Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, together with LOOP Architects, COWI Denmark and Norway, Transsolar Energitechnik and Vugge til Vugge Denmark, has won the Nordic Build Challenge in Norway with their innovative scheme, Urban Mountain. The winning proposal, which would be Norway's tallest building, seeks to refurbish and extend an existing 50,000 square-meter office tower in central Oslo into 79,000 square-meter sustainable icon. Not only would the building be the first Norwegian high-rise to utilize natural ventilation, but the design would employ Cradle to Cradle principles and BREEAM Outstanding certification targets to significantly reduce the building’s energy consumption and CO2 footprint.
“The modern architect is designing for the deaf.” Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer makes a valid point.  The topic of sound is practically non-existent in modern architectural discourse. Why? We, as architects, think in terms of form and space; we balance scientific understanding and artistic vision. The problem is, we have a tendency to give ample thought to objects rather than processes and systems. Essentially, our field is ocular-centric by nature. So how do we start to “see” sound? And more importantly, how do we use it to promote health, safety and well-being?
Jimenez Lai, founder of Chicago-based Bureau Spectacular has been selected as winner of the first Lisbon TriennaleMillennium BCP Début Award. The award, presented by Millennium BCP president Fernando Nogueira, distinguishes a young architect or studio under 35 on outstanding work, development of original design thinking and the pursuit of critical ideas with a monetary prize of €5,000.
“Cuba will count as having the most beautiful academy of arts in the world.” - Fidel Castro (1961)
The Cuban National Schools of Arts, originally imagined by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara in 1961, are perhaps the largest architectural achievements of the Cuban Revolution. The innovative design of the schools, which aimed to bring cultural literacy to the nation, encapsulated the radical, utopian vision of the Revolution. Unfortunately, the nation’s idealistic enthusiasm lasted for a fleeting moment in time and the Schools quickly fell out of favor; they were left to decay before even being completed. Today, following nearly four decades of neglect, the architects have returned to try and bring these derelict schools to back to their intended glory.