This coming Monday, April 25th the Urban Design Forum presents the opportunity to hear discussion about the stalled Civic Square development and other “interim use” sites in downtown Seattle. Sean Canady from GGLO, Robert Smith from Foster + Partners and City of Seattle representatives will be present. The Seattle Civic Square project, which completes the final phase of a ten-year civic masterplan, provides a vital new focus for Seattle’s civic life, reinvigorating the south downtown area for the whole city’s benefit.
The Urban Design Committee Forum serves the AIA Seattle membership and the community by bringing forward critical issues facing Puget Sound neighborhoods and cities, in order to inform, engage, and support advocacy by AIA Seattle Members and others who share concern for the quality of the built environment. More information about the upcoming event can be found here.
“… if someone who has a valid point of view wants to give it an audience, he has no choice but to start a magazine.”
- Eno Dailor
On Pamphlet Architecture 1-10 
San Rocco Magazine is a new architecture magazine conceived under a five-year plan which researches on their creators fields of interest. Their second issue covers the subject of ISLANDS in whatever meaning you can imagine for the word “island”. As they wrote:
An island is any piece of land that is surrounded by water.
An island is any object lost in an endless extension of a uniform element. As such, the island is isolated.
The island is by definition remote, separated, intimately alternative.
The island is elsewhere.
Islands can be natural or artificial: atolls, rocks, volcanoes, oases, spaceships, oil rigs, carriers.
Based on Gilles Deleuze book, L’île Désert et autres textes, the magazine is divided in two main blocks: oceanic and continental islands. Can we talk, then, about the possibility of architectural islands? More after the break.
Inspired by interwoven twigs of birds’ nests—a form that supports and steadies itself—Bing Thom Architects and Fast + Epp Structural Engineers joined forces to showcase a new and unexpected design innovation using wood from British Columbia. As part of the “Embassies Project” for the London Festival of Architecture (LFA), Canada House was transformed into a demonstration of Vancouver architectural and design expertise with an undulating, 30-foot-high wooden wall wrapped around the corner of the historic embassy building.
Architect: Bing Thom Architects
Location: London, England
Structural Engineer: Paul Fast & Gerry Epp, Fast + Epp Structural Engineers
Contractor: Angus Beattie & Brian Woudstra, StructureCraft Builders
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: Morley von Sternberg
This year, undergraduate students from the Aarhus School of Architecture [check out previously featured student works from Aarhus] will be collaborating with Northern Europe’s largest cultural and music festival, the Roskilde. 125 students were involved in this two-month long project which ultimately resulted in a experimentation of light, materiality and space. Entitled Vintergatan [Swedish for Milky Way], the installation is a modular exercise as different sized triangles are combined to create varied spaces. The name refers to the installation’s main motif: a ribbon of light that surrounds the square in front of the Pavilion’s stage, where a series of upcoming bands will perform during the festival.
More images and more about the project after the break.
Architects: Architectkidd – Udomsak Komovilas, Jariyawadee Lekawatana, Luke Yeung
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Owner: Vichai Raksriaksorn, King Power
Project Team: Luke Yeung, Phuttipan Aswakool, Jariyawadee Lekawatana, Tammarat Rodpul, Manassak Senachak
Project Area: 600 sqm
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Courtesy of Architectkidd
The John Hancock Tower Boston, designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects, will receive the AIA 2011 Twenty-five Year Award at the annual convention next month. To mark the occasion, Henry N. Cobb, FAIA, Founding Partner of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects, will discuss the history of the project and its influence on subsequent tall buildings designed by his firm. Organized by the Center for Architecture the discussion will be this coming Monday, April 25th and is free to AIA members.
An exhibition featuring photographs of the John Hancock Tower by Peter Vanderwarker and Robert Damora will be on display at Pei Cobb Freed & Partners from April 26 through May 6. More details of both events can be found here.
Architects: Williams Boag architects Pty Ltd
Location: Brighton, Victoria, Australia
Builder: DJ Rice Pty Ltd
Structural/Civil: Kersulting P/L
Services: Kersulting P/L
Building Surveyor: Anthony Middling & Associates
Heritage Consultant: Bryce Raworth
Project team: Peter Williams, Alison Freeman, Leila Allbrook
Project area: 546 sqm
Project year: 2009
Photographs: Sonia Mangiapane
Rome based architecture and design firm GOMMA Design has submitted one of their latest projects, Coral City, a self-sustaining and disaster-resistant eco-village in the Philippines, submitted for the DAtE competition. Additional images of their proposal and a lengthy description are available after the break.
Heliotrope Architects’ North Beach Residence, a new home located on Orcas Island’s North shore, has received a 2011 AIA National Housing Award. Featured previously on ArchDaily, the North Beach Residence is situated among the trees directly between the beach and the meadow, with walls of glass opening out to both. While actual shelter is provided, the experience is of nearly complete openness to the environment, with a minimized structure meant to disappear from view.
The jury commented that, “Its sensitivity to the site is paramount: its orientation, the lightness with which it sits on the site, the compact nature of project, and its artful reference to vernacular typologies.”
The AIA’s Housing Awards Program was established to recognize the best in housing design and promote the importance of good housing as a necessity of life, a sanctuary for the human spirit and a valuable national resource.
5 (student) Projects: is a group of projects completed at Yale University’s School of Architecture by 5 young architects during their graduate education. Each of the 5 projects are sited in New Haven on or adjacent to Yale’s campus. Each project focused on an institutional building, loosely defined by program, type and context. These commonalities became a framework for discussion that illuminated individual polemics and debate about experimentation in today’s architectural landscape. Despite the initial appearance of diversity within the set, each architect sought to address a common set of ideas emerging at Yale and perhaps within the discourse of architecture at large.
Primarily addressing the legacy of Postmodernism (in its various guises and forms), each sought an architecture that engaged historical memory, local context and an renewed concern for communication and legibility. Each was interested in an operable or speculative way to use history and its associated culturally established values, meanings and forms to produce new bodies of work. In that sense, each sought a contemporary way to learn from the past that would have particular resonance in today’s social, political, and cultural milieu.
The identity of the group of 5 is meant as a provocation towards two related issues: the desire for individuality and expression by today’s younger generation of architects inculcated by media and secondly, the desire for consensus within discourse on what counts today as critical & theoretical concerns for architecture. The aspiration behind the interviews and feature is to reveal an internal discussion which demonstrates an effort to clarify and identify a set of ideas that underpin contemporary architectural production. The feature and interviews were organized and conducted by Alexander Maymind.