Religious architecture in Russia, arguably, remains backward-looking. With the Soviet Union’s anti-religious stance in the 20th century, religious architecture found little opportunity to grow. Russian architect, Philip Yakubchuk argues that only recently has religious Russian architecture begun “learning to walk again” as it discovers its once-rich history. Quadratura Circuli, a trio of young Russian designers Daniil Makarov, Ivan Zemlyakov, and Yakubchuk, are eager to move beyond the image of St Basil’s Cathedral—seeking to revitalize and create a new image of Russian religious architecture for the 21st century.
The group’s Latin name translates to “Squaring the Circle” which is a metaphor used to describe a task that is believed to be impossible—a striking name for a group dedicated entirely to “designing temples for the people of today.” However, with their proposal for a Russian Orthodox Cultural Center in Reykjavik, Iceland, Cuadratura Circuli demonstrates that it is not impossible to link the art of the past and the culture of the present.
For this week's The Urbanist, Monocle 24's "guide to making better cities," Andrew Tuck and David Plaisant broadcast a Reykjavík special with a series of reports from the Icelandic capital. They explore how this city marks its spot on the world map, looking at its high-quality new museums alongside its growing cultural and culinary scene. With around one million tourists visiting the city last year, th Reykjavík is experiencing a boom in popularity — which some describe as "maybe too much". With only around 300,000 inhabitants, Monocle 24 asks how the world's most northerly capital is coping with this growing success.
The 'Emerging Architect Special Mention' award goes to María Langarita and Víctor Navarro for the Nave de Música Matadero (Red Bull Music Academy) in Madrid, Spain. The award ceremony will take place on 7 June at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona, coinciding with the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the prize.
Designed and directed by Iceland based architect Marcos Zotes and his studio UNSTABLE, their Pixel Cloud installation is the winning competition entry for the Reykjavik Winter Lights Festival 2013, organized by Höfuðborgarstofa, Orkusalan and the Iceland Design Center. The installation creates an opportunity for Icelanders to reconsider the use and management of their urban public spaces. With the current financial situation leaving a permanent landscape of obsolete scaffolding structures scattered across the city, this has resulted in urban scars that remind us of the fragility of their current society. This installation takes advantage of this condition by transforming an ordinary scaffolding structure into a fully immersive environment of light and sound in the heart of Reykjavík. More images and architects' description after the break.
Designed for the “Vigdis Foundation”, the Languages Center aims to be a rational building, where modulation is a key aspect. Designed by OOIIO Architecture, there is no architectural excess that might increase the budget, but quite singular and special at the same time, comfortable for users and interesting enough to get the pedestrians attention. Built to host exhibitions, a cinema-theater, café, library, and more, the construction of the building is efficient, quick and with a rational materials use. More images and architects’ description after the break.More images and architects’ description after the break.
Based on natural light, open spaces and greenery such as peat, grass and flowers, the proposal by OOIIO Architecture for the Female Prison in Iceland dismisses the dark spaces, small cells and grey concrete walls typical of a traditional prison. The construction will be economical and efficient while not giving off the appearance of a typical penitentiary and increasing a sense of freedom. More images and architects’ description after the break.