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Monocle 24 Travels to Tokyo, Vienna and Melbourne Examining 'Quality of Life'

For this week's editions of Section DMonocle 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft, and The Urbanist, their weekly "guide to making better cities," the Monocle team travel across three continents exploring the seemingly illusive question of 'quality of life.'

In this week's edition of The Urbanist, and to coincide with Monocle's annual Quality of Life survey, Andrew Tuck examines why Tokyo is at the forefront of an urban-garden revolution, how the Austrian capital is planning on self-facilitating its development as a major business hub, and talks to Robert Doyle, Lord Mayor of Melbourne, about the apparent cultural boom currently taking place in his city. In Section D, Josh Fehnert transports listeners to the UK's "post-industrial heartland" to talk to the people behind this year's Sheffield Design Week, plus more.

Listen to both episodes after the break.

Call for Exhibitors: 2015 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism Architecture in Hong Kong and Shenzhen

The 2015 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism Architecture (UABB) has launched an open call for exhibitors. Co-organized by Shenzhen and Hong Kong, UABB is the only biennial exhibition in the world that is based exclusively on the themes of urbanism and urbanization. This year's edition, which will run from December 2015 to February 2016, will be based around the themes "Re-Living the City" and "Visions 2050 - Lifestyle & The City." All those who are interested in participating as an exhibitor should submit their proposals to the organizers of the Shenzhen curatorial team (here) and Hong Kong curatorial team (here) before June 30, 2015. See our past coverage on the 2013 UABB to learn more about the event.

Community Green Station / Hong Kong Architectural Services Department

Courtesy of Architectural Services Department Courtesy of Architectural Services Department Courtesy of Architectural Services Department Courtesy of Architectural Services Department

WING Loft / Laboratory for Explorative Architecture & Design

© Dennis Lo Designs © Dennis Lo Designs © Dennis Lo Designs © Dennis Lo Designs

Private Residence at Stubbs Road / NC Design & Architecture

  • Architects: NC Design & Architecture
  • Location: Evergreen Villa Block A, 43 Stubbs Road, Hong Kong
  • Architect In Charge: Nelson Chow
  • Area: 2700.0 ft2
  • Photographs: Dennis Lo

© Dennis Lo © Dennis Lo © Dennis Lo © Dennis Lo

Ore-No Kappa / YO CO.

  • Architects: Hiroshi Kanazawa / Yo
  • Location: Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong
  • Designer: Hiroshi Kanazawa
  • Area: 350.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Courtesy of YO CO.

Courtesy of YO CO. Courtesy of YO CO. Courtesy of YO CO. Courtesy of YO CO.

SK Yee Healthy Life Centre / Ronald Lu & Partners

  • Architects: Ronald Lu & Partners
  • Location: Tuen Mun, Hong Kong
  • Design Team: Andy Leung, Lemuel Cheng, Helen Ng, Gary Pang
  • Area: 350.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Ronald Lu & Partners

Courtesy of Ronald Lu & Partners Courtesy of Ronald Lu & Partners Courtesy of Ronald Lu & Partners Courtesy of Ronald Lu & Partners

BabySteps Interior / AtelierBlur/Georges Hung Architecte D.P.L.G. + Priestman Architects HK

© Jason Findley © Jason Findley © Jason Findley © Jason Findley

Mrs. Pound / NC Design & Architecture

© Dennis Lo © Dennis Lo © Dennis Lo © Dennis Lo

Six Teams Studying Uneven Growth to Exhibit Proposals for Expanding Megacities at MoMA

As the culmination of a 14-month initiative to examine new architectural possibilities for rapid growth in six megalopolises - Hong Kong, Istanbul, Lagos, Mumbai, New York, and Rio de Janeiro - the Museum of Modern Art is preparing to open Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities on November 22. The exhibition will present mappings of emergent modes of tactical urbanism from around the globe alongside proposals for a bottom-up approach to urban growth in the highlighted cities by six interdisciplinary teams made up of local practitioners and international architecture and urbanism experts.

Curator Pedro Gadanho, in collaboration with the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts (MAK), states: 

“The exhibition features design scenarios for future developments that simultaneously raise awareness of the prevailing inequalities in specific urban areas and confront the changing roles of architects vis-à-vis ever-increasing urbanization. Each team in the exhibition was asked to consider how emergent forms of tactical urbanism can respond to alterations in the nature of public space, housing, mobility, spatial justice, environmental conditions, and other major issues in near-future urban contexts.” 

A synopsis of each team’s work, after the break.

