Courtesy of Povilas Zakauskas, Tomas Vaiciulis, Kristijonas Skirmantas
Courtesy of Povilas Zakauskas, Tomas Vaiciulis, Kristijonas Skirmantas

Pacific Ocean Platform Prison Competition Entry / Povilas Zakauskas, Tomas Vaiciulis, Kristijonas Skirmantas

Designed by architects Povilas Zakauskas, Tomas Vaiciulis, and Kristijonas Skirmantas… their ‘Buoy Prison’ proposal for the Pacific Ocean Platform Prison competition consists of  3 main parts: bearing column, structural ring and regular rectangular modules, containing all prison areas defined

Hamer Hall / ARM Architecture

© John Gollings

Architects: ARM Architecture
Location: Southbank VIC 3006
Design Team: Ian McDougall, Stephen Ashton, Howard Raggatt, Neil Masterton, Peter Bickle, Stephen Davies, Jonothan Cowle, Andrea Wilson, Rhonda Mitchell, Doug Dickson, William Pritchard, Paul Buckley, Justin Fagnani, Sarah Lake, Tom Denham, Matthew Ginnever, Allira Davies, Tim Brooks, Asako Miura, Andrew Lilleyman, Aaron Poupard, Andrew Ta, Deborah Rowe, Jason Lee, Ken Billan, Lee Lambrou, Mark Raggatt, Martine De Flander, Monique Brady, Mordechai Toor, Natalie Lysenko, Sarah Box, Sarah Lake, Simon Shiel, Tobi Pederson, Tom Denham, Tom Marsh
Year: 2012
Photographs: John Gollings, Peter Bennetts

Courtesy of mode:lina
Courtesy of mode:lina

Hydroponic Pumping Station Winning Proposal / mode:lina

In an effort to revitalize an old pumping station in Pila, Poland, this first prize winning proposal by mode:lina… successfully combines green thinking with eco-technology to turns a space into a place where you can learn, practice, and get accustomed to one

Ballyroan Library / Box Architecture

© Paul Tierney

Architects: Box Architecture
Location: ,
Architect In Charge: Gary Mongey
Lighting Design: Wink Lighting
Area: 1,510 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Paul Tierney

Helsingborg Hospital Extension Winning Proposal / Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

Courtesy of

Located in the southern part of Sweden, the competition to design the 35,000 square metre extension to the Hospital has just been won by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects. In cooperation with Aarhus Arkitekterne, NNE Pharmaplan and landscape architects Kragh & Berglund, the key to the whole design has been flexibility, a clear layout, variety, human scale, green courtyards and optimal conditions for daylight. The extension will include a new ward for adult psychiatry, an out-patient clinic and medical laboratories. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Daum Space.1 / Mass Studies

© Kyungsub Shin

Architects: Mass Studies
Location: , South Korea
Architect In Charge: Minsuk Cho, Kisu Park
Design Team: Kim, Jisoo Kim, Sungpil Won, Nikolas Urano, Sebastien Soan, Junghye Bae, Jangwon Choi, Kwonwoong Lim, Youngjoon Chung, Bhujon Kang, Zongxoo U, Taehoon Hwang, Sangkyu Jeon, Younkyoung Shin, Vin kim, Daeun Jeong, Yuseok Heo, Kyungmok Park, Wonbang Kim, Jieun Lee, Sanghoon Lee, Songmin Lee
Area: 1,095,000 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Kyungsub Shin, Yong-Kwan Kim

Townhouse Oberwall / Apool Architects

Courtesy of

Architects: Apool Architects
Location: Berlin,
Architect In Charge: Dominik Franz, Jesper Reinholt
Area: 539 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Courtesy of Apool Architects

Construction of China’s Tallest Building On Hold Due to Concrete Scandal

© KPF

Scheduled to be the tallest tower in and the second tallest building in the world by 2015, Kohn Pedersen Fox’s 660-meter-high Ping’an International Finance Center has received a major unexpected set back. Following an industrywide inspection conducted last week, government officials have discovered a low-quality sea sand has been used by developers to create substandard concrete for KPF’s supertall skyscraper and at least 15 other buildings under construction.

Although sea sand lures contractors by costing significantly less than standard river sand, it contains a deadly mixture of salt and chloride that corrodes steel in concrete and threatens the structural integrity of a building over time.

According to Bloomberg, Shenzhen’s Housing and Construction Bureau found 31 companies violated industry rules and ordered eight of them to suspend business for one year in the city for using substandard sea sand to make concrete.

