Curry Stone Prize Winners’ Inspiring Videos

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Each of this year’s winners of the Curry Stone Design Prize are incredible examples of the powerful, and truly varied reach, of Public-Interest Design – which is why we’re sharing these short films, by Room 5 Films, on each of the winning projects. From the Butaro Hospital in Rwanda designed by MASS Design Group to the “Liter by Light” project (that recycles plastic bottles to bring a safe source of light to the slums of the Phillippines), each of these films are inspiring snapshots into the work and worlds of each of these winners.

More videos on Winners, after the break…

Materiale Edili Garavaglia / Buratti+Battiston Architects

© Marcello Mariana

Architects: Buratti+Battiston Architects
Location: ,
Year: 2011
Photographs: Marcello Mariana

“Pig-Ugly” Housing Gives Development A Bad Name, Says UK Planning Minister

The minister branded housing developments like Harrisons Wharf (pictured) as “pig-ugly,” an insult to the community. Image via the Daily Mail

For once, British architects, the Prince’s Foundation, and NIMBYs have something they can all agree on. In a speech to the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA),  planning minister, Nick Boles, has come out swinging against the “pig-ugliness” of British housing, which has given it a bad name:

“We are trapped in a vicious circle. People look at the new housing estates that have been bolted onto their towns and villages in recent decades and observe that few of them are beautiful. Indeed, not to put too fine a point of it, many of them are pig-ugly [...]In a nutshell, because we don’t build beautifully, people don’t let us build much. And because we don’t build much, we can’t afford to build beautifully. My personal mission as planning minister is to help us break out of this vicious cycle once and for all.”

The criticism has been welcomed by many British architects as a necessary wake-up call for Britain and a call-to-action for its architects.

More on this story, after the break…

Fast Track / Salto AB

© Karli Luik

Architects: Salto AB
Location: Nikola-Lenivets,
Design Team: Maarja Kask, Karli Luik, Ralf Lõoke
Client: Festival Archstoyanie
Area: 51 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Karli Luik, Nikita Shohov, Andrej Yagubskij & Alan Vouba

Films & Architecture: “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari”

Going back to the times when cinema was recorded with no colours or sound, the German film “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” by is a masterpiece that utilizes fully stylised sets with abstract spaces to represent different scenes. It’s considered one of the most influential movies of German , since many of the film’s unusual characteristics (from the geometric nature of the sets to the actors’ costumes) were decades ahead of their time.

Have you seen this classic? What do you think about how silent-era films depict space?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Passive House School Winning Proposal / Kjellgren Kaminsky Architecture

Courtesy of

Kjellgren Kaminsky Architecture (KKA) shared with us their winning proposal for Nya Kollaskolan, which is expected to be the largest passive-house school in Sweden, as well as one of the largest passive house buildings in the country. A centerpiece in the new Kollastaden area in the center of , the school will supplement the existing school, built in 2000, and host around 360 students and 75 employees. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Sao Paulo’s New Green Urban Planning Policy

The new Água Espraiada Operação Urbana urban planning program in Sao Paulo has taken a major approach to . With this plan in action, the Rochaverá Corporate Towers, a high profile mixed residential, office, and shopping complex, is a great example. The recently built project is located at a former industrial area along the Pinheiros River Basin. This enormous 1.2-million-square-foot development, designed by Aflalo and Gasperini Architects, was built to be highly energy efficient, control water usage, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and ease traffic congestion. With the success of the mentioned project, we can begin to ask ourselves, ‘How can a development accomplish all of those objectives?’ Start with urban planning that mitigates sprawl, one of biggest threats to the planet today. More information after the break.

Banorte Building / LeNoir & Asoc. Estudio de Arquitectura

© Eduardo Alarcón Ceballos

Architecture: LeNoir & Asoc. Estudio de Arquitectura
Location: Universidad, , Nuevo León,
Architectural Design Project: Alexandre Lenoir, Ramón Garduza, José María Pérez
Construction Documents: LeNoir & Asociados, Alejandro Arreguín, Antonio Ibarra, Julia Díaz
Area: 45,660 sqm
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Eduardo Alarcón Ceballos

C&E House / Equipo Olivares Arquitectos

© Lluís Casals

Architects: Equipo Olivares Arquitectos
Location: , Canary Islands,
Design Team: Javier Pérez-Alcalde Schwartz
Photographs: Lluís Casals

