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Spotlight: Frei Otto

© Ingenhoven und Partner Architekten, Düsseldorf
© Ingenhoven und Partner Architekten, Düsseldorf

German architect and structural engineer Frei Otto (31 May 1925 – 9 March 2015) was well known for his pioneering innovations in lightweight and tensile structures. Shortly before his death in 2015 he was awarded the Pritzker Prize and prior to that he was awarded the RIBA Royal Gold Medal in 2006. Much of his research in lightweight structures is as relevant today as when he first proposed them over 60 years ago, and his work continues to inform architects and engineers to this day.

German Pavilion, Expo ’67. Image © Atelier Frei Otto Warmbronn Diplomatic Club Heart Tent. Image © Atelier Frei Otto Warmbronn Aviary at the Munich Zoo. Image © Atelier Frei Otto Warmbronn Japan Pavilion, Expo 2000. Image © Atelier Frei Otto Warmbronn

Park Linné / kister scheithauer gross architekten

  • Architects: kister scheithauer gross architekten
  • Location: Eupener Straße, 50933 Cologne, Germany
  • Design/responsible partner: Prof. Johannes Kister
  • Design Team: Ruth Hofmann, Astrid Kunz, Magdalena Mazurkiewicz
  • Area: 24309.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Yohan Zerdoun

© Yohan Zerdoun © Yohan Zerdoun © Yohan Zerdoun © Yohan Zerdoun

Tempelhof Airport Plans Denied by Berlin Voters

A plan to build 4,700 homes on the site of Berlin's Tempelhof Airport was blocked by voters this weekend. The airport, which was built in the 1920s and has a long history as a key site during World War Two and the Cold War, was closed in 2008 and there has since been a debate over what to with the vast site, including a 2011 competition to transform it into a park and other facilities, and an outlandish unofficial plan in 2009 to create a 1km high mountain on the site.

However perhaps the the most popular idea has also been the simplest: in 2010, the airport was opened to the public without any changes, and become an impromptu urban park popular with kite-flyers and roller-bladers who circle the site's runways.

Read on for more on the story

Bauhaus Masters' Houses Restored, Now Open to Public

The Bauhaus school of design has made an indelible mark on the world of architecture, one that is still felt almost seventy years after its closing. After moving the school from Weimar to Dessau in 1925 to avoid confrontation with the Nazis, founder Walter Gropius designed a series of semi-detached homes for the design masters teaching at the Bauhaus. This small neighborhood, nestled in a pine forest near the school building itself, was an idyllic home for the likes of Lyonel Feininger, Oskar Schlemmer, and Gropius himself. They were abandoned in the 1930s as Germany plunged into war, and suffered years of damage from military conflict and neglect. Renovations to the houses began in 1990, and now, 24 years later, the Bauhaus meisterhäuser have been completely reopened.

GRAFT + Kleihues+Kleihues Design Work/Live Housing in Berlin

GRAFT and Kleihues+Kleihues has teamed up with Genossenschaft für urbane Kreativität (Cooperative for urban Creativity) to realize a complex of five towers centered around working and living in Berlin, Germany. Titled “Eckwerk,” the new complex is set to rise within the confines of an existing viaduct, whose shape and materiality served as the project’s main source of inspiration. 

J. Mayer H. Wins Competition to Design Berlin "Experience Center"

J. Mayer H. has won an invited competition to design “Volt Berlin,” a new “shopping and urban experience” center near Berlin’s Alexanderplatz. The winning scheme offers a variety of experiential offerings, including multi-brand shopping, an indoor skydiving and event space, and a 7,500 square meter hotel, all within a single cubed complex whose organization is based off an uneven grid. 

  • Architects: J. Mayer H. Architects
  • Location: Alexanderplatz, 10178 Berlin, Germany
  • Architect in Charge: Jürgen Mayer H.
  • Competition Team: Christoph Emenlauer, Simon Kassner, Bart van den Hoven, Mehrdad Mashaie, Mael Kang, Paul Angelier, Julien Sarale
  • Area: 29500.0 sqm
  • Photographs: J. Mayer H.

