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Lacaton & Vassal's Glass Pavilion Earns Top Spot in Montréal's Space for Life Competition

© Lacaton & Vassal, Frédéric Druot, FABG
© Lacaton & Vassal, Frédéric Druot, FABG

The Space for Life International Architectural Competition of Montréal has recently announced its three winners. The competition prompted designers to rekindle an interest in the natural world through an architectural intervention at a pre-appointed venue. Located in the city’s Botanical Gardens, this winning proposal by Lacaton & VassalFrédéric DruotFABG, and SNC Lavalin does so in a simple, elegant way, with a glass pavilion for the Gardens that serves a variety of purposes. Learn more, after the break.

AZPML and KANVA Reimagine Montréal's Biodome in Winning Competition Design

Montréal’s Space for Life competition has recently announced its winners, with design firms AZPML and KANVA named as one of three first winners with their joint design. The competition demanded that entrants reinvigorate the relationship between humanity and the natural world through an intervention at Montréal’s Biodome. The two firms’ winning proposal, Migration du Biodome, does that with the installation of a series of undulating walls.

Exterior View. Image Courtesy of AZMPL Interior View. Image Courtesy of AZMPL Lobby View. Image Courtesy of AZMPL Wall Projection. Image Courtesy of AZMPL

AD Classics: Montreal Biosphere / Buckminster Fuller

Architects have never enjoyed a position of such supreme prominence as they did in the worldview of Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller. To him, architects alone were capable of understanding and navigating the complex interrelationships of society, technology, and environment as viewed through the comprehensive paradigm of systems theory. Architecture, in this model, was intended to exist in close contact with both mankind and nature, playing civilization’s most critical role in elevating the state of humanity and promoting its responsible stewardship of the environment. Emerging from the ethical positivity of postwar modernism, this melioristic perspective marks perhaps the zenith of optimism’s ascent in mid-twentieth century thought, and gave Fuller a uniquely moral blueprint for his revolutionary designs.

© Flickr user Ehsan © Flickr user Ehsan © Flickr user Richard Winchell © Flickr user Rodrigo Maia

Balnea Pavillon des arbres / Blouin Tardif Architecture-Environnement

© Steve Montpetit © Steve Montpetit © Steve Montpetit © Steve Montpetit

Her Majesty’s Pleasure / +tongtong

  • Architects: +tongtong
  • Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
  • Architect In Charge: John Tong
  • Area: 3000.0 sqm
  • Photographs: Lisa Petrole

© Lisa Petrole © Lisa Petrole © Lisa Petrole © Lisa Petrole

Reflections on the 2014 Venice Biennale

Fundamentals, the title of the 2014 Venice Biennale, will close its doors in a matter of days (on the 23rd November). From the moment Rem Koolhaas revealed the title for this year’s Biennale in January 2013, asking national curators to respond directly to the theme of ‘Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014’, there was an inkling that this Biennale would be in some way special. Having rejected offers to direct the Biennale in the past, the fact that Koolhaas chose to act not only as curator but also thematic co-ordinator of the complete international effort, was significant. This announcement led Peter Eisenman (one of Koolhaas' earliest tutors and advocates) to state in one interview that “[Rem is] stating his end: the end of [his] career, the end of [his] hegemony, the end of [his] mythology, the end of everything, the end of architecture.”

Harbour Heights Residence / Omar Gandhi Architect

© Greg Richardson Photography © Greg Richardson Photography © Greg Richardson Photography © Greg Richardson Photography

Slate House / Affleck de la Riva architects

© Alexandre Parent © Alexandre Parent © Alexandre Parent © Alexandre Parent

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights: "Failed Memorial and White Elephant"?

In an article for The Walrus, Adele Weder examines Antoine Predock's (who was recently made a National Academy Academician) Canadian Museum for Human Rights: a "colossal, twelve-storey mountain of concrete and stone, 120,000 square feet of tempered glass, and 260,000 square feet of floor space." Early advocates of the museum "felt that Winnipeg was ripe for such a statement piece," just as Bilbao had been for the Guggenheim. Welder's explorations are clear and concise, finding all sorts "of paradoxes swirling around the Museum for Human Rights." Noting that "it’s definitely a kick-ass building, with its aggressive outer form, jagged paths inside, big black slabs of basalt, thick sheets of glass, and the huge metal girders that hold it all together," Weder argues that it's position as a "failed memorial and white elephant" may be it's eventual undoing.

Winners Announced for Architecture for Humanity Vancouver’s “NEXT BIG ONE” Competition

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.

Entry No. 626137 - Safety Arena. Image Courtesy of Architecture for Humanity Vancouver Chapter Entry No. 626514 - Revive the Moat. Image Courtesy of Architecture for Humanity Vancouver Chapter Entry No. 626139 - Modular Landscapes. Image Courtesy of Architecture for Humanity Vancouver Chapter Entry No. 626536 - Aqua Estate. Image Courtesy of Architecture for Humanity Vancouver Chapter

The NSA Muscle: Conversations Exploring Pioneering Projects in Digital Architecture

Screenshot. Image Courtesy of Canadian Centre for Architecture
Screenshot. Image Courtesy of Canadian Centre for Architecture

The NSA Muscle, an interactive inflatable structure built in 2003 that responded to touch and presence by changing its shape, is the latest subject explored in the Canadian Centre for Architecture's series on pioneering projects of digital architecture. Joining a roster of influential names including Peter Eisenman, Frank Gehry and Chuck Hoberman, this e-book recounts a conversation between Greg Lynn and the author of the project Kas Oosterhuis of ONL [Oosterhuis and Lénárd]. The 'breathing' structure was covered by a grid of 'muscles' that contracted and relaxed in response to external stimulus, combining commercial pneumatics and virtual control technology in new ways to prototype an new kind of interactive architecture.

Discover the story by downloading NSA Muscle for free after the break.

Stephen Hawking Centre at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics / Teeple Architects

© Scott Norsworthy © Scott Norsworthy © Scott Norsworthy © Scott Norsworthy

Cossette V7 / Teeple Architects

© Scott Norsworthy © Scott Norsworthy © Evan Dion © Scott Norsworthy

Port Hope House / Teeple Architects

© Scott Norsworthy © Scott Norsworthy © Scott Norsworthy © Scott Norsworthy

OS31 Designs Pop-Up Restaurant on a Frozen River

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.

Courtesy of OS31 Courtesy of OS31 Courtesy of OS31 Courtesy of OS31

Paris Block Paris Annex / Gair Williamson Architect + Ankenman Marchand Architects

  • Architects: Gair Williamson Architect, Ankenman Marchand Architects
  • Location: 53 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 1G4, Canada
  • Design Team: Gair Williamson, Jenny Chow, Brian Liston, François Marchand, Julien Leger
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Ed White, Courtesy of Gair Williamson Architect + Ankenman Marchand Architects

© Ed White © Ed White © Ed White Courtesy of Gair Williamson Architect + Ankenman Marchand Architects

Ecological Densification Four Townhouses / SHAPE Architecture

  • Architects: SHAPE Architecture
  • Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Project Team: Nick Sully, Hanna Teicher, Matthew Traub
  • Sustainability: Canadian Green Building Council Sustainable Project Award, Designed to LEED Platinum guidelines, Energuide 86
  • Project Year: 2010
  • Photographs: Courtesy of SHAPE Architecture

Courtesy of SHAPE Architecture Courtesy of SHAPE Architecture Courtesy of SHAPE Architecture Courtesy of SHAPE Architecture