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Winners of Concordia Lighthouse Competition Announced

Open-idea competition platform matterbetter has announced the winners of its Concordia Lighthouse Competition, which sought to pay tribute to the Costa Concordia Disaster of 2012 when a cruise ship capsized off the coast of Tuscany, causing 33 deaths. Open to architectural students and young architectural professionals, participants were asked to “redefine contemporary lighthouse typology and take into consideration advances in technology, development of sustainable systems and its metaphorical value which has made it one of the most inspiring structures in the world.”

Out of 282 entries, first place was awarded to Gwizdala Andrzej and Adrien Mans for their Concordia Lightscape design, which disperses the idea of a lighthouse into thin lines that increase in density as they move closer to the sea.

House B / Unostudio Architetti associati

© Gianni Basso / vegamg © Gianni Basso / vegamg © Gianni Basso / vegamg © Gianni Basso / vegamg

Rem Koolhaas on Prada, Preservation, Art and Architecture

With the opening of the Fondazione Prada art galleries in May, OMA showed a different side to their practice, one focusing on preservation and assemblage rather than the iconography and diagrammatic layout that many associate with the firm. In this interview, originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Koolhaas Talks Prada," Rem Koolhaas explains the reasoning behind this new approach, and how they attempted to avoid falling into the clichés of post-industrial art spaces.

When the Fondazione Prada opened its doors to a new permanent home in Milan dedicated to contemporary culture, it not only placed the Italian city firmly at the forefront of today’s global art world, but also introduced an ambitious new way of thinking about the relationship between architecture and art. The location—an original 1910 distillery in a distinctly gritty part of the city—comprised seven spaces including warehouses and three enormous brewing cisterns with a raw industrial quality that the architects, Dutch firm OMA, retained while adding three new buildings made of glass, white concrete, and aluminum foam. One, the centrally located Podium, is intended for temporary shows, while another—still under construction—is a nine-story tower that will house the foundation’s archives, art installations, and a restaurant. The third, a theater with a mirrored facade, features folding walls that allow the building to open onto a courtyard. In total, the collection of buildings provides nearly 120,000 square feet of exhibition space, more than twice that of the new Whitney Museum of American Art. Metropolis correspondent Catherine Shaw visited the site with Pritzker Prize–winning architect Rem Koolhaas to find out more about the challenges of creating a new cultural paradigm.

OMA’s approach to the exhibition pavilions is eclectic, though undeniably modern. (Note the Miesian detail of the vertical beam affixed to the building envelope). Image © Bas Princen - Fondazione Prada The Fondazione’s inaugural exhibition, the Serial Classic, explores questions of authenticity and imitation in classical antiquity. The lifesize sculptures are mounted on an intricate flooring system designed for the exhibition and composed of travertine, brushed aluminum, and perspex—all exposed along the edges. Image © Attilio Maranzano The gilded exhibition hall is the central focal point of the Fondazione. Called the Haunted House, the structure’s blank utilitarian features are draped in gold leaf, an ostensibly spontaneous extravagance that Koolhaas post-rationalizes on functionalist grounds. The building towers above the rest of the campus’s open-air spaces and warehouses, which all can be taken in from the Haunted House’s balconies. Image © Bas Princen - Fondazione Prada The Fondazione encompasses a veritable townscape consisting of warehouse hangars interwoven with the new buildings. The former are subtly spruced up, indicated by the linear orange markings repeated on their exterior. Elevation changes in the ground variegate the pedestrian’s experience of the compound while demarcating the Fondazione’s important nodes, such as the cinema clad in a mirrored veneer. Touches likes this lend the complex a haunting, almost surrealist dimension. Image © Bas Princen - Fondazione Prada

Milan Restores Famous Rainbow Tower Tiles

The Milan City Council, in partnership with the Rete Ferroviaria Italiana Gruppo FS Italiane railway authorities, has completed the restoration of the famous Torre Arcobaleno (Rainbow Tower) at Porto Garibaldi. 

Once an anonymous water reservoir in the 1960s, the tower was renovated for the 1990 World Cup as part of an initiative in Italy to “turn downtrodden public works into highly recognizable urban beacons.” At this time, the tower was a piece of the Wonderline project, which connected art and architectural initiatives to themes of color, designed to express “the desire to inhabit our planet intelligently, creating a harmony between technology, nature, innovation, and tradition.”

