Building the Seed Cathedral / Thomas Heatherwick / TED

In the past, we’ve shared several Talks videos with you as the speakers offer interesting commentary on a variety of issues within the creative realm.   In this presentation, of Heatherwick Studio shares five projects ranging from a new bus to a moving bridge to a biomass power station.  Each project illustrates the architect’s inherent interest in bio-inspired designs focusing on materiality and the relationship between human interaction and the scale of the built object.     The talk shows a diverse body of work where the architecture is infused with a type of ”soulfulness” as the result of re-examining form, function, aesthetics and materiality.  Plus, Heatherwick’s personality adds to its charm.  Enjoy the video!

City of Bothell Public Works Operations Center Administration Building / Hutchison & Maul Architecture


Architects: Hutchison & Maul Architecture – Robert Hutchison, Tom Maul, Mike Campbell, Greg Hale
Location: Bothell, , USA
Structural Engineer: DCI Engineers
Civil Engineer: Coughlin Porter Lundeen
Landscape Architect: Talasaea Consultants
M/E Engineer: Tres West Engineers
Shops Building Consultant: Wagner Architects
General Contractor: JTM Construction
Project year: 2010
Photographs: Hutchison & Maul Architecture

New Jindai Elementary School / TEKTAO

© Lou Yongqi

Architects: TEKTAO/Tongji University
Location: Jindai Town in Liangping County, , China
Project team: Lou Yongqi, Ji Xiang, Yuval Zohar LEED AP, Ruo Chen, Ding Chan, Wu Zhen, Guo Ling, Wang Ci Yin, Lu Lian Jie, Wang Ye, Xu Hang Yu
Project area: 5,000 sqm
Photographs: Lou Yongqi, Yuval Zohar

Update: ABI April

via the AIA

Keeping with our coverage of the Architecture Billings Index,  while the past index saw a slight decrease from 58.7 to 55.0 in March, the AIA has just announced that the  index has dropped quite a bit to 47.6 for April.   This billing marks the first point since October to register below 50.   As the AIA explained,“It remains unclear if this month’s downturn is a bump in the road to recovery, or indicative of a longer-term reversal in the two-quarter recovery in design activity. Firms reported that the threatened federal government shutdown, tornadoes though the Southeast, and the winding down of federal stimulus funds for building activity all were impediments to design activity in April.”

Regionally, the South and West regions are still struggling to break 50, with the South reporting 48.3 and the West 47.7.   Yet, as the AIA reports, some Southern firms may see a possible increase in work activity to rebuild from the recent storms and flooding.   The Northeast and Midwest reported 51.2 and 51.1, respectively, and the multi-family residential sector holds strong at 53.9; followed by commercial / industrial at 49.9, institutional at 45.9 and finally, mixed practice at 45.2.

Galante Store / Creneau International

© Philippe Van Gelooven

Architects: Creneau International
Interior design: Simone Pullens
Account mgmt: Babs Van Hassel
Project mgmt: Wim Janssen
Client: Galante
Location: ,
Date of completion: 2011
Photographs: Philippe Van Gelooven

Naramata Residence / Frits de Vries Architect

© Frits de Vries

The site for this residence can be said to be in a transition zone, poised directly between the expansive horizon offered by Lake Okanagan, and the rugged mountainscape of the . True to the Okanagan landscape, the surrounding land is arid and filled with earthy undertones and worn rolling rockscapes. The Lake is almost like a vision of paradise amid this desert-like surroundings. Brilliant greens line the shore of the lake in direct contrast to the arid mountains beyond.

Architect: Frits de Vries Architect
Location: Kelly Valley, Canada
Photographs: Frits de Vries

The ACADIA 2011 Design + Fabrication Competition award-winning jury (plus a video)

The Brooklyn-based design and fabrication studio, FLATCUT_, in conjunction with the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (“”), are pleased to announce this year’s award-winning jurors for The ACADIA 2011 Design + Fabrication Competition. The international competition asks designers to “push the boundaries of materials, minds, and machine” by exploring emergent modes of computational design. The competition focuses on unique material combinations and new fabrication techniques in creating forms in three categories: Furniture, Lighting and Partition. Winners will get the opportunity to actually fabricate their proposals this summer at FLATCUT_’s incredible 100,000sf warehouse.

