Dear readers, as the phenomenal architects we are confident you are, it is time to enter the search for the 2014 World Architecture Festival (WAF) awards. Annually recognizing the globe’s most impressive works, WAF is the largest architecture festival (and live awards) on the planet.
If shortlisted, you will be invited to defend your project this October at the Marina Bay Sands resort in Singapore in front of a “super jury,” chaired by Richard Rogers, that includes architects Rocco Yim, Julie Eizenberg, Enric Ruiz Geli, Peter Rich and more.
Practices of all sizes from around the world will compete across 28 individual award categories for global recognition. The winners of these categories will then be considered by the jury for the coveted World Building of the Year award at the culmination of WAF 2014.
The live architecture presentations and debates will coincide with a seminar and keynotes by industry leaders focusing on “Architects and the City.” Though a complete list of participants have yet to be released, Richard Rogers and Rocco Yim, as well as policy makers and urban organizations, such as Thomas Wright, Executive Director of the Regional Plan Association of New York, are all expected to join.
The United Design Group (UDG) China has begun construction the “Xieli Garden” resettlement community kindergarten in Wuxi. The three-story building, designed as a “spiraling elliptical ring,” aims to create an ideal learning environment for children with ample natural light and a direct connection to outdoor space.
In this episode of KCRW’s Design & Architecture (DnA) podcast, ArchDaily contributor Guy Horton speaks with Frances Anderson about the architect’s ethical responsibility to protect construction workers’ rights, following up on his popular article “Will We Stay Silent? The Human Cost of Qatar’s World Cup.” The episode also features a fascinating look into Shigeru Ban‘s career and Pritzker win as well as the Folk-Moma controversy. Listen here.
The following is an excerpt from Sean Lally’s The Air from Other Planets, A Brief History of Architecture to Come. The book introduces the reader to an architecture produced by designing the energy within our environment (electromagnetic, thermodynamic, acoustic, and chemical)– an architecture that exchanges walls and shells for a range of material energies that develop its own shapes, aesthetics, organizational systems, and social experiences. Energy becomes its own enterprise for design innovation; it becomes the architecture itself.
One of architecture’s primary acts is to define the spatial boundaries that organize and hold specified activities within them. The behavioral properties of the materials used to make that boundary not only influence the physical characteristics of that space (maximum height, span, aperture sizes), but also determine how the human body perceives and senses those boundary changes (opacity, transparency, acoustics), which then informs the behaviors and movements of the individuals using the space. This definition of boundaries is one that architects have continually tested and subverted as new materials, construction methods, and social trends have emerged over the centuries. It follows that if energy could be controlled and deployed as physical boundaries that define and organize spaces that the human body can detect and recognize, wouldn’t that be architecture? These new building materials would only need to demonstrate that they could absorb the “responsibilities” of boundaries—able to determine spatial hierarchies, provide security, hold aesthetic value, etc.—for them to be called architecture. Current trends just on the periphery of the discipline that could make this a possibility only need to be integrated through the lens of the architect to see their potential.
Placing sixth in the competition to design the Romanian Pavilion for the 2015 Milan Expo, Collective East Architects offered a “simple and powerful landmark” that focuses on the history of Romania’s agriculture. Serving as an “attractor and orientation mark,” the structure was conceived by repeating a traditional Romanian pattern that “transformed the pavilion into a sculptural object with a powerful national identify.” From a distance, the facade appears “introverted and impenetrable;” as viewers move closer, the building begins to expose its contents, revealing a level of detail one would expect in a “jewelry museum.”
In this article, originally appearing on the Australian Design Review as “Tolerance and Customisation: a Question of Value“, Michael Parsons argues that the complex forms made possible by digital fabrication may soon be victims of their own popularity, losing their intrinsic value as they become more common and the skill required to make them decreases.
The idea of tolerance in architecture has become a popular point of discussion due to the recent mainstreaming of digital fabrication. The improvements in digital fabrication methods are allowing for two major advancements: firstly, the idea of reducing the tolerance required in construction to a minimum (and ultimately zero) and secondly, mass customisation as a physical reality. Digital fabrication has made the broad-brushstroke approach to fabrication tolerance obsolete and now allows for unique elements and tolerance specific to each element. The accuracy that digital fabrication affords the designer, allows for the creation of more complex forms with greater ease and control. So far, this has had great and far reaching implications for design.
Read on to find out how this ease of form-making could diminish the success of complex forms.
AS.Architecture-Studio has announced the 2014 Young Architects in Africa. The award aims to highlight creative African projects and help a rising generation of young architects achieve worldwide recognition. Selected from nearly 200 projects, these three practices have been named as finalists: Architects of Justice (South Africa), Urko SANCHEZ (Kenya), and Andre CHRISTENSEN & Mieke DROOMER (South Africa).
Koichi Takada Architects (KTA) has released details on Australia’s biggest urban renewal project: Green Square. Shaped by the pedestrian and traffic flows that surround the building, the mixed-use, multi-residential complex is expected to serve as the gateway of Sydney’s Green Square Town Centre by its completion in 2016.
Spanish architect Rafael de La-Hoz has designed a mirrored, 60-meter monument to commemorate the 30 anniversary of the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area (TEDA). The design, titled “A Cut between heaven and earth”, was “driven by an effort to analyze the process of abstraction and reinterpretation of the site.”
Zaha Hadid Architects has designed a 40-story luxury hotel for Macau’s premier leisure and entertainment destination known as “City of Dreams.” Perceived as a single “sculptural element” united by an exposed exoskeleton mesh structure, the “simple volume” was extruded from its rectangular site as two towers connected at the podium and roof levels, with two organically-shaped bridges punctuating the tower’s center external void. This central void is then celebrated by a 40-meter tall, “grandiose atrium” that greets visitors as they enter the hotel.
Take a digital tour through the building and into the atrium via a newly released video, after the break…