Alejandro Aravena and the jury for the 15th International Architecture Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia have just announced the winning participations.
"Architecture is about giving form to the places where we live. It is not more complicated than that, but also not easier than that." - Alejandro Aravena
With the 2016 Venice Biennale opening this week, it seems oddly appropriate that a dispute originating in the 2014 Biennale is finally hitting the courts. On Tuesday evening, a New Jersey court document was anonymously leaked to ArchDaily and a variety of other architecture publications. It showed that Alejandro Zaera-Polo, founder of AZPML and former Dean of Princeton University’s School of Architecture, was suing his employer over the events surrounding his own abrupt resignation as Dean last year.
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.
David Chipperfield Architects has made further refinements to the design for the Nobel Center in Stockholm. First revealed in October 2013, the project received harsh criticism for being an incongruous presence in the city’s historic center, which lead to a reduction in size amidst other changes in September of last year. Building on the 2015 revision, a more finalized version of the design has now been revealed in new exterior and interior renderings.
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 winner Alejandro 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?
Let's take a look.
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.
In a city as renowned for its historic buildings as Prague, urban change can often be hard to come by – which is why the announcement earlier this month that Zaha Hadid Architects will be designing a large complex of buildings around a railway station close to the city's historic center was big news. But is this the design that Prague needs? In this interview, originally published in Czech by Česká televize, Michaela Polakova speaks to Martin Barry, the Chairman of Prague-based NGO reSITE, for his analysis of how the design will impact the city's future.
Michaela Polakova: What is your opinion on the new Zaha Hadid Architects building in Prague?
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.
This interview was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "MIT on the Frontier: An Interview with Hashim Sarkis."
What do we mean when we say that our homes are “extensions” of ourselves? To put it more precisely, can a home be an extension of more than one person’s sense of “self”? And what happens when a single building is expected to be a home for two very different people? These are the questions asked in the project “Home at Intersection” by Netherlands-based architect Yushang Zhang.
Developed as a personal project in Zhang’s spare time Home at Intersection is, at its heart, as much a story told through architecture as it is an architectural design. The story chronicles the relationship of two young lovers as they embark upon a new chapter in their life together, building and then inhabiting their dream home. But much more than that, the project investigates themes of individuality and social bonds, using architecture as a medium to understand our hidden emotions.