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Reflections on the 2014 Venice Biennale

Fundamentals, the title of the 2014 Venice Biennale, will close its doors in a matter of days (on the 23rd November). From the moment Rem Koolhaas revealed the title for this year’s Biennale in January 2013, asking national curators to respond directly to the theme of ‘Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014’, there was an inkling that this Biennale would be in some way special. Having rejected offers to direct the Biennale in the past, the fact that Koolhaas chose to act not only as curator but also thematic co-ordinator of the complete international effort, was significant. This announcement led Peter Eisenman (one of Koolhaas' earliest tutors and advocates) to state in one interview that “[Rem is] stating his end: the end of [his] career, the end of [his] hegemony, the end of [his] mythology, the end of everything, the end of architecture.”

Alpine Foothills House / Deamicisarchitetti

  • Architects: Deamicisarchitetti
  • Location: 10080 Borgiallo Turin, Italy
  • Area: 180.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: L. Bartoli, G. Leo

Courtesy of Deamicisarchitetti Courtesy of Deamicisarchitetti Courtesy of Deamicisarchitetti Courtesy of Deamicisarchitetti

Mario Palanti: Architect of Rome's Skyscraper That Never Was

Adam Nathaniel Furman, architect and winner of this year's Blueprint Award for Design Innovation, is currently undertaking his tenure as the recipient of the 2014/15 Rome Prize for Architecture at the British School at Rome. His ongoing project, entitled The Roman Singularity, seeks to explore and celebrate Rome as "the contemporary city par-excellence" - "an urban version of the internet, a place where the analogical-whole history of society, architecture, politics, literature and art coalesce into a space so intense and delimited that they collapse under the enormity of their own mass into a singularity of human endeavour."

In this short essay inspired by the work of Dietrich C Neumann, an architectural historian at Brown University (Providence, RI USA), Furman examines what would have been "the tallest building in the world [...] housing Italy’s new Parliament, lecture halls, meeting rooms, a hotel, library, enormous sports facilities, lighthouse, clock, astronomical observatory, telegraph and telephone stations, [reflecting] sunlight off its acres and acres of white Carrara marble." In the shadow of Italian Fascism, Mario Palanti saw an opportunity to transform the skyline of the Italian capital by pandering to the egotistical ambitions of a dictator. Ultimately the extent of his vision was matched only by his failure.

Venice Biennale Hosts Third Annual "Archives and Exhibitions" Livestream Conference

With just over two weeks left in the 14th Venice Biennale of Architecture, Paolo Baratta, President of La Biennale, is hosting a one day conference on the intersection between archives, exhibitions and digital integration. Focusing on the themes of the "dissipation of memory" and the "vulnerability of digital data" in an age of ever-changing technological platforms, the conference is the third in a series of archive-themed events hosted at the Giardini in the Biennale Library, and will feature a screening of Digital Amnesia, a documentary on the lifespan of archival technology, along with a round table discussion with leading archivists and curators from around the world. Panelists include the Mirko Zardini, Director and Chief Curator from the Canadian Centre for Architecture, archive superintendents from three Italian provinces, professors from three Italian universities, and Debora Rossi, the chief archivist for the Venice Biennale.

DCS House / Giuseppe Gurrieri + Valentina Giampiccolo

  • Architects: Giuseppe Gurrieri , Valentina Giampiccolo
  • Location: 97100 Ragusa Ragusa, Italy
  • Area: 400.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Filippo Poli

© Filippo Poli © Filippo Poli © Filippo Poli © Filippo Poli

Fly Through Milan's 2015 Expo Site in Progress With the Help of a Drone

Construction is entering into the final stages for Expo Milan 2015, with just over six months left in the five-year build. A quick fly through shows the centrepiece Italian Pavilion nearing structural completion, with national and corporate pavilions making steady progress. The video is the fifth in a series of drone-led tours of the site, created in partnership between Expo Milan and Telecom Italia.

Find out more and watch the remaining four videos after the break 

Balestrate Seafront / AM3 Architetti Associati + Studio Cangemi

© Mauro Filippi © Mauro Filippi © Mauro Filippi © Mauro Filippi

Filiput Sporthall / Waltritsch a+u

  • Architects: Waltritsch a+u
  • Location: Ronchi dei Legionari Gorizia, Italy
  • Architect In Charge: Dimitri Waltritsch Trieste
  • Area: 1600.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Marco Covi

© Marco Covi © Marco Covi © Marco Covi © Marco Covi

AM3's Prize-Winning Boarding School to Open Onto Mount Stelvio in Malles

AM3 Architetti Associati has been awarded first prize in a competition to design a new boarding school in Malles (Bozen, Italy). The proposed building takes full advantage of the landscape, opening onto views towards Mount Stelvio and the Mustair Valley. Drawing inspiration from this unique context, AM3 crafts a design that integrates opportunities for active participation between building and land, and student with nature.

