The Oslo Architecture Triennale opened to the public last week, under the title “Behind the Green Door – Architecture and the desire for sustainability”. Rotor, the curators of the Triennale, collected over 600 objects carrying claims of sustainability from over 200 architecture offices, companies and environmental organizations across the world (read our interview with Rotor about the curation).
Experts from different fields share with us which the objects from the collection caught their attention and why. In this first part Kjetil Trædal Thorsen (Snøhetta co-founder), Carolyn Steel (architect, author of The Hungry City and TED speaker), Karl Otto Ellefsen (Dean of Oslo School of Architecture and Design) and Arjen Oosterman (ARCHIS, Volume Magazine) tell us their what they think. From glass technology to filter light, to locally produced food and more.
In his TedxTalk, Australian-born, Tasmanian-raised architect Ross Langdon begins by reading from the book The Rabbits, a children’s tale which depicts Australia’s colonizers as an invasive, destructive species: rabbits. “I realized I didn’t want to be a rabbit any more,” Langdon explains. “So I thought it might be better to be like a chameleon, able to adapt and change and blend with our environment, rather than conquer it.”
It was this impetus that drove Langdon, who had worked for John McAslan and David Adjaye in London, and even started his own London-based firm, Regional Associates, to Uganda, where he was completing an HIV Center; unfortunately, Landon and his partner, Elif Yavuz, were among the victims killed in the siege of the Westgate Shopping Centre this weekend. According to the Architect’s Journal, the “couple had relocated to be closer to Nairobi’s hospitals because Yavuz – who worked as a vaccines researcher in Tanzania for the Clinton Foundation – was expecting her baby within two weeks.”
To remember Langdon’s life and work, we’ve included the video of his TedxTalk, which closes with the inspiring philosophy behind “chameleon” architecture. In Langdon’s words: ”We believe that to create architecture that is born of the place, in both developing and developed worlds, that we need to source materials locally, we need to use construction methods that are available locally, wherever possible, to recycle, to upcycle, and to be resourceful, and, most importantly, be present in order to discover beauty in unexpected places.”
On September 20, 2013, TEDCity2.0 took place at the TimesCenter in New York City. Co-curated and co-hosted by Chris Anderson, John Cary, and Courtney Martin, the event surfaced stories of urban ingenuity and interdependence from across the globe, and featured an unexpected mix of over 20 speakers, including several 2012 City 2.0 Award winners.
On session 4 (videos after the break), you’ll find speakers Enrique Peñalosa (former mayor of Bogotá), Alan Ricks (MASS Co-Founder), Francis Kere and Iwan Baan. More information on all the speakers can be found here.
On the twelfth anniversary of September 11th, we would like to share with you this incredible time-lapse capturing the progress of the One World Trade Center between October 2004 and September 2013. The 1,776 foot tall skyscraper, which is expected to be the tallest in Western Hemisphere, topped out earlier this year and is slated for completion in 2014.
We know that Tokyo won the race and that is why today we invite you to take a virtual tour of the Olympic Stadium project designed by Zaha Hadid, which involves the refurbishment of the former Japan National Stadium, originally built for the 1964 Games. Once complete, the expanded sports complex will be able to accommodate 80,000 spectators.
In the latest video from Nowness, director Thomas Rhazi documents the complicated architectural scene in China – focusing on how the country holds onto its identity despite the “frenetic” pace of its expansion and globalization. Shaway Yeh sums up the situation nicely: “what does China really look like, what does China represent? No one knows, because it’s a place that’s still in flux, it’s constantly reshaping.” Lyndon Neri, however, points to Pritzker Prize winner Wang Shu as a possible answer, saying that he “created something quite amazing in Ningbo, it had a new way of looking at a building in a Chinese way… what he actually did was a modern interpretation of Chinese architecture.” No matter where you stand on China’s modernization, the video is a beautiful depiction of the historical meeting the modern. (more…)
Rio de Janeiro has become one of the most popular destinations right now, hosting some games of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. Joe Capra shared with us this timelapse video he made on the Brazilian city. Besides the fantastic natural settings that surround the city, you can also see the contrast with a few shots of the popular favelas.
The students of the MSArch in Landscape and Urbanism program at Woodbury University in San Diego have shared this video on Proyecto Experimental de Vivienda (PREVI): a late 1960s social housing experiment in Lima, Peru, which, backed by the Peruvian government and the UN, involved the best social housing architects of the day.
The designs, part of the later, more humanist strain of modernism, were intended to allow families – who were used to holding complete control over the construction of their own homes – to appropriate the houses. However, they were also designed to imply how future construction might prevent the proliferation of chaos present in previous slums. The video asks how residents feel about their experimental homes today, questioning the success of this design strategy, 40 years after the project’s completion.
