Bee Breeders has released the results of their Blue Clay Country Spa competition, which asked participants to design a non-urban ecotourism facility in Latvia. The competition invited students and professionals to “interrogate the inherent tensions between subject and object, [and] building and site,” as well as to “engage the agency of typological form—including, for instance, the courtyard, shed, garden, and pavilion.”
The winners of the Blue Clay Country Spa competition are:
So much has already been written about Hamburg’s undeniably excellent Elbphilharmonie, which formally opened in January but has been publicly accessible, in part, since November. The chatter has mostly revolved around the same two talking points—the building’s on-the-tip-of-your-tongue shape and its fantastic price tag. In addressing the former, critics have called attention to the hall’s resemblance to an iceberg, an outcrop, a ship, circus tents, or the Sydney Opera House. And as for the costs, totaling $900 million, they point out how the project hemorrhaged cash, even if they have inadvertently exaggerated the figures. Having momentarily lost control of the narrative, the city felt compelled to set the record straight in time for the inaugural performance: The building cost just three—not ten!—times the initial budget.
A team of architects and engineers at the Politecnico di Milano in Italy have unveiled Atropos, a six-axis robotic arm capable of printing continuous fiber composites. The one of a kind robot was developed by +Lab, the 3D printing laboratory at the Politecnico, who have taken inspiration from fibres found in the natural world. Through a technology known as Continuous Fiber Composites Smart Manufacturing, Atropos has the potential to create large, complex structures to aid the design and construction process.
Utrecht University’s Urban Futures Studio have announced the 10 finalists for their Post-Fossil City Contest, judged by a jury which included MVRDV co-founder Winy Maas. Each of the successful submissions responded to the contest’s call for the design of a sustainable city no longer reliant on non-renewable energy sources. Designers and makers were invited to envision this new future, which “will reshape our cities and everyday lives so radically that it is hard to imagine what it might feel, taste, smell, and look like.”
Out of the 250 total entries, below are the 10 selected finalists along with a snippet of their proposed futures as described by the competition website.
With the ever-expanding global population, cities around the world today are caught in the midst of mass urbanization; the resultant problems are the topic of much of the current architectural discourse. From these trends stems the challenges of providing adequate amounts of both housing and urban green space, and by extension, providing adequate food production. In order to address this divide, Toronto will soon be home to The Plant – a mixed-use community revolving around sustainable residential urban farming and social responsibility in the Queen Street West neighborhood.
“It might seem extreme, but we orientated this entire project around our connection to food,” says Curated Properties partner Gary Eisen, one of the developers involved in the project. “It’s our guiding principle and the result is a building that lives and breathes and offers a better quality of life to the people who will live and work here. The Plant is a community that fits with the foodie culture that has come to define Queen West.”
Russian designer Konstantin Kolesov has created a collection of finely-crafted souvenirs celebrating iconic architectural landmarks from around the globe. The Jsouv Collection consists of 15 pieces, depicting landmarks from New York, London, Tokyo, Dubai and more. Crafted from solid aluminum, the souvenirs are accompanied by a natural walnut base engraved with a 2D emblem of the city in question. With the souvenirs currently being crowdfunded on Indiegogo, Jsouv is also offering a t-shirt collection with unique prints of each city and landmark.
The architectural legacy of the Rockefeller family in Manhattan is well-known, most obviously demonstrated in the slab-like Art Deco towers of the Rockefeller Center and the ever-expanding campus of the MoMA. But in a city that is filled with landmarks and historic buildings, it's easy for even the most remarkable projects to go unrecognized. Philip Johnson's Rockefeller Guest House in Manhattan was completed in 1950, just one year after the construction of his better known Glass House in New Canaan. The Glass House is an obvious cousin to the later guest house: both feature largely empty glass and steel boxlike forms, where structural work is exposed and celebrated.
In the recently concluded Bandirma Park competition, TARI-Architects in collaboration with Derek Pirozzi Design Workshop LLC, were awarded third prize for their proposed revitalisation of the Turkish city’s ecological core. In light of the competition’s vision of Bandirma as a new innovative hub, the proposal by the two practices combines the central Design Institute with excavated public spaces to minimize the architecture’s footprint on the park and its context.