So who will be deciding which schemes get fabricated and put on exhibition at the 2011 ACADIA conference? Confirmed jurors include Bjarke Ingels of BIG, Tom Wiscombe of Emergent, Tod Williams of TWBTA, Dror Benshetrit of Studio Dror recently shortlisted for the Buckminster Fuller Prize and FLATCUT_ Founder Tomer Ben-Gal.

FLATCUT_ is also pleased to release a new FABrication VIDEO by Alex Bergman & Serban Ionescu that artfully orchestrates FLATCUT_’s 100+ machines – from Trumpf Trumatics to robotic welders. (oooooooohhhh) Watch it to get a sense of what FLATCUT_ (and you) can do! The international call for submissions has already attracted competitors from Los Angeles to India, and the submission deadline has been extended to June 15 to accommodate demand.

Winners will be announced in July. The Jury will choose 1 winning design from each category from which FLATCUT_ will produce exhibition-quality prototypes of each to be put on display in Calgary. Winners also win $1000, free entry to the conference, a spot on the Integrated Materialities Panel at ACADIA 2011.

IE University and IIT to launch an Architecture Summer School on the Battle of Cities for Sustainability

The Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture, Chicago, and IE School of Architecture & Design, Madrid/Segovia, have joined forces to launch the IE/IIT Summer School, set to take place from July 8 to 15, 2011. The course, headed ATLAS ON DENSITY, will explore the cross implications of levels of density and sustainability from the of American to the extreme density of Asian cities.

The intensive 8-day studio-based design workshop will be held in Madrid and will provide enthusiastic architectural undergraduate and graduates worldwide with a stage for debating contemporary architectural and urban ideas, digital and analogue techniques, with an emphasis on inventive design and communication abilities. Using Madrid as a laboratory, participants will explore the architectural, urban, and environmental implications of density. Tutors from Chicago, Madrid, and Singapore, will use their own metropolitan backgrounds to enrich the potential evolution of Spain’s capital.

With Madrid serving as headquarters, case study subject, and site for field research, students will investigate specific urban sustainable challenges. For more information, visit the workshop’s official website.

Nanjing Sifang Art Museum, photos by Iwan Baan

© Iwan Baan

The Nanjing Sifang Art Museum designed by Steven Holl Architects is nearly complete, and on schedule to open its doors to the public in a few short months.  Iwan Baan shows on his website a great photo set of the new museum which can be viewed here.

Yongia Public Center / Idea Image Institute of Architects

Courtesy of Idea Image Institute of Architects
This proposal for the Public Center competition was submitted by Kang Chul-Hee of Idea Image Institute of Architects.  The cultural facility will be located in the landmark geographic and social center of the city plan of Yongjia, China.   The design is approached at an urban scale to provide a symbolic gateway between the past and present development of the city.
Read on for more on this project.

Update: New World Center / Frank Gehry

© Emilio Collavino

Photographer Emilio Collavino recently shared these photographs of Frank Gehry’s New World Center in , . Part of the New World Symphony America’s Orchestral Academy, the music education and performance facility is the first puporse-built home for the New World Symphony founded by artistic director Michael Tilson Thomas. The New World Center opened its doors to the public in January of this year.

Nuevo Leon 113 / JSª

© Paúl Rivera - archphoto

Architects: JSª – Javier Sánchez
Location: Av. Nuevo León 111-113, Col Condesa
Design Team: Aisha Ballesteros, Ingrid Ramos, Romelia Hernández, Rosario Alarcón, Cecilia Solis, Adlai Pulido, Rodrigo Langarica, Mariana Ugalde, Tomas Moreiras, Alfredo Hernández, Lenin García, Reynaldo Esperanza, Angélica Soberanes, Jorge López de Obeso,Raúl Pérez y Miguel Ángel Jiménez
Real State Development: / Javier Sánchez, Álvaro Becker, Santiago Sánchez, Fernando Valdivia
Structures: Hector Margain & Fernando Valdivia
Construction: JSª / Fernando Valdivia
Engineerings: JPR proyectos / Juan Pablo Rodríguez
Architectural Supervision: JSª / Ingrid Ramos, Romelia Hernández
Project area: 1,775 sqf
Project year: 2005 – 2006
Photographs: Jair Navarrete, Paúl Rivera – archphoto

Box Mobile Gallery / WISE Architecture

© Hwang Hyochel

The ‘Box Mobile Gallery’ is a gallery responsive to various exhibition intentions and art media. The gallery consists of 12 panels soft-hinged side by side. Each of these panels features an art work fixed to its inside. The flexibility of the soft hinge system allows the spatial reconfiguration of the gallery, transforming one space to another according to site conditions, exhibition intention, and art media; from independent cells for an individual exhibition, to a common exhibition space for a group exhibition, often times with an introductory area or a court yard, and to a special exhibition space for various art media.

