The student architecture competition “120 Hours” has released the winners of its 2016 competition—“What Ever Happened to Architectural Space?”—which this year challenged entrants to imagine a space without program or site. In a time when the discourse of architecture is influenced more by program and environment than spatial quality, the brief was uniquely challenging in its simplicity. Entries were received from over 2863 students from 72 countries, with winners selected by a jury headed by Christian Kerez and including Maria Shéhérazade Giudici, Beate Hølmebakk, Neven Mikac Fuchs and Marina Montresor.
Originally devised by students in Oslo, the competition format is intended as a way of encouraging discourse among architecture students across the world, with competition briefs released just 120 hours (5 days) before the submission deadline. These unique restrictions have fostered a reputation for unconventional and challenging proposals and winning entries in the past have included giant scaffolds of hammocks and the use of robots to inhabit an abandoned town. Read on to see the top three award recipients for 2016.
Though architectural history is replete with bricks, stones, and steel, there is no rule that states that architecture must be ‘solid’. Sverre Fehn, one of the most prominent architects of postwar Norway, regularly made use of heavy materials like concrete and stone masonry in his projects . In this way, his proposal for the Nordic Pavilion at the Osaka World Expo in 1970 could be seen as an atypical exploration of a more delicate structure. Representing a very different aspect of ‘Modernity’ than his usual work, Fehn’s “breathing balloon” pavilion stands not only in contradiction to Fehn’s design canon, but to that of traditional architecture as a whole.
Architectural photographer Marc Goodwinhas recently completed "the ultra-marathon of photoshoots:" twenty-eight architectural offices in twenty-eight days, spread across four capital cities – Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Helsinki. His aim was to understand what sort of spaces architects in the Nordic countries operate in, and how they differ between each respective country. From former boathouses to stables and coal deposits, Goodwin has captured some of the most unique working environments the profession has to offer.
The Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design (ArkDes) have revealed that In Therapy: Nordic Countries Face to Face—the exhibition for the Nordic Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, curated by David Basulto—will partly comprise "a contemporary survey of Nordic architecture." 300 projects, drawn from over 500 submissions to a recent open call, will be complemented by an in-depth study of nine projects completed post-2008 by practices including Tham & Videgård, Reiulf Ramstad Architects, and Lahdelma & Mahlamäki.
"Just as Sverre Fehn’s pavilion is a crystallisation of Nordic architecture—embodying a precise and fluid articulation of structure, light, and nature—the nine we have chosen to focus in on as particularly representative of the contemporary scene have a similar gravitas and complexity – but with their own distinct identities" says Basulto, who has made the selection alongside James Taylor-Foster, Assistant Curator.
Villa Tugendhat (1928–30) in the Czech Republic is the most well-preserved example of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s early functionalism. It is regarded as one of the world’s most important manifestations of villa architecture and has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The building also likely inspired the Norwegian architect Arne Korsmo’s work on Villa Stenersen (1937–39).
Following an international open call for 'Intervention Strategies' which connect and correspond to the 2016 Oslo Architecture Triennale’s theme—After Belonging—five proposals have been selected to be developed as part of its core program, to be displayed and discussed throughout the course of the event. The jury have been "pleased and impressed by the wide range of proposals, their creativity, seriousness and sometimes also the humor with which [the submissions] approach issues of real gravity, and by the care and hard work that was evident in almost all of them."
The Nordic nations—Finland, Norway and Sweden—have reached a pivotal point in their collective, and individual, architectural identities. The Grandfathers of the universal Nordic style—including the likes of Sverre Fehn, Peter Celsing, Gunnar Asplund, Sigurd Lewerentz, Alvar Aalto, and Eero Saarinen—provided a foundation upon which architects and designers since have both thrived on and been confined by. The Nordic Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale—directed by Alejandro Aravena—will be the moment to probe: to discuss, argue, debate and challenge what Nordic architecture really is and, perhaps more importantly, what it could be in years to come.
We're asking for every practice (and individual) across the world who have built work in Finland, Norway and Sweden in the past eight years to submit their project(s) and be part of the largest survey of contemporary Nordic architecture ever compiled.
Update: the Open Call for In Therapy closed on the 24th January 2016.
http://www.archdaily.com/780078/in-therapy-nil-the-nordic-contribution-to-the-2016-venice-biennaleAD Editorial Team