Under the acronym B.R.E.A.K., or "Bandirma Regeneration As Knowledge," the project’s focal point is the Design Institute – “an operation that will attract a large number of academic gatherings from the Turkish region for hosting exhibitions and research conferences” from its vantage point overlooking the city and harbor.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has announced via Twitter that his company’s fully-integrated solar roof system is nearly ready to be released to the public, and will begin taking orders on the shingles starting next month.
The solar roof project was announced this past October after acquiring energy services provider SolarCity for $2.1 billion. Offered in four different styles – smooth glass, textured glass, French slate and Tuscan glass – the shingles would allow homeowners to make the switch to solar without having to change their aesthetic tastes. Though exact costs have yet to be released, Musk believes the system could be more affordable than a traditional roof.
Adrenaline junkies rejoice: the Willis Tower has announced plans for $20 million dollars of improvements to their popular glass-bottom SkyDeck observation attractions. Among the additions will be a series of new all-glass protrusions from the building, as well as a chance to rappel down a glass shaft suspended from the building’s 103rd floor.
The City of Chicago and the Chicago Housing Authority have announced the selection of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), Perkins + Will and John Ronan Architects to lead in the design of three new “co-located” affordable housing and library developments in the Chicago neighborhoods of Little Italy, West Ridge, and Irving Park.
Selected from a shortlist of nine firms, the three Chicago-based teams were chosen for their “innovative ideas that will ensure that each community will have a design that best reflects its needs.” The practices will work intimately with their respective communities to develop their designs.
The modern use of the term “easter egg”—not the holiday treat but rather a hidden joke or surprise item inserted in a piece of media—originated with Atari in 1979, when a developer snuck his name into a game hoping to get some recognition as the creator. But these surprise treats, hidden to all but those who look closely enough, aren’t only lurking in the digital world. Some of the best easter eggs are snuck into the physical architecture around us.
The excellent thing about architectural easter eggs, be they tongue-in-cheek, carved out of spite, or simply placed as a fun treat awaiting an observant eye, is that they endure in the landscape around us, becoming a sneaky and often confusing part of history. Here are five hidden carvings that dot historic structures with a bit of human nature.
The importance of public spaces in urban life is an issue that has been apparent since ancient Greece and is still with us today. Opportunities to meet and exchange ideas in these spaces are able to influence how the inhabitants participate in the development of their city, and occur in greater instances when public spaces are accessible to everyone.
However, in modern societies, the strategic role of these spaces has been limited. According to The City Fix, a blog on sustainable urban planning, one of the main reasons for this is the overabundance of automobiles. In fact, according to one study by the Brazilian Institute for Energy and the Environment, 70% of public spaces in urban centers are taken up by roadways and other spaces for cars, while car owners make up only around 20 to 40 percent of the city’s population.
How can public spaces be recovered to promote urban life? We discuss three important factors below.
IFC has announced the release of their latest documentary, Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, which will dive into “the enduring legacies of one of the most prominent figures of modern urban planning, Jane Jacobs, and talks about her David-Goliath fight to save NYC.”
MVRDV and developer Provast has revealed plans for a two new mixed-use residential towers in The Hague that will add over 500 new apartments to the city’s Central Business District. Located on Grotiusplaats adjacent to the National Library and near the city’s Central Station, the “Grotius Towers” will offer 61,800 square meters of residential and commercial space to service the needs of The Hague’s growing downtown core.
The towers’ design reacts to the typical tower typology found in the Hague by focusing on high-quality details, a subtle facade, a ‘soft’ landing on the street and a ‘crown’ of large outdoor spaces. Inside, a mix of social housing and private accommodations will ensure the buildings are inhabited by a diverse community, while their ground-floor commercial plinths will make the complex a destination for shopping, dining and socializing.