Architect: WISE Architecture
Location: , , South Korea
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Hwang Hyochel

Urban Reclaiming the Shore / Taller 301

TALLER 301/ City-State Administration, Ukraine. View of landbridge reconnecting the city with the water. Illustration: TALLER 301

Taller 301 was awarded First Prize in the International Architecture Competition Urban Landscaping in Kyiv for Euro-2012. The project entitled Reclaiming the Shore consists of 413 hectares between the Dnieper River and the City Center, and envisions a series of interventions to be developed for the upcoming UEFA European Football Championship 2012 hosted in Kyiv, as well as a long term vision for the city. More images and architect’s description after the break.

Timber Hut Design Competition


More than 35 young North East designers have registered to enter a timber hut design competition which will see the winning proposals built at ’s £200m RiversideOne residential development on the former site of the town’s Middlehaven Docks.

Entries will be judged by a panel of experts including internationally renowned architect Professor Will Alsop who was responsible for RiversideOne’s original masterplan and who also had the idea for the huts competition.

The huts will provide facilities for residents and visitors to RiversideOne with possible proposed uses including a miniature theatre, a coffee bar, bike shelters and beach huts although competition entrants are allowed to make their own suggestions.

The competition is being run by Northern Architecture, the architecture centre for the North East of England, and entrants are all under 34 and are architects or designers based in the region. From a commercial perspective, designers also have the option to link with regionally-based entrepreneurs and will submit hut design proposals along with a business plan demonstrating the viability of their venture. For more information please visit the competition’s official website.

New Waterfront for Porto Alegre / b720 Fermin Vazquez Arquitectos

commercial center: © b720

b720 Fermin Vazquez Arquitectos shared with us their plan for a new waterfront in the city of , . The project, which includes a 2.5-km stretch of waterfront in the city’s dock area, is aimed at transforming the Cais Mauá dock area, a rundown, disused part of the city, into a business, culture and leisure centre for the 2014 World Cup. The project, to revitalize the former dock area, is expected to cost approximately E198 million. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Utrecht Library / Wiel Arets Architects

© Jan Bitter

Architect: Wiel Arets Architects
Location: Utrecht,
Client: University Utrecht
Consultants: ABT Adviseurs; Huygen Installatieadviseurs bv; Heijmans-IBC Bouw bv
Acoustic Advisor: Adviesbureau Peutz & Associates bv
Façade Advisor: Permasteelisa Central Europe bv
Project Area: 36,250 sqm
Project Year: 2004
Photographs: Jan Bitter & Andrea Giannotti

Nanjing Sifang Art Museum / Steven Holl Architects

© Shu He

The new museum is sited at the gateway to the Contemporary International Practical Exhibition of Architecture in the lush green landscape of the Pearl Spring near Nanjing, . It explores the shifting viewpoints, layers of space, and expanses of mist and water, which characterize the deep alternating spatial mysteries of early Chinese painting. This coming fall the Nanjing Sifang Art Museum will open to the public.

Drawings, photographs, and sketches following the break.

Architects: Steven Holl Architects
Design Architect: Steven Holl, Li Hu
Location: Nanjing, China
Associate-in-Charge: Hideki Hirahara
Project Architect: Clark Manning, Daijiro Nakayama
Project Team: Joseph Kan, JongSeo Lee, Pei Shyun Lee, Tz-Li Lin, Richard Liu, Sarah Nichol
Associate Architects: Architectural Design Institute, Nanjing University
Structural Consultant: Guy Nordenson and Associates
Lighting Design: L’Observatoire International
Client: Nanjing Foshou Lake Architecture and Art Developments Ltd
Project Area: 20,000 sqf
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Li Hu, Shu He, Steven Holl Architects