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Venice Biennale 2012: Futura Bold? Post-City: Considering the Luxembourg case

Courtesy of Pavilion Exhibitors Yi-der Chou, Radim Louda, Philippe Nathan

The Luxembourg Pavilion for the 2012 Venice Biennale, entitled Futura Bold? Post-City: Considering the Luxembourg case, is a speculative exploration of the future issues that cities of the 21st century will be facing. Using Luxembourg as a case study, Post-City seeks an attitude toward the forces of the urban environment instead of concluding with an urban proposal.  Post-City poses pertinent questions that arise from Luxembourg’s urban conditions today.  Posed as a platform for discussion, the pavilion will be on view at the Ca’ del Duca as part of the 2012 Venice Biennale until November 25th.

Join us after the break for more on this project.

See ArchDaily's exclusive coverage of the 2012 Venice Biennale

Venice Biennale 2012: Made in Athens / Greece

© Nico Saieh

Contemporary Athens is a city of strong contradictions: It is a city whose particular identity was shaped during post-World-War-II reconstruction. A city which has at its disposal an exceptionally talented cadre of young architects, international in orientation, well educated and with a wealth of professional experience. It is, however, the city that was most stricken by the current economic crisis. Currently the Athenian urban space is decomposing and there are increasingly frequent and greater disruptions of the social web. The younger generation of architects benefited from the positive aspects of globalization and today has come face-to-face with the harsh aspect of the global financial crisis, a plummeting standard of living and the need to redefine the priorities of architectural design.

These contradictions are shaping a particular dynamic in the city. Conditions are being created in Athens to expand the links between architecture and the city, both during the economic downturn, but also after it has passed; furthermore conditions are being created to bring to the forefront new ways of viewing the role of architecture, removed from the standards of well-being of the previous decade.

The Greek participation presents this idiosyncratic Athenian urbanism within two themes.

Hostel La Buena Vida / ARCO Arquitectura Contemporánea

© Jaime Navarro

Architects: ARCO Arquitectura Contemporánea
Location: México D.F.,
Design Team: José Lew Kirsch, Bernardo Lew Kirsch
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Jaime Navarro

Architect Deborah Berke
Architect Deborah Berke

Deborah Berke awarded new Berkeley-Rupp Prize

Deborah Berke…, a New York City-based architect known for her design excellence, scholarly achievement and commitment to moving the practice of architecture forward in innovative ways, was selected as the first recipient of the University of California, Berkeley’s College

Riverview Park Visitor Service Building I / De Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop

Courtesy of

Architects: De Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop
Location: Louisville, Kentucky,
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 524 sq ft
Photographs: Courtesy of De Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop

Flight 93 National Memorial / Paul Murdoch Architects

Flight 93 National Memorial / © Eric Staudenmaier

United Airlines Flight 93 was one of the four planes hijacked during the September 11, 2001, attacks in the . It was on this flight that 40 passengers and crew members courageously gave their lives to thwart a planned attack on the Nation’s Capital. Tragically, the plane crashed in Western Pennsylvania with no survivors.

To honor these heroes, Congress passed the Flight 93 National Memorial Act in 2002 and launched a two-stage, international design competition in 2005. A Jury of planners, landscape architects, architects, designers, government representatives, family members and community representatives chose Paul and Milena Murdoch’s proposal, which treated the 2,200 acre former coalmine as a memorialized national park where visitors embark on a sequence of experiences that leads them towards the crash site of Flight 93.

See ArchDaily's exclusive coverage of the 2012 Venice Biennale

Venice Biennale 2012: Venice Takeaway / Great Britain Pavilion

© Nico Saieh

The British Pavilion presents the work of ten architectural teams who travelled the world in search of imaginative responses to universal issues. Venice Takeaway charts their course in Argentina, , , Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Thailand, and the USA, and demonstrates the creative potential of sharing ideas across borders.

The exhibition presents the work of more than twenty-six practicing architects, curators, academics, filmmakers, and writers who were selected by a scientific committee following an open call for ideas.

Judges and speakers at the World Architecture Festival
Judges and speakers at the World Architecture Festival

Speakers at the World Architecture Festival 2012

The World Architecture Festival is around the corner! On October 3rd-5th, hundreds of architects will gather in Singapore for an intense dose of architecture, in the form of panels, lectures, live crits, and more. You can see all the shortlisted…

See ArchDaily's exclusive coverage of the 2012 Venice Biennale

Was the Biennale Very Political? Or Not Political Enough?