Villaggio Save The Children / Argot ou La Maison Mobile

© Marco Menghi © Delfino Sisto Legnani © Marco Menghi © Delfino Sisto Legnani

Gallery: Palladio in Vicenza

Phillip Bond, an architectural photographer based in the US, recently made a trip back to the city of his birth: Vicenza. While there he took the opportunity to photograph a series of Andrea Palladio's most famous works, from the Palazzo Chiericati and the Basilica Palladiana, to the Palazzo del Capitaniato. The vast majority of Palladio's built works exist in the Veneto region of Italy in cities such as Padua, Verona, and Venice with the highest concentration in Vicenza, which was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.

See the gallery in full after the break.

Palladio in Vincenza. Image © Phillip Bond Palazzo Chiericati. Image © Phillip Bond © Phillip Bond © Phillip Bond

Kristalia New Headquarters / Sandro Burigana

© Paolo Contratti - Contratticompany Srl © Paolo Contratti - Contratticompany Srl © Paolo Contratti - Contratticompany Srl © Paolo Contratti - Contratticompany Srl

Casa Crotta / Massimo Galeotti Architetto

© Francesco Castagna © Francesco Castagna © Francesco Castagna © Francesco Castagna

Moroccan Pavilion Milan Expo 2015 / OUALALOU+CHOI

  • Architects: OUALALOU+CHOI
  • Location: Padiglione Marocco - Expo 2015, Via Belgioioso Cristina, 70, 20157 Milano, Italy
  • Architect in Charge: ​Tarik Oualalou, Linna Choi
  • Area: 1300.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: ​Luc Boegly

© ​Luc Boegly © ​Luc Boegly © ​Luc Boegly © ​Luc Boegly

LEGO@ Villa Pennisi in Musica

A theatre destroyed by a fire, a unique architecture workshop, a classical music festival and a creative challenge. Can architects design a structure to amplify the sound and put the music back in the theatre? LEGO Architecture Studio is helping out.

Sicillian Farm Renovation / ACA Amore Campione Architettura

© Sebastiano Amore © Sebastiano Amore © Sebastiano Amore © Sebastiano Amore

Snøhetta Selected to Design Cable Car for Bolzano in Italy

The Italian city of Bolzano, located in the foothills of the alps, has an intimate connection with the mountains that surround it. However, for almost 40 years, one of the most commanding views of Bolzano has been inaccessible, since the cable car which led up to the Virgolo mountain was closed in 1976. After winning an international design competition hosted by The SIGNA Group, Snøhetta has now been selected to replace that cable car, making the summit of Virgolo accessible once again and returning a valuable tourist asset to the city.

Summit station. Image © Snøhetta Summit station plan. Image © Snøhetta Summit station. Image © Snøhetta Base station plan. Image © Snøhetta

Ecuador Pavilion Milan Expo 2015 / Zorrozua y Asociados

© Marcela Grassi © Marcela Grassi © Marcela Grassi Courtesy of Zorrozua y Asociados

Exhibition: Cersaie 2015

Cersaie—the world’s largest exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings—will take place at the Bologna Exhibition Center in Bologna, Italy from September 28-October 2, 2015 for its 33rd year. The show is organized by Edi.Cer SpA and promoted by Confindustria Ceramica in collaboration with Bologna Fiere.

Ecosustainable House In Salento / Massimo Iosa Ghini

© Cosmo Laera © Cosmo Laera © Cosmo Laera © Cosmo Laera

ENEL Pavilion / Piuarch

  • Architects: Piuarch
  • Location: Expo Gate, Via Luca Beltrami, 20121 Milano, Italy
  • Architect in Charge: Francesco Fresa, Germàn Fuenmayor, Gino Garbellini, Monica Tricario
  • Design Team: Gianni Mollo, Marco Dragoni, Davide Fascione, Enrico Pellegrini, Jenny Spagnolatti, Gianluca Iannotta, Alessandro Leanti, Santiago Trujillo, Anna Zauli
  • Area: 900.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Andrea Martiradonna

© Andrea Martiradonna © Andrea Martiradonna © Andrea Martiradonna © Andrea Martiradonna