d3 has announced the winners of its Natural Systems Competition for 2014, an annual competition that offers architects, designers, engineers and students the chance to investigate natural processes from the microscopic to macroscopic scale and propose innovative, nature-based solutions in architecture, urbanism, interiors and product design for sustainable living.
The jury, a panel of architects and designers engaged in sustainable practices and computational explorations, has this year selected a top three as well as eleven special mentions. Join us after the break for images from all 14 designs.
Bathrooms are an essential part of daily life from the moment you jump into the shower in the morning to brushing your teeth before hopping into bed at night. While well-designed bath and wellness products that are easy to use and maintain are essential for functionality, when they are enhanced with complementing textures, sounds, scents and lighting, the functional bathroom space is transformed into a true multisensory experience. Villeroy & Boch is challenging architects and designers to incorporate both of these elements into their design, creating a functional and a multisensory space.
The competition for the new Guggenheim Museum in Helsinki closed last month, becoming the most popular architectural competition in history with 1,715 entries. Now, competition organizers Malcolm Reading Consultants have made every single one available to view online, with each anonymous proposal presented in a series of two images, and a short description fro the architects. "Since its inception, this competition has been organized to be welcoming, inclusive, and transparent, and the gallery presents a singular opportunity for the public to explore and consider the broad expanse of entries," says Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation.
Competition organizer Malcolm Reading added: "For anyone interested in design, the gallery is a tremendous resource that offers rare insight into the design process and further illustrates how the vision for a Guggenheim Helsinki... [has] captured the imagination of architects around the world."
And indeed, the website does provide a tremendous tool: with such a huge volume of entries, the database and its associated tagging system offer an interesting way to probe the architectural zeitgeist: for example, it seems 'curved' buildings are almost twice as popular as 'straight' buildings; and 'opaque' buildings are still unpopular, being outpaced by 'transparent' buildings by almost five to one, despite the traditionally opaque museum typology.
But when it comes to architectural quality, where do you even begin with 1,715 proposals? The competition's website has that covered too, with a favorites button, a six-building shortlist tool and a search-by-registration tool. ArchDaily is here to help too: after the break, we've hand-picked 50 of the most exciting, unusual, interesting and simply absurd proposals for you to start talking about.
UK architects OS31 have recently won a competition to design RAW:almond, “the first ever outdoor dining restaurant on a frozen body of water.” The temporary restaurant has set up for business in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada for the last two years, and for 2015 the organizers held an international open competition for the winning design. This year’s design establishes itself as an expressive frame that appears to float across the ice like a frozen jetty. Learn more about the winning proposal after the break.
Combo Competitions' latest ideas challenge, entitled Hello Nature!,centres on a site located in northern Sweden at the foot of a mountain (Omneberget), sat within an area called the High Coast (Höga Kusten) - which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This competition is looking for "structures that celebrate nature", which also involve elements of "both education and recreation, or - if you prefer - business and pleasure." The wider question the competition poses is whether or not architecture can encourage involvement with nature. Previous Combo Competitions have included the London Cinema Challenge and Faith! A Place of Worship in London, both of which attracted a number of high quality proposals.
Stockholm-based Kjellander + Sjöberg Architects (K + S) has won first prize in a competition to design the “Skärvet” urban neighborhood in Växjö, Sweden. A starting point for Bäckaslöv, a long term vision for a sustainable community by developer Skanska, the new neighborhood will take shape along the railway line connecting Växjö to Norra Bergundasjon.
Nomad Office Architects (NOA) has shared with us their proposal for the Dalseong Citizen’s Gymnasium open ideas competition, which was awarded honorable mention. As part of the district’s centennial anniversary, the competition aimed to replace an existing, outdated sports hall with a new gymnasium complex for the local residents of Hyeonpung-myeon neighborhood within the Daegu district of Dalseong-gun.
OSPA Architecture and Urbanism has won a national competition for the new UFCSPA (Federal University of Health Sciences of Porto Alegre) Campus Igara in Canoas, Brazil. The goal of the sports campus is to integrate itself within the community so it may serve as both a public institution and a public space. You can learn more about the winning scheme, after the break.
Fundamentalhas shared with us their vision for the House of Hungarian Music, as part of the Liget Budapest Competition. Inspired by the Neo-Baroque and Neo-Gothic spires of the park’s monuments which surrounding it, the modest house features a folded, white canopy rooftop which illuminates its surroundings and provides natural light deep into its interiors.
Among the changes in material technology that are constantly altering the architectural landscape, one of the most popular - and most dramatic - is the idea of the timber skyscraper. And with vocal advocates like Benton Johnson of SOM and Michael Green leading the discussion with projects like the Timber Tower Research Project, the wooden highrise is on the verge of becoming a mainstream approach.
To further the conversation in the USA, the US Department of Agriculture, working in partnership with Softwood Lumber Board (SLB) and Binational Softwood Lumber Council (BSLC), has recently launched the Tall Wood Building Prize Competition, an ideas competition with a $2 million prize. To find out more about tall wood buildings, we caught up with Oscar Faoro, Project Manager of the competition. Read on after the Break for our interview and more details on how to enter.
The OISTAT Theatre Architecture Competition is an international ideas competition, aimed at students and emerging practitioners, which is organized every four years by the Architecture Commission of OISTAT (International Organization of Scenographers, Technicians and Theatre Architects). The theme of the 2015 competition will be the design of a floating theatre to be moored at a particular location on the river Spree in Berlin, Germany, but capable of being moved to other sites on the river.
playze and Schmidhuber have been selected as winners of an invited competition to design the Urban Planning Exhibition Center in Ningbo, China. Inspired by the ancient artform of the Chinese ribbon dance, the exhibition center aims to “blur the lines” between citizens and decision makers in a way that grants the public “rare access into the inner-workings of the city” in an effort to strengthen the relationship between local government and community.
The idea of the Chinese “Urban Planning Museums” is the nation’s response to the rapid urban growth occurring in many of its major cities. The museums are intended to communicate city planning and development issues to the public. You can learn more about playze and Schmidhuber’s design, after the break.
AM3 Architetti Associatihas been awarded first prize in a competition to design a new boarding school in Malles (Bozen, Italy). The proposed building takes full advantage of the landscape, opening onto views towards Mount Stelvio and the Mustair Valley. Drawing inspiration from this unique context, AM3 crafts a design that integrates opportunities for active participation between building and land, and student with nature.
In partnership with La Sapienza University, Progetto Forti and Rome municipality, Young Architects Competitions (YAC) is launching a competition to redesign one of the treasures of Rome: Forte Portuense.
MVRDV, together with Munich-based morePlatz, have been selected among seven teams in an international competition to design two office buildings in Mainz, Germany. The five- and eleven-story “Hafenspitze” structures are expected to spearhead the transformation of the former Zollhafen industrial harbor, which plans to become a new mixed-use city quarter over the coming decades.