Burkhardt Leitner constructiv exhibition / Ippolito Fleitz Group

© Zooey Braun © Zooey Braun © Zooey Braun © Zooey Braun

Parking Garage / Birk Heilmeyer und Frenzel Architekten

© Christian Richters © Christian Richters © Christian Richters Courtesy of Birk Heilmeyer und Frenzel Architekten

Lentpark / Schulitz Architekten

  • Architects: Schulitz Architekten
  • Location: Lentstraße 30, 50668 Cologne, Germany
  • Building Services: Ingenieurbüro Möller, Meyer GmbH
  • Owner: KölnBäder GmbH
  • Desing Team: Philipp Heitger, Gustavo Oettinger, Rafael Wiglenda, Sebastian Moll, Jasmine Behzadi, Matthias Rätzel, Christian Laviola, Stefanie Blume, Roland Pabel
  • Area: 12900.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Schulitz Architects

Courtesy of Schulitz Architects Courtesy of Schulitz Architects Courtesy of Schulitz Architects Courtesy of Schulitz Architects

Cafeteria at the University Aalen / MGF Architekten

  • Architects: MGF Architekten
  • Location: Aalen, Germany
  • Project Leadership: Josef Hämmerl
  • Design Team: Maria Knott, Karin Schmid-Arnoldt
  • Area: 550.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2009
  • Photographs: Michael Schnell

© Michael Schnell © Michael Schnell © Michael Schnell © Michael Schnell

Winners of the Berlin Natural Science Museum Competition Revealed

The winners of the international competition to design Berlin's new Natural Science Museum have been announced. The brief, which called for a large scale iconic building in the heart of the German capital, offered the opportunity for architects and students to design in a city founded in the 13th century.

Understanding that natural science museums are often simply seen as places for public spectacle, the organization behind the competition wanted to ensure that the "importance of the museum's specimen collections for documenting historical and present-day patterns of biological diversity cannot be overstated."

See the winning entry, along with the runners up, after the break.

SU House / Alexander Brenner Architects

© Zooey Braun
© Zooey Braun

© Zooey Braun © Zooey Braun © Zooey Braun © Zooey Braun

Chemiepraktikum Aachen / Ksg Architekten

  • Architects: Ksg Architekten
  • Location: Turmstraße, Aachen, Germany
  • Architect in Charge: kister scheithauer gross architekten, stadtplaner GmbH, Köln
  • Responsible Partner: Johannes Kister
  • Project Managers: Klaus Küppers, Gabriel Mörsch
  • Occupant Architects: RWTH Aachen
  • Area: 3720.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Yohan Zerdoun

© Yohan Zerdoun © Yohan Zerdoun © Yohan Zerdoun © Yohan Zerdoun

Farmhouse Renovation / Buero Philipp Moeller

  • Architects: Buero Philipp Moeller
  • Location: Moorenweis, Germany
  • Architects in Charge: Philipp Moeller, Spandri / Wiedemann, Elia Spandri
  • Area: 388.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Benjamin A. Monn

© Benjamin A. Monn © Benjamin A. Monn © Benjamin A. Monn © Benjamin A. Monn

Exhibition: 2D:3D Barkow Leibinger

Only 5 more days on the exhibition 2D:3D, an installation by Barkow Leibinger at the BDA Berlin Gallery. Covering the wall surfaces of the small gallery space with “tapete” or wallpaper the façade of the storefront gallery frames what Leon Battista Alberti described as a fenestra aperta. In this configuration the space of the gallery is a projection/ extension of the streetscape in the bourgeois residential historical Mommsenstrasse neighborhood.

VIDEO: Light Installation Transforms Cylindrical Tower

The bowels of a Gasometer may be an unlikely place to stage a light installation, however, URBANSCREEN, a German projection company, has done just that. 320 Licht is a spectacle of light and sound within a cylindrical volume over 300 feet high. With the help of Epson Germany, URBANSCREEN was able to sync 21 separate projectors for a 22 minute loop, documenting the process in the amazing high-definition video above. Enjoy!