Hello Wood is looking for students and young architects, designers, and artists in their Project Village, its 2015 workshop and symposium held 11-19 July. Applications are due before the 16th of May.
This year’s event follows the success of Hello Wood’s workshop in the summer of 2014, which saw participation from over 120 architects, artists and designers from 25 countries. Project Village will examine the typology of the village and the means for its production, proposing new and more efficient methods of master planning and construction. Among the invited team leaders of Hello Wood 2015 are: the founder of Invisible Studio and Studio in the Woods, Piers Taylor; winner of ArchDaily’s Building of the Year 2014 award, Katsuya Fukushima; and founders of 72 Hour Urban Action architectural group. Open Call for students is available here.
This time last year, Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orbán stood at a podium in a pristine new subway station. Raw concrete beams criss-crossed above him; state-of-the art, driverless trains stood silently beside him. It was the opening ceremony for Line 4, a subway line that due to delays, corruption, and disputes had been 40 years in the making.
“The people of Budapest began to accept the thought that only their grandchildren would use Budapest’s new Metro line, or not even them.” Orbán told the crowd. He recounted an old joke that embodied the cynicism that once surrounded the project: Chuck Norris had been on Metro Line 4.
Orbán credited the line’s completion, which occurred only a few weeks before the 2014 parliamentary elections, to “the solidarity and unity that was established in 2010 [when Orbán’s government took power] and has since been maintained.” He didn’t mention how, under his first government (1998 to 2002), he had withheld funds from the project, contributing significantly to its delay. Nor did he mention that his party had fought against the idea that the line, an expensive infrastructural project, needed architecture at all.
Today, though, the line’s stunning architecture is its most noticeable feature. Line 4 is not just a watershed achievement in Hungary’s history, but also a symbol of what it takes to make contemporary architecture in Hungary today. Both literally and figuratively, contemporary architecture had to go underground.
Arriving at Budapest’s international airport on a warm Saturday in July, I confess to being unprepared for my week ahead at Hello Wood 2014. Hungary was the third country and Budapest the fourth city I had been in in 72 hours, and thanks to this (uncharacteristically) chaotic week, I hadn’t had the chance to research anything about the camp. All I knew was what could be learned from the photos of the 2013 camp which I had published almost a year earlier: that is, that the camp is held in an idyllic rural setting, presumably a significant distance from Budapest; and that the quality of work seems unusually high for a week-long architecture workshop, presumably indicating a serious, focused atmosphere at the camp.
The first of these assumptions was absolutely right. But the second could hardly be more wrong. In fact the atmosphere at the camp was so far from being serious that by Tuesday, Gábor Betegh - a friend of the organizers and coincidentally Cambridge University’s new Laurence Professor of Ancient Philosophy - told me how fascinating it was to compare the “centripetal madness” of the philosophers he knows to the “very centrifugal madness” of the architects at the camp. This remark was made in response to one of the team leaders screeching like a monkey from the top of his team’s half-completed tower.
Work has begun on O'Donnell + Tuomey's first project in Hungary. The new collection of buildings and restoration projects for the Central European University in Budapest sits within existing courtyards in a dense area of the city. Bringing a total of 35,000m² of new space to the inner-city campus, the project consists of a new library spread across five floors, an auditorium, multiple public spaces, teaching and learning facilities, study rooms, and a café.
When Sheila O'Donnell and John Tuomey, who practice in partnership as O'Donnell + Tuomey, were named as this year's recipients of the RIBA Royal Gold Medal, a palpable collective satisfaction appeared to spread throughout the profession. No one could find criticism in Joseph Rykwert and Níall McLaughlin's nomination, nor the ultimate choice of the RIBA Honours Committee, to bestow the award upon the Irish team. Their astonishingly rigourous body of work, compiled and constructed over the last twenty five years, has an appeal which extends beyond Irish and British shores. A robust stock of cultural, community and educational projects, alongside family homes and social housing projects, leaves little doubt about the quality, depth and breadth of their mutual capabilities and the skill of those that they choose to collaborate with.
Read the conversation with the Gold Medallists after the break.
Recent participants in the Liget Budapest design competition, Graeme Massie Architects have taken home third place for their proposed Museum of Ethnography design. The museum, one of five museums planned for the Liget Budapest development, is located at the very corner of Budapest City Park and is meant to act as a welcoming landmark for the city. Graeme Massie fulfills this requirement in a unique fashion, creating a building that is instantly recognizable, but still manages to blend with its surroundings. Learn more, after the break.
The Liget Budapest Competition has recently announced its winners, and Kengo Kuma and Associates has taken home honorable mention for their House of Hungarian Music design. Conceived as a house in the woods, the proposal seeks to embed itself in the landscape, having a low impact on the natural environment while becoming a focal point of Budapest’s urban environment.
The Liget Budapest Architecture Competition has recently announced the winners for Budapest’s new Hungarian House of Music museum design. Coming in second place is architecture firm ARCVS Projektni biro. Their proposal takes the form of an 8-pointed star-shaped dome, held up by a veritable forest of columns. This uncommon shape provides numerous places, both indoors and out, for education, leisure, and exhibition, establishing itself as a prominent destination for the people of Budapest. Learn more, after the break.
A few days ago, the winning design for the new Liget Budapest Museum of Ethnography was revealed. BFarchitecture, awarded second place, has just released their design proposal, which weaves the city and park of Városliget together by flowing the public along the Dózsa György út through the procession of the building.
This past spring, the Liget Budapest competition was launched in the interest of finding new designs for planned cultural buildings in the Hungarian capital. One of these, the House of Hungarian Music, is to be a museum as well as a performance space set in Budapest City Park. Over 170 entries were submitted for the building, and of those, Andrea Vattovani Architecture’s proposal has taken third place. This gently curving and folding sculpture of a building aims to present the history of Hungarian music in an engaging setting, while creating an iconic landmark for the city of Budapest. Learn more, after the break.
Made from 5,000 pieces of firewood, Hello Wood’s “Charity Tree” installation stretches 11 meters high, 4.5 meters wide and weighs 150 quintals (15,000 kilograms). Hello Wood worked with Design Terminal and the Hungarian Interchurch Aid to build the tree in one of Budapest’s central squares, and all of the firewood used in the temporary installation will be given to families in need in January.