Spa San Ángel / Ambrosi I Etchegaray

© Luis Gordoa

Architects: Ambrosi I Etchegaray
Location: , Ciudad de México, México
Area: 345 sqm
Photographs: Luis Gordoa

Beach House / Teeland

© Nic Granleese

Architects: Teeland
Location: Little Cove, , Queensland, Australia
Architect In Charge:
Structural Engineer: AD Structure
Landscape: Teeland and Clegg Design
Builder: JW Constructions
Year: 2012
Photographs: Nic Granleese, Jon Linkins

The Beam / MVRDV and de Alzua+

Courtesy of

Development corporation ADIM Nord with MVRDV and de Alzua+ have been announced the winners of an urban renewal in the French town of Villeneuve d’Ascq. Dubbed ‘The Beam’, the winning proposal will transform a cluster of disused parking lots and a former petrol station into a dense, pedestrianized haven, whose 15,000 square meters of offices, retail space and lodging will hover over the adjacent motorway as a icon of a larger urban regeneration effort for the town center.

More information on The Beam after the break…

Coffee Shop / 314 Architecture Studio

© Panayiotis Vumbakis

Architects: 314 Architecture Studio
Location: ,
Architect In Charge: Pavlos Chatziangelidis
Associate Architect: Theodoris Tussas
Consulting Engineer: Fotini Karagianni
Area: 300 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Panayiotis Vumbakis

The Reality Behind those UK Unemployment Statistics

"John Morefield, laid off twice in the past year, took a novel approach to find work." Photo © Jim Bryant/Seattle Post-Intelligencer

The findings of the recent BD employment survey in the , revealing that 22% of British architects are unemployed, certainly makes for unpleasant reading, but it is important to look beyond the upsetting numbers to figure out what they mean.

Much more than a simple number showing the rate of UK unemployment, a closer look at the results highlights problems, exposes trends, and dispels myths – from the assumed truth that London is an employment “oasis” to the supposed strength the profession has shown in this economic crisis.

Read more analysis of the survey results, after the break…

No. 19 / ArchiCentre

Courtesy of ArchiCentre

Architects: ArchiCentre
Location: ,
Engineer: Jurutera Perunding TSSC Lim
Contractor: LMK Construction
Year: 2012
Photographs: Courtesy of ArchiCentre

The Indicator: Oblique Strategies for Architects

Peter Schmidt with Brian Eno. What would it be like to sit at that table in that room. Via revelinnewyork.com

In 1975 Brian Eno and the artist Peter Schmidt came out with a deck of cards designed to help artists and musicians push through creative blocks by offering alternative scenarios, methods, and perspectives. They called the set Oblique Strategies.

Think of them as a way to Dada your brain from the everyday realism in front of you to something more abstract. But this then takes you back to an alternate reality you couldn’t have experienced otherwise. They are traveling without moving. They have also been compared to the ancient Chinese book of divination, the Yi-jing, or Book of Changes. They are to be used in cases of creative emergencies.

Courtesy of JHK Architecten + Inbo
Courtesy of JHK Architecten + Inbo

Leiden University New Science Campus / JHK Architecten + Inbo

Designed by JHK Architecten + Inbo,… the construction of the first phase of the new science campus of the University of Leiden officially started just two weeks ago on Thursday, February 28th. The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at Leiden

Can We Please Stop Drawing Trees on Top of Skyscrapers?

Peruri 88 / MVDRV. Rendering © RSI-Studio

Tim De Chant is the senior digital editor at NOVA and editor of NOVA Next. He also writes at Per Square Mile, the blog where this article originally appeared. 

Just a couple of years ago, if you wanted to make something look trendier, you put a bird on it. Birds were everywhere. I’m not sure if Twitter was what started all the flutter, but it got so bad that Portlandia performed a skit named, you guessed it, “Put a Bird on It.” (“What a sad little tote bag. I know! I’ll put a bird on it.” Etc.)

It turns out architects have been doing the same thing, just with trees. Want to make a skyscraper look trendy and sustainable? Put a tree on it. Or better yet, dozens. Many high-concept skyscraper proposals are festooned with trees. On the rooftop, on terraces, in nooks and crannies, on absurdly large balconies. Basically anywhere horizontal and high off the ground. Now, I should be saying architects are drawing dozens, because I have yet to see one of these “green” skyscrapers in real life. (There’s one notable exception—BioMilano, which isn’t quite done yet.) If—and it’s a  if—any of these buildings ever get built, odds are they’ll be stripped of their foliage quicker than a developer can say “return on investment.” It’s just not realistic. I get why architects draw them on their buildings. Really, I do. But can we please stop?

Find out why it’s not a good idea to put trees on skyscrapers, after the break…

Architects Selected for Competition to Design Nobel Prize’s New Home

Blasieholmen at Nybroviken in Stockholm. Image © Jeppe Wikström

Out of 140 architects considered, 12 architects have been selected by the Nobel Foundation to compete to design their new home, a Nobel Center in Blasieholmen, Stockholm. The conspicuously European selection, chosen for their “design and artistic abilities and experience working in intricate urban environments,” includes some very big names – including BIG, David Chipperfield Architects, Herzog & de Meuron, and . The only non-Europeans to compete will be SANAA’s Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa.

See the full list of competitors, and more information on the , after the break…