The social issues of today has changed the course of architecture. Once “good” architecture spawned from untouched sites and endless budgets; now, the trend is shifting more towards affordable and sustainable alternatives, such as adaptive reuse. As the epidemic of vacant buildings continues to flourish, the creators of the Dutch pavilion for the 2012 Venice Biennale continuously work to evolve their understanding of these desolate spaces and offer an array of possibilities that can successfully reanimate them. Curated by Ole Bouman, Director of the Netherlands Architecture Insitute (NAi), the Dutch exhibition Re-set, Inside Outside / Petra Blaisse will remain in constant flux as a “mobile, tactile intervention” visually transforms the 1954 vacant building of the Dutch pavilion throughout the entire length of the Biennale. Continue reading to learn more.
BoomSPDesign is at it again! Now in its fifth addition, the creative design, architecture and art forum has quickly become known for attracting elite creatives from around the globe to share their passions in this unique, Sao Paulo forum. Centered around all things creative, the three day event will commence on August 22nd at the Centro Universitario Belas Artes de Sao Paulo. Curator and cultural promoter Roberto Cocenza stated: “This year we are connecting, via Sao Paulo, two continents, Old World with the New World: We have the German Juergen Mayer H. bringing the sophistication of European thought and sensibility, with his intricate architectural patterns, and then we have Fernando Romero, a young talent from Mexico that with his rambunctious Sumaya Museum quickly entered the pantheon of iconic contemporary architecture.” Continue after the break to learn more!
“Erupting Stability: Tornado Proof Suburb” is a project being developed by Ted Givens, AIA, of 10 Design in Hong Kong. He and his team are researching ways to apply kinetic design to architecture in order to provide safe options for shelter in climatically unsafe environments. The goal is to break free from static ways of building and create a method of using technology that learns from and responds to the environment in a dynamic way. ”Erupting Stability” assesses the forces of tornadoes and high velocity winds, specifically, by the way that he and his team are thinking about architecture opens up a range of possibilities for applications in any disaster scenario. Join us after the break for more on the project and a video that demonstrates how it works.
A while ago I was talking to someone about designing a Buddhist temple. I began to think about the subject of sacred spaces: their configuration, their meaning, and most importantly, how people use those spaces to give their religious practice meaning. I realized that designing sacred space is a pretty unique endeavor. And given the nature of commissions these days, the chances that people are unfamiliar with a particular religion is pretty high. So here’s a hypothetical for you: imagine someone unfamiliar with Christianity has been commissioned to adaptively re-use, say, a building for a Catholic church (L.A is full of such storefront churches). And this person has discovered from an online source that of central importance is the altar and the altar table. But, if that person is not a practitioner, it’s possible that s/he might think, given the limitations of the pre-existing structure, that the altar could be placed in one corner and the altar table in another. Sounds ludicrous, doesn’t it? Well, something similar was proposed for this Buddhist temple: the altar was placed to the side of the North-South axis. But you can’t place Buddha off to the side. Placing a Chinese Buddhist altar along the North-South axis is of paramount importance. This was, in essence, a big cultural mistake
While perusing the internet, I re-discovered talk about Architect Barbie by Alexandra Lange for Dwell. As part of Mattel’s Barbie I Can Be series, Architect Barbie was added to the company’s list of other arguably atypical professions for women (computer engineer, martial artist, marine biologist, race car driver, etc) in 2011 after partnering with AIA San Francisco. Equipped with a model dream house, hard hat and drawing tube, Mattel boasts that Architect Barbie will empower girls to play out different roles and “try on” fabulous careers. But, this doll was about more than giving young children a new outlet for their imaginations during play time; for, Architect Barbie would serve as a social experiment to generate long term feminine interest in a field where 17% of professionals are women. More about Architect Barbie after the break.
Designed by 24° Studio for the Santorini Biennale 2012, Daphne is made entirely of self-supporting paper panels to create an enclosure that intervenes the visitors’ perception of the existing conditions. Their installation, which is being displayed until September 30, achieves this perception as being a container of conglomerated memory as the paper panels age and take their shape accordingly to the local condition. Located within the tunneled stairway, it interplays with the notion of concealing and revealing the ancient interior surfaces of the tunnel leading to the peak of Pyrgos. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Focusing on the relationship between tall buildings and sustainability, the ‘Beyond Green! – Tall Buildings in a Sustainable Future’ international symposium will take place October 10-12 at the University of Stuttgart, Germany. Due to urbanization and land being a fixed commodity, metropolitan areas become denser and can only respond with the typology of tall buildings to satisfy the demand for space. However, with respect to the provision of infrastructure, use of energy, shortage of resources and the demand for ecological compatibility there is the inevitable need to design green and sustainable cities. This seemingly contradicts the typology of tall buildings. The aim of the symposium, hosted by the Institute for Lightweight Structures and Conceptual Design at the university, is to evaluate and investigate in detail the green and sustainable credentials of tall buildings regarding their economy, ecology and functionality. More information on the event after the break.
With the intention of expressing the meaning of the Stock Exchange for the city of Tehran, EBA + VMX Architects aims to combine contemporary with traditional culture to generate a place where all the necessary activities are facilitated, but next to this physical presence there is also a symbolic representation of a distinction from its surroundings. Their project brings balance between the private and public functions and symbolizes the stable future position of the Tehran Stock Exchange. More images and architects’ description after the break.