Find out more about the outcome of the PREVI experiment, after the break…
Responding to rising sea level predictions and elevated threats of coasting flooding, Perkins + Will design principle Brian Healy has proposed a replicable, floating residential community for Boston’s harbor: Floatyard. In this TEDx, Healy argues that not only would this radical proposal protect coastal housing investments, it could reengage Charlestown’s industrial harbor. In addition to this, Floatyard’s architecture would incorporate solar energy and rainwater harvesting on its roof, as well as capitalize tidal energy from the mooring columns which anchor it.
What was once a symbol of Caracas’ bright financial future is now the world’s tallest slum: Venezuela’s Tower of David. Squatters took over this unfinished 45-story skyscraper in the early 1990s, after its construction was stopped due to a banking crisis and the sudden death of the tower’s namesake, David Brillembourg.
Now, as the government is grappling with a citywide housing shortage, many residents have spent most of their life within the walls of David. And despite the tower’s reputation as being a hotbed of crime, residents have managed to build a self-sustaining community complete with a communal electrical grid and aqueduct water system.
Few cameras have been allowed into the depths of the tower, so watch as Vocativ captures a rare in-depth access to residents’ daily lives.
An inspiring little video from the folks at Virginia Tech that will make you want to get your designer hands dirty – today. The video follows the third-years of 2013 as they build their final project: a bridge. As the co-founder of the lab, Kieth Zawistowski, eloquently says at the video’s end, “It doesn’t really matter if you ever want to actually build something yourself again, what’s important, in this case, is that you’ve seen the entirety of the process, from conception to realization.” If you want to see more from design/buildLAB, check out the project completed by last year’s students (which features in the last few minutes of the video): Masonic Ampitheatre.
A couple of months ago we told you about reSITE Conference 2013, the largest event of its kind in Central and Eastern Europe. During the conference, the reSITE dPAV Competition Workshop also took place. Led by Cecil Balmond, formerly of Arup Engineers and currently leading Balmond Studio in London, and Tyson Hosmer, Lead Designer, Balmond Studio, dPAV: 2.5 Days in Prague competition workshop was a 2.5 days intensive and collaborative investigation to compete to design the future reSITE pavilion to be used in urban design festivals around Central and Eastern Europe.
At the end of the workshop (whose results we will feature in the near future), Cecil Balmond gave a special lecture that we share with you entirely today. And don’t forget to check our own interview with Balmond during the workshop. Enjoy!
Sociologist Saskia Sassen‘s researches and writes about the social, economic and political dimensions of globalization, immigration, and networked technologies in cities around the globe. Her books and writings—published in over sixteen languages—have sustained the interests of architects and planners who seek to better understand the city via the systemic conditions that find expression in the reality of urban space.
Now actively involved in teaching Columbia University, we caught up with Sassen at the Arquine Congress in Mexico City, where she shared some interesting views on the role of architects, her contemplations on the future of the city, and her thoughts on the impact of the internet on the city.
Check out a full transcript of our interview with Sassen after the break.
Kyoto-based architects Kentaro Takeguchi and Asako Yamamoto of Alphaville Architects have completed a small guest house for tourists visiting the sacred Koyasan (Mt. Koya) in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan. The 96 m2 (1,033 ft2) building contains bedrooms, capsule-style dormitory rooms, a bar, and lounge. Between the bar, hallway, and lounge, 2 x 4 and 2 x 6 timber frames are exposed inside at varying intervals to act as partitions
This video was provided by JA+U.
NASA, in cooperation with TIME and Google, has unveiled startling timelapse images of Earth from orbit collected by NASA’s Landsat program since 1984. This program, created not for spycraft but for monitoring the way in which humans are rapidly altering the surface of the planet, consists of eight satellites that have collected millions of pictures in the course of two generations. When sifted through, cleaned up and stitched together, these pictures come together to create a high-definition slideshow that reveals some of the drastic changes our planet is undergoing – most notably through widespread urbanization.
Spirit of Space has shared with us their most recent collaboration with Phil Enquist of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill: Art in the City. Pairing powerful quotes with imagery from the Chicago’s most prominent works, the film “expresses the vitality and vibrance that public art can bring to the urban environment by experientially including the viewer in the making of place.” As Spirit of Space describes, “The art is a reflection of the City, the art becomes a part of the City, the art is instrumental in making the City.”
Featured works include Picasso’s sculpture for Daley Plaza, along with Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate and Jaume Plensa’s Crown Fountain in Millennium Park.
Disappointed that most architecture is built for the privileged, rather than society, Shigeru Ban has dedicated much of his career to building affordable, livable and safe emergency shelters for post-disaster areas. As described by TED:
Long before sustainability became a buzzword, architect Shigeru Ban had begun his experiments with ecologically-sound building materials such as cardboard tubes and paper. His remarkable structures are often intended as temporary housing, designed to help the dispossessed in disaster-struck nations such as Haiti, Rwanda, or Japan. Yet equally often the buildings remain a beloved part of the landscape long after they have served their intended purpose.