© UpLab; Courtesy of AM3 Architetti Associati © UpLab; Courtesy of AM3 Architetti Associati © UpLab; Courtesy of AM3 Architetti Associati © UpLab; Courtesy of AM3 Architetti Associati

Call for Ideas: Rome Community Ring

In partnership with La Sapienza University, Progetto Forti and Rome municipality, Young Architects Competitions (YAC) is launching a competition to redesign one of the treasures of Rome: Forte Portuense.

AMO Invites Dutch Architects to Discuss their Future at the Venice Biennale

On November 20-21, AMO is hosting a discussion event at the Venice Biennale focusing on the past, present and future of Dutch architecture in which 30 young architects will be invited to present their agenda for architecture in the Netherlands for the next 10 years. Over the course of the two days, each participant will present will deliver a 7-minute presentation looking at architecture in 2024 to answer the question "where will you be and will you be doing?" Find out more about the event, and how you can be a part of it, after the break.

Milan Expo 2015: SoNo Arhitekti-Designed Pavilion to Represent Slovenia

SoNo Arhitekti’s design for the Slovenian Pavilion has been chosen to represent the country at the 2015 Milan Expo. One of 142 participants, Slovenia’s pavilion will be based on the slogan, "I FEEL SLOVENIA. Green. Active. Healthy.”

Cloudscapes / Transsolar & Tetsuo Kondo Architects

  • Architects: Transsolar & Tetsuo Kondo Architects
  • Location: Venice, Italy
  • Designer: Nadir Abdessemed, Jakob Merk and Matthias Schuler
  • Project Year: 2010
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Transsolar & Tetsuo Kondo Architects

Courtesy of Transsolar & Tetsuo Kondo Architects Courtesy of Transsolar & Tetsuo Kondo Architects Courtesy of Transsolar & Tetsuo Kondo Architects Courtesy of Transsolar & Tetsuo Kondo Architects

Competition Entry: Studio Ricatti Wins Second Prize for Arcispedale Sant'Anna University Proposal

Courtesy of Studio Ricatti
Courtesy of Studio Ricatti

Studio Ricatti has revealed their design for a new university in the Arcispedale San'Anna in Cona-Ferrara Italy. In a competition hosted by the University of Ferrara, the firm was awarded second place for the proposal, which was characterized by clarity of form, efficient flow, and a balance between intimate and social spaces.

More about the winning entry, after the break.

Elemental, Arup, and Studio Tamassociati Win Zumtobel Awards for Innovation

Courtesy of Massimo Grimaldi and Emergency ngo
Courtesy of Massimo Grimaldi and Emergency ngo

Jury chairman Winy Maas has announced three projects by Arup, Studio Tamassociati and Elemental as winners of the 2014 Zumtobel Group Awards. With a goal to promote innovations for sustainability and humanity in the built environment, the awards represent three categories: Applied Innovations, Buildings and Urban Developments & Initiatives. This year’s winners were selected from 15 nominees, shortlisted from a competitive pool of 356 submissions. 

The winning projects are marked by their innovative and ground-breaking character: “The voting to find the number one project was very close in all three categories, because in each case we were able to choose from among a large number of heterogeneous projects of high quality," Described Maas. "One key criterion for the jury this year was the innovation factor, both in a technical sense and with a view to planning and participation processes as well as ecological and social challenges.”

See the winning projects, after the break.

Milan Expo 2015: Knafo Klimor-Design Pavilion to Represent Israel

Knafo Klimor Architects have been chosen to represent Israel at the 2015 Milan Expo with their “Fields of Tomorrow” pavilion. The elongated pavilion, stretching 70 meters across and rising 12 meters high, will act as a “living” billboard revealing Israel’s past and present successes in modern agriculture.

Bernard Tschumi Presents Final Design for Grottammare Cultural Center

In preparation for groundbreaking, Bernard Tschumi Architects have released the final design for the ANIMA (Arts, Nature, Ideas, Music, Action) cultural center in Grottammare (Ascoli Piceno, Italy). The 30-meter “perfect square” will offer the Piceno region and the Adriatic coast a public centre for collecting and cultivating the broadest manifestations of artistic, creative and productive culture. 

An animation, the architect's description and more images after the break.