AR Issues: The Secret Lives of Buildings Beyond the Lure of Awards

Courtesy of

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this post, we take a look at AR’s August 2014 issue, which examines the tension between the often idealised world of the architecture media and the messy complexity of real-world buildings. Here, AR Editor Catherine Slessor meditates on “the uneasy relationship between reductivist beauty contests and architecture’s nuanced narratives and complexities.”

The recent announcement of the RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist has stoked up the usual feverish debate about what constitutes ‘good’ architecture and what should or shouldn’t win. But an scheme that can pit the Shard against the Everyman Theatre, thus perilously straddling an engorged spectrum of style, scale, client, context, user and urban contribution, is a fundamentally impossible proposition when you get down to it. One former editor of The Architects’ Journal despairingly remarked that judging the Stirling was like trying to compare a cookery book with a slim volume of poetry. Apart from both being printed on paper, they have nothing else in common. So do you plump for cookery or poetry?

Lowe Campbell Ewald Headquarters / Neumann/Smith Architecture

© Justin Maconochie

Architects: Neumann/Smith Architecture
Location: 2000 Brush Street #601, Detroit, MI 48226, USA
Area: 122000.0 ft2
Year: 2014
Photographs: Justin Maconochie

“Tesseract” Explores Higher-Dimensional Geometry at Bordeaux’s Semaine Digitale

©

As part of the Semaine Digitale, in October Bordaux will host 1024 Architecture‘s Tesseract, an installation inspired by the so called “four-dimensional cube.” Created from no more than ordinary scaffolding, a translucent fabric skin and a series of electronically controlled lights, the installation plays with complex geometrical compositions, as the light beams rapidly create and deconstruct shapes within the outer 10 metre cubic frame.

More on the installation, and 1024 Architecture, after the break

Barcelona Wins Bloomberg 2014 Mayors Challenge

© Flickr CC User Andrew Zen

Bloomberg Philanthropies has awarded its 2014 Mayors Challenge to Barcelona, selecting its plan to deal with the problems of an ageing population over the proposals of 20 other European cities shortlisted earlier this year. The award, developed to promote the most creative and transferable solutions to intractable social problems such as public health, unemployment and transportation, carries a €5 million prize for Barcelona to put toward implementing the plan. In addition, four runners-up – Athens, Kirklees, Stockholm and Warsaw - will also receive €1 million each for their own plans.

“To meet the biggest challenges of the 21st century, city leaders must think creatively and be unafraid to try new things – and the Mayors Challenge is designed to help them do that,” said Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City and founder of .

Read on after the break to learn more about the proposals of Barcelona and the four runners-up

Fluvial and Tourist Quay of Folgosa / Saraiva + Associados

© FG+SG

Architects: Saraiva + Associados
Location: Régua, 5050-280 ,
Area: 400.0 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: FG+SG

Mies. TV: Alternative Coverage of the 2014 Venice Biennale

Courtesy of Mies. TV

In June of this year seven architecture students came together to film the vernissage of the Venice Biennale. Undaunted by the unrelenting Venetian sun and the prospect of being faced by some of the world’s greatest living architects and curators, the team – spanning four nationalities – spent three days feverishly talking to anyone and everyone (in between pasta and espresso breaks). Having built up a comprehensive picture of the opening days of the Biennale in a series of short, uninhibited filmed interviews, Mies. TV proudly presents their alternative, slightly shaky coverage of the 2014 Venice Biennale.

Watch short interviews with the likes of Jacques Herzog (Herzog + de Meuron), Daniel Libeskind, Patrik Schumacher (Zaha Hadid Architects), Sir Peter Cook (CRAB Studio), Wolf D. Prix (Coop Himmelb(l)au), Sam Jacob (FAT), and ArchDaily’s very own Editor-in-Chief – David Basulto - after the break.

New Trianel Headquarters / gmp architekten

Courtesy of

Architects: gmp architekten
Location: Aachen, Germany
Design: Volkwin Marg and Christian Hoffmann with Marek Nowak
Project Management – Competition: Marek Nowak with Olaf Peters
Competition Team: Sebastian Möller, Christoph Salentin, Tobias Unterberg
Project Management – Detailed Design : Tobias Unterberg
Detailed Design Team: Clemens Dost, Irina Stoyanova, Sarah Coenes, Christoph Salentin
Client: Trianel GmbH
Area: 6300.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of gmp architekten

TherMitte / Nissen & Wentzlaff Architekten

© Ruedi Walti

Architects: Nissen & Wentzlaff Architekten
Location: Bahnhofstrasse 28, 4106 ,
Client: TherMitte, Housing Association, Bank of Raiffeisen Therwil
Year: 2009
Photographs: Ruedi Walti

