A quick glimpse at the upcoming weather for Abu Dhabi will show a week of intense sunshine, temperatures steadily above 100 degrees Fahrenheit with 0% chance of rain. In such extreme weather conditions, even architects listing environmental design as their top priority are up against a tough battle. Never mind that the sand can compromise the structural integrity of the building, the intense heat and glare can render a comfortable indoor environment relatively impossible if not properly addressed. For Abu Dhabi’s newest pair of towers, Aedas Architects have designed a responsive facade which takes cultural cues from the “mashrabiya”, a traditional Islamic lattice shading device.
More about the towers’ shading system after the break.
Currently under construction on the edge of the city of Istanbul, the Alemdag Housing, designed by Baraka Architects, is made up of four building blocks which contain 70 flats, 2 retail units and social facilities. The 6.000 m² plot is situated on the exact interface between the city and the surrounding forest, making this the first characteristic taken into account for the housing complex as an important dynamic. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Commissioned by the Greater London Authority as part of the Wonder series to celebrate the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, BLOOM, designed and developed by Alisa Andrasek and Jose Sanchez from The Bartlett School of Architecture at UCL, is a crowd sourced garden. Designed in neon pink, which is the official Olympics color, BLOOM is conceptualised as an urban toy, a distributed social game and collective “gardening” experience that seeks the engagement of people in order to construct fuzzy BLOOM formations. More images and architects’ description after the break.
With professional cycling rapidly developing in the state of Sinaloa, Mexico in the last decade, there is an interest in building Culiacan’s new velodrome, as well as incorporating policies that favor cycling as a mode of transportation into the city’s plans for new public spaces. The proposal by BNKR Arquitectura channels this new found enthusiasm for cycling into a single thread that unites a professional sports building with a cycling-oriented park development. More images and architects’ description after the break.
“The emphasis of the 2012 Biennale – explains David Chipperfield – is on what we have in common. Above all, the ambition of Common Ground is to reassert the existence of an architectural culture, made up not just of singular talents but a rich continuity of diverse ideas united in a common history, common ambitions, common predicaments and ideals. In architecture everything begins with the ground. It is our physical datum, where we make the first mark, digging the foundations that will support our shelter.”
The Museum of Modern Art, Columbia University and The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation have announced that the vast archives of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) have been jointly acquired by the University and the Museum and will become part of their permanent collections. The archive, which includes some 23,000 architectural drawings, 44,000 historical photographs, large-scale models, manuscripts, extensive correspondence and other documents, has remained in storage at Wright’s former headquarters – Taliesin (Spring Green, WI) and Taliesin West (Scottsdale, AZ) – since his death. Moving the archives to New York will maximize the visibility and research value of the collection for generations of scholars, students and the public.
“The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation takes seriously its responsibility to serve the public good by ensuring the best possible conservation, accessibility, and impact of one of the most important and meaningful archives in the world,” said Sean Malone, CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. “Given the individual strengths, resources and abilities of the Foundation, MoMA and Columbia, it became clear that this collaborative stewardship is far and away the best way to guarantee the deepest impact, the highest level of conservation and the best public access.”
Continue after the break for more images and an informative video.
Inspired by Pritzker Prize laureate Paulo Mendes da Rocha’s call “to get architecture out of the making and thinking of isolated objects and to show it as an inexorable transformation of nature”, Dublin practice Grafton Architects presents Architecture as New Geography at the 2012 Venice Biennale. The exhibition explores the work of the Brazilian architect in the context of Grafton’s first South American project for a university in Lima, Peru.
The International Jury has awarded Grafton the Silver Lion for their “impressive” presentation’s ability to connect to the ideas of Paulo Mendes da Rocha and demonstrate the “considerable potential of this architectural practice in reimagining the urban landscape”.
Baraka is the word for “blessing” in many Arabic languages. It entitled the work of Ron Fricke who did the cinematographic work for the previous posted film Koyaanisqatsi by Godfrey Reggio. This time, he only includes some music and leave the rest of the job to the compilation of impressive shots that capture nature and civilisation in progress.
Let us know your thoughts about this never ending contrasts between artificial/natural, and ancient/contemporary environments.