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.
Broadway Malyan has been awarded a commission to design the initial phase of a new, iconic urban district in Chengdu in Western China. The Chengdu Creative Centre will be the first landmark in a larger master plan for a high-tech mixed use and business park, set to be called Tianfu New Town.
Committed to setting a high standard of environmentally conscious and sustainable design for the region, Chengdu Creative Centre and the future Tianfu New Town district aim to cut current energy consumption standards in half. The entire complex will be composed of interconnected office, retail, and public green space anchored by a striking central retail tower, 110 meters tall.
Drawing both literal and theoretical inspiration from the Islamic Holy Book, Rafael de La-Hoz Arquitectos earned an Honourable Mention for their design proposal of a habitable natural oasis for the Noble Quran International Competition in Saudi Arabia.
Understanding the significance of the location’s proximity to Islam’s second holiest city and the Capital of Islamic Culture, Rafael de La-Hoz aimed to create a memorable and iconic Islamic Landmark. Therefore, the Quran itself was chosen as the primary source of physical and contextual understanding, the most significant vessel of knowledge for the people and the location.
The Atelier of the Future competition asked entrants to design a “creative and artistic vision of an atelier.” Having been organised by FAKRO, in conjunction with A10 New European Architecture magazine, the proposals also were required to feature at least three FAKRO products (roof lights and windows) as part of a space which is functional, technologically astute, and able to “create the appropriate mood to stimulate creative visions.”
With sixty two entries in total, a third of which were from Poland and 90% of which were from within Europe, the jury deliberated entries that “stimulated [their] imaginations and provoked a set of reflections about the possible futures of architecture and its fields for action.” Divided among themes which ranged from projects associated with Industry, to Nature, to Water, entrants proposed solutions for “underwater resorts, skylofts, subterranean spaces, derelict areas, wheels of fortune and metabolist towers.”
See the winning entries after the break.
London based firm McDowell+Benedetti has recently announced that their design for a new 180 metre footbridge and improved rail station in Terni, Italy, has begun work on the site. A future landmark for the town, the £3.5 million (€4.4 million) project promises to provide an expanded commuter hub for the area with connections to fast trains to Rome. Learn more about this project after the break.
Birmingham City Council has approved Make Architects‘ designs for the first commercial building of the city’s Arena Central masterplan. Located on Broad Street and overlooking the historic Centenary Square, 1 Arena Central is set to be the first step in the master plan for the 9.2 acre site at the heart of Birmingham City Center Enterprise Zone. The eight story building, which will feature 135,000 square feet of Grade A office space, with 5,000 square feet of retail on the ground floor, is emblematic of the flagship development of the overall master plan.