Argul Weave / BINAA + Smart-Architecture

© Thomas Mayer

Architects: BINAA , Smart-Architecture
Location: Bursa, 16000 Bursa/Bursa Province,
Architect In Charge: Burak Pekoglu
Area: 4500.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Thomas Mayer , Burak Pekoglu

One Central Park / Ateliers Jean Nouvel

Images courtesy of Frasers Property and Sekisui House . Image © Murray Fredericks

Architects: Ateliers Jean Nouvel
Location: LOT 1 Broadway, Central Park, Chippendale NSW 2008, Australia
Design Architect: Ateliers Jean Nouvel.
Architect Of Record: PTW Architects
Green Walls: Patrick Blanc
Year: 2014
Photographs: Murray Fredericks, Simon Wood, John Gollings

Berlage Master Class: “Architecture without Architects…Architects without Architecture?

Berlage Master Class: “Architecture without Architects…Architects without Architecture?

The Berlage is pleased to announce that internationally acclaimed architect Ben van Berkel, cofounder and principal architect of UN Studio, is leading a design master class in November 2014 entitled “Architecture without Architects.. Architects without Architecture?”

The master class, to take place from Thursday, 13 November to Friday, 21 November in both Amsterdam and Delft, will focus on strategies for designing contemporary knowledge environments in relation to the changing nature of knowledge generation. Participants will explore how different “smart” initiatives, organizational patterns, communication interfaces, and alternative forms of interaction and collaboration are affecting architecture as a professional discipline; while, at the same time, redefining the role of the architect.

90 of Mankind’s Greatest Architectural Achievements

©

Hagia Sophia, Guggenheim Bilbao, and Burj Khalifa are amongst 90 structural feats in which Pop Chart Lab has deemed to be “mankind’s greatest architectural achievements since prehistory.” Each are hand-drafted and presented on this blueprint-style infographic to commemorate great architecture.

Do you agree with their selection? Let us know what you consider to be mankind’s greatest architectural achievement in the comment section after the break.

Galeries Lafayette Department Store / Manuelle Gautrand Architecture

© Vincent Fillon

Architects: Manuelle Gautrand Architecture
Location: 0 Rue Winston Churchill, 57000 ,
Year: 2014
Photographs: Vincent Fillon

Mecanoo Chosen to Redevelop Dutch Train Station

©

Mecanoo, in collaboration with engineering consultancy Movares, has been chose to redevelop the train station in the Netherlands. An important entry for the city and Veluwe National Park, the design hopes to transform the station into a “showpiece” and vibrant center for the Veluwse Poort.

“The vision of the design is defined by an unobtrusive appearance; the natural environment serves as a starting point for the characteristic materialization that connects the buildings and the station square, emphasizing the area’s built identity,” described Mecanoo.

Restaurant in Preaiba / Yellow Office

© Vladimir Mindru

Architects: Yellow Office
Location: ,
Area: 300.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Vladimir Mindru

3XN Wins Commission to Design 200-Meter Tower in Sydney

©

3XN has won an international competition to design the “50 Bridge Street” tower and masterplan for the Quay Quarter (QQS) precinct. Just west of Jørn Utzon’s Opera House, the new tower will feature five rotating glass volumes, each equipped with a multi-level atria and views of the Sydney harbour.

“This project looks at the ‘high rise’ in an entirely new way, from both the inside out and outside in,” said Kim Herforth Nielsen, founding partner and creative director of 3XN.  “Its dynamic, shifted massing maximizes views for all of the building’s users while also creating expansive open spaces that encourage the possibility for interaction, knowledge sharing and vertical connectivity.”

San Damián Housing Estate / Chauriye Stäger Arquitectos

© Midas / Pablo Blanco

Architects: Chauriye Stäger Arquitectos
Location: Camino San Francisco de Asís, Las Condes, Metropolitan Region,
Architect In Charge: Rodrigo Chauriye, Beatriz Stäger
Area: 3200.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Midas / Pablo Blanco

New BIG-Designed Neighborhood to Activate Aarhus’ Waterfront

©

BIG has unveiled plans for Bassin 7 (BSN7), a new civic-minded, mixed-use neighborhood in Denmark’s second largest city. The phased development will “breathe life into the harbor front,” placing importance on the public realm by organizing the site’s seven residential buildings with a series of recreational and cultural activities, including a beach zone, swimming pools, theater and cafe, along a public promenade.