Alejandro Aravena and the jury for the 15th International Architecture Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia have just announced the winning participations.
The Golden Lion for Best National Participation went to Spain for UNFINISHED. The jury cited Carlos Quintáns & Iñaqui Carnicero's "concisely curated selection of emerging architects whose work shows how creativity and commitment can transcend material constraints."
Throughout the course of his career, the forms present in Zvi Hecker's work have undergone significant changes – from the rigidly geometric shapes of his early work such as his Ramot Polin housing and Synagogue in the Negev Desert, to his more freeform recent works like the Jewish School he designed in Berlin. Hecker, though, sees all of his works as both consistent with each other and individual, describing himself as “an artist whose profession is architecture.” In this interview from his “City of Ideas” column, Vladimir Belogolovsky speaks with Hecker about his inspirations and the ideas that underpin his career.
Vladimir Belogolovsky:I visited the Heinz-Galinski school here in Berlin where your original idea came from the pattern of sunflower seeds; it was not the first time you used it. Could you talk about your fascination with the sunflower, and why you think it is a good guiding principle for a building?
Zvi Hecker: Well, one can’t qualify it as a blueprint for every building. This one was the first Jewish school built in Berlin after the Holocaust. Coming from Israel, I wondered—what could I bring to the children of Berlin? A flower is a natural present and a sunflower is a common flower in Israel. What began as a sunflower evolved into a series of continuously changing images. Already in the construction stage, it looked to some like a kind of a small city with winding streets and courtyards, not really a building. Later on when the schematic model of the load-bearing walls was made, we were surprised to find out that “pages of an open book” were hidden in our design. We didn’t realize it earlier—in Hebrew, school is Beth-Sefer, which literally means “house of the book.”
The past month has seen a variety of potential topics of discussion - but when it comes to the most thoughtful comments, it seems ArchDaily users have been preoccupied with one theme: quality of life. From a discussion about micro-apartments, to a critical take on the supposedly "romantic" portrayal of favelas, and even to a prediction that soon the design of virtual reality will take precedence over the design of actual reality, it seems our readers have been thinking a lot about living conditions in many spheres of life. Read on to find out what they had to say.
The resignation itself was demanded* by Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber after Zaera-Polo was accused of plagiarizing parts of a text he produced for the “Elements of Architecture” exhibition curated by Rem Koolhaas at the 2014 Venice Biennale. From the start, Zaera-Polo has denied that his texts violate Princeton’s academic code of conduct, but nevertheless agreed to Eisgruber’s demand. In the documents leaked Tuesday, Zaera-Polo criticizes the actions taken by Princeton both before and since his resignation, arguing that they have damaged his reputation. He is thus suing them on four charges: “breach of contract,” “breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing,” “tortious interference with contract and prospective economic advantage,” and finally “trade libel.”
The story will undoubtedly receive a lot of attention, given that it involves a controversial dispute between an internationally renowned architect and a university with an international stature. But the real story behind the dispute is not about Alejandro Zaera-Polo’s academic conduct or Princeton’s handling of its staff contracts; instead, it has everything to do with our expected standards for architectural research.
The Victoria and Albert Museum has unveiled its latest installation: the Elytra Filament Pavilion, a project displaying the culmination of four years of research on the integration of architecture, engineering, and biomimicry principles, in an exploration of how biological fiber systems can be transferred to architecture.
The 200-square-meter structure is inspired by lightweight construction principles found in nature, namely "the fibrous structures of the forewing shells of flying beetles known as elytra," states a press release.
In the newest video by architects Wahyu Pratomo and Kris Provoost of YouTube’s #donotsettle, the duo visit MVRDV’s "The Stairs" installed outside Centraal Station in Rotterdam. The project commemorates the 75th anniversary of the city’s reconstruction after World War II by devising the staircase now attached to the Groot Handelsgebouw, a landmark and one of Rotterdam’s first post-war buildings. In the video, Pratomo and Provoost discuss the idea of temporariness, experience-driven architecture, context, and symbolism inspired by MVRDV’s intervention, all the while asking other visitors for their own reactions to the spectacle.
Growing out of the success of coworking, the latest big phenomenon in the world of property is coliving. Like its predecessor, coliving is predicated upon the idea that sharing space can bring benefits to users in terms of cost and community. And, like its predecessor, there are already many variations on the idea with numerous different ventures appearing in the past year, each tweaking the basic concept to find a niche.