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Aviary, Bioparque Temaikén / Hampton+Rivoira+Arquitectos

© Fundación Temaikén

Architects: Hampton+Rivoira+Arquitectos
Location: , Provincia of Buenos Aires,
Architects In Charge: Jorge Hampton, Emilio Rivoira
Associated Architect: Cristian Carnicer
Design Team: Roberto Lombardi, María Eugenia García Castera, María Eugenia Viña Raznovich, Juan Reartes, Ignacio Ruiz Orrico, Diego Tablada, Emilia Alvarado, Anahi Fedrizzi
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Jorge Hampton, Emilio Rivoira, Fernando Mayán, Fundación Temaikén

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Matthew Marks Gallery / ZELLNERPLUS

© Joshua White

Location: West Hollywood, California,
Project Team: Ariel Claudet, Ingrid Dennert, Kurt V. Franz, Nathan Moore, Darin Vieria, Seth Weiner, Peter Zellner
Area: 3,000 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Joshua White

KCH / Kochi Architect’s Studio

© Kazuyasu Kochi

Architects: Kochi Architect’s Studio
Location: Toshima-ku, ,
Architect In Charge: Kazuyasu Kochi
Constractor: Sugimoto Kogyo co, ltd.
Area: 64.6 sqm
Year: 2009
Photographs: Kazuyasu Kochi

Courtesy of the Museum of Finnish Architecture
Courtesy of the Museum of Finnish Architecture

UNBUILT HELSINKI at the Museum of Finnish Architecture

Opening at 6:00pm tomorrow at the Museum of Finnish Architecture, UNBUILT HELSINKI is an exhibition about the Unbuilt City and its inhabitants as part of the World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 program. Drawn from the museum’s archive and beyond, unrealized…

Colonial Viladoms Houses / OAB

© Alejo Bague

Architects: OAB  - Office of Architecture in Barcelona
Location: Castellbell i el Vilar,
Design Team: Carlos Ferrater, Nuria Ayala
Technical Architect: Alexandre Pararols
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Alejo Bague

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EINS House / Óscar Pedrós

© Héctor Santos-Diez

Architects: Óscar Pedrós
Location: O Valiño, . A Coruña. Spain
Year: 2009
Photography: Héctor Santos-Diez

9 Gathered Huts / NKS Architects

© Kouji Okamoto

Architects: NKS Architects
Location: Kitakyushu, Fukuoka,
Architect In Charge: Noriko + Kaoru Suehiro
Structure: RC+S, 1 story
Area: 293.87 sqm
Year: 2008
Photographs: Kouji Okamoto

Nosara Recycling Plant / sLAB


Visit the Kickstarter Campaign here.


A small group of students and architect Tobias Holler of sLAB Costa Rica at the New York Institute of Technology, have teamed up to design and build a communal recycling center for Nosara, Costa Rica – a city that is facing grave problems with sanitation and illegal dumping of garbage on beaches and in wildlife areas. Construction started last summer after a Kickstarter campaign that raised $15,000 helped provide expenses and costs associated with housing the students that assisted with the construction. A relaunch of the Kickstarter campaign will provide the project with additional funds to bring the students back to accelerate the pace of construction. The funds also support the documentary by Ayana de Vos, whose film follows the progress of the project and features waste management and sustainability in Costa Rica.

Join us after the break for more.

Chop Stick / Visiondivision

Courtesy of

Here’s a whole new definition of the phrase “Tree House.”

Visiondivision‘s concession stand for 100 Acres, an Art & Nature Park in , is made entirely from one 100-ft yellow poplar tree. Not only does the trunk form the horizontal beam of the structure, but literally nothing of the tree was left to waste: bark became shingles; extracted pieces of wood became structural support, chairs and tables, swings; even the bark’s syrup was extracted to be sold in the kiosk itself.

The architects who refined this tree into a building were inspired by an ethos of “gentleness” with nature. As they share in their architects’ brief: “Our project is about trying to harvest something as gently as possible so that the source of what we harvest is displayed in a pure, pedagogic and respectful way—respectful to both the source itself and to everyone visiting the building.”

A video, images, and the architects’ brief, after the break…