A “magical” logistics center fit for the season’s most hardworking man has been awarded first prize for it’s innovation and feasibility in the “Unbelievable Challenge” architectural ideas competition. Submitted by Alexandru Oprita and Laurentiu Constantin of Romania, “Nothing is impossible” was selected from 243 entries spanning 59 countries and five other deserving projects that have been highlighted as runner-ups.
A closer look at Santa Claus’ proposed logistics center, after the break.
As preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics escalate, so do concerns regarding the preservation of the city’s heritage; and more specifically, according to Tomas Maier, Japan’s modernist architecture. The Bottega Venneta creative director recently embarked on an “urgent visit” to Japan in an effort to evaluate the city’s risk of loosing its modernist icons. With special consideration for the overlooked and threatened Hotel Okura, Maier believes that this Yoshiro Taniguchi-designed landmark is just one of many structures at risk of falling to “progress.”
Architect Steven Bingler and architectural journalist Martin C. Pedersen fear that architecture is loosing its credibility. In their recent op-ed on the New York Times, the pair claims that our profession’s biggest challenge is regaining public trust by reconnecting architecture with its users. Referencing his mother’s aversion to a student-built affordable housing project that he considered a “bold statement of design,” Bingler believes the key to salvaging the profession is for architects to stop dismissing and start listening to the general public’s take on architecture.
“The question is, at what point does architecture’s potential to improve human life become lost because of its inability to connect with actual humans?” Read the complete article, here.
Statsbygg has shortlisted six teams to develop proposals for a new government quarter in Oslo. Selected from 24 submissions, the chosen teams will now have until March 2015 to prepare their ideas. The unconventional competition, which requires the inclusion of students from the Oslo School of Architecture and Design, will not culminate with a single winner. Rather, ideas from all the shortlisted proposals will be extracted and used in an eventual masterplan.
The six shortlisted teams are…
On a recent trip abroad, architect and urban planner José Castillo was struck by a conversation with Mexico’s tourism attaché in Asia. Mexican tourism, the attaché remarked, has changed; it was the ancient pyramids and sandy beaches of the country that once drew visitors to it. Today however, architecture and design—and food—prevail.
The issue of food may be of little wonder. Mexican cuisine has indeed become more popular than ever in both the high and low ends of the culinary spectrum, and food in general is not only what one eats for dinner but also a hobby and an obsessive conversation topic. Yet for local design to come to the same level of acclaim and reputation is, at any rate, quite astonishing. It may be, though, that food and architecture are not so far apart. These are both highly creative and productive professions, as well as ones with a rich history, a theory, and many layers of tradition.
Colorful lights dance across translucent panels, illuminating the backdrop of Toronto’s glowing downtown high-rises. In their three-dimensional interactive installation entitled AMAZE, design and research laboratory UNSTABLE has created a multisensory experience like no other. Complex branching passageways challenge visitors to find their own path through the ever-changing structure, as if wandering through a vivid psychedelic dream. Becoming an integral part of the installation, visitors are met with dynamic shadows of the crowd and the urban landscape beyond before finding their way out of the maze.
Throughout its eight-century-long history, Chartres Cathedral has been consistently cited as one of the world’s greatest religious spaces, charming countless architects thanks to its dramatic interior combining brooding stone vaults and delicate stained glass windows. But this legacy is severely threatened, argues Martin Filler for the New York Review of Books, by a “foolhardy” restoration in its zeal for recapturing the past “makes authentic artifacts look fake.”
In an article for The Guardian, Maryam Omidi explores Moscow’s Door19, a place where “Damien Hirst and David LaChapelle artworks adorn the raw concrete walls,” “flair bartenders serve up gem-coloured cocktails,” and “a rotation of Michelin-starred chefs flown in from around the world curate new menus each week.” It is indicative, she argues, of what Kuba Snopek (a lecturer at the Strelka Institute) describes as “hipster Stalinism” – a surge of redevelopment in certain parts of Moscow that cater to the ‘oligarchs’, wealthy creatives and Muscovite ‘hipsters’. At Door19, for example, apartments sell for between $15,000 and $20,000 per square metre.
420 Projects Nominated for the 2015 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies Van der Rohe Award
The European Commission and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe have selected 420 projects to compete for the 2015 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award. The nominations span 36 countries, with the most nominated projects coming from Spain. Twenty-seven percent of the shortlisted projects are housing related, while 24% are cultural facilities, 11% are education-related and the remaining 33% are sport, commercial, governmental, transport and urban projects.
Established in 1987 by the European Union, the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe – Barcelona, the 60.000€ Mies Van der Rohe award is one of the most prestigious and important awards for European architecture. The prize is awarded biennially to works that have been completed in the past two years. Previous winners have included the Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre in Reykjavik, designed by the Danish architectural firm Henning Larsen in collaboration with the Islandic practice Batteríið and the artist Olafur Elíasson, and the Neues Museum in Berlin, designed by David Chipperfield Architects and Julian Harrap.
An Emerging Architect prize for professionals beginning their career as well as the Young Talent Architecture Prize (YTAP) for the best European master’s projects from 2014 will also be awarded. In addition, this year for the first time the jury will include a client who has supported high quality architecture and commissioned projects to European architects. The jury will select the shortlisted projects by the end of January 2015.
Read on after the break for the members of the jury, the full list of all 420 nominated projects and ArchDaily’s exclusive Mies van der Rohe Award infographic.