border relationships, using structural steel as the primary material. Learn more about the competition and the winning projects after the break.