See ArchDaily's exclusive coverage of the 2012 Venice Biennale

Venice Biennale 2012: i-city / Russia Pavilion

© Nico Saieh

The first national pavilion that we visited was the pavilion, curated by Sergei Tchoban. The exhibit, designed by SPEECH Techoban / Kuznetsov (Sergei Tchoban, Sergey Kuznetsov, Marina Kuznetskaya, Agniya Sterligova), showcases the Strolkovo Innovation Center, a new development that aims to concentrate intellectual capital around five clusters (IT, Biomed, Energy, Space, Nuclear Tech), with projects by David Chipperfield, SANAA, OMA, Herzog & de Meuron, Stefano Boeri, SPEECH, Valode & Pistre architectes and Mohsen Mostafavi among others (more details about the project itself in a future article).

An interesting project, presented in detail with tons of information, yet invisible inside the space of the pavilion. A series of QR Codes wrap the inside of the Russia pavilion spaces,  and all you can sense at first is light and space. At the entrance you are provided with a tablet, and you walk around the pavilion scanning these codes to obtain the information about Strolkovo.

© Patricia Parinejad

On the lower level, a dark interior is perforated with peep holes that show images of former Soviet Scientific Towns, a legacy from the past that serves as background of the Strolkovo project.

What we liked about this pavilion is the fact that technology is used as a medium, and what prevails is light and space, a particular atmosphere that wraps you in information, in an intangible way.

This pavilion was awarded with a Special Mention at the Biennale, “the ‘i-city’ takes a dialectic approach to Russia’s past, present and future and in the process turns us all into digital spies. The jury was drawn into this magical mystery tour and beguiled by its visual presentation.”

We had the chance to interview Sergei Tchoban and Sergey Kuznetsov, we will post the video later on.More photos by architectural photographer Patricia Parinejad (who will be featured in our next AD Photographers series) and Nico Saieh after the break:

Mediatheek Delft / Dok Architecten

Courtesy of ; © Arjen Schmitz

Architecture Firm: Dok Architekten
Architect: Liesbeth van der Pol
Location:  centrum--Vesteplein 100-2611 WG , The Netherlands
Design Team: P. Cannon, M. Hardonk, R. Bos, A. Koch, A. Derksen
Client: Gemeente Delft 
Photographer: Arjen Schmitz 


See ArchDaily's exclusive coverage of the 2012 Venice Biennale

Venice Biennale 2012: Awards ceremony, big winners: Alvaro Siza, Japan and Urban Think Tank

Toyo Ito, curator of the Pavilion, winner of the Golden Lion for the National Pavilions

A few minutes ago we attended to the awards ceremony at the Biennale, after which it opened officially to the public (until Nov 25th).

David Chipperfield, director of the 13th Biennale, and Paolo Baratta, president of the Biennale, presented the awards for Lifetime Achievement, National Participations and International Participations.

The Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement was already announced, and it went to Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza. Alvaro couldn’t attend the ceremony due to a broken arm, so Ines Lobo, curator of the Portuguese pavilion, accepted the award on his behalf.

Urban Think Tank and Justin McGuirk, Golden Lion for International Exhibition

For the National pavilions, the jury decided to give three mentions: Poland, and USA. The Golden Lion was awarded to the Japan Pavilion, with the exhibit “Architecture, possible here? Home-for-All” curated by Toyo Ito, with the participation of Kumiko Inui, Sou Fujimoto, Akihisa Hirata and Naoya Hatakeyama. Toyo Ito dedicated the award to the victims of the tsunami.

As for the International Exhibitions, the special mention went to Cino Zucchi, the Silver Lion to Grafton Architects, and the Golden Lion to “Torre David / Gran Horizonte”, the installation by Urban-Think Tank, Justin McGuirk and Iwan Baan.

More photos after the break.

Kukkula Winery / Studio B Architects

© Derek Skalko

Architects: Studio B Architects
Location: , , USA
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Derek Skalko

Video: Andy Sturgeon / Gardener Profile

Award-winning landscape gardener, Andy Sturgeon, creates natural spaces with a strong design aesthetic. One of the top ten landscape designers in the UK, we talk to Andy about the ways in which he works with nature and is inspired by other forms of design outside his field. travels to Surrey to visit one of his current projects – a private garden halfway through the building process.

Why Spain’s Crisis Is the End of An Era

Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao inspired cities across to get their own “Guggenheim,” many of which now stand empty/unfinished in the light of the country’s economic crisis. Photo via Flickr User CC Txanoduna

The Recession’s ripples have reached far. We, in the midst of a veritable architecture meltdown, can attest to that. But even our situation can’t compare to Spain’s, a country where “the mother of all housing bubbles” meant the Recession didn’t just land – it tsunami-ed onto her shores.