Joyce Wang’s Hong Kong Restaurant Named World’s Best Interior of 2014

Joyce Wang Studio’s MOTT32 bar and restaurant in Hong Kong has been named the best interior space of 2014. The news was announced today in Singapore at the INSIDE World Festival of Interiors, alongside the World Architecture Festival’s Building of the Year announcement

MOTT32, which initially took first in it’s category, was selected as the world’s best interior from 60 nominations and a shortlist of nine. The project was lauded for it's "rich texture", "theatrical environment" and "sophisticated" detail. 

More about the “world’s best interior,” after the break. 

Hong Kong Velodrome / P&T Group

Courtesy of P&T Group Courtesy of P&T Group Courtesy of P&T Group Courtesy of P&T Group

Studio CTC Imagines Terraced Twin Skyscrapers in Hong Kong

© Studio CACHOUA TORRES CAMILLETTI
© Studio CACHOUA TORRES CAMILLETTI

Skyscrapers have developed a typical form language over the past century—many of them are large, rectangular, and sheathed in glass, but Studio CACHOUA TORRES CAMILLETTI is changing that. Working with the notion that even superstructures should be as varied as the cities they’re built in, the Mexican design firm has created a spectacular vision for a skyscraper in Hong Kong. With two curvilinear towers that support rice paddies on their terraces, the proposal includes cultural context in the very structure of the building.

© Studio CACHOUA TORRES CAMILLETTI © Studio CACHOUA TORRES CAMILLETTI © Studio CACHOUA TORRES CAMILLETTI © Studio CACHOUA TORRES CAMILLETTI

Landscape Design Unveiled for West Kowloon Cultural District Park

The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority has recently unveiled the landscape design plans for the West Kowloon Cultural District, a scheme that will activate the waterfront and create a dynamic green space in what will be one of the largest cultural developments in the world. Developed by Dennis Lau & Ng Chun Man Architects & Engineers, with West 8 and ACLA, the concept plan features outdoor areas for exhibitions and performances, recreational lawns, and a waterfront promenade.

AD Interviews: Keith Griffiths, Chairman of Aedas, on Appoaching Densification in London

Following the recent announcement of Aedas' demerger into two separate companies - one retaining the Aedas name and the other now known as AHR - we spoke to Keith Griffiths, Chairman of Aedas' global board and a practicing architect for close to three decades. The company, which was recently ranked by the Architects' Journal as the 5th largest and most influential practice in the world, have now moved their head office to London's Chandos Place and are championing a new approach to urban regeneration in the UK's capital. Alongside discussing how an international practice of Aedas' scale successfully operates, Griffiths offered his insight into how the future looks for European cities based on a tried and tested Asian model of densification.

To find out how Aedas approach sustainability in flourishing Asian markets, as well as the significance of the 'urban hub' typology for London's metropolitan future, read the interview in full after the break.

Nanfung Commercial, Hospitality and Exhibition Complex, Guangzhou, China. Image Courtesy of Aedas North Star Mixed-use Development, Beijing, China [Designed by Andrew Bromberg]. Image Courtesy of Aedas Hengqin International Financial Centre, Zhuhai, China. Image Courtesy of Aedas R&F Centre, Guangzhou, China {Project Design Director - Ken Wai, Aedas]. Image Courtesy of Aedas

Capturing Hong Kong's Dizzying Vertical Density

© Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze
© Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze

Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze is a French photographer who captures the dizzying heights and uncommon densities of Hong Kong. Inspired by "the geometry of the urban environment and the vivid lives it shelters," Jacquet-Lagrèze has not only captured the verticality of Hong Kong's built environment, but also compiled a new book, Vertical Horizon, "a photographic journey between the buildings of a relentlessly growing city." See more of Jacquet-Lagrèze's images, and read an excerpt from Vertical Horizonafter the break.

© Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze © Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze © Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze © Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze

Hong Kong's International Commerce Centre Wins Inaugural CTBUH Performance Award

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has announced Kohn Pedersen Fox AssociatesInternational Commerce Centre in Hong Kong as the winner of its first ever Performance Award. The new award recognizes the project with the lowest measured environmental impact on the urban realm, as measured using actual data from the completed construction.

The CTBUH explains the need for the prize, saying: "Most awards programs focus on design intent, as opposed to actual performance – often well-intentioned projects are not revisited, and thus not held accountable." KPF's 484-metre tall office tower won the prize based largely on its policy of collecting and sharing performance data.

Read on after the break for more on the award