With these questions in mind, Cast & Place was conceptualized as a pavilion made entirely from waste. 300,000 recycled aluminum cans, cast into the cracks of dried clay, will form structural panels that assemble into shaded spaces for performance and play.
In order to help design the sculpture, Watson was taught about the history and style of Gaudí and the architecture of Barcelona through volumes of images, literary works, articles, and even music. From these references, Watson helped to uncover critical insights on patterns in Gaudí's work—like crabs, spiders, and color palettes—that the design team didn't initially associate with Gaudí. The resulting four-meter-tall sculpture features a structural surface made of over 1200 unique aluminum parts, and is unmistakably reminiscent of Gaudí’s work both in look and feel, yet entirely distinct.
The sculpture was on display from February 27 to March 2 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where it interacted with visitors by changing shape in real-time, in response to sentiments from Twitter. To learn more about the sculpture, ArchDaily was given to opportunity to speak with IBMWatson Manager Jonas Nwuke.
In this third episode of GSAPP Conversations, Columbia GSAPP Associate Professor Mabel O. Wilson speaks with Sharon Sutton about the publication of her new book, When Ivory Towers Were Black, which tells the story of how an unparalleled cohort of ethnic minority students earned degrees from Columbia University’s School of Architecture (GSAPP) during a time of fierce struggles to open the ivory tower to ethnic minority students.
http://www.archdaily.com/867555/columbia-gsapp-conversations-3-when-ivory-towers-were-black-sharon-sutton-mabel-wilsonAD Editorial Team
Studio Libeskind has won competitions for two new mixed-use projects in France, the firm announced at the MIPIM world property market conference this past week in Cannes. The first project comprises a retail, conference and transportation center for the city of Nice, while the second will see the firm complete a 150-meter-tall skyscraper in Toulouse.
“With these important projects in two of the main French cities, we unveil our new development strategy to create urban mixed-use buildings. Once completed, both will become new landmarks for Nice and Toulouse. With Studio Libeskind, we are up to great things!” says Philippe Journo, CEO of Compagnie de Phalsbourg, the developer behind both projects.
Architecture and music are two very different art forms – one is visual, tactile and logical; the other audial and emotional. So what happens when you bring these two artistic media together?
This is the idea explored by Chilean web series Insigne Sesiones, which aims to “[expose] he ideal mix between contemporary architecture and music, generating the first audiovisual project worldwide that officially joins these two disciplines.” For their first season, Insigne Sesiones invited six world-renowned musicians to perform their music in the intimate settings of some of the most celebrated works of Chilean architects across the country.
A 1,400-foot-tall mixed-use skyscraper by Zaha Hadid Architects may be the next supertall structure to hit midtown Manhattan. Located at 666 Fifth Avenue between 52nd and 53rd Street, the project is the brainchild of Kushner Properties, who currently co-own the existing 483-foot-tall building with Vornado Realty Trust.
Estimated to cost up to $12 billion, the company is currently negotiating a multi-billion dollar deal with Chinese holding company Anbang Insurance Group to finance the project. If plans to buy out the building go through, Kushner would be in the clear to begin construction on the ZHA-designed tower, which would rebrand the property as 660 Fifth Avenue and offer 464,000-square-feet of residential space, an 11-story hotel, and a 9-story retail podium.
This is the inaugural column “Practice Values,” a new bi-monthly series by architect and technologist Phil Bernstein. The column will focus on the evolving role of the architect at the intersection of design and construction, including subjects such as alternative delivery systems and value generation. Bernstein was formerly vice president at Autodesk and now teaches at the Yale School of Architecture.
This semester, I’m teaching a course called “Exploring New Value Propositions for Practice” that’s based on the premise that the changing role of architects in the building industry requires us to think critically about our value as designers in that system. After studying the structure and dynamics of practice business models, the supply chain, and other examples of innovative design enterprises, they’ll be asked to create a business plan for a “next generation” architectural practice. I’m agnostic as to what this practice does per se, as long as it operates somewhere in the constellation of things that architects can do, but there is one constraint—your proposed firm can’t be paid fixed or hourly rate fees. It has to create value (and profit) through some other strategy.