The metaphor may seem overblown, but it’s not so far off. Spain, a country that once stuffed its cities with show-stopping cultural centers, airports, and municipal buildings, has been shocked still.The new Spain is populated with empty high-rises, half-finished “starchitecture,” and plans gathering dust. A quarter of its architects are out of work and about one half of its studios have closed their doors.

Spain, once a beacon for architects across the globe, has hit a standstill.  For the first time in decades, thousands of architects are fleeing its shores. So what does this mean for architecture in Spain – and the world? Has the Recession signified the end of an era? Has the torch of architectural innovation been passed?

In a word? Yes.

Exclusive insight from some of Spain and ’s acclaimed architects, after the break…

Edogawa Garage Club Renovation / Jun’ichi Ito Architect & Associates

© Naoomi Kurozu

Architects: Jun’ichi Ito Architect & Associates
Location: Edogawa, ,
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Naoomi Kurozu

Video: Empire State of Pen / Patrick Vale

We found this great short video by London-based illustrator, artist and animator Patrick Vale.  The Manhattan perspective is taken from the Empire State Building looking south toward the new development of the Freedom Tower.  The Flat Iron building lies in the foreground, while the Brooklyn and  Verrazzano Bridges anchor the eastern edge with Jersey City’s Goldman Sachs Tower flank the western edge. After marveling at the final illustration at the end of the time-lapse clip, we were hooked and wanted to see more of Vale! Check out more illustrations by Vale – including great ones of Florence and London – after the break.

Which is your favorite?

Nike Camp Victory / Skylab Architecture

Courtesy of Skylab Architecture and Hush Studio

Architects: Skylab Architecture
Location: , , USA
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Courtesy of Skylab Architecture and Hush Studios

© Alexandre Braleret
© Alexandre Braleret

Iceberg Trading Post / Alexandre Braleret

With Greenland’s glaciers turning into icebergs, this could be considered as a sustainable motive force for Greenland economy by reactivating “white gold rush”. In response to this, the Iceberg Trading Post project, by Alexandre Bralerest…, proposes icebergs as mass

Juso Continuing Care Unit / SARAIVA + ASSOCIADOS

© João Morgado

Location: Aldeia de Juso, ,
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: João Morgado

Courtesy of RMC Architects & Engineers
Courtesy of RMC Architects & Engineers

National Museum of Afghanistan Proposal / RMC Architects & Engineers

Designed by, RMC (Raafat Miller Consulting) Architects & Engineers…, their proposal for the National Museum of Afghanistan aims to best represent the heritage and the people of the country through a practical, innovative and enduring physical plan. This building

Housing Building at C/ Fontana / Duch-Pizá Arquitectos

Courtesy of Duch-Pizá Arquitectos

Architects: Duch-Pizá Arquitectos
Location: ,
Main Collaborator: Claudio Hernández
Technical Architect: Oscar Menendez
Collaborators: G. Riveron, P. Skytta
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Courtesy of Duch-Pizá Arquitectos

© Thilo Folkerts
© Thilo Folkerts

Update: Jardin de la Connaissance / 100Landschaftsarchitektur

Established in June 2010, 100Landschaftsarchitektur… shared with us the current status of Jardin de la Connaissance which is still up and thriving. With the knowledge truly disappearing into the forest, the book structures have decayed in the natural setting, but

Hôtel du Val d’Amblève / Artau Architecture

© JL. Deru

Architects: Artau Architecture
Location: Stavelot,
Project Year: 2008
Project Area: 1,330 sqm
Photographs: JL. Deru

Kobuchi Apartment / Toru Kudo + architecture WORKSHOP

© Daici Ano

Location: , Japan
Design Team: Toru Kudo, Koh Kitayama, Mayumi Watanabe
Project Year: 2006
Photographs: Daici Ano

See ArchDaily's exclusive coverage of the 2012 Venice Biennale

Venice Biennale 2012: Venezuela Pavilion

© Nico Saieh

’s participation at the 13th Venice Biennale is presented through a series of reflections about the urban situation – the city of the 21st century.

La ciudad socializante vs la ciudad alienante is aimed for the general audience, not just the architects, presenting a series of graphic-chromatic notes and sketches by Domenico Silvestro, who was very kind and showed us the pavilion. You can see him on the photos below.

AD Round Up: Architecture in Denmark

Courtesy of BIG & JDS

For today’s Round Up we have our first selection of previous featured projects in the great . The main image belongs to Plot’s (BIG + JDS) VM Houses in Copenhagen. Don’t miss Tivoli Concert Hall designed by 3xn or Sports & Culture Centre by Dorte Mandrup + b&K brandlhuber & co. Revist, SHL’s Performers’ House, a transformation of  an existing historic boiler house. Finally, is never late to visit the amazing Kastrup Sea Bath by  White arkitekter AB