Torre de David (the Tower of David) - the world’s tallest slum and the subject of Urban-Think Tank, Justin McGuirk, and Iwan Baan‘s Golden Lion-winning Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2012 - is once again making headlines. Venezuelan newspaper TalCual reports that the Venezuelan government is in negotiations with Chinese banks interested in purchasing the building.
Tower of David is an unfinished financial skyscraper in downtown Caracas. Construction began on the tower in 1990, but the death of the principal investor in 1993 and the subsequent banking crisis that hit the country in 1994 froze construction; by the end of the year, the tower was in the hands of the state. Nevertheless, in 2007 two thousand homeless citizens took over and inhabited the skyscraper, making it the tallest vertical slum in the world.
The winners of Re-Thinking the Future’s 2014 design competition – a competition that asked architects, designers, planners, and students from all over the world to submit “radical solutions for the present day problems” of climate change – have been announced. Requesting both built and conceptual works, the jury of 20 architects from firms such as SOM, AEDAS, and Perkins+Will evaluated the projects across a range of categories, from mixed-use and residential buildings to urban and landscape design.
Architects: MGP Arquitectura y Urbanismo
Location: Calle 165 N.8A -50 Bogotá, Colombia
Architect In Charge: Felipe González-Pacheco Mejía, Álvaro Bohórquez Rivero
Design Team: María Andrea Díaz, Laura Caicedo, Uriel Rivera, María Francisca Echeverri, Camilo Correa, Santiago Suarez.
Area: 1695.0 sqm
Photographs: Andrés Valbuena
Patrick McLoughlin is one of the two founders of Build Abroad, a volunteer organization that offers architectural and construction services to developing nations. In this article, originally published on Archi-Ninja, McLoughlin shares five reasons why architects should get involved with organizations like his own.
Many architecture firms collaborate with non-government organisations to help in developing nations. A.gor.a Architects for example, are currently designing and building a new health clinic to provide free healthcare to Burmese refugees and migrants. Auburn University Rural Studio works with architects and students to build homes in rural communities while instigating community-action, collaboration, and sustainability.
A number of organisations also facilitate construction volunteering. Architecture for Humanity provides architecture, planning and project management services for disaster reconstruction. Architects without Borders is a global operation to provide ecologically sensitive and culturally appropriate design assistance to communities in need.
Over the past decade, volunteering abroad has become an increasingly popular and important part of the architecture and construction industry. Volunteering abroad offers short to long term opportunities to experience a new culture while giving back to the community. Construction volunteering offers the potential for a lasting impact on the affected community. Patrick McLoughlin, co-counder of Build Abroad describes the following benefits and how you can help to make a difference:
With applications closing on the 26th of July, those wishing to apply to the prestigious Strelka Institute in Moscow need to act fast. The Strelka Institute is a non-governmental research institute with a particular focus on the City, using multidisciplinary techniques from fields as varied as sociology, economics, architecture, political and cultural studies. Since 2012, Strelka has been among DOMUS Magazine’s top 100 European Schools of Design and Architecture.
Successful applicants will study at the Strelka institute for free, with each student receiving a monthly scholarship to focus on their studies.
More after the break
With the aim of creating a “vertical social community,” C.F Møller Architects and Brut won a competition to design a residential tower in Antwerp, Belgium. The 15,000 square meter building, which stretches 24 stories high, includes 116 homes, shops, offices and collective spaces.
Apartments range from smaller suites for students to larger family units, and each group of similar apartments opens towards balcony spaces, creating “vertical mini-communities.” Through balconies, glass winter gardens and roof terraces, an additional 5,000 square meters of space are added. The architects describe the tower as incorporating an “inside-out perspective, where the social qualities of the building are a dominant driver for the design.”
More on the design from the architects after the break.
The RIBA has announced the six projects that will compete for the 2014 Stirling Prize, the award for the building that has made the greatest contribution to British architecture in the past year. The six nominees will now be judged head to head for British architecture’s highest honour, based on “their design excellence and their significance in the evolution of architecture and the built environment,” with a winner announced on October 16th. See the full shortlist after the break.
The shortlisted projects in the competition to design a new art gallery for Goldsmiths College at the University of London have been revealed. The project will see a new 400 square metre gallery created in the back of what was formerly a Victorian bath-house, and is now the college’s Grade-II listed art studios. Six shortlisted practices were given six weeks to design a gallery which works with the existing industrial structures – including the building’s old water tanks.
The designs will now be judged by Goldsmiths’ competition jury, a panel which includes David Chipperfield and sculptor Antony Gormley.
Read on after the break for details of all six proposals
In an article for The Guardian Richard Rogers questions why, with space still left in urban areas, we should build in the countryside? Lord Rogers, no stranger to political activism, chaired the UK’s Urban Task Force in the 1990s, culminating in his report Towards an Urban Renaissance. Now, over fifteen years later, his plea for denser, better designed urban environments has been rekindled as he argues that: “We can’t go on like this. The housing shortage threatens both the economy and our quality of life.” Laying out a clear argument reinforced by his forty years of experience as an architect, you can read his article in full here.
In collaboration with client Shinsegae, Olson Kundig Architects has designed a 20,000 square foot roof garden in Uijeongbu, South Korea. Sitting atop the ninth floor of a twelve story department store, the park acts as a playground for children and a cultural center for the community. The project follows a rising trend: placing green spaces on top of buildings in urban areas to create safe and secluded public places. This particular garden uses entirely native species and incorporates sculptures by the artist Do-Ho Suh.
From Architecture Forum Aedes.… The exhibition “Building in the Metropolis MX” presents selected works from the Mexican studio Gaeta-Springall Architects. In their working process right through to realisation, architectural elements such as form, material and function serve a larger and