The Torre de David Café by Urban Think Tank + Justin McGuirk + Iwan Baan. According to Kimmelman, the Biennale’s “coup de théâtre.” According to us, a flawed and yet important exhibit. © Nico Saieh

Yesterday, Michael Kimmelman, the architecture critic for The New York Timesunleashed his anticipated take on this year’s Biennale. Usually, we find ourselves almost perfectly aligned with Kimmelman’s socially-oriented perspective (in fact, we lauded his approach in “The Architect Critic is Dead“); this time, however, we found ourselves almost entirely at his opposite.

In our Editorial, “The Most Political Biennale Yet,” we contend that “Common Ground” represented a stepping stone in the Biennale’s evolution: it revealed an unprecedented engagement with reality and reflected, for the first time in any substantial way, architecture’s movement away from “starchitecture” and towards urbanist solutions. Was it perfect? No. But it was engaged.

However, Kimmelman’s take suggests that all that progress simply wasn’t enough. In fact, the exhibits we cite as evidence of the Biennale’s progress, Kimmelman cites as exceptions in a festival still overly obsessed with architecture’s big names.

What do you think? Was this Biennale very political, or not political enough? Was Kimmelman too harsh? Were we too forgiving? Or are we both off-base? Read on for a few select quotes from our Op-Eds, and give us your opinion in the comments below.

Video: Harri Koskinen, The Helsinki Series


As 2012′s Design Capital of the World, has positioned itself as one of the most rapidly expanding and innovative centres for design and architecture. Crane.tv embarks on an early-morning fishing trip from the city’s harbour with one of the last remaining fisherman to sail out every day. On the trip we are joined by Finnish design legend Harri Koskinen, also known for his work at renowned glass and ceramics company Iittala. Inspired by his heritage and growing up on the Finnish countryside, he talks us through natural surroundings as an inspiration and the importance of looking back at Finnish traditional housing for the country’s unmistakable slick and minimal design language.

Parking Avenida Libertad / Clavel Arquitectos

© David Frutos

Architects: Clavel Arquitectos
Location: Avenida de la Libertad, ,
Design Team: Manuel Clavel Rojo
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: David Frutos

See ArchDaily's exclusive coverage of the 2012 Venice Biennale

Venice Biennale 2012: Grands & Ensembles / France

© Nico Saieh

The subject of the grands ensembles (housing complexes) selected for the French Pavilion is a good example of the ambivalence of an architect’s role, which is often decried; once, the urban environment of towers and large housing complexes was even blamed for social unrest in the “schemes”, also known as “estates” or “projects”. On the contrary, the challenge raised by this exhibition aims to show that contemporary architects have things to say about the “suburban crisis,” by working on “transformation” rather than just “repairs”.

Courtesy of 'TOLK' team
Courtesy of 'TOLK' team

Kenya Judicial Architectural Competition Proposal / Various Architects

Designed by a team of graduate students, including Tabitha Nzilani, Obare Joash, Lomole Daniel, and Kuria Eric…, their second prize winning proposal in the Kenya Judicial Architectural competition embraces the people coming to seek justice. The project invites visitors

Kid’s University in Gandía / Paredes Pedrosa

© Roland Halbe

Architects: Paredes Pedrosa
Location: Valencia, Spain
Design Team: Ángela García de Paredes, Ignacio Pedrosa
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Roland Halbe, Luis Asín

Lightweave Palm Observatory / X-Studio

© Ivan Juárez

Conceived by Mexican architect Ivan Juárez from X-Studio, the Lightweave Palm Observatory consists of a dialogue with the natural landscape context of , Brazil. The project explores a local artisanal textile technique using the coconut palm leaf found in the island as raw material. It then forms an interior space for personal reflection which creates a visual dialogue between the interior and exterior landscape that it delimits. More images and architects’ description after the break.

In Progress: Vallecas Housing / CRAB Studio

Courtesy of

Architects: CRAB Studio
Location: Vallecas, Madrid,
Design Team: Peter Cook, Gavin Robotham, Salvador Perez Arroyo
Photographs: Courtesy of CRAB Studio

Fogo Island, Long Studio © Saunders Architecture
Fogo Island, Long Studio © Saunders Architecture

Todd Saunders Lecture at Cornell University

Todd Saunders…, founder of Saunders Architecture, will be delivering a lecture at Cornell University on the topic of ‘Architecture in Northern Landscapes’ on October 15. Bringing together dynamic building and material experimentation with traditional methods of craft, the Bergen,

Jiaxing College Library & Media Center / LYCS Architecture

Courtesy of

The competition winning proposal for the College Library & Media Center, designed by LYCS Architecture, seeks to break antiquated design conventions by intelligently negotiating contemporary architectural design into the traditional Chinese campus. Surrounded by rich woods and luscious water, the 42000m2 library plays with hierarchy – the hierarchy of multiple, increasingly private spaces; the hierarchy of the pace of spatial experience; and the hierarchy of introversion and extroversion. More images and architects’ description after the break.