There are a lot of existing accommodation types that are “a bit like” coliving—depending on who you ask, coliving might be described as either a halfway point between apartments and hotels, “dorms for adults” or “glorified hostels.” And yet, despite these similarities to recognizable paradigms, countless recent articles have proclaimed that coliving could “change our thinking on property and ownership,” “change the way we work and travel,” or perhaps even “solve the housing crisis.” How can coliving be so familiar and yet so groundbreaking at the same time? To find out, I spent a week at a soon-to-open property in Miami run by Roam, a company which has taken a uniquely international approach to the coliving formula.
As the 2016 Venice Biennale is set to begin this upcoming Saturday, May 28th, the first glimpses of the pavilions have begun to roll in through the social media wires. In addition to the event’s main exhibition, curated by this year's Pritzker Prize winnerAlejandro Aravena, there will be 63 exhibitions held in country pavilions throughout the grounds responding to this year’s theme of “Reporting From the Front.” We've taken to Instagram to round up the best sneak peeks of the exhibitions coming together at architecture’s preeminent event—read on to take a look.
In this new collaboration, originally titled "Architecture for the system and systems for architecture," Spanish architect and cofounder of the blog MetaSpace, Manuel Saga, reflects on the experience of developing (and taking on) a game where architecture plays a key role for the designer, and for the player. The case studies? No less than four major titles of our times: Starcraft, Age of Empires, Diablo and Dungeon of the Endless.
On MetaSpace we have introduced a general overview of the challenges that video game designers face when creating buildings, cities and even maps. This time we will go one step further: what happens when a game doesn’t offer a narrative or a fixed, open map, but rather an architectural system that the player can take control of? How does a design team respond to something like that?
One of the most significant buildings of the late modernist style, Le Corbusier’s Convent de la Tourette exemplifies the architect’s style and sensibilities in the latter end of his career. Built between 1956 and 1960 on a hillside near Lyon, France, the priory dominates the landscape, with its strict, geometric form.
In their semester-long project at Zaha Hadid’s final studio course at the Yale School of Architecture, students Lisa Albaugh, Benjamin Bourgoin, Jamie Edindjiklian, Roberto Jenkins and Justin Oh envisioned a new a high density mixed-use project for London's Bishopsgate Goodsyard, the largest undeveloped piece of land still existing in central London.
Penda has designed a landscape for Hyderabad, India, inspired by the country's stepwells and water mazes. When completed, the 8,000 square meter (85,000 square foot) Magic Breeze Landscape will serve 145 apartments in a development by Pooja Crafted Homes. Some of the landscape's signature features will be its bamboo coves, flower gardens, water displays, and built-in benches. The steps found throughout the landscape will double as planters for flowers, herbs, and grasses, that will serve as a communal garden for residents.
Martin Barry: To me, it seems is too early to comment on the aesthetics of the buildings. We should focus on how the collection of buildings enhances the urban character of the city, and how they can improve the urban condition around the buildings. The city is a collection of buildings; the spaces between are what influence people’s lives; not so much the materials and forms of the architecture. That being said, this is a major development site and relatively large footprint of buildings from ZHA adjacent to the historic center of the city. So, we should pay close attention to how the designs develop. At present, it is clear that it is early and they need work.
Sunlight has proven to be an excellent formgiver, with which architecture can create dynamic environments. The lighting design pioneer William M.C. Lam (1924-2012) emphasized in his book “Sunlighting as Formgiver” that the consideration of daylight is about much more than energy efficiency. Architects have now found numerous ways of implementing sunlight and the questions arises whether a coherent daylight typology could be a valuable target during the design process. However, many daylight analyses focus mainly on energy consumption.
Siobhan Rockcastle and Marilyne Andersen, though, have developed a thrilling qualitative approach at EPFL in Lausanne. Their interest was driven by the spatial and temporal diversity of daylight, introducing a matrix with 10 shades of daylight.
Can architects have a truly active role in pressing social problems? Malkit Shoshan, the curator of the Dutch Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, thinks so. Her career is evidence of this: advocating for the incorporation of a fourth 'D' in the criteria of the UN (Defence, Diplomacy and Development) in its peacekeeping missions around the world, Shoshan has sat at the same table as military engineers and policy makers to analyze the urban impact peacekeepers have left around the world.
A little over a month since Rotterdam-based practice MVRDV announced a new temporary urban structure—a 180-step staircase, 29 meters tall and 57 meters long—for the heart of city of Rotterdam, the project has been officially opened. Those who ascend the staircase will find a temporary observation deck looking over Rotterdam Centraal, a rooftop bar, and the temporary reopening of the Kriterion cinema that was last active in the 1960s.